Tuesday, 30 March 2010

NOTD: sublime/ridiculous

From the sublime, the perfect deep cherry red for WOC, Bourjois So Laque in Rouge Diva, a gorgeous deep red creme with a jelly-like consistency that makes it really shine:

to the ridiculous, the colour I'm wearing on my toes - GOSH Wild Violet with one coat of OPI Mad As A Hatter on top (this is actually a cropped picture of my nail, I'm not going to show you my horrible winter feet!):

I quite like wearing very bright and silly polish on my toes, stuff I'd never wear on my fingers, and particularly when I'm wearing something quite grownup on my fingers.

Monday, 29 March 2010

A set of mini product reviews

Well, I wanted to post a NOTD, but blogger isn't playing ball. So here are some reviews of new products I've tried recently, some of which have worked and some that haven't,


Botanics Soothing Cleansing Balm

I ran out of my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish last year and couldn't afford to replace it, and hoped this would be a good alternative. Unfortunately this is too greasy for me and despite being described as soothing, it irritates my sensitive cheeks, leaving them sore, red and blotchy. I also hated the plastic-coated "cloth" that comes with it - it is very scratchy and went straight in the bin. A muslin cloth it really is not! This would be an up side if it worked for me, but: it lasts an AGE! I'm trying to come up with inventive uses for it because I hate throwing things out. So far - to line my hairline when dying my hair. Thassit.


Organic Surge Tropical Bergamot Shower Gel

It's fine, but I don't love it, nor does it leave me particularly well moisturised. Thus no desperate urge to repurchase this. Nice citrussy smell though.

Boots Extracts Brazil Nut Scrub

This comes in a BIG tub and retails for £7.50. It smells lovely (a nutty, vanilla-y scent) but I just don't find it scrubby enough. It's practically one of those Radox smoothie shower gels with bits in! If you like a gentle scrub, you might love this, but I need a scrubby one like The Body Shop's Cocoa Butter scrub to keep my KP (keratosis pilaris, or chicken flesh - nice - ) at bay.


Waitrose Organic Moisturising Shampoo

It leaves my hair very soft and I've had no scalp itchies since I switched to it. I think it might drain the dye from my hair, but hey, you can't have everything. It's probably too moisturising if you have anything other than very dry very thick hair like mine, but on this, it works a treat. Unfortunately, you need quite a lot because of its SLS-free formula and it's got a bit of a funny smell, but nowt I can't tolerate for a scalp that doesn't itch and bleed plus soft hair. At £3.90 it's also one of the more reasonable SLS-free shampoos on the market.

Aussie Luscious Longlocks Conditioner

Now my staple! It also leaves my hair soft and shiny and is the only high street conditioner I've found that manages this (yes my hair is THAT dry).

Aveeno Skin Relief Lotion

Just call me Itchy Itcherson. Along with my dry scalp, dry hair and dry cheeks, I have the driest, itchiest skin. But this has really helped to keep it at bay! I'm not a fan of the slight tackiness it leaves when you apply it at first, but I guess that's just an indication of how moisturising it is. It's the only lotion I've found whose moisturising properties actually do almost last 24 hours.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

a list of things I'd like

Lots of links!
  • the Glee soundtrack - I'm waiting for the show to go on hiatus next week, when I'll be lost and pouting for its return
  • OPI Pamplona Purple, after my gorgeous friend Naima sent me a pic of her mani from NY!
  • pretty much the entire Art Supplies pencil collection from MAC (so relieved I have built up some vouchers for this!): particulalrly Greengrease, Slick Black, Dirty, Below Ground, Black Line and Undercurrent!
  • Misa Dirty Sexy Money, a murky sea green polish, as I want to up my non-purple shades
  • Also China Glaze Emerald Sparkle (even though Bartimaeus is DEFINITELY going to call me Grotbags when I wear it!)
  • and China Glaze Atlantis
  • and Poshe topcoat because I think Seche Vite is ruining my nails
  • OPI Nail Envy to sort this out
  • a bando style hairband with a cream lace corsage - the way I'll be doing the Chanel monochrome look this season on the cheap
  • a roomy but not huge leather cross-body bag (one I can put a book in!), have been considering a Cambridge Satchel Company satchel in red
  • some pretty new dresses with quirky prints - nearly tempted by this dress with hot air balloons on it but it's blue which doesn't suit me 
  • to reread A Suitable Boy after Vikram Seth's wonderful talk and news there's to be a sequel, A Suitable Girl(!)
  • quality time with friends and family
  • some luck for my beloved and brilliant Bartimaeus
What's on your list?

