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    BEAUTY

    HYPED UP PRODUCTS I REGRET BUYING IN 2017!

    I hate leaving 2017 on a negative note, but honestly guys I had to share my experiences with you on these hyped up products I regret buying in 2017!  Usually, I don’t follow the masses but with some of these products I was really curious so I took the plunge and bought them and regret quickly sank in. Usually if I don’t like a product I have no problem returning the item BUT sometimes I get a bit too lazy to make it back to the store or it’s an online purchase and I don’t want to waste more money returning it, so I end up blogging about my experience! Win -Win I say!

    Photo of makeup products I regret buying

    Morphe 350M Palette Read more

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    BEAUTY

    2017 #musthave products!

    photo of #musthave products of 2017!

    As we bid farewell to 2017 I wanted to leave you guys with some of my favourite #musthave products that :

    #1 I used up completely and repurchased in 2017;

    #2  I loved so much I tried not to use them up too quickly (failed miserably)  and;

    #3 they will most likely continue to be my #musthaves in 2018!

    If you click on the product names below you will be redirected to the blog post that I dedicated to these products so you can gain an appreciation as to why  I selected them as my 2017 #musthave products! 

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    BEAUTY

    Rejuvenate Your Look This Season With My Autumn Favourites!

    Well hi there!

    Yes, it’s been a long time since we last spoke my dear friends 🙂

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve missed blogging and interacting with you all!

    Just a quick update on my life so far. As some of you noticed, I hope all of you noticed, my blog has been a bit dry lately. Trust me, it was not done intentionally…well it kind of was but it was for the best …trust me again. I was on an intensive course for 10 months that required  100% of my attention. Thankfully after loads of coffee, long sleepless nights , some tears and many missed family gatherings I can say I was successful and this opportunity has opened many doors for me. I’m so blessed and happy that it is now behind me and I can now concentrate, once again, on the things I love like family , makeup, blogging about makeup and eating good food…in that exact order 🙂

    ( I have to warn you, there is a lot of content in this blog post because I thought since I’ve been MIA I owed you a good read ! So go ahead grab a cup of coffee, tea, wine and get comfy because this one is worth the wait! )

    So now we’re deep into October and just last week it started to feel like Autumn in Ottawa. I spent a whole day switching out my closet to warm, cozy sweaters, boots, and scarfs and of course I didn’t neglect my makeup and skincare stash!

    Every new season I incorporate a few new items to my makeup and skincare routine and this season is no exception.

    Let me introduce you to just a few of the new Caryl Baker Visage Nirvana fall collection. The whole collection has the deep rich pigmented fall colours that we all love like the coppers, golds, deep reds and burgundies. Perfect for Autumn !

    I’ve used the CBV makeup in the past and loved it and this collection is perfection. So far I’ve used Faith, Shrine, and Stone eye shadows as well as Good Vibes lip lacquer. The shadows are pigmented ,long lasting with or without primer, but since I’m a creature of habit I always prime my lids regardless! I would have to say that Faith is my favourite shade. I use it as a base or worn alone for a romantic look. Stone has to be the deepest black I’ve tried. I compare the depth of black on Stone to the Inglot Cosmetics Gel liner pot, which in my opinion, is the blackest gel liner on the market so far. It’s that black! Shrine is gold perfection. It’s what I call a true gold. Not a yellow gold but more of a copper gold which I love!

    The Good Vibes lip lacquer is the essential lip colour for fall. It’s a deep plum that dries on matte and hydrates the lips. You will probably get a good 5 hour wear before you may need to reapply. I paired Good Vibes with a basic smokey eye using Stone and Shrine on the lower lash and the look was fire!  I’m really interested in trying the shade Lava which is a coral red lip lacquer. Two great colours for fall!

    Next up is my favourite makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury’s uber successful Hollywood collection which includes contour / highlight wands as well as matte liquid lipsticks. Of course I gravitate towards the lip products because I’m such a lip product junkie. Showcased here are Hollywood lips in Pin Up Pink and Rising Star. Both shades are more on the neutral side which I adore in any season! The staying power on the Hollywood Lip glosses are ridiculous … in a good way! I also love that they contain beeswax to ensure your lips stay hydrated as many matte products dry out your lips. The lip wand is shaped in a crescent to mimic the natural curves of the lip for easier application. This is genius!

    I also have the Hollywood Contour wand in a medium – dark shade. It is the perfect contour shade for my olive skin, however I’ve only used it once straightly from the tube and the other 5 or 6 times I’ve used the contour wand I had to dispense the product on the back of my hand and then onto a brush to apply. I feel like the wand dispenses too much product at once. Other than that I love this contour wand and it’s so compact that you can literally throw it in any bag and take it with you. If you are light-handed with this product it will last you a looong time!

