Sunday, 23 April 2017

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: The Mint, Pearls & Gota Dress

Now that spring is here in full force, and it's slowly getting warmer, my wardrobe is rejoicing - I'm finally getting to pull out some of my prettier, lighter outfits. I recently got the chance to wear this outfit below, a mint-coloured dress with gota work (gold pieces of cloth sew onto the fabric_, pearls and metal work all over - sounds like a heavy outfit but it wasn't!

I bought this outfit a few years ago before I was married from Pakistan via a Facebook group (which is no longer active, sorry guys!) for a very reasonably price, and then forgot I had it. I managed to find it again last year after some wardrobe-clearing, and put it aside for the warmer weather.

This is the outfit below, I love this shade of mint and feel like I don't get to wear it enough - it's perfect for spring season and feels pretty girly on. I also like the fact that this outfit is nice and floaty, which felt great on! I really like the gota-work on the outfit, which gives the outfit a shimmery-look, without making it feel heavy. It's a really traditional, old-school style of work but I think it's also pretty classic, and it works well with the pearls on this outfit.

This is what I wore with the outfit, I slightly over-loaded it a little with the gold, but I do like the end effect. I wore my wedding necklace for a more blingy look, and a plain gold clutch and sparkly heels - can't go wrong gold accessories!

This is me wearing the outfit, which felt very girly and floaty on - I really like the colour, although it took me while to find a matching scarf! I also like the length of this outfit on me - even though it is a longer shape, it worked with the cut of the outfit.

Outfit - Facebook group
Necklace - Pakistan via KaprayShapray designer
Clutch bag - DKNY
Hijab - Queens Market

I'm looking forward to wearing some of my older pieces for summer again, especially as some of them have a pretty classic look to them so don't go out of style. I loved wearing this outfit because of how ideal it was for the warm weather, and it feels like I don't have enough outfits in this colour. I'm sure I'll get a chance to wear this again soon - maybe with bright red lips this time?

Monday, 17 April 2017

Haiqah comes to London

Haiqah is a UK-based store which sells abayahs, scarves and modest outfits for women, combining fashion with modesty. I've come across this company online before and have liked their designs, so when my sister told me about the brand opening it's first store in Ilford Lane, East London, I was pretty keen to check out the shop.

This is the shop below, which is beautifully decorated, and has a big range of outfits. My sister and I visited this store together and loved how well put together the decor was, with a mix of patterned walls, stylish furniture and stools, and and gorgeous rugs and flowers. We also loved how the outfits were grouped together around the shop - there's different style dresses and shirts, with lots of abayahs, kimonos and abayahs for different tastes.

I love that there's a good range of colours and styles, especially as the store's collection is pretty wide-ranged. There's plenty of jackets and dresses which can be layered, which I really like, and also had a classic feel to a them - ideal for a minimalist wardrobe, especially as it can be a little difficult to find modest outfits which can be worn as classic pieces.

I also really liked the entrance decor in the shop - there's outfits framed along the walls which are blocked by colour, and accessorised with jewellery and bags, which I thought was a great idea, especially for outfit inspiration.

I really liked a lot of the dresses in the store, such as the black and white design below, and the lace outfit. I can imagine wearing a lot of these in the summer, and mixing and matching with skinnies and a plain top, such as wearing an open abayah, or wearing a dress with jeans. I also liked the lace outfits below in brown and lilac, which would look great as Asian outfits for a wedding or special event, and look really comfortable and light to wear.

These two outfits caught my eye, and were probably my favourites in the store - the pearl-sleeved top came in grey and white, both of which I liked, while the lace outfit came in black and white, which I can imagine being worn as a shirt or even open as a light jacket.

I also liked these two outfits before, the one the left is smarter and something which could be worn to the office, while the one of the right is perfect for summer, pastels and florals which is right up my street!

There's also a good range of scarves in the store in chiffon, cotton and crepe, and which are very reasonably priced, starting at £5, which makes a big change from a lot of modest-clothes outfits I've seen online before.

I ended up buying two tunics I liked in the end, the white pearl midi dress and the lace textured tunic in white - both of which I can imagine getting a lot of wear out of this summer! I was initially going to buy just one but couldn't choose which I liked more, so ended up buying both! And I'd also like to point out how pretty the bag is too - I love it when companies make an effort with their packaging, and my mum also told me she thought the bag was pretty when I showed her my goods!

