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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Follow Us | Aashni & Co Wedding Show 2015

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Travel Diaries | Some of my looks; Nigar

Those of you who follow us on Instagram would have already seen some of these looks, but here is are a few from our holiday. There are loads of outfits that I didn't photograph and now feel sad about not doing so. Oops! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Songs: The Anti-Valentines Play List

Valentines Day is upon us and while I love all things to do with love, I can't help but find that as I grow older, my tolerance for the day fades. It's fake and pretentious and filled with annoying couples who decides they must go out to celebrate on this day to show the world how happy they are. To celebrate I am sharing my Anti-Valentines Day Bollywood playlist, which is full of my favourite sad Bollywood songs. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fashion | Sonam Kapoor at Armani Privé Couture 2015

Paris Couture Week 2015 is in full swings and raising the flags for all of us Desis is Sonam Kapoor.
While I don't love this outfit (waist up she looks flawless, but the culottes are way weird), there is no doubt Sonam is owning every inch of this look, in a way only she can. That's one of the amazing things about her, she embraces every look she wears and follows through with appropriate hair and makeup. 

Sonam Kapoor in Giorgio Armani at Armani Prive Couture 2015 Paris Couture Week

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TRENDS | Negative Space Nails

Negative space nails; where bare nails peek through. This was a huge trends seen on the Spring 2015 catwalks, and set to be the new french manicure. It looks chic and really polished, plus there's always something so sexy, yet subtle when bare nails peek through. 

Negative space nails seen on the Spring 2015 catwalks: 

Charlotte Ronson Spring 2015 negative space nails
Charlotte Ronson Spring 2015 

Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2015 negative space nails
Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2015
Houghton Spring 2015 negative space nails
 Houghton Spring 2015
Sophie Theallet Spring 2015 negative space nails
Sophie Theallet Spring 2015
The Houghton nails were painted with OPI Samoan Sands, then a matte top coat, so while not technically a negative space, you can easily skip out on this sheer polish and go straight with the black dots on naked nails. 

This is a trend that I'm really excited about. I think it would look amazing as coloured tips on bare nails instead of the usual white tips for french manicures. 

What are your thoughts? Is this a nail trend you'll be eager to try? 
Keep an eye out for our interpretations of it. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Make Up Rants | and She Did Her Own Hair and Makeup...

Asian weddings in the UK have turned into such big, lavish affairs. Every couple it seems has a great amount disposable income. One of the most irrelevant costs? Bridal Makeup. Off the top of my head, I had quotes for £400 per event (2 years ago) for an Asian Bridal Makeup Artist. Friends of mine who married recently paid upwards of £800 this year. I see your jaw has dropped. This is on the "cheaper" side actually and to have any of the "top international celebrity makeup artists" turn your face in someone you don't even recognise anymore can cost more than £1000. Per event. Typical Asian weddings are 3 to 4 events and, let's not forget you'll have to pay the travelling costs for the make up artists to come to your house/venue. Overused words in the Asian industry; "celebrity", "exclusive", "couture", "designer", and "stunning".

My issues;

1. The price: I don't care how talented makeup artists think they are. These prices they demand are extortionate. I understand they did a course and they'll typically spend 3+ hours with a bride (although I assume they do slow some processes out so they can justify the price), but seriously, £1000? and why do they insist on changing people's faces so much that they look unrecognisable. Why do people still match the eye shadows to the outfit? That look was never in and will never be in. Why do they want to make people "fairer"? Why slap on so much make up on that your face looks like a cake and please don't say you need lots so it photographs better. What is wrong with your skin looking like actual skin? 

2. The brides: WHY DO YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE SOMEONE ELSE?!??! Sure it's your wedding day and you want to "look a bit different", but you should look recognisable as you. I went to a wedding last year, and despite being friends with the bride, when she turned up I did a double take. Was it her, was it her sister, was it a cousin, was it just someone who looked a bit like her? I wasn't even sure who it was. Girls, if you don't wear makeup on a regular basis you'll end up looking so different that any future children won't recognise mommy in the photos.  Yes the Kim Kardashian contouring is super beautiful, but don't alter your features so much that you're not longer you. You'll end up looking weird if you don't usually wear so much slap. Why don't you just want to look like a better version of yourself instead of looking like someone else. Your husband chose you, he loves you and must be attracted to you on some levels, so why don't you love you like he does? Most guys prefer natural looking makeup, but here you go and wanna look like bride of Chucky. Just don't do it.

