Posts Tagged London
Happy New year to all my dolls! I hope you have started the New Year with a fresh mindset, clear motives and clean objectives ready to conquer whatever challenges that may come your way!
So excited to be writing this much awaited post, as after months and months of organising and planning a close family wedding, finding the ‘right thing to wear’ for oneself always feels exciting as well as daunting. Exciting because I can dictate what my sister can wear and without a choice she has to agree 😀 Daunting, because typically in an Asian wedding everyone is always looking glamorous and trying to find something ‘unique’ can be a huge challenge. I am also sure some of you can relate!
The theme that I planned for the wedding (uncles wedding): Jhodaa Akbar (movie) taking ideas of fashion from the 15th century Indian Mughal Empire era. Psst! Watch the movie if you haven’t already 😉
Right, theme chosen, now the clothes!
After visiting the Pakistan Fashion show earlier this year, I came across Faika Collection during that time which showcased elegant regal looking attires which I always wanted to own, but didn’t have a reason to own. You know the whole issue with lack of wardrobe space; no upcoming events etc…Then, it all fell into place when a family wedding was happening and Faika was going to be a part of the celebration!
However, Faika Collection is based in Bradford, I am from London. To travel up North with extortionate rail fares wasn’t my cup of tea, but to my advantage when I checked their Instagram post (back in summer) I was lucky to find that they were doing a London pop-up exhibition at the Royal Garden Hotel. As ecstatic as you can imagine I was, grabbed my sister put the gas down and went to visit Faika Collection’s pop-up.
Here is what we chose:
We picked 2 pieces of beautiful Jacquard Banarasi Lenghas: one in emerald green and gold jacquard style (which I wore) and sisters was black on gold jacquard style. The tops were plain black soft velvet with pearl buttons running down both sleeves. The Lenghas also came with chiffon duppattas. However on this photo, we have created and designed our own dupattas to go with our Mughal theme.
Inspiration to drape the dupatta had also come from the Mughal era, where it is tucked at the waist and draped over the shoulders. If you have a theme for an event from a historic period, always do slight research to authenticate your entire look. It also gives you vision on the colours and style of accessories to choose from!
I ought to mention the type of shoes you must wear when wearing any type of Banarasi material – this is crucial! Due to the heavy brocade skirt, the silk weaving on the reverse side of the lengha pulls/tugs at the fancy diamante shoes; please ensure you wear plain/plain glam shoes without the crystals as you can ruin your skirt! Not pictured – I wore glittered heeled shoes.
The Faika Collection Lenghas are elegant in style and a sleek ensemble. The best thing about the skirt is that it has pockets – yes! A very handy feature especially on Asian clothes which is quite different.
For the Asian women, Lengha co-ords is the smart ‘black-tie’ of outfits for every special occasion.
The eye catching Banarasi material was the perfect choice for this beautiful regal skirt as it was soft, very fine and absolutely comfortable. Due to its soft nature, the skirt was flowing beautifully as a lengha should, it was not stiff and the cut of the Lengha was much appreciated.
However, my brother was not following the Moghal theme and opted for a contemporary dinner suit to staple a cold Autumn wedding.
Tip to trousers in Ted Baker and Shoes from ASOS.
It is all in the details
Looking for the perfect accessory to go with your outfit and theme can also be a huge challenge. From countless of searches in-store and online, we were on the verge of picking something very random. However luckily, I stumbled across Innaya Couture on Instagram and found a beautiful necklace.
From Innaya Couture, we have purchased their Mughal Kundan 7 tier necklace which complimented our Banarasi outfits.
The “Ball and chain” weapon on my sisters wrist is actually a cute looking handbag :p This is from Southall – almost found in any accessories store.
The ladies at Faika Collection done a tremendous job in delivering what I wanted. Even though they were up north (Bradford) they ensured my requirements were met and truthfully, I was quite a troublesome customer – no joke! The only problem you will face if you order from any clothing stores which are far away is the fitting! Of course, if it is custom made the measurements can typically go wrong therefore Faika recommends to go in-store for fitting. So bear this in mind!
