3 tips for Incorporating Statement Jewellery into your Life

If you follow my Instagram account, then you’d by know that I’m obsessed with 2 things in my life. Maya and Jewellery.

I have a thing for big bold bright jewellery, and there is never such a thing as too much in my world when accessorizing.

I realize not everyone is as hardcore as me:-

  • When I have to travel I have a special case for my jewellery
  • When there is a jewellery sale my heart starts to palpitate
  • When I know there is a set to the ring I just bought, I go a little crazy and want it all
  • If I cant see it from a mile away I don’t want it
  • When I get dressed I choose my jewellery first
  • I think of jewellery as Art – of which I am an avid collector.

It wasn’t always this way. I remember during the London backpacking days, I wore the tiniest earrings and ring you ever did see. But when you’re living out of a suitcase with not much money to buy new outfits you start searching for ways to improvise. And so my jewellery obsession began.

I found it to be like anything else new, all you have to do is like it, want to wear it, put it on and get on with life.

So here are my 3 tips for incorporating statement jewellery into your life.

  1. Start with wearing only one bold piece to stand out and keep the rest minimal. You could wear a gorgeous statement necklace and keep your earrings/rings/bracelets small or wear none at all.

    starring maya how to wear statement jewellery
    Gorgeous Peter Lang necklace with stud earrings
  2. Pair bold jewellery with simple outfits. If you’re wearing a lot of prints and patterns, it can be hard to find something that goes if you are not a seasoned jewellery wearer. On the other hand if you are wearing, say a white shirt or tee with jeans, virtually any statement piece would look amazing. Keep it Simple.

    Starringmaya how to wear statement jewellery keeping it simple
    Alesha Dixon in a classic white shirt and jeans making for a great canvas for bold jewellery. Earrings and necklace by Peter Lang. Image of Alesha found on Pinterest.
  3. Choose jewels within your own personal style. If you only wear silver, then go for a statement piece in silver so you feel more comfortable. If you’re favourite colour is blue, try a turquoise piece. Or, if you’ve only ever worn earrings and no other piece of jewellery, then just start with statement earrings.

    starringmaya starter pieces
    Some great statement jewellery ideas to inspire you. All these beauties are from Peter lang.

I wear bold jewellery because I love looking at it, I love the way it feels. I love it period. I never for a minute ever wondered if it suited me or not, I just wear it because I like it.

Go ahead and try it. Do it with conviction and confidence. Take a selfie even!  No one will know it’s your first time anyway. They’re all too busy taking their own selfies

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

My top 10 Tips on How to Dress like Strong Confident Woman.

how to dress like a stong confident woman starring maya

I’m having one of those weeks where I just want to bury my head in the sand and deny that I have anything to do. If only I could go on strike for a day, but I don’t think anyone would care. My little boss Maya wouldn’t have a bar of it.

But anyway, I’d been trying to think of what style-ish posts I can write that might be useful and I had a vision of Maya as a young  woman going out into the world as her own. It’s a very, very strange and scary thought seeing as she’s only just turned two.

I like to imagine one day she will ask me how to know what to wear and how to put it all together. At least I hope she asks me, god help me if she buys one of those ridiculous girly fashion magazines to educate herself from and learn a hundred ways how she is lacking.

This is what I would tell her.

My ten top tips on how to dress like a strong confident woman.

  1. Strong posture. It doesn’t matter how you feel inside, how nervous you are, how much you wish a black hole would open and swallow you up. In nerve-wracking situations which could be anything from walking into a bar alone, to a job interview all you have to do is lengthen your spine, shoulders back, head up and smile like you know something no one else does. Technically that’s true anyway. Great posture, or carriage as they used to call it in the dark ages can make you look composed, confident and strong even if you’re a trembling mess inside.
  2. Know what you like. Ever since I saw Katherine Hepburn in a white shirt  in an old 40’s movie, and Audrey Hepburn in a black long sleeve top and pant, I’ve incorporated it into my everyday style . I love the simplicity of it. When I dress in what I love, I feel great. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s in fashion or not. Black and white never lets me down. Your thing might be bohemian, or vintage, or the classic jeans and t-shirts. All that matters is that you love it and you own it.starringmaya audrey hepburn
  3. Dress for your shape. Knowing what suits you will help you find gorgeous designs to flatter you. I would love to be able to wear body con dresses but alas, my body doesn’t look good in them. Why would I make my poor body unhappy and uncomfortable? On the other hand a dress I recently purchased from Asos looks great on and I feel so damn good in it! The amazing Sophia Loren said that a dress should serve it’s purpose without obstructing the view, which is true of my lovely wiggle dress. Although, I don’t always follow this rule. Most of the time I run around in oversized shirts dresses and oversized tops with jeans. I love the feeling of loose fabric swishing around me but I also know that I’m tall enough to carry the extra volume off. So, know what suits you.

