Wednesday, 26 February 2014

be spring ready: on a budget.

I have yet to do a makeup look-book so I finally got round to it. As I explained in my 'skin so clear' post, my dry eye condition has got worse these past few weeks, and it was even difficult to get this done but I did it regardless. 

I have been in love with the runway makeup looks for spring/summer 2014. There's a few styles in there that wouldn't have been something I'd normally go for- like bright colours- but I thought I'd give it a go. I think what initially caught my eye though was how there seems to be a juxtaposition between the bold and graphic vs. bright and soft. I guess it gives a kind of girlie rocker edge- which I have been experimenting with a lot recently. Although the products used on the runway aren't out of reach, they're not the most affordable either- hence why with this look I've tried to stick with cheaper products. *bye bye Urban Decay and Nars* But that doesn't mean you are going to look a train wreck either! So here are the three chosen looks that I'm obsessed with...

1) The first is probably the kind of style I would go for normally but just with a heavier liner. Whereas I would normally go with a pencil liner to rim my eyes with, with this look you have to go with something with more depth- such as with a gel-liner or more preferably a liquid. The trick with the eye makeup is that its all about the graphics, so sharp lines and angles (which was quite hard to do when my eyes were constantly watering). So what you want to do is do a thin long wing, but the real magic with this is the dip within the tear duct area. Bring your liner all the way round, then drop just below to elongate the eye. To create this I used a product I've used since I was in secondary school- collection 2000 fast stroke eyeliner- just as it's really black and stays in place. Then I brushed lightly some NYX 'bronx' jumbo pencil on the edge of my lids and the bottom of my waterline to create a bit of glamour. To make this extra dramatic, I combined another must on the runway- the plum lip. I have invested in many shades of purple lippies at the moment, but this is my new favourite!! This lipstick has great instant colour, not too matte yet not to glossy and it stays in place! 'It must be expensive' I hear you say. Nope it was £2.99 and is part of collection 2000 gothic glam lipstick range (sums me up in one). If you take anything from any of these looks, I suggest it should be to get this lipstick SERIOUSLY! I have many other expensive ones and this competes hard! (If anybody is wondering, this is the lipstick I wore to the vintage fair)

2) Here was a style I wasn't expecting to like on myself- the reversed blue wing. This has been notorious on the Marc Jacobs runway so I thought I would give it a go. Although the Nars team completed this with very harsh lines I decided to blend mine out a bit. To do this I firstly applied a blue MUA liquid liner as the base then added the bourjois waterproof eyeliner in 'bleu neon'. I applied the eyeliner on the waterline, under my eyes and then created a bit of extra edge by bringing the eyeliner within my tear duct and smudging it on the outer corners.  Although the liquid liner might be seen as an unnecessary step, I think it actually really made the colour pop, as well as acting as a great outline for the rest of the makeup. To smudge it out further- as you know you can never smudge enough- I took my rimmel london scandal eyes liner in tempting turquoise on a blending brush to soften the lines (you don't have to, but I think it added a nice touch). I wanted a 'glow' to my eyes and complexion so I took two shades of gold from this handy Ebay palette and applied them not only on my lids, but around the bridge of my nose too. To finish it off I lightly applied a Topshop lip liner in nude and blended it out with my fingers as I almost wanted a natural, freshly applied lip-balm effect (if you know what I mean). For a look I wasn't expecting to like I've got to say I think it actually made my eye colour pop too and seem more vibrant. Definitely one for the summer parties!

3) THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BY FAR! A big no-no for my face is the fresh, eye liner free look as it just makes my eyes look so strange! And not only that but I tend to stay away from light colours, like white, on my lids as it just does nothing for me. But I was amazed. Unlike the other two looks where I used bronze colours for the base, here I applied a silvery white eyeshadow all across my lids and under my tear duct (from the same eBay palette). Then I added a really peachy orange from Look cosmetics right underneath my eyebrow. There's always a rule that you shouldn't apply too much white, but I actually got to the stage where the more was better. I would normally do this type of look on my friend as I think she has the colour complexion for it, so I avoid it. But actually I thought that this style was just so refreshing! The main attraction of this whole thing though has got to be the lip colour! I noticed that on the runway they chose to use really powdered orange tones. So to recreate a pastel shade, I put this GOSH lip liner on first and then blended it out with my trusty Rimmel London powder. This lip liner was an absolute bargain at £4.99 but to be honest even if it were a little more I would have still purchased it. This apparently contains vitamin E/ jojoba oil and is waterproof. From my experience it was so smooth and velvety to apply and stayed on for so long! Plus you don't need to apply lipstick on top as it's that good, but maybe a bit of gloss if you would prefer. It is going to be a staple in my makeup bag for this summer for sure! Also remember this look is all about the lashes not the liner (I say with annoyance). So I finished off with a pair of Primark lashes for £1- can't go wrong there really. 

So that was my favourite spring/ summer looks. I didn't talk much about my skin, but as a base I kept my skin really glowy and bronzed with my Garnier BB cream- this is my alternative I use if my nars one isn't within arms reach. Also one of the big trends at the moment is eyebrows- remember to keep the arch defined but rough as you get closer to the centre. It's the sort of wild look you're aiming for- which I love! So let me know which one you liked the most in the comments or if there was perhaps any other looks that I didn't cover that you are loving. If you take anything from this blog- the GOSH lip liner and collection 2000 gothic glam lipstick is something you all NEED! Not only is it amazing in value but it looks great too. Trust me you'll be back to stock up in no time! 
Sunday, 23 February 2014

a bit of vintage.

I know I haven't been blogging as much as I would have liked, but uni deadlines call so I had to put my blog on hold. But I'm back and it feels so good! :)

So I thought what better way than to return with a vintage haul! I've been so ill this past week, so when my friend suggested to go to a vintage fair in Bath I wasn't quite sure at first. But after doing a bit of research I discovered how actually big this thing is. I'm not sure if anyone else has been or heard of them but it's called "Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair". The real beauty is in the name- 'affordable'- so you know, I'm there! I had a few things in mind that I'd hoped to get (full-length beige coat, brooch, jewellery and maybe a few neck scarves). But plans always go down the drain, or in my case straight to my bank! So here's a few pictures I took of the event (I really was spoilt for choice with pictures as I took some amazing shots)- my outfit of the day (I wish my outfit came out a bit better on camera), items that caught my eye and also my purchases.
coat- H&M (belongs to my mother so I have no idea how much it costs)
swing dress- Matalan (£12)
jeans- Topshop (£38)
shoes- Primark (£6 on sale)
necklace- Riverisland (£10 on sale)

and now for the best part...

The top faux mink cream scarf was the first thing I saw when I walked into the hall. Although it looks short in the picture its actually quite long- which is something I find difficult when purchasing scarves. It was only £8 and they mentioned that it's dated around the 1950's/60's which I thought was super cool. The second is actually something I have been in search for, for a while now. I keep seeing people in oversized tartan scarves and I can't seem to find them anywhere (well at least not the decently priced ones anyway). This one was only £5 and is really long, so I latched onto it straight away. The guy told me it was from the 1970's. I can't wait to style both- especially with this recent weather!

There was quite a few brooches to choose from, but as soon as I spotted this particular 1960's/70's one my friend said that she thought it was so me- and I so agree! It cost only £4 so it is really good considering that it is quite big. I am a little gutted though that there wasn't better jewellery but hopefully next time.

