16 Sep 2018

Finding The Wedding Dress



The dress, hair and make up was very important to me as a bride and I just wanted everything to be perfect. I know how important these can be for other brides-to-be so I thought I'd share the details of where I got inspiration for my dress, went shopping and what look & style I was going for.

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I consider my style to be very simple and I wanted the exact same for my wedding dress. I looked at a few styles on Pinterest and Instagram and couldn't really decide on a particular style. I was always drawn to streamlined shapes but I thought I could perhaps go for something different - I was very open to ideas.



I visited a couple of places and tried on a fair few dresses but I didn't force myself to make a decision until I found the dress. I actually found my dress at Beautiful Brides in Nottingham.

When I arrived with my mum and sister, the ladies at the store escorted us to our own private room and asked me to fill out a questionnaire. The questions involved the obvious questions about the date and time but they also were curious to know the venue as they can try pick out styles that would match the theme and vibe of the venue.

Anyway, I let them know that I was open to every style and just wanted something simple and something I was comfortable in. I also wanted a sleeve on my dress and the flexibility of wearing it with a long veil.



I tried 20 or so dresses on and found that the beautiful big princess style dresses drowned me as I was on the petite side. I much preferred the simple straight or mermaid style dresses. I fell in love with two dresses and after an emotional reaction from my mum and sister, I settled on the dress. I said yes to the dress!

It was a stunning Pronovias dress which was all over lace, had a beautiful long trail and three-quarter length sleeves. The boat neck detailing and simplicity of the design was what drew me to the dress and I just found it light, comfortable and very me.



Accessories and shoes

The veil I settled on also had a long trail and was longer than my dress (very Kate Middleton inspired) and had beautiful scalloped beading detailing around the trim.

I knew I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on my heels because a) I never really wear heels & wanted them to be worth my while and b) I've heard many stories about bridal shoes never being worn again or being really uncomfortable. I also have small feet (size 3's) so I often struggle with shoes and sizing and just wanted to go somewhere I know and feel comfortable with. My shoes were a simple pair of rose gold block heeled New Look shoes!

For accessories, I just wanted a pair of earrings as I knew I wanted my hair in an up do so I went for these lovely square style studs from, Pandora.

The entire outfit was the epitome of what I wanted: simplicity and elegance.

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9 Sep 2018

Planning A Wedding // Advice and Tips




Planning your wedding day can be really stressful but the whole process should still be enjoyable and memorable. I really enjoyed the planning process and know how daunting it can be so I thought I'd pop a little post together for bride-to-be's so you can be a little prepared before you get cracking.

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Have a vision

First things first, make sure you know what you want. I had a Pinterest board (which bride doesn't?!) and showed it to my aunt who was also my wedding planner. She knew exactly where to go and how to achieve the look I wanted for the big day.


Do your research

Everything you decide on needs to be researched beforehand. Whether it is the little things or the big things, read as many reviews, articles, websites before booking / confirming.


Don't rush into making any decisions

Although you might want to just tick as many things off on your list, don't rush into doing so. This day is a day you'll never forget and many others may never forget too. You don't want to make the wrong choice about something.



Consider a wedding planner

Luckily I have an auntie who also plans events and weddings so she helped me out a great deal when it came to all things wedding related. I'd really recommend getting one if you don't quite know where to start or if planning is not your forte.


Go to wedding fairs

Before our wedding, we made it our mission to go to as many wedding fairs our possible. It really helped with the planning of the venue, invitations, dress and decor. I found a few suppliers through the wedding fairs so be prepared to grab as many flyers and business cards. Also, you often get freebies! Who doesn't love a good freebie?


Take time to relax

Planning a wedding doesn't have to be entirely stressful! Make sure you take the time out of each week in the run up to the wedding to relax as much as possible. It is a nerve wracking day and I think brides, more than groom's, feel it. Book yourself in for a massage - I did this on my wedding week and it was the best thing ever in helping calm my nerves.


Remember that it is your day!

When planning our wedding I remember I'd keep thinking about what everyone else wanted until I realised that it isn't about anyone else but about us. I started making decisions based on what I wanted and obviously catered for everyone in the process.



