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A life & style blog written by Bash Harry, a 21 year old perfectionist with little to say but much to do. Let's talk beauty, fashion and intersectional feminism.

contact: bashharry@heybash.com

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Thursday, 28 December 2017

Year In Review: Thoughts on My 2017

I'm trying to remember 2017.

Early in the year, I promised myself I would cherish every moment in every month. I would recount the good and bad, and the in-betweens. A sort of journal, noting if anything significant happened even it seemed so insignificant at the time. I'm glad I succeeded. 

The year didn't pass me by this time. This was my 2017.


JANUARY
  • Posted my thoughts on 2016 where I questioned why the year felt so horrible. Long story short, mental illness is still stigmatised but rather than repress, it's better to seek help. Which I did in January, and I am so proud that I did.
FEBRUARY
  • Invited to my first London Fashion Week.  I consider it a great (if not terrifying) learning experience, meeting new people and realising I wasn't alone in the madness. It was four days of clothes, shows and more clothes. By the end of it, I was so happy to be back in Exeter. You can watch My Fashion Week Vlog here.
MARCH
  • After three years, three dentists and too much paper work, I took off my braces. Finally. Once the dentist pulled the metal cage off, I saw my teeth bare for the first time. And realised how small they were. One insecurity lost, another insecurity gained. 


APRIL

  • Visited my friend in Cambridge. He claimed Cambridge was prettier than Exeter, and he was right. It was beautiful and scenic, and made me feel more disappointed I didn't get into University of Cambridge. 

  • I watched Jon Bellion perform. It was my first concert, a small arena in Shepherd's Bush. I waited half an hour before he came on stage. He sang my favourite songs. The crowd cheered on, and I screamed my throat away. It was amazing.

MAY
  • Watched Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. The security personnel told me I was the happiest fan he ever met. I told him I didn't know I was watching until two weeks before. Meeting the original cast and having them sign my book was truly a dream come true.

JUNE
  • I published an article for Accessorize, writing tutorials on How To Tie Your Hijab. It was an incredible opportunity for a small blogger like me. When they approached me, I immediately said yes. How exciting it was to write for them!

  • Apart from a bit of heartache but nothing crushing, June was quiet. I came back to Brunei, spent three weeks sleeping in the day and celebrated Eid with my family. It was relaxing and I loved it. 


JULY
  • Published Head in His Clouds. I wrote this prose back in May, spending a majority of June perfecting it, and met with photographers to see it come to life. The photos resonated with the post. To this day, It is perhaps my favourite piece I published so far.

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER
  • Went to my second London Fashion Week. I found myself experiencing a full week of LFW, with invitations to, at least, one show a day. It was such a long week that I had to condense each day to three different posts, chronicling Day 1, Day 2 & 3, and Day 4 & 5 respectively.  


OCTOBER
  • 
Performed in Exeter for the first time. I took the initiative to join the Creative Writing Society, which in turn, inspired me to perform Head in His Clouds. My friends watched and clapped, they never saw me perform until then. I hope they enjoyed it.

  • Did Three Days of Halloween, or alternatively titled Three Days of SFX Makeup which I haven't done in years. I dressed up as a half-ripped face skeleton, then scarred Red Riding Hood then Corpse Bride. Guess which is my favourite. (It’s the one where I painted my whole face blue)


NOVEMBER
  • Joined University of Exeter International Forum Market. The BruEx Society was invited to join, selling our local food on campus. I dressed in a traditional Baju Kurung, forgetting it was 2 sizes too small. Regardless, the society raised money and shared a little bit of Brunei to our university.

DECEMBER
  • Went to EUFC Christmas Dinner. A lot of my friends are fencers, and somehow, I’ve managed to infiltrate the club much to their displeasure. As such, I went to their Christmas Dinner and had a wonderful time feeling festive with my friends. We danced the night away, with joy stitched across our sleeves.

It's interesting to review my own year and how the world has affected it. 2017 was a whirlwind of emotions, events and stories. I like to think I had personal growth, I'm not as naive but I'm no longer as sad. It's a balance.

Now, we have 2018 to look towards.

how was your 2017?
with love,
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Monday, 25 December 2017

12 Things I'm Grateful For

I'm not usually one for the festive season. 

Since I don't celebrate Christmas nor do I partake in anything remotely cheery. It's different this year though as I'm spending my December alone. While it's not as depressing as it sounds, I found myself wistful of things I took for granted. 