Do check out Faika Collection for their latest Istanbul Collection (very gorgeous…need another event to wear one of those!) and stay tuned for more!
Tucked away in the quiet neighbourhood of Glendale Avenue in North London is The Beauty Lodge. They call themselves a “hidden gem” of North London and I cannot agree more!
The Beauty Lodge is a ladies only luxury spa – “run for women by women”. As a Muslim woman, this was an icing on a cake WITH a cherry on top of course! I have always longed to go to a spa to wind down and “let myself go”, especially to get away from the hectic life of London. In a desperate attempt to find a suitable place I Googled “women’s only spa” and the Beauty Lodge was first on the list. Before anything else, I was ecstatic that this spa was located at a convenient location and more so dumbfounded that I have not discovered it earlier!
I decided to bring a friend along to the spa and enjoy the “spa party package” which includes one hour use of the spa along with a number of treatments from which you can choose from – we decided to go for the express facial. This totalled to £40 for both of us – not bad!
Finding the spa would have been a bit difficult if I did not use my navigator (citymapper app is a lifesaver!). I have to admit, I was very confused when I entered Glendale Avenue as it was a residential area of houses. When I found the entrance to the spa, I was slightly worried thinking the spa was in someone’s house! However, little did I or my friend know of what was waiting for us behind the seemingly plain entrance of the Beauty Lodge.
As I opened the door, the first thing I heard was the gentle sound of running water. We followed the neatly laid red carpet in front of us which led to the source of the sound. Here, I discovered the cosy lodge-style seating area surrounding a cute pond which I felt so tempted to sit by and just fall asleep to the sound of the water!
As we checked in for our appointment we were greeted by the owner of the spa and the friendly staff who offered us refreshments. Upon entering the spa area, my friend and I were really impressed with what stood before us. In a beautifully decorated room, filled with exotic ornaments and candles was a hot tub, an infra-red sauna and two treatment couches where we would be getting our express facial. An hour in the hot tub flew by very quickly! Next time I will probably have to pay a bit extra for a two hour use! The facial afterwards was sooo relaxing and my skin felt rejuvenated!
The verdict: I will be definitely returning to the Beauty Lodge but this time with more friends as the hot tub can facilitate up to 8 people! It will be a fun place to unwind with your girlfriends as extra upgrades can get you and your friends to enjoy a chocolate fountain with fresh fruits or even an afternoon tea! The private setting of the spa area was indeed the main Brownie point for me as it made it that ‘extra’ bit comfortable. Not forgetting the friendly staff who always made sure to check up on us. So, would I recommend the Beauty Lodge? The answer is, yes!
Open up and read this blog post about our exclusive ‘never seen before’ review on lip products by a new British niche ‘lip focused colour cosmetics brand’ Kiss Cosmetics ❤
Kiss Cosmetics specialises in quality lip products focusing solely on lips for all skin-tones (finally a brand that cares!). They also cater for the “not so much” to “I’m very confident” dolls. Kiss Cosmetics have entered the market at the right time as lips have become a hot topic thanks to trend-setters like Kylie Jenner!
The development of the Kiss Cosmetics product has been influenced and shaped by one of many key stakeholders – Beauty Bloggers (bbloggers) and Make-up Artists alike. Kiss Cosmetics ensured to involve feedback where possible to bring the most realistic and best products into the market!
Just to add, for my brand conscious dolls, Kiss Cosmetics IS a local British Brand; therefore for those who are actively boycotting bigger beauty brands (*Estee Lauder group*) can find Kiss Cosmetics as a safer alternative. 😉
*We have been given Locked Lips to trial alongside the mini KISStick.*
Here is the Locked Lips. As the name states, it is a lip sealant to keep your lipstick woes at bay to ensure that lipsticks don’t cross the line and stay within your pout! So, when you’re drinking tea (like me) or biting into a messy burger (like me again) you should be confident that your lip colour is ‘locked down’ and truly put.
