Looking forward to summer!

It’s summer pretty much all year round in my country but we do have the occasional chilly week or so in December and January. Apart from those two months, you’ll see plenty of sunshine in my tropical home – Sri Lanka. So I think it’s pretty apt for me to say that I know what I am talking about when it comes to summer trends and styles because hey, that’s all us Lankans wear all year long!

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I find that prints never really go out of fashion, no matter what season or time of the year. Whether it’s tribal, animal, floral or geometric, prints have a way of staying in trend. Here’s a classic example of a printed dress that can be worn in any season and any time of the day (really!). I love that it is also in very basic colours – black and white. It can be accessorised in pretty much any way you want, with similar coloured pieces of jewellery, handbag and shoes or even spiced up with some colourful bright add-ons.

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If you’re going to be rocking prints, you’ve got to give the print mix a go! Who says you can’t mix prints with prints when it can look so good on you? Take the above image for example and see how amazing the outfit looks on the women. It’s got the right kind of colours for summer and works so well with each other to create a unique look. Once again, you can accessorise anyway you like with a solid toned colour or amp it up with some bright hues for a playful look.

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It’s up to you if you want to wear long or short dresses really. I’m someone who doesn’t wear anything short so the longer options are the ones for me. However, I find that the occasional short print dress can also be worn if paired well and rightly with a pair of leggings or stockings. What I love about the three above images are the pops of colour, fusion of hues and also the not so drastic but still there prints. Nothing too loud and over dramatic. The third image is a classic example of something I would actually wear, and that tan camel coloured handbag is total gorgeous with the dress!

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Gotta say that this is one of my favourite finds! Okay so this might not scream summer or day time casual chic but you can certainly pull it off if you downsize the accessories and put your hair in a ponytail or braid bun. This could totally work for a mid-evening and late night summer kind of look too however and that’s what I love about this dress – it’s versatility.

If you happen to find similar pieces in a store near you, I kindly suggest you pick it off the rack and go pay for it. Prints aren’t going anywhere this year!

Xoxo

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My favourite NYX Cosmetics products :D

I was introduced to NYX Cosmetics sometime late last year by a friend/colleague at work. She’d been surfing the website all morning and I happened to look across her screen and noticed the beautiful lippies and vibrant colours. When asked, she talked non-stop about how great the soft matte lip creams were and how great their colour payoff was. I then looked up some online beauty bloggers’ reviews of the same and thought about getting some for myself. Since, I have been hooked to these amazing products. I love that they are of good great quality and decently priced. Most of the lippies, including the matte lipstick and creamy round lipsticks have great pigmentation. The retractable liners are another favourite as well as the jumbo lip and eye pencils. Okie, so this post is going to be a mini review of some of my top favourites. Enjoy!

Black, Brown and Gypsy Blue
Black, Brown and Gypsy Blue

Retractable Eye Liner in Black – Twist and shout! Renowned for its extreme lasting power, this creamy liner delivers intense pigmentation and precise application in an easy, twist-up tube that never needs sharpening.

I love this liner because it’s user friendly and so easy to apply. Just twist the tube and the product pops out. It glides on with ease and I love using it to create a cat eye whenever I go out at night.

Jumbo Eye Pencil in Slate – A radiant eye liner that also doubles as an eye shadow. Made with a blend of mineral oil and powder, our creamy Jumbo Eye Pencils glide on effortlessly—no pulling, tugging or fading—and come in a rainbow of vivid hues. Our most voluptuous pencil yet!

Who can say no to products that can be used for multiple purposes? Not I! I love the pigmentation of these colours and my most favourite is the colour Slate which is like a deep grey shade. I use it as both a liner and shadow. Again, it simply glides on with ease. It’s also great to use as an eyeshadow and then blend out to create a smokey effect.

Jumbo Lip Pencils, Studio Liquid Liner and Jumbo Eye Pencils
Jumbo Lip Pencils, Studio Liquid Liner and Jumbo Eye Pencils

Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Black – Transform your look in seconds with this super-pigmented eye liner that highlights eyes with an electrifying stroke of colour. The fine brush tip allows for precision application, and can be used to create lines of varying thickness. Go subtle or go glam.

I’ve never been a fan of liquid liners, mostly because I always felt like I wouldn’t be able to take it off with ease if I made a mistake. The studio liquid liner however has a fine brush tip and my trick is to first make dot like marks on where I want to create my line and then connect the dots. For bolder looks, I just create an outline over a normal liner look and then colour between the gap. Easy peasy!

Jumbo Lip Pencil in Iced Coffee– It’s double or nothing with this lip liner and lipstick in one. Our Jumbo Lip Pencils infuse lips with alluring, nourishing colour, and help you create a perfect pout. Line, define and colour with one jumbo pencil. Plus the mineral oil formula does not dry out your lips and it goes on smoothly. In 24 seductive shades.

