Thursday, 28 December 2017

NYE Make-up look!

Hi guys,

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. This week I am bringing to you a make-up look for New Years Eve. This actually happens to be my christmas look as we never actually do anything for NYE, since having the kids. We are usually wrapped up warm in bed and get awoken at midnight by our neighbours' fireworks. At which point Aaron and I say happy new year to each other and fall straight back asleep. However if you do have something planned, then this make-up look will take you all through the evening into the early hours if needed. 

As I was rushed for time, I literally used three products after I had applied my base and brows. Firstly with the eyes. I used Luminous Bronze Light in my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette to create a bit of depth in the crease of my eye lid. I then applied the Stila Glitter & Glow in Smoky Storm half way over my lid. The sparkle was fantastic and gives the perfect amount of shine. This look is perfect for low lighting as whatever light their is just causes the glitter to sparkle even more. 

For the lips I decided to go with Creeper, a gorgeous matte red from my ColourPop Foxy collection. I can't emphasis enough how good the quality of these Ultra Matte Lips are. My lips lasted 8 hours without a top-up and all while eating non stop. I have always loved ColourPop but limit my purchases because of customs charges.  I don't always go for bold eyes and bold lips but with this look it just works.

I then used the Ambient Lighting palette all over my face! Diffused Light to set under my eyes, Hypnotic Strobe Light to highlight, Luminous Bronze Light again as a bronzer, and Surreal Halo as my blusher. This just tied the whole look together. I opted to go without lashes, but if you want a little added extra, then these Midnight Lashes from Lash Couture's Faux mink collection above would be perfect!

So that is the finished look. I hope you like it! I can't believe another year of blogging and life has gone by. It has been one which has had it's moments but I would be lying if I said I wasn't ready for  2018. Thanks to every one of you who read my blog, it means so much more than you know. I think however, after over 2 years of blogging, Ali & Her is more than ready for a small break. Fingers crossed for all of us that 2018 is one of the best yet. Looking forward to what's to come. Happy New Year! xx

Amina xx

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Getting ready for Christmas!

Hey guys,

Christmas is literally around the corner and I can't wait.  Since I have had kids, Christmas has given us a new found excitement, however it has always been something which brings the family together and brings happiness and joy. Every year I see negative comments on social media about muslims having christmas trees and I seriously don't see what the problem is!? Since when was decorating your house a crime against religion?

 I am Muslim, we never used to have a tree when I was little, not necessarily because my parents said we couldn't, but just because that's just the way it was. Instead I can remember our presents always huddling around a big cheese plant my parents had and then pouring over and around the TV stand. Now in my own house and since having kids, that was one thing I knew I would like to have. Just putting the tree up and decorating it with christmas songs in the background has become a tradition and brings so much joy. I love getting involved with the christmas spirit.

Christmas is such a lovely time. Literally giving my loved ones gifts actually brings me so much happiness and getting to spend time with them, not just on christmas day but the weeks before and after, with most being off work, is the perfect end to the year.  Decorating my house is part of the fun, and that is it, just fun, so if it makes me happy I will continue to do it.

Christmas day is amazing as we all gather at my sister Romana's house, eat a proper Christmas dinner and enjoy each others company. So I thought I would put together a little 'get ready with me', of small bits and bobs I like to wear to get me ready for Christmas day. 

1. Christmas Jumper

Ok what Christmas day wouldn't be complete without a christmas jumper? In all honesty this is my daughter's as mine hasn't arrived yet! But mine is a gorgeous cobalt blue colour from ASOS and has Ho, Ho, Ho written on it in silver, red and gold sequins. It's the one time you can wear one (apart from Christmas Jumper Day) so we may as well make the most of it!

2. Glitter

 I always like to wear a bit of glitter on christmas day. It just gives that added extra and why not add a bit of sparkle. I think Christmas is all about being over the top. This year I will be wearing my Stila  Glitter & Glow in Smoky Storm, a lovely bronze/gold glitter. It literally sparkles so much and is the perfect way to do an easy glitter eye look.  You would have also seen these feature in my Stocking Filler Gift Guide post. It's not too late if you're stuck for ideas!

3. Red Lips

Top: Stila Glitter & Glow -Smoky Storm, Bottom: Chanel Lipstick - Passion

I find Christmas the perfect occasion for red lips. Red just goes with the festivities. I have to admit I don't always wear red lips on Christmas though, mainly because it is hard to maintain as we all know Christmas Day is all about eating, eating and more eating. So be prepared to reapply, but this year I might put in the extra effort and wear my favourite Chanel lipstick in Passion.

4. Jewellery

Keeping with the sparkling theme,  I have picked out a few key items to wear on the day. I'm all for bauble and christmas tree earrings too by the way, but this year I have picked out a couple of understated pieces from my collection. Firstly the lovely Pave Triangle Ear Climber from Stella & Dot, elegant but eye catching.  I will also wear his lovely ring from Accessorise which was bought for me as a Christmas present from my eldest sister, Sophia a few years back. I love the detail and it just shouts Christmas to  me!

