Wednesday, 12 December 2018

2018 Christmas Beauty Gift Guide!

Hey everyone!

As we are edging closer to Christmas I thought it would be a good time to do a beauty gift guide. All the things in this gift guide are things I would love as a present and are tried and tested. There are a range of prices to suit all budgets too. So if you are looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves beauty you are bound to find it here!


Thursday, 22 November 2018

Santa's Winter Wonderland!

Hey guys,

Last week I was invited to the launch of Santa's Winter Wonderland* at the Snowdome in Tamworth! It has been running for 14 years now, but even being a local Brummie I had never been. I couldn't wait to go because I knew how excited the kids would be. So I told them I had a surprise for them after school and they weren't left disappointed. There was everything you could wish for in a Winter Wonderland, real snow, Santa himself, and animals!


Thursday, 15 November 2018

T.W.O.K London!

Hey everyone!

This week I am brining you a review of the T.W.O.K London Flawless Filter Foundation*. This was not a brand I had heard of until recently but the more I read about it the more I like! T.W.O.K stands for The Woman of Kolor and their foundations are made with people of colour (POC) in mind. It's great to see because it can be really hard for POC to find foundations that suit their tone, so I love that these are specifically tailored to match a variety of skin tones. It's great that brands are taking this into consideration a lot more, With the likes of Huda Beauty and Fenty Beauty releasing 30 and 40 colours in their first foundation releases. But I also have to highlight MAC who have been keeping it real for years!


Thursday, 1 November 2018

Dream Curls with John Frieda

Hey everyone,

I have spoken of my love for John Frieda products before in previous hair posts (click here) but recently I was sent one of their new releases and out of all too their products I have used, this one is definitely making the most impact on my hair. I have been using it for the past two weeks and have seen a difference not just in my curls but also in the quality and strength of my hair. The new Dream Curls range was sent to me including the Curl Defining Cream* and the Deep Conditioner *. There is also a Curl Reviving Mousse which I think will be fab for days two or three to get those curls back in shape, but I am yet to try! 


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Going from day to night with Stila Cosmetics!

Hi Everyone,

Recently I attended an event with Stila cosmetics for their Vivid & Vibrant collection and it really blew me away. I am such a fan of Stila as you may have seen from previous posts. There was something about this collection that really appealed to me. The collection is based around jewel tones and every is luxurious and opulent in both colour and texture. I absolutely love the liquid eyeshadows as they provide a quick and easy way to make a statement without the need to use a brush, but there are also beautiful eyeshadow duo's in this collection that give such a beautiful effect so there is something for everyone no matter what type of product you like. 

 I decided to create a day to night look for you using some of their fab products. The first is this really simple shimmery eye look. To be honest this can be worn both at night and in the day, the sparkle on it is like no other. All I simply did was use the Heaven's Dew All Over Shimmer* and applied to my lid with my finger. I then slightly blended it out to the brow bone and applied a black kohl liner and lashes. It is so simple and took me less than 10 minutes but such a pretty eye look. I then added some of the all over shimmer to my cheek bone for extra added effect. This could be paired with both a neutral or bold lip. What I love about the All Over Shimmer is that it is just that! You can apply this anywhere, arms, legs , collar bone, literally wherever you want. It gives the loveliest sparkle and the formula is beautiful.

To create a bit of drama and to take this from day to evening all I simply did was apply the Shimmer & Glow liquid Eyeshadow in Vivid Smoky Quartz* to the lid and underneath the lower lash line to frame the eye. I applied this on top of the Heaven's Dew All over Glimmer. I made sure not to go to high on the lid so the shimmer could still be seen around the brow bone. I then applied a slightly thicker liner to the lash line and did this all with the lashes still on! The darker colour makes it a little more dramatic and perfect for an evening look. I also love the fact I didn't need to use a single brush for any of the eye looks I created!

So this is how you can go from day to night with Stila, literally only using two of their products. However I also couldn't help myself and created a look that was a little bit more creative using the Vivid and Vibrant campaign images for inspiration. Her I simply used the Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows in Vivid Smoky Quartz and Vivid Sapphire* as graphic liners. This just shows how versatile they are as a product and I can't wait to add to my collection. I hope you like. Have you ever tried any of the Stila products before? What should I try next?

Amina xx

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Are you serious about Skincare?

