Monday, 21 April 2014


Upon my very recent return to the UK from beautiful and sunny France, I couldn’t help but feel slight melancholy that I was no longer a resident of the land of wine and baguettes. What on earth could possibly cheer me up? Make me feel a tad better? A trip to the eyebrow lady of course! After weeks of untamed brows and sprouts of unwanted hair, the relief of those two caterpillars being shaped and preened was indescribable. Now anyone who knows me, knows I’m a Frida Kahlo-esque eyebrow-loving lady. I’m a big fan of a thick and arched brow - Cara Delevigne, eat your heart out. In this short but informative post, I wanted to share my own eyebrow grooming habits and recommend a few essential products to perfect, highlight and set your brows.


By way of shaping your brows, I swear by threading. I’m a threading minion. It has quickly become a popular phenomenon and the days of people giving you a bewildered look when ‘threading’ was mentioned are long gone. Not to offend those waxing and plucking lovers, but if you are in search of a brow that is well defined with a clean finish, threading is the way to go. I find that waxing restricts you to very few brow shapes, whereas threading allows for room to manoeuvre.  Like any beauty treatment, a good beautician is a must and they are always challenging to find. Once you do find one, stick with them. Fortunately, London is brimming with salons, be it on the high street or in Selfridges. My recommendation for someone who is going for their first appointment is to head toward Blink Brow Bar, Shavata Studio or a HD Brow salon. Here you will find professionals who you can trust to tame your eyebrows rather than hack them all off!  High street salons are never off the cards, but make sure you can trust your beautician and maybe for safety, start with the removal of a little hair so that you can see just how good their skills are.


After the shaping of the brow, there are certain steps one can take to boost the image of their brows. The first step to brow grooming is to own a spooley. A small brush, which has an end resembling a mascara tip. There are many on the market but at the moment I love the Daniel Sandler brow groomer - the bristles are soft enough for a good combing and shaping. After combing your brows, setting the shape is very important to keep the brow intact for the rest of the day. I am a gigantic fan of Talika because, 1. They are French and 2. They invent brilliant products for eyebrows and eyelashes. I am mad about the Talika eyebrow extender, a gel, which comes in light and dark brown, and the formula includes miniscule volumising fibres to help fill out any sparse patches and fixes shaping into place. The gel leaves no residue and no harsh colors which a pencil might, and keeps brows in place regardless of if they are touched or not. Other brands such as Benefit and Sleek also do excellent brow kits which achieve a similar result. Last not but not least, a concealer or a product, such as the YSL Touche Éclat, does wonders at adding definition and radiance to your brows, making them a stand out feature on your face.


As a regular threader, I would advise you to leave your brows for 2-3 weeks and let them grow out slightly and repeat the threading process after the third week. However, if you hate the random hair, battle a busy schedule or you know you won’t be able to see your therapist till the next month, plucking is the best option to maintain your perfect brows. Plucking as soon as you see a hair growing will prevent the shape from becoming scattered and lines will remain clean and without a shadow.

Apart from the above, brows that suffer from fine or light hair, there is always the option of a tint. Now, by no means am I advising someone who is beach blonde to go and tint their eyebrows jet-black. This is the beauty of having eyebrow and eyelash tinting so readily available in a large number of salons across the world! Every good beautician will be able to advise on colours that are available and normally, you will be able to go a slight shade darker so that the tint looks natural. 

After a happy visit to the eyebrow lady.

Got to love a high arch.

If you have any eyebrow related loves or tips, leave them in the box below. Don’t forget to tweet me @msrougerox and follow me on Instagram @rougerox!



Friday, 11 April 2014

Feminist Friday: Meditations on a Popular Topic

Feminism. It’s a word that is often thrown around, at things, towards things, about things etc. It’s a concept that was endorsed by both the suffragettes and currently Beyoncé, but what is feminism?

Like James Dean once sung, it’s a man’s world. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a big feminist. ‘You go girl’ is one of my many mantras, but at the end of the day James Dean knew it, you and I both know it and the cat sitting on the wall knows it. The powers of the world are still very much male orientated, and by this I focus on the well-oiled machine that keeps the world ticking. Investment bankers, lawyers, entrepreneurs – the men are the majority stake holders. And whilst it pleases me to see strong women get ahead and stand up for feminist rights like Wendy Davis, these women are still a small contingency and feminist rights are still a taboo subject for many.

