Updated Blog Sale

Just to let you know that I've updated my blog sale with a few more products as I've been clearing out my makeup collection (and so has my sister). All products are in good condition (see the photos for usage), but I just don't use them, so instead of them sitting there unused or throwing them out, they have ended up on the blog sale. Check it out here =)

Note: I'm open to offers and negotiations on prices. You can email me at chocoholic-hijabi@hotmail.co.uk =)


Lush Ultrabalm-Review and Comparison

Remember my Wishlist 2011 post from December? One of the products listed was the Lush Ultrabalm, that I later recieved as part of my 'not-so-secret' santa gift. After a good two months of using the balm, I think it's time to write about my experience with it.
First thing I should tell you is that I have eczema, which is basically a non-contagious skin condition that varies in symptoms according to the individual. In my case, I get patches of really dry and flaky skin which used to be on my face (near my eyes) when I was younger, but is now around my ears and hairline (I have no idea why/how it's moved). I've tried a bunch of products, from E45 to prescribed creams and lotions (that I don't remember the names of). Before Lush Ultrabalm, I was using the Body Shop Hemp Balm (mini review here) and wanted to try something new once that had been used up. I was going to purchase Lush Ultrabalm, but my friend beat me to it!

(sorry for the dodgy picture taken with the phone)

Lush Ultrabalm is packaged in an almost identical way to the Body Shop Hemp Balm, in a tin tub with a screw on lid. Because the product can become quite greasy, it's a lot easier to take some out of a tub rather than squeeze a tube, so I do like the packaging because it is practical (and easy to store). The balm itself is a lot softer than the Body Shop Hemp Balm, which makes it easier to use, as I don't have to spend ages trying to warm it up for it to come out of the tub. I love products that smell good but unlike the rest of Lush's products, the Lush Ultrabalm doesn't have a particularly nice smell, even though it is supposed to be unscented (maybe it's just the natural scent?), however it is not as strong as the Body Shop Hemp Balm, which I definitely did not like. Lush Ultrabalm is definitely working a lot better at reducing the eczema that I have around my ears. Since I've started using it, the patches of eczema have reduced and I'm not having to continuously itch behind and around my ears (which is actually quite hard to do through my hijab!). I also use the ultrabalm on other patches of dry skin especially on my feet (although I prefer to do this at night before I go to sleep).

Lush UIltrabalm works out as more expensive out of the two (for the same amount of product, 45g) although considering that the ingredients in Lush Ultrabalm (there are only three!) are all natural and vegan friendly I wouldn't mind paying the extra amount.

Anyone else tried the Lush Ultrabalm or The Body Shop Hemp Balm? Let me know what you thought of it =)


Estee Lauder DayWear BB Creme review

I purchased a sample of the Estee Lauder BB creme from Latest in Beauty for £1.50 (covers the cost of p&p), via text message last week and these are my thoughts after trying it out. Thankfully Latest in Beauty do take into consideration your beauty profile and they sent me the 02 Medium shade, which has a neutral-olive undertone. The BB actually stand for 'beauty benefit' rather than blemish balm, and it comes in a 5ml tube which I think would be sufficient for 3-4 uses. The creme itself smells fresh and reminds me of cucumbers, which I think fits in perfectly with the colour of the packaging.

Swatched on my wrist:
Top: straight from the tube
Bottom: Partially blended

The BB creme is easy to use, I simply dotted around my face and used my fingers to blend in. The medium shade blended perfectly to match my skintone (I'm an NW35) and applied more like a tinted moisturiser than a foundation. I did have to use a little mineral foundation on my T-zone as I prefer a matte finish, whereas the BB creme gives a more dewy finish (which you may prefer). It also contains SPF 35 which is great as the weather seems to be brightening up. As someone who wears more mineral and powder foundations rather than liquid based ones, I was quite pleased with how it felt on the skin and didn't really notice that I was wearing foundation. The coverage is also light which I prefer for everyday wear, although next time I would apply concealer to cover any blemishes.

