Hijabi Beauty: Flower Cosmetics Review

flower-cosmetic-line_

Flower Cosmetics is an affordable makeup line you can buy at Walmart.

I know I wrote about Flower Cosmetics before, but there are even more things to love about the brand.

Glisten Up Highlighter
First, we all know that strobing is a big trend. For those of you who don’t know, strobing is when you take a highlighter and use it to highlight the focal points of your face (versus contouring where you carve out your features with dark powder). Flower Cosmetics offers a highlighter that comes in a chubby stick that makes strobing goof proof. In fact, the Flower Cosmetics Glisten Up highlighter won the CEW Beauty award for Mass Face Product! I tried the color Honey out. When I went to pick up my kid from daycare, the teacher told me I looked “radiant.” And this was after spending the night tending to TWO sick babies. Trust me, after that compliment, that highlighter is in heavy rotation. It is finely milled sparkle versus chunky sparkles in a highlighter so it is a subtle sheen versus an obvious highlight.

Lip Butter

This is a translucent lip color versus a highly pigmented lipstick. I would compare it to L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Balm. It is very pretty and subtle. However, I will say that the packaging drives me crazy! The cap always comes off in my bag.

Eye Shadow Quad
This eyeshadow quad is the softest shadow I have ever used. I loved the soft texture and the pigmentation is rich. However, I will caution that you need to be careful when applying it since it is so powdery. Use tape if you want to do cut creases and the like. I recommend using eyeshadow primer if you want the shadows to last because the powdery texture also means it wears off quicker. I would recommend these quads for day wear; especially at the office or while running errands. The colors are so pretty and wearable.

Brushes
I really love THESE Flower Cosmetics brushes!The handles are really nice to hold and the bristles are soft yet hold enough pigment. I am one of those weird people who really don’t like many popular brush brands. I have used and broken many MAC brushes, Bare Minerals brushes actually hurt my skin with it’s stiff bristles, etc. Even my brushes from Sonia Kashuk are just OKAY. And let’s be real, brushes are what allow you to get that airbrushed/blended look that is so popular now. I actually really like Morphe brushes and Eco Tools but for now, these are my new favorite brushes!

Overall, it is nice to see a makeup line that is sold at Walmart that is affordable, yet high quality. I appreciate that it is a line that doesn’t waste money into advertising, but focuses its dollars into creating prestige quality makeup instead. As a Muslim woman, I love that she makes her makeup cruelty-free too. Check out your local Walmart and let me know what you think about Flower Cosmetics. Have you tried any of their products? Let me know in the comments below.

Has Hijabi Fashion Gone Too Far?

Hijab Fashion

Does modest fashion have to be so serious?

Salaam my lovelies! I hope you are all doing well inshallah. I know I haven’t posted in a long time. It is not because I don’t love to write; I really do. I LOVE that my writing has resonated with so many readers and that I get the most lovely comments on my posts. However, the divisiveness in our little hijabi blogger community has left me shaken. As you remember, I viewed being a hijabi blogger as a chance for Muslim women to regain our narrative back. Modest fashion is a part of that, but I also wanted to blog about other Muslim American topics such as raising good Muslim children, having a healthy Islamic marriage and even where to get good halal food.

However, it seems that there are a lot of trolls who persist in tearing hijabi bloggers to shreds. I have written about this before, but I will actually share an incident that has bothered me immensely. We all know how I have my Follow Friday posts on Hijabi Life. I actually posted a Follow Friday post on a sister named Imaan Ali who used to blog on a blog called The Hijablog. We all know hijab is an extremely personal experience and that there are ups and downs in everyone’s faith. So for hijabi bloggers to document our lives is very hard to begin with. So you can imagine how much backlash Imaan got for making the very personal decision to take her hijab off.

