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Maha Matar

    BEAUTY, BRAND TALK

    e.l.f New Products Review + swatches

    I have to say e.l.f has come a long way from the cosmetics brand I once used many years back. They definitely have stepped up their game and I’m so glad they did as some of these products are my new go-to. Not only because they are uber affordable but because they have proved themselves to work just as well as my higher end products.

    Flawless Finish Foundation in “Nude”

    Prep & Blur stick

    Liquid Matte lipstick in “Blushing Rose”

    16HR Camo concealer in “Tan Sand”

    Dewy Setting Mist

    18 Hit Wonders Eyeshadow Palette

    Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Finishing Powder in “Medium-Dark”

    Here’s how I tested the wearability of the products listed above. I wanted to create a “no makeup makeup look while looking polished and well rested, and definitely not made up. Here is the final look:

    makeup no makeup look makeup no makeup look

    (Unedited, NO photoshop, NO Facetune, Raw image of me in e.l.f cosmetics base makeup)

    16 Hr Camo Concealer $9

    I was really really really  impressed with the 16hR camo concealer. It reminded me of NARS creamy concealer but without the hefty price tag. Done’t get me wrong, I don’t mind paying for good quality makeup but if I can find something that works just as well for less than 90% of the cost, ” Imma go buy it” real quick 🙂

    elf concealer camo 16 hr

    The concealer is super creamy and thick so a little goes a long way to achieve full coverage. It covers redness, blemishes and under eye darkness beautifully and literally melts into your skin. As I applied it, I had to keep checking the label to ensure I didn’t pick up my Chanel or Nars concealers because I was so surprised at the quality of this product. I paid $9 for this tube of golden creamy goodness! One swipe was all I needed to fully cover my mommy bags. I’m shook! 🙂

    It’s sold in 18 different shades. I bought “Tan Sand” but I could probably wear a shade lighter. The coverage lasted a good 10 hrs and I used “Beautifully bare sheer tint “in medium-tan to set it. I honestly can go on and on about this concealer but I don’t have too because I know you guys trust me so just go get it and try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

    Prep & Blur stick $8

    If you use makeup primer before makeup application then the prep and blur is going to be your best friend.
    It’s a sheer, silicone free product that claims to blur imperfections and fills in pores. I can’t really comment on the blurring claim e.l.f makes with this product but I agree that it preps your skin for foundation very nicely. It really smoothed out my skin and my foundation applied effortlessly even with a dry beauty blender (oops I forgot to wet it)!

    prep and blur stick e.l.f

    Overall I really liked the prep & blur stick, but I use it more for prepping my skin and not so much for filling in pores. It gives you a nice smooth finish.

    Flawless Finish Foundation $8

    This foundation comes in 40 shades. I bought shade “Nude”, but could have also matched “Sand”. This foundation is e.l.f.’s best seller. It’s a lightweight, oil-free formula that dries to a semi-matte finish.

     

    e.l.f foundation photo“Flawless Finish” for a drugstore brand foundation is exceptionally good.  It ‘s a hydrating, buildable foundation that blends out really nicely, not streaky. You can use a beauty blender or brush and the results will be good either way. I wouldn’t say this is my HG foundation but it does cover redness, and imperfections really well. For the price tag, it’s a good purchase.

    Liquid Matte Lipstick $7

    “Blushing Rose ” is a darker pinkish matte shade. The formula contains vitamin E so it’s supposed to be hydrating to the lips, but unfortunately it really didn’t live up to that claim. My lips did feel a bit dry but that’s mostly the case with a lot of matte lipsticks.

    The matte finish lasted a couple of hours and did start to weaken after a meal, which has happened even with luxury brand matte lipsticks. I just reapplied and the colour looked great again with no cakey feeling. I would definitely purchase this in various colours as I’m the type that likes to have multiple shades within my reach and for the price tag can you blame me ?

    e.l.f. tea rose photo matte lipstick            e.l.f. tea rose photo matte lipstick

    Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint $8

    This product, IMO, is the real star of my post!

    I’m a loyal MAC pressed powder ( medium dark ) and now I’ve been converted to this amazing product. As you can see from the photos above, I look a bit more tanned than usual, and that’s because I’m wearing Medium-Dark in Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint. I didn’t really notice that it was too dark for me until I took the photos, so the next day I went out and bought Light-Medium and it’s so so good on the face! Perfect match!

    e.l.f beautifully bare sheer tint photo

    I’m obsessed! 

    It’s a silky mattifying finishing powder that gives you light – medium coverage and comes in 5 shades. I know the name of the product is “Bare Sheer tint” but that’s not the case. You actually get light – medium coverage. I used it to set my “16 HR Camo concealer” and foundation. I don’t know if it’s supposed to do this but it smoothed out my skin and accentuated my olive skin tone. I like that my natural skin tone wasn’t masked, it just made it look better! I don’t know how, but it did. It’s a matte formula so if you like to shine bright like a diamond, this may not be for you.

