5 Things I Miss About The Early Blogging Scene

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For those of you who don’t know, I started blogging in 2012. Back then, Instagram was just starting, and bloggers weren’t really relying on this platform for fame or recognition. The term “Instagram Influencer” or “Instagram Fashionista” was pretty much non existent.

Nowadays, I feel like fashion blogging is on the verge of dying. Why you might ask? It’s simple! People are doing it for the WRONG reasons. I’ve actually discussed this topic so many times with fellow bloggers who have the same feeling about the industry.

So below are a few things I miss about blogging and bloggers:

1- The Genuinity

I feel a huge reason why fashion blogging is “dying” is because people are not genuine anymore. It’s always the same collaborations, the same projects, and the same events. If a blogger collaborates with one brand, you see everyone else working with the same brand as if it’s a must or a rule. I am also always confused whether a post or an article is sponsored or not. The Lebanese blogosphere is still not used to posting the hashtags #ad or #sponsored, so we are always wondering if the blogger is actually in love with the product or if it’s just a sponsored post.

I’ve also realized that some bloggers feel the need to post something about a place or a product just because they were approached by the brand or maybe sent a package, and this is a main reason why I feel the content is not genuine anymore. If you don’t love it, there’s no need to post about it.

2- The Writing

The rise of “Instagram Influencers”stopped bloggers from actually writing content. Why waste hours writing a post if you can get all the fame and the recognition just by posting a photo on Instagram? I admit, I’ve neglected blogging for a long time but not because of Instagram. I was actually demotivated to create any content which is an inevitable step in every blogger’s journey (Don’t you agree?)

3- The Identity

I feel like nowadays my Instagram feed is the same. Bloggers discussing the same products, places, and trends. Between every few photos, you have to spot the fishnet stockings, or the meal at that new trendy place. The content is pretty much becoming predictable, and bloggers are losing their sense of uniqueness or identity.

4- The Effort

In Lebanon we have a few profiles who actually put sweat and tears into their content. I have so much respect for these people, and they truly inspire me to become a better blogger version of myself. However, it’s fair to mention that the effort that was put few years ago has immensely diminished today. I used to blog every other day in the past, and today I can barely post twice a month.

5- The Discussion

I remember back in the day  blog posts used to generate a lot of discussion and debates. People were eager to read new content regardless of their interest, so they interacted with the blogger or maybe tagged their friends. Nowadays, I feel people are not intrigued to click on a blog post and read it, perhaps they prefer reading a few sentences on Instagram and that’s about it. Let me know how you feel about that

Before I end this post I wanted to mention that I am not claiming in any way that I follow the best blogging practices in the industry, I make mistakes all the time. I just wanted to express through this blog post what many bloggers are feeling today. Maybe this can motivate us to write more and create more interesting and unique content.

PS: Here’s my first ever blog post !!!! Those 5 years really flew by 😦

Let me know what you think of this unusual post 🙂

Lara xx

My First Vlog is UP!

Hi guys! Just a quick hello to let you know that my FIRST Vlog is UP!!

The whole process of filming and editing was truly a blast, and I really want to thank every single person who watched my Vlog and gave me feedback, you really made my week 🙂

So here you can find the Vlog below:

Hope you enjoy it!

Don’t forget to show me some love by Subscribing to my channel 🙂

Lara xx

 

I AM STARTING A VLOGGING CHANNEL!

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For the past 2 years, I’ve been planning on launching a YouTube channel. However, this plan never came to life for many reasons:

1- I don’t have the right camera equipment 

2- The right camera equipment is way above my budget 

3- And honestly, fear of failing 

So this plan just kept on dragging, and never really happened keeping in mind that YouTube is my favorite social media platform, and I spend an average of 2 hours a day watching videos and discovering new talents on this platform

As part of my 2017 resolutions, I am planning on setting monthly doable goals instead of unrealistic goals. So I thought to myself, why not vlog this entire process and bring you along to be part of this experience.

I have no expectations

I am doing this for fun, I won’t be stressing about the quality of the filming and the editing, but instead the quality of the content. If I felt at any point that the content that I am filming is useless and lame, I will not post anything. I really want this to be a spontaneous experience where I take you with me to events, dinners, meetings, birthdays, road trips, reviews, or anything that is worth being filmed. This channel will not only be a video diary of my set goals for each month, but also a space to share some of my interesting experiences that I feel are worth remembering and re-watching in the future.

