Thursday, 19 April 2018

Makeup Storage Ideas!

Hi guys,

My most requested blog posts are always in relation to make-up storage. Either people really need help or just want to be a little nosey. Let's face it I am always the latter. I'm not sure why I have put it off for so long but maybe it's because the pictures aren't too pretty. However the main point of this post is function with a little focus on appearance thrown in. 

So first of all make-up storage doesn't have to cost you a lot. In fact it can technically be free if you get a little bit thrifty and use boxes that other products might have come in. The beauty industry is such that packaging is everything. Luckily for us that means a ready made pretty storage box.  In the picture below I have used a pretty sturdy box that my Glossier order came in, which even has a retracting lid to stop that pesky dust getting in. Occasionally you can get free make-up bags when purchasing beauty products, so make the most of these too.

Another way I store my makeup products is in my Inglot Black Diamond makeup case (£132), this is not necessarily an option for everyone as I purchased this because I am a freelance makeup artist and needed something that could store my makeup and be mobile at the same time. The fact it has a pull out handle makes it perfect for carrying around. However I think even if you aren't a makeup artist it is still a good way to store your makeup, if you don't necessarily want it on display. Especially good for mummies like me as my daughters love getting their hands dirty in my makeup. But all the 'good stuff' for my kit is locked away and kept safe in this. 

It's also very organised as it has different compartments and a pull out drawer so I'm never searching for anything for too long. It can also be separated into two separate cases, a beauty box and then the carry case underneath. I bought this at IMATS so got it for £100, I decided to pay that little bit extra on storage for the quality and sturdiness.... and yes I carried it all the way back home on the train!

Ingot case open from top.

The most recent way I have been displaying my makeup is in my new acrylic storage. I have literally wanted acrylic storage forever, well actually probably since Keeping up with the Kardashians started 10 years ago, but have always found it a little too pricey. However recently on Instagram I saw my friend Sufi ('the skincare encyclopaedia' - @svphie__) purchase hers from Ebay and for the bargain price of £25 (currently £25.99), so I knew I had to have it for those special items I want on display.

The final way I store my everyday make-up and skincare is literally in my bathroom cabinet! This is literally for ease of use, as straight after I've cleansed my face I apply my skincare and apply my 5 minute makeup. I have got it down to a T. My husband also has a little section but let's face it, at least three quarter's is mine. I also use it to store some of my everyday perfumes. It has a mirrored sliding door and it's at just the right height. I purchased this from Ikea a few years ago for £30.

I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to store or present your makeup. If you have any other ideas then please do share in the comments below!

Amina xx

Thursday, 29 March 2018

New Glasses with Glasses Direct!

Hi Guys,

This week I am bringing to you a blog post all about glasses. I have worn glasses from a very young age. Primary school in fact. I went through a long period of trying to get away with not wearing them, like a lot of kids probably do, however, I think they just gradually got worse. I used to do the whole thing where I would take them with me to school but only wear them when I was in lesson, but around sixth form and uni I gave in a decided to just wear them full time as I literally couldn't see clearly more than 2 metres in front of me. 

I do still battle constantly with wearing glasses for many reasons. I think I have one of those strange faces where my head is quite big and square so finding glasses that suit me is quite difficult. Also my prescription is quite high, so when I do wear them the thickness of the lens seems to reduce my eye size a little, which distorts what my actual face looks like. Saying that, I do wear glasses everyday and have come to accept my glasses as part of me. However, I do wear contact lenses sometimes for special occasions or a day out etc.

Glasses Direct appealed to me as I literally couldn't find any glasses at my recent eye test that suited me. I felt stuck. I had taken time out of my busy schedule to get my eyes tested but when it came to picking a frame I could not choose. Being a mum of two, working part - time and basically not having time in the day to wee let alone shop for glasses left me stuck. I then came across Glasses Direct and was left intrigued.

7 day free home trial
I found loads of glasses styles that I really loved and what's fab is they have a virtual try-on page where you can upload a picture of yourself and virtually try the glasses on. I tried this, but felt it wasn't a true representation. Still stuck, I delved a little bit deeper and found out they do a free 7 day home trial service where they send you up to four of your favourite styles for you to try on and all for free! I think this is such a great service as they even pay delivery for you. So in essence, you get to try before you buy. 

Once I got my glasses, this is where my lovely Instagram and Twitter followers came in, as I got them to vote for which glasses suited me best! Out of the four options, the majority voted for option four which I was over the moon with, as I liked them best too.

Option 1 - Miss KG - MKGS009

Option 2 - Belladonna

Option 3 - London Retro - Sage

Option 4 - Scout - Millie

Literally all you then need is your prescription details, which are usually given to you when you go for your eye test. Once you select your frame online, you are then directed to complete the prescription details and it is as simple as that. You can then add on any extras such as anti-glare coating etc. Being so busy, it literally made my day that it was made so simple.

