Sunday, 24 July 2016

Monochome + Baby Blue and This Quiet Summer









Blouse, Pants: Koton
Earrings: Debenhams
Bag: Aldo
Photos: Nada Qamber

It was love at first sight with this pussybow blouse and wide leg pants when I tried them on in the fitting room of Koton. I wore them together then too and I loved how great they looked with each other. Very elegant, very classic, with a touch of retro. The cuff details on the shirt and the neat bow going under the collar are nice touches. A pussybow added to a collared button-down is a great way to make what is actually menswear feminine and graceful. The material is supersoft and sits lightly on the body. These high waist wide leg pants are a classic as well, and I like that it has a belt detail in the front. I love the flamboyance of wide leg pants and this one drapes beautifully and moves with you. I added blue accents to this monochrome ensemble with my bag, earrings and rings. 

Bahrain is always quieter in these summer months and I'm enjoying that. I'm definitely not enjoying the insane heat we're having but I'm trying to make the best of it by spending lots of quality time with family and exploring this little island. Thank Willis Carrier for air conditioning! 

Until next time

xoxo

Shabana


Follow me on instagram @TheSilverKickDiariesDon't forget to follow me on  to never miss a post!


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Navy Maxi Dress Styled For Glam


Dress: Promod
Cuff: Left hand: Gifted, Right hand: Forever21
Cluctch: Zara
Shoes: Steve Madden
Photos: Arif Feroze

I love the simplicity of maxi dresses. Not to mention the practicality! When you're pressed for time just throw one on and you're good to go. And they're so, so good for summer! This one from Promod has a simple halter-neck design and the material is a soft cotton with stretch. It has an elasticated midriff {which is hidden well with a self-colored lace} so it's comfortable but still cinches in at the waist. I like that it has a half-open back, as opposed to a full backless which can be a bit much. 

It was available in red and navy, but I chose the navy because it looked more elegant, as aptly pointed out to me by the sales attendant. I styled it in this look for a party I was attending that evening, so I added more glamour with big earrings and wide cuffs. The magenta of the clutch sets off the navy well and I finished with nude heels.I'll be wearing this dress again with different jackets, scarves and belts. And maybe even try it covered with a blouse to look like a top and maxi skirt. 

Until next time,

xoxo

Shabana

 Follow me on instagram @TheSilverKickDiariesDon't forget to follow me on  to never miss a post!


Sunday, 17 July 2016

My Makeup Makeover

Since sometime I had been wanting to take my everyday makeup to another level. I wanted a more grown-up, sophisticated look. But I couldn't cope up with the makeup information overload on the internet. Highlighting, contouring, strobing, what type of eye makeup, which winged eyeliner to suit your eye shape and face shape...wheeeew! I needed help. So I asked makeup expert Zainab Majid if she would do a makeup makeover for my everyday look. And I'm SO happy that she agreed. She showed me what I was doing wrong, and what I was doing right. She did makeup to suit my exact face shape and features, and to balance my face out. 

BEFORE
AFTER


You can see the full video below with me doing my makeup and then Zainab giving me a makeover. 


Here's Zainab, with a step-by-step explanation of what she did:

Zainab:
Face: I started off by cleaning the face with Micellar Cleansing Water. It is crucial to start the makeup with clean skin. Then I moisturised the skin with moisturiser  & prepped the skin with setting spray. This step is important to have a solid foundation for your makeup. Shabana had trouble with her concealer creasing & moving, so a setting spray before putting any makeup product on her face becomes necessary. We skipped the next step which is foundation, as Shabana has good skin & doesn’t like to wear it. You’re free to add this step in if you’d like. I brushed her entire face with translucent powder to get rid of any oil & give her a natural airbrushed look.

Concealer: I started on the eyes with concealer under the eyes in an inverted triangular shape. It’s crucial to apply concealer starting from the inner corner of the eye working your way down to the nose and outwards towards the apple of your cheek. I then used a damp beauty blender to blend the concealer perfectly with the skin. You can wet the beauty blender either with your setting spray or a fix plus. The next step is very important as it’s the ultimate key to having bright, wrinkle-free, concealed under eyes. Always dab with the beauty blender to blend your concealer. Never rub with the beauty blender as this creates fine lines & makes your concealer crease. It is also absolutely important to set your concealer with a translucent, setting powder using a damp beauty blender. Dip the pointy end of your beauty blender into the powder and then dab starting from the inner corners of the eyes all the way outwards. Let it sit there for 10-15 mins and brush off any excess. Make sure it’s a soft swipe or you’ll end up creating the fine lines that you were trying to avoid. And voila! Perfectly concealed under eyes. 

