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

12 Jun 2017

RAMADAN SPECIAL | DECORATIONS

How my family and I celebrate Ramadan & Eid.

Ever since I was a young girl my excitement of Eid and Ramadan would always equal to my peers excitement for Christmas. It was my parents mission to make it as special as possible for us - especially growing up in a non-muslim environment. 

If you're not feeling that excitement, you know that it's time to implement some change, the month is ONLY what you make it and i'm about to tell you how we spend it.

It isn't a secret that my childhood excitement really shaped my adult experiences of Eid and Ramadan (I fully have my parents to thank for this)and I will probably never fully understand how some consider Eid a 'normal day' where people casually go to school or work ... and yet fully participate in Christmas .. it's the holiest celebration of our faith guys, c'mon. 
  • The first thing Mama and Baba do is ensured we ALL had the day off school and they too have the day off work. If you haven't booked it off yet, now is the time to.
  • My parents also invented little Eid and ramadan 'traditions' for us to build up the excitement throughout the month. One of which included decorating the house with tinsel, fairy lights, lanterns, banners, and balloons at the beginning of ramadan, this includes an 'EID Wall / corner' for us to begin stacking our Eid gifts to each other in. 
This is how we decorated our Eid wall / corner this year.






'RAMADAN MUBARAK' BALLOONS | HERE
3M X 3M FAIRY LIGHTS | HERE
10 PACK SMALL STARS | HERE
SINGLE LARGE STARS | HERE

'Ramadan Mubarak' balloons are perfect as you can just replace 'Ramadan' With 'Eid' the night before. They're also reusable - you blow them up using a straw and deflate them the same way ready to store for next year. I used a thread to hang ours instead of the string provided as I wanted it to be less visible. This pack is the cheapest I've found online - I shopped around a lot. They also come with a cute crescent moon and star which I haven't photographed.

I shopped around for the stars too, they were super hard to find but I wanted to stick with the silver, crescent moon and stars theme this year.

The fairy lights - although we had some they needed replacing as we've had them since we were born so I decide to upgrade to the 'Curtain' drape lights. They really look beautiful and have multiple settings so you can have them constantly on, fashion, fading etc. They also shine through the crescent moon cut outs on the stars.
_________________


  • Gifting is a 'major key' in our celebration of Eid, they certainly don't have to be expensive gifts, just kind gestures to family and friends so that everyone has something to open and look forward to on Eid - weather they are spending it with loved ones, alone or in the office.
  • Everyday weekday of Ramadan - one of us three siblings would cook our favourite dishes in the kitchen with mama, and Friday is always leftover day.
  • Every Saturday of Ramadan - is spent with family and friends for Iftar, hosted with different friends and at different houses each week.
  • On the 28th day of Ramadan - we host a themed Henna / Ladies Night / Iftar - everyone brings a dish, exchanges gifts for a place at each of our own 'Eid Corners' as well as all leaving with deep henna stained hands ready for Eid.
  • On the 29th day of Ramadan - we stay up decorating traditional Libyan / Italian sweets with Mama in our brand-new pyjamas (another 'little tradition') - ready to wake up and open our presents on Eid morning and devour our family breakfast spread before Eid Salah. 

Eid and Ramadan is what YOU make it, remember your attitude will decide the attitude of those to come.

8 Jun 2017

TWENTY FOUR | DUNGAREES

'ON WEEKENDS WE GO TO THE BEACH'

I've been spending a lot of time at my parents these past few weeks (mostly due to Ramadan) - much to their annoyance haha. As you know (if you've been following me for a while) I've vowed to spend time to explore my hometown. Luckily the beach is only a few minutes walk from the house I was raised in, so my dungarees and I took a little walk.


I recently got these super comfy dungarees from TWENTYFOUR. I actualy went up a size but It turns out that they're designed for a slightly baggier fit anyway so going up a size isn't necessary.


DUNGAREES | TWENTY FOUR
NAVY BLUCHERS | ZARA
BAG | BVLGARI
FRILL TOP | H&M
GEORGETTE HIJAB | VERONA COLLECTION




The deep navy Tessa jumpsuit is elegant, versatile and perfectly comfortable, it can be styled with heels and a clutch for an evening look, or with flats and a side bag for a casual daytime look. The square neckline is flattering and classic, it works well alone or layered with almost anything underneath, while the loose fit and the deep pockets add an element of classiness to every occasion. 


The sun was far too bright today. Forgive my squinting.


3 Jun 2017

INDULGE WITH LANCSCO | CHOCOLATE

'ATTENTION ALL CHOCOHOLICS'

Are you looking for the perfect Eid gift? Do you know chocoholic's? Well look no further my friends, I've fallen in love with one of the best Chocolatier I've ever come across.


