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Maha Matar


    8 Essential Brushes

    Let’s talk brushes!

    You can buy the most expensive makeup on the market, but if you don’t have the proper tools to apply that makeup, it’s useless. Makeup brushes are the most important product in your makeup collection.  Since there are so many out there I’ve compiled a list of 8 Essential Makeup Brushes that you need to have in your makeup bag right now!

    Real Techniques Powder Brush

    This brush is used to dust powder on your face. Using a brush to apply powder vs using a puff will save you a lot of product and you’ll achieve a more natural look. The brush has synthetic bristles, is hand-cut and 100% cruelty-free. I like that it’s a fluffy brush and allows for even distribution of the product on to the face.  I really love this RT brush. I would say I’m kind of a super fan. I own all of the RT brushes and use them often. Makeup artists and YouTube stars Samantha and Nicola Chapman, also known as PixiWoo, are behind the successful line ( they’re sisters as well)! The best part is this is such a high quality brush and it only costs $15. Another brush I recommend and I’m sure a lot of you have seen this brush before is the MAC 134 brush, $63. 

    Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush

    This brush can be used to apply liquid or cream foundation. The F80 brush doesn’t absorb product due to it’s soft but dense bristles. I personally like to use this brush to apply cream foundation. I can build the coverage up without any streaking on my face . I prefer to pat the foundation onto my skin first and then in a buffing motion distribute the product all over. This brush allows me to do this effortlessly and leaves me with airbrushed smooth finish, $30 CAD. Another foundation brush that I find works really well with liquid or cream foundation is BareMineral Buffing Brush, $35.

    I use this brush in the morning when I’m in a hurry to get out the door. Because of the large flat fibre bristles I’m able to cover more space quickly but still achieve an even and flawless coat of liquid foundation. Some flat foundation brushes will give you a “streaky” look when you’re working quickly but I haven’t experienced any streaks with this brush. I use MUF large foundation brush mostly with liquid foundation, $41. A budget-friendly foundation brush is the Sigma F60, $26.
    Another RT brush! This blush brush ( say that 10 times fast! ) is very soft and picks up the perfect amount of blush. I love the cut of the brush as it sits really nicely on your cheeks and allows for a smooth application with one swipe. I’ve washed this brush a few times and it didn’t shed and dried very quickly. This RT blush brush gets the job done, $11.14. An alternate blush brush that I also enjoy using is the MAC 116 Blush Brush, $42.

    Sephora Pro Bronzer Brush

    This is a great versatile brush. It can be used to apply liquid or cream foundation as well as bronzer. The synthetic bristles are soft yet dense enough to give you a smooth and natural glow. I love this brush so much that I’m not quite sure what I was using before the Sephora Pro Bronzer, $45.

    This is my new favourite concealer brush. My sis-in law introduced me to it  ( Hi Foots!!). I have been in love with it since the first use. I use it to colour correct or conceal under eye dark circles or redness. The short synthetic bristles are great for buffing the concealer onto the skin and you can build up the coverage from light to heavy. The only downside to this brush is the long handle. Besides that, I highly recommend the Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush, $30. Another great concealer brush is the MAC 266 Duo Fibre Tapered Blending Brush, $38.50. This brush is marketed as eyeshadow blending brush but trust me you can use it as a concealer brush as well!
    This was the very first brush I ever bought! In the past 15 years, I’ve owned 2 of these brushes. Yes , if taken care of properly this brush will last a long time! This brush is superb for blending several cream or powder eye shadows together on the crease but can also be used to apply and shade shadows. Because of it’s versatility and longevity the MAC 217 brush is worth the investment, $28.50.

    This is the only brush I’ve ever used for eyeliner. It’s always worked for me so I never needed a reason to look for a comparable brush. I use it with Makeup Forever gel eyeliner. The synthetic fibres are very firm so you’re almost guaranteed a perfect wing every time and the angle on the brush let’s you experiment easily with different wing shapes. To save on costs I also use this brush to fill in my eyebrows. It works beautifully with any eyebrow powder product. For its versatility and ease of use I would recommend picking up the MAC 263 Angle Brush, $20.

    Leave me a comment below if there is a brush that you have in you collection and cannot live without! 


