Thursday, 23 November 2017

Stocking Filler Gift Guide!

Hey Guys,

This week I am bringing to you a gift guide for stocking fillers, however saying that some of these would also make great actual gifts on their own too. They would also be perfect for those Secret santa's where you are on a budget. They are all beauty related so if it ain't your thing then click away now!

1. Stila - Written in the Stars Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow set (£25)

This is such a beautiful gift set. It contains three of the magnificent metals liquid eyeshadows in mini format. For the price I think this is great as it allows you to try three different colours for around the same price as what one would usually cost. The effect these give is stunning and so sparkly I just can't get enough. This is one of the pricier items on my list and would equally make a fab christmas present or stocking filler.

2. Kiss - ImPRESS Gel Fake Nails (£7.99)

Such a lovely stocking filler. Not only am I 'impressed' (excuse the pun! Come on, it is christmas!) by the range of gorgeous designs, but also how secure these feel on the nail. I think I can honestly say these are the best false nails I have ever tried. They fit my nails so perfectly and they have been designed to look like a gel nail. They appear so professional and would be a hit in any beauty lover's stocking. I really enjoyed wearing them myself and have a pair ready for Christmas day!

3. Kiss - Lash couture (Midnight, £7.99) & Natural False Lashes (Shy, £4.99)

Who doesn't love false lashes? Well whatever lash effect you want, from dramatic to natural, Kiss have you covered. I was particularly wowed by the Lash Couture range as they give a faux mink effect. They are 3D and also have a mix of brown and black coloured hairs in them to make them look even more effective. Gift one as a stocking filler and do yourself a favour, buy a pair for you too.

4. Leighton Denny - Two of a Kind Nail Polish Duo (Real Treasure & Down Memory Lane, £10)

Without fail, every year I get some sort of nail polish combo as a gift and out of a lot of sets, these limited edition colours really stand out to me. Leighton Denny is a great nail brand and you can rely on the quality of the nail polish. You get two mini nail polishes for £10 and I think the colours are great for the festive season. The packaging also gives me christmas cracker vibes so it's a hit for me!

5. Spacemasks - (£3.50 each OR £15 for pack of 5)

So this might not seem like an obvious stocking filler but let me tell you whoever is on the receiving end of these will thank you! If you haven't heard of Spacemasks, it's essentially an eye mask that when you apply to your face, start to warm up using some kind of crazy scientific power (iron filings react to oxygen creating heat). The end result is a warm soothing eye mask with the added extra of Jasmine. I suggest buying a box of five and adding one to everyone's Christmas present!

This is one of the most expensive items on the list. And to be honest I would be happy with this as a christmas gift rather than stocking filler because of the price and size (each lipstick is 4cm in length.) However saying that, the colours included are some of the most popular from the Hot lips collection and I absolutely love mini's as it allows you to try a range of colours. From left to right you get, Kim K W, Carina's Love, and Secret Salma, a great mix of colours.

7. So...? Fragrances - Body Mists (£3.99)

I featured these fab body mists on my blog a few weeks back (click here) and I think they would be a perfect addition to any stocking. Lovely mists that are light and fresh. There are a range of scents to choose from to suit whoever you are purchasing for. Mine have constantly been in my handbag since I got them so would definitely recommend as an add on to a christmas gift.

And that's it for my stocking fillers post. Just a few items I think any beauty lover would be happy to receive. Have you started your christmas Shopping yet? I haven't! Eek, I better get on it!

Amina xx

*This post contains PR samples. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Life Update!

Hey guys,

It's been ages since I did a personal post and a lot of things have changed recently so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to fill you guys in and get a few things off my chest.

So September marked a milestone for my family. My baby, angel, bubbles, Zinnia started school. This is such a momentous achievement because when I think of her as a baby to where she is now it's pretty remarkable. It might sound cliche, but she has grown into such an intelligent, caring, mindful little girl and I could literally burst with pride thinking about her standing there in her uniform. She is born in August and this makes her the youngest in her class, but I can confidently say she was more than ready for school.

With Zinnia starting school, I also felt like it was time for my little Princess, Choochi, Sabine to get a little bit more structure to her day, so decided to start her in nursery. She is 2 and a half now and I felt like she needed it. She is such a beautiful and clever little thing, and her cheekiness is admirable but I knew this would be put to the test with her starting nursery. She talked the talk, in that she was boasting to everyone she was going to start nursery, however when the settling in sessions started, she was distressed. She does three full days, 8am to 4pm, while I'm at work. She still has a little cry in the mornings, but I guess these things take time. They tell me she plays happily once she has calmed down in the morning. But then when I see her as I walk through the door she bursts into tears again. It's quite sweet actually. Her little lips and big eyes stunned at seeing me and then all of a sudden a burst of emotion as she is reminded of the hurt. However, she has had the odd occasion where she sees me and runs to give me a hug so all in all she is getting better.

