IMG_20151021_080343
T: @_Miamii_ I: @Miamii.Mansour

Hi, I don’t think I’ve properly introduced myself yet… I’m Miamii, a Broadcast Journalism graduate with a passion for blogging. I discovered my talent at University, as part of a module all about maintaining blogs! At first, I was interested in technology and became a critically acclaimed tech-blogger, landing a role at T3 and a technology consultancy.

Now, I’m a beauty blogger and PR consultant with a whole host of journalism experience ranging from interning at many regional and national publications including Closer, Heat and Ealing Gazette.

Prior to starting a WordPress, I use Blogger – or Blogspot as it’s most commonly known… Having said that, WordPress wins the Best-For-Blogging award, hands down!

When I’m not blogging or working, I’m either horseriding, in the gym or eating. I like to shop and go to the cinema often too.

Alright, well, that’s enough about me… I look forward to getting to know YOU!

– Miamii ♡

31430m_l
Photo Credit: The Body Shop

Our cult lip balm in a pot. Gives colour, flavour and moisture for more kissable lips.

At the cost of just £2, this product is a complete and utter bargain! Upon opening The Body Shop‘s Born Lippy – Raspberry, the waft of sweet raspberries filled my nostrils. I mean, it smells good enough to eat! Trying to avoid the temptation of eating the whole thing, I began by lathering it on my lips. Although my self-control was at an all-time high, I succumbed to the idea of a cheeky lick of my lips (for this review, of course). Anyway, I was surprised that it even tasted like raspberries too…

 

Once ‘Born Lippy’ was on my lips, I noticed that it had the look of a lip tint, the shine of a gloss and the feel of an ordinary lip balm. It hydrated, and conditioned my lips while giving them that sought-after “kissable”/”just kissed” look. One thing to note about this product is that it comes in a pot. This means that you’ll need to apply it with your fingertips – and the formula is quite sticky. Although my fingertips would stick together, my lips wouldn’t. Also, although it came in a 10ml pot, this goes a long way – mine, in particular, has lasted months! I’ve got a confession to make… I don’t just own the raspberry flavour, I own the Satsuma Shimmer  and Watermelon ‘Born Lippies’ too.

All of them do the same job, are packaged the same and have the same sticky texture but they each look, smell, and taste different. For example, the Watermelon one gives a nude-peachy shine while Satsuma Shimmer gives a orangey-golden glittery tint to the lips. Finally, it’s obvious that the Watermelon flavour would taste and smell like watermelons, while Satsuma Shimmer tastes and smells like oranges – that’s a given really…

magic-foundation_07
Photo Credit:
My Magic Foundation is a miracle in a bottle that transforms skin for all ages, skin tones and skin types. I have worked with laboratories for five years to create a “hyper-intelligent” formula that gives full-coverage yet feels completely weightless, with all the anti-ageing and protective benefits of a luxury skin cream. It conceals imperfections, glides on like a dream, and literally feels like a second skin. Whether your skin needs just a bit of perfecting, or you struggle with a frustrating issue like acne, melasma or rosacea, my Magic Foundation will give you a perfect looking skin day, every day!
Charlotte Tilbury‘s Magic Foundation was my top beauty buy of 2015. On the website, it’s described as a “miracle foundation that transforms skin of all ages, skin-tones, and skin types” – I couldn’t agree more.

 

Apparently, this product was five years in the making. Its “hyper-intelligent” formula covers imperfections beautifully but feels completely weightless on the skin. What’s more, it packs all the protective and anti-ageing benefits of a premium cream into a tiny 30ml bottle, meaning that you can wear it on its own – instead of your moisturiser.

 

Although the bottle is small, a little of this foundation goes a long way – providing that you use a good brush/beauty blender to spread it evenly. Personally, I find that this foundation is very easy to blend and has maximum staying power. So, whether you’re accidentally rubbing your face or walking out in the wind/rain, it doesn’t budge.

 

As you may know, I used to suffer from acne, so I’ve got plenty of acne scars (which this conceals very well). If your skin needs a pick-me-up or  you struggle form skin problems (like me) choose Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation because it’ll keep you skin looking “on fleek”.