    Saturday, 27 March 2010

    My Golden Bangla, Rich Mix, March 26th

    Yesterday Bartimaeus and I trekked from Surrey to Bethnal Green on my insistence that we attend the above event, a showcase of British Bangladeshi talent to commemorate Independence Day. The line up was as follows:

    • CUTS - by Robert Streeter.
      An exhibition exploring a generation’s unique style.
    • STATE OF BENGAL & PABAN DAS BAUL: Tana Tani (Real World Records)
      "a folk culture over 500 years old meeting this digital soundscapes of the 21st century" Song Lines mag who nominated it as best global album of the year.
    • Musical Alchemy.
      ARUN GHOSH (Clarinet) IDRS RAHMAN (Sax) KISHON KHAN (Piano)
      featuring voclist Labik Kamal Gurob & Mithun Chakraborty (Tabla) These 3 rising talents, have been causing a stir in the contemporary jazz scene. All 3 are accomplished musicians with their own distinctive style, bands & acclaimed genre-defying albums, effortlessly journeying through Jazz, Afro-Cuban, dub & their Bengal folk heritage. My Golden Bangla brings them together for a collaboration featuring one of the rising contemporary stars of Bangladesh
      Original ADF line up come together in this one off event to perform their tribute to the revolutionary poet Nazrul Islam; Rebel Warrior.
    • DEEDER ZAMAN & DR DAS ( bass )
      Sneak preview of ADF’s original front man Deeder’s new album 'Pride of the Underdog', produced by the legendary Adrian Sherwood of On U Soundsystem. Dr. Das also features on 'Pride Of the Underdog' & is currently touring with his album / live show " Emergency Bass Sound System."
    • AMINA KHAYYAM - The Rebel ( Bidrohi )
      A Tribute To Kazi Nazrul Islam, The National Poet of Bangladesh. Choreographer & dancer Amina delivers a powerfully emotive piece set to contemporary music & reading, by actor & storyteller REZ KABIR, from Nazrul's infamous poem The Rebel (Bidrohi)
    • A GOLDEN AGE - Dramatic reading of Tahmima Anam’s award winning novel in a musical juxtaposition by actress LEESA GAZI and musicians SOHINI ALAM / OLIVER WEEKS. Adapted & directed by Leeza Gazi.
    • SARAH SAYEED - Spoken word artist & fierce lyricist brings her unique & quirky blend of powerful writing & vocals in a soulful, hip hop live set with Badeshi.
    • NAGA - BBC Blast & SLAMbassadors winning lyricist.
      Spitting from an Asian perspective, Naga performs his own beats & strong conscious lyrics outlining his life in the East End.
    • SH8S - One of the original (ex) founders of Desi Movement, Sh8s gives a 2-track sampler of his fierce lyrics rising from the streets of Brick Lane.
    • Dj BADESHI- "World wide & between the tempos" DJ / producer Badeshi mixes his blend from Dubstep to Baul Soundscapes.
    • + Video Installations by Hamja Ahsan 
    I've been buzzing about this since I first learnt of it a few weeks ago. I've been a fan of Asian Dub Foundation since their second album Rafi's Revenge (which I used to pump out of my room as a fresher much to my corridormates' chagrin - who were into stuff like the Spice Girls and Bewitched at the time) and I was so, so excited to see them back together again. Unfortunately the event predictably ran late and I, like a Home Counties Cinderella, had to leave to get my last train less than half way into the event. Pout. If Southern deigned to do night trains it would've been an amazing night.

    However, I did get to see a beautiful bamboo flute performance by an artist who's not on the lineup (this was very resonant for me because my dad played the instrument), listen to the first Badeshi set, Sarah Sayeed, watch the Golden Age dramatisation and the Amina Khayyam piece, check out the exhibit, as well as catch the first part of the Arun Ghosh/Idris Rahman/Kishon Khan collaboration. Not bad eh?

