My New Healthy Lifestyle – How I Encouraged Myself


I think it’s normal to say that after I got married, I put on a little weight.. By a little a mean A LOT! I can’t even put my finger on why I put so much weight on as I didn’t really think I was eating too much of something or not being as active as I was before I got married.

The time it hit me like a tonne of bricks though, was when I bought a pair of trousers in size 12 (it’s good to remember that I used to be a size 10 pre-wedding) and after trying them on, they were so tight which meant, it was time to go back and get them in a size 14! I was mortified and my initial thought was “I can’t believe I’ve done this to myself” and I think that’s the thought that changed my perspective on my appearance.

I had visibly put on weight too and this had left me really uncomfortable and wearing clothes that were super sized on me, making me feel even bigger. The worst thing was that I was piling on the pounds around my stomach area mainly and I was constantly being hounded as to whether I was pregnant or not (that is not what you want to hear when you’re already feeling self-conscious about yourself). I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes anymore and I didn’t want to buy any more because the thought of having to buy dress sizes bigger than what I was used to, was terrifying!

I knew that I needed to make some changes and I decided in December 2016 that I would make some of the biggest changes in my life. I left my job which was really fast paced and quite demanding and decided that I would set up a business from home and move onward with building an empire of my own.. Which I’m still doing (and quite well). As well as this change, I knew the temptations of being in such close vicinity to the kitchen would mean that I would be tempted to snack constantly and I began to get almost depressed about how I would control myself because I didn’t think I had the motivation to stay away from the snacking!

What did I do?

I went on a few holidays after I left work, something that has encouraged me to leave work more so because my paid holidays at work had run out which meant my passion for travelling was being held back. I went to Dubai, Florida and LA in the space of a month and it was after Dubai before I went to Florida that I decided to make drastic changes. I had to have a good think about what was causing me to put on weight and after deliberating I finally concluded that I wasn’t ever going to lose weight if I carried on eating as bad as I did and living a lazy lifestyle, like I was.

Diet

I decided that I would have a MASSIVE overhaul and go in so hard that it would change my perspective on food forever! I cut out ALL sugar and became almost obsessive with the amount of sugar that was contained in almost everything I was eating. Don’t get me wrong, if I went out to a restaurant, I wasn’t scrutinising the waiter to tell me how much sugar was in my salad dressing but anything that I was eating out of a packet, I was analysing. I have become so keen on cutting sugar because I was holding so much fat around my stomach and have been told by so many blogs, fitness magazines and individuals that the cause of this is excessive sugar intake.. So true because since I’ve cut it out, my stomach has shrunk massively!

I also almost completely cut out carbs and that meant having little/none every week. I allow myself to have something revolving carbs once and a week and I tend to time this around the same day every week because it gives me something to look forward to as well as allowing me to burn it off in roughly the same amount of time. When I do have carbs, I ensure that they’re good so I don’t eat white flour at all! I have changed my pasta to wholewheat, my roti to brown and my rice is also brown now (I have carbs once every 2 weeks). It doesn’t taste the same and I definitely no longer enjoy meals as much as I used to but in the evening when I’m getting changed into my pyjamas and I look at my tight stomach and feel so good, It’s worth it.

Lifestyle

I never worked out after I got married and I think that played a huge part into me putting on weight. I was not as active as I was before (because I wasn’t doing the supermarket runs, looking after kids, running around at work as much, running around at home as much and generally not socialising as much (because even my shopping trips were still a form of exercise)). I decided just this month after so much deliberation that I would invest in a pair of running trainers, workout gear and I would start running. I can’t tell you how much this has changed my life.. Not only because I get out and go to a beautiful park during sunset hours and get some fresh air, but because I love the way that people look at me wearing my hijab and getting on with my life. It’s a new found joy of mine when I see people double take and look surprised when they see me because I know that it’s not common to see someone like me running, but I’m a normal person (as I said in my first sentence) and of course I’ll live my life like a normal person.

