My accidental no make-up day

The morning of the fateful day was a hectic one for me. In fact, any day that I need to leave the house by a set time in the morning is busy. Trying to feed two girls under 5 and myself, dressing us all to look presentable to the world, packing bags with nappies and spare clothes, locating shoes, debating whether it’s “dress day” or “pants day” with my eldest, deciding which toy to take with us and so on and so forth.

That morning though I needed to be out of the house by latest 10:30am and somehow do all of the above whilst cooking a meal for a friend who had recently had an operation.

I managed to get it all done on the condition that my personal grooming time was as minimal as possible.

BUT, the only clean and comfortable shirt I had needed to be ironed. An extra 5 minutes went to that.

Then I couldn’t find Z’s (my younger daughter) shoes.

5 more minutes was wasted.

Basically it was 10:35am and I needed to be on the road but instead I was frantically throwing on clothes and packaging food with double plastic bags to avoid spillage in the car and carrying everything plus children into the car.

So I threw on my clothes and ran out.

Once in the car and finally on the road, I realised that I hadn’t put on any makeup.

Look, I am not a big make-up girl. I buy make-up once something runs out. I don’t feel the need for eyeshadow in fifty different shades (ha ha), or three different types of mascara, or even the need for primer, bronzer and blush.

My daily makeup routine consists of:

  1. Wash my face.
  2. Moisturise face.
  3. Some light brown eye shadow and eye liner.
  4. Mascara.
  5. Fill in eyebrows because I was genetically blessed with eyebrows that thin out in the middle.
  6. Face on. Ready to present myself to the world.

And this very small routine is not something I miss. I do it EVERY DAY. If I need to sit the kids in front of the television for 5 minutes, I’ll do it.

Yes. I am ashamed that I just admitted that.

On that particular day though, in the rush to just get out of the door and all the extra things I was trying to squeeze into my morning, it actually didn’t happen.

Later in the day when in the bathroom I caught a quick glimpse of myself in the mirror. My eyes looked bare. My skin was dry and peeling. I looked tired.

But guess what? NO ONE CARED. And surprisingly, I didn’t even care. 

Instead I was more focussed on the things I needed to get through during the day, the struggles of the people around me, and getting home to squeeze in some rest before it started all over again.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this one accidental make-up free day is going to spark some revolution within myself (like Alicia Keys) to consciously protest make-up from now on. But I think what today did show me was that yes, me without make-up, bare face, IS presentable to the world.

It can cope with my make-up less face. No mass hysteria of people fleeing in horror at the sight of my face.

My realisation that I had no make-up on was only a slight bump in my day, a sort of after thought. Then I simply got on with it.

I think if this had happened a few years ago, I would have struggled more. I would have felt more paranoid and insecure.

But lately, call it growing up, call it growing wiser, call it seeing more of the world and the true struggle that it can mete upon people (much much more serious than make-up dramas), I have only just begun to realise truly, fully, that my self is not, and should not be the centre of my world. That sounds simple and straightforward enough, the old adage to “life selflessly” but I really don’t think it’s something that we fully internalise and comprehend what it means for how we should live.

And so, one day, or a few days, without “my face on” does not spell the end of the world.

Do you wear make-up daily? Only for occasions? How easy/difficult is it for you to leave the house without it?

Featured image is Alicia Keys, sans make-up.

The floral print jacket

With Spring around the corner here in Sydney, what more groundbreaking way (yes, this is sarcasm) to step into the season than with floral prints, in the form of a jacket of course, rather than a maxi dress or skirt.

Seriously though, I’m loving these stylings of the floral jacket and can’t wait to try out my own pairing in the upcoming season…

*click images for source.

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Featured image via Zara.

All the ways you can wear all black

Wearing all black can actually feel like a difficult thing to do. One craves to add a dash of colour, or to break up the outfit somehow. Despite this, all black can be an easy go-to formula for everyday and evening.

Take a look at some ways one can wear all black…

*click images for source.

Tailored suit/full skirted gown

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Winter knits

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The long vest

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Classic with wide brimmed hats

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Layering different textures

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Tunic over wide leg pants

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The Statement floor length coat

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Embellished suiting

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The perfect jumpsuit

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Office chic

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Casual cool

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Dramatic evening wear

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Designer to watch- Diana Kotb

For today’s Modest Fridays, I’m so pleased and and excited to feature home-grown Australian designer, Diana Kotb. A follower tagged her on one of my Instagram images, and once I checked her profile, I was stunned. The aesthetic and creativity of her designs and the styling of the shoots was just mind blowing. The ‘modest fashion’ world at the moment is saturated with designers, but rarely have I come across something truly unique and original.

The designs exude quality and luxurious craftsmanship “without ever being pretentious”, in the words of the designer herself. My readers would all know by now that I believe that humility is a big part of being ‘modest’. But I think what also needs to be appreciated and prioritised is good quality clothing, that is timeless and able to be worn again and again. We need to shift our obsession with cheap, disposable ‘trendy’ clothing that is consumed without consideration of the impact this habit may be having on our earth and our society. As a community, we need a paradigm shift. Islam has always upheld and appreciated beauty, and warned of the excesses of consumerism. This should not go astray in the world of fashion where people have lost their appreciation for clothing of the highest quality.

Diana Kotb’s vision encapsulates this. She stresses that her designs are for the woman who is “unbroken, uncompromisable and unapologetic about her love for her faith and the strength it ignites.” A look at her campaign videos, which are a thing of beauty themselves, sums up all that I was saying above about quality, timelessness and modesty. To top it all off, her clothes are designed and made in Australia.

