Lifestyle, fashion and beauty

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jewellery by Street Princess

One of the things I can't live without is my jewellery. I absolutely love a bit of bling, diamonds, jewels, metals and beads! So when I spotted jewellery stalls at The Only Way Is Blogging over the weekend I was like a moth to light. I loved it all! The stall by Street Princess had so many little treasures I could quite happily have taken them all. But being sensible I only settled for four pieces! I got talking to Naheeda who founded Street Princess, and was lovely! I have no doubt she will be successful, if this was just a selection of some of her goodies.
My eye first caught this beautiful jewelled cuff which was so sparkly. This is probably my favourite piece of jewellery I have in my whole collection! I love the different colours as the jewels catch the light, and how it is all intricately put together. This would be the perfect addition to a plain black, brown or even white top to break it up and be a focal piece. Love it!
The second piece I got was this metal and diamond chain cuff. I loved the look of it, and it is not a stiff cuff-type bracelet but feels quite maleable. I thought this would be perfect to wear as a sleeve cuff over a long-sleeved top.

I also bought a couple of rings. The first was this heart-shaped jewel ring. I like the intricate pattern of the metal entwined with the diamond jewels. It was too small for me, but luckily it was adjustable, so I snapped it up.
And lastly I picked up this ring, which to me looks like a honeycomb with diamonds in it. I think this looks so pretty!
So what do you think of my purchases? I love them and can't wait to show them off. I urge you to go check out the Street Princess website for some more goodies! And an interesting note - Naheeda actually makes the bracelets herself.
Go check it out here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quick shopping haul

I popped into Boots in my lunch hour and was keen to get some shampoo and some curl product to keep my curls frizz-free on the days I wear my hair naturally. I pickked up a couple of these Dove shampoos. Why two you ask? Because Boots are currently having a 3 for 2 offer on haircare, so the second was free when I bought the other haircare product. I am currently using Dove's deep treating conditioner as it makes my hair so soft,. so I figured the shampoo would work well with it.

I also got Umberto Giannini's Silky Curls Smoothing Balm. I couldn't weaqr my hair curly without this as I feel it is good for topping up the defrizziness of the curls throughout the day if needed. Love it! I lost my other bottle when moving house, so this was needed.

Finally I got this black eyeliner from Barry M in Bold Black. It claims to be waterproof, so I am currently teting this.

Do you have any recommendations for curly hair products, or a good eyeliner that doesn't run?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Caroline Hiron's Beauty Mouth workshop at Towib

Over the weekend I went to the fourth The Only Way Is Blogging event (Towib) and had a blast. Read my review of the event here.

I did promise a run down of one of the popular workshops taken by Caroline Hirons, from Beauty Mouth. This was not only informative, but hilarious, and gave a light-hearted take on beauty and skincare.

Caroline is an expert in her field of dermatology and has worked her way up the ranks of beauty starting on the shop floors of department store beauty counters to a key decision maker and advisor for major skincare and makeup brands. Her insight was amazing, and she is not afraid to tell it like it is. I order you to check out her blog (after finishing my post!) and finding out some advice for yourself.

Key advice she imparted to us was to cut out sugar in all its forms, including carbohydrates, if you really want to improve the condition of your skin. If you think of the collagen in your skin like building blocks, by eating sugar it knocks out the blocks of collagen. To keep the blocks strong and your skin supple cut the sugar out. Simple.

Eat anything with Omega 3 in it to improve skin; this includes salmon, avocado and nuts. And cut out anything citrus if you have acne – it messes with the acid/alkaline balance in your skin.

Her top tip was to get rid of face wipes “as they are useless” and do nothing for your skin. Her blunt advice was that they should only be used on fannies, flights, and festivals. She added that if you use a wipe then cleanse and still see the dirt on the cotton pad you know the wipe was useless as it hasn’t taken all the makeup off. Skip that step and jump straight to cleansing.