I wasn’t the fastest person at first and I walked a lot more than I ran when I first started but I’m now at a stage where I push myself constantly and the pain now feels good. I push myself to go faster, run up more hills and go for longer runs every time I run! I’m not disproportionate and won’t add miles, or 90 degree inclines or 6 minute mile runs BUT I’ll add 0.1 miles to my run every time and I’ll include an extra incline every other run. The most recent run I went on was all about speed and I wanted to be as fast as I could.. And I did it!

As well as running, I’ve invested in the 7 minute workout app which I love doing! Even on my rest days, I still do this because I find it so easy now and can spare the 10 minutes I need (instead of 7 because I have to change my clothes etc). I have started to find it so easy now that I have elaborated from it and now include my own workouts and extra moves in the areas that I choose to work on that particular day.

Extras – Important!

One of the things that urged me to start looking after myself was myself. I just didn’t feel like wearing nice clothes, doing my makeup and buying new clothes because i didn’t feel attractive anymore. Remember that when you are trying to lose weight, do it for no one but yourself. even when you’re working out and you think you can’t go any further.. Remember your end goal and how badly you want to achieve it. If you were doing all this to please someone else, it wouldn’t last and the likelihood of you giving up, would be high.

Remember to reward yourself and don’t punish yourself. If you have a weigh in day to look forward to, a dress you’d like to fit into or a mile time you’d like to reach, you have to be able to give yourself gratitude. So when you succeed in your task you have to give yourself a big congratulations and reward yourself in a sustainable way. I do this by giving myself a square of chocolate when I have a really good workout.. On the days I don’t have a good workout, I won’t allow myself to eat it! In the same way, you mustn’t punish yourself and especially in the way of food as when dieting, it’s easy to have a slip up and then not eat a meal or for a whole day! You must learn from your mistakes and by punishing your body, you won’t get anything back from it (just like a relationship). So suck it up, apologise to yourself and work harder to get a reward next time!

Don’t force yourself to have cheat meals! When I first started dieting, I thought it was important to reward myself by having a cheat meal every week BUT I didn’t always feel like having a burger or a slice of pizza and would much rather have had a salad. So I learnt to only have a cheat meal when I felt like it and so far, that’s been monthly. Some people are committed to cheat days as well and again, I would advise having them if you actually feel like it. I recently had my cheat meal (5 weeks after the last) and I enjoyed it much more because I was genuinely craving it.

Experimenting is the key to working out and dieting. In my eyes, I love experimenting with new recipes and ingredients and in the same manner, my husband enjoys the variety of food I make also! I love cooking now and I enjoy it more so because I know that it’s going to be healthy and I’m rewarding my body by eating wholesome, tasty and healthy food. I look online for healthy recipes and tweak them a bit depending on my craving but Women’s Health Magazine have some great ones as well as BBC Good Food. I love changing up my workout too. I know what body parts I need to work on and I’ll watch a few YouTube workout videos and adapt them into a routine I know really well. I don’t change up the whole routine because I won’t know how hard to work and how far I can push myself (as every move would be new to me). I like to incorporate an extra move in every few days and continue doing it until I know how effective I found it.

And lastly, enjoy yourself and encourage your friends who are going through the same thing as you. Finding a partner who is into the same things as you is really nice but even if you go it alone, remember to tell important people in your life how well you’re doing as it’s so gratifying to have someone to share this with. I do my weigh in with my husband and my best friend who I always share the score with. It’s nice to have someone to experience the ups and downs with. If you have a bad week, talk to yourself and go through where you went wrong and then discuss this with those important people to gain a second opinion…

Don’t forget that you’re amazing regardless of the number on the scale and just the first step of admitting you need to make a change is such a huge step! Once you’ve decided you want to live healthier, the res will come to you naturally and even small changes will make a huge difference!

*** DISCLAIMER: I am in not insinuating in any way that a size 14 is not attractive. I am merely explaining the 2 dresses sizes that I gained weight to which I was not expecting.