So here are 12 things I'm grateful for this year.


1. Sunrise & Sunsets. 

Candy cotton skies, swirling purple and yellow and reddish hues, climbing atop the world. Then drifting off to sleep by dusk.

2. My Family. 

7020 miles away, through an 18 hour flight and 2 transits. They annoy me, they bother me, they irritate me but I miss them regardless.

3. Friends. 

The ones I have now, and those I once had. We fill rooms with our laughter. We sing out of tune in cars. We loved so much and yet it still wasn't enough.

4. The Weather.

Cold wind brushing against skin, turning my cheeks pink. The layers upon layers I wear to brave the air. It's a small reminder I'm no longer in tiny South East Asia. That makes me so happy.

5. Sweets. 

Delicate hot chocolate or sour gummy bears, anything I get my hands on. I love biting into a lolly, and finding a surprise. Candy will always be my favourite sinful treat.

6. Strangers. 

I meet some wonderful people I know I will never meet again. They tell me stories of their grown-up children, or how pretty my dress looks. Those kind smiles I receive outweigh the glares I get.


7. Flowers. 

I will be first to admit my distaste for them as gifts, but the first to mention my favourite are white roses. If we never had flowers, they would have never inspired poetry. What a dull world to live in.

8. Ink. 

My fingers are perpetually ink-stained from bad pens. I don't hate it though. When I notice a blue spot on my finger or a short to do list on my palm, I know I'm writing and that's all I want.

9. White Noise. 

When I forget my headphones, I listen to the silence instead. You hear cars driving by, old women speaking in their native tongue, bells ringing and coffee machines buzzing. The world is full of music.

10. Neon Lights. 

Especially at night. The bright signs of corner stores and cheap food joints excite me more than they should. It reminds me the night is awake, even if I am not.

11. Long Walks. 

I walk more now. Over 10,000 a day almost everyday. Living far from friends will make you move. I often complain as I am late. But I need those quiet walks alone sometimes, it clears my head.

12. Home. 

A home doesn't have to be a house, but it could be.

Where I slip my stockings off, make hot Hibiscus tea, and unwind in an unmade bed. Sometimes, it is another place like a familiar cafe where the cashier knows my order before I speak. Other times, it is a person who shares the same story over and over but I still act surprised at the ending.

Whatever, wherever and whoever home is, I am happy to have a home.


It's those minute things I love, ones I'll forget until they are gone. Though I'm not festive, I like to take this time to acknowledge my luck and privilege many don't have. There are people without homes, sleeping in streets this winter, and we can do little to help.

But we can still help.

Centrepoint is a UK-based charity, aiming to help and sponsor homeless youth. More than 150,000 young people are homeless due to finance, abusive families, mental illness etc. Centrepoint provides housing, health support and life skills during these times.

You can make a one time donation of £18 to fund a safe place, or monthly £5 donation to pay for vital basics. The money will provide young people with a future, which is something we all deserve.

Thank you so much.

What are you grateful for?

with love,
Instagram | Youtube | Bloglovin

Thursday, 14 December 2017

How I Style Floral Scarves with Lady Qomash

I'm a simple girl with a love for simple colours.  

A style some might argue is 'lame,' but I say it's minimalist. I stick to blacks and whites, with the occasional pop of pale colours somewhere. It's an easy way to dress in the morning, especially in university, when I would rather come to seminars in pyjama bottoms and t-shirts.

So when I received these Lady Qomash shawls, I took it as a challenge. I would incorporate these ombre scarves (something I've never worn) into my style.

So how did I do?

LOOK ONE


Of course I would fall in love with the Hydrangea Black. From lightweight satin silk and design, the shawl is perfect to wrap around your neck during the winter. 

The hand drawn design with the sweeping ombre caught my eye immediately. Its delicate floral pattern is subtle against the black and white. It provides enough edge for girls like me, who enjoy looking a bit bolder but still elegant. 

I kept this idea in mind when I styled it. 

HYDRANGEA BLACK

I stuck to my colour scheme to match this shawl. Pairing this ombre shawl with an outfit to compliment, I wore a New Look White Shirt and Zara Pleather Leggings. 

