Monday, 14 December 2015

Beauty Review | Beauty Blender vs Artist of Make-up Beauty Buffer

Salaam alaykum sisters!

Pretty much all make-up artists use beauty blenders and sponges to apply or blend
make-up. I have been using 2 sponges for a little while now and thought I would do a quick review to give my verdict on which I think is the best.

The first is the original beauty blender bought online from beautybay.com for £16 and the second is the beauty buffer from Artist of Makeup for £5.95.

The pictures above show both the beauty buffer (on the left) and the original beauty blender (on the right) when wet under a running tap and the water squeezed out so they are damp making them ready to apply or blend your make-up with.

When I first started using the original beauty blender I loved it, my foundation and concealer always looked amazing, it took a bit of getting used to at the beginning as I was always used to using my fingers or a buffing brush to apply my make-up. The beauty blender doubles in size when you wet it and as you bounce it on your face in a stippling motion it blends effortlessly.

A few months ago my cousin picked up the beauty buffer from the Artist of Make-up stall at the IMATS. It came in a really nice velvet pouch to keep it in. You use it in exactly the same way as the beauty blender. When I first got it I thought it wouldn't be as good as the beauty blender because I really loved my beauty blender, the way it made my make-up look and thought nothing could match up, especially not something so much cheaper.

Artist of Makeup
Straight away I could see the difference between the two sponges, the beauty buffer from Artist of Make-up felt heavier and not as spongy as the beauty blender. As you may be able to see in the pictures above the original beauty blender has more holes in it. I felt this made it soak up more product than the beauty buffer by Artist of Make-up.

After using both sponges for a good 5-6 months and I can finally say the beauty buffer by Artist of Make-up is better than the original beauty blender. Firstly it's cheaper than the original beauty blender, I feel like its better as it soaks up less product, also as the beauty buffer is more dense I feel like its easier to use, it is more bouncy which makes the stippling motion easier to do and blends with less effort, sometimes I even use the beauty buffer without wetting it and it stills works really well. I feel like my original beauty blender wont last as long and will eventually fall apart as its more spongy (it's already starting to fall apart).

One of my Instagram followers wanted to know about the difference between the pink beauty blender and the black pro beauty blender, as I don't have a black one I couldn't comment, however, after speaking to my cousin, fellow make-up enthusiast and Instagrammer *DolceNaz* I can tell you that there isn't much difference, she says although the black one feels lighter it's exactly the same as the pink one.
One thing she did tell me is the micro mini beauty blenders designed for corners of eyes and the tiny areas around your nose are better than the original beauty blender as they make your make-up look more flawless, using these mini blenders for your whole face is very time consuming but do make your make-up look amazing.

So there you have it...my verdict is that the Artist of Make-up (AOM) beauty buffer is better than the original beauty blender. It's much cheaper, economical in terms of not soaking up so much product, in my opinion easier to use and makes my make-up look more flawless than the original beauty blender.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Review | Loaded Burgers

Anyone else feeling worse for wear? It's that cold/flu season again and I've spent almost 2 days indoors feeling under the weather, so today hubby decided to take me out of the house for a late lunch. We ended up at 'Loaded Burgers' in Stoke Newington.

I remember around this time last year going to the same place when it was 'Neon Burgers'. I really enjoyed Neon Burgers, so I was really disappointed when they closed down. Neon Burgers has now turned into Loaded burgers, I have heard good things about Loaded Burgers from people who have been to the Ilford branch, so it was time to give this place a go.

Luckily it's a Saturday and we found free parking on a side road close by (Parking restrictions in the area are until 6.30pm Monday-Friday and up to 1.30pm on Saturday, free on Sundays). It was difficult to find the opening times for Loaded Burger but from what I remembered Neon Burgers was open from 5pm so we just took the chance and decided to go at around 5pm.

