Monday, 28 February 2011

A short wishlist

I'm on a severe spending ban, but there are a few things are on the list for spring/summer 2011:

  • peter pan collar dress (not too high-necked)
  • Prada-esque scene print dress
  • some burnt orange in my wardrobe (tick, thank you Primark!)
  • some dark green flats
  • gold toned necklace with charms and cream pearls (possibly a teacup one!)
  • very skinny belts in wine, tan and black
  • a new small tan cross body leather bag that's not too heavy but is sturdy
and pretty much all of these

    Friday, 25 February 2011

    NARS Lipgloss Friday: Misbehave

    I've been a bit quiet this week but getting back on track now. Today we have one of the glosses from my Crazy Heart set that my sister got me for Christmas. This is a stunning sheer red gloss with gold and red microglitter. It looks so glossy on the lips and is a very easy way to wear red. I think it'd look amazing over the Sleek Scandalous pout polish from their Valentine's collection.

    Closeup of the shimmer;

    Bet you're getting sick of my face from this one shoot!

    Monday, 21 February 2011

    Happy International Mother Language Day

    Today this song is in my head,  hymn to the martyrs of the Language Movement, who died this day in East Pakistan in 1952. The Language Movement was formed to protest against Jinnah's declaration that Urdu alone would be the national language of Pakistan, despite the majority speaking Bengali. It was the start of resistance against the Pakistani state that would result in the formation of independent Bangladesh in 1971. I love this song, it is solemn and beautiful and declares that we will never forget the blood spilled by our brothers that day.

    It's also appropriate that today I'll be reading poetry commemorating Soweto with my students, the uprising provoked by language policy in apartheid South Africa. Language is a site of political ownership and control as well as cultural and personal expression. It's a joy to speak the language you choose to, but it isn't always a given right that can be taken for granted.

    For the right to speak your mother tongue, and for those who have been or are being denied that right, I wish you all happy Mother Language Day.

    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    MOTD: Pumpkin Pie

    So yesterday I did an outfit of the day featuring my new Primark pumpkin dress. But the accessories especially pleased me, so here is a Match of the Day devoted to them!

    the outfit:

    the accessories:

    Headband, Oasis

    Earrings, Accessorize
    I love this necklace, one of my favourites:

    Necklace, Topshop

    Tights, Gap, shoes, Clarks.

    Friday, 18 February 2011

    NARS Lipgloss Friday: Rose Birman

    Today we have the first NARS lipgloss I ever purchased. Suffice to say, it was love, and we have never looked back. This is a beautiful browned dark red, very easy to wear, but striking. It reminds me of a more pigmented version of Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick (one of my first lipsticks ever!) To be honest, of late I haven't worn it enough (perhaps I do have too many berry glosses in my life!) but with some new warm colours in my wardrobe I think I'll be pulling this out more.

    Thursday, 17 February 2011

    OOTD: Pumpkin Pie (Or, What Would a Geek Wear?)

    This outfit has been inspired by one of my favourite bloggers, Tania of What Would a Nerd Wear. I love her use of warm colours in her outfits, the feminine, quirky and bookish slant to her outifts, and that she reuses elements of her wardrobe creatively. I also love that she's an English lit. PhD student in the US, in some way I think our lives are parallel.

    Rust and pumpkin shades have been having a resurgence recently and Tania's use of the colour has had me itching to incorporate some into my wardrobe too. I love her colour combinations!

    So here is my take on pumpkin, courtesy of Primark. I do appreciate it when Primark reads my minds and supplies a dress I have in my mind for £11! The tights are not black as they look but a deep aubergine - my favourite colour of all time:

    Pumpkin jersey dress, Primark, cream tee layered under, Dorothy Perkins, oatmeal heart pointelle cardigan, Primark, necklace, Topshop, earrings, Accessorize, hairband, Accessorize, plum tights, Gap, cherry shoes, Clarks.
    My footwear may not be to your taste (particularly if you are a devoted heels-wearer!) These are also inspired by WWANW (I'm sound like such a stylestalker!), in particular, Tania's burgundy mary jane clogs above. I love the kookiness that a pair of clumpy sensible shoes brings to a girly outfit.  I'd never have a black pair mind (they'd be ugly-ugly!) but the patent metallic cherry finish of my Clarks Unstructureds makes me very happy. They remind me of shoes I had as a kid in primary school. And they're so comfortable and springy that I can merrily boing along in them all day, as a geeky rabbit is wont.