To get your skin really clean forget the muslin cloths and get out the flannels. WASH your face! And use a flannel with your face wash to get into your skin, massage it and clean it. They don’t have to be fancy flannels, just buy a cheap packet and they will do the job.

DOUBLE CLEANSE. This is essential if you wear makeup or SPF. Cleansing once will get the dirt off your face. Cleansing twice will make sure all of it is off.

She added that when she worked on beauty counters women would ask her to recommend a foundation and she would ask “Why. What’s wrong with your face?” As in – what is the problem you are trying to cover up? That is for the cleanser and toner in your regime to sort out, not your foundation. That comes later. And Caroline added don’t fork out £50 on a foundation if you wouldn’t spend the same on your skincare products, as one is useless without the other.

Use products for your skin complaints not for your age. Forget whether the product says 20–30/ 30–40. Treat the issue.

Do not leave it until your late 20s to start wearing an eye cream. Invest in one much earlier. A good one to try is a collagen eye cream from Monu for an effective and cheap option.

And lastly, her tip for treating ingrown hairs was to use Anthony For Men or Cool Fix from Space NK. Go get some!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Only Way Is Blogging (Towib) take four!

Yesterday I attended The Only Way Is Blogging, TOWIB, which is an information and networking event for bloggers. It was the second one I had been to, and though I missed the last one, I was really looking forward to this one.

Events like these are a good way to meet up with other bloggers. It can sometimes be a bit lonely when you are starting out, and your friends don't get what blogging is about, but going to these kinds of events has helped meet some like-minded people who 'get' what it's about, and I have made some great friends.
I'm sure she is a psycologist and not psychadelic. (Jaime this is what I need your help for!)
I arrived at the event with Ayshe and Hafsaa and we registered and grabbed a booth to listen to the first talk by Dr Linda Papadopoulas, a psychologist who talked about body confidence and how beauty affects women's body image. I remember her from the days when Big Brother started and she used to be on the shows analysing contestants' behaviour. It was fascinating hearing her take on things. Her talk yesterday was quite thought provoking, but not agreed by all in the room. She raised some interesting points about body image and about how women are portrayed. She said body image was an inference of how we feel we should be, and when looking in the mirror we see not what we are, but what we are not. She added that she hated how women were told they could either be feminists or wear lipgloss. It was interesting to hear about her background, and why she also becme a dermapsychologist, which led to her launching her own skincare brand LP Skin Therapy.

After her talk we broke up into small workshop sessions. I thought this was a great addition to Towib, as it gave people a chance to choose which talks to listen to, and skip the ones they had no interest in, which has been a criticism of the previous events. The problem this time was I wanted to go them all!

The first I attended was about how a product is made - from the idea to shop floor. This was presented by LP Skin Therapy, who told us about the concept Dr Linda came up with, her inital idea to make women feel better about themselves, and how she wanted to use fragrance in the product to evoke memories and a calming effect from her own childhood in Cyprus. We were able to smell some of the fragrances they used, and see some tester pots, which were marked for colour, consistency, fragrance. Two of the exact same pots were similar in every way, except one had a slightly more yellow colour, and was failed in testing, as it was thought women were less likely to want to wear a yellow cream on their face.

The next session I went to was by Jaime from Boy Meets Fashion, who talked about photography. I didn't realise he is completely self taught, and I have always admired his photography. He said his best tip was just to practise, practise, practise. Take your camera off auto mode and use manual, try it out in different conditions and get to know it. He said to be aware of where light is coming from and try to shoot pictures with the light behind you, avoid using a flash. And to control how much light is coming into the camera in low light keep the ISO low.

The session finished a little early, so I was able to cheekily sneak into a talk by Scott Cornwall. He was talking about all things hair, and answering people's questions about their own hair and dying hair.

After this we broke for lunch and I was able to pick up some amazing pieces of jewellery by Street Princess. I liked the idea that there were some small brands present for bloggers to support. There was Concoctions haircare, where you could mix your own shampoo, and a clothes brand. I managed to nab two cuffs, and two jewelled rings from Street Princess which I will be featuring in another blog post.

