Beauty Favourites 2013

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I could do many, many blog posts on my favourites from 2013, but I decided to be really selective and choose only products and items that I really have been using the most (and liking!) throughout the year.


In no particular order, they are:

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Whenever I apply liquid foundation, I always reach for this brush. It's small but allows me to buff the foundation in to create a smooth and flawless finish. I recently got the core collection and will be trying out the RT Buffing Brush to see if it gives similar results.

Illamsqua Eyebrow Cake in Gaze. This is part of my everyday makeup routine and I use it to fill in my eyebrows. I use the angled brush from Crown brushes (which I bought two of at IMATS). It's a great match for my natural hair colour, it's not black but not quite brown either (sort of in the middle).

EOS Lip Spheres and Lanolips. This year, I've been cutting down on buying lip balms and have stuck firm to these two favourites. I actually got rid of most of my novelty lip balms because they really weren't doing much to moisturise my lips and were taking up space (I had quite the collection!).

Bioderma has really been my skin saviour this year. Ever since I discovered the Atoderm range, I've been using it to treat and soothe any eczema that has come up. The Atoderm PO Zinc Creme keeps the skin moisturised and doesn't irritate it any further. The texture isn't heavy, which means the product is absorbed easily and I can apply my makeup over the top.

Lush Fresh Face Masks. I don't yet have a particular favourite as I want to try them all, but they are definitely worth the price. I only buy them every few months as they last up to 7 weeks and I can get approximately 9-10 masks from one tub. That's just over 50p per use!

Bath & Body Works PocketBac Hand Sanitisers. I have one in most of my bags, two at work and another on my desk at home. These miniature bottles of hand sanitiser are easy to carry around and perfect to use on the go. They come in a variety of scents, and I've got quite a few as backups.

Other products that I think come quite close to being favourites (and if I had done more than one post, they would have been on it) are the L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Creams, Bare Minerals Original foundation, Trilogy Rosehip Oil, Illamasqua Skin Base foundation, Sleek Contour Kit, RMK Cleansing Balm and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stains.


What have been your beauty favourites this year?



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3rd Blog-versary Giveaway Winner!

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Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who did enter! A virtual chocolate bar for everyone (and some birthday cake of course!).

And a big congratulations to ....

ThisGirlBlogs!

You have won my 3rd blog-versary giveaway!
Please leave a comment with your email so that I can contact you =D


Thank you to everyone for reading my blog and here's to many more years of blogging =)





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Boxing Day Sales [haul]

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As I do every year, I went to the boxing day sales on Thursday at Westfield Stratford. As we got there quite early, we had finished shopping by 11am and left before the mad crowds and general craziness!

Here's what I managed to pick up on the day:

Lush Goodies! All the items were half price. The Christmas Kisses set includes the Bubblegum Lip Scrub, Chou Chou I Love You Toothy Tabs, Honey Trap and Santa Baby Lip Balms =)
 
 
Jewellery from Accessorize! Again, they were all half price in store =)
 
I also got the Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir 30ml Gift set for only £17.50 (unfortunately didn't manage to get a photo). I did quite a bit of sale shopping online on Christmas Eve as some of the ales had started early online. I ordered another Guerlain perfume gift set from Boots (the same one that I later bought in store...ooops!). It's a fragrance that I had my eye on in the summer when I was in Duty Free but I didn't get the chance to pick it up. As they say, good things come to those who wait! And seeing as the 30ml bottle retails at £35 alone, I couldn't resist! I ordered a dress from Dorothy Perkins and some Lily Flame candles which should also be arriving soon.



Aaliyah from Pyari Beauty tweeted about the Real Techniques brushes being on sale at Asda Direct, so of course I had to add the Core Collection to my basket. At less than £9, I couldn't say no!

Did you manage to pick up any bargains from the sales this year?





p.s. I'll be announcing my giveaway winner in a blog post tomorrow so do check back =)

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Review: Hijab Obsessions Jersey Hijabs

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A couple of months ago, I ordered a few jersey hijabs from Hijab Obsessions. Hijab Obsessions make each of their hijabs by hand and have such a wide variety of colours and styles available. I ordered the Burgundy Shimmer hijab, Teal Shimmer hijab and the Maxi Black hijab. I've never actually worn jersey hijabs before so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try them out as well as purchase some new hijabs (and clear out some of my more worn out ones).