    Wednesday, 16 February 2011

    FOTD: Scandalously Sleek

    A second FOTD this week!

    This was my makeup on Valentine's Day, I didn't do anything of note (I was teaching and Bartimaeus was doing the same 130 miles away) but I wanted to use my new Sleek blush and pout polish and use my Avon silver liner more subtly!

    The Sleek blush is beautiful, and I strongly encourage you to get in before the limited edition stock dwindles away (it's supposed to stop being available today, so run!) It looks a scary bright matte red in the pan and it is very pigmented (apparently a NARS Exhibit A dupe according to Wayne Goss) but when buffed into the skin it's so translucent and pretty. I used my new NARS Albatross over it and it's a beautiful combination. If you're scared of bright blush a highlighter can really soften the look.

    The Pout Polish is nice too, though a bit orange for me when used full-on. I've used it more like a stain here. And it is sweet tasting as well as scented, where other Pout Polishes are not! A bit of a surprise.

    The light's not great in this photo because it's 7am. Thank heavens for concealer!

    I'm wearing the rose earrings my mum bought me last year for Valentine's Day, they're so pretty and are hand carved.

    Scandalous Albatross (I wonder if those two words have ever been used in a sentence before?)

    Rhamnousia of Desi Girl Does Makeup, one of my favourite bloggers and something of an eye makeup expert, gave me some tips on wearing silver eyeliner subtly, so I lined my eyes with the black Supershock first, then lined over it finely with the silver, and then went over the edge closest to my lashes again with the black, and smudged a bit. I think it looks ace, and really opens up my (very sleepy) eyes! Thanks my dear!

    What I wore:

    MAC Moisturecover Select concealer

    MAC Paint in Bamboom on upper lids
    Avon Supershock Gel liner in black
    Avon Supershock Gel liner in silver
    Maybelline Colossal mascara in 100% Black

    MAC MSF in Dark
    Sleek blush in Scandalous with NARS Albatross buffed over the top
    MAC Brow in Spiked

    Sleek Pout Polish in Scandal

    Tuesday, 15 February 2011

    FOTD: Futurism

    This is a much more dramatic look than I intended for my amble around Tate Modern with one of my best friends and her beautiful daughter. But I was caught unawares by the intensity of the pigment of Sleek palettes (it's been a while since I used one) and I was determined to get some use out of my Avon Supershock gel liner in silver, which hitherto had been really stumping me by being so intensely pigmented it made me look like a drag queen. I probably still do, to some extent! There is something about thickly applied silver shadow with a dramatic crease colour that gets "I Will Survive" playing in my head. But see how pretty Downtown is with cool eye colours! (and note what happens when I take scissors to my own fringe - hint: not good things...)

    And the crease shade more clearly:

    MAC Moisturecover Select concealer

    Urban Decay Primer Potion
    Sleek i-Divine palette in Curious, purple and silver shades
    Avon Supershock gel liner in silver and black
    Maybelline Colossal mascara in 100% Black

    Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation
    Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in P Wine 25
    MAC Brow in Spiked

    NARS Downtown lipgloss

    Monday, 14 February 2011

    April in Paris

    If you love Valentine's Day, I hope you're having a lovely fluffy one. If you hate it, and want all the red and pink to disappear already, well this is just a Parisian springtime collage!

