Thursday, July 9, 2015

iHerb mini reviews

It's been ages since I last blogged and that is due to many reasons but mainly blogging had to take a back seat as a priority in my life. I've finally graduated computer science school and in the midst of summer holidays so I have all the time and energy to write a blog post. Hearing so many people constantly ask me about my blog and telling me they want me to get back on it gave me the kick-start I needed to actually put effort into blogging again. Thank you to everyone who visited and to everyone who gave me sweet compliments about my blog and to everyone who motivated me to blog one way or another!

Anyway let's move on from that soppy intro, in this post I'll be doing some small mini reviews on some goodies I ordered from a website that I've grown to really love and that is Everything I review will be linked and I'll do a very small review of the website by the end of this post.
Me and my sister have been ordering quite a few things from it and I've been using these products for a while now so I'll give you my honest lowdown on them. I got mostly face care products because I was running out on literally everything I own and I needed a face routine makeover. It's important to note that ever since I started using these products my skin's felt so clean and it's on it's best behavior in months now!

Let's start with Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash, I mainly got this because of the good reviews and the fact that it is a very natural face wash. It has no parabens, artificial fragrances, petroleum and other long scientific words I do not know what they mean lol. You get a good amount in side the bottle (250ml) which is nice. My first impression was woah! This stuff smells! It has a very strong tea tree oil scent that is a little overpowering. I'm not sensitive to scents especially soap like ones but you should be warned. 
Also the texture of it is quite unique, it's very liquid-y I almost thought that it won't cleanse well but I was wrong. A little goes a long way and I didn't need extra effort to make sure it's cleaning well.
It does leave my face feeling and looking very clean, it removes 90% of my make-up except for the heavy duty concealer, I advise using a makeup remover on these areas.

Overall I like it, am I going to buy it again? It's hard to tell for face washes as most of them clean pretty well and I haven't been using it for too long so I'm still judging it but if I did notice my skin is not looking as good when I finish this bottle I'll buy it again for sure.

For moisturizer/serum I've been using White Egret Hyaluronic Acid Day Serum with alpha lipoic acid and sea minerals. My first impression was damn this packaging is ugly lol, it looks cheap and very basic. Anyway thank god the product itself makes up for the packaging! I've been seriously enjoying this day serum, I use it as a moisturizer and I think it does the job well done. 
The texture is so slimy but that is okay, it also has a strong scent, reminds me of an iced candy 'Yogo ice' we used to love few years ago. 
As a makeup base for my skin type (combination) this serum is just great. It's moisturizing enough and it also gives the kinda moisture that would last on your skin, it just feels like it's plumping the skin without being too heavy. 
I think not everyone is going to enjoy it though because it is a weird texture and it's quite different than your average serum. If you're the type that wants a lightweight serum that feels like it moisturizes as well as preps your skin for makeup, you'd enjoy it. However I always steer away from my nose area when I use this as I tend to get oily, this won't help with the oil department.
Overall I like it as an instant moisturizer and the fact that it is packed with hyaluronic acid and "over 72 ionic sea minerals" makes me like it even more.
PS: Hyaloronic acid is an anti-age antioxidant that help strengthen and firm the skin.

As for toner, I've been alternating between Reviva Labs Glycolic Acid Facial Toner and Thayer's Witch Hazel and Lemon toner. I don't have Thayer's with me right now because I've been using my sisters. I got my own bottle on the way so I'll do a review when I get it. 
This toner is very gentle on the skin and kindda basic, I don't think it is too special but sometimes we just need a basic toner that does the job and softens your skin.
I like it so far but as the sun damage claims on the bottle, I can't tell yet. No offensive smell, really convenient packaging even though you only get 118ml. Glycolic acid is used for exfoliating/peeling the skin, but as this toner is packed with hyaloronic acid and aloe vera, you don't get that stinging feeling when applying it. You just get a softer skin the next day.