The maxi hijab is huge! (obviously it's in the name). Everyone needs a plain black hijab in their collection and I think this is my staple. It's large enough to wrap around twice and create as many folds and drapes as you like. The jersey is super soft and stretchy, and it's not slippery, so it can be worn without an underscarf. This is a great hijab for winter as the material isn't thin and will keep your head and neck warm. I liked this hijab so much that I ended up purchasing the Lavender Pot Pourri printed maxi hijab at Smoky not Smudgy this year!



The shimmer hijabs are so pretty! Perfect for special occasions as well as for everyday wear, they aren't too shiny and provide just that something extra to what would otherwise be a simple outfit. The shimmer is subtle and is throughout the hijab so there is always a little sparkle as you move. An underscarf is a must with the shimmer hijabs as they are quite slippery and need the underscarf to keep it from moving out of place. The jersey material is also soft and smooth and great for creating drapes and folds. As the shimmer is in the actual material, it doesn't feel rough or itchy which is definitely what you don't want from your hijab!

I'm still experimenting with ways to wear jersey hijabs. I like that jersey hijabs don't need a lot of effort to style as they can simply be wrapped around and pinned with minimal fuss. Perfect for work (and those lazy days!). I'm looking forward to ordering a few more once I've cleared some space on my hijab hanger =)



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You Beauty Discovery Box: December

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My YBD December box got delivered over the weekend, and I was pretty excited as this one was going to be based around Party Prep (especially with it being the festive/holiday season!). As always, it's great value at £6.95 including delivery, and you get to choose 2 products to go inside =)


 
 
This time around, I chose the Lanolips 101 Ointment (9g) which at full size (14g) retails for £10.99. I love the Lanolips that I received in the first BBB beauty box and it's definitely a must have product in my bag during the winter. I know that this one will be going into another one of my bags, so that I'm never without Lanolips. I chose the Elegant Touch UV Gel Polished Nails in Red (approx. £6) as the second product. I'm not one to wear false nails on a regular basis, but as a nail biter (trying to get out of the habit), these will come in handy for any parties/events coming up soon. Also included in the box was a Flash by Jimmy Choo perfume sample and a miniature Green & Blacks Raisin and Hazelnut chocolate bar. 
 
What do you think of this month's YBD box? Have I tempted you to subscribe yet?
 
 

 
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RMK Cleansing Balm [review]

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Now here's something that I don't often do (and is probably the biggest BBlogger no-no!) and that is do a review after I've finished using the product and realise that I haven't actually got any photo's of it. Anyway, I got the RMK Cleansing Balm in the March Birchbox and it sat around for months, untouched and just left to gather dust. A few weeks ago, I found it and decided to give it a try instead of my usual Cleanse and Polish.




In short, this is a pretty awesome cleanser. You only need a small amount and simply massage over the face and it removes everything from stubborn eyeliner to waterproof mascara. It's ideal to use with a muslin cloth, but if I couldn't be bothered, it's just as quick to remove with water. Because it's a balm, it doesn't dry out your skin and just feels a lot more luxurious than a cleanser that foams and lathers up. The solid balm melts into a creamy liquid when it's applied so it doesn't take any effort to apply and remove. The rose scent might not appeal to some but it didn't bother me. I used this almost every evening after work to remove my makeup and I'm just sad to see it finish. It doesn't irritate sensitive skin and is safe to use around the eye area (which I was a little apprehensive of when I was first removing my eyeliner). I would definitely repurchase this, even though it is a little pricey (£29 for 100g).

Have you tried this cleansing balm? Or any cleansing balms? Let me know what you think of them in the comments =)

And don't forget to enter my giveaway over here =)





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Lush Fresh Face Mask Cosmetic Warrior [review]

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I got this face mask as a freebie for returning 5 clean and empty pots back to Lush. Cosmetic Warrior is a face mask which helps to combat spots and soothe the skin. It contains garlic, tea tree oil, honey as well as free range eggs (vitamin A). There are no exfoliating beads in the mask but it does have bits of green grapes which does feel slightly odd once the mask is applied. As with all Lush Fresh Face Masks, this should be kept in the fridge and it should be used with 4-6 weeks.


