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BEAUTY

    BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE

    LUXE GIFT LIST

    Christmas is almost upon us and YOU still don’t have a clue what to buy your beauty obsessed friend, sister, wife, mother, daughter-in-law…YIKES!  Well don’t worry,  I’ve listed some luxurious beauty products to give you a hand. When I say luxurious, trust me, they really are. No one will be disappointed with any of these products. No need to thank me. It’s what I do 🙂

     

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    BEAUTY

    ULTIMATE GUIDE : BEST DRUGSTORE SKINCARE PRODUCTS

     

    This creamy cleanser is fragrance free, lightweight and does not foam when you add water to it. I find the cleansers that foam to be a bit drying on my skin, but that’s just me. I’ve used this cleanser for years, not only because it’s super affordable but it really is the only drugstore cleanser that does not dry out my skin. I’ve tried Kiehls and Clarins cleansers and both products are good products, but were drying my skin out quickly. I would love if Neutrogena made a bigger bottle, as this one is only a 354 ml and I tend to use it up fairly quickly. Also this specific formula(creamy) is not sold in Canada! I know…why rave about it if you can’t buy it here? Because, it’s that good! When I travel to good OL’ Ogdensburgh, NY I stop off at the Walmart and I STOCK UP! In Canada Neutrogena does sell the Ultra Gentle Cleanser Foaming Formula. It’s similar to the creamy formula but foams when you add water to it. Another equally impressive cleanser is this one. It’s for Normal to Dry skin and non-foaming. If you do find the creamy formula sold in Canada, please let me know!
    This is an outstanding moisturizer for the eyes. This formula is loaded with anti-ageing ingredients such as niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. I mostly use this product in the winter months when my face and eye area are extremely dry and need a bit more love! I find this formula to be very moisturizing but not greasy and I’ve never experienced any irritations with it. I’ve tried very expensive high end eye creams and by far this product is my favorite eye cream!
     
     
     
    If you love healthy, hydrated glowing skin then you’ll love facial oils. I started experimenting with facial oils years back. I would mix virgin olive oil (voo) and vanilla essential oil and apply it to my face before bed. I had great results the next morning. I had a natural glow and any blemishes I had seemed to diminish slightly. There are numerous benefits to applying voo on your skin; however  the oil is just too thick to wear underneath makeup or even alone as you’ll look greasy. It did work in keeping my skin hydrated and plump but it wasn’t a practical solution. Fast forward a couple years and voila…Facial Oils are being sold everywhere now! Facial oils have natural antioxidants and protect your skin from harsh external factors (pollution, cold weather, over cleansing). They instantly absorb into your skin to give you a nice glow. In the colder months I absolutely do not leave my house without applying facial oil. If I go without it, within minutes my face will feel tight and it’ll bother me the whole day. Before I found Acure Marula Oil, I had tested out about 3 o r 4 facial oils and none of them felt great on my skin. Acure Marula Oil is paraben and pesticides free (also Vegan). The oil is harvested in South Africa by local women as part of the Marula Project that economically empowers all women of South Africa. Many people compare the Marula oil to Argan oil and both are amazing naturally derived oils; however my results with Marula oil outweigh the results I achieved with Argan oil. As with Argan, Marula oil can be applied to the tips of your hair, your cuticles and any other dry areas you may have. This product can be found at Target or online here.
    Beauty Tip: If you have oily skin YES you can use facial oils! To be on the safe side, apply one drop at first and work up to about 2-3 drops with each application.
     
     I was deliberating whether or not to include this mask in my drugstore post. I wasn’t sure if it would be considered a drugstore product for 2 reasons: it’s sold at select few drugstores (mostly health food stores like Kardish and Rainbow Foods) and because it’s pricier that most drugstore items I’ve previously mentioned. But in all honesty, I really like this mask and I haven’t been able to find  a drugstore product that gives me the same results! It leaves your skin plumped, soft and radiant. I leave this mask on overnight once a week, but in the colder months I definitely use it twice a week for extra hydration. There are a lot of great ingredients in this product that will nourish your skin but the star ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid. This ingredient “can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water” which basically translates too MAJOR HYDRATION for your skin. The company claims that this mask will treat wrinkles. I don’t know how true this claim is but it definitely works to hydrate my skin and get rid of any blackheads and redness I may have. I wanted to also mention that this is also a vegan and sulphate free product.
     
