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History of eyeliner

31 Mar

Used to define the eyes for aesthetic appeal, eyeliner has made its way from a primarily female-dominated market to a growing popularity among men. Its history dates back to ancient civilizations and has been worn by both men and women alike.  Over time, the ingredients have changed but the basic styles and purposes remain constant.

Let’s have a look at the history of eyeliner.

Ancient Origins

Used in Egypt and Mesopotamia in 10,000 BC, Eyeliner and other cosmetics were not only used for aesthetics but also to protect the skin from the scorching desert sun.  Research has also speculated that eyeliner was worn to protect the wearer from the evil eye. At that time, Kohl was often painted around the entire eyelid to create an almond-shaped effect and was used by both men and women.

Ancient Egyptians added lead salts to their black eyeliner to ward off bacterial infections.

Everything Egyptian

The 1920s were an era commonly associated with many changes in women’s fashion, and women felt freer to apply makeup more liberally. Besides, the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, fascinated the world by the Egyptian queen’s beauty and more specifically American women who had finally won the right to vote and thanks to the influence of actresses like Clara Bow, seemed to assert their independence more freely. These latest started recreating the Egyptian eye by using eyeliner without any restrictions. (Dark, thickly lined eyes were very trendy.)

Tomb of Tutankhamun discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter and George Herbert,

A New Use for WWI

During the 1940s, everyone was doing his or her part to aid the war effort. Little to no makeup was worn at this time to conserve resources. The shortage of items during the World War I led to an interesting use of eyeliner. In fact, instead of being an make up product, Enterprising young women, used it to draw long black lines down the backs of their legs to simulate the look of wearing stockings that were uhnavailable at that time.


The 1960s brought about the invention of liquid eyeliner and it was used to create thick black and white lines around the eyes in the makeup fashion associated with designers like Mary Quant. The sixties saw the emergence of the cat eye.

Peter Philips (Chanel‘s creative director) created this stunning cat eyes look for the 2009 fall show: An exaggerated spin on 1960s eye liner, combined with soft pink petal pale lips using Chanel Rouge Allure in Mythic.


Today eyeliner is commonplace and comes in a variety of colors and applications.  Many women add it to their daily makeup routines.  In the late 20th and early 21st century, heavy eyeliner has been associated with Gothic fashion and sometimes even Punk fashion

Eyeliner of varying degrees of thickness, particularly on males, has also become associated with the emo subculture and various alternative lifestyles.

Gothic Girls: Catwalk Trends for S/S 08

Emo boy


Eyeliner can be found in four main formulas available on the market: each type will produce a different effect.

1.Liquid eyeliner is an opaque liquid that usually comes in a small bottle and is applied with a tiny brush or felt app licator. It creates a sharp, precise line.

Christian Dior style liner

2.Powder-based eye pencil is eyeliner in a wood pencil. It is generally available in dark matte shades.

Lancome, Le crayon Khol

3. Gel eye liner, which is a softer gel liner that can be easily applied with an eyeliner brush. It can be precisely applied and is much softer than Kohl. Gel liner usually holds up very well.

Bobbi brown Long wear gel eyeliner

4.Kohl eyeliner is a soft powder available in dark matte shades. It is most often used in black to outline the eyes. It comes in pencil, pressed powder, or loose powder form. This type of eyeliner is more likely to smudge.

Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner


Japanese fashion’s influence on Western style and trends

30 Mar

Probably most of you didn’t know that most of the trends start in Japan before going to Europe, the States and the rest of the world. In fact, Japanese fashion is more and more influencing westerner style these days.

No no, it is not America which launches the trends like for everything else nor the city of Fashion but Japan.

For example, the popularity of camouflage motifs began in Ura-hara before migrating around the world.

Jean Paul Gautier spring/summer 08 show opened with some pretty serious camouflage, appearing in everything from breeches to loose waistcoats, to skirts, hats and bags.

Japanese fashion may not yet be as popular as luxury brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton. But it is slowly being adopted by more and more teenagers and young women in the western world that are most of the time inspired and following celebrities.

Of course everyone knows of Gwen Stefani’s love of Japan with her Harajuku girl backing dancers. But also with her Harajuku clothing line that is drawing inspiration from Japanese culture and that was the first collection to regroup a European designer and the Japanese style: Stefani’s line was in fact, a combination between Christian Dior and Japan fashion which at first generated a wave of shock for the whole western fashion world. More recently, the famous American singer also launched recently her super cute Harajuku Lovers perfume inspired once again by Japan that was this time much better welcomed by western fashonistas and critiques.

The Harajuku Girls hired in 2004 as backup dancers for Gwen Stefani.

The Japanese fashion revolution began in the 80s with designers like Issey Miyake, Kohji Kamamoto and Comme de Garcons. And it has completely extended now with brands like Uniqlo, Kenz and Muji.

Besides, European designers like John Galliano, Elie Saab and Karl Lagerfeld have for a long time been fans of Japanese fashion and regularly go there for inspiration in order to be creative and present a new aspect to the westernized world.

