Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for September, 2010

Trilogy opens store on Kensington Church Street

Trilogy Kensington Church Street

Trilogy, 22 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4EP  

Specialising in premium denim, Trilogy is the place to shop for brands such as Genetic Denim, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand, Paige, Dylan George etc… Although you can purchase online via their website  www.trilogystores.co.uk, I always think that when it comes to jeans, it’s best to try them on in store. Usually, I’d go to Selfridges when looking for a new pair of jeans, but now that Trilogy have opened a new store on Kensington Church Street (they also have stores in Chelsea & Marylebone), it’s now a lot more convenient being local to me.

J Brand’s 210 Oslo

I love sites where fashionistas display their love of experimenting with different looks. I did a google search on high-waisted  J Brand jeans (via that I was lucky enough to pickup a pair of J Brand’s Bardot jeans via ebay at a fraction of the price, and it’s new with tags!). However, I came across a post on a website called lookbook.nu, where a woman posted a picture of herself in a pair of J Brand’s 210 Oslo jeans (see below). The difference between the Bardot and Oslo, is that the Oslo has a shorter inseam ~ 29ins – so it tucks into boots very well, where as the Bardot with it’s pencil leg  is best paired with stilettos.

I seem to have a bit of a love affair going on with high-waisted jeans. I wore my River Island Gold pair the other day, and friends commented on how long my pins looked!

J Brand 210 Oslo (image from lookbook.nu)

http://lookbook.nu/look/631967-shade-your-eyes

Best Pink Makeup for Asian Skintones

Contrary to a lot of makeup artists recommending darker berry shades for Asian skintones, you can actually wear pink (which in my opinion is a lot more subtle) but it’s hard-work finding those pigmented products, and below are my tried-and-tested pick of the best:

Pink Blush:

Bobbi Brown  is a well-known/respected celebrity makeup artist with her own international brand, catering for all skin-tones. Up until sixth months ago, I had been using MAC’s pink swoon blusher, and although it’s a fantastic product, its down-fall is that it’s sheertone, which means that you have to swipe a couple of times for it to show on darker skins. I’d heard of BB in many magazines and via makeup alley (brilliant website where normal people give reviews), and their own website www.bobbibrown.co.uk has a link where you can chat to a makeup artist (MUA). The MUA gave me great advice and recommended the Pale Pink Blush (09), which I purchased together with the BB Blusher Brush. On arrival, the blush looked bright in the compact, and because it’s highly pigmented, all that is required is one/two swipes giving a matte finish, and you have a very pretty doll look that lasts all day (no need to re-touch).

Bobbi Brown Pale Pink Blush 09, £16.50

Lipstick:

In my previous post, I reviewed my new favourite pink lipstick which is Clarin’s Rouge Prodige in Paradise Pink (102). Pink Lipsticks that are opaque and show on pigmented lips without it being too blue-toned can be notoriously difficult. When I came across this new product, I was impressed, the pink was a medium opaque colour with shine and good lasting power, beautiful gold packaging and a subtle fruity scent/taste. Yes, at £16, quite pricey, but I’ve tried all the major brands and this is by far the best yet!

Clarins Rouge Prodige Paradise Pink (102), £16

Nail Polish:

I’ve re-kindled my love for Chanel’s 217 Splendeur nail polish. I bought this a longtime ago, and when I got fed up of buying cheaper brands (Boots 17 & models own) that were streaky and had poor finish, I grabbed my Chanel.  We may dream of being able to afford Chanel clothing, but at least their makeup is affordable. No matter what the brand name is, what makes you re-purchase is the whole package. My experience of Chanel polishes are that they are perfect to work with, one coat of Splendeur and my nails are opaque and most imporantly streak-free. The colour is a vibrant raspberry pink (think hot pink but without the blue-tones). One word, gorgeous! If you’re looking for a good medium pink then Lancome’s 309 is excellent. I’ve yet to come across a good pale pink that isn’t streaky. I just wish Chanel would expand on their range of colours.