Eyebrows: Shabana was missing out this step from her makeup routine, and in my opinion eyebrows are a MUST in every type of makeup look. I lined her eyebrows with a brown eyebrow powder following her eyebrow shape. The reason I used eyebrow shadow instead of gel is because powder gives a much more natural look. Then I used eyebrow mascara to set & tame any hair that was standing up. This step is important to have your brow game on point!

Eye makeup: I placed some bright gold eyeshadow on the inner corners of her eyes as this brightens and opens up the eyes and gives a fresh appearance to the face. Next, I placed a darker gold on the lids to make them pop. For the crease I used a transition color to give warmth to the eye and then it was just blend, blend, blend. The key to having flawless eye makeup is blending! I cannot stress this enough. You can literally use any shade of warm browns for blending the crease and your eye makeup will turn out perfect! I focused on the outer V of Shabana’s eyes as she has round eyes and I wanted to elongate them to create an almond shape. I used a darker brown for this particular step, as using a darker shade of brown creates an illusion of a different eye shape.

For the eye liner, I started from the inner corners of the eyes working my way to the edge. Towards the middle of the eye I created a thicker line and extended it all the way towards the end into a wing. I underlined the eyes with the same brown eyeshadow as the outer V just below the waterline to follow the same almond shape. I blended this eyeshadow with a lighter brown for a soft and natural look. As I was trying to change the eye shape from round to almond with the eye shadows, it is important to do the same with the eye liner too. Shabana was making a mistake of following her own eye shape with her eye liner, which can make round eyes look even rounder. I then primed her eyelashes with white mascara primer. This is the BEST hack for people with short or thin eye lashes. You let the primer do its magic for 1-2 mins and then you apply your mascara as you normally would. Make sure you go in with 2-3 coats with a fiber mascara and I guarantee you will have longer and fuller looking eyelashes. Lastly I lined the waterline with black kohl pencil to finish the look.

Blush: I used a peach tone for her blush as it compliments her skin tone as well as the eye makeup. Make sure you blend your blush all the way towards the end of your side hairline. Applying blush only on the apples of the cheeks will make you look like a China doll. So for a natural finish, blend, blend, blend all the way to the edges of your cheeks. 

Highlighter: I used one of the gold eyeshadows as highlighter on all the high points of her face, which is right above her cheek bones- just above the blush, the bridge and tip of the nose and just a little bit on the cupid’s bow. This trick will accentuate your features and is (in my opinion) one of the best looks for summer. You can skip this step if you’re not a fan of highlighters. 

Lips: Dark lipsticks are absolutely amazing on olive, tan, medium dark and dark skin tones. Shabana loves dark lipsticks but has been hesitant towards trying something really dark. So it was necessary to show her that she can definitely pull it off! I used a deep, dark plum to go with the golden/bronze look. The key to having a perfectly applied lipstick is to line your lips first and then fill in with lipstick. And since I was using a matte liquid lipstick, it was very easy to line the lips with the lipstick wand itself. I finished with lining some concealer around the lips. This step will avoid your lipstick from moving as well as make it look perfect! 

Last step: Make sure to spray your face with any fix plus, setting spray or airbrushed sprays. This will make your makeup look flawless & long lasting.  
 
 


Shabana: 
Needless to say, I'm ecstatic with the result. After a lot of practice, I think I'm finally getting it right doing it on my own. It takes more time than what I was doing, sure, but the result is SO worth it. I feel more confident, I'm getting tons of compliments, and I love doing my face up in the mornings! 

If you have any questions or want to know a specific product we used, leave me a comment below. 

Until next time

xoxo

Shabana

 Follow me on instagram @TheSilverKickDiariesDon't forget to follow me on  to never miss a post!




Zainab Majid is a graphic designer by profession and a makeup artist by passion. Completely self-taught in makeup, she loves creating new looks and experimenting with different styles. She believes that the right makeup can transform your face, your confidence, and your life. Follow her on instagram @zainabmohdmajid for more makeup looks. For makeup consultations, private classes and event makeup, contact her on zainab{dot}majid{at}hotmail{dot}com.