Issey Miyake, spring/summer 2008.

In 2007, John Galliano got his inspiration from Japanese artistic elements for his Dior Handbags collection. This Dior Samourai 1947 Woven bag was released in celebration of Dior’s 60th anniversary. The hand stitched Japanese hair knot and tortoiseshell frame top are super elaborate. Rolled leather handle with twisted tie detailing and gusseted sides add a touch of Asian style.

Elie Saab, the French implanted fashion designer unveiled a Japanese-tinged spring-summer haute couture collection at Paris Fashion Week 2007. Saab’s collection was inspired by the Japanese kimono with wide-cut sleeves and obi sashes.

Known for their accomplished mixed and matched outfits, their strong emphasis on color and their advance in their tastes in comparison to Europe, Japanese have allowed European designers to bring to the Westernized fashion world a new, creative, unique and colorful look that wasn’t present before: A new look that comes challenging the old monotone shades and similarity that was predominating.

With designers that are constantly pushing fashion boundaries and people who know how to be unique and not to look like carbon copies of each other. Japan has fulfilled in drawing everyone’s attention on their style.

However, the Japanese fashion industry is still late comparing to the European ones and is facing many difficulties to grow despite the government’s efforts to help the field.

Japan’s domestic apparel industry is on the decline. It shrank 1.3 percent in 2010, and is expected to post a steeper decline for 2011 as recession-weary consumers and an aging population cut back sharply on spending.

Nevertheless, there are some young emerging designers that are ambitions and hoping to follow the footsteps of previous Japanese designers such as Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo that have excelled in the Fashion domain and continue to impress and influence the western world with new, innovative and unique trends.

Yohji Yamamoto spring/summer 10 collection

A current exhibition that is running at the Barbican Art Gallery in London shows how Japanese took the world by storm in the early 1980s and how their presence continues on the international stage. It explores the unique sensibility of Japanese design, and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing.

So if you are interested in learning a bit more about this unique and very accessorized style, do not hesitate to book you tickets and go explore the treasures of Japanese fashion!

Wear in the world ?

29 Mar

We’re all a bit complacent when it comes to fashion trends in the UK – A high speed high street that turns trends around from catwalk to one-click shopping by the time fashion week closes. How spoilt we are!

But when UK people are tired of copying the catwalk and want to get a more unique look and find new trends, they tend to focus at specific styles that other people have done in the past or at trends from across the world…

Let’s cover the 5 continents to find the top trends that have influenced the British taste and style.

1: Australia:

To start our trip, let’s go to the country of Kangaroos and amazing beaches: Australia and its famous UGG boots. They are the perfect example of the influence that has the world on the British fashion field.          First created in Australia, these unisex sheepskin boots were supposed to be exclusively for surfers who wanted to keep their feet warm after exiting from the surf.

Contrary to any expectation, surf helped popularising the boots outside Australia and New Zealand. And in the late 1980s and early 1990s UGG-branded ugg boots emerged as a fashion trend in the United Kingdom and the US through celebrities’ promotions such as Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Pamela Anderson.

Now, in black, beige, brown or grey, from knisbridge to Camden going through covent garden and Portobello, everyone is wearing these comfortable boots either for shopping, coffee, uni or even for an after party when you feet suffered the whole night.

A selection of UGG Boots

Kate Moss in Short Classic Grey UGG Boots

2: Asia:

Our second item comes directly from the country that is now competing with the Holywood film industry and that is known for its tasty cuisine. A country where women are known for their beauty, grace and conservatism: I am of course talking about India and its so famous harem pant.

Harem pants, which originally from India, are like a cross between a skirt and a pair of skinny jeans. They hit the catwalks for a massive come back last year and spread in no time all around the country. Comfy and colorful, these pants are far from being just a simple vintage look from a not too distant period in fashion. The current British trend known as harem pants can be traced back nearly 2.000 years to the traditional garments known as salvars in South and Western Asia.

In 1909, harem pants were brought back into the fashion industry by French designer Paul Poiret, with the pants being worn below a tunic draped over the upper body. Unfortunately this trend failed, and harem pants were again relegated to being worn for women’s sports.

Today, harem pants are becoming more and more popular thanks to designers such as Galliano, Jacobs and Valentino that fulfilled in making it sleek, sophisticated and chic outfit that is appreciated by all and worn all over the UK.

John Galliano’s collection for Christian Dior during Paris Fashion Week 2009 featuring swooshing harem pants.

3: America:

From movies to food and going through TV shows, the US’s influence is everywhere and concerns all the fields. And fashion is of course not spared!

The perfecto is without a doubt the most outspoken example of the American marks in the UK fashion world.This leather motorcycle jacket was first introduced in 1928 and had been produced for more than 50 years.

Till today, it is constantly updated and presented in new ways by big names such as Balenciaga and Joseph but also in British high street stores like Topshop, River Island and New Look.