Here is the thing: She is still the same person. She is still a human being. Do you really think trolling her or any bloggers who admired her will really change the situation? I know she is not the first hijabi blogger to take her hijab off (Winnie Detwa also received backlash for taking her hijab off too). However, I don’t expect her to be the last. How terrible is it that we are so quick to bash the bloggers we so ardently adored? Personally, I don’t want to be adored. I want to be able to share my own thoughts and feelings in the hopes that it provides some souls a little comfort in their own lives. I think it is wrong how we have quickly made hijabi bloggers the end all be all. Please avoid taking bloggers on as idols. I don’t think a single blogger wants to be idol worshipped like a celebrity is in Western culture. And if there is a shred of pride from cult status, then we as bloggers need to be aware that showing off is so dangerous that it’s like the black ant on the black rock in the night with no moon. It can sneak up on you like this.

And here is my quandary: Should I keep blogging about hijabi fashion? I feel like it has taken on more baggage than I was aware of. It also limits my writing. I want to be able to write and help others. With the situation in Gaza, I can’t help but feel silly to write about just modest fashion. I would like to share more Islamic/DIY/political posts though. If you agree or disagree, please let me know. I am not asking you readers to all agree with me, but I do think that we need to have some more tolerance and forgiveness in our own hearts. The way we treat others in this world is how God will treat us when we meet him. Let us have more mercy.

Follow Friday: Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF is a Kuwaiti blogger who shows us you can have great style all the time…even pregnant!

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a good day today inshallah. Well even if you aren’t, the bright spot is that today is Follow Friday on Hijabi Life! The hijabi blogger for today’s Follow Friday lives in Kuwait and is a masterful mix of bold, bright and beautiful ensembles. Ascia AKF, aka Ascia Al-Faraj exploded onto the blogger scene and is credited with bringing the turban style into a mainstream staple. Ascia AKF’s blog, The Hybrids follow the fashion diary of not only herself, but her husband Ahmad too. The couple calls themselves “hybrids” since they are both of mixed heritage. The results are just stunning mashallah.

An expert at deftly layering clothes, Ascia AKF’s look is more of a citizen of the world. She combines high low fashion in a way that is not only accessible, but transcends age, ethnicity and even gender. Even during her recent pregnancy with her newborn son Adam, we never saw the lovely hijabi blogger ever resort to scrubby looking sweatpants (which makes me love, yet hate her haha!) even during her last trimester. A big believer in the idea that your mood affects your style, Ascia AKF has said, “When I don’t want to talk to anyone I wear black clothes and black dark eyeliner so no one would enter my world of thoughts. On the other hand, “sometimes I would wear colors with the best accessory and bright colors to express my mood.”

Ascia AKF doesn’t purport to live a charmed life even with all of her successes as a fashion designer and blogger. Ascia is very open about sharing her own struggles as well as her style. She shared her troubles of fertility with her fans last year as well as the sadness she felt with losses in her life. However, she still continued and continues to inspire us all. If there was ever a blogger who was proof of how there is ease after hardship, it is Ascia. She lives up to her namesake’s name.

While I am not a devotee of the turban style for my own personal hijab style, I think @ascia_akf (her account on Instagram) is just a wonderful account to follow for modest fashion ideas. What are your thoughts? Do you have a hijabi blogger you would like me to cover in the next Follow Friday post? Let me know.

Hijabi Beauty: Flower Cosmetics Review

FLOWERBEAUTY

FLOWER BEAUTY is an accessible luxury beauty line that you can buy at Walmart!

Salaams my lovelies! If you follow me on Instagram @hijabilife, you may have noticed that I went on a major organization spree a few weeks back. One of the major overhauls I did was my makeup bag. I had to cull through all my old lipsticks, eyeliners, and other makeup. While I was doing this, I noticed a major trend: I tend to buy the same colors over and over again! I promise you, there is a good reason for this. Since I tend to invest in a few good quality products, I always get colors that I know will look flattering. However, this means that my makeup look is the same day in and day out. It also means that I am literally wasting money because I am buying products I already have. However, I just can’t bring myself to fork over $20+ on one tube of an outrageous lipstick color I may wear once in a while!

