30 Sep 2017

BOURJOIS ROUGE VELVET LIPSTICK | BEAUTY

VELVETY HEAVEN ON MY LIPS!

Bourjois recently sent me their FULL collection of Rouge Velvet (did you know that in Arabic we say Rouge for lipstick too?). I have to be honest in saying I wasn't expecting too much from a hughstreet brand when I comes to lipsticks. I either find that they're not matte enough, too sticks or don't last very long at all. I love Bourjois blushers and eyeshadows so I decided to give them a chance with the rouge.

First up, packaging and design. I think the packaging has been designed really well to be honest, It may have been nice to have included exteriors which reflect the matte/velvet interior, however one must respect that their aim is to keep prices low for the consumer. More importantly is the shape of the lipstick on this occasion.


The lipstick are much narrower than usual lippies and also the tips are 'U' shaped rather than the usual 45 degree angle, which means the lipstick hugs and contours the shape of your lips which makes it glide on, and you only really need to go over one area of lip once for a decent product coverage.


Pigmentation and finish are the two most important things for me in lip products. Bourjois surprised me in creating one which meets my rouge demands, theres a shade for everyone.



Bourjois have created undertone heaven. I personally prefer blue undertones but theres literally one for all occasions and all preferences.


   

Bourjois Miraculous Contour Universal Lip Liner has a barrier effect to prevent any lipstick bleed or feather (which you won't usually get with these lipsticks). The twist-up pencil smooths and blurs lips and lip contour for a primer effect and its transparent texture suits all colours of lipsticks. It gives a smooth finish which allows those with smaller lips to conceal their natural lip line for over-drawing and gives the appearance of fuller lips.
How to use: Apply all over the lips for a smoothing primer action or just as a contour to prevent lipstick from feathering.


BUY HERE | www.bourjois.co.uk

22 Sep 2017

THE BEST BRUNCH SPOT IN LONDON | SKETCH

- "The most Instagram-able restaurant in London"

If you follow me on Instagram you may well have seen this magical place which I recently enjoyed brunch at - SKETCH. I would go as far as to say its my favourite brunch spot in London. You may well have seen the pink afternoon tea room photographed to the extreme all over social media but I'm telling you, THE GLADE room is where its at. The carpet is overgrown to look like mossy grass blades, the walls are art in themselves, moving lights dance all over the room, the interior is a cocktail of coronial chic, vanitas, and an Alice in wonderland setting.




DRINKS
We started our brunch date with a bottle of water - served with lemon and ice (I do this everywhere I go, more so as a palette cleanser than anything else) then we feasted our eyes upon the Non-Alcoholic section on the drinks manu. To be honest we were pleasantly surprised this section existed, usually I have to order a cocktail and ask for it to be made non-alcoholic! We went for The Frooibos - which consists of ginger, pomegranate, blueberries, elderflower,rooibos tea & The Cha Spritz - This was a cocktail of apple, lime, ginger, cucumber, orange and honey droplets. Both drinks were SO refreshing, and lasted the entirety of brunch - another rarity. 



TO START THE DAY
Emmental, Gauda, cheddar cheese, crackers and apple jelly - one of the quirkiest looking starters I've feasted my eyes on. Cheese is totally my jam, this is a good alternative to a filling cheeseboard. There was enough to share and again portions were perfect, simply divine. Our second starter was the Avocado, grapefruit, pink madagascan, prawns and Wasabi mayonnaise - this is perhaps one of the best prawn starters I've had. it wasn't too fussy, it's exactly what is said on the menu - which is what i love about sketch. There aren'tfancy names which require explanations, just good food, atmosphere and presentation.


 

MAINS
The food was amazing, dish by dish was coming from the kitchen, and it became apparent that the experience as a whole was an art form. I'm all for splashing out on experiences and I have to say sketch is worth every penny. My friend and I both know what we love so when it came to mains neither of us wanted to compromise and try something different so we both ended up with Two poached eggs, with scottish smoked salmon, toasted sourdough and sliced avacado as an extra on the side.



