All Posts By:

Maha Matar




    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).



    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//





    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!


    How To Avoid Cake Face


    Unknown Source

    What is Cake Face? Cake face is a beauty blunder term used when foundation, concealer and powder are too thick on the face and it’s noticeable. This is not good. No one wants this, we all want a flawless base.This is what has worked for me and what I recommend to clients.

    1. Apply Moisturizer to your face with your hands.

    2. Apply your favourite face primer. Primer is used to smooth out the surface, fill in your pores and prep skin for foundation. Apply enough product that the open pores of your skin can be evenly filled. Wait till the moisturizer and primer are absorbed into your skin before applying foundation.

    3. Give your foundation a quick shake. This will allow the pigments that separated to regroup. Apply a thin layer of foundation to your face to even out your skin tone. This will lightly cover any imperfections you have on your skin. If you feel you need more coverage on the blemishes, do not apply more foundation, switch to a concealer. Lightly dab concealer on the blemish. You can use a sponge, kabuki brush or concealer brush to apply the foundation and concealer, but I find you achieve the best ” non cake face”when your hands are your tools. The warmth from your hands will work the product right into your skin effortlessly and give you an even layer of foundation.

    4. Now we wait! Wait for the foundation to dry before moving onto translucent powder, blush and bronzer. If you apply powder right after foundation, your skin will absorb more powder than what is really needed and cake face begins! Once foundation is dry apply the powder with the help of a brush on the oily areas or areas you would like to set so the foundation doesn’t slip and slide off. This includes the T-zone, under-eye area and cheeks. Do not buff or drag the powder across your face, but lightly dab the powder. The point of the dabbing motion is to lock in the products you already applied ( primer, foundation, contour) in place. Dabbing will ensure you’re not taking off the products.

    5. Apply your blush and bronzer one layer at a time. If you feel you need more blush, apply another layer. Same principle for bronzer.

    6. Spray your face with a setting spray

    7. Apply lipstick and/or gloss.

    8. Go out, have fun and enjoy life 🙂 

    Is this simple enough ? Makeup application shouldn’t be difficult and make you look like a pastry puff. If you apply your makeup in even layers, you will avoid the dreaded Cake Face!

    Beauty Tips :

    Choose a moisturizer that suits your skin needs ( Dry, Oily, Combination). I personally LOVE to use this moisturizer on clients before makeup application. I don’t recommend this moisturizer as an everyday product as it does not contain SPF. Don’t be cheap with your moisturizer application.  You need enough to cover your face and neck.

    The majority of the face primers out on the market are really good. I use various ones, but lately I’ve been hooked on this one.

    Choose a foundation that suits your skin tone. Cake face is made even worse if you’re not wearing the proper foundation shade. It’s best if you visit a beauty store and get matched. You want the foundation to blend in seamlessly. If you have oily skin, opt for an oil free product like this.  I recommend using 2 shades, 1 for Summer when you’re darker and 1 for Winter when your lighter. In the Spring and Fall you can actually mix the 2 shades. Mixing the shades only works if you are matched correctly, so again, I would take the time and get matched properly. If you prefer a full coverage foundation, you will still need to apply it thinly at first and then assess if you require more. The majority of the time, full coverage foundations will provide enough coverage on the first application. I enjoy using this for those days that require more coverage. I’m shade 127, Dark Sand.

    Drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated. As you age, your skin will lose moisture but you can combat that by drinking 1 litre of water a day! I still struggle with this!

    There are so many options out there regarding setting sprays.There are matte sprays, dewy sprays,  shine free sparks, so many! I recommend you try a few out till you find one that best suits your needs. A setting spray is not a necessity, it’s just added assurance that your makeup will last a bit longer thorough out the day.



    September Favourites!


    Goodbye September!  I can’t believe how quickly this month flew by. Who’s ready for the monthly favourites? Writing the monthly favourite post is by far my most favourite post to do. It’s always challenging though because it’s hard for me to not reveal what items made the list till I blog about it. I get so excited about a good find that I have to share it with someone immediately, but I guess that’s why I started this blog ! I had a really hard time narrowing it down to 8 products. I don’t know what it is about the Fall but I found myself  surrounded by beautiful warm neutral and plum eye pallets, as well as rich burgundy glosses, cozy over sized sweaters and Vince Camuto tall boots …. OK I’ll calm down!  As the saying goes, you can’t have it all, so here’s what made the list.