As for the scarf style, I pinned the white part to my head and wrapped it loosely. I let the long side hang as I wanted to emphasise the ombre against the outfit's colour block. To finish the look, I wore my ASOS Pink Winter Coat as a pop of colour.

LOOK TWO



Their Hydrangea Rainbow scarf makes me feel like a unicorn.

Made from the same lightweight satin silk, the scarf reminds me of a rainbow pop ice-cream. With its soft ombre and bold flower print, it's definitely for the girly-girls at heart. The shawls drapes so well against any colour scheme. As for me, I stuck with black.

As usual. 

LADY QOMASH 
HYDRANGEA RAINBOW

For the second look, I went for a basic Uniqlo Black Shirt and Superdry Jeans, completing the base with my Zara Oversized Jacket. I wore the Hydrangea Rainbow as a pop of colour against my all-black outfit. This keeps the outfit classy, but still young and playful. 

The shawl wrapped loosely, keeping the long side falling across my chest. This provided coverage and emphasise the ombre detailing in the outfit.

Photos by
Maria Da Silva

Lady Qomash is a small company with big ideas, as their designs infuse art and fashion together. Most notable in their scarf collection, created with watercolour pencils. I can't simply limit myself to these two scarves,  since they are so versatile. Each scarf is 90RM (BND 30), and available to purchase at their website here! 

You can find them on Instagram or Facebook, where they update regularly. If you want to purchase these scarves you can find them here!

J-18-1 Glomac Square
Jalan SS6/16, Kelana Jaya, 
Petaling Jaya, 47301, Selangor.

Sponsored by 
Lady Qomash


What's your favourite way to style scarves?

Thursday, 30 November 2017

#MeToo: My 3 Stories of Sexual Harassment

trigger warning. sexual harassment.

As you can assume from the title. 

Since October, brave women have been telling their sexual harassment stories with the hashtag #MeToo. I thought I would finally share my own. This post is only limited to three stories, but there are more. More than I can care to have.

These are just three of the countless. 

ONE
JULY 2016

I was scrolling through my phone late at night. 

A notification popped up. "Instagram: [someone] wants to send you a message." Almost instinctively, I tapped it as one does. On my screen was a grammatically incorrect wall of text and a picture of a Malay man's genitals. Short, stiff and gross.

"It's urs if u want it :P"

He said he masturbates to my Instagram. He wanted me to send pictures. He thought I wanted to. I told him he was repulsive. I blocked him and I went to bed.

I woke up the morning with a new notification. Different account, same person. He apologised, it was never his intention to degrade me. He asked me out for coffee, I declined.

He called me a 'stuck-up slut.' 

I told him it was an oxymoron, and blocked him again.

TWO
DECEMBER 2016

I was walking down Oxford Circus. 

Alone, wrapped in a plain brown hijab with headphones on, clutching heavy shopping bags. A Middle Eastern man, mid-to-late twenties, walked towards me. He held his arms out, gestured to my body. He licked his lips and asked if I was looking for a husband.

"Mashallah Habibi, you are too beautiful to be lonely."

"Talk to me, baby."

"I can make you so happy."

He followed me until I ran into a Marks & Spencers. I waited by the racks until he disappeared into the crowd. I didn't leave until thirty minutes later, when my heartbeat slowed down and my eyes weren't so red.

I took a cab back home that evening.

THREE
MAY 2017

I was talking to a male friend outside a busy pub. 

I wore leggings and a red dress past my knees, he wore a blue t-shirt and jeans. We chatted about the end of first year when a man came over to us, looking for a lighter for his cigarette. We told him we didn't smoke. He offered to buy us champagne. We told him we didn't drink. He asked for our names. I lied, and said 'Harry.'

"Why do you have a man's name?" He asked in a thick Eastern European accent.

I joked, "Because I have balls."

The stranger leaned down and lifted my skirt. His eyes looking up. I swatted his hand, and pushed my skirt down. He then whispered in my ear, "You're too pretty to have balls."

I wanted to say something. "And you're too much of dick to get laid."

I wanted to slap him. Painful enough to leave a red welt. 

I wanted to scream. Instead, my friend and I stood in awkward silence. The stranger walked away, still looking for a light. 

"What the hell was that?" My friend finally spoke up. I sighed, crossing my legs. I pressed my arms against my chest, and wished I wore trousers.

"It happens."


Sexual harassment happens. Regardless of what is worn, regardless of time and place, regardless of company or lack of. 