My sister also ended up buying a silky tunic from Haiqah as well, which was a pretty printed top with full sleeves. She said she liked how modest it was, and the fact that it wasn't sheer, had a low neckline and had full sleeves - something which can be harder to find than you'd think on the high street.

One of the things I really liked about this shop was how reasonably priced the outfits were - there was a 20% discount at the store's opening, but even without this, the outfits are really well-priced for the quality. I've had outfits from modest labels before which aren't always great, or don't have good finishing but I was really happy with the two pieces I bought from this label. I ended up speaking to the store's owner for a little while as well, who explained the brand's philosophy and ethics, and really liked the fact that they would rather keep prices affordable and help more women be modest, than drive prices up just to make a profit.

I'm sure I'll be stopping by this shop again to pick up a few pieces, and have already got plans to wear the things I've bought to a few tea parties. I've got my eye on this outfit as well, which I love because I really like the pop of yellow, and the fact it can be layered, so watch this space!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Curly Fry's Shopping Therapy! My Lipstick / Highlighter Haul

If you know me, then you'll know I'm a huge lipstick freak when it comes to makeup, followed closely second by highlighters, which are also an obsession - and my primary love these days are liquid lipsticks. As I was describing to my friend yesterday, I'm so used to wearing lipstick lipsticks, that when I wear 'normal' lipsticks, I keep thinking that it will come off my lips too easily!

I've been pretty good with buying make-up for a few months, so decided to treat myself to a few things a couple of weeks ago. There's a good mix of brands here, and I wanted to wait til I tried them all before I posted (I wore one each day for work!) so here's a quick review about each. My sister also  gave me a pretty highlighter brush in a fish-shape, which I've seen online but wasn't sure where to get from, which adds to my brush collection nicely!

This is my haul - there's a good mix of American and UK brands, some of which were new brands that I hadn't tried before.

As you can see I got mostly liquid lipliners, some highlighters from Makeup Revolution, and some things from Model's Own (which has opened up a store in Westfield near me, which is where I bought these from).

Here are all the lipsticks from left to right - Faryal Makhdoom Cosmetics, Colorpop Ultra Matte Lip, Drayon, Dose of Colors and Model's Own Lip Crayon.

Firstly, the Colorpop lipsticks - I've tried a few lip crayons from this brand so had high hopes for the liquid lipsticks, and wasn't disappointed. I've loved the shades these came in (there were quite a lot to choose from), they smell great and really pigmented. They mostly last the whole day but do come off a little when eating, so not completely long lasting, but very good value for money.
Top to bottom: Beeper (soft pink/nude). Trap (cool mauvey-pink), Tulle (red-toned dusty dark plum)

Next is Dose of Colors which I have been eyeing up for ages on Beauty Bay - I bought two of these when there was a 20% flash sale on so got lucky there.
Top is Pinky Promise, which is an almost neon pink shade, and bottom is Stone, an almost lilac-pink shade which is pretty for every day wear. These are pretty long-wearing and took me a while to get off my arm, so be warned!

Faryal Makhdoom Cosmetics matte liquid lipstick in Latte - I was lucky enough to get this sent to me via the company's Instagram page for free, and love this shade. It's a really lovely nude shade which would suit a lot of skin tones, and feels pretty creamy on. It's not as long-wearing as some higher-end brands but pretty decent in pigmentation and coverage.

Next up is the Model's Own jumbo matte lip crayon in shade Cute Candy, which is a rich brown shade, and has a nice matte look but a creamy feel. I've worn this a few times already to the office because it's a pretty easy colour to wear, pretty flattering on Asian skin and makes a good everyday brown.
I bought the Drayon lipstick from eBay after seeing a Youtube video by Dyna, who compared these to Kylie Jenner liquid lipsticks, and looked like a pretty good dupe. They don't have names, but come in shades, and this is a shade 8. This was surprisingly very pigmented and very long-lasting, although it is another one which takes a while to take off.
Top to bottom: Faryal Makhdoom lipstick in Latte, Model's Own Cute Candy, Drayon shade 8

