Lifestyle, fashion and beauty

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nails: Jelly sandwich manicure



Hello all! I have been trying out another manicure, but really should have been packing for my weekend away. Oh dear, it might have to be a rush job in the morning. I am going to Suffolk, by the coast to review a hotel for work. I need a break, all be it a short one for one night, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to have a wander by the coast, eat some good food and chill out away from London.

I will post some pictures on my Instagram (SafiraAli) for anyone who is interested. I still haven't worked out if it will be wet or dry, cold or warm. Knowing my luck I should probably pack my wellies and a rain jacket, but will wait and see what the weather is like in the morning.

On to today's mani and I have attempted a 'jelly sandwich'. The jelly part comes from the transparent/opaque polish that traps together the glitter layer between it. For this I used an LA Colors base coat, followed by two layers of Star Gazer in 323. This is an opaque pink with darker pinks and green flecks in it. I sandwiched a glitter in Rimmel's 500 Disco Ball, before adding another two coats of the Star Gazer. I think one would have been sufficient, but I didn't want the glitter to be too prominent. I finished it with a top coat from LA Colors.

Phew, that's a lot of polishes! But it worked out ok. The jelly gives a nice effect, and it is different from just wearing a glitter on the nails, but I don't know if I would bother putting in this effort too often. I might try it again with some other jelly polishes, and some other glitters.


Let me know what you think of this, and if you have tried out a jelly sandwich.

I best go pack now! x
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nails: Pink and dotty


Hello lovelies! How have you been this week? I have had a long week at work, and not really been in the mood to do anything too taxing. Winter is most definitely upon us and the long dark nights are making me feel so tired more quickly, which is annoying. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to do what I want to do.

The plus point has been catching up on all the programmes I have recorded on Sky Plus, like Masterchef Australia. I much preferred the British version, but really got into this series as it has a different twist by actually teaching the contestants how to cook and seeing how they perform with the new-found knowledge.

I have also been loving The Great British Bake Off, and didn't want it to end! Loved all the dishes, and though I would never be half as creative as the contestants, but I would love to have a go. Have you been watching any of these shows?

On to today's mani. Apologies for how dry my cuticles are, I didn't realise until I uploaded the photos. Must remember to moisturise them more now winter is here. But I wanted to try out one of my new Temptalia nail pens (no number, but it's a lilac colour)  that I got the other day and have been excited to try out. This design wasn't too taxing, just a simple slick of Barry M in bright pink 279 and some dots down the middle.

 I'm off to upload pictures of my next mani and get ready for my weekend away. Let me know what you think!
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Day 12- The Hunger Games

On Day 12 we were meant to go to the theatre. I had tickets, but due to Asif not being well we gave it a miss. To make up for it when he felt better we watched the Hunger Games. I had never seen the film before, but after all the hype I was keen to see it.

I had to keep asking Asif why they were playing a game show that involved killing all of them off, but it was a great film, gripping and good to watch. Though, for me, didn't live up to all the hype that was around it. Would still watch it again though.

Have you seen the film? What did you think of it?
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tantrum nail glitter


Yesterday I had a wander into Westfield Stratford on the hunt for some nail art tools. Why is it so difficult to find these on the high street these days?! Or am I just looking in the wrong place? I remembered a few months back I saw a whole stack of them in Kiko ranging from brushes to dotting tools, but the assistant told me these all went in the sale and have now gone. They have no idea if or when they will get them back in.
Disappointed, but undeterred I went to Tantrum instead. This is on the lower ground floor towards the back of the shopping centre, and I remember it opening a few months ago, finding not too much stock in it that interested me and leaving without purchasing.

Well on this trip I found lots of nail art pens, glitters, stencils, and wraps. I believe the chain started out orientated towards children and providing fun and arty ways to dress up their nails, but it has grown to include all kinds of nail-related goodies, certainly loads I had fun with.
I bought three nail art pens, which I had a play with last night, and if you follow me on Instagram (SafiraAli) you would have seen some pictures of yesterday. But I will have another go of the pens, and post some pictures when I have tried them out a bit more. First impressions are they are not as superior as the Models Own Wah! Pens, but have a good range of colours, are cheaper and fun. They are certainly a good alternative to dotting tools, and were good for creating dots and designs.

Anyway, while I was there the shop assistant tempted me with some glitter, and tried it on one of my nails. I went for an accent nail in a mixture of gold and silver specks, called Ivory Cream. She painted a coat of clear nail varnish over my nail and poured the glitter straight on. You can catch the excess specks in a Tupperware container and dust off any that don’t stick.
My first impressions are that I loved it! I took a few photos, and couldn’t stop looking at my nail. It’s a good alternative to glitter nail polish and really catches the light well, especially at night time. You can paint a topcoat on it to secure the glitter, and it gives a more glazed effect, but I chose to keep it topcoat free.
I did tap it (a lot) to see how much glitter would fall off, even scratched it and brushed it against my coat (very little fallout) and then washed my nail under a tap. All in the name of research! Anyway, as you can see from the picture a little of the pink underneath my nail started showing, but I doubt most people would try to brush so much off their nail once they have applied it.

