Thursday, 29 March 2012

GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES: Jewellery used as Hair Accessories

I've been looking at various hair accessories and jewellery which can be worn by brides for ideas for my sister, and also as ideas as something blingy that could possibly be incorporated as hijab accessories to make for blingy accessorising. I came across this picture by MUA Saima Akram which uses a pretty piece which drapes along the hair and across part of the forehead. I'm not sure everyone could pull this piece off though, and I think you'd have to have a larger face to be able to make sure this look proportionate. One alternative way of wearing this though, could be to wear it behind at the back of your hair (or scarf!) to make it feel less cluttered and pretty :)

Is this something you would wear?

Image from MUA Samia Akram

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

BOLLYWOOD ISHTYLE: Preity's Taj Mahal Romance in 'Bol Na Halke Halke'

This is one song (of many!) which I can have on loop in 'Bol na halke halke', featuring the beautiful Preity Zinta in her dreamy brown-eyed-ness. Looking beautifully vintage and colourful, Preity seems to bring back several eras of previous fashion trends, as well as older Bollywood songs, from her beautiful outfits, each of which have their own colours scheme, style and accessories.

First up in this song is this lovely fitted kameez and baggy salwar mix, which uses a fresh combination of rich green, royal blue and orange, which works very well with the gold work. I've seen these colours being used in the catwalks and the high streets today, and find it a very flattering colour combination, which doesn't need too much embellishment. I also like how Preity's make-up and bangles are matched to her outfit without looking too much, making this one outfit I'd love to wear!

 Next up is this sunny yellow suit with a colourful dupatta. I love gold jamawar prints on bright fabrics, and this is one example of how well it works (although I can't say I'm too keen on the dupatta - it reminds me of an outfit I used to have several years ago!). Again, this is a Punjabi style outfit which doesn't focus too much on any embellishment, but rather on the bright colours and the mix of blues and pinks against yellow.

I love how throughout, there is a beautiful mix of colours which are carefully accessorised, with small details picked out against rich fabrics. Below is just one example of a plain white suit which is completed with a pretty orange, pink and white dupatta, which has a glittery touch due to the work, and is finished off with pretty bangles.

This off-white lengha is another outfit which appeals to me a lot, from the mother-of-pearl detail to the swish of the skirts. I think cream and off-white is one of those colours which can look elegant on everyone, and is one of those colours which seems to have been in vogues for decades. In this scene, I'm reminded of the golden-oldies of the 50's and 60's, such as the beautifully made outfits in Pakeezah and the famous song Chaudhvin ka Chand, which show iconic flowy dresses in creamy whites and gold. I also like how Preity chose not to wear any accessories here, emphasising the simplicity of the look instead of it clashing with any jewellery.

I also like the old-style sharara which is used here, again, reminiscent of older eras which focus on the cut of the outfit. I also liked the use of lace to hem the dupatta (which my mum tells me was something they used to do back in the 60's and 70's), and the shade of pistachio green which looks surprisingly elegant.

Lastly is this black and gold outfit, which again,  uses the gold jamawar print on the outfit to emphasise the use of rich fabrics and colours. I like how there is an almost bridal look created here from the jewellery, which gives a result of something which almost seems as if it was from a photo shoot taken out in the fields. Again, Preity's make up is immaculate here, and the focus is on the cut of the skirt and fitted top, rather than any embellishment which the outfit has. I also like how it takes an underused colour like black and makes it look  very wearable.

  All images owned by producers/directors of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

The outfits in this song are a collection which will probably never feel dated. The film itself was only released around 5 years ago, yet the colours, rich metallics and beautiful accessories are something which feel beautifully classic. I'm sure that there is something for everyone in these outfits - they appeal to the various strands of South Asian culture - be it Rajasthani, Mughal, Punjabi or even modern fashion trends. Preity Zinta pulls off these looks very well, and looks, in my opinion, at her most gorgeous in this song, with her lovely brown eyes being accentuated, her rich brown hair and the range of colours which really shine.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

BRIDAL COUTURE: Elegance, Pearls and Smokey Eyes...

