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MERIT Solo Shadow – First Impressions & Thoughts

On August 22nd, MERIT launched their new matte eye colour product, Solo Shadow, and their new dual ended eyeshadow brush, Brush No. 2.

It’s no surprise that MERIT is one of my all time favourite clean make-up brands. Known for their noncomedogenic products and beautiful packaging, they pride themselves on being the antidote to the oversaturated world of beauty. This minimalist beauty brand has been incredibly successful in creating products that are safe for the body, skin and planet. This is why I and many other make-up enthusiasts alike have truly fallen head over heels for everything MERIT launches.

I was over the moon when MERIT reached out to me and let me in on the details for this launch. I was looking to get rid of many of the eyeshadow palettes I’ve owned because they were either expired or contained too many ingredients that I felt were harmful to my health. While I have had many of these palettes for at least a year or more, something I noticed is that I never truly hit pan on many of the colours in the products.

As someone who likes to typically only use one to two colours at most when I use eyeshadow, palettes that contained four or more colours often felt unnecessary to me. With MERIT launching a line of “solo” eyeshadows, the overwhelm I had when it came to eyeshadow palettes was finally eliminated.

Let’s talk first impressions on the packaging:

Gorgeous as always, and timeless as ever – but that’s no surprise coming from MERIT. Along with the Solo Shadow and No. 2 brush, they also sent over their Clean Lash lengthening mascara, which I’ve always wanted to try. I especially love the gold touches on the Solo Shadow and Clean Lash which truly encapsulates the luxe feeling that the brand wants to portray and provide its customers with.

Now, onto the performance of the products themselves…

Solo Shadow: Described as a buildable, cream-to-powder shadow for a soft-matte wash of colour, I was curious to find out how this eyeshadow was going to apply. I feel that you don’t hear the word “cream” and “matte” in the same description very often but that’s exactly what this eyeshadow does. The shade I chose, “Midcentury” is a warm brown that I was excited to see on my olive, medium tan skin. When I first picked up the colour onto the brush, I did notice its cream-like texture that was incredibly easy to blend. You also can totally blend the product out with your finger.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that once the pigment was on my eyelid, it looked as if it was a matte textured shadow in the first place. I think this cream-to-powder texture perfectly combines the blendability of a standalone cream formula and the versatility of a matte finish. The solo shadow truly is the best of both! In terms of the amount of pigment, I loved that you can apply a small amount if you’re looking for just a subtle amount of colour or you could totally add more and build the amount of pigment to your preference.

No. 2 brush: I loved that this is a dual ended brush that can help you achieve whatever eyeshadow look. you are going for. The fluffy end is perfect for diffusing colour across the lid and the tapered end is great for applying eyeshadow along the lash line. This brush is made from extra-soft vegan bristles that are gentle on sensitive skin. For a brush that’s pretty compact, the densely packed bristles deposit just the right amount of product for easy, buildable coverage.

I truly love everything about this eyeshadow and brush! The Solo Shadow currently comes in 4 neutral shades and 4 wearable colours. You’ve got a beautiful range of shades to pick from beautiful browns and beiges and mauve, green, and navy.

If you’d like to try out the Solo Shadow, No. 2 brush, and Clean Lash, be sure to use my link! Every first MERIT purchase comes with their signature bag and all orders over $40 get free shipping. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these new products, and I hope you genuinely love them as much as I do.

All the love,


A Look Back At My Content Creator Journey So Far

Hey friends! Long time no *blog* post. I believe the last time I’ve ever published something here was in April, when I was still enrolled in a course where updating this website was mandatory. With that said, I wanted to break my 4 month long hiatus with a reflection on my journey as an aspiring content creator.

I may have mentioned in an earlier post here and on my Instagram that having some sort of platform or blog has been a long time dream of mine. I started my first blog on a free WordPress domain at 10, ran a lifestyle and aesthetics Instagram page at 11, and launched my first online business at 16.

However, imposter syndrome and self doubt would always get the best of me and I’d find myself deactivating or deserting an account, website, or venture I’ve built typically after a couple of months. As I’ve made my way throughout university and have done some more reflecting on the kind of life I want to create for myself, the desire of building a personal brand seemed to resonate deeply with me.