Chanel 217 Splendeur, £16.50

Other good product recommendations that aren’t pink, are MAC’s Select SPF15 Foundation creates great medium coverage available in a number of shades, and Clinque’s High Definition mascara.

Clarins Rouge Prodige Lipstick – Paradise Pink 102

Clarins Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Clarins Rouge Prodige Paradise Pink, 102

I was on the search for a pink creamy lipstick, and read about Clarins new Rouge Prodige Lipstick range. On my way into work, I took a detour into the HIgh St Kensington Boots store, and chatted to the beauty consultant and having already researched the colours online, asked for Paradise Pink, 102. I had to wait until I got into work to try on my lips, but to my surprise the colour was a lovely opaque pink with shine with 1/2 swipes (unusual as I have quite pigmented lips, as I’m of Asian ethnicity). I also loved the fruity scent/taste which was subtle but lovely. This is my first Clarins purchase, very pleased with the product and I will continue to purchase this colour (I would give this a 4 out of 5, as it’s quite pricey at £16, but the gold packaging is very slick!).

Bluebird Restaurant & Bar, Kings Road

Bluebird Restaurant & Bar| 350 Kings Road | London | SW3 5UU | Tel. 020 7559 1000 

Website: www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk

My friend & I originally planned just to catch up in a nice venue which was local to us. I sometimes venture down the Kings Road to browse in my nearest Cath Kidston store, and the Bluebird cafe/restaurant/bar is just a short stroll before this. My friend had been here before and recommended the Bluebird, and I do enjoy trying new places which are local.

You first walk through the forecourt which has a number of tables, which is their cafe section – here you can have breakfast & lunch during the day and then dinner & drinks in the evening. I noticed that everyone looked particularly smart, both the men & women.

As we met after work and it was getting a little chilly, we decided to head up to the first floor. Immediately you are taken by the chic interior design with lots of reds & white, we sat around the bar, and as I don’t drink they made me an amazing non-alcoholic cocktail. Neither of us had eaten, but we hadn’t booked a table, we were however lucky enough to get a table as it was early on in the week. Whilst my friend was eating oysters and seabass, I was particularly unsophisticated and ordered a hamburger which came with chips – simple but tasty 🙂

I have to say the two people that served us were soo nice, attentive when needed but also left us to it. Dress code: everyone looked smart, which is what you’d expect for somewhere on the fashionable Kings Road. I did however dress smart/casual, teaming my high-waisted skinny jeans with a blouse and pretty bow heels.

If you want an alternative place to meet with friends but which is more sophisticated than the local pub, then I’d suggest this. Also, it would make a lovely venue for first dates or couples. I’d definitely go here again.

Charm Restaurant in Hammersmith

Address: 270-272 King Street, London, W6 0SP | Tel. 020 8741 8863 | http://www.charm-london.com

My friend recommended this Thai-based Oriental restaurant and took me here on a Tuesday evening. Don’t normally venture to this particular area, but I like trying new places. I understand that this is a pretty new restaurant, the decor inside is extravagant – particularly liked the beautiful chandeliers. Inside there is a bar area straight on the left-hand side, and dining area to the right.

We shared two starters – lightly battered soft shell crab & tempura – both absolutely delicious. I was impressed by my choice of mains – mild red beef sirloin ‘penaeng’ which I teamed with steamed jasmine rice. Finally, no meal is complete until a dessert is consumed 🙂 – and I chose the vanilla cheesecake (nice presentation). Although I don’t drink alcohol, my friend is a bit of a connoisseur, and delighted in telling me how impressed they were with the wine list.

Service was fantastic, we had a very sweet young girl serve us. I’d definitely recommend this place.

High Waisted Denim – it’s back!

70’s style high-waisted denim seems to be a popular silhouette for this Autumn/Winter.

