Gazelli: All the way from Azerbaijan

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll have noticed that I have mentioned a few of the fashion and accessory designers I met on a recent style weekend in Glasgow. What I haven’t mentioned until now is anything about the fun and interesting people I managed to spend the entire weekend with.

One of these is my new pal Marni Banks, a freelance fashion blogger and journalist living and working in London. As well as writing for a number of magazines, Marni also works with a beauty product generally new to the British market and barely known here in Ireland.

Over the course of the weekend, and multiple glasses of Moet, Marni told me all about Gazelli – a brand new luxury skincare brand – and before we parted ways, left me with a discovery set to try out. After testing it for the past few weeks, I knew it was something I wanted to share on my blog.

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It’s the first time I’ve tried a product that has originated (to my knowledge) in Azerbaijan, so I was really intrigued by it and quite excited about the prospect of trying it out.

The sample set consisted of White Oil Ultimate Firming Serum and a White Oil Triple Youth Intensive Age Repair Cream.

The Science Bit:

Gazelli’s not-so-secret ingredient, White Oil, comes from one of Azerbaijan’s most precious natural resources and Gazelli says it is the only company in the world to have adapted the extremely rare skin-healing ingredient from medicinal to cosmetic use.

The product possesses qualities that have been recognised for centuries in medicine and contains a high concentration of physiologically active components, which work to increase metabolic processes at cellular level. This means it helps to improve the skin’s ability to regenerate itself and absorb nutrients and oxygen.

My verdict:

The sample sizes were the perfect introduction to the brand and for three weeks I used a drop of serum in the morning and at night, followed by the cream. The serum and cream are designed to nourish, tone and firm the skin.

I was really impressed by the scent of both products, and felt my skin looked fresher and felt smoother and firmer after trying them out. It’s definitely a product I’m tempted in investing in, in order to see the more lasting effects!

The Background Story:

The skincare product was brought to the UK by mom and daughter duo Dr Zarifa Hamzayeva and her daughter, Jamila Askarova, in 2011, after 14 years of experience and success in Azerbaijan. The new adventure worked thanks to a combination of Dr Hamzayeva’s medical expertise and Jamila’s creative vision and just two years ago, Gazelli’s Triple Youth range was launched in Harrods in London.

What makes it even more interesting is that each step of the production process – from raw material to final packaging – is carried out in-house using state of the art technology in Gazelli headquarters in Azerbaijan. The fruits are all hand harvested and the extracts and essential oils are all created in-house.

Price: 2 X 5ml introductory set £16. For more information or to purchase a discovery set, visit www.gazelli.co.uk.

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Irish Tatler Man – Press Cuttings!

With the New Year just hours away, I figured it might be as good a time as any to mention my piece on healthy eating which appeared in the Christmas Issue of Irish Tatler Man magazine recently. While I’m normally deciphering women speak for the magazine, or chatting about what life lessons every man should teach his son, this was a fun one to do and a little different than usual. There’s a few nutritional secrets in there so if you’re planning on losing a few lb’s in detox-January, check it out! 🙂

Eat Yourself Fitter

@burkenatalie
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Top 5 Nail Colours for Christmas Sparkle

It’s the one time of year when each and every one of us can get away with a little bit of sparkle, and whether you’re hoping to cover yourself from head to toe in sequins or just offering a discreet nod in the glitterati’s direction, festive nails are a fun way of getting into the seasonal spirit. With that in mind, it was nice of our friends in the nail polish world to put all the glitter and sparkle of Christmas time into their brand new collections. These are a few of my favourites!

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Ted Baker’s Nail Duos come with both a base shade and a glittery top coat. The double layering system means the glitter looks built up without the multiple applications! The collection comes in three different shades – Blue Moon and Spacedust, Cherry Bomb and Sugar Rush, and Golden Girl and Totally Twinkie. All colours are available from Boots at €10.50.

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I’m a big fan of Jessica nail products and love the colours in their Christmas ‘Glitzy Effects’ collection. With six shades to choose from, these glitter polishes are designed to be worn as a top coat over your favourite nail colour. Each shade will set you back just €7.15 (plus VAT).

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Ideal for wearing over a colour or layered on its own, I am loving the new luxeffects collection by Essie. Each glitter shade has multiple glitter flake shapes which make for an interesting finish! There are five fab shades to choose from, all with ridiculously cute names. And although I’ve yet to try, I’ve heard all good reports. Priced at €9.99 each.

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Maybelline have also joined the glitter club with their new Color Show ‘Brocade’ collection of sparkly fingernail festivities. With four different shades to choose from, this collection is a little different, as it offers more subtle sparkle than sequin flakes. Use over a base colour or layer it on for a full shimmer effect (€5.99).

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If you’re any good at playing around with nail art, INGLOT’s new Nail and Body Art Spangles are the best way to add festive sparkle to Christmas party nails. There are ten different pots of glittery sequins to choose from and they come in different shapes and eye catching colours. Priced at €13, the spangles can be applied directly onto a base colour adding sparkles and texture!

