Happy New Year: Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

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I can't believe 2012 is coming to an end! This year has been amazing in terms of blogging, as I passed the 100 GFC follower milestone for my blog and also celebrated my 2nd blog-versary. I've had the chance to meet and become great friends with amazing bloggers. I finally joined Twitter, made a Facebook page for the blog, attended numerous events/lunches&dinners/days out, and pretty much Instagram'd my way through the year. Thank you to everyone reading this for reading, commenting and following the blog!

2012 was also an important year as there were lots of things that happened. I graduated from university this year, had the chance to work at the Olympics (and watch plenty of Handball whilst I was there) and started my own micro-business from doing things I love. I also finally got a Christmas job (which will end next week) after years of applying and not being successful.

Hopefully 2013 will be even better and with many more memories to create (and share with all my readers of course!) =)

Anything in particular that you would like to see on the blog next year?


December Empties

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As 2012 comes to an end, I leave you all with the last empties post for this year. This month quite a few products have been used up, some which are my favourites and others that I probably won't purchase again.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - Another bottle of my all time favourite cleanser has been used up. I love it because it does remove all my makeup and the muslin cloth also exfoliates my skin at the same time. It's gentle which is great for my sensitive skin and depending on how often I use it, C&P lasts quite some time. Will definitely be repurchasing.

Bath & Body Works Fragrance Mist - In case you haven't noticed, I love body mists and have quite a collection of them. This one from Bath & Body Works had a lovely sweet fragrance and was perfect for spritzing onto my outfit and hijab before going out. The scent isn't strong but does last a while.

ELF Brush Shampoo - I bought this ages ago (during one of my ELF shopping sprees). It's lasted quite a long time as I don't use many brushes so they only really need cleaning after I've done makeup for an event or special occassion. I probably won't be repurchasing as I've got the ELF brush cleanser and will be combining that with a mild baby shampoo to clean my brushes.

Radox Berry Burst Shower Cream - Another standard shower product. The scent isn't too strong and doesn't last, although I find that is the case with most shower products.

N-Spa Hot Butter Fudge Body Cream - Now this is product that smells amazing! The body cream actually smells like a delicious caramel and fudge dessert (but I wouldn't recommend eating the product). The cream was moisturising enough for me (I used this on my arms mostly). I will definitely be looking at the rest of N-Spa's range, especially if they all smell this good!

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off Mask - The first face mask that I used since I've stopped using the Dermalogica skincare range. I love peel off masks (there's just something about them that's makes you feel like it's working!). This one I would repurchase, althought more likely to use it when there are a few spots about to surface.

Aveeno Skin Relief moisturiser (sample sachet) - Another collection I'm trying to use up is my collection of samples. This moisturiser is really hydrating and it was great to use on my legs (especially as they get a lot drier in the winter). I have a few more sachets of these that I'm trying to use up, before I decide on whether or not I want to purchase the full size.

And that's all for the December empties post. Hope you all have had a wonderful year!


Boxing Day Sales 2012 - Haul

This year I actually did get to do a little shopping on Boxing Day. Last year, I didn't do any sale shopping, so this time I decided to treat myself as well as pick up a few essentials. And here's what I got:

My Boxing Day Sale haul!

Close up of the stackable rings =)

From Next (which believe it or not, still had a long queue of people waiting to go in at 4pm, even though the store opened at 6am), I picked up a standard pack of ankle socks and a set of stackable rings (not very exciting, I know). Boots had 50% off all their christmas gift sets, so I bought the Soap & Glory Shower Trip case, which contains 6 travel size products and a rather handy (and large) bag, which will be perfect when I'm travelling. I also took advantage of the 50% off offer at Lush and got hold of one of the last few 500ml bottles of Snow Fairy in the store, which cost me just over £5. Superdrug also have plenty of offers going on at the moment, and one that caught my eye was a selection of Simple products priced at £2 each. My sister is currently using the Simple hydrating light moisturiser, and she really likes it (I'll try and get her to do a review), so I picked up the replenishing one, which is more suited for my dry skin as it's a rich moisturiser.

