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Maha Matar

    BEAUTY

    NYX Cosmetics Product Review

     

    With all the excitement and talk about NYX Cosmetics opening their first ever free standing stores across the US and Canada (Toronto), I thought it would be the perfect time to review a few NYX products. I buy my NYX products from Rexall pharmacy and now from a new store at the Tanger Outlet called Beauty Box. They carry an extensive line of NYX products. I’ve been using NYX products now for over 2 years. At first I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but quickly found out why they’re a cult favourite. The majority of NYX products are very well formulated and comparable to a lot of higher end products but don’t carry the expensive price tag! They are super affordable and are 100% animal cruelty-free. I LOVE THIS! Although NYX carries a lot of great products, here’s a review of just a few products I have used and would recommend.



    NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette

     
    NYX Cosmetics hit a home run with this Highlight and Contour Pro Palette. You get 4 highlighting shades and 4 contouring shades. All 8 shades are finely milled, blendable, highly pigmented and extremely easy to experiment with. I personally love the variety of these shades. It doesn’t matter if you’re fair, medium or dark, you will find a H&C shade to work with.  My favourite is the Cream matte highlighter (2nd from the left, referred to at times as the banana colour ). I don’t own the Anastasia Beverly Hills contour palette anymore (there was an unfortunate accident), but I can truly say that the banana powder in the ABH palette and the cream powder in the NYX palette are VERY similar. You will achieve the same result with this $25 contour palette that you would with a $52 palette. NYX also sells these shades individually so you can always replenish your palette. I recommend this palette if your a novice to H&C or even a PRO. I can definitely see myself repurchasing this product.
     

    NYX Powder Blush

    I own 3 NYX powder blushes: Mauve (my latest), Pinched (for a night out) and Silky Rose (most used). There are a total of 24 shades and I will most likely own all 24 shades soon! It’s very doable at $8.99 a piece. I bought the Mauve blush to wear this Fall with a dark lip. I’m not sure why it’s called Mauve because it’s more of a pinkish/brown colour rather than purple/brown. Regardless of the name, it’s my new favourite. It’s a matte formula and layers beautifully and is surprisingly long wearing (about 7.5 hrs).All the NYX blushes have a smooth, non flaky consistency. NYX also makes cream blushes so I may pick one up to try it out later this month. I’m not a huge fan of cream blushes but NYX may convert me.


    NYX Butter Lipstick


    I own 3 NYX butter lipsticks in Firecracker, Pops, and Summer Fruits. I wasn’t really expecting much from a $7.99 lipstick but now I’m almost positive I will buy all 22 shades! The quality of this formula is superb. I find them to be super creamy, non-drying and really pigmented. They really do glide on like butter while leaving your lips feeling ultra-soft. IMO these butter lipsticks can be long lasting as long as you apply a bottom coat to your lips such as a lip liner. I’d like to add Moonlit Night to my stash. It`s a deep burgundy and it`s definitely calling my name begging to be worn this fall/winter!!  

    NYX Wonder Pencil
    The Wonder Pencil has many uses and comes in 3 neutral shades, light, medium and deep. You can use these pencils to conceal blemishes, line your lips to prevent lipstick from bleeding, highlight brow bone or to brighten your eyes along the waterline. I use this pencil in medium to line my waterline for the sole purpose of looking somewhat awake in the morning! The result is very subtle but effective. If you’re not a fan of black liner in your inner rim, try this flesh tone pencil for a wide eyed look. I have tried brand name nude/flesh tone pencils and honestly why spend more than you have to, this pencil gets the job done! The last few times I went to purchase the Wonder Pencil at the pharmacy it was sold out. I went back a week later and they were fully stocked so of course I stocked up! It`s a hot item ladies!

    Makeup tip: To ensure liner lasts an extra-long time on your waterline, pat eye shadow on top of the liner. This will ensure the liner on your waterline doesn’t smudge or move and it even gives your look that extra pop. It’s best to match your eyeshadow colour with the colour of your liner.

    NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow
     
    NYX offers 88 Hot Single Eyeshadow shades. They are all pigmented and easy to blend. I have quite a collection now and I find myself reaching for these shadows more often than my MAC shadows. I especially love the matte NYX shadows. Matte shades are sometimes harder to blend because they can be too powderyo or too stiff, but that’s not the case with these matte shadows.They blend very easily. The colour payoff, even without eye primer, is top notch. My absolute favourite NYX Shadow is Innocent. It’s a beige shade with pink undertones. It`s very wearable on it`s own and compliments IMO all skin tones. So pretty! It definitely is a must have in every girls makeup bag.
    Makup tip: To really intensify any eyeshadow colour instantly, apply NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk all over your lid and then apply your eyeshadow of choice. Applying the thick white colour on your lids not only intensifies your shadow colour but also prolongs your shadow wear. 


