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“First we eat, then we do everything else – said no blogger ever!!”

Hi-fives to those who resist the temptation to hog, and instead take your phone/camera out first for the social media….

I could rave about the appetizer alone in this post, because it is the absolute best thing I’ve ever tried.

Dad’s birthday celebration took us to Peppermill Dubai, located in Dubai Festival City. An Indian cuisine restaurant that caters to all diverse tastebuds (read: cannot handle the spiciness) here in Dubai.

The interiors are designed in a colonial era style that has some stunning views of the DFC waterfront. Since we went on a working afternoon, the place was quiet and we loved the pleasant ambience.

First up, the appetiser. Anyone who loves chaat should try their chaat platter or just their Karare Palak Chaat aka Crispy Spinach chaat (AED 26). It is honestly the best I’ve ever had (waddup Drake reference!) Spinach leaves fried in thin batter alongside yogurt, pomegranate, red chatni and sev makes this mouth wateringly delicious and if shared with others, gets over in minutes.

For the main course, we had their Awadhi Murgh Korma (Chicken curry in a cashew sauce) and Dal Makhani (lentils) with Butter Naans (AED 48, AED 35, AED 6 pp respectively). Loved the creaminess in both the dishes and the entire family had a butter overload moment from the naans and the Dal Makhani.

The Mutton Biryani (AED 60) was probably not one of our favourites here. Even though it was well prepared, it lacked the spices that makes a biryani stand out. This is usually prepared to accomodate all tastebuds, therefore a true biryani lover may not find this as appealing.

Since the staff knew about the birthday occasion beforehand, they gave a Coconut Pannacotta dessert with a birthday message in chocolate and sang a Happy Birthday song too. Props to them for the enthusiasm and the lovely presentation of the dessert (AED 26).

My Thoughts

A wonderful Indian restaurant for a night out. The ambience and service was superb, and so was the food. My only suggestions are to increase the food portions slightly for the price paid and perhaps some more items within the menu for those who love their masalas.

~By Sahrish~

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“I know when that highlight bling” – Makeup Drake

After reviewing the Revlon Cream Insta Fix Highlight in part one, part two of Blinding Highlight Drugstore series is the iconic Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlight in ‘Precious Petals‘. Retailing for AED 25 for 5.4 gms of awesomeness, this is one of those highlights that you are bound to see from space!

Packaging

It has a not so good plastic packaging, especially the lid which does not click on closing. If you happen to break it, you can end up with cracks. The powder is packed in a large metal secured to the bottom and there has been no fallout.

Undertones

The reviews online confused me so so much; it looked champagne on some and pink on others. Since I lean more towards pink tones, I still decided to give this a go. For those confused about the undertone of this highlight, here are the deets – it is a pink toned highlight with a champagne reflect, thus reflecting differently on various skin tones (1$ to you for every time I wrote ‘tone’). The swatch differs from arm to face, and it shows much better on your face.

However, on very fair to fair skin tones, this just may end up looking like a dark pink stripe – Blossom Glow and Golden Flower Crown from the same line is your best bet.

Left: On darker skintone, a champagne tone   VS Right: On lighter skintone, a pink undertone Pigmentation

The pigmentation on this is astounding – just one swipe and the shine comes through. Layer it on, stand under the sun and warn others to wear a sun visor around you.

Final Thoughts

Here in the UAE, it is very difficult to get your hands on these highlighters in a store – Crown of my Canopy (the darkest shade) is the only highlighter stocked at times. The only well stocked WnW stands are in Ibn Battuta Mall and Dubai Marina Mall. For a great price and pigmentation, this one definitely deserves 5/5 stars.

-By Sahrish-

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“I don’t always get a pimple…when I do, it is always on a noticeable spot right before an event!”

I bought The Ordinary’s 2% Salicylic Acid Solution at the end of January, primarily to see whether this helps with my acne and spots. I wanted to put this to the test at least for about a month or two, but ages passed and yet I could not get myself to write a review. I blamed this on my laziness, but call it a co-incidence that just two days before Eid, I experienced a major incident with this product and I’m glad that I’m writing this review now. More on that below, but first, let’s get the basics covered on this review of The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid.

Overview

Salicylic acid is well-known BHA used for exfoliation and reducing acne related issues. You can either opt for AHA or BHA depending on your skin type – this is explained in my previous post.

If the long review intimidates you, go to the infographic chart made at the end of the article which summarises everything.

Product Description

I purchased this bottle online from dolcevitabeauty.me for AED 40 since no major retailers stock The Ordinary in UAE. It has 30 ml (1 floz) of product and is enclosed in a frosted glass container with a dropper to dispense the liquid. The solution (which has 2% salicylic acid and witch hazel) in itself is a clear runny gel-ish liquid which tends to turn milky if you rub too much in.

The directions state to apply this AM or PM by applying small dots onto your acne/blemish or over a large area. They also give a warning to use sunscreen which is very important while using AHA/BHA in order to avoid sunburn.

My Thoughts

I used this as a spot treatment, directly onto an existing or a newly formed pimple. I was scared to use it entirely on my face for fear of it being too harsh. One drop covers at least two spots, so this product can last you a long time. If you do rub it onto the skin, it does turn into a milky colour which was not appealing at all.

There was little to no smell in this product which is good.