Finally Radiant Skin Retinol A 1% Advanced Revitalization cream review. Now if you don't know what retinol is it is just a form of vitamin A. Vitamin A has been used for years in supplement form as a rather aggressive way to get younger skin, it works by really peeling the skin from underneath so your skin starts shedding and revealing baby-like skin. 

You can't get vitamin A pills unless it's been prescribed to you (you can visit a derma and ask for a prescription). On the other hand retinol is a much more gentle form of vitamin A, it can be found in over the counter beauty products and it can be applied topically (as cream, serum..etc. on the skin) so you are much safer with retinol than with vitamin A supplements. From Paula's Choice:
"Simply put, retinol, is just another name for vitamin A. Retinol is an extremely effective cell-communicating ingredient, which means it can literally connect to almost any skin cell and tell it to behave like a healthy, younger skin cell. But there's more:
  • Retinol is an antioxidant, and thus can interrupt the free-radical damage process that causes skin to look and act older. This action helps prevent wrinkling and increases collagen production.
  • Retinol is effective at managing acne and eczema, as well as improving discolorations and wrinkles from sun damage.
All of these benefits are why retinol helps your skin look and act younger! In total, retinol can help more than 100 skin issues. It is a true superstar for your skin"
Let's talk about the cream itself, this cream definitely stings a bit when you first apply it but the stinging subsides after a very short while. It's very moisturizing and even shortly after applying it if you touched your skin you'd feel it much softer already (I guess the retinol already started working and shedding skin). I really love it but I don't use it daily as I think that's a little too harsh. I use it every three days so far. I also love the jar it comes in it's heavy and looks elegant. As an exfoliant and anti-aging, this cream is great!

I hope this blogpost was helpful! Now regarding the website, I've used it a few times and I'm very happy with the service. It's easy to navigate, it has plenty of real reviews by customers who bought the products and also it ships very very fast! You have 3 options for shipping, DHL, EMS and air. DHL is always the fastest but costs the most, I think it's around 10 rials on a normal day (they had a 95% off offer for shipping not long ago) DHL takes around 2-4 days to arrive. Air mail is the slowest but it's also the cheapest, it's around 2 rials but takes 2 to 4 weeks to arrive. EMS is similar to DHL but a bit slower.

Don't hesitate to ask me any questions I'd be happy to answer.
Thank you for reading!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: L'Oreal Infallible 24H foundation

Hello ladies

My favourite reviews are foundation reviews, they're a very important part of make-up and there's always a lot to talk about with them, and when you find that foundation that suits all your needs, it's kind of a great feeling.

I'll review L'Oreal inflallible 24H stay fresh foundation today, this foundation is a bit new, don't confuse it with the old infallible foundation! They're different.

I got this foundation when I saw that one of my favourite blogger Dalal Aldoub recommended it. This since became my favourite wedding/party/gathering foundation. 

I like the packaging, the pump is always the best way to package a foundation in my opinion, it comes in a 30ml glass bottle with a pretty maroon top.
This foundation comes in 8 shades raging between warm & cool undertones, I got mine in 120 Vanilla. 
Coverage is medium to high, really great for photos, no SPF which means no white flashback! Longevity is also pretty amazing, I mean come on it says 24hr lasting foundation lol, never tried it for 24 hours but it surely lasts the day on me.
As for texture it's creamy, hydrating but matte at the same time, or maybe satin, the finish is really comfortable on the skin & healthy looking.

Finally, would I buy it again? Yup I would! I use it every time I do a full face of make-up. It just ticks all the boxes for what I'm looking in a foundation: longevity, high coverage, no flashbacks, healthy matte finish & available at the drugstores.