    I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favourite NYX products. Please leave me a comment and let me know what your favourite NYX products are 🙂

    P.S. If your wondering “are there any NYX products Maha has tried and didn’t like ?” Yes, and you can find them here , here and here.


    Maha
    xoxo

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    BEAUTY

    AUGUST FAVOURITES

     

    I can’t believe August is over! Where did the Summer go? The only great thing about August coming to an end is that I can finally reveal my monthly favourites! I’m so excited about these products. I’ve purchased all these items and just love them so, obviously, I have to share with you all. There is one “Lust” item that made the list! Get ready cause I’ve been loving a lot of things this month!

    EOS Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream

    This non – foaming, 24 hr moisturizing shaving cream is my new holy grail! I’m very prone to red bumps after shaving or waxing and I didn’t experience the bumps with this product. It’s probably because it’s loaded with natural conditioning oils and Shea butter! It left my legs feeling so moisturized that I could have done without applying any lotion, it’s that hydrating!You can use this product wet or dry. The best part is this shaving cream is made from recycled plastic so it won’t leave a rust ring in your shower. You can choose from Vanilla Bliss ( my fave), Pomegranate or Lavender Jasmine.
    LORAC – 3D Liquid Lustre Top Coat
    I’m always looking for new products that add Oomph! to the eyes. I have a lot of glitters and pigments, but I wanted something different. I read in Allure magazine that this product was the new “Must Have “for the Summer/Fall so of course I had to have it :). These 3D lustre top coat add intensity, shine and sparkle to any eyeshadow look. They can be applied as a top coat for your eyeshadow but also can be worn alone. I like to wear a nude eyeshadow look and add the top coat over it to get a more dramatic day time look without looking overdone. I just love it. I know I’ll get further use out of them come holiday party season. The only downside with Lorac products is that they only ship within the U.S and Sephora no longer carries their products in Canada. I was fortunate and had a U.S. address which I used to get these babies.
     
    Korres Lip Butter
     
    I’m a huge fan of lip balms and have them scattered everywhere in my home and office space.  I bought this lip butter from Sephora, where it’s exclusively sold. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. The staying power of this product is on average to any other tinted balm I’ve tried, so about an hour, but what I really LOVED about this product was that my lips really felt moisturized and stayed hydrated for a couple of hours even after the tint wore off. This to me is worth the $12 price tag. This product has a thicker consistency so I like to apply it with a lip brush but you can use your fingers of course. I like to layer my application so I wear a neutral lip color like M.A.C blankety or creme cup and add the Korres lip butter on top. I love the shine it gives off. The only drawback about this product is the packaging. It’s a bit flimsy and I would have preferred the product in a tube as it’s more sanitary. I initially picked up pomegranate but now have all 4 colors.
     
