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

Home Decor Ideas for the Holidays

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As you may know, I am an interior design freak! I don’t even have my own house, but I always make sure to visit home decor stores and do some online research- weird right?!

December being just around the corner, I thought of dedicating a full post to subtle and simple home decor ideas for the holidays. Not everyone is a fan of the massive Christmas decoration, including myself, so that’s why I decided to write this post.

I usually find the best/affordable Christmas decoration at BHV &H&M Home (If you are based in Lebanon). If you want super affordable decoration, I advise you to go to H&M Home after the Christmas season is over, you will find the best picks for an average of $5-$10 (including pillow cases), so you can keep these items for next year.

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I am already brainstorming some cool ideas for the holiday season including gift guides! If you have some topics that you would like me to write about this month please let me know 🙂

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

My Winter Bucket List

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Last  year, I shared my summer bucket list as a way to organize my thoughts and actually motivate myself to do the activities that I was planning on doing. This year I thought to myself, why not prepare a winter bucket list and update you on the things that I was able to cross off by the end of the season.

I don’t know about you, but I really love bucket lists. I don’t actually write them down, but I usually have a list in my head and now I can document the progress on the blog 🙂 I often get some inspiration from @livelovebeirut, as they share pictures of pretty awesome villages and cities around Lebanon. I also get some ideas from websites and videos on YouTube, and I try to apply them to whatever is available in Lebanon

So without further ado, here you have my bucket list for winter:

  • Go on a wine tasting trip
  • Start taking pottery classes
  • Visit museums (we recently had an open museum night in Beirut, I hope the organizers plan a second one for winter)
  • Plan a staycation in the village
  • Party-hopping during Christmas
  • Host a Christmas dinner
  • Spend a full day on a Harry Potter marathon
  • Learn the basics of skiing
  • Work on interesting collaborations for the blog
  • Donate/Volunteer for a good cause
  • Film video diaries

What are you planning to do this winter?

Lara xx

Images via Live Love Beirut

My Favorite Fall/Winter 2017 Trends

I feel like this season has arrived with lots of new trends to keep up with. Luckily, I am absolutely in love with almost everything I am seeing in stores, so shopping has never been better (Even my mom is being understanding)! In today’s post I will be briefly listing my top 5 favorite trends for this season in case you started shopping for the winter season

METALLICS

This is one of my absolute favorite trends for this season! I really love metallic pieces if worn properly and subtly. For the festive season, you will really need to invest in metallic piece, I already got some pieces that you will hopefully see soon on the blog (or my Instagram page @laraajouzz)

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VELVET 

This is most definitely my favorite trend for 2017! I can still clearly remember my mom in the late 90s-early 2000’s wearing velvet dresses and shirts, and saying Whoah I want to wear that when I am older. YAY me, the trend is back and I can even wear my mom’s vintage pieces 🙂

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EMBROIDERED 

This is also one of my favorite trends for the season. I really love how artistic and unique a piece looks when embroidered, it can be kept for a really long time if well taken care of. I recently invested in an embroidered piece from Zara, and to justify the price, I had convince my mom that I will pass on this piece to future generations haha!

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BAND T-SHIRTS 

I just love seeing 90’s bands on t-shirts and I guess that’s enough! I guess Zara & Forever 21 have some cool band t-shirts now in case you were searching

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OVER-SIZED 

Sadly this trend doesn’t really work for my body type, but I LOVE seeing it on friends and models. However, I did manage to buy a few over-sized items like t-shirts and a blazer

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What are your favorite trends for 2017?

Lara xx

 

Brand Closeup: RIWAYA-Stories Worn

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RIWAYA-Stories Worn is the result of two passionate sisters Ginan and Salma (@sunsetdeamor). I’ve known for a long time that both of them are massive ring collectors; wherever they travel, they have to bring back home a ring or more. When I heard that Salma and Ginan are starting their own jewelry line I wasn’t surprised at all, I could see all their creativity and passion pouring into their own brand, a brand all about stories and memories that you collect from all around the world.

The first item that drew me quickly to the collection was the map ring, I mean how gorgeous is this piece!! I had to immediately make an order because I knew this was going to be a sell-out piece!

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So far I am really impressed with the quality of the rings, both of them are pure silver and they match my set of everyday rings perfectly. The collection varies between silver and gold pieces, so you can choose your preference

Modern Nomad is the the name of this collection, and it pays tribute to the traveler in every one of us, living life without a fixed address, urging home to be everywhere. You could clearly sense the wanderlust feeling in this collection with all its statement pieces

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Rest assured, you will definitely be reading more about this brand on the blog 🙂

Stay updated on RIWAYA’s latest news @storiesworn on Instagram

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