Beauty Bits

Maaaaaaaaaan, I stocked up on an awful lot of goodies when I was in the UK last week but nothing that would be news to anyone here. I’m obsessed with Rimmel Apocolips and the Kate Moss colours and I went a bit mental over Hylauron and Soap & Glory cosmetics in Boots. Good times, good times. Anyway, here are the new things I’ve been stocking up on while not in Boots. More interesting, I think. If you find face powders interesting. I do.nars

Powder is always something I struggle with. I’m super pale and err towards dry on the skin spectrum so it’s difficult to find something that looks good and doesn’t just end up making me look like I’ve a) borrowed my mum’s Collection 2000 bronzer from the 80s or b) dipped my face in baby powder. Nars have come to my rescue. The Light Reflective Loose Powder is a revelation to me. It finishes off my face beautifully, resists shine but doesn’t make anything overly matte. Plus, it makes my skin feel softer than a baby’s bum. Which is ironic because actual baby powder wouldn’t… And in my bag is the pressed version. I love this just as much and who doesn’t feel a shot of the happies at whipping out a Nars compact? My only complaint is that the applicator included is a bag of shite and the little pouch you HAVE to carry it in because the applicator doesn’t fit in the compact itself, is annoying. This is easily resolved so please work it out soon, Nars.

grown-facial-group

While in Australia, I went ever so slightly insane over the brand Grown. I got a sample of their hand cream on the flight over (well played, marketing department) and then basically bought out the rest of the range over the course of two weeks. My absolute favourites are the deep purifying facial masque with wheatgerm, gingko and cranberry. It reminds me of the old Jurlique Herbal Rescue mask before they created the gel formula and I love it. At the moment, I’m using it once a week after my Philosophy Micro Delivery Peel. It’s amazing. That is all. All the products in the Grown range smell bloody amazing. When I use the hand cream (vanilla and orange peel, yum) I want to eat my own paws and I’m safely assured that the mandarin and rosemary leaf body cream smells just as edible. But really, don’t nosh on it, you will vom.

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I Couldn’t Help But Wonder… Is There a Secret Cold War Between Marrieds and Singles?

Hmm. Now this is a tough one. As a single woman, no matter how awkwardly embroiled in however many torrid affairs, pretty much anything you might say against ‘the marrieds’ will make you sound bitter and angry. And saying you’re not bitter or angry just makes it worse, it’s the sameas Monica telling the answering machine that she’s breezy – you can’t say you’re breezy! It negates the breeziness!

Anyway, I’m not bitter or angry. Honest. I’m terrified. As a child of divorce, I have a very healthy fear of tying the knot and until quite recently, it’s something I honestly never believed I would do. Not that I don’t think marriage is awesome – The idea that someone you love wakes up one day and is sat at work eating a sandwich and just suddenly, pow, he realises he can’t possibly live without you and wants to tell every other single person in the world that you’re his. I think that’s amazing. I also think it’s hard and, having seen the worst of divorce, I would want to get it right and have it be forever. I write romance novels. This is probably one of the reasons I’m not married. That and the fact that my recurringstress dream is me at the church, in a wedding dress, about to marry my ex. Except I haven’t done my hair or make up and I always pass out from a panic attack just before I’m about to walk downthe aisle. There’s a chance we shouldn’t have stayed together for seven years…

lindsey kelk wedding guest

Basically the best wedding and one of the best brides, ever.

But is it true that married people and single people are secretly at war? I won’t lie, there can be a tension. In my life, my married friends seem to fall into one of three camps – those desperately in love with their husbands and just happy to be wed, those who are relieved to have locked something down and no longer be dating and those who started out in the second camp and now spend an awful lot of time looking over the fence at their single friends and thinking that the grass is an awful lot greener over here. Of course, that’s natural. We’re all human, we all want what we don’t have and I would imagine, to my friends who juggle kids and a husband and family obligations and work, my life looks quite tempting. I live alone in a New York apartment, I travel all the time to exciting locations, I meet fascinating people and throw myself into ridiculous affairs and shoe purchases that are not options for them. But while lounging in my singleton sun lounger, I peep over the fence, usually hungover and nursing a Bloody Mary,  and see stability and commitment and support and love and sometimes, when I’m licking my romantic wounds, that looks awfully nice, no matter how many pairs of Louboutins, I’ve stockpiled.