So what is a makeup junkie like me to do? Head over to her local Walmart with coupons in hand (yes I still clip coupons).

Walmart launched Flower Beauty with Drew Barrymore about a year ago. Since it was on sale that week (with coupons too!), I decided to give it a go. I bought two lip butters and a lipgloss. Here are my thoughts:

  • Cost: For what you get, I am duly impressed. Without my coupon, it was under $10 for each item. However, after coupons and the weekly promo price, it was a little over $5 each!
  • Packaging: The packaging is very elegant with a lot of cream/gold finishes. However, the lip butters were an odd tube shape where the cap never fully closed! So beware that you can ruin your purse with those. I solved that issue by actually keeping my lip butters upright in a side pocket in my diaper bag.
  • Quality:The lip butters were so great! It was glossy yet not greasy, and the color pay off was just right too. If you love the L’Oreal Colour Riche Lip Balms, you will fall in love with Flower Beauty lip butters. I bought the Wispy Wisteria (a vibrant fuschia) and Princess and the Peony (a classic rose). They applied well with no patches or streaks. I personally did not like the lipgloss as much because I felt like it was too oily and the color came on a bit streaky. However, it was definitely more on par with department store brands versus a drugstore brand!

Final Verdict:  This is definitely a brand that is a keeper. I am just itching to head back to Walmart and try the eye makeup but I need to use up my old eye makeup first! Have any of you tried and loved this brand?

Hijabi Beauty: Review of Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom

Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom

Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom is the perfect fragrance for spring.

Cherry blossoms are iconic in Japanese culture not only for their beauty, but also for the transient nature of the blooms. When I see cherry blossoms, it personally reminds me of the beautiful tree that used to bloom every spring in front of my home. When the cherry blossoms first started to bloom the whole tree looked so airy; like it could fly away on the frothy plumes of branches. Then the petals would shower down on you like a lovely fragrant snowfall as you would enter or leave our house when the cherry blossoms started to wither away. So for me, I will forever associate cherry blossoms with my youth and with spring.

Birchbox was kind enough to send me a full sized bottle of Harvey Prince’s Cherie Blossom to review. I was ecstatic since it brought back that childhood nostalgia of being showered with snowy pale pink petals. Personally, I also love the French nod to the term “cherie” which means “dear” in French too. So here I am with this gorgeous “dear” blossom fragrance to review. First off, if you love florals, you will love this perfume. Personally, I am only a fan of light florals (think Aqua Di Parma’s Iris Nobile). Here is my take on the Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom perfume:

Top Note: Cherry blossom (somei sakura) which is a light floral note.

Mid Note: Sparkling Pink Grapefruit which cuts through the sweetness of the floral top note.

Base Note: A lovely vanilla that warms the whole fragrance and really makes it sweet but not cloyingly so. Musk makes the whole fragrance a little more sensuous and edgy.

Another plus is that all Harvey Prince fragrances are hypoallergenic and cruelty-free.

Verdict: Buy it and love it if you want to feel youthful and carefree.

PS: Thank you to Birchbloggers for sharing such a wonderful perfume with me!

Hijabi Beauty: Best Foundations For Women of Color

Foundation swatches

Picking a foundation can be tricky, but Hijabilife can help!

We all dream of finding the One. The One makeup base that will take away our worry lines, erase our dark spots, and help us glow with happiness. Much like finding the One we ultimately marry, finding the One foundation you love takes time (and trial and error at times). No matter where you are from, if you are a woman, you probably dream of having smooth, flawless looking skin. It is a standard of beauty that transcends cultures, religions, and even time. If you look at descriptions of beauties from the past, there is always some mention of smooth beautiful skin that glows. Which is exactly why cosmetic companies make a fortune by selling us the promise of radiant skin in a bottle or jar.