    starring maya asos wiggle dress
    Wiggle dress from ASOS
  4. .Choose one bit of skin to show. This one is simple, show off either your boobs or your thighs. Trust me you can look amazing even all covered up. As shown by Audrey Hepburn above.
  5. The ‘one fitted one floaty’ trick. If you have a two piece outfit a really flattering way to style is to pair a loose top with a fitted bottom or vice versa. For example a fitted top with an a-line skirt, tunic with leggings or fitted pencil skirt with a shell top.  This rule helps to show of your curves and always makes for a lovely silhouette

    starringmaya fitted floaty
    The fitted jeans and floaty top – one of my favourite looks. This look is from Asos.
  6. Make only 1 item the hero. It could be a statement piece of jewellery, a sequined jacket or an amazing print dress. Let everything else compliment that one piece instead of competing with it. Ofcourse I wont be following that rule when I’m a little old lady. I fully intend to wear all my big rings at once, huge necklaces and earrings, red lipstick and Chanel suits. Bring on the eccentricity of old age!
  7. Start and end your outfit in the same colour or theme. This is a really easy formula for instant polish if you feel like you need something extra. If you’re wearing a plain outfit of white tee and blue jeans, layer on a couple of long bohemian-ish necklaces (start of outfit) and a pair of bohemian sandals (end of outfit). Or, with the same outfit a black jacket (start) and black shoes (end). My favourite look at the moment is a gold and silver statement necklace with jeans and a tee, finished off with a pair of gold flats.
  8. Choose your shoes wisely. Do your back a favour and don’t wear heels that you can’t walk in. I always see impeccably dressed girls in their mega heels tottering precariously along. It doesn’t make you look confident or sexy when you are wobbling like a hunched unbalanced toddler. I used to only wear the super 10 inch heels when you know you’ll be sitting or standing in them for most of the time. For walking I used to carry flats. I knew my limitations.
  9. Shop well. Dont spend your money on clothes that look cheap. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to shop smart. Look for good fabrics that will launder well and always try everything on. Most internet shopping sites allows free returns in order to allow you to try on at home. Indicators of ‘cheap’ clothing are usually ill-fitting garments, puckered seams, baggy shoulders and sleeves, loose threads, uneven hemlines, blacks usually have a reddish our brown tint to them, and stretch fabric doesn’t bounce back after you stretch it. If you only get one wear out of it before it falls apart it’s a waste of money. Consider Cost per wear.
  10. Build your perfect capsule wardrobe. Meaning each item should be able to create many outfits. For example a fantastic jacket – one of the most versatile and worn pieces in anyone’s wardrobe. It can be worn with jeans, trousers, skirts and dresses. Nikki from styling you has just done a great example of creating a capsule wardrobe with 17 pieces creating 28 outfit combinations.

    capsule items via styling you - starring maya
    17 piece capsule collection via Styling you the blog.

.And please for the love of all that is good in this world, don’t hide yourself for the sake of fashion rules. If it’s a hot day and your arms don’t look thinner than a hungry catwalk model, go ahead and wear a sleeveless top because your comfort should always come first. Also because really, no one cares. Everyone is too busy with their own lives and their iPhones anyway. The people who look up and judge negatively are either secretly wishing they had your confidence or are just dicks.

Have I forgotten something? Do you have any more wise tips I can pass on to my child one day?

sophia loren quote starring maya

 

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 5 : Organize your Space continued

As promised, here is the second part to organising your space.