The iconic black leather jacket, famously worn by Marlon Brando in the 1953 movie The Wild One, was born in the USA.

4: The Middle East:

After exploring America, Australia and Asia, let’s focus on the Oriental side of the world, which despite its delays in many areas has without a doubt played a role in shaping the British style.

The Kufiyah that was typically worn by Arab men and that was first created to protect people from direct sun exposure in arid regions is one of these oriental item that over time spread in the westernized countries before becoming a must have for every fashonista and an “incontournable” for all the celebs.

The Kufiyah became an international fashion trend in the late 1980’s at the start of the first intifada when bohemian girls wore them as scarves.

The trend recurred in the mid-2000s in Europe when the kufiyah became popular as a fashion accessory -usually worn as a scarf around the neck- and stocked in high street stores such as Urban Outfitters and TopShop.

El Horreya Ladies wearing the traditional Kufiyah

5: Europe:

And finally, last but not least, the French influence on the UK fashion world.

The city of love and fashion has definitely left its marks in the British style just like it did in all the other countries. The power of the French style is undeniable. A simple look at the British streets says it all.

The well-known “mariniere” style was at first the French navy sailor costume before becoming in the early 20th century the common people wear and finally the symbol of the French culture and the eternal France. The “mariniere” can be found in all the British high street stores like French Connection, New Look and River Island as one of their best seller.

And of course, the famous “French” beret. First worn by fishermen in the Basques It was used by men and women in the 1920s as sportswear and later as a fashion statement.                                                                     The beret is now a commercial product in the UK sold in a wide array of colors in many high street stores and even online boutiques such as asos.

The famous French beret

French women wearing a blue and white stripped top illustrating perfectly the “mariniere” style

After exploring the world and its most influencial trends on the UK fashion world, we of course, noticed some great styles out there to pull from, but there have also been some very strange, awkward, and down right bad style choices that have been made as well.

So now…  make your choice and choose which part of the world you want to explore!

Oriental Jewellery

24 Mar

Tired of all the pearls, studs, colourful boring and common accessories everyone is wearing? Wanting to be original and unique this summer?

Well, just have a look at the other side of the Mediterranean and discover the wide range of new materials and outstanding pieces they are creating.

From Jordan, Egypt or Morocco, new talents are emerging everyday to give you the best collections and choices possible. Their collections are characterized by their simplicity, originality and above all their singularity. The pieces will catch the crowd’s attentions even with the simplest of outfit!

For those who have big budgets, go for designers like Azza Fahmy: She is unexcelled in this field!

Azza Fahmy : The unbeatable one!

Silver calligraphy bangle

Price: £750.00

Available at:  la maison couture






Masterpiece silver choker hand pierced  with lace-like motifs.

Price: £995.00

Available at: la maison couture




Silver and Gold Statement Cuff with   Hand pierced Calligraphy designed for the   Preen Collection.

Price: £1250.00

Available at: la maison couture



My favorite piece! The lock bracelet (limited edition)The lock has been anciently known as a symbol of secrets that need to be revealed and problems that need solutions; it is believed that wearing three keys together helps unlock the doors of health, wealth, and love.

Price: £650
Available at: la maison couture




Mmm… Maybe to ‘Arabesque’, showy and expensive for some of you… you can still opt for a more discreet and reasonable priced option with Nadia Dajani, or Ruby’s Jewellery.

Known in their respective countries Jordan and Egypt as emerging talents, they are both characterised for their outstanding hand made pieces and their refined taste.

Najla Dajani: The discreet one!

Byzantine earrings

By Nadia Dajani

Price: £35

Available at:




Jerash Fish ring

By Nadia Dajani
Silver ring with the outline of a Jerash Fish in either silver or copper.
Price: £30
Available at:


Ruby’s Jewellery: The affordable one!


“Mashaalah” earrings

By Sacred Jewellery

Price: £45

Available at: ruby’s



“Masry” in black Necklace

Price: £25

Available at:  ruby’s



Jewellery is without any doubt the favorite ornament of a well-dressed woman. The Orient offers a variety of chic, fashionable and uncommon jewels to make your look fabulous at all time.

So ladies… Just choose what suits you and be ready to impress!

Style tweaks to steal from Paris fashion week runway

21 Mar

1.Team a black skirt with a bright oversized shirt
2. Wear rolled up leather leggings

Leather leggings, £19.99 H&M

3. Wear an evening flat

Chloe Vernis

Jewelled pumps,£77

4. Carry a shoulder bag

Christian Dior
Suede chain bag, £155 Russel & Bromley

5. Choose big colourful waist belts
Alexander McQueen

Oscar de la Renta, Available at

6. Put on your boyfriend blazer

Dries VonNoten

Black boyfriend blazer, £65 Warehouse

7. Wear a straw hat

Straw Fedora hat
, £15.00  Available at

8. Indulge your girlie side with flowers

Dolce and Gabbana

Gipsy Floral Midi dress, £26.99 New Look