13 May 2018

Yes To: A Natural & Cruelty Free Shower Range



I have been on the hunt for more natural products lately and I began to look into the Yes To... brand. I've always been quite inquisitive about the brand and I noticed that their packaging states that they are 95% natural as well as paraben and silicone free, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try them out. I've heard some great things about their skincare line too but as I am having a bit of a mare with my skin - I thought I'd start with testing out some of their hair and shower products, especially since this is an area I don't switch up very often.

I was pleasantly surprised by the choice of products as they target different ranges for different areas. I decided to go with the Yes To Carrots Shampoo, as I suffer with a dry scalp, Yes To Coconut Conditioner, because my hair lacks in shine and the ends are rather dry, and the Yes To Blueberry Body Wash because it sounded so yum. They all sound like a delicious concoction (although the carrot is a little questionable).

As mentioned previously, the Yes To... brand is made from 95% natural ingredients and is free of potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens and silicones. Many shampoos and conditioners available on the high street are usually filled with these chemical products, however, this range breaks that stereotype as they are available in Boots and are inexpensive too.



The Yes To Carrots Shampoo doesn't lather as much as you would expect shampoos to do so but it definitely does give the hair a good clean. I believe it is chemicals such as the parabens and silicones that make shampoos lather up. I find that this shampoo is gentle on the hair - it is formulated for dry, flaky scalps and definitely keeps mine nourished. It isn't harsh or difficult to wash out and is really great if you do suffer with a dry scalp like me.

Moving on to conditioner, the Yes To Coconut Conditioner smells amazing, as you would expect. The scent aside, the conditioner does a good job of conditioning the hair and keeping it smooth and soft. You don't need much of the product as a little goes a long way - which is always great! I have incredibly dry hair and this product nourishes and keeps my hair soft.



The Yes To Blueberries Body Wash also smells heavenly... I love using the product because it leaves a soft touch of the scent on my skin afterwards - oh and the bathroom smells lovely of course. I can't really say much about a body wash but this one does the job and has the added extra of smelling delicious!



I highly recommend trying the brand out if you are after a natural option to show products. I think I'l give the ret of the products a try someday to see if they match up!

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Have you tried any Yes To products?
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6 May 2018

Office Essentials: The Desk Tour



When I started at my job, I loved how every desk was different and expressed a bit of the owners personality. I knew I wanted to make my desk a little more me and it is still a work in progress - so bear with me. I thought I'd share my desk essentials and what I've added to my desk to make it feel a little more 'me'!



My little cactus plant was actually a gift from my husband when we went on our first proper date! He bought me 4 little cacti but I decided one was enough to accompany me at my desk. It's a nice little reminder and adds a bit of greenery - plus everyone always comes around and notices the little guy and always ask whether he is real (he is!).



The beautiful marble base lamp was actually donated to me as our office has a 'thing' that everyone has their own little lamp on their desk. I quite like the aesthetic of this one - it's something I'd like in my future home someday.

My little pen pot was a personalised Nutella jar that my sister and brother-in-law bought me many many years ago. I couldn't bare to part with it so I cleaned the tub out and it has made its way from my desk at home to my desk at work.





The contents of my drawers tend to change but there are a few must-haves that remain there all of the time...

Hand cream is a must - I really like this body butter from The Body Shop. It came in a nifty little size so I thought it was perfect for my work drawer. Lip balm is obviously another staple. The current one of choice is another Body Shop buy, the Hemp Heavy Duty Lip Balm.



When I really want to concentrate or am not feeling the office music of choice (so sorry if my colleagues are reading this), I pop in my headphones which are by a brand called Urbanears.

Other bits and bobs in my drawers: notepads, diaries, post it notes, a box of dates (I love snacking on these), some chocolate (the unhealthy snack of choice) and hair bobbles.



What are your desk essentials?
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29 Apr 2018

Getting Married, Honeymooning & Taking A Blogging Break



Hello, loooong time no blog! Oh wow, the past few weeks have been unreal. I've been MIA for a little while and some of you who follow me on social media may know the reason why but if you don't - I got married! Myself and the Mr tied the knot over the Easter weekend and so I decided to give myself a chance to relax, enjoy the wedding and honeymoon as well as settle into married life with my husband (still gives me butterflies just saying that he's actually my husband!)

The wedding is pretty much what the past couple of months and weeks have consisted of. Let me tell you, planning a wedding is hard work. Some people make it look very easy but it does take up a lot of your time! I'll be writing up a couple of blog posts about planning a wedding, make up and hair and of course the dress - do keep your eyes peeled!

