Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Inayah Collection's Sample Sale

I'm a big fan of modesty wear which caters to customers looking to be modest and yet stylish. Although the bigger brands in the high street and Western catwalk are beginning to expand to provide modest clothing, it can still be a hassle for those of us looking for something which covers us, whether it is a pretty abayah or just a modest dress or skirt.

Inayah Collection is one of the bigger brands which I follow, which primarily focuses on simplicity with modesty, and has a large following which is popular with a lot of young women looking for stylish hijab outfits. I've posted about this company before, and my opinion hasn't changed - I love how this brand has evolved with the fashion trends and has compromised in their styles.

I recently saw notifications on the Inayah Instagram page which was advertising a sample sale week during the holidays for their products, which I thought was great as their products are only sold online. I emailed the company for a time slot to visit, and went down today with a friend to see what was on offer.

There was surprisingly a huge range of outfits, scarves and abayahs available - most of these are on the websites at full price still - but at the sample sale a lot of these were about half price or less - I loved this maxi dress which was reduced in price by quite a lot and was tempted to buy it (but didn't in the end because I couldn't find my size!)

This is what I bought, a few dresses and scarves at amazing prices (the scarves were only £3 and £5 each!) and which I know I'll be getting wear out of!

If you're looking to attend the sample sale with Inayah, and you're around London area in the next day or two, email and you should hopefully be given an appointment slot - I highly recommend a look - it's the Christmas sales after all!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Meet and Greet Blogger's Session with Ather Shahzad

I was lucky enough to get invited to a blogger's meeting last weekend, to meet the legendary fashion duo Ather Shazad, who are one of Pakistan's biggest stars in the fashion industry. The meeting was over tea and cake at The Tea Rooms in Fleming Manor, in central London, so it was an ideal place to be!

They are known for the seamless services which provide everything many fashion shoots, brides and fashion campaign require, being responsible for makeup, styling, selecting the model (which is mainly dealt with by Shazah Raza) as well as the actual photography (taken care of by business partner Ather). They're also known for their bridal services (which is where I initially have heard of them a good few years ago, as I have a few friends who have used him for their wedding days!).

Duo Shahzad and Ather
The event was mainly a sneak preview of Shahzad's make-up and styling skills (Ather is pretty shy so hid a little!), with a Q&A session and tips from the makeup artist himself, in advance of his Masterclasses which will be taking place in London, Edinburgh and Manchester in January 2016.

We discussed Shahzads' love for makeup and his history - he was 17 when he started doing makeup on others (and was doing photography initially with his friend Ather at the same time!) and began to get clients because of his talent. He's worked not just in Pakistan but for several designers for fashion campaigns, for the Western stars and for Bollywood, and has a variety of makeup styles - although these days he prefers soft, warm colours like peaches and golds, particularly when it comes to doing bridals.

We then were able to see Shahzad's talent on a model - he showed us one of his makeup looks and stylings on model Siarah who looked stunning. I really liked the fact that nothing looked OTT - everything looked very naturally, the foundation looked natural (no cakeyness!) and the whole look fused well with the outfit and jewellery.

Shahzad then took us through his steps - what he did and how to achieve the look - nothing was heavy or complex, and it looked very well done.

Tips from Shahzad:
  • Less is more! Too many girls use too much contour, too much foundation, too much heavy makeup - do what suits you and keep it more subtle.
  • Focus on one feature to emphasis - smokey eyes with a soft lip, or dramatic lips with lighter eyes. Sounds obvious but it's a classic rule for Shahzad when it comes to makeup.
  • Experiment, play around with colours and styles!
  • Lighting is EVERYTHING. You can have bad makeup and still take a good photo, but if the lighting is bad, no matter how great the makeup is, the photos can still come out badly.
  • For hot weather - use a water-based foundation - Shahzad sometimes uses a old-fashion method of Kryolan pancake foundation mixed with water for a very thin base.
  • Use a good cleanser for your skin - recommends the Creme de la Mer skin range and also Mac cleansers.
  • Don't over highlight, and make sure you apply on the cheekbones and not underneath on the cheek area.
We were then given our goody bags (yay!) which had a new range of makeup which is being released by Ather Shahzad for a brand called Luscious - it is already on sale in Pakistan and will soon be sold online in Sephora and Beauty Bay, which make for excellent accessibility for American and UK customers. This is the first makeup range from a Pakistani makeup artist and it is also the duo's first business venture in the UK, which I think will certainly be a hit amongst the make-up lovers in this country!