     
    If you haven’t noticed already by reading any blog post of mine, I’m a huge fan of glowing skin and I’m not talking about that Instagram glow you achieve from a kick ass highlighter! That’s great as well, but I want the natural glow that my body can achieve with the help of a good product. That’s why I use products like Derma e. I’ve tried many toners from drugstore brands, department store to the absurdly expensive (Hello CHANEL LOTION DOUCER!)and this toner simply trumps them all. This product is alcohol and fragrance free. It contains niamicide and cell repairing ingredients. It’s helps with uneven skin tone and it really aids your skin in absorbing any other product you apply after.
     
    This is a great moisturizer for someone who has normal to combination skin. This is a lightweight moisturizer and works well when used under makeup. I don’t recommend this product for dry skin but definitely worth looking into if you like lightweight products. I found that it does have a slight fragrance to it but nothing overwhelming, however if you are sensitive to fragrance then this may not be a good option for you. As you know sunscreen is really important, so the added benefit of using this moisturizer is the protection from the sun’s rays. IMO this is another great product from Aveeno.

     

    This is a drugstore moisturizing lotion that can be used on the face and body. It’s fragrance free , lightweight and IMO great for wear underneath makeup. It has loads of ceramids that help restore and maintain the skins natural barriers. I love this moisturizer because I do feel it helps my combination skin (dryer in the winter months) stay plump and hydrated all day. The only drawback is that it does not contain SPF so I mix a bit of this sunblock with the moisturizer and I’m protected from the sun! I have to say that switch back and forth between Cerave lotion and Paula’s Choice Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25. Both are great products but Cerave can be bought at your local drugstore.

     

    For years I wasn’t able to find a makeup remover that didn’t irritate my eyes. All the products either contained oils or alcohol and my eyes, being so sensitive, would swell up for hours after just one use. I received a sample of Simple Kind to Eyes makeup remover on a trip to the drugstore and the sales associated reassured me that this product would not irritate my eyes and it definitely would not leave me with a greasy residue. I was apprehensive at first but she was 100% right! That night as I applied the product I braced myself for the initial “burn” I was accustomed to when using eye makeup remover but the “burn” never happened. I was pleasantly surprised. It removed all of my eye makeup without any swelling or irritation. Simple also produce makeup remover wipes but I still prefer their liquid over the wipes.
    I need to mention that I do use use this product to remove the rest of my face makeup. Even though it’s at the top end of my budget for a makeup remover it has lasted me awhile (over a year) as a little goes a long way. It’s a very well formulated product and similar to the Simple brand makeup remover, this is also an award winner. 
     
    If you haven’t heard of this facial cloth then you most likely have been living under a rock. I read somewhere that these are the most purchased facial cloths in all of Europe and America. One side of the cloth is smooth for cleansing and the other side is slightly textured for exfoliating. I really like them because of the convenience they offer. At the end of the night you’re tired and can’t be bothered with your regular bedtime beauty ritual, grab one of these wipes and you’re good to go! According to Olay these cloths can be used as your cleanser, toner, mask and scrub. I can definitely agree that they do a good job as a cleanser and I have used the textured side for exfoliating but I won’t be replacing my toner, exfoliator and mask for these. They are just for convenience on days where I need to clean my face quickly. Don’t get me wrong, these cloths do a superb quick job at cleaning my face, but in order to maintain youthful healthy skin you need skin care products that are formulated to target specific skin concerns.
     

    I love this product! It feels so luxurious on the hands and it smells so good! If you don’t like the smell of coconut then stay away 🙂 This cream will restore cracked and chapped hands without leaving a greasy residue. Its formulated with virgin coconut oil, vitamin A, C , E and Shea butter! I keep this product on my bathroom counter to remind me to apply the hand and cuticle cream before bed! It’s a nightly ritual for me. 
    I fell in love with Aveeno products when my daughter was born. To treat her extremely dry skin my doctor recommended I bathe her with Aveeno Baby Cleansing Therapy Wash. I instantly noticed a difference in her skin and since then I’ve only used Aveeno products on my kids. Soon after having her, I noticed I also developed very dry skin, so of course I did what the doctor recommended and starting using Aveeno hydrating body wash. It’s an award winning product for good reason. The natural fig and Shea butter in this product help soothe and hydrate dry skin for hours after you’ve rinsed this product off. It never leaves a residue on your skin or around your shower, it smells divine and for the low price tag definitely worth trying it out. I think I’m on my 12th bottle already!
    I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post!
    XO
    MAHA
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    BEAUTY

    Black Friday Beauty + Fashion Roundup!