These are the perfect alternative to lipsticks and glosses in the sense that they are easy to carry and you do not have to twist the tub or whatever. I find them super handy to carry around in my handbag and love the shade iced coffee so far. I will surely be getting my hands on more colours soon 😀

New lot!
New lot!
Monte Carlo, Addis Ababa and Amsterdam
Monte Carlo, Addis Ababa and Amsterdam

Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo – Neither lipstick nor lip gloss, this matte lip cream is a new kind of lip colour that goes on silky smooth and sets to a matte finish. Soft Matte Lip Cream is surprisingly durable and, unlike some matte lipstick formulas, also moisturising.

I think I’ve said all there is to be said about these gorgeous soft matte lip creams. They are the loves of my life and each time I purchase a new shade, I fall in love all over again. My first favourite was Milan, then it grew to Prague and Amsterdam. My current hot faves are Zurich and Monte Carlo, two opposite colours and yet fabulous ones.

Great opaque colour
Great opaque colour

Nail Polish Salon Formula in Elegance – One coat of this pro-favourite polish is all it takes to transform your hands from ho-hum to haute stuff. With so many brilliant, on-trend colours and 10 nail treatments, our Salon Formula system makes it easy to get sexy, salon-quality manis and pedis without ever leaving home.

This is the only colour I own from the salon formula range of polishes and I actually bought it on whim. I picked the lightest shade I preferred and am actually happy with my choice. Elegance is a very soft opaque pinky colour and I love the wear because it doesn’t chip easily and does me good for a week or so.

Creamy Round Lipsticks, Butter Balms and Butter Glosses
Creamy Round Lipsticks, Butter Balms and Butter Glosses

Here are a few more of some of my favourites from the brand – Creamy Round Lipsticks (loveeee Chaos), Butter Balms in Ladyfingers and Parfait and Butter Glosses (Meringue tops my faves).

Xoxo

*prints*

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Summer trending prints

Are you seeing the prints on  prints trend this summer? 

People aren’t so daring in my country but occasionally you’d find someone mixing one print with another. Almost always, it doesn’t look well put together or suitable for the occasion. So, how does one pull off this trend? 

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Two ways to it

Here are two contrasting looks. On the left one you’ll see stripes mixed with animal prints. On the right it’s polka dots mixed with polka dots. These are two ways of mixing prints to create a stylish look. You could mix two contrasting prints against one another with a solid in between or work with two light similar prints. As you can see, the polka dots aren’t too heavy on the eyes and the base colours complement one another (white and black). Typical colours that are often paired together.

The floral trend still continues so take a look at how it can be worn with more prints. 

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Stripes and florals
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Florals

One way of working florals is to pair a larger print with a smaller print. Do this in different ways. Your shirt can be of tiny cherry blossom print and skinny jeans in a bolder and larger print. Perhaps even the colours could complement one another. Another way to do it would be to pair florals with animal prints. For this, it’s best to stick to a similar colour palette on the top and bottom like seen in the picture – above middle one.  You could also don a bright printed dress and accessorise with another print to highlight your entire contrasting outfit. This is certainly the most daring of all ways to pair prints with prints. 

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Plaid and florals
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Geometric

The trick is to not look overdone or too flamboyant. It’ll kill the complete look and your fashionista image. Stick to the guidelines and you’ll be good to go. I’m not daring enough to try to mix prints as yet but I sure would love to pretty soon.

Have a great day everyone! Xoxo

From functional to fashionable

Burberry '14
Burberry ’14

Handbags today have multiple purposes for their existence. They not only stand for holding items that are needed on a daily basis when heading out the door or out of the country, but also as a fashion statement in the world’s growing and evolving wave of must-have accessories.

Early on, handbags (or rather purses or pouches as they were known as) were used by both men and women to hold seeds (food), medicine and tools. Where this functional asset truly originated from and when lies in antiquity but religious scriptures, ancient drawings and so on go on to make us believe that they have been in existence for centuries and more. Egyptian hieroglyphics depict men donning purse-like pouches tied to their waists; the Bible on the other hand describes Judas as to having worn a purse as well. Peasants and farmers alike wore pouch like bags filled with seeds and other grain items. Priests of the ancient times were also known to have saddle bags that held religious items like crosses and little scripture books.

Age old pouch
Age old pouch

14-17 Century
The earliest of times during which purses came into use were that of the Medieval Age. Both men and women were known at the time to attach small pouches (the size of a hand, not more) to hold their most important items. Pockets were not invented so these pouches were tied to the girdle of their attire and secured a rosary, fruit, small daggers and even pieces of paper. The pouch would hang from the girdle on a long cord and would vary according to the fashion, status, and lifestyle of the wearer. They were often made of goat’s or cow’s skin and therefore varied in colour too. Rich and higher class men and women often attached embroidered and ornamental pouches whilst the poor and lower class folk attached bare ones to their girdles.

