Thursday, 27 July 2017

Newbies to my skincare routine!

Hey guys,

Over the past month I have been changing my cleansing routine up a little bit. I find with my skin, once it gets used to a product, it's almost like the product stops working as effectively, and I need to switch things up a bit. Luckily this change coincided with me being sent some skin cleansing products! I received the SENSSE Silicone Cleansing Facial Brush and Exfoliator. I had only ever used my hands to cleanse with before so was intrigued to try it. Aside from the exfoliator, I have also been introduced to a great skincare brand called DHC, which I had heard a lot about but never tried, so was equally intrigued to test.

The SENSSE cleansing brush comes in a very sleek, nicely packed box, which I feel gives it a touch of luxury. Plus when I opened the package I was surprised to find a lovely pink storage bag thrown in for extra measure. The design of the cleanser is very sleek, with rose gold details. Come on, who doesn't love a bit of rose gold?! Selecting the middle button switches the cleanser on and lights it up. You have an up arrow button to increase the vibration and down arrow to decrease the vibration depending on the strength you want. I really like this feature as it gives you more control.

Another fab feature is that you can turn the cleanser around and use the back as a tool to massage your face. I think this is one of the things I loved most about the brush as a daily facial massage increases blood and keeps your skin looking youthful. I usually massage my face with my hands but having the vibration definitely adds a bit extra. Overall, I think it's a great addition to my routine and my skin has been left glowing, which is probably due to the fact that the silicone bristles also work as an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells in a gentle way.

I have been using the brush with the DHC Deep Cleansing oil. I apply the oil to my un-dampened skin with my hands first and then dampen the cleansing brush and move it around the whole face for that extra clean feeling. The packaging is simple and that's because the oil speaks for itself. One of these are sold every 10 seconds around the world and that's simply because it works. I have used this over a full face of make-up and it seems to just melt the make-up away. With it being an oil, I had the misconception that it would leave my skin feeling oily, but that was not true at all.  When washed off, my skin was left feeling moisturised, soft and hydrated. Needless to say I am converted.

For days where I have heavy duty eyeshadow on, I like to cleanse with the Nouveau Lashes Eye Make-up Remover. It's so soft and gentle on the eyes and removes every little bit of make-up, including waterproof mascara. It is a gel formulation and can be used on natural lashes and lash extensions. You can apply it to a cotton pad and then to the eyes, however I also like to use my finger tips too. I usually do this first and then apply the DHC cleansing oil all over the face after. I also use it on a cotton bud to clean my strip lashes!

So that's it guys. Some of the recent cleansing products I have been using. Let me know if you have any must-have products I need to try!

Amina xx

*PR gifts. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A massage with a difference!

Hey Guys,

A couple of weeks a go, I got invited to the Shared Beauty Secrets (SBS) Treatment Rooms in Birmingham, for a massage by the lovely Veronica. It couldn't have come at a better time, as my shoulders were so hunched from my bad posture, and my eye bags were so black from sleep deprivation, that I would have been crazy not to take her up on the offer.

The SBS treatment rooms are located in a newly-built residential home (which was a bit unexpected) and the services that are offered are fantastic. From manicures to massages, they have everything covered to get you feeling pampered and relaxed, and that's definitely how I felt leaving there. The brand's first ever treatment room was located on Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island; so boasting celebrity clients, I was really excited to try it out!

I am lucky enough to have been on the receiving end of a quite a few massages in my time. I have tried hot stone massages and even sports massages for when I'm in desperate need of rejuvenation. However, what The Treatment Rooms have to offer is something quite unique and special; the lava shell massage.

