Sunday, 24 October 2010

Moroccan style and fashion (and my story of "Maktub")

  The stare penetrated me. Her Blue Eyes carried an intimacy. Profoundly familiar to me.
  A dark lock dropped over her left eye gently landing on the curve of her nose.
  I remembered her Pear Green Hijab sheltered a black paradise. Unseen, forbidden to my sex. The Yellow Silk-Lined Wrap isolated her private figure. Tiny, little feet peeked from underneath her dress.  
  I felt the humidity of a long day and judged from her onion like layers - she must feel worse.  
  Clenched in her right hand I could see a familiar beige chiffon veil. A sudden anticipation channelled through me as her motionless body erupted a lava of forgotten memories.
  My vision suffered as I felt my eyes flood. I could not move to wipe off the salty water that was now pouring out of my eyes. I was paralysed. Paralysed by Her.
  She looked through me, through all those lost years. Nothing had changed. We were still those teenagers hiding in the Moroccan ruins, so young and so passionate about each other. We were still bound like we are one. And yet nothing was the same. Our fates didn’t correlate, like someone was chanting on us to forever seek that destiny.  
  None of us spoke, and still, we communicated, as if we were Siamese twins, physically separated, but with joined identities. In that moment we shared every feeling, every emotion and every thought that we saved over twenty years. I could predict her each move, and yet, her actions seemed so very alien to me. I was discovering something new each moment we spent together.
  The grip softened, and the veil glided through her delicate fingers, dancing in mid air as it landed on the floor. I felt my stomach tingle as I knew she had begun. Her wrists levitated to undo a perfect bow on her black cloak. She moved her wrists higher and slowly slid the hood off her alluring hair. The slow pace continued as she released the heavy cloak off her tanned shoulders revealing the detailed costume. Gold coins filled the top of her Bronze Daraji Skirt and bottom of her foundation garment, multi coloured silk chiffon fabrics draped from all sides. The intricate fabric Illuminated on a ray of sunshine that also kissed her flawless face.
  She raised her arms and brought slow movements into her wrists and fingers while steadily rocking her hips from side to side. She begun to turn very slowly and with each turn she removed one of the chiffon fabrics revealing glimpse of bare skin.
Last time I saw her belly dance for me I promised that I’d always remember her like this. Like a dancing mirage.
  She continued dancing on a rainbow of translucent fabric that now covered any glimpse of red sand bellow her feet. Her body glided smoothly like a feather in the breeze. The Gold Coins made contact with one another every time she made an abrupt dance movement creating a metal clinking sound that I so deeply associated with her. Her long dark wavy hair was gathered with a Pearl Necklace that was embedded in the thick plait. Her thin arms were covered with thick Gold Bracelets that reflected in orange sunbeams, emphasising the Hot Atmosphere.
  Her dancing serenely reduced to a halt simultaneously with my advance towards her. Our concurrent steps were long and unhurried as though we had been practicing this routine for years. No, we were not practicing, but we were prepared, we had a lot of time to prepare.
  As more distance shrank between us, the physical connection became more anticipated. We stopped, what seemed the most momentary journey, just millimetres apart. I felt her breath on my lips. I could see her eyes like two moons in the night, as she took a long deep look at me searching for an answer. They were full of shine.
  ‘After so many years we are here again,’ Jadie whispered.
  ‘Like there weren’t all those years,’ I muttered, ‘here we are like we were.’
  ‘Lucas!’ her voice was full of admiration and passion.
  ‘I feel like that teenager again, secretly in love with you!’
  ‘We shouldn’t have come here; it’s an insane move,’ her expressions were full of worry. We were both aware of the consequences that would follow if we were found, yet we knew the moment we let go of our each other’s hands; we will no longer care for our lives. We were simply too exhausted to go against fate any longer. We had waited too long.
  ‘Jadie, I’ve tried to forget you, but I can’t.’
  ‘Did you often think of me?’
  ‘No!’ I said with a polite laughter as she joined in, ‘I tried as hard as I could not to, but everything reminded me of you, music, shawls floating in the wind. Everything reminded me of you.’
  A flash of dulcet memory raced to remind of the first time I saw her, how I wanted to grab her, touch her, kiss her, love her.
  ‘I thought of you every day,’ she said, ‘I asked myself how you lived, whether you were happy or not, I wished you happiness and at the same time agonized with jealousy that you could be happy without me,’ Jadie’s velvet words wrapped me in a gentle melody, which she so easily produced with each word.  
  I was jealous too. Jealous of her family that got to see and touch her every day, jealous of her daughter for not being ours, of her husband who got to feel the heat of her body and smell her sweet scent every night. Of all that I was forbidden.
  ‘We spoke here for the first time;’ I managed to get out as tears raced down my face, ‘do you remember?’
  ‘I came here often and dreamed of you.’
  ‘Some say our words forever stay in space like radio waves, listen ...’ we closed our eyes remembering. I could hear those assurances and promises that we exchanged, ‘nothing happens without a reason, us meeting was written long before our birth,’ Jadie said to me once; ‘I’ll never deny you... I’ll do anything... I love you!’ I pledged to her. I could hear her so clear as if we travelled back in time, ‘we are meant to be together ... nothing can separate us.’
  ‘Do you still believe that?’ I asked, ‘That no one and nothing in the world is powerful enough to separate us...I do.’
  ‘Oh! Lucas!’ Her smile widened uncovering a set of perfect teeth.
  My fingers steeled across her skin, as they began to toy with the veil obscuring the passion beneath,‘I’ll promise you one thing,’ I reached to brush off a tear on her pink cheek, ‘this time I won’t leave without you,’ and I meant every word I said.

