Thursday, 15 February 2018

Permission to smile!

Hey Guys,

This week I've got something a little different for you and a bit of food for thought. How many of you go through your everyday only interacting with people you know or have been introduced to? How many of you feel nervous to strike up new conversations or even smile at others in your community? I for one can say I am guilty of both of these. Social media has made it so much easier for us to be less social with those around us but instead focus our efforts on dialogue online. Permission to Smile is an initiative that has started in Birmingham encouraging people to come together as a community and simply interact more with one another.

When I was contacted by Martin Graham, one of the founders of the initiative, and made aware of the campaign, something struck a chord with me. What's better than society and communities working together to benefit everyone? Whether it be by having a conversation with some one who is feeling isolated, or going shopping for someone who might be struggling to get outdoors. Working together works out for everyone, but it starts by communicating, and a smile is just that. It is the initial communication to say I am warm, open and welcoming.

Only a month ago I had been battling and supporting to save my local children's centre for this exact reason. It was the one thing that had given me support when I had had my first child. Meeting other like minded people from my area gave me a sense of belonging and togetherness. It gave me so much happiness to know other people from my area with kids my age and to know we could be there for each other if we needed. I then began to think about what life would be like if I didn't have service like this. It made me realise we can't rely on the council of such services anymore as cuts are being made everyday and we need to take action ourselves.

This is where we come in. How can we take part? Well, firstly by doing exactly what it says, in every day life there is no harm in smiling! We tend to walk around avoiding eye contact with people just in case the worst happens.... a conversation starts! So simply just smile, or say hello. It could make someones day. Permission to Smile have also set up a crowd funding page in order to get the word out there and hopefully launch an app where people who live local to one another can meet up and start engaging with one another, it is also hopefully going to become a school programme and introduced into school lessons. You can donate here. The website is due to launch on the 12th May with a event in the city centre to celebrate.

So if you are in Birmingham why not show some support, but no matter where you are you have permission to smile! Being nice doesn't cost a thing, so if there is one thing you can take from this post it should be that!

Amina xx

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Shot it, Shape it, Strobe it with Loreal!

Hi guys,
Last week I attended the fantastic launch for the new Infallible range of primers, foundation, blush and highlighter sticks from Loreal Paris makeup. It was held at Beat London and I had a such a fantastic time meeting other bloggers and getting a first look at the products. I was so excited that this launch had a focus on the skin base as I am all about that flawless skin. I have been trying them out over the past week so thought I would give you my initial thoughts and some swatches!

Me with the beautiful @anousshkaa

Shot it! - Infallible Primers (£8.99)

The first step in the newly released items is 'Shot it!'. This is a range of primers which have been formulated for all skin types. From left to right you have a bright green primer to neutralise any redness. A matte primer, which is suitable for oily skin types. The iridescent packaging gives the luminising primer away - It gives your skin the most beautiful glow without making you look too shiny. Then we have the Anti fatigue primer which is apricot in colour and is perfect for correcting dull looking skin. Lastly we have the pore refining primer which smooths out any lumps and bumps and hides those pores perfectly. The idea with these is that you can use one or multi prime for different areas depending on the need,  it's up to you. 

Shape it! - Infallible Shaping Foundation Sticks (£8.99)

Left to right: 210, 200, 180, 150
Bottom to top - 210, 200, 180, 160

 Next up we have the foundation shaping sticks. These can be used as a base but also to highlight and contour. I have to say that I am so impressed by the formula of these. Somehow Loreal have managed to create a hydrating foundation that doesn't leave your skin looking greasy. When applied the finish that is given literally mimics the skin. It contains Jojoba Oil which adds to the luxurious texture, however as the skin absorbs the product it dries to a powder finish. The product can also be built up for fuller coverage. I have been trying it out all this week and I would say with a make-up fixing spray you can definitely get 8 hours wear out of this product. The one downside I would say is the shade range. Their are 12 shades which is reasonable, however the shades jump quite a lot so some people might have to combine shades to get their perfect match.

Strobe it! - Loreal Infallible Blush &Highlighter Sticks (£8.99)

Top: 001 Bottom: 002

Top to bottom: 500, 501, 503
The blush and highlighter sticks are some of my favourite products from the range. Applied over the foundation they just blend in to the skin so well. The fact that you are using cream on cream makes application so effortless and I love the smooth airbrushed effect it gives. I am starting to use more cream products in my make-up routine as it gives the skin more dimension without being so obvious. There are four colours in the highlighter range and they are all just as beautiful as the next.

Here is the make-up applied to my face. The foundation (mix of 200 &180) literally gave an airbrushed finish, I applied directly onto my face and blended with a buffing brush. I used blusher in 002 and highlighter in 501 and blended in using my fingers. For a demo using the products head to my Instagram stories highlight labelled 'Loreal Review'. As the products are newly released there are currently  quite a few offers on these products, one being 3 for 2 at Boots and Superdrug, which I would definitely take advantage of!

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to the new Loreal Infallible releases! Will you be trying any?

Amina xx

Thursday, 1 February 2018

3 steps to bigger lips!

Hi Guys,

This week I thought I would do a little tutorial on a non-invasive way of getting bigger lips. That is, making your lips look bigger with a little bit of make-up and lip-plumping gloss. As I get older my lips seem to be getting thinner! I don't think I would ever have lip filler, mainly because I can't afford to but also because I'm a bit worried about the pain. However never say never! In the meantime though I have worked out a great little routine to get my lips looking plump. 

If you follow me on Instagram (@aminaali_mua) , you might have taken part in a little poll I did last week where I asked if I had had lip injections. The results didn't surprise me to be honest, as most of my followers knew I hadn't, however I did fool a few of you and that shows how good this product really is. So if you are interested in having fuller lips without the filler then read on!

 Before lip plumping.
The first step to fuller lips is to use dark lip liner. That is one that is maybe one or two shades darker than your skin tone. I would suggest opting for a cool toned colour if you are a similar lip colour to me. The idea here is to over line your lip slightly. Going for a cool tone colour has the same reasoning behind contouring. You are almost giving your lip a new shape and size so you want it to be in the same shade tone as your lip colour.

Lips with liner.
Next up is the lip plumper I was talking about! It's the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme (£22) You literally apply this to the lips and as soon as it comes in contact with the skin the ingredients start to react causing your lips to sting and in turn become more plump. It is important to only apply to the lip as if applied to the skin round the lip redness can occur. 93% of people tested sad their lips were fuller and more plump, 97% said it delivered instant results and 97% said their lips felt moisturised. One thing I would like to say is that the immediate plump effect doesn't last very long, maximum ten minutes. However the lip plumping is also supposed to be long term so I will let you know how that goes. One thing I will say, though even when they plumpness reduces the smoothness stays and my lips continue to feel moisturised. I also want to give a quick mention to the iridescent packaging- LOVE!

Lips with plumper and liner applied.
Finally once the plumper has been applied. I pat my lips on some tissue paper to take off the excess gloss and apply a nude lip colour which is a few shades lighter than the lip liner. Once again, pick a nude to suit your skin tone. I am wearing the Too Faced Melted Liquified Longwear Lipstick in Nude (£19). So the lip line and lip colour are blended nicely I used a lip brush to blend. As I prefer my top lip to look a little bigger I tend to take my lip product higher than the cupids bow for a more full look. And here is the finished result!


Above: Before       Below: After

So there you have it! Three steps to bigger looking lips! Let me know if you have any other tips for bigger looking lips. in the comments below!

Amina xx