    Splurge vs Save

    Hi Beauties

    I hope you’re all doing great! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a little bit on the blog. I have been so busy with the kids, school activities and soccer! School is coming to an end in 2 days……YAY!!!! I think I’m more excited than the kids. Who else needs a break from making lunches in the morning and getting homework done in a reasonable time ? All that to say …. I hope I’ll be contributing more to my blog.

    I was really bad this weekend and went on a makeup shopping spree ( I’ll do a post about what I bought later this week ) ! I left Sephora feeling well … a bit ashamed of my self ( not really! ) but I knew that spending this much money on makeup was just ridiculous but I still did. That got me thinking;  I have so many dupes in my makeup kit that I use on clients and on myself, why not share them with you all!  I mean everyone likes to save money right ? So here is my first Splurge vs Save  list on my blog. This isn’t my complete list but these are some “Save “items that I’ve tried and I feel are very comparable to their “Splurge” item . Don’t  get me wrong  I love my Name Brand items but sometimes a girls gotta save for a rainy day! You know what I mean?  🙂 If you have any dupes of your own, leave me a comment below. I’m always on the look out for new dupe to try out.

    Side note: For those who are new to beauty blogs, a dupe is short for duplicate and it’s used in the beauty world to describe a cheaper copy of a high end item.

    DIOR Foundation
    MAC Fix +
    Studio Mac Tech
    MAC Angel Lipstick
    Bobbi Brown Gel Liner
    MAC #34 lashes
    Lancome Hypnose Mascara
    Clinique All About Eyes Serum

    No 7 BOOTS Foundation
    Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Polish
    E.L.F. Mist Spray
    NYX Stay MATTE not FLAT Powder Foundation
    Revlon Super Lustrous Primrose Lipstick
    Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner
    Ardell #105 Lashes
    Maybelline Rocket Express Mascara
    Garnier De-puffer eye roller


    Part 3: Summer Essentials – Hair


    I’m back with part 3 of my 3 part Summer essentials post. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts so far. This time we’re talking hair 🙂  Now, I’m not a hairdresser or hair guru by any means,  but I do know what I like for my hair. Here are 4 of my hair essentials that I always use and can’t do without for the Summer months! Enjoy!

    Hair Products

    1. Bumble and bumble Surf Spray!

    Hot summer days call for surfer babe waves! Ooh that’s catchy  🙂  Forget about the flat iron and blow outs this summer.  Think Giselle Bundchen beach wave look for Summer 2015!  Surf Spray is a salt infused styling spray which can be applied to dry or damp hair (I prefer damp) to give you the wavy beach look. It  adds volume and texture to your hair without weighing it down and its super easy to use. Apply the spray evenly to damp hair from root to ends,  then use a diffuser or hair dryer to dry your hair at the root.  You can leave your hair at this point or further enhance the waves by using a 1″ curling iron. Once hair is lightly curled, run your fingers through your hair several times to loosen the curls completely, You can apply the Surf Spray again if you wish.

    2. Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy

    If you have frizzy, damaged, coloured or chemically processed hair then you’re in need of some Oil hair treatment. Ojon is a company that no one in my circle of friends knew about until I started to rave about their products. I discovered this brand while watching the shopping network at 2 am. The company states that  ” this oil will help nourish, repair and transform dull and damaged hair and give you  glossy healthy shine with only 1 drop”. I have to admit, one drop doesn’t do it for me. 2 drops is more then adequate for medium to long hair.  You will most definitely see a transformation from dull hair to healthy shine hair with 2 applications of Rare Blend Oil. These oils were cultivated from Tahiti to the Kalahari Desert. I use Rare Blend religiously after I wash my hair and before styling. Add 2 drops in your palm and apply it all over your hair. Style as usual. It makes my hair feel  soft and glossy without weighing it down. I like the fact that this Oil treatment doesn’t have to be heated up or washed out of the hair.  Rare Belnd Oil and other Ojon products can be bought at Sephora and Ulta.

    3. L’Oreal Hair Expertise EverPure Color UV Protect Spray

    The kids and I are always outside in the hot Summer days, so I was looking for something ( besides a hat) to protect my hair from sun damage. Now why should I care about sun protection for my hair you ask? Good question ! According to Good Housekeeping Magazine  “The sun affects hair just like it affects skin.The sun dehydrates hair, leaving it brittle and prone to split ends. It can also fade your hair, which is what makes your colour turn brassy”. Ain’t nobody got time for brassy hair!!. The L’Oreal EverPure UV protect spray provides SPF 25 protection. You can apply it to damp or dry hair. It’s inexpensive and easy to use. This EverPure line also carries shampoo and conditioner with SPF protection as well.

