Foundation: Beautyblender Bounce
I only use foundations on nights out, so it’s something I invest in every few months and that lasts me. This one is my current favorite. Love the packaging (and the fact that it has a lock – great for travel). Long-lasting, and full-coverage – hydrates (thanks to hyaluronic acid) and filled with antioxidants (thanks to the white birch extract).
Cleanser: Pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel
One of my favorite cleansers at the moment, great if you have oily skin too. Perfect as an exfoliating cleanser, because of the glycolic acid in it, but it also has aloe and ginseng, which also hydrates the skin along the way.
Moisturizer: Marc Jacobs Youthquake
Ever since I started using Biologique Rechercher’s lotion, it has changed my life but it has also started giving me some dry patches. Love this for deep hydration – a gel-based moisturizer with pineapple enzymes, I like using this when my skin is feeling dry and dull.
Available at Sephora
Range: Project Lip
A Manchester-based brand I recently discovered, I started using and loving two products from the range – the matte plumping primer (which is the best lip plumping product I’ve ever used) and the scrub, which is an all natural, gentle, strawberry scrub for the lips, that helps with chapped an dry lips.
Available on Namshi
Setting Spray: Maxfactor Lasting performance setting spray
I like making sure my make up lasts all night. 3 things I rely on are primers, setting powders and setting sprays. For an affordable version, I like this one by Maxfactor – which also hydrates the skin and feels very refreshing because of the cucumber extracts.
Cleanser: Erborian Double Mousse cleansing foam
When it comes to cleansers, I like them light so my top picks would be either a gel or foam. Been using this cleansing foam from one of my favorite skincare brands at the moment, Erborian. Smells super fresh (it’s enriched with traditional Korean herbs), which does the job with cleansing the skin, without overdrying.
Fragrance: Dior Hynotic Poison Roller pearl
One of my all time favorite fragrances is Dior’s Hypnotic Poison, and naturally, this has become my handbag staple. a 20ml roller pearl of the fragrance in the most beautiful glass bottle.
Primer: Laura Mericer Foundation Primer (Radiance)
I only started using primers less than a year ago to keep my base looking even, but I did realize I tend to stick to ones that have glow or radiance. One of my favorites is the one by Laura Mercier. Lightweight, I use it right under my base and it gives the most beautiful radiant finish.
Illuminator: MAC Dazzle Drops
It’s no secret that I absolutely love anything that gives a glow, radiance or illuminates. Love this new product in Dazzlepeach from MAC’s new collection with Cyrine AbdelNour. Can be used both on the face and body – either over make up or mixed in with foundation. (side note: it has more of a glitter shimmer finish, so less is more with this product)
Toner: Sukin Oil balancing Clarifying Facial Toner
I have a new found love for toners. I like using them post cleansing to make sure all the dirt is off my skin, and I also like to use it during the day to refresh the skin. If you have oily skin like me, you’ll love this one by Australian all natural brand, Sukin. Refreshing, and helps balance out the skin, the toner has ingredients like coconut extract, rooibos tea and aloe vera.
Not a big fan of facials, but love acids. I came across The Inkey List recently and loved the fact how straight to the point it was, without any fluff. My personal favorite, and one I’ve been using is the Glycolic Acid liquid toner (which is filled with 10% glycolic acid derived from sugar cane – so it gently exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells without overdrying the skin.
I love dewy skin, I love a glow so I couldn’t wait this product and it’s truly one of my favorites. I’m personally obsessed with French/ Korean brand, Erborian and have been using their CC and BB creams regularly. This aqua-gel cream is great with hydrating the skin, as well as giving you the most beautiful radiant finish. I like to use it without and under make up. Absorbs very fast too.
Illuminator: NARS Super Radiant Booster
I couldn’t wait for this to launch in the region. Limited edition and lightweight, comes in one universal shade – it’s gorgeous to wear alone as an illuminator (gorgeous and pigmented, yet buildable) or for a more subtle finish, I like mixing a little bit with my foundation. I also love make up infused with skincare properties. This illuminator has Vitamin E in it.
Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow
I try to keep my brows very natural – other than cleaning them twice a month, I only use a brow gel to brush them up before going out. I love the new Dip brow gels from Anastasia Beverly Hills – I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it because my first favorite brow product was the pomade by the brand. This is super easy to use, comes in different tints, smudge proof, lasts all day and creates a gorgeous full finish.