Hi Guys,

So I have just got back from a Hydrafacial* at the MediZen clinic in Sutton Coldfield. I left there feeling educated and enlightened about skincare as they were having an open day and demonstrating all the treatments they had to offer. I wanted to share a few of the specialist and innovative treatments they offer, as like me, you may not even be aware that some of these exist! 

I have had what I call a 'machine based facial' before, see my post here. The society we live in these days is very skin focussed and I for one have been drawn into so many skincare products recently without properly understanding the benefits of the ingredients. I usually go by trying the products and if it works or I see a change in my skin then I repurchase. However high street or even luxury skincare can only take you so far. And this is the biggest thing I have learnt today. High street products can only contain a certain percentage of Retinol for example. But when you go to a clinic for a facial, because the aestheticians are qualified they are able to prescribe more. 

When I book in for a facial, I no longer want a facial which essentially is products being massaged onto our faces and wiped off, which we could really do ourselves at home, I want something more. This is where the Hydra facial comes in. The HydraFacial gives immediate results and consists of six stages which detoxifies skin, removed dead skin cells, extracts debris and provides lasting hydration. All this is done using the Vortex Fusion Technology. Firstly there is a cleanse and peel where a new layer of skin is exposed. The next stage is to extract and hydrate, nutrients are delivered directly to the skin and penetrate the skin to a deeper level, while at the same time the Hydradermabraision wand vacuums away dead skin and black heads. Finally fuse and protect, where antioxidants and peptides are saturated into the skin.

 It is recommended to have this treatment monthly but what you can expect is immediate results. My skin looked plump and tight, pores appeared smaller, my skin also looks more even and is glowing. There was only a slight discomfort around the neck area and this comes from the micro dermabrasion tip, it literally felt like a scratching sensation, but felt more comfortable on the face. The great thing about this treatment is that it is suitable for all skin types and can be adjusted for different skin concerns. To be honest the area I most notice a difference in is my nose! It hasn't felt so clear and soft in years! The extraction really worked its magic.  At the end I was also shown what I can only call the 'muck' that had come out of my skin! I was shocked as I cleanse every day but it's normal I was told. I can't wait to see how long the results last. I will keep you posted.

MediZen is a clinic in Sutton Coldfield that provides a whole range of treatments, from injectables to Laser Hair Removal. Some of the other treatments that really intrigued me were the Mira Dry Sweat & Odour reduction treatment and the Cool Sculpting fat freezing treatment. With the Mira Dry heat is used to treat the sweat glands and it can leave you with a 80% reduction in sweat! This treatment isn't just for those people who suffer with heavy sweating but for anyone. People I spoke to who had the treatment done said they no longer needed to use deodorant and the treatment had also reduced their armpit hair. What a great side effect! The Mira Dry sounded amazing to me, especially as only one treatment is needed. Maybe it was also the fact that I had three layers on as it was a cold and windy day but then the heating was on full blast so I was definitely perspiring!

Cool Sculpting is a non invasive way of having up to a 25% reduction in fat in a particular area. The fat cells are basically frozen to the point where they die. Results are not instant and can be seen up to 3 months later. I think this is a really good solution for people like me who can't seem to shift those muffin tops and need a little help along the way.

So there we go. I hope you learnt something new, I definitely did. Let me know any skincare treatments you have had in the comments below!

Amina xx

*Complimentary treatment. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

My first time... using Dermalogica!

Hey guys,

Recently I was sent a box full of skincare products from Dermalogica to try out. I was really excited as Dermalogica are a brand that I have heard of numerous times before. Their products are often recommended to me when I go for facials, yet I had never actually tried their skincare before. I had previously used their Climate Control Lip Treatment but that was about it. I think the reason I had never purchased before was because I always considered Dermalogica a brand to use for serious skin issues, which I never really had. By serious I mean things like acne or very oily skin etc. But actually Dermalogica cater to all skin types and issues, whether it's acne, ageing or general maintenance there is a product to suit everyone. My skin is normal sensitivity and combination, in that it is oily in the T-zone but can be quite dry else where. I occasionally get the odd spot here or there but luckily I have never had any issues. 

This is the fist time I have used dermalogica and I have been using the products for over a month now so thought I could talk to you about products that really stood out to me and give you a little introduction to some of my faves.