 I AM IN LOVE!   If you look at my instagram account, you'd have seen that I recently uploaded a picture of a similar coat that I purchased from ebay. Problem is as soon as I inspected it, I noticed a rip inside which made me want to cry- so sadly it had to be returned. Luckily I found this amazing one from the fair instead. It cost exactly the same as my ebay one, and at £30 it's an absolute bargain!! This one is from the 1970's so it made me really feel like one of the Charlie's Angles (my mother and I are huge fans of the old show btw). Funnily enough I noticed this just before I was about to leave which makes me even more happy about it- I'd like to think it as my miracle from heaven :)

Although I was ill I had an amazing day so I'm so glad I went. The atmosphere was great, the venue was so pretty and the food was yum! I had the red velvet cake, and normally I'll finish any dessert off but the portions were huge so not even I could! Also they even had a live jazz singer in the tearoom which I thought added a nice touch. I've done a bit of research and I've found out that there is one happening in London around August and it's basically a sale one which involves fillling a bag- and for every kilo you fill, you only have to pay £15!! So stay tuned for that one! Let me know in the comments what you liked most, or if you have ever been to anything similar.
Sunday, 16 February 2014

skin so clear.

So let me start off by saying- yes this post is a day late, and if you look at my Instagram you'll know that this isn't the post I said I'd be doing. I planned on showing three of my favourite makeup looks for s/s 2014 on a budget, which I still am doing, it is just going to be delayed for a week or so. Basically I have a condition called dry eye, which can be quite common but is a pain in the ass to deal with. On random occasions it will just water non-stop, be really itchy, and will overall be very sore. So when I tried to put on my makeup it just all ran down my face, and as I want these looks to be just as amazing as I imagined in my head- it will therefore have to wait. *rant over* Therefore instead I will be showing you guys how I keep my face all spot free and smooth all throughout the year!

I get told that my skin is so clear and there's no need to wear makeup, but the honest truth is that I have quite bad eczema (which will sometimes spread to my face when I'm stressed). Also I can get really sore spots that form under my skin- and I have to admit I get so frustrated that I'll end up picking at my skin until I can get to it. I WARN YOU NOW- you will get scars from this as I have. 

However I don't know what anybody else thinks, but spot products can be the worst. I remember my first experience using Clean & Clear face scrub,  I had more spots after than before. So after a combination of searching round, advice from family friends and trial/error I came up with this routine that I swear by. Not only does it help get rid of my breakouts within a couple of days, it will improve skin in the long run. So lets get started!

All you need is any type of honey that you can find in your kitchen- I just happened to have five jars of this pure honey in my cupboard. Also some children's Sudocrem *TIP try and get a tube rather than a jar as this is a lot more hygienic than constantly going inside of it*. Then to finish off I love to use my trusty bio-oil, but olive oil can work just as well. All these items are actually quite cheap and probably stored in your house without you even having knowledge of it.

So you want to start off by taking all of your makeup off and giving your skin a good old scrub down. Whilst doing this make sure all of your jewellery (rings in particular) are all off and your hands must be super clean as well. This might seem like common sense info but you'd be surprised at how many people forget these simple and initial steps that are so vital when handling your face. The aim is to prevent any bacteria from spreading round, not continuing it! 

Next you want to get your honey and melt it slightly in a bowl in the microwave- when I say heat I mean only 5-10 seconds as you don't want it to burn. Then just let it cool down before applying it to the face as you don't want to hurt your skin- always test on your hand just before to be sure. Now honey has SOOO many benefits; it acts as an antioxidant, it prevents wrinkles, it's safe for sensitive skin, retains moisture and hydration and can even brighten your complexion. But the reason why you need to apply honey on your skin before anything else is to get rid of the bacteria- there's no point in trying to get rid of the problem if there are bacteria infected areas still around your face. If this stage was avoided you may be at risk in just spreading the condition further, therefore making it much worse than needs be. So once you've smothered your face in it, just sit back and relax for around 15 minutes, until your skin has had the time to absorb it well. (and it never hurts to eat the trickles of honey that happen to run down your face)