For now, I am posting on a monthly basis: 1 vlog per month. If I had some interesting content to share that could all be squeezed into 1 video (ex: an interesting day, a staycation, a road trip…) I will do that, and in that case I will have more than 1 vlog to share during the month. If this kicks off, maybe I can start doing weekly vlogs 🙂

Let the filming begin

I already started filming some content and I am really excited to start this whole experience on a platform that I thoroughly enjoy. If you have anything that you would like to see on my channel please let me know, I would love to give it a try! Also, if you have any filming or editing tips, your support is highly appreciated 😀

Until then, you can follow me on my social media platforms to stay updated on my latest news and projects (not that I have many, but I have a cute colorful Insta theme going on)

Instagram: @laraajouzz

Facebook: Lara Speaks Style

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 Most Worn Pieces

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I was doing this photo shoot at the office last week (Thanks Mimi for the photos) when I realized that I was actually wearing the pieces that I wear the most

Starting with the jacket: I got this Olive color jacket from Zara last winter not knowing how much I will be wearing it for casual and dressy days. It is so versatile and easy to style to the extend that I find myself wearing it almost everyday in the colder weather.

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The shorts: I found those shorts this Summer at Stradivarius. What I love the most about them is their suitable length since I was struggling in finding the perfect shorts that won’t show my butt cheeks, and they were extremely affordable ($32). I also love the cut-out detail! I think I wore those shorts every other day (if not every single day) for straight 2 months!

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The t-shirt: I received this t-shirt as a gift at the Adidas Originals store opening in Beirut Souks. It is seriously one of the comfiest shirts I have, it’s so soft and perfectly over-sized, and that’s why you can find me wearing it at least once a week either to the office or to the yoga class.

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Accessories: If you know me, you know very well that I wear chokers approximately on a daily basis. The one I am wearing in this photo shoot is from Zara. I do admit they have the best selection of stylish chokers. The rings are my new obsession designed by  my blogger friends Salma and Ginan. They both have a passion for collecting rings, and now they started their own line Riwaya. I will be dedicating a full post for my most-worn jewelry items, so stay tuned for that!

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Stay tuned for a new post tomorrow! If you don’t know yet, I challenged myself to blog everyday during the week for the month of November, so expect a variety of new posts coming your way this month!

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

Best Places to Find Unique Chokers

I know, I’ve been an extremely bad blogger lately! To be honest, I won’t use my busy work schedule as an excuse, I’ve just been out of ideas and uninspired for the past couple of months. BUT, today I am coming back with a topic that I thoroughly enjoy!

For the past year or so, I’ve been obsessed with chokers. I rarely style anything without throwing a choker, and after that moment, I feel my outfit is complete. It all started with that 90’s tattoo choker, and after that I started buying more and more designs

In today’s post, I will be listing a few of my favorite places where you can find unique and cool chokers because let’s face it, this trend is not going away anytime soon!

1- Zara

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Zara is my hands down favorite place to find chokers. Every time I go there, I discover that they released a new pack of chokers, and I get this urge to buy more. They just have the coolest designs for fair prices, and they usually have 2-3 chokers per pack which makes it a good deal

2- Vanina

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Vanina is a Lebanese jewelry brand with lots of super cool designs. If you’re looking for a choker with an edge for a special occasion, then Vanina is your place to go. I am not sure about their exact prices, but I am guessing you pay for what you get in terms of design and attention to details

3- Trichellas

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Trichellas is one of the Lebanese brands that I discovered on Instagram. I fell in love with all their simple yet edgy chokers to the extend that I instantly ordered 3 pieces! The chokers that you find on this Instagram page are the ones that you can wear on a daily basis (layered or single), and the best part is that they are budget friendly with superb quality. Instagram: @trichellas

4- HRH Collection

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If you’re looking for dainty layered chokers then HRH is the brand for you! I started noticing this international brand on YouTube since many YouTubers were given part of the brand’s collection as a gift. I couldn’t help but love the layering of the necklaces, it adds so much elegance to your overall look, yet keeping the edgy factor

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at laraspeaksstyle@gmail.com

Lara xx