    Makeup forever is one of my go-to trusted makeup brands. My pro kit is 80% makeup forever so of course I had to try the new Artist Face powders. I’ve tried out Gold Copper and Shimmery Champagne. This product is so multipurpose. I’ve used both shades as a top coat for eye shadow to add extra “pop” to  a look (kind of like glitter). You can also use them as highlighters and if I had the right shade I could have used them as a blusher !

    This past Summer I started using the Dermologica Daily Superfoliant to get rid of the dead skin cells that build up over time and it worked really well so I ‘m going to continue to use it this Fall as well. The superfoliant is a powder and once you add water it becomes a paste that is gentle enough to use everyday and I truly use it everyday. My face feels so fresh and so clean after.

    Another daily product that I now love and simply have to add to my skincare routine is the Vichy Pureté Thermal cleansing gel as well as the Vichy LIFTACTVE Vitamin C hydraulic acid for intense anti aging benefits. The cleansing gel is now in my top 5  must have products of all time. I knew it was a good cleanser once it passed my cotton round test.

    What’s the cotton test you ask? Great question! I knew I had smart readers 🙂

    The cotton test is when you take a cotton round and after washing with a cleanser and drying your face, you take a cotton round and swipe it on your forehead. If you have any dirt or impurities that come off on the cotton round than the cleanser is no bueno ( not good in Spanish) , however if you swipe and nothing comes off onto the cotton round then you have yourself a winning cleanser! This is my cotton round test! Go ahead , it’s yours to use. As well, I think it’s really important to mention that my skin did not dry out after using the cleansing, actually it felt really fresh and radiant.

    The Vichy LIFTACTIVE Vitamin C is not going to be for everyone. Some of you may find it too strong for your skin, but my skin absolutely loves it! As soon as I apply the Vitamin C it seeps into my skin without any irritation.  I wanted to add a Vitamin C product to my routine because I am so sick of my brown / sun spots that have formed these past 2 years. I’ve used the LIFTACTIVE Vitamin C for a few weeks now and it seems to be diminishing the brown spots. They are still there but it looks like they are less visible. For sure I’m gong to keep using the product until these darn brown spots are no more!!  As well this product is great for lifting and plumbing your skin so you look more awake and youthful!!

    Since I’m still loving the Rocky Mountain Soap Co. products I definitely wanted to include them in this post, but if you want an in-depth review of these products you can read all about them here.  Same goes for the Ordinary products that have literally saved my skin this Summer. You can read about those products here.

    That’s a wrap on my Autumn favourites! Again, Thank you guys for supporting  my blog and I am so happy to be back sitting in front of my computer, with a bowl of vegan mint chocolate chip ice cream and blogging about what I love most! Thank you so much !

     

    XO MAHA

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    BEAUTY, BRAND TALK, WELLNESS

    Is Natural Skin Care Worth The Hype ? Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Review

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN SOAP COMPANY
    ROCKY MOUNTAIN SOAP COMPANY

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN SOAP COMPANY

    I love a good skincare regimen and for the most part I try to stick to what I know works well on my skin and doesn’t break me out.  My routine is fairly simple ( not) : cleanser, toner, serum , anti-aging eye product, mask, moisturizer and finally lip balm. I told you it was simple ! Unfortunately, I can’t stop or turn back time (the things I would do if I could though…lol) so I’ve been finding lately that my skin is changing slightly and a few of my go-to products have been irritating me a bit. Maybe it’s the change of season or it could be that as my skin is changing it’s also becoming sensitive . So I knew  it was time to change of the skin care regimen.

    The Rocky Mountain Soap Co. came to my rescue! They sent me these products to sample and I couldn’t have been happier to receive them just as I was looking to switch up my skin care.Before being sent the products I didn’t know much about this company, only that it was sold at Rainbow Natural Foods in Ottawa. I dug deeper to learn that Rocky Mountain Soap Company only use Toxin Free products to create their vast lineup of All Natural products. As well the products are handmade in Alberta, Canada! I’ve never used 100% natural skincare products  so I thought why not, let’s give it a go.

    I was sent the following products to sample:

     

    CALMING TONER

                   CALMING TONER

    Lavender and Arnica are known skin soothing ingredients so once I started using this toner I knew my skin  instantly liked it! I didn’t have that dry feeling I had before applying the toner and since I only apply toner at night, I woke up the next morning to very hydrated but more specifically non-itchy skin. I definitely think the lavender did the trick! As well it helped a lot that this toner smelled like heaven and I woke up smelling like a flower!

     

    POMEGRANATE DAY CREAM

        POMEGRANATE DAY CREAM

    Pomegranate is superfood for your skin, just don’t eat the jar even though it does smell good enough to nibble on! The moisturizer is very hydrating when used with the toner or alone. As with all the Rocky Mountain Soap Company products, the moisturizer is 100% natural and toxin-free.If I could bathe in this moisturizer I would!!! The only drawback I found was that it didn’t have any SPF , but then it wouldn’t be considered all natural. Still, I couldn’t justify leaving the house with out SPF so I layered an SPF product on top of this moisturizer.

    AFTER SUN BODY BUTTER

          AFTER SUN BODY BUTTER

    Since there’s not a lot of sun in Ottawa lately, except for a day here and there, I haven’t used this product for it’s intended purpose which is to soothe skin after too much sun exposure. Since I didn’t have that problem I started using this product on my legs after shaving! I get crazy little red bumps  and since this body butter contains Aloe, beeswax, coconut and castor oil ,which are all known hydrating ingredients, I knew it would sooth my legs! Voila, it worked! Now instead of applying lotion, I’ve started to reach for the body butter stick! It hydrates and gives my legs a nice glow as well.

    RESTORATIVE FACE MASK

    RESTORATIVE FACE MASK

    Who doesn’t love a good face mask! This mask contains Ginseng and Spirulina which a are known to soften skin and give your skin a healthy glow by infusing it with organic botanicals. The first time I used this mask, I was a bit taken back by the smell. It wasn’t bad but didn’t smell great. It did smell like vanilla and coconut with a green powdery consistency. Once you add water to the powder it creates a paste and you leave it on your skin for 10-15 minutes. Don’t add too much water ,  a tiny bit goes a long way. It was easy to remove after the time expired and my skin felt very nourished and hydrated. The package is only 40 grams so you can get 4 uses out of the one package.

    So for the past 2 weeks and half I’ve been using these products and I’v truly enjoyed the 100% natural and non-toxic products that the Rocky Mountain Soap Co. sent me to sample. I am obsessing mostly over the toner, moisturizer and body butter as I feel they really worked well and quickly to sooth my irritated skin. Now I’m not saying I will go all natural with my skincare from now on, but I am making a continue effort to introduce more natural and toxin-free products in my life. I have to say it does feel good to know that I have absolutely no chemicals on my face! I would highly recommend these products to anyone who is against chemicals in their skin care routine and who is looking for a well rounded skin care line that can fight the aging process and still keep skin hydrated and plump. I will definitely continue to use the toner and moisturizer in my routine ( LOVE LOVE!) now that I know they are instantly soothing my skin!

     

    Have you tried any of the Rocky Mountain Soap Co.products? If you have or are interested in trying any of them, leave me a comment below!

    *Rocky Mountain Soap Co.sent me the products to sample but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced by the company.*

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    BEAUTY

    AMAZING PIXI BY PETRA SKIN CARE PRODUCTS THAT WORK!

    Pixi by Petra Skin Care

    To all my fellow Canadians, if you haven’t heard yet, Pixi by Petra is now available at Shoppers Drug Mart!  Yes, finally we can get our Pixi glow on anytime we want ! I’ve been a huge fan of Pixi ever since I tried the cult favourite ” Glow Tonic”. It’s on repeat in my skin care regimen and I’m loving the results! I wanted to introduce to you my current favourite skin care products from Pixi that I’ve been using lately and loving. 

     

    Pixi by Petra Skin Care

    Pixi by Petra Skin Care

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    BEAUTY

    Finally, Drugstore SkinCare Products that work !!

     
    I tend to be OK with paying a lot more for higher end department store skincare treatments or products because I know I’m paying for better formulation of ingredients, higher quality ingredients and the science behind the product. Even though I adore my higher end skincare products, I still jumped at the chance to test out the L’Oréal Revitalift Bright Reveal™ treatments for 6 weeks when Influenster offered them to me. I thought to myself, can I truly find products that can deter the signs of aging, brighten, hydrate my skin and not break the bank? 

    Read on to find out!


     
    Influenster sent me the Bright Reveal™ scrub cleanser,daily lotion, dual overnight moisturizer, and daily peel pads (not pictured).
     
    The timing of receiving this package was impeccable as I had just 
    written a post on the importance of adding new products to your 
    skincare routine at the turn of every season! As I truly wanted to provide a thorough review I dedicated 6 weeks to only using these products day and night. 
     
     
     
    The Bright Reveal ™scrub cleanser provides gentle exfoliation to reveal new skin. This is done by the micro-pearls in the scrub that contain Glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is a powerful compound that penetrates deep into the skin to address any concerns such as blackheads and wrinkles. L’Oréal recommends you use the cleanser scrub once in the morning and once at the end of the night.
     I ‘m usually not a fan of the micro-beads found in scrubs or exfoliators as I find they are too abrasive on my skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, but my skin just doesn’t react well to them.  Fortunately, I didn’t experience any abrasions with this cleanser scrub. The micro-pearls are so fine that my skin wasn’t irritated. Even though I found this cleanser scrub gentle enough to use everyday, I decided to use it three times a week in the morning.
     
     


     
    The Bright Reveal ™ peel pads are pre-soaked with powerful amounts of gylcolic acid to help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles , brighten complexion, rejuvenate dull skin and exfoliate, at a higher concentration than the cleanser scrub, dead skin cells. I used the peel pads every night before applying the overnight moisturizer. I definitely saw a more even toned complexion in the morning after using it consistently for one week straight. After raving about this product for two weeks my sister snatched it from me before I could snap a photo of it for this post. I’m not mad at her though,  sharing really is caring 🙂


     
     
    Bright Reveal™ Brightening daily lotion with SPF 30 can be used every morning after cleansing the skin with the scrub or pads. This lotion is very lightweight and definitely has become my favourite daytime lotion. Since it has SPF it’s also become my only protection against the sun’s harmful rays. The lotion is great under makeup and it doesn’t give off a white cast due to SPF ingredients. I like to wear Estée Lauder double wear foundation during the day and this day lotion is the perfect base for it. Anytime I wear it I see my face has a glow to it regardless of what makeup I apply on top!
     


     
    Bright Reveal ™ Dual Overnight Moisturizer can be used after the reveal pads or the cleanser scrub. This overnight moisturizer is a brightening + anti-wrinkle night treatment. This treatment contains a powerful combo of Glycolic acid + Vitamin C + Retinol to combat wrinkles and uneven skin tone while you sleep.I’m exceptionally surprised by the high level of Retinol contained in this overnight moisturizer. Usually drugstore products do not have high concentrations of retinol and therefore are not as effective on the skin. This is not the case with the this moisturizer! 
     
     Do I love these products?

     Yes, I sure do! I especially love the brightening peel pads and day lotion! I think they are the stars of the set! I am on my second bottle of day lotion already and I love how it feels on my skin and under my makeup. It gives my skin a surge of moisture and brightens up my complexion instantly. The brightening peel pads are doing wonders at shedding away dead skin. After using them every night I can see that they are more concentrated than the scrub but still gently enough to use everyday. The overnight moisturizer feels great when I apply it after cleansing my face. It’s a light and silky lotion that doesn’t have a fragrance. I have very small fine lines on my forehead and I wanted to see if after 6 weeks of continuous use they would be less visible , as per L’Oréal claims with this product. Unfortunately, I can’t say the claims about reducing fine lines are true, at least for me they were not. I didn’t notice any change with the fine lines. I may need to use the product longer, which I am doing anyway because I did notice that the little sun spot on my right cheek was diminishing slightly! Yeah no more sun spots, boo, still have fine forehead lines! 

    I will continue to use the L’Oréal Revitalift Bright Reveal ™ products as a set for the the simple fact that I have seen a change in the overall tone of my skin. My sunspots are diminishing and hopefully with extended use they will disappear, but the #1 reason I will continue to use these products is because I have noticed that my skin is more radiant than ever before. 

    As I am always open and honest on this blog (and life in general) I want to finish off this post by stating that if Influenster didn’t send me these products to test out, I probably wouldn’t have picked them up on my own. Why? Because I had the mind set that any product under $25 was not powerful and concentrated enough to make a difference on my skin. You see, I am that girl that spends atrocious amounts of money on makeup products so if I can find a drugstore dupe for some of the higher end makeup that I fancy then I go for it and buy the $8 mascara that will give me voluminous lashes like Lancome Hypnose can. I need to start applying the same way of thinking to drugstore skincare products as well. Just because it’s sold at Walmart or Shoppers doesn’t mean it’s not as effective as the product sold at Nordstrom or The Bay. I’m not saying that all drugstore skincare products will do as they claim on the packaging but I won’t dismiss them as quickly as I used too.
     
    XO, MAHA 
     
    Disclaimer: I was sent these products for review by Influenster, but I was not asked for a positive review on my blog. All the  opinions expressed are my own.
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