Follow Friday: Saman Munir


Saman Munir is a Canadian vlogger who teaches hijabis to be beautiful inside and out.

Salaams my lovelies! Jumah mubarak to you all. It is Friday, which means another Follow Friday post. Today, I want to feature Saman Munir from Saman’s Makeuphijabs YouTube channel. Not only is she beautiful to look at, she is also a hijabi fashion vlogger who teaches her fellow hijabis how to not only look their best, but feel their best too. This hijabi fashionista is also a full time mommy and part time hijab stylish and makeup artist. If you have a chance, check out her Instagram account @makeuphijabs for the most beautiful hijabi style inspiration. She has an eye for putting together colorful yet feminine outfits that anyone can try. I call her style accessible elegance.

What I love the most about Saman Munir is her ability to connect with her viewers in her YouTube videos. While her chiseled features makes her beauty especially striking, she shares personal stories of her own struggles such as being considered the ugly duckling in her family, or her weight gain/loss journey that allow her viewers to be able to relate to her. In the end we are all the same like most hijabi vloggers, but Saman Munir has this uncanny ability to make viewers feel like she is a hijabi next door that they can have chai with and ask beauty/hijab advice.

Her online tutorials are especially helpful. If you ever need help with styling a difficult yet beautiful hijab like the Neva hijab, make sure to check out her fool proof tutorials. Her makeup tips are also easy to follow and she uses tools that most women possess (which is helpful since Sephora is like a sticky fly trap for me). I really love that her looks are never too extreme and that they always look pretty. On top of having a YouTube Channel and an amazing Instagram account, Saman Munir also sells hijabs and accessories online too. What a Wonder Woman mashallah!

Make sure to check out Saman Munir and let me know what you think!

Follow Friday: Noor Tagouri

Noor Tagouri

Noor Tagouri aspires to be the first hijabi news anchor on a major US network

Salaams my lovelies! Jumah mubarak to you all. As you know, I typically do a Follow Friday blog post on a hijabi’s Instagram account that I adore. Well I know I have blogged about Noor Tagouri before, but her Instagram account just begs to be followed. Why is that, you ask? She is a globe trotting, fearless example of a hijabi who is trying to show the best side of our faith to others. Whether she is studying domestic violence in Italy, or going on speaking engagements, Noor Tagouri’s Instagram account can serve as a inspiration to empower other hijabis to be active in their communities.

She is also beautiful too mashallah! However, she is not just a pretty face. What really strikes me is the beauty of her actions. You can really see her trying to understand where others are coming from. I feel like this is an essential quality of news anchors. If you look at the most popular news personalities, it is not their looks that make them successful, it is their ability to relate with the people that they are interviewing to get them to open up about their lives. I think Noor Tagouri will follow in those footsteps and really shine as a news anchor inshallah.

Her Instagram account is @ntagouri. Make sure to follow her for your own daily dose of community activism.

For scenes in my own daily life on food, fashion, and family, feel free to follow me @hijabilife too.

Hijabi Trends: Bras That Fit

Jockey Bra Fit Kit

Finding a bra that fits is important if you want to keep your fashion modest.

What item can instantly slim you and help you have better posture? A proper fitting bra. In terms of modest fashion, most hijabi fashion bloggers/vloggers focus more on the actual outfit or accessories, but what about under garments? No matter what your body type, having the right under garments such as Spanx, bras, or slips can actually help set the tone for your entire outfit. Think of under garments as the essential foundation of your outfit.

Personally, if you wear items that help smooth over trouble spots and wear under garments like slips, you actually stay more modest too! Whenever I see my skirt is too sheer, a slip always does the trick. As a curvy hijabi, having the right bra is important. You want to invest in one that fits properly so you can avoid jawline cleavage, quadriboob (when your cups runneth over), and back bulges. Bra shopping may be a pain because you may not even know your true size. In fact, 85 percent of women wear the wrong one, according to a 2011 study conducted by Griffin Strategic Partners.