The one piece of clothing that I got was a black jersey maxi skirt, from a shop called Select Fashion. It wasn't on sale, but only cost me £10 (and there are lots more colours availableon the website). Not sure exactly when and how I'm going to wear it, so if you have any idea's, do let me know!

I forgot to have a look at shoes/boots so I'll probably be going back next week (hopefully when the crowds have all gone) =)

Did anyone pick up any good bargains during the boxing day sales?


Latest in Beauty Stocking Filler Box

You know that when it comes to Christmas, there's going to be plenty of beauty products and gifts around to buy. I was actually really tempted to purchase an advent calender this year, because even though I don't celebrate Christmas, I can still treat myself to what is essentially a set of sample/mini luxury products. The main one that I had my eye on was the Selfridge's Beauty Advent Calender, but couldn't justify spending that much money (plus it's sold out, so I don't a have a chance of getting it now). Luckily, Latest in Beauty have come up with a collection of Stocking Filler boxes, each one filled with a different selection of goodies. I chose to get the Editor's Faves Stocking Filler Box, as I knew that I would use most (if not all) of the products that came inside. The box cost £19.95 and I was lucky enough to order last weekend when they had free shipping (which would have cost £2.95).

And it arrived yesterday!

It contains:
BioEffect EGF Serum (3ml)
Steamcream Nourishing Moisturiser (75g)
ESPA Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum (3ml) & Moisturiser (7ml) (inside the purple box)
Aromatherapy Associated Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil (3ml)
Trilogy Rosehip Oil Anitoxidant + (2.5ml)
Jo Hansford Intensive Masque (40ml)
Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (7.5ml)
Richard Ward Volumiser Root Booster (50ml)
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (10ml)
Mont Bleu Crystal Nail File (90mm)

There's a few products that I'm really keen to try (and are the reason as to why I chose this box over the other two options). I'm loving the full-size Steam Cream tin, as this is a product that I've always wanted to try and the packaging is so pretty! The BioEffect EGF Serum sample is also another product that I'm looking forward to using as the full size product is pretty pricey! The Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation will also be interesting to try (and it contains spf 30 sunscreen, which is an added bonus). The mini Mont Bleu glass nail file will be handy to keep in my bag when I'm out and about.

Has anyone else picked up a beauty advent calender or something similar? What do you think of this stocking filler box?


MAC lipstick collection - Swatches and Review

If you had seen my lipstick collection a few months ago (June/July), you would have noticed that I didn't own any MAC lipsticks. Not because I had anything against them, but mostly because I wasn't a keen lipstick wearer and also, the sheer amount of shades and finishes available from MAC made it impossible for me to choose which one I liked the most. Fast forward to today, and I am the owner of 3 MAC lipsticks. Here are the shades that I have, swatched and reviewed =)

Thanks to my not so great camera, the colours show up pretty similar, but they are actually different

The order of the colours in the picture above
Twig - This would be considered my first purchased MAC lipstick, which I bought in September (as mentioned in my beauty product haul). A satin finish lipstick, Twig is described as a soft muted brownish-pink, I find this the perfect everyday colour. In fact this one lives in my bag and moving between bags so that I am always carrying it around.

Viva Glam III - This has a matte finish and is described by MAC as a muted brownish-plum. I recieved this as one of my graduation presents, and was the first MAC lipstick in my makeup collection. This is a colour that I had picked out ages ago as I had swatched it a number of times in the MAC store and stated that it would be my first MAC lipstick purchase (see Instagram for proof of this). This is colour that is darker than a colour I would usually go for but it just appeals to me.

Captive - This MAC lipstick is one that I won from Sam's giveaway a few weeks ago (thank you Sam!). When she contacted me, I had actually forgotten what colour I had noted in the comments on her blog. Captive is also satin finish lipstick and it's described as a pinkish-plum colour.