3. Makeup artists don't know best: During a trial I had, one insisted on using a Mac foundation on my face. Despite me telling her I was allergic to Mac foundations. She said this one was "different" and I won't break out. It was just a trial so I let her. Came home a few hours later and my face started exploding with spots. Also she caked my face so much that my skin felt really suffocated. This was despite me saying I want my skin to look like skin, not a layer of paint. There is no way I would let one near my face (an Asian makeup artist that is). Asian makeup artists in the UK just wants to pile products on and on. They don't understand the concept that "less is more". They'll call their own work "stunning". They like to over flatter themselves and their work. FIY complimenting your own work is cheap and trashy. I recently saw a picture of someone's work which she described as fresh and dewy skin. All I could see was awful blush. So bad that it looked like she gave the model rosacea.Asian Bridal Makeup looks cheap, garish and not to mention ghastly.

4. You can do your own makeup: It's YOUR face, you've spent years mastering that canvas. No one knows it better than you. So why not do your own makeup. It's what I did. Partly because I thought it was ridiculous that someone could demand so much money for so little work. Secondly I thought I could just buy myself lots more makeup with that money saved. Thirdly my husband said I looked like a "ghost" when he saw me post the trial (the makeup artist actually was pretty good for an Asian bridal artist). He thought the foundation was too heavy (which it was) and she had altered my eye shape with the eyeshadow and eyeliner (because I guess she didn't think mine should look like how she thought they should look). Don't be scared of doing your makeup. Practice lots beforehand, and take pictures with flash to see how it fares under harsh lighting. You might need to add more to certain features so they pop under photography lights but adding tons of foundation to your skin is never a good look. e.g. you might to deepen the eyeshadow colours, or add more of an intense liner. The amount of bride whose face I've wanted to wash off for them because looking at them becomes painful. 

5.Why does your hair have to be in an awful updo? why, why, why? If you normally leave your hair open, then that's probably what suits you best. You don't need a beehive on your head just because it's your wedding day. It looks awful, you look awful, your head must actually hurt and it looks like some bird is actually about to hatch and fly out of there.

Here are some pictures from my wedding week. Makeup all done by me, with Nigar doing my eyeliner (coz she' gets it so perfect every time). I looked like me, looked great in pictures, my husband loved it (I mean he recognised me!), no regrets whatsoever. If I had to do it all over again I would do it exactly the same! Well maybe darken my eyebrows a little bit more, in some pictures it looked like I had none...

My face looks really slim in these pictures and that's because I was 10 kg lighter then.
I looked like me, this is a similar amount of makeup I'd wear on a regular basis and to someone else's wedding. And most importantly I felt like me, which feels like a confident and relaxed person. Did I want to worry about my lashes falling off? No (I wear them on a regular basis, and can apply them in no time at all). If you're not used to wearing false lashes it'll feel weird (opt for real hair lashes instead of synthetic, it makes a world of difference). Whatever it is you do, you want to feel comfortable as discomfort will show on your face and forever in the pictures (I'm not sharing pictures I have of other brides because we're friends and I'd like to keep it that way).

So do you think Asian bridal makeup artists are worth the price they ask for? Well clearly a lot you do which is why they manage to stay in business.

Are they worth it? Doing your own bridal makeup, yay or nay?
What do you think of me doing my own? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. 

Have a beautiful week guys.

Input by Nigar:
I agree with everything Kayennat said in this post, but would like to add another question. Where did this culture of wearing so much wearing on our wedding days come from? 
I mean seriously, take a look at these images here, from the WedMeGood website, and compare them to the pictures you see in the British Asian Bridal Mags. Its a world of difference. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Travel Diaries | Quad Bike at Andrea Lodge

We had a quad bike session at Andrea Lodge, organised by Big Foot Adventures. The weather was pretty horrid the days leading to the day, with heavy rainfall, and we thought that we might have to cancel. We braved it and went anyway, which turned out to be great as quad biking in mud is way more fun than quad biking on dry lands. 

