Thursday, 31 August 2017

How to get the perfect base!

Hey guys,

Recently I have been loving my base and thought I would share with you what I have been using to create it. (Cue "All about that base" by Meghan Trainor). I am all about the flawless finish to my skin when applying make-up and love for it to look it's best all of the time. I think that might be where my  skin care obsession comes from and, needless to say flawless skin leads to flawless make-up application. I was recently sent a few products by Image Skincare, a brand that was new to me, but I am so glad to have been introduced to them, as their products have upped my skin game. More about them in a little while.

So, to start with, I would recommend a good skincare routine prior to foundation application (see my post here for details).  I cleanse my skin with DHC Cleansing Oil, apply Pixi Glow Tonic as my toner, and have then been using a trio of Bio-essence products. I start with their 24k Gold Water, followed by the 24K moisturiser and then finish off with the 24k Miracle Finisher, I have a whole blog post about this miracle primer here.

If you are looking for that extra glow to your skin I recommend using a sheet mask either the night before or a few hours before make-up application. If you watch my Instagram stories (@aminaali_mua) you will have seen I was blown away by the Image Skincare Bio-molecular Anti-ageing Radiance Mask (£9). It rejuvenated my skin. It contains volcanic water, red algae and anti-oxidants, all of which help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and also work to brighten the skin. I felt like it had literally reset my skin and left it feeling brighter, plumper and even.

Image skincare are the 'fastest growing skincare company in the world'. From what I can see so far this is totally understandable, as I saw results after one use of their mask. I was also sent their foundation, which is another stand out product. The I-conceal Flawless Foundation SPF 30 (£50) is a medium-to-high coverage foundation with a dewy finish. Perfect for the likes of me, who likes to glow! If you have oily skin I would recommend a matte primer. The smoothness of the foundation is lovely and leaves your skin looking silky - almost like a second skin, and the texture is just how I like it. It is more than just a foundation and has a whole host of skincare inside which continues to work on your skin all day. The only down side to the foundation is the lack of shade range. It comes in six colours, however I found the shade I'm wearing (Beige) slightly too light on me and the next shade up would have been too dark. I would love to see some more added to the range, as it grows in popularity, as I could see it as a staple in my kit. The great thing is, I feel like I've finally found that medium-to-high coverage foundation that doesn't leave my face looking cakey. 

I applied it using the Image Skincare 101 Flawless Foundation Brush (£38). This was a brush I knew I would like a soon as I set eyes on it. The perfect density, softness and fantastic shape makes it ideal for foundation application. The brush is angled so meets the skin at exactly the right angle and is so comfortable to hold. I started off by dabbing the product evenly across the skin and smoothing it out and then finally used a patting motion to really set it into the skin. I didn't use powder, as I wanted to demonstrate the true effect of the foundation (see below), however I would usually set with MAC Mineralise Skin Finish and then a fix spray like MAC Prep & Prime.

So that's it guys. I am totally obsessed with my base at the moment and this is how I achieve the perfect one. You can purchase the Bio-essence products  from Superdrug and they currently have 1/3 off! Image Skincare is a professional skincare brand, so you can only buy from stockists. To find your nearest stockist call 0345 504 0461 or email What are your base must haves?

Amina xx

*PR gifts. All opinions are my own.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Palmer's Facial Oil and Exfoliating Scrub Review

Hey guys,

So this week I bring to you a review of some of Palmer's fabulous face products. When I think of Palmer's the first thing that comes to mind is definitely their Cocoa Butter Formula. Their Cocoa Butter Body Lotion is something I have used for years and I don't know why it didn't occur to me that they might do other great products too. So when I was contacted to review some of their other skincare I literally jumped at the opportunity. I love facial oils and if you follow my blog you will know that I love my St Ives Invigorating Exfoliator, so I was intrigued to see if this could compete.

I have been using the Multi-Effect Perfecting Facial Oil and Micro Fine Exfoliating Facial Scrub for a few weeks now. First with the Facial oil, I started off applying it twice a day, morning and night and added it to my skincare routine quite comfortably. However I did find my skin feeling a little too greasy, so I gradually found myself reducing it to once daily at night, as this way my skin could continue to absorb it while I sleep. 

The facial oil comes in a dropper style bottle which makes it really easy to apply straight to the face or drop into the hands. Once applied, I simply massage into the skin. Straight away you feel a suppleness to the skin and your skin is left with a healthy glow. What I have found with continued use it that my skin definitely feels more plump and hydrated.  Some deep lines I have in my forehead have also become less visible. This really fascinated me and encouraged me to look at the ingredients. What I found was some great key ingredients such as Retinol, which increases cell turnover, Vitamin C, which brightens the skin, and Vitamin E, which is great for scarring and Squalene which helps with surface hydration. The fact that you get all these fab ingredients and more all for £9.99 makes it a winner for me. I also love that it doesn't give you that horrible oil smell that some other facial oils have and, occasionally, when I want a really natural but dewy look, I wear this in the day and the natural highlight it gives my cheekbones is the BEST!