(click for a bigger image)

And that's the end of my little MAC lipstick collection (which I think will be growing as time goes on). I prefer the satin finishes over any other MAC lipstick finishes (no idea why, it's just personal preference). I am a big fan of neutral and everday colours that can be worn with pretty much anything, as I prefer to focus attention on my eye makeup rather than my lips, but I'm tempted to try out some brighter and bolder colours (hence why the three lipsticks are pretty much just different shades in the same colour family).

What lip colours do you prefer? Any MAC shades (or any brand for that matter) that you suggest I try out?


November Empties

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Time for the monthly empties post! This post would have been up a few days ago, but unfortunately the winter cold/flu seems to have come around and so I'm doing a lot of stuff while inhaling vicks and generally feeling a bit lazy. It might just be me, but I seem to be finding it really cold at the moment as well! So much so, that I bought a big fluffy jumper thing the other day, which I wouldn't have normally done, as it takes me ages to decide what clothes I want to buy. A blog post shall be up soon!
Anyway, this month I've used up quite a few products although I have bought more products (the offers and sales never fail to entice me into parting with my money). So, onto what I've finished using =)

Impulse Sweet Smile Body Spray - Standard Impulse body spray which smells quite fruity and pleasant. I usually use this at home and keep a fragrance mist in my bag.

Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mist (Japanese Cherry Blossom) - This I kept in my bag so that I could use it on the go. As it's not an aerosol, it won't choke anyone if you decide to spritz yourself whilst on the tube (or in any semi-crowded place). I have a few other scents that I haven't yet used, but one of them is next to go in my bag.

Sugarbabes Touch EDT - This 100ml bottle has lasted me a good two years! Here is my review of the perfume from my of my first few blog posts! Quite sad that it's finished but I'm looking forward to buying some fragrances during the Christmas sales.

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream - You've probably seen my Dermalogica skincare review already and know that this is not my favourite moisturiser thanks to the lack of spf. It would make a lovely night cream though, but I won't be repurchasing.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation (sample) - I have so many foundation samples, it's actually quite ridiculous. I bought a full size version of this foundation some time ago, but check out the review of the sample here.

Lush Ultrabalm - Sadly another Lush Ultrabalm has been emptied. Lucky for me is that I've already decided to test out the Halal and Organic Butter Balm in it's place. See here for a review on Lush Ultrabalm and how it compares against The Body Shop's Hemp Balm.


Prescribed Dermalogica Skincare Routine [review]

In September, I had a face mapping skin analysis carried out at the Dermalogica stand at Westfield Stratford. The assistant told me that my skin was dehydrated, and that only my t-zone (mostly my nose) was oily. She recommended a few products for me to use, however I didn't want to purchase full size items and then realise that they either did not get on with my skin, or that I hated using them (for whatever reason). I decided to go for the LE Top Performer collection which contained 4 miniature/travel sized products, 3 of which were recommended to me (these were the cleansing gel, daily microfoliant and skin smoothing cream). The fourth product was an eye cream (MultiVitamin Power Firm) which I haven't actually used. The assistant also recommended the mattifying moisturiser, which I didn't purchase, but she did give me a few sample sachets so I could try the product out (this was specifically for applying on my oily nose).

So far, I have actually been pretty good with cleansing and micro-foliating (if that's a word) most mornings (I'm not perfect, otherwise it would be every morning) and also cleansing most evenings too. I used the skin smoothing cream as a daily moisturiser in place of my usual Olay one and have been sticking to the routine for the most part (apart from on Eid and the mendhi/wedding days, where I had to replace the Dermalogica cleanser for the Liz Earle C&P to remove all my makeup effectively). I haven't used the mattifying moisturiser at all as my nose has become less oily (probably because it is colder now), and I don't like the hassle of having to use a separate moisturiser for my nose.

