September Empties

I've finally finished Project 10 Pan:Take II, and will now (hopefully) be posting monthly (or bi-monthly) empties blog posts. So far, I seem to be using up more products, although I'm struggling to find a place to store the empty bottles/sachets/tubes etc. without them being thrown away! Anyway, here's all the stuff that has been used up throughout September =)

Garnier Olia Permanent Hair Colour (5.3 Golden Brown) - I got my sister to put this in my hair on Thursday, and I love that it's tinted my really dark brown hair, so that it looks a lot lighter in the light (if that makes sense). Also, as it doesn't contain ammonia, there is no horrible chemical smell. It's supposed to smell floral, but I didn't notice it that much (which is a lot better than the really strong standard hair dye smell). Will definitely be buying this when I dye my hair again, possibly going for a mahogany or red colour instead.

Celia Birtwell Lip Balm - A cherry scented lipbalm which I have finally finished. I kept this one in my pencil case during uni alongside a tube of carmex, for days when I wanted to moisturise my lips, but not too much. I am trying to use up more of my lipbalms at the moment, as I have such a large collection.

Bare Minerals Foundation sample (Medium Tan) - This little sample pot has lasted ages and I'm considering buying the fullsize product. I love using mineral foudation, especially because I have sensitive and combination skin, so it won't cause any bad reactions and will also help to keep my t-zone oil free. I was matched to this shade a few months ago, although my recent trip to Selfridges ended up with me being matched to a foundation that was 1-2 shades darker. Will probably have to do a bit more research before I buy anything.

Sarah Jessica Parker Covet Pure Bloom (30ml) - I bought this ages ago from Boots Clearance for around £6. It's a nice Spring/Summer fragrance with a mixture of floral and fruity notes (according to Google) and has a refreshing scent. Also love the little bottle and the purple flower lid.

Lush Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly - Lush products smell amazing and this is no different. The Sweet Pie shower jelly reminds me of Bassett's soft and chewy vitamins, which I used to have when I was younger. I broke this up into small chunks and then lathered up in my hands before using, in order to avoid creating a mess which would then end up with most of the jelly down the drain. Also love that it's a purple colour and contains a little glitter (which doesn't actually end up on the body).

FCUK Polished Body Spray - Another body spray, this time from Boot's Clearance. I think these usually come out in the FCUK Christmas gift sets. Not too sure about the smell of this either, as there's just something about it that I don't like. I've got another bottle somewhere which I need to use up before buying anymore body sprays.

The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Shower Gel - Loved the smell of this! And the floral scent definitely lingered for a while (instead of disappearing completely). I recieved this as a gift and would repurchase (once I've finished using up my supply of shower products).

Cherry Blossom Invigorating Body Spray - Bought this from Poundland a while back. A really big bottle, that I ended up using as a room spray as the scent was pretty weak and didn't last for very long (well what can I say, it's from Poundland).

Boots Therapy Sweet Nourishment Smooth Me and Boots Therapy Fruit Revitaliser Smooth Me - I bought both of these from Boots clearance (not too sure if they stock them in Boots stores). They are both shower smoothies with cupuacu peel as the exfoliators (or skin polishers). I didn't find these to be particularly exfoliating, and definitely preferred the Sweet Nourishment scent over the Fruit Revitaliser (maybe because it smelt like vanilla and chocolate).

Japanese sheet mask - Sam (Sam's Beauty Blog) kindly gave me a few face and eye masks to try out from her huge haul in May. This is the first one that I've tried and it's a sheet mask which is supposed to nourish and brighten the skin. The hardest thing was keeping a straight face after I'd put the mask on (I scared/shocked a few family members that morning!). My skin definitely appeared brighter, and I think if you use these on a regular basis then the effects would be more noticeable (now to try and hunt some down on ebay).

