Sunday, 16 July 2017

Elixir By Saarah - A review.

Hi my lovelies,

So, this time instead of making excuses for being MIA on here, I’m going to jump right into this blog post.

I have been really liking the idea of skin oils lately, well oils in general whether it’s for skin or hair as I feel they penetrate much deeper into the skin/hair and work much better for me as opposed to lotions and creams.
I have been following @elixirbysaarah on Instagram for a while now and seen that she has a 24K Gold oil infused in Pomegranate and Frankincense oil which is supposed to be great for anti ageing and skin balancing.
I was delighted when I was sent a bottle in the post to review. It came beautifully packaged in a gold bubble wrapped envelope and arrived promptly just as Saarah had promised it would.

So what’s in the oil I hear you ask? According to their official site, the oil contains Grapeseed oil, Pomegranate oil, Frankincense oil, Sweet Orange oil, Geranium Oil, Lavender oil, Vitamin e oil and 24k Gold.
The bottle itself is a sturdy ceramic like bottle, a white colour with a gold coloured dropper and a white lid which makes a great combination. The first thing that grabbed my attention was just how beautiful the bottle was and it was clear that a lot of thought went into the design process. The oil itself is a gold colour not too dark or light and contains gold flakes, almost like its filled with glitter, it looked so pretty! The consistency is just right too, not too thick or watery. 
You get 30ml of the product in the bottle which is a decent amount considering you only need a one or two drops and a little does go a long way with this oil.

During Ramadan, with the lack of food, water as well as reduced sleep, my skin was looking dull, dry and uneven around certain areas. It felt tight too which at times became uncomfortable and thus really needed a hydration boost.
I reached out for the oil and initially started to use a few drops on my face and neck at night only and didn’t use any other product alongside it as I really wanted to see how it worked alone. The next morning, instantly I could see my skin already looked smoother and brighter! I was that amazed at the instant results that I messaged Saarah to let her know my initial thoughts, something I rarely do when reviewing products.

The oil smells lovely and not too overpowering, something that often puts me off in a product. It smelt quite uplifting and ‘spa like’. It also didn’t irritate my skin which I was initially afraid of and I was able to use it around the delicate eye area without it stinging and watering the eyes.

I then started to use a few drops before applying my makeup each morning and the results were amazing! It worked an as excellent primer and my makeup sat better on my face, particularly when applying my foundation. This product is so versatile that I could even apply a drop to the lips before applying my matte lipstick. It also works great at really making your highlight pop! You can even apply a few drops to your beauty blender and pat away and it works just as well.

This oil has now become a must in my daily skincare and makeup routine and I am already looking to purchase another bottle once this finishes. I have really noticed a big difference to the overall condition and tone of my skin. It looks even and smooth and is no longer dry around some areas. It appears nourished and radiant and I can really see the results first thing in the morning and a lot of it comes down to it all having all the right and necessary ingredients your skin needs. 

This product is currently available through their website which can be found through their Instagram page @elixirbysaarah. It retails at around £25 for 30ml for now which is pretty decent considering its ingredients and what it does for your skin. Also the fact that one bottle will last you a while. There is also a sample sized 5ml bottle available to purchase if you want to try before you buy the full sized one. It is generally suitable for all skin types but as with any product, it is recommended that you do a small patch test first. 

I would like to see a bigger sized product at 50ml since it is so great and can last me ages particularly as I use it every single day without fail. I would like to thank Saarah for giving me the opportunity to try out this product (I am so glad I did) and I wish you all the very best in your ventures.

Love and Lipstick


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Photoshoots: Tips for Makeup Artists.

Hi beauts
Yesterday I had my first ever photo shoot with a fellow makeup artist and Hijab Stylist here in Leicester at the Ibis hotel. Since I am trying to get the ball rolling for my freelance work, when the opportunity came to collaborate on a practise shoot I jumped at the chance, after all, theres no better way to promote your services .
Now, reading the title of this post you may think I am getting on my high horse, but believe me I am in no way claiming to be an expert at this, seeing as though it was my first ever time doing makeup at a shoot, I just wanted to share with you all some vital tips I picked up on the day and hopefully for those that are new to the industry like myself, some of these tips may come in handy.
So, without further ado (and further rambling!) I am going to jump straight into it. These are in no particular order.
Depending on how many models there are/what timings you have agreed on with the photographer etc, chances are it will be a long and intense day so comfortable clothes and shoes is a must. I initially opted for a cute little monochrome dress top from misguided but didn’t feel  it was suitable to work in and changed into something else. I was glad I did.  Again, heels are a total no no, you’ll be on your feet for most of the day, it will be hectic and you will be working to a tight deadline so the last thing you need is burning feet.
 Organise your kit the night before to make things easier on the day. Only take what you will be needing and using. Absolutely no point in taking everything and anything, you’ll not only be carrying excess luggage/weight but chances are you will be faffing around trying to find things.
Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the venue where the shoot is taking place to set up and grab a bite to eat. If you are anything like me, you will hardly be able to function on an empty stomach. Grab a drink (plenty of coffee in my case) and try sipping water at regular intervals.
 Confirm details with the photographer/stylist/person in charge prior to the shoot in order to avoid any misunderstandings on the day. This way you know what to expect, what you are required to do for the agreed incentive, be it money or professional images.
 Ensure you know what it in your kit. I’m not talking making a list of each and every item in there, but a mental note is good. If there is another makeup artist there working chances are things may get mixed up. No one wants to lose a Mac lippy you’ve spent long in investing or that favourite gel eyeliner. However do not be bitchy about it. You do not want to give them an impression that you are afraid they may steal or make them uncomfortable in any way.  Try to break the ice with the makeup artist before the makeup begins, it definitely helped me be less nervous and more at ease.
 Tidy as you go along. Having a clear tidy workspace will make life easy when working so you do not have to waste time looking for products or your favourite blending brush amongst the pile of mess you could have so easily avoided.
Before taking any pictures of the models makeup, ask if it is ok to and clarify where you will be posting it. The majority of them are very used to it and have no problem at all. I certainly wouldn’t want an image of me posted on Facebook without my consent.
 Be committed and be prepared to work under pressure. Leave important work and personal phone calls till after the shoot. It is nothing but disrupting and chances are the models will get frustrated from already sitting there with a stiff neck!
 Sanitise as you go along. I like to use my Sigma brush holder to put dirty brushes in so I do not cross contaminate. Don’t forget to use hand santiser if you are using your hands on somebody’s face.
And lastly, hygiene is a MUST! You’ll be getting close with whoever it is you are applying makeup/doing hair on so be sure to be odour aware. Underarm deodorants and mints are an absolute must!
So there you have it, all picked up on in one day! I will definitely be applying these tips for future photo shoots. Are there any tips you guys may have to add? Do leave them in the comment section below.
Until next time, love and lipstick. xxx

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Valentus Slim Roast Coffee: A Review.

Lets face it, when it comes to weight loss we’ve given every pills, shakes, juices, lotions and potions on the market a go particularly if your Facebook feeds includes glorious reviews and before and after pics of people who have successfully tried it and from those who are selling it.

A while back, I came across Valentus Slim Roast Coffee and was lucky enough to be sent a box of a month supply to try out. Those that know me well would know that I absolutely love coffee and perhaps love it and drink it a tad too much. So, when I read that it was a coffee that contained ingredients to help you lose weight i was instantly sold. I am going to admit, drinking a specific type of coffee to lose weight sounded too good to be true, but frequently reading positive reviews, I was under the impression that the coffee truly does work.

So, lets get down to the finer details, Valentus Slim Roast Coffee is also sometimes known as SlimROAST or Prevail SlimROAST. It has been rebranded a few times from what I believe as i have come across several different versions on sites like Amazon.

The one pictured below is the one I have been sent and have been drinking.


 The company states the following below:


So, the main concept here is that this coffee will aid people in losing weight as well as doing all the above. The coffee claims to be an appetite suppressant and by doing so people will tend to eat less and consume fewer calories, thus resulting in weight loss. Some of these added ingredients and benefits contained in the coffee are as follows:

·         Garcinia Cambogia.
·         Ginseng 100:1 Extract.
·         L-Carnitine & Chromium.
·         Phaseolamin.
·         Cassiolamine.
·         Green Tea 100:1 Extract.
·         Chlorogenic Acid

**Now, I have been drinking the coffee for a month and therefore feel that this is a sufficient amount of time to write up my findings and come to a final conclusion. Whilst I was sent the coffee for review purposes, it is important to note all thought and opinions on it are merely my own and have not been influenced in any way, shape or form.
I was instructed by rep Ameera to drink this coffee once a day preferably 30-60 minutes before breakfast in the morning. The official site does say however for maximum weight loss results, they recommend drinking three cups a day.
Now, I am not going to lie, at first it took me atleast a few days to get used to the taste. I drank it without sugar. (I guess that’s the whole idea of it, adding sugar will just defeat the purpose) with a tiny splash of semi skimmed milk. I did initially try to drink it black without the milk added but preferred it slightly milky. Sweetners can also be added I was told but I wanted to give it a go properly without adding any form of ‘sweetness’. The coffee doesn't dissolve right away, so you do have to stir it a few times.


Although it is not entirely bad tasting, it does taste like very cheap supermarket own brand instant coffee. For an avid strong coffee drinker, the taste of the coffee isn’t particularly strong but still drinkable. Also, it is important to eat healthy alongside drinking this and drinking up to 2 litres of water a day. As I was drinking a months supply, I was also advised to drink it six days straight and then take a break on the 7th day before resuming on the 8th day and so on.

So what happened once I consumed the coffee? Well it certainly suppressed my appetite and I felt I was not as hungry or craving as much. I also did not want to indulge in a big breakfast like porridge or toast like I normally would without the coffee and instead I would tend to reach for a banana to snack on just before midday. Even at lunch, my appetite wasn’t big at all and I would tend to eat just a little. So in terms of an appetite suppressant it worked brilliantly!
In terms of mental alertness and mood elevation I did not notice much if I am being honest. Lets face it, normal coffee makes you alert doesn’t it and can lift your mood, at least it does for me anyway.

So, does the coffee work? To an extent it does yes! Most of the potential comes from the coffee itself and a tiny bit from the carb blocker which helps burns fat. I did also weigh myself before starting my month trial as I really did want to give it a fair go and then weighed myself after a month and the results? Over a stone lost plus 4 inches off the tummy! I do also feel much more energetic too and my skin has improved and I guess a lot of it is down to drinking water every day. In all the excitement, I completely forgot to take a before and after pic....oopps!

Conclusion? All in all, this coffee will make you lose weight since it plays a big part in suppressing your appetite and helping you curb sweet cravings and unnecessary snacking. Its great if you want to kick start a weight loss programme and don’t want the fuss of taking shakes, juices or remembering to take pills. You do need to drink lots of water and eat healthily as it is more of a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. The product is great as it not also contributes to weight loss but is also suitable for 18+, Diabetics, is vegan Friendly, contains no dairy, wheat, spy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish or MSGS.

The product is currently only available to buy through a distributor and I got hold of mine from the lovely Ameera Yousaf. Please do give her a follow on her Facebook page here and contact her should you have any questions or queries regarding the Valentus Slim Roast Coffee. I would like to thank Ameera for giving me the opportunity to trial the coffee and I wish you all the very best of success!

Have you given this coffee a try yet?

Love and lipstick


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Finally..the Anneswer to all your hair problems.

 “Anne’s oils have been a worldwide phenomenal online success with thousands of customers reporting a drastic reduction in hair loss within the first few weeks of using the Anne’s hair oils. Customers suffering with alopecia have reported a marked improvement and hair growth” 

New year, new hair? I do not know about you but one of my new year’s resolutions for 2017 is to take better care of my skin and hair and for me it’s none other than the amazing Anne’s Hair Thickening and Nourishing Growth Oil for my hair.
You may have already read up my past blog posts on these fab products and they still never fail to amaze me even to this day and it is now the only hair oil I reach for time and time again.
So, what is it I hear you ask? Now, you may have seen the little orange coloured pump oil bottles splashed everywhere across social media and girls rocking their heads (and hair!) out of amazement fit for a L’Oreal TV ad.

Source: Shahreen Akhtar Facebook.
The miracle in a bottle contains pure Olive, Almond and Castor oil, Vitamin A and E as well as Omega 3, 6, antioxidants and Q10 which is essentially everything your hair needs to be fed to nourish, shine and delay premature greying. These come in both a day version and night time one, which can be purchased as a twin pack and is suitable for both men and women of all ages. The new lighter day oil needs to be applied to wet/dry hair and styled as usual. It can also double up as a finishing oil to banish frizz and add shine and you only need the tiniest amount.
The application process? “It's a twin thing!”“, states Anne, Shahreen Akhtar, the founder and wonder woman behind these oils. Use in conjunction with one another for best results”.  she says.

Directions?  Use the night oil 3 times per week, apply this deep intense treatment overnight and massage well into roots, apply all over the hair and on to the tips. Tie your hair in a loose bun and leave in overnight. Wash and condition your hair as normal in the morning. Apply the day oil on wet hair after towel dry. Apply a small amount into roots and style as usual. A tiny amount can be used on your hair tips as a finishing oil to tame any frizz and add shine especially if using heat styling. To maximise results? Mix a few pumps of both day and night oil and apply using the night method application.
The difference? The difference between the night and day oil is that the day oil is lighter in texture with extra vitamins to ensure your hair is nourished at all times in between washes and protects against environmental damage. The Night oil is a thicker in texture with specialist oils and omega fats to strengthen hair follicles reduce hair fall and with regular use promotes hair density and growth as well as repairs and restores damaged hair.