For the most part, there are no tensions with my married friends. Three of my very best friends are married and I can’t say it’s changed them in the slightest. They’re amazing and I love them.  The ones who have altered are the ones who maybe weren’t such great friends after all. As soon as the ring hit the finger, they became someone else. All of a sudden, they’re not the same girl whose hair I was holding back in the street after one too many happy hour cocktails, they’re smiling beatifically and telling me I’ll understand when I meet ‘him’. I’m not sure who ‘he’ is. I assume they mean my future husband but I can’t help but think they’re really picturing the jeweller at the engagement ring store.

Ooh, shiny. But not enough.

Ooh, shiny. But not enough.

The other married vs singles drama comes with women you don’t know, especially here in New York. Marriage is a cut-throat business here in the Big Apple and if you think the girls are bitches in the office, you’d better believe they will fuck you up in the pursuit of a husband. Kind of like The Devil Wears Prada but with diamond solitaires and summer houses in the Hamptons at stake.

I’ve always been a girl that gets along with boys. I love football and wrestling and dinosaurs. I make inappropriate jokes when I’m uncomfortable. I like to make people laugh – apparently, to the women of New York, this means I’m after their men. It’s quite a strange feeling to realise you’re being shut out by a woman just because you’re making her husband laugh. Anyone who knows me, knows I would never, ever cheat on anyone – sisters before misters, ladyface – but I remember one party at a friends house, a party where I was the only single girl in attendance and therefore feeling incredibly awkward and cracking joke after joke after joke, and yes, it was January and yes, it was cold outside but even with the boiling hot Brooklyn heating system, I was frozen to the core by the icy bitches in attendance. They literally shut me down every time I opened my mouth. So I ate my dinner, made my excuses and abandoned them for a bar in Williamsburg with my other friends. My single friends. And that’s when I realised, I had become That Girl. I had become a threat by virtue of the fact I didn’t have a boyfriend, I had nice hair and I’m funny. That hardly makes me an Angelina Jolie-esque home wrecker but still, they had silently decided I wasn’t welcome.

Life partner or dream home? YOU DECIDE!

Life partner or dream home? YOU DECIDE!

It would be a lie to say there aren’t single girls out there who just want to get married. They don’t care to whom but they do care what he makes, how quickly they can quit work and how soon they can pop out a kid. And if that’s what makes them happy in this world, then more power to them. Seems kind of cynical to me. I think these women are naïve to think just getting a ring on your finger makes everything better. Rings come off. Sometimes they stay off. Perhaps they know that, maybe that’s why they’re so afraid of having perfectly nice single women (with lovely hair) around their husbands. If the foundation isn’t stable, it isn’t hard to break.

I have this worrying recurring daydream where a guy proposes and instead of saying yes, I say ‘why?’. That’s not how it goes, is it? Sadly, I can’t imagine me ever saying yes unless it’s overwhelming, blinding, heart pounding, can’t imagine waking up a single second without him, desperate to repopulate the world with his awful tiny babies, devastating love. Maybe I’m the naïve one. Like I said, I write romance novels. But on the upside, I do still believe that exists. Beyonce said, if you liked it they you should have put a ring on it.  Like isn’t going to be enough for me.

I Couldn’t Help But Wonder… Can Women Have Sex Like Men?

Not a week goes by when one of my friends, my rather fantastic, very attractive and wildly successful single friends, won’t lament the lack of decent men in New York City. It has often been noted that it would be easier to go back to the days of Downton when all such things were dealt with years earlier. But sadly we live in the age of online dating and casual sex rather than arranged marriages and nary an exposed ankle out on the town on a Saturday night. So when there’s a dearth of potential partners to take to the farmer’s market every Saturday and pay over the odds for organic kale, what is a girl to do when it comes to certain needs that must be fulfilled?

Pic by the lovely Bridget Fleming...

Pic by the lovely Bridget Fleming… Carry On style wink by yours truly

We officially have a problem. The generations that went before didn’t do what we have done. They married younger, they had families in their twenties and if the marriage ended in divorce, they either remarried relatively quickly or stayed single and presumably, somewhat frustrated. And while it might not seem like it, my generation has suffered. We suffered the luxury of choice. We had the choice to get married or not get married, to have kids or wait a while. All well and good but what happens when you’re 32, not in a long-term relationship and you want to get laid? All of my friends have, at some point, had serious relationships and I can’t imagine this is news to anyone but there isn’t a single virgin amongst us (unless someone is a big fibber and I very much doubt it), it’s not as if we don’t know what we’re missing. And in case that’s not clear enough, what we’re missing is a convenient  and reliable penis.