HOME MADE PATISSERIES
Crackpot - black forest dark chocolate shell filled with vanilla chantilly and chocolate foam, cocoa biscuit, and crumble griottines - this cake was as delicious as it's description. Not too chocolate-y that it's sickly and just the right amount of layering to have alternate rich flavours, so divine.

Iranian Pistacchio macaron, fresh mint macaron - In my world, the best way to finish off any meal is with macarons, they're super light, delicious and give the perfect amount of sugar kick to end a divine brunch. SKETCH also offer hot beverages which you can check out on the menu link at the bottom of this post. The Iranian pistachio was definitely the winner, pistachio conquers all. We also had a delicious Caramel birthday cake which was SO good.




The thing I look for in restaurants (besides good food - of course) is great customer service. From the minute we arrived to the minute we left the service was impeccable. The staff are really cool, down to earth and do not shy away from being personal and holding great conversation. They're literally dressed in the most amazing outfits to reflect the vision of each room and surprised my friend (who's birthday it was) with a candle and cake at dessert - all without prompt.

AND if you've ever wanted to pee in an EGG then this is your spot!



Reservations :+44 (0) 20 7659 4500 | Menus : Here| www.sketch.london 


3 Sep 2017

EXPERIMENTAL PERFUME CLUB | THINGS TO DO IN LONDON


I was invited to join and afternoon of perfumery at the Experimental Perfume Club with The Blogger Programme with fellow bloggers and scent fans! Having lived in London for 5 years I thought I had exhausted all of its exciting new things to try. I'm always surprised to discover that there are more delights.

The EPC Lab is a working perfume creative studio located in East London. They develop fragrances for brands and individuals and provide the perfect environment for people to experiment with scents.

The EPC Lab hosts a number of monthly perfume-making workshops and one-to-one private tuition, as well as open-access perfumery sessions. If you've been following my social media for some time, you'll know I am scent crazy... I'm a die-hard Oud bather and LOVE trying new rich perfumes. 

    

So we were invited to participate in a short perfume workshop which lasted roughly about an hour. It's long enough to make you want to learn more about perfumery, yet short enough to keep it exciting, and straight to the point. There are various options to select from online and Emanuelle (the owner and founder) has a sea of knowledge ready to share. 


LE PETIT PARFUM WORKSHOP
THIS IS PERFECT if you want to create your very own bespoke scent within a limited time. During this workshop you find out your scent profile and make your own blend, this blend recipe can be then used to reorder your scent in a 50ml bottle.

This is the perfect opportunity to get your girls together and have a sophisticated day in London.

   

I loved the quirkiness of the Lab along with all the personalised little areas with splashes of yellow and injection of all things nature related.


WHAT DO YOU TAKE FROM LE PETIT PARFUM WORKSHOP? 
• A newly awakened nose & new found perfume knowledge
• Your very own perfume-making workbook filled with fragrance facts & information
• A lab bottle filled with your own bespoke fragrance that you name on the day (take home a 12ml lab bottle & re-order 50ml bottles using your own recipe)
• Your finished perfume formula


To help each and every single one of us discover our scent profile, we were each given 9 scent notes. Some of these scents were earthy, others zesty and some leathery. We decided which scents we liked (in order of preference) and numbered them. These preferences later became the basis of our personalised perfume.


OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:
Every other Wednesdays for open-lab sessions
Two or three Saturdays a month for workshops and masterclasses
Any time of the week for one-to-one appointments
Any time during the week to welcome private groups and corporate
We are closed on Sundays and Mondays
FIND US: in East London at 4 Netil Lane, London E8 3RL, a short distance from Broadway Market & Bethnal Green underground station.
Since creating and wearing my perfume I have recieved so many compliments on my fragrance. I cannot wait to re-order mine as soon as my 12ml is all out (at the rate my friends and I are using it - its going to be soon). If you ever get the chance make sure you book yourselves into a workshop.

www.experimentalperfumeclub.com | @experimentalperfumelab

29 Aug 2017

ANATOMICALS | BEAUTY

"The funkiest, talk-back, sassy products you'll ever come across."

The British beauty brand is on a mission to clean up the galaxy and leave it fragrant, Anatomicals’ cult cleansers, shampoos, beauty bits and lotions are as loved for their fresh flavours as they are for their pun-tastic packaging. 