Me, Ayshe, Ayshe and Amina went to China Town for some gorgeous food and a catch up to talk all things food, blogging, makeup and gossip. It was lovely seeing them again, and meeting Amina for the first time. After lunch me and Ayshe headed back to the event and caught the last part of the Q&A about professional blogging. It was interesting to hear their tips for others who were thinking of venturing out and either working with brands or of turning their blog into a career.

For the afternoon session we had the chance to choose another two workshops and I chose to listen in on the beauty Q&A by Caroline Hirons from Beauty Mouth. I have to admit I didn't know about her blog before, but now I am wondering why, as she was so informative, yet laugh out loud side splitting funny! Cracking jokes the whole way through we didn't want the session to end, and Hayley from London Beauty Queen, who organised the event, must have heard our thoughts as she let Caroline continue to the end of what should have been the next session and added Scott Cornwall to the Q&A, who gave some insight into caring for your hair, his fave dry shampoo (Batiste), and adding that perming curly hair was an option to defrizz it. I have added Caroline's panel as a separate post as she gave so many fascinating tips. It can be found here.

The day finished with another Q&A, which I was thankful for as I missed most of the first one. This one included Hayley, Caroline, and Jayne, from Jayne's Kitschen. We heard their thoughts on blogger etiquette, finding your own voice, and not being afraid to voice your opinion on both your blog and twitter.

I was trying my best to live tweet the event, and you can see some of the updates on Twitter under the hashtag #towib.

For me it was the best Towib event by far. It had a good mix of different workshops, talks and things going on. People were free to move around, listen or go out and come back and dip into what they wanted to hear. I was impressed with how well it went and the standard of the speakers. Well done to Hayley and Jayne for an amazing event!

Were you at Towib? What did you think of it? And what was your highlight?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Harrods sale

Where else can you get up to 50% discounts off designer products and fragrances starting today? Harrods of course! The central London department store has a massive sale starting today for a month and you will be able to get your hands on some fab luxury beauty buys. Will you be going down? And do you have your eye on anything in particular?

Friday, June 15, 2012

TOWIB tomorrow

I'm very excited to see the return of TOWIB - The Only Way Is Blogging - a meet up for bloggers, which happens about twice a year. It will be the second I will be attending and it is a great chance to learn new tips about writing, photography and how other blogs work. It is also a great chance to meet other bloggers who I have chatted to over Twitter.

Tomorrow's event looks absolutely packed full of tutorials, talks and workshops, and is likely to be the biggest and best yet.

I believe there are still some tickets left, so if you are interested and can get to central London tomorrow check out the site.

Are you going?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Heaven and Earth smokey eyes

The Heaven and Earth palette from MUA has been out a while, but is still one of my favourite to go to for browns and neutral shades. At £4 you can't really go wrong, and for such a good value palette the pigmentation is amazing. Here are a couple of looks I tried with the palette last week.
It is available from here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I'm not usually a fan of fake eyelashes as I'm not used to applying them myself. I have recently started wearing them in the run up to the wedding and for various events. Over the weekend I tried out some lashes from Eyelure, but couldn't decide which of the two from below to wear. I opted for the bigger of the two in 204 for a fluttery Bambi look as it was a night do. The double lashes are quite thick and long, but not heavy to wear at all, and were quite light on the eyes. Let me know what you think of them.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Estee Lauder lucidity powder

I bought some lucidity powder from Estee Lauder over the weekend. I have been after a loose powder for some time to set my foundation for a while but never knew which to buy. I bought this one on a whim more than anything else just to try it out. I am always dubious about anything loose as I am prone to accidentally dropping things, or fear caking it on. But the generous tub comes with a plastic safety cap, with some convenient holes in it. It is quite easy to shake some powder out with the lid on, then to dust my powder brush in it, tap off the excess and swirl it where I need it on my face.
Having used this for my cousin's wedding I can safely say that I loved it. Used in small amounts - making sure I brushed the excess off - it was perfect for setting my foundation and for taking away any shine before I went to apply my contour and blusher.
It does come with a gorgeous powder puff, which I haven't used yet, but don't feel I really need to if I am using my brush. Generally this has been a good purchase and does the job of setting my makeup, so I have no problems with it. The cap is also good for dabbing the excess into.

