Saturday, 31 December 2011

Ring In The Old, Ring Out The New



Hope you've all had a lovely Christmas - mine has been very cosy and relaxing, and wonderfully restorative. Some of the lovely gifts I received included a Flowerpot Tangle Teezer which has been a revelation, and a bottle of L de Lolita Lempicka perfume from Bartimaeus, which is utterly bewitching.

The title of this post is a bastardisation of Tennyson, but seems apt when applied to a vintage post published on New Year's Eve! Allow me to introduce you to my first piece of vintage. I've written before about my reservations about the "retro revival" and full-on 1950s nostalgia. Nevertheless, there is a romance around the 1950s for me I will never shake, which goes back to my childhood watching Douglas Sirk films with my mum (there's something very Bollywood I think about his lush sentimental melodramas), all the films of Elvis, and pretty much anything that was filmed in Technicolor. And as a result I continue to aspire to recreate a different kind of vintage in makeup and outfits from time to time, a look that is part whimsy, part 1960s Bollywood, 100% Rabbit.



But I find vintage shopping difficult - the chaos and disorder of a lot of vintage shops, the forbiddingly tiny waists of proper 1950s frocks. Still, a few weeks ago I visited Bedford Place, a little street of independent shops, salons and eateries very close to my house in Southampton, and I stopped by Hepwrights', a vintage shop that's become the heart of this charming, quirky little corner of Southampton. I left after an hour and a half, after chatting to Mama Hep and Sophie for ages about Asian fabrics and vintage, and browsing and coveting away. It's such a warm, welcoming place, and Sophie and Mama Hep know pretty much everyone who drops in. Two Year 7s stopped by to just try dresses on in their break, two students stopped by just to say they'd handed in coursework, and I just fell in love with the place (as my presence there for 90 minutes attests!)



There are some amazing dresses, coats, shoes, as well as some pieces by local craftspeople (I love the rows of little wooden cottages representing the area I live in). But the magpie in me was attracted to the jewels in particular. I was restrained, picking up a reworked silver owl bracelet for my sister for Christmas, and this necklace for me. It is strung on silver chain which gives the clear beads a greyish tinge, which I love. They look like faceted pieces of ice, and I've been wearing this necklace for all my many Christmas social engagements (all three of them) and pretty much every other day. It goes with everything, but I particularly love pairing it with my marcasite snowflake earrings from Istanbul. The combination makes me feel very glamorous and wintry.



I sometimes daydream about the woman/women who wore it before me - did she wear it for special occasions, or was she a magpie like me, happy to wear sparkly stuff during the day? Which special occasions did she wear them to? Did she have a daughter who used to play with it covetously? And that's the magic of vintage, really, the tales bound up within the pieces, the unspoken histories...



Anyway, happy New Year's Eve, everyone! I'll be spending mine at home with my mum, as it's my dad's birthday and I never feel much like doing anything else on this day. We'll be having a Downton Abbey marathon and I'll be having a mega-Chinese roast duck fest (duck pancakes and roast duck and rice, my favourites). Hope you all have a lovely time ushering 2012 in, whatever it is you're doing.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Big Thank You giveaway - Kiko Makeup Milano! Extended!

I am having a bit of a hectic week work-wise and things won't calm down until AFTER Christmas. Oh it sucks to be me sometimes. However, it sucks less to be you, because as I won't be able to count entries, get my cat to pick a name (nice technique, Aysh!) or post anything until after Christmas, I've decided to extend the giveaway. It'll now close at midnight on December 28th!