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The best winter/spring MAC lipsticks


When it comes to this time of year, one of the hardest things to do is figure out what lipsticks go with the sunshine, but cold temperatures. I had a rummage through my collection and came up with a few options that I think are perfect to conquer this problem. I looked through all my MAC lipsticks because they had the nicest finishes and textures (whilst still being moisturising) so, here they are.I love the fact that these lipsticks come in a variety of finishes (glaze, amplified and satin) thus, giving different looks whilst being in the same family. The slight sheen to these finishes will be complimented when they glint in the sun and the dark colours go with the colder temperatures. The new trend of ‘dark nudes’ is a brilliant one because it suits every skin tone. Finally, pale skinned individuals can wear dark colours and it look stylish (not stark and over-bearing on the face) and darker skins can wear colours that are comfortable and natural.

Here’s an extreme close up so you can see what the colours look like with a bit of light shun on them. Always remember when wearing darker colours that your lip should be as smooth as possible so get your lip scrubs at the ready and buff those chapped lips away. They’ll be looked after by the nourishing ingredients in these MAC lipsticks anyway.

High End Haul featuring Illamasqua, Kevyn Aucoin and By Terry


When it comes to high end items, i’m not one to purchase anything and everything under the sun. Everything takes careful consideration and when i recently visited Harvey Nichols (a luxury department store here in the UK),I decided to cave and purchase some items that I have been looking for for quite some time now! I have seen these items being raved about from everywhere from Youtube to Blogging sites and people talking about them and I just had to give them a go.My First stop was at Space NK, which I was so pleased to see in Harvey Nichols because they are quite rare to find. They tend to stock items rarer brands from around the world which we don’t see very often, so I picked up a few gems from there. Kevyn Aucoin was my first stop and I grabbed this Sensual Skin Enhancer when I saw it because I’m in dyer need of an incredible concealer since my Dior one has run out. I have also come to find that I need a concealer with higher coverage as well as my dark circles have seemed ti have got worse lately. This is so pigmented and I was genuinely shocked at the punch it packs, even though I have heard people say how effective it is a concealer. When you see this in real life, it amazes you and the shade range is excellent. It does oxidise slightly when on the skin so I would recommend getting a skin match to it before purchasing because at £37, this stuff ain’t cheap!Ok.. So I’m cheating here and i didn’t really get this from Harvey Nichols, rather Selfridges but it would be the same difference were it not for the colour of the logo! I have been eyeing up this highlighter from Illamasqua for ages and when it saw it front and centre on display I caved! It’s called Beyond Powder and comes in 2 shades although mine is aptly called “OMG’. This is a baked blush and they claim it can be used wet and dry. When I first used this on my skin, I underestimated how pigmented it was and ended up glowing like a disco ball for the rest of the day, BUT I didn’t care because it looked so natural. This is one of those highlighters that if you don’t have, I don’t know how you get by during the day. It’s way up there in price for Illamasqua but that be because there is so much of it. I like the sahdw which is a perfect balance between a gold and silver shimmer however, it has this tendency to blend into blush and has a pink hue too. It does cut any makeup though such as a my blush, which i find I always have to go back into after using this, but it’s so beautiful I don’t care!

Sam from Pixiwoo on YouTube rants and raves about this excessively and I am not surprised after I swatched it for one for he first time last week. By Terry is a brand that I’ve never tried before but these shadows sticks called Ombre Blackstar are AMAZEBALLS and mine is in the shade Bronze Moon #4! I had such a wide colour range to choose from and formula actually blew my mind. I was in awe at the glitter in it and the the way that it blends is amazing too! It has a way of blending out into a matte colour and means you don’t have to use a thousand colours on your eyes like crease colours and highlighters etc. because this does everything for you. It lasts for ages even when you don’t use a primer and it doesn’t smudge or budge in the slightest. I think you’ll find the only problem with this (other than the extortionate price), is what colour you’d want to choose.

Have you tried any of these products before?