Superdrug Sugar and Spice Self Heating Face Mask - This face mask was a bit hit and miss with me. I didn't like the smell as I found it way too synthetic/chemical like. The face mask warms as soon as you apply it to the face, and then cools slightly (but is still pleasantly warm). It doesn't actually dry, so I left mine on for a bit too long, but it did leave me with skin that felt smooth and more clearer. It also has moisturisng properties (my skin didn't feel tight after using the mask). Not sure if I'd repurchase, simply because of the smell.

Pretty good for an empties post! I've managed to use up 12 products in September =)

What do you think of empties posts? Yay or nay?


Mini Blog Sale: Hijab Pins

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I found a whole bunch of hijab pins that I had made but never actually used (and I'm running out of space to store them), so I'm putting them on here if anyone would like them. They are individually priced (as listed below) but open to offers =). Most pins have been made using Swarovski bicone beads, with silver plated pins and chain. Payment via Paypal. Shipping within the UK is £1 (2nd class), and International is £2 (standard airmail). If you'd like recorded/signed for delivery instead, do specify when ordering and I'll update the price accordingly.

Comment or email me if you'd like any (

(click the image to make it bigger)
Note: Colours may vary slightly, but this is the closest representation to the colours that I could photograph (with my little digital camera). Comment if you have any questions =)
 1. £1      2. £1      3. £2      4. £1      5. £2      6. £4
 7. £3      8. £3      9. £1      10. £3      11. £3       

If you see anything you like, let me know in the comments or by email =)


September Beauty Haul

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As P10P:TakeII finished a few weeks ago, I have been buying quite a bit more in terms of makeup and skincare (and just general bits and bobs). Although, in my defense, I have used up more products (which will be revealed in the September Empties post at the end of the month) and therefore needed to restock as well as try a few new things. And here's what I bought!

Soap & Glory Flake Away travel size (Boots - £2.50). I bought the travel size tub to test out the Flake Away scrub after reading Aalia's review on her blog Hijabi With Style (check out the review here). I seem to be getting more dry and flaky skin as well as ingrown hairs, so hopefully this scrub will help with reducing the ingrown hairs and removing dead skin.

Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off Face Mask 10ml (Boots - 99p). I had a Boots Advantage Card voucher which gave me 150 points when I bought any product from the Boot's Tea Tree & Witch Hazel range, so naturally I picked up the cheapest one there. And one can never have too many face masks!

Dove Deodrant Beauty Finish (Boots - £2.45). Standard deodrant. No explanation necessary =)

Dermalogica Top Performer Collection (Dermalogica - £20). I had a face mapping skin analysis at the Dermalogica in Westfield Stratford to see if I should be making any changes to my skincare routine. My skin is dehydrated, I have an oily T-Zone (mostly on the nose) and I have hypo-pigmentation on my cheeks.The sales assistant recommended a few products, however I have had bad expereinces when changing my skincare routine in the past (thanks to eczema and sensitive skin) so instead of buying the full size products I bought the Top Performer collection. This is a set of travel sized products and she also kindly gave me a few samples to take away as well. I'll be trying this new routine out over the next few weeks and will blog any findings =)

Garnier Olia Hair Colour in Golden Brown (Superdrug - £6.99). A new product in stores, which is a permanent hair colour that doesn't contain ammonia. From what I've read, the formula is oil based, rather than water based which means the dye works a lot better (in simple terms) and is less damaging to the hair. Picked up the golden brown shade, but I have no idea if it will show up on my dark hair.

MAC Satin Finish Lipstick in Twig (MAC - £14) [rubbish lighting=no picture]. I went along to the Glamour Beauty Power List Live event at Selfridges in London earlier this month, mostly because I have't been to Selfridges in ages. Tickets were £10 and redeemable on any beauty purchases made on the night. I only picked up a lipstick from MAC, and I'd describe Twig as a 'my lips but better (and more pinkier)' shade. I would have also picked up the new limited edition Vaseline in Pink Bubbly, but unfortunately the ingredients list states wine extract, so I put it back.