We were given quite a lot of makeup to try out - a lipstick palette, a lipgloss palette, an eyeshadow palette and blushers - which were in a beautiful range of colours and in matte and shimmery.

The lipsticks and lipglosses all have names which are named after famous models that the duo have worked with - such as Mehreen (syed) Iman, Cybil (Chowdry) and so on - which I thought was a lovely touch. I loved the blushers as well, beautiful tones which work well on darker skin - Shahzad explained that it was not just for Asian skin tones but black skin tones as well. Being one of the first makeup artists in Pakistan to work with black models as well, he understood the need for colours which suited darker skin tones as well.

You can see my haul below - I'll be posting swatches and reviews in a separate post but from my initial try-outs I love the beautiful colours and pigmentation!

It was really lovely to hear about Shahzad's experience in the industry - having seen his fashion campaigns with various labels in the last ten years (or more, as I've seen a lot of his pictures in magazines as a child as well!) it was pretty amazing to hear his inspirations.

I really enjoyed the event, as it was not just an opportunity to meet the stylist but also fellow bloggers - there were a few beauty editors, Pakistani fashion bloggers and enthusiasts to speak, and it was really fun to talk to them about blogging and the fashion world. And of course, we all took the time for a selfie!

Photo credits - Shahid Malik

I would definitely recommend making the most of this makeup class, mainly as the makeup I saw was pretty well done and it's worth learning if you are interested in makeup, either for yourself or for a career as a makeup artist. Being one of the icons in Pakistani makeup, it's one to go for, particularly as these classes are one-off so won't be repeated after the New Year.

You can buy tickets here for the classes which are taking place in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Organisers: The Makeup Room
Makeup: Shahzad Raza
Hair: Shamalah Hairstylist 
Model: Sairah Khan
Wardrobe & Jewellery: O'nitaa London
Photography: Shahid Malik
Co-ordination:Zaf Shabbir
PR: Enigme Internationale

If you're not looking to attend the classes, check out the makeup line and let me know what you think - the prices are very reasonable and I'll be keeping an eye out for more!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Bride Couture: Colourful Bridal Displays at Texheeb London

I saw this lovely window display recently at designer store Texheeb London and loved the range of colour, which are ideal for weddings, receptions or even henna events for something a little different.

I find it interesting that the bridal trends are working slower than the formal trends - I have seen a few bridals which have the lengha-choli style outfits or just shorter shirts, but a lot of bridals both on the catwalks and in stores still have the longer-kameez-with-lengha trend, perhaps because thats the styles that brides are still going for.

I love how colourful these all look together, and as someone who loves the longer-hemline outfits, I'm glad these are still being showcased!

Monday, 7 December 2015

BOLLYWOOD ISHTYLE: Bajirao Mastani's Dazzling Mughal Dresses

Next week sees the awaited release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest luxury epic, 'Bajirao Mastani', featuring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra, which I'm looking forward to after his last feature, Ram-Leela (with the same trio!)

As always with SLB films, the outfits, jewellery, sets and dances look as amazing as expected, and there's plenty of anticipation for the two main actresses and how they'll play the two Queens in the movie. Set in the 1700s in the Maratha empire, the costumes, which designed by Indian designer Anju Modi, look amazing, and you can really see the designer's creativity.

While I'm not sure what to expect for the storyline of the film itself, I LOVE the costumes and style - there's a range of styles from lenghas, pishwas and nine-yard saris, complete with the luxurious jewellery and details.

One of the first outfits I've seen if from Deepika's song Deewani Mastani, where she is trying to impress the king with his first wife in audience - I loved the take on this outfit which looks elegant yet feminine - especially the turban cap she's wearing which is draped with jewellery.