Overall a really good product, although I'm not too keen on the price! (£32.00 for 30ml). If you would like to try a sample of the Estee Lauder DayWear BB creme then head over to the Latest in Beauty website =)


UnderMyAbaya:Spring is Near

(at least I hope it is!)

UnderMyAbaya: Spring is near

Dorothy Perkins Blue Tunic
Long Sleeve Shirt
French Connection Tie Pants
Ballet flat
Gold bangle

Betty Jackson woven scarf
Dorothy Perkins printed scarf

This under abaya outfit is completely inspired by the Spring season which is (hopefully) just around the corner. I love the mix of pastel colours contrasting with the dark navy on the tunic alongside the woven brown belt. I paired it with wide leg pale pink trousers (although they look like an off-white), with the tunic layered over a long sleeve white top. Shoes and accessories in complimentary colours, with mint coloured ballet flats and a simple brushed gold bracelet. I decided to use two scarves in this Polyvore set, as I think the outfit would look nice with either of the scarves, and also with a layered scarf style using both of them.

What do you think of this outfit?


Bourjois Pop-up Shop

[note:picture heavy post]

The Bourjois pop-up shop was set up in Shoreditch from the 16th to the 20th February. I found out that it was still open for one more day on Sunday night and via twitter, arranged to meet up with the lovely Numera, Saman, Aalia, Abeer, Safiyah and Sharmin on Monday. (click on the names for links to their blogs!)

Luckily I arrived in good time and met up with Sharmin and Aalia outside the venue, before going up to the top floor. As we were one of the first 50 people, we received a goody bag as we walked in. The layout of the room was actually pretty cool and there were two columns which had been set up with shelves displaying the products for us to swatch. Each column had the exact same products so it was less likely that all of us would crowd around in one area. Bourjois were also offering manicures, makeovers, body art and hair styling (which I didn't get done but it was fun to watch others). I loved the displays that were covering the shelves, and they even had the actual products stored in giant jars where our list of products would be bagged, ready for the till.

Column of products

Variety of Eyeliners


 So Laque! nail polishes


 Cute display =)

 The store - Giant Jars and Trays full of Bourjois products

Goody Bag goodies!

My purchases: 
Kohl & Contour shadow & light (13 Brun & Caramel) 
Felt-tip Liner (Ultra Black)
Blush (74 Rose Ambre and 85 Sienne)
Sweet Kiss Lipstick (11 Rose Innocence)
Effect 3D Lipgloss (03 Brun Rose)
So Laque Nail Laquer (27 Beige Glamour)

I managed to pick up a few things for myself as the bargains were too good to pass up (4 items for £14). Although not all the Bourjois products were available, I still bought a fair few products (7 in total). Will be looking forward to trying the blushers as well as the eyeliners. As you can probably tell from the lip colours and the nail polish, I love dusky nude pinks, and treated myself to a few unnecessary but pretty products. I also (hopefully) managed to stay out of the camera spotlight, as T4 were filming during the afternoon.

Hopefully I will be getting a lot of use from the products that I bought (can you believe that these are my first Bourjois products-a nice little collection I have here to get started) =)

Did anyone else manage to go to the Bourjois pop up shop? Let me know in the comments below =)


in my dreams III

Products which I would love to own/wear/use. Alas such things only exist in my dreams.

large product image
source: Net-a-Porter

Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo leather shoulder bag (£350). Neutral colour to go with practically any outfit. Big enough to fit neccessary items (plus a few extra) and still retain its shape. Multifunctional bag can be worn on the shoulder, across the body or held in your hand. Simple. My ideal bag =)


Project 10 Pan #9

Nearly at the end of P10P although I will continue to blog about products that have been used up and write my thoughts on them. The product to have been (almost) used up this time is the Lush Sweet Lips lip scrub, which is basically a tub of vanilla-chocolate flavoured sugar that is used to exfoliate your lips to remove dry/dead skin.
I'm trying to make this last just a little bit longer! Although it's practically empty =)

I love using this product as it does make my lips feel smoother and you honestly only need to use a tiny amount, so the tub lasts quite long. Seeing as I purchased this in June (this blogpost) this lip scrub has lasted me 6/7 months, which I think is pretty good. Also, as it's a natural product, I can just lick the sugar off (tastes good!). I will be purchasing another Lush lip scrub, although I want to try either the Bubblegum or the Mint Julips (which my sister currently uses). I know that lip scrubs are pretty easy to make at home, but I honestly prefer buying them (just because it's more convenient for me).

