Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Limited edition watches from Toy Watch

Bring on the Bling
Missoni for Toy Watch, $445

Limited edition Missoni for Toy Watch, currently out of stock.

Toy Ring at Toy Watch, £75

I'm not a Toy Watch fan. I don't get the craze, and I don't like the watches.   But two of their recent limited edition products are simply to DIE FOR.  When I read that Missoni was collaborating with Toy Watch I couldn't wait to get my hands on one.  It was so exclusive that most stores had only one of each and by the time I decided to buy one at Selfridges in early 2011, I had a very limited selection to choose from.

It took some getting used to since I'm not used to big watches, but it never fails to get praise when I wear it.

Where to buy from: I haven't seen these watches in Bahrain, and they are no longer stocked at the major retail stores in the UK.   The company website, http://www.toywatchusa.com/product/585/ currently lists the watches as out of stock.  I haven't tried buying from Toy Watch online so I can't vouch for delivery reliability.

Price: $445 online
A few months after I bought my Missoni for Toy Watch, I was once again at Selfridges and-- since I'm not a Toy Watch fan-- just passed by their shop.  And in the display was the next item I knew I had to have- the Toy Ring.
Available in 5 colors, this is exactly what it says it is.  The colors are really fun, and when worn it's quite a showpiece. It took me a day to think about if I wanted one- because after all, I'm not a Toy Watch fan :) The next day I went back, spent maybe half an hour trying on all of the colors, and then buying one for myself and another for a friend (not because I'm generous, but because I couldn't settle on just one color!).  Each ring comes with two other interchangeable sizes so if you want to share with someone who has a different ring size than yours, you can!

The last time I had a ring watch was in the 80s, and I was a (non) funky teenager, but this one is the perfect grown-up blingy version of it. 

I guess I am a Toy Watch fan after all....

Caution: If you are scared of bling, do not approach.
Where to buy from:  At the time of launch, I bought mine at Selfridges in London.  They said they didn't have a large stock but that may have changed.  Alternatively they are listed on Selfridges' website so you can buy them online http://www.selfridges.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?storeId=10052&catalogId=12151&langId=-1&freeText=TOY+RING&x=0&y=0 .

Price: £75 

Monday, 30 January 2012

My favorite haircare for curls

My favorite hair product line 

TIGI Catwalk Curlesque haircare, heaven-sent for curly hair

I think I can safely claim to be the person who has tried the largest range of curly hair products on the international market. You name it, I’ve tried it.  The first one I ever tried was Aveda Be Curly, and one of the most recent was Ouidad.

The products normally work well (in varying levels) for a while, and then for some reason stop being effective.  But I think I have now landed my preferred brand and I don’t see myself switching anytime soon.

Enter Tigi Catwalk Curlesque Curl Collection.  With products including shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, curl amplifier, mousse and serum, this line provides an end-to-end solution for giving you bouncy, defined curls with minimal frizz.  From the range, I have used the shampoo, conditioner, amplifier, leave-in and serum.  My only negative comment is that the amplifier is a bit heavy on the hair so I now tend to use the leave-in as a substitute.

If you have curly hair, you probably use a combination of products to get the exact look you want.  I normally blend the Curlesque leave-in with Kerastase Elixir Ultime (good for softening and adding shine), and when I need a last-minute curl intensifier, I also use Sebastian Whipped Crème mousse.

Where to buy: In Bahrain, you can find TIGI hair products in most high-end salons.  The Curlesque line is available at Elie and Jean at the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Spa. 
     Price: The shampoo is priced at BD 7 for 300ml and the other products are in a similar range.  However, if you find that this is the right product for you, both the shampoo and conditioner are available in salon sized bottles (750 ml for BD 12- a bargain!)
    Note: If you can't find the Curlesque range, another great range is Kerastase Nutritive's Oleo-Curl collection, which similarly has a range of products including shampoo, defining oil mist and mousse. Limited items in this range are available at Dessange but prices are a rip -off at around BD17 (compared to £15 in the UK).

Kerastase Oleo Curl is also recommended for curly hair

Other recommended products mentioned:

Sebastian Whipped Crème – I buy this from London, at around

£16  for 150 ml.

Kerastase Elixir Ultime- (yet to find a stockist in Bahrain).

Sebastian Whipped Creme for extra definition

Kerastase Elixir Ultime for amazing softness

Sunday, 29 January 2012

My favorite semi-precious stones

Monica Vinader 

Monica Vinader necklace

Pendants can be mixed and matched to create a personal necklace

Moonstone ring

Green onyx bracelet by Monica Vinader

Necklaces can be worn short or long

Monica Vinader's jewelry designs are oh-so-elegant and her color combinations are a visual delight.  This Spanish designer is influenced by nature and her love of gemstones and pearls, and her pieces are mostly simple and adaptable (such as her stackable rings).  Her signature nugget collection, and her Fiji bracelets have fans from a large celebrity base. 