On my acne, it took at least a week to see the pimples getting reduced, which IMO, is a lot of time. Many over the counter spot treatments bring a pimple to its head within three/four days. Another issue was when I put it over newly formed pimples (which hasn’t reached the surface of the skin yet), instead of eliminating it within, it started growing big and ended up as fat as my other pimples.

I used this every three days, then gave a gap of three days before continuing the routine. However, after three days, the skin around the pimples was so dry that it started flaking. Then, my major incident happened a few days before Eid, which ultimately decided my thoughts on this.

The Incident

On two nights before Eid, I put this on my acne spot just right outside the eye area and went to sleep. This particular spot was

(a) right under the eye area

(b) was just on the surface of my skin and had not come to a head since a week, so doubting if it was even a pimple

& (c) it was my fourth day of using the BHA continuously.

I woke up three hours later with a burning sensation right where i had applied it. I had given myself a chemical burn and no amount of water could stop the burning sensation. I applied ice cubes and used my La Roche Posay Lipikar face and body lotion as a last resort over the spot and it finally stopped the burn.

By 10 in the morning, I officially had dry wrinkly skin with little white pustules similar to that of a burn area. I continued to use LRP lotion throughout the day as that gave the skin relief, and allowed new skin to form over the area. On Eid day, it looked much better and I managed to hide it with a cream concealer.

For those asking, I’m combination/dry skin type and I only get random spots at that time of the month.

Final Thoughts

The above incident was really my fault as I was applying the BHA close to the eye area, and was using it continuously for four days. Since The Ordinary has 2% Salicylic Acid (which is the highest concentration of BHA one should use OTC), it is better to have a gap of few days before you use it again.

Overall, I’m less impressed with this product as it took a week to get rid of my acne spot, did not see any improvement with regards to my blemishes, dried the heck out of my skin and I ended up giving myself a burn. This worked less effectively on me as I have combination dry skin, but if you are oily and acne prone, you may have better results than mine, as it truly zaps the oils around the area so that the pimple dries down.

If you have used this or any other The Ordinary products, I would love to hear your comments below.

-By Nazish-

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“Exfoliation is key to a glowy dewy skin”

The sheer variety of products available in the beauty world is sign enough of how exfoliation plays an important role for flawless skin. Exfoliation removes the dead layer of the skin and allows other products such as moisturizer/serum to work more effectively.

While you may have heard a lot about physical exfoliation, not many people are aware of its damaging effects if used abrasively on the skin. Chemical exfoliation with acids is the best treatment you could give to your skin for a glowy look (do not let the word ‘acids’ scare you!) Below is a simple guide to help you understand all about chemical exfoliation and what exactly is AHA/BHA:

Types of acid exfoliants

There are two more commonly used acid exfoliants – Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA).

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

Derived from sugarcane, milk etc, this acid is water-soluble and works only on the top layer of the skin by removing the bond between dead skin cells and helps in faster shedding. It also helps in increasing collagen producing cells which helps in generating new skin, making skin plump and smooth. Due to these properties, it is best suited for dry and mature skin types.

Glycolic, Lactic and Mandelic acids are some of the commonly used AHAs in skin care. Affordable versions include Pixi Glow Tonic or The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% and high-end includes Sunday Riley Good Genes, Skin Ceuticals C+AHA and Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel. Maximum concentration for using AHA should be around 8 – 10%.

Lactic acid works best for sensitive skin types as it is less stronger in strength than glycolic acid.

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA)

BHA is mostly used for acne prone skin and clogged pores, simply because it has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin surface than AHA, clearing the sebum and all dirt trapped deep inside the skin. It is oil soluble and due to its above properties, it is more suitable for oily/combination skin types. It has skin calming properties when used in lower concentrations, therefore helping with conditions such as rosacea. Maximum concentrations of 0.5% to 2% is used in products.

1% is ideal for normal skin while up to 2% could be used for acne prone skin, depending on how well the skin reacts.

Most popular BHA is salicylic acid which is a common feature in all acne prone face products. Affordable products with BHA include Cosrx BHA Blackhead Liquid Power,Sunday Riley UFO and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.

Products containing AHA and BHA

There are products in the market that combine the power of both acids such as Glossier Solution, Biologique Recherche P50, Murad AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser and Herbivore Blue Tansy – it gives the benefits of both acids for your face.

Things to remember before you switch to acid exfoliation
  • Use once a day, and then keep a gap of 3/4 days before you reapply
  • Avoid the eye area
  • Sunscreen is a must when you start using acids – especially glycolic acid which makes you photosensitive (prone to sun damage), so it is best to apply at night and use sunscreen regularly.
  • It is preferable not to apply AHA/BHA together – but if you do, Paula’s Choice website recommends this – “If you have combination skin, where the T-zone is oily and clog-prone with large pores, but the cheeks are dry, experiment by applying a BHA exfoliant to the oily areas and an AHA exfoliant to the dry areas. It is also recommended to use them alternatively and not together.
  • Acids do not provide immediate results – you will have to continue to use them for two weeks or more in order to get substantial results.
  • Acids may also cause purging i.e. dirt hidden deep inside will be brought to the surface and breakouts will happen – this will eventually reduce and go away.
  • If you use retinol or any other product, it is best to consult a dermatologist before applying.
Take Our Poll

I am currently using The Ordinary Salicylic Acid and cannot wait to share my thoughts with you (post coming up soon!). What are your favourite products for exfoliation? Also, if are new to this concept, how likely are you to try this? Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

-By Naz-

P.S. Photo credits to Hanae Akabbal for Pixi Glow Tonic

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