 

magic-cream_lid-off_1
Photo Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

My secret’s out… Over the past 20 years I’ve been mixing my own age-defying skincare known in the industry as CHARLOTTE’S MAGIC CREAM. I’ve been testing it backstage for years and models and my regular clients are already hooked. It’s a secret mix of patented anti-age ingredients, a hyaluronic acid booster plus floral extracts that lift and transform tired skin in an instant! Think of a wilting flower that’s just been watered – skin is flooded with moisture for a glowing complexion in a flash, no matter how dehydrated or lacklustre your skin may look.

A break-through, multi-tasking ingredient, the BioNymph Peptide Complex, fights the ageing process on all fronts: it stimulates collagen production and cell energy and fights free radicals, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth the skin. A hyaluronic acid booster called Sodium Hyaluronate floods skin with moisture, re-plumping the skin. And an infusion of rose hip oil and vitamin E bring your complexion back to life. Whether you’re stressed at your desk, dehydrated after a long-haul flight or an all-night hedonist with hungover skin, cheat the appearance of 8 hours sleep with CHARLOTTE’S MAGIC CREAM, for a lasting dewy, plumped-up finish. It’s one of my seven wonders for your skin!

Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream is incredible. It may be expensive, but it lasts a very long time so it works out cheaper in the long run…

So, this cream costs £70 but is so worth it! I mean, you can’t put a price on good skin. It had been in the pipeline for 20 years, but now it’s finally out on the beauty counters of many prestigious department stores. Prior to unveiling the cream commercially, Charlotte had been using it on models and regular clients for many years. All of them were hooked, including me!

 

I mean, it’s not just Victoria who has a secret… Charlotte Tilbury’s got one too… But, what’s hers? This cream. It includes a secret mix of patented anti-age ingredients, a hyaluronic acid booster, and flower extracts to lift and transform tired looking skin in an instant. It leaves your skin looking lively with a glowing complexion, no matter how dehydrated your skin is.

nip_fab-viper_venom_micro_blur-fix-40ml
Photo Credit: Nip + Fab

Nip + Fab Viper Venom Micro Blur Primer [RRP: £19.95]

The latest addition to our Viper Venom range, the Micro Blur Fix works to prime, blur and mattify the skin, for an instant flawless complexion so you’re selfie ready.   This innovative priming serum contains a concentrated blend of high-tech ingredients to reduce the appearance of pores, diminish signs of oil on the skin and give an instant blurring effect for matte, selfie ready skin. The addition of wonder ingredient  SYN®-AKE also works to instantly freeze lines for a smooth finish.

What’s the secret behind a great selfie? This! Nip + Fab‘s Viper Venom Micro Blur Fix is the only primer you’ll ever need… Apart from the fact that it smells amazing (like all other Nip + Fab products), it primes, blurs and mattifies the skin resulting in that flawless picture-perfect look. Kylie Jenner [brand ambassador of Nip + Fab] describes this product as the go-to primer if you’re looking for “a dewy selfie look”.

The latest addition to Nip + Fab’s Viper Venom range includes “a concentrated blend of high-tech ingredients” which reduce the look of pores, and absorb excess oils to showcase matte, selfie-ready skin. Nip + Fab’s website states that the best time to wear this is directly after cleansing our skin, advising that we should leave it to sink in for five minutes before applying our make-up.

dragons-blood-fix-plumping-serum_with_superdrug_award_logo_web
Photo Credit: Nip + Fab

Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Serum [RRP: £19.95]

A lightweight serum that delivers an instant shot of moisture to dehydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid and delicate velvet flower blend together for an intensive hydrating effect that leaves skin feeling comforted and looking plumper with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles reduced.

A little bit of de-ja-vu never hurt nobody…  Now, we’re on to one of my favourite beauty buys of the moment! Nip + Fab’s Dragon’s Blood Fix Serum, enriched with velvet flower, is a lightweight serum that seeps into the skin quickly and effectively. Its main job is to plump and moisturise the skin. Voted ‘Best Intensive Hydrating Serum’ by Superdrug, Dragon’s Blood Fix sits perfectly underneath make-up but could also be mixed with a foundation of your choice – as I later found out.

Being someone who likes to experiment, I’ve tried wearing it underneath, on-top of as well as with my make-up [as mentioned in the above paragraph]. But, I’ve found that it works best with! I like to think of myself as a trend-setter so I decided to purchase the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops and mix it with Nip + Fab’s Dragon Blood Fix and the result was that of a high coverage tinted moisturiser.

