Stand Against Sexual Harassment #Mesh_Basita #مش_بسيطة

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I am about to share with you a story that I’ve only told to few people…

When I was a child, my parents always wanted me to participate in different cultural activities; drawing was one of them. I loved drawing and coloring, it was a hobby that I wanted to improve so I joined a cultural center where I had a couple of classes each week. I remember one time we had a substitute teacher, he was a teenager who knew nothing about drawing, he was only there to watch us finish our work. I asked him if I can go to the bathroom and he said sure okay. As I walked out of the class and towards the bathroom I noticed that he was following me and he insisted that he wants to help me. I was 7 years old at the time, but this didn’t stop me from noticing that his behavior was odd and that his place was definitely not in the girl’s bathroom to help me. I immediately refused and went directly to the receptionist and asked her to call my mom to come pick me up from this place. I was so disgusted and horrified to the extent that I waited for my mom on the street, I couldn’t stay one more minute there. I remember clearly that his boy didn’t even touch me, but it was my first encounter with sexual harassment and it was definitely not okay. This is one of many incidents that girls are forced to live with in different scenarios on a daily basis. Sexual harassment doesn’t have to be in the form of a physical act, it can be the way someone speaks to you or looks at you. It doesn’t have to be from a stranger, it can be from anyone in your direct circle.

I am extremely proud to be part of The KIP Project on Gender and Sexuality at AUB campaign #Mesh_Basita #مش_بسيطة stands for the idea that sexual harassment is not okay, that it should not be normalized, and that there should be legislative reform around these issues in Lebanon. Check out the full video for the campaign, which is held in partnership with the Office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, WAMLebanon. Join us in sharing your own photos, videos, and text highlighting that sexual harassment is not okay using the hashtags until August 15, 2017.

Sexual Harassment is not okay in any way, and I invite you to spread the word and share your experience!

Lara xx

My Fashion “Anti-Haul”: Trendy Items I am not Willing to Invest In

So, before we start this post I want to clarify what is a ” Fashion Anti-Haul”. Basically, it’s the things that I am not interested in buying for several reasons. I found this concept on YouTube and I felt like I really need to blog about this since it’s a new intake on trends and shopping in general.

We are constantly being bombarded with trends and items that we feel the need to buy, but sometimes its good to step back and realize that we don’t need to buy all these items to feel happy and content. I also intended on writing about this since bloggers are technically perceived as a sales agents for everything related to the fashion/beauty industry, and this raises a huge question mark on what items should we buy or not. Are all trends worth the investment? 

Below are a few items/trends that I am simply not buying. I learned my lessons over the years, I will not easily fall in the same trap! Whether I am paying a large or a small amount of money, I really don’t need it all!

1- Pearl Jeans

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It looks like pearls on everything is the newest trend. Wherever I go, I find pearls on shoes, bags, sunglasses, clothes, etc.. I’ve been also particularly eyeing jeans with pearls on them and it seems like everyone has these pants now (Thanks Zara). I really don’t find it necessary to purchase those jeans or any item with pearls on it simply because it will become useless next year and I would have paid a lot of money on them. The jeans for example are above $50 so I’d rather invest in a pair that I can regularly wear for a long time.

2- One Piece Swimsuits

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If I can give summer ’17 a theme it would be ” One Piece Swimsuits & Flamingo Inflatables”. I am sure you’ve noticed how wide spread the one-piece swim suit trend is. However, this is also an item that I am not willing to purchase seeing that I usually like to stick to timeless pieces that I can wear for more than 2 summers. Moreover, I usually don’t have the flexibility to go regularly to the beach so I end up wearing my swim suits a maximum of 2 times each. That’s why, I will not be adding one-piece swim suits to my collection any time soon.

3- Bags

I love bags! I will always spend money on bags with no regret, but sometimes when you’re throwing a serious amount on certain bags you need to do a lot of researching

  • GUCCI:

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Gucci has been releasing a lot of models lately and I really don’t see them as timeless trendy pieces that can be worn for many years. I can’t afford a Gucci bag at the moment, but even if I did, I would never invest in such pieces that I could only wear for one season.

  • Basket Bags

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So, “The Little Red Riding Hood”  basket bag is a thing right now. I don’t mean to be rude, but I really don’t see the logic behind carrying a basket bag. Sure, they’re cute and everything, but they look super impractical and they are quite expensive. This is also an item that is here to stay for one season so I am surely not interested to buy a bag that can only be useful for a Sunday picnic.

4- Shoes

  • Les Tropeziennes Sandals

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This was one item I bought a few years ago because I fell under the internet spell. I saw everyone wearing them and I thought to myself why not invest in a pair of sandals that will last a long time and are supposedly good quality sandals. Man I was wrong! I remember purchasing these sandals for approximately $85 thinking that they will last me a lifetime, only to learn one summer after that they’re my biggest purchase disappointment. After wearing them for a few times, they became seriously slippery and they looked super disgusting like I’ve worn them for 6 years (Keeping in mind that I extra good care of all my shoes, clothes, and bags). I don’t think I will ever buy expensive shoes ever again after this experience.