Eye cream: Origins Ginzing refreshing eye cream
This eye cream has been a lifesaver when I feel like I’ve been looking very tired. Works on any skin type, it has a subtle scent and great for brightening under the eyes and depuffing. Ingredients include Panax Ginseng and Coffee bean to help refresh.
Ideal for… a hidden Thai gem Restaurant name and location: Bambooda, Roda al Bustan Hotel Dubai Cuisine: Thai Atmosphere: Quiet, with a few hotel guests (we went on a weekday) What they say: The must visit Thai restaurant in Dubai, evoking all the charms of an authentic Thai village, elegant and romantic. Join us at this colourful hideaway where tables are set among lush greenery & colourful blooms and perched in between Thai huts alongside waterfalls and streams.
Guests can look forward to a menu full of exotic cocktails, colourful dishes and banquets bursting with all the Traditional flavors of Thailand delivering a dining experience that is truly memorable.
What to order:
-Vegetable spring rolls (they were just right, crispy and soft on the inside)
-Corn cake (I love corn fritters, and those were perfect)
-Chicken green curry (their mild is still quite spicy though)
-Pad Thai (one of the best I’ve had in the city)
-Mango sticky rice (if you love coconut milk and mangoes, you have to order this)
What I loved:
-It felt very authentic, everything we ordered was incredible. Didn’t feel like I was in Dubai.
What: The new Qua Spa at Caesars Palace in Bluewater Island
The atmosphere: I must say I’ve been so impressed with this hotel as a whole. Large, spacious – yet incredibly modern and minimal. I recently booked in for a Detox Dome treatment.
The experience: The treatment itself included a body scrub, body mask, an Iyashi dome session (to sweat the toxins away) and a full body drainage massage.
Final note and results: My skin was soft, my muscles felt less tense (sweating within the Iyashi dome was great) and super relaxed.
Recommended therapist: Bee
Cost: AED1,200 for 120 minutes
Recommended rating: 9/10
What: Thai massage at The Spa at The Steigenberger Hotel
The atmosphere: Calm and relaxed, as soon as I arrived, I was given a drink and towel before being taken to my treatment room (The spa also offer an assortment of crystal water which I loved)
The experience: Thai massages are some of my favorites. Mostly because they’re strong and they don’t use any oil. I was given a two piece set to get changed into, and the massage was done on a traditional mattress on the floor.
Final note and results: One of the best massages I’ve ever had done and one of the top 5 Thai massages I’ve ever done in my life (and I’ve had a few). Khem, my therapist broke down all my knots and tension.
Recommended therapist: Khem, she was incredible and so strong. Side note, she really is so strong.
Recommended rating: 10/10
What: HD Brows at BROWZ
The atmosphere: For the past year, I haven’t been shaping my eyebrows, and only really cleaning them because I realized I haven’t found someone that was great, but also a therapist that didn’t take too much off. I recently booked in for a HD brows treatment at Browz Salon, the salon at The Mall on Beach Road.
The experience: A gorgeous space, my HD Browz treatment had 7 steps to it. The first being the tint, which is left on for 10 seconds and also tints the baby hair to give off a fluffy effect. The second being waxing, mostly to clean everything including the tint. Moving on to the 3rd being threading, to really shape up the eyebrows and ending with the HD brow make up, which not only makes you leave ready for any night out, but also teaches you how to apply eyebrow make up (which I’m not really great at)
Final note and results: Personally fell in love with the treatment. For someone that doesn’t want to do microblading, this is a great way to get your eyebrows to the look you want it to look – naturally.
Recommended brow technician: Carla
Recommended rating: 9/10
What: Oribe hair treatment at Tips and Toes Salon
The atmosphere: My favorite branch of Tips and Toes is in Al Barsha, so I tend to go there when I’m choosing T&T. Spacious, and not too busy.
The experience: I personally love Oribe, and is one of my favorite haircare brands. As a fan of hair treatments, I gave Oribe’s in salon treatment a go. The treatment was applied on my hair in sections, left for 30 minutes, before it was washed out with the Oribe shampoo and conditioner.
Final note and results: Hydrated and smooth hair.
Recommended therapist: Melanie
Recommended rating: 7/10
What: Bastien Gonzalez pedicure at ShuiQi Spa, Atlantis The Palm
The atmosphere: The Bastien pedicures take place in the private rooms they have within the spa, that are super comfortable and zen – which makes it all feel like a treat.