I also purchased a few non-beauty items this month, including an abaya and flat lace shoes (as seen in this OOTD post). A few other items include a sweatshirt from David & Goliath (perfect for the autumn weather) and a blazer from New Look (it was on sale) =)


A Bar of Chocolate Covered Popcorn

Cadbury's have recently come out with quite a few new chocolate products (perfect for a chocoholic like me) and I picked up the Dairy Milk Toffee Popcorn bar (currently 2 for £3 in Tesco). What is there not to like about a chocolate covered popcorn bar? Although it is a pretty big bar! I've also spotted (and been told about) the chocolate covered pretzels, which I am now on the hunt for =)


What do you think of a chocolate covered popcorn bar?


OOTD: Eid Gathering

Every year, I attend the annual Eid Gathering, which is organised by members of different families, and it is basically a way of us as a family (and a community) getting to know one another and to keep in touch as well as enjoy a meal. This basically means that I am in some way related to every single person that attends (which is pretty cool) even if I don't know who they are (I'm sure we have a mutual family acquaintance somewhere). The kids get given Eid gifts at the end and there is also a raffle for the adults, and it's a nice way to spend an afternoon as it might be the only time (other than at weddings) where I would meet these family members. And this year's Eid gathering was held yesterday and so I thought to show you what I wore to the lunch =)

The abaya is Bisht style (I think) and I love the brown border on the cuffs and neckline. It's made of a soft jersey fabric, but because of the cut and style, it doesn't stick to the body and therefore makes it extremely modest. I paired the abaya with a pair of lace ballet flats from New Look and wore the matching hijab in a simple wrap with a few folds. The only accessories were my side bag (again from New Look) and the F21 gold stackable rings. Simple yet stylish!

What do you think?


Personalised canvases anyone?

I've added a page tab at the top, which links to the facebook page that I created for my canvas designs. I've actually been doing quite a bit of painting recently, which is also evident on my Instagram page (IG username is asmaa17 for anyone who has Instagram!). Take a look on the page at what I've been busy with, and if you'd like to order your own, email me ( or use the message feature on the FB page =)

Let me know what you think =)


Stackable Rings Storage

Remember my accessories haul from July? I picked up some stackable rings from Forever21 and I was storing them on a long pin on the cupcake pin cushion (that I also use for storing hijab pins). However, this was constantly being knocked down and the rings were ending up everywhere. In fact, I'm pretty sure that a few of them have gone missing and are highly unlikely to be found anytime soon =( .

I picked up this super cute storage box from Tiger Stores for £1, and decided to use it to store my stackable rings. Because I wear these rings on a daily basis, this box allows me to easily access them, without the risk of losing any of them (thanks to my clumsiness).

This box would also be appropriate for storing hijab pins (if I didn't have enough places to store them already) =)

Where do you store your everyday jewellery?


Project 10 Pan: Take II #10

The final product to be featured in P10P:II is the L'occitane Dry Skin Shea Butter Hand Cream. I love L'occitane hand creams, as I find that they are very moisturising but don't leave a greasy residue on the skin. This is the second tube of hand cream to have been finished during P10P, and I recently purchased one of there hand lotions, which is packaged in the same way but has a lighter texture (perfect for the warmer weather). I think I may need to invest in the larger size (150ml) as it works out as better value for money, although that means that it's not as easy to carry around.

I'll be doing regular posts featuring products that I've finished using, probably every month (or two months). Idea pinched from everyone who blogs about monthly empties =)


[Guest Post] On the search for the ideal face cream

My sister has kindly agreed to do a blog post for me, as she is on the search for her ideal facial moisturiser (as it implies in the title). As she has a different skin type to me, I thought she should review what she has already tried. So without further ado, I'll let her take over from here =)


‘Hey Asmaa, how shall I start this?’ ‘Um, you need to introduce yourself.’ ‘Okay, do they already know my name or am I just known as the sister?’ ‘You’re just the sister. Who takes pictures for me.’

