Love From Amanda & Tropic Skincare

Hurrah – it’s the intro I’ve been waiting to write for a whole year. We are on the road to freedom – let there be light. Albeit light that is coming into our lives rather slowly.

Boris has made us all rather “uplifted” with his road map to lockdown being binned. And I am particularly happy to hear that nightclubs will reopen (as well as full normality resuming) on JUNE 21st – my Birthday. Ha Ha, I always knew I was born on a special day. What a great gift to receive.

Social media is awash with everyone planning diets in time for the big reveal after a year indoors. Time to shift the lockdown lard as we prepare for a midsummer’s day of freedom.

Luckily, I have continued to exercise throughout this crap, and generally try to look after myself. Including looking after my skin.

Last week I mentioned ‘Tropic Skincare’ in my vlog and I have been using the cleanse and tone products all week. This brand deserves all it’s awards – it’s utter luxury all round.

My FIVE STAR recommendations:

SMOOTHING CLEANSER complexion purifier and bamboo cloth.

Full of jojoba and almond oil, I use this morning and night. It leaves my skin squeaky clean and smelling divine. £18

VITAMIN TONER pore-refining mist.

My favourite products – smells of aloe Vera, cucumber and roses and instantly refreshes skin and eyes. £14

RAINFOREST DEW hydration serum.

This is a cult beauty buy – left my skin so dewy, I looked five years younger. Will last months too. £42

SKIN DREAM age-defying cream concentrate.

This is an incredible moisturiser, full of bio-retinol and hyaluronic acid to plump up the skin – use at night. £42

SKIN FEAST nourishing cream concentrate.

I use this in the mornings as it feeds your skin with ultra-hydrating antioxidant botanical actives all day. £24

DEEP HYDRATION soothing cooling mask.

This is a real treat. Use this mask once a week to deeply soothe, vitalise and rehydrate your skin with super berries and flower extracts. Heavenly. £20

Thanks to Holly Reed and Amanda Sidlow at www.tropicskincare.com

5 Most Stylish Men

5.

David Beckham

Beckham’s style journey has not been without its clangers but he has learned how to complement his rugged good looks by choosing a route and sticking to it. He has undisputedly cemented his status as one of the most distinguished style icons of our time. Whether rocking a wax jacket, Hunter wellies, and flat cap while walking in the country with his equally stylish family or turning it up on the red carpet in a razor-sharp Ralph Lauren suit, he knows what works

4.

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell has brought an intellectualism to street style like few before him and that’s why he’ll forever be cemented in the style hall of fame. Combining sporty elements with high fashion – think Adidas V’s Westwood – his considered-yet-quirky, purposeful-yet-playful vibe is always surprising and joyful.

3.

Drake

Drake defined a generation by making loungewear socially acceptable. Being famous meant he could show up anywhere any time in a hoody, beanie and desert boots and be praised for it. The true definition of casual “swag”, sweatpants in every colour should, in theory can get boring but on him, they just don’t and just won’t. The attitude certainly helps too.

2.

Harry Styles

From being styled in a boy band to morphing into a modern fashion icon, Styles now certainly lives up to his namesake. Media-savvy, he knows that a trip out to grab a coffee can turn into a fashion moment with a simple click, so he has mastered the art of the ‘walk of shame’ street style consisting of a helping of grubby neo rock with a splash of Americana. Now a male muse for huge brands such as Gucci, his style has become much more adventurous, eccentric even, but that’s what fashion is for and I applaud him for embracing it.

1.

Kanye West

He is one of the most prolifically stylish men of our time, who single-handedly changed the game simply because he refused to accept the norms of what was being pushed in mainstream fashion. He bucked every trend by creating his own. His own line Yeezy re-energised the sneaker game and is one of the most successful independent fashion labels of our time. Every men’s mainstream brand (think ASOS etc) will stock countless Kanye imitation garments, and we know that imitation is the best form of flattery.

5 Most Stylish Women

5. Tilda Swinton

Swinton’s eccentric personal style and strange almost alien features have long fascinated fashion designers, artists and film directors. There’s something imperial and fierce about her, like a warrior queen from an epic legend, but also delicate and nymph-like too.