Source: Shahreen Akhtar Facebook.

The lighter day oil or finishing oil can be used in between washing and styling alongside the overnight oil. It is slightly lighter in texture again with an odourless non greasy feel which is what first won me over about the overnight oil. It claims to protect from heat/styling and environmental damage and and UV rays which my poor hair is definitely guilty of. 
The oils have no nasty ingredients or hidden harmful chemicals that may potentially cause damage in the long run, it is perfectly safe to use even on the most sensitive of scalps. One of the main things that appealed to me was that the oil is odourless, if there is one thing that is slightly off putting for me when it comes to hair oils are strong smells that linger on and stain fabrics. Let’s face it we all hate the oils that smell of furniture polish! The good news? The product is free from alcohol which will go down well with those that observe their prayers and perform ablution. 

Now for a bit of nitty gritty, the all important disclaimer: “The Anne’s oils have been approved and certified by Advena Medical Limited UK and complies with the Cosmetic Regulations EU 1223/2009. The oils are manufactured and produced in a UK facility which has a comprehensive quality management system in place and is designed specifically for the production of high quality products. The facility has received more than a dozen industry accreditations and quality certifications and meets the strict UK Health and Safety Legislation. Not tested on animals and contains no alcohol. “In other words? This isn’t some home job it has all been carried out through the proper channels and you have that guarantee and just know you are using a high quality product.  Shahreen has worked awfully hard on this oil venture and clearly her hard work has paid off as she has been shortlisted as a nominee for beauty product of the year award!


Truthfully speaking, I was a little dubious at first. Was it too good to be true? Did it really do what it said on the tin? Over the years, like many girls and women, I had tried absolutely everything and anything that claimed to work magic on my hair with nothing that actually did sadly. So what stood out? There was a time where my Facebook news feed was full of pictures and reviews of this oil and all the amazing things it did to women (and men!) and their hair. These pictures and reviews had then rapidly moved over to Snapchat and Instagram with even some well known bloggers and social media influencers swearing by it. You know how they say you see something that many times you actually believe it? Here are just a few others who have shared their honest views of the oils. (*Source- Shahreen Akhtar Facebook)





Figure 3  Source: Shahreen Akhtar Facebook

Figure 2  Source: Shahreen Akhtar Facebook
Anne’s Oils both come in a sturdy plastic pump bottle with a secure lock lid that is child proof and can prevent any accidental spillages which I thought was an excellent feature to have. The product ingredients and directions are clearly listed on the front of the bottle with an expiry date. I really like the consistency of the oil, it is not too thick or runny, it has just the right consistency which makes it very easy to use and apply to the hair. The packaging has also had a little makeover since I last used it with the lids now a glossy black colour which I love!

Figure 4- Source Shahreen Akhtar Facebook

I have tried both the lighter day and night oils numerous times now (in fact, I have lost count) and still get amazed at the results every time. I have noticed a huge difference to the overall condition of my hair. It feels smoother, thicker, more nourished and has fewer breakages. Another amazing discovery is that when blow-drying my hair with a large paddle brush, it dries straight and frizz free so I do not need to reach out for my hair straighteners. I absolutely love how this product is so versatile and has multiple uses. Men are also able to use the oil, it can be applied to strengthen nails, eyebrows and even eyelashes (being careful not to get any product into the eye) since it claims to nourish and thicken the hair. 

These oils have now taken the world by storm with users from all over the world swearing by it and the great things it has done for their hair. Some users have also claimed that their alopecia has reduced by using these oils and that is not hard to believe, these oils really do what they promise. I am certain with continued use of the oil, as well as adequate water and a good balanced diet, the length of my hair will increase over time too.

Currently, the oils are only available online; however with them becoming so popular in such little time, there are now selected agents who the oils can be purchased from! Convenient right? The oils have now even moved to the Middle East! There is currently a website under construction too which will all be up and running in no time so keep an eye out for that.

Figure 5  Source: Shahreen Akhtar Facebook


These oils have worked such a treat for me that I am hoping a similar skin oil range will be launched. We will keep watching this space! It may be useful to know that Shahreen is also a qualified fitness instructor and Nutritional advisor so you are definitely in good hands. Be sure to follow on Facebook at Shahreen Akhtar as well as good old Instagram (@annesoils).
For those looking for a hair miracle look no further, but be mindful for some the process takes time and commitment so patience is key! Keep on oiling and you will soon see the magic in no time!
** All images are the copyright of Shahreen Akhtar.