Being born to liberal parents, one from Bangladesh and the other from India, I can say with relief that they themselves do not hold any warped cultural views in regards to the way females and males should be brought up. My sister and I have always been instructed to follow our desires, not to take shit from anyone, remain respectful to others and ourselves, be independent till the end and forever be the rulers of our lives. Basically we could tell millions of people that we wrote ‘Independent Women’ for Destiny’s Child and they’d believe us. However, that cultural stigma associated with women is still very much alive. Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Burma are just some of the countries where women are still faced with the reality of not having a choice in the way their life will unfold. Far too often, I have heard an older family member talking about the ‘westernization’ of ‘our girls’, which only displayed their lack of evolution from the thick veil of sexism in the 1950’s. What’s the big deal if we choose to wear short shorts or have a boyfriend? The healthy middle ground between being too sheltered and having absolutely no discipline is being independent secure in yourself, your morals and your beliefs. As a young person, may you be male or female, these two things are the soul’s foundation, yet so many people I know, suffer from not being either of them. How can people be feminists or even human, when they are unsure about what they are, who they are and where they are going? Incidents, like the Taliban shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the appalling level of female mutilation, the gang rape of a young Indian student and the ongoing issue of the father’s rights movement are all signs that we must ALL take the initiative to encourage and instill values of equality, harmony and security within ourselves and others. Aside from these horrific events, I am at peace to also know that women all around the world are fighting against misogynistic thought and practice. It is refreshing to see the successful return of Miss Yousafzai, the initiative of the Pussy Rioters and the outspoken women (and rightly so), such as novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who won’t stand for inequality. 

In relation to the questions I posed at the beginning of my post, I have concluded that being a feminist is more than crushing the image of man, but believing in total equality of the sexes. It is a concept, when properly understood and considered, that should provoke thoughts on how BOTH sexes are threatened, judged and consequently treated everyday and in an array of circumstances. I already clarified that females are still considered lower in the hierarchal way of the world, but this does not mean that one can simply ignore the prominent existence of sexism against the male population. However, despite the threat to the male race, the fact that women must still strive twice as hard to be heard in society undermines the egalitarian definition of feminism that I have sought to give it. In an ideal world, feminism would be a branch of egalitarianism, which focused solely on trying to rebuild upon the persecution of women through the ages, but alas the struggle for females is still as real and troublesome as ever.

Being a feminist is a personal choice and it is moreover a personal philosophy. Whilst the fundamentals of the concept are equality, independence, and freedom of thought, speech and being, it is through the vulgarity and ignorance of ‘false feminists’ that the concept is taken for a joke. I mentioned Beyoncé at the start because she, like Tina Fey, is a feminist. Regardless of her choice in clothing and desire to film provocative music videos, she is both sure of herself and highly independent. What is so non-feminist about that? She is confident in promoting herself as she does and nobody asked her to do it. It was a personal choice, so why all the bitching and attacking from so called ‘feminists’? She is a successful African American woman who looks good, is doing what she loves and puts the hours in. She is a mother who has a career and a husband who supports her… isn’t that what feminists are fighting for? A woman’s right to follow her dreams and a husband who supports and encourages her choice?  Of course it is.

Beyoncé in her 'Partition' video

Given the above reality, feminism’s image remains somewhat hypocritical and polemical. However, to return to my optimistic version of it, I would say that more and more young men and women are all seeking this egalitarian ideal, a society which is formed upon individual differences, strengths, opinions and interests rather than the discrimination of gender or origin. I don’t want to sound like a supporter of masculism or extreme feminism, as I am neither. I am a feminist, ONLY by my own definition of it, a humanitarian and a believer that everyone’s needs, rights and well-being are important. I would like to think that being a feminist is something that everyone could be, because at the end of the day it should stand for a human’s right to equality, strength, freedom and empowerment.

[I could go for hours about feminism, the world, the hypocrisy and the plight of humanity. This is a small and very personal meditation on a concept that is multifaceted and opinionated, but a meditation in which I wished to share what feminism is for me and how I think it should be approached.]


Monday, 7 April 2014

London Bites: Part One

So, I’m quite a big foodie. If I could eat every meal in a restaurant, I would! Having worked in some of the best parts of London in the past, I grew quite a big belly by regularly sampling some of the best cuisine the capital had to offer. This post is the first in a series, which relates my personal recommendations of eateries in the city’s most popular districts. To begin, COVENT GARDEN. A part of London, which is well associated with old markets and piazza style architecture, is now renowned for many celebrated theatres, cobbled squares and a buzz of shoppers and tourists. In recent years, it has welcomed lavish fancies such as Ladurée and modern gastronomy with the grand opening of Shake Shack. But alas, none of my recommendations are these as they are all too obvious and quite frankly, slightly overrated.