    I'm so glad I saw the pieces I did. In particular, the dance piece and the dramatisation of an extract from Tahmima Anam's fantastic novel A Golden Age were incredibly moving. Sohini Alam sang songs used in the movement for Bangladesh as well as our national anthem beautifully, with warmth and grace, and moved me to tears. (I listened to these songs every day for months whilst writing about them in my thesis, and it left me with goosebumps to hear them sung so well live for the first time in years. I admit I sang along - very quietly!)

    It was a perfect way to celebrate Independence Day, because it left me swelling with pride in my Bangladeshi identity. I was gladdened to see how many members of my generation, born and brought up in the UK, are enthusiastic, passionate participants and contributors to Bengali culture. It's not easy for us, with our stumbling, English-inflected Bengali, limited access to specialist music/dance tuition and sheer distance from the homeland.

    An illustration of the challenges: I remember going to see Zoe and Idris Rahman perform their beautiful album Where Rivers Meet at the Purcell Rooms at the Royal Festival Hall, where I was dismayed to hear older members of the audience heckling Zoe for her poor Bengali pronunciation, despite her fluent musical interpretations of Bengali classics and folk songs. At that time, I felt that there was such a chasm between our generation and our elders and the homeland, that nothing we did would ever be judged as "good enough." Yesterday was the opposite: witnessing the richness of second generation contributions and the many cultural crossings-over taking place between London and Dhaka, I felt that if such a chasm exists, it can also be bridged, and in exciting, enriching ways.

    Friday, 26 March 2010

    Red and Green (or Subho Bijoy Dibosh)

    should oft be seen, contrary to the saying,

    in summer:

    in winter, as modelled by one of my favourite bloggers, The Freelancer's Fashionblog

    and especially, if you're Bangladeshi like me, today:

                                         Fedrik Rubensson

    My outfit to go to the Rich Mix later for their Golden Bangla event will thus incorporate these today to comemorate Bangladesh Independence Day/;

    Subho bijoy dibosh, my fellow Bangladeshis!

    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    20 Questions

    This tag's going round:

    1.What can't you leave the house without?
    Keys, phone, wallet and Ventolin inhaler (the one time I didn't, I had a psychosomatic asthma attack!)

    2. Favourite makeup brand.
    MAC. Love NARS too but it's a bit pricey for me.

    3. Favourite flower?
    Lavender roses and tuberoses.

    4. Favourite clothing store?
    Hmm, not sure right now! Possibly Warehouse and H&M.

    5. Favourite perfume?
    Victor and Rolf Flowerbomb is my signature scent

    6. Heels or flats?
    Flats. I'm short and proud!

    7.Do you make good grades?
    Yes. I am an uber-geek!

    8. Favourite colours?
    Purples - but specifically plum.

    9. Do you drink energy drinks?
    No - far too sweet for me.

    10. Do you drink juice?
    Yes - I love cranberry and mango smoothies (and lassis!)

    11. Do you like swimming?
    No, and haven't learnt how! I hate getting water in my ears.

    12. Do you eat fries with a fork?

    13. Favourite moisturiser?
    Olay Multiradiance.

    14. Do you want to get married?

    15. Do you get mad easy?
    No. I'm generally very chilled.

    16. Are you into ghost hunting?
    No, I'm an atheist.

    17. Any phobias?
    Spiders, heights, escalators, crowds, water.

    18. Do you bite your nails?

    19. Have you ever had a near death experience?

    20. Do you drink coffee?
    I used to, a lot, but gave it up a few years ago when it started making me feel sick and get the shakes. I can't live without tea though.

    I tag:
    The Front Cover
    Geeky Weirdo Chick
    Style And The City
    Butterfly Wings
    Lionloving Tiger
    Tunics and Tamarind Chutney

    Friday, 19 March 2010

    FOTD: Bronze/teal

    Well, what a difference a day makes. As you can see from the shadows on my face, unlike today's rain and greyness, yesterday the weather was just beautiful - clear, warm and sunny, and I was inspired to wear an appropriately sunny look to see Vikram Seth at the LSE speak beautifully on poetry and friendship.