This is one of the products I really enjoy using. By precleanse it basically means it is the first step in your cleansing routine because we all double cleanse right? This is perfect for removing make-up, you simple rub into your dry skin and watch the make-up completely disappear. Simply wash off with water and there should be no traces of makeup left. I really like this, and if you haven't tried an oil  cleanser before you will love. I find it quite similar to DHC cleansing oil, I think I prefer DHC a little more as I find it's thicker in consistency so really removes makeup from the oily parts of my face. The precleanse may suit those who are a little less oily.

The next step for me is to use the special cleansing gel as my second cleanser to really remove the dirt under the skin's surface. This is soap free and you basically lather it up in your hands with water and then apply to your face. Next you simply rinse off and my face is left feeling squeaky clean. It literally has a squeak to it. And once you get this complete cleanse your skin never quite feels as clean without the squeak, so this is why I have continuously been going back to this. It is quite addictive.

Another fave of mine has been the Daily Microfoliant. This comes in powder form, you pour a little bit into wet hands, rub it together until a paste is formed and then rub into your skin. I have always been told to exfoliate maximum twice a week however because the exfoliant is so gentle it is suitable for everyday use. In particular my forehead has been of concern to me recently as I have really broken out and the exfoliant has really reduced my spot size. I'm not sure if my breakout is hormonal or even related to my hair products, but it is really starting to bug me. So I'm hoping continued use will help them to vanish!

Once I have cleansed I then Tone using my Pixi Glow Tonic, apply my Kiehls Creamy Avocado Eye cream, and Murad Porcelain Skin Serum. I then apply the Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream. It is the nicest moisturiser I have used in a while. The reason I say this is because the consistency is just right for me, it is not too greasy but not too weightless. I like my moisturiser somewhere in between. Once applied my skin feels so supple and looks really healthy so I have been using this daily. The thing is that my skin feels moisturised from within and not just on the surface which many standard moisturisers do. It is full of antioxidants and vitamins which also help to shield the skin from environmental factors, so all in all it's a keeper.

The final step in my skin routine is usually some sort of SPF. I was sent the Skin Perfect Primer with SPF 30. In terms of a primer I think this is a good product, but honestly this is probably the product I have used the least as I prefer a higher SPF and this is the only reason. The primer is slightly peach tinted too which is great as it corrects some of my uneven skin tone. I really like the fact it comes with a tube slider so you can really get all the product out of the tube, it's a clever little gadget. However I absolutely love my Biore Watery Essence SPF50 and will probably stick to using that, as SPF is one product you do want to be weightless!

Out of all the products I will definitely be purchasing the Special Cleansing Gel, Daily Microfoliant and Skin Smoothing Cream once I have run out, as they definitely leave my skin feeling cleaner than before. I can't wait to try more Dermalogica products! There is such a wide range and definitely something for everyone! What should I try next?

Amina xx

*PR Sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Summer Fun with Inflata Nation & Cheerz

Hey guys,

What a fantastic summer it has been! Mine has been full of keeping my girls entertained. We have been on our annual trip to Drayton Manor Park & Thomas Land as well as so many family trips away to places like Barmouth Beach in Wales and Chester Zoo. Memories have definitely been made, and last week me and the family got invited to a fabulous pre-launch event at Inflata Nation in Stechford Retail Park - Birmingham, and I just had to tell you guys all about it as we had so much fun.

Inflata Nation is basically one big, inflatable theme park. It is full of inflatable slides, which vary in height and are surrounded by ball pits. There's a gladiator duel where you can joust away to your heart's content, hopefully knocking your opponent off their podium! There's a fun wrecking ball game too. If all you want to do is jump then you can do this too as they have a really big area which has an uneven, bubbly surface and is extra bouncy so be prepared for some tumbles. The climbing wall was also fun to jump off. I loved the fact there was an area for under 4's as my little one, who is only three, found some of the larger slides a bit daunting but was happy in the smaller area.

The assault course was probably where we had most fun, climbing through tunnels, over obstacles and sliding to a finish. I nearly won but Aaron couldn't handle it and pulled me back at the last second, while he practically flew past me! The girls loved it and wanted to do it over and over again. My fitness, or lack of, wouldn't allow me to do more than two rounds but the girls must have gone around it more than five times!