    Who doesn’t love a good sale!

    Black Friday is upon us once again so you know I will NOT be at the mall. I’ll be doing some makeup + fashion shopping from the comfort of my home 🙂 I’ve added links( click on the headings) to a few beauty + fashion deals that I’m excited about so why not share them with you all!

    Happy Shopping!


    ALDO

    50% OFF Shoes, Boots, Booties, Satchels + Handbags.

    Aritzia

    30-50% OFF select fall/winter styles.

    AVON

    Up to 60%. Ends 12/2.

    ASOS

    20% OFF Everything!!

    Bath and Body Works

    B3G3FREE on EVERYTHING. Stock Up!

    Banana Republic

    Half OFF Sweaters + 40% OFF rest of purchase. USE CODE BRFRIDAY.

    Becca Cosmetics

    20% off sitewide on orders $50+ with code FAMILY15. Ends 11/30.

    BH Cosmetics

    75% off selected items. BH Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks $6 !!!

    Coastal Scents

    UPTO 55% OFF Storewide! ENDS 11/30.

    DANIER

    40% OFF Down Coats, Wallets and Handbags. 

    DYNAMITE

    30% OFF Everything! Starts 26/11. I’m definitely picking this up!

    Express

    50% OFF Everything excluding Gift Cards!

    Forever21

    Free Shipping over $30, Deals starting at $6.Boots + Booties 30% OFF.

    Garage Clothing

    40% OFF ONLINE ONLY, UPTO 50% OFF IN STORE and ONLINE select sale items.


    GAP

    50% OFF Everything!

    H&M

    Deals from $5.

    Huda Beauty

    $98 Value for $25 !!

    Julep

    For $$ OFF use code  GIFTING + With every $25 purchase you receive a free Julep Mirror Compact free.

    Kiehls

    15% OFF any Purchase. +$50 Free Shipping USE Code Friday

    Laura Mercier

    25% OFF  Plus Free Ground Shipping and Returns + 2 Deluxe Samples with every $50 purchase.
    This is the best time to buy the famouse Laura Mercier Translucent Powder!

    MELT Cosmetics

    30% OFF Everything

    NORDSTROM

    25% OFF select M.A.C gift Sets , Many Brands include Gift with Purchase. EXTRA 25% OFF Selected sale items. 


    OLD NAVY

    50% OFF ONLINE and IN STORE.END 11/27.

    Paula’s Choice

    15% off Everything!!

    Saleha Beauty

    25% OFF USE CODE blackfriday. Ends 27/11. Hollywood Gold highlighter is on my list to buy!

    SIGMA

    FREE WorldWide Shipping

    Town Shoes

    20% OFF, some exclusions apply

    The Body Shop

    Mix & Match 3 For $33 Sitewide. $5 Shower Gels

    The Bay

    25% Off select M.A.C beauty sets + 50% off ILLMASQUA . ILLMASQUA Lipsticks for $12!!

    Victoria’s Secret

    Free Shipping on +$50 + 10% OFF $100

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    BEAUTY

    ULTIMATE GUIDE : BEST DRUGSTORE MAKEUP PRODUCTS

     

    I have so much to write about that I had to divide this post into two parts. Part 2 ULTIMATE GUIDE : BEST DRUGSTORE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

     

     

     

    I’ve had a long term loving relationship with my local drugstore.I visit the makeup aisles so much that I know the cosmetic counter ladies by name. This love affair blossomed when I started wearing makeup in grade nine. All my girlfriends were into M.A.C and I honestly couldn’t afford it so the drugstore was my best friend! My makeup bag was full of Covergirl, Maybelline, Revlon, Jane, and Bonne Belle ( as well as scrunchies and butterfly clips). These were all very affordable brands. I was constantly asked what lipstick is that your wearing or how come your eyeliner doesn’t smudge like mine ? How you apply a products is important but the product itself and the quality of the product is key. To this day, if I need an eyeliner or blush I hit the drugstore first to see what’s on the market before I go to Sephora or M.A.C. So it was only fitting for me to write a post about drugstore products that I personally use, love and repurchase over and over again! 







    I’ve talked about this mascara on the blog before. I have this product in my personal and professional kit. It doesn’t clump or flake even after a 7.5 hr day. The wand itself is comfortable to hold and easy to use. Your lashes will look extra thick or as Maybelline promotes, Pumped UP!Hands down the best mascara at the drugstore!