 

studio-fix-powder-foundation
Photo Credit: M.A.C

M.A.C Studio Fix Powder Plus [Day, £22]

Studio Fix is a powder and foundation in one that combines good coverage with ease of application. Designed to be used dry, the powder and pigments create a matte, velvety texture. It contains Silica, which helps to maintain a matte finish by absorbing oils on the skin, as well as Talc to provide a smoother, less reflective, matte finish. The talc has been milled to a microscopic size to provide a beautiful texture while allowing the skin to breathe. It is available in a wide range of colours. It can be applied with a brush, sponge, or a powder puff.

As you know, I tend to have oily, combination and acne-prone skin. It’s relatively hard to find a foundation that doesn’t break me out. Although I prefer the feel of cream foundations, I’ve been using powder ones for a while now and they seems to get the job done. What’s more, they don’t break me out as they absorb all the excess oils.

M.A.C‘s Studio Fix Powder Plus is one of the best daywear foundations I have ever used. I love it because it’s fragrant-free, and comes in a range of colours that won’t leave your skin looking ashy. The addition of Talc gives my skin a matte-finish. I found that this foundation sits on the skin really well, covering up all of its imperfections. I tend to apply it with Real Techniques‘ Miracle Complexion Sponge because it gives a more flawless coverage.

airbrushfoundationthree
Photo Credit: Rodial

Rodial Airbrush Make-Up [Night, £35]

A versatile, heavy duty foundation paste with buildable coverage, this is an absolute wonder product for achieving flawless, photo ready skin with airbrush effect. This unique formula offers ‘airbrush correction’ in one-step for perfect and instant camouflage with a satin-luminous finish. This thick creamy paste, despite the heavy coverage it provides, will feel lightweight on the skin and sits beautifully. Available in 4 shades. Shade 02 is ideal for those with a neutral beige, medium complexion with a slightly warmer tone.

Another bit of de-ja-vu, anyone? Back we go to this bad boy! I may not like the look and feel of this foundation in the daytime, but I love it in the nighttime. As I said in the previous post, Rodial‘s Airbrush Make-Up has a PVA-glue paste type of texture that is hard to glide on alone. Ideally, you’d need some sort of oil to liquidise it and make it easier to apply. I use The Body Shop‘s Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil and it works an absolute treat!

Once applied, you’ll notice that it gives a camouflage effect, covering up even the most minuscule of imperfections. It reveals amazing coverage even when the smallest amount of product is used.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Photo Credit: Cargo Cosmetics

Cargo Contour Palette [Day, £36.00]

Contouring made easy! Trio of expertly coordinated shades and textures to contour, color and highlight the face.

I watch my fair share of make-up tutorial videos, and they all say the same thing… If you’re using a powder foundation, do not use a liquid or cream contour kit. So, seeing as I love to use M.A.C’s Studio Fix Powder Plus, it’s makes sense to use a powder contour palette… Enter Cargo‘s Contour palette!

This is one of those contour palettes that I cannot get enough of… Regardless of its price, this powder contour palette will be your best friend for life. It comes in the most beautiful array of shades, providing a sheer and an easy to blend coverage. I use Real Techniques’ Sculpting Brush to apply it as I find that it works the best.

contour-cream-kit-medium
Photo Credit: Anastasia Beverly Hills

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit [Night, $40]

This best-selling, easy-to-use palette contains three highlighting and three contouring shades that work together to help you sculpt, define, and enhance your natural features. Create the illusion of higher cheekbones, a smaller forehead, a softer jawline, or a slimmer nose with these smooth, velvety formulas that blend seamlessly while imparting a subtle, dewy sheen.

Every MUA I know of seems to own an Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit. I mean, I sometimes cannot believe how much hype surrounds it.

I love this stuff. I’m not lying when I say that it’s one of the best cream contour kits out there. However, you need a lot of patience when applying this product. The best way to apply this product is with your fingers, and then blending with a beauty blender of your choice. Please bear in mind that this is by far the most difficult contour kit to blend.

I find that the sellotape trick works fabulously on this product! Start by sellotaping the areas of your face in which you wish to contour and highlight, then add the cream contour  on top, stripping the pieces away when finished to reveal fine sculpting lines ready to blend away. Without the sellotape trick, you’d find it extremely messy and difficult to blend.