(This song is apparently the director's tribute to classic movie Mughal-e-Azam's timeless song 'Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya', particularly in the way he emulated the mirrored tiles in the ceiling to show the dancing and swirling of the heroine!)

I love the jewellery she's wearing as well, it could be seen as some as too much jewellery but I think it works - it's balanced out with very simple makeup and hair and a a flowy outfit which balances it out, and it also adds a lot of elegance to the look.

The outfit itself is a 'pishwas' style outfit - a long flowy jacket and dress which is less like an anarkali and more fitted yet flowy - complete with sharara bottoms (two-legged flowy pants) which flow nicely with her dance. I think the colours were lovely too, although it does blend a little too much with the background details rather than standing out.

The other main song I've seen is the duet dance Pinga between the two actresses, which has been compared to Devdas' famous 'Dola re Dola', both which have iconic dance moves between the two actresses in the films. In this song, the women are wearing a traditionally-draped Marathan nine-yard sari, complete with jewellery and flowers in their hair, which looks very well done.

I have to admit though, I was a little less impressed with these outfits - while the style is lovely and suits them, they don't stand out that much and the colours are too similar to each other, there's no iconic styles to them which differentiate them or make them stand out.

I also though that the updo suited Priyanka's face than it suited Deepika, but again the jewellery works well with it and I love the contrast of green bangles added in.

I wasn't able to find many more pictures of the outfits in this film apart from the official images, but I'm sure we'll be able to expect a lot of beautiful pieces once the film is released - below are some of the ones I did manage to find!

I really liked this outfit which I also saw in the trailer worn by Deepika - there's something very regal about it, which also reminds me of the old-style, 'Begum' outfits of the past, which Deepika pulls of well. The outfit is mainly draped shawls and scarves but it looks great and not fussy at all.

Another few outfits I found worn by Deepika are below - again these are soft colours paired with luxurious jewellery and some seriously beautiful embroidery on the outfits - it's all about the detail here and you can see how carefully each look has been put together. I really like how Deepika's face is kept natural - no garish bright lipsticks or colours, just natural glow complimented with gold and pearl jewellery.

Similarly, Priyanka's character is just as ornate, but perhaps a little more sober and mature - she is meant to be the first Queen after all so her outfits are a little less ornate and playful than Deepika's, but the detail is still all there. With her outfits you can see the rich fabrics, the less heavy jewellery which balances her look and makes her look more Queen than bride (in Deepika's case).

I'm liking what I'm seeing so far from this movie, and I'm sure I'll find more - I'll reserve my comments about the actual film until I've seen it, but I'm sure that Bhansali's done an amazing job as always. My favourite outfit so far have been the one from Deepika's song Deewani Mastani purely because it's a funky take on a traditional outfits, but I do love a lot of the saris I've seen as well.

Are you looking forward to this film? Which outfits to you like?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Curly Fry's Shopping Therapy! Contour and Lipstick fun

I haven't been going too crazy with makeup purchases recently, mostly because I've been trying to use up the makeup and I'm also a makeup addict and end up spending waaaay too much money when I go shopping!

These are a few purchased from my weekend, hubster and I have been saving up for potential holidays/pretty dresses so I've been curbing my spending a little, but I couldn't resist these (mostly) drugstore buys.

I'm really pleased to see that Nyx has come to the UK via Boots and Selfridges, especially as I have a lot of their products which I previously ordered from America,

I'm also looking forward to using the two Makeup Revolution One Blush sticks below, which are really creamy and perfect as a blusher, liptint or contour stick. I've already used them both and love the colours.

Have you tried any of these?

Saturday, 7 November 2015

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: The Colourful Printed Chinyere Kurta

I went to a dholki night a few days ago for my best friend's younger brother who was getting married (it's amazing how the younger generation have grown so quickly, I feel old!) and thought I'd go for a simple but comfy look.

Out came one of my newer purchases from Chinyere at a local mela in the summer, one brand I love and will always be loyal to because of how wearable and funky their designs are, not to mention their reasonable prices. I bought this in the summer time for barbeque season, but never got around to wearing it (downside of having too many clothes!) - so it was perfect for this dholki.