    4. Aveda Sun Care

    Along with the L’Oreal Color UV protect spray, the Aveda sun care masque is another must have product if you are out in the sun too long . In my case,  I use this hair masque after I’ve been in chlorine water. Chlorine is very damaging to my curly coarse hair.  I apply the masque in the shower , leave it on for 2-3 minutes and then rinse it off. I notice my hair after every use just feels healthy, soft and shiny. The Sun Care masque is very creamy and smells divine!! It’s infused with 100% certified organic essences of neroli, ylang ylang and cistus.  Just love it!

    Thank you Beauties !!

    I love hearing from my readers so please do post a comment or question. ! I love reading them and responding.

    P.S.  I wanted to ensure that all my readers understood that I am in NO WAY paid for these reviews. I spend my own money to purchase these items and I choose to write an honest review. These are not sponsored posts.


    Part 2: Summer Essentials – MakeUp


    Hi Beauties 🙂

    I’m back with Part 2 of my 3 Part Summer Essentials Post. Before I continue with the post, I wanted to Thank you all for your supportive comments via Intstagram (@MakeupByMahaMatar) and e-mail ( It means a lot to me and encourages me to keep going. This blogging business is so very new to me and I’m learning so much along the way,  so THANK YOU 🙂

    Makeup Products

    1. Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup

    If you read my last post  ( of course you did!!) you know that I love my BB creams for Summer time, but there will be days when I want or need a little bit more coverage so I reach for my Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup foundation! This stuff is so lightweight and feels like I have nothing on. It covers beautifully, has a very natural looking finish and comes in 17 shades so your bound to find a perfect match. My only suggestion when wearing this foundation is to lightly powder over it to make it last all day. 

    2. Rimmel London Natural-bronzer

    On one of my frequent trips to the local drugstore I was lured into the cosmetics aisle by a well lit and beautifully placed display (darn displays get me every time!!). To my surprise it was a Rimmel display and the bronzer’s were the first thing I noticed. I wasn’t in need of a new bronzer but thought for $6.00 why not, and added it to my shopping cart. I have always been loyal to  this bronzer but I have to say the Rimmel bronzer has become a favourite in my makeup routine. I picked up Sun Bronze ( I have olive skin tone).  It has a slight shimmer but nothing too crazy and the texture is very soft. It’s easy to apply and feels good on my skin. It gives me that sun kissed glow and the small amount of shimmer that this bronzer contains is a very nice touch! I wear it on my cheeks and around my hairline. Again, there is a slight shimmer with this bronzer so if you contour with your bronzer,  I wouldn’t recommend using this bronzer for contouring. It is best if you purchase a full Matte bronzer. Oh yeah it also contains SPF!

    (Just a tip….your bronzer should be 1 to 2 shades darker than your natural skin tone).
    I have to say NARS is one of my favourite cosmetics brand.From their creamy under eye concealer to their lip glosses they can do no wrong. This blush is no exception. It’s a winner! It truly suits every skin tone and looks good on everyone. It gives you that hint of a natural flush making it ideal for everyday use. It can be layered with other blushes for an intensified look if your going out on the town. To be honest , I love this blush for all seasons not just Summer!

    In the Summer I tend to not wear lipstick , except for weddings or a night out with the hubby. I feel more” Summer ready ” with a nice gloss on my lips like the NYX extreme lip creams . These creams have taken on a life of their own. Everyone that uses them raves about them, including me!  The colour payoff of these glosses is phenomenal. NYX calls these lip creams a  hybrid of lipstick and lip gloss with intense pigmentation all-in-one”. I couldn’t agree more. They are highly pigmented, silky , long wearing for a lip cream/gloss and are easy to apply. But I have to say the  biggest bonus of all is that they are extremely affordable. I believe in Canada they sell for $4.99. That’s a great deal for the quality of these products. In Ottawa, you can buy these lip creams and other NYX products at Rexall or at My favourite are Dolly Girl and Natural. 

