Thursday, 15 February 2018

Permission to smile!

Hey Guys,

This week I've got something a little different for you and a bit of food for thought. How many of you go through your everyday only interacting with people you know or have been introduced to? How many of you feel nervous to strike up new conversations or even smile at others in your community? I for one can say I am guilty of both of these. Social media has made it so much easier for us to be less social with those around us but instead focus our efforts on dialogue online. Permission to Smile is an initiative that has started in Birmingham encouraging people to come together as a community and simply interact more with one another.

When I was contacted by Martin Graham, one of the founders of the initiative, and made aware of the campaign, something struck a chord with me. What's better than society and communities working together to benefit everyone? Whether it be by having a conversation with some one who is feeling isolated, or going shopping for someone who might be struggling to get outdoors. Working together works out for everyone, but it starts by communicating, and a smile is just that. It is the initial communication to say I am warm, open and welcoming.

Only a month ago I had been battling and supporting to save my local children's centre for this exact reason. It was the one thing that had given me support when I had had my first child. Meeting other like minded people from my area gave me a sense of belonging and togetherness. It gave me so much happiness to know other people from my area with kids my age and to know we could be there for each other if we needed. I then began to think about what life would be like if I didn't have service like this. It made me realise we can't rely on the council of such services anymore as cuts are being made everyday and we need to take action ourselves.

This is where we come in. How can we take part? Well, firstly by doing exactly what it says, in every day life there is no harm in smiling! We tend to walk around avoiding eye contact with people just in case the worst happens.... a conversation starts! So simply just smile, or say hello. It could make someones day. Permission to Smile have also set up a crowd funding page in order to get the word out there and hopefully launch an app where people who live local to one another can meet up and start engaging with one another, it is also hopefully going to become a school programme and introduced into school lessons. You can donate here. The website is due to launch on the 12th May with a event in the city centre to celebrate.

So if you are in Birmingham why not show some support, but no matter where you are you have permission to smile! Being nice doesn't cost a thing, so if there is one thing you can take from this post it should be that!

Amina xx

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Shot it, Shape it, Strobe it with Loreal!

Hi guys,
Last week I attended the fantastic launch for the new Infallible range of primers, foundation, blush and highlighter sticks from Loreal Paris makeup. It was held at Beat London and I had a such a fantastic time meeting other bloggers and getting a first look at the products. I was so excited that this launch had a focus on the skin base as I am all about that flawless skin. I have been trying them out over the past week so thought I would give you my initial thoughts and some swatches!

Me with the beautiful @anousshkaa

Shot it! - Infallible Primers (£8.99)

The first step in the newly released items is 'Shot it!'. This is a range of primers which have been formulated for all skin types. From left to right you have a bright green primer to neutralise any redness. A matte primer, which is suitable for oily skin types. The iridescent packaging gives the luminising primer away - It gives your skin the most beautiful glow without making you look too shiny. Then we have the Anti fatigue primer which is apricot in colour and is perfect for correcting dull looking skin. Lastly we have the pore refining primer which smooths out any lumps and bumps and hides those pores perfectly. The idea with these is that you can use one or multi prime for different areas depending on the need,  it's up to you. 

Shape it! - Infallible Shaping Foundation Sticks (£8.99)

Left to right: 210, 200, 180, 150
Bottom to top - 210, 200, 180, 160

 Next up we have the foundation shaping sticks. These can be used as a base but also to highlight and contour. I have to say that I am so impressed by the formula of these. Somehow Loreal have managed to create a hydrating foundation that doesn't leave your skin looking greasy. When applied the finish that is given literally mimics the skin. It contains Jojoba Oil which adds to the luxurious texture, however as the skin absorbs the product it dries to a powder finish. The product can also be built up for fuller coverage. I have been trying it out all this week and I would say with a make-up fixing spray you can definitely get 8 hours wear out of this product. The one downside I would say is the shade range. Their are 12 shades which is reasonable, however the shades jump quite a lot so some people might have to combine shades to get their perfect match.

Strobe it! - Loreal Infallible Blush &Highlighter Sticks (£8.99)

Top: 001 Bottom: 002

Top to bottom: 500, 501, 503
The blush and highlighter sticks are some of my favourite products from the range. Applied over the foundation they just blend in to the skin so well. The fact that you are using cream on cream makes application so effortless and I love the smooth airbrushed effect it gives. I am starting to use more cream products in my make-up routine as it gives the skin more dimension without being so obvious. There are four colours in the highlighter range and they are all just as beautiful as the next.

Here is the make-up applied to my face. The foundation (mix of 200 &180) literally gave an airbrushed finish, I applied directly onto my face and blended with a buffing brush. I used blusher in 002 and highlighter in 501 and blended in using my fingers. For a demo using the products head to my Instagram stories highlight labelled 'Loreal Review'. As the products are newly released there are currently  quite a few offers on these products, one being 3 for 2 at Boots and Superdrug, which I would definitely take advantage of!

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to the new Loreal Infallible releases! Will you be trying any?

Amina xx

Thursday, 1 February 2018

3 steps to bigger lips!

Hi Guys,

This week I thought I would do a little tutorial on a non-invasive way of getting bigger lips. That is, making your lips look bigger with a little bit of make-up and lip-plumping gloss. As I get older my lips seem to be getting thinner! I don't think I would ever have lip filler, mainly because I can't afford to but also because I'm a bit worried about the pain. However never say never! In the meantime though I have worked out a great little routine to get my lips looking plump. 