  Occasionally time likes to repeat old stories and sometimes tells completely new ones. If it was in their fates to forever search a link for their happiness, then they would continue the endless search for their Maktub, as it is for that reason Allah created us. So that we are happy.
  "Destiny is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.” Paulo Coelho

I wrote this piece a while ago. It was inspired by a Brazilian TV series “O Clone” that has remained my favourite love story of all time.
I hope after reading this you will be just as inspired as I was about the fashion aspect. It gave me so many ideas, that I then tried to incorporate into my own style. The fabrics, the jewellery, the music and the Moroccan culture, that is so unique and beautiful, each complement each other in a way that rarely ever proves successful, bringing out a romantic and sensual quality.
I was also taken by how strong love can get and it’s amazing how it’s sometimes the only thing that matters.
This might give you an idea of what I was trying to convey in my story

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The right foundation for you!

It’s very hard to find the right foundation for your skin that is why I wrote this review, just to eliminate some of the weakest links and make it easier for some to choose correctly. Also because I have tried out a lot of the brands over the past few years and wanted to share my opinion, so that you save a bit of money, by not “testing” but picking right straight away.

The brands and products that I chose are quite popular and have been established for a while, which allowed me to test them for a prolonged period of time, hence delivering near enough accurate results. Another beneficial thing is that they all range in price, so that if you’re saving or you’re a student you’ll know which brand is better for an affordable price.

I’ll start with “Olay complete care touch of foundation/daily moisturiser with a touch of MAX Factor foundation” which I regard the best choice for teenagers who refuse to give up using make up. It contains Olay moisturiser which acts as the protective layer (some people use it as a daily moisturiser for work and get both the coverage and the protection) and MAX Factor tint that just evens out your colour. It’s also SPF 15, which acts as a sunscreen, 15 isn’t particularly high, but the fact it’s there and it will provide protection. The packaging alleges that the content does not clog pores and is easily absorbed, however I wouldn’t say it’s very absorbent at all. I wouldn’t recommend it for people who want heavy coverage though, as its very light and only covers mild pigmentation. I also wouldn’t recommend it if you have oily skin, the moisturiser feels and looks as though you have cream on your face. You could of course solve that problem, many people do, by lightly dabbing finishing powder on top which absorbs that extra oil and creates an even effect. However, all that foundation creates layers and can sometimes look cakey, also it’s not much helpful if you’re trying to use it for beneficial reasons and then end up layering on top. Overall it’s a very good product, I think this type of foundation is practical for everyday use when you don’t want anything heavy, one that doesn’t ruin the skin as much as standard products of its type usually do. It was £7.99/$12.35 when I bought it and I think it’s slightly overpriced, when I consider the target market to be teenager and student who cannot afford to spend so much on such non essentials.

Next is “Rimmel London Lasting Finish Foundation” which isn’t singularly special in my collection, as I find it heavy with no beneficial factors for the skin. The packaging claims “16 hour transfer resistant anti-trace” which is somewhat fulfilled and to being “mineral enriched”, that I cannot check, but I can say although it feels heavy on the skin, it doesn’t look it at all. This foundation can cover a lot of surface with a pea sized portion and spreads well giving an even finish. It’s designed for all types of skin, but I think it would better suite oily skin, as its absorbent when applied. It cost me £5.39/$8.33 which is a bit over priced for what it offers, but then again it’s pretty average price for products of its type.

My first foundation was “Mz Vanity Cover Me Foundation”. I don’t even think it’s worth writing about, because I bought it from a 99p shop and everyone knows products they sell aren’t very good quality. It’s still full, I probably only used it for a week. It’s runny and only came in one colour which was too pale for me, however it contains vitamin E cream which acts as an antioxidant and I’m a very big fan of that vitamin (please read my blog on “How to keep my face moisturised naturally” to find out more). It does feel and smells like a cream, that is why it doesn’t really suite to be a foundation, it hardly contains any foundation-like features. I guess I only wrote about it because of that vitamin, I honestly think it’s one of the best natural antioxidants available. This foundation would work as a base layer or a the most!

