Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Nando Lopes at Richard Ward

I wrote about Richard Ward earlier this year and given it seems to be a favourite of yours, I thought I should share an update with you!

I swapped over to Nando Lopes (James Pryce had been cutting my hair for about four years) shortly after my previous post. I had another appointment cancelled at really the shortest possible notice they could possibly have given (for La Duchess'/ Kate Middleton's Canadian tour...), James had become v busy/ stressed* and, well, naturally his price rocketed so that he is now in the same bracket as Nando. My big sis got married in September and my mother had booked Nando out for the morning, so it just made sense for me to swap over to Nando (although there was some awkwardness at first with James working across from  us during my first cut with Nando). Nando has been a-ma-zing!!! I last had my hair cut in September and it has maintained its shape after four months!! Yes, it's grown about 1.5-2 inches and I'll get it done in January but previously I had to go about every 6-8 I'll just go 3 or 4 times a year! So, if you do the maths, you could find that trying your luck with one of the stylists at Richard Ward may mean paying a bit more per appointment but can work out the same or cheaper as what you're paying now (per year) as you'd likely get a much better haircut and visit the salon less**!

I'll post some pictures of Nando's handiwork from big sis' wedding soon but just wanted to post a quick update in the meantime!

AB x

*I have been uncharacteristically and, if I say so myself, admirably reticent and tactful here....

**Unless you dye your hair....I go au naturelle so can't help you there, sorry...

Fashion Books

Check out the books I got for Christmas!!

(apologies for the terrible photography/ general quality of photo)

A to Z of Style, Amy de la Haye

Fifty Dresses that Changed the World, Design Museum

400 Years of Fashion, V&A

My Favourite Dress, Gity Monset, Samantha Erin Safer & Robert de Niet

Chanel - the Vocabulary of Style, Jérôme Gautier (present from the lovely staff at Chanel in Harrods - merci beaucoup!)

Christian Louboutin, Christian Louboutin

I think these will make fabulous coffee table books! Anyone else get some fashion books for Christmas??

AB x

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Anniversary Gift Ideas

While browsing the sales online for some bargains, I came across this on Smythson's website:

Most likely inspired by Carrie Bradshaw's book of love letters borrowed from the New York Library in the SATC film, this leather bound book of amorous letters would make the perfect gift for your leading lady and it's reduced to £99! (Yes, it was more expensive than that to begin with....) 

Paper is the traditional gift for a second wedding anniversary (in the U.K. - in the U.S., it's the first) and leather is the third anniversary gift, so this beautiful book would be a thoughtful and creative gift for either of those anniversaries. Alternatively, it could be gifted as a Valentine's or if you're feeling particularly generous, any day of the year (maybe to mark a special occasion)!

Take note, gentlemen*.


AB x

*or ladies! I'm sure there are some men out there who would be chuffed to receive this gorgeous book too!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Tux

The tux is a classic, chic and sexy evening choice for the fashion-forward lady and it's having a bit of a moment. Here are some of my favourites in store right now...

Emilio Pucci


The ultimate tux: Yves Saint Laurent

I love the quirkiness of the Pucci one but isn't the Tibi lace/leather combo fabulous? I tried it on at the MyWardrobe VIP party the other night (more on that later) and really wanted to buy it but sadly they didn't have my size! (I'm holding out for the Net A Porter sale!!)

I know the above three are super luxury expensive choices but the tux really is a classic item that will never date. That said, if you want a cheaper option, I'd head straight to Zara. I got a fantastic cream tux/blazer there in NYC recently; I've received compliments on it every time I've worn it and the admirer is always shocked to hear it's Zara! While we're on Zara - if you're heading over to Spain, stock up! It's even cheaper than the staff discount price over here so well worth it. 

How do you wear your tux, ladies? Over a cute dress or with nothing underneath (gasp!)?? 


AB x

Monday, 14 November 2011

Manolo Blahnik

It may come as a surprise to you that, prior to summer 2011, I did not own a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes. Not one. Nada. Then, while strolling down 54th street towards 5th Avenue, I did a double-take as I saw a SALE sign like a shining beacon of hope and wonder and all that is good, sitting in the window of the Manolo Blahnik shop! 