...always make a beautiful combination. And this picture is certainly one example of how to balance the whole look without going overboard.

I love the look of this 'bride' (not a real one, unfortunately, this is from a promotional shoot!), with the emphasis on beautiful jewellery and a traditional look. I also love the pink smokey-eyed look going on here, and the fact that the rest of the bride's face is kept fairly light, with am emphasis of a pink flush. Although it does help that the model is very beautiful! I really like the simplicity of hair and make-up here, with key features being high-lighted and a very regal style :)

What do you think of this look?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

MAKE-UP REVIEW: Sleek's Pout Paints

I've recently discovered lip paints by drugstore brand Sleek, usually found in Superdrugs, which does a whole range of colours in these 'Pout Paints'. Some of them were a bit too adventurous for me (blue or lilac just wouldn't suit me I suppose!), but I was interested in the pinkier shades, which looked quite pretty.

Here's the colours I ended up buying, a mid pinky-brown shade, and a deeper, fuchsia pink which appealed to me because it looked like a flattering colour, which would suit Asian skin pretty well. Although the tubes are not very big, there's not much that is needed per application (the tube says that you only need one or two drops on your lip brush).

I tested out both colours, they were fairly easy to apply and came out quite rich in colour and fluid to apply. What I also liked, incidentally, was the yummy smell that came with it, which reminded me of sweets. But that's less to do with how practical the lip paints actually are! Here's how the colours came out, they both looked pretty much the same as they do in the tube. I really don't like how some make-up products can be a bit misleading in colour, especially since I'm the type to test out colours at make-up counters or in the stores, and sometimes packaging for makeup doesn't always reflect it's true colour.

The Pout Paints pretty much only needed a couple of drops on a lip brush to apply to the whole lip area, and it's fairly even when applied. I mainly bought these because they are long-lasting, and don't come off easily, which is practical for me as I don't always have time to keep re-applying lipsticks during the day. Also, because I tend to drink a lot of water during the day, this is quite useful as it doesn't come off easily once applied.

I also love the fact that this is, after all, paint - meaning you can mix the colours to make different shades. I've seen in a few reviews of this product how some bloggers have used the cooler colours like blue or white to neutralise the pinkier shades to suit their skin tone, and it seemed to work for them! Here's one shade I managed to mix up with the light and darker pink I have, not sure I'd wear it as it's slightly too 'bubble-gum pink' for me, but I do love the concept of making new colours!

 Overall, I think this is a useful product because of the long-lasting factor of it, it seems to withstand wear from food and water, and it's very easy to apply. The price is pretty good, and although it's not a big tube, there's a lot of lip paint in the tube, so gives a lot of wear. I've heard good things about it overall, although I don't know anyone personally who has tried it, as I'm not sure it's their kind of thing. What I would say is that the colours are not all entirely practical, and some of them may be too bright or dramatic for some people - certainly I wouldn't wear the darker pink shade every day as it's too dark for my liking, and I tend to stick to natural, pinky colours. My verdict: a nice product to try, and great if you're looking for something bright and funky that lasts all day, although maybe not for a glamorous look!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Imani Studio comes to East London

Stockists Imani Studio has arrived in East London in Ilford, bringing a collection of Pakistani design wear with it. The store opened last week, so obviously I had a quick browse. For research purposes, y'know, obviously. There was a good range of designers in store, although most of the outfits were party wear and semi-casual wear, rather than the heavier stuff. I liked some of the dresses they had in store, the HSY was worth a good look and the Karma stuff was quite pretty too. What I liked was that a lot of the outfits were very wearable because they weren't too heavy, the work looked pretty good up close and the colours weren't crazy (I'm sure we've all had experiences of outfits with random colours matched together, lime green and hot pink is one such disaster in my case!) I've been told that there will be more outfits coming into the store, although the prices were a bit high, the outfits make for good eye candy!

You can see some of the outfits in store here as well, with some of the pretty pieces being modelled.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Bollywood Moments...

