Thursday, 26 December 2013

Beauty Review | Foundations 2012-2013

Salaam girls!

Today I shall be reviewing and comparing NARS' 'Sheer Matte', Mac's 'Studio Fix Fluid', Estee Lauder's 'Double Wear' and Artist of Makeup's 'Flawless HD'

Now before I start you should know, I'm not a professional make-up artist, beauty blogger or a make up expert, all of the info in this post are just my personal views and opinions on things I have bought and used over the last year/year and half.

My skin is oily/combination so all of these foundations are more suited to that type of skin.

In the NARS foundation I'm the shade Syracuse, in MAC I am shade NC40, in Estee Lauder Double Wear I am the shade Honey Bronze and in Artist of Make I'm shade 40.

For all of the foundations except Artist of Makeup I was matched by a consultant at the stores which I bought them from, however, because Artist of Makeup is only sold online I had to follow the comparison to MAC shades given by Zukreat herself

Swatches without flash:
 Swatches with flash:
NARS Sheer Matte:

Price: £30.50

I used this foundation for a long time, it's a sheer yet buildable liquid foundation which gives a more natural finish. I was told by the consultant at the NARS counter to apply it with my fingers as it warms the foundation and makes it easier to blend.

It's not the best for oil/shine control and when worn did make my skin look a little muddy instead of a flawless matte yet not too dry look, which is what I was after.

The packaging of this isn't great without a pump because it tends to dry up and you have to warm it between your hands before trying to shake it out onto the back of your hand.

This was the first liquid foundation I had purchased (I used to use mainly mineral powder foundations), and now comparing to the other foundations I have used over the year I don't think it's worth the money. It's not the best foundation and doesn't/didn't ever make anyone think 'wow your skin looks great/flawless' like they did with my other foundations.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid:

Price: £21.50

I was never a MAC person as I always thought it was too overrated, but one summers day I went out and decided to try it (I think a wedding was coming up or something). Anyway I used this foundation with a damp beauty blender and it worked a treat. It is more of a full coverage foundation and I wouldn't recommend it for everyday wear, it feels a little heavy on the skin and I end up getting paranoid about breaking out into spots if I leave it on for too long.

The foundation smells a lot like paint and when I use it I do feel like I'm painting my face. In pictures this foundation made me look a little orange, which is what MAC foundations tend to do.

I had to purchase a pump for this (on Ebay), just so I wasn't wasting loads of it by getting an excess amount on the back of my hand, and because with this a little bit goes a very long way.

Even though I was happy with it I don't wear it very often but only for very rare special occasions and if my skin is really bad and theres a lot to cover up.

Estee Lauder Double Wear:

Price: £28

I've been using this liquid foundation for a couple months now after being recommended by my cousin. I went to the Estee Lauder counter in Boots and the consultant tried on two shades, Honey Bronze and a shade lighter. To be honest once it was on my skin they didn't look much different. I went home (yes, with half my face in wheat and half in honey bronze) just so I could see what it was like in natural light and in different settings. I ended up going back and purchasing the honey bronze colour because it looked the most natural on my skin throughout the day.

The swatches of Honey bronze do look a lot darker and orange toned in the swatch pictures but once I wore it, it actually made my skin look flawless and glowing rather than muddy (which is the only word I can use to describe the NARS and MAC foundations).

This is another full coverage foundation and very difficult to blend if you don't work quickly as it tends to dry very quickly, for this reason I use this by applying it on a section of my face at a time and blending properly before moving on to the next part.

I use this with the Real Techniques foundation brush and buffing brush, you can also use this with a damp beauty blender but as I said you have to move very quickly. You can always sheer it out by mixing it with a moisturiser or BB cream which I have done in the past.

This foundation makes my skin look glowing but not too shiny to begin with, I do however have to powder my face a couple of hours later and throughout the day otherwise I look shiny in pictures.

Artist of Makeup Flawless HD:

Price: £15 (+ £4 p&p)

This is the only cream foundation out of the 4 I'm reviewing and comparing today. As you can see from the swatches the MAC and AOM colours are very similar, with the MAC one being a more yellow toned.

