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Maha Matar

    BEAUTY, BRAND TALK

    Introducing Skin Chemists London – Caviar For The Skin!

    Skin Chemists is a new brand to the blog and I ‘m pretty excited to be collaborating with them. Their main headquarters is in London, UK with satellite presence in the United States. I was gifted with the following  products to test out for blog: Anti-Aging Day Moisturizer and Caviar Facial Serum.

     

    SKIN CHEMISTS PHOTO

     

    The Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($69) was created to hydrate, smooth and  brighten the skin. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t pill if worn under makeup. What I really enjoyed about this moisturizer is that it has anti-oxidant benefits and can be massaged and absorbed easily on the skin. 1.5-2 pumps was all I needed to cover my whole face.  This formula does not have SPF so that’s a drawback for me but I can easily add SPF on it’s own and we’re good to go.

     

    skin chemists photo

    Skin Chemists Anti-aging Caviar Facial Serum ($88) was created to hydrate, plump and improve overall skin complexion.

    The serum contains ingredients such as Caviar extract which aids in improving skins elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines.  Aloe Vera works wonders at soothing and moisturizing the skin instantly and seaweed extract deeply hydrates the skin and contains ant-oxidizing properties.

    My thoughts on this product are a bit mixed. I loved how the moisturizer and serum felt on my skin. It felt as if I was rubbing silk into my skin, no joke! It’s a great formula and my skin really did look brighter, more radiant and hydrated. The mix of the potent ingredients definitely benefits your skin and the overall look and feel is amazing. What I didn’t’ like about the products is that I used them up quicker than expected. I don’t know if I pumped too much product or if the bottle dispensed too much product. I’m leaning towards me dispensing too much product.

    Overall, I’m super excited to see the long-term effects of the moisturizer + serum as I’m hoping to grab another supply of these products to fully ascertain their true benefits.

    Have you tried any Skin Chemists products? Please share your experiences in the comments !

     

    XO, MAHA

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    BEAUTY, BRAND TALK

    WINTER SKIN SAVIOUR – L’Oréal Revitalift Derm Intensive 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid

    I’m not sure what part of the world you’re reading this blog from but if you’re in North America than you would know what a drawn out, cold and dreary winter we recently experienced. When winters are this harsh, skin definitely needs a surge of healthy ingredients to bring it back to healthy! I know mine does !

    I’m so excited to  introduce you to L’Oréal’s Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum, gosh that’s a long name! L’Oréal HA serum is new to the Revitalift product line up and it had such great reviews we had to test it out for ourselves  and obviously give our 2 cents 🙂

     

    hyaluronic acid L'Oreal serum

    First, let me tell you why Hyaluronic Acid is important. HA occurs naturally in our system and keeps skin hydrated, smooth and plump. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever right?  Ageing and environmental factors contribute to the decrease of  HA levels and due to the loss of moisture you start to see the fine lines , dullness and uneven tone on your skin.  HA helps repair the skin’s barrier and attract water to the surface, which results in a plumping effect. It’s completely safe to use even though it’s an acid. It’s not the same acid as  lactic or glycolic which are used to exfoliate dead skin  and sometimes can cause irritation. HA is completely safe to use on the surface of your skin.

    The fragrance free serum contains 1.5% of Hyaluronic Acid ( that’s a potent amount ) and can be used morning and night, alone or under makeup. The product absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves a slight tacky feeling on the skin, but once you apply moisturiser and/or foundation, depending on your skincare routine, you won’t be able to feel the tackiness.

    L'Oreal hyaluronic acid serum photo

    All the claims, L’Oréal has made with this product are true! My skin instantly felt hydrated, plumped, and looked healthy and refreshed. You would never have noticed I had dry, dull, and lacklustre skin caused by harsh winds and frigid temperatures. After 2 weeks of consistent use, my skin looked and felt more supple, hydrated and had a very nice radiant glow. My smile lines were less noticeable because my skin had extra moisture in it due to a few drops of HA in the morning and night!  

    More moisture = less noticeable fine lines

    The HA serum is 2nd in the Revitalift Triple Power LZR product line up after cleansing and before Vitamin C serum. I would have loved to test out the Vitamin C + HA serum together, however, I had no luck in purchasing the Vitamin C serum as it was sold out in every drugstore I visited. L’Oréal Paris must be on to something if their products are selling out. 
    L'Oreal serum hyaloronic acid

    With the great results I’m seeing daily, I’ll definitely continue to use the Hyaluronic serum in my routine and at $32 per 30ML bottle it really is affordable and sustainable!