If you follow me on Instagram (@aminaali_mua) , you might have taken part in a little poll I did last week where I asked if I had had lip injections. The results didn't surprise me to be honest, as most of my followers knew I hadn't, however I did fool a few of you and that shows how good this product really is. So if you are interested in having fuller lips without the filler then read on!

 Before lip plumping.
The first step to fuller lips is to use dark lip liner. That is one that is maybe one or two shades darker than your skin tone. I would suggest opting for a cool toned colour if you are a similar lip colour to me. The idea here is to over line your lip slightly. Going for a cool tone colour has the same reasoning behind contouring. You are almost giving your lip a new shape and size so you want it to be in the same shade tone as your lip colour.

Lips with liner.
Next up is the lip plumper I was talking about! It's the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme (£22) You literally apply this to the lips and as soon as it comes in contact with the skin the ingredients start to react causing your lips to sting and in turn become more plump. It is important to only apply to the lip as if applied to the skin round the lip redness can occur. 93% of people tested sad their lips were fuller and more plump, 97% said it delivered instant results and 97% said their lips felt moisturised. One thing I would like to say is that the immediate plump effect doesn't last very long, maximum ten minutes. However the lip plumping is also supposed to be long term so I will let you know how that goes. One thing I will say, though even when they plumpness reduces the smoothness stays and my lips continue to feel moisturised. I also want to give a quick mention to the iridescent packaging- LOVE!

Lips with plumper and liner applied.
Finally once the plumper has been applied. I pat my lips on some tissue paper to take off the excess gloss and apply a nude lip colour which is a few shades lighter than the lip liner. Once again, pick a nude to suit your skin tone. I am wearing the Too Faced Melted Liquified Longwear Lipstick in Nude (£19). So the lip line and lip colour are blended nicely I used a lip brush to blend. As I prefer my top lip to look a little bigger I tend to take my lip product higher than the cupids bow for a more full look. And here is the finished result!


Above: Before       Below: After

So there you have it! Three steps to bigger looking lips! Let me know if you have any other tips for bigger looking lips. in the comments below!

Amina xx

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Pixi Beauty Review

Hi guys,

This week I am bringing to you a review of some fabulous Pixi beauty products. I have been using Pixi skincare for a while now and my love affair first started with the Glow Tonic which I spoke about on my blog 2 years ago (click here) . So the fact that I still use this product is testament to it's amazingness! Over Christmas Pixi always do fabulous gift sets and I was lucky enough to get one from my sister. This particular one was £35 and contains the Glow Tonic, Polish and Peel, Glow Mud Cleanser and Make-up Cleansing Cloths. I have been using the products for month now so thought I would give your my verdict on my whole collection.

First up we have the Glow Tonic itself (£18). I use this as a toner once a day on a cotton pad. I swipe this across my skin and it literally energises my  skin. It contains 5% glycolic acid which is great for removing those dead skin cells and helping the skin to regenerate. It also contains things like Ginseng and Witch Hazel which is where I believe it's spicy smell comes from. With continued use this literally helps the skin restore itself and glow. It's a firm favourite in my routine and I don't see it going anywhere soon! It is usually £18 on it's own so when I saw it included in the gift set I was thrilled.

A few summer's ago I also purchased Pixi Glow Mist (£16). As if I wasn't already glowing enough I knew when it launched I needed it. The Glow Mist is an oil based spray which can be used to hydrate the skin and set make up. This was not part of the gift set and I mainly use this in the summer to give my skin a dewy shine. Once I have applied make-up I give the bottle a quick shake and spray over the fact to give a luminescence to the skin. In winter month's I tend to just spray over my dehydrated skin after I have removed my make-up. I have also been known to spray over my body and hair. Just saying. It contains 13 natural oils and is a concoction of goodness and I definitely recommend.

Now for the rest of the gift set. These are all products I have been using over the past 4 weeks. Firstly the Make-up Melting Cleansing Cloths (£10). No these are not 'wet wipes' they are 'cleansing cloths'. They are packed with camomile and grapeseed oil so literally feel as though you are conditioning your skin while you remove your makeup. When I have used wet wipes in the past my skin always feels so dry afterwards that I immediately wash and moisturise. But with these I literally feel as though I can leave my skin to it as they have removed my make-up as well as repaired my skin.

Within the gift set I also received the Glow Mud Cleanser (£18). Another glow product,  Ok yes we are seeing a pattern here. My skin after Christmas was really bad. I had a lot of break outs and redness due to the amount of rich foods I was consuming. So I was hoping by using this it would calm my skin down and I was right. I have been using this 3 to 4 times weekly and the aloe and lavender within has calmed down my breakouts and redness. You can also apply and leave on as a mask which is an added benefit. 

The final product in the gift set is the Peel and Polish (£26). I have wanted to try this for ages. The peel and polish is an enzyme mask which is applied to dry skin. You then leave it for two minutes to allow the enzymes to activate and finally rub into the skin like you would an exfoliator and rinse off.  The  product is intended to act like a peel and resurface the skin. This is just what I needed, as like I said before my breakouts had left my skin quite bumpy. I have been using this twice a week for the past four weeks and literally feel as though my skin is back to normal. I love the fact it tingles a bit when applied as it also makes me feel like it is doing something.

Left: Glow Mud Cleanser Right: Peel & Polish

Left: Glow Mud Cleanser Right: Peel & Polish
So that's it folks. As you can see I am so impressed with Pixi skincare. My collection is only going to grow further. These are genuinely products I have added to my skincare routine and can't see them going anywhere for a long time. One thing I definitely want to try next is Pixi Make-up. So if you have any suggestions please fell free to let know what in the comments below!

Amina xx