Scout Millie Frame with prescription lenses and anti glare coating.

Up until this point, I was completely happy with the process. However, when my chosen frame did arrive, it felt quite loose and one of the arms were bent. The good thing about Glasses Direct is they have optometrists on hand via phone, so any problems and they are literally one call away from being contacted. I was then asked to send the glasses back in the pre-paid envelope and they would do their best to resolve the issue. However, I guess this is one thing to consider when opting to purchase glasses online, you don't get the glasses personally fitted to your face and this can make such a difference to your vision. Up until now, I have had to send the glasses back twice and they are still in for correction. This is something I will definitely consider next time I'm purchasing glasses.

I hope you enjoyed this week's post and has opened your eyes (pun intended) to a new way of selecting you future specs. Do you wear glasses? Where do you purchase from?

Amina  xx

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Stila Bohemian Beauty spring '18

Hey guys,

This week I am bringing to you a brand focus on Stila Cosmetics. They have appeared on the blog before in my Christmas Stocking Filler Gift Guide and New Year's Eve Makeup Look, however this time I am going to introduce you to some of their key products and new releases for Spring and end with a Spring make-up look, so be sure to scroll all the way down!

One thing I love about the brand is how easy their products are to work with. The products speak for themselves and help anyone achieve an effortless make-up routine. They are fast becoming my favourite make-up brand and something about the brand as a whole really connects with me. 

First up we have the Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows. These are one of the products that Stila are well known for. The Glitter & Glow combines glitter and eyeshadow into one product, it applies wet and dries to a powder. No need for glitter glue, it is fuss free, with maximum impact and I think this is what really appeals to me. Below are some swatches from the christmas gift set which contains 3 mini's, however there are a range of over 20 shades. Including duo chrome shades new for Spring. I am obsessed by the way, and want them all.

Left to right: Smoky Storm, Kitten Karma, Diamond Dust.
Carrying on with the eye theme, Stila have also released a Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow for Spring, as easy to use as the Glitter & Glow but with less of the glitter and more of a pearly shimmer. This is perfect for a less obvious look and gives such a subtle shine, it is soft and beautiful. I love that the colour applies wet and dries to a powder. It also means it is buildable, you can apply a thin layer, or apply more to get fuller coverage. These can also be worn with the Glitter & Glow if you are looking for maximum impact. However on their own they give a pearlescent effect that is so stunning. 

Shimmer & Glow in Carefree
One thing I find fantastic about Stila is the usability of the products. They are created with ease in mind. You don't have to be a make-up artist to use them but can still get a professional look. An example of this can be seen in the new Smudge Kajal Eyeliner. It is essentially kajal eyeliner with a smudge sponge and sharpener attached at the bottom.  The formula is lovely, very waxy and applies smoothly. Perfect for smudging and giving a blended look, but with a high intensity pigment. It comes in four colours and I need them all.

Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Belissima

Another classic Stila staple is the Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, infused with Vitamin E and Avocado oil it keeps your lips hydrated throughout the day. As matte liquid lipsticks go, this is a very comfortable formula, one of the best I've tried. And that is saying something really as I am definitely a gloss girl! For Spring there is also a shimmer version which is metallic and just stunning. Shimmer for the win I say.

Stay All Day Sheer Liquid Lipstick in Sheer Caramel

Also new for spring are the Stay All Day Sheer Liquid Lipsticks, same formula but somehow more transparent and less pigmented. Everyone is so caught up with high impact these days but these are surprisingly nice and lightweight. They offer a light wash of matte colour to the lip, and offer a great compromise for someone who loves a matte lip with a softer finish. 

If you are looking to jazz your lips up you need to get your hands on Stila's new Glitterati top coat! It is a clear liquid with tiny particles of pearl, perfect to apply over any of the Stay All Day liquid Lipsticks. Perfect for nightwear and gives your lips a little added extra. This is next on my wishlist!

Left to right: Smudge Kajal Eyeliner in Intense Black, Gliter & Glow in Smoldering Satin, Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Belissima, Shimmer & Glow in Carefree, Stay All Day Sheer Lipstick in Sheer Caramel.

I created my Bohemian Beauty look below with Shimmer & Glow in Carefree over the lid, with a dark brown shadow blended into the crease. Because the liquid dries to a powder you are still able to apply and blend powder eyeshadows to the rest of the eyes. I then applied the Smudge Kajal eyeliner in Intense Black over the lash line and used the smudger to blend it out. On the lips, I applied Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Bellissimo with Stay All Day Sheer Liquid Lipstick in Sheer Caramel over the top to give an ombre effect. I love the fact all the products can be layered to get different effects. 

 Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Carefree with Doll Beauty Lashes in Brandy.

So that's my round up of some of my fave Stila products and some of their new releases. Once again this is a brand I am totally falling in love with and will continue to purchase from. They somehow make beauty and make-up un-intimidating and make it exciting for everyone. Have you purchased from Stila? What are your faves? Let me know in the comments below.

Amina xx

*Contains PR samples. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Product Empties - To buy or not to buy?

Hey guys,

So throughout my two and a half years of blogging, I have never done an empties post. Can you believe it? So I thought I would put that right. For those of you who don't know, an empties post is basically a post about products that I have used up and I then go on to tell you whether I would repurchase, have already repurchased or would not recommend at all. I have been saving quite a few of my product empties for a while now, so here goes!

1. Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads - I tried a sample of the day version and fell in love with the ease of these. As the pads are already pre-soaked in the acid blend of AHAs and BHA's it just makes it so much easier. Their are 60 pads and I use these once a day (before bed). They last me two months. I have used these for ages now and repurchased may times. My pores seem smaller and skin just feels exfoliated and fresh and renewed.

Repurchase? YES!

2. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil* - I have gone on and on about this. My fave cleanser ever. It is just the right amount of greasy to break down any makeup on your face. And yes I mean any. I could have bridal make-up on and rub this over my face for 60 seconds and it is completely dissolved. I then rinse with water and am left with clean and clear skin that feels moisturised. The first time I tried this it was a PR sample, however I have repurchased myself.

Repurchase? YES!

3. Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil - My go to brow product at all times. This is the perfect pencil and shape to get my brows looking how I want. The shape of the nib is narrow at one end and thick at the other meaning I can get whatever shape I want and be precise, but also be able to fill in the larger areas too. Just the right amount of product applies. For an evening look I will apply it slightly heavier, for the day I will use a lighter hand.  It is also seems to last me a very long time!

Repurchase? Yes!

4. Stella McCartney, Stella (EDP)  - One of my favourite perfumes of all time. This was Stella's first scent.  I guess I love it so much as rose is one of my favourite scents. It is described as 'A rose in full bloom in a traditional English garden, with a sultry amber contrast.' This is the one scent where people always ask what I'm wearing. I urge you to try it next time you are in Selfridges.

Repurchase? Yes!

5. NYX Dark Circle Corrector (Medium) - You can see how worn the little pot is from the picture, but it's because I use this everyday on my under eye area before I apply concealer. It is a tiny pot but a little goes a long way. The consistency of the product is not too thick either which I really like because the less product on the under eye, the better in my opinion. It's the perfect colour corrector for my skin tone and I will continue to use.

Repurchase? Yes

6. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - I did a post a while ago where I really didn't rate this mascara at all, but once it dried down quite a lot I seemed to enjoy using it more and more. I really like the shape of the brush as it allows you to get those hard to reach little hairs and can produce volume as well as length.

Repurchase? No, for the price I think there are alternatives that can do the same job.

7. Dr Botanicals Neroli & Shea Butter Body Nourishing Cream* - A luxurious body cream that smells divine. It is very thick in consistency and you really don't need much to moisturise your whole body. Altogether a good product that I would happily use again. Cruelty and Vegan free too which is always good to know.

Repurchase? No, I would like to try something else. But would recommend.

8. Easy Nails Fast & Fruity Nail Polish Remover - I showcased this fabulous nail polish remover on my Instagram the other day. This little pot has a sponge with a hole cut through, it is soaked in nail polish and you simply dip your nail in a few times and the nail polish is removed. It has literally saved me so much time since I was introduced to it. It is acetone free and contains Vitamin E. I can't remember the price, but I tend to purchase from home bargains and is under £3.

Repurchase? Yes, or simply refill with nail polish remover!

9. Pixi Glow Tonic - I have just finished my 3rd bottle of this. I use it everyday in the morning to tone my skin. I have repurchased many times and my skin reacts fabulously to it. It has become a staple in my routine and I will continue to buy, however I do feel like changing up my routine a bit so am up for trying something new too.

Repurchase? Yes

10. Suqqu Lip Essence Cream - The creme de la creme of lip balms. I applied this once in the morning and could still feel it on my lips when I came back home. It is very thick in consistency and will moisturise the driest of lips. It is also said to plump the lips too. Have not tried a better lip balm.

Repurchase? No, unfortunately at £35 it is not something I can justify indulging on. I originally got it in a goody bag. Would love to though.

And that's all folks. I am so happy I can now get rid of these empties as I have been hoarding a few of them for quite a while! Are there any products you continuously repurchase? I would love to know in the comments below.

Amina xx

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.