It was during the 14th century that medieval purses and pouches became associated with marriage and betrothals. It became a symbol (a common wedding gift) given to the bride by the groom and often decorated with embroidered love stories on the skin. During the next two centuries, pockets were invented because pouches and purses were easily snatched while attached and so they also became varied in sizes depending on the items the owner wanted to secure inside.

At the dawn of the 16th Century (Elizabethan era) when women’s skirts expanded to large and enormous proportions, bags took a small role in simply being held under the skirts and also evolved into cloth ones used as a carry-on. Satchel-like bags became a common sight depending on the women’s background of upbringing and men held their little bag pouches inside their breeches. Swete bagges became a rave amongst the aristocratic folk who filled their bags with sweet smelling materials like lavender springs and perfumed balls of cotton. Gradually, towards the end of the 17th Century purses and bags became increasingly sophisticated and a symbol of stature.

18-20 Century
By the mid 18th Century, men and women were leading busy lifestyles and often travelling to and fro. Their necessities could not be carried in a mere pouch or bag and so luggage bags (hand-carry) came into existence under the name ‘handbag’. As history goes to say, many of the top names of today’s handbags got their start as luggage makers (in contrast to the previously made purses and pouches which were made by dressmakers). For example, Hermes bags were founded in the year 1837 by Thierry Hermes, a harness and saddle maker, while Louis Vuitton was a luggage packer for the Parisian rich and wealthy.

Tangy orange
Tangy orange

As the 20th Century turned in, handbags became more than just hand-held items. Women who went out and about carried medium sized bags now called the Dotty bag and working women wore slightly larger and structured bags such as the Boulevard bag. Leather shopping bags and briefcases for men also came into being. After WWI, the structure of the handbag evolved once more. A new type was introduced, one without straps or handle and known today as the clutch. The first few productions of this hand-less handbag were often decorated with geometric designs and motifs that were inspired by the era. It became a symbol of sophistication for women to simply tuck it under their arm in a nonchalant manner. New industrial material like plastic and zippers came into use, and bags were gradually made to match an outfit.

Envelope clutch
Envelope clutch

By the 1950’s the satchel bag, shoulder bag and clutch were in vogue. Big names like Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel took to accessorizing and colour coordinating bags. When fashion changed, so did the accessory. When long skirts and tiny waists were emphasized, small bags grew popular and implied beauty and sophistication. Reptile skin and silk accessories came into being as well. Shoulder bags with dainty chain straps came into existence thereafter, and later ‘flower power’ introduced a romantic and ethnic range of handbags with the addition of buckles and zippers to complete the look.

Tote on!
Tote on!

The latter part of the century paved way for a more health conscious lifestyle and so sports bags became the rave. Prada also introduced the first unisex bag made of nylon. Kate Spade entered the market and flourished with a range of spunky and funky handbags that were essential as well as fun to carry. The Fendi Baguette is unmistakable (shape-wise) and became popular around this time too.

Handbags today
Once again, men and women celebrate handbags (in their own way). Brands like Vuitton, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Dior have made their mark when it comes to accessorising with the right kind of handbag for the season, location and whim. Handbags have also now become a focus on many runway fashion shows throughout the year with designers vying to create the latest and best style, shape, colours and structure as a carry-on item. It is a known fact that people went crazy with their demand for handbags by the year 2006. The demand was so great that the prices also shot up skyward. A good example was the Hermes Berkin that had a starting price of US $8,000 and had a long list of waiting customers for years.

Striking blue
Striking blue

The women of today are stay-at-home mothers, professionals and entrepreneurs. Handbags carried by these women are not just a symbol of stature and sophistication anymore. It is a vital piece of accessory in her day to day life. For holding the house keys, work files and folders, the kid’s diapers, her makeup on the go, a fruit bar, an extra t-shirt or even a pair of shoes, the purposes of carrying a handbag differs from one to the other. It is all about personalities and trends in today’s world. What was hot yesterday might not be so today. What is suitable for carrying all the baby items cannot be used for donning to a formal party.

Gucci all the way
Gucci all the way

The same goes for the opposite sex. Men are once again becoming comfortable with accessorizing and donning man bags. Whether it’s for work, to the gym or a casual day out with the pals, you’ll gradually become familiar with noticing that men carry a particular type of bag along with them. They are more structured than ever, masculine and uber chic. What was initially a functional accessory has transformed into the most fashionable and most wanted item on the markets worldwide today.

As published on Ceylon Today Newspapers
Images were taken off Google

Have a great day everyone!