 So get entering, if you haven't already!

http://thepostcolonialrabbit.blogspot.com/2011/12/big-thank-you-giveaway-kiko-makeup.html

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Kabir Chowdhury, RIP




On Tuesday, one of the great Bangladeshi intellectuals, Prof. Kabir Chowdhury, passed away at the age of 89. 
He was a true champion of Bengali secular nationalism. He, like all proper leftist nationalists, saw nationalism as a way to internationalism, and lived his beliefs through practice, chairing the Bangladesh Afro-Asian Writers' Union, the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Union, and the Bangladesh-Soviet Friendship Society amongst others. His loss is a profound one for all of us who share in the secular values he dedicated his life's work to preserving in Bangladesh.
I remember how warm and welcoming he was, the wide range of books, paintings and sculptures at his beautiful, modernist flat, how effusively he spoke about Bengali culture, secularism and the Language Movement. I was honoured to meet him, spend some time with him over tea, and benefit from his knowledge and wisdom.  I'm so sad I will never have that chance again.



Below is a transcription of my interview with Prof. Kabir Chowdhury, in Dhaka, on 23 March 2008.

KC: The call for the recognition of Bangla was first raised in 1948, by Dhirendranath Dutt. Sometimes we forget about that and focus on 1952, which is understandable because 1952 was the major eruption of Bengali nationalist feelings. Ultimately it was a political movement firstly for autonomy and later the demand for total independence. And it grew, unlike political movements in other countries, over the question of language and culture. This is quite a difference in comparison to other liberation struggles in other countries. Because of the West Pakistan military rulers’ insensitiveness and inability to understand the Bengali people’s total commitment to language and through language, culture, because they didn’t understand this, the situation got out of hand. There was nothing revolutionary in accepting two languages as state languages. Think of Canada, Switzerland and other places. But because of their ignorance they made tensions worse, and then of course later they made things even worse by committing genocide.

From culture it became a political movement. Major highlights were 1952, then 1969, the mass movement and 1970. And then the Liberation War 1971. I’m giving a talk on 1971 the war and our literature tomorrow at the Independent University, Bangladesh. Firstly I will talk about the liberation wars of all countries leave an impact on all cultures. That manifestation one can see in all walks of life. In art, in poetry, novels, everywhere. For example in the Soviet Union: I have visited all the regions of the Soviet Union of the earlier days, and I have seen beautiful sculptures and paintings. You can recall in the European context, Delacroix’s painting of Liberty symbolised as a woman, leading the people. She is holding a flag, running and people are running behind her. In Bangladesh there are many paintings and sculptures. You will know Shahabuddin, who has exhibited in many places in Europe. He is now an expatriate living in France. He has one picture, Muktijuddha, Freedom Fighter, with a sinewy, muscled, half-clad man with a flag running. I have decided to speak about the impact of liberation war, and specifically talking about Bangladesh liberation war and literature. There has not been a complete overvew done of the cultural impact of our liberation war, so I will begin by categorising the books that reflect all of this, historical accounts, memoirs, diaries, compendiums, novels.

Then I’ll come to literatures specifically – that is the main thing. In all branches of culture we find this reflection of our liberation war – poetry, grammar, short stories, novels, sketches. By extension, films, there have been many films about the war. But poetry is especially touching – in fact all the senior major appreciated poets, young poets, and unknown poets, all have written at least on poem on the war. There are hundreds of poems. Some highlight the glories and courage, some highlight the pain and sorrow and devastation. Shamsur Rahman’s very well known poem “Liberty.” There is another remarkable poem whose words we tend to forget – Written on the night of the genocide on 25 March 1971, just before he left for India, Ghulam Mustafa wrote a stunning poem. He printed a few hundred copies for publication, and then he fled to India. The poem is astoundingly beautiful. I have translated it. It is “Bangla Charo” “Quit This is one of the earliest poems which possesses a very militarised tone.

In terms of novels, Rabeya Khatun has written quite beautiful stories upon the war, Selina Hossain has written both short stories and novels. Anwara Shamsul Haq – Syed Shamsul Haq’s wife, has also written stories.

NA: What was happening in terms of culture in the Pakistan period? I know that Kabar was performed at Dhaka Central Jail – but was it performed anywhere else during that time?