After you've taken it all off, and yes that will be a long and sticky process, it's time to apply the Sudocrem. (Also just make sure to remove the honey with care as you don't want to irritate the skin even more so than it already is). I'm sure you've all heard of Sudocrem being used to treat baby rashes but there are so many more ways and reasons to use this. Why is it great for spots? What the ingredients of this cream does is to help minimize the effects of acne by drying it out. It can also be treated to aid any burns, so if your spots have already started to form sore marks on your face, just use this to cool it down. The one I have in particular is the Sudocrem Skin Care cream, which isn't any different from the original, apart from the fact that the ingredients have been increased to fight skin problems quicker. And lets be honest, the fact that it's in a tube makes it that much more easier to carry round in your bag, you know in case we are in need of a quick fix when out! Tubes like this normally average around £3 which makes it super affordable too! What I normally do is apply thin layers to the needed problem areas and leave it on to absorb overnight. Then it's just a waiting game from there- sometimes you'll see the spots fading within a few days, sometimes it might just even be one night. Depending on how bad it is just keep repeating the first few steps for a few days until it has near enough gone flat again.

So congratulations, you've made it to the final step. But the problem with using Sudocrem after a long time is that it can ironically start to dry the skin out- well in my cases it has- so this is the great time to introduce Bio-oil into your life. Like I have mentioned before, I can suffer from really bad eczema on my face and tend to get regular dry patches with sudden changes of whether (which can happen a lot in the UK). However when I started using this a few years ago I noticed huge transformations. Not only does it work wonders on the problems above but it also helped with issues that I didn't realise it would. And after doing a bit of research, I found out that this isn't just to help stretch marks pregnant women get but scars all over your body. Around my eyes I used to have really bad skin pigmentation marks and discolouration on my cheeks. It used to be quite annoying when people would try and wipe the 'eye liner smudges around my eyes' when they were actually just the natural marks of my skin. Then when I started to use this I noticed after a good month or so major changes- it still hasn't gone completely but it has helped massively regardless. So when it comes to my spots, I'll use to finish off around the places they once were to get rid of the scarring that can happen when spots or acne occur on your face. Although my dry patches can go within a couple of days within using this, don't expect the same results with the discolouration. (but just be patient because trust me it does help!!)

So there are some of my tips of what and why I use to get rid of those nightmare skin problems that can unexpectedly arise. I honestly swear by these three products because they actually help, are easy to access and are very cheap in comparison to overpriced 'designer' stuff. They really help get rid of not only the horrid pus-filled spots, but the ones under the skin too (which seem to be my main problem). Plus they will continue to improve your skin anyway. I hoped this was clear and will help any of you going through the same problem. I do want to make clear though that it won't help everyone, but it did help those I've already advised. If not, just keep trying until you find your own routine- because where there is a will there is a way! Also if you suffer from extreme cases I think it's best to go see a GP for help rather than anything like this, just to be safe. Leave a comment below if you want to know anything else, if this has actually worked for you, or if there is something different you try that you think can benefit all of us too!
Wednesday, 12 February 2014

i love you but i've chosen darkness.

Not that I'm celebrating valentines day myself, but as soon as I set my eyes on this skirt I knew exactly how I would style it. So here it is folks, my dark twist on the most 'romantic' day of the year..
From left, missguided Sineao Sequin maxi skirt, Tesco cropped jumper and Newlook pointed heels

Photography by Thabina Hussain

I am in LOVE with this missguided skirt! Like I really can't say it enough. I never tend to wear maxi skirts as they just skim in all the wrong places for my shape personally but this one is so different. As the silhouette is fishtail, it really exaggerates my curves- which is always a plus. Also I normally hate sequins, especially if it's covered from head to toe in them, but I think this skirt is actually quite classy. The sequins are so small that it makes it look more expensive as opposed to tacky. It was originally £34.99 then went on offer for £17.49, so I quickly snapped one up for myself to try. It went back up to the original price but has now gone back down again so you all need to get it because you won't be disappointed. Why wouldn't you, it's a complete bargain! (plus it comes in silver too which isn't my taste but might be yours)

To complete my look, I knew I would go for a crop top. And then recently I spotted this Tesco jumper- out of all places! I actually think tesco can have some amazing pieces sometimes, but what surprised me about this particular jumper was how soft it was- like super soft. The only problem with it though was I saw some of the others were a bit mangled so if you do want to purchase it just beware. However it was only £16 so you can't really go wrong with that. I chose to wear my number one New Look stilettos, which were £19.99. I have so many New Look heels because not only are they all beautiful but their prices are always cheap for what you get. These particular ones caught my eye as it is suede at the front and sort of a leather croc print at the back (*can ache your feet though*). To finish this off, I actually stole a few of my mother dearest's rings- so I am not sure where or how much they are. I am not big on too much jewellery, and the skirt speaks for itself really, so I just chose these rings as I thought the purple really complimented my makeup. So in regards to the makeup..

- Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (Alaska)
- Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (Shades 1 & 2)
- Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer (Ivory)
- Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder (001 Transparent)
- Ebay 10 shade Blusher palette (Link Here)

Eyes and Eybrows:
- NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (Sparkle Green)
- Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette (Creep, Gunmetal, Virgin, Sidecar)
- Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (Blackheart, Strange, Nooner)
- Burgundy and Purple shades from an ebay palette
- Soap&Glory Waterproof Smoulder Kohl Eye Pencil (Black)
- Mac Eye Brows pencil (Spiked)

- Topshop Lip Liner (Nude)
- Avon Lasing Lipstick (Temptress)

So I hope you all liked this look I put together. I know even though it's a valentines day outfit, I am probably going to wear this to different types of party's and events- I am actually going to wear this for a wedding this week. So all the pieces are just interchangeable. And in case you wanted to see my makeup in a bit more detail, go check out my Instagram! So what will everyone else be wearing for Friday?

Monday, 10 February 2014

what's in my bag?

I thought I'd share my holy grail items that have been stuck in my bag for the past month. I always try to change up the different brands that I use, but it's pretty much the same sort of thing regardless. These are all the type of necessities for me that I could NOT leave the house without. I swear any time I do forget one of them if I'm in a rush- which is very often- I feel like having a mini breakdown!

Anyone who knows me knows that I always have a certain black bag, that once I find the perfect one, it is my child for the next few months (until I find another one that is). I just think it's so easy to play around with different outfits if you have one trusted black bag (or in my case many). So like my makeup, I always try to change it up every now and then. I kinda wore out my beloved Topshop bag, so in the sales I happened to find this really cute one from NEXT. I can't remember the exact original price but it got reduced to £20, so that won my heart. Although it is not as structured and solid as I normally go for, it is so spacious and has so many different compartments inside- and a uni girl like me needs lots of room! 
1) I don't know about anyone else, but even when I prime the hell out of my eyes, I still get major grease smudges in my crease. Not only that, my dry skin patches start to come through after a few hours. So I always make sure I have two of my favourite brushes on stand by. The first one is the Mac 217 brush just to blend out the parts of my shadow that start to gather. And the other is the Real Techniques buffing brush just because of the fact that it makes the most difference to my face when applying foundation or concealer.

2) So just like my trusty brushes, I always carry a a few of the main cosmetics that I used for that day. It just so happens that this month I have been really into Urban Decay's NAKED 3 palette and Benefit's Boi-ing concealer. I received this naked palette for my birthday and I think it's something that everyone needs! I thought I would only really like the first one as shimmery colours aren't really my thing- but I am obsessed with this one as I think it has great tones for spring and summer. Also they all just make my hazel eyes pop! The concealer is actually just a travel size version as it came part of a Christmas gift set. I have to say I forgot how good this is. I used this years ago but wasn't really fond of it then, but I realised after using it this past month how much coverage it has. So any time my bags are showing I whip this out. 

3) I know I just mentioned some products that I like to carry with me, but there are three things that I will not ever change! I have combination skin type, making it really oily down my T-zone but I also have really dry cheeks. I had a major problem with powder as I couldn't find anything that wouldn't make my face look ashy. Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed powder is AMAZING though and I recommend it to anyone that can relate to my issues, seriously. Also it's handy to have a few lipsticks stuffed in your bag, you'know in case a change is in order. For anyone who believes that red doesn't suit them, go for Mac Rubywoo- trust me I was one of those people, but after discovering this some time ago I couldn't imagine ever wearing plain lipstick. I think it suits all skin tones as well. Also I have been getting loads of people asking me wear my deep burgundy colour is from that I constantly wear in my Instagram pictures- it is Avon's Temptress lipstick and is around £6 so a total bargain!

4) I have tried so many moistures, from the expensive to the cheap, but nothing works my face like this one does. The Garnier Moisture Ultra Hydrating Cream (dry to very dry skin) works wonders on my face- and I'm talking about overnight miracles. I just feel like it actually does something in the long run, as opposed to just for the day. Any time my dryness gets out of control I'll literally turn to this and by morning it's gone. Also if I use this under my makeup it'll soak in my skin quite quickly so I am not having to wait round for ages and ages.

5) I loathe strong smelling perfumes that goes straight to my nose- I think it's because I'm traumatised from the Arab women I've had to be around over the years who like to pour it on like there's no tomorrow. So I always try to stick to sweet, fruity smells that last long. My ultimate favourite is Prada Candy and I swear it'll last on my scarf for ages! But I was really recently drawn to the Nicki Minaj one purely for the packaging. And at first in the shop it sort of resembled the Prada one a lot, but the more and more I use it I see the differences- which I'm not sure if they are good or bad. The most noticeably thing is that after a while it starts to smell like bubble gum, which is very Nicki but less Dina. It isn't unbearable though so I'll keep using it, I just want something that lasts a little longer. 

6) I love this purse so I felt like I had to show everyone else. This heart embroidered leather purse is from Primark and was only like £6! I have bought ones from River Island for £18 and this has lasted just as long as those. I am mad about this burgundy colour and just the little bits of gold detail just makes it even more me. 

I know this was a lot of writing but I always get people looking into my bag and asking me "if I really need that much stuff" so I just wanted to explain a bit about each. When I am passionate about a product I can talk about it forever! Anyway I'll leave it there, but leave a comment below about the different things you keep in your bag. Stay tuned for my Wednesday post for Valentines day- and I'm warning you now, there's a lot of black! (think Adamms family)

Saturday, 8 February 2014


So after much disputed time I have finally got my vision up and running! My name is Dina Amawi and I am RESPECT THE BROWS. After sharing all my fashion and beauty wisdom with everyone I know, friends have encouraged me to put it all down on paper- honestly I think they were just getting tired with my constant attempts at giving advice! Moving on... I'm a little awkward with introductions so I prepared a little video of my favourite outfits for 2014 so far. 

My blog is all about fashion trends I'm feeling at that moment, and beauty products that I think you need to get or have to avoid! One thing about me is I am completely honest. If you're unsure about any of the latest makeup hypes, be sure to visit my blog to find out if they really are just overrated. (So make sure to leave a little comment below of any products you're unsure of- I will happily be your guinea pig).

And of course we can't forget my babies, the brows themselves. Look out for my monthly 'Brow Product of the Moment' post. At the end of each month I will give my verdict on the eyebrow product I have been trying for the past four weeks. The brows will then give their mark out of ten for it :D


(By the way guys, this was meant to be a cool video I prepared for you all. However for some annoying reason my computer had other ideas- hence the blurriness- I apologise. The original version is on my Instagram so check it out. If anyone can give suggestions to improve this for next time, it would be much appreciated!)

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