Giant MAC haul


I recently went to Bicester Village and if you live in the UK and love makeup like i do, then you know that the Cosmetics Company store in Bicester is amazing! Bicester Village is essentially a little shopping park that looks wonderful and houses a huge array of big brands for lower prices and there is also a makeup shop there which sells a lot of sold out collections from various different brands.. including MAC! I was definitely in the mood for trying some new makeup and so when I saw such beautiful bright colours lying around, I had to grab some of my favourited. I’m sure you can see the spring time colours that I have chosen which shows i’m feeling rather festive this season and I really wanted to branch out of makeup zone. This is something new that I’ve been trying recently whereby, I only purchase makeup that I already don’t have a colour or texture of and VOILA!

One of the first things that really attracted my attention was these eyeshadows. I have a real love-hate relationship with MAC eyeshadows because I feel as though they are quite overpriced for what they are but after swatching these, I really enjoyed their finishes. After trying them on, they look incredible and create that kind of 90’s vibe with the bright frosty eyeshadows, but I really like the look of it on my complexion and these are just perfect for blending on the bottom lash line for a more subtle look.Blushes are one of my most favourite things from MAC and i love them even more in pan form because they work out so much cheaper. They are some of the things which i really enjoy buying from MAC and I wanted to try some different shades. These are all as beautiful as the others on the cheeks and they look gorgeous on skin and are perfect for Summer! They are all fairly matte apart from slight frosty finish on “azalea’ which has a slight sheen on it.Cream colour bases are some of the most rarest things in my collection from MAC and the only one I own is Pearl which is a cult classic. I wanted to try some different shades and thought I could work with more pinkier tones because I could use them on my lips and cheeks. I’m a huge fan of these so far but have noticed that they don’t last that ong. They are very pigmented though and I have found that setting them with some of my face powder on top, lessens the pigmentation as well as keeping them a little more robust. The brown shade is so perfect for contouring that I can’t even fathom what I was doing in my life without it. It has a silver/grey flex in it, giving the brown a much cooler undertone and this make the contour look even cheaper.This is probably my most favourite ting from my haul and I love it so much that I haven’t stopped wearing since the day that I got it. I love purple tones on my kin and even though this is quite bright and pigmented, it has a way of looking really natural and has a beautiful finish. It’s listed as a frost finish and although I love a good matte blush, this has just the right amount of sheen to make it look amazeballs! This with the contour is a really good cheek day for me!Lipstick is my thing and i love trying different colours. Orange is one that I don’t tend to go for but would love to be able t pull off more confidently. I’m a huge fan of the lustre finishes from MAC because they wear beautifully and are often really long-lasting. This is the perfect cross between a red and orange because it is quite sheer, it is really forgiving for those of us who are afraid to try new shades to start with!

This haul cost just over £100 which may seem like a lot but I also think I got a lot of good stuff (MAC) for my money. What do you like the look of most in this haul?

Lancome Miracle Fluid Cushion Foundation (compact) Review


  I recently noticed in a few pictures that my skin was beginning to look a little orange- ish and it looked like I had gotten a bad spray job and i am not a big fan of that look on me! After investigating what it could be that was causing my skin to look like this, I realised that I was using foundations that were oxidising a little more than normal (probably because they’re fairly old or just cheap) and so I began my hunt for something new and exciting to use! after taking  trip to Lancome with Miss A one day, I discovered this foundation and believe me when I say that it has changed my view on Lancome completely! Behold.. The Miracle Cushion Fluid Foundation.
  The whole vibe of this is unique and the actual product itself is really intriguing for new users such as myself. The idea behind this foundations’ packaging is the way the product is stored. The fluid is held in a sponge and disperses best with the compact that it comes with (although I enjoy dipping my brush in it). It feels strange at first because you initially think that no product will come out, but there is a lot of substance to the sponge ad it secreted a lot more than you would expect. The sponge with the liquid in has a cover, the lid contains a mirror and it comes with its own sponge too. the outer packaging though is made from plastic with a mirror on the lid for extra ease and I’m a huge fan of this because I can imagine taking this out and about with me when I’m away from home.