Now for the Micro Fine Exfoliating Facial Scrub. Like I said earlier, I like my facial scrub quite invigorating and for the little bits to be quite big to really get the dirt out, as my skin's sensitivity is normal. So as soon as I read 'Super Fine' and that it contained Evening Primrose, which is perfect for soothing, I thought that it would probably be more suitable for sensitive skin. However, when I tried it, I have to say I really liked it. Yes the crushed walnut shells and cocoa powder particles are very small, but it still leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh and smooth. 

Furthermore, because it is so gentle, it just means I can use it more often! I actually found myself using it three times a week, whereas I usually only exfoliate twice a week. Again the smell is lovely and that traditional cocoa butter formula definitely shines through. You can pick it up here for £5.49.

Overall I have to say I am impressed at the quality and ingredients within these products and at such a decent price. I now have my eye on other Palmer's products and definitely want to try some from their Coconut Oil Formula range, especially the hair care for curly locks!

Have you tried anything from the Palmer's range? What's your go to skincare at the moment?

Amina xx

*PR Gift. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Ethical Beauty with ENESS Cosmetics

Hey guys,

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the new launch of ENESS's vegan and natural ranges. ENESS are a cosmetics and toiletries brand I had not heard of before, however their flagship store is in the very centre of Birmingham, and only a short walk from Grand Central on Cannon Street. (For all of you make-up lovers, the shop is where the old MAC pro shop used to be!) and they also sell online.

We were treated to some lovely vegan bites, but unfortunately as I had just had my wisdom tooth removed I couldn't try much! Boo for me, but more importantly I was introduced to their two new ranges. ENESS are all about being ethically responsible and have definitely incorporated it into their products with them being natural, sustainable, vegan, and cruelty free.

Olive & Avocado Range

Cocoa Butter Range
Their two new ranges incorporate all of these features and come in two scents Olive and Avocado, and Cocoa Butter, and come in various types of products, from body creams to reed diffusers. The stand out scent, between the two, had to be the Olive and Avocado as the scent is just so gorgeous, I can only describe it as fresh but a little bit different too. I would be happy for my home to be filled with this scent and have enjoyed lighting the candle I received.

Exotica Africa Argan Range

Strawberry Range
Some other popular ranges include their Exotic Africa Argan Range which is free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil and petroleum and is highly moisturising and nourishing and I think would be perfect for a gift. They also have more basic ranges such as the Strawberry Range where prices start from only £2.

One of the great things about ENESS is that they really care about their products and the environment their products are sourced from, and that's why they support the Save The Rhino Trust in Namibia. So every time you buy an ENESS product you are in some way helping to support this trust too!

I have really enjoyed trying their products and have incorporated them into my daily routine by placing the Cocoa Butter Handwash and Lotion on my bathroom sink. I have been lighting the candle frequently and am besotted with the scent!. Who knew I loved avocado and olive so much?!

So if you are in Birmingham City centre be sure to pop in and check them out, or if it's a little far from home then head to their website here where you can have a browse.

Amina xx

*PR event. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

3INA review and make-up look!

Hey guys,

This week I have created a make-up look using some of 3INA's (pronounced MINA) best sellers. I first heard about 3INA when I was in London around November for a girly weekend, and decided to pop into their Covent Garden branch. I was quite impressed with the range and affordability, but due to time restraints, only walked away with a few bits and bobs. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength and when I was sent some products for review, I was ecstatic as I couldn't wait to try them out properly. 

I was sent three of their bestsellers, and it's pretty clear to see why they are sold out on the website. I received The Cream Eyeshadow in 312 (£8.95), The Longwear Lipstick in 505 (£7.95) and The Highlighter in 201 (£10.95). I had been playing around with them for a few days and decided to use them all to create a make-up look. 

Swatches from top to bottom: The Highlighter in 201, The Cream Eyeshadow in 312, The Longer Lipstick in 505.
I have to say I was really impressed, in particular with The Cream Eyeshadow. It dries to a powder and has fine particles of glitter and shimmer mixed in, which gives the beautiful effect of glitter, without the hassle of gluing it on and the aftermath of glitter everywhere! I think out of the whole range this blew me away the most and for £8.95 was an absolute bargain. The effect it gives is comparable to the Stila Magnificent Metals, but at a third of the price! I am planning on buying quite a few of these for my kit as they are long lasting and there is a range of 18 colours! These can also be used as a highlighter on the cheekbone to add that extra dimension to your make-up.

The next item I loved was The Longwear Lipstick. Long-lasting, pigmented, and a decent liquid lipstick. The formula is creamy and still has a little bit of movement so it doesn't completely dry your lips out. The colour I was sent, in 505, is the perfect brick colour and suits me to a T! Once again, for the price you can't go wrong. Again, these come in a range of 13 colours including a mint green, which is quite intriguing. I can definitely see myself ordering more.