We were greeted by a very friendly and courteous waiter who showed us to our seat, offered us some water and explained the procedure of ordering and paying. They don't take card payments so hubby had to go across the road to find an ATM to take out cash after we ordered. The restaurant is HMC approved so you can be totally reassured and comfortable knowing it's all completely halal.

The menu is extensive with a big range of burgers, ribs, soft drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, milkshakes, sides and starters.

For drinks we both went for an original Mojito...

I LOVED that it came in a Mason jar and wasn't stingy like some other places I've eaten at. This is such a refreshing reasonably sized, reasonably priced drink, can't really fault it apart from maybe it could have been a bit colder.

For starters we ordered buffalo wings and fried garlic mushrooms...

Both starters were equally tasty but the portion size was on the small side, we got 3 buffalo wings and 3 garlic mushrooms. It was probably a good thing the portion size was small because otherwise we probably wouldn't have had space for our mains.

For mains we both got the Takon Burger, mine was beef and hubby's was lamb as he's not a big fan of beef, for sides we got chilli beef fries to share...

The burger consisted of cheese, caramelised onions, lettuce, tomato, chicken rashers & onion ring, dressed in loaded burger sauce and aioli. It was lush! Both hubby and I really enjoyed our burgers, it was moist and the brioche buns were soft, the meat was succulent, full of flavour and not dry.

The chilli beef fries with cheese were also awesome, they tasted really good and I liked how it came in a bucket. I think it was a good idea that the burgers came in trays because it meant that you didn't have to worry about making a mess or things sliding off your plate.

Both the lamb and beef come medium-well cooked so it's still slightly pink in the middle which is how we both like our meat, whether it's burgers or steak, however, if you prefer your meat well cooked then you have to state that when ordering.

At the end hubby went up and paid the bill which came to around £37, this is a bit on the expensive side for burgers, but for a one off treat it isn't too bad.

Overall the food and atmosphere was great the only small problem I had was with the paper they used to line the bucket of fries and the tray with the burger. When the paper became wet due to the sauce from the burger it started to rip, as I was cutting my burger I had to keep making sure that I wasn't eating the paper because it kept coming away with the burger, I'm sure this issue can be easily resolved. Otherwise a really good hearty meal!

As you can see I couldn't finish it =/
Would definitely visit Loaded Burgers again as the food was great, looking forward to trying some of the different burgers and other mojito flavours.

Until next time, there you have it, my review on Loaded Burgers!

Loaded burgers
179 Stoke Newington High St.
N16 0LH
Or call for queries:

Friday, 2 October 2015

The colour of my skin

This is a topic that I think many girls from a South Asian background can relate to...the complexion of our skin and the obsession with being fair.

"O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female and have made you into nations and tribes for you to know one another.  Truly, the noblest of you with God is the most pious. Truly, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware." (Quran, 49:13)
In the South Asian (Bangladesh, India & Pakistan) culture, being fair/white is apparently beautiful. Your beauty is rated on a scale of how fair or dark you are. This issue has caused major problems, from breaking up relationships to destroying the self esteem of many young girls with darker complexion.

Below I will share with you true and personal stories of myself and people I know, to hopefully give you an insight into how disgusting and destructive this mind set is and why we MUST do something to change this.

When I was very young I was quite fair in complexion, as I got older the colour of my skin got darker, I am darker than my siblings. From the age of about 7, family members kept asking me why I had gotten dark and reminding me about how 'pretty' I was when I was lighter as a child. A certain 'grandma' would say 'why have you gotten so dark' e-v-e-r-y-t-i-m-e she saw me, ironic thing was that she was really dark herself. She made it a point to tell my fairer cousins and sisters how beautiful they were, but myself and my other 'darker' cousin were pretty much invisible. To me, all my cousins and sisters are beautiful.

A sister I know who is much darker than her other sisters still has to deal with this issue. As a child it really affected her, much more than it affected me I 'd say. People would tell her to use special creams to make herself whiter or not go in the sun so much and to scrub her skin properly. When her little brother was born she was overheard telling him 'why didn't Allah make you whiter like the other two sisters? Why did He make you dark like me?' For a child to be making comments like that really shows how serious this problem really is.