I have been using this with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and have found the coverage to be perfect for my skin at the moment which is being well looked after because I’m trying to drink water more than usual. It’s described as being a light coverage (which it definitely is) and although not very buildable, does give a very natural and smooth looking canvas to the skin. Lancome claim on it’s description that this is hydrating and gives your skin a glow which i dispute because I haven’t really seen much of a glow. In fact, one of the reasons i really like foundation is because it has given my skin a natural and complete skin-like finish which doesn’t look dewy or matte in any way. It is very hydrating though and doesn’t cling to any dry patches on my skin and i feel as though using this with a Beauty Blender would really give this product a little more oomph and kick to the texture and coverage. You can see from the swatch on my hand that where the foundation is, it looks like skin and the only difference you can really tell is the shade difference (because my hand is fake tanned and the foundation shade is lighter). This foundation comes in 8 shades which isn’t great and if you’re super pale, the shade shown in the images is the lightest so be aware of this. This is great in terms of cost-effectiveness though. the initial foundation came in at £30 however, the refill can be purchased for £19 and you can change this yourself at home. It simply clicks out and back in again which is perfect for being able to mix and match shades depending on your skin colouring at the time. It is definitely a new favourite product of mine and I truly enjoy applying this in the morning.

For that no make up make up look, it’s perfect and I’m all about that on those days when I just about roll out of bed!

 

MAC Mineralised Finish Haul/ Review


 

 Welcome back to another adaptation of Faiza’s ever growing make up collection! I couldn’t resist recently when I popped into a MAC store to check out their new collection and noticed the mineralised finish products sitting there! They looked so beautiful and after searching an array of blushes and eyeshadows, I picked up a few products that I fell for instantly! Behold, my first ever mineralised eyeshadows from MAC. What’s the difference between the mineralised collection and normal collection? The mineralised finishes in this collection are baked rather pressed. The ingredients to make mineralised makeup are supposed to be kinder to skin as well. I was quite glad to see that some of the products had 2 shades in them which essentially means less packaging for when I’mm travelling.. PERFECT!
  The shades that I got were based on what I think look good on my eyes in particular. Because I have green/brown eyes, I like my colours to have a purple or red undertone to them and I love anything nude. That’s why ever amethyst is perfect for me in so many ways. I’m a huge fan of the pigmentation of these as well. I’m not keen on the fall out and they can sometimes be quite chalky, but generally, they pick up really well on a synthetic brush and I splash the brush  with a spritz of Fix Plus from MAC, it’s even better! I wouldn’t recommend getting any liquid in the eyeshadow though as it altered the colour of the shadow for when I wanted to use it next time. Young Punk is a perfect black with the right amount of purple glitter in it. I like the way that the black isn’t too potent but doesn’t look chalky or uneven when it’s on the eyelid. I always use a basic primer under eyeshadow and hope for the best and this time, It definitely paid off. You can see from the swatches that the colours are really potent and the eyeshadow really lasts a long time too. With Young Punk in particular, even though the glitter looks as though it isn’t built in to the shadow (if you get what I mean), it stays on all day and I didn’t get any fall out or purple glitter on my face! The only downside is the ridiculous price. These come in at a whopping £18 and even though I think that they are very good and the value for money is evident in the formula, the actual shadows are very hard  to reason with in price because you could get a tonne of palettes from the drugstore for the same cost! Weigh up your odds on the price versus. pigmentation.. Would you purchase this?

The Ultimate Nude Lipstick from Gerard Cosmetics – Blogging March Day 31


  It’s the finale and i’m so sad to say it’s the end of Blogging March! It’s been so challenging and exciting blogging over the last month.. Finding time to take pictures and write blog posts has been hectic but the buzz from everyones feedback has been so good that I’m exciting to do something like this again very soon! Fear not though as I will be uploading regularly and will disclose my scheduled blog posts on all my social media platforms so make sure you check them out in the ‘contact me’ section above :)

I’ve decided to end Blogging March on a high and on a subject that I just can’t get enough of! I want to disclose my most prized beauty secret that I hold and it’s such a good one, you’ll be glad I told you! If you read my post yesterday, you will have seen me talk about my favourite lipliner (that’s actually an eyeliner) which I use to overdraw my lips and get that really pouty look. But the real secret weapon for when i want my lips to be the centre of attention is this lipstick from Gerard Cosmetics in the shade ‘1995’. It’s aptly named after the make up trends around that time and when I saw the name and the colour, it instantly took me back to good times when Destiny’s Child, All Saints and every celebrity under the sun wore a shade like this.