5. Nails

Finally is the nails. Christmas Eve (or Christmas 'Eid', as my daughter calls it) also happens to be my sister Sheeba's birthday. So the whole family is always together celebrating. Without fail we will paint our nails and make them as festive as possible. We usually opt for some form of nail art, or glitter. But this year I was introduced to Kiss Impress Nails Fake Nails , and know for sure I will be wearing them! I love this set in particular as the burgundy colour is perfect but it also contains accent nails in a gold glitter . They are long lasting and just what I need to keep my hands looking pretty for a few days! (Also on offer for £5.32 from Superdrug at the moment so stock up!)

I literally can't wait! Hope you all have a fab Christmas and enjoy it whatever you are doing!

Amina xx

*contains PR samples. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Volume 3 Review

Hey Guys,

Recently I received the most unexpected gift I think I have ever received. You may have seen how much I wanted this palette as I mentioned it in my Beauty Wishlist Post, and here I am, the owner of the beautiful Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit (£69).

Let me start from the beginning. My best friends and I had met up to have a browse at the new Fenty collection at Harvey Nicks and to grab some food at The Mailbox. While we were browsing, the Hourglass palette caught my attention and I started telling my friend how amazing it was and how I had wanted it since it launched. I explained how I might put this on my Christmas wish list. Then out of nowhere my friend said she was going to buy it for herself! She said that she trusted my opinion and that it looked really pretty. This didn't strike me as unusual as my friend loves make-up just as much as me, so I shrieked with excitement. To be honest, I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little bit envious of her, but I couldn't justify the £69 price tag, as I was waiting for my mortgage application to go through at the time!

Anyway, we headed off to dinner and then towards the end of our little date we decided to get it out and have a closer look. While we were staring at it with wonder, my friend said ' I bought it for you, you know '. I was so confused, I must have mumbled 'Huh?' or something like that, and then my friend repeated that she bought it for me, as a way to say thank you for all my help over the past few months with her new business she is launching. I was, and still am baffled. I couldn't accept and wouldn't accept until she was ready to leave it lying there at which point... I accepted. I think this is probably the nicest real surprise I have ever had, I was so shocked, I think I wanted to cry. I was confused at how generous and lovely she could be to me for doing something that any friend in my eyes would have done. So this is the story that goes with this review and makes this palette that little bit more special for me. Thank You Sonia.

Now for the review. This palette has lived up to all the expectations I had placed on it. I hadn't read any reviews, I knew from the first time I saw it, I wanted it and had placed expectations on it myself.  Firstly with the price, it might seem expensive, however it is quite good value considering purchasing a power individually costs £40. In the palette you get 6 for £69, even though they are slightly smaller, it is still very much worth it. 

What I love about this palette is that it has every powder you need to get a complete look on your face.nFrom top to bottom, left to right, you have Diffused Light, which is a finishing powder. I use this under my eyes and on the T-Zone section, the areas that need an extra bit of setting and highlight, but it can be used all over the face. Then we have the Hypnotic Strobe Light, which can be used as a highlighter. I use this on the cheekbones, brow bone, down my nose and on my cupid's bow. The last shade on the top row is Dim Light, again meant to be used as a finishing power, however because it is slightly darker I use it more in the contours of my face like the hollow of my cheek. 

Swatches: (Top to bottom) Pure Effect, Surreal Halo, Luminous Bronze Light, Dim Light, Hypnotic Strobe Light, Diffused Light.

On the bottom row we have Luminous Bronze Light, a stunning bronzer which I use around the top of and across my forehead, over my nose and around the jawline. It can be used as a blush too. The final two colours are the Surreal Halo and Pure Effect. Both are intended to use as blushers, Surreal Halo a deeper plum colour and Pure Effect being a pretty pink. I tend to use Surreal Halo on the outside of the cheek and then dab Pure effect right on the apple of my cheeks. What I am left with is a radiant skin, emanating vibrance. The effect is stunning.

I love how versatile the palette is, you can layer colours together or wear on their own and still notice a difference in your makeup and skin. The palette can be worn from day to night with more or less colours being used to suit the occasion. The powders are long lasting and compliment one another so well. Honestly, it is my FAVOURITE beauty product of 2017. Have you tried any Hourglass products? What do you recommend I try next?

Amina xx

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Glossier first impressions!

Hey Guys,

A couple of months ago Glossier launched in the UK. I was so excited as I had heard so many good things about this brand and couldn't wait to get my hands on some of their products. Glossier originally launched in the US as an addition to the beauty website with skincare products that soon became cult favourites. So I decided to try some of these out for myself. I had really high hopes as the reviews had all been so complimentary. 

I decided to purchase the Phase 1 set (£35) which includes, Milk Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturiser, Balm Dotcom in a flavour of your choice. I picked the Birthday edition because... well, its packaging was holographic. I managed to get myself a 20% discount by using one of their rep's links. So if you plan on purchasing, I would suggest searching for one on Instagram. They are pretty easy to find.

