Thursday, 4 October 2018

Going from day to night with Stila Cosmetics!

Hi Everyone,

Recently I attended an event with Stila cosmetics for their Vivid & Vibrant collection and it really blew me away. I am such a fan of Stila as you may have seen from previous posts. There was something about this collection that really appealed to me. The collection is based around jewel tones and every is luxurious and opulent in both colour and texture. I absolutely love the liquid eyeshadows as they provide a quick and easy way to make a statement without the need to use a brush, but there are also beautiful eyeshadow duo's in this collection that give such a beautiful effect so there is something for everyone no matter what type of product you like. 

 I decided to create a day to night look for you using some of their fab products. The first is this really simple shimmery eye look. To be honest this can be worn both at night and in the day, the sparkle on it is like no other. All I simply did was use the Heaven's Dew All Over Shimmer* and applied to my lid with my finger. I then slightly blended it out to the brow bone and applied a black kohl liner and lashes. It is so simple and took me less than 10 minutes but such a pretty eye look. I then added some of the all over shimmer to my cheek bone for extra added effect. This could be paired with both a neutral or bold lip. What I love about the All Over Shimmer is that it is just that! You can apply this anywhere, arms, legs , collar bone, literally wherever you want. It gives the loveliest sparkle and the formula is beautiful.

To create a bit of drama and to take this from day to evening all I simply did was apply the Shimmer & Glow liquid Eyeshadow in Vivid Smoky Quartz* to the lid and underneath the lower lash line to frame the eye. I applied this on top of the Heaven's Dew All over Glimmer. I made sure not to go to high on the lid so the shimmer could still be seen around the brow bone. I then applied a slightly thicker liner to the lash line and did this all with the lashes still on! The darker colour makes it a little more dramatic and perfect for an evening look. I also love the fact I didn't need to use a single brush for any of the eye looks I created!

So this is how you can go from day to night with Stila, literally only using two of their products. However I also couldn't help myself and created a look that was a little bit more creative using the Vivid and Vibrant campaign images for inspiration. Her I simply used the Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows in Vivid Smoky Quartz and Vivid Sapphire* as graphic liners. This just shows how versatile they are as a product and I can't wait to add to my collection. I hope you like. Have you ever tried any of the Stila products before? What should I try next?

Amina xx

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Are you serious about Skincare?

Hi Guys,

So I have just got back from a Hydrafacial* at the MediZen clinic in Sutton Coldfield. I left there feeling educated and enlightened about skincare as they were having an open day and demonstrating all the treatments they had to offer. I wanted to share a few of the specialist and innovative treatments they offer, as like me, you may not even be aware that some of these exist! 

I have had what I call a 'machine based facial' before, see my post here. The society we live in these days is very skin focussed and I for one have been drawn into so many skincare products recently without properly understanding the benefits of the ingredients. I usually go by trying the products and if it works or I see a change in my skin then I repurchase. However high street or even luxury skincare can only take you so far. And this is the biggest thing I have learnt today. High street products can only contain a certain percentage of Retinol for example. But when you go to a clinic for a facial, because the aestheticians are qualified they are able to prescribe more. 

When I book in for a facial, I no longer want a facial which essentially is products being massaged onto our faces and wiped off, which we could really do ourselves at home, I want something more. This is where the Hydra facial comes in. The HydraFacial gives immediate results and consists of six stages which detoxifies skin, removed dead skin cells, extracts debris and provides lasting hydration. All this is done using the Vortex Fusion Technology. Firstly there is a cleanse and peel where a new layer of skin is exposed. The next stage is to extract and hydrate, nutrients are delivered directly to the skin and penetrate the skin to a deeper level, while at the same time the Hydradermabraision wand vacuums away dead skin and black heads. Finally fuse and protect, where antioxidants and peptides are saturated into the skin.