So. Hello there. Hi. What’s good in the hood? You all know me as the sister, the one who takes pictures for Asmaa from time to time when she wants that artisitic flare, that unique and professional angle, or that…when she just asks me to really. I’m not bringing you any pictures here today (sad times, I know) but I am here to bring you a review.

See, I’m on the hunt for a really good face cream. An amazing, epic, does-everything-you-want-without-giving-you-spots kind of cream. Isn’t everybody? Since the beginning of time, I’ve been using my (well, my mums) trusted Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid. But then, I decided I wanted to buy my own and, for the past couple of years, have been doing so. I’ve used products from Nivea to the Body Shop to silly sized samples from magazines (I know you all do that too). Recently, I was using Dove’s hydro-nourishment cream and thought it was the best thing ever. It was exactly what I needed. Until Asmaa pointed out to me that it was a body cream. And that you’re not meant to use body cream on your face. Oh. All that time, I thought it was okay (and I still kind of do) to use body cream. Because, you know, your face is a part of your body, right? Anywho, after I finished that, I figured I would go on a hunt for a decent face cream.

What I’m looking for:

  • Something that does not make your skin feel greasy, or clog pores, create spots etc
  • Something with a nice enough smell. I don’t care if it’s made with unicorn water or rainbow dust, if that makes it smell like crap, I want a refund.
  • Something that is affordable. Being a student, I cannot spend all my funds on a cream.
  • A decent sized tube, tub or whatever. I need this cream to last at least a month. Minimum.

The cream I tried and tested is the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit oil free moisturiser. Blimey. That’s a blog post on its own.  

Why I bought it:
  • It says oil free (my skin is normal, or combination, or…not dry. So I don’t need oil)
  • It’s by Neutrogena, so I thought I’d give it a chance (Neutrogena sells decent products, loads of people love their stuff from what I hear and read)
  • It was kind of cheap. (£4.99 to be exact. Which isn’t too bad.)

What I liked/didn’t like:

I didn’t like it very much to be honest. I had a lot of expectations for this and it failed me on almost all of them. Let’s start with the positives though. It’s a light cream, and doesn’t leave a greasy/oily look. It absorbed into my skin nicely, I didn’t have to wait ages or anything. On the tube it says it hydrates and refreshes, which it did. A lot. But I don’t mind that as it helped me feel more awake. I was able to put my makeup on smoothly after using this because the cream almost absorbs completely into my skin. You get 50ml of this cream, which I think is okay (I don’t really know what a good/acceptable size really is). It lasted me just over a month, and I used it twice a day for most of it.
The first negative was the smell. The smell of this, if you’ve never smelt it before, is horrendous. I hate it. With a passion. Grapefruit (the fruit I’m talking about) doesn’t actually smell that bad, but this, is gross. A quick sniff of it is alright, but if you smell it properly, there’s this underlying scent of…I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s just a crap smell. I put up with it because I didn’t want to waste my money and throw it away and I wanted to give the cream itself a chance. But seriously, if smell plays a huge role in what you buy, I wouldn’t really go for this.

The other was that it didn’t really do much else. The microclear technology it claims to have (I’m not too sure what that means either) I don’t really think it did have any. It just felt like an average cream. Which smelt horrible. The pink packaging didn’t help its case either (I have a deep hatred for pink).

Rating   /5: 

3/5 – It does what it says on the box, however the smell lets it down, the packaging kinda sucks and I feel like its one of the weakest products by Neutrogena (from what I’ve tried)

Would I repurchase?

Heck. No.

‘Hey Asmaa, how do I finish this?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘……..’ ‘How about ‘thanks for reading?’ Just…nothing complicated.’ 

*sigh* *puts away fireworks and unicycle*

It was nice talking to you guys. Or at you. With you. Let’s be friends ‘kay. Bye.


And there you have it! If you have any recommendations for moisturisers, leave a comment below (and if you'd like to see more blog posts from my sister) =)