    Have you used any product from the REVITALIFT line? What are you thoughts on them?  Leave me a comment below as I love hearing from you!

     

    XO, MAHA 

     

     

     

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    Too Faced #Chocolatebarpalette Review

    A friend of mine gifted me the “Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons “palette for my birthday back in November and I just recently opened it up. 

    too faced palette bon bon

    Too Faced released this palette back in 2015 and since I never really got into their eyeshadows I didn’t have this in my collection. My lovely friend who is not a makeup connoisseur but enjoys these cheeky type products couldn’t believe I had never tried it so she made sure I had one to call my own.

    The only Too Faced product I own is the” born this way” foundation and it was a good introduction to the brand. Even though this is not a new , just released palette we wanted to test it out on the blog and give is a fair review. 

    The packaging is super cute and feminine! Pink all the way baby. The shadows are housed in heart shaped containers and smell devine! This palette is nicknamed #chocolatebarpalette for a good reason.

    Too faced chocolate bon bon eyeshadow palette swatches

    top to bottom

    Almond Truffle

    Sprinkles

    Molasses Chip

     

    Too faced chocolate bon bon eyeshadow palette swatches

    left to right

    Maleted

    Cashew Chew

    Cotton Candy

    Too faced chocolate bon bon eyeshadow palette swatches

    left to right

    Café Au Lait

    Bordeaux

    Mocha

    Too faced chocolate bon bon eyeshadow palette swatches

    left to right

    Black Currant

    Dark Truffle

    Pecan Praline

    Too faced chocolate bon bon eyeshadow palette swatches

    left to right

    Totally Fetch

    Earl Grey

    Satin Sheets

    Divinity

    bon bon too faced palette

    When I first opened up the packaging the cocoa powder fragrance is intense, but a sweet surprise. There are a total of 16 shadows , a mix of mattes and vibrant satin shimmers.

    The matte shadows are soft, bendable, have good colour pigmentation and work even better if you use an eyeshadow primer underneath. A few matte shades were  powdery and blotchy upon first application, but get better once you add more product and blend out. Malted gave me the most trouble to apply but that’s expected with intense dark matte colours Molasses Chip had the most pigmentation of all the matte shades and applied quite easily with little fall out. Overall,  I really liked the matte shades and Almond Truffle is the perfect neutral all over colour for olive skin tone. It’s my new favourite for a quick, well refined look.

    The satin shimmers are Totally Fetch, Cotton Candy,Black Current, and Café au Last. The first two, of course, being the most vibrant and in my opinion should be single shadows as they down fit into this mostly neutral palette. The shimmer shadows are OK. I experienced more fall out with these shades and they seemed more powdery then the mattes, which was really unexpected.

     Surprisingly, all the shades last a good 7 hours before I started to notice them sheering out on the lid. I don’t want to be repetitive but a good eyeshadow primer is necessary with this palette as I doubt they would have lasted without one. 

    Overall, I am not mad at this palette, but doubt I will repurchase. I enjoyed the mattes more so than the shimmer shades. I LOVE Almond Truffle and would buy it a single shadow. My next favourite would be Black Current, for the Fall season would be lovely.

    I doubt I will be hitting pan on this palette anytime soon, but would use it more often if they swapped out the vibrant shimmer shades and stuck to an all neutral palette with less powdery matte shades. Oh and ,of course, they MUST keep the cocoa fragrance  🙂 

    Have you tried this palette before? What are your thoughts?

     

    XO, MAHA 

     

     

     

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    FIRST EVER EMPTIES POST – MOISTURIZER EDITION!

    I’m more excited than I probably should be about this post 🙂

    This is my first ever empties post. I don’t know why I never did one before but here it is now.

    Obviously, I’ve saved these products over the course of many months. Traditionally, an empties post is done on products used up within that month but we’re rule breakers over here so we do what we like 🙂

    Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

    Confidence In A Cream- IT Cosmetics

    I did a full review on this product and you can read about it here. Bottom line is this product got me through a very harsh winter. It’s a very creamy and thick moisturizer which may turn some people off, but I loved it. It kept my skin hydrated and looked healthy and glow-y all day, every day. I ran out of it fairly quickly as I used more than I should but it just felt so good on the skin and helped me avoid the dreaded dry patches I usually get 🙂

    YES to repurchase!

