Thursday, 27 October 2016

How to clean your make-up brushes.

Hi Guys!

So one of the things I hate most about make-up is cleaning my brushes! Oh I long for the days when I didn't use them (shock horror! Yes there was a time I used my fingers and those eye sponges that come with eyeshadow). However I soon found brushes were the way to go. So I would clean my brushes once a week. Big deal right? But then I decided to  become a Freelance Make-up artist and this brought about a whole new wave of make-up brush cleaning. Cleaning your brushes regularly is so important because the bacteria inside them can cause spots and all sorts of nasties on the skin so  you need to do it regularly (at least once a week) and obviously after each use on a client if you are an MUA. So this post is going to go through what I do to clean my brushes and also review some products I have been using lately. 

Cleaning for me is a two stage process. Firstly, I spot clean with The Pro Hygiene Collection Make-up brush cleaner (£10). By this, I mean when using my client brushes I always carry an anti-bacterial spray with me that will clean the brushes on the spot. So if I had to use a brush on more than one client at the same time or if I wanted to use the brush on a different colour I would clean it on the spot. Out of habit, I have now begun to spot clean my personal brushes before I give them a thorough clean. So all this takes is spraying the brush and then rubbing it on a paper towel in order to remove the majority of the product. It makes the next step so much easier and quicker.

Once brushes have been spot cleaned with the spray I then do another cleanse which I call the 'deep cleanse'. For this stage I use a cleaning egg, which I rub my brushes over in a swirling motion with an antibacterial gel cleaning solution. There are many branded ones available but recently I was sent Sebamed Liquid face & body wash (£5.84, 200ml) with the proviso that it was fantastic for cleaning brushes. So I thought I would give it a go... and it didn't disappoint. A small pea sized amount was applied to the cleaning egg. I then dampened the brush and rubbed through the egg creating a lather of foam and finally rinsed the brush. When rinsing be wary of trying not to get the bristles wet near the ferrule (the part that joins the bristles to the handle) as this may damage the glue binding the bristles to the ferrule. However I find this extremely difficult as I want all part of the bristles to be clean!

Top: F22 brush    Bottom: F20 brush
Sebamed worked really well and I could clean four brushes with a pea sized amount so a little went a long way. It also left my brushes smelling fantastic. My logic is that if it is sensitive enough for your skin then it's good enough for your brushes! Once the brushes are cleansed, I then dry the excess moisture with a paper towel and leave to dry flat or with the bristles facing downwards if possible.

The brushes you can see in the picture above are from Blank Canvas Cosmetics. I was lucky enough to be sent these to try with the Sebamed and I have been using them daily. I use the F22 brush (£13.35) for my everyday look to really buff my foundation in for a natural finish and the F20 brush  (£13.35) with my full coverage foundations for more of a flawless airbrushed finish. They are good solid brushes and I love how weighty they are. I also had no fallout when cleaning them which is also a good sign of quality.

So this is how I clean my brushes! I hope you have found it helpful. How do you clean yours? If you have any tips or tricks on how you clean your brushes or how to cut down on how long it takes, then I would love to hear your comments!

Amina xx

*Includes PR samples. All opinions are my own.


Monday, 24 October 2016

Blog 1st Birthday Giveaway!

Hi Guys,

My blog has turned 1! Happy Birthday! To celebrate I have linked up with Coconut Lane to do a fab giveaway. To win a £10 Coconut Lane e-voucher all you have to do is follow both me and Coconut Lane on Twitter and Instagram and retweet/repost on at least one. The competition is available internationally and ends 02/11/2016. All social media handles are as follows:

My Instagram/Twitter: @aminaali_mua

Coconut lane Instagram/Twitter: @coconutlaneuk

Good Luck!

Amina xx


Thursday, 20 October 2016

All you need for Halloween!

Hi Guys,

I absolutely love Halloween! I have fond memories of dressing up for Halloween as a child and as an adult actually! I mean who doesn't love an excuse to get dressed up, and when else do you really get the chance?  Now I have kids there is a whole new excitement around it too! This week I am sharing all my tips for the perfect Halloween party, from the dressing up, to throwing a party, and I have  an achievable special effects make-up look to go with! I gave a sneak peek earlier in the week on my Snapchat and Instagram (@aminaali_mua).

First things first, you need some spooky decor! Whether I am having a party or not, I like to get into the spirit of Halloween and  decorate the house and front door with some cobwebs, spiders, pumpkins, and a few skeletons maybe. I am absolutely loving Home Bargains range of decorations at the moment. Every time I go in I seem to pick something up and the prices are so reasonable I don't mind spending, even if it is just for one day. Festive Lights also have some great props like hanging ghosts and witches. You can really dress up the entrance to your house for a spooky welcome, and so everyone one knows where the party is at!