4. Cate Blanchett

She once claimed to have had a “fashion orgasm” dressed in a haute couture gown by John Galliano for Dior. And you know what? She wasn’t faking. With more than 20 years of Hollywood awards and nominations, no one embodies classic red-carpet glamour quite like Cate.

3. Bella Hadid

Ladylike in Chanel one moment and then in Nike and Off-White alongside Virgil Abloh in the DJ booth the next, Bella Hadid embodies the different facets of modern womanhood.

2. Miley Cyrus

From suburban teeny-bopper to high-fashion provocateur, Miley Cyrus’ fashion evolution has been dramatic, veering from unbelievably tacky to complete chic. With Dolly Parton as your godmother, what do you expect?

1. Zendaya

From her sensational suit of armour at 2018’s Met Gala (she was dressed as Joan Of Arc in custom Versace) to last year’s turn in a metallic breastplate at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards, Zendaya’s outfits reflect her warrior-like stance on social justice issues: she wants to inspire a whole generation to stand up for what’s right.

A word from Amanda and The Upside Down Bikini

Summer, and bikini season, might feel a world away right now (a universe even) but the Kardashians are already jumping on the biggest swimwear trends for summer 2021. The sisters seem so untouched, unaffected and so far-removed from the global pandemic and horrors of the world that they can cast their minds forward to summer holidays and bikini trends. Out of touch – maybe; escapism – perhaps. Anyway, the K’s have been happily posing in new bikini pictures.

Just last week, Kim Kardashian wore a tiny bikini with criss-cross straps, which is set to be one of the major looks of next season. Now, Kourtney Kardashian, Kylie and Kendall Jenner are out there embracing yet another bikini trend. But this one has me more than a little confused.

This weekend, Ky posted snaps wearing an electric blue strappy number in a clip promoting Kylie Skin sun cream. It’s all boobs and bums, of course. At first glance, you can see that the high-cut bikini style features ruching details on the top and briefs, creating extra shape, layered with a retro-feel gold body chain. However, on closer inspection the top actually looks like it’s being worn upside down. How can you tell? Well, it’s all about the “ruching”, which usually sits at the base of the bikini cup, whereas here it sits along the top of the triangle – so you get ample under-boob spillage.

Late last month, Kourtney also got in on the ‘upside-down top’ trend with this bright red set, which she shared on Instagram with the caption “a little fun in the sun”.  Yawn…

Unlike Kylie, Kourtney crossed the straps once more before tying at the back of her neck, creating an added twist on the halter-neck style.

Last but not least is Kendall, who actually got in on the quirky bikini top vibe last year – wearing another iteration on the bikini top, which looks like it’s been flipped horizontally. The result is… my head kind of hurts from all this swimwear spinning.

There are a couple of possible explanations for the upside-down/sideways bikini top trend: either the bikini has been designed specifically as a ‘convertible’ type style. Or, alternatively, it’s just a regular bikini top that’s just been flipped around – and why not?

Fashion Collaborations With Musicians

Even though the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in declining sales at retail, many shoppers still have an appetite for new fashion, thanks in part to 2021’s many buzzy fashion collaborations.

Last year, we saw several major fashion collaborations, from design houses like Louis Vuitton, Dior and Gucci, as well as top musicians such as Justin Beiber, Drake, Lizzo and H.E.R.

Most of these collabs were launched last year but are only available to buy online in 2021. Here are some cool collaborations between designers and musicians to look out for in 2021.

1. R&B singer H.E.R. brought her signature style to Diff Eyewear in 2020, teaming a four-piece collection that took inspiration from her favourite accessory.

The collection includes reimagined versions of Diff Eyewear’s classic styles, including a black and gold version of its Bella square-shaped sunglasses and a gradient blue-to-gold version of the Driver sunglasses, which took inspiration from the album art of H.E.R.’s first album, released in 2017. Each style in the collection retails for around £60.

  • Grammy Award-winner Lizzo has teamed up with one of my favourite sunglasses Aussie brands – QUAY – for a charity collection of sunglasses and accessories.

