Tuesday, 26 April 2016

GRWM: Golden Asian/Indian wedding makeup tutorial

I show you how to create a golden brown, makeup look that is perfect for Asian/Indian weddings and parties, and is understated yet glam!  The look features gold/brown eyes, muted lips, and a bright golden base with subtle contouring.        

Full list of products used:
BellaPierre eye makeup base    
Max Factor Earth Spirits eyeshadow in Burnt Bark
Next Make Me Beautiful Perfect Look Eyeshadow Quad   
Sleek Creme to Powder foundation in Bamboo 485
Bobbi Brown Long Wear gel eyeliner in Black Ink 1
Borjois smokey Effect Ultra Black kohl
Vasanti Colour Corrector 
No7 Moisture Drench red lipstick 
Temple Spa's Look on the Bright Side Radiance Booster
B.Sculpted Contour Kit
BellaPierre Blush in Desert Rose
Smooch lip liner
MyFace lipstick in Gigabyte  
Mars Eyes, Lips and Cheek stick in Orgasm
Collection Blush and Glow Quad
Benefit They're Real mascara  
NYX Illuminator
NYX Studio Finish Finishing Powder

Salon System Naturalash lashes in 108

Gold-brown makeup for Asian/brown skin

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Fighting the fat 10.0

Fighting the fat takes hard work, a dedicated diet and exercise


Fighting the fat 10.0         

OK, so I’m really beginning to sound like a broken record now, but once again, I am embarking on a fitness kick in a bid to be healthier, and from a totally vain perspective, fight some fat that has slowly but surely squatted in my body.       

I mentioned that I tried a version of the Kenzai diet, and it worked well, a little too well in fact. Cue lots of gasps from my mum and other elders that I’d lost too much weight too soon.  The problem I have is that the weight tends to drop from my face, the last place I want to lose it.
Anyway, I did what any sane person would do, which is eat more to compensate from the sudden weight loss.  And I’ve put the weight back on, with a vengeance.

So you’re probably wondering, why yo-yo so much? And the answer is simple – willpower. Or a lack of it. The following statement might annoy/offend/upset you, but to be honest, I’ve always been the skinny one.  Too skinny, some might say. So I never really had to worry about dieting, or kill myself at the gym (and before you hate me, it runs in the family, so blame my parents). 

But that meant that I was deficient in the key weapon in any fit person’s arsenal – willpower. So for years I’ve been in my skinny oblivion, eating what I want, when I want. But it was never going to last.

You see, my weight gain is the scary sort. I’ve not gone up a dress size, nor have I suddenly tipped over the scales.  This type of flab is the sneaky kind. It’s the discreet type that slowly gathers while you’re blissfully unaware. Clothes are little bit snug, and my problem area (my stomach) is now the star of the show with anything I wear.           

Anyway, it became a ‘thing’ when my own dear mother mentioned that I’m getting a little on the belly-licious side (trust family to be so honest). But in truth it was the wake-up call I needed.   Hubby hasn’t noticed, as he sees me everyday, and neither have my friends (or at least they haven’t said).  

But nonetheless, I have a paunch, and I’m making it my business to get rid of it.    

So here’s how I’m fighting the fat… 

Swapping carbs at night for vegetables

Chicken mince, courgetti and carrot 'pasta' and salad

Tuna salad with egg, butter beans and pickled garlic

Something my hubby has been telling me to do for months, but I’ve chosen to turn a deaf ear until now.  I’ve come to learnt that stodgy food at night-time isn’t really conducive to a flat stomach.  So instead of rice, pasta, and potato, I’ve been embracing a new world of ‘courgette’ pasta, salad, chicken and fish. One night I had chicken mince bolognaise with grated courgette and carrot in place of spaghetti.  It sounds disgusting, but it actually works! You can get my raw courgette ribbons recipe here.
No it doesn’t taste like pasta, but it’s a damn good substitute and kept me feeling full but not bloated.
I eat breakfast and lunch as normal – poached egg on toast or porridge in the morning and something heavier for lunch. Essentially, I’m working to the centuries old rule of eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.  It’s surprisingly easy to do, considering I’ve been done the exact opposite my whole life.            

Not feeling guilty about the odd indulgence          

The problem with committed, strict dieting –like Kenzai or Atkins - is that it is fundamentally unsustainable. As soon as you begin eating normally, the lbs come back on.  So rather than being overly strict about my diet, I will have the odd treat, and I don’t punish myself for it. Yes, I had the Pattiserie Valerie Brownie you see pictured, and I feel justfine about it).  This make my journey to a flat stomach longer, but it should hopefully lead to lasting results as it’s a way of eating I can continue for life, rather than being on an endless cycle of yo-yo dieting. 

Keeping my treats (relatively) OK      

Coconut collab rice pudding and little choc pot desserts contain coconut milk

Yes, I have Fox’s biscuits, but I’ll also have the Coconut Collab desserts, which have coconut milk thrown in to balance any naughtiness.  And I haven’t had a Lola’s cupcake for months. In fact, one day I had a super craving, which I quashed by eating fruit. I surprised even myself on that front.

Swapping the lift for the stairs   

Given the fact that I’m sans gym membership, sans exercise class and sans commitment, incorporating exercise into my life where possible is a must. So I’ve recently started taking the stairs instead of the lift where possible.  So that’s one flight of stairs at work, and four flights to my apartment.  Small steps make a big difference (especially four flights of them) and get my heart rate up whilst going about my daily business.  