Beauty Road Test: Luxury Eye Cream

The Product: La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex

La Prairie is one luxury brand I had been looking forward to trying for a long time. Being a luxury brand, the products don’t come cheap, so it’s usually a counter you bypass when shopping. But there’s usually a reason for the hefty price tag.

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La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex is a Swiss beauty product that is said to be the perfect pick-me-up for the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes. It’s a lightweight, rapidly penetrating gel that acts as a mini eye lift.

It instantly firms, nourishes and re-energises the eye zone, improving its tone and texture, minimising fine lines and wrinkles while brightening and hydrating the delicate tissue and soothing away any signs of stress and fatigue.

What it says on the tin: The lightweight emulsion contains precious caviar extract which is praised for its firming and toning action. Concentrated firming agents restore vitality and elasticity to the skin and helps renew youthful radiance effectively smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This gel is said to help under-eye puffiness so if you’re predisposed to having dark circles or puffiness, it could help improve the skin condition. It also works as an anti-ageing cream which will visibly minimise fine lines and wrinkles.

My verdict: The transparent gel is really easy to apply and rapidly absorbs into the skin. Each night I used a small amount of the gel around the eye area and used a light tapping motion (as advised) to apply it, and in the morning, my skin was soft, hydrated and felt really refreshed. After just a few days, my worn-out eyes looked revived and de-puffed and I could really notice a difference.

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Pros: While applying it first thing in the morning helps the skin around the eye zone to stay hydrated throughout the day, it also works to help increase the staying power of makeup.

Cons: At a RRP of €118, it it doesn’t come cheap, but if you can afford to splurge on a mini luxury gift (or hint at a potential Christmas gift), it will be well worth your while. And hey, it is La Prairie after all. Can you expect anything less from a self-touted “mini eyelift”?

One last tip… if you use it sparingly, it can last a long time meaning you can invest once a year and still benefit!

Interview: When Poppy Met Daisy

Designing my own clothes was never something I was very good at. I could throw an outfit together no problem and, when the wallet allowed for it, buy it and take it home, but when it comes to actually designing something and making it my own, my only experience revolved around stealing my sister’s Fashion Wheel when I was eight.

After a recent purchase of a few fancy buttons and threads however, I’ve a new-found intrigue for DIY fashion and am full of good intentions for embellishing garments I already own that could benefit from a little TLC. It’s the perfect way of vamping up your wardrobe without splurging ahead of Christmas – rediscovering clothing creation!

But where to start? This is where a new fashion and sewing school in Dublin steps in. When Poppy Met Daisy is a trendy new sewing school offering a range of different classes, workshops and craft-inspired fashion parties. Whether you’re interested in just learning the basic sewing skills or are setting your sights on creating a fashion masterpiece, it has all the elements of a stylish new hobby.

When Poppy Met Daisy is the brainchild of Lorna Daly, who took time out recently to chat to me about her inspiration behind the brand, her background in fashion and the successful launch night held in November.

“The school opened in 2010 and the idea came from a need for something different in Dublin, something that put the fun back into fashion and took the intimidation out,” Lorna explained. “I just went for it and didn’t think and set the school up in a matter of weeks. Of course it took a long time for us to gain momentum, as with any business, but we now have such a loyal client base and are adding to it everyday.”

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When Poppy Met Daisy was officially launched in The Grand Social on Tuesday, 12th November, and Lorna said she had an amazing response.

“We could barely clear space for the runway, which was incredible. It was so nice to see some of the people we had taught over the years and so many newcomers. I was completely overwhelmed!”

Lorna began her relationship with fashion when she took up a role as a sales assistant with Topshop, with whom she worked with for almost a decade. During this time, she went on to study fashion design and attended the Grafton Academy and SCFE.

“After that I freelanced in costume and design and then set off to London to work for textile designer, Hermione de Paula, for London Fashion Week,” she explained.

Missing her home turf however, it wasn’t long before Lorna returned to Dublin and set up the fashion and sewing school by herself, continuing to work with Topshop part-time.

“Since then, we have collaborated with so many other teachers in different fields like corsetry, costume, fashion illustration and styling, and hopefully we will continue to add to our team.”

With less disposable income, and more guilt associated with spending sprees, Lorna says DIY fashion is important in the fashion world today.

“I can’t believe the price of alterations nowadays and just how disposable clothing has become, even from an environmental point of view. It’s terrifying. A €29 class here would teach you hundreds of euros worth of alteration skills and that’s just one example. I often have girls come in with an idea of a dress they just can’t find and in four weeks, I can teach them how to achieve that.”

“They then have this knowledge for life, it’s an incredible achievement.”

So what makes When Poppy Met Daisy stand out?

“We are professionally trained designers. We are all young, but not inexperienced. We don’t skip the basics. We presume you know nothing and start from that point!”

With all classes fashion-focused, the school’s main focus is on dressmaking and fashion design (which they teach in four or six week terms) as well as day-long workshops focusing on everything from basic alterations and peter pan collars to fascinator classes and how to make a dress in a day. Next year will also see the school teaching illustration, photography, styling and Photoshop.

For class schedules and details on their fun hen party / group events, visit http://www.whenpoppymetdaisy.com

Photos from fashion school launch at The Grand Social, November 12. Photo Credit: Laura Vitel

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