So what do you do? The dating game in New York is full of rules and politics when it comes to dropping trou. If you like a guy, you’re supposed to wait until the third date at the very least. Professional matchmakers and relationship experts like my friend, Amy Laurent, say eight weeks. Patti Stanger from Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker, says no putting out until monogamy. It’s a grand plan and maybe it will help sort the shit hot wheat from the crappy chaff but dear god it’s hard sometimes. You’re on a date, you’re with a man, there is booze, there is kissing and is it so weird to want to get laid? Obviously it’s OK if you’re a man, actually it’s more than OK, it’s expected. You’re just sowing wild oats, being one of the boys. But when a woman wants to be one of the boys, for all our talk of sexual equality, it’s still frowned upon and not just by men, by other women too. That’s the heartbreaker for me. A grown woman with a successful career and $1000 handbag can still get called a slag by her girlfriends just because she wants to get some on a Friday night.

Between us, my friends and I have been through every scenario you can think of. Between us we’ve had friends with benefits, serial one night stands, sex with the ex and serial monogamy – because it’s not a one night stand if you convince yourself you’re in love every time right? I do know women who would be classified as a ‘Samantha’ and while they’re having sex on the regular, I can’t hand on heart say they’re any happier in their single status than anyone else. While having a warm body in your bed might be comforting for a moment, is it really anything more than a very elaborate wank? If Ann Summers could work out a way to combine an orgasmatron head massager with the Rabbit, would any of us bother with a one nighter? It’s hard to see why you’d risk any number of STDs (New York has a terrifying amount of herpes flying about and that shit’s for life) just to get a disappointing shag. Of course, for a lot of women there’s the hope or at least passing fancy that it could turn into something else. Stranger things have happened and it has happened to me so I can confirm it isn’t just an urban legend. It’s just rare. Personally, I’ve always been terrible at sex for sport. Call me an old romantic but I can’t separate the physical from the emotional, for better or for worse. And honestly, it mostly feels like it’s for the very, very worst. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t tried it. In the last couple of years, I’ve given one night stands the old college try, I really have. One resulted in a ridiculously messy and emotionally destructive transatlantic affair that still twists the knife when I think of what might have been. Another ended in me gently explaining to the chap that we probably weren’t going to get married while he threw up all over my bathroom floor. He asked me to brunch the next day, I politely declined.

IMG_0379

Sadly, this was one of my better dates…

My most spectacular failure came almost almost year ago and dear god, it was a corker. I always thought my biggest problem with in and out hook ups was that, if I liked someone enough to let them put it in me, I liked them enough to oh, I don’t know, go for coffee? So, fresh off the back of an impressively horrible and protracted break up, I decided to change my tactics. I hadn’t had sex in nearly four months and spring having sprung, that had to change before my vagina sealed over. Enter stage left, the very handsome, very clever, older, wiser, complete cad. Who I hated on sight. It really was impressive, I literally loathed him, couldn’t stand to be in the same room as him. And then, half-way through a glass (cough, bottle) of wine with my girlfriends, I realised it was because I was stupidly, insanely, break the bed in two attracted to him. So, once I sobered up, I put a plan into action and before I knew it, I had a date. And not just any date, a sex date. I was going to get on a train, travel an hour out of the city on a Saturday night to meet him for ‘a drink’. It was so innocent, I had a change of underwear and a toothbrush in my bag. My friends were by turns, shocked, appalled and delighted. The smart money was on me being home in my Brooklyn bed, alone, by midnight. The smart money was wrong.

Glossing over the actual antics, the plan was successful. Too successful. The sex was amazing, I still couldn’t bear him and when I got the train back to New York the next morning, I met my friends for brunch, toasted with celebratory margaritas and swore I would never speak of it again. Of course, it’s ten months later and I’ve just got of a flight to LA to visit the self-same cad. As Jenny Lewis sort of once said, ‘talking leads to touching and touching leads to sex.’ What she didn’t bother to mention was that sex leads to more sex leads to more sex leads to more talking leads to actually starting to give a shit leads to sort of accidentally falling completely in love with someone you can’t have. As you can see, I’m not very good at one night stands.