So, this past spring semester, when I was obliged to create a personal blog for my digital publishing class at school, Life With Ainah was born at the end of January 2023.

Upon its conception, I knew I wanted Life With Ainah to revolve around three main interests I have: wellness, lifestyle, and beauty. While I use this website to record and share longer-form content, I am more active on my Instagram and TikTok where I share shorter-form content on these three subject interests.

I knew that I wanted to see this personal brand I have created for myself grow, no matter how silly I felt for trying to become an “influencer” or “creator,” as cringe-inducing these terms can be. As cliché as it sounds, I knew that I wanted to build this personal brand because I simply love creating content and cultivating community with likeminded individuals.

So… here’s a look back at the past 7 months of building this brand, and some highlights I’ve had along the way.

In March, I was invited to shoot a campaign with one of my all time favourite women-owned brands, STIL Classics. I got to go into their studio and chat about what it means for me to be a woman in 2023 as well as share some of my favourite products from their brand. It was such a fun day, and after years of admiring their brand on social media, I still can’t believe I got to work with them in this capacity.

In April, I started landing my first gifted collaborations. To date, I am completely humbled and grateful to say that I have worked with 21 brands since then. It is so surreal to be receiving products from companies I love and getting to make content around them.

In May, I landed my first paid collaboration with a skincare brand that aligns deeply with my core values. I recently saw some of my content on their social media and it brought the biggest smile to my face.

Last month, I got to meet one of my online friends who is also a content creator and female entrepreneur. We got waffles downtown and it felt so surreal meeting someone in the industry I have looked up to for a while now.

And last but not least, last week, I made a trip down to the US to pick up some PR packages. It feels insane that I not only have had a number of packages come to my door, but that I now have a P.O. box in a different country!

I say all this not to brag, but just as a testimony that dreams do come true. I can’t believe that all of this has just happened in the past 7 months after years of wandering around in the digital space. I am so excited to see what the rest of the year has in store, and I truly hope to share more of my story in the content I share.

I truly believe everything I have received in my journey as a content creator has all been a gift from God. I truly want to use my platform in a way that spreads kindness, love, and joy and displays the gospel. I believe that this is just the start of what I have to offer here at Life With Ainah and I’m so excited to continue to share more content!

With care & joy,


Pilates At Home Workouts To Try

Even when life gets busy, it is crucial to ensure that you are still prioritizing your mental and physical health. Taking care of your body and mind can greatly improve your quality of life and even help lower stress when you are constantly on the go.

One of my intentions for 2023 was to prioritize my physical wellbeing. I have come to love working out as a means of self care and I’ve noticed that I always feel better after I get some movement into my day.

While I kicked off this year focussing on weightlifting, cardio, and gym-based workouts, finals season and having a lot of upcoming work deadlines has made it harder for me to include the usual 45 minutes to 1 hour I would usually spend at the gym on my schedule. With that said, I have opted for more home-based workouts over the past couple of months, and I have actually been enjoying it.

The bulk of the home workouts I have been doing are pilates workouts. If you haven’t heard, pilates workouts are an incredible way to tone muscle, improve core strength, decrease stress, prevent injuries, and much more. Over the past several weeks that I have been doing, pilates consistently, I have noticed a difference in my core strength and endurance. I’m excited to continue implementing pilates into my workout split even when I go back to the gym once I get my exams over with.

Below are 3 of my favourite pilates videos to follow through with. Don’t knock it until you try it, and I would highly encourage you to get out your mat and get moving! 🙂

  1. 15 Minute Everyday Pilates Abs and Core
  2. 15 Minute Full Body Pilates Workout – No Equipment Needed!
  3. Mat Pilates Legs + Butt Workout

With care & joy,



  1. YouTube. (2020, June 13). 15 minute everyday pilates abs and core. 15 Minute Everyday Pilates Abs and Core. Retrieved April 10, 2023, from
  2. YouTube. (2021, December 6). 15 Minute Full Body pilates workout – no equipment needed! 15 Minute Full Body Pilates Workout – No Equipment Needed! Retrieved April 10, 2023, from
  3. YouTube. (2022, July 26). Mat Pilates legs + butt workout | gratitude focus. Mat Pilates Legs + Butt Workout | Gratitude Focus. Retrieved April 10, 2023, from

Shopping Secondhand at Hunter & Hare

Early last month when I was in North Vancouver, I stumbled upon this women’s consignment store along the Lonsdale Quay area. Their items were adorable and I loved the aesthetic of the store in general. Although I didn’t purchase anything, I hope to come back again in the near future.