It is great for a family day out and is not just for kids. Prices for under 4's are £5.95, for children over 4 and adults it is £9.95. So for a family of four, you are looking at around £40, which is not cheap but I think you have to see it as more than just a soft play. Something you do every so often rather than every holiday. The fact that it is indoors is great too, as you are protected from the elements. The only thing that worries me are the injuries! I saw a few collisions and near misses while I was there, so be prepared. And remember to wear socks and long sleeves as the friction burns aren't fun. It's definitely something I would recommend to anyone looking for some family fun.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my recent post about a collaboration with Cheerz*. Now Summer is coming to an end, it's the best time to be printing off all the memories we have made (and clearing some of that phone storage!) What's more, Cheerz have given my followers an amazing £8 off using the code 'AMINA', with no minimum spend. They do everything and anything when it comes to printing, from magnets to canvas prints. The picture below is of the Big Fat Box which has been amazing, as I can keep adding to it as and when I need to.

A post shared by Amina Ali Ulhaq (@aminaali_mua) on

So that's all folks. I hope your summer has been as fab as mine! Leave me a comment below to let me know what you have been up to while the weather has been lovely and if there is anywhere you think might be suitable for a young family. Also, can I just add, I am dreading the forthcoming darker months! Yes to the cosy knits and pumpkin spice... everything, but no, just no to the lack of sunlight! *Takes deep breath*.

Amina xx

*PR gifts/samples. All opinions are my own.


Thursday, 23 August 2018


Hi everyone,

I am currently on summer holidays and really enjoying time out from blogging and work in general. I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and destressed. I recently got back from a holiday to Ibiza for my 30th Birthday which you may have seen on my Instagram (there is a stories highlight on my profile if you want to catch up) and it was my first holiday away from the kids, it has been over 5 years since I've been on holiday without them. They say travelling is good for the soul and this trip really was. I had time to myself and time to think without being interrupted. My thoughts were allowed to wander, to work themselves out, to understand. And this is how I have come to this post today.

I came to the realisation that the last decade had been quite a crazy one. I almost felt like I had lived a lifetime in 10 years, graduating, getting engaged and married, having my first baby, buying my first house, having my second baby, buying my second house. I realised I had been doing a lot of chasing, trying to reach goals, always wanting more, always trying to achieve more. But now it is finally time to accept. Accept what I have, what I have achieved and to be satisfied with it. 

Acceptance is so important, just being able to go yes I am where I am and that is ok can change everything. I think social media makes it very hard to accept our lives. We are constantly watching people with lives that are so much more luxurious than ours, that it sometimes becomes a bit of a normality. It can be a good thing as it makes us ambitious, working harder to earn a bit more money to buy that designer handbag, or in my case coffee table. I'm obsessed with home interiors at the moment, especially since I moved house. My Pinterest account is full of ideas. But anyway, it can also be a bad thing as sometimes some of these ambitions might be unrealistic which can in turn make us unhappy with what we are unable to achieve. Accepting where I am and not knowing what the future holds feels good for once.

I've learnt to accept people change. I am at a different place now with what I want. Things that made me happy a few years ago, no longer mean anything to me, relationships I had, no longer mean anything to me. Accept not everyone is going to be genuine and on your side. One thing I have learnt is it is important to make and break relationships, especially toxic ones, or even ones with people who just don't do anything for you. Relationships are all about give and take so don't be afraid to end relationships where it is all take.

Relationships take so much more work when you get older. Life gets busy, you need to make more time to see those family and friends who are important to you, I lost two friends last year one very suddenly and the other to a long term illness, but it taught me to really value those people who mean something to me and make time for those relationships. It's so easy when we are younger to see your friends and family all the time. But in the real world relationships become so much harder.  So if you are in my life at the moment, it's because I genuinely value you and love you.

I have honestly learnt to accept myself, love myself and my flaws. I don't care as much for my appearance anymore, I'm so much more interested in being a good role model for my girls. Showing them it's ok to be completely natural and still own it and be confident. Don't get me wrong, I still love to get my glam on as you can tell from my Instagram, but it just doesn't matter as much anymore.  I think finally at the age of 30 I am learning to love my natural curls, although it is always a love hate relationship as they have a split personality.

