My lovely meeting with MyLovelyWedding.com

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While searching the tinterweb for wedding blogs (something I often do!) I stumbled upon one Dubai-based website calledwww.mylovelywedding.com. It was full of really unique ways to decorate your wedding and ideas for party décor and themes in general. Like genuinely cool ideas that we haven’t seen done in Dubai. Jam jars as centrepieces, chalk boards as signage, bunting, lace – basically all things country chic that I love and miss from the UK’s ‘festival’ style weddings that are gaining massive popularity. ‘We’d better meet this creative creature’ I thought to myself and swiftly set up a coffee date.

Upon arrival we were greeted with a gorgeous individual who introduced herself as Joelle, the founder of The Lovely Group and MyLovelyWedding.com. We sat and chatted forever about décor, our own weddings, her unique style and ideas for every party you can think of. By the end of it we were wide-eyed and pumped about the next party we were going to throw! Cute ideas were overwhelming my brain and, at one point I’ll admit, I did think ‘Dammit, if I’d just met you before my wedding there’s things I would have changed!’. I think we all feel it at some point. I’ve been getting serious theme-envy from looking at these blogs and some CRAZY dress-envy from wedding dress shopping with my bride-to-be friends. But I guess it’s just one day at one point in your life and your likes change everyday – so there’ll always be a point that you go ‘oh that would have been cool!’ and wish you had done it for yourself!

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Anyhow, I digress. It’s been a week since our meeting and Dee is already in cahoots with Joelle about organising and decorating a baby-shower that she’s throwing for her friend. I can’t rant enough about this girl. Every day she calls Dee with some new fabulous idea she’s had for décor, and yesterday, sorted the whole catering and décor out at an AMAZING price. I’ll never try and organise a party myself again and I urge you – for anything you need be it just some décor to rent (she has an office full of the CUTEST stuff you can use) or a full party planner – call Joelle, you will not regret it!

Joelle@mylovelywedding.com

Toodles for now!

Dal xx

Met Gala Ball 2013 – Our review of the best and worst make-up looks

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We’re reviewing the best and worst make-up looks from this years Met Gala Ball. As you may know, the theme this year was punk fashion which meant make-up artists to the stars got to have fun with the looks. But did some celebs just look punk’d? Lets take a looksie..

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First up in our favourite looks is Anne Hathaway. This silver and black smokey eye look is perfect for the event and her quiffed blonde hair looks amazing. It’s totally different to her usual demure style and is definately punk – but she still looks classy and well put together. While we’ll admit, her look is normally very safe – she has stepped up for this event as we lover her for it. Well done Anne! Keep the risk-taking up!

 

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Next up is a pint-sized star that we never thought would be on our ‘Good Make-up’ list – but we can’t deny that Nicki Minaj’s wine lip colour and exaggerated eyeliner looks really good! We’re loving the natural curls in blonde too and her look, altogether, is surprisingly chic! If anyone was going to go crazy at this punk event we thought it’d be Nicki – but she’s somehow toned down her look and we love her for it.

 

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J-Lo looked fantastic at the Met this year – we are OBSESSED with this hair style, it’s amazing. Her make-up could have been heavier/darker as this soft dark eye is something we’ve seen on Jennifer at many different events. Just goes to show that if you’ve got a look thats working for you, just keep rocking it! I would have liked to see a darker matte look on her lips for this event, but still, she looks great.

 

 

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And now the celebs who just totally missed the mark. First up, Miley Cyrus. Bold red lips and no eye make-up does NOT a punk princess make. Punk is all about eye make-up, eyeliner, guyliner! Couple the lack of eye make-up with this 13 year old boys first attempt at hair gel and we think she’s totally missed an amazing hair and make-up opportunity here. Such a shame as we’ve been loving her recent looks too. Poor form Miley, poor form!

 

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Emma Watson. YAWN! What is this understated look all about? Did she not get the PUNK memo on the invitation?? No eyes, no lips, no hair – no fun! We don’t get this at all. What stylist let her go to this hugely anticipated event looking so ordinary? With two simple adjustments she would have passed our gaze unscathed – boof up the top of that hair and line those eyes in smudgy black. That’s it!

 

 

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This guilty look in Gwyenth Paltrow’s eyes is there for a reason. She’s turned up and realised her bright pink dress, basic daytime make-up and hair scraped into a ponytail, just might not cut the mustard. Again we find ourselves turning to stylists and thinking ‘Did you do this??’, and if so, ‘WHY?’. She looks perfectly pretty, but perfectly wrong for this event. *sigh*

 

 

‘Fro Woe

As some of you may have witnessed, I have incredibly curly hair. When I say incredibly curly – I’m talking tight mini ringlet curls. My hair is about as close to afro hair as you can get, without actually having afro hair!