    Voluspa Japonica Candle Made from 16oz coconut wax with a cotton wix, this candle is now my new favourite. It’s nestled in a custom glass container and at first glance I thought it was a decor piece. It is visually stunning, highly fragrant and can burn up to 100hrs. The elegant container can be reused for flowers or trinkets. I ordered mine off of amazon.
    MAC Warm Neutral x15 Palette My love affair with MAC continues *sigh*. I debated a bit before buying this palette because I have so many shadows, but this palette is so versatile that I had to purchase it. It contains 15 warm neutral shades and gives you endless combinations, so you can mix to your hearts content. Because it’s neutral shades anyone can pull these colours off. The price point is a bit steep at first, but if you were to buy these shadows separately you would almost pay double the price of the palette.It’s a good deal for a pre-assembled versatile palette!
    MAC Hang UP Cremsheen Lipstick Hang Up is a deep rich berry colour. I paired it with Vino lip liner, and Oversexed plush glass. It makes the perfect fall lip combination and is beautiful on. 
    #GIRLBOSS Who hasn’t heard of this amazing and driven young lady Sophia Amoruso? She’s the founder and CEO of NASTYGAL, an online clothing shop. She is truly inspiring and the epitome of a #GIRLBOSS! If your looking for some inspiration in your life or just a good read, grab this book and get ready to be empowered!
    MAC Oversexed PlushGlass As I said previously, I pair this lipgloss with Hang Up lipstick and it’s so beautiful. There is a bit of shimmer to this gloss but not so much that you can’t’ wear it alone, and NO, you won’t look like disco ball! If your familiar with MAC Glass they sometimes can feel very sticky on the lips, but not this one.
    I wanted to try this product out for a long time. Every time I went to order it, it was sold out. Finally, I got my hands on it. This lipstick is matte, super pigmented, and with only one swipe you have a good amount of colour on your lips. I love how it feels on and I didn’t find it dried them out. It’s unique because it feels like lipstick but in a gloss formula. This is a favourite of Ms.West and she always has to have it on her at all times(according to InSyle Magazine).
    MAC All That Glitters Shadow I use this shadow quite often and this is my second refill of it. I used it all Summer on clients and it really is my go to shade. It’s beige with a pearl finish. You can use it as a base and combined with plums and berry colours.
    e.l.f. Skin Care e.l.f. came out with this skin care line last spring. At first I was skeptical when I saw this package on the shelf but of course, being a beauty blogger, it’s my job to pick up these items, try them out and write about them. So I added them to my cart and along I went. I used the illuminating eye cream and serum for 2 weeks straight. I was impressed. I liked the glow the serum gave me and my eye area felt more soothed when I applied the cream. These items for the price was a good purchase. 
    P.s. Did you see , got a makeover!!!. I’m not done tweaking the site just yet, but it’s definitely getting closer to my vision. Someone pinch me! I love seeing my vision board come to life, it makes all the hard work worth it.

    Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte!


    Fall is officially here and you know what that means? Oversized comfy sweaters, warm blankets and of course Pumpkin Spice Latte! We’re huge coffee drinkers in my house, so anytime we can add a bit more flavor to our daily cup of Joe makes us super happy. I used to drink the PSL from the pricey coffee shops but I got tired of over-paying for a coffee drink that wasn’t exactly healthy for me and didn’t fit in with my new vegan lifestyle. That’s why I’m so happy to share this ridiculously easy vegan PSL recipe with you all. Now, I’m making my favorite drink in my pj’s and I’m saving some cash!. For non-vegans you can absolutely substitute milk for the non-dairy milk. Make sure to add lots of whipped cream, vegan or not, everyone enjoys a sugar overload 🙂 Enjoy!




    Image Via



    • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
    • 2 tbs pumpkin puree
    • 2 tbs non-dairy milk (I used  almond milk)
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • 2-3 tsp maple syrup
    • optional toppings- vegan whipped cream, ground cinnamon


    1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan on stove. Stir until everything is mixed and heat to desired warmth.
    2. Transfer to mug and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon



Warning: Use of undefined constant custom_pagination - assumed 'custom_pagination' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/makeup16/public_html/wp-content/themes/primrose/author.php on line 47