I can't really remember the last time I took a break from blogging but it has been a while... I've really missed it but the break was much needed. I knew I wouldn't be able to relax during the run-up to the wedding as well as throughout our honeymoon if I was still posting on my blog regularly. I like to be active on Twitter and Instagram when I have blog posts going out so a blogging break was a must if I wanted to take a social media breather too.

Offline time allowed me to relax but it also inspired me. There are so many blog ideas flying around in my head right now and I just can't wait to get stuck in! As I mentioned before, I'd like to dedicate some posts to wedding related bits - I think I'd like to have a 'wedding month' on Fatima Writes. I'm hoping this would take place in August.


If you aren't interested in wedding stuff, fear not! I've got a travel post coming up with all of the honeymoon details. We decided to do something a little different and spent a few days in New York! It was amazing and we had the best time - I can't wait to share our photos with you.

Other things in the pipeline: beauty and skincare related posts (of course), fashion content and some lifestyle bits. I don't want to give too much away but I'm feeling very motivated and inspired so I'm looking forward to getting back into blogging!

Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!

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18 Mar 2018

Maintaining Dry, Damaged and Dyed Hair



My hair has always been a nightmare for me. I've inherited my mum's thick, curly and dry hair (the joys!) and over the years I've tried all sorts to calm it down. Products, treatments, oils, hair tools - you name it, I've tried it!

When I was in my teens I actually decided to get my hair chemically straightened, which I very much regret now, and my hair completely lost its curls permanently, despite being a temporary treatment. Basically, I had the big curly hair do when big curly was not 'in'. Everyone had super sleek straight hair and there was me with my big bushy mane standing out like a sore thumb. After the chemical straightening my hair has never gone back to the way it was before. They say it grows out with your hair but my experience was the opposite.

I also dye my hair, which definitely doesn't help when you want to keep it looking healthy. I've had my hair bleached and dyed several times over the past few years and going forward I'd actually like to stop dyeing it. I'm just waiting until after the wedding so I can stop colouring it and return to my natural colour.

Anyway, to help maintain my hair and keep it healthy, I've not been using heat for the past couple of months and have been following a proper hair routine so I feel like my hair is in decent shape right now. I thought I'd share my hair regime and how I've been keeping up with my dry, damaged & dyed hair.



This Natural World Charcoal and Mint Shampoo and Conditioner has lasted me what feels like a lifetime. It's almost coming to its end now and I definitely need to go out and buy it again so I can try more from the range. I've actually done a review on this range which you have a read of here. In short, it is pretty much almost natural, comes in a large quantity bottle, is inexpensive and works wonders for your hair. There are different ranges to choose from depending on what needs you require. I'd definitely recommend checking them out!



For an in-shower treatment, the Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner is great. It's quick and easy to pop in and plus three minutes isn't an extremely long time to wait. I use this at least once a week - depending on how much TLC my hair needs - and it does a great job. The mask leaves my hair soft and shiny, which is just what I need!



For other treatments and hair maintenance products, I have a couple of favourites...

For an overnight mask and something more intensely moisturising, the Percy and Reed Wonder Overnight Recovery is great. I like using this as a hair mask when I'm having a lazy Sunday. I pop it on in the morning and wash it off in the evening. When using overnight, I lay a towel down on my pillows so it doesn't transfer anywhere.

To protect my hair before using heat, the Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Spray does a good job. For protecting my hair after applying heat or when I get out of the shower, Moroccan Oil is my go-to. I can't say enough good things about this oil - it's so great!

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What are your go-to hair products for your hair type? 
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11 Mar 2018

How To Create A Skincare Routine For Your Skin Type



I've always wanted to really get into skincare and learn more about the different skincare related products out there but never knew where to start. There's so many things on the shelves these days - it's very easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you aren't sure what your looking for.

I've been on a journey to delve deeper into skincare over the past couple of months and I think I finally have a decent understanding - enough to share with you all! By no means am I an expert, just someone who is interested in skincare and has finally (fingers crossed!) found a routine that works! I even helped my mum with a skincare routine that she can actually keep up with and I'm pretty proud of that.

Without further ado, here is how you can create a skincare routine catered towards your own skin type!



A skincare routine could be as simple as a three-step system or a whole 10 product routine - it's entirely up to you. The less products isn't necessarily good and a lot of products isn't always bad - it's entirely dependent on your skin. Also, the more expensive a product is, it doesn't always mean that it'll work and cheaper products honestly aren't so bad!

I've tried and tested a few different types of skincare routines in the past but never stuck to anything for more than a month or so. I recently reviewed the Clinique 3-Step System, which taught me a lot about my skin type. I always thought I had combination skin but I have since realised it is most definitely dry. Therefore, the products in the kit that I'd bought were not suitable for my skin and basically did nothing for me!