Accepting yourself and loving yourself is really hard but essential for happiness and maybe with age mentality changes a little. Accept not everyone will like you, I care less about what others think about me now and more about what I think about myself. People will always judge and there is no point putting energy into things you can't control. Since I have started thinking a little more selfishly for myself and my family, I have genuinely become happier.

I have also accepted not everything has to go to plan as there is a bigger plan and bigger picture. So I  go with the flow a little more and have learnt to be a little more spontaneous. I have got so much more I want to achieve in life, charity work, write a book, start my own business, maybe more kids? Ahhhhhh. I said MAYBE. But what I know is I have achieved so much already. By the age of 30 I am  married, have two babies and have bought my second home and have my shit together - kind of. But for once I am owning it. I am not chasing anything. I have everything I need, I am grateful and I accept it. Thank God.

Amina xx


Thursday, 19 July 2018

Holiday Essentials: SPF Special!

Hi everyone,

This week I have got a bigger smile then usual spread across my face as I am going on holiday! For my 30th Birthday my lovely family have bought me a holiday to Ibiza with my sisters (and without the babies eek!). I am so excited to get this party started. I mean it's not even my birthday month yet but the festivities have definitely begun. Going on holiday can be really stressful and there always seems to be something I forget, however one of the most essential things for holiday, especially if you are going somewhere hot, is your Sun Protection Factor or SPF as we like to call it. A good sun cream will have a high rating for both of the the sun's UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays. These are responsible for premature skin ageing, skin cancer and damage to the eyes, which no one wants. I have collated a few products I love to use to guarantee protection and popped them into a post for you so that is one thing off your to do list!

This is the most lightweight high coverage SPF I have ever tried. I can't take credit for finding it as it was recommended to me by both Fashionicide and Svphie. It seriously hasn't disappointed and literally melts into the skin. I can't believe how there is no resonance of any product left on your skin. That horrible greasy feeling is but a distant memory of long ago and I think more and more brands are striving to achieve this non sticky texture. I tend to use this solely on my face as I do not want to add any grease to an already greasy situation and from a price point it is quite pricey for the amount of product you are getting. So I justify it by using it solely on the face. It just fits in perfectly as the last step of my skincare routine. This has become something I apply daily, rain or shine.

Now as SPF goes, this is on the total opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to greasiness. It is very heavy and thick in consistency but light enough to be able to be 'sprayed' on. Technically this doesn't exactly spray for me but kind of squirts out into little puddles. I find it a better way of applying rather than squeezing into my hands. It is just a way of spreading the cream out really. However even though this is on the heavy side, I use this all over my body and on my children.  Price wise it is pretty cost effective and I don't mind my body being greasy as much. I also prefer the consistency on my kids as it makes me feel like they are actually protected as I can visually see the product. This is not for everyone, but it does the job. It is also water - resistant so perfect for the pool.

This beauty of a product is perfect for topping up your SPF, maybe when you are out and about or lounging by the pool. It is transparent in colour and does actually spray out of the bottle as it is very thin in consistency. It feels quite hydrating and this could be due to the fact it contains Aloe Vera Water. Once again you are not left with any residue but more of a velvety feel just as the bottle suggests. Unfortunately it doesn't come in a SPF 50, however I think it is ideal for when I have had my Nivea Sun on for a while and it may be starting to wear away and I just want to top up for that extra protection. Once again it is water-resistant and protects you from UVA and UVB so therefore protects against short term and long term effects of the sun.

I bought this a few weeks ago and I have been wearing it everyday. I know I definitely do not think about lips when it comes to sun protection but recently I have noticed my lips have been getting slightly darker and I put it down to the month long drought that we are going through. I have never experienced this type of heat before in the UK and for so long, so this is me taking my skincare to the next level. SPF for lips is essential now!

Once again sun protection doesn't just stop at the skin. UV can be harmful to the eyes so wearing sunglasses in the sun is very important. Some people mistake them for a simple fashion accessory but they are so much more than that for me. Too much sunlight can cause me severe migraines so I always make sure if it is really bright outside I have my sunnies on, especially when driving. These Polaroid sunglasses have 100% UV protection and are also polarised meaning they reduce glare, so sharpen your vision in intense sunlight. The Sunglasses Shop have such a great range of sunglasses all with great protection, in a variety of styles to suit everyone. They even include measurements in the description to make it easier for you to select a style to suit yourself.

