Thursday, 30 September 2010

Interview FOTD: Pale Plums

I went for an interview last week (for a job I didn't get but that's ok as it wasn't right), and did a relatively polished, muted look in plums to go with my purple sweater and plum pearl earrings (I always wear pearls to interviews, they make me feel so much more put together and grown up!) I didn't get it, but interview experience is always useful.

I am loving Urban Decay's YDK shadow more and more. In hindsight it was perhaps a bit too sparkly for interview but it's such a pretty plum-toned neutral shadow. It really makes my eyes look huge! I think it's the major shimmer and brown tones.

What I wore:

MAC Moisturecover Select concealer

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay YDK shadow
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black
Maybelline Colossal mascara in 100% Black (really impressed with this, review coming up!)

MAC MSF in Dark
MAC Breezy blush
MAC Brow in Spiked

NARS Lipgloss in Metis (an HG nude gloss for me! and Sheenie!)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Match of the Day (and OOTD)

No, not the footie programme (though I watch more of that than I should - a long brekkie with Bartimaeus on Sundays over MoTD has actually become one of my pleasures. My word, what has become of me?)  Rather, an idea Bartimaeus himself came up with, having become familiar with the acronyms NOTD and OOTD via my blog. Since I spend more time accessorising my outfits than I do putting them together, why not focus on that as a "Match of the Day," Bartimaeus opined. I think it's a brilliant idea, so here's my first go.

This is the outfit:

Black/white (almost grey) "spirograph" print dress from Oasis, leggings from Peacocks, dark green cardigan from Zara.

The print, so delicate and lovely I think!

And I wanted to go for a whimsical enchanted forest type theme, so accessorized with the following:

Unicorn necklace, Etsy.

My favourite earrings from fair trade store Aarong in Bangladesh

Somewhat battered pewter leather pumps, Office

What do you think of this new feature - like an OOTD but with extras?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mists and Mellow Cobwebbiness (arachnophobes: spidey alert)

It was an incredibly misty, dewy morning this morning. It was just that perfect kind of mist that's light enough to hang on spiderwebs, which in turn makes the world look like it's covered in a fine layer of lace.

I do hate spiders. I'm terrified of them after years of getting rid of them for my arachnophobe sister (it's true, phobias can be contagious). But I'm completely fascinated by spiderwebs, which I think are beautiful. (When I was a goth, I even had a fishtail long skirt made from black spiderweb lace. Boy I loved that skirt).

I'm not the greatest photographer, and I certainly don't have the greatest camera (perfectly fine, just none of that HD SLR business), but I had to take some pictures. Sorry, fellow arachnophobes, for the spidey pic, but he looked so proud sitting in the middle of his web I couldn't resist. I think I'm less scared of spiders in their habitat (OUTSIDE) than I am indoors (WHERE THEY SHOULD NEVER EVER BE).

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Ups and Downs

It's been a while since I've done these!


I watched Notes on a Scandal two nights ago and Judi Dench's character said wistfully how we are all searching for our Other. Bartimaeus looked at me, and I looked at him. We both smiled.

Feeling like I'm getting so much momentum and confidence work-wise. Looking forward to teaching an exciting course this year (though I'm a bit nervous) and have a lot of ideas for new papers.

It's official: I'm now an autumn-winter person. I'm in tights, a dark purple floral tulip dress and cardigan today and I feel great.

Clubbing together with my sister on 3for2 on Urban Decay at Boots means I got the Book of Shadows 3 at a bargainous price whilst she got that and Naked. Swatched two of the darker shades instore and they were stunning, I can't wait to play.

Stomach feels flatter and waist is definitely more defined. It's great to finally see some results!


Pakistan Flood Apathy
I read a lot of twitter comments about 9/11 where people were in tears about it 9 years on. But are people in tears about the floods? Hardly at all. The economy of disaster is so skewed it depresses me. I'm Bangladeshi and usually the floods devastate my country. If it was Bangladesh suffering right now, I can't imagine how angry I'd be at global indifference. I'm not Pakistani (heck we have some difficult history) but I am depressed and angered, nonetheless.