I saw an advert for “Almay smart shade makeup foundation” and decided to purchase it purely based on its unusual feature, which is that it adapts itself to suite your skin tone. I squirted a bit on the back of my hand it came out white at first and then I watched in astonishment when it changed colour as I was rubbing it in. I was really taken by that and by how natural it looked. My skin felt really soft and smooth. It’s SPF 15, promises not to clog pores and hypoallergenic (promises to cause fewer allergic reactions). That offered a great package for me. On the contrary, it feels rather heavy on the skin and that doesn’t surprise me considering how much substances would have gone into making that special feature. And not all of the substances are good for the skin, considering they are new and haven’t been in use for long enough to note their drawbacks, which did put me off using it. And although it adapted to an impressive shade on my skin, I hove other foundations that do a much better job. I know that sounds really negative, but my skin is young and hasn’t yet been spoiled by all the chemicals and I really try to find the most beneficial foundation (although some of my favourites aren’t that advantageous as you will find out). It cost me £6.95/$10.74 which, unfortunately, would also have to fall under my ‘overpriced’ category.

Next is, hands down, one of my most favourite foundations “Sally Hansen Fast and Flawless spray on foundation”. It is, as the title suggests, spray on and it gives the best airbrushed effect I could get with a foundation. My method of applying it is by first spraying it on the back of a hand, then lightly dabbing it into a powder brush and with a patting motion applying it all the face. Make sure however that you apply a toner first, as it will prepare your face for that airbrushed effect, kind of works as a blank canvas! It’s water resistant and lightweight – hardly noticeable on the face. However it doesn’t contain any creams or vitamins or sunscreens, it’s simply foundation and that might be a positive for some, but it means that there is little protection which is always a negative for me. You could of course create your own protection layer by applying a moisturiser beforehand, but that would create a layered effect – which explains why this foundation is so light. It was £4.99/$7.71 when I bough it which was a fair price, but now it has come down to £2.00/3.09 and I consider it a bargain!

“Giordani Gold age defying foundation” I got it from my mum when I just started getting into makeup and I wasn’t disappointed in it on the other hand I wasn’t exactly blown away by it either! It’s really heavy and offers little protection with only SPF 8. And it’s fairly smudgy and runny so for some people topping it up with a layer of finishing powder would have to be a solution. Nonetheless it looks really rich when applied, it almost looked golden; it especially looks good in sunlight, as it contains reflective formula that highlights the skin and especially the cheekbones. Its current price is £15.00/$23.18 and although it offers a lot and it is a prestigious brand, there are other foundations which are much cheaper and offer the same, if not more!

Next is another favourite of mine “GOSH Lift me up!” It’s fairly light and covers the skin evenly. It lies on perfectly and delivers a very natural effect. It has a dry texture so when applied doesn’t leak or smudge. I’m really happy with it and at $9.99/$15.44 I hope you will be too!  It is a bit overpriced, but I think you can find it for about £5.00/$7.72 and it’s worth it either way!

Maybelline’s “Dream matte mousse” is a good foundation, but it is very heavy and really gives you the cakey effect. I’m not a very big fan of it, but I do have two versions! I would use it in emergency situations, but would never chose to wear it if I knew I would be exposed to very good lighting or would be standing too close to someone I want to impress – basically it’s not for close ups. But the texture is pleasant, makes the skin feel soft and distributes well. If I ever run out of it I wouldn’t buy it again especially not at £6.45/$9.97!

I watched an advertisement for Sheer Cover and decided to try it out - that was one of the best decisions I made (makeup wise!). There really is nothing bad about it. It works so well, it covers the skin so evenly portraying the airbrushed effect very well indeed, it contain beneficial minerals. Feels incredibly light on the skin, it has shimmer that reflects light - making the face look bright. I also love the sandy effect it gives me. It costs £7.49/$11.57 and I realise that it might be pricey, but buy this and you don’t need anything else!

I feel like I don’t have any more to say!

My last foundation is “Avon Personal Match”. It isn’t particularly amazing; in fact it really isn’t special at all. It resembles a lesser heavy version of Rimmel lasting finish, I would recommend it for people who don’t need much to cover – who just want to even out the colour here and there. It isn’t bad and defiantly worth looking at and trying out, but generally doesn’t make my top favourites! I bought it for £3.99/$6.16.