So this is what I am using and I hope you find this post helpful. Be sure to keep protected while the lovely weather lasts. Please let me know any other SPF's you would recommend in the comments below.

Amina xx

*PR Sample. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Playing with New Makeup & GIVEAWAY!

Hey Guys,

This week I am reviewing some recent additions to my make-up stash. That's not all, I have got something so exciting for all of you! It has been a while since I have done a giveaway and a lot of exciting things are coming up including my 30th birthday, so I thought what better way to celebrate then with a giveaway for all of you. So make sure you scroll all the way down to enter!

First up I have the Laura Geller Gelato Swirl Highlighter in 'Diamond Dust' (£21). I was lucky enough to win this as part of an Instagram giveaway giveaway recently hosted by Trishna from Tips Capsule. I knew I had to have this limited edition colour, which can only be explained as an iridescent pink. I had heard a lot about the baked formula of the gelato swirl and it lives up to the hype, it is so beautiful and applies like a dream. I love the consistency of the product as it is not too soft whereby too much product applies but just hard enough to be able to build the product to your desired amount. It blends effortlessly and now the only problem is I feel like I need all the other colours in the range. It definitely has a place on any make-up addict's or non addict's dresser.

Next up is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in Medium (£34). I have been using this for a fair few months now. The hype around this product unfortunately doesn't stand for me, however I will continue to use its I just can't waste £34 worth of product. I did enjoy using it at first, especially on my face, however I just find it creases too much on my under eye. It is fine for a couple of hours and does produce an airbrushed effect on the rest of the face, however by hour three it really starts to gather into the creases under my eye. I may need to try baking with a loose powder in order to avoid the creasing.  If you don't have wrinkly under eyes like me this could be a great option for you, however the bags are real in my case so I will keep hunting for another product.

A new brand I have finally tried is Gerard Cosmetics. This relatively small and unknown brand is so overlooked. I have heard the likes of Dress Your Face endorsing them for a while and always loved the look of their products, but because they weren't as accessible in the UK, I never tried them. However recently, I got my hands on them via  I hadn't actually heard of before they contacted me, which is pretty surprising as they are one of the fastest growing beauty websites in the UK and they stock products from so many amazing brands. So I jumped straight at the chance to try Gerard Cosmetics and I am so happy I did. I love the formula of their *Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick (£7.99). It is exactly as it's name suggests, hydrating but super matte. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen it lasted me 8 hours without reapplying or feeling yucky and this made me so happy! In the pics below I am wearing shade '1995' and is it me or does the name just sum the colour up perfectly?

Another brand I was lucky enough to try through is Coloured Raine. Another cult makeup brand whose swatches have been smothered across plenty a beauty blogger's youtube. But again quite obscure in the UK. The *Coloured Raine 'Cheers to the Beauty' Eyeshadow Palette (£45) palette just appealed to me because of the sheer amount of colour it contains! I had so much fun playing around with it and created two totally different make-up looks. The quality of eyeshadow is fantastic, the swatches in the pictures above are one swipe swatches. I found them lovely to apply and found using my finger to apply the metallic colours best for most impact. There was little to no fall out and they blended beautifully. With the range of metallics, bright colours and neutrals it is one of those palettes that is just so versatile and I can see myself using it a lot!

To create this look I applied Vintage Feels and Debonair from the Coloured Raine Palette to the crease and blended through. I then applied Black Butterfly across the Lid and with my finger applied opulence to the centre of the lid. From the same palette I used Luxurious Bling as my highlighter. I am wearing Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte liquid lipstick in 1995 on the lips.

To create this look I blended Raise a Glass, Vintage Feels and Debonair through the crease blending downwards. I then applied a cream eye based primer over the lid and using my finger applied Nightingale. In the waterline I applied Make Up For Ever Aqua XL eyeliner in 'M-92'. I am wearing Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte liquid lipstick in '1995' on the lips, Laura Geller Diamond Dust highlighter on my cheekbones and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Powder on my face.

Now for the Giveaway! are giving you the chance to win the Coloured Raine 'Cheers to the Beauty' Eyeshadow Palette. To enter please complete the rafflecopter widget below.  Make sure you are following both our accounts on Instagram, the rest of the options are optional and gain you extra entries! Good Luck! The giveaway ends 31st July 2018.