KC: In Dhaka cultural things were happening, but things were also happening all over the country during this period. In 1952, Kabar happened in Dhaka but it was also performed all around the country. There is Mumtazuddin Ahmed, at that time, his plays were performed in the large open park in Chittagong, and his plays also expressed a strong militant sense.

There was a poem by Shamshur Rahman “Na Ami Jabo Na” “No I won’t go’ -  “I won’t go, I stay with them who are fated to die.” “Obishap Dicche” uses classical image of Greek mythology, the Tantalus myth.

Going back to novels, there are also Anwar Pasha’s Rifles Roti Women and Shaukat Osman’s Jahannam Hocche Bidhay and Neke Aranya. The West Pakistanis incompletely missed the meaning of Kritadaser Hasi. Missed in the sense, it was a symbolic story of the defiance of the downtrodden against the oppressor. And finally, the defeat of the oppressor in the sense of what is demanded he couldn’t get in the last chapter in the scene. But, they thought it was a novel featuring Harun ur Rashid, he was projected as a cruel sultan. That point was missed but because somebody from East Pakistan has written a novel about Harun ur Rashid, they gave it a prize.

Others who have written dramas include Abdullah al Mamun, also there is Syed Shamsul Haq’s Payer Awaz Pawa Jai. Zahir Rahain has written about 1952 but he didn’t live to write on the liberation war. He was a very talented filmmaker, but also wrote stories – Arek Phalgun, on 1952. As well as the celebrated Jibon Theke Niye. Like Osman, he wasn’t able to present facts in the direct fashion but had to use metaphoric images. Ahmed Safa’s Omkar, is similarly metaphorical - he uses an image of a dumb girl who witnesses all the repressions. She cries out at the end, finally, and then dies.



Wednesday, 14 December 2011

FOTD: Gothic Forties

This is one of my favourite looks of late. I know every blogger and their cat has blogged about Armani Eyes To Kill Intense shadows, but I love the Purpura shade I was given for my birthday (and I've pretty much decided it will be used in my bridal look! I know standard practice is to opt for a natural, fresh-faced type of look, but meh, I'm not really a neutrals kind of girl). It was  a bit of an accident, this combination. I wanted to wear my new Revlon Just Bitten stain in Twilight as I was wearing this Warehouse dress, and I wanted to go for a Dita von Teese-esque frosty, cool look to match its awesome gothic Forties-ness. Yup, me, about the other side of the skin tone spectrum to Miss Teese. I initially planned on a silver shadow, but don't have a nice one, so I used Purpura instead. I love it paired with the vampy lip!

check out the stripy hair!

Impossible to capture its complex loveliness, the interplay of gold, silver, pewter and purple...


Base:
MAC Moisturecover Select concealer

Eyes:
Urban Decay Primer Potion as base
Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in Purpura
Avon Supershock pencil in black on waterline
Maybelline Colossal Mascara

Face:
MAC Brow in Spiked
Sue Moxley Breath of Plum blush

Lips:
Revlon Just Bitten lipstain in Twilight


Enter my giveaway for sparkly Kiko goodies!!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

NOTD: Snowflake Nails!

After Tass's review of the Topshop nail pens I knew exactly what to spend part of my Topshop voucher on (I've only been hoarding it since last Christmas...) - nail art pens. I got the white and silver, as I usually just use a black marker for black nail art, but thought these would be useful. And they are! This was very easy to do, but so pretty and wintry. I used OPI Mermaid's Tears for the base shade, then used the white Topshop nail art pen for the snowflake, and put a silver dot in the centre. Then I topped it with China Glaze Fairy Dust (seriously, is this the prettiest top coat ever?) and a coat of Seche Vite to finish. Festive!

P.S. don't forget to enter my giveaway!

blurred, but sparkly!
please ignore the sheet marks :/

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Big Thank You giveaway - Kiko Makeup Milano!