The experience: The Bastien pedicure is not your typical kind of pedicure – firstly, because they are all performed by podiatrists that were trained in France by Bastien. Performed on dry skin, the tools that are used are a light drill, glass file (anti-bacterial) and a gouge to remove dead skin and to file because the buffer is used on every nail (the shine your nail has, lasts for weeks.
Final note and results: They recommend that you avoid nail polish post pedicure (but they also do have Bastien polishes incase you need some color) . It’s a little bit of an investment, so it’s probably not something I would too often, but for the health of your feet, I would visit twice a year.
Recommended rating: 8/10
Fragrance: Maison Lancome Santal Kardamom
I rarely ever fall in love with unisex fragrances, but I loved this the moment I smelt it on my friend, Mr Moudz. An Eau de Parfum, it’s a woody spicy fragrance I like to layer on as the base on pulse points. Top notes include bergamot, mandarin orange and pink pepper, middle notes of cardamom, neroli and orange blossom. To finish off, base notes of sandalwood, leather, patchouli and vanilla.
Tinted moisturizer: Dolce & Gabbana Millennial skin
Unless I’m going on a long night out, I’ve started to avoid foundations as much as I can and tend to stick to tinted moisturizers and bb creams during the day. I use this one by Dolce & Gabbana beauty on nights out too. Super lightweight and hydrating, it gives off the most gorgeous dewy finish.
Range: my Clarins by Clarins
Clarins recently launched a range targeted at millennials, which I was intrigued to try. The whole range is quite gentle, lightly scented – using ingredients that are gentle on the skin like coconut water, fig extract, and flower water to name a few. My personal favorites from the range are the spot cream (which is still quite gentle so it doesn’t dry up the skin, and the hydrating beauty mist, which is super hydrating.
Palette: Benefit Cheerleader Bronze squad
I love efficient palettes, because I tend to change from my car during the day, and travel quite often. In love with the new Cheekleader bronze squad palette from Benefit, which comes with a couple of their best sellers – Hoola and Hoola Caramel to contour and bronze, coralista for a subtle blush and to illuminate using Gold Rush and cookie.
Illuminator: Becca x Khloe Kardashian + Malika Glow letters
I was pretty excited for this collaboration, was mostly excited to try out the illuminators because Becca make some of the best illuminators on the market. Even though this didn’t seem to be the most popular product from the range, I loved the glow letters because of the mix of the gold and bronze letters, which gives me the most natural glow. I also did love the palettes from the range.
Available at Sephora
Early stages of pigmentation is what got me to start wearing Sunscreen (SPF 50) every day. This month, I got my skin guru, Rebecca Treston at Euromed Clinic to share what causes sun spots and how to get rid of them.
Sun spots are technically known as ‘solar lentigines’ and are areas of darker coloured skin are not caused by age but are a direct result of the damaging effects of sun exposure. In fact, they are an epidermal pigmentation due to UV damage. They appear over time, commonly on the face, back of hands, arms and legs and can vary in size from being as small as a freckle up to half an inch in size. While sun spots are not caused by aging, they are more common among people over 50 and do not appear as frequently in younger adults, as this is because they can appear over time rather than immediately after sun exposure.
Sun spots grow on the top surface layer of skin and have the capacity to grow both individually or as a cluster. The more time we spend in the direct sun, the more our skin will begin to produce an excess amount of skin pigment (called ‘melanin’), leading to sun spots. Sun exposure is of course the major factor, but these things are known to make things worse:
• Lack of Exercise
• Tanning beds
• Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure
• Unhealthy dieting
The goal of treating sun spots is to lighten the affected skin, or promote the growth of healthy skin in the area. This can be accomplished with medical procedures such as laser treatments that aim to penetrate the layers of skin. Using a Q Switch laser or a treatment such as the PICO laser, melanocytes can be destroyed in the affected area, thus eliminating the sun spots.
Of course, the most effective way to stop sun spots is to stay out of the sun. We all need just a little sun on our skins every day to stay healthy – but a few minutes early in the morning or late in the afternoon should be enough. At these times of day the sun is less intense than in the middle of the day. If you do need to be in the sun for longer or at peak times of the day, then make sure you always apply plenty of high factor sunscreen and wear loose, long clothing to prevent sun exposure. We have all heard that too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous – it can irritate and damage our skin, but remember it can also lead to our skin aging prematurely and no one wants to look older before their time!