    Vaseline Total Moisture Cocoa Radian Lotion
    I’ve been using the Vaseline Cocoa Radiant lotion for a few years now. The packaging has changed, but it still has the same great formula. This lotion is super creamy, super hydrating, thick and non- sticky. It’s everything you need in a drugstore moisturizing body lotion. If you’re not using it, your  missing out! Your skin will thank you. Yeah… it smells like Cocoa and it smells DEVINE!
    L.A. Girl USA HD Pro Concealer
    If you watch Youtube makeup tutorials, you’ll notice a lot of beauty gurus use these HD PRO Conceal tubes for highlighting and contouring. I was really intrigued so I ordered them to try them out first hand. I ordered creamy natural, beige, and bronze. I was somewhat impressed…let me explain. The formula is good, but doesn’t compare to my NARS or Benefit concealers when it comes to concealing dark circles. If you use them to conceal imperfections or dark circles, I recommend using a corrector first before applying this concealer. If you use these conceal tubes for the sole purpose of highlighting and contouring ( H&C) then you have a definite winner! They are very compact and obviously portable making them so convenient to throw in your makeup bag or in my case, my kit. I used them on almost everyone I worked on this summer to give a light highlight and contour and the result was flawless. I still used my Anastasia of Beverly Hills contour powder palette over the PRO Conceal to ensure the H&C didn’t budge. I’m so happy I ordered them. I definitely will be ordering other shades. If your new to the whole highlighting and contouring game definitely give this product a try. At $5.00 US  you can’t go wrong.
    Morphe M438 Pointed Contour Brush
    I ordered this Morphe contour brush without any expectations. I just wanted to know what all the hype was about. Let’s just say my only regret is not ordering more brushes at the same time! This contour brush is AMAZING. It’s super soft and versatile as it can be used for contouring but also for applying setting powder under your eyes, blush on cheekbones and bronzer all over. It’s angled so it’s very precise at applying product exactly where it needs to go. I paid $10.00 US. I would compare the quality of the quality of this brush to my Sigma F25. I love this brush as well but I paid over $30 US for it. I definitely will be ordering a few more Morphe brushes.
    e.l.f Studio Stipple Brush
    I paid $1.99 for this synthetic brush from Winners. It was on clearance. It’s my go to foundation brush in my own personal makeup bag. I love it. You can buy it online for $3.00. You will use it over and over again as it’s super light and the bristles will not scratch your face like other cheaper priced brushes. The bristles are very soft and it evenly distributes my foundation on my skin. I’m not naive, I know this brush will shed at some point but my Chanel brush also shed for the first time last week. No biggie because at $1.99 or $3.00 I can buy another one and not feel guilty
    www.papyrusonline.com
     
    I have a slight obsession with stationary! I own a few boxes of unused greeting cards and more than normal amounts of unused notebooks. I have no intent in mailing these cards out or writing in these notebooks. They’re so pretty so I collect them. Papyrus is a beautiful site and I shop from this site often. Papyrus.com offers a broad range of contemporary greeting cards, stationary , gifts and gift wrapping materials. They offer you the option to personalise any item. The notebooks are my favourite, especially the Kate Spade collection. I love how elegant they look on my home office desk. Just love it!!!
    The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
    This is my 2nd time reading this book and I, most likely, will read it a 3rd time. I spent a good portion of my “glamping” trip this summer reading it. What a beautiful story about friendship, exile , separation and an everlasting love for ones home country. It’s a beautifully written novel that is cherished by many. I highly recommend this book as you will forever feel changed after reading it.
     
    NIKE SportWatch  + GPS GOLD LIMITED EDITION
    I know this isn’t makeup or beauty related, but this gadget is a must for anyone wanting to set fitness goals this fall. This baby right here is at the top of my birthday list! Not only is it functional (tracks calories burnt, goals, pace and has GPS) but it looks really cool on and almost futuristic. Yes, I”m a gadget junkie and this baby here is coming home with me soon.

    Talk soon,
    Maha

    **STAY TUNED FOR MY NYX PRODUCT REVIEW **

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    BEAUTY

    DIY After Sun Care Body Butter

    Hi Beauties,

    I hope you’re all enjoying the last few weeks of summer! I know technically the last day of summer is the 23rd of September, but my kids go back to school in 2 weeks so for us summer ends then!
    So far we’ve had a kick ass summer. Lots of outdoor activities, water parks, and picnics 🙂 We’ve been outside so much that I actually developed my first sunburn in years. Ouch! My olive skin usually tans but this year I burnt!

    So, of course, I headed straight to the kitchen to create a very simple and refreshing concoction to sooth my burnt skin. I found this recipe online a few years back and I’ve used it on myself and my family whenever we’ve had too much sun and our skin needed some TLC. This recipe is loaded with powerhouse ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, and Vitamin E. These all carry a high dosage of antioxidant properties. This body butter will not only treat your sunburn but also help with other skin ailments you may be experiencing ( dry, acne prone, aging). Aloe Vera is highly moisturizing and is used to soothe burnt skin instantly. Coconut oil is the holy grail of skin care repair! It’s loaded with antioxidants so I slather CO on my face, body and hair before bed every night! Its moisturizing and seeps into your skin follicles quickly so you reap the benefits of CO faster. Vitamin E oil is used in many skin care lines to block free radicals from the body (bonus!) but here we are using it mostly for its anti-inflammatory benefits which help to calm and hydrate sensitive skin. You can also add essential oils to this recipe and it’s your preference on what scent you would like to add. I personally love to use citrus oils. I just love smelling like a citrus fruit :). Go ahead and try this recipe and tell me what you think in the comments below 🙂