4271
Photo Credit: L.A Girl

L.A. Girl Matte Pigment Gloss in Dreamy [Day, $5.00]

Blurring the lines between lipstick and lip gloss, Matte Pigment Gloss has already become a favorite of makeup artists, blogger and fans. These 16 bold shades provide rich, intense color in a flat finish for all day wear. The long wearing formula goes on as a high pigmented liquid and dries to a flat matte finish. Leaving lips colored in gorgeous velvety perfection that last and lasts.

If you know me, you’d know that I’m obsessed with these matte pigmented lip glosses. They come in 16 colours that last almost all day without transferring. I would say that you need to find a colour that’s right for you [from my experience] because not all of them look great on. Once you find the right colour for you, make sure you stick to it!

L.A. Girl‘s matte pigmented lip gloss is cheap, and very easy to apply using the doe-foot lip brush attached. Ideally, you’d need to apply two coats if you want to see the colour pop. If you wish to wear more than two coats, please be aware that the gloss becomes really sticky on the lips and won’t dry quick enough.

The only bad thing I’ve got to say about this product is that it feels tacky on the lips. Although it didn’t dry my lips out, the gloss dried up on my lips instantly and begun flaking off towards the end of the day. But, for $5, it’s a complete and utter bargain!

red-carpet-red-bullet
Photo Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red [Night, £23]

Create the illusion of fuller, wider lips with my Matte Revolution – for lips that look lit from within. It’s a trick I use all the time on photo shoots, using lighting trickery, pigments and powders, and have been working for years to re-create this effect in the slick of 1 lipstick. Now everyone can create this full, matte lip effect in a long-lasting, buildable, hydrating formula – it’s the matte lipstick of the future! Exclusively enriched with Lipstick Tree extract which protects lips and is a natural anti-oxidant, and Orchid Extract which soothes and hydrates for a soft, buildable cashmere finish. Available in 10 modern-matte shades for all skin tones – 1 for each of my signature looks. Red Carpet Red is a true ruby red to bestow Hollywood style wow-factor – think Scarlett Johansson, Marilyn Monroe and Michelle Williams

My favourite lipstick ever is from Charlotte Tilbury‘s range of Matte Revolution lipsticks! I’ve got one in the shade: ‘Red Carpet Red’ and I can’t be without it… Although I’ve chosen Red Carpet Red, there are plenty of other beautiful shades to choose from. I wear it both during the day and at night [when I’m out] and I get complimented on it everywhere I go. Matte lipsticks work best on my lips because the smooth-look suits me more than that of the shiny.

I may have tiny lips, but this lipstick creates the illusion that I’ve got fuller and wider lips in a flash! The only bad thing I’ve got to say about it product is that it does smudge and transfer pretty easily, I found out in the most embarrassing way. I’d smile at people with bright red teeth [from the lipstick] and as you can imagine, that’s not a good look! Other than that, I’m obsessed with it and can’t get enough. My top tip would be: make sure you schedule check-ups regularly when you’re out – this’ll eliminate embarrassing situations where you’re smiling at someone with bright red teeth!

8891036434462
Photo Credit: Boots

MaxFactor Masterpiece High Volume Mascara [RRP:£9.99]

Finding a high impact volumising mascara that doesn’t leave your lashes looking clumpy and clogged can be a challenge.  Masterpiece Max Mascara is he next generation of mascara.  It delivers bold, thick lashes with up to 400% volume* but defines and smoothes at the same time for a surprisingly, sleek effect.  One swipe of its high tech IFX brush gives a chic, catwalk finish in seconds – no wonder it was the official mascara of Milan Fashion Week! For beautifully framed eyes check out Masterpiece Mascara, also available as Waterproof.

I refuse to change this mascara because: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’… MaxFactor‘s Masterpiece Max Mascara is perfect for my naturally long-ish eyelashes. With two coats of this stuff, all my lashes get covered and are lifted/curled to reveal even longer-looking lashes. Being a lover of thick eyelashes, I promise that no mascara will give you a thickness as good as this one does!

teatree2
Photo Credit: Lush Cosmetics

LUSH Tea Tree Water [RRP: £8.50]

Keep skin clear and refreshed. Tea tree is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial, so can help keep away the bacteria that can cause spots. Grapefruit is rich in vitamins and is also lightly astringent on the skin, whilst juniperberry is antiseptic and helps keep skin clean and clear. Use any time of day to keep skin refreshed, or to remove traces of makeup or cleanser.