One of the challenges that women of color face is that most foundation colors are not exactly suited for them. Women of color will find that some foundations end up looking ashy or muddy. It really is a struggle to find the right foundation for women of color. Here are some tips and tricks that I have for you so that you can get right match for you.

Since it is so hard to find the perfect color match, a lot of women of color focus so much on the color, that they neglect to think about their coverage needs. Do you need a sheer coverage formula? Do you need a heavier coverage? Are you an active person who has a lot of shine? Are you an older woman who wants to bring back some radiance? Personally, I tend to have oily skin so I prefer a powder finish even to my liquid foundation in order to combat that T-zone oily shine. Here are my picks for whatever your skin care needs are:

Heavy Coverage

For women who are looking to cover large scars, birthmarks, or even tatoos, I highly recommend Dermablend. It really covers hard to cover hyperpigmentation that women of color sometimes get from acne scarring. You can buy this line of foundations from Ulta.  Another great range of foundations for women of color that provide heavy coverage is MAC. I personally don’t use MAC, but I know a lot of women of color who swear by it. I would say as a caveat for anyone using these heavy coverage foundations is that if you wear it for too long and you don’t wash your face, you will break out. So try to save this for special occasions only. Lastly, for my drugstore mavens, L’Oreal True Match really does work wonders. If you are worried about not finding an absolute match for your skin color, make sure to buy it from a store that has a good return policy.</p>

Medium Coverage

Medium coverage foundations are not quite as heavy as the foundations I listed above. They can cover smaller imperfections and age spots pretty well but still allows the natural skin tone to peek through. I highly recommend Lorac since its light but offers a good range of shades. The line is never too heavy, but still evens out skin tone beautifully. This line’s color range is especially good for Southeast Asian women. I would have recommended Bare Minerals in this category, but I have not had any luck finding the right shade. I feel like their range is either really light or really dark. Another issue I have with Bare Minerals is that while it initially works well, it ultimately makes my skin itch and so I had to give up wearing it. If you can find the right shade and it does not make your skin itch, it really does give you a natural finish that covers a lot of dark spots or undereye shadows.

Light Coverage

I highly recommend using a BB cream if you want a very sheer coverage that allows your natural skin’s beauty to shine through. Since BB creams are newer, their color range is a bit limited. However, I highly recommend Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream. It gives you a nice every day coverage that helps you look bright eyed and bushy tailed even if you didn’t go back to sleep after Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer). Another drugstore recommendation is the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream.

Whatever your skincare needs are, my best advice is to try things out. A lot of times what works for your friend, sister, or even your mom may not work so well for you. So take my recommendations with a grain of salt and let me know what your top foundation picks are!

 

 

Online Shopping Review: Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena Winter 2014

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are doing well inshallah and that you are having a nice Friday! I typically do a Follow Friday post, but today, I wanted to make it a Fashion Friday post because I am just over the moon in love with a modest fashion clothing line that I am sure that you will love too. Have you heard of Simply Zeena? For some reason, I had heard of the line, but I never had the time to really browse and shop their site online. Another one of the challenges of online shopping is that you just don’t know how something will drape or look on you unless you try it in person. I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet the ladies of Simply Zeena at the Fashion Fighting Famine San Francisco show and see their Winter 2014 collection in person.

The Simply Zeena 2014 Winter Collection is an array of extremely wearable and flattering pieces that can work for anyone looking for a modest wardrobe that is polished and chic. As a working hijabi mom, I need quick pieces like the ones in this collection to put on and go yet still look polished. I love that the materials are wrinkle resistant because who really has the time to iron? Not me! But I also still want to look elegant and professional and Simply Zeena allows me to look my best. I personally bought the purple hoodie and the Audrey which is a classic top in the making. When I wore the Audrey, I felt as elegant as the iconic Audrey Hepburn. I paired it with slim fit black pants, ballet flats and I know I got a ton of compliments from Muslims and non Muslims alike. A mom at Trader Joe’s actually stopped me and asked, “Where did you get that cute top?” I was so happy to share my fashion secret with her and with you. Simply Zeena has clothing for anything you may need. They even sell modest active wear and swim wear. I was super excited to see that.