My husband has also started working full time. We were previously both working part time and then spending equal days looking after the girls. Whilst I was at work he would look after the girls and when he was at work I would. So in a weird way my routine is the only one that has stayed the same, working three days as a teacher and freelancing as a make-up artist the rest of the time, but obviously with the girls starting school and nursery and Aaron starting back full time, all these changes have affected me too in the strangest of ways.

I'm a little lost. I guess it had taken me about 4 years to get used to the idea of the fact that I am mum  and literally when I became comfortable in my skin and routine, all of a sudden I feel like I have lost my identity all over again (see my Identity Crisis post here). Which is stupid. I mean I am literally telling myself that this feeling is ridiculous. I can't help but feel I have lost a little bit of my girls. I have absolutely no idea what they get up to when they're at school/ nursery. Even being a teacher myself and understanding the curriculum and what it's like for children at school, I still find it hard to deal with the fact that I don't know what they're getting up to. God help me when they become teenagers and want to go out on their own (not happening). 

And then comes the bout of guilt again. Anytime I'm not with them (unless I'm working) I feel guilty. 'Oh I shouldn't leave them, I hardly see them now they're at school/nursery.' Which is bull because I do and I know I deserve time to myself. I think I'm my own worst enemy and my biggest critic. I still have a lot of guilt towards Zinnia for being a first time mum quite young and not knowing what I was doing. Which again is ridiculous as I did the best I could and everyone experiences this as first time mums. It's like feeling guilty for her being first and Sabine second, but someone has to go first. I realise what I'm saying is so irrational but it's a feeling and that's all. This motherhood malarky is the most complicated thing I have ever done.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen in my stories we have also decided to move house. We haven't been here long and I love my house but I'm also thinking about my girls future and I want the absolute best for them so I will do whatever I can to get that for them. Exciting things are happening and I will keep you all posted!

Amina xx

Thursday, 9 November 2017

NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Creams

Hi guys,

A few weeks back the lovely Safiyah Tasneem let me guest post on her blog. I love her blog so much and it's always lovely for me when I do get a chance to, so I thought I would share it with you all too.

This week I am bringing you a review of the NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Creams (£7), which come in a range of 18 colours! These lip creams are truly beautiful to look at. They offer a high shine gloss with beautiful specks of shimmer within to give that extra sparkle.

The colours that were sent for review are the most wearable, for everyday, out of the range. I am obsessed with nudes so these were perfect for me and I feel there is a colour to suit every skin tone. Also included in the range are blues and greens, which I can imagine are beautiful in their own right. The packaging is simple and sleek with a little black crystal on top of the lid for that extra luxury. The formula on these is very thick hence being called a lip cream. however not sticky in the slightest. I find that you can wear these in one of two ways. Either apply a very thin layer to get a slight shimmer or you can build up the layers to get a very glossy, full metallic colour. Either way the effect is pretty. 

Top to bottom: Galactic Love, Celestial, Retro Harmony, Crystalized Metal, Metropolitan Night
The effect you get from these is stunning if you like your glosses. Personally, I have been getting more use out of wearing them to parties or weddings. The durability of these is quite short lived and I have found myself reapplying after a couple of hours, however this is understandable considering the high shine and shimmer. I am happy to do this on a night out but may get tired of repeating this throughout the day. I would also advise moisturised lips as otherwise the formula can get stuck within the creases of your lips. I have actually tried wearing these on the eye lids as glossy lids are totally in, and they can totally double up as an eye cream too. 

Overall I really like the lip creams and would recommend. My favourite colour has to be Retro Harmony and Crystallised Metal. Probably down to the rose gold vibes. Obviously! Which colour is your favourite??

Amina xx

*PR Sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

CND Vinylux Weekly Polish Review

Hey Guys,

Let me start with saying I love the feeling of having freshly painted nails. It just makes my hands look so pretty and feels like a little bit of luxury. It's such a treat for me to set aside some time and pamper myself. The dream is to be able to go to a salon and get them done professionally, however I just don't have the time or the money! I think I have found a great alternative. Cue CND Vinylux Weekly Polish.* If you haven't heard of CND before, it may be because they are widely used in professional salons. However with the release of their weekly polish it is now easier for us to get this salon quality at home. The idea is you apply two coats of nail polish and one coat of the top coat and you are left with nails that will last up to 7 days.