I spent my childhood running wild, ‘fro n all, as a frizzy-mopped and carefree child. As a teen I’d keep my hair in only one style for fear of my ‘fro unleashing itself in public – it would be kept up in a tight french twist…everyday…for years. I used to dream of thinner hair.

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Then at around 13 / 14 (I call these my rock-chick years as my playlists mostly consisted of Nirvana, Metallica and Megadeth and my wardrobe reflected this) I discovered the wonders of 2 things: bleach and hairdye! What followed can only be described as a rainbow of frizzy chaos of epic proportions as I went from all red, to bright purple strips to bleached ‘head bands’. The picture above depicts my ‘essentials’ during this time. You’ll be relieved to hear that this phase of my….’style’….only lasted a couple of years (ok 3 years! don’t judge me!).

This is the part of this story where you’re expecting things to get better for my poor, now even frizzier from all the colouring, hair. This is just the beginning. Because at age 16 I discovered the unthinkable. The thing that is ruining hair and balding women across the globe. The thing that you only turn to when you’re desperate. With a massively thick ‘fro of curls on my head, it seemed like a dream come true…and I did it….I began relaxing my hair at home (roots, scalp, everything got covered!).

Here’s the thing no one tells you about at home relaxers….they’re ADDICTIVE! Ok….so I finally had slightly less curly and almost manageable hair….then a few months later, my roots would grow throw to remind me of what will happen if I don’t buy another box of relaxer and slap it all over my head, again and again and this went on for YEARS!


By the time I hit uni I wanted a drastic change. I thought to myself – what do all these women with curly and afro hair do to look ‘cool’. BRAIDS! I went and got my first lot of braids with extensions and I LOVED them! It was the ultimate solution for the life of a student who liked to party hearty. The more I got them done and watched the process, the more I became confident me and Dal could do it ourselves! So I’d buy batches of synthetic braiding hair and voila! We actually got pretty good at it! I’d like to add that the abuse of my hair at this point was not just restricted to the heavy braids constantly pulling – the relaxing still continued. Everytime I took my braids out, my hair would be brushed, relaxed, washed and the whole process would start over again.

Once I was over my braid phase (still at uni) and was kinda sick of being called a rasta, the braids came off and I did something i’d never done in my life before. I rocked my ‘fro like no ones ever rocked a ‘fro. It was big, it was awesome and it was extreme side-parted. It looked great!…but still….the relaxing continued.

After uni, I moved to Dubai. Nothing could have prepared me for what 100% humidity would do to my ‘awesome ‘fro’. I moved here in the middle of August and needless to say, my hair quickly formed itself into a poof of unimaginable frizz. So now what? No amount of products could help me.

Dal, who’d moved here a year before me, had tried something called re-bonding. Which she explained to me was basically like relaxer, but done in a salon the hair would be relaxed, straightened and left to ‘set’ for 3 days. She told me to try it. So I did. I couldn’t believe how straight and tame my hair was! It was actually almost too straight! I’d gone from massive hair, to flat, straight hair which took some getting used to. But at least I was presentable! when your hair is re-bonded well, when the roots grow even a tiny bit look ridiculous as the result is straight hair with poofy frizz at the top. So as you’ve probably gathered from my history with my hair, re-bonding was my new addiction and it continued for 5 years. Shortly after discovering re-bonding, and with thinner hair from all my treatments, I found the wonders of hair extensions. Glue-ins, clips-ins, weaves, you name it, I’ve had it. This coupled with the re-bonding and the years of abuse – my hair had finally had it with me.

My hair had become thinner and thinner from all the chemicals, colours, relaxers and braids throughout my life. To the point that it was visibly thinner and very brittle. I was now at 27 years old and the realisation hit me – if i don’t stop, I’ll have no hair by the time I’m 40.  

I stopped everything.

Growing out re-bonded is not fun. But it needed to happen.

I’m now 30 and have ceased chemicals on my hair for the last 3 years. My hair is getting healthier, but it will never be as thick as it was. It doesn’t curl as it used to, which when i look back, were the tightest most beautifully defined curls.

 
Chris Rock made a movie a couple of years ago called ‘Good Hair’ which explores relaxers and hair extensions. There was a demonstration that showed relaxer being put on a supermarket chicken and within hours, it had eaten through the chicken to the table. Now it makes me sad to think about what I’d been doing to my poor hair and scalp.

