My Holy Grail Beauty Products

IMG_0395 edit .jpgAfter years of trial and error, I can finally say that I have a few Holy Grail products that I usually stick to for everyday use (and others for fancy occasions). In today’s YouTube video, I go over each product in detail and explain the reasons why they worked for me.

1- Vichy Ideal White Cleanser

I never believed in the power of a cleanser until I tried this one by Vichy. I always feel that my skin is super clean and refreshed after using it. I also like to texture of the liquid since it doesn’t come off as super soapy and foamy.

2- Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water

I swear by this product since forever! After trying many other brands, I do believe that this is the best Micellar water in the market since it cleans the eyes and the face in one swipe only. There’s a special discount happening now on Feel 22 for this brand, and you can also use my promo code for even more discount! What can I say it’s Christmas Time 😀 (link in the video’s description box)

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3- Sephora Liquid Lipstick #13

I have mentioned this lipstick many times on the blog for an evident reason, I really can’t get over how perfect it is. The color, the texture, the longevity, and everything else about this lipstick is pure perfection! We sadly can’t have this product easily in Lebanon, but if you happen to know anyone who is coming from USA, Europe or the GCC, I highly advise you to ask them to get you that product with them.

4- L’Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim

This eyeliner really helped me in my “learning how to apply my winged liner” process. I still can’t do a perfect winged liner, but I can’t deny that this eyeliner helps it appear a 100 times better and more precise.

5- Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

I discovered this super high coverage foundation this summer when I had a couple of weddings and dinners to attend. If you’re looking for a long-lasting high coverage foundation, I highly recommend this one since it blends really well with the skin and it contains SPF!

Hope you liked my blog post and my video on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe and let me know what other videos you would like to see on my channel

What are your Holy Grail beauty products?

Lara xx

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I Started the 21 Day Challenge with Healthy Happy Us – Week 1 Update

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If you guys follow me on Instagram (shameless promotion @laraajouzz), you may have seen that I decided to start the 21 Day Challenge with Healthy Happy Us.  I read so much about this challenge back when they were still in round 1, so it got me super excited to try it myself during the second round.

To begin with, what is the 21 Day Challenge?

Just as the name says, it’s a 3 week challenge that will help you get rid of the stubborn kgs of fat.

The 3 week challenge includes:

  • A total of 5 juicing days spread out through the 21 days. They include a special recipe of protein energy balls and crunchy salad (delivered to your house) – I decided not to go with this option, but you can definitely try it.
  • Weekly meal plans
  • Weekly 30-45 minute workout videos
  • Delicious recipes that take no more than 30 minutes, even if it’s your first time in the kitchen!

After I did my body composition test, I realized that I gained 2 kilos and my fat levels need some adjustment. I want to challenge my body to become stronger and healthier and that is not only a 21 day goal, I want to make it a life-long goal.

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What am I feeling so far?

Now I am at week 1 in this challenge, and I am already starting to feel the difference. I obviously didn’t lose weight not gained muscles yet, but I changed some bad habits! The challenge definitely helps you discipline yourself since it’s slightly strict in terms of what food you should be consuming and the quantities. I also found myself really interested in the meal planning concept; it made me excited to cook my meals and try them the second day. I am aware that I don’t have a huge target in terms of weight loss, but it’s important to detox every now and then, and give your body a break from all the useless processed and junk food that we consume regularly.

If you’re interested in taking the challenge yourself, make sure you reach out to Healthy Happy Us to start your program. You can meet the dietitians Baraa El Sabbagh or  Rola Ghaddar at Healthy Happy Us in Beirut, Lebanon or you can book an online appointment.

Stay tuned for the second post during week 2 where I will be revealing more about my food and workouts!

Lara xx

 

My Experience with Keratin Hair Treatment

 

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Before I did my Keratin hair treatment, I asked many people who already went through the process so that I know if I should go for it or not. Now that my treatment is almost gone, I decided to write about my own experience and give you my honest feedback.

Before I move on with this post, if you have thin hair, straight hair (but you’re in denial), or extremely oily hair, don’t consider this treatment at all. Find an alternative with your hairdresser. If you have healthy thick tamed hair, count your blessings and please stop nagging ❤

I decided to go with the treatment since I was tired of styling my frizzy hair especially during summer time. I wanted my hair to be tamed and straight during the hot weather to avoid the styling hassle. I did the treatment back in May and the hairdresser told me that it’s supposed to last for about 5-6 months. My hair now is still straight, but wavy from the top since my hair is growing.

Keratin Hair Treatment Pros:

  • Saves time
  • Removes Frizz from hair
  • Doesn’t need styling or additional hair products
  • Lasts a long period of time (5-6 months)
  • Relatively affordable

However, every miraculous treatment has its Cons:

  • Increases hair-fall
  • Hair looks greasy during the 1st month
  • Hair needs to be washed more than usual
  • Increases split-ends

The Verdict:

I can’t deny that this treatment really saved my life this summer. If you have stubborn frizzy hair, I encourage you to try this treatment at least once. I don’t think I will re-do this treatment any time soon just because I feel the it involves a lot of chemicals, and I don’t want to be exposed to that regularly. However, I might do it again in summer if I felt the need.

Before I end this blog post I want to mention that I paid $100 for the treatment. Be warned, many hair salons are charging $300++ so make sure you ask around before you seal the deal.

Lara xx

Bodrum Travel Diary & Tour Tips

I managed to sneak in a very last minute trip to Bodrum-Turkey beginning of this month, so I thought I would document this trip on the blog in case you were ever interested in visiting the beach-side city.

To start with, Bodrum is very easy to access if you live in Europe or the Middle East. In Lebanon for instance, we have daily flights during summer, and the flight duration is approximately 1hr30. The weather in September is very pleasant, hot during the day (30°C-35°C) and breezy during the night (mid 20°C).

What to do in Bodrum?

Visit The Main Marinas

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Bodrum is famous for its marinas. If you happen to visit this city, I highly recommend Palmarina and Bodrum Marina.

Palmarina was definitely one of my favorite hangout spots. It is a large marina surrounded by high-end stores and restaurants. You can also find the famous Nusr-et there, but make sure you have a reservation ahead of time since it’s always packed. I had dinner at a place called Cookshop, and the burger I had was easily one of the best I’ve ever had!

If you’re based in Gumbet (where usually the majority of tourists stay in Bodrum), you can take the 10 min bus journey to Bodrum Marina for 3 Tukish Liras/person. If you want to visit Palmarina, you have to go by taxi since it’s approximately 30 mins away from Gumbet and buses don’t usually go there.

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Bodrum marina is considered the “city center”. It is filled with traditional shops and kiosks that you expect to find in a market. It is very cozy and the prices are definitely cheaper than the shops at Palmarina.

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Island Tour

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You can’t visit Bodrum without experiencing the boat trip that takes you to different islands. Nothing beats the feeling of sailing in the middle of the sea surrounded by other boats and beautiful scenery. The trip takes about 6 hours, so you might want to keep that in mind while planning your itinerary.

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Dalyan Tour

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Many people visit Bodrum without experiencing Dalyan. It is definitely an exhausting trip, but it’s worth the long hours. This tour is longer than the boat trip, you start at about 6:30 AM and you arrive back to your hotel at about 6:30 PM, so it’s considered a full day trip. Dalyan tour consists of a mud bath, a boat trip, and finally a swim in the sea where lake water and sea water meet. I don’t recommend this trip if you have kids, but if you’re with family or a group of friends it’s fun.

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Visit the Windmills

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If you want a nice view of the city you can head to the windmills in Gumbet area. You can also see the Greek Kos island from this hill so it’s a nice spot for photos. If I go back to Bodrum I would definitely hike there during sunrise or sunset.

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Extras

Here are a few things that I didn’t get the chance to try (since our stay was very short), but I would definitely like to try them during my next visit:

1- Visit the castle of St. Peter

2- Have lunch at Gümüşlük, a sea-side village 

3- Try the famous Turkish bath 

4- Drive to Pamukkale & Ephesus 

Hope you liked my mini travel diary and tour guide! Have you ever visited Bodrum?

Lara xx

 

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