If you're in the market for a drugstore foundation, give it a try, you might fall inlove.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The wardrobe clean-out

Hello ladies

Some recent time ago I was going through my wardrobe to look for things to wear, I ended up just disturbed & unsatisfied because it was so hard to put one good outfit together although I own too much clothes. It was getting frustrating not to know what to wear when your wardrobe just gets fuller and fuller.
There were so many missing pieces in my wardrobe that are essential & basic just because shopping for them was boring, at the same time there was an excess of a lot of "trendy" pieces, nothing seemed balanced.
So of-course I made it my mission to fix it, I was fed up and done, there were a lot of clothes I was going to get rid off, give away, or store out of sight, at the same time, I needed to teach myself how to shop in the right way so this won't happen again.

I learned why this happened and what needed to be done, and I learned that the size of your closet doesn't matter it's not an indication of how well you can dress, infact I learned that the smaller the wardrobe is, the better most of the time.

There are three things that define a good wardrobe:
1- The right size & fit of the clothes, it needs to be the right width & length for you to flatter you, otherwise the clothing loses a lot of it's appeal
2- The quality of the pieces, the fabric, the sewing, the overall appearance
3- How well do the pieces in your closet complement each other & the variety of of it

Here are some tips you need to consider before you go shopping:
- While you're shopping, try to thoroughly think of what your wardrobe lacks, it's so easy to enter a store just buy what's cute or trendy, what you usually gravitate to and you know it's within your comfort zone, but that just means your "cute and trendy" clothes pile on and you have nothing plain and basic to pair with them
- Always try the clothes on, always! Unless it's something that is free-size. Take two sizes that you think fit you, try them and pick the one that flatters you better
- Never buy clothes that don't fit you perfectly, try to buy clothes that look like they're made for your body type, these are the type of clothes you'll always wanna incorporate in a lot of your outfits & that are going to be staples in your wardrobe. There are so many times I bought clothes that don't fit me well just because they're too cute to pass up, or they're a really good deal, the end result is they just sit there for ages because they're simply not my size. Oh yes here's something I think we're all guilty off: we make our-selves believe we'll hem/tailor them later, then never bother to. Be realistic, are you really going to? Basically, have high standards of how good a clothing fits and looks, even if it's a plain shirt.
- This brings me to my third point, if you really love something and it's too long or needs a few stitches, DO IT, tailor your clothes to fit you better, find time & energy to do it because it's worth it.
- Learn fabrics: cotton, wool linen and silk are the better quality fabrics, but polyester is more commonly used cause it's cheaper
- Grab a bunch of clothes to try on, more than you'd buy, then filter them out
- Spend more money on the essentials, less on the trendy stuff, by that I mean the pieces that would look good with a lot of the clothes you own and that will not age with time.

I've gotten rid of clothes & I've shopped for some new ones for some times now, in my next posts it will be a mixture of my recent hauls & what I think are good staples that every woman should consider adding to her wardrobe. I know this is a make-up/beauty blog but I thought something different would be nice.

I think I'm done, I feel uncomfortable a bit writing this because I feel a bit bossy lol which is against my nature, I don't mean to tell you what's right or wrong, I prefer classic and minimal over bound by time and complicated, by the end of the day it's a relevant thing, but these are the tips that I found helped me & I completely believe by, you can disagree or leave it

Here's a lovely food for thought picture to end this blogpost with


Monday, October 27, 2014

Review (Day): Garnier Eye BB cream in Light

Hello ladies

Today I'll review Garnier's eye BB cream (yes there are BB creams for the eye too!)

 This BB cream comes in 3 shades, light medium & dark, I got my garnier BB cream from the super market, they've been out of the shade light for so long, but I think they're back in stock now.
The packaging is pretty good, it comes in a 7ml tiny tube, you'd think 7ml is too greedy but actually it would last you a really really long time. The application is through a metal roller ball, you basically squeeze & roll the product under your eyes, the metal is supposed to be cooling & therefor depuffing to your undereye.
The application is not smooth to be honest, you don't get a nice consistent layer, but that's okay because you'll use your fingers to pat the product anyway.
The texture is actually really light, & easy to work with, the coverage is medium to light, I don't think this BB cream will cover extremely dark undereye circles but for everyday anyone can benefit from the coverage. 
My cons would be that the color of it is too dark for 'light', it's kindda orange, orange counteracts dark shades like blue & purple but I still think it shouldn't be this dark color, not for the shade light anyway. 
Extremely fair people would not like this, don't get it. Medium to dark skin tones would work well with it.
The finish is a brighter undereye with coverage that lasts relatively long.