Best way to lure a man into your bed - Thanksgiving dinner and several thousand bottles of wine.

Best way to lure a man into your bed – Thanksgiving dinner and several thousand bottles of wine.

Without wanting to overshare (despite the fact that is the main point of this column) my number remains very low. Single numbers low. Only just but still. I always thought it was an active choice but just late, it’s become wildly apparent the only reason I’ve failed to maintain more bedpost than notch is because I can’t have sex like a man. I totally envy the girls who can eye a man across the bar and see multiple orgasms rather than the father of her future children but the idea of sleeping with someone then giving them a slap on the arse the next morning as you shut the door leaves me cold. And that’s just it, I’m not cold, I’m still warm. I’m still hopeful, still optimistic. I still believe. Honestly, never ever take up romance writing for a living…

I Couldn’t Help But Wonder: New York, New York

Once upon a time, an English writer came to New York. Lindsey was 28, newly single for the first time in her life and excited about all the adventures that lay in store. Above everything else, she couldn’t wait to fall in love.
Lindsey had missed a memo.

Seriously...

Seriously…

OK, enough of the third person. Obviously, this is my story.

Four years ago I moved to Brooklyn and as a writer with an unhealthy interest in the shoes on my feet (and the feet of others), I was immediately and frequently labelled ‘the British Carrie Bradshaw’ – not terribly original but hardly an insult. I was, am and always will be a huge fan of Sex and the City. I loved the show and the friendship between the four women was always the thing that drew me to it. These were women who always had each other’s back. They didn’t screw each other over, they never deserted one another and no matter what, when the phone rang, someone answered. But we all know sometimes women aren’t always so nice to each other and, having suffered a few less than desirable female relationships, to me the bond between the girls looked as much like a fairytale as the romances on the show.

Once I was in New York, just like Ms Bradshaw before me, I couldn’t help but wonder. I wondered what had changed, what would be the same. Sex and the City was fiction but this was my actual life, this was my every day. It was all or nothing to me. I wasn’t guaranteed a happy ending and there was no meant-to-be Mr Big waiting in the wings, or at least if there was I didn’t know it. What did life as a real Carrie Bradshaw really look like?

IDST

IDST

The New York I moved to was ten years on from the New York Carrie and Co.  trotted around in their Manolos. No one drank cosmos anymore, we took the subway more often than cabs and the average price of a pair of designer shoes had doubled. So had the rents, which meant it wasn’t just Miranda who was banished to Brooklyn. But two things seemed to have stayed the same. Brunch and men. I quickly met an awful lot of spectacular, unmarried women and not a single spectacular, unmarried man. I was dating for the first time in my life and it was not going according to plan. Yes, I went on dates, yes I met plenty of fellas but dear god, it was difficult. The artistic types were depressed and penniless, the businessmen were cocky and unpleasant and the nice guys turned out to be the biggest tossposts of all. I admit I was naïve, I’d really only had one proper relationship with a perfectly normal, perfectly nice and perfectly unexciting man that lasted for seven years. Seven long, content but incredibly dull years. I was ready for some excitement. I just wasn’t quite ready for how much excitement was waiting for me… to go from a gentle turn on the teacup ride to a twenty-four-seven rollercoaster ride was altogether too much.

Lindsey Kelk Prince

Is he a prince yet?

The dates started thick and fast and I met some really great guys, made some friends, a couple of enemies and found the odd hilarious weirdo who I always knew would make good material one day. Thank goodness that day has finally come.

Carries, Charlottes, Mirandas and Samanthas Galore...