    5. SEPHORA COLLECTION Mixed Metals Baked Eye and Face Palette

    This  9 shadows in this metallic palette can be worn wet or dry. There are 2 blushes  as well as a highlighter. You can layer the shadows if you want an intense look or keep it simple with one colour on the lid.  Copper and Shale are such unique colours and  I love pairing them together!This palette is easy to carry around and so versatile. I definitley have gotten good use out of it so far. I can’t forget to mention what a good value this palette is. Definitly worth having in your Summer makeup collection

    6. EOS Organic Lipbalm

    Who hasn’t heard or tried EOS organic Lipbalm ? These cute sphere ( or egg heads, as my daughter likes to call them) shaped balms are definitely a big hit with anyone that likes to have silky smooth lips.  According to the company these lip balms are “95% organic, 100% natural, paraben and petrolatum free”. They lock in moisture and contain Shea butter. I use these babies all year round. I have them everywhere;  at the office, in the car, in my purse, in my gym bag……..everywhere!! They are perfect for carrying around in my cross body and whenever my lips are feeling dry, these egg heads save the day!

    Thank you Beauties for checking out my post. 

    Part 3 coming soon!

    Check me out on instagram @MakeUpByMahaMatar

    Part 1 : Summer Essentials – Skin Care Products

    Hi Beauties 🙂

    So I couldn’t decide what to write about for my first post!! Yes you read that right, this is my FIRST post on my blog and I’m so excited!! This blog has been a vision of mine for a very long time, but always found excuses to put it on the bottom of my TO DO list! Well this year I tossed that list out and made a new one……TO DO list for 2015….. get this darn blog up and running  🙂

    HERE WE GO………..

    Summer is just around the corner and I need to get my essential Summer products ready!!  I thought, why not share my list with ya all!  Instead of doing a long blog post, I wanted to break it down to 3 parts –  Skin Care – Makeup and Clothing /Accessories-.

    First Image is Summer skin care essentials that I constantly use and repurchase . The second image are Summer skin care essentials that I had heard so much about from other bloggers / friends and I wanted to find out what all the hype was about. Let’s just say I’ve been missin’ out on some awesome products.

    Keep reading to find out if you’ve been missin’ out too!

    Skin Care Products

    I have been using Paula’s Choice products for years now and I love them all,  especially the Daily Defense Moisturiser. It’s my every day moisturiser. It contains SPF 25 with protects your skin from sun damage. It’s lightweight and is loaded with Anti-Oxidants , so not only is it protecting your skin from sun damage, it’s also protecting your skin from other environmental stress factors. It’s lightweight and is best used if you have normal to dry skin. I would stay away from it if you tend to have oily skin.

    2.  Clarins Sunscreen for Face  SPF 50+

    I can’t stress enough how important it is to wear sunscreen!!! I have sunscreen in my moisturisers , my makeup and I also wear added sunscreen protection in the form of Clarins 50+ Cream.  This sunscreen is creamy and spreads really easily. It’s also provides broad-spectrum sun protection ( think anti-aging) and  works well for all skin types. This is the best, I would even say I found my HG of sunscreens!

    3. L’Oreal Sublime GLOW

    This product is unique in 2 ways . 1st way is because many people think of it as a full fledged tanning lotion… but it’s not. It’s supposed to be used everyday to give your skin gradual colour.  Sublime glow is a daily moisturiser to be used all over your skin, it’s enriched with mango butter , sweet almond oil and vitamin E. These ingredients condition and hydrate the skin. These ingredients work with you skins chemistry to give it a natural deeper tone and glow.The longer you use it, the more it enhances your natural skin tone. Don’t go thinking that your Snow White skin will look like supermodel IMANs’ skin after 2 weeks of use…it won’t!  It will , however , give you a nice gradual colour and glow 🙂 2nd reason this product is unique , is because it’s extremely hard to find it in Canada. Actually before Target closed down in Canada, that was the only place left where I could buy it. No other pharmacy that I have seen in Ontario sells it 🙁 When I travel to the Red, White, and Blue I stock up! I am not sure if L’Oreal is replacing this product therefore not restocking the shelves but if you do get your hands on it, give it a go… won’t be disappointed. If you want a similar product I would try This! I like This product and it does a good job.

