Thursday, 14 June 2018

Curls are in with Umberto Giannini!

Hey Guys,

Last week I got invited to an event hosted by Umberto Giannini at the Botanist in Birmingham city centre. It was a great night celebrating curls and some of Umberto's fab curl products. I literally felt like I was in curl heaven as I was surrounded by beautiful curly haired ladies, had curly haired products at my finger tips and even had my hair done by Umberto Giannini's Artistic Director Anastasia. If you've read my blog before you will have read about my curly hair struggles and saviours in previous posts (click here) and the products I swear by.

I have already been using Umberto Giannini's No More Frizz Serum for almost a year and it is one of those products that my hair literally drinks. I absolutely love it and couldn't wait to try the rest of the range. I was advised to use the New Curly Jelly Wash Shampoo (£8) and New Curly Jelly Care Conditioner (£8) when washing my hair. I loved using the shampoo, especially knowing it was free of sulphates. Sulphates in shampoo make the shampoo foam but also tend to strip the hair of any oils, which my dry, coarse hair could do without. So knowing these had been eliminated gave me hope, however I did miss the foaming action that the sulphates create. The shampoo also contains Vitamin B5 which is the vitamins of vitamins for hair. I then applied the conditioner to the ends of my hair. It was a great de-tangler and felt very light weight when I applied it. When I rinsed it all out my curls felt extra bouncy and shiny and super soft so I was already really pleased.

I then went onto dab my hair with my towel as I didn't want to create any extra frizz by rubbing it dry.  The next step that was advised for me was to apply the No More Frizz Serum (£8), like I usually do, and finally apply the Curl Jelly Scrunching Jelly (£7) through my curls and allow my hair to air dry. To be honest I couldn't believe I hadn't used this product before as it has been one of their bestsellers for over a decade and I have made my way through a lot of curling products. This products promises to define curls and eliminate frizz, without leaving them with that crunchy feeling. Now honestly, I did find my hair to feel a little crunchy but not enough to bother me or to make my curls look hard or rigid. I found them soft, defined and healthy looking. And trust me this is an achievement on hair that is dry, thick, coarse and in dire need of a hair cut! I felt confident with my curls and didn't feel the need to get my curling wand out and define any of the frizzy bits.

I think the best part for me was when I woke up the next day and my curls were still in tact! I was so pleased I plastered it all over my Instagram stories (@aminaali_mua). My hair had never looked so good on day two. Usually my hair is fine on day one, but by the time I have slept on it and woken up the next morning, there is a whole new routine of hair products that I have to go through to get my hair looking good again. But when I woke up, my curls were in tact and literally no frizz to be seen. For the sake of it, I used the Curl Whip Mousse (£7) which was recommended for my day two curls and it just re-energised my hair and almost perfected the curls. It did add to the crunchiness, but again, it was worth it.

I have literally been so happy with my new routine. It has given me a renewed confidence with my curls and encouraged me to go natural with my hair and my face! I just hope it lasts as I know my hair has the tendency to get used to a product and I occasionally need to switch it up. But so far, so good. I'm honestly trying to contain my excitement, what I really want to say is these products could be LIFE changing! Have you tried any of the Umberto Giannini range? What should I try next?

Amina xx

*PR Sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

ALDI Naturals Eyeshadow Palette Review

Hi Guys,

Over the weekend I popped into my local Aldi for my weekly food shop and could't help but browse by the Special Buy aisles. You know the ones I'm on about! They are like a treasure trove of amazing things you do and don't need. They had some amazing homeware but my eye was drawn to the beauty and skin care! You may have seen on my Instagram that I picked up the Hot Cloth Cleanser (£3.99) and Glycolic Pads (£2.49) but another item I got my hands on was this Lacura Naturals Eyeshadow Palette (£5.99). I didn't waste any time and put it straight to the test as I know things don't last very long in Aldi and if you like it, I want you to still be able to get your hands on it!

You may notice it has a striking resemblance to the Urban Decay Naked Palletes so I was eager to find out whether it could live up to the amazingness of the originals. Bare in mind I don't actually own any of the Naked Palettes, but have swatched in store many a time and know how well pigmented they are. You have three matte shades and nine metallic shades. The metallic definitely stand out more than the matte but I like the matte shades to use through the transition. There is no real comparison between the pigmentation of these compared to the original Naked Palette as the Naked Palette is definitely more pigmented, however not all was lost as the pigmentation was pretty decent still and the blendability of the shadows was great.   Using Fix + by MAC or even dampening your brush with water before use definitely helps. I would say the payoff on the metallics is definitely more than the mattes. 

The packaging is very sturdy, metal on the outside and plastic on the inside. I was surprised by the fact you also get a mirror and a brush included as this is always a bonus. The brushes are also very good. I didn't really find any difference between the two ends and would have preferred one to be a bit more fluffier to help blending however it was a nice addition to the palette. I wore the eyeshadows all day on Monday and Tuesday and on both days the eyeshadows lasted all day and there was little to no fallout and also no fall out on application either. I created two looks with the palette.

Day Look

Day Look

Evening Look

Evening Look

I love how versatile this palette is. You can use the colours to create a very natural day look or oomph it up a little and use the darker shades for an evening look. If you added some lashes or even glitter it would make it even more showy. For the price, £5.99, this palette is more than worth it in my eyes. The colours are probably better suited to someone with fairer skin, but I think I can make it work for my own skin colour. I think this palette is perfect for those of us who want beauty on a budget. It goes to show we don't need to spend too much to get good quality eyeshadows.