I've owned their under eye roller ball concealer before but I'm sorry I can't recall how it worked to compare.

Btw I use this BB cream as a concealer on my face too, wherever I want to color correct, around my mouth, sometimes on a blemish, I just find it easy to apply & covers nicely.
Overall I think I like it, it's not my big event go-to concealer for sure, but it's a great product for everyday.

From the Garnier website:
Carry Garnier’s BB Eye Cream Roll-On with you everywhere you go to cover dark circles and bags and illuminate your look immediately. Apply the fluid texture using the massage ball in gentle, circular movements and blend into the skin for a natural looking and long- lasting result. The formula will automatically smooth onto the skin.  If you need to, tap delicately to encourage the product to come out.  To increase coverage, just add another layer!
Easy-applicator for less rubbing around the eye-area

5 immediate actions:

              • 1- Hides dark circles
              • 2- Reduces the appearance of bags
              • 3- Fine lines appear less visible
              • 4- Illuminates
              • 5- Hydrates"

This was a bit of a steal product, it costs around the 3 rial mark. Can be found in major supermarkets.

I hope you liked this review ladies, if you have questions let me know

Argan Oil Elixir

I'll do a really quick review on this Argan Oil Elixir for hair.

First off I love the packaging, so sleek, as for the product itself, it's an oil/serum/elixir (not really sure) but it's light in texture and is very multi-use, can be used before or after washing, on dry or wet hair. My favourite part must be the smell, daamn it smells AMAZING! Hmm I can guess the smell might not be for everyone, it smells almost like almond milk, I'm not sure how to describe it but it's so unique, usually hair products have a certain generic smell, fresh, light, fruity.. etc, this is just different.
Anyway for the content, I find it a good overall hair product, enhances shine & moisturizes slightly, leaving the hair silkier in texture.
I recommend it for anyone wanting an all round hair product that would do everything (and smell amazing at it).

Hope this was useful <3

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: Love & Beauty Heated Eyelash Cruler

Hello ladies
Today's post is directed towards reviewing a heated eyelash curler, when I posted a picture of a heated eyelash curler I got many comments freaking out about this device, wondering if it would burn, cause your eyelashes to fall, how it works.. etc

Well I've used it around three times now, which I think for an eyelash curler is a good time to judge

Let me just make this quick:
Don't get it. First off, it takes a much longer time to curl every eye, on the instructions it said to turn it on after you've inserted a battery and wait until the green light turns white, the green light never turned white. Even though I've kept it on for much longer than they said it would take.
Anyway, the wand gets hot, it doesn't get that heated that it would burn your skin on the first second it touches it, it just gets hot.
It's more difficult to use than a normal eyelash curler because it doesn't grasp your lashes, you just gotta press it on them to bend them, and I found that a bit tricky.
It doesn't even curl better than a normal eyelash curler, I found they both curl the same (if anything normal curlers curl better).

I think the only thing that this eyelash curler wins at is your eyelashes stay curled for a longer time, because heat is involved. Otherwise, your normal eyelash curler is less time consuming, easier to use, works better & less expensive.

After all, I follow so many make-up artists, all whom never use heated eye lash curlers or carry them in their kit, think about it, if it's not something that stars on the runaway who get photographed all the time would bother with, why would the normal every day girl? You shouldn't, I think it's just another gimmick to get women to spend.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Make-up table necessities

Hello ladies
I'm using the word necessities in the title very lightly because definitely you do not need everything I show you here for your make-up table lol. In real life, I'm really not a perfectionist, but when it comes to make-up, I can get a bit of a perfectionist I mean I like everything set up in front of me, everything easy to grab & available, I don't wanna have to look for anything whenever I do my make-up, I want it to be easy & effortless, mostly to save time.