The collection includes eight eyewear styles, such as cat eyes, aviators and shields in sunglasses and blue light options, ranging in price from £25 – £50. The brand also hooked up with Feeding America for the collection, to donate one million meals to the organization.

Lizzo’s second collection includes Quay’s best-selling styles with details chosen by Lizzo, such as hot pink lenses, studs or crystal embellishments.

  • Sneakerheads went into a frenzy when Dior and Nike unveiled its Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior Limited-edition sneaker designed by the then creative director Kim Jones, during Dior’s pre-fall 2020 show in Miami. The collaboration marked Nike’s first step into the “luxury streetwear” market.
  • A long-time fan of the brand, Justin Bieber teamed with Crocs in October for a limited-edition Classic Clog as part of his fashion brand Drew House. The clogs are designed in Drew House’s signature yellow hue and include eight custom Crocs’ charms, including the Drew House smiley face logo, rainbows, daisies and pizza slices.

“As an artist, it’s important that my creations stay true to myself and my style,” Bieber said in a statement. “I wear Crocs all the time, so designing my own pair came naturally. With these Crocs, I just focused on making something cool that I want to wear.”

  • Louis Vuitton has linked up with the NBA – National Basketball Association – for capsule collections designed by the design house’s menswear creative director, Virgil Abloh.

The collection includes shoes, bags, ready-to-wear clothing and jewellery featuring the NBA logo reimagined to resemble a hound’s tooth motif.

The collection is divided into three categories inspired by the idea of a basketball player’s wardrobe: travel, game arrival and press conference.

  • Rapper Drake has teamed up with Nike for a “Certified Lover Boy” merchandise collection to coincide with the release of his sixth album.

The collection includes puffer bomber jackets, graphic T-shirts, hoodies, socks and caps that include Nike branding. Several pieces were also teased in Drake’s music video for “Laugh Now Cry Later.” Items range in price from £10 to £40

  • Gucci has released an incredible collaboration with outdoor brand The North Face and I love absolutely everything in this collection. It marks the first time that Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele has collaborated on a full collection with another brand, since starting his tenure at the design house.

The collaboration features puffa jackets with the GG logo, Gucci / North Face hiking boots, beanies and backpacks. Everything you need for a chilly hiking expedition whilst looking utterly on trend.

Kim Jones At Fendi

Last week at Paris Fashion Week, we saw a rare catwalk turn by Kate Moss which marked the moment that Kim Jones – a designer loaded with industry awards but a little-known name in the wider world – took his place at fashion’s top table with his first womenswear collection, for Fendi haute couture. 

Mossy was joined by her daughter Lila, 18, the first time the pair have walked a catwalk together. The actor Demi Moore opened the show in off-the-shoulder black satin; Naomi Campbell closed it in a silver cape with cathedral-length train. Such incredible casting, on a show filmed behind closed doors with no live audience, was what we call ‘a flexing of strength’.

Kim Jones has five trophies from the British Fashion Awards, has been awarded an OBE, was mentored by Alexander McQueen, and counts the Beckhams as well as Kate in his circle of close friends. 

He was responsible for the collab with Supreme during his time at Louis Vuitton and with Air Jordan at Dior, he pioneered a move to streetwear which transformed and energised the menswear world. 

Jones has arrived to design women’s clothing at a house with a strong heritage of female creativity. Silvia Fendi, the current menswear and accessories designer, is the fourth generation of Fendi women at the helm of the brand. Jones has enlisted Kate Moss as a consultant on accessories at Fendi, as well as a model, and the mother-and-daughter Moss casting was his way of honouring the Fendi tradition. It was genius.

After walking the catwalk, each model struck a pose inside glass rooms which slotted together in the shape of Fendi’s double F logo. A chic take on the Covid-secure “bubble”. He is one to watch.

A Word From The Editor Amanda…

Welcome to Amanda Zips It Up, Fashion Friday and Valentine weekend.

It has been an exciting week for me as I launched my new Fashion Show on Mi-Soul Radio every Thursday at 3pm on the Craig Williams Afternoon Show. Just some fashion gossip and a couple of great tracks for your entertainment.