    Me, I hover somewhere between the two - I despise going out for dinner on V-Day, and I hate the commercialised rigmarole of compulsory panicked gift-buying and extortionately priced red roses. But I don't totally ignore its existence, but rather think of it as an excuse to be sweet to the one you love in a creative and original way. Not that one ought to need one, but hey. Life gets in the way.

    Saturday, 12 February 2011


    My heart is with Egypt today.

    When I was 12 my dad took us to Bangladesh in the middle of the coup when the dictator Ershad was deposed. We arrived during curfew, and had to be smuggled out of the airport in the back of a jeep to the barracks of my cousin's air force fiance.

    I have vivid memories of how it felt to be there at that time. There was a tremendous sense of elation, a sense of freedom and possibility, but it was that nervous kind of elation, tinged with trepidation. Will things really change? Will the future that was being so passionately fought for actually come into being?

    In Bangladesh, things got better (we finally got the democracy fought for in 1971, if riddled with corruption), then worse (under the military for 2 years), and better again. It's a struggle to keep your voice heard, when old, rotten power is everywhere. The Egyptians have courage and fortitude in abundance, as the last few weeks have attested, and I hope they keep hold of their bright new day, and that it flourishes into a new world of promise.

    Friday, 11 February 2011

    NARS Lipgloss Friday: Metis

    Perhaps not as exciting colour-wise as the previous Lipgloss Fridays, but this is a holy grail nude lipgloss for me. In fact, if you have pigmented lips and are of darker skintones, I suggest seeking it out. Unfortunately, it's only available online in the UK at NARS' website, but it's really quite perfect - enough taupe and purple in it to cool the tone of my bright pink bottom lip, but not so much I look dead. It goes with everything! There's a subtle shimmer which keeps it from looking flat, but it's not glittery, and it's totally non-sticky. It might be the first gloss I actually finish, I have only a third of a tube left!

    Thursday, 10 February 2011

    OOTD: Bold Florals

    This dress was another Christmas sale bargain, £10 from £45 from Oasis. I wasn't sure of it when it was full price (I prefer my florals ditsy) but the print contains red, purple, green and grey so I couldn't really say no when it was marked down (as they are all my favourite accent colours!) Plus I love the Oasis jersey skater dress shape (my spirograph dress is now one of my favourite dresses ever!). I think this dress would look much nicer with a skinny belt but I do not own one! I must get me down to Primark I think...

    Dress, Oasis, Cardigan, Zara, Shoes, Clarks, Necklace, Etsy

    Wednesday, 9 February 2011

    NOTD: OPI My Private Jet

    When I first got this polish, I was convinced I had a fake. Turns out it is genuine, but though I'd read about the differences between the old formula version of this colour and the new, it hadn't prepared me for the difference in real life. I've seen a lot of photos of the old version online and it's heartbreakingly lovely, a soft grey-black holographic. The new version is a deep brown-grey with silver glitter. Hmmm. I think expected a bit of holographic glitter play, if not the full on holo effect of the original, but this is only to be found when you photograph your fingers with a mighty flash. Sadly, that is not what I do for most of my day.

    I don't want to post any pictures of it under a flash because they'll just get your hopes up for something you don't really see most of the time. I have to say I did grow to like this more as the week went on, and as I started to accept it on its own terms, but I join the legions of other nail bloggers wishing for the original's return.

    In the mean time,  I think this needs some layering up! To try to recreate some kind of idea of the original, I'll be keeping an eye out for a silver holo polish to layer over it a la Helen of Just Nice Things.

    Friday, 4 February 2011

    NARS Lipgloss Friday: Downtown

    It's Friday, and I have another limited edition NARS gloss for you, this time from the Holiday 2010 collection: Downtown.

    Downtown is sticky for a NARS gloss - but I'm willing to compromise on that because the colour is so unusual. It's a very metallic mauve, that is shot with cool pink shimmer. It's almost futuristic in its way. Of course, my camera picks up none of that, but you can make out a bit of a sheen. It doesn't go so well with the warm colours I've used on my eyes and cheeks - but looks awesome paired with cool tones. I wore it with a deep forest green liner and it looked really pretty, and I think it would work with my almost-too intense Avon Supershock silver liner (which I haven't got to work for me yet, I'm actually a bit scared of how pigmented it is!)