    I'm wearing:

    MAC Moisturecover Select concealer
    Urban Decay Primer Potion

    Urban Decay YDK shadow over lid and lashline
    MAC Delft paint pot as liner
    GOSH Let's Twist Eyeliner in Blue Grass over it to intensify
    MAC Vanilla pigment in inner corner of eyes as highlighter and on browbone
    YSL Faux Cils mascara

    MAC MSF in Dark
    Clinique Fresh Bloom Allover Colour (Peony I think)
    MAC Springsheen blush

    YSL Golden Gloss in in Golden Amber (No &7)

    Wednesday, 17 March 2010

    NOTD: sofistica'ed

    Not a word I love, sophisticated. Like "sexy," to me its usage usage denotes the opposite of its actual meaning. But I can't think of a better description for OPI's Boris and Natacha. Wine creme shades are ten a penny but this one has purple in it which makes it unique:

    Tuesday, 16 March 2010

    Where Three Dreams Cross

    I promised a longer post on this exhibition and here it is:

    I went to see this photography exhibition at the recently extended Whitechapel on Friday. I hadn't been for years, but the extension was much needed: now it feels like a proper gallery as opposed to popping round someone's house!

    The exhibition features photographs from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh taken by photographers from the region from the last 150 years. I think the curators' choice to focus only on regional photographers was a good one: there were no voyeuristic shots of extreme poverty (though there were portraits of people who are poor) and despite the massive scale of the exhibition there was a sense of intimacy.
    The exhibition was divided by theme rather than country or chronology. Again, a good curatorial decision that mirrors developments in Partition Studies, which is now focusing on a comparative approach to the history of the subcontinent, recognising that the stories of Pakistan, Bangladesh and India are inextricably entwined. It was nonetheless gratifying to see such a major inclusion from Bangladesh, often the poor, politically irrelevant cousin in South Asian studies.

    If Kamila Shamsie's eye was drawn to the pictures of Bangladesh, the nation that had once been the distant wing of her own, I confess mine did too. I couldn't help but be struck by the beauty of the many images supplied by the Drik Archive in Bangladesh (I looked up Drik when I got home: it's a fantastic initiative to collect and exhibit Bangladeshi photography, and I look forward to visiting their stunning gallery when I'm next there). Photos from the 1990 coup also had a major resonance for me, given that my family and I arrived in Dhaka right in the middle of it (what my father was thinking, I shall never know).

    I was utterly charmed by early black and white photos of royal families that had been intricately hand-painted with watercolours. One even had glitter sprinkled on the borders of a sari. These were beautiful, but also strange: some examples used cut out photographed faces that were pasted onto Mughal-style paintings, giving a bizarre, hyperreal quality to the overall pictures. And though done at the turn of the century (last), they seemed very modern, of the age of Photoshop. I was intrigued to discover that my mum had had a photograph of hers hand tinted in this way: sadly, like so many things I would dearly love to have as heirlooms, it is lost. It underlines how rare these exhibited photographs are: stuff is ephemeral there, it gets lost in upheaval or fades in the heat. What remains is all the more precious for that.

    There are many points of interest I could mention, and indeed, the strength of the exhibition is in this diversity: grand photographs of Jinnah alongside a sobering image of a Bangladeshi farmer against the backdrop of a climate-change devastated landscape alongside an art image of Krishna chilling in a swanky hotel room . It's on until April 11th: go see it, and see which images stay with you.
    Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

    Saturday, 13 March 2010

    FOTD: Peach Melba, or making the most of what you've got

    This was what I wore yesterday to take my mum to the Where Three Dreams Cross exhibition at the Whitechapel yesterday which I mentioned some time ago (longer post coming up about the exhibition itself). I haven't worn MAC's Expensive Pink shadow in ages even though it's one of my favourites! Same goes with my Bobbi Brown Violet Shimmer gel liner, and my NARS lip lacquer that I bought from the fabulous Vexinthecity's blog sale after lemming it for ages. I clearly have too much makeup!

    What I wore:

    MAC Moisturecover Select concealer
    Urban Decay Primer Potion

    MAC Expensive Pink shadow over lid
    Bobbi Brown Violet Shimmer gel liner on lashlines and waterline
    YSL Faux Cils mascara
    MAC Vanilla pigment as highlighter

    MAC MSF in Dark
    MAC Springsheen blush
    MAC Spiked brow pencil

    NARS Lip Lacquer in Zazou (bit sticky for me but I love the shade and it has fab staying power!)