Left to Right: Radiant Chill, Ice Bar, Alpine Plum.

The four polishes I was sent are:- Radiant Chill (£6.95, 15ml), a beautiful rose gold colour, Ice bar (£6.95, 15ml), a shimmering iridescent colour, which works great as a topper, Alpine Plum (£6.95, 15ml), a metallic lilac and finally the weekly top coat. I have enjoyed wearing the colours, together, on top of each other and creating feature nails using them. Tried and tested, I can say they do actually last the seven days, as long as you use the top coat. The top coat is where the long lasting technology comes in. With exposure to natural light over time the nail polish becomes more durable and long lasting. This also explains the black bottle it comes in (as to not allow any light into the bottle). The only wear I saw after seven days was slight chipping near the bottom of the nail, where natural wear and tear would occur. 

In the above pictures I applied Ice bar over the Ring finger nail to create a shimmer over the top of the other colours. I really liked this effect and think it added a little dimension to the nails. One thing I will say is the nail polish has a very strong smell. As do most nail polishes, however I put this down to the fact these are salon quality nail polishes. The rounded shape of the brush and formula of the nail polish make it very easy to apply. The bottles suggest two coats of nail polish however I only applied one as the colour pay off was great. I would recommend buffing the nails prior to application to totally smooth your nails out, as the metallic effect can cause the ridges in your nails to show a little more.

Overall I am really impressed with the nail polishes and think they would make a great stocking filler or gift. The colours are perfect, so feminine and perfect for the upcoming Winter months. Have you used CND before? Which colour is your favourite?

Amina xx 

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

So...? Fragrance

Hey guys,

Do you remember 'So...?' fragrances? For some reason they totally appear in my memory from the 90's. I remember being a kid and my sisters buying the body sprays from the local pharmacy (drugstore). But I have a 10 year period of complete blank. I don't know why, because we were so obsessed with them. More recently I have seen them in stores again and on the blogosphere, so when they contacted me I couldn't wait to review their new range and see if they were still as good as they used to be.

First up from the floral scents range we have the Fresh Floral Body Mist (£3.99). This is such a lovely fresh scent. It totally reminds me of fresh linen and that really clean kind of smell, which I love. It has a blend of peach blossom and peony flowers, which literally smell how they sound. I have found myself wearing this quite a lot. Also, because they are fragrance mists, I find myself reaching for them when I don't want too much of a dominant smell. It's a scent you can wear all year round and personally I think is suited to day wear.

The packaging on these is so eye catching, made from plastic, but look like glass. They look fab on my dresser all lined up. I was also sent the Sweet Pea Body Mist (£3.99). This has a very irresistible aura. It smells so sweet, and makes you smell almost good enough to eat! It is made up of white flower and sugary sweet pea. This is definitely more suited to an evening as it is so strong. Honestly, it is probably my least favourite out of the collection, as I'm not a fan of sweet scents, but even so, I have still worn it a few times and would class it as a nice scent.

The final scent I was sent to try is Sheer Illusion, which comes in a body mist (£3.99) and a Eau De Parfum (£5.99). This was by far my favourite scent. It just smells so opulent and luxurious. The fact it came in a Parfum is perfect too, as this is a scent I would like to wear all day and last that little bit longer. It's the kind of scent you could wear from day to evening and is quite sexy and feminine. Its has mandarin, bergamot, with rose and jasmine and a sandalwood base. All beautiful, chic scents that just work together so effortlessly and without being overbearing. This is the scent that has stood out and had people asking me what I'm wearing.

Overall, for the price, I think these are all such good value for money. They last long but don't feel heavy on. I am so glad I was reintroduced to 'So...?'. I have a reignited love for the brand. These are definitely a product I will continue to use on myself and my daughters! Have you tried 'So...?' before? What fragrance should I try next?

Amina xx

*PR gift. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Cohorted Beauty Box October Review

Hey Guys!

This week I am bringing to you a review of October's Cohorted Beauty Box. If you are a fan of subscription boxes then you would have definitely heard of this box. It contains luxury, high end products, which are sent to your door every month. This is one of the most sought after subscriptions boxes on the market. At £35 it doesn't come cheap, so I thought I would share whether or not I thought it was actually worth it!