Have you tried it out? What are your favourite loose powders? The range is available here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pink glitter nails

I went to my cousin's wedding last week and it was a beautiful event. We were asked to wear a dark pink colour to match the theme. The boys all had matching ties, and looked good, while the girls were wearing different shades of pink. I wore a dusky pink maxi dress with embroidery. I decided to go for a dark pink on my nails with glitter to match my outfit.

The pink is from Bourjois in Violet Couture. I love this shade! It needs about two coats to become a solid dark colour. I used Rimmel's lasting finish in Disco Ball over it for a lovely glitter effect.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

London Bridge by night

The other day I posted a few pictures of Piccadilly by night. Here are some snaps of another iconic landmark that I love by both day and night. But at night it seems to come alive and look magical. I love the picture of the bridge - it makes me love London more. I can't imagine anywhere else that I could look at such a landmark with awe. I have included a couple of snaps of the Tower of London from the other side of the river. x

Friday, June 8, 2012

Urban Decay shopping haul

I am new to the whole Urban Decay makeup collection and have been wanting to treat myself to a Naked palette, but for some reason never got around to it. So I found myself in Debenhams in a panic looking for some decent makeup for my cousin's wedding. I usually wear eyeshadows from a highly pigmented palette from an Asian shop. I don't know the name of it as it is in Urdu, but I will get my mum to translate it. But after moving house and not knowing where all my stuff is I wasn't able to find my usual makeup. I was very keen to go for the new 'build your own palette' as I loved the colours, and could pick and choose what I wanted for the look I had in mind. But after finding out that it would set me back around £80 for the palette and colours inside it  I decided to go for another option.

I went for the 15 year anniversary palette - not completely new, but it has a good range of colours and I could use them for all the different events in the run up to the wedding. Plus I could do my sisters' makeup if need be too. I loved the velvety texture of the colours and my favourite has got to be the teal - it is so pigmented! And how gorgeous is the jewelled box?! It can double up as a jewellery box when you are finished with it and take out the palette section.

I opted for a pearly primer because I have heard so many good things about it, and then was on the lookout for some eyeshadow shading brushes. The assistant showed me a few and I chose a couple from them, but (and this is probably down to her great sales technique) she told me if I paid a little more I could have the same exact two brushes in a double-ended brush but in the Naked 2 palette. Well, who am I to argue?! I have wanted to get my hands on it for ages but couldn't justify it. My older sister loved it so much when I later showed it to her that she went back the next day and bought the same two palettes, and my mum has her eye on them too.

Probably because I spent so much the sales assistant threw in the purple eyeshadow for free. Well, the whole lot did set me back about £80 - though if I compared the amount I did end up with, I much preferred that to the build your own palette.

Do you have any of the above? What are your recommendations?

Piccadilly by night

I don't know about you but I love re-discovering the city I live in, especially by night. I love how different London looks during the night, compared to the day. It takes on a whole different atmosphere. Here are a few snaps of one of my favourite places to walk through in the evening, purely because of the bright lights. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Real Techniques shading brush

I bought a pack of Real Techniques makeup brushes a while back, and they have become my Holy Grail of brushes in my makeup bag. The one thing I was lacking was more eyeshadow brushes - especially a shading brush. I bought this one from Boots, and it comes in similar packaging to the other brushes in the range.

This one has densely packed bristles, and is still soft to the touch. I have been having a play with it, and it is best used after shadow is put onto the lid using one of the other brushes in the range, like one of the flatter brushes, and then use this in the eye crease to blend the colours out, or into each other.
I had a little play with some blue eyeshadow above from Boujois. Let me know what you think of it.
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