This is one of the nicest smelling hand soaps by Anatomicals - it's 100% natural liquid soap (you all know who much I love natural products)- Enriched with pepermint and lemon,(their watermelon one is also amazing)!


I just love the cheekiness that comes with all of the Anatomicals products. The quality is amazing, and none of the products are too harsh on sensitise skin! at £3 you can't really go wrong.


I've been endowed with my father nose and pores. They used to be much worse before I started using an exfoliating brush every night after make-up removal, however that doesn't fully calm the black heads since they are partially genetic. I've been using Pore strips for a while now and LOVE them. These ones are no exception.


On occasion I find that pore strips are far too abrasive and strip my skin dry. These Anatomicals World Pore 3 strips surprised me and actually have a very good balance, they're not too harsh on sensitive skin. At £7 for 10 strips these are a delightful find!


This is literally always in my bag! I suffer with random tension headaches and they're the absolute worst! However I don't agree with pumping my body full of unnecessary drugs either. I'd rather just head to a dark room and sleep it off - that's not always a possibility. After trying the headache relief balm out for the past few weeks I can honestly say I will  not be leaving the house without it again! If it doesn't fully cure my headache the aroma really does minimise the tension.


The headache balm does not leave a sticky residue behind, so fear-not about your matte make up. It smells a little like Vix rub (that mummy would put on me when I had a wheezy chest) but much fresher and not quite as invasive. At around £2.50 you can't really go wrong!


Anatomical products are available for purchase on www.anatomicals.com | @anatomicalsuk



28 Jul 2017

BLANK CANVAS COSMETICS HAUL | BEAUTY

www.blankcanvascosmetics.com

I feel like it's been such a long time since we talked all things beauty. My friends have been hyping about BLANCKCANVAS cosmetics for as long as I remember. They all have a least one piece of BLANCKCANVAS range in their makeup kits, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about after a friend of mine used the eyeshadow palette on me... and of course, I fell head over heels for it.


So I had a 'build your own' box, these are the perfect luxury if you can't decide what to get for somebody, or if you want the freedom of buying certain pieces, mixing and matching for yourself without buying the full range. Also the Box is perfect for gifting to your girlfriends... or if yourself if you're anything like me.


AIRBRUSH BLENDER SPONGE ( Pink Teardrop Shape)
Its safe to say I've never used a beauty blender prior to now... YES  - I realise the outrage this causes, I've grown used to the gasp of shame from those around me when they see me using my hands to apply foundation. You'll all be pleased to hear I now have The BC Airbrush Blender. I've been trailing it all week and It really is perfect for a flawless finish to your foundation, It's also latex free - So I now know what all the fuss is about.


I also have two of the double ended eyeshadow brushes - one for my lighter shades and one for the darker shades. It's ideal for: Blending cream/powder products or packing on glitter. These are made from soft synthetic fibres and are perfect for creating a dramatic or natural smoky eye. This is one I've tried from my girlfriends - one actually comes with the eyeshadow pallet.

F43 FLAT ROUNDED MULTI FACE BRUSH
This gold beauty is from BLANKCANVAS Dimension series. This 100% has to be one of my favourite pieces inside the box. This brush is Anti Bacterial (which I deem essential for a densely packed makeup brush), VEGAN friendly, SUPER PRETTY, and comes in 5 colours.
The Dense short bristled round shape is my go to for contour/foundation/cheek brush for creating dimension to the face and buffing out excess product. I never came across this before, but I have to say it's something I was immediately drawn to and I've now added this to my daily make-up routine. 
L29 LIP / WINGED EYELINER BRUSH
Although this is labelled as a Lip and Liner brush, I would probably only use it for Liner as it has the perfectly pointed tip - I prefer the use of pencils for my lips, but I definitely admire the multi-purpose aspect BLANKCANVAS has created, you really do get the most of your money! 

MASTER SERIES,PALETTE ONE #BCMASTERPALETTE1. This is the one that started all of this hype.I have to be honest with you guys and say I'm completely over all of these celeb and bloggers own make up lines, the professionals known what they're doing. THIS pallet is literally all I need, the colours are perfect for both night and day and SUPER pigmented. Not to mention you get the 40/41 brushes with it instead of some knock off applicators out there  for the perfect finish.

There are 12 beautiful neutral shades and perfect balance of 11 velvety matte shades ranging from a gorgeous vanilla base colour to a dark brown shade. It also contains 1 shimmery champagne highlighter shade (My favourite is orangey Carmin).



BC STANDEE Compact Upright Standing Pouch. Okay, so this is one of my STAR FINDS! this pouch is specifically designed with convenient and professional make up storage in mind. This luxurious beast can hold approximately 10-20 brushes (depending on size and shape). It’s also handy for storing your beauty arsenal. It’s perfect for travelling and setting up in front of the bathroom mirrors. So, one of my pet peeves is make-up brushes resting on surfaces, or being stored in a cup exposed to the elements. THIS SOLVES ALL my beauty problems guys!


Another animal friendly dose of luxury, believe it or not this beauty is made from faux leather with embossed suede detail, and a luxurious gold finish logo plaque.



So guys I've been playing around with all of these goodies for the past week and I think I'm ready to finally share a few looks using the above with you. Keep and eye out!



21 Jun 2017

TAMESE & JACKSON | BEAUTY

The Ultimate HALAL GIFT SET

It's honestly heart wrenching looking for the perfect skin care range especially when around 70%-100% of what you put on your skin / hair(depending on which part of the body) is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This year I've come to realise that external care is as important as internal care, I've given up non-natural deodorants, shampoos, creams and lotions... life's too short.


According to studies these are the top products to look for cleanest ingredients in:
  • Anything you soak in (ie bubble bath).
  • Anything you apply and do not wash off, such as lotion, face and body creams, and oils.
  • Body powder.
  • Shampoo and conditioner (which is a wash off, but has high exposure due to where you use it and the way it “washes” over your entire body).
  • Any product you put on your child.
CLEAN products don't have to be boring, T&J's Lime and Reyhan sets 
are a delightful fusion of lime and aromatic basil (reyhan) with hints of orange blossom, vanilla and jasmine. With added anti-oxidising ginger extract for multiple benefits for your skin and hair. If you like soft Arabian Oud notes you WILL love these!

The lotion glides against your skin beautifully and most importantly it doesn't leave your hands feeling sticky like some hand lotions do. The hand wash smells refreshing and leaves a light trace of fresh fragrance without drying your hands.


WHY I LOVE TAMESE & JACKSON:
'We have learned from studies that alcohol can cause dryness of the skin and act as an irritant, so removing it make our products milder and suitable to more skin types. Similarly we do not use any ingredients derived from pork or any other animal, making our products suitable to vegetarians, and we do not use any genetically modified ingredients nor parabens. As a company we have respect for all animals are against any form of cruelty to or testing on them.'

I adore the concept of 'if it's not good for you, then you won't find it in our products'.


I keep my T&J hand washes and hand lotion in my bathrooms, and also at my parents home too. Their colours compliment any home and take pride of place next to hand basins. I honestly believe that their beautiful simplistic packaging with an Arabian / Alhambra twist looks as chic as high-end competitors; Aesop, Neals Yard, Max Benjamin - all brands I've dabbled in, and yet Tamese and Jackson comes in only at a fraction of the price, looking and feeling as luxurious as the others. 



This Lime and Reyhan Eid gift set is available exclusively to over 60 Asda stores. It's 100% worth grabbing a set to try during your next grocery shop. Even my DAD who thinks moisturising is "for women" is now converted and I ended up having to surrender him one of my sets... So to be honest, they make the perfect EID gifts too, fear not, I've stocked pops up.




KUNAFA | RECIPE

It wouldn't be ramadan without this traditional Arab dish. Using mamas recipe and combining ideas from others, this is the version I live by and have adapted in accordance to mine and my families taste buds.



Kunafa is made up of four mini recipes, when combined these create the best tasting kunafa you will ever have. I have linked in all of the products that you may not find in regular supermarkets to an online store.

THE SCENTED SUGAR SYRUP:
  • 2½ mugs of granulated sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice 
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and squeeze of lemon juice. Place on the stove over high heat. Avoid stirring it as it prevents crystallisation, but if the sugar is not dissolving, then help it out with a few stirs. STOP stirring once it comes to a boil.

Keep the syrup on a rolling boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for no longer than 10 minutes - Set a timer! The syrup will thicken slightly, and have a consistency similar to pancake syrup. If it simmers for longer, it may thicken too much.

Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water. Pour it into to a measuring cup or gravy boat (for easier pouring) and allow it to cool to room temperature.

THE SEMOLINA PUDDING:
  • 350ml milk
  • 180ml whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of water
In a small saucepan, combine together the milk, whipping cream, sugar and semolina. Dissolve the cornstarch in the 1 teaspoon of water and then add to the saucepan.

Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring the pudding to a boil, and continue cooking until the mixture thickens into a b├ęchamel - like consistency. Remove from heat and stir in the rosewater. Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the kunafa - stir it frequently as it’ll form a skin.

FOR THE CHEESE FILLING:
  • 600 grams mozzarella cheese(grated is preferred, otherwise dice into small cubes)
In a medium bowl, stir together the grated or cubed mozzarella cheese and rose water.

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 200C.

Heavily grease a 30cm round cake pan with butter. The larger the tin, the thinner the Kunafa will be.

FOR THE KUNAFA CRUST:
  • 1 mug of melted butter
Over a large bowl, separate, cut and shred the kunafa dough into 1inch/ 2.5cm long pieces. I've found that cutting the kunafa while semi frozen, makes it much easier to separate. 

Pour the melted butter evenly over the kunafa. Mix the butter with your hands into the kunafa shreds - making sure it gets well coated and every strand is glistening yellow.

CONSTRUCT YOUR KUNAFA

Transfer two-thirds the amount of the buttered kunafa dough in the greased pan and firmly flatten the bottom - you can use the back of a spoon to do this. Make a wall with the kunafa around the sides of the pan; this will prevent the filling from burning.

Pour in half of the cooled, semolina pudding and spread with a spatula into a thin layer. Then do the same with the mozzarella mixture and pat down into an even layer. Cover with the remaining semolina pudding.

Place the remaining third of the kunafa dough over the cream filling - lightly press it on to adhere.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top and sides of the kunafa are deep golden brown in colour. The longer it bakes, the crunchier it gets - So bake it for less time if you prefer a softer crust.

Remove the kunafa from the oven and pour on about ¾ of the scented sugar syrup, starting from the edge and moving towards the centre, in a circular motion, making sure to cover the entire surface. Set aside the leftover syrup for drizzling over individual servings.


PRESENTATION

At this stage Some people prefer to flip it (upside down) from the baking tray and into a large plate for serving. I prefer to keep mine baking - side up and serve straight from the baking tray - it works either way.

Leave the Kunafa aside for 5 to 10 minutes so the syrup can be absorbed. Decorate with crushed/halved pistachios and edible roses.

Cut the kunafa and serve while still warm. Add extra syrup to individual servings as desired. Kunafa is best served warm, while the filling is still gooey. The kunafa can be reheated in a microwave to preserve the softness of the filling.

Enjoy and Ramadan Kareem x

Samolina filling recipe adapted from: Cleobuttera.com

15 Jun 2017

CHICHI LONDON

'NEW-IN' is to die for!

Chi-Chi London is a young, fast-fashion brand bringing catwalk-inspired fashion direct to the high street. Specialising in cocktail, prom and evening dresses. They pride themselves on their  unique, vibrant and expressive styles. Created in London, they are now a worldwide brand offering the finest quality products from a dedicated team of talented young designers.

I recently wore the Chichi London Frances Dress to my younger sisters wedding, and I received so many compliments on it along with the rest of the beautiful bridesmaid entourage.

  

I really fell in love with their new-in section especially their blouses and jumpsuits. The TIERED TULLE MAXI SKIRT is just a huge tulle bundle of joy. Layered Tulle Skirt is Fully Lined to cater to your modesty needs. It's a dip hem style which means make it versatile and easy to style. It can be worn with a t-shirt to make it less dressy for daytime dress-up or worn with a glitzy top for an equally show-stopping evening look.

Perfect for Eid, Daytime , Cocktail, Evening, Party & Bridal Occasions