Friday, 30 December 2016

Here's to 2017!

Hi Guys,

For my last post of the year, I'm feeling a little bit reflective. I'm sat here on my laptop while my eldest daughter (3) is finally asleep, after what I can only call a traumatic few days for her. She had a horrible fall. We were set to go shopping and decided to have our weekly Costa stop off. Unfortunately, she tripped and fell into a table, landing face first and bashing her mouth to the point where her front teeth have been pushed backwards. She won't eat, sleep, or talk. We are having to feed her with a syringe. But after being in hospital all day yesterday and seeing the emergency dentist, fingers crossed she will be ok (with a little help from some Calpol and Amoxicillin). The pain you feel when your child is in pain is the worst. An aching of helplessness right in the heart. It has really made me think about what's important and what I am planning for the next year.

I'm glad to say we had a fabulous Christmas. I love Christmas. It's that time of the year when we get to spend time with the people we love most and enjoy each others company, while having an excuse to scoff our faces. And having kids makes it that extra bit special because you get excited for them. Putting up the tree, giving and receiving presents, eating the chocolate from the advent calendar, and making gingerbread are all things that are becoming traditions we thoroughly enjoy and embrace. I wish the whole year was full of these kinds of highs.

We've had other highs this year too, a memorable one being our first family holiday to Cyprus. The most amazing memories were made there which I will carry with me for a lifetime. My eldest starting nursery and my youngest having her first birthday in February. All milestones that I cherish. My mum beat her breast cancer and completed Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca which I am so proud of her for. My Dad turned 70, which we celebrated with the whole family in Spain. These are all things that I can say truly made my year. A big part of my year was blogging once a week, every week. I think this was the biggest commitment I made in 2016 and I didn't realise how much it was going to occupy my life!

When I try to think of lows this year for me personally, I struggle. I am rich in the fact I have great family, a husband who is, well, much more than that. Two beautiful daughters. A home I can call my own. However, when I think of the bigger picture, there has been a few lows. Brexit being one, Trump being another, Aleppo breaking my heart. I saw a burnt Syrian baby's face the other day. All I could see was my child. There. Screaming,  All things which again I feel completely helpless but so strongly about. These all strike a chord with me.

Leaving 2016 in a low was not what I planned, my daughter isn't her normal self and neither am I.   But I suppose it will take time. Time is one thing I thought I had. But I think if I've learnt anything from 2016 it's that we are all running out of time. The amount of deaths this year alone has highlighted this. So many icons no longer with us: David Bowie, Muhammad Ali and Prince, to name a few. The only thing we can do however, is to embrace whatever 2017 has to throw at us and live it to it's fullest. Whatever that may be. Swimming with sharks, jumping from a plane, or maybe just stepping out the front door, or trying something new. I know I will appreciate what I have and make the most of it. So here's to 2017 - let's face it with strength, courage and an eagerness for more. 

Amina xx

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Beyond Beauty Birmingham

Hi Everyone!

This week I was invited to the Beyond Beauty Bloggers Event where I was introduced to a whole new range of skincare that I had no idea existed. I was also lucky enough to try out some of the treatments and if you think you might like to too, then stay tuned as I have a 20% off discount code at the end of the post!

Beyond Beauty is a skin clinic that has been around for 10 years, however more recently they moved to their current location on Broad Street in Birmingham. This is the perfect location as you can combine a bit of shopping at the Mailbox with a bit of pampering at Beyond Beauty, only a 10 minute walk away!

Beyond Beauty offer a range of treatments at competitive prices from massages to laser hair removal and of course non-invasive skin procedures, with treatments starting from just £30. However what makes Beyond Beauty different to the rest is that they tailor everything to your particular wants and needs. They even combine treatments to make the most of the time you have with them. For example, you can have an arm and leg massage while wearing one of their LED masks, or combine two types of facials into one like I did! The girls really know their stuff and I came away feeling full to the brim of knowledge and knew what I needed to do to take my skin to the next level. 

So let me tell you a bit about some of the machines they use and what I had done.