Lastly are the two strobe highlighters from Makeup Revolution - I'm a big fan of this brand's highlighters and blushes because of how good value they are, and the excellent colour range. I have two or three blushes and highlighters which are my makeup-staple because they are so flattering on me, so I was excited to try these.
As you can see, both of these are decently rich shades, the gold highlighter is pretty gold, although I did expect a bronze undertone which it doesn't really have. The silvery highlighter is actually a holographic one, although the other colours in them are very subtle, but it still makes a nice warm highlighter.
I also did try to use the fish brush with these, but unfortunately, while it picked up the product, it was a little hard so didn't blend on my skin well!
Left highlighter is Flash, right is Gold Addict.

I'm quite pleased with this haul, if you keep an eye out on my Instagram stories, I post my new stuff every now and then, so let me know what you think :)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: Halal & Vegetarian Sweets by The Sweet Path

I was recently sent a beautiful sweet hamper by halal sweets company The Sweet Path, who are a UK-based sweet company, who specialise in retro, halal sweets which are also vegetarian. The sweets were sent to me in a beautiful box (which I am keeping for my pretty things) and were beautifully packaged. Naturally I couldn't resist laying all of them out for a pretty photo, so please appreciate the time and arranging-fiddly-things which went into the below picture!

These are the sweets - and yes, they tasted as good as they look!

This is the box the sweets came in - it's a surprisingly sturdy, very well made box which was lined with tissue and had a pretty ribbon and bow on it. The sweets came in wrapped packets were well protected - and can I just say, there was a lots of sweets in each packet!

My sisters and I love our halal sweets and always stop to buy some whenever we find a shop that sells them - so this is pretty perfect. These are the sweets that were sent to me (everyone in my family are obssessed with marshmallows so that one was perfect for them!) My favourite was the tangy cola bottles, and my husband ate all the jelly meerkats which he said were amazing (he only let me have a few but they were nice!)

I'm really impressed with how this hamper was put together and arranged - it would make a really lovely present and the size is pretty good. I also love the fact that the company also does wedding favours, sweet jars, sweet cones and even sweet lanterns - there's lot of different sizes and they're handy for anyone looking for a mix of sweets for various occasions.

I really liked this sweet hamper, and the fact that it also comes in different sizes - they really are a nice idea for a gift for someone who has a sweet tooth, and it's lovely to see the effort which is put into these products. I'm pretty sure that the next time I have a tea party or event, this will be a great option for favours too!

You can buy the halal and vegetarian sweets at The Sweet Path's onlinze shop here
Facebook group here
Instagram account here

The company will also be at the Muslim Lifestyle Show this Bank Holiday weekend so check them out if you're attending!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Sunny Days...!

Sorry for the long absence guys, I know, I know, it's been nearly a month since my last post! I've been soaking up the recent (and short) spell of sunshine and making the most of the weather with trips out - which hasn't left me time to spend on my blog!

I've got lots of blog about, so make sure you visit back to this blog! In the meantime, here's a picture my sister took of me at the park yesterday (when the weather was a beautiful 25°) - I'm wearing my new tailored maxi dress that I got stitched about a month or so ago, and love how ideal it is for the warm weather :)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

DESIGNER MODE: Natasha Kamal

I've been following this designer for about a year or two, and have been loving her designs - Natasha Kamal has a love of formal and semi-formal pret which I love because they look trendy, stylish and yet classic enough to be able to wear for a few years without looking outdated.

I also like that they have a comfort factor to them - most of their outfits have clean cuts with embroidery to them that looks like it won't catch or ruin easily - a problem we've all suffered with!

There's quite a few different styles in the Natasha Kamal range, which have caught my eye. These are a few of the embroidered outfits that I love - admittedly some of these are similar but I think that this is part of the brand's signature look. I love that I can see myself in all of these, the colours are simple and classic and these are perfect for Eid, family functions and dawats.

There's also a few outfits which come with a cape - I very nearly bought one of these last Eid (but didn't because I left it too late to ship in time!) - don't they look stylish?

I've noticed that a lot of the later designers by Natasha Kamal have included a cut-out style which looks very pretty, and is a great alternative to the embroidered or heavily-embellished look.