To this day she still struggles, with people commenting (usually family), worrying men coming with proposals wont want to marry her because she is too dark.

Another girl was told by her own father that it would be very difficult for him to find her a husband because she was dark and short, regardless of the fact that she had high imaan, a loving, patient and bubbly personality, because ultimately no parents want their son to marry a dark skinned girl.

Alot of girls have issues with mother in laws, after marriage it was no different for her, however, her skin colour was brought into the equation and Bengali insults about how 'black' one is can be exceptionally hurtful to say the least.


I know of a man who is tall and fair in complexion, he married a woman for what feels like completely the wrong reasons, of course what is in the hearts of the two people when they got married and what their intentions were are between them and Allah, but this is what I know from having known these people.

The lady was in my opinion very beautiful, only 'problem' is she was dark in complexion. When the man's family went to see her with the proposal for marriage they flagged up that she was 'dark' and that they were not too keen, but after their son's insisting and after they met the lady's family they agreed to go ahead with the wedding.

They had a big lavish wedding in Bangladesh, no expenses spared, we watched their wedding video from the UK. Quickly we heard rumours that the groom wasn't all too pleased with his wife's skin colour, in a joke he made to a wedding guest he said 'have you seen the bride? She's a bit dark isn't she?' This flagged up that things were already going downhill, on a day that should have been the best day of his life, a day where he was totally head over heels, madly in love with the woman he was to spend the rest of his life with, he was talking about her skin colour, as were the other guests.

The couple came to the UK as the bride was a British citizen. All the close family that met the bride agreed she had a lovely personality, she was kind, quiet, polite & courteous. This however, did not stop the elder's and other family members and family friends commenting on how good looking the husband was and how 'ugly and dark' the wife was. Comments about how they didn't suit and 'where did they find this woman?' kept flying around from outsiders. These comments and the husbands backwards mentality made the lady feel very upset, but she kept it to herself.

As the husband got settled in the UK, his big head got even bigger and in front of me he made 'joking' comments about how good looking he was and how 'dark' she was. They had their first child who took after his fathers complexion, the mother had to endure comments like 'oh he's such a good looking child, good thing he took after his father', 'he looks soo much like his father', the man himself made jokes in front of his wife about how his son looked like him but nothing like her.

After a year or two, the comments kept building up, the lady became more and more depressed, the couple's problems went from bad to worse. To cut a long story short the couple went through a very messy divorce and the lady finally left. I will never forget one thing the lady said to me 'Never marry a man better looking than you', to this day it breaks my heart when I think back to that conversation. How bad must she have been feeling to make such a comment, she will now teach her daughter the same thing and it makes me so angry that these backwards minded ignorant and arrogant people made her feel so low.

All of the stories I mentioned above are true and just a few occasions and are actually just snippets of what girls with darker skin have to go through, I'm pretty sure there are plenty more out there and some that are much worse.

As a child these comments made me feel so insecure and I felt like there really was something wrong with me, I wondered if I should wear a lighter colour foundation or use 'fair and lovely' creams like people suggested, I looked at myself in certain pictures and thought I looked ugly. Now aged 24 and with a husband who loves me unconditionally, tells me I am beautiful and he loves me the way I am, it doesn't bother me as much. But I do still have days where I feel a bit insecure, as do all of the women I have talked about.

It took me a long time to get out of that way of thinking and start appreciating the way Allah has made me. But I hate knowing the fact other girls are still going through these problems. I'd hate to have a daughter who has to go through the same issues we did, the difference is if certain people made comments about my child's skin colour I would put them in their place rather than try to change my child and make them 'whiter' like my own mother did by telling me to stay out of the sun and use fair and lovely or a lighter shade of foundation.

Why in this day and age do we still have this problem in our community? White people are tanning to become darker and dark people are using whitening creams and lighter foundations to become lighter, why can't we be happy with the colour of our skin?