For this foundation I have to say I absolutely hate the packaging, its all made from card instead of plastic or glass like the other high end foundations, which makes it look cheap and tacky. I understand that it only comes in a pan form and you have to buy a palette to put it in for personal use you can buy the duo palette, they also come in 9 or 12. For make up artists it's great because you can build your own palette according to the colours you want/need.

I used this with a real techniques expert face brush and sort of buffed it into my skin, because it's a cream foundation it blends well and is easy to use, however, once I had finished putting it on, I realised that its so matte that it actually shows all your spots (or old spots) by emphasising the peeling skin and the dry patches around your nose and other areas, it didn't minimise my pores (even after using it with a pore minimising primer underneath), this was very disappointing but on the other hand it did make my skin actually look flawless.

After an hour or so when your skin releases some of its natural oils this foundation looks much better. I wore this with the AOM contour & Highlight sticks (which I will review in a separate post)and it tended to crease (on my eye lid and under eye), so I'm not quite sure if thats because of the highlight/contour sticks or because of the foundation. I don't think this would be any good for people with fine lines and wrinkles because of the fact that it creases.

I know people are complaining about the prices of AOM products but compared to the other high end brands it's actually not that bad considering it is quite pigmented and you don't have to use a lot. I will continue to use this and may do an update post in a few months. I ordered these products from the AOM website on Saturday 21st December and received it on the 24th, so I have to commend them on the super quick delivery especially during the holiday season.

After writing this review, Zukreat messaged me on instagram and gave me a few tips about some of the issues I had when using the foundation, which I thought would be good to share with you guys in case you had the same issues:

...As with any cream foundation to eliminate creasing it is advisable to use a powder to set your fondation. And lastly I do highly recommend that before any application of foundation you should use a moisturiser. Also if you would like to minimise the appearance of your pores I would advise you use a flat foundation brush to apply your foundation with. Try those tips and let me know how you get on 😊


Below is a picture using the AOM products I bought recently one in natural light and the other at night time with a floor lamp, hence the difference in colour of my face lol.

Using the AOM flawless HD foundation & contour sticks/highlighter
So that's it! All I have to say about the foundations I have been using over the course of a year/year and half. Comment below with your views on the products if you've used them.

I'm thinking of doing a blog post on concealers (MAC, Benefit, Collection 2000, Sleek) (another compare and review post) so let me know if you'd be interested in that also.

To keep up to date and in touch with me follow my instagram http://instagram.com/ihijabi_blog I post more on there than I do on here and Facebook.

Till next time.....Ciao you beautiful people!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

OOTD | Mehndi Bridesmaids

At the beginning of December my cousin got married, it was the happiest, most stressful, the most fun, the most exhausting time ever!

Today I thought I'd share a few pictures from her mehndi. It was a small thing with just close family and friends but it was an amazing night spending time with all our loved ones.

That's me in the gold hijab from Pearl Daisy....could you guess the colour scheme?

Review | Medina Healthcare products Ltd

I met the owners/representatives for this company earlier this year whilst covering the Halal food festival at the London Excel. They had a stall at the event and I had a chance to speak to the rep's and get an idea of what these products were all about. The brother was really friendly and down to earth, they gave me some samples to take away and try out so that I can tell you guys about it.

First up the Heavenly Moisture face cream.

Price: £4.99 

Heavenly Moisture' our luxurious face cream for the family enhanced with Virgin Pure Black Seed (Nigella Sativa-Habbatul Barakah) Oil with a combination of the purest natural ingredients which include Shea butter, Vitis vinifera , Aloe Vera, Cocoa butter. It has No Perfume, No Parabens and No Colour; the only scent comes from the Virgin cold pressed Nigella Oil. 

Loaded with essential fatty acids which revitalises and brightens your skin It is one cream which not only hydrates but provides an antioxidant rich protective seal, softens and smooths. Our cream will take you to a place of well-being while providing a silky smooth sheen that can soothe away dryness and skin irritations and is especially effective for prematurely aged, sensitive and inflamed skin. The essential oils and Aloe Vera is excellent for calming inflamed itching, irritated skin. 