So here are a few of the things I find extremely helpful to have around your make-up area.

This one's a big one, this is my MUST HAVE in my book: A bottle of hand sanitize, I detest touching my face or eyes or my make-up brushes & products without having clean hands, it spreads bacteria, it might be infectious, you never know, so having a huge bottle of hand sanitizer right beside my make-up is just right. And I love this humongouuuus one from Lulu, I mean look at that that is going to last me forever!

Another one for the bacteria: A quick brush cleanser, gone are the days where I used to soak my brushes every week in shampoo & water & rub them, my brushes do not get that royal treatment anymore, no one has time for dat, I just spray a bit of this brush cleanser on my brushes, swirl them on a tissue paper & they're sanitized & ready to be used. I got this from the face shop.
In the background is a make-up finishing spray that I use from time to time when I want my make-up to not budge, you can find a review on it here.

On the other sider of my little container thing (that I got from home center btw) are some Q-tips & my inglot beauty sponge, found a way to store it. Q-tips are extremely helpful especially when you want to smudge or clean-up your eyeshadow.

Finally, I have my mac fix plus, foundation & a lip balm. I hardly use my mac fix plus, if anyone knows how are we supposed to use this thing please let me know? And watch out for a review on this new favourite foundation of mine here soon

That is it, I'd recommend you have a make-up remover in hand too just incase you want to start over or something. but that's taking it up a whole new level.

If you would like to share your make-up table necessities please do !

Sunday, September 14, 2014

8 reasons why working out at home is better

Hello girls

I think around a month back my gym membership expired, & I thought to myself: oh no, I'm going to be so demotivated & thus with it my fitness routine will expire too.
Later I was going through instagram & came across a few instagram accounts that show you in 15 seconds workouts you can do at home for whatever body part you wish to work on, they were really inspiring & so, I was like let's try this working at home thing. I started working out at home a month ago, at first it was a bit like me just spending time listening to music out loud & being silly, but as time passed by I started to have a clearer wrokout routine, I started to know what areas I wanted to target & I started to have more fun.

So here's a post to telling every girl why she can just workout at home, there's no need for the gym membership fuss:
1) You choose the music you blast out loud, I LOVE listening to my favourite music from the speakers it just pumps me up, no more earphones hanging that I accidentally tug on while working out
2) You don't have to drive all the way to the gym, this is a big one, who wants to change, wear abaya, head to the car, drive to & from, especially when they don't have to?
3) You don't have to deal with gym rules: opening/closing time, singing in & off & everything else.
4) You can lay down dead breathing hard after every set of workout. You can't be totally comfortable just laying on your stomach at the gym breathing so hard like you just gave birth or something when all you did was 10 push-ups lol, at home, no one judges you.
5) You can dance, you can't randomly dance at the gym, but at home dancing is a a workout.
6) You can act silly
7) No clothing rules. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love cute workout gear, BUT I don't like feeling restricted by it, when I workout at home I can either change into workout clothes or just workout in my PJs, I don't have to look gym decent. I also feel more comfortable in just shorts & a tank top when I'm alone, that allows me to move more.
8) There are so many instagram accounts that are extremely helpful & inspiring with some short tutorials showing you whole body workouts, here are some of my faves: @Sugarysixpack, @achieving_balance (this is 18+, I'm not a fan of the exposing body part but her short videos are really good lol: @soniatlevfitness ).

These are just the reasons off the top of my head why I'm not going back to the gym any time soon
There were also a couple of incidents that happened to me at horizon that made me go like "nah, you're not my kindda people", the workers there were kindda rude & I just didn't feel like that's a place I want to go back to (or give money to) again, maybe if I found a gym that suits me better I'll give it another try, but not soon.