2. Food and Drink.
No party is complete without food and drink. I like to keep snacks on a Halloween Party quite light. Crisps, nibbles, biscuits and drinks. However making things Halloween-themed is always fun, so decorating a cake with spider legs or adding some slimy sweets to a trifle are things that just give an extra something special to the food. Oh and don't forget the sweets for the trick or treaters!

3. Games.
A game or two adds some extra fun to a party. My memories of Halloween always include bobbing for apples. Such a fun, but difficult game! If you are hosting a party you could also do a pumpkin carving competition and an award for best dressed!

4. Costumes.
This leads me onto clothing. I can't get over how fantastic costumes actually are these days! Long gone are the days of throwing on a black bin liner or cutting some holes into a sheet! There are so many convincing costumes at low cost prices. I'm particularly loving George at Asda's range this year! They have a Beetlejuice costume that is to die for. Excuse the pun!

5. Make-up.
As you know, I don't need any excuse to be applying make-up! But I find one of the worst things about Halloween is when you put all the effort into having a party and people don't make the effort to dress up! Or worse, when you turn up to one and you're the only one who has gone all out! It is so easy to make an effort so I have put together an easy Halloween make-up look that anyone can achieve.  It is part glam, part skeleton - I just couldn't resist going half glam. I'm calling it Glamoween this year!

Firstly draw a line across your face, which will be where the scar is going to go. This separates the glam half from the skeleton half. Next, using toilet roll and liquid latex, scrunch up a sheet of toilet  paper and stick it along the scar line. The messier the better! I used Liquid Latex (£2) from Freedom Makeup's Halloween range (the same creators of Makeup Revolution London). It sounded daunting to me at first but all this stuff is so readily available nowadays there is no excuse not to use it. I picked up all my special effects items from  Superdrug. Next I rubbed a spoolie through soap and applied it to my skeleton side eyebrow to stick the eyebrow to the skin. This way the white face paint would apply over it smoothly. I then applied foundation to my glam side and filled in my eyebrow.

Once this was done I moved onto the glam. Now this part is for you to be as creative as you like. I went for a smokey eye as I thought it would suit the look and is quite dramatic! I contoured quite heavily and added highlight of course. Make sure you apply your foundation over the tissue as this will give the illusion of skin. The  strip lash I used (yes lash as it was only applied to the glam side)  is Nouveau Lashes in 'Glamour style 2' (£4.95).

I then moved onto the skeleton side, using the Makeup Revolution 'Ghost Contour Stick' (£4) again from Superdrug. This has a black and white side perfect for creating that skeletal look. To create the skeleton I applied the white stick all over the skin but left a part under my cheekbone to create a gap illusion where my teeth would be. I also coloured the eye socket and nose in black. Finally, using a gel liner, I drew over my lips. To add extra colour and set the face paint you could apply black and white coloured powder.

Lastly, I added some of Freedom Makeup's 'Fake Blood' (£2) along the scar line. I squeezed a drip out for extra effect on my forehead too! And that was it. The look was complete.

This may not be the best special effects makeup and I am by no means a special effects makeup artist. This was my first time using latex! But I was surprisingly pleased with the finished look. I think if you turned up to a party like this, most people would be impressed. What I will say though, is that the fake blood stains! It literally took me longer to take the make-up off than it did putting it on! But I was really impressed by the quality of the products and again, it didn't break the bank.

I hope you like my quick and easy guide of what you need for your Halloween this year! For more ideas head to Festive Lights. They have some fab props and a great FREE Halloween party pack with loads of great ideas!

Are you throwing a party for Halloween this year? What will you be dressing up as? I would love to hear your comments!

Amina xx

*This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.

Diary of an imperfect mum

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Autumn Essentials!

Hi Everyone,

This post is all about things I can't live without during Autumn!

Autumn is a special season for me. It might sound cliche but it is literally a season of change. The weather can go from being freezing cold in the morning, to boiling hot at midday and raining in the evening. I literally don't know whether to take my woolly winter coat, summer jacket or raincoat out with me. I find the change in season quite stressful on the body and usually find myself catching a cold around this time of year too. So the things listed in this post are things I use to both keep me relaxed and to destress, but also things perfectly suited to this time of year.

1. A hot bath.
I never used to take baths. No, it's not what you think. I mean rather than taking baths I would take a shower. I never really found the time for a bath or felt a need to have a good soak. However motherhood changed this. I actually felt an urge and craving to unwind and relax my aching muscles after I had rocked my baby to sleep for half the night, or being hunched over breastfeeding ten times a day. My muscles longed for a good old soak. When it comes to bath products, naturally I love some of the Lush bath bombs and melts and always look forward to a Lush bath.

