I had a makeover at Smashbox recently…here’s a picture to prove the fact: isn’t department store lighting the worst?

….anyway, of all the products that were used on me it was the new (to the Middle East) Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer in Firecracker that ranked as my favourite.

Vibrant would be the word to sum this up. It’s one of those orange-reds that leaves your face looking perky. Line your lips beforehand – Smashbox Always Sharp liner in Ruby is a good choice – plop the lacquer on and provided you keep it there for about an hour or so, you will be left with a great stain.

Formula wise they call this a lip-hybrid due to the stain/gloss combo. Think Dior Fluid Stick but better because it’s more comfortable on the lips (non-drying) and also more consistent in it's pigmentation.

The only sticking point is that although the bright colour with the gloss finish is high impact, it’s also unstable. Those little wisps of hair that like to flip over my face leave little orange trails on my face. Gloss is high maintenance and I am not sure I will always want to make such a rigorous investment.

I am tempted to investigate the line further though – starting with the nude pinks and the vampy plums. When it comes to the former I find that brands seldom do good long-wear nudes (I don’t’ like YSL’s for example) and I like the look of Pout, Flushed and especially Keepsake, a cool mauve pink. 

PS. Smashbox is sold in the UAE in Debenhams and Sephora - I like the counter in Debehams Mall of the Emirates. 

Right, I'm off out now with Laura to go to an event at Dubai Mall. The event is being held in Level Shoe District - the biggest shoe shop in the world (!) and where Christian Louboutin nail polishes are stocked. Don't be surprised if one of those makes it back home with me tonight :) 

Enter cricket pun here!

The mission was as follows: go to Waitrose via H&M and see if anything good was in stock. I did a quick rotation round the store and just before I gave up spied this jumper slumped in a corner, waiting to be merchandised.

Chunky knit. Low v-neck front to reduce frump factor. Total Rag & Bone rip off. Reminds me of home (Sussex!) with the whole cricket theme.


This is my jumper of choice for casual trips out and dog-walking activities late at night. In fact I am wearing it right now while slumped over the laptop.

Maybe it's because the white wool contrasts nicely with a (fake) tan or maybe it's because the collegiate style theme makes me feel young(er) but either way I am loving it.

Having said that I think this may possibly look frumpy so I need to adopt some mitigating steps:

a) Skinny jeans are a must. This is pretty voluminous - I got the medium - so it needs to be contrasted with something tight on the bottom.

b) Don't put any layers underneath the jumper itself to ensure that the low v-neck does its work. A good bra also helps. That sounds a bit slaggy but's the truth!

I am almost certainly late on this particular bandwagon. ASOS has one, Boohoo has one and Warehouse also has a version on this. I can't speak about the fit/feel of those but what I can say is that the H&M one is fantastic and I am peer pressuring you all to go and get one :) Link! 

Pink eyes

It happened – I shopped the stash again and found a lurid deep pink shadow that gives me pink eyes. I know it doesn’t sound good but long time readers will recognize this limited edition Shu Uemura ME shadow and apparently my love for it has not diminished over time.

Why have I had this stuffed in a back of a drawer for so long? This is the type of deep pink/burgundy tone that makes green eyes sing.  I paired it with a Make up For Ever Artist Shadow in 808 (amazing texture by the way!) and a whole lot of other makeup bits and pieces. Here is the rundown:

Face: Estee Lauder Double Wear All-Day Glow BB cream - early indications are that I really like this. It has a thick cream consistency that when applied with a kabuki gives decent coverage. There is a little bit of a Just Skin vibe  and that’s perfectly fine by me.

Concealer: Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter – another surprisingly fantastic product. This beats the pants of that ole’ chestnut, the YSL Touche Eclat, mainly because it doesn’t just highlight but also manages to brighten and conceal at the same time. I have used this every single day since the moment I got it in my hands.

Cheeks: Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Sandstone – do you ever have those moments when you put on make up and gasp: “yesssss” out loud? I do and I did because of Sandstone. It’s got that whole warm, candlelit glow going on but manages to impart that effect without shimmer overload. I have to admit that some shimmerbricks are impossible to wear because of the latter point but this one seems to be a little bit special.