Doing yoga at home   

When it comes to exercise, I have major commitment issues. I’ve signed up for classes but never got past the first term.  I took up badminton, pilates and even contemporary dance, but never stuck to anything for the long haul.  The problem is purely laziness, anything that involves getting into my gym gear and travelling to a class is hard for me to stick to. Work gets in the way… life gets in the way… I get in the way.   

Also, to make a real impact on my fitness I need to adopt something more than a weekly class.  And I don’t quite have the lifestyle of the celebrities in LA who travel everyday yoga classes, with their mat rolled under their arm.  

So an ideal solution for me is doing yoga at home. I’ve started doing Shilpa Shetty Yoga. Her workouts are on YouTube, they’re super easy to follow and boy do they give you a stretch. The best thing is, I can do it several times a week, at any time of the day, so there really is no excuse or reason to not do it.          

Running and power walking   

This Polar watch tracks my heart rate and calories when exercising

OK, so this is a relative new addition for me, but I found that nothing quite clears the head (and works the jelly belly) than a run in the park. I’m hoping to do this on a weekly, or twice weekly basis, so I’ll let you know of my progress.
I’m hoping that this new health kick is one to last. If you have any tips for me on my quest for flatter abs, I’m all ears, so leave a comment below, I read them all…          

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Can Asian or dark-skinned girls rock coloured eyeliner??

One of life's greatest mysteries (cough), can dark skin rock coloured eyeliner? I've often seen models in magazines sporting pink, green, even yellow eyeliner.  While it's great in editorial, I wanted to see how this would translate on normal, everday makeup. Watch my video to find out!  

Colored eyeliner on Asian, dark or black skin

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

7 habits of highly effective (part-time) bloggers

7 habits of highly effective (part-time) bloggers

7 habits of highly effective (part-time) bloggers 

A lot of my friends have said that they would like to start their own blog, but weren't sure how to fit it in around their life and work.

And as I've found myself dishing advice on the above, I thought I'd write a post on this very subject - and share what habits you need to adopt to make your hobby blog a successful (and popular) one.

Since I started blogging in 2011, I learnt a lot from other successful working bloggers out there. So these habits are a combination of what I've seen other part-time bloggers do, and traits I adopted myself.

7 habits of highly effective (part-time) bloggers:

1) They do it coz they love it. Yes, blogging can be very lucrative. And sure some of your fave bloggers like Zoella have book deals, endorsements and covetable Instagram profiles.  

However that stuff doesn't happen overnight. In fact - reality check time - for most bloggers this may not happen at all. So if you start blogging because you want free makeup or want to be an internet sensation, you may be disappointed. 

Remember, blogging started as an outlet for people to share their thoughts with the masses, and that should be your main objective. If you do it because you love what you're writing about, the other benefits (if they come your way) will be a bonus.

2) They keep up the momentum. An early bit of advice I picked up from the fab Nazma at Asian Fashion Blog. Nazma warned that many bloggers start enthusiastically and post regularly, but then run out of steam and don't keep it up. 
Instead, mentally commit to posting at a certain frequency that you can manage, and you're more likely to keep it up. Which brings me onto the next habit.

3) They post frequently. Keeping to a pattern of posting regularly, say once a week, helps readers know when to expect an update from you, and also helps with your SEO.   

4) They post relevant, shareable content. Successful bloggers strike a balance between quality and quantity, i.e. posting regularly, but avoiding crap content. While you want to update your blog frequently, make sure it's the kind of content you'd read, like and share yourself. 
5) They work their blog around their life, not the other way round. The most common question I'm asked is how I manage to blog, work full time and fit everything else in. The truth is, I'll probably never have time to make my blog as beautiful as many others out there. I probably won't have an hour to set up the perfectly lit Instagram photo. Nor will I have an afternoon to do swatches of blush. However, as I love blogging, I will put time aside to write articles and make it work around me and my life.

For example, I'm writing this article on my iPhone whilst on the train. If I go to a restaurant and I like the food (or sometimes if I don't) I'll snap some pics of the dishes and do a write up later. I wrote up my review of Cairo and the Monte Carlo Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh whilst on the plane journey home (I couldn’t sleep). 

So, whilst I don't have millions of readers or six-figure deals, I have a blog that represents my world and works for me. And because I love blogging, I make time for it.  Which again goes back to the first point- do it coz you love it. 

6) They keep adapting and evolving. My blog has taken on many guises since 2011. Blogging is a moving feast, and as your tastes - and technology changes - a smart blogger should evolve too.

7) They schedule their posts for optimum visibility. Back when I started blogging, I'd pretty much upload an article as soon as I'd finish writing it, which could sometimes be around 11pm. 

However, I soon cottoned on that nobody will really read a blog at that time of night, so I now schedule my blog posts to go out in the morning on a weekday, at around 9.30am. This means that my subscribers are more likely to see it pop up in their email, rather than it being lost last night's news. Plus at that time, most people at work have got though their emails and don't mind a bit of a distraction. 

So those are my key 7 habits, if you write a blog which you fit around work, school on uni, put your key habits in a comment below.  Remember, sharing is caring.

Monday, 11 April 2016

First look: Klorane dry shampoo for dark hair - is it any good?

We've all been there.  The night before you think your hair is OK, but the next morning it's a different, greasy story. Even worse, you don't have time to wash your hair.  And that's where dry shampoo is your best friend.

I've reviewed Klorane Dry Shampoo before, but this new version comes in a shade custom for brown or dark hair. and as black-haired lady, that caught my attention.

So is it any good? Watch my video review and first look demo as I try out Klorane's Dry shampoo for dark hair and see for yourself:

Klorane Dry Shampoo on dark or black hair reviewed