  • Swimming/Training Slides

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For the past year or so I’ve also been seeing a lot of those Adidas and Nike slides that look weird and are also ridiculously expensive. Actually I still don’t understand why would I want to wear athlete slippers in public, they’re not casual in the sense that they could be thrown with a pair of genes and a t-shirt. They would still make me look like a lazy person or an athlete wannabee so no thanks.

  • Fenty Fur Slides

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I really don’t want to go on and on and waste time and energy on those hideous shoes. Simply I will never think of buying those shoes and neither should you.

So here you have it, my “Fashion Anti-Haul”! I really hope you enjoyed this post and I hope it made you think a bit about some items that you regret buying and your future buying habits. As I mentioned before, you really don’t need to follow and spend on every trend out there. Next time you go shopping think a bit about the item that you’re about to buy and how much use can you get out of it.

What are the items that will fall under your fashion anti-haul?

Lara xx

VIDEO: My Top 5 Summer Style Essentials

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Hi guys, this is a quick hello to announce that there’s a new video on my YouTube channel where I chat about my summer style essentials. I apologize in advance if you’re a non-Arabic speaker, but most of the items mentioned have already been styled on the blog! In the future, I will plan on having the same content shared on the blog in English, or film a few videos completely in English. Let me know what you think 🙂

Thank you in advance for all your support and sweet messages

Lara xx

How I Create Time for Myself

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Sometimes we get so involved with work/studying/parenting, that we forget to step back and give ourselves some time off to relax and unwind.

It was at a certain point in my life (probably a year ago), when I realized that I wasn’t giving myself some time off to disconnect and just relax. It was a moment when I decided to make some fundamental changes in my daily routine that could help solve this problem

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∇ Weekends are Sacred ∇

In the past I used to always accept working on weekends, sometimes I even offered to finish some work or attend an event/meeting that is work related. Nowadays, I accept the fact that sometimes there are some exceptions and work might need to be done over the weekend, but on regular weekends I usually sign out of everything work-related and I try to enjoy my time off as much as possible. I usually plan weekend activities and getaways so that my days off are not wasted especially during the summer time. I also make it a point to check social media less than usual. These photos were taken at Kalei Coffee Shop in Mar Mikhael where I usually enjoy some quite time during the weekend. The place is just so hidden and secluded so whenever I am there I feel I am in my own bubble where I can play with puppies, read a book, or chat with friends.

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∇ Well-being Routine ∇

My personal well-being routine consists of finding some time to constantly remain active, pampered, and well read. I know it’s hard to commit to the gym when you have a full time job, but I found early morning workouts to be the best solution for a working person (especially if you work long hours). If you can’t go to the gym, a walk or a quick blood circulating workout at home should be sufficient. I also find great joy in my  “me time” pamper/skin-care routine. I usually like to play with face masks or just apply my regular skin-care routine. Believe me, nothing beats the feeling of relaxation and zen afterwards. My daily well-being routine wouldn’t be complete without a podcast, book, or a YouTube video, and those usually come in handy before bed.

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∇ Blogging/Vlogging ∇

Blogging/Vlogging is hard work; you always have to plan, schedule, create, edit, etc.. but for me it’s fun work, it’s something totally created by me and that makes it such a rewarding hobby or whatever you want to call it. Whenever I feel so overwhelmed with life I look around and I realize the sad truth, I am neglecting something I created from scratch 5 years ago, and that’s what keeps me motivated to unwind and go back to my laptop to write and create new things. One of the best ways to disconnect from your hectic life is definitely practicing your hobby whatever it may be, and that is a very crucial step for stress management.

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So there you have it, those were my 3 ways to de-stress and unwind. What do you usually do?

My outfit details:
Pants: Bershka 
Shirt: Old
Vest/Bag: Zara 
Shoes: Mango

Lara xx

My 3-Step Summer Morning Routine

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Summer is a very tricky time of the year for me. I am usually very lazy when it comes to makeup and skincare, because let’s face it, we are all sweaty and irritated and we really don’t need extra layers on our faces. That being said, I developed an easy, simple, 3-step routine that takes about 2 mins and covers all the necessary basics.

1- Cleanser

I’ve been using the Vichy Ideal White cleanser for about 3 months now and I am loving the results. It’s super light-weight and the texture is so revitalizing which is something I really look for during the summer period. I haven’t had any breakouts from this product so I am guessing it is working well with my skin.

2- Toner

I recently went for a skin consultation session with Kiehl’s where they gave me this Toner to use everyday after my cleanser. This product with Iris Florentina Root Extract, is known for its deeply nourishing and anti-aging benefits to skin, so it helps prep your skin and moisturize it before you begin the morning or night routine.  I haven’t been using it for a long time, but I am incorporating it in my daily skincare routine so hopefully I’ll report back on this one.