I wish someone had grabbed me at 15, slapped me and shook me and said “STOP! You’re hair is awesome!” I would have all my thick beautiful hair and I’d be proudly rocking my ‘fro. Now I can’t really wear it curly as its so damaged and uneven – so it stays blow dried and I will continue you to condition it and nurture it until it resembles the texture of normal hair again.

Your hair is your hair, own it, style it, rock it. Don’t destroy it.

Dee xxx

 

Our brushes are heeeeeeeeeere!

We’re so excited today! Our Real Techniques brushes arrived from the UK and we fiiiiiiiinally get to play with them! I’m not gonna lie, it was a total mission getting them here. Our wonderful friend Safi had to order them on boots.com to deliver to her home, then her poor big bro had to pack them in his things and haul them to the airport (I can’t imagine what he had to say to customs as to why he was carrying 30 make-up brushes!), onto his flight to DXB and finally to his family home, where we scooped them up and are super excited to try them out (as demonstrated by Dee’s face here)…

Real Techniques brushes are the brain child of UK make-up artist and blogger Samantha Chapman. Sam and her sister Nicky make up the duo known as Pixiwoo. We absolutely love them and have been watching their blogs for years. So when we heard that Sam had designed a range of brushes, with fully synthetic hair, we knew we had to have them! There’s a big debate amongst the pro world about whether animal hair brushes are better (most say they are) – but these fully synthetic animal-cruelty free brushes feel fantastic and look like the way forward for animal lovers like me and Dee 

We’ll be reviewing all the brushes soon – maybe even on a video blog! So we’ll keep you posted.

Dal xx

ImPress Nails Changed My…Nails

So as most of you know, me and Dal recently got an endorsement deal with Kiss USA (yay!) which is awesome as they have a whole bunch of great products, aside from their lashes which we’re completely addicted to.

So when we sat with Kiss, they introduced us to their ImPress nails by one of the companies under Kiss USA called Broadway Nails. To be honest my first impression when they mentioned them was a little *yawn* – so what, everyone makes stick on nails.

Now I’ve always had crappy nails. I have no idea why, but they only ever get to a certain length before breaking and peeling. So I always have them short and they always look kinda scruffy (I’m the person hiding their nails in meetings 😦 ). I’ve used most types of stick on nails and the glue completely trashes my already fragile nails. Gelish I hear you cry? Been there, done that, had the paper thin nails to show at the end of it.

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So here’s where I go back to ImPress nails. As soon as I took them out of their awesome packaging (packed into a nail varnish shaped bottle – too cute!) I realised they were different from other nails. They were soft and bendy – almost like a thick layer of nail polish. The other thing is that instead of glue, they had an adhesive stuck to them. So you just peel off the sticker and put them straight onto your nail! So they seemed to already be looking like a great product to me – but i won’t vouch for anything until I’ve tried it. If something passes the Dee test, it must be good! I’m very fussy! So right there in the meeting, I opened up a pack and began giving myself an ImPress manicure. OMG! The fact that they’re soft means they form to your nail and aren’t painful when you first wear them, they stick on really well and make your nails look PERFECT!

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But this isn’t the best part. The nails lasted about a week – they probably would’ve actually lasted longer, but my impatience and bored with a colour after a certain amount of time made me do the unthinkable….PEEL THEM OFF! I winced and peeled slowly, expecting to reveal a gammy, thin, demolished nail underneath. My nails were EXACTLY as they had been before I put them on. NO peeling, no damage, nothing! Suffice to say, from this point on – I Was hooked! Fantastic nails as often as I wanted?! And ones I could suddenly just peepl off when i was colour bored and needing a change?! YES PLEASE!

In the following days, our box of kiss goodies arrived (I cannot explain to you how exciting it is to receive a pink box FULL of gorgeous lashes and beautiful nails in all colours – the picture below is Dal beautifully demonstrating her excitement). Me and Dal were like kids in a candy store. Now you will never seen me with ugly, chipped away, naked nails again!
ImPress nails are now a crucial addition to our make-up kit and are available to our clients. You HAVE to try these. Each pack contains a really good range of sizes and they come in awesome colours. You’ll find them at most pharmacies 🙂 Let us know how you like them!

Dee xxx

How Veganism Cured My Acne

I’ve been thinking for a while about whether or not to write about this. I’m by no means a nutritionist/dermatologist or any kind of expert in the field of acne, I can only share my own personal struggle with it and my eventual cure.