I ended up spending a LOT of time in there picking some out (made more difficult by the fact you can only try on two at a time!). Here's what I ended up buying: 

90% of my heels are pumps of some kind...I rarely wear strappy sandals like these because (1) I'm a Londoner and it's usually just too damn cold!!...and (2) because I have this thing about my chunky ballet calves legs being too muscly (particularly from the side-on angle) to wear such delicate shoes. (My mother has reminded me in the past that I did not, unlike my olive skinned, thick glossy haired [yea, really annoying] older sister, inherit her Asian slender calves...instead I got the more chunky (or, as I prefer, athletic and muscly? Non?) European ones. Great. Thanks, Mum.)

An-y-wayy I actually kinda adore these! (duhhh...otherwise I wouldn't have parted with the cash! Oh on that - they were 60% off!! YES, SIXTY PERCENT!!! A-MA-ZINGGG)!! I love the way simple shoes like these can immediately make a really 'done' outfit look all chic and nonchalant (think Kate Bosworth and Jennifer Aniston - they never look like they're trying too hard and how sexy do Jen An's legs look - when she's actually got them on show and isn't wearing her Justin T uniform of black - when she's flaunting her usual red carpet go-to??). Then there's the black - I think black strappy sandals are the ultimate sexy shoe, don't you? 

The style of the purple shoe was HUGE this year. I guess it was inevitable that I would end up getting something quite delicate as Manolo is known for creating delicate, feminine shoes (think of all the gorgeous creations SJP wore in the SATC series!) but I was also getting serrriously fed up of all the clumpy hidden platform heels - the Louboutins Victoria Beckham wore to the Royal Wedding were the final straw for me. What do you think, my lovely readers? 


AB x

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Park, NYC

I've been going back & forth to NYC for work and am using the opportunity to let you in on some more of the gems I've found over there! 

The Park is a restaurant/bar/club in Chelsea, Manhattan. I went there on a Saturday night for a few drinks (and a few more) with some friends after dinner at La Paella (yummy - yes, you guessed it - paella with sangria). 

The garden at The Park is SO beautiful!! You know I'm a sucker for pretty lights in trees and they have them in the garden!!  I know there are dinner tables in the picture but later in the evening, there are just lots of little tables scattered around. 

There's a couple of different rooms and they have some crazy pumpkin ale on tap too, in case the pretty lights weren't enough to get you through the door! 

The queues can get long but it's not too bad a wait if you've got some buddies to chat away's got two thumbs up from AB and if any of you lovely readers are in or heading to NYC, I think you should check it out!!


AB x

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Fashion Insanity on AB Blab we all know I love fashion. I love quirky styles and I'm all for mixing it up...but sometimes fashion just goes a little crazy. Sometimes people in the fashion industry start to take themselves a bit too seriously and sometimes people this:

Seriously?! Christopher Kane, you have to be smoking something or having a laugh if you want me to spend £385 on one of those. Is it just me or are these basically those 'silly snake' (or whatever we used to call them) things that you used to play with at school, made into a bag!? You know what I mean, right? They had a slightly ruder name too, which everyone found very funny when we were 9-years old. In the nineties, I know there was this whole obsession with inflatable things...inflatable photo-frames...inflatable was cool if you were a kid but why revisit that and WHY make it into a CLUTCH BAG?!?!?! I am so confused right now. Is this a joke?! Am I hallucinating?!?! I know it's fun to play with but you don't seriously want to take it out with you in the evening with your lovely outfit, do you!? DO YOU!? 


AB x

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Tweet tweet!!

I have finally fully embraced the modern world of social media and you can now follow me on Twitter! I'm going to be uncharacteristically quiet on the blog for a while but I've got a few things I've been dying to tell you about so, follow me on Twitter in the meantime and I'll keep you updated on all the latest beauty, fashion and lifestyle gossip!! 

Ta ta for now!


AB x

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Essential Haircare: Shampoo

I've tried many many shampoos in my quest to reverse the effects of years of swimming and ballet buns. So many leave residue or fail to adequately nourish the hair. Whilst I don't think you need to fork out a fortune, I do think it's worth spending pennies on natural, organic ingredients and avoiding parabens and SLS.

Fifteen years (yes fifteen!!) in the making Liz Earle's Botanical Shine Shampoo boasts shea butter, vitamin E and apple and orange blossom extracts. It has a lovely milky consistency, smells divine (like organic baby shampoo!!) and a little goes a long way. My hair smells lovely (in a natural way, that makes people think you just ooze floral loveliness from your pores), is soft and gorgeously shiny. I've already popped into the Duke of York Square store in London to pick up a second bottle well before the first will run out! At a mere £7.65 for 200ml and the option to save on bulk buying or combos (as with all Liz Earle products) and the Liz Earle freebie with every purchase, it's definitely a good buy!! 