    Wednesday, 2 February 2011

    The Rabbit Shopping Directory: "A"

    Accessorize now has its own website, as opposed to being tacked onto Monsoon's, and has a lot more stock on it (including all the new makeup range, which has so far eluded me in every Superdrug I’ve been into!) 

    Oh Anthropologie, Anthropologie, Anthropologie, how I love thee. (I did just type that out three times by the way, when I could've copied and pasted...) Before it reached our shores last year, I loved it so much I was moved to poetry:

    Oh dear Anthropologie, Your delightful femininity Does entrap my imagination And sets it ablaze With thoughts of outfits Of incomparable beauty. I gaze at your loveliness from afar. And my heart yearns for a UK store, As I do not dare order online For fear of custom charges.

    (Kids will be studying this in A Level English in years to come.) Now it has arrived, I still gaze at the pretty dresses, accessories, shoes, bags and homeware from afar because the hefty price hike (practically dollar price to sterling). But it is a haven of sheer, beautiful wonderment nevertheless, and quite possibly would be the Rabbit Mothership, if  that wasn't already Liberty (they have cake, ya see.) I'm a little scared of the cult-like US blogger following it has, (they even watch TV to see who's wearing "Anthro", shiver) but the website and the Regent's Street shop are loveliness indeed, and give me ample inspiration to "Anthro" up my outfits (and they have very good reductions, every Tuesday). 

    What, you might ask, is a supermarket doing in the Rabbit Directory? But Asda do some great basics and turn up quirky, charming pieces quite regular. I still kick myself that I didn't get my hands on this dress modelled by the gorgeous Passion for Fashion... (love her styling of it, sigh). And currently there's a collection by Barbara Hulanicki of Biba fame, featuring a cute purple butterfly print dress, so there's some fashion cred for you should you require it.

    If you're online and reading this, the chance is you've already bought something from ASOS. However, the reason it's in my directory is that I want to praise it for continually updating stock (every day, you can get a bit obsessive about checking if you're like me) and stocking lesser known brands as well as the more ubiquitous. Add to that an awesome beauty section, an outlet runs all the time (a bit like a permanent Brandalley - coming up) and recently introduced free delivery (and now returns too) on all orders (well, if you're prepared to wait a bit), and it's a demonstration on how online selling should be done.


    There are some very cute, girly dresses on this Irish site, and the prices are very reasonable too.

    The Rabbit Shopping Directory

    Once upon a time, the Rabbit used to be part of a well known women's website's fashion forum. She made some dear dear friends on there, who helped her through some very difficult times (and some of whom are "real-life" friends to this day). Then the evil Powers At Be decided everyone was having too much fun and decided to change  - i.e. ruin - things, and she left, (but that's another matter). Anyway during her time there, a member and friend called Curlsaloud built a shopping directory of her favourite shops. Her directory is still up - and fairly up to date. And it's a brilliant resource.

    But I wanted to a Rabbit version, of the online shops I browse most, which are all havens for things quirky and feminine. I hope to enable much purchasing! Over the coming weeks, I'll be doing an A-Z of my favourites, with a little mini review and link to each. When I'm done I'll put up a post with all the links. How's that sound? (If it sucks, sorry, because I've already written the entry for "A"!) I'm sure there are many lovely (especially independent) shops I've overlooked, so please do comment so I can add them to the final list!

    Tuesday, 1 February 2011

    Summery Shoes of Summeriness

    Shoes, Dorothy Perkins, £42

    Such a practical post choice for a freezing February day! These won't appeal to everyone but I can't stop staring at them. I was a teen and discovered heels during the 1970s revival that took place in the l990s, and I don't think I'll ever stop loving massive clumpy platforms as a result. I used to totter everywhere in them!