Eyes: This was a careless combination of Make up For Ever 808 and a whole lot of Shu ME 160 on the outer corner and lower lash line. Pink eyes were topped off with a bit of Laura Mercier brown liner and a whole load of mascara – Make up For Ever Smoky Lash of course!

Lips: I went for consistency in terms of tone and kept these pink. Pink Nude by Bobbi Brown, which is a new creamy matte lip colour...

... and a dash of Tom Ford Naked lipgloss. I have to say that I am really feeling the nudes at the moment – something that I think is mostly impacted by the fact that I am absolutely chucking on the eye makeup.

...speaking of which, check out what I wore for a photoshoot this morning. The was for a magazine feature that depicted looks from different era's. Can you guess what era my face represented? :) Totally wearing this all day/evening/throughout dog walking duties! 

How amazing is makeup -seriously!!!

Make up by Hannah Lisa Makeup and hair by SOH Dubai

NARS Haulin'

Hurray! NARS is back! After many years of impatient waiting the brand has finally decided to give the UAE a second chance and a fully stocked stand now sits proudly in Sephora Mall of the Emirates.

Obviously such news triggered purposeful marching into store to finger the rubbery-packaged goodness and wouldn’t you know a little purchase was made as a result! I think I got a little over-excited….

The Eyeshadows

There are still a few of these Dual Intensity shadows that I want – specifically Himalia, Desdemona and, following an Instagram recommendation, Subra – but for now I picked up Phoebe (right) and Giove.

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Well, the good news is that Giove is a deep navy-indigo shadow that looks good dry and great wet. I had spied this online before and umm’d and aaah’d about it but I needn’t have hesitated. It is spectacular.

Phoebe however, is a little insipid and a little disappointing. I point my finger at the Sephora lights. Those bright bulbs gave a warmer undertone to the shadow in store but when swiped dry across my lid all I got was a weak lavender. I wore it yesterday (with Giove as liner and a bit of MAC Corduroy on the outer corner) but it didn’t make me happy. 

All is not lost though, I tried this wet today, swatching it on my hand and I think this is the format that brings out the true tone. I live in hope!

The lip products

I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at the Audacious lipsticks but in the end the shade I wanted (a nude – duh!) was out of stock. I plumped for Natalie because this, along with a few others, was the only one that seemed to stand out.  It’s a bright Flamingo but very wearable thanks to the creamy, rich finish of the line. 

There is no doubt that the texture of the Audacious is a good one but there is also no question that the price has been DRAMATICALLY inflated for this market. We pay 160AED per lipstick – that’s $43 a-piece whereas in the US they are closer to $32. Sorry, but at that price I’d rather go to Tom Ford.

Obviously my grudge against price didn’t extend so far as to prohibit any more lip product purchases. I got the Super Orgasm lip-gloss and it’s a stunner. I like wearing this on it’s own and over nude lipsticks because it adds a little punch and warmth to the colour.

The foundation

The last purchase made was Sheer Glow (shade Punjab). I first tried this when it came out nearly 4 years ago and I loved it then. It was always a good dependable choice. Okay, so the name is incredibly misleading (it’s neither sheer nor glowy) but this was a good medium-coverage foundation that offered decent longevity and most importantly, made me feel good about my skin.

After road testing it yesterday I will say this: it’s okay.


Would I tell you now that you NEED to buy this? Absolutely not. Either my tastes have changed or foundation technology has evolved since it’s initial release and what seemed like a great product once upon a time no longer feels at all innovative or interesting.

It still looks okay. It’s still easy to blend. It still lasts a decent amount of time but if you asked me to choose between this, Clarins Extra Comfort, Laura Mercier Silk Crème, Chantecaille Just Skin or my current foundation crush of Dior Star mixed with MUFE HD I would say no-friggin-way.

I’d be interested to hear what you think about Sheer Glow? I know it still has many fans but I also know that it probably as just as many rejectors! Let me know!
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