 It is recommended to have this treatment monthly but what you can expect is immediate results. My skin looked plump and tight, pores appeared smaller, my skin also looks more even and is glowing. There was only a slight discomfort around the neck area and this comes from the micro dermabrasion tip, it literally felt like a scratching sensation, but felt more comfortable on the face. The great thing about this treatment is that it is suitable for all skin types and can be adjusted for different skin concerns. To be honest the area I most notice a difference in is my nose! It hasn't felt so clear and soft in years! The extraction really worked its magic.  At the end I was also shown what I can only call the 'muck' that had come out of my skin! I was shocked as I cleanse every day but it's normal I was told. I can't wait to see how long the results last. I will keep you posted.

MediZen is a clinic in Sutton Coldfield that provides a whole range of treatments, from injectables to Laser Hair Removal. Some of the other treatments that really intrigued me were the Mira Dry Sweat & Odour reduction treatment and the Cool Sculpting fat freezing treatment. With the Mira Dry heat is used to treat the sweat glands and it can leave you with a 80% reduction in sweat! This treatment isn't just for those people who suffer with heavy sweating but for anyone. People I spoke to who had the treatment done said they no longer needed to use deodorant and the treatment had also reduced their armpit hair. What a great side effect! The Mira Dry sounded amazing to me, especially as only one treatment is needed. Maybe it was also the fact that I had three layers on as it was a cold and windy day but then the heating was on full blast so I was definitely perspiring!

Cool Sculpting is a non invasive way of having up to a 25% reduction in fat in a particular area. The fat cells are basically frozen to the point where they die. Results are not instant and can be seen up to 3 months later. I think this is a really good solution for people like me who can't seem to shift those muffin tops and need a little help along the way.

So there we go. I hope you learnt something new, I definitely did. Let me know any skincare treatments you have had in the comments below!

Amina xx

*Complimentary treatment. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

My first time... using Dermalogica!

Hey guys,

Recently I was sent a box full of skincare products from Dermalogica to try out. I was really excited as Dermalogica are a brand that I have heard of numerous times before. Their products are often recommended to me when I go for facials, yet I had never actually tried their skincare before. I had previously used their Climate Control Lip Treatment but that was about it. I think the reason I had never purchased before was because I always considered Dermalogica a brand to use for serious skin issues, which I never really had. By serious I mean things like acne or very oily skin etc. But actually Dermalogica cater to all skin types and issues, whether it's acne, ageing or general maintenance there is a product to suit everyone. My skin is normal sensitivity and combination, in that it is oily in the T-zone but can be quite dry else where. I occasionally get the odd spot here or there but luckily I have never had any issues. 

This is the fist time I have used dermalogica and I have been using the products for over a month now so thought I could talk to you about products that really stood out to me and give you a little introduction to some of my faves.

This is one of the products I really enjoy using. By precleanse it basically means it is the first step in your cleansing routine because we all double cleanse right? This is perfect for removing make-up, you simple rub into your dry skin and watch the make-up completely disappear. Simply wash off with water and there should be no traces of makeup left. I really like this, and if you haven't tried an oil  cleanser before you will love. I find it quite similar to DHC cleansing oil, I think I prefer DHC a little more as I find it's thicker in consistency so really removes makeup from the oily parts of my face. The precleanse may suit those who are a little less oily.

The next step for me is to use the special cleansing gel as my second cleanser to really remove the dirt under the skin's surface. This is soap free and you basically lather it up in your hands with water and then apply to your face. Next you simply rinse off and my face is left feeling squeaky clean. It literally has a squeak to it. And once you get this complete cleanse your skin never quite feels as clean without the squeak, so this is why I have continuously been going back to this. It is quite addictive.

Another fave of mine has been the Daily Microfoliant. This comes in powder form, you pour a little bit into wet hands, rub it together until a paste is formed and then rub into your skin. I have always been told to exfoliate maximum twice a week however because the exfoliant is so gentle it is suitable for everyday use. In particular my forehead has been of concern to me recently as I have really broken out and the exfoliant has really reduced my spot size. I'm not sure if my breakout is hormonal or even related to my hair products, but it is really starting to bug me. So I'm hoping continued use will help them to vanish!

