Every woman has a seasonal signature lip. They may know it or perhaps be unaware, but everyone has one . The bolds, the nudes, the minimalists or the ones who go bare. For me the idea of lipsticks and combination of lip products is ever appealing and I find myself flittering amongst too many things to actually call one product or a combination of products my favourite or my signature per say.
This was true until a couple of weeks ago, unusually I had a lot of time to get dressed to go out for the evening with my husband. I say unusually because like all women who are being accompanied by a person of the opposite gender, I too am guilty of always running late.
Having time on my hand, meant shuffling through the stash of lip products (my favourite part of putting on make-up) and I managed to layer three products that looked beautiful together and lasted a phenomenal 6 hours !! No touch ups.
Gosh Cosmetics Lipliner in 01 Nougat Crisp
MAC Kinda Sexy
Lancome Color Fever Lipgloss in 206
The Finished Lip:
This is probably the perfect pink for me, not too bold nor too insignificant and perfect for those spontaneous selfies !
What is your signature lip product/combination this summer ?
I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. Perhaps this is why sometimes I find myself wishing for the “Oily T Zone” issues that people have. Don’t get grossed out just yet but it is nicer to have that glow on your face matted down by some powder,rather than try to inject moisture into your ever dehydrated skin.
Hence, the title “the rough patch”. For the severity of the dryness of my skin means always having to try to control my expressions( to avoid pre-mature wrinkles), tightness of skin and lots of discomfort caused by the omnipresent air-conditioning in this part of the world (the Middle East).
But battled with this problem for years now, I have found products that have helped in calming down my skin and also giving it extended periods of hydration and smoothness. The following are products that I have gone back and forth between, some older,some fairly new. But all that have worked wonders.
Favorite Face Products:
Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
If dehydrated and parched skin ever needed a burst of water that could be sealed into the skin, this product would be the solution. Will a gel like consistency this face product instantly gives the skin a burst of hydration without creating a greasy top layer.The hydration lasts for hours at a stretch which is unheard of for any product that has ever met my parched skin.
Favorite Lip Product:
Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm
This one is a recommendation I saw on Amelia Liana’s blog (http://amelialiana.com) and really all the raving is spot on as are her descriptions of the product. This isn’t a slick/glossy kind of lip balm it is in fact a pot of the most concentrated matte formula that just feels like a mask when you initially put it on your lips. The after effects though…WOW! Never have I ever had a lipstick application so smooth in my life. Definitely worth trying out, even if you have fairly smooth lips.
Nivea Nourishing Body Lotion (Dry to Very Dry Skin)
Having persistent dry skin means that I have enough lotions and cremes in my bathroom for my entire neighbourhood to use. However, being cynical of Nivea(snob-alert) being able to help me, this one was only purchased in February this year when I paid my mom a visit in Dubai and she made me slather this on religiously for a week. The difference was mind boggling and I was sold !
Favorite Eye Cream :
Clinique all about eyes
This eye cream comes in a huge tub that will probably last you forever. However, it is a total saviour for eyes that are feeling dry, itchy and are not smooth enough to apply any make-up without making it look like a bumpy mess. Also a little goes a long way and the formulation is perfect for those sensitive eyes that need something quite hydrating.
Favorite Hand Cream :
Neutrogena Concentrated Hand Cream
Neutrogena’s concentrated hand cream formula can aptly be described as a sort of vaseline that instantly softens without leaving a greasy or slick feeling to the skin. Great for those who wash their hands very often and also for people who are constantly within air-conditioned areas.
Favorite Serum :
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum
And last but not the least this product has quite a large cult following globally which I assumed must add up to something more than a large marketing budget. And rightly so ! A very nice gel like consistency means that this serum absorbs very quickly into the skin and the Hyaluronic Acid gives the skin and immediate plumpness. Eventually this will help re-texturize the skin and remove dry patches improving the quality of your skin, which means less make-up required to be piled on!
When you think of lip products the terms tube and wand are usually associated with lip glosses or in recent times lip stains ( glosses with a higher dose of pigmentation once the “glossy” bit has worn off). However,the beauty world has also been taken by a storm with a new hybrid,which are the liquid lipsticks.
Honestly, my first thought on hearing/seeing these on several beauty counters and youtube/blogs was,’that looks messy’.But curiosity always caught the cat (especially the ones mad about their lippies). And off I went to pick a couple of different ones to put to the test.
1) The Apocalips Lip Lacquer (Released as Show-Offs in the USA) by Rimmel : This is one of the thinnest,”barely there” on your lips kind of lip colour formula that I have come across. With barely any weight it glides right on and the applicator is quite convenient as it is not flat but has a scoop like quality that helps to pick up just the right amount of colour from the tube for one full application. The formula goes on quite wet (not sticky!) but after around 45 minutes the sheen dries down and is very subtle the colour stays on for around 3 to 4 hours and does not require a touch up. Even after 4 hours the wear is not uneven and will fade beautifully.
Note : The Apocalips formula is not highly pigmented and can be built up to create a more opaque look or can be worn quite sheer to suit your personal preference.
2) Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick: This liquid lipstick is a more recent launch when compared to the Rimmel Apocalips. The formulation is also considerably different, with a creamier and much more opaque consistency,it is a lot more matte than the Rimmel formula and the dry down of the slight sheen is much faster. So if you love the look of a vibrant matte lipstick but hate the chalky dry feel of it on your lips, this liquid lipstick is a win-win situation for you ! The applicator of this is quite ordinary, however the formulation of the product more than makes up for it. One application and you have a full opaque mouth of colour, with the slight sheen drying down quite quickly, this lipstick will stay put for hours at a stretch and is completely smudge proof once is dries down (even requires quite a bit of work to remove it !). Great for those of us who could not be bothered with touching up our lippy throughout the day! Also like the Rimmel Apocalips these have a very barely there feel,yet with great pigmentation!
Both Lipsticks are available at Boots Pharmacies.
As the last leg of my shamefully long honeymoon began, the excitement and the despair both crept in.
Despair : This “Lala Land” fairytale trip was coming to an end.
Excitement: We were heading to non other than Las Vegas !!!
Now since it was the last bit of our honeymoon we did want to make the most of it , unfortunately for me though I did fall terribly ill (some horrendous stomach bug), however being a trooper and knowing that I was probably not coming back anytime soon in the for seeable future I still managed to do a lot !
Travel Mode: We made the famous drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, as that was our previous stopover during the honeymoon. It is fairly easy to rent cars across the U.S.A and you can usually drop them of at your last destination and have someone from the car rental agency pick it up from there.
Hotel : Now this is usually a very big decision for tourists when heading to Sin City, as it sets the mood for your entire trip.Our choice of hotel was the “Wynn and Encore”. With a fun red, bold theme running all over the place, the energy in these connected twin structures was loud,vibrant and very Vegas. The rooms were quite large and spacious( just a regular double bed room),also having opted for a panoramic view, added to the entire beauty of our stay at Encore.
1) Explore the Strip: This is probably the best free excursion that you will undertake during your stay in Las Vegas.Bear in mind that each hotel is designed in a unique manner and has different elements that distinguish its feel and overall atmosphere. So even though you can’t stay in 10 places at the same time, wandering around the different magnificent hotels will give you a good feel of the ambience each one has to offer.
2)The Shopping: If you are someone who loves high end designers, the strip is practically your man made heaven. With every high end designer store present on the strip, the shopping will keep you occupied for hours! For those who aren’t looking for anything that will put a dent in your savings there is the “Fashion Show Mall”, which is a stand alone structure that caters to all kinds of shopping needs.
3) Cirque Du Soleil Shows: Las Vegas is known for their variety of world-class shows and performances and every evening is packed with a number of events that will pique your interest. However, the concierge at any decent hotel will advise you to watch at least one “Cirque Du Soleil” show during your stay in Las Vegas. With $100 million dollar stages and jaw-dropping costumes and performances,these shows are a not one to miss. No matter how old you are or what country you hail from, the Cirque Du Soleil shows will leave you spellbound. Unfortunately there are strict “No Photography/Video-recording rules.
Note: Even under the circumstances of my illness we managed to go for two Cirque shows !!
4) The Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours: Thanks to my dear uncle, who insisted that we make it a point to go for this excursion during our Las Vegas trip, we ended up booking the “Dream Catcher Tour” through Maverick Helicopter (Link:http://www.maverickhelicopter.com/tour-dream-catcher.aspx). Maverick Helicopters are recommended by most resorts and have a great informative team. This tour was absolutely breathtaking and was really worth the hype! Also there are a whole range of other tours offered by Maverick to fit your budget and time.
5) Nightlife: What is a trip to Las Vegas without experiencing some city nightlife? The strip is booming with something for everyone. With never ending casino floors to an innumerable array of lounges and nightclubs, with some of the best performing artists from all over the globe, Las Vegas has some nocturnal activity to fit everyone’s bill.
Please do note before reading further that most of our eating experiences were limited to the resort due to my illness during this trip.
1) The Society Cafe: A beautiful cafe located on the end of the casino floors in Wynn, Society Cafe had some of the best breakfast offerings for its guests. With a hint of the Victorian Era running through its interiors the cafe is chic and has some of the best fuss free food options that I have tasted on this trip.
Note: Ideal for breakfast but open for lunch and dinner too.
2) Wazuzu: A casual Asian fusion eatery that has all kinds of foods on offering from the Far East, Wazuzu promises a good light bite that won’t leave you drowsy for the rest of the evening. Some of the stand out dishes on the menu were the Black Miso Cod and the Drunken Noodles (non-alcoholic). (Wynn and Encore)
3) Weing Lei: One of the only fine dining experiences of our trip was as Weing Lei, which happens to be the only Michelin Star Asian restaurant in North America. The ambience is a formal and sharp one and the food is impeccable. With partial Asian roots, my husband knows his Chinese food quite well, and our dining experience had him nodding with satisfaction too. (Wynn and Encore)
4) Tao: An Asian Bistro that has quite a lounge-y vibe to its credit. Although being one of the most recommended restaurants in Las Vegas, I would say Tao is worth a visit for it’s lively ambience and great music rather than the actual food. There are definitely better Asian options in Las Vegas (Wazuzu for Example), however this restaurant will set a great tone for the evening and is a great place for a fuss free yet satisfactory meal. (The Venetian)
Vegas Traveller Note: After you are checked in head straight for the concierge at your hotel to make sure you reserve your spot for all the things you plan to do in Vegas!