I've also shared my evening skincare routine - which has changed a lot since... I will definitely have to share an updated one if my current regime works. I'm waiting to hit the three month mark so I've truly tried it out and given it a fair chance. But so far so good - watch this space!



When it comes to creating a skincare routine I'd recommend picking and choosing the elements from the below types of products:
  1. Face Wash
  2. Make Up Remover
  3. Cleanser
  4. Exfoliator
  5. Mask
  6. Toner
  7. Serum
  8. Oils
  9. Day or night cream
  10. Eye cream

10 products may seem overwhelming but you don't have to use 10 products everyday, morning and night. They number of products can change depending on whether it is your AM or PM regime.

I thought I'd go through what a morning & evening routine could look like using majority of these products.


Morning
  • Face wash
  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Serum
  • Day cream
  • Eye cream

Evening
  • Make up remover
  • Cleanser
  • Exfoliator
  • Toner
  • Oils
  • Night cream
  • Eye cream

Once a week you can add in the odd face mask too! 



There are so many good bloggers out there that share their skincare tips and advice.

Caroline Hirons is one of my favourites. She is the skincare guru of the internet! Definitely recommend having a wander around her blog to be educated on all things skincare. She has so much expertise in the area and is an expert so I can guarantee you'll find same great stuff on her blog.

I thought I'd link some of my favourite bloggers below so you can read their skincare posts:





I recently met with my make up artist who is doing my make up on my wedding and she actually used to work in the beauty industry with a lot of skincare brands. She advised that I most definitely a dry skin type and recommended a bunch of products, brands and skincare lines that would help my skin (as I recently had a huge situation with it). I also did a lot of research to figure out what would be best for my skin and I'm pleased that some of the products I found through researching, actually work!

I thought I'd share some of the things that work for those with a skin type like mine. However do bear in mind that just because they work for me, it doesn't mean they work for you! I recommend getting samples and trying where possible.



What necessities are in your skincare routine? I'd love to know!
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4 Mar 2018

The Everyday Lip Edit



I'm not going to lie, I've been going make up free quite often for the past couple of weeks. My skin has been acting up a little (oh the joys!) so I decided to take a natural approach instead of popping a bunch of different skincare and make up products on top. When there has been the odd occasion when I've actually worn make up, I have been going for a minimal and natural look.

So I thought I'd share some of my everyday lip products that I've been reaching for when trying to achieve this natural look.



LAQA & CO // Cloud Lips

For something a bit 'bold' but still comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis, the Laqa & Co Cloud Lips in the shade daydream is perfect. A satin, creamy & non-drying formula, it is ideal for a soft natural look. I got this in December's Glossybox and having never heard of the brand, I was pleasantly surprised by this product!



NYX COSMETICS // Butter Gloss

I haven't worn lipgloss since I was probably about 15 and boy, have I been missing out. The NYX butter glosses aren't super sticky or tacky, like the ones I used to wear back in the day, but are creamy and don't make your lips feel gross. I thought I'd try this product mostly because I heard great things and now I completely get it! I bought this is a pink shade called tiramisu and it is fab for everyday wear.



FIRST AID BEAUTY // Ultra Repair Lip Therapy

When my lips are dry and I'm not slathering Vaseline all over them, this product is a great option for something to hydrate yet add a tinge off colour. It is red toned, but don't be scared off as it is very subtle and has a lovely rosy finish when on the lips. I bought this when I went to New York back in January 2017 and it is still going strong! 10/10 recommend.



SOAP AND GLORY // Sexy Mother Pucker Lipstick

I recently got this product for free because I'd accumulated enough Boots points - woo! I thought I'd try it out because the colour looked like it would be a really nice nude for my skin tone. And it is a pretty great match. It's in the shade cinnamon and I really like the soft, satin and non-drying formula and how it doesn't feel heavy at all. I also like the packaging, I always appreciate a bit of rose gold!



What are your favourite lip products that you reach for on a day-to-day basis?
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28 Feb 2018

Five Favourite Lifestyle Blogs



I've really been enjoying reading blogs lately. Sometimes I go through phases of preferring Youtube videos, because they are easier to consume, however I've been loving reading blogs throughout the past couple of weeks. I usually spend most lunchtimes sat at my desk, like the unsociable human I am, scrolling through my Bloglovin' feed.

I've been enjoying a couple of blogs in particular and I find that I am always really inspired after reading a post. So, I thought I'd spread some love by sharing some of my current favourite lifestyle blogs...

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SOPHARSOGOOD

First of all, can we just talk about Sophie's Instagram? It is amazing. You can just tell how much effort goes in to it. I also think she has great style!