So finally, the giveaway I've been promising. This is to thank you all for sticking with me through my long absence earlier this year, for your lovely comments, and for being wonderful people in general. I went back to Kiko Cosmetics in Stratford Westfield (the only store in the UK at present) and picked up the three items I'd picked for myself from the range on my previous visit - for you! It's a nice bit of seasonal sparkle, and a bit special as you can't really get hold of it that easily. You've heard me waffle about two of the three, but here's the lineup in full...

So what is in the purple shiny bag of shininess? Ta-da!!!






Two nail polishes, Kiko Hologram Polish no. 354 and an amazing layering polish Sparkle Touch no.270 (looks amazing over greens, blues and purples, and contains large and small hex iridescent glitter):


A reminder of the Hologram polish on the nail:


And a Double Glam liner in 05:



The rules:

1. You must follow my blog (just click on the Google Friend Connect button on the right hand side)
2. Leave a comment telling me what your "holy grail" eyeliner and nail polishes are!
3. If you RT the giveaway (my Twitter ID is nazneen372) include me in the RT to get another entry.
4. If you blog about this giveaway put a link in the comments on this post for another entry.
5. Leave your email address/blog address/some way for me to contact you!
6. This giveaway is open internationally, to everyone and will close a week today on Saturday 17th December at 22.00 GMT.

So get thinking about those HG products!!!! I look forward to reading about them (and then hunting them down, trying them, and probably buying them...)

Kiko Double Glam Liner 05 Swatches

I thought I'd post a comparison swatch with Undercurrent and show the purple shade in all its glory for you all. Here's the pencil(s?) itself:


The two shades you get, both equally stunning:


And a comparison of the teal shade with MAC's limited edition Pearlglide Intense liner in Undercurrent, my favourite liner of all time:

L: Undercurrent, R, Kiko
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a dupe! It's not often I say that, because I'm very finicky about colour and won't say something's a dupe if it's even a tiny bit off. But it's not! It's a dupe! Any colour differentiation you see is just shadow, they're exactly the same. This might not excite you hugely if you're a)not obsessed with the MAC liner or b)not in ok travelling distance of Stratford Westfield. But for me it's a bit of a eureka moment! £9.00 is a bit much for two small eyeliners perhaps, but the quality is excellent and I would happily pay a fair bit more to have that teal-shot-with-gold shade in my life.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Friday Frock: Teacups at the End of the Rainbow

These photographs were also taken a while ago, again, tell-tale absence of thick woolly tights - I promise I will start posting new wintry OOTDs soon, but I need to find a good location in my new house! I think we can agree from this mirror shot that this isn't it...

But, just how amazing is this Orla Kiely for People Tree dress? Green/maroon teacups on a crisp, thick cotton, 50s style with a bow at the waist, and POCKETS (which were a surprise, as they weren't even advertised on the description - why wouldn't you mention that a dress has pockets? it's a total dealmaker in my opinion).
 

Dress, People Tree, petticoat, Ebay, cardigan, New Look, ballet pumps, Office, earrings, Etsy.

My mind almost explodes at its perfection. I call it my "patriotic Bangladeshi teacup" dress, as the colours of the cups are so similar to the Bangladeshi flag (for this reason I wore it to see Akram Khan's Desh, I'm a bit literal with my outfits!)

print
Bangladesh flag!

Here it is summered up with a lovely yellow cropped cardigan, but I've worn it more recently with rust coloured tights and an oatmeal cardigan too. It reminds me of the quirky Anthropologie I used to love from afar, and this outfit reminds me a lot of some American fashion bloggers I follow.

It's for People Tree, so impeccably ethically made. And the quality and relatively affordable price has inspired me to buy their recently published book, Naked Fashion, because I'd like to know about the production chain and the process behind making ethical clothes. At this point in my life, I can't afford to shop 100% ethically, and I'm not sure if I would ever fully do so, but it's something I would like to know more about.

