Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘fashion’

122. Makeover. Photoshoot. Why am I doing this?

Sometime during my internship, Shakira and I bumped into a random person outside the station selling a makeover day and I don’t know if it was the weather or I had a long day at work but we ended up buying it. We booked it for two months time and didn’t really think about it until a few days ago when we had to start preparing.

This morning when I woke up, my first thought was WHY AM I DOING THIS? I don’t know the first thing about hair and beauty. My beauty essentials are moisturising cream and eye pencil. I still haven’t figured out how to utilise liquid eyeliner. I rarely paint my nails because they’re usually half bitten. Basically I’m a disgrace to the beauty community.

However I thought: fuck it. It’ll be an experience, good or bad, at least it’ll be interesting.

As part of the day, they gave us a manicure (lol), an aromatherapy hand massage, styled our hair and gave us a full blown makeover. After that there was the photoshoot… which was the part that I was worried about. My mental commentary was something along the lines of:

How do I stand? What do I do with my hands? How do I smile? Should I pout? Can I even pout? *commence awkward fish faces in the mirror* argh Argh ARGH.

However I need not have worried. The photographer clearly knew what he was doing. He told us exactly where to sit, where to look, where to put our hands. All of this he did very quickly so I just felt like I was following instructions. Head here. Face up. Chin down. I can do this.

It turned out to be a really fun day. Definitely worth the experience.

So yeah. This is my face. 

26091301 SUMAIRA & ALIYA 012

Thanks Photoshop.

I hope this doesn’t turn into my Rishta (pre-wedding) photo. Because they will be hella disappointed when they see me in reality.

Over and Out!

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106. My Internship

I’ve just finished my third week at Towers Watson as an intern (working in Retirement). This means I’ve actually reached half way! The time has seriously flown by, probably because I’ve been kept so busy.

aliya

Enjoying the sunshine

Settling Down

There are 8 of us altogether in the Westminster office in Retirement. One is me, the other is Shakira and one of the dudes actually went to my secondary school (though he was in the year below me). So that’s 2 more people than most people usually know at the start of their internship. On top of that it’s 6 girls and 2 boys which is pretty unusual but all of this combined has just made it easier for me to settle down.

The Work

There’s no point me detailing the kind of stuff I do because it won’t make much sense. All I can say is that to work in this area, you need to learn so many new words and acronyms that it might as well be a Rosetta Stone course. Also because of government rule changes over the years, doing simple tasks becomes hella annoying because you have to look at each time period separately, there’s Pre 88, Post 88, Pre 97, Post 97, and the occasional Post 06.  Why you make this so hard?!

Initially I was a bit annoyed about doing things I didn’t actually understand. For example I use a very clever spreadsheet called Caps and Floors which works out the right interest rate for stuff. Essentially all I do is input a few values and it spits out a number. I have no idea how it’s doing this and from the viewpoint of a mathematician, I find it wholly unsatisfying but I have grudgingly come to accept that I don’t have time to work through the Black Scholes equation. Additionally I had very little financial knowledge coming into this. I didn’t know how gilts work (I do now..sort of) or stuff about bond yields which was a hindrance.

I haven’t done much Maths besides basic arithmetic (I miss it) but the numerical judgement I’ve picked up during my degree (eg. does this figure look right?) has been invaluable. It means I’m efficient when sifting through documents trying to find the right information and also when reviewing calculations on Excel.

I have a buddy who’s supposed to make sure I always have work to do but he’s a bit slow and this week he’s gone on holiday. Basically I’ve been pestering the people around me and they’ve been happy (a little too happy on occasion) to oblige. In contrast, Shakira’s buddy Timone gives her annoying technical tasks with incomplete instructions but he’s very nice so we forgive him.

IT Skills

I thought I was decent using Microsoft Office. I’m not. I have learnt so many little tricks in my time here.  Many of them are specific to the the TW Toolbar but just small things like the ‘track changes’ features in Word and ‘record transitions’ feature in Powerpoint has been… life changing. However, the biggest shock was Microsoft Outlook. I had NO IDEA how powerful it was. I’d never given it much attention before but seriously it puts Hotmail and even Gmail to shame. Its capacity to book meetings, check out other people’s schedules and track tasks has been invaluable. I will never dismiss it again.

Socials

Towers Watson is a very friendly place. The office is open plan so you literally can walk up to anyone and just say hi. As the new interns, everyone was really eager to meet us and find out our capacity to do some work for them 😛 There is always some kind of social event on the horizon whether it’s Friday drinks, a lunch or a boat party like we had this week. The inconvenient thing about them is that they all involve drinking. It’s like they can’t do anything if there is no alcohol. Every time I tell someone that I don’t drink, they give me a confused look. I guess I didn’t realise how important a pint was in British culture. I do now. And my god, it’s not just one pint they have, it is several. Where is all this liquid going? How are they constantly not peeing?! It’s a mystery to me.