Let me tell you more. It is not like a normal massage, lava shells are the world's first self heating massage tool, which means they can emit heat for over an hour, so you can continuously be massaged  without any breaks. The shells are incredibly smooth and soothe the body with heat as an added extra. I consistently found myself falling asleep as I was so relaxed. This has never happened to me before, so I was really surprised. The shells are used together with Kokolokahi massage oils, which have been created to target 'mind, body and soul'. The Kokolokahi oils have five themes: Fire (Strength), Air (Revive), Earth (Balance), Water (Serenity) and Spirit (Harmony). You are encouraged to inhale the scents of each and pick the one you are drawn to most. I found myself drawn to Harmony and it did exactly what it was designed to do: 'rediscover an emotional balance with improved sleep and a renewed energy of the soul'. No wonder I was drawn to it!

I literally can't wait to book myself in for my next treatment and can honestly say it was the most relaxing massage I have EVER had!

The SBS Treatment Rooms not only offer their own treatments, but have a lovely sauna and swimming pool too. You may expect more facilities in a spa, but if you combine them with an afternoon tea at cosy-yet-stylish bar, it makes for a great, intimate spa day! For more information click here to visit their website or call 0121 516 0854 to get yourself booked in! They also have a newly launched Salon App which makes it even easier to book in! 

Amina xx

*PR gift. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

eBay Beauty Bargains

Hey Guys,

So I know for those of you who follow me on instagram (@aminaali_mua), this post has been a long time coming, and I've finally managed to sit down and write it. A couple of months ago I purchased a few items from eBay and then went ahead and purchased some more, so this is a little round up of some great finds, all of which are under £6, if can you believe it?!

1. Phone Selfie Ringlight - (£5.88)

The first thing I need to talk about is this fantastic ring light. No it is not going to give you the effect an actual ring light does, but they cost around £200, are 10x the size and I don't have that kind of money! What it does do is enhance the pictures I have been taking. It is a great little gadget that adds radiance to any photo. It has three light settings and I paid a little extra for this particular one because it is rechargeable. I would 100% recommend this!

2. 4 Piece Eyeshadow Blending Set - (£2.99)

I first heard about this set on Safiyah Tasneem's blog in her eBay brushes under £5 post (click here), She hadn't reviewed them herself, but had linked to them. What stood out to me about these were that they were natural hair and when 'MAC dupes' gets mentioned I had to try them for myself. Overall, they are decent brushes. They pick up product well and blend eyeshadows nicely. The range of shape and size make them great for creating different eyeshadow looks. However, the brushes were a lot less dense than I anticipated. To the point where there was literally a gap in the ferrule. Because of this, I think the fall out of the bristles will be quite high and don't think they will last very long after regular washing. However, for now, they do the job.

I originally had a brush egg but this just wasn't cutting it, especially after I have had a few clients in a day. I needed something a bit bigger to clean my brushes on. This mat does the job and is just the right size. It has different patterns within it for cleansing different brush sizes and also a rinsing section. It also has suction pads on the bottom so it doesn't slip around on the bottom of the sink. Would I recommend? YES.

4. Highlighter Brush - (99p)

I had been looking for a brush of a similar size for a long time but I didn't want to have to pay the price tag. When I saw this one on eBay for 99p I thought there was no harm in giving it a go. It has synthetic bristles and actually seems to pick the product up reasonably well considering. The size of it is just right for highlighting that cheekbone and I have been enjoying using it on myself. It could also be used to blend out a contour. I'm not totally convinced on this one though and am still on the hunt for a better one. Can't complain for the price though!

5. 3 pairs false lashes - (£1.65)

First of all, these are very different to the eyelashes that were advertised on the eBay website. However I had seen Iqra from The Blushing Giraffe wear them and thought they looked amazing on her, so bought them anyway. The biggest difference I noticed was the length. These are a little shorter than the ones that are advertised however still a decent false eyelash. What I will say is the band is quite thick and the lashes don't curl as much as I would like them too. They definitely need curling before applying and because of the thick band I had to fidget with them a little before I got them to sit right. It's worth giving them a go because of the price, however I don't think I will be purchasing again, as I don't think they suit my eye shape and I don't have the patience to fuss over my lash application!

