Hey everyone, bare with me on this. I’m still learning how to format it properly, and it’s hard to take all the photos I need in the midst of back packing through Croatia, but I do still want to do create content (also if anyone knows how I can make each of these posts seperate under this subheading, please lemme know). Thanks
Three quick ways to style a headscarf – Simple to try, and you won’t cry
So the headscarf is a staple of Emirati fashion, whether it be for religious, stylish, or a combination of both purposes. They also have a practical element – they do a darn great job at keeping sand out of all of your above neck orifices when you’re dune bashing in the desert. If you’re like me, you’re probably not too familiar with how they actually work, so by purely trial and error method, I have managed to work out a series of knots and twists (which I’m quite sure are nothing new but hey it’s my website, I do what I want) which allow one to stay on your head all day – and look chic.
Just a note – all of these looks work better with a rectangular headscarf rather than a square one; I think the latter looks better styled around the neck.
Number one: One knot
- So for this, take a headscarf of your choosing and line up the long edge to your hairline. You may prefer to place your head in line with the centre of the scarf, or have it slightly unequal so that there is one side longer than the other (to make the next steps easier). It’s up to you how far down your forehead you choose to go; the traditional muslim style is to not let your hair show, but I saw plenty of women rock this style in a looser fashion which allowed your fringe to peek through.
- From here, take both ends and cross them over behind your ears (either over or under depending on your taste) and tie it behind your neck. Bring the ends over each shoulder.
- You can loosely wrap one (or both ends depending on length) of the scarf around your neck for a more conservative look.
Number two: Two knots
- So this look is identical to number one for steps 1 and 2
- With the two loose ends, bring them up to the centre of your forehead and tie a double knot up onto the top of your head.
- Style the knot as you please – accompanied by some dope earrings are my choice
Number three: Just buy a snood
I love the word snood. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re basically a scarf with the two ends sewn together to make a big floaty donut. They’re really easy to wrap around your head.
I basically hold an end in each hand, twist 180 degrees and join the ends together so I have two little circles, and put my head through.
You then line your forehead up to a long edge and secure it in place with two bobby pins behind your ears. Style the neck area as you please, you can leave it loose over your decollate, or tie it in a knot at the back of your head if you prefer the du rag look.
Forty degree flawless – how to make your foundation base stand the scorch
So for those of you who don’t know me, I’m a huge makeup fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to go without, but I love experimenting with bright eyeshadows and bold lipsticks. As a woman of colour living in Australia, it’s hard to find makeup which matches my skin colour without having to fork out for high end products. It is possible to obtain drug store alternatives, but I often find I have to get them either online, or hoard the whole of Boots, Walgreens etc whenever I’m overseas.
In Abu Dhabi, it’s HOT. What complicates the situation is the beating sun is often juxtaposed with freezing aircon whenever you enter a new building. I’ve found this really confuses my skin, and my makeup, and it’s hard to have everything stay in the same place.
I have pretty dry skin which means it’s usually too parched for pimples (yay) but on the flip side of that, is incredibly sensitive to just about every variation in the environment, so my routine may not be applicable for all, but I’ll write it down anyway. What follows is a routine for securing a foundation base which has stood its ground in the desert.
The most important part of any skin care routine in my humble opinion is skin protection. Even though I have dark skin, I’m very particular about always using a sunscreen. Usually, my foundation contains an SPF, but because it’s so hot here, I decided to use one which doesn’t have any sun protection, because I think they last longer on the skin without slipping and look better in photos.
The facial sunscreen I am using for this trip is Neutrogena SPF 15 Oil Free Facial moisturiser. Yes, it’s a pretty piddly SPF, but it doesn’t give you that annoying sheen that they usually do, and is super hydrating despite being oil free.
I then pop on a primer, usually Maybelline Baby Skin, Instant Pore Eraser. I only put it sparingly on my T zone, as I find under my eyes and the corners of my mouth are particularly prone to creasing when it’s warm outside and I think the primer exaggerates this. On my cheeks though, I think it helps the foundation stay all day.
When I was trying to choose my foundation to bring on the trip, I found it helpful to head to Mecca Maxima, Sephora and M.A.C and obtain some testers. Foundation always looks entirely different under the store lights, and a trial allows you to really get to know the makeup well before you commit. I always do this now, as I’ve made many a costly mistake by buying on the spot (good old peer pressure).
During this trip I have been alternating between two foundations. The high end option is M.A.C Studio Fit Fluid foundation (in NC44). It sinks straight into your skin and doesn’t move all day. It’s ultra matte, but I find it needs another layer sometimes if you’re wanting more than a medium coverage. The budget option is Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation, the blue font matte version for oily skin (in shade 330). When I’m at home in Sydney, I tend to use the dewy version as it is less drying, but for the heat, the matte formula is perfect. I love the consistency; it’s super buildable if you’re after high coverage, but goes on so smooth that a single layer is definitely sufficient.
For a night out, it’s Urban Decay All Nighter foundation in shade 9 (not pictured below, sorry). This is the best matte foundation I’ve ever used. It does not move. Which is amazing for photos, but sometimes if you plan to move your face at all during the day, it can get a bit creasy.
I apply my foundation with my finger or a beauty blender, depending on my mood. Sometimes I find the beauty blender works the product into my skin slightly more, other times I find the opposite to be true. Use what works for you.
After foundation, it’s concealer. For under eyes I use Bobby Brown’s Instant Full Cover Concealer or Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. A cheaper alternative is the Sephora brand concealer stick. I find them to be essentially identical in colour, consistency and longevity. To touch up my blemishes, the best concealer I’ve found also happens to be $5. It’s the LA Girl Pro Conceal concealer. Unfortunately it’s only available in American stores, but you can find it online (worth it).
I’ve never been a powder person, but for the heat, it’s handy to have for touch ups. I dust the smallest amount of the M.A.C Mineralise powder onto my cheeks, nose, chin and forehead and it helps to keep things in place. My favourite finishing spray is by Elf (Matte Magic Mist & Set). Cheap and cheerful and I have my best face forward for the day!
If I’m going for a minimalist look, I’ll finish things off with my favourite Luminoso blush by Milani ($7 – it’s seriously amazing), mascara by Marc Jacobs – this does not transfer, crumble or shift at all until you take it off. It’s by far the best I’ve used (and I’ve used many), and will fill in my brows with a choice of either Maybelline Browdrama Pomade Stick, my Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade in the shade Chocolate, or a combination of the above.
I don’t always wear eyeshadow, but when I do, it gets complicated. I’ll write a bit about brows and some eyeshadow looks at a later date.
I hope this helped you plan for the heat so that you can stay sassy in the sun!
PS – To get rid of everything at the end of the day, I can’t get past the usual Johnson’s facial wipes. There’s a range of different formulas depending on your skin type. I have also found the much hyped face halo is pretty good for cheeks and lipstick, but I still think I have to wipe a little bit too hard around the delicate eye area for my liking. Garnier micellar water and a cotton pad are my go-to couple to remove eye makeup. Finish up with your favourite after sun moisturiser / night cream, mine is The Body Shop’s vitamin E night cream.