What I like the most about her jewelry is that each collection comprises items of different sizes and lengths. The nugget earrings, for example, come as studs or as dangling 3-stone pieces.  

She uses different size stones for her rings too, so you can find the same color in a size that suits you. 

The colors she uses are soft and offer something for everyone, no matter what your complexion is.  

My favorite pieces are all from the nugget collection, and last time I was in London I found this gorgeous green onyx bracelet which was exclusive to Liberty's.  Other limited edition pieces are available at Harrods and Selfridges. 

Where to buy: Net-a-porter has a great selection and its delivery to Bahrain is highly reliable. http://www.net-a-porter.com/Shop/Designers/Monica_Vinader?resType=designer&keywords=monica%20vinader

Prices range from £120 for a large nugget ring (shown above in moonstone),

£450 for the onyx bracelet pictured above, and upwards. 

For those of you who like to see and feel how jewelry looks before buying, the company is based in the UK with a flagship store is on South Molton Street in London. 

Mobile Spa Manicure Review

Mobile Spa manicure

Badly chipped color  on day 7 of Mobile Spa manicure

I had heard only good things about Mobile Spa before I tried them, and in terms of convenience, value for money and accessibility, they do deliver.  I booked appointments for myself and a friend: a spa manicure and pedicure for me, and a foot massage for my friend.

Their reliability was great: they arrived on time, and there were three therapists  (one per treatment) which was great time-efficiency.  My mani and pedi started off really well, and I especially enjoyed the hot wax gloves that they used, followed by a scrub that made my hands softer than soft.  Unfortunately though, after the treatment itself, they proceeded to do my nail color using Essie nail polish. 

I picked a ‘happy’ color and the therapist used two coats of the polish.  By the next day, one nail had already chipped, and each subsequent day another followed.  Chunks of the polish chipped off from all over the nail, not just the tip, which is quite strange.  By day 7, the result is what you see in the image above. 

I should say my friend enjoyed her treatment, and I had enjoyed mine until I saw the bad color job. I definitely wasn’t too happy with that..

Verdict: 1 thumb down.

Contact Mobile Spa on +973 17 777 444 http://themobilespaonline.com/

My favorite shop

Christmas decorations at Henri Bendel

Henri Bendel, New York City
712 Fifth Avenue (between 55th and 56th streets)

Ceiling decorations at Henri Bendel for Christmas

Henri Bendel's 5th Ave store

Novelty gifts at Henri Bendel

A gold plated and turqouise necklace from Henri Bendel

Selection of Henri Bendel collection clutches 

I love shopping at one-of-a-kind boutiques that have a range of quirky goods.  My all-time favorite is Henri Bendel in New York City, a haven for girls that offers anything from leather accessories to umbrellas and chocolates.  Pulling those signature heavy glass doors open, once you step into Bendel’s its smell of Christmassy spice is so distinctive that you know where you are immediately.  

Stocking candles, handbags, sunglasses, a great collection of jewellery and hair accessories, outerwear, makeup, and its own brand products, this store is a delight that pulls me in as the first destination whenever I’m in New York.  They often hold trunk shows of unknown jewellery designers where you can pick up unique pieces for yourself or as gifts.  Best of all, they add new brands all the time so you never know what you might find. I’ve been shopping at Bendel’s for almost 15 years, and each time I go back there is a new designer or range, making it next to impossible to leave empty-handed.

Bendel’s is spectacular during Christmas time, as their in-store Christmas decorations are hard to beat.  Their window displays are also unique year-round, making it a full shopping experience from the minute you pass by till the moment you leave.

Friday, 27 January 2012

A great find handbag

The Nicole Handbag by LK Bennett

The Nicole Bag from LK Bennett in Pink/ Coral

The monogram tassle is detachable.

Supple matt python print leather.

OK, I know there are thousands of fashionista blogs that talk about luxury brands and products, but I like to bring you information about products that are not on everyone’s radar.  LK Bennett is not a brand that is obvious for handbags, but when I saw their Nicole bag on a recent trip to London I just couldn’t resist. I’m not a fan of large bags because I think they look too big on me, but the color, leather and slouchiness of this bag caught my attention immediately.  It comes in five colors; my favorites were the gold and pink/ coral.   

The bag is very spacious and can be carried comfortably on your arm or shoulder.  The tassel and monogram trinket is removable so if you’re like me and don’t like to jingle too much when you walk, you don’t have to!

I was a bit hesitant price-wise for a mid-range brand bag but considering you can carry everything plus the kitchen sink in it, it is great value for money and I have received compliments about it from everyone who has seen it.

Where to buy: I bought mine at Fenwicks in London (not available in Bahrain). LK Bennett stores can be found all over London including Knightsbridge, Brook Street, Covent Garden as well as most department stores in London.

Price: £395  
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