It is day two, and the glitter is still secure, and I still like it. I think an accent is a nice touch, but you could cover all your nails for, say, a Christmas party.
It is a fairly small tub, but you don’t need a lot to cover your nails, so I reckon it would last a while. But it’s not bad for £4.
Have you tried any nail glitters? Have you bought anything from Tantrum? And where can I get nail tools from on the high street?!
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Lavender Dr Bronner soap and Jason calming lavender cream


I don’t know about you but I love the smell of Lavender. It smells so fresh, and reminds me of meadows. Near where I live there is a garden full of lavender, and despite it being in the city, it always transports me back to the countryside.
I have two lavender products here for you to get the same effect. The first is from the Dr Bronner range and is an all-in-one liquid soap. If you are an avid reader of the blog (hello!) then you will know I love the Dr Bronner range, because it is organic, and a big plus – it is money-saving as it can be used for everything!
I have previously used the soaps from everything like washing, cleaning my make-up brushes, hair wash, and even as toothpaste (note- it was peppermint flavoured. I don’t want lavender in my mouth).
This one I used in the shower as a face wash, and also as a shaving gel. It did both really well. It gave that squeaky-clean feel on my face after use. But I would strongly recommend that you follow it up with a moisturiser. I have combination dry skin, and it was a little dry on my face than my usual face wash, but nothing a bit of moisturiser won’t fix. It works really well as a bodywash too, and gave a lovely after smell.
The second lavender goody was this massive hand and body wash from Jason. I first discovered the organic brand when I was in Toronto, and fell in love with it since. The cream, is moisturising, and only a little is needed to do the job. It gives a lovely lavender smell, that isn’t too strong or sickly, like some creams, but it lingers subtly on the skin.
Are you a fan of lavender? Have you tried either of these products?
They are available from here and here.
These products were sent to me by Spa PR Company for consideration.
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 11- Cabana Brazilian restaurant



I went to Cabana restaurant today in Westfield Stratford, it is a Brazilian restaurant just outside the shops near The Street.

I had heard good things about the restaurant and was curious to try out Brazilian food, the fact the chicken was halal was a definite plus.

We ordered a selection of vegetables marinated in a hot spicy sauce. We tried the portobello mushrooms, and the aubergine which was amazing! It almost tasted like meat itself.

We also ordered corn on the cob and chicken skewers. It was good as the waiters bring the skewers to your table, pour you as much as you want and you can always order more later. To go with it we also had some rice.

The quality of the food was amazing, but the only down side was the portions. £3 for three slices of aubergine is a bit much, and they accidentally only brought two slices, so I had to ask for my missing slice.

And also, as you can order as you go along it's easy to clock up the bill and not realise how much you have spent.

Good food nonetheless. Have you been?


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 10- photography course



Since getting my DSLR I haven't played around with it half as much as I feel I should have. Having lost the manual I have experimented a little but mainly kept it on automatic setting.

But I went to a practical photography course organised by the Emerald Network, a socialising group for young Muslim professionals, to try to learn some new tips. We met opposite St Paul's Cathedral at the foot of Millennium Bridge armed with our cameras and had a bit of a chat before we set off, introducing ourselves. Our aim was to take pictures along the river of the scenery and to play with the settings.

It was a good way to share our tips with each other, play with the settings and to compare our pictures. I picked up some great tips on what iso settings to use, how to manually create effects and what settings to use. It was also a great exercise as during the course of the workshop night eventually fell, so the settings we initially used need to be changed to adjust to the lack of daylight.

Have you ever been on a photography course? What do you think is the best way to play with your camera?


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 9 - Paralympics




Me and Asif went to the Paralympics and had such a fab time. I had already been to the Olympics, but this was my first time inside the stadium. It was fun being part of the action and seeing it close up. We saw David Weir in the first round of the 5,000 wheelchair race and Hannah Cockroft win her race, and her subsequent medal ceremony.

I also took the opportunity to take pictures of the stadium at night. It did look amazing, especially at night.

Did you go to any of the Paralympic events?




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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 7 and 8 - A weekend in Cumbria



I went back to Cumbria for the weekend to see my good friends. I used to live in Cumbria for four years before I moved to London, and is where I started my first job, so it holds a place in my heart.

We had a good catch up, cake and tea by the harbour, an Italian dinner, then took some snacks to the hotel where we had a good catch up and watched the Paralympics. The following morning we had the biggest breakfast before heading back.

Have you been to Cumbria? What's your favourite way to catch up with friends?


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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 6 - designing clothes


For most of my Asian clothes I tend to get them made by a tailor. Fashion is constantly changing and I like to try different styles. I had been given these three suits as presents at different times, and thought it was the perfect opportunity to get them made.
I have a tailor in Walthamstow who makes my clothes and will be getting the following three made as long dresses and trouser style outfits. Do you ever design your own clothes?

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 5 eat cake


On day 4 of my 30 day project we had an amazing time at The Ritz, but the following day was much more chilled out. We had indulged in so many sweet goodies that by the time the cake arrived I was stuffed. They kindly packed it away for us to take home, and today we made the most of it. It was a mango and passion fruit mic with cream and covered with icing. Yummy! A lovely birthday cake.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

X Factor's Amy Mottram

I'm sporting the windswept look.
Yesterday I met Amy Mottram, who, unless you have been living under a rock, you will know is one of the wildcard contestants on The X Factor.

I was invited to her old school in Romford to interview her for the newspaper that I work for. All the staff and pupils were so excited she was coming back, and when she arrived there was such a frenzy.

She was warm and humble, and despite paps saying they wanted a picture of her, she was shy, and asked her old headteacher and drama teacher to come in the photographs with her.

She went on stage, and as tiny as she is, belted out these big numbers and it looked so effortless while singing. The crowd loved her, and she was happy to be back, saying she was proud to have everyone's support behind her.

After her performance I interviewed her, and it is the first time I had met her in person, though I have talked to her and her mum on the phone before. She just seemed grateful to have been given another chance, and wanted people to vote for her.

I was surprised she didn't get through as one of the main contestants, and hope she does get through on Saturday as it will be a shame to see her go when she has so much more to give.

Will you be voting for Amy?

Here is the link to the story on the Romford Recorder website:

http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/amy_mottram_returned_to_her_romford_school_today_as_part_of_her_x_factor_campaign_1_1553485
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