Before you start planning

Before you start any planning, make a check list of every little thing you need to do. Being my organised self, I created a spreadsheet and noted every little detail down and it helped me keep on top of everything.

On the list make sure you prioritise what means most to you... to get an idea mine was something like the below:

1. Venue / Date
2. Invites
3. Food and Cake
4, Dress and outfits
5. Honeymoon



Preparations for the bride:

I got so caught up in planning all the other bits and bobs that I almost forgot about what I needed to prepare for myself as the bride. Make sure you don't forget to organise yourself...

Look to booking the below details for yourself as well as bridesmaids and close family and friends.


Checklist for the bride

  • Hairdressers
  • Hair stylist
  • Make up artist
  • Massage
  • Nails




On your wedding day

When the big day does arrive, make sure you surround yourself with whatever makes you comfortable. I was really excited on the morning of the wedding, I had all my family and friends around me for breakfast and then spent some alone time in our hotel room until my hair and make up stylists arrived. I think it is important to have some space because the day can be a little overwhelming so make sure you do whatever it is you need to do to feel as calm and comfortable as possible.

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Good luck with the wedding planning and treasure these moments! 

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2 Sep 2018

The Pre-Wedding Skincare Line Up // AM & PM



To kickstart Wedding Month on Fatima Writes I thought I would start by sharing one of the most important things that I wanted to nail before my wedding: My skincare routine. Over the past few years I've really been battling with eczema and dermatitis on my skin and in particular, my face. It has been quite the journey and even until now, there has been no end. I was very lucky to have a calm moment with my skin before the wedding and on the wedding day and I think it was down to my skincare routine that I stuck by religiously.

I had my wedding make up trial a month before my wedding and at that point, my skin was awful. My make up artist has worked in the industry for years and recommends a skincare plan based on what she sees. She recommended I try Liz Earle products because it is gentle yet effective for my dry, dehydrated and irritated skin. She also recommend I stop using physical exfoliators as this may have aggravated my skin further. I also think I had a down moment with my skin as I reacted badly to some Clinique products I was testing out earlier in the year.



Anyway, I nailed a skincare regime, one for the morning and one for the evening and I swore by it all month. My skin cleared up instantly and was glowing on my wedding day! I have very dry, sensitive and irritable skin so this obviously won't work for everyone but I thought I'd share in case you are looking to create a skincare routine and needed ideas for if you want to try more products and need some inspiration.



MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE

Cleanser
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
This cleanser is perfect for making my skin feel fresh both in the morning and night. Spend a good minute massaging the product into the skin and then use a warm muslin cloth (usually comes with this product) and remove the product from your skin. It feels so great afterwards!

Toner | Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
Using a cotton pad, pop a little squirt of the toner on it and then swipe across your face. It is important to go in one direction and only once as this prevents any germs from spreading. I feel like this step is so refreshing!

Serum | The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5
I have heard amazing things about hyaluronic acid, especially for dry skin like mine. Acid's sound scary but this one does not burn or smell funny or do anything that would put you off. I believe this is found in the skin naturally and by using it on top it attracts more moisture into the skin, hence using it pre-moisturiser and this will allow you to get the most of the product you pop on next in your skincare routine.

Moisturiser | Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser
For moisturiser I use the dry/sensitive formula from the Liz Earle range. It is quite heavy duty but I need it as my skin is really dehydrated, especially in the mornings. I apply a little pea sized amount of this as a little goes a very long way.



EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE

Cleanser
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
Like I mentioned earlier, I use this morning and night so this product makes another feature in my evening routine. I didn't use this to remove make up (mind you, I didn't really wear any make up in the run up to the wedding as I wanted my skin to breathe!) but instead as a step to remove all dirt and impurities that would have built up on my skin throughout the day.

TonerLiz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
Again, also use this in the morning so I repeat this step in the exact same way for the evening.

SerumThe Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5
Another repeat... I basically pop a few drops of this product on my hand a pat into the skin around my face, concentrating it on the areas that need it most (are most dry!)

Oil | The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane
This oil is meant to boost hydration in the skin and like the hyaluronic acid, can also be found naturally in our skin. I really liked how light this product was and wasn't very greasy like other oils. Above all, I felt like this actually worked and is very underrated amongst The Ordinary products.