I’ve already worn my J Brand ‘The Doll’ high-waisted bell bottoms quite a few times over the summer. However, with winter fast approaching, I was looking for a skinny high-rise style, so I could have the option of pairing with ankle boots or courts…

If you’re looking for a dressier, high-end brand jean then J Brand do a pencil leg high-rise style named ‘Bardot’ in Indigo which they sell on their website for $187, J Brand Bardot Jeans

J Brand 'Bardot' in Indigo, $187

Vanessa Hudgens in J Brand's Bardot

Alternatively, there are less expensive versions on the high-street. I recently bought a dark blue pair from River Island for £39.99, which are high-waisted jeggings (very soft and comfortable) and Topshop have their £40 High Waisted 70s Skinny Jeans in Blue back in stock having sold out a few weeks ago.

River Island Gold Jeggings £39.99

Topshop High Waisted 70s Skinny Jeans £40

How to style? – You need to tuck tops into the jeans (unless the top is cropped) – so like below, a fitted blouse and cardigan or a short top as on Cameron Diaz looks lovely.

J Brand 'Bardot'

Cameron Diaz in J Brand's 'The Doll'

Verdict: High-waisted jeans aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I like the retro style. Often unflatteringly termed ‘Mom jeans’, I do think that if you’re tall and slender, this style can make your legs look endless and show off a small waist…

Notting Hill Brasserie – Kensington Park Road

Address: 92 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2PN  | Tel. 020 7229 4481 | http://www.nottinghillbrasserie.com

I recently dined here with friends and had a really lovely time. Located in the heart of Notting Hill, this chic restaurant has a romantic feel to it. The decor is neutral, ceilings high, and opposite our table there was a man playing on the piano. The service was excellent, I didn’t order a starter as I wanted to save space for a dessert 🙂

I had the Chicken main course – roast breast with wild mushroom risotto and artichoke purée – it was absolutely delicious. Followed by my favourite dessert combination: Fondant – warm chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream. One word – yummy!

I wasn’t sure what to wear but opted for smart casual, as this is Notting Hill! I wore my high-waisted J Brand Doll jeans with a silk floral blouse and heels. Everyone looked smartly dressed – men in trousers and shirt, and quite a few women were wearing cocktail style dresses, but it was a Saturday night. There was no pretentious feel to this place.

Location: It’s within walking distance from Notting Hill Gate Underground Station (approx 10 mins), or I hitched a lift from my friend as they have a K&C parking permit, so we ended up parking just opposite the restaurant.

Check out my review of Notting Hill Brasserie – I am kensingtonabida – on Qype

Dior Vernis 483 Pink Kimono

Just bought the new Dior Vernis in 483 – Pink Kimono. I was walking home from work and went into Boots looking for a pink nail polish but of the higher end quality (I’ve bought cheap nail polishes in the past, and apart from Rimmel Pro, the rest have been disappointing and streaky in finish!). Luckily the Dior counter had new arrivals, and this medium pink bottle just screamed out at me to purchase 🙂 As soon as I got home, I tried it on my toes and fingernails, and to my delight, just one coat and it was a medium coloured pink, a beautiful pop of colour. I have an olive complexion (NC40), and it suits my skintone, infact it would suit anyone who loves pink girly colours…

Mason Pearson – Pink Handy Bristle & Nylon Brush

I had been dithering for ages deciding upon whether to spend this much money on a hairbrush. However, after investing sometime reading reviews of this brush, and seeing Mason Pearson brushes recommended in numerous magazines and top stylists describing them as the ‘Bentley of hairbrushes’, I decided to purchase. When it arrived it came packaged in a beautiful box, the pastel pink coloured hairbrush looked rather retro and pretty. The brush is lightweight, ample enough to handle my long waist-length hair, and a portable size to fit into my handbag. I love brushing, it feels soo gentle, words can’t describe it. I purchased my Mason Pearson Pink Handy Bristle & Nylon Brush off the HQhair.com website for £39 – yes, I know, I would never normally spend that much, but now I’m lusting after a larger version to keep on my dressing table… I want a bigger version now 🙂