Second of all, her blog posts are so relatable and personal. Her blog is definitely a representation of her as a person and you can tell because of the wide variety of posts she puts out there. From travel to fashion to a general chatty post - she does it all so well.

Last but by no means least, she seems like a genuinely nice person. Her online appearance is so honest and open that reading her posts and exchanging a couple of tweets and comments here and there makes her feel like a long distance friend. She just seems like the nicest person ever.



KATE LA VIE

Who doesn't love Kate's blog? I also watch her Youtube channel - which is just as good - but her blog content is just lovely.

With a niche that specifically relates to interiors, she also blogs about beauty, fashion and other elements of life. Her home is what I aspire my future house to look like and thankfully she shares so many tips and tricks to getting your home like hers.

I really like how she varies her content up and how all of it is right up my street. There's always something new and exciting to read on her blog - I suggest you check it out, if you somehow haven't already!

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FROM ROSES

I've been reading Rebecca's blog for a while now and I always look forward to having a binge reading session.

The topics and themes of her posts always stand out to me and I love reading them because they are about things I am a) interested in and b) have pretty pictures and c) are about things that I haven't seen blog posts about before.

From tips & tricks to beauty to life lessons - there are so many different categories to get stuck into. I love her style of writing and how it fits in with so many different genres. There's always something new and exciting to read on Rebecca's blog - I highly recommend if you are really into lifestyle blogs.



LUCY COLE

When I was in university, I most definitely didn't work as hard as Lucy does on her blog. You can just tell how much time, effort and thought goes into her blog. When someone has that much drive and motivation, you can really see it paying off and with Lucy it most definitely has.

I've seen her do collaborations with some amazing brands and companies and she really deserves it! She also posts very frequently so if I fancy a binge read - I can always count on Lucy's blog. Her content switches between lifestyle, fashion and beauty - which is just what I like hence why I love reading it so much!

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LOULABELLEROSE

For a good mix of a lil bit of everything, I highly recommend Lauren's blog. I love reading her blog because her posts are so easy to read, her content is brilliant and I really enjoy her style of writing. You can really hear her personal voice coming through in her writing, which is a quality I really want to nail on my own blog.

I like how Lauren's posts are very real and personal to her - but they somehow draw me in and make me want to continue reading. She often writes about her own experiences, which I particularly like reading because it is a great way of learning about people.

I'm always rather inspired after reading her blog so I knew it was one that I definitely has to include.


What blogs are you enjoying at the moment?
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25 Feb 2018

Letting Go & Learning To Be Unapologetically Me



Whenever a New Year rolls around (yes, I'm still talking about New Years) I always think 'this is the year I'm going to change'. Then I sort of forget about it and it carries onto the following year and so on. However, I've recently been thinking... how can I change? What aspects of myself would I actually like to change? What if the change is bad? What if I can't keep up with it and return to my old ways?

Ya know me, always over thinking things to the max. However, I now I think I've finally figured the whole 'change' thing out...



It's less of a change and more about getting comfortable with myself, letting go of things and learning to stop apologising.

There have been many moments over the past couple of years where I've apologised for my own traits, personality and actions, when I really shouldn't have. Moments that I've beaten myself up about losing things, when it is most definitely not worth it. Moments where I found it really hard to let go of something, even though I knew deep down that I should. I'd really like to learn how to let go of these habits a little and just become comfortable with my own self - because there is absolutely no reason for me to be sorry about being myself and no reason to be hanging on to something that's no longer there.



One of the main topics that got me thinking about this is friendships.

They say that friends come and go, which I completely agree with, however it is very hard to accept. When a friendship fizzles out I completely understand that it is normal. Yet, I'm still very hard on myself because I start to think that I'm the problem. Retrospectively thinking, I'm definitely not the problem. Now that I realise that.. all of the stressing and self-blaming was such a huge waste of time and effort.

It's easy to put yourself down a lot, especially when there seems to be no logical reason as to why something has happened, such as a loss of friendship. Over the past couple of years I've done this time and time again but it's about time that stops. Those who are near and dear to my heart, my amazing fiancé, family and friends, always remind me of my self-worth and if that's not enough and I have to get reassurance from a friend who couldn't care less I really don't know what is.

I've learnt my lesson the hard way. Figuring out friendships is tough - I've had my fair share of crappy 'friends' (maybe one day I will share the stories with you). But it's all part of life. Life is full of lessons and tests. You just got to learn to get through it all and let go of things that need to be let go of.





Going on a bit of a tangent here, but please bare with me.

I'd describe myself as an open book - what you see is what you get. I'm often described in this way too. Sometimes it's a positive and sometimes it's not.