    Secret Sauce – IT Cosmetics

    Secret Sauce is another IT Cosmetics winner. It’s full of amazing anti- aging ingredients like peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and licorice root. You know how much I love my Hyaluronic Acid.I loved how creamy this product was as well. If I put on moisturizer and I can’t actually feel the product on my skin or if it feels runny, it turns me off of it. I need to feel like my face is being coated with the softest most luxurious cotton money can buy, and Secret Sauce feels like this!  I also did a full review on this product here.

    YES to repurchase!

    Belif

    I use  a lot of moisturizer during the cold months. My skin becomes extremely dry so a good moisturizer is a necessity for me Belif moisturizing bomb is a great product if you’re like me and need extra hydration to your skin. I wouldn’t say this moisturizer has any anti-aging properties, but it will keep your skin looking plump. I wrote a whole review on this product and you can read about it here.

    YES to repurchase, but for the Spring / Summer I would switch to a product that has a thinner consistency as this moisturizer is really thick for warmer weather.

    YEHWADAM HEAVEN GINSENG REVITALIZING CREAM

    This line was formulated to prevent the signs of premature aging. The packaging of this product is very pretty and feminine. The Revitalizing Cream contains a blend of very exotic Korean based ingredients such as Safflower from Sancheong, Jiri Mountain that improvise skin tone and complexion ; Ginseng from Punggi and Goji Berry from Cheongyang that give long lasting hydration to the skin. I have repurchased this product about 3 times and have never been disappointed. Full review on the blog here

    YES to repurchase! I am obsessed with K-Beauty and this by far has been one of my fave moisturizes. I highly highly recommend this product if you want to brighten up your complexion. 

    SHISEIDO FUTURE SOLUTION XL NIGHT CREAM

     This product was gifted to me by SHISEIDO. I don’t have a lot of experience with the brand but have tried a few makeup products that I liked but, never repurchased any of them as I wasn’t totally blown away by their effectiveness. I’m not stating that they aren’t good products but they didn’t work out for me. This moisturizer on the other hand I fell in love with. I loved how luxurious it felt on my skin, and its fragrance was divine. As a night cream, it works very well as my skin felt brand new the next morning.

    I can’t comment on the anti-aging effectiveness of the products as I’ve only had the opportunity to use up one bottle. The reason I never repurchased is because of the price tag. You guys, this night moisturizer is $375 CDN!  For that price I better wake up with a whole new face!!! #sorrynotsorry 

    NO to repurchase due to the hefty price tag. It definitely is a luxurious item and feels AMAZING on the skin, that I cannot deny but I simply cannot justify the cost.

    Have you used any of these products? What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment below.

     

    XO, MAHA

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    Spring Ready Makeup From Rodial!

    I’ve had a busy March with a few photoshoots and trials for upcoming weddings so I haven’t had a lot of time to blog recently. I always feel bad about this because not only do I LOVE blogging and miss it but also because I don’t get to put my photography skills to the test and as you know,I love me some beautiful flat-lays!

    rodial glow and makeup

    Today was a good day as I made a conscious effort to set aside time to snap some product photos and it felt so good. These photos are the result of a productive and creative day.

    I’ve raved about Rodial’s skin and makeup products before and I’ve finally had the chance to discover their  collagen boost lip lacquer. Rodail describes them as “crème glosses that have been expertly formulated to support collagen production, encouraging a boost of volume for visually plumper looking lips.”

    I have become quite obsessed with them  and now use them often. With Spring finally here in Ottawa, they are the perfect way to welcome a healthy amount of colour back onto the lips! From my experiences, I would describe the créme glosses as non sticky, nourishing and hydrating to the lips. They  give off just enough colour and super high gloss shine! In my opinion it’s the perfect gloss+lip colour balance for days I don’t want to wear lipstick to work but still want a polished look.

    I don’t really see the plumping effect while wearing them , but regardless they are super wearable, comfortable and versatile so you can layer them together. Intimate and Stripped will be my go-to this Spring for sure.

    Rodial sent over their top 4 shades :

    Intimate is a warm rosy pink shade

    radial intimate lip lacquer

    Stripped is a muted rose nude shade

     

    stripped, Rodial muted rose toned nude

    Spice Spice Baby is a deep brown nude shade

    radial, deep brown nude shade

    Champagne Showers is an iridescent champagne shimmer shade

    radial photo of lacquer

     

    Rodial Soft Focus Glow Powder

    Soft Focus Glow Powder is a universally flattering, verstaile “highlighter” that can be used to add glow to your face or can be worn alone on bare skin for a polished look. The powder applies easily as it is a velvety finish and won’t seep into your fine lines.