The only way to change people's way of thinking is bring our own selves out of this deep rooted racism and teach our own children to be happy with the way Allah created them. We need to empower our daughters and teach our sons the true meaning of beauty. And yes, every now and then we need to speak out against people who make derogatory or racist remarks in our own families and communities.

If we don't revert back to the teachings of Islam in our lives, these issues will continue to cause divide, ruin marriages and totally crush the minds of young women.

I leave you with a well known saying from our beloved prophet peace be upon him, from his last sermon.

The Prophet Muhammad  said: {O people!  Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one.  An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.}
May Allah forgive our shortcomings and change the backwardness of the elders and close minded people in our communities.

Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts and experiences on this issue.

Until next time...Salaam Alaykum!

Review | 'Oooh my'

Salaam salaam!

I haven't posted anything in a really long time and almost felt like giving up blogging altogether. After the wedding life took over and it's really difficult trying to balance everything. Anyway I haven't given up and here is a quick review for two kimono dresses from a company called 'Oooh My', which I came across on instagram. Today I will be sharing my views on the dresses and the company.

I actually don't have pictures of me wearing the dresses so I have shared with you the sample pictures from their website.

I bought these two kimono dresses from the website. I actually found a hard time choosing the colours because there are so many to choose from, but I felt these two were something I could wear in this summer transitioning to autumn weather.

The website is fairly easy to use and I found the pictures of the items really helpful. It's always a good idea to have a model wear the products so that people can visualise what the item looks like when worn. The prices of the items I felt were a little high for what they are, but having said that they are in keeping with other independent companies selling a similar range of products on instagram.

The items arrived pretty promptly (within a week). First thing I realised is that although it's fully lined (which I love!) the sleeves are see through )= so I had to wear a black top underneath. For this weather where it's cold in the mornings and night, but pretty sunny and warm in the afternoon wearing a top and leggings underneath is ok, but for summer wearing a long sleeve top can get a bit too hot.

I am 5ft3 and this dress is slightly too short for me, I would have preferred it to be slightly longer but it's still ok. This dress will be a bit too short for anyone taller than me. So be careful to check all sizing for different products before purchase.

I got a discount code from their instagram which I applied to the basket before paying so check their facebook page and instagram to see if you can get a discount.

Overall I really like the two dresses I bought, although I think they're a bit on the expensive side for what they are, with the discount I think it's a good purchase. I'm pretty sure I will be making more purchases from them in the future inshaAllah, especially for next summer seeing as it's really difficult to find hijab friendly dresses on the high street.

Check out their website here
Feel free to share your thoughts and reviews if you have shopped with 'Oooh my' before.



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Review | Mayahmeen London

Salaam alaykum!

Today I'd like to introduce you all to 'Mayahmeen London'. This is a small family run business selling beautiful hair/hijab accessories.

Some of you may have come across their stall at charity events like smokey not smudgy. I have been lucky enough to try a sample of one of their pieces...

This delicate and dainty gold and green piece is well crafted and made with really high quality materials. The 3 strand piece in particular can be worn in a variety of ways to suit your hijab style and your mood. The small earring type attachment at the end of each strand makes it easy to wear and doesn't make big holes in your scarf, it also means you can wear it in your hair for sister only events or if your don't wear a hijab.

I came across Mayahmeen via Instagram, straight away I loved the uniqueness of their pieces. Every headpiece is elegant and there is something there to suit everyone's taste. Each headpiece is handmade with passion and care to create something specially for you. If you have a wedding or an event coming up, just get in contact with Mayahmeen London with the colour of your hijab or outfit (better yet, send them a picture of it) and Mayahmeen could design and make your very own, exclusive headpiece.

Whether you want something to accessorize your outfit or to give to someone as a gift, make sure you check out all of their other headpieces on their website http://www.mayahmeen.co.uk or on their instagram page http://instagram.com/mayahmeen_london/