Tip – If you are shopping for storage, don’t forget to think outside the square, you don’t always have to use a product for what it was intended for. Use a shoe rack to create a double shelf in your linen cupboard for towels or use clear shoe boxes for jewellery, or kid’s Lego/puzzles…etc.

Howard Storage World have so many ideas I feel like making over my entire home, and I think I will!

Here are the rest of my picks to transform your wardrobe:

Small and Large Acrylic Shoe boxes – originally I was going to get the clear plastic boxes but then decided on these because are sturdier and stackable. The draws slide in and out easily and I wanted to use them for things other than only shoes. They’re great for a lot of other items like clutches, chunky bangles,necklaces, scarves, or even arts and craft boxes for a budding little artist.

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Some times, or a lot of the times you need a bit of your wardrobe outside the bedroom for convenience. Our small couch used to be a dumping area for jackets bags and scarves and the hallway piled up with everyday shoes. For our lifestyle I realised it made things easier to have these things outside, so thanks to the following 2 brilliant products, our hallway is neater and couch is free!

Shoe Rack – This fits in perfectly under out hall table and on it lives our everyday shoes, leaving room for our 1-year-old to tear up and down the hall.

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Hat and Coat Rack – LOVE this product. It’s right by the front door, staring at us as we walk in, leaving us no choice but to hand in our coats and bags. I think it looks pretty good (and no, we are not this colour coordinated or neat:)).

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Hope you enjoyed this, stay tuned for a couple of great giveaways from Howard Storage world

xxx shereen

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: Style yourself – creating your personal style and working out what shapes suit your body

xxx shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge – Step 5 – Organize your Space

Welcome to this week’s wardrobe challenge – Organizing your Space. I had a lot of fun with this one – 1, because it’s so much fun to shop online from the couch, and 2, I came across so many wonderful ways to make the most of my space.

The goal here is to make all your clothes and accessories, makeup and shoes easily accessible, and suited to your daily life.

Below are a few tips and ideas that I’ve incorporated into my home and because there are so many, I’m breaking it up, a little now, and the rest in 2 days.

3 Steps to get your wardrobe organised:

  1. Browse Pinterest or google images for ‘organising your wardrobe’. You will be amazed at how many great innovations there are for storing practically every item in your wardrobe.
  2. Decide what kind of look you want and how much money you can spend, if any. For me the most important thing was to have everything easily viewable and accessible. When you have a kid screaming for attention you really don’t have time to search for too long.
  3. Jump online and window shop. Usually you can find everything you need at one place, and look at as many options as possible. My go-to place has been Howard’s storage World for a long time, but never as much as with this wardrobe challenge and complete overhaul of my apartment!

When you’re searching keep in mind the following:

  • Is it easy to use and will still look good in a couple of years without showing too much wear and tear
  • Will it keep your clothing, jewellery or accessories in good condition
  • Do you have space for it (I’ve been known to get too excited and buy something because its pretty but only to realize I have nowhere to keep it)
  • Measure everything and make sure it will fit under your bed or in the closet.

Howard Storage World were kind enough to loan me a few things to try out , and i am so happy with how everything looks in my closet! Especially my jewellery. I’ve been wearing pieces I havent worn in a long time just because I can see it.

Here are a few of my favourite things that make a difference to how your wardrobe looks and feels. 

Non Slip Flocked Hangers are made to stop fabric from slipping off. Don’t you hate when everything ends up on the floor as your rifling through? These are great for silks, thin straps or wide necklines.

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Clip Hangers are the only way to hang your skirts and trousers, I am not an ironer so there’s no way I’m going to spend that extra few minutes ironing out the crease that folding over a hanger creates.