It’s a beautiful warm toned brown which is extremely matte (although in the pictures is looks fairly glossy.. This may be because my lips were very moisturised). The shade is really pigment and just one swipe covers your lips perfectly. It’s really smooth to apply and the formula is a true credit to the way that you can apply it so easily that overdrawing and filling in lipliner, is flawless.. It just glides on perfectly. Paired with the NickaK pencil I showed in yesterday’s blog, it makes the perfect pouty lip. This works on anyone and everyone and I know because i’ve tried this on so many people. It makes the most perfect juicy looking lip and because it’s such a nude colour, it looks good with almost any skin tone from the lightest to the darkest of skin tones.. I can’t rave about these lips enough so I’ll just let you know enjoy how pouty my lips look in the image below. If you try or have this lipstick, let me know and share your thoughts on it.

The Best Big Bold Lip Cheat – Blogging March Day 30


 When it comes to overdrawn lips, I think it’s safe to say that my readers have gathered that I’m a fan. Whenever I think of plumper lips, I always think of lip injections however, I’ve learnt some tips and tricks long the way which I think are better than that! I’m a big fan of darker lips as they are easier to mimic to a larger size and the more matte, the bigger I feel they look. So when I got this Nicka K eyeliner in my Glossy Box and tried it for the first time on my lips, I was so impressed with the results that I had to share them.

I never thought using an eyeliner would be so good but this one throws every other lip liner out the park. I don’t colour in all my lips with it as it doesn’t suit my complexion, but I ever so slightly overdraw my lips with this and then rub it in (usually with my finger) and then use whatever lip colour I’m using that day. Not only is this eyeliner creamy, but its also a wind up, so you always get a precise line and it’s so easy to use. It’s mega affordable too so, if you can get your hands on it, I would definitely recommend it.

Check out my last Blogging March post tomorrow where I’ll show you what effect this technique can create!

Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner Favourite – Blogging March Day 29


I done a posy yesterday showing you some of my favourite Urban Decay pencil eyeliners and I mentioned how I love the way you can add a bit of colour to your eyes without being overpowering using eyeliners to create a splash of colour. And today, I want to show you my favourite gel eyeliner of the moment which I purchased during Christmas. Bobbi Brown isn’t a brand that I usually turn to when it comes to fun and funky makeup, but I had a consultation for a new eye makeup look and the lovely lady at the counter put this on my eyes with a brown eyeshadow and I fell in love so bought it straight away and it has now become my favourite liner!

I’m a huge fan of gel eyeliners (eyeliners in general really) and because I have used them for such a long time, I have mastered the application of them. I have come to realise that the thicker the brush is, the easier it is to apply and this is strange when you think of it in theory however, logically, the thicker brush hold the product a little more robustly and it doesn’t clump up or disperse patchily and this makes a solid line of eyeliner- perfect every time! I love a bit of gel because it lasts so long however, generally speaking, all gel eyeliners are same: come in a small pot, have the same consistency and dry out fairly quickly. But it’s the colour of this particular Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner that caught my attention.

I have slightly green/brown eyes and because of this, wearing green enhances my eye colour quite a lot. However, every day, I don’t want to brought greens on my eyes and so this deep and dark ivy colour is perfect for adding a hint of colour without the super duper drama. It’s just a hint of colour and it picks up in the light. If you work in a corporate environment, or if you want to add a splash of colour without the hassle, this is perfect.

You can see from the image below that I even blended the colour out because you can use this as an eyeshadow base and it works perfectly for this as well. I’m a  huge fan of these and there a lot of brands that do gel eyeliners (Inglot being a brand with the most widest range of colours I’ve ever seen). I wanted to show this Bobbi Brown’s eyeliner though, because its a universal brand and I’m hoping my readers from all over the world can purchase it!

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