    The makeup went with the print on a dress I also haven't worn in ages. I'm not liking much stuff in the shops right now (too many pastels, yuck!) but as with my makeup it's making me look through what I do have and wear stuff that's been lingering in the back of my wardrobe. I'm not so keen on brown based prints but I love the 40s vibe of this fan print:

    Thursday, 11 March 2010

    NOTD: Particuliere alternative for women of colour

    From one end of the nail spectrum to the other! Today I'm wearing OPI's Over The Taupe.

    Now, I really really wanted Chanel's Particuliere when it came out. But as with all my purchases I researched and researched it, and after checking out swatches and reviews from other women of colour, I got the impression that it wasn't very flattering on darker skintones. It's a very cool shade (in both senses of the word) and whilst the tone works on paler skintones, I don't think it has the same impact on darker skin. I can't quite explain it but it doesn't quite "sit" right.

    The same goes for some of the Particuliere dupes out there - Essie Mink Muffs in particular (geddit!) I began thinking taupe wasn't for me. But one greige polish that got positive reviews from WOC was OPI's Over The Taupe. Funnily the I've read many reviews on OTT that are lukewarm - many think it's a boring, flat shade and argue it is too brown. But the brown in it is just what makes it very wearable for WOC - that and the distinct purple tone to it.

    Very usefully, blogger Stephscloset has provided a comparison of Particuliere vs. OTT. As you can see there's not much in it, OTT is just a bit pinkier/purplier:

    If you have yellow-toned or darker toned skin and are still hankering after Particuliere, I thoroughly recommend OTT as an alternative - which might even suit better. I'm loving my muted taupe nails!

    Wednesday, 10 March 2010

    Sugar and spice and all things nice... and bugs (FOTD and outfit)

    This is the makeup I wore for Bartimaeus+plus twin bro's birthday lunch on Sunday:

    I was keen to use the Urban Decay Peacock palette my sis bought me for Christmas - and I love the shadow called YDK! It's a super-shimmery perfect neutral on my skin and really makes my eyes pop. I used Twice Baked on the crease. I'm also wearing the cream pearl bow earrings I got from Miss Selfridge - I've had so many compliments on these little lovelies, they really frame your face nicely.

    Makeup breakdown:

    What I wore:

    MAC Moisturecover Select concealer
    Urban Decay Primer Potion

    Urban Decay YDK shadow over lid
    UD Twice Baked in socket
    L'Oreal HIP cream liner in black on lashlines (this is totally dry, need to buy a new black gel liner!)
    YSL Faux Cils mascara

    MAC MSF in Dark
    MAC Breezy blush
    MAC Spiked brow pencil

    MAC Slimshine in Prudeaux

    I wore one of my favourite dresses - from a distance this Topshop jersey dress looks leopard print (old pic):

    but the print is in fact....

    Friday, 5 March 2010

    Ups and Downs

    Though I'm [unusually] not on a train, I do find myself at a loose end, so here are my current ups and downs:



    It'll be a year on March 13th for us (the luckiest Friday 13th ever) and I can't believe how quickly it has gone. We've gone from strength to strength and our friendship's blossomed into something so wonderful, I feel really blessed.

    Pub Quiz

    Organising this with Bartimaeus and friends - really looking to this being a regular thing!


    Really enjoying it at the moment: the project website is almost done and I had a lot of input into its design and it looks fantastic, so I'm quite proud. Momentum is building with the events so it's busy, which I like!


    Also busy, and whilst somewhat stressful and fairly exhausting, also rich, varied, and wonderful.


    Estate agents

    When they're good, they're pretty good, but when they're bad, they're horrid!

    Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

    Thursday, 4 March 2010

    NOTD: spangly purple


    One quick coat of OPI Mad as a Hatter over OPI Merry Midnight (which is sparkly enough anyway!) Possibly not the most sophisticated nails in the world but a lot of fun! I'll try to post another pic when it's a bit darker outside so you can see the colours in the glitter properly - there's a lot of green and purple in it which makes it lovely over green or purple creme polishes.