Sometimes my personality can be off-putting, intimidating, maybe even unlikeable. When I became aware of this I thought that it's something that has got to change, I need to be someone who isn't those things and everyone has to like me. I think I subconsciously put a front on just so I could please people so I could change peoples minds.

Then I figured out that people still disliked me and I realised that I'm never going to change their mind. Although it is sad that you can't be like by everyone, it is also the harsh reality of life. You can't please everyone all the time. Sometimes, you've just gotta let it be and continue to do you.

Because at the end of the day, the world still goes round. Life goes on. And that's what I need to remember... and be unapologetically me.


OUTFIT DETAILS

All coincidentally New Look (again - oops!)


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18 Feb 2018

Creating A Budget Friendly Make Up Bag



Another day, another budget beauty blog post!

This time I thought I'd share my tips and advice on creating your own budget friendly make up bag. I would say that my make up collection is 90% inexpensive and from stores like Boots and Superdrug. Picking and choosing the right products for your make up bag is hard enough and sticking to a budget is even harder. However, I think I've pretty much nailed it and have an entire make up bag that caters for an everyday face, an evening look, weekend make up - all the occasions!

Here are a few bits of advice I've learnt along the way to create a budget friendly make up bag...



#1 Figure out what you need

I like a quite minimal & natural look for everyday wear and a slightly more amped up vibe for when I'm feeling fancy. So when I'm picking the make up products for my beauty bag, I keep in mind what I reach for when I do both of those kind of looks. Since I rarely do the whole going out thing and dressing up - I decided to keep more everyday use products in my make up bag as opposed to glam beauty bits.

I started to think about what exact base products I needed. What blushers and powders I wore often. Which palettes I use frequently. What eye and brow bits I reach for on a daily basis. I literally made a list of the 20+ things I would put on my face.


#2 Shopping your stash or just shopping?

Next up, is figuring out how to pick the products that go into your make up bag. Are you going to choose things from your existing budget beauty collection or are you going to buy and try some new bits?

If you are shopping your stash, make sure you pick the things you absolutely love, you use regularly and goes with your everyday / evening looks.

If your buying new products (how very exciting!) here are some of the things you can do...



#3 Do your research, read reviews and watch tutorials

If you are buying a bunch of budget beauty to go inside your make up bag, you just have to do your research first. Figure out what will work with your skin, your looks and your vibe. Trying out a cheaper product makes it a lot easier to let go of (as you haven't spent much money on it) but collectively this will add up going forward as it will all pile up.

So, read all the reviews and watch all the make up tutorials to see how a product is and what to expect. There are so many vloggers and bloggers out there that have a tonne of reviews on the latest 'drugstore' beauty launches.




#4 Money-saving tips

Buying beauty products every month can really hit hard on the bank balance sometimes. A few months back, I shared my tips and advice on how to budget on beauty - you can read the post here!



#5 Create a capsule make up collection

Picking the products that go in can be hard. You might think 'I love all of these Rimmel lipsticks so they are all going in the bag' - no, no, no. Think of your budget beauty bag as a capsule make up collection.

Limit yourself to around 20 products. Out of those figure out what you wear the most and pick more of those items.

For example you can have:
a primer
2 foundations
2 setting powders
a blush palette
a bronzer
a contour powder
a mascara
2 eyeshadow palettes
an eyeliner
3 lipliners
4 lip products
2 brow products




#6 Trial and error

The only way you're going to know if the make up bag is working for you is if you trial it out. If something isn't working, switch it out. If you need to chop and change things, do it. You are in complete control of what goes it, the only limit you have is the price.

Which brings me on to my next point...




#7 Budget beauty recommendations

I have so many beauty recommendations that are budget friendly so I just had to share a few so you can give them a go...

Foundations, Concealers and Powders
The Ordinary Serum Foundation
The Body Shop BB Cream
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
Revlon Colourstay Concealer
Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder

Blush / Bronzer / Contour
Maxfactor Blusher
Sleek Blusher
MakeUp Revolution Blush Palette
MakeUp Revolution Contour and Highlight Palette

Mascara, Brows and Eyeliner
Milani Lash Trifecta Mascara
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner
NYX Micro Brow Pencil
The Body Shop Brow and Liner Palette

Eyeshadow Palettes
Makeup Revolution Fortune Favours The Brave
Sleek Palettes

Lip products
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
GOSH Lipstick
Primark Lipliner
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lipstick

Tools and brushes
Real Techniques Complexion Sponge
Spectrum Collection Brushes
The Body Shop Brushes
Real Techniques Brushes



Do you have any budget beauty staples in your make up bag?
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