Lush 'Snow Angel' bath melt (£4.25)

2. A cup of tea.
The first thing I reach for when I get home, like most, is the kettle. There is nothing better than a hot cup of tea in your favourite mug - it has to be in my favourite mug! I don't know what it is about the mug, the dimensions, the fit of my hand within the handle or maybe the quote on the front (I may be biased), but my tea just tastes so much better!

3. A good blanket.
When I bought my house I knew I had to buy a good blanket. There's nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa with a good old blanket. It can't be any old blanket however. It has to be thick enough to keep you warm, but not too thick so it makes you sweat. It needs to be soft enough to feel comfortable but not slip straight off you. And finally it has to have a fringe... just because. I found my perfect one from Homesense by a company called Zoepritzz. You can find similar ones here.

4. Soap.
At this time of year the cold starts to chap my hands so I need a good hand cleanser. I was sent some Vintage Wrapped Soaps by The English Soap Company (£4.95) and the scent from this soap instantly refreshes and relaxes me and is very moisturising on the skin. Whatsmore, they are handmade and come wrapped in beautiful vintage paper (hence the name), which I will definitely be reusing! Everything about these soaps scream luxury to me, from the shea butter infusion to the smell of the perfume. Every time I go to the bathroom, just the soap lying by the sink basin fills the whole bathroom with scent of lavender. This has become a staple in my bathroom and actually is a must have for me in any season now, not just autumn!

5. Scented candle anyone?
My name's Amina and I have a scented candle addiction. There I said it. It is true, I can admit that I have an obsession with candles and melts at the moment. I literally have one in every room of the house. I just love walking into a room that smells nice! As well as scented soap, The English Rose Company also does scented candles (£9.95). What's special about the candles are that they are Soy candles - made from Soya Beans. This makes them incredibly environmentally friendly as they are biodegradable, non toxic, and amazingly, they burn 50% longer than paraffin candles. (For more details on benefits of Soy candles click here) I am a total convert. The scent I have used is Oriental Spice & Cherry Blossom and is perfect for this time of year, giving a subtle aroma to a room rather than an overbearing one. The price tag reflects the luxury and they are the kind of candles I would use for special occasions or as a gift. 

Ok, I am really craving a nice bath now. Then relaxing on the sofa with a cup of tea in one hand and the remote in the other. Topped off by being wrapped in my favourite blanket, with my scented candles flickering in the background!

6. Let's not forget the make-up.
This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning my Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance palette (£41). This was made for Autumn and yes make-up application actually relaxes me! Read all about it here.

So guys, these are my must haves this season. What are yours? Would any of these make you relax? What is your idea of the perfect night in? Let me know in the comments below.

Amina xx

*Contains PR samples but all opinions are my own.

Diary of an imperfect mum

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Magic Facial Mitt Review

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are having a great week!

Now, everyone knows one of the biggest nuisances with make-up is the removal. Come on, we've all done it. Get in from a late night and forget to remove our make-up, or pull the wet wipes out and given those eyes a good rub only to come out looking like a panda. The right way to do it is, obviously, to use a make-up remover and cleanser on a cotton pad so you don't damage your skin. But sometimes it just feels like too much effort.

So when I heard about the *Magic Facial Mitt (£4.99) I just had to give it a go. I mean anything with the word 'magic' in it just automatically grabs my attention and if it's going to make my life easier and get me into bed quicker, then why not?

The mitt is a micro-fibre cloth that removes make-up using water only. I have to say I was expecting big things with this glove, especially as it is 'magical' but was left feeling a bit indifferent initially. I added water to the glove and started to wipe away but had to really rub my face and eye make-up quite a few times. I half expected it to remove the make-up with the first wipe, but this wasn't the case. HOWEVER after a few washes it did remove my make-up.

What then hit me was the realisation of how GOOD this product really is, especially for the environment.  How many wet wipes do you usually go through to remove your make-up? Two, maybe three? How many of us use powerful make-up removers full of chemicals? This mitt not only gives you a re-usable method of make-up removal (kerching!), but uses water, the purest thing you can put on your face, as a make-up remover. It therefore makes us better human beings as we can remove our make-up in an environmentally friendly way, and with the added bonus of not damaging our skin! That said, I would still advise using a skin cleanser once make-up is removed.

Left side with make-up, right side with make-up removed.

This product has definitely made me more conscious of the environment and what I can do. The magic of this product is not that it removes your make-up easier or quicker than normal, but that it does so without having to spend money on anything else or damage the environment around you. 

What do you think of the facial mitt? Will you be trying it? Has it made you think about what you can do to be more eco friendly?

Amina xx
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