Check out the Reel I made about my visit!

Rare Beauty Review From A College Beauty Blogger

With one of the content pillars of my blog revolving around beauty content, I’m always on the hunt for the best make-up products in the beauty market. Over the past couple of months, I have been able to try Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush and their Kind Words Matte Lip Liner. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with both of these products, and have decided that I’d share my thoughts on them.

Let’s kick things off with the Kind Words Matte Lip Liner. I love that this creamy, versatile lip liner comes in a variety of different shades ranging from neutral nudes to bold reds. As mentioned, the formula is so creamy and glides on the lips like a dream. It is super easy to use in order to create the perfect outline for your lips. Additionally, this lip liner is long lasting, so you won’t have to worry about constantly re-applying it throughout the day.

As much as I have enjoyed Rare beauty’s lip liner, I have completely fallen in love with their Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. I have been using the shade “Bliss” and hope to try out more shades in the near future. Available in both cream and liquid formulas, Rare Beauty has ensured that their blushes come in a selection of shades that are suitable for any skin tone.

What I love most about this blush is how pigmented it is! Ask any beauty blogger their thoughts on this blush, and I can 100% guarantee that they will say that “A little goes a long way.” Like their lip liner, the formula in this blush is a dream to blend – a small dot on each skin is enough to give you a healthy and radiant glow. I’d recommend applying the product with your fingers to ensure that it spreads evenly and blends seamlessly with your skin.

While the products that I have tried from Selena Gomez’ make-up line have been first class so far, I wanted to share an aspect about the Rare Beauty brand I love – their commitment to mental health and embracing one’s imperfections.

Whenever you purchase a product from Rare Beauty, you are not only treating yourself (or a loved one) to a high-performing product, but you also support a brand that is on an incredible mission to increase access to mental health resources.

With care & joy,



Kind words matte lip liner. Rare Beauty. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2023, from

Rare beauty by Selena Gomez: Vegan & cruelty free makeup. Rare Beauty. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2023, from

Soft pinch liquid blush. Rare Beauty. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2023, from

Wellness Creators I’ve Been Loving Following

While I usually share about products or brands I love, I thought I would do something different and share about some fellow wellness creators who I believe have been killing it with their content lately. Since March is also women’s history month, I wanted to share three ladies who are inspiring other women to take care of their wellbeing through their platforms.

A kinesiologist and personal trainer, Ashley is also the founder of Elevate With Ashleisure Fit Inc; a group pop-up fitness event designed to revive minds, bodies & souls one workout at a time. Though I’ve gone to school with Ashley for many years, it was through handling her social media content for her business in which I got to learn firsthand about her passion for uplifting others in all aspects of their health.

I love how she desires to use the lessons she’s learned from a season of burn-out to provide a one-stop shop for health at her bi-monthly fitness events. Her business and blog Instagram pages feature helpful tips on holistic health, stylish athleisure looks, reflections on her own fitness journey, and some at-home/gym workouts!

Though I’ve known her husband’s family for years, it was only at the end of 2022 in which I reached out to Cassidy as she was offering a 6 week intro to the gym program that helped me set up healthy habits going into 2023.

Cassidy is a fitness coach that empowers others through functional fitness that focuses on an individual’s needs and goals. I was a bit nervous working with a personal trainer for the first time this year, but Cassidy has always helped me feel empowered and challenged through the workouts she assigned me. Her page is full of amazing tips on working out, motivational advice, healthy habits/routines, and recipes you’ll want to try!

I stumbled upon Shanna’s page shortly after I started to take content creation seriously on this blog and on my Instagram page. She’s easily become one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram and I’ve loved getting to chat with her through the DM’s.

Shanna is a personal trainer based in NYC. Like her Instagram bio says, she’s keeping it really real through her honest reflections on life, fun yet effective workouts on her Temple Bodii Instagram page, and the encouragement she brings to other women in their fitness and health journeys through her reels.

She also has an incredible way with words and her weekly Sunday Soulday newsletter has become my fave. I love the quotes she puts in them every week as well as the book, song, and Instagram account she’s currently loving.

Super proud of what all three of these women are providing in the wellness space and I can’t wait to continue to see them flourish and inspire those around them. Be sure to check them out on socials!

With care & joy,


5 Ways To Prioritize Your Wellness As A University Student

With finals season right around the corner, I thought it was time for a wellness post dedicated for fellow students like me who are trying their best to make it through to the end of the semester.

It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of academic life. With classes, assignments, exams, and extracurricular activities all vying for your attention, it’s no wonder that so many of us students find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. However, it’s important to remember that your wellness should always be a top priority. Today, I’ll be sharing five tips to help you prioritize your wellness as a university student.

  1. Make sleep a priority

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of wellness, yet it’s often the first thing to go when we’re busy. It’s important to prioritize getting enough sleep each night, as sleep is essential for cognitive function, memory consolidation, and emotional regulation. Aiming for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your body’s internal clock and help you feel refreshed and ready to take on tasks when you wake up.

  1. Exercise regularly

Exercise is another key component of wellness. Regular physical activity can help improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, whether that means hitting the gym, going for a run, or taking a yoga class.

  1. Eat a balanced diet

The food we eat has a significant impact on our physical and mental health. Over my past few years of university, I have learned that it’s important to prioritize a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. While this is something I have struggled with in the past, turning to Pinterest or Google for healthy recipe ideas or getting help from a nutrition coach can help with ensuring that you are eating well everyday.

  1. Practice stress-management techniques

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it’s important to have tools in place to help manage it when it arises. This might include deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, or journaling. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you, and make time for these practices regularly. Personally, I really love journaling and stretching as stress-management tools, but feel free to do whatever works for you!

  1. Seek support when needed

Finally, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or struggling with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Whether you decide to reach out to a friend, a family member, or a counsellor, it’s important that you feel cared for when the workload of school gets overwhelming.

In conclusion, prioritizing your wellness as a university student is essential for your overall health and academic success. By making sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress-management, and support a priority, you can ensure that you’re taking care of your mind and body even when your schedule is packed and life is busy.

With care & joy,


A Little More About Me

It’s been about a month since I’ve started my content creation journey with this blog, my Instagram, and my TikTok all under my “Life With Ainah” brand.

With that said, I thought I’d take the time to share a bit more about myself. I posted this on Instagram a couple of days ago and wanted it to have a space on my website as well.

hi friend! i’m ainah. 👋🏼 by day, i’m a communications student, content manager, freelance designer, & aspiring content creator. 💻 but these are all labels and positions that anyone can associate with me on a surface level basis.

to dive a little deeper, i’m a follower of Jesus. i have and continue to struggle with anxiety and comparison — so having a platform to talk about beauty and intentional living doesn’t just run skin-deep around here.

more than just sharing my fave make-up products, i hope to bring light to how knowing my worth in Christ has brought me a confidence that no product could ever grant me. and more than journaling prompts and routines, i hope to share how the peace of Jesus has equipped me to live a wildly intentional life even when worry plagues me.

i also love coffee and cafes and the people in my life — so you’ll be bound to see some reels of places i visit, my memories, and recommendations here.

thanks for being here 🕊 i’m always down to make new friends and connections here on instagram — so please feel free to reach out if you want to talk!”

With care & joy,


Clean Beauty Products I Want To Try

After learning about how the chemicals in my skincare and make-up can negatively affect my hormones, I decided to gradually switch to beauty and skin products that are formulated with clean ingredients about two years ago.

Today, I thought I’d share some clean beauty products I have my eye on. Who knows, maybe I’ll be adding some of these into my Sephora cart soon!

  1. MERIT Beauty | Brow 1980 Voluminizing Pomade in the shade “Soft Black”
  2. ILIA Beauty | Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil in the shade “Only You”
  3. Saie | Glowy Super Gel in the shade “Sunglow”
  4. Tower 28 | SunnyDays Lightweight Foundation

I love the aesthetics of the packaging that all these products have and have heard lots of good things about these items. I’ll definitely share when I get to try these out!

With care & joy,