Have you tried a Lush lip scrub? Which one would you recommend?


Dining Out - Maedah Grill

After TOWIB on Saturday, my family and I went out for a meal with family friends to Maedah Grill, which is a restaurant in Whitechapel specialising in Turkish and Middle Eastern Cuisine. Maedah Grill is HMC approved and is located just behind East London Mosque on Fieldgate Street. It does get pretty busy at times and it's always best to book a table (we always do!). They also have curtained-off rooms available, which makes it perfect for those who want a little more privacy when eating. I have to say that when we do go out to eat as a family, Maedah Grill is one restaurant that we frequently visit (although we don't go out to eat often).

Unfortunately this time around, I didn't take pictures of all the food that was ordered, only a few of the main dishes, but it did taste great! We ordered a variety of starters, inlcluding the Maedah Mezze (cold starters), Lahmacun (Turkish flat pizza) and Chicken wings (coated in breadcrumbs). They also provide you with fresh bread and sauces (a yoghurt mint one and a hot chilli sauce) to accompany your meal. For mains we each ordered something different and a few of the dishes can be seen in the pictures below =)

T-bone steak (ordered by my brother)

Iskender (ordered by my sister)

Mixed Sharwama (ordered by me)

And they serve mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) which I love! This time I ordered a Coco Colada:

(in the background you can see what's left of the starters)

Hope you enjoyed this post and next time I go out to eat, I will definitely take more pictures! =)


The Only Way Is Blogging (TOWIB)


So yesterday, I attended TOWIB's third event (my first ever experience attending a blogger event). I'm not sure of exactly how many bloggers attended, but there was definitely over 100! When we first arrived, there was a chance for us to get to know everyone else in the room, have some tea and biscuits, and a competition for collecting the most blog url's. I managed to get quite a few blog url's
on my little piece of paper which I'll be adding to my blogroll.

Blogger bonding session

Numera, Sam, Abeer and Safiyah with their rather large camera's!
(in comparison to my tiny digital one)

All of us seated during the PR panel talk

I learnt a lot from the PR panel about the relationship between bloggers and PR, and how different brands/companies have a more specific criteria when looking at bloggers to work with. They stated that most of the time its the PR that approach a blogger, but it's not impossible for the blogger to approach PR (they just have to be professional, passionatate and sell themselves to PR). There were also lots of other little facts about how PR don't only look at page views and blog stats, but also at how engaged the readers are (i.e comments) and whether there are other ways to interact through social media (such as facebook and twitter). The most important point I think that was made was that it's okay to write about prodcust that you don't have a particularly good experience with (but it is good practise to let the company/PR know your thoughts before publishing the blogpost). The PR panel also included information about what makes a good blog (easy to read, simple layout, passionate about the area, update frequently/regularly, express own opinions rather than copying a press release).

The talk from ebuzzing was not particularly relevant for me, as I don't have an interest in making money from my blog at the moment, but it was nice to get some information about monetising your blog, which might come in handy in the future.
Unfortunately, I didn't stay for the talk by Annabelle's Wigs as a few of us were quite hungry (so we popped off to Pret) and also, it's not really something that interests me (I doubt I will be wearing a wig any time soon or in the future!).

Other extra things that I learnt at the event is that it is important to have business cards for your blog (no matter if you're a new blogger or an established one) and this is something I am currently looking into. Also, it's a good idea to make yourself known to other bloggers and to PR, and to build relationships through regular contact, rather than it being a one-off meeting. Honestly, there was so much more information that I wrote down, and now have to try and read through (bad handwriting + felt tip pen = illegible notes!)