As a rule of thumb, use about a blob about the size of a 10p coin for shampoo and a 20p for conditioner. 


AB x

Monday, 16 May 2011

Chanel Cruise 2011/12

I am LOVING Chanel's Cruise 2011/12 collection. So wearable, so fresh, SO Chanel...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


I am a BIG fan of cupcakes and think they're a great idea for small girly gatherings as they avoid the issue of cake cutting (a faff for off numbers and people will always say they want less than they actually do!). They're also fantastic for kids parties and the Hummingbird Bakery's book is great if you want a fun afternoon of baking with the kids!

However, if like me, you love baking (and eating sugary goodies!) but really don't have the time, here are some of my favourite bakeries in London. Click the title to be directed to their website...

Monday, 9 May 2011

Taking Tea

As a true Brit, I love a cup of tea. There's just something about nursing a warm mug of tea that makes everything all right. 

I recently discovered Damman's Rose Pompon tea and am slightly obsessed with it's gorgeous fruity-floral aroma. I purchased it from the pantry at in the Harrods Food Hall (the small section that looks like a supermarket, in the room after the sushi bar and before the room with the pizzeria, ice-cream counter and all the amazing, colourful sweets). The container is a bit of a puzzler at first (I eventually discovered that one must open it from the small circular lid that the tassle is attached to - you may want to use one of those rubber bottle-opener handy devices for this, it's very tight on the first go!). 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Charlotte Olympia

sooooooo pretty!!!
My mother probably started calling me the Shoe Queen when I was about four...I can remember my collection of princess heels, which each had a selection of clip-on accessories to decorate the toe-strap (think Suri Cruise and you're probably not far off). 

Since then, I've moved on to Gina, Brian Attwood, Jimmy Choo, Isabel Marant, Rupert Sanderson, Miu Miu and, of course, Christian Louboutin. Those are my favourites for heels but I also have a sprinkling of Marc J, Chloe, Vivienne Westwood, Marni.....ok I should stop now! BUT my thirst for shoe candy is ever more demanding and I am saaaariously lusting after a pair of Charlotte Olympia heels!!! I want the Rose Dolly heels SO DAMN BADDDD!!! 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Richard Ward

I had been planning on writing about my hair salon of choice for a few months now and had not managed to get round to it. Given all the hype over last week's Royal Wedding and Kate's hair, though, I thought now might be a good time to share it with you! I am, of course, talking about Richard Ward....

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Monica Vinader Competition!!

I posted about my love of Monica Vinader's designs earlier this month. Since that post, I've heard about a great little competition of theirs - simply design a necklace from their new 'create your own' collection (which I discuss in my earlier post) and be in with the chance of winning your dream Monica Vinader creation.....eeeek!!!! 

In order to enter the competition, you just need to create your design on their website. Once you've done that, click 'send to friend' (on the right-hand side of the page) and then email your creation to 

Good luck!


 AB x

Friday, 22 April 2011

Spring Nails

Hi, my name's AB and I have a nail polish addiction! I change my nail colour at least once a week and am constantly swapping new purchases with my friend (we'll call her CC) over in Hong Kong via Whatsapp (seriously useful for sending shopping purchases/ outfit choices to your gal pals). are some of my most recent purchases from Essie:

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hummingbird Bakery? There's an app for that....

The Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes have long been a serious vice of mine...I can't express how serrrriously delicious they taste...I'm getting hungry just writing about them!!! I was given their first book by a friend who noticed my fondness for cupcakes (read: obsession). Their recipes really do allow you to make cupcakes just like the shop! Well, my family and friends have certainly given mine their seal of approval - my nephew has named my chocolate ones (sans icing) as his favourite dessert ever! Quite an accolade from a chocolate-loving seven-year old!! 


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Monica Vinader Jewellery

I've been a fan of Monica Vinader's stacking rings for a few years now and always get compliments when I wear them. 

I just had a go at taking some pictures of my collection but I can't get the lighting right so will take some in daylight for you later this is one from the website to keep you going!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Pretty Pleats!!

Fashion has definitely been influenced by the much hyped film, Black Swan and, as such, spring fashion for 2011 features pretty pastels and floaty fabrics. I've been rocking these vintage pleated skirts (from Next and Jaegar, courtesy of Mama AB) for a while (I wore the lilac one with a black, silk Chanel sleeveless pussybow blouse to the Chanel client dinner last December) so feel rather smug that I already have this trend nailed! 