I got through my teens unscathed – I was clear skinned, finding myself and all that teen-angst. But when I got to university something strange happened. All over my cheeks I suddenly developed these seemingly random pimples. It wasn’t hormonal, there were no changes I could pinpoint, they were just suddenly there. And they weren’t going away! I tried all the prescription creams and lotions, until I was finally and inevitably put on Roaccutane – the pharmaceutical world’s acne-miracle-cure. And it worked! My skin cleared up. I had the usual side-effects too, very dry skin, dry lips, and I had to check my liver function ever 4 weeks, but the spots were gone! I stayed on it for about 4 months and when I came off it thought I had closed the book on that chapter of my life.

I was wrong. I moved to Dubai shortly after graduating and the acne returned. With a vengeance! Back to the doctors I went and back on Roaccutane too. The doctor noticed a slight change in enzyme levels in my liver so said he would have to monitor it. It felt like the balance between health and beauty was teetering on silly – I didn’t want to damage a vital organ to clear my skin! So I came off the drug after just 2 months, resigned to have acne forever.

Years later, still getting pimples on my cheeks and now my neck, my sister Dee and I had launched Make-up by Dee & Dal. Dee has always been into saving the environment and rescuing stray animals, and all things that made me call her a ‘hippy’ for a long time. She stopped eating meat and eventually stopped eating, wearing or using any product/food that had any animal product or by product or was tested on animals. I won’t bore you with my dairy farm and meat farm research – but sufficed to say, I decided to take the vegan route myself, about a year later for health and ethical reasons. Then I noticed something strange was happening. My skin was clearing. Slowly but surely, the spots were disappearing and, more importantly, no new ones were appearing. I didn’t have that ‘itchy’ feeling on my cheeks after I used to eat dairy items – specifically cheese. I didn’t feel like my face was over-producing oil after I had dinner, the way it used to after eating meat or food with animal fat in. 8 months in to my lifestyle change, and I haven’t had a single pimple since the day I ‘went vegan’.

It got me wondering – how many acne sufferers could actually be antagonising their skin problem by eating things they didn’t know they shouldn’t. I’ll admit it – the doctor always used to say ‘avoid cheese and chocolate’ as they have been proven to make acne worse in some people. But could it be that animal/dairy products as a whole are not good for acne sufferers? Maybe it’s just my cure – but I felt I had to share it with everyone as, maybe it’s their cure too! Why not give it a try and see if you notice a difference?

Dal xx

Some of my vegan creations

My make-up must-haves!

So I’ve been looking through my make-up bag and have been thinking about what I should keep and what I don’t really need. I’ve gone on so many shopping trips with friends who are starting out at make-up application too, and always advise a few essentials. I also have a very tempting suitcase full of make-up (known as ‘The Kit’ by me and Dee) so delve into it on occasion when I need something more. But there are still a few items that my make-up bag always contains…

1. Concealer

You can do so much with concealer that I often turn to it before any other product. Find yourself a good concealer that is not too chalky and dry or too creamy and thin. It’s a real challenge and everyone likes different things, so go out there and try some on yourself. I always conceal under my eyes then dab abit on my cheeks (to cover my fading acne scars) and on the edges of my nose that always red up a bit. Get a good ‘smooshy’ brush (longer hairs and soft textured) and use circular motions to blend in concealer wherever you need. You can use your fingers too as the oils of your hand actually blend the product in most naturally!

2. Eyeliner

A good pencil eyeliner that is soft enough to not scratch as it goes on but hard enough to stay put is a must! I put one straight sweep of pencil eyeliner on my top lid against my lash line. It’s quick, needs no tools, and is considerably easier to control than gels and liquids. I also use my pencil eyeline for smokey eyes! Just blend the line for a softer look and apply a dab of the eyeliner in the outer corners of your eyelid. Then smudge away with a blending brush or…again…your fingers if you want 🙂

3. Mascara

Without mascara I always say “I have no eyes”! I put many coats of mascara on my top and bottom lashes and love a variety of brands – find one you love and make sure you give a little side to side wiggle at the roots to get lots on there!

4. Blusher

Cream blushers give you a rosy healthy glow while keeping the skin dewy. I dab some on my finger (always use your ring finger for hand-application of make-up it gives the best pressure), smile in the mirror, and put a few dabs on the apples of my cheeks where you naturally get flushed after exercise or a fresh breeze.

5. Lip Balm

I go for a plain lip balm on a day to day basis to keep my lips soft and moisturised.

And that’s amy daily make-up routine! It takes me about 5 minutes in total and keeps my make-up bag clutter free. If you’re going to invest in any products, just get these 5 on any brand that you favor, and you’re good to go!

Found some brands that you use for any of these 5 items? Let us all know which you prefer and why!

Dal xx