Yes guys that is 12 brushes for under £3! Not bad I hear you say? If I am completely honest, I totally bought these by mistake thinking they were the set below. Silly me. They have a great range of styles to create fabulous make-up looks. It is harder to pick up product and to blend, however it is do-able. I love that they are pink and rose gold and this really drew me towards them. They would make a great little starter set, or in my case, blog prop, however if you are willing to spend a pound and few pennies more, I would scroll down to the piece de resistance!

These are the ones guys. Again thank you to Safiyah for recommending them as they are such a bargain and fabulous at that! They pick up product beautifully and are great to blend with. I particularly like the small blending brush (6th from the right) for creating cut crease looks. It also contains a rounded blending brush (2nd from right) and flat blending brush (2nd from left). This is a great set and can't recommend it enough. I have had a little fall out, but nothing to worry about, and I would say the precision cut of the brushes isn't the best, but I resolved this issue by cutting them into shape myself! Buy, buy, buy.

So that's my post guys! I hope you like some of the picks and let me know if you have any bargain eBay buys as I am always on a look out!

Amina xx

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Stella & Dot Accessories

Hey guys,

Recently I went to a fabulous event held by the lovely girls at Stella & Dot. I have to admit, I had never heard of the brand before, but once I did a quick search on good old google, I knew I had found something special. Stella & Dot are a jewellery brand who also do other accessories. They originate from the U.S and have something to cater for everybody. They have stand out pieces that are both multi-functional and beautiful at the same time. What I particularly like about this brand is they offer something a little bit different to most UK accessory brands. If you are the type of person who loves to gift unique presents, or likes to be the person who is wearing something no one else has, then this post is definitely for you.

Stella & Dot are accessible online in the UK, but also offer a 'Trunk Show' whereby a stylist can come to your house and style you and a few of your friends. A great excuse for a girls night in, in my opinion, but also a fantastic way to judge the quality for yourself. The quality definitely stood out to me, so my first impression was that the price tag would match, however I was surprised to hear half of their catalogue is under £40. There are some bigger pieces that have a lot of bead work, or are multi-functional (in that you can wear them different ways or detach to make different styles), that do carry a heavier price tag, but in my opinion they are totally worth it!

Gita Tassel Earrings (£36)

Something that definitely stole my attention at the event was the Bespoke Collection. These are pieces that you can get personalised, with a special date or initial for example. The gold pieces are plated up to eight times, so there is no worry of them discolouring! There are also lovely stories behind some of the pieces. For example, the Chantilly Lace Cuff (£85) seen in the pictures above has actually been taken from the owner's Grandmother's wedding dress, who is also the inspiration for the name of the company. Everything about the brand is personal and pays attention to detail, which I really think makes them stand out from the crowd.

City Slim Clutch (£45) & Simple Knot Cuff (£32)
 Like I said earlier, the brand don't just stop at jewellery, they also sell accessories such as sunglasses, scarves and bags. All of which add a little something extra to any outfit. The style and quality of the products speak for themselves. The Wesley Sunglasses - Tortoise (£115) are sturdy and I love the feline shape. The City Slim Clutch (£45) is so sleek and stylish and its name suits it perfectly. I love the lining inside too as it adds a little quirkiness.

One of my favourite pieces from the whole range have to be these PavĂ© Triangle Ear climbers - Gold (£32). I actually saw them on one of the stylists at the event and fell in love! They give the illusion of multiple piercings and look so stylish and classy. I decided to do a makeup look to go with and matched them to my liner, and my contour! I have already worn them numerous times and have had so many compliments on them. I also have really sensitive ears, so am always extra careful when wearing earrings, however have not had any problems! 

I am so happy to have found this fabulous brand and can't wait to start making some purchases. I'll try not to get carried away.  If you are interested in hosting a 'Trunk Show'  or even becoming a stylist, then definitely head to the website for more information, as from what I can see the perks are amazing!

Amina xx

*PR Gifts. All opinions are my own.