They weren't factors as to why I was harassed. 

I was harassed because there are men in this world who think women are lesser than them. As if we crave their attention or demand their validation. There is a power struggle in them, that could be satisfied by demeaning women. In their eyes, we wanted it. We wanted them. 

Whether we knew it or not. 

Do you have any stories of sexual harassment?

with love,
Instagram | Youtube | Bloglovin

Monday, 27 November 2017

Answering Your Law School Questions

A Law Q&A from actual law students. 

As Term 1 winds down, my friend and I sat down to answer some questions I received from Instagram.  This is my third Q&A up on my channel. This time around, there is a good reason. It can be considered educational since it is a Law School Q&A.

Enjoy!


A big thanks to my friend Sam Boughton for joining me in this Q&A. He's seen me break down in the library, I've seen him knock a bottle before an exam. It's a great friendship based on mutual hatred of law school.

You can follow him on Instagram here.

Would you like more Q&A like these?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Back to Blogging

It's five minutes to three. 

I have a Trusts lecture in half an hour (if I decide to go). My laptop is at 27% percent and phone even less. My friends sit across me, watching another episode of Rick & Morty while our other friend takes a nap. I'm pretending I don't have any more work and knowing I have plenty.

The blogger tab sits there, as I attempt to write something with meaning and moral. I fail. So I write this instead.

A sort of hello again.


I've written a few posts like this, in the past, when I take unexpected breaks. I usually blame law school and my ineptitude to balance every single aspect of life. I still do.

Blogging became an outlet when I had little to do and much to say. That was three years ago. Now, I have much to do and little to say. Trying to maintain a social life, assignments, scripts among other things. Those stressful nights on a friend's couch with red eyes and hot tea, or the bruises that never fade.  Just the overwhelming sense of dread.

When it's too much to handle, I crawl elsewhere to a safe place. What was once writing on laptop in my bedroom is now somewhere with open arms and a warm smile.

"You'll be fine. I know you will be." My friend whispers as I lay in their bed. Huddled under the covers, the rain heavy. "You've got a pretty cool life, pretty cool blog, and you're pretty and cool yourself."

I laugh, "Barely, always barely."

When they said it, it's somehow enough. Barely is good enough.


Life outside of cyberspace is good. 

I write more, I exercise often and I have a semblance of a proper diet. My friends are goofy but kind, school is stressful but decent, and I'm happier. I'ml more human than I've felt in months. Even if it's just barely, it's still something.

It's still feeling. 

Right now, I want to know I can feel again.


Though I won't be as consistent as I was in Summer, this is me trying. In a bad attempt to balance regular blogging into an already-full schedule. After all, I have an assignment worth 40% of a module due in two weeks.

Who knows how I will feel in the coming weeks. Speaking of feelings...

how are you?

with love,
Instagram | Youtube | Bloglovin

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

REVIEW | Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette


RATING: 2 OUT OF 5
It seems like everyone has an opinion on this palette. 

There has never been a more controversial palette than Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette.


It's shocking how much backlash Anastasia Beverly Hills have gotten since the palette's release. Beauty bloggers and makeup artists have put out varying opinions. Some good, most bad. Curious, I borrowed my cousin's to see if it was truly as bad as everyone says it is.

So is it?


When the palette was announced, Norvina, the Creative Director of ABH stated, 'If Modern Renaissance had a sister, it would be Subculture.'

Perhaps in looks, but not in quality.

As expected it looks high-end in its packaging. The Subculture Palette's retains the same velvet casing, this time in dark blue, with a magnetic closure. I've addressed the problem when I reviewed the Modern Renaissance palette, the case won't stay pretty for long. Powders stick to velour.

Though the cheapest retailer in Brunei sold it for BND $72, Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette costs BND $57.50 (US$42) for these 14 shades. An estimate price of BND $5.40 (US$3) per shadow weighing 0.7g (0.02 Oz) each. So it is the same price as Modern Renaissance, for slightly more product.


Subculture was inspired by the Instagram subculture community, that made Anastasia Beverly Hills popular in the first place. 

Described as an essential eye collection with 'grungy mattes' and 'bold metallics' with an 'underground edge'. It features 14 shades, there are 11 matte shades, and 3 metallics including Adoran, Cube and Electric, which are duochromes. Perfect for someone who prefers mattes like me.