However I’ve still been going to as many of the socials as I can. A highlight was the boat party. Great fun! I’m sure it was supposed to be used as an opportunity for (more) networking but there was a roulette table and I pretty much spent the whole evening there (no real money was involved before someone starts shouting at me for gambling during Ramadan- talking of Ramadan… Ramadan Mubarak!).

roulette

I’m feeling lucky….

Intern Project

Alongside all the work we do in the office, we also have an intern project. I’m in a group of 8 across three different offices and we have to co-ordinate making new videos for graduate recruitment. Other groups are making games to help prospective applicants decide what line of business they should go for and another is setting up TW’s Facebook and Twitter page. The project has been really fun so far and I really like my group, particularly a dude called Robert who is our project leader and also happens to have beautiful chiselled cheekbones 😛 Now originally we thought that we’d be interviewing people in the office… turns out we’re starring in them. That’s right we’re going to be immortalised on the TW website, saying cringey things like ‘open the door to your career at Towers Watson!’ *fistpump*.

reigate

This is where we’re going to be filming… the Reigate office (not my usual Westminster one)

Dress Code

I’m going to be honest- half the reason I was excited about this internship was because I’d get to dress up in nice formal wear. However that gets old real quick. First of all dresses and skirts are really annoying when you’re climbing stairs. Mine don’t have huge slits so my pace length is restricted and unless I hike the hem up, I definitely can’t run for my train. Trousers for the win! Furthermore, if I’m not wearing trousers I wear opaque tights and in this weather it is DISGUSTING. I can feel my legs continuously getting sweaty and drying. Actually gross. Oh and shoes! Both my flats and my heels hurt my feet if I wear them for too long. University has spoiled me- the only shoes that don’t hurt are trainers.

Thankfully we have dress down Fridays where I can chillax and wear my jeans and converses to work. Hoorah!

Okay this is getting really long now. I’ll leave it at that- don’t want to bore all of you!

Over and Out!

99. Anti-Pervert Hairy Leggings…what the…

Disclaimer: these aren’t my legs.

Hairy leggings…or contraceptive fashion as they’re calling it. Apparently they’re all the rage in China!

They’re being sold as “Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings, essential for all young girls going out”.  

Hold up just a second.

Super sexy; unless hairiness is your ‘thing’, I think we can safely agree this is more repellent than sexy.

Anti-pervert, essential for all young girls; just how bad are Chinese men that these sorts of measures need to be resorted to? If they are that bad, surely that’s the bigger issue here?

I’m not even sure if it will keep men at bay. The first time I saw it, I was very much wtf but more so than that, I was curious. Is it real hair? What does it feel like? Do they come in different hair colours? The guys will probably want to come and stroke them.

I just have so many questions about this.

Who came up with this?

Who actually thought ‘yes this is what women need’… I’m going to go get it manufactured and I’m going to get it made with really coarse dark hair.

Who actually bought it?!

I would be mortified walking around like that. These girls must have balls.
Also the people buying this must be fairly fashion conscious. Clearly they want to wear short dresses…how exactly do these leggings look good with that?

Is it really necessary?

Come on. If you don’t want male attention, just put on trousers like the rest of us do when our legs become socially unacceptable.
If it’s hot, why not wear a floaty skirt or a maxi dress? There are so many other options.
If you truly believe this is the best way, why not just go natural and stop shaving?

What’s next? A gorilla suit?…

Over and Out!

P.S Ibtehaal, have you seen anyone wearing these?

96. Neck pain, aching feet, stiff arms….yup sounds like a good day of SHOPPING!

My cousin who is about to get married came to visit to buy all her accessories and decorations. First of all I’ve gotto tell you IT IS SO MUCH FUN SHOPPING WITH A BRIDE.

We only had 2 days to buy everything so we had to be fast! Of course we went to Southall ie. Mini India in England. I got to go all the fancy shops and actually buy stuff instead of just walking around dreaming and contemplating my future (with excitement but also a heavy dose of fear). Everyone was super willing to help because they knew we had big moneys to spend. Additionally Southall is one of the few places in England where you can ‘negotiate on the price’ and I swear my mum is a force of nature when it comes to bargaining. She is FIERCE! The vendors might come up with a figure of £120 and she’ll just dive in and say NO £60. Like I would be too embarrassed to even start that low… She’s clearly not though and to her credit, she’ll walk away probably paying £80 because she is BOSS.

My friends will know that I like all things shiny but my cousin really puts me to shame. She loves her bling! She wants to wear the biggest, shiniest, brightest jewellery possible. She picked out what I thought were HUGE earrings and dismissed them casually… ‘nope not big enough’. Like woah sister! Are you still hoping to have ears after this?

If she could have this, she probably would… It’s wayyyyy too much in my opinion but each to their own…

She also bought 5 inch heels. I made the mistake of trying them on and I seriously could not walk; the best I could do was an awkward shuffle and even wearing them for under a minute killed my feet. She on the other hand was strutting like a model, no problem. Talking of shoes…

Me no like

So many of the heels I saw were poor excuses for shoes. There was literally just a small strip that was supposed to hold your foot in place. I tried one of them on and my feet felt naked. Why would anyone want so much of their feet on show?! Feet aren’t even pretty. Also I don’t know why but wearing them made me feel like a stripper. I almost expected people to start throwing money. Maybe it was the clear heels I dunno. All I know is, never again.