    Ingredients

    • 3 Tbsp Shea Butter
    • 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
    • 1 tsp Vitamin E Oil
    • 3 Tbsp Aloe Vera
    • 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil (OR Olive, Jajoba or Almond Oil)
    • 10-15 Drops of Essential oils of choice (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Melt coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler. You can create this by putting the ingredients in a small, glass jar and then placing the jar in a pan of simmering water.
    2. Remove from heat once melted and let the mixture cool until it’s opaque (to speed this is you can put it in the fridge, but don’t let it become solid.)
    3. Next, add the remaining ingredients and the coconut/shea mix to a stand mixer bowl, and whip until ingredients are well combined, and the mixture is light and fluffy (about 5-10 minutes.) It’s finished when the body butter can stick to a spoon when held upsidedown.
    4. Transfer to an a small container or jar and store in a cool place.

    ( p.s. I dont’ recall the source from which I found the recipe)

    talk soon,
    Maha

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    BEAUTY

    NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE : TOP BEAUTY PICKS

    Hi Beauties,

    Since Nordstrom opened it’s doors in Ottawa back in March, I found the city got a bit more stylish! Who can resist the exquisite clothing, shoes, accessories and of course beauty products. Currently the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is underway online and in store. I wanted to share with you my top beauty picks from the Anniversary sale. If you picked anything up from the Sale, please share by leaving a comment below!

    P.S Click on image title to learn more!

    I have been using this oil on my curly hair for quite awhile now. After applying the oil and leaving my hair down to air dry, I see the difference it makes on my curls. They look and feel hydrated!  This moisturizing oil is silicone free and its intent is to add tons of moisture to you hair. Trust me it does!

    “One tool.3 barrels. Endless styling possibilities”is how T3 describes this product. It has a 1″ straight barrel for spiral curls, 1 1/4″-3/4” tapered barrel for beachy waves, and 1 1/2″ straight barrel for glamour waves.  I have had my hair styled with this product and it’s amazing. If you have owned any T3 styling tool then you know they are very high quality tools and are non damaging to your hair. They are easy to use and the curls last all night and into the next day. 

    This palette is exclusive to Nordstrom and includes 15 best selling MAC eyeshadows. MAC is recognized for having some of the best eyeshadows on the market. If your looking for a natural or neutral palette, this would be great investment as the colours are highly pigmented and long wearing. The price point on this palette is outstanding for 15 MAC shadows!
    This is another Nordstrom excluisive. This popular moisturizing duo comes with one 33.8 oz. bottle ( that’s a lot of lotion!) and one 2.5 oz bottle.  This lotion is extremely moisturizing and non greasy. Your skin will feel hydrated all day long and is best to be used on very dry skin.
     
     
    I’ve blogged about facial sprays before and I use them often on me and on clients. It is a must in my daily skin care routine as I tend to have dry skin and these type of sprays nourish my skin quickly. Nordstrom sells this highly purified natural spray in a set of 3. This facial spray relieves dry skin quickly and can be used to set your makeup. Dual purpose product! Love it! Nordstrom sells this high quality facial spray in a pack of 3 therefore giving you a price break!
     
    This is another Nordstrom Exclusive palette. Bobbi Brown created the perfect palette to take you from day to night! It includes 12 shadows, full size eye mascara, full size black gel liner ( my favourite!), mini ultra fine eyeliner brush and 1 hydrating eye cream packet.
    This brush kit contains 6 best selling MAC brushes and is exclusive to Nordstrom. It’s the perfect brush set to pack for a weekend away! 
    My favourite brush in the set is the 168SE large angled 
           contour brush!
     
     
    Maha 🙂
     
     
     

     

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    BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE

    July Favourites

    Hi Lovlies

    Here are a few products I picked up this month!

    1. H&M Short Coat

    This is more for Fall wear rather than Summer but I had to order it before they sold out! I ordered this item online and was shipped in 2 days! You can wear this short coat for a casual day or dress it up for a night out. I might order this in white as well. I love it that much!

    2. Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil

    When I don’t have time at night for my regular skin routine, I use this cleansing oil as I find it really gets all the dirt and whatever makeup is left over on my face. This is not a makeup remover so makes sure to remove the majority of you make with a wipe prior to using this cleansing oil. I add a bit onto a cotton pad and smooth it all over my face and then wash it off. My skin feels very soft and not greasy. It does a great job cleaning my skin.