Believe me, Diana Kotb is a name you don’t want to forget.

Her latest campaign images are incredibly beautiful…

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Images courtesy of Diana Kotb.

 

The double-edged sword of modest fashion

In a world that rewards beauty and style over everything else, we Muslims have become caught up in this culture just as much as the “West”. We criticize the exploitation of women by the fashion industry, and yet we are just as desperate to be accepted by that same industry, in our bid to be recognized as stylish even with our modest wardrobe guidelines.

Just take a look at the proliferation of ‘Muslim style bloggers’. ‘Hijabistas’ are on the rise, with every young girl who owns a smartphone, has an Instagram account and buys clothing from mainstream clothing outlets posts photos on public accounts of their ‘OOTDs’. Inspired by the heavyweights of the industry who have hundreds and thousands, even millions of followers on social media, these girls have been given new role models to emulate, be ‘inspired’ by, and ultimately, to envy.

With designer wardrobes, wearing labels such as Chanel, Prada, Christian Louboutin, and even high-street lables such as Zara, H & M, Forever 21, these style bloggers are fuelling a booming modest fashion industry. And big labels are taking note, by coming out with their own ‘modest’ lines. Dolce and Gabbana recently created an Abaya line, inspired by and aimed at, Arab women. DKNY released a ‘Ramadan’ collection last year. This trend is only expected to grow with modest fashion being estimated to be worth $327 billion dollars (Source: www.arabianbusiness.com)

Although it may seem to be a blessing to finally have our ‘modest fashion’ criteria being catered for and normalized, it comes with a flipside. And no, I’m not going into the identity debate, or the hijab debate, or the profit intentions so transparent in these companies. I’m talking about the cost of this consumerism.

Spending in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have actually topped the world list in consumption of cosmetics. They have become the biggest consumers of haute couture, what with the need to wear a different outfit to the 15-20 weddings a year that they are invited to.

And what is the cost? The hundreds and thousands of mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers in sweatshops working to churn out millions of items of disposable, seasonal, trendy clothing that will literally be worn once, then discarded. Their working conditions so unbearable, being forced to stand for hours on end doing one menial task, for wages that keep them below the poverty line. Or worse, risk their lives in dangerous conditions, seen in the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh.

We must begin to shift our consumer habits. We must buy ethically, intelligently and consciously. We need to buy less, more expensive, but quality clothing that is ethically and sustainably made. We must place the impacts and consequences of our spending habits on the environment and fellow brothers and sisters first- before style, fashion, selfies and OOTD’s.

The next time you find yourself in Zara, Sportsgirl, or some random cheap clothing store, stop and think about whose hands may have made that embellished jacket, under which conditions, and whether your need to look stylish is more important than them.

Five ways to overhaul your spending

Let’s be honest. The majority of consumers know the realities of where and how their clothing is produced. What’s missing is action. The problem is the 1001 excuses about how difficult and expensive it is to change the way one spends.

But that’s just what they are: excuses.

The problem lies with the fact that people do not see changing the way they consume as part of a holistic ideal. They assume that one simply needs to buy from “fair trade”, “organic” certified sources and that’s it.

This is just one element of overhauling one’s spending.

Actually, that’s why this post is titled “how to overhaul one’s spending” and not “how to overhaul one’s wardrobe.”

There’s a big difference between the two. What needs to be recognised is that how much we consume needs to change in line with what we consume. We would inevitably fail at buying ethically if we continued the rate of our consumption.

So, here are five ways that we can overhaul our spending (and our wardrobes):

1. Donate

The first thing I think needs to be done is to go through your wardrobe and donate anything that you haven’t worn in the past six months. Let’s be honest. There are A LOT of those in our cupboards. Collecting dust. Taking up space. Donate them to your favourite charity. Someone else in need is much more worthy of your neglected jacket than you are. This needs to be a brutal process- my advice is to not over-think it. If you haven’t worn it in months, and it’s not a winter/summer staple, it needs to go.

2. Shop your own wardrobe

Once you’ve cleared your closet of the clothes you don’t wear/need, look at what’s left and realise the potential of how many different outfits you can get out of them. It is surprising how creative one is forced to be with just a few clothes.

3. Buy less

No you do not need a maxi skirt/dress in every colour under the sun. How often are you going to wear the “on-trend” highlighter colour maxi anyway? Probably once. Don’t give in to the trends. Be confident and honest about who you are and what you like. What is your style? Be loyal to that, not what fashion houses and celebrities want you to wear.

the-sartorialist

Image via the sartorialist

4. Buy quality items

Sure they may be more expensive but they are going to last you a lot longer than a cheap impulse buy item. This is exactly what the major fashion houses don’t want you to do. They want you to keep buying more of their crappy quality clothing which is designed to stretch, fade and shrink over the next few months. Don’t give in! Start a revolution in terms of how you buy. Don’t underestimate consumer power. If we change the way we spend, companies will be forced to cater. Believe it.

5. Do your research

Look up which stores are in line with your country’s ethical clothing standards. Every country has a list/directory. In Australia, it’s the Ethical Clothing Australia organisation who not only outline how one can be accredited, but also has a list of accredited companies and manufacturers. Some of the companies include Thurley, Carla Zampatti and Cue (all of whom I love). There are also online companies who strive to provide ethical, sustainable options. My favourites are Raven and Lily, Inayah, and Gorman.