That awkward moment when you see your childhood fairy hero and realise it was just a dodgy costume and some questionable storylines :/

Saturday, 17 March 2012

HIGH STREET DESIGNS: Pink and Cream Dress by Khubsoorat

Saw this pretty dress today at Khubsoorat in Green Street, East London while out looking for wedding dress ideas for the sister, and thought this was a nice, yet simple outfit. I think this is one of those outfits in which the cut of the dress, and the bright colours are what makes the outfit. Would be perfect to wear to a summer wedding, especially if it's outside in the lovely sun amongst lots of flowers :)

Friday, 16 March 2012

COLOUR-COMBINATION LOVES: Forest Green, Mint Green and Cream

I'm always on the look out for colour combinations which uses colours that haven't been over-used in the fashion industry, as well as the high street. It's not always easy to find something new, and in some cases you'd be surprised where inspiration can be found, whether it's old films, colours found in nature, or just something you saw on the way to the shop!

I came across this magazine cover which circulates in Pakistan, featuring a bridal outfit on the cover in a lovely forest-y green, mint green and cream combination. I really liked this mix of colours, as it's not too bold, it's natural and quite flattering on a lot of skin tones. I know a lot of people who don't feel comfortable in bright colours, and are always looking for something which they feel pretty in without feeling too OTT. I didn't manage to find out who the designer of this outfit was, unfortunately (but if you know, please do let me know!), but I think the outfit colours are a great source of inspiration for anyone looking for something different yet also classic-y for their wardrobe.

Personally, I'm leaning towards softer colours these days (I've always worn bright or very deep colours!), simply because I'd like to try something a little different, and there are some soft colours which really suit Asian skin without feeling too harsh or bright, and I certainly think that this mix of greens and cream is one great example.

What do you think of this combination?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Aamina Sheikh and Ayyan Ali model for L'Oreal Photoshoot

I came across this photoshoot done for the make-up brand L'Oreal, by prominent Pakistani models Aamina Sheikh and Ayyan Ali recently, and thought it was an interesting shoot in terms of trying out various colours and looks on the models. Although not all the looks were practical (such as the luminous and glittery eyeshadowed look!), it's still an interesting way to use colour and make-up, and both models look beautiful.

Image Source

I'm not sure all of these looks appeal to me, simply because some of them are a little dramatic or unpractical to use in everyday make up. I do like the use of jewellery and accessory though, and the use of colour in these images are certainly something which are well put together. I love the fact that well-known brands such as L'Oreal are using models from Pakistan to promote their brand, and certainly I am seeing more and more ambassadors from the East in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh being used more often to promote brands like this. In this case, I think Aamna Sheikh and Ayyan Ali both look beautiful and elegant - while I wouldn't exactly copy their looks, I still think it's an interesting range of looks and certainly quite dramatic. What did you think of this photoshoot?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Blue Glass Trinket Boxes

Thought I'd take some inspiration from my other blog today (the 'arty-farty' one, as my sisters call it), and post about some of the pretty things I've come across over the last few months (so apologies if you've already seen this post!)

I love trinket boxes, jewellery caskets, pill boxes and glass jars of all kinds , so I couldn’t resist when I saw these translucent, dreamy blue glass trinket boxes (and one mauve one!). The poet in me thinks of water-like  jewels and intricate filagree dull silver, which promise to hold your secrets (and your diamonds) and offer possibilities with their petite bodies. So of course I had to buy them, and I got one for each of  my sisters and sister-in-law (and one for myself of course). I’m sure if you were to look at their contents now, each glass bauble would hold something very different from the last.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Wedding Ideas at the 'Calling All Brides' Decorum Wedding Exhibition

My sisters and I have been been doing a lot of research for one of my sisters' upcoming wedding, which will be taking place later on this year. As I'm sure a lot of you are aware, there's a lot of details to be considered with wedding planning, and there's always new ideas to look at; different things to try and a lot of researching and running around! One big part of the planning is looking at the wedding decor, which actual covers a big range of things, like table decor, stage decorations, flowers, chair coverings, favour boxes etc etc.