Once I have cleansed I then Tone using my Pixi Glow Tonic, apply my Kiehls Creamy Avocado Eye cream, and Murad Porcelain Skin Serum. I then apply the Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream. It is the nicest moisturiser I have used in a while. The reason I say this is because the consistency is just right for me, it is not too greasy but not too weightless. I like my moisturiser somewhere in between. Once applied my skin feels so supple and looks really healthy so I have been using this daily. The thing is that my skin feels moisturised from within and not just on the surface which many standard moisturisers do. It is full of antioxidants and vitamins which also help to shield the skin from environmental factors, so all in all it's a keeper.

The final step in my skin routine is usually some sort of SPF. I was sent the Skin Perfect Primer with SPF 30. In terms of a primer I think this is a good product, but honestly this is probably the product I have used the least as I prefer a higher SPF and this is the only reason. The primer is slightly peach tinted too which is great as it corrects some of my uneven skin tone. I really like the fact it comes with a tube slider so you can really get all the product out of the tube, it's a clever little gadget. However I absolutely love my Biore Watery Essence SPF50 and will probably stick to using that, as SPF is one product you do want to be weightless!

Out of all the products I will definitely be purchasing the Special Cleansing Gel, Daily Microfoliant and Skin Smoothing Cream once I have run out, as they definitely leave my skin feeling cleaner than before. I can't wait to try more Dermalogica products! There is such a wide range and definitely something for everyone! What should I try next?

Amina xx

*PR Sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Summer Fun with Inflata Nation & Cheerz

Hey guys,

What a fantastic summer it has been! Mine has been full of keeping my girls entertained. We have been on our annual trip to Drayton Manor Park & Thomas Land as well as so many family trips away to places like Barmouth Beach in Wales and Chester Zoo. Memories have definitely been made, and last week me and the family got invited to a fabulous pre-launch event at Inflata Nation in Stechford Retail Park - Birmingham, and I just had to tell you guys all about it as we had so much fun.

Inflata Nation is basically one big, inflatable theme park. It is full of inflatable slides, which vary in height and are surrounded by ball pits. There's a gladiator duel where you can joust away to your heart's content, hopefully knocking your opponent off their podium! There's a fun wrecking ball game too. If all you want to do is jump then you can do this too as they have a really big area which has an uneven, bubbly surface and is extra bouncy so be prepared for some tumbles. The climbing wall was also fun to jump off. I loved the fact there was an area for under 4's as my little one, who is only three, found some of the larger slides a bit daunting but was happy in the smaller area.

The assault course was probably where we had most fun, climbing through tunnels, over obstacles and sliding to a finish. I nearly won but Aaron couldn't handle it and pulled me back at the last second, while he practically flew past me! The girls loved it and wanted to do it over and over again. My fitness, or lack of, wouldn't allow me to do more than two rounds but the girls must have gone around it more than five times!

It is great for a family day out and is not just for kids. Prices for under 4's are £5.95, for children over 4 and adults it is £9.95. So for a family of four, you are looking at around £40, which is not cheap but I think you have to see it as more than just a soft play. Something you do every so often rather than every holiday. The fact that it is indoors is great too, as you are protected from the elements. The only thing that worries me are the injuries! I saw a few collisions and near misses while I was there, so be prepared. And remember to wear socks and long sleeves as the friction burns aren't fun. It's definitely something I would recommend to anyone looking for some family fun.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my recent post about a collaboration with Cheerz*. Now Summer is coming to an end, it's the best time to be printing off all the memories we have made (and clearing some of that phone storage!) What's more, Cheerz have given my followers an amazing £8 off using the code 'AMINA', with no minimum spend. They do everything and anything when it comes to printing, from magnets to canvas prints. The picture below is of the Big Fat Box which has been amazing, as I can keep adding to it as and when I need to.

A post shared by Amina Ali Ulhaq (@aminaali_mua) on

So that's all folks. I hope your summer has been as fab as mine! Leave me a comment below to let me know what you have been up to while the weather has been lovely and if there is anywhere you think might be suitable for a young family. Also, can I just add, I am dreading the forthcoming darker months! Yes to the cosy knits and pumpkin spice... everything, but no, just no to the lack of sunlight! *Takes deep breath*.

Amina xx

*PR gifts/samples. All opinions are my own.