Substance Abuse
Yesterday I was in Asda, behind a really young guy who had his passport at the ready and a five pound note in his hand to buy a four pack of Stella. Nothing else, just that. At 12pm. He was clean-shaven, not a tramp. But he was shaking. This morning my train is delayed because a young guy was passed out, at 9am. They have the whole of their lives ahead of them, but clearly don't feel they do.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Body Scrubs: Three Reviews

I have really dry, sensitive skin that flakes and itches all the time, so using a good (but not harsh) scrub every couple of days is essential for me. Here's a rundown of the last three I've tried: 

Origins Incredible Spreadable Ginger Scrub, £21.00

I got this for my birthday, and it's amazing stuff. It smells like a ginger and citrus cordial - it's spicy but definitely sweet and gourmandy too (just how I like my scents). It's oil-based so I do have to wash the tub down properly afterwards (my mum has osteoarthritis and an Origins induced fall would not be good) but it's fantastically moisturising as a result. The scrub grains are very scrubby - just right. It's not one I'd repurchase because it's too pricey for me to use on a day to day basis, but it's excellent and I'm going to struggle to find a better one.

Bliss Body Buff in Vanilla and Bergamot, £28.00

This is like a scrub, but used on dry skin before you shower. I actually think this might be a good technique if you end up buying a scrub that's quite lame (as I have in the past) - on dry skin you get a lot more friction and scrubbability. (Hey I have a PhD in English, it's practically a license to coin words). It's a fine-textured scrub but using the dry skin method it's really smoothing. It feels like there is salt in it, because it washes off very easily and my skin was left satiny-smooth. The scent is wonderful, like vanilla rooibos tea, soothing and aromatic, and it also lingers on the skin for a few hours. A lovely gift to receive, but um, not one I could justify purchasing for myself. £28? For a scrub?

Boots Extracts Fairtrade Mango Sugar Body Scrub, £7.75

This is a product "dupe" for Body Shop's Mango scrub, but at almost half the price for a LOT more product. In fact the scent is nicer - the Body Shop one smells a bit like rotten mangoes to me. But despite that bargainous fact, this scrub left me "meh" because I don't actually like either. It's not scrubby enough and  the oil leaves an unpleasant film on your skin (the Origins one doesn't do this). It's a big tub but I wouldn't repurchase.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Prints Charming

I am a lover of quirky and whimsical prints. The more of a story it can tell, the more I love it. It makes me think of Roland Barthes's idea that clothes can be narratives, that they are written texts on the body to be interpreted and decoded. Perhaps not so much the case on the day you schlep to the supermarket in your gym gear (though that tells a story in itself) but I think if you are into fashion or style you want your clothes to say something about you.And prints are one of the simplest ways of expressing individuality and personality in clothing.

So here are some of my most beloved prints in my collection:

The very bottom grey animal print (my beloved Paul and Joe Sister dress I ordered all the way from Paris), the fourth rabbit print (obviousement), the second bug print (which looks like an innocuous leopard print from afar, and is much creepier up close) and the fifth Liberty print are my absolute favourites.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

FOTD: Soft Pinks and Gold

I've veered a little out of my colour comfort zone of late with a new cardigan purchase in coral pink. I loved the heart embroidery and thought a new colour would help refresh my outfits. My mum said immediately "that colour isn't you," my sister opined that "it's surprisingly not that bad" and Bartimaeus loved it. You can see a little peek of the cardigan in the below picture, but it is from New Look here. Much as I wanted to love the mint version with the lilac hearts it was far to pale a pastel for me and just looked wrong. The coral pink version can look a little too sugary on me, so I like to add some leopard print and bigger earrings to stop it looking too saccharine. I love the hairband below, it's years old. It's quite wide and always makes me feel quite Brigitte Bardot when I wear it.

Anyway to coordinate with the cardigan, I rediscovered my favourite all time eyeshadow: MAC's Expensive Pink. I cannot tell you how many times I've been complimented when wearing this shade. It's just amazing for women of colour. It's a duochrome gold-pink and has so much depth and richness and the wonderful Veluxe Pearl velvet texture. I paired it with the Bobbi Brown Chocolate Shimmer Gel Liner my sister bought me (in a gorgeous set with the Black Liner, a brush and a mini eye makeup remover that I think is hands down the best remover I've tried). Paired together, it's a soft, natural look, less defined than my usual black flick+shimmer shadow looks. The Chocolate Shimmer liner reminds me a lot of a more intense and longlasting version of one of my favourite MAC kohls, Teddy. Both have a bronze flecked shimmer that really brings out the different tones in dark brown eyes.

What I wore:

MAC Moisturecover Select concealer

Urban Decay Primer Potion
MAC Expensive Pink eyeshadow on lid and lower lashline
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Chocolate Shimmer
YSL Faux Cils mascara in Noir Radical

MAC MSF in Dark
MAC Cheery Blushcreme
under MAC Springsheen
MAC Brow in Spiked

Clarins Lipgloss in Coral