1. Doucce Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette - RRP £50

First up we have a gorgeous eyeshadow palette by Doucce, not a brand I had heard of until now. This stole my attention straightaway, a beautiful eyeshadow palette with 12 shades. 6 matte and 6 shimmers. The colours in this palette are lovely for everyday and the shimmers have little particles of glitter in, so it's the perfect palette to go from day to night. I love the fact that the pans are all removable and the casing is magnetic, so you can personalise your palette or just use the shades you need. When swatching the shades, the shimmers are what stood out to me, but that may be because I'm a bit obsessed with anything sparkly. Think like a moth to a flame. (Ew.) The matte shades were lovely colours, but not particularly pigmented. An added bonus was the large mirror in the casing. You make your £35 back on this palette alone as it is worth £50.

2. Clarins Gloss Prodige - RRP £16

This is a clear gloss that can be worn on its own or over another lipstick to make it glossy. A smooth, gel like formula, that is really comfortable to wear. Having never tried Clarins before I am actually quite impressed with this product and can definitely see myself using it over other lipsticks.

3. Pixi by Petra Brow Tamer - RRP £12

Another clear gel formula, but this time for those bushy brows. I really liked the formula of this product and am so glad I was introduced to it. It is something I probably would have never tried it, as I swear by my Benefit Clear Brow Gel. The formula somehow manages to keep your eyebrows set in place without them going hard. It contains aloe vera so actually conditions your hairs while it sets. A hit for me.

4. Lancome Advanced Genefique (5ml X 2) - RRP £10

This is one of Lancome's most popular serums for all skin types. It claims to 'reduce fine lines' and 'improve skin's radiance and clarity'. For me, this was probably the biggest let down in the box, as I feel like I can go into store and ask for a sample of this. It doesn't give me that excitement or interest that I usually get when I see the contents of a beauty box. This may have been because I have received samples of this before, when browsing in store or purchasing a mascara, for example. One good thing is at least there are two samples. So in total, you have 10ml worth of product to help you decide whether it's the serum for you.

5. The Innate Life Rose Hair Elixir - £12

The last product in the box is this lovely hair oil. Let me tell you, the smell of it is just so divine, I want to smother it all over my body. It is quite a small bottle and comes with a dropper, however this stuff is strong, so don't worry about the size. A little goes a long way, just a few drops of this leaves your hair looking shiny and less frizzy. If you read my post on my Curly Hair Saviours, you will know how much I struggle, but this gives my hair that nourishment it needs. It contains over 15 plant oils and can be used pre-styling for heat protection or rubbed into the scalp to condition the roots. I have really enjoyed using it and the fact it leaves my hair smelling of roses is a bonus!

My overall thoughts on the box is that it is definitely worth it! You are getting high end products at a great price. The value of the box is £100, even though I'm not sure I would put a price on the samples. Even considering those, 4 out of 5 great products isn't bad. I would definitely recommend!

Have you purchased the Cohorted Beauty Box before? Are you tempted to subscribe?

Amina xx

*PR Gift. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Glossy Eyes with 3INA make-up

Hey guys,

I have spoken about the make-up brand 3INA on my blog before (see here) and was recently sent some of their new releases to try. The range focuses on the eyes, with a gel, gloss, eyeshadow and brow products. The most exciting by far for me was The Eye Gloss which I will tell you more about.

I have always been a gloss kinda gal. I was obsessed with lip glosses in my teens and would often go out with nothing but lip gloss on. My love of gloss also extended to my eyes, I would use vaseline and lather it on my lips and eyelids after seeing Natalia Imbruglia rocking it in the 90's. I love that dewy shiny look, it's totally me and I have done make-up looks using glosses before (see here), so when I saw The Eye Gloss (Shade 503, £9.95) I couldn't wait to try it out because the colour was something I hadn't tried before. 

This is by far the stand out product for me in the collection. It is so effective and so easy to use as it comes with a sponge applicator attached. You simply twist and the product pushes up into the sponge. All I have applied on my eyes in the pictures below is the eye gloss with some mascara. So simple, but really pretty. It can also be applied on top of eyeshadow to create another dimension and texture. It isn't tacky or sticky on the eye and feels weightless. I can definitely see myself wearing it through the coming months and maybe contrasting with a matte lip. That reminds me, you can double it up as a lip gloss too!