The Locked Lips is due to launch online on 29th April, 2015.
Locked Lips comes in a glass container (3.1ml) with a nail polish brush attached for use. For those who love the smell of nail polish, you will enjoy this smell! For those who dislike strong scents, unfortunately this lip sealant is slightly strong in smell.
Here are the ingredients:
You need to ensure your lips are fully hydrated and not dry/chapped or cracked as the lip seal contains preserving alcohols which naturally gives a burning sensation. Please ensure you hydrate your lips before use!
How I Used This Product – PLUS a mini lip tutorial =D
- Once lips are hydrated (I use L’Occitane Lip Balm for hydration) I dust translucent powder on top of my lips to lock in moisture from the balm;
- Use your favourite lip liner to line your lips. Here is one method to lining your lips:
- Using Kiss Cosmetics KISStick in Frisky Fuchsia fill your lips;
- Blot the KISStick on tissue paper then dab and fill the lips with Locked Lips and wait for 1 min;
- THEN…as we say on Belle Amour > Pout. Wink… and Kiss! Voilla! You now have ‘woe free’ Locked Lips for 10 hours (trailed and tested), so be confident!
Personal Experience, Feedback and Tips:
We have used the Locked Lips for 3 consecutive days to bring you first-hand reliable feedback. Here are some main points we have experienced and found:
– Just like any other sealant, the Locked Lips is quite sticky when wet, so, if you close your lips early you may get slightly stuck. Do not close your mouth and allow 1 min to dry;
– Locked Lips gives a tingling sensation to the lips; for the dolls who love a plumpy pout, this can be in your aid!
– Once Locked Lips is applied, it provides an additional shiny glazed finish to the lips;
– After 4-5 hours, the thin film of Locked Lips looses its glazing shine and lipstick starts feeling matte yet slightly moisturised but not drying;
– Locked Lips showed no signs of cracking, peeling and does not leave a bitter taste on your lips;
- Make-Up Artist Tip: Increase the longevity of your client’s lipstick. Pour 2 drops of Locked Lips on a palette, use a synthetic lip brush and dab the product on your client’s lips 🙂
– Due to Denatured Alcohol being present in the ingredients, the nail polish brush stays hygienically clean as product build-up breaks down into smaller fragments. When using Locked Lips, it is apparent that the lipstick stain will transfer on the bristles; especially when you are switching between colours. Rest assured that interchanging lipsticks (when used in conjunction with Locked Lips) WILL NOT transfer onto your current colour.
For my busy dolls living a hectic life-style, topping your lips can be a pesky task. Sometimes I am booked with a day’s worth of meetings, therefore distancing myself from my desk vanity area. I have drank tea, ate foods to really give the Locked Lips a full-on trial.
Here is my tea cup, it has little harmless transfer:
Kiss Cosmetics KISSTICK:
Alongside the Locked Lips, a mini KISSTICK was kindly given in the shade Frisky Fuchsia. The KISStick has finally been launched yesterday (22nd April) available in 10 shades and I was lucky to get my hands on one of these cruelty free lippys!
As I have an olive skin tone, this beautiful raspberry mid-toned shade went well with my skin-tone. Frisky Fuchsia is a pigmented creamy lipstick. For those who dislike matte lipsticks, you will enjoy the moisturising formula as it glides effortlessly on the lips.