At the beginning I didn't really see any changes. In fact I gained a few spots (although that might be due to the weather change and the fact that I have not been drinking enough water). After using this routine for a good few weeks here are my thoughts. I have mixed result as I'm not a big fan of foaming cleansers and personally I think cream/balm cleansers work a lot better for me. The moisturiser was great as it was a lot thicker than my usual Olay one (which I will stop using) but I won't be purchasing the Dermalogica skin smoothing moisturiser as it doesn't contain SPF. I've never actually looked at SPF in my skincare and cosmetics before, however I am becoming more conscious of this and have been looking into purchasing a moisturiser with a decent amount of SPF for the winter (and obviously one with a higher SPF factor for the summer). I will be purchasing the daily microfoliant, once mine has finished, as it's gentle enough for everyday use (as suggested in the name) and quite fun to use. It's just working out how much you actually need to use that is the tricky part at the beginning!

I would definitely recommend going for a face mapping analysis and finding out if you should be changing anything in your skincare routine (and it's free). You aren't obliged to purchase any products after the analysis, but any purchases do usually include a fair few sample sachets of products to try.

Has anyone else tried Dermalogica products? What did you think of them?


Chocoholic Hijabi Turns Two! [CLOSED]

(not me personally, but the blog!)

I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who reads my blog, and follows me via GFC/Bloglovin/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. Another year (and more) of blogging awaits!
Apart from sending some virtual birthday cake your way, here's a little blog-versary giveaway to say thank you! All you have to do is comment below with what you would like to see more of on Chocoholic Hijabi. And any particular products you'd like to see in the giveaway prize! This giveaway is for UK readers only unfortunately, but international readers please do comment with what you would like to see more of on the blog! =) 
The giveaway prize is still a bit of a mystery, as I'll be putting together my very own personalised Cybercandy Mystery parcel (filled with lots of edible goodies) as well as a few other treats that I've been saving for this giveaway =)
The usual rules apply:
- Follow the blog via GFC.
- Answer the question in the comments box below.
- Please leave your email address in the comment so that I can contact you!
- Giveaway is open to UK only.
- Giveaway ends on Tuesday 25th December 2012 at 10pm GMT
Note: All products in the prize will be purchased by myself. This giveaway is not sponsored by any brands/companies/stores. etc.


Smoky Not Smudgy [haul]

Seems like November is my hauling month, considering that this is my third! I attended Smoky Not Smudgy on Saturday 17th November and volunteered to do henna at the event. Unfortunately this meant that I couldn't wonder around the stalls or attend any of the workshops (they had a cupcake decorating one, which I would have loved to have gone to!), however I did get some time towards the end of the event to have a look around and pick up a few bits and pieces.

And here's what I got!

Halal and Organic is a company that specialises in organic handmade skincare products that are free from alcohol and animal fat. They have a number of different products which are designed for specific skin types. I purchased the Yellow Mango Butter Balm and the Sweet Lemon, Ginger and Manuka Honey Skin Scrub. I'm planning on using the butter balm for my eczema (this was the one specifically recommeded for it) in place of my usual Lush Ultrabalm. I seem to be getting more interested in skin scrubs, and so decided to purchase this one. The ginger makes the scrub smell lovely and I think this scrub will be perfect for winter as it also contains Argan oil and Vitamin E.

From Yana Kiss I purchased a bottle of Cosmetic Argan Oil. I've never tried Argan oil (or products containing argan oil) before, so this is a bit of experimenting for me. I don't know exactly how I'll be using the argan oil, but if you have any idea's or tips, please let me know (comment, email or tweet me) =)

In terms of hijabs and hijab accessories, I didn't buy much (mostly because I need to de-clutter what I already own!). I purchased this pretty grey and black hijab from Hijab Candy. The pattern on the border reminds me of lace which is the main reason I picked it up (also because I didn't have a grey hijab, so this is the first!).


Finally, I bought a few pins from Dramafree. The Sweetheart Rose pin is one that I've had my eye on for quite some time, yet never actually got around to buying it. I also got two different sets of diamante pins (which I can't find on the website) but these will be perfect for that extra little sparkle on my hijab =)

Did anyone else attend Smoky not Smudgy? How was your day at the event?