My treatment first started with a facial mask which was mixed specifically for my skin needs. Whilst this was set to work I was then given a neck, shoulder and arm massage by the lovely Miriam (Seriously this woman's hands are magic and she has over 20 years' experience in the industry so I would highly recommend her). Once the mask had been removed, I then moved onto the next part of my treatment, the Geneo +, 4 in 1 'super' facial. It promises to exfoliate, infuse, oxygenate and tighten the skin. It reduces wrinkles and makes the skin brighter along the way. Think of this as a very deep exfoliation using oxygen with a bit of radio frequency in between to stimulate and tighten the collagen in the skin. I didn't know what to expect when it came to the treatment but the only way I can describe it, is it felt like little scratches all over the skin, which is actually the machine removing the dead skin cells and pumping it full of oxygen bubbles. At worst, it felt uncomfortable but not painful, and it actually felt like something was working on my skin!

Geneo +

Venus Freeze
Once the treatment was complete, the skin was cleansed and we then moved on to the next part of my treatment which used the Venus Freeze. This particular machine can be used all over the body and, unlike what the name suggests, it actually uses heat and pulsed magnetic fields to increase collagen and make the skin firmer. Christina (Skin Expert) then applied the Glycerin to the skin, and the Venus Freeze was rolled over it in circular motions very quickly at a temperature of 39 degrees. It feels like a very hot sensation but because it is being moved around so quickly it does not burn at all. I particularly enjoyed when this was smoothed over the eye area as it felt quite relaxing. As the machine beeped this signified the end of my treatment and I couldn't wait to see the results!

Before                                                                                         After

Before                                                                                After

Top: Before   Bottom: After

Before I even looked in the mirror my skin almost felt like a mask. I could feel the difference. When I looked in the mirror I was so happy with the results. The biggest difference for me was the brightness and plumpness I could see straight away. However on closer inspection I could visibly see some of my lines and wrinkles have reduced too! The price for the combination of treatments I got would come to around £150, but you do get what you are paying for. They recommend a course of five treatments (around £500) and I think it is definitely worth it! These treatments are for somebody who is serious about their skincare and wants to see visible results, rather than someone looking for relaxation and pampering. 

Beyond Beauty also offer other treatments such as laser or IPL hair removal, the DermaCo Pro system which offers diamond tip microdermabrasion and LED masks which you may have seen a few celebrities boasting about on their Instagram. All treatments I want to try next!

I have to say I was particularly impressed by the professionalism, knowledge and attention to detail the staff gave. I would be happy to receive any of their treatments, so much so I've booked in again next week! Very generously, Beyond Beauty are offering my readers 20% off any of their treatments, just quote code : #BBLASERUK16 when booking.

Have you ever tried non-invasive machine facial before? Are you tempted to? Let me know in the comments below!

Amina xx

*Treatment was gifted to me for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmas 2016 Make-up look!

Hey guys,

This week I have put together a Christmas make-up look and it is all things glitter, sparkle and shimmer. So if you love these (who doesn't) then read on!

Usually on Christmas day I wake up with the kids and open up presents in our nightwear around the tree. Then a little later we change into our glam before heading to my sister's for Christmas lunch. This is always a great excuse to pop the Christmas jumper on and doll myself up!

I have been so inspired by everything glitter lately that I had to incorporate it into this year's look. I decided not to go for the classic red lip I usually do but instead went for a berry tone which again I'm obsessed with lately!

To find out what I used to create the look, read on!

To create the base I first used Mac Prep & Prime Skin Base Visage and then applied MAC Pro Longwear Foundation in NC35 on top with a foundation brush. I wanted to create quite a full coverage look for added drama. I set this with MAC Prep & Prime Translucent Powder. Once I had my base sorted I moved on to the eyes. I wanted a glossy and sparkly finish. As a eye lid primer I used Urban Decay Primer Potion and then applied Maybelline Color Tattoo in Eternal Gold over the top to get the perfect gold base. I then blended Kiko High Pigment Eyeshadow in Pearly Tangerine first and then over the top with Matte Hazelnut over the top. I blended through the crease with these ever so slightly, hardly picking up any product on my brush, just to create a slight shadow and contrast against the gold.

Next, using my finger, I put on MAC Studio Eye Gloss in Money Honey. It is such a beautiful glossy gold and brings the attention straight to the eye. Make sure you apply this after the shadow on the crease as otherwise it makes it very difficult to blend. If that wasn't enough, I wanted more glitter, so decided to add Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy over the top.

MAC Studio Eye Gloss swatch in Money Honey.

Some of the products used to create the look.

I then added Tarte Cosmetics Tartest liner in Black. It's important to note when applying all products don't go all the way down to the lash line as this makes it very difficult to apply the liner, it just slips over the glossy texture. To complete the look I applied Nouveau Lashes natural in style 1 which are perfect for a daytime look.