We drove up a dirt track to end up at the lodge, which had some pretty stunning views.

The brown is the mud from the mouth of the river! The heavy rains before this caused a lot of mud to be dislodged as you will see in the picture of the waterfall!

We were given our sexy gear, and saftey talks by our two guides, Akshay and Rodney and we saddled up. Akshay even gave me a helmet that could hold my GoPro, however the memory card ran out of memory before we even left the compound.

Most of us decided to double up and change drivers halfway through. 
I had actually toppled over with a quad bike the last time I was in Mauritius, and the group constantly reminded me of it. Grr....

The quad "track" was the dirt roads through the sugar cane fields. 

We were greeted by gorgeous blue skies, 

The great thing about the prior week raining meant there was lots of muddy puddles to drive through. I got soaked more than a few times. 

This is where I (nigar) got most muddy. Went straight through it!

We had a little river crossing, which Akshay (on the right) and Rodney (on the left) had to get off and hold the chains for us to cross with our bikes, 

and were promptly greeted by stunning views of the sea (you can't swim in these waters). 

This beach looked incredible, calm, serene and no one else there. There was a wooden ladder going down to it, although I have no idea how safe it would have been. We didn't take the chance....

We got of and went to take selfies, photos I mean. Not quite sure what these two  were looking for....

I mean really, does scenery get much better than this??

We got back on our bikes and these two (the same 2 who were looking over the rocks), drove straight into the fields. Women drivers *wink wink*. 

Our next stop; Rochester Falls. Normally a waterfall with crystal clear  waters, but it was pretty muddy with all the rains. 

Being near waterfalls is pretty rejuvenating, and it is something to do with the huge amount of ions they contain. You can read all about it here

If you've seen the movie Ek Villain, you might recognise this waterfall as where Shraddha Kapoor and her villain goes to play with butterflies. There was a young boy named Rajeev selling coconuts, and we all bought one, plus ate the cream inside the coconut, knows as "malai". 

We then drove back to the lodge, trough the fields.

This was a really fun day out and well worth the promotional offer we had (Rs 1200 per person if you shared a bike, or Rs 2000 rupees if you didn't want to share a bike. Our guides, Akshay, and Rodney were professional, and we got to view some beautiful places that are otherwise inaccessible by cars/public transport. Well worth it and highly recommended.  We were so muddy after this we took a beach recommendation from the owner (Riambel Beach) and we set off to jump in the sea (to follow).  

The details: 
Address: Andrea Lodge, Riviere des Anguilles, Savanne, South Mauritius
How to get there: Taxi or by car. No bus will go there.  
Entrance fee: Depends on promotions available at the time. Check their Facebook for current details.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Books | Goodreads Book of the Year 2014: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Ever read a book with a lot of expectations but left feeling meh? I typically get along with Goodreads recommendations as I find them pretty accurate, but their book of the year 2014, Landline by Rainbow Rowell left me very underwhelmed to say the least. Over 46,000 people voted for it as Book of the Year. 
To stalk what I read on Goodreads, click here

The blurb: 

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

The book is essentially a journey of Georgie talking to her husband in the past and she struggles with whether she should rekindle that relationship during an earlier breakup. I liked all the relationship questions it posed and resolved but that's all that was good with it. She speaks to her husband through an old telephone (that somehow calls him in the past on a telephone that he no longer has, and she can't get hold of her husband in the present as he's either always out or the children drains his battery by playing games on it). And that's my main gripe with it. It's not a fantasy book, nor magical in any sense so this *special* telephone really doesn't make any sense. The book was pretty juvenile, although I did really like Neal's character (a bit too ideal to be real, e.g. he gives up everything to become a stay at home dad so that his wife can go back to work and not feel guilty about having to put the kids in daycare, makes food for Georgie no matter what- even when he's angry at her, loves her unconditionally). In short I would never have picked this book up from reading the blurb as I am really not a fan of chick lit (I'm sticking it in the chick lit category), and only read it becomes it was Book of the Year. 

In my honest opinion, you can skip it, as it was pretty pants. 
#SorryNotSorry but it was a waste of my time and I feel well peeved at it being Book of the Year as it's beyond unworthy. 

Moving on, what was the best book you read in 2014? Do you even read books? Leave your recommendations below. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

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