 
This mask is not one of my favourites from Lush as I'm not particularly fond of the bits of grape in the mask as they feel a bit weird on my face. I removed the face mask using a muslin cloth and it did leave my face feeling refreshed (not dry or tight). I also expected it to smell quite strongly of either garlic or tea tree, but surprisingly it's got a very mild smell. As I prefer face masks that also exfoliate, I don't think I'll be repurchasing this particular one.



Have you tried this face mask before? What are your thoughts?

 


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Chocoholic Hijabi Turns Three [Giveaway] CLOSED

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I can't believe I've been blogging for three years now (it still feels like just yesterday I was typing up a little intro to the blog and first few posts!). So much has happened this past year, which meant that blogging has taken a bit of a back seat as work seems to be the priority. Nevertheless, I'm definitely not going to be giving up blogging any time soon!


As a little thank you to everyone who follows my blog via GFC/Bloglovin/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. I'm going to have little giveaway. The prize is still a mystery, but it's a collection of some of my favourite things, including some handmade goodies (by me) and a gorgeous candle from Bespoke Henna (I originally had a set of decorated tea lights, but kept them for myself...ooops!).


All you have to do is answer this question: Describe your perfect chocolate.

Mine would have to be a cookies and cream truffle covered in coconut and dusted with cocoa powder =)


The usual rules apply:
- Follow the blog via GFC.
- If you like my facebook page, please leave a comment under the Giveaway Post for an additional entry.
- 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 residents only.
- Giveaway ends on Wednesday 25th December at 10pm GMT.

Don't forget to have some cake (or chocolate!) =D
 
 



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#frootimasterclass

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Last Saturday I attended a masterclass held by MUA and Blogger Safiyah (Frootibeauty). Even though I don't wear full makeup everyday, it was a great to be able to pick up tips and to actually see how makeup would be applied by a professional MUA. The main theme of the class was to able to create a party makeup look, similar to the one in this blog post

And this is the finished look!







I obviously didn't use green eyeshadow as I was wearing purple on the day, so instead opted for a more neutral but still a little dramatic look (for me anyway!). I didn't manage to put lashes on, and I think they would have completed the look and brought it all together. Bearing in mind that these pictures were taken at around 10pm, the makeup has stayed pretty much in place =)

Products that I used were:
Eyes:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer
Urban Decay Naked Palette - Sin (Highlight), Toasted (Middle), Darkhorse and Hustle (Outer corner and crease)
Sleek Au Natural Palette - Toast (Skin tone shade), Noir (Outer corner)
Illamasqua Brow Cake (Gaze)
Laura Gellar Inkpot Gel Liner (Black)
Avon Supershock Gel Liner Pencil (Black)
No7 Extreme Length Mascara

And here's what I used on the rest of my face:
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation (SB12)
Sleek Contour Kit (Medium)
NYX Powder Blusher (Desert Rose)
NYX Lip Liner (Coffee)
MAC Lipstick (Twig)

Myself and Naheeda (StreetPrincess) at the end of the masterclass =)

Some of the key tips that I picked up:
- Apply eyeshadow first so that any fall out can be wiped away (and not ruin your base makeup)
- Apply lighter coloured ones first and then darker colours.
- Use a light hand when applying darker shades, as it's easier to build the colour up, but not so easy to take it away.
- Blend, blend, blend! Use an eyeshadow that is the same shade as your skin to blend the edges of the eyeshadow between the brows and the eyelid. This creates a seamless finish with no harsh edges.
- Use a makeup wipe/cotton bud to clean up the edges of the eye makeup. No fiddling about with tape =)
- When contouring, use a darker shade to contour, a middle shade to blend upwards and then apply highlight. This gives a more natural finish and just looks a lot nicer =)

There were so many hints and tips given during the day, but I didn't manage to write them all down. I'm definitely looking forward to the next masterclass =)



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(this is way more pictures of me on the blog than I thought I would ever have but oh well!) =D

British Beauty Blogger's Christmas Beauty Edit Box

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This post is a little late, but better late than never!