Hope you’ve read it all and are not falling asleep now!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Nair Exfoliating Hair Removal Cream – Review

A couple of months ago I bought a hair removal cream (can’t remember the brand) for the first time, I guess I expected too much because I was really disappointed with the result. So I dismissed that method of removing hair, until recently when I decided to try it out again and bought Nair hair removal cream priced £5.99/$9.29 for 200ml.

I bought it because it was the most expensive item of its type in the store, which allowed me to decide whether it’s the quality of the first cream that showed bad results or just the fact that this method doesn’t work.

The item in its self is very well presented, with pleasant colours and clear text, generally pleasing to the eye. It also claims to be dermatologicaly tested, exfoliating and moisturising with “up to 7 days of smoothness”.

Straightaway after applying, it gave off a really bad smell; it’s tolerable but quite strong. I waited for 5 minutes as instructed and when I checked all the hair wasn’t removed, so I waited a bit longer (it instructed that 5 minutes was the perfect time, but could wait longer as long as it wasn’t above 10 minutes). So when I finally checked after about 9 minutes, most off the hair came off, but still left about 3 millimetres of the hair which looked very messy and uneven. I applied it a couple more times, to get the final hair off, all in all about 4 applications.

Eventually I just went and shaved the remaining hair, partially because I was bored of the cream and because I got pretty much the best out of it and it stopped working on that left hair. I’m not a perfectionist, I don’t expect perfect results, but I want a substitute for the conventional methods such as the shaver, as it sometimes hurts my skin and leaves scars. So when I got the Nair cream I didn’t expect it to be perfect, but for it to at least replace the shaver.

I have to say I wasn’t impressed, and I don’t think it was the brand in particular, I just think this method of hair removing doesn’t really work; maybe they need time to develop this technique further.

Having said that, I wouldn’t rule out this method all together, my skin did feel smooth after the cream and then the shaving, if you are a patient person, prepared to put time into it and shave after using it then perhaps you’ll enjoy this product.

I also have to add that we all have different types of hair, so this product might work better for some than others, also might work better on different body areas like leg hair and facial hair better than pubic hair, as it is thicker. So, although this product isn’t for me, others might disagree.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Jolen cream bleach – review!

I’ve recently purchased Jolen crème bleach for £4.99/$7.75 for my brow hair which I don’t want to pluck, just because it was affordable and the only product of its type that I found in Boots (store). So naturally I didn’t expect much, but it did prove me wrong.

The packaging is very accurate and compact and the product comes in a bigger size. The instructions were very easy and simple. They also provided me with a little spatula and a palette for mixing the two formulas together – which I found very economical, as you don’t have to use the whole product in one time, it gives you the option of ‘use how much you need’.

You don’t have to wait long before you can apply it, around 2 minutes, just to let it settle. Then, as the instructions directed I waited for ten minutes and removed the mix with a damp cloth.

The results did impress me, because the area that I bleached was on my face, the brow, hence it wasn’t too rough on my skin even the sensitive skin on my face. It bleached well, with an even effect and the bleached hair was very soft as promised.

I have to say I don’t regret buying it, but I wouldn’t buy it again. That is because although the effect was good and it was affordable, I could get near enough the same result with normal hair bleach from eBay for £0.99/$1.53, plus you’ll get more of the product. I’m not saying that it will be better quality cheaper, but if you are a student like me you want the choice that saves the most money!

However that is not to say I wouldn’t recommend it, it is a good product just maybe less affordable for some people. It proved what claims it maid and I wasn’t disappointed in quality. All in all a good product, with outweighing positives.

Thank you for reading!

How to keep your face moisturised naturally.

 A few months ago my face was so dry that it started to peel. This is every girl’s nightmare and became mine too! I rushed to Boots and got everything I possibly could to get that moisture back. I bought a pile of creams from the leading brands, but after a few weeks I noticed that nothing really changed, that is when I started to panic even more. I thought that maybe it was some kind of skin condition.

 But, my mum came to the rescue. She is a doctor and has studied that subject, hence I didn’t really object to her advice. Later I realised how right she was!

 To keep your skin moisturised do not wash your face with soap every day, not even every other day! Soap contains ethanol which dries skin, by washing away the protective oil layer. It is that layer which naturally keeps your skin moisturised and the more commercial products you use the quicker it will age!

 Wash your face every day with warm water to wash away the dirt and only use soap once a week. I also recommend that you make ice cubes with green tea and vitamin E which both contain natural antioxidants which slow down the aging process and the ice refreshes the skin muscles. Use the ice cubes every evening when you get out of the shower and gently move the ice cube all over your face and neck.

 The only commercial products I use on my face are make up (rarely) and the Clarins make up remover. Don’t forget to remove your make up; don’t ever go to bed with foundation and eyeliner it ruins your skin very badly, so always keep a pack of baby wipes if you make up remover isn’t handy!

 Thank you for reading!