Frisky Fuchsia Swatches:
Whip your lips to shape with Locked Lips and feel confident that it is cruelty free beauty. Work the pout and be wise with your money as you invest in a cost-effective yet a quality make-up brand; now that’s a compromise 😉
Kiss Cosmetics operate on the following medias:
Pakistan Fashion Week (PFW) was an amazing high fashion catwalk event held at the prestigious Hotel Russell in London’s Holborn. Being at the forefront, myself and Rima captured a spectacular view of Pakistan’s great fashion designers. The ‘glitz and glam’, design and intricacy really caught our eyes as we were stunned by the art of fashion produced by the talented designers 🙂
Recently, I have become a sucker for Pakistani and Indian traditional fashion and have been hoarding all sorts of Salwaar Kamees from Birmingham to Southall! The PFW had exhibitions to include this season’s exclusive ‘fresh off-the-catwalk’ clothes from the designers we saw at the catwalk. If you are a bride-to-be attending these types of exhibitions will give you an insight of what this year’s bride is ‘expected’ to look like (that’s if you really care…), what the trends are to what makeup looks to opt for.
As we attended the last catwalk show, we missed the glitzy bridal-wear however, as pictured on this blog post, we were presented with semi formal party and occasional wear Salwaar Kamees, Lengha and trendy culottes outfits (as seen below).
Just to clarify, a Salwaar Kamees is a two piece suit consisting of a dress like top paired with light loose trousers; the two together called a ‘Salwaar Kamees’. As fashion trends on, the Salwaar Kamees becomes a hybrid attire to suit all types of surroundings.
As the models walked down the catwalk, the focus was of course on the dress. Striking a pose, turning, hair waving, hands on the hips then sashaying down the runway. It all looked very GLAMOROUS (Fergie taught me how to spell: P) as you stare with a poker face admiring the outfits.
The models really gave these South Asian attires personality, it framed the look and also empowered the viewers (like me) with an insight of how you would look if you were to own a piece of haute couture – which obviously was/is the point to entice us: D
After the end of the show, viewers and visitors had the opportunity to grab a bargain at the fashion exhibition which included the clothes seen on the catwalk. Some Pakistani fashion designers flew in from Pakistan to showcase their exclusive pieces.
It was an opportunity to bag one of the ‘latest in trend’ Salwaar Kamees for upcoming events and was a chance I did not want to miss! I did purchase a Naurang Lengha (not pictured) which I am truly in love with. I will post photos of myself in my gorgeous lengha very soon!
Many potential brides alongside their bridesmaids made a proactive approach in purchasing their bridal outfits from the show. The main reason for this is because it is cheaper than the (Asian) high-street (by almost a half), plus the exclusivity of these attires means no one else will have these except you!
The stalls showcased all their outfits as mentioned above from the catwalk and they were all at a very reasonable rate. On average (from asking around most stalls) you would find yourself spending £80 + on designer outfits (exhibition price only).
Bombay Stores had a ‘wearable’ formal collection. This is practical for most dolls as we still want to look effortlessly glam whilst celebrating formal events; esp. for the mummies!
I absolutely adored the catwalk with ALL of Bombay Stores outfits. These Nude Kurta tops stole the show with most guests as they scurried to the exhibition stall to purchase. As usual, (typically) my size ran out, but, I treated myself to a gorgeous purple stoned Multan Mala necklace and earring set (not pictured) which is only exclusive to exhibits by Bombay Stores (yes… I do feel special :P)!
The Pakistan Fashion event was a great event as it educated many on style, looks, aesthetics and ideas to be creative. Countless of times, we know mainstream designers, but there are also emerging/new talented designers unheard of. Shows like this compliments the established and newcomers very well as you get to learn more about cultural fashion.
I recommend and encourage for all my bridal dolls to visit these bridal exhibitions; as mentioned previously, you will get a good deal off the rack if you find something you love. What more – it’s designer outfits for a very reasonable price, exclusive, just for you ❤
A special thanks to @AsianBridesBlog for the tickets!
Need inspiration for your 2015 wedding? The wedding season is only around the corner for many and everyone wants that little extra touch to make their big day that little extra special. Take a look at our post as we show you our day at The National Asian Wedding Exhibition @ London, Excel.
Myself and Rima Belle wanted to know what is out there on the market for weddings nowadays. How can we add that extra oomph, extravagance or somewhat follow the likes of Great Gatsby style parties. We have come across many creative vendors and was blown back by the decadence of ideas, styles and features made available; all you need is the £££ to of course make anything possible :p.