I accessorised this outfit with one of my favourite pairs of earrings, which I bought from Etsy a few years back. All the stones are semi-precious or precious, and just putting them on is like putting on a bit of sunshine. I'm 32 but I still love rainbows.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

FOTD: Best purple liner ever! Kiko Double Glam Liner 05

So this is a FOTD that looks like several other FOTDs I have done in the past. However, I had to post about this liner. I don't know what it is about my most beloved shade, purple, that makes it such a tricksy thing. It's tricksy to photograph purple, and it's tricksy to find decent pigmented liners and shadows anywhere. From MAC to NARS to pretty much every other brand, with only the rare exception, you'll find a stiff matte purple shade that's chalky and blue-toned, and a pinky purple shimmer that's a bit cheap and nasty looking. Purple liners are even more disappointing, either pulling blue, red or hardly showing up at all.

For ages I've been looking for a great purple glitter pencil liner, one that would be what I'd hoped MAC's Rave liner would be. For swatches of that, check Temptalia. It's pretty, but gritty and not as pigmented as I wanted.

Finally I've found it. It's actually the other end of the Kiko pencil I travelled to Stratford Westfield to purchase, the dupe for my all time favourite eyeliner, MAC's Pearlglide Intense in Undercurrent (please bring these back, please!) But not only is the teal end of the dual ended pencil a perfect dupe for Undercurrent (hallelujah!), the purple is amazing too. It's almost too soft, so this first look is a bit wobbly, but amazing colour payoff, and once set it doesn't budge or flake (so one better than even my MAC pencil). It's quite pricey at £9 for what are ostensibly 2 small pencils, but so very lovely. The only drawback is that you can only get Kiko from the Stratford store at present in the UK (but I might have a little surprise coming up shortly that might compensate!!! shhhh!)

Two other notes - I'm wearing a lipstick that everyone in beauty-blog land has raved about, namely Boots 17's Mirror Shine lipstick, mine here is Belle (though I've acquired a few others). These are indeed amazing - particularly if you don't want full on colour and want something more moisturising and glossy (like my beloved MAC Slimshines, RIP). Belle's a pretty, plummy nude pink shade, and as close as I can get to nude without looking dead, weird, or dead weird. It's a v useful nude shade for pigmented lips, hard to find on the high street.

Also hard to find on the high street, apart from at Sleek, are decent blushes for darker skins. But this Sue Moxley one is really pretty - again, plum, my favourite. I remember swatching it against a MAC plum blush and it coming close to duping it, so I opted for this one. I'd definitely recommend, the only thing I've tried from the range, but I'm really impressed. It's got a little strip of shimmer that's useful to change the look from matte to sparkly, too.



crazy eye, but check out the sparkle and pigment!


Base:
MAC Moisturecover Select concealer

Eyes:
MAC Paint in Bamboom as base
Kiko Double Glam pencil in 50 (purple end of course :) )
Avon Supershock pencil in black on waterline
Maybelline Colossal Mascara

Face:
MAC Brow in Spiked
Sue Moxley Breath of Plum blush

Lips:
17 Mirror Shine On Lipstick in Belle

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Give as You Live


The week before last I was kindly invited by the lovely Rhamnousia to an awareness event, which turned out to be for a thought-provoking and interesting project. Give As You Live is a way to give to charity simply by shopping online. Click-through advertising has been used for a while to benefit charitable causes, but with Give As You Live, the amounts donated by companies are linked to what you spend, and as a result are much more substantial. The company has raised over £2million for charitable causes to date, though Polly Gowers and her team are aiming for £120million - the amount it is predicted that will be spent online in the UK this Christmas alone.

What's really impressive is the wide range of retailers the Give As You Live team have got on board. Pretty much everyone from Amazon to Topshop and so many more, are participating and will donate to the cause of your choice if you spend money with them online. It works on the same principle as some other online points or rewards systems, but there's a neat addition in the shape of a downloadable Everyclick app that syncs with your browser, collecting money for the cause of your choice as you spend online without you having to even click through anything (I don't know about you, but I often forget to go on rewards sites before ordering stuff, only to kick myself afterwards!)