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Cedar balls and Drawer Sachets – Clothes, if unworn for a few weeks can start to smell a bit musty, and the moths and silverfish love to eat through natural fibres such as silks and wools. The cedar balls are great to put in the storage or garment bags of clothes you wont wear for a couple of seasons, and the sachets keep your clothes smelling gorgeous. you can either use them in drawers or put one on a hanger amongst your dresses.

starringmaya cedar balls

 

Over the Door Hanger – I used to live in the tiniest flat in Australia and these were such a great way to utilize space. They sit over any door inside your home and are great to hang scarves, long jewellery or bags. So easy to grab what you need when in a rush.

door hanger starringmaya

 

Jewellery Pocket Oprganisers – There’s nothing more time-wasting than trying to untangle long necklaces or finding matching earrings, or worse, forgetting what you actually have in your jewellery draw. These are so great not only because you can see all your wonderful collection, but they keep the jewellery from getting damaged. I like to organise mine in metals – silvers, golds, colours etc…

pocket org starring maya

 

Acrylic jewellery Drawers – I think from everything that I’ve been working with, these are my favourite. They house my beautiful jewels, and they make me feel the same way as when I walk into a jewellery store and everything sparkles invitingly..’buy me’…’wear me’. I, sadly, love the way jewellery stores display their products, so I love the idea of displaying my precious pieces too. Why not?

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Jewellery Drawer – These fit all of my largest of large rings, something I’ve been searching for years!
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The 4 Drawer Jewellery Box
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The Deluxe Jewellery Chest – yes, this lives on my bedside table filled with special pieces.

 

 

Makeup Storage – A beautiful way to store all your makeup, you can keep all your everyday bits in this, it’s so easy to find brushes and powders. This has made putting on my face that little bit easier in the mornings.

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Love my wardrobe now, looks like a very organised person lives here. Right?

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And because there are so many things left to talk about, and you’ve probably decided that I go on a little too much about jewellery and moved on to another blog, I am going to stop now and bring you part 2 in a couple of days 🙂

xxx shereen

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: Style yourself – creating your personal style and working out what shapes suit your body

xxx shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 4: Shoes and Bags

The 7 Step Wardrobe makeover Challenge: Step 4 – Shoes and Bags

By now you’re a pro at the art of culling, and if you hear the word culling you might want to hit something.. sorry.

Bags and Shoes are no different to another things you have in your wardrobe, if it works for you, keep. If it doesn’t throw it away.

starringmaya wardrobe makeover - culling shoes
Goodbye Beautiful Ones…

Here’s a guideline to help you decide what to keep and what to throw away. By throwing away I mean either sell, give to charity or put them in a dress up box for your kids maybe.

 

  1. Old dated bags that you used to carry when you were in your early twenties (or if you are in your twenties now, to you im talking about the bags you used to carry when you were 4) need to go. I have a vision of my black satin evening bag with red ribbon rosettes on them. Hello 90’s!
  2. Get rid bags with stains, have broken zips or handles – if it’s precious to you, you can take it to your local shoe/bag repair place who can give them a new lease of life.
  3. Bags or shoes that are just not you anymore need to go.  I find that throughout your life you buy things for who you are at that moment in time, and sometimes, you can’t think clearly so years later you have the WTF moment when you look back.  For about 2 seconds in my life I was obsessed with high high platform ultra fashionable and sexy as hell but totally unwearable for me. See pic above.
  4. If you’re a mum like me then cross body bags are the most practical, the larger the better, or small enough to put your wallet and phone in while you lug a larger nappy bag around. I need to get rid of day bags that I’ll no longer use, but will keep precious ones for Maya or for the days that I go out without her.  AAhhhh kids – they change everything, lucky they are so god damn cute!

 

Here are some tips for taking care of your bags and shoes:

  • Leather needs some TLC give them a clean and condition with leather cream every few weeks.
  • Use old clothes or towels rolled up inside structured bags to keep their shape while they sit on the shelf.
  • The same goes for shoes, keep the tissue that comes stuffed in the toe area of new shoes – it keeps the shape.
  • Store them in a dry ventilated space so they don’t get the old musty smell or rust in the hardware, especially on bags with metal chains and zips.
  • Clear shoe boxes are fantastic for storing special occasion or precious shoes. You can see exactly whats in every box instead of pulling everything out, and keeps them dust free.
  • Use the shoe boxes to store anything you don’t use on a regular basis. Clutch bags, scarves, belts, chunky bangles, kid’s toys…

Hope you are having going through everything, I know I am. My list of Ebay items are growing everyday.