    4. Avène Thermal Spring Water

    This is one of those versatile products that I love and you truly get your moneys’ worth. I use it to freshen up after a work out – a little spritz on the face and you look fresh and along with that natural work out flush , you have a nice glow. I, and many other makeup artists,  use it to set makeup. I’ve used it on clients and they love it. I’ve used it after shaving to calm any redness I may experience on my legs and underarms. After long flights, I use it to freshen up my skin so I don’t look tired. I know some ladies that have super sensitive skin use this product to calm their skin if they have been in the sun too long…as it’s used to calm and hydrate the skin quickly.  Love it! Love it! Highly recommend it for the upcoming Summer! If you can’t find this product at your local drugstore or department store you can try This .

     Skin Care Products

    1. Tarte Amazon Clay BB Tinted Moisturiser

    Tarte is an amazing brand. I would say I love 80% of their products and this one is at the top of my list. It’s a BB cream so it falls into skin care category but because it adds a bit of colour to your face it also can be considered makeup.  For those new to BB creams, it’s a moisturiser that hydrates, primes, protects, and camouflages your skin. Simply put it’s a foundation and moisturiser in one! Being a busy mom with 3 kids and a full time job I never  sometimes don’t have the time for my usual skincare/makeup routine ( post coming soon!!!) so I depend on BB creams to hydrate my skin and give me a bit of  coverage and colour. If you are a full coverage kind of gal, this won’t work for you. This is a lightweight oil free moisturiser ( think Summer heat!!) so it won’t clog your pores. I love that it also contains SPF. I first used this product when I took the kiddies out for a picnic. I was really impressed by the longevity of it and how it gave my skin even coverage. I don’t need to wear full coverage foundation but I still need a bit of coverage , so BB creams are life savers to me. The price point on the Tarte BB cream can be a bit steep so if your looking for an alternate BB cream, try my other favourites , Here and Here

    2. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

    I never wear foundation without a primer,  NEVER EVER EVER. I’m extremely loyal to my Benefit
    The POREfessional primer on myself and my clients until……I ran out and needed primer for a client. I couldn’t‘ make it to Sephora so I ran to my local drugstore and grabbed  the Maybelline Baby Skin. Wow ! I was blown away. It’s really silky and it definitely blurs the pores away giving you smooth skin. Plus you can’t complain about the price! I still love my Benefit The POREfessional primer but in the summertime I’ll defiantly be switching to Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Eraser.

    Am I the only person in the beauty world that never tried these wipes before 2015? I just never knew they existed. I know, I know, what kind of makeup artist am I!!!! I honesty have been loyal to the Kirkland brand makeup remover wipes. I was stole from my sisters room gifted the MAC makeup remover wipes and I never looked back at my Kirkland brand. According to M.A.C, these wipes are
    “Over sized, luxurious, super-saturated with special M·A·C cleanser infused with protective vitamin E. Hydrates and nourishes highly efficiently. Extremely refreshing. Totally addictive. Slickly packed, re-sealable, ready to go!..” and I AGREE!!! LOVE THEM! One swipe and the makeup is off. They ARE over sized and do not tear if your a bit rough with your face taking the makeup off. You don’t have to wait for Summer time to use these babies, use them all year round! 
    Where have you been all my life! If you know me you know I love a good body scrub. I use my Clarasonic religiously in the shower for all over body cleansing and I never found a great body scrub, until I was gifted,  I didn’t steal it from my sister, the BLISS Lemon- Sage Body Scrub. I LOVE the smell. It wakes me up in the morning. You’re supposed to use this as a pre-shower scrub , meaning you can use it dry on your skin but I don’t like the way that feels so I use it with water. It exfoliates really well due to the small scrubbing beads. I like to exfoliate ( so important ) my body at least twice a week to promote new skin cell growth and ensure there isn’t dead cell build up on my skin! It’s time for me to repurchase this product , but I was a bit hesitant due to it’s price point, however,  I really love how my skin feels after I use it so I will buy it again as a treat for myself, but if you are being economically conscious these days, try THIS
    I hope you’ve enjoyed my very FIRST post! Stay Tuned for Part 2 : Summer  Essentials : Makeup
    Please leave me a comment if there are any products or beauty topics you would like me to blog about. 
    Don’t forget to check me out and follow me on Instagram : @MakeupbyMahaMatar 

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