Hope this was a bit inspiring, if you have any comments or questions or anything let me know in a comment 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review (day 19) : Inglot Pro Blending Sponge

Hello girls

I picked the sponge a few weeks ago, I thought wow, that looks like the beauty blender, I never tried the beauty blender before we just never crossed roads unfortunately, but I thought I'd start with this sponge first, if I like it I might think of getting the real deal (or not, read on..)

This is a make-up sponge to smooth your foundation, cream blush, concealer, liquid illuminator with. 
Inglot being typical inglot, on the packaging, it hardly says anything, just says it gives a flawless finish, it's latex free & it's ideal bla bla. 

This is how you use it: You soak it in water, while squeezing it a few times, the sponge stores the water & it's size expands to almost double the original size. You squeeze the water out until the sponge is just damp & then put on some foundation on your face & use the sponge to spread the foundation on your face by bouncing it off your face all over, in a patting motions. You use the pointed edge to apply concealer under your eye or illuminator on your cheekbones.
Then you're left with a very flawless skin like finish, I love how the sponge gives me that no make-up look, the layer of foundation you're left with is very thin & light, but it's still covering. The surface is very smooth & the skin is dewier than using a normal brush.

Now there are two things that I have a hard time with with this sponge: 1) Cleaning it, I have no idea how to clean it, I might have to youtube some tutorials because I use handwash while squeezing it under tap water, & it doesn't seem to be the best way. I think I'll start using baby shampoo on it (& all my brushes)
2) I have no idea how to store it, it's hard to store it anywhere where it's completely sanitized, because every bit of it touches your face so you need to store it somewhere clean. I just wrap a tissue around it & store it in my make-up drawer, which does not look cute lol.

As for the comparison between the beauty blender & this sponge, most of the reviews I read online say they love them just as much, although the inglot sponge is firmer & there's a slight difference in size.

That is it, the price this is extremely affordable compared to the beauty blender, I think it was around 4.5 OMR, whilst the beauty blender is around 10 - 15.

Verdict: I love it, I don't use it every time but every now & then, say 1/3 of the time I would use it when I have a lot of time t get ready & I want my skin to look extra good. As for the beauty blender, won't be needing to buy it anytime soon, this one is very satisfying to me for now. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review (day 18): Vichy One Step Cleanser 3 in 1

Hello ladies!
So if you follow me on instagram (@arwasblog) you've probably seen the series of posts I started doing in Ramadan, long story short I was supposed to post a review a day on my insta during the month of Ramadan but then it dragged on. So I decided to continue it on my blog, it's just going to be really fast to the point reviews every few days, I'm on day 18 with this post & I'll be doing a review on this product I picked from the pharmacy.

This is Vichy's one step cleanser for sensitive skin, it's supposed to be a cleansing milk, a toner & an eye make-up remover. I love that it's huge, 200ml for a 5.9 OMR cleanser, it comes off as a white lotion like texture & it doesn't smell.
This product does NOT remove make-up, not mascara & heavy eye make-up at least, it was such a disappointment in that department because I was really excited to cut short my night skin care routine with this, nope, the only thing this product will do is make your eyes look like a panda, it'll melt your make-up but not remove it, you'll then have to use an eye make-up remover to remove it. it'll do most of the work for your, but it won't remove it.
It also leaves a film on your face, I suppose that's the "toner", I kindda don't mind it because I then cleanse my face again with another face cleanser.
It won't give you that squeaky clean feeling, for me it's kind of a duh, how can you be a toner & make-up remover in one? A make-up remover is supposed to get completely off your face, melt your make-up & then when you rinse your face everything on your face is supposed to go down the drain, a toner is supposed to stay, only one of them will happen, this stayed on my face, I guess this is a cleanser & a toner in one.

Conclusion: good if you're face is make-up-less & you want a cleaner that'll moisturize your face, really not good for someone who wants a deep clean or a one step make-up remover.