I managed to get myself one of the 750 British Beauty Blogger Christmas Beauty Edit boxes that were on sale earlier this month. For the grand total of £27.95 (inc. postage), the box contained a mixture of 18 full sized and miniature/sample products. Earlier in the year, I also got the first BBB Beauty Edit box (see post here), and I have to say that there is more variety in this box than the previous one, plus the cute little stocking which I know will come in handy when it comes to Secret Santa in a few weeks!


 
In the box:
Alterna Bamboo Volume 48 Hour Spray (25ml)
Bourjois Shadow & Light Khol & Contour Eye Liner (Full Size)
CND Vinylux (Pinkie Size)
Indeed Labs Hydraluron Serum (5ml)
L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream (30ml)
L’Occitane Angelica Cleansing Gel (50ml)
L’Occitane Angelica Face Toner (50ml)
La Roche Posay Redermic (Full Size)
Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Moisturising Bath Milk (100ml)
Maybelline Rocket Mascara (Full Size)
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (15ml)
REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (15ml)
Rituals Car Fragrance (Full Size)
Roger & Gallet Huile Sublime (10ml)
Rouge Bunny Rouge Lip Gloss (Full Size)
Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Zodiac (Full Size)
Vichy Idealia Day Cream (15ml)
Washi Wash Cloth


Another beauty box that is great value for money and gives me the chance to try products that I probably wouldn't have picked myself. I'm definitely looking forward to trying Hydraluron, because as the weather gets colder, my face gets drier and more dehydrated (also Caroline Hirons has a blog post on why you should have it, even if it's just more emergencies!). Other products that I have my eye on are the Vichy Day Cream and the La Roche Posay Redermic. I'll also be including some of the goodies from this box in my 3rd blog-versary giveaway which is very, very soon!


Did anyone else manage to get the Christmas Edit Beauty Box?




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in my dreams VI

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

I haven't done one of these posts in ages! My wish list at the moment consists of 3 makeup products.

in my dreams VI

 
First up, is the Urban Decay Shattered Face Case, which contains 5 eyeshadows, travel sized 24/7 eyeliner pencil, Super Saturated lip colour pencil, 2 blushers and a highlighter. Now, I'm going to be honest and say that I don't need any more eyeshadows (seriously, I don't), but this Urban Decay Palette would be a great way to try out a range of the products. It'll also be great for travelling when I don't really want to take a whole bunch of products with me.

The NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection LE Promiscuous Lip Pencil Pouch is another one of the products on my wish list. It contains 4 Velvet Matte lip pencils and 1 Velvet Gloss lip pencil. Although I don't experiment much with lip colours, I think I'll make use of all the shades (and the pouch would be a perfect little makeup bag).

The final product is the NARS Fling Lip Gift Set. Another selection of NARS lip goodies inside the lip shaped box. Included in the box is a mini Velvet Matte lip pencil, a mini Velvet Satin lip pencil and two NARS lipsticks. Again, I'm not really looking to experiment with lip shades, but these all look wearable and perfect to try a range of NARS lip products.

The funny thing is that all these products are £30 each. So the question now is, which one do I go for?
(I can't justify spending £90 on all three, even though I would like to).

Any ideas? Which one would you choose?



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You Beauty Discovery Box: November

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I previously blogged about the October YBD box, which I thought was amazing value for money at only £6.95. The November box came through my post box a few days ago and this is what was inside!



I chose the Moa Green Balm (50ml) and the Percy & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Hairspray (50ml) as I knew I'd use them more than any of the other products available in this months box. The Moa Green Balm is suitable for use on sensitive skin, which will be great for any eczema flare-ups that happen this winter. The box is again great value for money as the Moa Green Balm is a full size product and retails at £9.99, and the Percy & Reed Hairspray is approx. £5-£6 (prices vary depending on the retailer). The other two extras were a sample sachet of Montagne Jeunesse Buriti Fruit Body Smoothie (6ml) and a packet of Lizi's Granola in Belgian Chocolate (40g), both of which I will definitely be using. The granola packet will be great to take to work and have with some yoghurt =)

I'm definitely looking forward to December's YBD box =)




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Date for your Diary: Smoky Not Smudgy 2013

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Smoky not Smudgy (SnS) is back again this year on Sunday 3rd November 2013! This year it's going to be bigger and better, with a larger pampering and souk area and not one, but two fashion shows. InshaAllah I'll be doing henna once again, so make sure to come and say hello =)
Visit the SnS website here for more information =)

 
Details:
 
DATE: Sunday 3rd November 2013
Where: Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ
Ticket Price: £4 entrance. (fashion show tickets: £5-£8)
 
 
I'm looking forward to being there! Are you?