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3- SPF

This is probably the most important step in this whole routine. SPF is highly important in winter and summer and it’s a step that I never miss in my morning routine. I am currently using one by Avene which I absolutely love! You can also use other options that are tinted if you don’t like using foundation or BB cream.

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Extras: 

There are obviously a few products that I occasionally use here and there such as the thermal water sprays to set my makeup and refresh my skin during the day. The 2 sprays I usually use are from Vichy and Avene. I also tend to use eye cream before concealer if I am feeling my skin is dry (I know I should be committing to that more often).

Hope you liked today’s post, what are your go to products for summer?

PS: I’ve added links for some of the products mentioned below so that you can shop my post and benefit from a discount! 

Lara xx

Drugstore Matte Liquid Lipstick Review: ColourPop, NYX, Sephora,etc…

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When it comes to my lipstick preference, I usually lean towards the matte liquid lipstick formula. This year I had the chance to try many different lipstick brands, some drugstore, and others high-end. For this post, I decided to focus on the more affordable brands who carry matte liquid lipsticks.

Before I start this post I want to state that this is my personal opinion based on my experience. The products mentioned below have been tested over and over for the past months, so it is not a first impressions point of view 

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1- L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Lip Paint

I purchased this lipstick a few months ago from Feel 22. I had no expectations, I simply wanted to test a new shade for spring and summer. Color wise, I really really loved this lipstick, I always find myself reaching for it on a daily basis. However, if you’re looking for a matte lipstick that will last you all day this is not it. True, it is a matte liquid formula, but it is more of a super moisturizing formula that fades off 30 mins later, so you need to re-apply many times during the day. I have noticed that it tends to last longer if I use a lip-liner below, so that might help

You can purchase this lipstick on this link http://bit.ly/2qdcYzS

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2- ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip

When I first saw the ColourPop Ultra Matte bundles on Feel 22 I was so impressed with the color range and the prices. I wanted to buy a pack but the products were immediately sold out. Eventually I had the chance to buy the Up and Away bundle that consisted on nudes and oranges. The name of this collection says it all, it is ultra matte, and they weren’t joking at all when they came up with this name. I really hated the formula of this lipstick; it’s super matte to the extent that it starts falling off during the day. It also left me with extreme chapped lips the next day so that didn’t encourage me to re-use the product at all. My only solution to prevent the falling off/chapped lips situation was to use lip balm before applying the lipstick and I could honestly see an improvement. If you really want to try the Ultra Matte range, I highly encourage you to use lip balm before.

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3- Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain

I have mentioned this product over and over on my blog and it is still a favorite of mine! The color I use (Marvelous Mauve) is perfect for my skin tone, I use it for all occasions and it never fails to impress me. The formula is just excellent, I never experience any chapped lips and it stays on for the entire day even after I eat or drink.

The color I use is currently sold out on Feel 22, but you can try other colors as seen in this link http://bit.ly/2pjB1bx

4- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

Out of all the products previously mentioned, this is my most recent acquisition as NYX recently launched in Lebanon during Jamalouki Con. I applied this lipstick every single day for the past 2 weeks so I guess I have a final review by now.  I can fairly say that this lipstick comes between the L’Oreal Lip Paint and the Sephora Lip Stain. It doesn’t fade away quickly, but is it moisturizing and “less matte” just like the L’Oreal lipstick. The color and the formula is perfect for everyday use, so I do recommend it if you’re not looking for a super matte formula.

I hope you enjoyed this type of post! For more updates follow me on Instagram & Facebook

Lara xx

My Birthday Brunch

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I haven’t done a proper birthday celebration in years, so this year I thought why not?!

It was a beautiful warm Sunday morning at Garden State where I invited some of my closest and dearest for brunch to celebrate turning 24! For this occasion, I decided to wear one of my favorite pieces that I bought a few months ago from Zara. The moment I spotted this unique piece, I knew I had to have it. I saw myself wearing it for at least the next 5 years, and that justified the splurge, as it was one of those expensive items at Zara.

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Below this embroidered piece, I wore a sports bra from Victoria’s Secret. Yes you read that right, a sports bra! I didn’t own any black cropped top, so I said to myself why not wear a sports bra instead. I was lucky with the weather, so I wasn’t feeling cold at all with this combination

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This birthday was really special, I was surrounded with amazing people who took really good care of me for the past week. I also want to dedicate a special thank you to my dearest school friends and my partner for being there for at least the past decade, you are the best!

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What do you think of this birthday outfit? How would you pair it?

Photos by: Zahra Basma

I was wearing:

Embroidered Cover: Zara (F/W 16-17)

Sports Bra: Victoria’s Secret

Leggings: American Apparel

Sunglasses: Rayban Round Metal Classics from Sunglass Hut