Third time lucky – #DeJaVu, please welcome the Holy Grail of all Toner Waters… There’s not much to say about this product apart from: it’s perfect. I am loving LUSH‘s products at the minute and am starting to use everything from there. Whether it’s their bath bombes, lip scrubs, cleansers, masks or toners, I guarantee you won’t find a brand as natural and cost effective.

Anyway, back to Tea Tree Water, I spray this stuff on to set my make-up and bizarrely, it leaves my skin looking as though I’m not wearing anything. I find that it also gives my skin a natural glow… So, if you’re looking for a spray that sets your make-up in place and absorbs quickly – this is your jam!

Again, I give these products 5***** because I don’t think my make-up would look as good as it does without them!

unnamed
Me since using John Frieda

I’ve always had a love affair with my hair, since I was a little girl… Although my natural hair colour is dark brown with a red tint, I’ve dyed it a hell of a lot to the point where it’s lost its identity. My experiments include adding highlights, lowlights, dying it red, ginger, plum, midnight blue, you name it – I’ve tried it. However, I’d never really thought of dying it blonde, until last year!

In the Spring of 2015, I decided to dip-dye my hair before going on holiday because I wanted that sun-kissed look and feel to my hair. I enjoyed being “half-blonde” so much that when I got back, I decided that I wanted the full transformation. Not being one to wait around, I booked an appointment with my hairdresser and had it done straight away.

Now, this post isn’t about hair dye nor is it about how to begin the transition from brunette to blonde… Instead, this post is about how to maintain your blonde locks after dying them – as well as a chance for me to proclaim my undying love for John Frieda (the haircare brand, of course). John Frieda is a celebrity hairdresser and the founder of the John Frieda salons and product ranges. But, in 2002, John Frieda sold his product businesses to Kao Corporation, a Japan-based company. Although Frieda sold his product ranges, they’re still available to buy across America, UK amongst other countries.

When I was a redhead, my go-to shampoo and conditioner came from his Radiant Red Colour range. My hair gradually became glossier and more radiant with the colour feeling better enhanced after each wash. I used the Brilliant Brunette range throughout my time as a brunette and found that they gave an added richness to my hair as well as leaving it smelling sweet like chocolate. So, it’s no surprise that I had to buy the Sheer Blonde Go Blonder range when I completed the transition to blonde…

sb-go-blonder-controlled-lightening-spray_old
Photo Credit: John Frieda

I’ll begin by discussing my favourite product – the Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray. Whether you’ve highlighted your hair or are a natural blonde, this product is amazing! Your hair will appear at least two shades lighter after just one use. What’s more, it’ll leave your hair feeling soft, looking shiny and photo-ready. A tip when using this product would be to spray it all over your hair before styling and/or going out into the sun. The heat from the sun or styling appliance will further lighten your hair, giving it that just coloured look.

71BRnncQczL._SL1500_
Photo Credit: John Frieda

Although I love them all, my second favourite product has to be the sulfate-free Sheer Blonde Go Blonder conditioning treatment. I love this stuff because it repairs the hair, and the more you use it, the softer and more manageable your hair becomes. John Frieda recommends that you apply this onto your hair after shampooing for three minutes (if you’re using it every day) or for 15 if you’re using it once a week.

We all know that dying our hair often leaves it dry, malnourished and brittle. If this is the case, hairdressers often recommend that you try a Brazilian Keratin treatment which repairs from root to tip, helping to restore its strength thus making it easier to maintain. However, if you end up going ahead with the keratin treatment, you won’t be able to use shampoos, conditioners and hair masks which contain sulfate. Therefore, John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Go Blonder conditioning treatment is the perfect option.
Unknown
Photo Credit: John Frieda
71563lBcp8L._SL1500_
Photo Credit: John Frieda
Lastly, onto the Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Highlight Activating Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner… One thing to note about this is that there are more than one version of this shampoo. I’ve opted for the highlight activating one (which comes with a pump) because it lightens and moisturises the hair too. Although these shampoos have sulfate in them, they’re amazing. Mine last a hell of a long time and hold the colour in place pretty well. The rest is a given really, it cleans, and leaves your hair silky smooth.

 

P.S. These products are not to be used as a means of changing your hair colour. They’re simply there to lighten and brighten your blonde shades, enhancing and locking in the colour that’s already there.