So firstly I think you need to look on www.indulgewithlancsco.co.uk to see what else they have to offer. They have a resolution for all those occasions, and a hamper to cater to your every need.


CHOCCYCARD
This white gloss card with white envelope comes with a fully customisable front page - I ended up with marble and white chocolate on mine, which - anybody who knows me well will know this is a match made in heaven. You can choose to send to yourself to sign or send direct to receiver’s door. You can include this as part of a hamper or send to your loved one instead of a plain paper card.



This is the full package I received in the hamper. Everything was so well packed and came bundled in a bedding of rustic straw shreds for that rustic feel. You literally wont have to adda  thing and can send it straight to your recipient without a single worry in mind.

HAMPER CONTENTS :


BUBBLEGUM PIPS
Bubblegum Pips are these small fizzy compact sweets full of flavour. coated in fine sugar powder that prevents the sweets from going sticky and losing any flavour within its packaging - So delicious.


COOKIE DOUGH VANILLA CREAM 
Luxury 5 handmade Belgian chocolates in a gift pack. This chocolate triangle is filled with a lovely light vanilla cream, surrounded with milk chocolate and topped with pieces of cookie dough.



LUXURY COCOA DUSTED PECANS
Delicious pecan nuts with milk chocolate, coated with cocoa. They come in a glass jar which makes them a beautiful gift.


MILK PEANUT BUTTER SHARDS
Crunchy peanut butter shards, with a strong flavour of peanuts and a hint of caramel, the taste is sublime... I didn't share these with anybody.



STRAWBERRY MOUSSE
Lastly but by no means least... Probably one of my favourites in fact. These delicious handmade white chocolate coated swirls, with a milk chocolate base and strawberry mousse filling - to take you right back to those British summer nights.

You can use my discount code to place your order : ZAHRA10

They have the perfect build your own hamper or a collection of their finest ready made ones. I HIGHLY recommend their Eid milk chocolate shaped in Arabian Buhkoor and coffee pots.



29 May 2017

THE JEWEL HUT | PANDORA


My birthday week(s) just appears to be carrying on and getting seemingly closer to Eid. I never expect, nor ask for anything for my birthday, since I would much rather my girlfriends and I put some of our money and time together and shared experiences. 

Whether it's a trip abroad, climbing a mountain or camping in our fields or back gardens - I'm up for it all... 

Don't be confused by thinking that I don't accept Birthday gifts - because who would say 'No' to a thought-through gift from a loved one, right?

The Jewel Hut x Pandora surprised me with a little belated gift in the form of the most beautiful Pandora Butterfly earrings.



These beautiful earrings add a touch of sparkle to your outfit with these elegant sterling silver studs from PANDORA's Spring Summer 2015 Collection. The beautiful butterfly design is encrusted with dazzling cubic zirconia for a sophisticated finish. At £25 you can't really go wrong?


The earrings ordered on The Jewel Hut come with free delivery, same day dispatch (when ordered before 4pm) and all products come complete with the official PANDORA Packaging - which makes The Jewel Hut the perfect place to purchase all birthday or Eid gifts this year.


Thank you for my beautiful birthday present, I can't wait to wear them on Eid.

@TheJewelHut | www.thejewelhut.co.uk | www.Pandora.net | @Pandora 

17 May 2017

INGLOT SINGAPORE

"Just when I thought I had it all together my make up decided to fall apart on my arrival to Singapore."

So I had a VERY long trip to Singapore, (around 24 hours to be precise) and somewhere in the world of airport luggage (Toy-Story airport vibes) my makeup bag decided it needed more cushioning than the cashmere sweaters it was wrapped in, and so, the majority of my pressed powders, eyeshadows, contour and blushers ended up falling apart when I needed them most - for FASHION WEEK.



Thank goodness on the the first day my girl Iman had my back and saved my life but THEN I received the BEST gift from Inglot Singapore. Not only did they replace my much needed broken products but almost my WHOLE make up bag.

I played around with their best sellers and created some looks for Singapore fashion week but sadly due to my packed schedule I was unable to properly photography these looks for you. So here they are, in their full recreated glory;



I ended up using this as a base for all my looks. It's the Perfect hypoallergenic primer for all skin types and makeup finishes. Absorbs excess facial oil(which I suffered from in Singapore) and scatters light, giving all skin types a matte look and silky smooth finish. Use to prolong the life of your foundation, turning your skin into the perfect blank canvas.


I also found a substitute for my foundation during my time in singapore. This tinted moisturiser has rich moisturizing properties, adds subtle colour and evens out the skin tone. Enriched with Coenzyme Q10, saffron extract, and vitamins C, E, and F. HD pigments ensure an illuminating and soft focus effect. Perfect for those who are looking for a very natural effect of healthy, glowing, and hydrated skin.