    3. Makeup Forever Double Ended Sculpting Brush

    I already own this brush, but I picked it up for a friend this month. I love the bristles on this brush and everyone I use it on loves how it feels against their skin. I use it to apply powder, blush , bronzer and highlight. It’s multipurpose so you defiantly get your moneys worth!

    4. Allure Magazine – Salma Hayek

    I don’t usually pick up magazines as I have no time to read them, but when I saw one of my favourite petite actresses on the cover I just had to snatch it up! I adore Salma Hayek, and no, not just because she’s Lebanese! I think she’s a great combination of charm and beauty! She exudes natural elegance and is a good humanitarian. BTW her beauty tips are worth a read!

    5. Michael Kors Shoes

    I bought these shoes at Winners. I needed a pair of work shoes and these definitely fit the bill!. The heel is not high, but gives a bit of a lift and won’t hurt me after wearing them all day. I don’t believe these shoes are sold at the Michael Kors store any longer 🙁

    6. Fresh Eau de Parfum – Sugar and Lemon

    I saw this at Sephora, sprayed it on and came back the next day to purchase it. It lasted the whole day!! I had so many compliments that I smelled so “Fresh” and “Light” that I had to add it to my large collection. I’ve been wearing it everyday now and don’t see myself getting tired of it anytime soon! I did only purchase the .34 oz rollerball bottle, but will most likely order the full size bottle soon.

    7. Stella and Dot Malta Bib Statement Necklace

    I have been waiting for this necklace to go on sale all Summer long! I was worried that it wouldn’t look as lovely in person but I was wrong. It really does 🙂 This statement necklace is a mixture of metal, stone and genuine turquoise and is hand crafted. I wore it over a bright white tank with jeans and it definitely was a statement piece and pulled my whole outfit together. So happy with my purchase!

    8. Lise Watier Ombre Souffle Supreme Eyeshadow

    I worked on a beautiful bride this past weekend that wanted a very bright, shimmery golden Arabian style makeup done for her wedding. I was on the hunt for the perfect gold base/eyeshadow. After looking at Chanel, MAC and MUF, I discovered it at the Lise Watier counter at Shoppers. I loved the pigmentation, creamy texture of the product and how easy it was to apply on the eyelid. This product is similar to Maybelline tattoos but for a special event I would splurge on these creamy eyeshadows. You will not be disappointed! I purchased the colour Wonderland but will be going back to pick up Sunrise peach and Magie Blanche! Love them!

    xoxo
    Maha 

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    LIFESTYLE

    ON THE HUNT FOR (OTHF): Day Bag

    Hi Lovlies!

    I have a dilemma.  I need your help! 

    You, my loyal blog followers, will decide on my next day bag! I’ve been on the hunt for an everyday bag for about 2 months now. To be honest I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the choices, however, I found 4 bags that pretty much fit all my criteria ( perfect for everyday use, large, lightweight, classic, sturdy, easy to clean, and affordable). The most important criteria will have to be size. I usually carry around a sippy cup, a small toy, a pull-up, my wallet, keys and of course a small makeup bag. Being a mom of 3 I carry odd things!

    I’m not limiting myself to these 4 bags, as I know there is so much variety out there and I can’t possible research them all! That’s why I’m introducing the “On The Hunt For (OTHF) ” segment to the blog. You ladies out there have amazing recommendations on different products, clothing and decor so I thought why not tap into that! I’ll be decorating my house soon as well as revamping my wardrobe so I hope the OTHF segment will inspire you to share what items you love in your life and would recommend for others! So be on the look out for more OTHF posts!



    Here are my choices : 


    1. Mark &Graham Everyday Leather Tote Bag

    This bag can be monogrammed! The leather is really soft and is very roomy! 

    2. Le Pilage Longchamp Tote

    This bag definitely is a classic. It’s very easy to clean, light and can fold into notebook size and be put away. Favourite of mine so far!

    3. Free People Slouchy Vegan Tote 

    This tote is large enough to carry a laptop. It comes with a long removable strap and a coin purse( bonus!). It’s made out of 100% Vegan Leather. 

    4. French Connection “Buckle Up” Backpack

    This is a surprising large and structured backpack. It has 3 interior zipper compartments as well as adjustable straps. It’s a bit on the trendy side but can be dressed up. 

    Now it’s your chance to comment on what bag from the list you like or if you have another suggestion, let’s hear it!!


    Have a great day!

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