Love Great Gatsby? RWS London has created an elegant floral display for whatever event you’d love to go ‘all out on’. Planning an engagement, mendi, wedding, walima or even a private do? Please choose this theme! If you have watched the film (The Great Gatsby) you would have noticed the extravagance, floral decor and the classical 1920’s theme. As much as I have enjoyed watching the film, I have a buzz for the Jazz Age. I would really love this classical look for my very own wedding! Bring on the crystal balls, vintage glamour and the golden opulence ❤
Pricing: Roughly, the table display (flower with vase only) can cost £300-£400 each. You can of course opt to add additional features in, or take some features out which will determine your quote. Best to see what works within your budget and speak to their friendly advisers.
I am standing beneath the crystal droplet tree (costs £400 per tree). Pair it up with the roaring 20’s theme and it will go magnificently. This is a feature most Hollywood A-list stars add to their weddings and always wanted to know where they got it from! Well, now we can add the Hollywood glam to our weddings as a feature. Stun your guests with an iced themed event and you’ll notice how the #selfies roll in 😀
Photo-booths are becoming a common feature in today’s modern wedding. There were plenty of vendors with cute photo-booths with the opportunity to try out props and obtain a (free) photograph – even with a choice of your own photo background… funky eh? The photo-booths come in all shapes and sizes; from a standing photo-booth to the traditional Tuk Tuk Taxi booth to go with your theme.
Photo-booths are a ‘fun’ experience as it takes you through the nostalgia of owning a photograph…I’m thinking your first ever passport photo as a baby :p. Whichever vendor you choose for a booth, they come in hourly rates. You may want to go for a trial-run to check for quality of photo, how many photos you can have alongside the options with props.
Here is another (very cute) flower display ❤ Although something like this would cost you £400 per display, perhaps you can have such displays spread across a few tables with a mixture of different displays? Hmmm just a thought… Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name of the vendor, however they are associated with Indus Catering and you could enquire about their association at the National Asian Wedding Exhibition.
I am in love with Panache Event Wedding Decor; how beautiful is this floral Mandap? Whoa! I am seriously blown back by the fresh flower intricacy. This is a must have for a stage which is certainly unique to others. Me and Rima Belle were welcomed by the friendly team as they toured us through their stage and showed us additional special features they could add (not photographed) to your high class event. You can change the colours of the flowers around and oh oh, they also do the crystal droplet trees! Check out their Facebook page for further projects. This is bookmarked for my special day 😉
Let’s talk fashion. The National Asian Wedding event hosted many Indian and Pakistani fashion designers from Manish Malhotra to Sabyasachi semi-formal and Asian bridal wear. Not to forget to accessorise in style with Amaya London.
Photo isn’t so great here as the crowd shaked me -.- but you get the idea. Heavy thread/cotton work opposed to the bedazzled gemstone work you would commonly find on most brides. You can look sophisticated and ‘unique’ (as all brides chant) in a traditional red gown like these.
Excuse my sun kissed look, it was roughly 3 weeks in October when I came back from Morocco. Anyway, here I am with Simayas London model whose posing in one of their black Autumn/Winter collection Lengha.
Everyone loves black; c’mon New Year’s resolution of ‘being fit’ comes early for us girls with a little black dress. This is an Asian Great Gatsby attire, seriously take a look at their Autumn/Winter campaign , I love that black dress. Pop on a red shade of lipstick, vintage sleek back hair with daring eyeliner. Oooft! You are already winning the show in my mind 😉
If you love Hindi, English or Punjabi music, then you must know of Navin Kundra. Yes, he is THE man to hire for your wedding day, on the dance floor singing romantic songs like John Legend “All of me” to the well-known ‘Tere Liye’ hit song. He is an all-in-one man with special entertainment talent which will have your guests singing along and enjoying themselves. Me and Rima Belle were lucky to watch Navin Kundra perform live on the dance floor to all his latest music 😀
There are many who prefer instrumentals opposed to vocal music. Well, if vocals are not your thing your choice is not limited as you can opt for elegant fiddlers, harpist’s to Daff players. Many Muslim weddings have Daff players as it’s an ancient Arab tradition, still used today for events. Band players can certainly add an extra touch to your event whether it be a small, medium or big function.