The freedom palette is my new best friend. They come in a range of sizes and for a range of products. A magnetic layer on the bottom of the palette holds pans in place, but also allows you to rearrange and exchange each item for convenience and easy product replenishment.The unique Freedom System allows you to mix and match products and colours to make your own custom designed palette.

In my palette I have the Blush Illuminator in shade 203
You can pick combination of blush and illuminator. Matte face blush is ideal for defining selected parts of the face, while the illuminator provides delicate highlights. A silky formula enables easy application for a long-lasting fresh and subtle look.

Colour correcting Four Colour Pressed Powder shade 34.Setting, concealing baked powder. The pressed powder contains four lightly concealing colours that mixed together have the effects of :
- improving and revitalising the complexion, concealing redness and skin discolouration through light diffusers and setting make-up improving its hold. It is silky to the touch with a natural and radiant finish. It a very important component to any make up bag.

Pearl Eyeshadow shade 422 (the darker one) and Matte Eyeshadow shade  351 (which I used as a base for all my looks). Fully matte eye shadow that contains special silicones and treated pigments. It boasts high lubricity and a silky touch combined with easy, smooth, long lasting, and crease resistant application. Oil free formula provides the ideal matte finish and intense color.



Aquastic - water-based cream eye shadows will ensure a long lasting effect with a subtle or stronger shine depending on the application. Even a minimal amount provides strong coverage. Crease and smudge proof. They're available in 10 ocean shades, ranging from silvers and golds to rose, blue and green.



I LOVE these highly concentrated loose coloured powders that range from subtle to ultra-intense effects depending on application. The product contains sponge gourd oil and almost 90% pure pigment. Can be mixed with DURALINE to create liquid forms of all pigment colours.


High intensity pigmented liner provide ideal coverage. It comes in a range of rich colours, and provide vibrance and longivity after just one application. The creamy and delicate long lasting formula dries to a longlasting, smudge proof, and crease proof finish- With my busy schedule, I can vouch for that.


Maximizes the volume of the eyelashes, making them extra black with a delicate glow. The clump-free formula allows to reach a desired effect in just one sweep. Smudge proof formulation ensures the mascara will stay where it belongs, but is easily removable. The brush is the perfect size for my deep set eyes.





HD Lip Tint Matte is a trendy lip product that will provide full coverage and a silky matte finish. The product ensures a long lasting effect, does not smudge and is transfer resistant. A handy little sponge makes the lip tint easy to apply, while intense colours will compliment any makeup or skin tone. These SMELL amazing too. They're available in 10 colours, ranging from subtle nudes to classic reds and darker statement shades.


A beautiful sheer lip gloss, I love that it's presented in packaging resembling a test tube as a nod to the company’s passion for science. Vitamin E, treated pigments and breathable film formers moisturize the lips while a long lasting formula ensures longevity.

This look was out of my comfort zone because I had never experimented with colours that weren't brown hues, I had also never tried wearing eyeshadow under my eyes (as silly as that sounds) because I have huge eye lids and have always been conscious about accentuating them.

 

BASE

EYES

LASHES 

LIPS 



Hijab's in Black Onyx & Dusty Pink from @TheVeiledVogue supplied by @modestrove


BASE

EYES

LASHES 

LIPS 
INGLOT SLEEKS | SHADE 41 (ADDED IN THE MIDDLE)


Knitted Metallic instant hijab supplied by @modestrove


 

I would have never imagined I would be applying pink to my eyelids at twenty three years of age, but here I am, and here you are... watching me do it, haha. But in all honesty how amazing is this colour? I never thought I could've pulled it off but I'm completely in love with it. The lip colour was especially something I freaked out about, new favourite? I think so, I'm not quite brave enough to try the purple just yet.


3
This look is so much closer to my usual evening look, I love doing it and trying it with different products. Subtle browns and golds are always my go-to's.



BASE

EYES

LASHES 

LIPS 
INGLOT SLEEKS | SHADE 32 (Added to the middle of my old matte lip)

 

Hijab Black Onyx from @TheVeiledVogue supplied by @modestrove


I have began using these @sminkalondon brushes because my skin has been extra sensitive these past few months - even after cleaning my natural bristle brushes every week. So I decided to switch to VEGAN make up brushes since they are known to be better on the skin and for those with allergies (AKA ME). Not only are these gentle on my skin but they come in more variations and sizes which means I have everything I need. They're also not HUGE like many of the brands out there, they fit perfectly into my small makeup bag. How beautiful is the rose gold?

You can get yours here.


Many thanks to @inglotsg for saving my face during Singapore Fashion week and for saving my non-experimental life back in London.