OOTD and EOTD: November Wedding

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I attended a wedding a few weeks ago (Saturday November 3rd to be exact) and have only just managed to edit the pictures and do a blog post. I decided to wear the royal blue farasha (which I wore for Eid ul Fitr in August). The loose fit of the dress meant that I could layer up with a long sleeve top worn underneath to keep warm.

OOTD (at the end of the day)

Henna and Accessories =)
Paired with the same nude heels and the same silver clutch, I decided to go a bit brighter with my eye makeup. Seeing as I've forgotten to re-order my contact lenses, I was stuck wearing my glasses for the wedding (not exactly the best look, seeing as they have a brown frame). I used the True Colour eyeshadow quad* which comes from Avon's Arctic Goddess collection, appropriately named for it's release this month. There are four decently pigmented eyeshadows and although the colours are not usually ones that are associated with Winter months (I usually go for more warmer and deeper colours). I decided to make use of the quad and paired the darkest shade with Toasted (from UD Naked palette) over the eyelid and used a mixture of the lightest colour in the quad and Sin (also from UD Naked palette) as a highlight on the inner corner.

EOTD (photo credit to my sister) =)

Bear in mind these pictures were taken at the end of the day (around 7pm) after having applied my makeup at 11am so you can see how well it lasted over the day. I used the ELF studio eye primer as my eyeshadow base which works well for me, although after it's finished, I'd probably invest in UDPP to see if there's a difference =)

*pr sample

What do you think?


Cybercandy - Saving the World from Dull Candy [haul]

Whenever I'm out and about in Central London, I always try and stop by at one of the Cybercandy stores that are dotted across the city. I'm not sure when exactly I came across Cybercandy, but I can't seem to stop taking a detour whilst on my way to uni/lunch/shop etc. Cybercandy is the UK's largest retailer of American sweets, drinks and more, as well as stocking favourites from Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan (and a few other countries too).

My most recent purchase comes from the Cybercandy store in Covent Garden, conveniently located near the London Graphics Centre (where I get my art supplies) and the Beadworks London shop (where I go for jewellery making supplies). A rather small purchase but it was enough to satisfy my craving for Wonka Nerds and I got to try out the Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses (two of them got eaten before I had even made it to Leicester Square Underground Station).

Giant Gumball dispenser in the middle of the shop floor
Mini Cybercandy Haul

I also had a 20% voucher to use on the Cybercandy website. Having never ordered online from them, I thought this would be a great opportunity to save the travel fare (and spend it on more goodies of course). And here is what I bought (although this should probably be classed as a haul!). If you follow me on Instagram (username: asmaa17) then you'll have already seen my box of goodies =)


What I ordered: Flipz (large and small packets), 2 x turtles, Wonka Nerds and a Mystery Parcel

What's inside the mystery parcel?

All of this!

Personal favourites: Reeses cups, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and Wonka Nerds.
Looking forward to trying: Milka with Oreo and the Hello Panda
The great thing about the mystery box is that you don't actually know what you'll recieve! This is great for me because I never know what new treats I should try out, and always end up buying only my favourites. This mystery box was great because I've actually tried a few of these products before and I'm looking forward to trying the one's that I haven't. Unfortunately, the Pop Tarts contain gelatin, so these will be going to someone who can eat them. The small packet of Flipz and the Reeses cups have already disappeared (as well as one of the Turtles packets).

Cybercandy also have 3 other stores in London (located in Islington, Camden and Shoreditch) as well as stores in Brighton and Birmingham. Of course, if you can't get to any of the stores, then there is always the option of ordering online and having your goodies delivered to your door =)

Also, I'll be doing a giveaway for my 2nd blog-versary soon, so check back near the end of the month to see what's being given away =)


Smoky not Smudgy 2012 - who's going?

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I am! InshaAllah I'll be doing henna at Smoky not Smudgy this year!