I'm just about to place a mammoth order with Amazon including the Kindle I've agonised over for so long, as well as most of my Christmas shopping, and I'm hoping it will raise a good sum for my charity of choice, which is Marie Curie Cancer Care, who offered my dad and my whole family so much support during his illness. But you can choose from any one of the many, many charities registered with the Charity Commission in the UK - including lots of smaller charities who do amazing work and would be really benefited by donations.

It's really a fantastic social business model that's really making a difference, and at this time of year, when we're all much spending so much anyway, I'd urge you to have a look, register, and pick a charity to support. The URL:

http://www.giveasyoulive.com/


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Rabbit Reviews: Johannes Cabal the Detective

The subtitle of this second novel in the Cabal series is "a wickedly entertaining comic fantasy." Well, if the EU start developing legislation on book titles (maybe rationing colons in academic publishing would be a start?), this book may be hauled up on mis-selling charges as this book a) does not contain anything that even raises an eyebrow, let alone anything that could be considered wicked b) is in no way entertaining c) is even less comic and d) can only in the most tenuous sense be described as part of the fantasy genre.

For fans of fantasy fiction, the Harry Potter/Twilight phenomenon has been a poisoned chalice. It's great that fantasy writing is now gaining the attention of mainstream publishers and that inventive new fantasy books are now coming out all the time. On the other hand, I feel like some books are now being "fantasied" up - given a quirky veneer, a bit of magical polish to sell, rather than containing and introducing the reader to an other world that feels and reads as if real.

The Cabal books are a case in point. The novels revolve around the figure of Johannes Cabal, a necromancer creation whom his author is deeply in love with. Cabal, the narrator repeatedly informs us, is a brittle, unlikeable fellow with an absence of ethics whose main characteristic is sarcasm. The narrator has to frequently remind us of these things, because the novel is so poorly put together that it's impossible to gather them from Cabal's actions or dialogue. (Also, is Jonathon L Howard a moody pubescent, that sarcasm is such a beguiling characteristic in a protagonist? Dry Sherlockian humour, perhaps, but sarcasm, really?)

Whilst the first novel focused on a diabolical circus and a play on Faust, this second novel hardly features any actual fantasy. Here Cabal is placed at the centre of an utterly improbable locked-door political murder mystery, a situation so contrived that you can positively hear the plot cracking under its strain. Only three examples of anything remotely necromantic or fantastic takes place in the novel - and one of those is in the clumsily dashed off addendum. Were it not for being frequently informed of Cabal's profession and the horror! horror! of it, and the fact that the countries at the heart of the political saga are Made Up Places with Weird Names, this would just be a tedious addition to the crime genre. It's so overwritten I could barely breathe while reading, as if the author believed layering adjectives and clauses would maximise the humour. The Agatha Christie-parodying gets old very, very quickly. In a series ostensibly of the fantasy genre, there's simply no magic. In terms of charm, flair, or even subject matter.

At this point, let me address the matter of Cabal's necromancy. I've read my Garth Nix, whose Abhorsen trilogy really renders necromancy as a terrifying and evil thing. But here, although we're frequently told that Cabal's occupation is evil, that he could be punished in horrible, horrible ways for what he does, that his experiments are beyond ghoulish, this horror is not embodied in what actually happens in the novels. The things Cabal does do not inspire horror in the other characters, or us. They're run-of-the-mill actions of a run-of-the-mill anti-hero in a mediocre book.

Which makes me think the pitch for this series went a bit like this:

Jonathon L Howard: I've got this great idea for a character.
Editor: Oh really?
JLH: Yeah. He's a misanthrope. And sarcastic.
E: Sarcasm, you say? Well, sarcasm's cool! Really cool. But... Jonno - I can call you Jonno, right? - we need MORE.
Jonno: More? Isn't that enough for a novel series? Ok... How about - that he's... amoral.
E: Amoral, misanthropic, sarcastic. Yup, readers will lap that up. But why not Twilight it up a bit? A sorcerer or something? That shizzle sells.
Jonno: Um, a sorcerer?
E: Yeah - maybe someone who brings back the dead or something?
Jonno: Er, ok? But he brings them back misanthropically and sarcastically, right? I really care that he's misanthropic and sarcastic.
E: Absolutely. He doesn't even have to, you know, bring them back. That's just gross. We'll just say that's what he does. They'll lap it up. Awesome. So here's your 5-book contract and massive advance.
Jonno: Er, ok... Great!