    This is an amazing product that I will be buying from now on. It’s that good. No joke. Go try it out!

    Dewy Setting Mist $11

    I think by now I have around 15-20 setting sprays, but I decided to add one more to my collection.  After several uses of this setting mist, I didn’t like it. Aside from the amazing fragrance, coconut, the product itself fell short for me. It sprayed out way too much product, which I believe is a waste. I didn’t notice my skin was dewy even after using it on a bare face. I actually prefer e.l.f’s original setting spray, “Makeup Mist & Set “over this one. I’ll continue using it but I don’t think I will repurchase.

    e.l.f dewy setting mist

    18 Hit Wonders EyeShadow Palette $14

     I’ve used e.l.f eyeshadows in the past and I wasn’t too impressed with them. They were chalky, didn’t blend well at all and the pigmentation was not great. I think e.l.f cosmetics took notice of this and decided to revamp their shadows because HOLY MOLY they have a real winner with this gorgeous palette!

    e.l.f cosmetics 18 wonder palette

     

    From the e.l.f website I quote:

    This vibrant, colorful 18-pan palette contains only the best, most swatch-worthy shades, designed to inspire bold, vibrant eyeshadow looks. We included a mix of matte, satin and shimmer shades. The luxe formula is smooth, creamy, blendable and ultra-pigmented for effortless application.

    So everything e.l.f cosmetics mentioned above is REAL! They are super creamy, super bendable, ultra-pigmented and easy to apply. I couldn’t have described it better myself, I wasn’t expecting to love this palette as much as I do. I was in need of a vibrant spring palette and I found it. So so good! 

    e.l.f cosmetics 18 hour wear palette

    e.l.f palette photo

    “Heat”, “Shade”, “Royal”

    So to sum up my post, I am really happy to see that e.l.f cosmetics has stepped up their game. There are a few products I will be repurchasing, especially the ” Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint”, “16 HR Camo Concealer “and  ” 18 Hit Wonders Eyeshadow Palette”. 

    Have you used any of these e.l.f cosmetic products? If so , please leave a comment below !

     

    XO, MAHA

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    BEAUTY

    For FOMO I tried the latest Quartz Rolling trend!

    My latest FOMO craze is Quartz rolling.  

    Wait…is it still cool to say FOMO? 

    I first started to hear some buzz about  jade and quartz rolling while reading an article on one of my favourite blogs – Career Girl Daily London. The editor was raving about how the rose quartz facial roller helped her combat under eye puffiness and was heaven sent so we all need to have one in our drawers. Interesting I thought, but didn’t feel the need to jump on the bandwagon just yet. 

    What got me to wonder if I was missing out on a possibly great beauty practice was when Marianna Hewitt, one of two youtubers I watch regularly started raving about them, so of course I literally booted it out of the house to buy a rose quartz roller and just as the cold chilly air hit my face I realized, I’m crazy,  I don’t have to do this. I drove my car right back into my parking spot, flung the door open to my toasty home and ordered one off of amazon like an adult! Next day shipping …CHECK!

    rose quartz roller photo

     

    What is a quartz roller?

    A quartz roller is a handheld massaging tool which is made out of rose quartz stone heads used to reduce under-eye swelling, and help products absorb better into your skin. There are two stones on the tool, the smallest to be used around the delicate or smaller areas such as the eyes, chin and the bigger stone for forehead, jawline and cheek area. 

    Benefits of a quartz roller 

    The quartz roller is not new to the beauty world, actually the fabulous Chinese women have been using this nifty beauty tool since the 7th century to reduce fine lines, increase blood circulation and brighten complexion. They also used jade rollers that were believed to have healing properties. The quartz roller can also soften fine lines, and reduce puffiness and inflammation in the face as it stimulates the lymphatic system. 

    rose quartz roller photo

    How do I use one? 

    It’s super simple to use. Click here for a 1 minute and 50 sec video I watched to help me master my rolling technique . This instructional video is definitely one of the best ones out there and super easy to follow. Trust me when I tell you that there is a technique and order to rolling but it’s also simple and relaxing to do. 

    I just want to emphasize that you should never use the quartz or jade roller dry on your skin. You can use your fave serum or moisturizer to help the roller gently glide along your skin. You never want to feel like your tugging at the skin with your roller. 

    rose quartz roller photo

    So, I follow the exact method used in the video every night. I don’t have a lot of time in the morning to quartz roll, so I do it at night after cleansing. It’s been 1.5 months that I’ve been rolling ( lol) and I love it so much. I can definitely see less puffiness around my eyes and under my jaw /chin area mostly, thanks to the draining of the lymphatic system of course. My complexion is bright and I can feel my products working extra hard as they are being pushed deep into the skin.

    If you want to kick it up a notch you can always put the roller in the freezer for a few minutes to really get a good pickle up in the morning! Overall, I’m in love with quartz rolling. I can see the benefits instantly and it gives me a chance to give my skin the extra TLC it so deserves.