So let's start with the Milk Cleansing Jelly. I honestly thought this was going to be the product I loved most. It is described as a conditioning make-up remover which is a bonus, because if my cleanser can easily remove make-up as well as cleanse my skin then I'm onto a winner. It contains Rose water and is said to smell great, but unfortunately I found the opposite. I literally don't know if it was a faulty batch but my cleanser had no smell. I thought it was purposefully odour less but this is one of the things I disliked most. I did like the gel consistency when applying onto the skin as it is quite soothing, however I find it almost impossible to remove. I have to splash my face with water more than 15 times to remove the gel consistency. Otherwise it just feels like it is constantly spreading around my face rather than being removed. Finally after splashing my face with water for 5 minutes I was still left with panda eyes from mascara residue. I was determined to carry on using this as I didn't want the product to go to waste however I am finding it hard.

Next up we have the Priming Moisturiser, again I have to say I'm not a fan. Containing Hyaluronic Acid and vitamins A, C and E I really expected to feel instant results with this one. But it wasn't so. I think it just felt like a standard moisturiser. But it didn't necessarily plump my skin, smooth it or prepare it for makeup. Instead I would say, it simply added a bit of hydration to it. Once again I didn't like the lack of scent.

Now what makes up for the other two products is the Balm DotCom! I was so happy that at least one of the products was great. It has been so conditioning for my chapped lips in this horrendous cold. I am addicted. The Birthday Scent is so sweet and lovely, I have to admit I have tasted it a few times! This particular balm is colourless, but has a subtle shimmer which is nice. What I really liked was that the balm was long lasting. I didn't find myself constantly reapplying, it continued to moisturise. By far this was the stand out product for me.

I think Glossier as a brand is fab. They are still new and still leaning and they value their customers opinions. This was proved so when I left feedback on the feedback email that was sent to me after purchasing. Because I explained how disappointed I was with two of the products they reimbursed me for both. I really appreciated this and it was totally unexpected and unnecessary, however Glossier obviously take customer satisfaction seriously. And honestly having a bad experience with the first two products hasn't put me off the brand, I think I may reinvest the refunded money into some of their other makeup items and more Balm Dotcom! Have you purchased before? What are your thoughts?

Amina xx

Thursday, 30 November 2017

A Bourjois Kissmass!

Hey Guys,

Recently I was sent the Bourjois Vox Box by Influenster. If you haven't heard of Influenster it's a fab app where you can share make-up and product reviews. This wasn't my first box but there were so many goodies to try so I thought I should definitely share them with you. I have been a fan of Bourjois for quite a while, reasonably priced and good quality, I have a few of their lipsticks and love their blushers, mainly because of the lovely scents. Let me take you through the products and be sure to scroll all the way down to see the make-up look I have created! 

First up we have the Heathy Mix Anti-Fatigue Foundation (55 - Dark Beige, £9.99) and Concealer  (52 - Medium, £8.99) . This gives a semi radiant finish and has medium coverage. Those of you who know me, know I love a dewy finish to my foundation. This is somewhere in between matte and radiant however not radiant enough for me. Saying that I was still pleasantly surprised by the effect it gave. It was slightly too light for me, however I warmed it up with a coloured powder. For the price I think it is really good value for money and could easily see myself wearing it again. The concealer was just as impressive as the foundation. It is so great to see drug store brands producing fab quality. I still needed to use a colour corrector for my eye bags though.

The Bourjois Little Round Pot Blushers (£6.49) are some of my fave, so I knew I was going to love this. What's great about their blusher's is that they are not very pigmented. I know this sounds confusing, but it really allows you to build up the blusher which allows for a better blend and more natural effect. The brush that comes with it is actually pretty good as the bristles are quite tough, so when I'm in a rush I use it more, as it allows for quicker application. The effect this blusher gave was beautiful.

Top to Bottom: Blusher in Golden Rose, Foundation in Dark Beige, Concealer in Medium

The gorgeous Xmas Smoky Stories Quad (£7.99) is perfect for Christmas. The eyeshadow quad has everything you need for a full eyeshadow look. Even down to the glitter! I found the products easy to blend and the glitter was so sparkly. I could have got even more of a glittery effect if I had used a glitter glue. The shades have been chosen to compliment one another so make it really easy. 

Now the Metallic Lip Creams (£7.99) just blew me away. I couldn't get over how vivid the colours were. They felt so silky and smooth on the lip and can even be toned down by blotting the excess product off to get less of a glossy effect. The colours are just beautiful and I will definitely be wearing over the festive period.

Top to Bottom: 500, 300, 100

Finally for the Push Up Volume Glamour Mascara (£8.99)! This does exactly what it says, provides you with loads of volume, Personally I like a mascara that does a little more lengthening and less volume but I was really happy with the results I achieved with it. I would happily purchase this again. 

Overall I was really happy with all of the products in the box. There was not a product I disliked. I am so happy for the opportunities I get, as it really does allow me to try products I might not have otherwise picked up. I think there are some really fab products in here for the party season ahead and can't wait to get using them. What do you think of the make-up look? I'm totally getting eighties vibes! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Amina xx

*products featured in this post are complimentary from Influenster.


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
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