Monday, 11 April 2011

Paloma Berceló Wedges

I spotted these gorgeous wedges this morning while perusing the 'What's New' page on Net A Porter. With two on-trend spring colours on offer, they are perfect for your transitional wardrobe. Pair them with Current/Elliot Captain pants and a light-knit top (think J Crew's take on the classic breton top) for spring and in summer, wear with denim cut-offs and an uber stylish Kain silk-jersey grey tee.
Natalia suede espadrille wedges, £185


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Quick Notice!

Hello my lovely readers! 

You may have noticed that there have been some changes to the blog. You can now subscribe to receive my posts by email, sign up to receive RSS feeds on posts and/or comments and, if you have a Gmail account, you can also follow my blog! 
The reason I'm pointing this out to you all is that my posts are going to be a bit less frequent over the coming weeks - don't worry, I will still be posting and it's just a temporary situation!! - so the best way to avoid missing out without having to check the blog is to sign up for the emails! 

Another new feature is the 'reactions' buttons, so you can like, love or swoon at any of the gorgeous treats I share with you!! This is just for fun though (but would be helpful for me to see what you're loving and what you're....not so much)!!


AB x

Monday, 4 April 2011

Essential Skincare: Cleansers

Cleansers are, I think, the most important item in your beauty regime. You need a good cleanser to get rid of all the grime and make-up and to protect and perfect your skin. The cleansing stage is also key to ensuring a great make-up look - prep your skin and you won't actually need as much make-up!

I have tried a lot of products out there (one of these days I might let you guys peek inside my bathroom always evokes a gasp of shock and/or joy at the sheer number of products in there) and have narrowed it down to two top products:

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

Vaishaly Cleansing Balm

Friday, 1 April 2011

Dream Bag

I popped over to see the girlies at the Chanel boutique in Harrods the other day and did a ma-husive double-take when I saw this bad boy.....O-M-to-the-G!!! Isn't it beautiful!?!

Purple is one of my favourite colours* and I have been lusting after a 2.55 forever. My Mum has an amazing collection which she'll never let me near - she's incredibly generous with the rest of her unbelievably fashion-forward wardrobe but gets (understandably) precious about her beloved Chanel bags. 

So...if anyone has a couple of grand to spare, feel free to purchase said dream bag and swing it by AB Blab HQ ;)

AB x

*I love violet, bright cherry red and eau de nil, since you ask. 

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Essential Hair - Hair Masks and Treatments

This week, I'm sharing my favourite hair masks and treatments. I've tried more than a few and the below are my two favourites.

L'Oréal Elvive Re-nutrition

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Nude tights

A while back, Grazia announced that nude/ natural tights were firmly back in fashion - Carla Bruni and Sarah Jessica Parker had both been seen rocking the look. Nude tights are not only great for those who want to hide any slight blemishes on their legs but are also a must for those subject to a professional/ corporate business code. 

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Essential Skincare - Face Masks

I am often asked to recommend beauty products to friends so thought I would publish a series of posts on the products I use on a regular basis. In this series, I will cover skincare (facial and body), hair and make-up. This week: face masks.

Whatever your skin type, you should do a weekly mask. I do a deep-cleansing mask every week (usually on Sunday) and then, every now and then, I'll do a hydrating mask. It doesn't have to be a massive task or take up loads of time: I run a bath while I wash my face, then I hop in the bath with the mask on. This way, the steam from the bath helps to open up my pores and by the time I'm done, the mask has worked its magic! If I'm in a super pampering and multi-tasking mood, I'll have a hair mask on at the same time!! 

Origins do great masks; my two favourites are:
Origins Clear Improvement Mask
Origins Out of Trouble Mask

Monday, 14 March 2011

Pretty in Pink

Okay, so I might have been a teensy bit premature writing about spring having sprung earlier but it defffinitely has now, okay? trust me.

For the fashion world, 2011 is the year of the's all about colour popping this year, darlings!! One micro trend I've spotted is pink trousers!! Don't shy away - these can look pretty and seriously cool. Honestly!

Here are some I've seen around:

Zara Narrow Studio Leg Pants £49.99

Friday, 25 February 2011

A Guide to Dressing for Men

The fashion wizards at Mr Porter have done it again! In a similar fashion to the 'essentials' boutique on the Net A Porter website, Mr Porter have provided us with a guide to the essential items that every man must own. Share this link with your male friends, boyfriends and relatives or use it as a gift guide!

Love, AB x

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Prada Private at Harrods

Exclusively to Harrods until 24 March 2011, stylish ladies in the know can head down to Prada Private to design their own Prada sunglasses!!