Well if you don’t know your size, Jockey has created a new way to get fit for bras that is absolute genius. Jockey recently introduced the Jockey Bra based on a Volumetric Fit System that allows you to measure yourself at home. The bra-sizing kit, which you order online for $20, includes plastic, breast-shaped measuring cups in sizes 1 to 10, a color-coded measuring tape, a lingerie wash bag, and a $20 coupon to put toward a Jockey bra. To determine your size, you choose a cup and lay it on top of your breast. If there’s gapping, you try a smaller cup; if there’s spillage, you try a larger cup. Repeat until you find the best fit, then measure your ribcage. I actually fit myself at the local Jockey store near my home. I ended up with the most comfortable bra I have ever owned. No more back fat, no more spillage, and no more gaps! Yes, it was expensive for me to buy, but this under garment was worth every penny since it ends up making me look skinnier and that is priceless right? I am joking, but jokes aside, my shoulders, neck and back are all thanking me for better distribution of weight. Your body is a gift from God, so please take care of it and try a better fitting bra. If wearing Jockey is not your thing, you can also be fit at any Victoria’s Secret store too. Their Body collection is also very good.

If you are interested in trying the new sizing system but don’t live close to a Jockey store, order a Jockey Fit Kit here. Please note, that I did not get paid or given anything to share this with you. I just happen to really love this bra! I hope you do too.

Dark Is Beautiful (Too) Campaign

Nandita Das

Indian actress Nandita Das is trying educate others about how all skintones are beautiful

As a child of Bangladeshi parents who are enlightened, I was fortunate enough to avoid ugly moments of shadism (when ethnic groups prefer individuals with a specific shade of skin color). While some of you may laugh, in the Indian subcontinent, it is almost second nature. I hear comments that I try to shield my daughter from such as: “Oh no! She is getting dark from the sun, don’t let her lay ouside!” “Wow mashallah, she is getting fairer and fairer every day.” These comments break my heart, but even I am not immune. I remember how when I first got engaged, there was so much commentary on how I was not “fosha” (Bengali term for fair) compared to my mother in law and sister in law. You can imagine how hearing those comments not only broke my heart (What about the fact that I tried to be a good person, or that I just passed the bar exam to be an attorney?), but I somehow let it seep into my subconscious. I am guilty of using lighter filters on Instagram to appear lighter. I am guilty of using a few shades lighter of foundation too.

While it is embarrassing to admit these things to you readers, I want to let you know that I am human too. When we hear things over and over again, you start to believe it even if it is not true. That is why it is important for us to break this cycle NOW. I don’t want my daughter growing up thinking that her only value in life is attached to her skin color or even how she looks. I want her to understand that how her SOUL is will truly be the test of true beauty inshallah.

While I commend Nandita Das for her Dark Is Beautiful campaign, I also want to point out that the opposite is true too. In the United States, tan is considered the ideal. Why else do you see so many women going tanning or spending so much money on bronzers and sunless tanners? So we have to be mindful not to make fair skinned folks feel less than pretty too. Why can’t we all be considered beautiful? It was funny this topic popped up on Fashion Fighting Famine’s Instagram page because last night I posted a picture of myself without any makeup after a yoga class. I have to admit, it was really scary to share it, but I wanted my followers to know what I really look like versus what can be stylized images.

We are all human at the end of the day. So let’s try to be beautiful in our humanness together inshallah.

Face Masks That Work

Face Masks That Work

Face cleanser

GlamGlow clay mask

Who doesn’t want to wake up with fresh radiant skin that is blemish free? While we all know that makeup can work wonders, I am one of those hijabis who would prefer not to cake on the makeup in order to look good. Why can’t my skin just be as is? That being said, sometimes our skin does not always cooperate. This is when I turn to face masks depending on the skin issue I have.

This summer for me was the summer of face masks. I always feel like the masks I do at home are more effective than any facials I have done at the spa. Perhaps this is because I am not an advocate of extractions (they can harm your skin more than help). For me, I find it more effective to use a nice warm towel over my face to open my pores, and then to use a face mask.

Here are my top face masks depending on what you need. Remember, these are masks that worked for me. Always test a small patch of your skin before trying anything new in your skin regiment:

For Blemishes: I highly recommend Lumene’s Matt Touch Deep Cleansing Peat Mask. It literally pulls out the gunk from my pores for a nice blemish free face. Apply a thin layer and let it sit for 10 minutes. I prefer to towel off this mask with a warm wet washcloth to really feel the mask working.