Rommel Lasting Finish Lipstick and NYX lip liner used.

On the cheeks I am wearing Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Reflex (one of my favourites) and for the lips I applied NYX lip liner in Plum/Prune and Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Bordeaux. I have to say I'm really impressed with the formula of this lipstick - it didn't bleed at all! To complete the look I added highlighter to my cheekbones and nose using The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer. 

I hope you like the look and it has inspired you to have a go! What will you be wearing this Christmas? Do you go all out with your make-up on Christmas Day?

Amina xx

Thursday, 8 December 2016

#Lashgang's 1st Birthday!

Hi Guys,

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Nouveau Lashes Lash Gang 1st Birthday Party. If you haven't heard of Nouveau or the #LASHGANG  then 1. where have you been? and 2. here's a little info. Nouveau Lashes (NL) offer a range of treatments from LVL, which is a natural way of  enhancing your lashes (read about it here) to SVS, their version of eyelash extensions. They also offer a variety of strip lashes to suit every kind of occasion and other products such as eye & brow conditioning serum or their eye make-up remover. Everything you need to keep your lashes looking amazing.

Being part of the Lash Gang has been such a fantastic opportunity for me. I really love the brand. The Lash Gang is such a supportive group and I feel really valued by the team. They are open to ideas and really allow us members to be as creative as we like. They have a special place in my heart because they were actually one of the first brands I ever worked with as a blogger. It might sound a bit dramatic but when I first joined the gang I was only a month into blogging, but I think they saw some potential in me (I hope) and trusted me to do their products justice! So in a way NL have been their from the start of my blogging journey and I am so grateful for them! (Cue violins and crying Emoji face)šŸ˜­.

Road Trip
The day started off great as I travelled down with Gweni from and Debra-Bow from and we had a lot of laughs on our road trip. When we arrived it was so fantastic for me to meet other bloggers and girls from the NL team who I had spoken to over Twitter but never met in real life. Straight in front of us was a photo booth which everyone had so much fun using. Who knew taking picture after picture of yourself could be so amusing! 

Debra & I

Natasha from @natashattodd  (Twitter) & I

Gweni & I
The day was full of lots of party games and I could see a lot of effort had been put into the event. Here are some pics from the Pass the Parcel and PiƱata (which was decapitated in the end)! 

Pass the Parcel

PiƱata time!

After we had played some games it was time for some food and boy was it impressive! They really did put on an amazing spread for us. It was a tea party! Complete with teapots, cups and saucers, scones, jam, clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, the list goes on! 

Me, Debra, Gweni & Sophie from @pretty_polishd (Twitter)

Bec from @Blushstrokes (Instagram), me and Debra- bow.
Once we had eaten it was time for the Lash Gang awards! I had found out earlier in the week that I had been shortlisted for 'Wannabe Bestie' and 'MUA all day'. The thought that someone had actually nominated me for this was so heart warming. But to actually win MUA all day, I couldn't believe it. I was so overjoyed! Other winners were (twitter handles): @g_beauty_blog for Wannabe Bestie @NishiV_MUA for Vlogging Queen, @natashattodd for Flatlays For Days, @justnadiene for Blogger Babe and @asyouwish for Snapchat Slayer.

Me with my award for MUA all day!

Woop woop!

Gweni & I with our awards
The day ended with some great goody bags which included a #lashgang tote bag, lashes, tweezers, some fab pins, a mirror and a gorgeous make-up bag by EmJ company.

It really was a reflective day for me and it felt amazing to celebrate a year of Lashgang but also a year of blogging for me. Ending it with the award just showed me how far I had come and how much blogging actually means to me! 

Amina xx

*Thank you to Debra-Bow and Gweni for allowing me to use some of their pictures.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas 2016 Beauty Gift Guide

Hey Guys,

 I'm the type of person that leaves Christmas shopping to the last minute and definitely do not buy anything or put any decorations up before December! However, as Christmas is edging closer, I thought I would post my Christmas gift guide this week. I say gift guide but it's really a wishlist as I would be happy to get anything on the list. It is purely beauty related and if you are as beauty obsessed as I am, you will love what it has to offer. So let's get straight on.