As many of you will know, I have been doing a similar show on Radio One Mallorca for years and years. It’s a great new chapter for me in 2021 and a radio station I adore too. Listen out for me on www.misoulradio.com every week.

Onto this week’s instalment and we round off our Valentine specials with a little look at what people are buying each other for February 14th and what are the most popular men’s underwear brands out there? My advice – take a deep breath before you look at Just Beiber. WOW!

Enjoy. x

Men’s Best Selling Underwear 2021

For many men, underpants sit high on the list of ‘least fun things to buy’. And even the most seasoned clothes shoppers often stand guilty of investing little to no thought when purchasing these highly undervalued staple items. However, the right underwear can often mean the difference between a delightful or disastrous day. To ensure a man’s best bits always have the finest fit, I have compiled a list of my recommended men’s underwear brands.

1. Calvin Klein

When Calvin Klein first introduced its underwear range, CK revolutionized the way men buy their intimates. Launched in the early eighties and famously worn by Marky Mark, the sleek lines of these undies went viral. Since then, the brand’s iconic status has not subsided. Thanks to its signature cutting-edge design, exceptional fit and quality fabrics, CK remains one of the most sought-after men’s underwear brands on the market.

2. Emporio Armani

Underwear by Emporio Armani has long been synonymous with luxury and sex-appeal. Endorsed by the likes of David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo, Armani’s high-end designs are made of soft fabrics such as cotton and microfibre. While they do stock a more classic line of briefs, boxers, thongs and trunks, the brand is also known for its fabulous colourful seasonal prints.

3. Hugo Boss

German luxury label Hugo Boss stocks a range of high-end briefs, boxer briefs, and trunks. Made from a quality cotton-elastane mix, the brand’s underwear will provide a comfortable fit and gentle ‘lift’ where needed while also offering a sleek and sophisticated look.

4. Diesel

Diesel’s often-colourful designs are made from a stretch-jersey fabric, for a smooth finish and breathability. This brand carries fun and youthful edge throughout their line that is sure to pick up a man’s mood on a rainy day – even if he’s the only one who knows he’s wearing them. Diesel also have a knack for experimenting with different textures and materials, like sewn-on patches and even metal studs. Ouch!

5. Polo Ralph Lauren

Over 40 years in business, the brand Ralph Lauren has become synonymous with timeless, high-end designs. Their underwear range features a selection of classic low- and mid-rise briefs, boxer briefs, and trunks with a logo waistband. All styles come in your usual black, white in grey, in addition to the Polo Ralph Lauren signature red and navy blue.

Most Popular Valentine Gifts 2021

Looking for something a bit unusual, well these Valentine’s Day gift ideas are a little bit special. In 2021, who needs chocolates and flowers – that’s so outdated. We’re talking romantic Rosé and G-Spot Rabbit Vibrators for her, and the North Face beanie and Dr Martens Chelsea boots for him.

Yes, these are officially the most popular Valentine gifts in the UK for 2021.

For Her:

  • 52 Date Night Cards, £24.95, Not On The High Street
  • Whispering Angel, £24.95, Selfridges
  • Giant Personalised Cookie, £32, Blondies Kitchen
  • iPhone 12 in Green £799 Apple, or Sage Green phone case £30, Snakehive
  • Dyptique Candle, £49, John Lewis

For Him:

  • Personalised Men’s Slogan Apron, £30, Not On The High Street 
  • Clinique for Men Daily Intense Hydrator Set, £12, Lookfantastic
  • Whisky Lovers Gift Basket, £30, Moonpig
  • Beats Flex Blue In Ear Headphones, £49, AO
  • North Face Logo Beanie, £25, JD Sports and Leather Chelsea Boots, £149, Dr Martens

With Love From Amanda

We’re going all Valentine Lingerie this week. Focusing on the ladies, we check out some of the sexiest brands out there just in time for your lockdown Valentine weekend.

Next week, we’ll reveal the best in Men’s underwear just in time for February 14th. And it won’t just involve Calvin Kleins!

So, take a deep breath and enjoy.

Amanda xx