There are also a few heavier outfits with beading on them, again this looks great because it's not too heavy and the colours work well with the outfit.

There's also a wedding range which the designer has released, which is mostly lengha-outfits - I'll be honest and say that these aren't as appealing to me as the formal outfits. I do like the colour range used here and have seen these being worn on Instagram by a few fashionistas, but personally they don't do it for me.

I think my current two favourite pieces are these two (and yes, they're both white/cream pieces!) - I love the damask-style embroidery on the left outfit, and the pretty cut-work style on the right piece. I've seen a lot of replicas of the cut-out outfit but I think Natasha Kamal still has the best version I've seen yet!

At present you can buy directly from the Natasha Kamal website (which seems to ship to internationally to quite a few places) and also Brand Central, who also carry a range that definitely ships to several countries like the UK.

I'm hoping to get one of these soon (if I manage to order in time for an appropriate event!) - if I do, I'll be sure to post. What do you think of this designer's style?

Friday, 10 March 2017

COPYCAT DESIGNS & DRESSES #14: The Elan Silk Collection Replica

I haven't done one of these in ages, have I? I'm guessing because I haven't bought many outfits in a while, let alone replicas, and there's so many vendors out there booming across Facebook, Instagram and various online forums that I wouldn't know where to start these days! I've also tended to lean less towards replicas these days - partly because half the time a copy of a designer outfit (especially a heavy one) costs the same or more as the actual designer piece sometimes, and also partly because I hate bad copies of outfits which I end up not liking, especially when I compare it to the original.

I also think that there are enough reasonably priced outfits out there which are unique and not copies, which look amazing, and always look to support smaller businesses and affordable prices.

Having said that, sometimes I do get the urge to splash out on a designer outfit which catches my eye - unless I can't get hold of it, of course! One of outfits I really wanted to buy last year was a piece from the Elan Silk Collection, which was released a few days before Eid and was impossible to get - online orders were terrible or kept selling out, and I only saw an actual piece in real-life in a local shop about a month ago - way after Eid!

Nevertheless, I've always loved the designer below, which I've been keeping an eye out for - I love the colour of the outfit and the stylish print, which I think is perfect for warm summer days.

I've seen a lot of replicas of this collection all over the internet and all over the stores, and some of them were pretty crappy or just not worth price. My sister and I went outfit shopping about a week ago, and I stumbled across a copy that I loved - it was a mostly printed cotton outfit with some embroidery at the bottom and colourful pants and dupatta - and looked pretty much the same as the original to me.

This is my version, bought from local store Dhanak Fashion, at a bargain price of just £30! There were a few other designs in the store (such as Maria B replicas too) but none of them really appealed to me as much as this.

Here's a close up of the kameez - I love that the printed details doesn't look 'off' like some outfits do, or look badly made. Although the original outfit collection is made of silk, and this is made of cotton, it's a very nice, soft cotton which feels lovely on and is still ideal for warm weather. I also love that the back had a great design to it as well - not exactly the same as a original but it works for me.

This is the hem of the outfit, which also had some embroidery. The original doesn't really have any embroidery but this doesn't look odd but it blends it well and just adds a touch of embellishment that I like.

So this is the suit I got from Dhanak Fashions - I love that pants look the same and the dupatta too. I'm also glad that there's no lace inserts or tulip salwars for this outfits - I love lace pieces but it's not always modest for my preference, and I'm not a huge fan of tulip salwars for every outfit.

I'm sure I'll get an opportunity to wear this very soon, and will post when I do! It's pretty rare these days for me to find a cheap outfit which isn't cheap quality - these days my sisters and I find that the good outfits are never below £80-100 for even a casual piece, and the designers are always more. I'm looking forward to summer time when I'll get to pull this out, and I'm sure that the colours will look great.

Some people have said in the past that it's not fair on the designers to have replicas in the fashion industry, and I do agree with this where it hurts their business, or where credit for their work is stolen. However I also think it's not fair on customers to have to pay a high amount to get a designer outfit they like - which is why the replica market has been created in the first place. Replicas will always be a contentious issue - however I am very careful about who I approach if I was to get one, and would always recommend to readers to check who they are buying from before they pay.

All in all, I did think I got a good bargain with this outfit though - what do you think of it?