     
    I’ve been using this liquid liner for about 10 years now. No joke. The packaging has changed slightly, but Revlon has kept the same great formula.I love how the super skinny tip makes drawing a cat eye simple and quick. I don’t feel the tip drags on your skin like other liners do. The staying power is great for a drugstore brand and I have this product in a brown and black. This is my most repurchased drugstore product.
     
    I have to admit, the first time I tried these shadows I wasn’t a fan. I was comparing them to the Mabyelline Tattoo shadows , which I  still love and use.I don’t know if L’Oreal changed the formula or if I just didn’t give them a fair chance, but now I have quite a collection. I love how creamy they feel and when applied change to a powder consistency. You can wear them sheer or layer them on for a more intones look. The pigmentation is ridiculous, especially Purple Obsession and Glistening Garnet. These are not matte shades so there is a shine to them. These shadows remind me of the Urban Decay single shadows. My favourite combo is Pink Sapphire and Iced Latte.


     
     
    I love how silky the formula feels and once applied isn’t too drying or too dewy. It melts into the skin very easily when patted down with a brush or a beauty blender. The applicator tip on the wand is great to use as well. I dab the product onto the back of my hand to warm it up and then apply it with the beauty blender. As with any concealer there is a bit of creasing after about 7 hours of wear. This is normal. It’s a great everyday concealer and because of the variety of shades available you can definitely find your perfect shade.
     
    I know what your thinking, another Maybelline product ? I can’t help it, Maybelline has some of the best drugstore products out there. The quality of the products IMO is very comparable to some of the higher end products that you may buy at Sephora or Ulta. This foundation is another example of how a drugstore product can work wonders of you.The whole FIT me! line is great and this is my favourite MATTE foundation. I’ve reached for my Becca Ever Shine Proof Foundation less and less since I discovered the FIT me! collection. It’s much cheaper and does a great job! Will if dimish your pores? It’ll help blur them slightly but not get rid of them.  This foundation is medium coverage but it is very buildable and won’t look cakey with more than one application. I also use my trusty beauty blender to apply it. I find it dries super matte and lasts about 8 hours before you may have to reapply powder. This is very impressive!
     
    Yes, another star product from Maybelline and No, they are not sponsoring this post! I have this matte lipstick in the shades Divine Wine, Burgundy Blush( for olive skin tones wow!), Daringly Nude and I’m trying to get my hands on Rich Ruby. This creamy matte lipstick is exactly that…it’s creamy and its matte. It’s non drying even while applying it. There’s no dragging of the lipstick as per usual practise with matte lipsticks. I love the bold colour choices Maybelline offers with the product. You will have no problems finding a shade or two or three ( like me) for every season. If your lips tend to be on the dry side, you can apply a bit of Vaseline to your lips before applying the lipstick, however the matte formula will take a bit longer to settle in. I notice towards the end of the day the formula does start to become dry but I reapply the lipstick and it looks as if I just applied it for the first time. This is how good this product is. My sister and I adore these lipsticks so much that one Summer we bought upwards of ten different shades and gave them away as gifts to relatives overseas. They still request and rave about these lipsticks. For the price, you can’t go wrong!
     
     
     
    I’m a M.A.C pressed powder girl and have been for many years now. With that being said, I have tried drugstore brand pressed powders.I’ve tried this , this and L’Oreal true match. By far my favourite is the true match. The true match formula contains no oils  or fillers so you always have a weightless application with great coverage. L’Oreal offers this super-blendable powder in 18 shades.  Combine this powder with Super Blendable True Match Foundation and you have yourself a winning combination with flawless coverage. I love to pack this powder with me when I have a small evening purse,it’s the perfect size and gets the job done ver well. 
    I wasn’t going to include any NYX products to this post because I already dedicated a whole post to NYX Products(you can read it here), but since I promised you the best of the best drugstore products I had to include it. Hands down the best drugstore blush on the market. The texture is very silky and goes on sheer but you can build it up for more intensity. These are great for all skin tones as they have a wide variety of shades to choose from. My last post I was up to 3 of these blush’s but I recently added Red. It’s one of their more vivid colours. I haven’t worn it yet and I honestly can’t wait to try it on!
     