The venue was a hotel near Russell Square station, and the actual hall that we were in was pretty big (although with all the chairs it didn't look like it was!) There were also mirrors all the way around the room, which made the room feel bigger, but also gave us a great place to take pictures!


Time for a group photo! (only I forgot to turn off the flash)
And for the final picture, here's my outfit of the day =)

Abaya-Seven Gifts (bought at Noor-ul Islam funday stall)
Hijab- Green Street
Lace underscarf- ZamZam International (Green Street)
Shoes (which cannot be seen)- Deichmann
Hijab pins (which also can't be seen)-Skyla pins from Dramafree

Overall I enjoyed my day, got to meet lots of bloggers and learn something new! Did anyone else attend TOWIB? Let me know what you thought of the event =)


Today I am...

1 comment
Attending TOWIB! (the only way is blogging)

It's an event created by London Beauty Queen, and this is the third one so far with hopefully many more in the future. The tickets are sold out (if that's anything to go by) and I hope to meet lots of amazing bloggers, as well as learn some things which may help me with my blog. It looks to be a great afternoon and I'll be heading there with a group of bloggers (so we don't get lost!). Also, I want to take some decent pictures to share with all of you in a blog post very soon!

Enjoy your weekend =)

p.s. I'll be going out in the evening for a family meal, so might do a blog post about that too!


Dramafree Hijab Pins and Accessories

Dramafree is a company which specialises in hijab accessories, mainly hijab pins and brooches. They keep their designs simple and elegant, as well as making sure that they are practical to wear. Dramafree also have a facebook page, on which they share details of new products and other important information.

As they currently have a sale going on (which ends this weekend), I took advantage of the prices and ordered a few different items. I am amazed at how quickly they arrived, as I ordered last Wednesday, and they were delivered in the post on Friday. The packaging of the pins is unique as they come attached to folded cards, which have the Dramafree logo on the front and a Dua on the back. I ordered the Skyla and Zuri pins, and the Spotty...Mini brooch.

Zuri and Skyla pins

size comparison

The pins are sturdy and easy to use (basically they are fancy stick pins!). I wore a combination of the Skyla and Zuri pins on my hijab to the wedding in Manchester. I love that they add that 'bling' factor without being shiny or glittery. They add a touch of sparkle to glam up your hijab style and can be worn on an everyday basis as well as for special occasions. The Skyla pins are longer in length than the Zuri pins, although this doesn't bother me as I use the pins for decoration, after securing my hijab with plain stick pins. As the pins are of good quality, they are unlikely to bend out of shape, but this also means that the pins are slightly thicker than standard stick pins. This would be something to take into account when wearing delicate/fancy scarves that you don't want to ruin, as the thicker pin may leave a small hole where you have pushed it through the scarf.

I haven't worn the Spotty...Mini brooch yet, but my first impression is that it's so cute! It's a tiny brooch but the perfect way to add some colour/pattern when wearing a plain hijab. Or I may just pin it to my coat collar, seeing I'm wearing it a lot during this crazy weather!

All in all, I'm really happy with the pins and know that I'll definitely be getting a lot of use out of them. I think that they are reasonably priced and I'm likely to place another order (this time for pins in different colours!).


Chocoholic Hijabi is now...

On Facebook (finally)!

Check out the Chocoholic-Hijabi page here and feel free to 'like' if you're a facebook user. Once I figure out how to get a facebook widget/button for the blog, it'll be a lot easier to 'like' the page!

I look forward to interacting with all my readers on there, as well on the blog and on twitter! (once I get used to using the fb page!)


Weekend in Manchester

Over the weekend, I was in Manchester for a Walima. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take any pictures of what I was wearing (mostly because the camera was left at home!), although I do have a few random snaps taken on my phone from both Saturday and Sunday =)

 On the motorway driving up to Manchester on Saturday

Hijab Style on Sunday
using the matching scarf to the abaya and a Pearl Daisy teal lace scarf
 (please excuse the background-the decent mirrors and lighting were in the bathroom)

Simple decorations and the Wedding Cake (which tasted delicious!)

How was your weekend?