This is the outfit, it was mainly colourful prints in blue, red, black and green, with a colouful necklace and printed yellow sleeves. I don't often go for something this colourful but I loved this, and thought it was ideal for a warm night in (even though it was freezing outside!) I also really liked the beading detail on the neckline of the kurta, which made it feel very Pakistani in style.

I decided to pick out the royal blue for my accesssories, but kept it relatively simple - plain blue clutch and shoes, and threaded bangles - all about comfort here! I also didn't want to go overboard as it was a simple event (not to mention the 'haldi' night for the groom, which meant potential flying liquids everywhere!)

This is how I wore the kurta, I paired it with plain white trousers which felt summery but very comfortable, and also bought out the colours. I also opted for simple eye-makeup and rich red lips - always a must for me!

I managed to get my mehndi done by one of the guests at the dholki, which was lovely for me, especially as I haven't had it done in ages and keep meaning to practise on myself. It's already come off after less than a week, but I can't complain!

I loved wearing this outfit, it was comfy and very simple, and perfect for a function like this. It's not quite the short kameez fashion that is in at the moment, but I think the white pants and the beautiful print definitely worked together and looked on-trend. I also loved that it worked so well with my hijab, as one of my problems with colourful outfit is finding a scarf that doesn't clash!

Monday, 19 October 2015

LOVELY HIJAB: The Sugar Scarf Fashion Show by Ilham Echenta

I recently attended a fashion show in East London, showcasing designs of scarf company Sugar Scarf by reknowned Malaysian deisgner Ilham Echenta, which I had seen promotions for so was quite interested to see. Happily enough, the fashion show was quite local for me, and it was nice to see so many other bloggers, vloggers and women interested in modesty-wear at this show.

We started off with appetisers and drinks before the show started, as well as being given some lovely little bracelet tags with the 'Sugarscarf' logo on it, as well as goody bags when being seated!

The hijab styling themselves were quite simple and focussed on the colours and embellishment of the scarves - most of the models wore black to accentuate the scarves. I loved some of the simple, well-tailored abayahs and maxi dresses some of the models wore, although I don't think all of the outfits worked - but they did work on making the hijabs stand out. There was also a good range of colours and styles to appeal to most hijab-wearers.

Among my favourites were the pastel-coloured scarves, softer designers with pretty flower and lace pieces one sections, which I thought were a really nice touch.

There were also darker shades with embellishment which I thought looked really lovely - perfect for a night out or for dressing up an outfit with a little bling.

There were also a lot of turban-style hijabs, varying in styles, embellished with beading, necklaces and wrapped in different ways. Even though I don't wear a turban hijab myself, this is certainly becoming a big trend in fashion so it was interesting to see this reflected.

There were also very heavily embellished scarves - I thought these were great as it's not often you find dressy scarves which you can wear for weddings, Eids or other special occasions. I also like the fact that they can be draped in different ways to show off the sparkle - makes a change from hijab-jewellery or hijab pins!

Overall, I think this show was pretty interesting and showcased a good range of colours and styles - in today's fashion circles the hijab is certainly becoming a big thing so it's nice to see this up-close.

The CEO of Ilham Echenta and the CEO of SugarScarf were also both present at the show, which was also lovely as it gave us an opportunity to meet them and speak to them.

We also got a generous goody bag to take home, with a beautiful cherry red liquid lip cream (I've worn it twice already!) and a beautiful satin black scarf from the collection. I thought this was pretty generous and a great way to promote the Sugarscarf brand - I'll certainly be styling my Sugarscarf and posting very soon!

As a hijabi blogger, I'm always looking out for new hijab and scarf brands, and different ways to incorporate modesty-wear into my day-to-day fashion as well as with my Asian outfits. I loved the different ideas from this show, and the fact that you don't always have to rely on jewellery bling if you want a simpler look, or even if you just want a different style. I'll be keeping an eye out from more from this brand, and I'd love to try out some of these styles (although they won't all suit me!), and it's nice to see hijab being shown in a more fashionable way.

What did you think of these? Would you wear any of them?