Moisturiser | Simple Water Boost Skin Quench Sleeping Cream
This cream is lightweight, non greasy but very efficient. It really packed a punch in hydration and is almost like an overnight mask. I really recommend trying this if you are on the hunt for a inexpensive night cream.

Eye Cream | Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Balm
I've recently just finished up my tube of this eye cream but I was advised to always use eye cream and this one did the job. Cheap, cheerful and kept me from having dry skin around my eye area.



So there we have it... my pre-wedding skincare routines for AM and PM. Have you tried any of these?
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19 Aug 2018

Five Goals For The Rest Of The Year



I hate to be one of those people who say 'I can't believe how fast the year has gone by' but I can't quite believe that were are more than half way through August! There are just a few months of the year left and it has dawned on me that I'd like to achieve a few final things before the end of the year.

Not to get all serious and emotional but I'm trying to look forward as much as I can because dwelling on the past is not productive. I must admit, my goals aren't super intense or super serious but they are important for me at this moment in time.

Here are my aims for the rest of 2018...

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Number one : Create a capsule wardrobe
I've really been lacking in personal style lately and my wardrobe is a hot mess. By having a capsule wardrobe, I can sort my style dilemma out, organise my overflowing wardrobe and manage my shopping habits. I'll definitely keep you posted on how its going when I get round to starting it but I've already done a bunch of research thanks to Anna's blog and Youtube videos (The Anna Edit).

Number two: Wake up early
I'm not sure what it is but I have been so tired and lazy recently. I always used to be the early-riser but I've become the total opposite - I want way more time in bed. I really want to get into the habit of waking up early and being productive from before I head into work. I'd much rather get ahead on chores, do some blogging and exercise, which leads me on to my next goal....

Number three: Do yoga regularly
I have only just got into yoga but I think it is the exercise for me. I've tried gym, tennis and Insanity (aka death) and nothing quite compared to the feeling I had during and after my yoga session. It is something you can easily do in the morning, middle of the day, after dinner or even before bed. There is a yoga session for any occasion so there is no excuse for me not to do it at least a few times a week.

Number four: Listen to more podcasts
My commute to work is typically a short 15-30 minute journey (depending on the traffic) and that time usually consists of listening to music. I'd like to change it up sometimes and pop a podcast on. I really enjoyed season 1 of At home with by Lily Pebbles and Anna Newton and I'm fully aware that there is now a season 2! I've also heard great things about Estee Lalonde's podcasts so I would most definitely give them a go first.

Number five: Feel inspired by make up again
Like I mentioned earlier, I've been really lazy with waking up early. So lazy that I rarely ever get the chance to do my make up. Actually, the main reason why is that my skin is having a freak out moment and does not like most base products. However, I can still wear certain items in my make up collection and can experiment with what can work for my skin at the moment. I'd really like to get inspired by make up again because I do miss it and I feel like I would like to introduce it into my routine for some days (I love and always embrace no make up days!)

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Do you have any goals for the remainder of the year?
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12 Aug 2018

Make Up Brushes | Collection & Care



Make up brushes can be such a personal thing. I know I'm very particular about which brushes I buy, use and the way they are looked after. They are supposed to last years and years so aftercare is very important with brushes. I thought I'd share my make up brush collection and show you how I clean them too.



COLLECTION

The main bulk of my brushes are by Spectrum Collections. I went for this brand because they are cruelty free, vegan and they look so beautiful! I've done a more in-depth review of this collection previously, so feel free to have a read of that here.

I like the size and weight of these brushes. They don't feel cheap and aren't so bulky to carry around, even when travelling. I highly recommend checking these out if you are on the hunt for new make up brushes. You can buy directly from their website (delivery was fairly quick!) but they are now sold in Boots too!





Other brushes I own that aren't Spectrum, include the Revlon double ended eyebrow brush, The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation Brush, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and No7 Flawless Finish Blending Sponge.

I really enjoy all of these brushes and tools as they aren't so pricey, can be bought individually and work really well for day-to-day make up use.



CARE

In terms of care for the brushes, there are different steps I take...



Spot cleaning is mainly used for eyeshadow brushes that require instant cleaning for reuse. I rarely do this because I don't really wear eyeshadow on a regular basis but I do, I use the B. Makeup Brush Cleanser. It's really simple to use - just a few sprays on the brush and a swirl around on a tissue or flannel and you are good to go!