    I use the powder as a highlighter, as under-brow and cupids bow illuminator and it looks gorgeous. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to wear it on a bare face but I think this technique will come  in handy in the Summer when I want to rock a “makeup free” look.

    Soft Focus Glow Drops

    Radial describes this product as  a ” skincare/makeup hybrid, a next generation wonder serum formulated with active ingredients to brighten the complexion and add gentle shimmer to instantly boost luminosity and glow.”

    Yes, I agree with Rodial 100%. I wore this under very heavy makeup a few nights back and I could still see the effects of the glow drops through the foundation. My foundation applied beautifully over the glow drops and since it’s a hybrid of a primer and serum , I definitely can see myself incorporating this into my routine long term.

    My skin felt smooth and very dewy after each use. Soft Focus Glow Drops  also contain antioxidant properties which are uber important for the health of your skin and support the fight against premature aging.  Primer + Serum + Antioxidant booster = My top rated product!

     

    Have you used any of these products? If so, please leave me a comment ! I would love to hear about your experiences.

     

    XO, MAHA

     

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    BEAUTY, BRAND TALK

    Mini Size , Big Impact : Drunk Elephant Edition

    I take pride in my independent way of thinking and prefer to call myself a leader rather than a follower. Unfortunately, being a beauty blogger I’ve become a follower at times and I’m ok with that. You see, there has been so much hype surrounding drunk elephant products that I had to follow all the hype and figure out for myself what all this madness was about.

    drunk elephant product photo

    I’m super happy I jumped on the Drunk Elephant hype, as I’ve become obsessed with these products. Since DE products are a bit on the pricey side ( I ain’t complaining, just stating a fact), I wanted to test them out before committing so I was elated when Sephora had these mini beauties as their birthday month gift.

    Why not I thought. Give them a go!

    So happy I did 🙂

    photo of drunk elephant jelly beste cleanser

    The Best No.9 Jelly Cleanser ($40)

    This cleanser earns 4.5 / 5 stars in my eyes. It’s a clear, non- bar cleanser that contains Marula oil so your skin feels soft, clean and not stripped of its natural oils. As well skin isn’t dry or itchy after use. It’s fragrance free and with water forms into a light foam. I always remove my eye makeup with makeup remover and then have to use a gentler cleanser on my eyes as I have sensitive eyes. With this cleanser, I still prefer to remove my eye makeup with makeup remover, but this time I use this cleanser around my eyes and it doesn’t irritate them. I don’t find this product removes eye makeup such as mascara very well, that’s why I gave it a 4.5 out of 5.

    Still a fantastic product in my eyes!

     

    photos of drunk elephant Protini

    Protini™Polypeptide Cream ( $84)

    Protini is an anti-aging moisturizer that contain peptides and gets a rating of 5/5 from me! Peptides can reduce wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tone, and dullness. Marula oil is added to this amazing product to hydrate the skin. Those with dry and itchy skin will benefit a great deal from Marula oil as it seeps into your skin effortlessly and hydrates all day.  Those with combo, oily and normal skin can also use Marula oil. It will not make you look greasy. Skin feels so soft and subtle after use.  Protini™ is vegan and gluten-free.

    From DE website:

    In an independent consumer testing panel of 50 women age 25 to 55: 
    – 100% agreed their skin felt replenished and nourished 
    – 97% agreed their skin felt moisturized 
    – 97% agreed their skin texture felt soft and smooth 
    – 88% agreed their skin was strengthened 
    – 85% agreed their skin looked plumped and youthful 
    – 73% agreed their skin felt firmer and elastic 

     

    I definitely agree that my skin felt moisturized, nourished , plumped and firmer. These were my results with a 15ml bottle, I can’t wait to see the results after continuous use of a full bottle sized  Protini™ anti-aging moisturizer.

    I’m definitely happy I followed the hype. I wasn’t expecting these little mini samples to make an impact on my skin and my thoughts towards DE but they sure did and now I have a long list of DE products I need asap!

    Next up on my DE ” to buy” list are the following:

    drunk elephant products

    Have you used any DE products? Are you fan?

    Leave me a comment below and tell my why or why not!

     

    XO, MAHA 

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    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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