1. Cast your minds over to Seven Dials, the part of Covent Garden that interests me the most! As the name insinuates, Seven Dials is a set of seven cobbled streets converging from a pillar which has six sun dials that stands in the center. It is one of these streets that plays host to Kopapa, a restaurant offering fusion food for morning, afternoon and evening. Having been in February, I instantly fell in love as soon the plate of food arrived to my table. They offer a variety of mouth-watering bites with an every changing menu which is filled with good wine, hearty breakfasts and small plates for that quick moment when you need to inhale some goodness in between meetings. Personal recommendation: For Sunday brunch, have a try of the Turkish eggs, any of the fry-ups and definitely the chocolate milkshake. Whatever you eat here, there’ll be a party in.  //

2. My second recommendation lies on Neal Street (and a few other locations in London) and was introduced to me by an old colleague who I will always thank dearly, because it’s one of the best hidden yet well known bars in London. Food is abundant and the wine lists are infamous at Pix which is inspired by Pintxos bars, which are commonly found in Barcelona and San Sebastian. Being a small and intimate space (my favorite of all the Pix bars), the bar is inevitably full nearly all of the time but if I remember correctly, reserving two seats in advance is still possible. Upon entering, you are greeted with an artisan table of tapas bites (lo and behold the Spanish influence) and you are welcome to help yourself to these small gulps of deliciousness at a ridiculously small price whilst drinking a bottle of exquisite wine or downing a dangerously good cocktail. The bar offers an informal atmosphere, coupled with a sense of sophistication and an appreciation for nibbling and drinking. It’s like dress down Fridays with lashings of champagne. Personal recommendation: a bottle of Condes de Abarei, Albarino with a plate of pintxos to share.  //

3. My third recommendation is Mishkin’s. A hidden gem parallel to Drury Lane, it is a brilliant eatery serving up Jewish classics (although oddly it is not kosher) with a treasure chest of gin cocktails. All I can really say about this restaurant is that it's so good you may not want to leave. Imagine yourself walking through London on a rainy day (this is really not difficult to imagine) and the wind is scratching your face and your belly is growling. Well, the remedy is a plate of comfort from good old Mishkin’s. If you haven’t been, get going. Personal recommendation: Macaroni and cheese topped with Colman’s and salt beef  and as I’m the gin queen I highly recommend Ezra’s Green Rose cocktail.  //

4. Number four is just so exciting. After countless failed attempts at visiting this amazing and fantabulously chic restaurant with my foodie partner in crime, I finally got there this weekend for my father’s 50th birthday celebration. And it really did make it a celebration. Balthazar blessed London with its presence in 2013 and it’s as if people have purposely forgotten the time before its existence. The service is impeccable, every waiter greets you as you walk in, your reservation is confirmed upon entering (it feels like a gentleman's food club) and you are shown to your table in the gloriously decadent décor that graces the walls of this magnificent eatery. The menu is simple French bistro food, but the taste is out of this world. There is something for everyone, and that something is trop classe, even down to the onion rings. Originally from New York, the restaurant has become the poised neighbor of the Royal Opera House. As my father said, ‘This place is where you would find Vito Corleone, Coco Chanel, Mr Gatsby… you know, those people who are just cool, suave and elegant.’ Personal recommendations: Moules marinières, pavlova, crème brulée, champagne. Basically the whole damn menu. And if you do happen to read that dastardly review on the restaurant by Guardian writer Jay Rayner, ignore it. //

5. My last recommendation is somewhat simpler and without all the decadent faff. But my oh my, the food lives up to all of that. Battersea Pie Station. I don’t even need to explain the food because 1. It’s obvious and 2. Anything you eat from here will satisfy your hunger and your taste buds. You’ll find it in the lower piazza and for goodness sake, get the mushy peas, mashed potato and gravy!  Personal recommendations: Beef and onion pie, mashed potato, peas and gravy. Perfection.  //

These of course, some of my favorites but Covent Garden has much more to offer than just these five picks. But if you ever feel lost in the terms of how to fill you stomach whilst in this part of London , why not give one of these devils a go? And for you coffee fiends out there don’t forget to try Monmouth Coffee on Monmouth Street (seven dials). 

If you have any food favorites around London let me know in the comments box below or tweet me, I’m always on the hunt for some new nosh!