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

Coming up next weekOrganise your Space

xxx Shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 3 – Accessories and Makeup

The 7 Step Wardrobe Challenge: Step 3 – Jewellery, Makeup and Accessories

Hope you’ve all had a pretty productive week, maybe even gone through a few clothes from last week’s challenge? Maybe?

It’s been a strange kind of week at my end, heartbreaking news of the late and great and utterly divine Mr Robbins, and a poor little sick girl to look after have kept me busy and emotional.  Hence why this is a few days late, but nevertheless, here I am, as promised with some hopefully great tips and tricks to get your accessories and makeup sorted.

Part 1 – Makeup

This should be really easy because I guarantee you that more than half your makeup needs to go in the trash bag right now. Did you know that makeup has a shelf life?

Just like a bottle of milk in the fridge, it goes off, and essentially what you are doing is putting on stale and bacteria ridden product on your skin. Disgusting right?

So let’s go – culling your makeup:

1. Throw away any makeup you have that are way past the use by date – products don’t usually have a use by date stamped on them but here is a guide to how long makeup lasts approximately from when you bought it:

  • Powder products like eyeshadow, blush and powder foundation – 2 years
  • Liquid foundation and concealer – 2 years
  • Mascara- 6 months
  • Eyebrow pencil, lip liner, eyeliner- 1 year
  • Lipstick – 1 year
  • Makeup sponges – 6 months

I had to throw out jars I’ve had for over 5 years. It’s easy to do when you know that it actually harms your skin and causes blockages and breakouts.

2. Once you’ve thrown away the stale makeup, go through remaining items and throw away any of the following:

  • Samples given to you that you’ve never used, and are using up valuable real estate on your makeup shelf
  • Crusty nail polishes
  • Things that were an impulse sale buy or because a salesperson insisted that you look fab in blue lipstick and you didn’t want to let her down.
  • Broken or cracked palettes of eyeshadow or blush

Part 2. Jewellery and Accessories (Including Scarves, Belts and Hair Adornments)

I’m a firm believer in ‘jewellery is for life’, unless its cheap and cheerful and easily disposable. If you have any jewellery that is expensive and well made, or sentimental, keep it always.

I’m hoping that one day Maya will treasure all the jewellery I’ve been collecting. If not, I’m sure I’ll find somebody to love it!

Anyway, I digress…back to part 2:

Sort every item of jewellery, scarves, belts and hair accessories into the following stacks:

  • Keep – as mentioned above, all valuable pieces plus any current accessories that still have a few more months of fashion shelf life
  • Throw – anything broken and unfixable
  • Repair – things that need a new clasp/buckle, polishing or missing stones replaced
  • Charity or sell – these are pieces that you don’t like anymore, are unwanted gifts or fashion fad pieces you bought cheap.

*Goes without saying I hope, that the charity, repair and throw piles need to go straight in the bin or car to be taken to where it needs to go.

starringmaya - how to store rings in a howard storage world perspex drawer
I could never part with any of my beloved rings and after so many years of looking for a home for them, I finally found it. This fantastic perspex drawer is deep enough for my chunkiest of rings and lets me see all of them at a glance without rummaging through. And it looks so pretty! Perfection. You can find them at Howard Storage.

 

Extra Tips on Taking Care of your Accessories:

  • Keep a jewelery polishing cloth to shine up crusty jewellery. Available in supermarkets or jewellery stores.
  • Invest in a jewellery repair kit with small pliers, earing backs and hooks, jump rings and clasps for a quick repair job. (All available at Spotlight)
  • Avoid getting perfume or hairspray on jewellery to keep them in good condition
  • Keep silk and wool scarves in a well ventilated area with a cedar ball to repel moths and silverfish who loves to eat through natural fibres
  • Treat leather belts as you would bags and shoes – give them a condition with leather cream every few months.
  • Wash and disinfect your makeup brushes regularly to keep them free of pimple causing bacteria. I use Shampoo and a little bit of dilluted dettol.

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #7stepwardrobechallenge so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: Shoes and Bags.

xxx Shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen