10 Haircare Tips for Hijabis

As a hijabi, it can be a challenge to care for your hair. I know I sometimes used to forget to brush my hair at all for days when I first started wearing hijab! It is easy to get lazy about haircare maintenance because it stays covered for most of the day,  but showing your hair a little TLC will go a long way. With these easy haircare tips for hijabis, your hair will be happy, healthy and naturally beautiful in sha Allah.

Nourish Your Hair With a Supplement

Hijabis may start to notice thinning hair after major milestones like having a baby. Hormones that makes your hair lush and beautiful during pregnancy start to wane and all of that extra hair falls out! If you do suffer from hair loss, the best way to fight against it is to take an extra supplement. Taking a biotin/collagen supplement will not only promote new hair growth, it will also make the hair already on your scalp shiny and strong too. I highly recommend Biotin Beauty Bursts because it tastes like candy, so it is easy to remember to take. The one caveat is that it makes your hair grow EVERYWHERE so expect to use hair removal more often on other parts of your body.

Tie Up Your Hair Carefully

I can’t tell you how many hijabis have told me about headaches they get from wearing hijab. I sometimes suffer from these headaches too. Often, the culprit of these headaches is tying your hair too tight before you put your hijab on. And it isn’t just about headaches. If you tie your hair too tightly on a regular basis, you start to suffer from traction alopecia. This is hair loss​ from pulling your hair too tightly. As a long time hijabi (I’ve been wearing hijab for 23 years!), I was definitely guilty of this and I noticed my hair part was getting wider and wider. Finally, I had to stop pulling my hair into a high bun and start pulling it into a looser lower bun. It truly helped. Pull your hair back carefully ladies!

Change Your Hair Part

If you keep the same hair part over the years, it will start to get wider because your hair and scalp are getting pulled in the same direction over and over again. I personally suffer from a cowlick, so my hair naturally wants to part the same way. But with a little persistence, you can change your part. I did this by switching my part right out of the shower and using a gentle hair molding paste.

Massage Your Scalp

Massaging your scalp helps stimulate the roots and also oil production. I have naturally frizzy hair, so I add a few drops of olive oil with rose essential oil on the pads of my fingers, massage my scalp, and then brush it all out. This tip will leave you with incredibly shiny and healthy hair. It is a nice way to start unwinding for bed since it relieves any tension your scalp may be holding. I love scalp massages so much, I even bought this scalp massager to help really get a great massage.

Brush Your Hair Regularly

If you really want to have nice hair, ask yourself: “Do I brush my hair longer than a minute?” The answer is most likely no. I am not saying brush your hair a 100 strokes or more like Marcia Brady, but brushing your hair is one of the easiest ways to get healthier hair. Brushing removes dirt and debris from your hair. It also improves blood circulation to your scalp. Lastly, it encourages your scalp to release the right amount of oil (sebum) to keep give your hair a nice sheen. It also distributes that oil throughout the hair versus having all of that oil clog up your scalp at the roots.

Dry Your Hair Carefully

This tip is one that most of us are guilty of. We just yank our wet hair into a bun and go versus taking the time to towel dry, air dry, or blow dry. Don’t wring water out of your hair. Take an absorbent towel and massage the water out and then twist into a turban while you get ready. It allows your hair to dry quickly. Also, take the time to blow-dry​ your hair every once in a while to smooth the shaft. While heat styling can damage your hair, blowdrying your hair every once in a while actually improves texture. Just be sure to use a heat styling protective product.

Do a Weekly Hair Mask

Why save #selfcaresunday just for sheet masks? Take a time during the week to indulge your hair in a weekly mask. Since my hair is frizzy, I tend to gravitate towards hair masks that are very rich in natural moisturizers like shea butter. If you have oily hair, there are purifying masks too! One piece of advice: Don’t go too heavy, since it can cause scalp breakouts and leave it on long enough. If you don’t leave it on long enough, the mask won’t sink into your hair and you won’t get the results that you want.

Use a Silk Pillowcase

Before you laugh this off as being too high maintenance, just know that using a silk pillowcase prevents hair breakage and doesn’t rough up your hair cuticle as much as a regular pillowcase. Hair cuticles are like tiny scales on your hair shaft. When they lie down smoothly, then you have shinier hair. So, sleeping on a silk pillowcase will give you smoother hair. I highly recommend investing in a silk pillowcase. The bonus is that it will crease your skin less too.

Trim Your Hair Regularly

This sounds a bit counterintuitive, but if you trim your hair more frequently, it will help you grow out your hair. Regular trims prevents split ends which in turn weaken and damage your hair. So even if you want long luscious locks, make sure to keep regular appointments to cut that hair!

Embrace Your Natural Color and Hair Texture

The less you process your hair, the healthier it will be. If you have dark brown hair naturally, and you want to become a blond, chances are that you will need process your hair extensively. If you have curly hair, and you keep relaxing it or blowdrying it, it will eventually get damaged over time. Embrace your hair. I am at the point where I am not ready to give up coloring my gray roots, but I have stopped processing my hair to point where it gets damaged too much. Love the hair you were given and it will love you back.

10 Books That Will Excite Your Kids About Their Muslim Identity

As a Muslim kid growing up in New York City in the 1980’s, I have to admit that I had it a LOT easier than most kids growing up in United States. I was lucky enough to live in a city where the vast majority of its residents were people of color and immigrants. However, I grew up in Queens in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood. It was a place where Christmas and Hannukah were celebrated, but no one would ever mention holidays like Kwanzaa or Eid. And forget about being able to eat gummy candies. Everything seemed to be made with pork or lard. My parents didn’t understand how or why it was important to create special holiday moments around Ramadan or Eid. They were just immigrants trying to instill a sense of devotion and faith in us. As a parent, I appreciate just how hard it must have been for my parents to do that.

img_6858

Even though I was a young thing, I still understood how cool leggings were. I am sure my mom will hate that I shared this.

Now, as a Muslim mom, I can’t help but be dazzled by the assortment of resources available to us for our own kids. If your kids want to eat marshmallows or gummy candies, they can easily be purchased from the halal meat store. If you want to buy Ramadan or Eid decorations for your home, there is Etsy and an extensive list of online retailers you can turn to. Even Party City offers Eid decorations now! It is easier than ever to share Islam with your kids, but why is it that I am as scared as ever raising my kids?

With digital device use on the rise, it is easy for kids to tune you out and listen to a constant barrage of negative or useless information. From Minecraft to Fortnite, there are games that kids can turn to as they turn away from their parents. This is not a post to criticize parents about allowing their kids to use these games. However, it is a lot harder than ever to communicate with our kids as they get more and more distracted by alluring calls for their attention.

One way I have been able to engage with my kids is to put my own phone down (which by way, is HARD). But I have found that when I do and I read books with my kids, we are interacting in a very real way that helps shape their core values. We read the classics like Good Night Moon, but we also read a lot of books that are centered around Islam and Muslims. Here are my top 10 Muslim books for kids of all ages to be inspired by.

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors

Golden Domes Silver Lanterns

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

This book will enchant your children. With soothing rhymes by Hena Khan and dazzling illustrations by Merdokht Amini, your children will learn all about the colors of the world woven into the daily routine of a Muslim family. From the color of a prayer rug to the color of a grandfather’s cap, this book will entertain your kids with familiar everyday objects. This book is in steady rotation in my household, and I am sure it will be a favorite for your own kids. Please note that Hena Khan has book signings all over the country, so be sure to follow her and see when she is in your town. Ages 3+

Lailah’s Lunchbox

Lailah_s_Lunchbox_1280x1280

This book is based on writer Reem Faruqi’s actual life of being homesick as a young schoolgirl. Lailah moves from a Muslim majority country to Georgia and struggles to explain why her lunchbox will be empty during the month of Ramadan to her teacher and friends. She is able to confide in a school librarian and figure out a way to share what Ramadan is with her class. This book is really wonderful for kids to understand that being shy is a normal part of life and that there is a whole range of emotions that happen with a big move. One scene my kids could relate to was when Lailah is offered her favorite treat while she is fasting and has to say no thank you. It is a great book for kids who are starting to fast a full day and need some encouragement. Ages 6+

Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah

Ilyas and Duck

This book is one that takes a simple picture book to explain the complex concept of searching for the divine. Your kids will love the adventures that Ilyas and Duck go on in their search of Allah, but parents will love that it is a great way to explain the concept of where God is. Omar S. Khawaja has an entire series of Ilyas and Duck books that are sure to be crowd pleasers with your own children. He also conducts readings and book signings at local masjids, so be sure to follow him and see when he is coming to your area. Ages 2+

Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story

Night_of_the_Moon

Writer Hena Khan appears on our list again for a reason: she is able to capture the unique Muslim American experience in a way like no other writer can in a way that resonates with kids. Her authentic storytelling is apparent in this book that follows a seven-year-old Pakistani American girl named Yasmeen as she celebrates the entire month of Ramadan with her family. From the moon sighting onwards, this book explains the concepts of moon sightings, phases, iftar time, chand raat (night of the moon) and more. Ages 5+

Noor Kids Stand Up To Bullying

Noor Kids

Amin G. Aaser writes about the dangers of peer pressure and even being passive in the face of bullying in a very interactive book that will appeal to your kids. Noor Kids is a unique business model that allows parents to subscribe monthly to receive books that are not only informative but presents ideas in a way that kids are sure to remember and implement in their own lives. Utilizing what they call the SIRAT method, Noor Kids relies on storytelling, identity curriculum, role models, active parenting, and thinking critically. It gives Muslim parents the tools they need to raise confident Muslims. I highly recommend checking out their blog for excellent parenting resources. Ages 3+

Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs

ayat_jamilah_1280x1280

A comprehensive and beautiful anthology of traditional stories from around the world, this collection of short stories not only entertain but illuminate the importance of Islamic values and morals in a very powerful yet simple way. Ages 2+

Cinderella: An Islamic Tale

Cinderella

If you are wary of sharing fairy tales with your children because you are sick of the Disney version OR you are horrified by the amount of violence in the original version, this book is for you. It retells the classic story of Cinderella as a Muslim woman of color. With important concepts such as the reliance of Allah and the idea that even the pious are tested with hardship, this fairy tale version really illuminates virtues that are integral to Muslims. I will say that you will have to console children who are sensitive because the idea of losing a parent is never easy. However, it is done in a way that doesn’t gloss over the death of a parent (like Disney) and allows readers a glimpse into what personal loss does look like. (Please note: I don’t recommend the Snow White version of this author’s series for young children as it delves into black magic, murder, and the concept of evil eye which I feel are concepts best left to older children) Ages 8+

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes

crescent_moons_1280x1280

A continuation of Hena Khan’s book on colors, this book uses rhyming words and Merdokht Amini’s stunning illustrations to reinforce the concept of shapes using items familiar to Muslims all over the world. If your kids love the book Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, this is a must-have for their collection of books. Ages 2+

Yo Soy Muslim

yo-soy-muslim-9781481489362_hr
A beautiful lyrical book by Mark Gonzales, this picture book discusses important concepts of racism and belonging while celebrating the Latino Muslim experience. A combination of surreal poetry with fantastical illustration by Merdokht Amini, this book is certain to make your kids proud of the diversity of the Muslim ummah and of their own heritage. Ages 6+

It’s Ramadan, Curious George!

it's+ramadan+curious+george+cover

How can I not mention the book that made Ramadan mainstream? Writer Hena Khan takes your kids on a journey with Curious George that takes him to a masjid where he learns you take off shoes, iftar, and even an Eid celebration. This book is perfect for kids of all ages to get excited about Ramadan and Eid. Ages 2+

I truly hope this curated list gets you excited to start your own children’s library of Muslim books by Muslim authors. Let me know what books I should buy next for my own kids in the comments below!

Sondos Alqattan Proves Racism Does Exist in Gulf Countries

Sondos Alqattan
This week, a very popular Kuwaiti vlogger named Sondos Alqattan decided to go on Instagram and vent about Kuwait’s new law that allows Filipino workers one day off a week. The new law also allows workers to retain control over their passports. Please keep in mind that she has 2.3 million followers on Instagram alone. This means that her words influence how many young and impressionable minds will view this world. Her actions have a consequence whether she likes it or not.

The only way to describe how out of touch Sondos is with reality is to explain that she is from a Gulf country. These countries have massive amounts of wealth among a small elite who sit sequestered away from the rest of the world. These wealthy individuals abuse a system of sponsoring workers called kafala. This system allows employers the power to take away workers’ passports, withhold their salaries, and subject them to abuse. Sondos even mentions in her video how she doesn’t want a maid from the Philippines​ because the maid would have access to her passport and she doesn’t know if the maid will run off without doing her work. It is clear that Sondos feel entitled to restrict her maid’s passport and movement even if she has the day off as if the maid is her property.

She is not alone. The Gulf is notorious for its abuse of workers. Workers are lured from extremely impoverished countries like Bangladesh and the Philippines with lies of good wages and living conditions in Gulf countries. They are usually tricked into slave-like conditions.

Recently in Qatar, more than 4,000 workers died in horrible work conditions. You can read this report in 2014 about the kafala system and how Qatar’s abuse of domestic workers is rampant.

The idea that Sondos views her maid as property versus as a human being is just part of the larger picture of the rampant racism in Gulf countries.

As Muslims, we should be better than this. Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his last sermon said, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim, which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore, do injustice to yourselves.”

Muslims should be the first to treat workers well. The Messenger (peace be upon him) also said: “Pay the laborer his wages before his sweat dries.” How can we expect to be respected as an Ummah when we don’t even honor our Prophetic traditions? As a Muslim blogger, I condemn the racism and entitlement shared by Sondos Alqattan. I pray that she takes the time to visit countries like the Philippines so she can see the poverty that exists in the world. Perhaps that will give her some compassion and humanity.

The Lowdown on ipsy Gen Beauty

This past weekend I decided to attend ipsy Gen Beauty in San Francisco. As a marketing professional, I have attended countless conferences, but I have never attended a beauty conference before. Since this conference was literally in my backyard (plus their targeted Facebook ads kept tempting me with a nice $75 price tag), I decided to attend Generation Beauty.

I have divided this blog post into useful headers so you can skip to what you want to know about (We all know you want to read about the goodies 😉

Beauty Swag

The goody bag was well worth the ticket price. Expect to receive about $200 worth of beauty products. I will say that based on other reviews online about Ipsy Gen goody bags, I was expecting a lot of discarded shades I would never use. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of brands put in the effort to share full-sized or quality sample sized products.

Some standouts: MAC Cosmetics gave you a choice of five different shades of lipstick when you visited their booth. It was a full-sized lipstick. In the actual goody bag, they gave you a greige colored lip in their Retro Matte lip collection.

Soo Ae deserves a shoutout for giving me enough masks to survive an apocalypse​. They gave about 15 sheet masks in the goody bag PLUS two sheet masks when you visited their booth. While attendees were shivering in the cold waiting for their favorite beauty influencers, Sooae was running around making us smile by giving us even MORE sheet masks. I have more than enough to get sheet faced, thank you very much.

Luxie, which is a Bay Area beauty company gave each attendee a brush cleaner that looked like a plastic loofah. They make vegan-friendly​ beauty brushes. If you visited their booth, they gave you a choice of about 4-5 brushes to pick from. I really enjoyed speaking with the people at the Luxie booth that is for sure. Speaking of brushes, Moda Brushes also gave each attendee a brush.

Beauty Influencer Line Up

Ipsy Gen SF had a really stellar line up of beauty influencers. Here is what sucked: waiting in line for hours while in the cold. If you wanted to meet any of the influencers, Ipsy Gen forced you outside to wait. They had security guards who practically manhandled​ you and as you waited, they would ignore anyone who would cut the line. When I waited to see Tamanna Roashan aka Dress Your Face, literally a group of SEVEN girls cut people in front of me. THIS part of the conference was POORLY handled.

Once you got to meet the influencer you wanted to see, you were literally shoved in front of a ring light tripod with an inexperienced teenager taking your picture. PLEASE review your photo before you leave because when I met Tamanna, the person taking the picture had taken unflattering pictures of BOTH of us with our eyes closed. I don’t even know how anyone can take a bad picture of Tamanna. Tamanna was nice enough to retake a selfie with me which came out much better. So if you want that flattering photo, please CHECK. You don’t want to waste all that time to get a bad photo.

I got to meet Jackie Aina (who is very supportive of Muslim bloggers and Muslim brands). She was the NICEST human being and took the moment to appreciate all of her fans who waited for her. Her fanbase was also the NICEST. We all sat and chatted as old friends while we waited to meet her. So now, I have some local Bay Area fam. Thank you Jackie!

Beauty Schedule

The programming for this conference was just awful. It was bare bones and really wasn’t as engaging as it could be. The one STAND OUT for this was that all of the panels were hosted by Daniel Musto who managed to crack jokes, stay empathetic and was always engaged. He moderated a panel I wasn’t even planning on attending about Beauty by You. The panel was made up of regular ipsy subscribers who were getting makeovers. But they each had a story that would make you want to cry or be inspired. My biggest lesson is that the attendees of Ipsy wowed me more than anything else.

I would have liked to see more makeup how-tos, more brand people to talk to, and panels on the latest makeup trends. Even break out sessions on brand building, how to edit photos, or even how to write a pitch would have been nice. A lot of the attendees are passionate makeup lovers who blog too.

Also, don’t cheap out on chargers at the charging stations Ipsy! I am lucky I brought my own charger because I would have been waiting for my phone to charge for hours.

The Haves and Have Nots

I have been to conferences that are blogger-centric. But Ipsy Gen SF was by far one where you literally feel like a peasant. If you are a “creator,” you get to go upstairs to a lounge where they serve food that most of the creators don’t eat, serve watermelon water, and other fun perks. They literally are on a balcony where they look “down” on everyone else before their meet and greet OR panel starts. Their swag bag is insanely upgraded with FULL-SIZE everything.

My friend was invited to the lounge and left her bags, and when I tried to go with her, the security guard almost tackled me! It’s not that serious, I won’t try to sneak in for your snacks (mainly because I had packed my own, I am a mom). It literally makes you feel like a high school outcast where the mean girls say “you can’t sit with us.”

Tricks

Here are some tips to have a great experience.

Pack a phone charger
THIS is the most important tip. You don’t want to run out of battery juice before meeting your favorite blogger. Or before you need to order an Uber to get back to your hotel room or home. Pack a charger.

Pack Poo-pourri.
As beautiful as the attendees are, some left real stinkers in the loo. I was so glad I packed this and Clorox wipes.

Pack Snacks
I also packed snacks and water. You are going to be running around booths ALL day. The food trucks are outside the venue where it is cold since you are on the pier near water. Just pack your own snacks.

Leave Behind the Swag Bag on Day 2
That swag bag is like a small baby. You don’t want to be carrying around that baby for too long.

Be Nice

As much as I wanted to call out those line cutters, I just kept it to myself because I am at a MAKEUP conference. It is not that serious. Say thank you to all those people working the booths too. Saying please and having manners always works out best. Even when the security guard was about to tackle me, I was nice and didn’t make a fuss. It’s cool. Just be cool.

If you love makeup, I recommend going to Ipsy Gen SF at least once. However, I think I may just do Beauty Con LA next year. Have you gone to either events before? What do you think?

Modest Fashion Goes Mainstream: Macy’s Carries Verona Collection

luxury-viscose-satin-verona-collection-hijab-vpsbk9_1024x1024

On the heels of luxury hijabs breaking into mainstream fashion news, we have the exciting news of the retailer Macy’s announcing that they will now carry modest fashion brand Verona Collection online. The modest fashion brand, founded by Lisa Vogl and Alaa Ammuss in 2015, has quickly grown into a powerhouse brand with a free-standing store in Florida.

Verona Collection is also a 2017 Macy’s Emerging Vendor success story from the Macy’s Workshop. “The Workshop at Macy’s is an exclusive retail vendor development program designed to give select high potential minority- and women-owned businesses the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry.”

According to Huffington Post, the Verona Collection line at Macy’s e-commerce site will feature a variety of hijabs or headscarves, as well as modest tops, pants, dresses and abayas.

As a Muslim blogger who personally knows Lisa, I am THRILLED for her successes. For now, this line will only be carried on Macy’s website, but I hope this inspires Macy’s to start carrying this line in physical stores soon! What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Hijab Trend: “Luxury” Hijabs

Haute Hijab Luxury Collection Celestial Silver Hijab
Haute Hijab Luxury Collection Celestial Silver Hijab

Salaam my lovelies! In December, I had the pleasure of meeting Melanie Elturk who is the CEO of Haute Hijab to do an in-office customer interview in New York. I sat down with Alice (Customer Experience at Haute Hijab) and Melanie. It was a heartwarming experience filled with laughs and experiences that only hijabis can understand.

At the time, I was bemoaning how there was a lack of hijabs for special occasions like graduations, birthdays, weddings, and baby showers. I remember how Alice and Melanie glanced at each other with knowing smiles, but they stayed mum about the impending launch of the Haute Hijab Luxury Collection. Sorry, no exclusives here! For an exclusive on the Haute Hijab Luxury Collection line, please check out Pop Sugar Fashion.

Fast forward to this week, and now I know what those smiles were for! The line is just gorgeous. The pricing is definitely not for the faint of heart as it starts from $250 and goes up to $325. I love the intricate beading, crystals, and material and this goes into the price. According to Pop Sugar as told by Melanie:

The Muslim community is, number one, highly educated. And, as a result, pretty wealthy. Our specific customer base has a medium household income of $90K. She has a high educational degree: PhD or masters. We were hearing: ‘My husband is a doctor or I am a doctor, and we always have these formal affairs. I have nothing to wear. I look so frumpy, and I just pale in comparison to everyone who is there.’

But it did resonate a point. Why are there no hijabs that have the detail and quality as clothing does for special occasions? Why are hijabis wearing plain cotton hijabs with their wedding dresses or for their graduations? Shouldn’t there be a better option?

I will congratulate Melanie on producing a beautiful line with stunning marketing pieces such as a flawless teaser video, promotional images, and press. It is the first time I ever saw publications like Pop Sugar or Vogue feature a hijab line and I hope its a trend that won’t go away.

While this may be the first collection that is mass produced for a luxury line, I wanted to share some other brands who are rocking the luxury hijab trend on a smaller scale. Take a look and let me know if I miss any!

Framed People

Framed People Cotton Feathers Hijab in Gray

Framed People is a San Francisco based hijab line that features luxuriously designed hijabs with feathers and other whimsical details.

Framed People is a hijab line that is dedicated to sourcing ethically produced fabrics that are unique, stylish, and comfortable. Their Feather Hijab features cotton feathers versus feathers from an animal which means your conscience can be at rest. For a special occasion, I would recommend the Chif Chif Piping hijab with its beautiful metallic piping. The hijabs range in pricing from $20-$40.

Inayah

INAYAH-BRIDAL1091

This is the LINE I turn to for a hijab that makes me feel special. The heft of the material, the stitching at the edges, all of it is detailed and these hijabs last forever. I just wish they had a little more embellishment. The hijabs range in pricing from $5.99-$45

Vela Scarves

Vela Scarves Platinum Flower Petal Hijab from the Resort Collection

Vela Scarves Platinum Flower Petal Hijab from the Resort Collection

Vela Scarves is a line based in Los Angeles by Marwa Atik. We have known about Marwa’s easy California style for a while and even featured her on a Follow Friday post back in 2013!

Since then, she has grown her hijab line to be a rare combination of high fashion and modesty and it shows. Marwa pores over countless materials and handpicks all of her hijab embellishments. Look at the detail on the Flower Petal Hijab from the Vela Scarves Resort Collection!

According to Vela Scarves, this is the Vela Girl: “She’s fun, modest, intellectual, and is deeply involved in the community. She is well-versed on the latest trends but knows how to make them suit her. The Vela girl knows her decision to be veiled does not fit the mold, but she embraces the opportunity to make her distinction beautiful.”

Some popular Vela Scarves girls are Noor Tagouri who wore this bespoke Vela Scarves hijab featured below for her wedding festivities and Neelam Hakeem who was recently seen dropping lines on P. Diddy’s Instagram.

Noor-Tagouri-_shabster

Vela Scarves range in price from $10.00-$72.95.

Hijab Couture

Hijab Couture is an online boutique based in Houston, Texas which provides custom designed hijabs, headpieces, and veils for weddings or special occasions. It is a boutique by Affaf Nusratullah who not only designs and makes each piece by hand, but she is a makeup artist as well! What a talent mA. Her pricing ranges from $49-$200+.

Hijab Couture 1

Diversity in Modest Fashion?

Modanisa Offers A Look Into the Lack of Diversity in Modest Fashion
pexels-photo-693420.jpeg

Salaam my lovelies! I hope that you kicked off the New Year with some new resolutions. I started with one of my own: to keep on blogging. Here is why:

The recent Dubai Fashion Week sponsored by Turkish modest fashion line Modanisa was exciting, but also puzzling. Hijabi fashion blogger Manal aka Chinutay shared how she was disappointed to see that there was a lack of diversity on the runway and among the modest fashion influencers asked to attend the show. Here is what she had to say:

“First off, what was obvious was not who was flown out but who wasn’t! I myself (apologies if I missed any influencer), was the only black woman to be flown out and participate out of MANY beautiful influential black women. Whilst there, I’ve had our sisters (WOC who live in Dubai and purchased tickets) come up to me anbd ask me what was very apparent…’Where are all the other black bloggers/influencers?'”

The struggle for diversity in the Muslim fashion world is very real. It seems that the ideal Muslim fashion blogger is thin, light-skinned and very much like an actual fashion blogger with a hijab on top of her head. While these bloggers work very hard to create beautiful content, there are so many more of us who attempt to shed light on the fact that Muslims are a billion-plus deep population with so many more faces and bodies.

For me, it has always been a struggle to find modest fashion clothing that will actually fit and flatter a curvy body type. Admit it, how many of you even follow a plus-size or curvy modest fashon blogger? Yet, we have countless women who wear hijab that fall into this category! How important is it to see a valid representation of the runway of what the actual Muslim population looks like?

This is why I am starting back up on blogging. We NEED diversity. We need more women of color modest fashion influencers. We need more body positivity in the Muslim fashion world. This is my personal truth and I hope that it speaks to your personal truth too. For far too long, we have been silent, but I hope that my blog inspires you to embrace who you are too. I hope that you embrace my personal journey and start your own to love yourself the way that you were made.

Love to you all.

Online Shopping Review: Kohl’s

Salaams my lovelies! It has been a while. I have been trying to be more “in the moment” when it comes to spending time with my family, I have been working on my fitness routine (more to come!) and lastly, just working. As a working mom, it has always been a challenge to publish blog posts, but I promise that I will get more consistent.

One reason I don’t publish as often is that I want to ensure that what I am writing about actually benefits you and that it makes sense from a Hijabilife perspective. I have been looking at sharing things that I personally enjoy versus promotion. Anyhow, with that being said, I will say that as a curvy hijabi, it is super challenging to find flattering trendy clothes.

How do I even begin to describe how I feel like I belong in a Chiquita banana ad when I wear bell sleeves? However, in spite of my initial reservations, I could not help but be tempted by this gorgeous chambray top by LC Lauren Conrad from Kohl’s.

Minara

I have never really shopped at Kohl’s before, but I was convinced by a friend to shop there and that line is amazing! In the picture above, I am wearing head to toe LC by Lauren Conrad line. The top and leggings are both affordable and modest fashion-friendly. The line featured clothing that is double-stitched and from beautiful fabrics. Imagine trendy clothing at Forever 21 prices with the quality of a Banana Republic line.

I ordered my pieces online since I know the selection is wider and I know my sizing. I wear a size Large for this particular line (it runs bigger than most lines). That means that if you wear a Medium, you may want to try a size Small. The shipping was fast and easy and you get email notifications with tracking numbers and an ETA. If you are looking for some spring clothing on a budget, give Kohl’s a try!

Please note: I was not compensated by Kohl’s or LC Lauren Conrad for this review. I purchased all pieces reviewed in this post.

Hijabi Fitness: How To Get Started

Salaam my lovelies! It’s been too long since I blogged last, but I have some exciting news. I have written in the past about my fitness journey, but I wanted to share my progress. I had a baby almost TWO years ago and for some reason, the second time it has been a challenge to shed that extra baby weight. That being said, it can be done.

I think the hardest part for me was that it is so easy to get overwhelmed with how to even start. What gym do I join? What classes do I take? What meal plan should I follow? In a world full of options, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

I was lucky enough to have a fellow mom be my workout buddy last summer and do a boot camp called Training For Warriors. Once I got in, it was small consistent steps that have really made all the difference. I still have a ways to go, but I wanted to share my fitness journey so that I can inspire you if you are a novice.

Start With Clean Eating

I know I said fitness journey, but you can’t be fit if you are eating junk. But what is clean eating? It can mean a lot of different things for different people. For me, I am an apple shape. Which means that I carry a LOT of my weight as visceral fat in my stomach. This shape is more prone to diabetes, hypertension and other bad diseases. If you are an apple shape, it is easy to despair, but you CAN get into shape.

Once you pinpoint your body shape, you can figure out how your body metabolizes food. For me, it was all about that rice and other carbs. I replaced my rice with riced broccoli (Trader Joe’s has a readymade one) or with riced cauliflower. I eat a lot of lean protein and salads.

Meal Plan

Invest in Tupperware containers. Start with 10 lunchbox size ones, 10 half-sized ones and 20 minis. Spend Sunday thinking about what you want to eat for the week and shop for those meals and snacks. Keep in mind that I meal plan for the week, but I cook food to last till Wed. Then I cook again for Wed-Sat. For me, I like baking omelette cups and banana nut cups for breakfast, shrimp scampi with zoodles and grilled chicken breast with salad for lunch. For dinner, we mix it up. I sometimes do meatballs, sprouted bread grilled cheese with avocado and more.

REALLY Start A Food Diary

This was key for me. I was not understanding why I gained so much weight, but when I saw just how many calories some of my “healthy” snacks were, I knew I had to change it up a bit. For example, one of my yogurt faves was more like a dessert clocking in at almost 300 calories! Add the granola and other additions and it was almost 1/3 of my recommended caloric intake. Yikes!

You can also see patterns. When did I reach for my snacks? Was I sleep deprived? Was I feeling stressed? Once you see your triggers, you can really work to change those default habits.

Start Exercising with High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT means a combinations of max cardio with resistance (weights) training. This can be anything from jumping jacks, burpees and battle ropes mixed with push ups, tricep dips and more. This will WORK. If you are like me when I started, you may not do a lot. I started off doing about 5 pushups on my knees. You will eventually get to 15 pushups or more on your toes. It is a slow process. It took time to gain the weight and it will take time to take that weight off.

Start Using Protein Powder

Using protein powder to make shakes was a game changer for me. I HATED shakes and smoothies. It turns out that I really just hated the bananas in the shakes. I actually make really delicious shakes using protein powder, almond butter and almond milk. I mix up the fruit combinations and add green powder to the mix too. It is so GOOD. It is like a milk shake, but it helps you rebuild your muscles from all of that resistance training.

Stick with Friends Who Encourage You

Let your friends and family know that you are starting this new fitness journey. I am the luckiest lady to have a husband who supports me every step of the way. He never complains about our meals and that we don’t have junk in the house. The kids LOVE my healthy snacks too. I have more energy and I am happier too.

These are tips to get you started, but what are your fitness tips? Do you like these tips? Would like to hear more? Let me know in the comments below!