What's peculiar to me are the masses of highly positive reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and elsewhere. Am I missing something, it makes me wonder? Do long tedious descriptions of slapstick situations really "witty" make nowadays? It's a hard, hard thing to write funny. But it is possible, and because I know it's possible, I know this isn't it. Mr Jonathon L Howard, may I point you to another Jonathon, Mr Stroud, and suggest you try to learn something from the master of truly comic and truly fantastic comic fantasy.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Saturday, 3 December 2011

NOTD: Engagement ring manicure 1, Kiko Hologram 354

So I have this ring on my finger now, and I love it so much. As my twitter followers might have read, I've not worn a ring for over two years now, patiently awaiting this one to come along. So it's quite wonderful for me to look down and see my engagement ring, and it brings me joy every time I do. I'm one very happy Rabbit right now.

One of my dear friends, knowing my nail obsession, asked me if I'd found the perfect manicure to go with the ring yet, and though meant half in jest, it did get me thinking. What WOULD be the prettiest polish for this ring? Would it be a simple silver? A purple with silver glitter over the top? Join me on my journey of discovery...

As my first in this series, let me introduce you to one very special polish. I was very excited about the Kiko store opening at Stratford Westfield, because I'd read that Kiko does a dupe of my favourite eyeliner of all time, MAC Undercurrent Pearlglide Intense. And on that front, Kiko didn't disappoint (more on that to come). But generally it's a welcome addition to the makeup market - lots of different products and colours. Like Inglot, it's a bit overwhelming at first with so many products and ranges, but of course I gravitated to the nail polishes. I picked up two (very restrained Rabbit) and I've already worn this twice, I love it so much. It's a stunning lilac/gold duochrome foil that also has tiny red and green sparkles in it. It's mesmerising. In different lighting, it can be a metallic bronze, lilac, and a mix of both. The green sparkles are my favourite, and make this polish quite ethereal, but in a flashy kind of way. Totally Tinkerbell (who was very much ethereal in a bossy, flashy kind of way).

Wear and texture is pretty fantastic. This is two coats, and it's not too thick or too thin. It's the kind of foil that's diminished by a thick glossy topcoat, so I went without and it lasts chip-free for three days on me.

Obviously, it's also totally impossible to photograph in its glory. In real life, it looks like this but prettier. So much prettier. It's not the perfect polish for the ring, because it's gold rather than silver-toned, but still, I think they do look pretty together.




Sunday, 27 November 2011

Splurge/save - Topshop

As you may have been able to tell by now, I love all things shiny. Glitter heels are everywhere at the moment, but I've also spied sparkly dresses appearing in time for the festive season. Topshop are offering a few different options, but these two are my favourite from two ends of their pricing spectrum. Although I'm sure magazines would advise you to keep everything plain with a sparkly dress, I think it's more fun to play with textures and colours.

Rainbow Lurex Stripe Cross Back Dress, Dress Up, Topshop, £80

Multi Lurex Flippy Dress, Topshop, £30

Though both would be amazing for a night out, I think the most fun to be had with a sparkly dress would be to wear the £30 during the day, with a long-sleeved T layered under, a big scarf, longline black cardi, and jewel coloured tights. Shiny!


Glitterama



Friday, 25 November 2011

Friday Frock!: Scarlet Safari


Dress, Primark; vest, M&S; cardigan, New Look; belt, Dorothy Perkins; tan ballet flats, Primark.

The series (which I realise has been inspired by a number of bloggers who also post dresses on Fridays) is back!