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You Beauty Discovery Box: October

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Minutes after reading a blog post by Pyari Beauty, I had subscribed to the You Beauty Discovery Box. At £6.95 p/m, this beauty box is a steal. It's only in its second month, and so far so good! I got the October box delivered last week and I have to say that it is definitely something to check out, whether you've tried and liked/hated these kinds of boxes before, or if this is your first time. I love that You Beauty gives you the opportunity to choose two of the products that come in your box, which means you'll always have two items in there that won't be a surprise. Of course, the other products are a mystery but it isn't a complete gamble.




 
 
This box was based around products which are handbag heroes. The included booklet gives a little information about all the products that could have been in the box as well as a few tips and tricks to using the products. The two items that I chose for my box were the Tangle Teezer Compact Styler and the Zelens Transformer Instant Renewal Mask (5ml). Both products are worth much more than the price of the beauty box, with the Tangle Teezer retailing at £12.49, and the Zelens Instant Renewal Mask working out cheapest at £12.20 (5x5ml bottles will set you back anywhere between £61 and £95). Also included in the box was a Nakd Cocoa Orange bar (which I will happily pass on to my sister as she is a fan of these) and a YBD compact mirror. This beauty box has definitely exceeded all the expectations that I had and I am looking forward to trying out the products and waiting for next months box.
 
Will you be subscribing to the You Beauty Discovery box?
 



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A date for your diary: Shimmer and Shine 2013

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Shimmer and Shine is back again for it's annual inter-university ladies event! The beauty and fashion event of the year includes a fashion show, showcasing a wide variety of modest outfits, as well as a charity auction and a bazaar area. All money raised will go to Islamic Relief towards helping orphans and needy children across the globe. For more information about the CW program, visit: www.onecharityweek.com.
 
 
 
Details:
 
DATE: Saturday 2nd November 2013
WHERE: St George’s University of London, SW17 0RE
TICKET PRICE: £8 (Including fashion show seats)
You can purchase tickets here 


If you're following me on Instagram, you'll probably have noticed all the sneak peeks as I'll have a stall again this year, selling my hand painted canvases. There are also a lot more stalls including henna, hijabs, abaya's, jewellery, makeovers and most importantly, food and cupcakes! Come and raise some money for charity week and enjoy a ladies day out. Why not come with a group of friends and have a day out =)
 
I look forward to seeing you there =)
 


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Lush Freebie Fresh Face Mask

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I love a good freebie and even more so when it comes from one of my favourite places to shop - Lush! A few weeks ago, I finished (another) Lush Fresh Face Mask which gave me a total of 5 empty Lush pots.

 
Only recently however, I managed to get down to the store with my empty pots (all washed and dried) in exchange for a free face mask! I chose Cosmetic Warrior as it is a gentle face mask which contains a number of ingredients (such as tea tree oil, honey and garlic) that help to fight spots and breakouts and keep skin calm (something I'll definitely need as the weather gets colder).


As with all of Lush's Fresh Face Masks, this one needs to be kept in the fridge. I'm sure applying the cold face mask is bound to wake me up on these cold and wet days!

If you're a fan of the fresh face masks, which one would you have chosen?