Once a week or every fortnight (depending on how often I've used my make up brushes) I give them a good deep clean. I find it is best to do this in the shower as you can multi task and it makes the job much more bearable - I know many people find cleaning make up brushes such a chore!

In my opinion, it is best to use a make up remover or cleanser to clean brushes. If it is good enough for the face, it is good enough for your brushes! I'm currently using the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean.



I dampen the brush, pop a little blob of the cleanser on my palm and swirl the brush round so the dirt starts being removed. I repeat as necessary until the brushes are squeaky clean. You can see a before and after below!



When drying, lay a flannel down and lean the brushes upside down so the water doesn't soften the glue that holds the bristles together.



What brushes do you have? What care tips do you use? 

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5 Aug 2018

A Postcard From Singapore



Singapore was one of the most unique places I've ever visited. First of all, Singapore is a both a country and a city... the island is roughly half the size of metropolitan London. It is also the greenest place ever. I've never seen anywhere that takes so much care when it comes to being environmentally friendly! Everything that is built in Singapore has a reason as well as eco-friendly value. 

Apart from it being so green, there is plenty to do in Singapore. My husband and I only visited for 4 days but we managed to pack a fair bit in. 


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SIGHTSEEING



Getting Around

As Singapore is so hot on being very environmental, public transport is huge and so common. They even have electric taxis for tourists who don't wish to ride in the same way as the locals. We decided to take the bus wherever we could, whether it was the normal buses or tourist hop-on hop-off bus. It's the cheapest way to travel around so if you can, you should!



















Universal Studios

Universal was one of the best paces I've ever visited. I can't even begin to describe it to you! There were so many different rides and entertainment options. They have rollercoasters, stimulators, experiences, shows - all sorts! It is an obvious must-visit on your list if you are going!
























Gardens by the Bay

If you love plants, nature and just pretty backgrounds, this place is the one for you. You have got to visit Gardens by the Bay. The experience is partly indoor partly outdoor, some of which are free and some have to be paid for. The outdoor element involves very a pretty light show, at night of course, and the opportunity to walk on a skyway in-between the large canopies called 'super trees'. It is just prettiness all around. So many things to do and look at and admire. You can easily spend a whole afternoon or evening in here!












Singapore Eye

Having never been on the London Eye, we thought we'd go on the Singapore Eye. Taking in total 30 minutes for a full round, the Singapore Eye goes through the history of Singapore as well as the city's hot spots. It is a really good way to cram in several years of culture and famous places in the small space of half an hour.







Jurong Bird Park

Lover of birds? This is the one for you. The Bird Park is filled with the most exotic birds and has so many difference types. Flamingos, Eagles, Owls, Parrots, Budgies... so many birdies. My favourite part of our trip here was feeding the little birds and watching the bird show - these creatures are so talented! There is a bird that can speak 3 different languages, amazing!



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FOOD







Four Fingers

The restaurant diner had the nicest chicken wings and chips. There is a spicy flavour and a mild one - the mild one is a garlic soy flavour and it was amazing. The chips come in three options, plain, with kimchi or with seaweed. We were up for trying something new and the kimchi and seaweed options were actually delicious.





Candylicious


One of the most famous spots to come to for sweet treats is Candylicious. Placed just outside of Universal Studios and Sea Life Centre, this dessert / treat place is a must-visit for anyone who has a sweet tooth.


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SHOPPING



Singapore has so many malls - you can easily spend a day shopping around each one.

Vivo City is one of the main malls as it has railway connections to Sentosa Island (where Universal and Sea Life Centre is). The island is also home to an incredible beach.

Orchard Mall and Paragon Shopping Centre is filled with your high-end and designer stores, if you fancy splashing out.

Jurong Point is probably the best mall to go to. It is HUGE. There is also something for everyone. Local shopping, inexpensive shopping, expensive shopping, luxury shopping - all the shopping!







I just thought I'd mention that whilst I was in Singapore, I discovered Innis Free, a beauty brand. It is so decently priced and the products are fab. I can't wait to share some purchases with you some day.

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And there is my travel guide to Singapore. Have you visited or planning a visit?
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