And yes. It might come to your attention that these pictures were not taken that recently. The clues would be the intense, bright sun, the bare legs (it already feels like quite a while since I donned tights, despite our October heatwave) and the lush vegetation of my mum's garden.

Nevertheless, as we enter the dark days of winter proper, it's nice to remember exactly how lovely the rare real summer's day in England can be (this is totally the reason, and not the fact that one of my cameras is having lens issues and the other has a dead battery and no charger, nope). This was a work outfit - I love cotton shirtdresses in summer for work, as they look relatively smart but are also cool and comfortable. I love the deep red shade of this dress - the best kind of red on me - but I find red tricky to pair colours with, as I usually dislike pairing it with black. But I think the safari-inspired palette of creams and tans works nicely here with it. If you notice, the cardigan has black polka dots on it - I love this cardigan from New Look so much! It adds interest and quirk to any outfit.

To emphasise the explorer vibe, I opted for my beloved spinning globe pendant:

Necklace, Accessorize


And some lovely drop earrings I got years ago from Sainsburys, of all places! I like little drop earrings a lot, they frame the face very flatteringly, and aren't too much for day:

Earrings, TU at Sainsburys

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Rabbit Reading

Quentin Blake, Matilda


As you all may know, books are a huge part of my life - both in terms of work and fun. Last week, I ordered all my reading for the Christmas holidays - the time of year, apart from holidays proper, when  I allow myself much more time than usual on reading for pleasure. (Last year, I finished Wicked in three days.) And they've all arrived, all crisp, pretty paperbacks. I'm not sure I can replace the feeling of stacking up shiny new books (and secondhand gems) with the immediacy but virtual nature of Kindle-books. I've been going back and forth on Kindles, and I still cannot decide! I love the physicality of books - this afternoon I was sat cross-legged on my sofa, with a cup of tea and a huge history hardback cropped on my knees. I felt a deep sense of contentment, just like Matilda (surely the best ode to reading ever, including Walter Benjamin's essay "Unpacking My Library").

I've agonised about it so much I wish I'd just been given one rather than having to commit to the purchase myself. I can't quite bring myself to buy one myself!

Anyway, this is all a bit of a tangent to what I'd intended to write about, which was a short run down of what I'm reading at the moment, and what turned up in my little Amazon order of joy.



Ranajit Guha, Dominance Without Hegemony: History and Power in Colonial India

I say currently reading, but it's actually waiting for me at the British Library to be read later in the week. And I say 'read' but I'm not sure anyone's ever read this book (or many of his Subaltern Studies colleagues' works) cover-to-cover. Still, it gives you an idea of the stuff I have to read for work.



John Marriott, Beyond the Tower: A History of East London

I'm reading this as background for a project I'm working on on diaspora, religious faith and East London - but it's so well-put together and fascinating that it scarcely feels like work!


William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Bedtime reading at my mum's when I'm staying there during the week for work. I've read this countless times, and I still laugh out loud at points, and am completely charmed by this cult novel. If you've not read it but seen the film, you MUST read the book. It's so much better, and I love the film.



Jonathon L. Howard, Johannes Cabal the Detective

Bedtime reading at my house. I'm coming to the end of this second novel in the series, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'll be ordering the third. But more of that in a proper review soon!

Awaiting me over the holidays are:



Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London and Moon over Soho


Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches (the one I'm most excited about I think - I mean, magical academia??? written for me!)


Carol Birch, Jamrach's Menagerie (came upon a report of the real menagerie this novel is based upon in my research the other day, and had to add this to my order - it counts as research, right?)



Safia Minney, Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution - from first glance, perhaps not as text-heavy as I'd hoped but I hope it'll be an interesting introduction to People Tree and to the world of sustainable fashion, which I'm getting interested in both in terms of my buying choices and possible projects.

So, that's a few of the books in my life and the moment, and coming up. I'll do a review of the fun books as and when I finish them - the Cabal novel should hopefully be up very soon! (I really want it finished and done with!)