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Chocoholic Hijabi at: The Halal Food Festival

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Last weekend, my family and I went down to the Excel exhibition centre for the first ever Halal Food Festival. I had pre-booked all the tickets beforehand so all we had to do was turn up, get the tickets scanned and make sure we had a wristband each (fluorescent green was the colour on Saturday). We arrived at around 11:30, which I think was good timing as there were a few queues at some of the stands, but it wasn't really much of a problem. As the day went on, more people started arriving and there wasn't much room to move around in the hall, especially with some of the queues going around corners and across the walkways. At one point, we were queuing for about 45 minutes (my aunt, cousins and I took it in turns), which was worth it in the end, but it wasn't ideal. I did enjoy myself (and so did the rest of my family) and we managed to try a lot of different foods that we may not have been able to try otherwise. I also picked up goodies from Pearl Daisy and Halal and Organic Skincare, plus some chocolate truffles and jelly sweets =)

I didn't take many pictures (got a little distracted and forgot-oops!) but I put up a collage on IG of the ones I did take =)

 
I think if there is another food festival, it should definitely be held in a larger space!

If you went to the Halal Food Festival, what did you think? And would you go if there was another one?




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Autumn/Winter Skincare

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Clearly Summer has left the UK before it even began to settle in. Already I'm digging out my boots and chunky knits, ready for the cold wind and rain that is slowly arriving. Alongside changing up my wardrobe, I also adjust my skincare routine. I find that during the Winter, I get a lot of patches of dry skin on my cheeks and my eczema flares up really badly. And don't forget the chapped, cracked lips and dry hands! I've put together a little list of products that I will be using throughout the next few months to keep the Winter skin at bay!

 
L'occitane Honey Shea Butter - A handy little tub that I keep on my desk. I massage this into my nails and cuticles to keep them hydrated.
& Other Stories Punk Bouquet Body Scrub - A new body scrub that I picked up a few weeks ago on a trip to Oxford Street. This scrub smells lovely and sweet (as you'd probably have guessed by the name) and it's not too harsh on the skin (but it is exfoliating enough) =)
EOS Lipbalm - My Holy Grail lip balm. Seriously, this is better than Carmex!
Lanolips Lip Ointment - My other HG lip balm. Just as good as the EOS and it's a lot easier to carry around in my bag.
Bioderma Atoderm Nourishing Cream - This Bioderma cream is helping keep my eczema and dry skin at bay. Ever since I've come back from holiday, the eczema around my eyes has disappeared (I think it's something to do with the warmer climate), and I'm just using this around my ears and my arms and legs, as I seem to always be getting told that I have very dry skin.
L'occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream - I have back-ups of this hand cream. This is another HG product and I use it all the time. The Shea Butter in the hand cream helps keep my hands moisturised and nourished so I'm not constantly applying hand cream.


Do you change up your skincare for Autumn and Winter?




A date for your diary: Halal Food Festival London

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I can't believe I didn't blog about this sooner, but there's going to be a Halal Food Festival in London from the 27-29th of September (less than two weeks time!). The event is going to be held at the London Excel exhibition centre. There'll be live cooking demonstrations alongside a wide range of exhibitors, mocktail making classes, a cooking school and a little Halaloodies zone. You can purchase tickets from the website halalfoodfestival.com.



Make sure you get your ticket soon and come along! (I've already got mine for the Saturday =D)



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Bare Minerals 9-piece Get Started Kit

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This summer was a summer for shopping! I (impulsively) picked up the 9 piece Bare Minerals Starter Kit on my way out of the UK this summer in duty free.

 

I chose to pick up the Tan set, as I had previously been matched to both the Golden Tan and Medium Tan shades. Luckily with mineral foundations I have found that I can get away with very slight shade differences if I buff and blend the foundation properly into my skin. The kit contains :
- Original spf 15 Foundation in Medium Tan (C30)
- Original spf 15 Foundation in Tan (N30)
- Tinted Mineral Veil
- Warmth All Over Face Colour
- Full Flawless Face Brush
- Flawless Application Brush
- Light Stroke Brush
- Prime Time Foundation Primer



Full Flawless Face, Light Stroke and Flawless Face brushes
 

Although the pots are smaller than the standard ones that are sold individually (1.5g - 2g in each pot in the kit and 8g for standard ones), the kit still works out better value for money, especially as there are 3 brushes and a foundation primer included. There is also a Get Started DVD in the box which is ideal if you want to perfect your application to get a flawless finish.


The kit can be bought from your nearest Bare Minerals counters and costs £49.

Have you tried the Bare Minerals foundation before?

 



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