Skin Care & Beauty Products We Need in Lebanon + Announcement

I guess by now we all agree that  we have limited skin care and beauty brands in Lebanon.

Personally, I am very eager to try many  products that are sadly not available here, so I decided to prepare a list of (some) of the brands that we need in Lebanon. Can we consider this as some sort of a petition? :-p

S K I N   C A R E

Fresh

I’ve heard so much about this brand especially their eye creams and face masks, so it would be nice to give them a try

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Sunday Riley

Although this is probably one of the most over-priced brands in the market, I am still eager to try their facial oils

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Pai

Another “YouTube made me buy it” brand that I am also willing to try

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M A K E   U P

Hourglass

2 words: Marble Palette!

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Tarte Cosmetics

Tarte was one of the brands that I really wanted to try until the best thing ever happened in Lebanon: Feel 22! I’ve already mentioned this website on the blog, but it’s basically a place where you can find many beauty brands that are not available in Lebanon like Tarte, Becca, Huda Beauty and many others. I already purchased the Tartelette in Bloom palette from Tarte and I am IN LOVE! Check out the website and use my promo code “LARASPEAKSSTYLEFEEL22” for a special discount

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Bare Minerals

More beauty brands that I would love to test! I’ve recently spotted their lipsticks and I really liked all the nude shades

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Honorable mentions: NARS, Glossier, Pixi, and Sarah Chapman

What are the brands that you wish we had in Lebanon?

Lara xx

Favorites 2016: Beauty, Skincare & Lifestyle

Hey guys! First, I wanted to start this blog post by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Personally, I had a super chill weekend; I watched Love Actually over 3 times, no joke!

Now that the new year is only a week away, I thought why not write a special post dedicate to my absolute favorite things of 2016. I usually really enjoy watching or reading these types of posts, so I hope you enjoy my version 🙂

B E A U T Y

I listed below my top favorite items that I used on a daily basis this year

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  • L’Oreal super liner : This is definitely my favorite eyeliner so far. It’s really easy to use especially if you’re new to the winged liner club. If you feel like tying it, head over to Feel 22, and benefit from a special discount using promo-code LARASPEAKSSTYLEFEEL22  by clicking here
  •   L’Occitane Neroli & Orchidee Perfume: Ever since I received this perfume in my        Pretty Little Box – L’Occitane edition, I really couldn’t stop wearing it. I feel like it  really suits me, and its perfect purse size makes it so easy for me to carry around  everywhere I go
  • Sephora Lipstain #13: If I could choose 1 beauty favorite for 2016, it would definitely be this lipstick. I don’t want to seem too dramatic, but ever since I tried this shade, I felt like I found my perfect holy grail shade for  life! If you’re based in Lebanon, you can find some Sephora products on Feel 22 here 
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer: Sadly, this product is not available in Lebanon, so I had to ask my friends living abroad to get me a handful of tubes! I’ve already mentioned this concealer on the blog, but it has certainly been my everyday choice since it’s lightweight and covers just enough

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S K I N   C A R E 

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Ultra Doux Body Lotion: 

Ever since I received this new range of body lotions back in February, I couldn’t stop using them. They are seriously competing with my body butters from The Body Shop! They are all made from natural ingredients and they smell incredibly good. It is also important to mention that they are easily accessible and very fairly priced. I just really wish they add a Coconut scent

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  Bioderma Micellar Water & VICHY Thermal Water:

It is no secret that Bioderma makes my favorite makeup remover of all time. Truth is, you will definitely find this product in my all time favorites not only this year’s favorites (I feel like I am being too dramatic today lol).

My second favorite is actually a new discovery. I’ve never really had thermal water as part of my skincare routine, but I really like this thermal water especially when I need to refresh my face after a long day

S E R I E S:

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Yay now off to my favorite part! I finished Westworld only in 4 days last weekend, and I can confidently say that it is my absolute favorite series for this year, and definitely one of my all time favorites. If you haven’t watched Westworld yet, I urgently ask you to spare a few days and dedicate them fully to this brilliant show. If you’re not convinced yet, this show features A-list actors and actresses including the legendary Anthony Hopkins

Here you have the show’s trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX3u0IlBBO4

P O D C A S T S 

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In 2016, I started getting into the world of Podcasts. I don’t feel I have enough background to mention my absolute favorite podcast for 2016, but it’s fair to mention one of my favorite channels, TED Radio Hour. As you can imagine, all the podcasts are informative and they cover interesting topics

M E M O R Y 

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I wanted to end this blog post with my favorite memory of 2016! Going through this year, I realized just how much I’ve been through with all my new experiences and adventures. If I have to pick one memory for this year, it would be in Budapest when I met my partner after a 6 hour ride from Prague, and a stop in Bratislava. I remember it was a long day filled with emotions, I was really anxious and excited to see my boyfriend after planning for this trip for so long. He couldn’t make it with me to Prague, but we met in Budapest and it was truly an unforgettable moment

Okay too much cheese for 1 post, what were your 2016 favorites?

Lara xx

No Label NGO x Pretty Little Box – Q&A

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Last month, I was first introduced to Pretty Little Box through their beautiful L’Occitane edition. For the month of December, PLB released a new box in partnership with No Label NGO – an anti bullying NGO with a goal to raise awareness on this issue, and eventually create a bully-free environment.

For this occasion, I decided to have a small Q&A session with the founder of No Label, Nour El Assaad, so here we go!

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1) When was No Label NGO founded and what was the inspiration?

It started on social media (facebook) and as a volunteer based movement in february 2014 but was officially registered in august 2015 as an NGO! The inspiration was my own personal story with bullying. I had a rough time being accepted back in school years and the topic of bullying was always an area of focus for me. When I graduated college and noticed that the amount of awareness on this topic was exactly the same of that of the 2000s I wanted to do something about it.

2)What are some challenges that you face while working on such a cause?

Willingness to continue on working on such a topic. There is interest by schools to create awareness but not prevention because it holds much responsibility and logistic issues. Also we have been facing the challenge of funding (grants) so we’ve been finding ways to be self-sustainable whether from our services or products (like no label by Lexy nail polish)

3) Why did you create this box in partnership with Pretty Little Box? Where you involved in the product selection process?
 
PLB wanted to give back to the community and choose an understated topic to highlight and no label popped up directly! (thank you PLB peeps for believing!) so it was really all about them from idea to products. We were lucky to have our Lexy product placed in the box as well!
4) If I am an individual who is undergoing any kind of bullying, where can I reach your NGO?

Our website (www.nolabelme.org) has an awesome resource page to learn more about the topic and what can you do! But to be honest we always receive messages on facebook about personal experiences which we would like to consider as our own help-line!

 
5) What are your upcoming plans for 2017?
We have big plans! We are rolling a product or 2, and we are being more on ground by exercising our services. We are launching our teacher training for creating bully free zones, parent meet-ups for parental dialogue while doing super fun things. Most importantly, we are doing soft-skills training for students up to 15 years old!
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For a detailed box review, my dear friend and blogger Aline did an awesome product break-down and a general box review, so you can check it out on her blog
Lara xx

New In: Skin Care & Makeup

I am not a huge makeup freak, but I like to experiment with my look every now and then, especially lipsticks and recently eye shadows. Skin care on the other hand, has been a subject of experimentation for a long time now.

I decided to dedicate a post to my recent makeup and skin care (some purchased and some I received as a gift), with a small first impressions review.

S K I N   C A R E 

1- Sephora Rose Face mask & Avocado Eye Mask

I haven’t tried both products yet, but I will surely keep you posted!

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2- Bioderma Micellar Water, eye cream, and Sebium Global

Hands down, this brand is one of my all time favorites and I am a very loyal customer! Their Micellar Water is definitely the BEST in the market and worth every penny. I’ve also been trying their eye cream and so far I am loving it. The Sebium Global cream I use every now and then, whenever I have a breakout 20161119_105435-edit

M A K E U P 

3- Lexi Cosmetics Nail Polish & Cuticle Treatment

This is a new local brand and I am so happy with the quality of their nail polishes. Even their topcoat is amazing, dries my nails in a few seconds. What I loved even more about this brand is that they have specific shades dedicated to a great cause, so when you buy those shades, the proceeds go to the specified NGO (Examples like DSC & No Label)

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4- Sephora Lip Stain #13 & Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

One of my favorite interns (Hi Zeina) told me about this Sephora lip stain, and I had to buy it as soon as I had a chance! Basically, it is the best lip color I’ve ever had in my life. No wonder it’s sold out all around the world

This concealer is a YouTube favorite to I had to give it a try. Sadly, it is not available in Lebanon 😦 It is perfect for everyday when you don’t want to overdo it with the makeup look, and it’s super pocket friendly

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5- NUXE Multi Purpose Oil & The Body Shop White Musk Perfume Oil

I’ve heard so many great things about multi-purpose oil so I had to give this one a try. To be honest I don’t use it regularly, but I can tell you it’s not greasy at all and it smells divine.

The White Musk scent is one of my favorites although it’s considered as a controversial scent, you either love it or absolutely hate it. This one is an oil perfume and it can last you for a full day

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Have you tried any of the listed items?