First select the frame colour (black, white or tortoiseshell), then choose from the range of options (initials, numbers and some symbols - I like the heart!) which will appear on the arm of the frames. 

A pair of Prada personalised sunglasses would make a faaabulous gift for Mothers' Day (3rd April). Think of all the brownie points....and how stylish your mama will look!

Love, AB x

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Hair

So, I'm doing my usual morning perusal of the Daily Mail 'Femail' section (guilty pleasure) when I see this picture:

Whaaaat!??! Yea yea, I know she's done The Rachel and had a messy bob near the end of Friends but she's had her classic hairstyle for a long time now and Jennifer Aniston is not one for change! What caused this massive upheaval?!?!

Alex Monroe Jewellery

Alex Monroe designs beautifully intricate jewellery that will never date. I already have a gold hummingbird necklace but am seriously lusting after this bicycle necklace!! It makes me feel nostalgic for personal reasons but, with its ruby and diamond lights and spinning wheels, who wouldn't love it?!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Way

I'll be honest: my mother was allocated these tickets in the BFI ballot and I ended up going with my sister purely because she couldn't make it anymore. Having seen The Way Back and The Great White Silence  last Autumn, I thought I had seen my share of long, tiring, spiritual journey type films. However, I was pleasantly surprised and would recommend this film to you all!

Something for the Boys

Lycon Spa Anti Bump Foaming Gel

Unfortunately, many women (myself included!) in Britain suffer from small bumps on their arms and legs. This condition is called keratosis pilaris and isn't completely curable. However, I have found some great products over the years and here's an excellent one for you all!

Monday, 21 February 2011


Danny's Boyle's production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre is fantastic. Rather unusually, Benedict Cumberbatch  (the most recent Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller alternate as Frankenstein and the Creature. Given how emotionally draining these two characters appear to be for the actors (particularly the Creature), this is probably a very good idea to keep the production fresh.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Eye creams & concealers

A friend recently asked me to recommend a good eye cream/ treatment, so I thought I would share my favourites with all of you! I use Garnier's rollerball eye treatment every morning. Not only does it de-puff and moisturise but the tinted one also conceals any dark circles. It really does work. In fact, I now only use my trusty YSL touche eclat for nights out. It comes in three shades so you should be able to find one to match your skin tone.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Murad skincare

Murad skincare range is a-mazing. I first tried it when my mother gave me the Clarifying Cleanser to stop me moaning about hormonal blemishes around the chin area. It certainly cleared them up but was a little too strong for my dry skin. At Christmas, I passed it on to my brother in the hope it would finaallly get him off the dreadful Clearasil face wash he uses every five minutes. Like most men, he moaned at first and was far from enthusiastic about trying it. However, this Monday I received a frantic email from him saying that it had made his skin great but it had run out the week before and his skin was now awful, could I send five tubes (seriously..he asked for five) to him in Sydney? He even emailed me twice more because I hadn't got back to him fast enough....this is some good stuff!! * To give you an idea of just how well it works - my brother washed his face the minute he got the replacement bottle, fell asleep on the sofa (again, typical male!) and, when he woke up later that evening, his skin had already started to clear! This cleanser really is as quick and effective as a professional facial. 

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Never Let Me Go

With Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley cast as the three main characters, this film has inevitably attracted a lot attention. Do believe the hype!! Carey Mulligan is exceptional and Andrew Garfield is a close second. Keira Knightley is good too but I find it hard to see her as her character and not as Keira, the prominently jawed actress (sorry, Keira).


Skylon restaurant in the Royal Festival Hall offers gorgeous views and is a great place for a pre-theatre dinner.

I never really appreciated the romance that London's Southbank has to offer until quite recently. In the day, the Thames is just an expanse of muddy water but at night, when the tiny lights of the bridges are reflected in the gentle current, it becomes quite beautiful! Rather like the River Café views of the East River, Skylon offers panoramic views of the River Thames from just above street level. Although you can enjoy the views from further in the restaurant, it's best to request a window table.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Erdem S/S11

Oh Erdem!! How I long for your dresses.....Last September, Erdem brought us a truly beautiful collection made up of the girliest, most romantic dresses and skirts I have seen for a long while...

Here are two of my favourites! Pine away with me....

Margot red lace dress, £1,960, Net-A-Porter

This is already sold out...sob!
Cos, we totally would have bought it otherwise, right?
Price tag?? What price tag?!


AB x