Sunday, 10 July 2016

Recent Instagram Outfits

Here's a roundup of the most recent outfits I shared on Instagram. {Follow me on @thesilverkickdiaries.}

A minimalistic workwear ensemble in a white button-down and plum skirt. The softness of this shirt is incredible and so great when you have a million things to do outside in the sun. Rolled up sleeves add a casual touch to the whole look, while the bun and heels add elegance. A statement watch and minimal accessories completed the outfit.


Bright colors always make me feel good. This cobalt blue blouse and red pencil skirt are bright yet formal. The beige and black peep-toes tone down the colorful clothes.


My mom is the same size as me which means I get to go through her wardrobe when I get bored of mine. I borrowed this white shirt from her, and paired it with my red midi skirt. The bag adds structure while the playful cut-out nude heels tone down the red.


I wore a long tunic top in olive green with my oldest, most worn-out skinnies. A blush pink blazer pulled the whole look together and pops nicely against the green. The nude courts make the look more streamlined and sleek, and the bag adds a formal touch.


This navy silk shirt from Uniqlo feels soft and airy against the skin and the color pairs well with russet skinnies. I wore a statement ring to add some glam and finished the ensemble with a large taupe bag. A simple outfit for transitioning from work to family lunch.


I stayed comfortable while meeting friends and relaxing on the weekend in a white shirt and my favorite wide-leg pants. Burgundy courts pick out the red in the floral print of the pants and add elegance to the outfit.


An all-black outfit of a black pencil dress, black stockings and black pumps. A baby blue blazer breaks the monotony. Snarf decided to keep me company in this photo! 


This full tulle skirt looks so glamorous, I knew it was perfect for a Ramadan ghabga night at the Four Seasons. I paired it with a full-sleeved shirt in periwinkle blue and added a big gypsy statement necklace.  

Summer is fully and truly here with most of you travelling. I'll be staying put, trying  finish a few projects. Let's see if the end of the year brings some travel or not.

Follow me on instagram @TheSilverKickDiaries for more outfits and travel snaps.

Until next time

xoxo

Shabana

 Don't forget to follow me on  to never miss a post!



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Bali Guide- What to do and see, and HOW to go about it


Pacung Rice Terrace Fields

There are lots of travel blogs and websites that tell you what to do and see in Bali, but not HOW to go about it. So I'm going to do both, in this post.

Where to stay?
Bali is a very big island and everything depends on where you plan on staying- North, South, Central, East, etc. I stayed in Kuta, 5 minutes away from Kuta Beach, as I wanted to relax on the beach and I knew that the other places I wanted to see were not too far by road. Depending on what you want to do and see, choose where you want to stay. Ubud is central, but there's no nightlife. Seminyak is hip and happening, but it's not family-oriented. Research the areas. This post has a great breakdown and comparison of different areas of Bali and what you can expect. 

Holy Monkey Forest, Alas Kedaton

Temples
Bali is a big, BIG island with LOADS of temples. They're dotted all over, and most have breathtaking architecture. You can't possibly see ALL of them, unless you're staying for a few months. So choose the ones you want to see. Google 'Bali temples' and note down the ones you like best. I prefer to look at their images when deciding, because that's what captures the eye- how they look.

Sculpture in the Royal Family Temple, Taman Ayun
Once you're in Bali
Decide what you want to see and do before your trip, then stop worrying about it. Because once you reach Bali, there are lots of tour kiosks that arrange day tours for you for where you want to visit. There are many different tours, for different areas of Bali, grouping together the sights in and around that area. They give you a tour leaflet like this below:



You can hire one car/ van, with a driver, who will take you around the sights. The best part is that you can customize the tours. I wanted to go to Ubud to see a few sights but I didn't want to see the Batik Centre, the dances, Gold & Silversmith Village, etc. The person at the tour kiosk was very helpful and suggested I see the monkey forest, Tegallalang Rice Fields, and Ubud market. That was just what I wanted. I did two tours, both summarized with photos, below. 

The price for each tour package was USD 50. Remember to bargain for the price! I highly recommend MBA Tours. They're one of the largest travel agencies in Bali, with lots of kiosks dotted all over. and they have many drivers and vehicles available. Plus their service was very professional. 

Tour 1- Ubud:
My driver took me to a Batik shop first where they also had a small demo of how batik textile art is done. That wasn't interesting to me and I knew the clothes were overpriced so I didn't buy anything. 

Next was Batuan Temple. This is a beautiful, big temple ground with many smaller temples and shrines inside. Entrance is free but I was expected to make a small donation. The teples here had gorgeous intricate architecture.



Teba Sari Plantation
Next we went to an agro-tourism plantation where I was taken around the plantation, with my gudie Wayan pointing out different tress and plants to me. I was shown how kopi luwak is made, and I had a go at roasting and pounding the beans. Then I got to sample different tea, coffee and chocolate before being taken to their gift shop.


Cocoa pods

Luwak, or the Asian palm civet.
Roasting the coffee beans.
Pounding the beans.
Sampling

Tegallalang Rice Terraces. 
I was eagerly looking forward to these famous rice fields and they didn't disappoint. These are vast rice terraces and fields in Ubud, owned by several farmers, with rice, banana, coconut and other crops. Entrance fee is very less, and you can trek right through the terraces. Make sure you're wearing sneakers!









Ubud Market
The main marketplace in Ubud. The roads are narrow and filled with souvenir shops. Bargain with the sellers!


Teba Sari Restaurant
I had lunch {at sunset!} at a restaurant overlooking a rice field. This was lovely- having delicious food in a beautiful restaurant with a great view.


Ubud Monkey Forest 
I was really, REALLY looking forward to this but unfortunately because the sun had set, most of the monkeys had gone back inside the forest. The forest itself was about to close so I didn't get to spend as much time here as I would have liked. Make sure you don't try and fit too many things in one tour or do your favorite visit earlier so you have plenty of time. Monkeys are considered sacred in Bali, and there are huge forests maintained for them. There are monkeys everywhere in this forest, just hanging out, eating, playing, doing their thing. You can pay to have a monkey sit on your shoulder and be fed from your hand, but you can't touch them as they may bite. The forest itself is beautiful. Look out for week-old baby monkeys. Supercute!



Tour 2: Bedugul "Green" Tour
Other than skipping the "Bali Natural Spice: Balinese plantation" visit in this tour, I did everything as said in the leaflet. My driver skipped the plantation as he had taken me to Teba Sari Agro-Tourism  in the previous tour.

The Royal Family Temple at Taman Ayun
Everything about this temple was clean, enormous and beautiful. The temple is in a massive compound, with beautifully manicured green lawns flanking it as you make your way inside. Inside are many more temples and shrines. 



Ulun Danu Lake Temple
Again, I was really looking forward to spending some time at this temple that's up on a mountain inside a lake, but by the time I reached it was pouring down. Still, it was beautiful and the heavy clouds touching the mountaintops, the lake, and the beauty of the temple were altogether a magnificent sight to see.


Pacung Rice Terraces
You don't actually get to go into these rice fields, unlike Tegallalang, but you can admire their beauty from the restaurant that overlooks this insanely beautiful scene. I was supposed to have lunch here but I wish I had had it in any restaurant near the last stop, because the food was despicable. It was a very limited buffet with stale, soggy, tasteless food. My advice is to either carry a lot of snacks or have lunch before you get to this stop.


Holy Monkeys & Natural Bat Reserve- Alas Kedaton
This monkey reserve is much smaller than the Ubud Monkey Forest, but it's still fun. You can watch the monkeys, spot lots of adorable babies, and feed the adults. I got stuck with a huge grandfather monkey on my shoulder when I wanted to feed one!


Tanah Lot- the Rocky Temple on the Sea
Last stop- Tanah Lot Temple. You can explore this beautifully built temple and then you can watch the glorious sunset on the sea. But there were so many people that it marred the experience. I was lucky to have caught a wedding photoshoot near the sea! 



That's it! These were the two tours I did in my short time in Bali. The rest of the time was spent exploring the area around Kuta Beach. Legian and Seminyak. 

I hope this post was useful to you for planning your next trip to this Indonesian island!

 Until next time

xoxo

Shabana

Follow me on instagram @TheSilverKickDiaries for more Bali photos, and don't forget to follow me on  to never miss a post!



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