Amina xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*PR Samples. All opinions are my own.


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Recent Skincare: To buy or not to buy?

Hi Guys,

Recently I have been trying a few new bits of skincare and I thought it was about time to give my verdict on them. When it comes to skincare I have my usual set of products that I swear by, but I find my skin goes through strange patches of oiliness and breaks out, so occasionally I switch it up a little in order to see if the change will make a difference. Recently I saw a lot of hype around the Aldi products, including the Hot Cloth Cleanser and the Glycolic Pads. I usually use my Nip and Fab ones so wanted to see if these could work as a cheaper alternative. I also was kindly sent the Swiss Clinic 2mm Derma roller*. I had never used one before and was intrigued to see if this could add anything to my skin, especially regarding the pigmentation around my mouth.

Swiss Clinic offer a Skin Renewal Treatment for £89, whereby you are sent a derma roller, along with a rejuvenating serum complex. You use the roller all over the face on cleansed skin. I did this in the evening rather than the morning and spent about three minutes slowly rolling over all parts of the skin even down to the neck, but avoiding the eye area. The roller is covered in 540 silver plated micro-needles and I expected it to be a little painful, after all no pain, no gain, however I didn't find it painful in the slightest and would definitely opt for the 5mm roller next time. Once completed you then apply the  rejuvenating serum and any other skincare you wish to. The product is supposed to be absorbed up to 300% more due to the little channel the roller has created!

You do this for 5 days and then have 5 days of rest and continue until you get the desired effect. Swiss Clinic also offer a Cleaning Spray which I would say is a necessity as it ensure the needles are thoroughly clean before penetrating the skin. 

So here is my verdict, I have been using it for 5 weeks now and have completed four cycles of the 5 days on and 5 days off. I have seen a small improvement in scarring around my mouth area. I suffer from coldsores and have one particular scar from my teenage years that is still quite prevalent, I have seen a small improvement in its appearance. However the overall pigmentation around my mouth I feel still exists and I'm not sure I will ever be able to get rid of it. The use of the derma roller is also supposed to encourage the production of new skin cells, but in the first few weeks of using it I did find my skin breaking out quite a bit, I wasn't sure if this was due to the fact my skin was getting used to the product or the product itself. It has now calmed down, however I am still battling with spots around my mouth and forehead area, but this could be hormonal too.

I found the rejuvenating serum really refreshing after I have rolled as it is quite cool, although apart from this I am not sure what it has added to my skin regime. Overall I like the derma rolling process and will continue to do this, however I think I might stick to using my own skincare products with it. Only time will tell with the derma roller and I plan on continuing to use it, I feel as though it is one of those products which is a long term investment and you need to be in it for the long haul to achieve the desired result, as well as be willing to go through some ups and downs along the way. In the big scheme of things I haven't really used it for long enough to get the effects I want, so I will keep you posted with updates.

Part of my breakouts might have been due to the change in use of products. As I said earlier I purchased some skincare from Aldi. Firstly with the Hot Cloth Cleanser (£3.99), I have really enjoyed using this. I have a section on my Instagram highlights (click here) where you can watch my first impressions but overall I really think it works great as a cleanser. My skin feels clean and quite soft after using. Even though my skin hasn't been its best recently, I don't think it is due to the cleanser as it throughly cleanses my makeup and the skin feels pristine after. It contains eucalyptus oil which is the overwhelming smell that hits you straightaway, as well as cocoa butter and extracts of chamomile, all perfect for soothing and leaving your skin soft. So next time you are shopping, pick one up, I would definitely say it is worth a try.

One product I haven't been so impressed with is the Glycolic Daily Cleansing pads (£2.49), unfortunately I don't feel as though they are strong enough and blame my breakout on this. I feel like the fact that they don't state the percentage of glycolic acid is a tell tale sign. I don't get the same effect compared to the nip and fab or my pix glow tonic and maybe this is what my skin has been missing. Again the pads are convenient as they are ready to use, but without the right amount of acid they just aren't effective.

Overall from the new skincare products I have been using I can honestly say that the Hot Cloth cleanser, as well as the derma roller are products I will continue to use, however when it comes to the glycolic pads I am going back to my nip and fab. I am also on the hunt for a new serum to use after derma rolling so would love any suggestions in the comments below.

Amina xx

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.

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