What made the shades so attractive were its colour scheme. Rather than warm or cool colours, these were neutral and muted. They reminded me of downtown streets, covered in old graffiti. Its colours rarely pop out, but cohesive in grunge. 

TOP ROW SWATCHES
CUBE   |   DAWN   |   DESTINY   |   ADORN   |   ALL STAR   |   MERCURY   |   AXIS
applied using finger

CUBE   |   Cube is a shimmery duochrome, with a pale pink-to-lavender shift. It felt like a cream than a powder, and had the least payoff on the lids. Even if I used my finger, the shift would fade after two hours.

DAWN   |   A warm peach, Dawn is the closest nude shade in this palette. It works best as a transition shade for light skin tone, and wears the best out of the 14 shades. 

DESTINY   |   What I can describe as a greyish-green. Destiny is a muted olive green that applies patchy against the skin. Best applied with a fluffy brush.

ADORN   |   Adorn applies like a foiled texture, similar to those in Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette. A creamy copper brown with a metallic sheen. It's slightly chunky and best applied with fingers. 

ALL STAR   |   Somebody once told me, this shade was not good. All Star is a deep reddish plum matte with a warm undertone. The colour, when applied, ends up patchy on the lids.

MERCURY   |   Mercury is an odd colour. A neutral brown-grey, not too warm or too cool. It would act as a transition shade for the bolder colours, and for those with darker skin tones. 

AXIS   |   Axis is a dark teal with a cool undertone. While it applied patchy as a swatch, I found it easy to apply with an incredibly light hand. It diffused well with a blending brush.


BOTTOM ROW SWATCHES
ROXY   |   ELECTRIC   |   FUDGE   |   NEW WAVE   |   UNTAMED   |   EDGE   |   ROWDY
applied using finger

ROXY   |   Roxy is a light peachy-orange with a matte finish. No matter how much I try, the colour does not blend. It ends up looking stagnant and patchy.

ELECTRIC   |   A pale mint-green duo chrome. Electric is best applied with fingers to build from sheer coverage. Like Cube, it applies like a cream and fades just as quickly. 

FUDGE   |   Fudge is strange. The warm, deep brown is a beautiful colour and its velvet formula feels beautiful, it blends out horribly.

NEW WAVE   |   A light-medium orange with yellow undertones. New Wave, and other similar nude-ish colours, seem to be the best in the palette. It blends among the other shades, and applies without much work.

UNTAMED   |   I didn't like Untamed. The medium blue-green shade was difficult to blend and applied patchy. I didn't like the end result on my eye.

EDGE   |   What was supposed to be a medium yellow shade oxidised on my lids. Yes, this colour oxidises. How? When applied onto my eye, Edge darkened into a sour yellow. It retains its opaque matte finish, blending out well but still. How?

ROWDY   |   Rowdy is a deep burgundy, and arguably the darkest shade in the palette. It doesn't blend out well, staying where applied, but lasts for about 6 hours before getting patchy.


EYE  LOOKS   USING   ABH   SUCULTURE   PALETTE

on the lids: Dawn, New Wave, Edge
liner: Fudge, Adorn
under eye: All Star, Roxy

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette is controversial, to say the least.

It should go without saying, all reviews will have some bias. The makeup reviews are no different. Subconscious or otherwise, good or bad, to a minuscule or large extent. As consumers, we can't listen to only one opinion. Rather, we should listen to many sources, and acknowledge their (unconscious) bias. 

Some reviews I found refreshing were RawBeautyKristi, Jordan HanzSamantha Ravndahl and Stephanie NicoleFor a further in-depth review, Temptalia is my favourite. Even if I don't agree with their final thoughts, their videos were informative. It is imperative that we remain informed and make our own opinions based on the information. 

That said, I have my own opinion. And in my honest opinion, it's not worth it. 

on the lids: Destiny, Untamed, Electric
under eye: Rowdy

Overall, I love the colours but I dislike the formula.

If the formula was similar to Modern Renaissance, this would have been another hit. Instead, the formula isn't lightly pressed, overtly powder and too strange. I wanted to love this palette, I wanted to create grungy badass looks. Unfortunately, the palette won't let me.

If and when ABH changes the formula, then I would reconsider purchasing the palette. Until then, it's a no from me. 

So would you purchase Subculture?
What are your thoughts on the controversy?

with love,
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