If you are impressed, I would head to your local ALDI asap as I don't see them lasting very long, they have already sold out online! Will you be buying it?

Amina xx

Thursday, 17 May 2018

HAX Cut Crease Kit Review

Hi guys,

A few weeks ago I was sent the HAX Cut Crease Kit (£20) which is available exclusively to ASOS. Cut crease eyeshadow has become one of those Instagram trends that I just love and is great for making a statement. It is not the easiest look to create, so when I heard about this kit I was intrigued as it claimed to have everything you need to get that perfect cut crease look, but I did have my reservations. Could it really help me to 'master the cut crease like a pro'? Read on to find out.

So in the kit you get an eyeshadow palette with three colours, light beige for the lid, dark brown to cut the crease and medium bronze to blend through the transition. You also get a double ended brush, liquid liner, stencil (to use as a guide for the cut crease and liner) and an instruction card to guide you.

The first thing that stood out to me was that there was no cream base to cut the crease with or prime the lids with. Usually in my experience this is necessary to get that really clean defined line. I was really determined to only use the products provided in the kit however, as it is marketed as a complete tool kit to get the cut crease look. See what I created below.

Top to Bottom: Medium bronze, light beige, dark brown, black liquid liner.

As you can see the look I created with the kit is no where near as defined as the cut crease on the box  however I still think it comes across quite nicely. It is definitely more of a subtle look and this is largely due to the fact that the eyeshadows were not as pigmented as I hoped they would be. Also as I said previously no cream base is included in the kit so it is really hard to create that clean definite line, however the stencil provided does help to create a somewhat defined crease. The stencil also works really well with the liquid liner to get the perfect flick. One of my favourite things in the kit has to be the liquid liner. It's consistency was perfect and the nib on the liner was the right size to create that defined look. 

Another pro is the double ended brush. One end is fluffy which helps with the blending and the other is very small and rigid in order to create the line for the crease. I can see myself adding this brush to the rest of my collection.

I think this kit would be perfect for a make-up novice who doesn't have their own collection of makeup at home to get this look, or for someone who maybe just starting their collection and practising their techniques, or even as a gift. I would love to see a cream base added and even false lashes as I added my own here (Kiss Lashes in 'Midnight') to complete the look. The stencil and liner in the kit is definitely a selling point for me, especially if you struggle with your liner as it saved me a lot of time.

What are your thoughts on the Cut Crease? Have you ever used a stencil to get a makeup look?

Amina xx

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Revolution Pro Lipstick Collection Review!

Hi Guys,

This week I am bringing to you a review of the Revolution Pro Lipstick Collection in 'Noir'. Revolution Pro are a brand under the umbrella company Revolution Beauty London, formerly Makeup Revolution. I have a few pieces from their vast range of brands in my make-up drawer but I must admit it has been a while since I have purchased from them. So when Safiyah Tasneem asked me if I would like to guest post I was more than happy to oblige.

Compared to the other brands under Revolution Beauty London I feel like Revolution Pro is less about the packaging and more about the product. Which is always a good sign. It is a little more serious than it's sister brands and this also matches the name as I'm guessing by having Pro in the name these products are targeted to those looking for high end products at an affordable price. They have a comprehensive range of products from foundations to primers, from eyeshadow palettes to highlighter palettes.

I wasn't sure what to expect, especially when I saw the price tag, £7 for 5 lipsticks! That works out to £1.40 per lipstick. But I wanted to give them a chance! Don't judge a book by it's... price tag... and all that. Anyway, in the box you get 5 lipsticks, as this particular one was the Noir collection all the shades were quite dark in tone, however they also have a pink, red and nude collections and matte versions too. 

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the whole lipstick in general. The first thing I noticed when I applied was definitely the texture of the lipstick. It was so creamy and soft to touch and felt  very moisturising on the lips. I then noticed how amazing the colour pay off was. When it comes to the wear test I would say the lipstick lasted a good 5 hours. And even then I did have a stain left on my lips so they weren't completely naked, however I felt like I needed to re apply after this time. Bear in mind I had eaten during this time too. This really impressed me as the whole time I was wearing the lipstick my lips felt really conditioned.

However the softness of the product did lead to one of the lipsticks breaking when I swatched later on my arm. This could have been due to the fact it was 27 degrees outside, but also the product is very creamy so be careful. But like I was saying, it applies like a dream. I would definitely recommend wearing a lip liner as with the softness they were also prone to bleed a little from the lip line, however this was expected and was quite minor. 

Swatches in Sunlight: Top to bottom: Noir, Watching , Twilight, Midnight, Darkness

Swatches in natural light: Top to bottom: Noir, Watching , Twilight, Midnight, Darkness
The pigmentation of the product really blew me way. The swatches seen here are one swipe swatches so you can see just how much colour applies. The shades range from a purple to terracotta and back to a deep berry colour. I think if you are in to your darker shades then this would make a great purchase. I am definitely into my nudes so will definitely be purchasing the nude collection. I love that revolution beauty are making make-up affordable for the masses. Don't get me wrong, I love my high end products, but I think these are fab for every day wear and for those of us who need to count our pennies. I don't feel like the product resembles the price tag whatsoever. I would never guess from wearing it that my lipstick only cost £1.40. It definitely has got me thinking about the money I spend on make-up!

Each of the lipsticks from the collections are also available individually for £5 however, for an extra £2 you can get 4 other lipsticks so it makes sense to go with the collection. I am definitely going to be purchasing more from the brand as I have been so impressed with these. What have you tried? Give me some suggestions of what to try next in the comments below!

Amina xx

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.