Another product I was sent was The Duo Eyeshadow (shade 606, £10.95). At first I thought this was quite pricey but I soon realised this was because you are getting three eyeshadows essentially. A brown, gold and then where the two eyeshadows meet, they have been mixed, thus creating a third colour. The eyeshadow is actually quite creamy and a great little compact. It can create a full eyeshadow look with gold on the lid, brown through the crease and the mixed colour in the middle of the eye lid. Or all used separately. Thumbs up from me.

Swatches top to bottom: The Duo Eyeshadow 606 (Gold, mixed, brown), The Eye Gloss 503, The Gel Liner in Soft Brown

The final product I tried out was The Gel Liner (shade 801, £9.95). I am partial to a gel liner, I just find using a gel gives the best colour and smoothest line. However I'm not sure I like the formula of this gel. When I applied it to my eyes I found it quite hard to work with. It didn't apply smoothly and was a little crumbly. It could have just been that the product had dried out. I think if you add a mixing medium like MAC Mixing Medium or Ingot Duraline then this would definitely make it more workable.

3INA are definitely exciting me as a brand as they are creating products that are easy to use, but with high impact. What do you think of the eye gloss trend? Will you be trying it out?

Amina xx

*PR gift. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Beauty Wishlist!

Hey Guys!

This week I am bringing to you my beauty wishlist. These are things that I have wanted for a long time or items that haven't even been released yet, either way I can't wait to get my hands on them. Basically, I just needed to get this off my chest and I feel by having a post dedicated to them, it will make me feel like wanting them less. That doesn't make any sense does it?! Anyway...

This is a limited edition Rose Gold palette and the shades just call out to me. I have lusted over all of the Ambient Lighting Palette but for some reason this one particular has my name written all over it.  I have always loved blushers, but this combines beautiful blushers with highlighters and a bronzer, all encased in a rose gold casing. The colours are perfection. Want. Need.

I am so excited for this new foundation by Huda Beauty, released later this month. Two years in the making, Huda has promised this foundation to be like no other. With a shade range of 30, there must be a match for me. From what I have seen from Huda wearing it herself, the finished look is seamless and I know I am going to need to try this. Only downside is there are no Huda Beauty counters anywhere near me so I'm going to have to guess my shade. Wish me luck!

Keeping in the theme of Huda Beauty. Her newly released Dessert Dusk Palette looks absolutely stunning. Released on the same day as the NARS X Christopher Kane palette was, I opted for the NARS (see review here). But this hasn't left me wanting the Dessert Dusk any less. Twilight, Retrograde and Cosmo are so enticing. But I can't justify buying as I have a lot of the other colours from other brands or palettes. Still would love it in my collection though.

Recently I got a sample of the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse OR dry oil from the My Little Box subscription box and was pleasantly surprised by the scent and effect the oil has on my skin. I have heard so much about this oil and read a lot of reviews and wondered what the fuss was all about. I love it so much I now want the shimmer version which has particles of glitter within it, leaving your skin glowing. 

Do I even need to say anything... Barry M has a range of Liquid highlighters and they are all so pretty. This one in particular just gives off unicorn fairy mermaid vibes. So what can I say. I want it. I don't know if it will suit my skin tone but that's not going to stop me. It comes in a bottle with dropper style dispenser and can be applied directly onto the face and blended with a beauty blender, brush or fingertips.

Again, one I have wanted for a very long time. Stila have a range of colours and you apply simply by swiping the applicator over the eye. It leaves you with the effect of eyeshadow and glitter without having to apply eyeshadow and glue glitter on separately. They are so pretty and easy, I just want one in my collection. They can be pricey at £23 but I have managed to find them for £19 here, so am extremely tempted!

This is one of those products I have wanted to try forever. This beauty elixir is raved about and it's a skincare item that so many people swear by. I love Caudalie as a brand and how they use natural ingredients in their products. The main ingredient behind a lot of their products are grapes specially grown in france which makes them quite unique. Unfortunately I don't own anything from this brand yet ,but the beauty elixir is definitely on my wishlist.

With Fenty Beauty by Rihanna having recently launched I have been super intrigued by all of her products and have been reading many reviews to get my head around which of her products I need. However, the more I read the more I felt like maybe I could give it a miss. That is, until I saw her holiday collection. The oil slick packaging on the lipsticks is drawing me towards them and that eyeshadow palette looks like it has a little bit of everything. This is definitely on my one to watch list and I'm sure it will be a sell out.

So that's my beauty wishlist for now. I feel so much better now I have got them all off my chest and have something to look back at when I feel like treating myself. What's on your beauty wishlist?

Amina xx