Smoky not Smudgy 2012

The fifth annual Smoky not Smudgy event is taking place this Saturday (17th November), from 12pm - 5pm. It is a ladies only pampering day, organised by the Islamic Society at Imperial College in order to raise money for charity. I've been to a few of the past SnS events, and let me tell you that they get bigger and better each year. There's a whole range of things to do, including attending the fashion show, having all the beauty treatments you could possibly want done (hair/makeup/nails/henna/facials/waxing etc.) as well as taking part in workshops, masterclasses and having a professional photoshoot at the end of it! There's also the souk area, where you'll be able to purchase goodies from a selection of companies and brands.

For more information, check out the facebook event page (here) and the website (here).

Also watch the trailer for SnS 2012 below =)

So. Who's going to join me (and everyone else at SnS) and get even more beautiful for charity?


Lush's Christmas products (mini haul)

I love shopping at Lush. Not only do the stores smell wonderful and sweet (although not everybody is a fan), but they always have something different for each of their seasonal releases. From their Christmas range this year, I've managed to pick up the Candy Mountain bubble bar and the Popcorn lip scrub (so far).

The Candy Mountain bubble bar is simply the Creamy Candy bubble bar that's had a bit of a makeover. When I purchased Candy Mountain, I didn't actually know this, but I could tell that it smelt exactly like Creamy Candy (I just thought that it was because they were placed near each other, so my nose couldn't tell the difference). Creamy Candy is actually one of my favourite bubble bars to use (as seen in this blog post), and I always cut it up, so that I get more uses from the one bar. I'm not too sure how well Candy Mountain will fare if I cut it up with scissors or a knife. It might just end up as a crumbled up mountain =S

The Popcorn lip scrub actually smells like butter popcorn! That alone pretty much made my mind up while I was in the store, and decided to purchase it on my next visit to Lush. As with all of Lush's lip scrubs, you only need the smallest amount to exfoliate your lips, so this tub will last quite a long time (not to mention that I've also got the Bubblegum lip scrub somewhere). Popcorn lip scrub actually tastes like a mixture of sweet and salty popcorn (probably because it contains caster sugar and sea salt) but it smells like butter popcorn. Weird right? All I know is that this lip scrub will definitely be a product I'll be using often, as my lips tend to get dry and flaky during winter, so this will help to overcome that problem.

Have you bought anything from Lush recently?


October Empties

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Fewer empties this month than last month, however I haven't bought much either so maybe that's why! (If I buy more, then I feel like I have to use up more products). Anyway, Psychology aside, here are the products that have been used up this month.

Dabur Amla Hair Oil - I use this as a conditioning treatment before I wash my hair. A more detailed hair care blog post will be coming up soon, so keep an eye out for that! Unfortunately, amla oil has a really strong smell so I'll most likely be switching to almond or coconut oil (but will be repurchasing this as a backup plan) =)

Sure Women Clear Diamond Deodrant - Pretty standard deodrant that doesn't leave white marks and smells quite nice. I bought this when it was on offer as I'm not too fussy about what deodrants I use, as long as they work =)

No7 Extreme Length Mascara (travel size) - I picked this up in Boots Clearance ages ago and I'm actually quite fond of this mascara. I don't wear mascara on a regular basis, mostly because I am constantly rubbing my eyes, and also because really long lashes and glasses don't mix well! This mascara is perfect for lengthening the lashes without being too over the top. Some might say that that might not be 'extreme length' but it's enough for me! The wand also manages to define each lash and a few coats of the mascara doesn''t leave you with clumpy eyelashes. Once I get through the rest of my mascara collection (both full and travel size) I shall be purchasing this one. Hopefully with the help of a No7 voucher =)

Natural Collection Blusher in Sugar Plum - This is a repurchase which has also been finished! I love the natural collection blushers as they are super cheap (£1.99) and have enough colour to give a natural looking blush. Also they are matte (no shimmer or glitter whatsoever) which I am a big fan of! Will also be repurchasing this (after I've made use of a few of my other blushers) =)

Not as many empties as last month, but still a fair few. What have you been using this month?