Ideal for… an authentic Greek night out experience Restaurant name and location: Opa, Fairmont Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai Cuisine: Greek Atmosphere: Gorgeous space (used to be Catch restaurant) and throughout the night, you do get to try out he plate smashing experience. What they say: It all began on a small island in Greece.
In a quaint, charming kitchen, a gentleman named Kyriakos spent years perfecting his favorite Greek dishes, sharing the rich and delicious flavors with his friends and family.
When his son Christos relocated to Dubai, Kyriakos eagerly came to visit. As he explored the vibrant city, he felt that Greek food was not so easy to find. It was then, that Kyriakos decided that he needed to share the rich history and flavorsome cuisine with the UAE community.
With his appetite for tender meats and zesty salads, the Zorba dance and smashing plates, Kyriakos excitedly began to build his traditional restaurant in Dubai.
Before long, with all the ingredients of Greek cuisine, culture, and passion, Opa was born.
What to order:
-Greek salad, of course. Fresh and flavorful.
-Beetroot salad – roasted beetroot with yogurt, light and refreshing.
-Truffle pizza peinirli (just order it)
Service: 9/10 – Speeros took great care of us, loved his sarcastic humor too.
What I loved:
-The dining experience and the plate smashing
-The entrance is beautiful, it really does add to the experience. I also loved the Olive tree in the centre of the restaurant.
This is the concealer I use when I’m lacking sleep, and want to look more awake. Creamy formula, but blends in perfectly. Ingredients include Diamond powder, sea fennel extract and vitamin E to brighten and hydrate the skin.
Range: Patrick Starr for MAC
I love for MAC’s collaborations – they always have some of the best ones. I was especially excited for the Patrick Starr one. My favorite from the range is the Mineralize Skinfinish in ‘Baby it’s gold outside’. A large palette, comes in a gorgeous rose gold shade – it’s pigmented, yet not too pigmented – it has quite a subtle festive finish. I prefer using it with a large brush all over the face before a night out.
Brows: Sephora Brow Thickener
When it comes to brows, I like to keep it simple and easy. I love this sheer powder based formula. Super easy to use and tiny – handbag and travel friendly.
BB cream: Erborian BB cream au Ginseng
Hands down, Erborian make my favorite BB and CC creams. I’ve converted to only using tinted moisturizers during the day and on casual nights out. Lightweight, buildable coverage with SPF of 20 – The gingseng gives the skin a supple and hydrated finish.
Available at Sephora
Body: Benefit Hoola Zero Tanlines
I love being tan all year round… to accentuate my tans, I always love using a shimmer tint at night. The weather has been off recently, so I’ve been using this product by Benefit (which I knew I’d live because Hoola is my favorite bronzer on the market). A gel based body bronzer, which doesn’t break and is buildable, but I especially love because of the applicator. Comes with a sponge, I apply the gel directly on it and I’m then able to apply it all over my body.
Ideal for… an Emirati experience – without going full on. Restaurant name and location: Siraj at Souk al Bahar Cuisine: Emirati/Lebanese Atmosphere: I went on a weekday afternoon – As the restaurant is quite large, it wasn’t that full. What they say: Founded by Entrepreneur, Culinary Enthusiast and Influencer Heba Rumhein, Siraj offers a unique menu with a blend of delicious Emirati and Levantine flavours. A sophisticated restaurant set within the Souk Al Bahar, the world famous Arabian Souk overlooking the Dubai Fountain, the newly opened Siraj is a slick addition to the city’s vibrant culinary scene.
The elegant ambience combines an interesting mix between traditional and contemporary Arabic-inspired décor, transporting guests back in time on a nostalgic journey along the Mediterranean coast.
The contemporary food offering at Siraj is specially prepared by Executive Chef Ahmad Al Fakir, who ensures authentic taste with a modern twist to every dish.
What to order:
-Siraj signature Halawa salad (such an interesting salad – loved the sweet tinge the halawa gave)
-Hummus with Saute’ed lamb
-Chicken Mousakhan rolls
What I loved:
-Most restaurants are either completely Emirati or completely Lebanese. I loved that this was a fusion of both.
-The interiors and space was beautiful – especially loved the gold horse sculptures and the Arabic calligraphy.
-They have interesting twists on classic dishes like hummus with camel meat and lobster kibbeh.