1. Phee's Make-up Shop Highlighters & Eyeshadow

Rainbow Highlight

Polilla Eyeshadow

Polilla swatch

If you haven't already heard about or seen these they look amazing. Handmade in Sheffield and cruelty free, these eyeshadows and highlighters would be a great Christmas gift to any beauty lover. Some of my favourite products are the Rainbow glow highlight powder (£18, 59mm compact) and the eyeshadow in Polilla (£10, 37mm compact). The shimmer on Phee's products is indescribable and the colour combos are just perfection. The powders are all mineral, making them better for your skin, and they're vegan friendly too! Phee herself is pretty darn good at makeup application and you can see some of her creativity on instagram @Pheesmakeuptips.

2. Crowd Colour Personalised Matte Liquid Lips

Have you ever wanted your own line of make-up? Think Huda Beauty, Zoella, Tanya Burr. Well you too can now have your own personalised range of liquid lipsticks - kind of. Crowd Colour provides a range of personalised palettes, brushes and other items and I think their matte liquid lips would make the perfect Christmas gift! The great thing is, you can personalise it with the person's name or even write a festive message on it. One will set you back £7.99 or you can buy a set of 6 for £35! Perfect for a gift or stocking filler.

3. Burt's Bees Gift sets 

Endless Shine Trio

Burt's Bees have some great Christmas gifts this year (there are just too many to choose from), however in particular I am loving their 'Endless Shine Trio' (£9.99), a selection of three lip glosses, and their 'A bit of Burt's Bees' (£5.99), which includes their classic lip balm and hand salve. The glosses are beautiful in colour and the lip balm has that perfect creamy texture to it, which we all need during these cold months. These would be great as stocking fillers or even as a Secret Santa gift! They have free delivery on all gift sets at the moment and what's even better is that 10% of all proceeds go to the British Bee Keeping Association! We all know how important bees are to our environment so being able to support this great cause while looking beautiful is great.

4. Urban Beauty United 'Smoke Screens' 3 Piece Brush Set

I was lucky enough to receive these at a blogging event and love the look and feel of these brushes. The rose gold ferrule and bright pink hair would look good in anyone's brush kit. These offer real value for money at just £6 and why not pair them with some make-up for a smokey makeup, such as a smokey eyeshadow, for a great little gift set.

5. Dr Botanicals Limited Edition Advanced Light Essence Serum & Neroli and Shea Butter Body Nourishing Cream.

Limited Edition Bottle and Case

This gift is for the skincare lover. Dr Botanicals was a company I was introduced to at the Blogger Halloween Party. I fell in love with the products straight away as they just smelled and felt divine. I have been using these two products for over a month now and have nothing but good things to say about them. The body cream is so thick and creamy and leaves your skin feeling hydrated and nourished. The smell of neroli is so refreshing. The facial essence serum smells of elderflower and gives your skin that certain glow that it lacks in this dull weather. It absorbs into the skin really quickly which I love too. They do a Limited edition bottle for the serum, which comes in an extra special bottle and bamboo case, which I thought would be lovely for Christmas. These are real luxury items and may sound pricey at £113 and £77.90, however I have a 70% discount code (yes you read right) for my readers: 'BLOGDB', which can be used site wide. So knock yourself out and why not spoil yourself too?

6. Flutter Christmas Crackers

What's Christmas without some crackers? I can definitely imagine cracking these around the table (at least with the females). Inside are cute little lip glosses and eyeshadows - perfect for my girls - which i'll be putting into their stockings this year. They would also make great additions to the Christmas tree decorations. They are down to £5 from £8 for a pack of 6.

7. M & S Beauty Advent Calendar

One of the best thing's about the lead up to Christmas is getting to open up the advent calendar every day. The only thing that could possibly beat a chocolate advent calendar is a beauty one! Just imagine  the excitement of opening each door and finding a beauty gift - my idea of happiness. This year I think the M&S one looks fab! The best part is, it only costs £35 when you spend £35 on clothing or beauty, and the contents are worth £250! I think this would make a great pre-Christmas, Christmas gift!

8. MAC Nutcracker 'Sweet Pink' Lipstick Kit

No beauty gift guide this year would be complete without something from the Mac 'Nutcracker' collection. I honestly could have bought the whole line, it was so beautiful. From what's left of it (i.e not sold out) I think the 'Sweet Pink' collection (£26) has some fabulous colours, especially to wear during the festive period, from Christmas to New Year's Eve.

So these are my favourites for this year. I better get a move on as Christmas is so close now. Did you like any of the products? What are you wishing for this Christmas?

Amina xx

*Some products have been gifted however all opinions are my own.


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