 

 

My cousin was also very excited to buy some parandas which are things you plait into your hair. It’s essentially a decorative piece that some brides like to wear on their Mehndi. Ooh we also got her chooriya which are bangles. We went to this guy who specialises in this sorta stuff and showed him what colours she was going to wear; he rummaged around in the back for a while and came back with a lovely bangle set that was spot on in terms of colour combinations. It was expensive though!

Bangles bangles everywhere

This is what parandas look like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shopping trip was also a chance for me and my mum to look around and buy something for ourselves to wear. I saw this stunning blue dress thing that had lots of shiny stuff around the neck and they let me try it on. Guys, I looked good…my first thought was wow I look like a Middle Eastern princess. If I wore that to a wedding and didn’t come back with at least three marriage proposals, I would be disappointed. That was how good I looked. Howeverrr I was in danger of upstaging the bride and it was rather expensive so I didn’t buy it. In fact I didn’t buy anything which means I need to go to Southall… again!

Car Shambles

I also need to tell you guys about our car.

My dad was dropping us all off at Southall; he pulled out the driveway and drove a little way down the road when I started hearing this funny sound from the right hand side. I told my dad to stop and as soon as we got out of the car, we noticed that the back tyre was flat. Great start!

My dad keeps all sorts of tools and equipment in the car boot so we had everything we needed to change the tyre. I was in charge of jacking the car up (manually by the way- took bloody ages). My mum and my cousin were very helpfully still sitting in the car- thanks a lot for making this harder. Me and my dad undid the nuts and lugged the spare tyre out, replaced the tyre, redid the nuts…only to realise that it didn’t have enough air in it. Yup our replacement tyre was also flat! Wonderful! We had a (manual) foot pump in the car so again it was me standing there like an idiot pretty much jumping up and down to get air in the tyre. However I was failing epicly… because the foot pump had a crack and air was escaping. Eventually we borrowed an electronic air pump and got it all sorted out but my God, anything that could of have gone wrong DID go wrong….

Just another day in the life of Aliya.

Over and Out!

 

88. You know you wear glasses when…

  • You spend half your life looking for them…even when they’re on your face.
  • You have a mark on your nose from your glasses, and probably behind your ears too.
  • You look like a complete idiot wearing your 3D glasses on top of your normal glasses in the cinema.
  • The same goes for safety goggles at school.
  • When you’re walking in the rain, you’re pretty much walking blind.
  • You get your glasses caught in your clothes when you put them on.
  • You forget you’re wearing them sometimes in the shower.
  • In every picture of you, there’s reflection off your glasses.
  • Your glasses are just as much a fashion statement as your clothes.
  • You look down upon all these non-blind hipsters wearing frames.
  • Your glasses completely fog up when you go from somewhere cold to somewhere hot. (This is a real issue in Winter when you use public transport.)
  • You lost your glasses cleaning cloth a LOOONG time ago and now just use your clothes.
  • You clean your glasses and suddenly the world looks miraculously clearer and brighter.
  • You wear your glasses so much that people don’t actually recognise you without them.
  • Prescription sunglasses are too bloody expensive so you just don’t wear them (or if you do, you buy normal ones and walk around blind).
  • You constantly worry that your glasses will fly off when you’re on a ride at a theme park.
  • When buying new glasses you spent about three hours trying to find the perfect pair…to you know…match your face shape.
  • You’ve taken several stupid pictures at the photo booth in Specsavers.
  • Somebody comes up to you and says ‘Oculus Reparo’. Common occurrence of course.

23. Giraffe Onesie

I am perpetually feeling cold. If only I had something soft and snuggly that would keep me warm… oh wait I do!

My beautiful friends bought me a giraffe onesie for my birthday because they are awesome. It is bright yellow and orange, has a hood to cover my butterz face and tail that I like to swish around seductively (well as seductively as possible given that I’m dressed as a giraffe).  Of course I look like a complete eejit in it… which is why I wore it to a lecture. Everyone seemed to take it in their stride. Clearly they are used to seeing people dressed as animals at my university.

I knew something was going on today because everyone was acting so suspiciously. They were running out of lectures without me. There were whispers, people disappearing and I saw a hint of a random Waitrose bag (which had my cake in it!). Yet I somehow completely missed the huge red box that had my present in it. Yay for poor observational skills.

My cake was seriously yummy. My favourite bit of the cake was the bit with chocolate in it (it was a chocolate cake). Unfortunately today was the one day I decided to have a very full lunch. I gobbled down a beast of a jacket potato and later on our department hosted a free doughtnut mingle so I munched that down too. By the time it came to cake, I looked five months pregnant and felt like this:

There are some fantastic pictures of my onesie which I will put up later. Until then…

Over and Out.