Carries, Charlottes, Mirandas and Samanthas Galore…

Happily, for every dodgy date, I met a wonderful woman. I’d always been a girl who had one or two close friends but when you’re working your arse off and stuck in a rut of a relationship, sometimes you lose touch with your BFFs. Not so in New York. While the city is undeniably a magnet for the emotionally unstable and undercover arseholes, it also attracts some of the world’s most generous, interesting and fun women you could ever hope to meet. It felt like I was making a new soulmate every single day – they were just missing one vital appendage. But I soon learned it was better to surround yourself with fantastic friends than disappointing dudes. Not that I didn’t keep some of those dudes around far too long. Not that I’m not still seeing someone I probably shouldn’t be… But I digress, each lady date was better than the last and before I knew it, I had found the most fantastic group of friends, women I know will be in my life forever, whether it’s for a week away at the beach, living it up, or an evening on the sofa, eating ourselves blind. We’re all in the same boat and we’re all pulling together, suddenly the Sex and the City women made sense. Never had the support of brilliant women been more important, New York is an impossible place to be if you’re alone. Luckily, I never was. Between living the city of my dreams and finding the world’s best girlfriends, I’m pretty bloody happy. So while I have my eyes and my heart open for a man who can measure up, I can rest easy knowing I’ve already met the love(s) of my life, and that’s something special.

Promises, promises...

Promises, promises…

Every week (or so) I’ll be answering one of Carrie’s questions because what’s the point in wondering, right?
Next week: Can Women Have Sex Like Men?

Beauty Bits

It’s been a while since I blogged about any of my beauty favourites but to be honest, it’s been a while since I had any new ones to tell you about. Now I feel like I have a million… This is a good thing. As long as you’re not my credit card.

benefit fake up

For the longest time, I have mourned the loss of the Benefit It Stick which has long been my blemish concealer of choice and while I still haven’t quite manage to find a replacement for that bad boy, I have fallen head over heels for the new Fake Up stick. I was massively doubtful at first. Lipsticks using the same colour core/moisturiser outer have never done it for me, I hate the irregular colour placement and totally wrote this off as nonsense. But my eyes were looking a bit tired, my skin has been dry and I was in Sephora with fifteen minutes to kill. So I bought it. And I love it. Fake Up has totally replaced by Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser. I’ve literally had it on my face every day since I bought it. LOVE.

loreal paris coloure caresseEver since the YSL Glossy Stains launched I’ve been desperately in love with shade 7, Corail Aquatique. It’s my perfect my-lips-but-better shade and I’m on my second tube (bottle? I don’t know…). And while I’ve liked the look of the rest of the range, I’m never that daring with my lip colour choices and the YSL products were a little too pricey for me to start experimenting. Enter L’Oreal’s Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain – yeah, I know but for $9.99, I’ll allow a little knocking off. The range is more limited that the YSL product and the packaging is considerably less luxe (and if I’m honest, downright ugly) but I am in love with the Coral Tattoo shade. It’s a bolder, brighter orange than my YSL go to and I probably wouldn’t have taken a chance on it at the YSL price point of $34.00. The product is lighter and not quite as creamy as its inspiration but it does last and the colours are punchy. I can’t imagine it’ll be long before I’ve bagged the lot.

I Couldn’t Help But Wonder…

A couple of things occurred to me today.

Firstly, next year, it will be ten years since Sex and the City left our small screens. Secondly, I have been called ‘the British Carrie Bradshaw’ almost as many times as I have pairs of designer shoes.

And so, I couldn’t help but wonder, in the decade that has passed since the girls left our lives (let’s pretend the movies never happened, ‘kay?) have we learned anything? About men? About our friends? About our shoes or ourselves? There’s only one way to find out…

Starting next week, I’m going to try to answer every one of Carrie’s questions, in chronological order, reflecting on my own life as a writer and shoe lover living in New York City and we shall see.

I’m excited about it… and yes, I know it’s horribly self-indulgent but I think it might be fun to live the WWCBD* way for a while.

In other news, there’s a Veronica Mars movie now and I’m so excited.

*What Would Carrie Bradshaw Do?

The Client List

As I’m sure you already know, I love me some teevs and since I’m recuperating from post-deadline madness on About A Girl last week, I’m watching A Lot of teevs.

Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 13.20.57

Happily, I’m able to share that love with you. Jennifer Love Hewitt’s show, The Client List, is BACK BACK BACK for its second season on Lifetime (find out more about the show here but really all you need to know is that it’s awesome) and to celebrate, I have a DVD of the first season plus the world’s snuggliest TV watching blanket to give away! Sound good?

Enter by telling me who you would like to snuggle up with to watch a DVD in the comments box below and I’ll announce a winner on Friday. The competition is open worldwide but the DVD is Region 1 so make sure your DVD player will be able to play it before you enter! Unless you just want the blanket, I totes understand.