My sister managed to get us a few tickets to a wedding exhibition which was taking place in Wanstead this weekend. Although it mainly catered to English brides, the services which were being offered were still quite useful and applicable for an Asian wedding, and has some interesting ideas to look at.

Above are the table centrepieces which were one display, which had a very pretty spring theme to it. I loved how it mixed the pink and the green together well on the background of white, and how unusual the centrepiece for the table looked, which mixed crystal hangings, flowers and thick stalks.

Below is the actual table settings, which had various favour boxes, napkin settings and examples of ribbons and petals to decorate the table. I do like how this look went well with the table centrepiece without looking too cluttered, although it may not be to everyone's tastes.

These were some brightly colour cakes amongst the collection on display. The best bit was tasting the samples (I took the chocolate sponge one, for tasting and because I'm a bit of a chocolate fiend). Again, there were some very pretty cakes, and some that didn't appeal so much (the yellow one, while showed some adventurousness, wasn't something that any of us could imaging wanting! The cupcakes looked scrumptious though (although we weren't allowed to taste any).

Another big trend I've noticed in weddings over the last few years is chair decorations, which can be as simple as a brightly coloured ribbon to match the colour scheme, to ornate embellishments at the back of the chair to add to the decor. The ideas used here were catered more to the English style weddings - the decorator even stated that the ivy chairs were their most popular. These did look very pretty, but I imagine that these flowers would probably get drowned in a traditional Asian wedding setting with lots of colour.  It did give us some ideas of what colours went with the chairs and what looked nice overall, though.

I think this was probably the best part of the exhibition, the flowers! I'm a huge flower fan, having grown up for years with a mum who's a avid gardener. These were some of the bouquets and corsages on display, which were again, in a very spring-y collection of peachy orange, creams and various pinks. I think that the theme in these flower bouquets was simplicity - that is, sticking to a single colour and not making it too OTT, which worked because of the light colours. However, this is, again, something I'm not sure will go with an Asian wedding unless the outfit specifically requires light coloured flowers.

Here were some table centrepiece ideas using flowers, although I've seen some of these ideas before, they were quite tastefully done, although again, these were quite simple in arrangements. I liked how artful the flowers in the bowl looked with the long grass-leaves, although I wouldn't have picked this idea, seeing them in this way made me see how it can look pretty and creative.

My sisters and I quite liked this one with floating candles and gerbera flowers, and silver gravel at the bottom of the bowl. I've seen a similar idea to this used in a mehndi, and I think this is a lovely idea, it's quite simple and sweet, and looks great when the candles are lit in the evening.

There were also other alternatives to table centrepieces, such as this feathery one which I found a bit extravagant and colourful for my tastes, but definitely made a statement!

Overall, there was a range of ideas to look at, some which we had seen before from other vendors and some which looked different and fresh. I liked the spring theme best, although it wasn't really ideal for the kind of wedding that my sisters and I are researching for, which is a bit more traditional-looking! We did get a few tips from photographers and those nice cake ladies, and it allowed us to see a glimpse of what is available and how wide the scope is in the wedding market.

More research ideas and results to be posted soon!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Nida Azwer's Orange & Pink Gota Lengha

I'm not a big fan of orange (I may have mentioned that before!) as it's a colour which I'm not sure I could pull off, and I tend to stay away from colours which resemble Oompa Loompas. I really, really LOVED this outfit by Karachi-based designer Nida Azwer, however, which made used a lovely combination of colours, using orange, pink and black and teal, using rich silk and a 'gota' style hem. I think this would make a lovely, unusual mehndi outfit, and is a great alternative from the tradition yellow-and-green look which I've seen a lot of times. I also love how old-style the dupatta looked, it looks like a mix between a dupatta my mum owned in the 80s and a traditional, Indian style which I've also seen a lot. What did you think of these colours?

Images taken to Nida Azwer Facebook group