Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Beauty in Abu Dhabi & other random ramblings

I'm heading away for a couple of days on Sunday, very last minute and for the first time in about 5 years. We've finally decided on Abu Dhabi but as a beauty blogger, obviously my main concern (aside from how to look half decent in a bikini) is what beauty brands are available out there?

I haven't been to UAE for about a decade so I'm guessing it is a totally different place to the one I left behind. If anyone has been recently or is local or just generally has any more knowledge than me, I would love to know what brands are worth looking out for. Is anything in particular cheaper than the UK i.e. OPI nail polish, Tom Ford. Is Le Metier de Beaute stocked anywhere in Abu Dhabi, or is that too much to hope? I seem to remember someone mentioning Rouge Bunny Rouge had counters in Abu Dhabi, is that true? Which are the best malls to visit? I think you get the idea.

Finally, Heathrow Terminal 5. Any idea which brands are stocked in duty free aside from the traditional MAC, Estee Lauder, Dior, Chanel etc? As I've got older I have become more and more petrified of flying, so my plan is to take my mind off it by thinking about duty free instead. Typical that the one time I decide to go away temperatures are a very sunny 18C here in England!

As it has been a while since I updated, here are some very random things I had been loving recently.

Michael Fassbender as Brandon in Shame
Being a huge fan of Michael Fassbender, I was desperate but a little apprehensive to see Shame. My fears were made all the worse when I turned up to buy my ticket at the cinema and the guy serving me stared in disbelief that I wanted to see that film, and then checked to see if I knew what it was about. In case you have been living under a rock, it is about sex addiction. I happened to be the only one in the whole cinema, possibly a good thing, would have felt more awkward if there had been just one other person in there.

It was fantastic though. Fassbender is absolutely amazing, nailing a tough subject to portray and it is a crime he wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Much as I like The Artist, this performance was far superior. The director should also be praised for his whole approach, I have seen perfume adverts on TV that are more sex than the explicit sex scenes in Shame. I hope the film gets a wider release as I couldn't fault it.
Chanel Illusion D'ombre - Emerville
After months of wanting it, I caved yesterday and bought another of the Chanel cream eyeshadows that were released last year. I already have the khaki and mauve ones but don't reach for them as often as I should. Yesterday I chose Emerveille, a subtle coppery tone, and it is the perfect everyday shade for my green eyes. I tried it out today for the first time and love it. it stayed place all day, took seconds to apply with a finger and works well with the Chanel cream bronzer which I got to help hide my milky white skin when on holiday.

Late last year I stupidly switched from using Ellis Faas Skin Veil (amazing) to Chantecaille Just Skin. After spending what seems like a small fortune on Chantecaille's Future Skin the year before and being distinctly underwhelmed, you'd have thought I'd know better, but no. Aside from giving almost no coverage at all (I realise it is their version of a tinted moisturiser, but still I expect some improvement to my normal skin), it made my skin break out like crazy.

I've been using all NV Perricone skincare products, courtesy of another QVC TSV, to try and repair the damage with some Alpha-H Vitamin E serum and La Roche Posey spot treatment. Apart from the few very angry red spots that refuse to disappear, my skin is looking fairly good, and I have been using Perricone No Foundation Foundation successfully for the last month. What I do have a problem with though is concealer.

As I am so pale, the red/purple spots really stick out and no concealer covers without looking cake or turning orange. So Far I have been trying Bobbi Brown creamy Concealer, MAC Studio Fix and Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer. EL turns orange, MAC is too drying and BB does very little at all. I have Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage but after 5 years have still not got the hang of using it properly. Ideally I want a good colour match for NW15-20 skin, something that blends well and doesn't highlight any dryness. Any ideas?

Whistles Wild Meadow Dress from Spring 2012 Collection
Enough about makeup for now and on to clothes. I love all things Whistles and this week bought a dress and skirt in a slightly crazy bright print which I love, and most of all it matches perfectly my Nails Inc Baker Street Nail Polish. Once my local store gets them in stock, I will be getting some fabulous electric blue skinny jeans. The Whistles Charlie skinny jeans are the only ones I have ever found that are comfy to wear and come in amazing colours. Best of all, they inevitably go in the sale so cost about £40. Not bad. They also have 25% off with Grazia magazine until 13th March.

Marni for H&M - top: £39.99
Having bypassed Versace

Finally, I realise that this is a very long and rambling blog post, blame it on all the accurate, concise legal drafting I am having to do elsewhere, I have to mention the Oscars. I thought the BAFTAs were far more entertaining and was disappointed at the turn out on the red carpet. My favourites by a mile were Jessica Chastain and Michelle Williams. The latter almost convinced me change my hair to a blonde pixie crop but I chickened out at the last minute. Who was your favourite?

I'm not the only one who loves the sun!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

NOTD: Nails Inc Baker Street

I own a lot of Nails Inc polishes, mainly because I have bought quite a few QVC TSVs in my time, and last week was no different. However, I tend to overlook Nails Inc in favour of Chanel, OPI and Butter London, partly because it had almost got to saturation point when bottles were given away with magazines and drinks etc and also because I can't stand the shade names. I don't live in London so hardly any are familiar to me and at least with OPI, when the bottles are lined up in a drawer I can tell which colour I am picking up, with Nails Inc they all look identical, and after picking up the 10th bottle to search for a specific shade I lose patience!

2 coats of Nails Inc Baker Street + Caviar Top Coat
Anyway, Baker Street is the exception. Being a big fan of Sherlock, this name sticks in the mind and the shade is perfect. A real vibrant, bordering on neon, blue. I have at least a dozen blues but none quite like this. It is a definite electric blue and I have my eye on a pair of Whistles skinny jeans in this shade. It might not be to everyone's taste, but I much prefer it to a nude nail and it adds some interest to the most boring outfit.

I had full coverage with just one coat of Baker Street but applied two just in case, and topped it with Nails Inc Caviar top coat. The only downside is that it has chipped a lot (one chip was just two hours after application). I love the colour so much though that I would still repurchase it and I will be wearing it all through summer. This shade has made me realise why I bought so many colours from the brand originally and I will enjoy rediscovering them in the weeks to come.