Finally, we come to The Highlighter in 201. The Highlighter gives a very subtle and soft effect which is perfect for everyday wear or for those who don't want a sharp highlight. It is very natural and gives a 'veil of radiance' as described by 3INA themselves. Personally, I like my glow to be lit, like blinding, the kind where it leaves an imprint on the retina. So for me, this isn't something I would buy again, but I can see why it is a sell out.

Now for the make-up look. I used all three products together. For the eyeshadow, I  used a mix of colours (Red Ocre, Venetian Red, Love Letter and Cyprus Umber) from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette and cut a half crease out on the lid with the 3INA Cream Eyeshadow in 312. I used Kat Von D Tattoo liner and applied Nouveau Lashes Glamour Style 3 Strip Lashes  (£4.96) My blush is Charlotte Tilbury in The Climax and is brought quite high up around the temples too. I finished the look by applying 3INA's The Highlighter in 201 and The Longwear Lipstick in 505. So easy, but the Cream Eyeshadow steals the show. All pictures are taken on the iPhone 7 plus and are unedited to show the true effect of the makeup.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried 3INA products before? What do you think of the range?

Amina xx

*PR Gift. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Hair Transformation with Hazel & Haydn!

Hi Guys!

So this week I got my hair transformed by the lovely Dale at Hazel & Haydn in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. My hair was pretty much in dire need of a cut. It was dry, damaged and definitely in need of some TLC. Let me tell you, I was nervous about this appointment as I have had the same hairdresser for ten years! But literally the second I walked into Hazel & Haydn I felt at ease. 

When I walked into the salon I was welcomed with smiles and most, if not all, members of the team made the effort to say hello. I didn't get that intimidated or embarrassed feeling, I just felt comfortable. Dale who owns the Salon explained to me he wanted it to feel like 'you were at home' and that is exactly how I felt. Comfortable. The salon itself is named after Dale's grandparents who were a great support to him throughout his hairdressing career, which I thought was a great tribute. Dale himself is quite the interior decorator and has styled the whole salon himself. I loved the decor and can't wait to see what he comes up with when they move to a larger premises' just down the road, in the next few months!


So what did I get done I hear you say? I opted for a Balayage. A Balayage is a french technique where your hair is lightened but in a very soft and natural way. Long gone are the days of dip dye. This technique gives a very natural and gradual effect. Dale literally painted my hair from top to bottom to get different colours and tones out of the hair. I was so excited to see how the colour would turn out. Dale also took two inches off my length and cut the style back into my hair. I think this is what I was most nervous about, as if you read my blog you know how curly my hair is, but he did a great job. He used Shu Uemura hair care on me throughout my hair transformation and I have literally been blown away by the results. My hair feels so much softer and looks so much healthier!


I was over the moon with the results and think I may have found my new hairdresser! If these before and afters aren't enough to persuade you to pop in for your next haircut, then the fact that Hazel & Haydn recently reached the final of the prestigious Loreal Colour Trophy surely will. They were in the top 25 out of 5000 competitors across the UK! Hazel & Hayden also offer treatments for the body such as hot stone therapy and facials, so next time you are in the Jewellery Quarter make sure you book yourself in or book online here. I definitely will be!

Amina xx

*PR gift. All opinions are my own.


Happy Birthday Dyson Supersonic!

Hi Guys,

A few weeks ago I attended a Dyson Supersonic Hair event to celebrate a year since the release of the hairdryer. I had seen this hair dryer in the news and it caught my attention, mainly because of its unusual look and hefty price tag, but I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and see what all the fuss was about.

The first thing that comes to mind when people talk about Dyson is usually the vacuum cleaner. However since the launch of their revolutionary cleaner they have also branched out into, hand dryers, temperature control and now hair. Can you believe that the technology in hairdryers has not changed for over 50 years? Well that is until now. Let me explain the £300 price tag. This is not a normal hairdryer. Where most hairdryers simply blow out hot air, which continues to get hotter, the Dyson Supersonic has a microprocessor in it which regulates the temperature so at its hottest, will not go above 100 degrees celsius. It blows out 41 litres of air per second, which by the sounds of it is enough to dry your hair very quickly. What's also interesting is the motor is not in the head like conventional hairdryers, it is actually in the handle and is five times faster than a Formula One car! Because the motor is in the handle, this makes holding it a lot more comfortable as the weight is balanced.

The lovely girls at Dyson put on a great presentation and we were also treated to some lovely lip make overs by Dior, and a fabulous hand massage by Aveda at the event. I loved the feel of the hairdryer and can see why it costs so much now, as the amount of technology put into it really does make it a game changer. Would I pay £300 for a hairdryer? I think if you are the type of person to blow dry your hair everyday, then this will save you a whole lot of time, while being quiet at the same time. However for me right now this would be a luxury I can't afford.

If you fancy trying it out for yourself then why not book yourself in for a blow dry with Tracie who is based at John Lewis in Grand Central Birmingham. You can contact her at or DM her on instagram @traciebedwood. Let me know your thoughts. Will you be buying the game changing hairdryer?

Amina xx

*PR event. All opinions are my own.

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