Online Browsing: Their site is super easy to navigate to find what you need and more. They have a super easy to locate top navigation bar that can take you directly to clothing that are Basics, Activewear (as a gym buff, I LOVE that they have modest activewear), and other categories that make sense for easy shopping.

While Simply Zeena is an online shopping destination, I can’t really give you the good details on how fast shipping is, or the buying experience, etc. However, that gives me a great excuse to go and buy more online. I will let you know how my next pieces come and how the true online shopping experience is. In the meantime, if you have bought from Simply Zeena, what did you think? Share your comments below!

Hijabi Beauty: Beautiful Hands

20131120-163941.jpg

Salaams my lovelies! As you know, the winter season is fast approaching. Which means there will be plenty of time for beautiful jackets, sweaters, and scarves. However, winter also means having to deal with dry chapped winter skin too. The part of the body that bears the brunt of winter’s harshness is your hands. From the cold whipping winds, and the dry harsh heat of indoor heating, the thin skin of your hands can get dry, scaly, and start to hurt. Since the hands and face are the parts of the body that practicing hijabis expose the most, it makes sense that those areas may need the most TLC. Here are some tips to keep those hands looking pretty year round:

Wear gloves when you can:

In the winter, there are still some crazy people (for example me) that sometimes refuse to wear gloves. However, gloves serve as the first barrier of protection for the sensitive skin on your hands from the elements. In fact, women up until the early 1900s used to wear gloves year round (even in the summer) because those ladies knew that the secret to youthful beautiful hands was to keep them out of the sun! Knowing myself, I still won’t wear gloves in the summer or spring, but I will most likely embrace them more this winter.

Use a hand cream:

Carry a hand cream that you know you will use regularly. I promise you that if you like using it, you will be more likely to use it when you need it. I used to adore the L’Occitane hand cream, but then I discovered this hand cream called Tocca Crema De Mano in Cleopatra. It is the freshest hand cream fragrance I have ever smelled! It’s a mix of pomegranate and cucumber and while that sounds like an odd combination, this smells like a garden after a refreshing rain shower. Just the smell alone gets rid of my winter blahs!

Shape nails weekly

It is recommended in Islam to clip your nails weekly. I prefer to actually shorten my nails by shaping them with a nail file because it prevents nails from getting fractured or broken.

I hope these tips keep your hands looking beautiful all season long! What are your tips for nice hands?

Follow Friday: Nura Afia

Nuralailalov

Nuralailalov is a hijabi makeup vlogger who translates extreme makeup looks into wearable looks

Salaams my lovelies! I apologize for not blogging as often, but between my regular day job, consulting, and handling a toddler, I am BEAT. I really do love blogging and want to keep this blog as a nice gathering place for you all. So I only try to make blog posts I feel are beneficial versus making my blog a place to rant and rave ha. It is Friday, which means it is time for a sneak peek into the lives of some of our hijabi social media darlings.

Today, I wanted to write about Nura Afia, aka Nuralailalov. Nura Afia is a hijabi makeup vlogger on YouTube. Nura is a testament to the fact that you can be a glamorous hijabi mom. While I may not be able to live up to that, it is nice to see another hijabi be able to juggle motherhood, working, and look amazing doing it mashallah! Her videos are not only makeup tutorials, they also are reviews on the hottest makeup products, hijab tutorials, and just fun snapshots into her life as a friend, mom, and wife.

I personally love her makeup tutorials as inspiration for ideas like how to contour and do dramatic looks for special events. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @Nuralailalov for short video tutorials as well.

Be on the lookout for a recipe post coming your way inshallah! Have a wonderful day and jumah mubarak!