Lara xx

Products not Worth the Hype

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I have to admit, YouTube made me buy many beauty products! If you’re a YouTube fan like me, you know the power of Vloggers and all their beauty favorites. In my case I bought many beauty products and after giving them a chance, I realized that I was truly disappointed and unimpressed.

Before I begin listing the products, I need to mention that the products listed below didn’t work for me, but they might work perfectly well for you. Each person reacts differently to products and what works for you might not work for me.

1- Origins Charcoal Mask 

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This product has been a YouTube favorite for years and years. This summer, one of my blogger friends (Hi Aline) was in California so I asked her to get me this mask from Sephora. This mask is not terrible and I will probably still use it; but when you watch or read all the tremendously positive reviews on this product, you expect it to do much more, and in my case I wasn’t super impressed.

2- TRESemme Dry Shampoo 

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To be completely honest, before diving into the world of YouTube I didn’t even know Dry Shampoo existed. The reason is we don’t easily find Dry Shampoos in supermarkets so it’s just a product that you can easily not hear or know of. I have greasy hair, so when I heard of Dry Shampoos I knew I had to buy one. After giving this product so many chances, I finally decided that they are just not made for my hair. Every time I use it, my hair gets super greasy, it’s really embarrassing haha!

3- First Aid Beauty – Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream 

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This is also an other SUPER popular product/brand on YouTube. I don’t want to say I hate the brand because I’ve only used this product, but I can say that this sleeping cream did absolutely nothing to my skin, and for that reason I am not really impressed. I really do want to give their face masks a try, and once I do I will update you with my honest opinion. I also bought this product from Sephora California (Thanks Aline)

4- John Frieda Frizz Ease Touch-Up Cream 

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John Frieda is also a beloved brand online so I decided to give this touch-up cream a chance since I suffer from frizzy hair. This is also a product that has done absolutely nothing to my hair, the only thing it does is make my hair smell nicer, but other than that it’s useless in terms of eliminating the frizz. I am currently using the touch-up cream from Ultra Doux, I am not IN LOVE, but I have to admit it’s reacting better with my frizzy hair.

Which products did you regret buying?

Lara xx

Pretty Little Box – L’Occitane Edition Review

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Hello everyone! Last week, I had the chance to meet the team behind “Pretty Little Box”, the first beauty and well-being discovery box in Lebanon.

The concept is pretty simple, you subscribe every month to a mysterious beauty box for the price of $25, but the actual value of the products inside the box is an average of $30. You receive this box not knowing what to expect, and then you get the opportunity to test and try the products that you receive! What I love the most about this box in particular is that you receive all the products in full size, and the team is always open to hear your feedback about the products inside.

For this month, Pretty Little Box collaborated with L’Occitane En Provence to bring you a generous box right to your doorstep! My dear blogger friend did the math, and mentioned that the content inside the box is actually worth $92, so for the value that you are paying to get this box ($25), this is a pretty awesome deal!

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I actually had a full week to test the products inside the box, and I really loved the shea butter hand cream and the Neroli & Orchidee Eau de Toilette. Knowing that L’Occitane  is a brand with natural products, you get struck with beautiful natural scents in every single product which is always a plus when I am looking for beauty and skincare items

Before ending this blog post, I wanted to let you know that I launched a competition on Instagram to give one of you the chance to win this box! Head over to my Instagram page @laraspeaksstyle for all the details 🙂

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Who would you like to see Pretty Little Box collaborating with next?

Lara xx

5 Hairstyles to Try in 2016

I am one of those people who constantly feel the need to change their hairstyles. I don’t usually do anything crazy, and to be honest I’ve never even dyed my hair!

This year, I feel like experimenting more with my hair and trying something that I’ve never done before

Below you have 5 hairstyles that you should try for 2016:

  1. Messy Short Hair

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This is one hairstyle that I am really looking forward to try. I’ve always been a fan of short hair, and I really want to try and have even shorter hair this summer

2. Pastel Colors

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This hairstyle is for the fearless people out there 😀 I really wish I can pull off this color, but I know for sure that it will look very odd on me

3. The Sleek Bob

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This is also a second hairstyle that I am really looking forward to try (maybe before I cut them really short :D) The sleek bob hairstyle is when you have the back part of your hair shorter than the front one, and I really like it because it gives so much volume and texture to your face

4. The Long Locks

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I know many people who are starting to get bored with their short hair. For the new year, why not experiment with hair extensions. I know they might not be the most practical solution, but it can still be a change of style for a while

5. The Bangs

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I know bangs need maintenance, but they can be the best thing you can do to revamp your look. I am really considering bangs, but I am not sure if they suit me to be honest.

Which hairstyle are you going to try in 2016?

Lara xx