    If you’re interested in ordering the same quartz roller I have, click here.  This is NOT an affiliated link so I will NOT receive a commission.

    Please leave a comment if you’ve decided to incorporate quartz or jade rolling into your daily skin care regime! I love hearing your feedback!

    XO, MAHA

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    BEAUTY

    Serums…what are they and do I need one?

    I received such great feedback on my last post that I decided to write another one highlighting another product I believe is fundamental to achieving a flawless ( or darn close to one) complexion. I introduce to you , the world of serums. 

    What is a serum?

    A Serum can be applied to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing. Serums are made up of smaller molecules so a well formulated serum delivers loads of powerful active ingredients directly into your skin. They literally have one job and that’s to penetrate into the outer layer of your skin to deliver these active ingredients. I like to think of a serums like boosters for your skin. Yes, of course you can do without one and you’ll be fine, but after knowing the benefits of using a serum, why would you skip it? It literally elevates your skincare regime to supreme status!

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    BEAUTY

    Exfoliating Toners…what are they and do I need one?

    New Year, New skin? Possibly!

    Have you heard of Exfoliating toners or Acid Toners as they are sometimes referred to? If you’re not using one trust me, you’re missing out on the multitude of benefits.

    First off, I wanted to write this post specifically on this topic as I was speaking to one of my girlfriends, whom I adore deeply, but would not allow me to use her name on my blog so we will use an alias and call her “Sheera” ( sorry, but you should have let me use your real name!)

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    BEAUTY

    CLASSIC RED LIP

    It’s no secret that I have a love affair with red lipstick! Any chance I have to rock red lips…you bet ya I’m taking it.

    With New Years today and holiday parties and festivities still going on , I wanted to give you a run down of the “Classic Red Lipsticks” I have grown to love and some I have not yet tried but are on my TO TRY list for 2019!

    If you want a step by step on “how to apply a red lip” click on this post I wrote here.

    WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    COLLAGE OF THE BEST RED LIPSTICKS


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    BEAUTY

    Esqido Gin & Tonic Unisyn Lashes + GIVEAWAY!

    I have tried numerous lash brands on the market but Esqido seems to be the brand I gravitate towards.  Their lashes always have a great fit for my almond eyes. They are super light and comfortable to wear.

    Esqido sent me their latest Unisyn Gin & Tonic in PR and it was love at first sight.

    The Gin & Tonic lashes are natural, flirty, full volume lashes. These are my FAVOURITE so far! I have now worn them twice and love how they make my eyes pop. The Unisyn lashes are handcrafted, synthetic fibres that can be easily washed and worn over and over again! This to me is so important! I refuse to pay over $20 for lashes and I only get 1 wear out of them.

    Nope,  I need a few more than that!


    First time I wore the Gin & Tonic lashes was for my Birthday bash that my sisters threw for me over the weekend. I knew I made the perfect choice wearing them out that night. True they aren’t as wispy on the ends, like I usually like my lashes to be,  but I added a smokey eye to my look , so the lashes paired with my makeup was the perfect amount of pop! To give the eye look “extra”pop, I lined the inner + upper rims of my eyes in the deepest black kohl liner I could find. I feel it adds extra depth and volume to the lash look.

    I received so so so many compliments on these lashes. Did you notice how many “so’s” I put in that sentence! It was a lot!

    But don’t get me wrong, you can also wear them for casual day out with minimal makeup. They are very versatile. I wore mine out grocery shopping with the kids. I was able to snap a few good pictures as well 🙂

    Minimal makeup in the photo below, and still the lashes make my eyes pop! No black kohl pencil or mascara needed, just a good pair of lashes with volume!

    Side view of the lashes in the photo below. I love the length of the Gin & Tonic lashes. They are 4-12mm in length so not too long that they touch your upper brows ( yep I have worn those types of lashes as well!). The lash band is handcrafted cotton, so easy to apply and even easier to clean. You can bend the lashes any which way and they won’t lose their shape.

    HOW TO APPLY ESQIDO LASHES:

    Esqido gives you a comprehensive guide on how to apply their lashes here !Highly recommend it if you have never applied lashes or need a refresher. After one try you’ll be a pro.

    WHAT GLUE SHOULD I USE?

    Esqido recommends using their lash glue that comes in a sleek opaque bottle. It’s super sexy for a lash glue to be honest 🙂 It dries quickly and does not leave any white residue once fully dry. I love their Companion Eyelash Glue and use it all the time, even on non Esqido lashes. You can buy it off their site here .

    HOW TO CARE FOR ESQIDO LASHES?

    Do not wash them. After each wear, just ensure you remove the residual glue from the band, that’s all!

    Are you curious to try out a pair of Unisyn Gin & Tonic lashes ? If so, please follow me on IG and comment on the Esqido post and you can be selected to win a pair.

    Good Luck Beauties!!

     

    XO, MAHA 

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