For Radiance: I recommend Glam Glow Mask. While I am not too fond of the smell or large tea leaves in this mask, this mask will bring up your circulation to your face for an undeniable glow.

For Younger Looking Skin: You have to try Exfolikate. Not only does it smell like yummy cinnamon pumpkin, it literally buffs away dead skin cells better than any other mask to reveal fresher, younger looking skin.

For Dry Skin: This is my cheapest recommendation yet. Even as a college student, I used to use Vaseline for a variety of things. One of my favorite uses is to smear a thin layer all over my face and wipe it off with a hot wet washcloth. You are left with soft supple skin and a nice fresh glow that literally costs pennies!

Hijabi Obsession: Jeweled Kaftans

Jeweled kaftans add just the right amount of glitz of glamour while still being modest.

Jeweled kaftans add just the right amount of glitz of glamour while still being modest.

I have a confession to make: I love to look stylish, but comfort and convenience often seems to win out in my personal battle of comfort vs. style. I love how some hijabis can put some effort and time into looking so beautiful, but for me, it is a challenge to ensure my toddler is dressed (and allows me to comb her hair)! Forget about me! What is a mom with an active toddler to do? I truly don’t want to wait till my babykins is in her 20s to start looking good.

The answer to this dilemma of comfort vs. style is a jeweled kaftan. My dirty little secret is that you can always don a jeweled kaftan over your pajamas. I kid you not ladies. I was running late to a dinner party and had no idea what to wear since I literally had 10 minutes to get ready. So I threw on a jeweled kaftan over my pajamas and voila! I was instantly dressy without having to do much else. The hostess pulled me aside to tell me how beautiful I looked and well that always makes anyone’s day right? I happened to buy my kaftan from a specialty hijab shop in Lilburn, GA while I was visiting my sister, but there are plenty of places you can find a nice kaftan to wear for weddings and special occasions.

If you are an online shopper, make sure to try out Mohajababes. They have a large selection of beautiful jeweled kaftans. I also love that they help support one of my favorite organizations as a featured designer: Fashion Fighting Famine. Make sure to check them out and let me know what you think! I will be posting a review on their kaftans, hijab accessories and hijabs soon inshallah!

5 Things I Won’t Miss About Ramadan

Ramadan Breath

Yes, we have all been there!

Now that Ramadan is coming to a close, I am actually getting a really sad. When else do so many Muslims collectively get together, overlook shortcomings, are generous, and just have a sense of community like we do in Ramadan? This morning at fajr, I actually wept over the fact that there are only a handful of days of this sacred month left. So I did what any girl with a broken heart does….I tried to think of things I won’t miss in Ramadan to fight back the sadness. Here are my top 5 reasons on why I won’t miss Ramadan (at least this is what I tell myself):

Ramadan Breath

Admit it, you avoid talking to your work colleagues at all costs when you are fasting. You talk to your toddler only to have your toddler scrunch up her face and say “ewww Mommy!” You pretend to turn your head to peruse magazines when you ask a cashier a question. Yep, you have kung fu fighting Ramadan breath. And while you know that it smells sweeter than musk in theory, you also know that you would prefer not to have to speak with anyone in the practical sense. I will not be missing my Hubs’ Ramadan breath as he asks me when Iftar will be ready! Sorry Hubsy. I still love you, Just at a distance.

Lax Bedtimes

Perhaps it is because of my toddler, But I am not a fan of how my toddler insists on staying up with me while I did my tarawih and Quran recitation at night. I am also no spring chicken, so going to bed late only to wake up a few hours later did not give me a “Ramadan glow,” but more like Ramadan bags under my eyes. Trust me, at my age, staying up late definitely is apparent. But was it worth it to get closer to Allah (swt) in my own way? Definitely yes. But for the sake of the kids at my daughter’s preschool, I am glad I won’t be scaring them with my zombie appearance any more.

Fatty Foods

Okay, so this one is totally my fault. In my parents’ native Bangladesh, we welcome Ramadan with deep fried goodies like beguni (eggplant fritters), samosas, and piyaji (lentil fritters). I could have said no to making these fatty fried items, but it just didn’t feel like Ramadan to me without them. So I am glad to bounce back to my clean eating ways. And I am making a Ramadan Resolution to fight against the urges to serve fatty dishes during Ramadan next year inshallah. Pray for me, since this one will be a toughie!

Lack of Exercise

I am going to be real: it is near impossible to exercise during Ramadan. Yes, I know some of you fitness buffs can do it, but us regular mortals need to find the time between iftar and suhoor (which means sacrificing precious time from tarawih and extra worship such as tahajjud or Quran recitation). Yes, our body is an amanah (trust from God), but will Allah (swt) really ask me about my triceps (no, so I choose the extra worship hands down). That being said, I definitely need to get back to shape after Eid inshallah. No more fried foods!

Fighting Over the Moon Sighting

Okay, this is more about Eid, but I will be happy to see those masjid goers who love to fight at the masjid take a chill pill. This one always gets me because we all know that the real reason we don’t know when Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power) is was because there were Muslims arguing! So why are we not learning that important lesson of NOT fighting?

This list is silly, but really, no matter what I say, I will miss Ramadan. You never know if this will be our last Ramadan, so please make the most of these last days. And make sure to pop a mint after you eat Iftar!

Ramadan Recipes: Mango Lassi


As a working mom, sometimes you have to make a quick yet nutritious meal that doesn’t require too much effort; especially on a work night.

I have found this Ramadan to be especially squeezed for time with the later Iftar timing as well as late night tarawih plus an early suhoor time.

So last week, instead of making traditional items like pakoras and samosa, I decided to base our Iftar around one kitchen staple: Greek yogurt. You see, non fat plain Greek yogurt is amazingly versatile. You can replace sour cream with it (as evidenced by my taco night photo). It is also very soothing to eat after a whole day of fasting.

Greek yogurt sort of coats your grumbling tummy with a nice cooling sensation. It’s also delish! I used it to also make mango lassi. For those of you who have not tried mango lassi, it is almost like a rich, thick, mango smoothie. The richness in my lassi came from ripe mangoes and the Greek yogurt. It feels sinful like a milkshake, but it’s definitely much better for you!

Try it for Iftar and let me know what you think.

Mango Lassi Recipe

2 ripe, sweet mangos
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
2 cups ice

1) Peel and dice the mango and puree in the blender.

2) Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until the ice is crushed and the drink is a smoothie consistency.

Follow Friday: Imane Asry (Fashion With Faith)

Fashion With Faith

Imane Asry’s unique Swedish take on hijab is refreshing.

Salaams my lovelies! Jumah mubarak to you all! This is the last Friday of Ramadan this year which always makes me a little sad since there are countless blessings on days like today but they are gone before you know it. Let’s make this Friday count inshallah! As you know, I typically do a Follow Friday post on my favorite Instagram accounts. Today, I would like to introduce you to Sweden’s Iman Asry, aka Fashion With Faith (@fashionwithfaith). Why do I love Imane so much? She is definitely not a hijabi who takes herself too seriously. She posts amazing photos of her funky style, yet she also posts real life pictures of her time with friends and family. Did I mention she has a wicked sense of humor too? Her silly faces pictures are just as interesting to me as her “high fashion” pictures on her account. She makes being a stylish hijabi that much more accessible to regular hijabis like me. That is not to say she isn’t stunning. I mean look at her pictures! She has a fresh faced beauty that is refreshing to look at.  It is hard to find someone who does not resemble any one else in the hijabi vlogger world, but Imane is able to stand out with her mix of vintage with high fashion pieces.

She also makes me realize I have a wealth of stylish options in my closet already. With her styling, you can certainly come up with outfit combinations that you may have forgotten about. Her recent pictures reminded me I can reuse my Doc Martens from the 1990s with stripes versus the flowers I had paired it with in the past. Who says you can’t bring back fads?

Make sure to check her out on Instagram @fashionwithfaith and let me know what you think!