    I had to add another one of my favourite drugstore blush’s. This one is fairly new to the market (at least to the drugstores I frequent) and the packaging just got me! Physicians Formula packaging is just the best! It’s very reminiscent of BENEFIT packaging. According to the instructions ,this blush can also be used to highlight and contour, but I just use it as a blush. I used it a lot in the Sumnmer just to achieve a healthy glow as I picked up the natural shade. It does have a soft iridescence shine to it which I really like in the Summer and it looks very natural! The blush is super soft and it’s finely milled so you don’t need a lot of product to achieve a nice glow. The technology behind this product is actually pretty cool. According to the company the blush is “infused with our Happy Boost Blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress”. OK so now I know why I’m so happy when I wear this blush 🙂
    This bronzer is well deserving of it’s ELLE 2015 Beauty Grand Prix win. This is another product that I’ve repurchased many times. It’s very soft, has a silky texture and is buildable. This bronzer comes in a matte and shimmery tone and is offered in 5 different shades.  I usually scoop up Sun Dance which does have a bit of shimmer in it but nothing too crazy. As for the packaging , it’s very basic but for $8-$9 you get an award winning product so who cares about the lacklustre packaging.
    I think this is the product that I’m most excited about! It’s a new product but I defiantly see myself repurchasing this so that’s why I wanted to share this. I have used a few of the essence products in the past(mascaras, eyeshadows) and I liked them. I wouldn’t say that they’re my favourite drugstore brand, but they’re good. Then I discovered this amazing product. I don’t know how long they’ve been at my local drugstore but I only discovered them a month ago. I quickly fell in love with their non sticky consistency as well as the colour payoff!. One swipe was all that I needed for full lip coverage. The liplgloss also contact Vitamin E to keep your lips hydrated. I’ve never liked spending upwards of $20 on a lipgloss,so this find right here is the find of the year! These glosses are definitly on rotation now! I’m in LOVE with Red Blossom, Big Night Out and Fabulous Fuchsia( which I have only seen on other bloggers but can’t seem to find).
     
    XO
    MAHA
     
     
    Stay tuned for Part 2 ULTIMATE GUIDE : BEST DRUGSTORE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

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    BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE

    What’s In My EveryDay Makeup Bag ?

     

    I tend to stick to the basics when it comes to my everyday makeup. If I know I’ll be heading out to a function after work and not heading home first, then I’ll include my Urban Decay naked 2 palette and Urban Decay all nighter setting spray in my bag to glam up my day look to a night look.I didn’t include any liquid foundation and eyeshadow in this post as it would be deceiving to include them because 90% of the time in the Fall/Winter I don’t wear liquid foundation and eyeshadow on a daily basis. I’ll wear them on the weekend or if I’m going out to an event. I’ll do an updated “What’s in my makeup bag ” post in the Spring as the items in my bag will change from season to season.

     

     
     
    I love this makeup bag. It was a free gift with purchase from Clinique.I love the pattern and it’s a really good size and fits all my makeup.
    ( not shown but I use this sunscreen before apply moisturizer)
     
     
     
     
    Before I forget,I wanted to include a picture of my handbag. As you know, I was on the hunt for an everyday handbag for months. I finally found something practical, stylish and reasonably priced. Funny story about this particular handbag; I found the brand Tutilo online and I really liked the style, practicality and affordability of their handbags but of course never found the time to actually purchase the bag online. A few weeks later I walk into Marshall’s and what do you know…the bag is staring me in the face. I was so excited! Marshall’s and Winners now carry a few of the Tutilo product line. I absolutely love the bag and highly recommend it. It’s faux pebbled leather,includes a take-away clutch,very roomy, and super stylish. I have received so many compliments on this bag. My next purchase will be this Tutilo handbag. 
    P.S. To my readers who look forward to my monthly favourites, I’m sorry but I skipped it for October. I didn’t do a lot of purchasing this month and the items I did buy I didn’t feel were really that great to write about, so I’ll be combining my October and November favourites. I already started working on this post so you know it’ gonna be good!!!
     
    Maha 🙂
     
     
     
     
     
     
    //Please Note that this is not sponsored posts//

     

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    BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE

    THANK YOU

     


    I can’t ‘t believe it’s been almost a month since my last post.  To say I’ve been busy is an understatement. I’m currently working on some great collaborations with a fellow Ottawa beauty and lifestyle blogger, Rania from @TheWardrobeStylist. I’ll give you more details about our creative union in the very near future 🙂 I just wanted to write this quick note to say Thank You for your continued support and loyalty to my blog. You have no idea how much it means to me. Thank you again!

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