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
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