This cream will nourish and revive your skin without clogging pores. Suitable for Hajj & Umrah. - See more at: http://www.medinahealthcareproducts.com/heavenly-moisture-face-cream-#sthash.CjPIir7i.dpuf

I only used a bit of this on my hands and it's REALLY moisturising, unfortunately it's a little too oily for my oily/combination skin, but would be ideal if you have dry/sensitive skin or even just to moisturise your hands. When speaking to the brother he said he'd recommend this for people with eczema because of the natural ingredients which sooth and aid the recovery of flare ups. I didn't personally like the smell of the black seed in this product so without the smell it would have been much better.

Next the Hijabi Haircare Shampoo and Conditioner 

Price £2.99 

Our Hijabi Haircare's Covered Hair Shampoo is made specifically for the Hijabi woman. Due to the lack of oxygen under your hijab, the hair tends to get greasy and lack vital nutrients which tend to make your hair break easily. 

With our carefully selected ingredients which not only tackles greasiness but also helps protect your hair, with pure ingredients like Rosemary to stimulate & revitalize your scalp, and pure almond oil to nourish & replenish your hair, which will leave your hair beautifully shiny and healthy. Free from SLES and parabens. For optimum results use in conjunction with Hijabi covered hair Conditioner for women.
- See more at: http://www.medinahealthcareproducts.com/hijabi-covered-hair-shampoo-300ml#sthash.EjxDj6fB.dpuf

Price: £2.99

Our Hijabi Haircare's Covered Hair Conditioner is deeply nourishing infusion which is the perfect pairing for the Hijabi shampoo. With Calendula oil to nourish and care for your covered hair and Rosemary to normalise oil production, encourage healthy circulation and improve scalp conditions restoring your hair's Luster and shine . Free from SLES and Parabens. - See more at: http://www.medinahealthcareproducts.com/hijabi-covered-hair-conditioner#sthash.2eXlB1UM.dpuf

I'll be quite honest I was intrigued by the shampoo and conditioner, it's the first of it's kind as I haven't come across shampoo and conditioner specifically aimed at women who cover their hair. They are supposed to help with greasy hair, if you wear hijab, your head tends to sweat and your hair gets quite greasy quite quickly so these products are aimed to directly tackle that problem. They are both fragrance free so you wont get any overpowering smells or anything like that. However, even though they really do wash your hair so it's no longer greasy, I wasn't a big fan. I prefer shampoo's with a nice fragrance, also the shampoo and conditioner left my hair feeling really dry and didn't give it a nice shine.

I don't like the shampoo but I do sometimes use the conditioner with my regular shampoo which isn't too bad. But if you do have a problem with greasy hair then this does work, I guess my hair needs moisture, which this product doesn't provide for me personally.

Lastly the Shower Gel

Price: £2.49

Our Female Shower Gel for the Hijabi woman delicately cleanses your skin without drying it out. Enhanced with Aloe Vera & coconut oil and fragranced with the tingling scent of the East, it will leave you refreshed all day long and reawaken your energy banks. - See more at: http://www.medinahealthcareproducts.com/hijabi-her-shower-gel#sthash.ohzmZfM6.dpuf

This was probably my favourite product out of the selection I was given to try, just because I have no problems with and still use it. I would recommend this product if you don't like strong scented shower gels because this doesn't have a strong overpowering scent and cleanses your body really well.

All of the products are VERY reasonably priced as they are very affordable. The website also allows you to buy multipacks or provides deals if you combine some of the products together.

Overall I was pleased with the products, there's nothing terribly wrong with them but the majority of them were not suitable for me personally.

I really like the idea behind the products and to have specific things aimed at tackling hijabi hair and skin problems is a niche that needed to be tapped into.

Medina healthcare also make products such as shampoo's and conditioners suited to men (aptly named Habibi haircare) as well as children. Another thing I love is that they use natural products that work with your hair and body rather than packing it full of chemicals, free from animal cruelty and 100% vegan and halal, this is the perfect option if you are concerned about what you put on your body and how eco-ethical it is.

For purchases and to view more products do go to http://www.medinahealthcareproducts.com

(images of the products are from medinahhealthcareproducts.com)