Finally, to wrap up this blog, here I am sitting on a Middle-Eastern style stage. Decor, choice of colour and size/type of cushions are all interchangeable. Whoever you choose for events stage decor, always ask for the options available. If you don’t ask, you will not get guys!
The Belle Amour team have kick started 2015 with many upcoming wedding and fashion events. We will be posting further events experience to show you what the fashion and wedding of 2015 is ‘expected’ to look like.
Stay tuned with Belle Amour while we incubate more beauty and trendy feeds to only bring you the best!
Are you looking for a brush which provides definition, contour, elongation and ease? A brush to help you as a beauty enthusiast or beginner to contour? Well, I may have found the perfect brush for you, by Illamasqua! This is one of the ultimate brushes (I’ve discovered) which provides a ‘3D definition’ experience: D.
The Illamasqua Blush Up Brush is priced at £28.50. If you have a Pro Artist account, you can benefit from the discount on the brushes. This is a highly recommended brush to own as part of your many brush collection and kit!
As you can see from the image above, it is a highly dense ellipse shaped brush. I have taken photos from all angles to illustrate the dynamics of the cut of the brush. So, the base of the brush is flat and angled and the sides being stiff to create definition.
Here is a look I have created using the Blush Up Brush. I have used Sleek’s Contour kit (compact contour) alongside Illamasqua Blush Up Brush to define my cheekbones. I am aware that many of my dolls who own the Sleek Contour Kit find this product heavy. During use you have to be very light handed and must buff instantly once applied; or else it’ll look like mud on the face (a big disgrace!).
Well anyway, with the Sleek Contour kit (as heavy pigmented it is) I used the brush to define the contour areas, in fact, it was defined really well.
Here is another close up of my cheek contour and a slight but subtle definition on the nose too.
One more final close-up of the makeup look 😉
The brush has certainly defined the contour areas (esp the cheeks) well. If used correctly, when your contour looks harsh, just use a fluffy blending brush and brush in an upward stroke. The technique is all down to the way you apply colour – how much/how little. Furthermore to merge the blusher with the contour and highlight so it looks ‘well blended’ but noticeable at the same time.
Tip: If contour is overly harsh, use a translucent powder (either compact or loose) and lightly dust the area in question and see how the harshness fades… 😉
Happy New year from the Belle Amour Team x
Do you have a love for lashes? Or, at least not mind wearing a pair for special occasions? If you are looking for an ultimate pair to own as part of your lash stack collection :p, your clientele or for the quality check out Huda Beauty Lashes!
I was having an awkward moment doing the ‘Huda Lash pose’ (left) trying to align the packing to my face (hehe).
Huda is a top beauty blogger and Vlogger based in both Dubai and US. Known for her popular Youtube channel, Huda has certainly smashed the beauty industry with beauty tips, luxury beauty reviews and looks; even my peers who do not know much about beauty/makeup, know Huda – that’s impressive, an indication of success!
Huda has started her own beauty product line of lashes and nails, now shipping internationally! So all you dolls who have been waiting patiently, or been sending your Sephora orders to your friends and family, it is no longer required :D!
Fortunately I got my hands on these lashes through a competition I have actually won (on her Instagram giveaway)! Huda sent a range of her lashes to include: Giselle (pictured), Coco Jo, Claudia, Samantha and Candy.
The lashes are weightless, looks natural and certainly amplifies your look. If you are looking to get married, give these lashes an investment on your big day.
I will be updating this post at a later stage once I have pictures of me in them! However, for additional reviews and pictures of customers in Huda Lashes please do check out Hudas following social platforms:
To Purchase: HudaBeauty.com