I get that diamonds are a woman’s best friend, and I am a fan too. But somehow diamonds don’t get me as excited and worked up , as a well made piece of artificial jewellery would. On a trip to Thailand last year, I discovered some glorious stores in Bangkok, with a fashion sensibility so different and unique it had me window shopping in awe for hours at a stretch.
It wasn’t just down to the products, but even the interiors and the store displays of the malls are some of the most distinctive,that I have come across. A special mention to the Siam Centre where the “77th” is located as well, the interiors are beautiful and it is one of those places where you can wander around for hours just fascinated by everything.
Now back to the point, the 77th.
This is a store that sells the most unique jewellery in the world.Period.
The pieces are a work of art and may not be to everyone’s taste but if you are fond of quirky,unconventional things this store is a must visit. And once you visit I promise you won’t leave without making a purchase.
Crafted pre-dominantly with ceramic, these beauties are so intricately designed that you can’t help but fall in love and be awed by the little details of each unique piece.Most of the designs that are catered by 77th fall in the statement jewellery category and are delicate pieces not meant for rough/daily wear.
The only souvenir I brought back for myself from Thailand, was from this store. Yes, my weakness every time I travel, a pair of beautiful earrings. These though are a piece of art! Haven’t ever seen anything like these (apart from the other baubles in 77th) nor do I think I ever will.
Presenting the “Breakfast Earrings” (That isn’t their official name but it is what I refer to them as)
To see more from this fabulous store fortunately you don’t have to be physically present in Thailand.
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Jumpsuits are not the easiest clothing item to pull off. Especially if you aren’t someone with your dream body (which I think are most of us out there). Then again they have gained an insane popularity in the last few years and have found their way to multiple stores , outlets, fashion magazines and all other forms of media,making you stop and wonder for a bit… if they might just might work on your body type.
Anyways,the brighter side of the coin is that the jumpsuit bandwagon has something for everyone. Sleeves,sleeveless,short,long,wide,narrow there is practically a different silhouette to suit any body type or shape. You just have to give them a chance!
- Extremely easy to throw on, the jumpsuit is a no brainer and requires very minimal thought process involved in assembling your “Outfit of the Day”
- If the fit is right (and trust me you will know it), it is very easy to move around in and stays put in place without a worry about creasing or a malfunction
- Jumpsuits can be taken from day to night with just the quick change of accessories, (think heels, darker lip and a smaller bag)
- It is easier to layer up on a jumpsuit as compared to a regular outfit where you must consider bottoms and top both.
- This is one of the easiest ways to incorporate the monochromatic trend into your wardrobe.
- Yes,the most obvious one and you have had this on your mind since you started reading this article, the Loo factor !! I will admit going to the bathroom is a hassle,a pretty tedious one that too but nothing impossible.
- The FIT, I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for a jumpsuit to fit right, the top, the bottom, the cut, the sleeve everything has to be perfect for it to feel right. If the fit is off, the outfit is lost.
Shopper’s Tip: Don’t fret while trying to find your perfect jumpsuit. It may take a while and you make have to move up or down from your true size but you will find something that suits you in today’s product saturated clothing stores.And when this happens you will fall in love with them !
Here are some of my favourite jumpsuits :
Brand : Forever 21
Brand : Cieanna
Brand : Forever 21
Other stores that have been carrying a great selection of jumpsuits recently are Zara,Mango,New Look and ASOS.
What are your favourite places to shop for jumpsuits ?
Whoever thought of this was pure genius.I love collecting artificial jewellery and even though I take good care of my pieces and have a designated place for my jewellery.I find that more often than not the things I purchase just end up sitting in drawers collecting dust.
Until… I was introduced to this awesome invention by my mom.She purchased it for me on a whim,just to reduce the clutter of boxes and pouches in my drawers and keep the jewellery on display in my closet alongside my clothes so that it would be easily accessible to match and put together with my outfits.
Before owning this tool,I found myself reaching for the same 5 things in my drawer since they were the most convenient to pick of the top. However,this hanger has not only helped segregate but also allowed me to re-discover some old treasures.
Hang inside your closets or on a pretty hook somewhere in your room to grab a fitting accessory for the day!
Tip: This has also increased the life of my artificial baubles,as the lack of a tangled mess assures less breakage and loss of colour or shine from the pieces.
Available at most Lifestyle Stores (Centrepoint Outlets) within the GCC.
Ever since I recollect hearing the term “Vitamin E” , all I can associate it with, are its benefits for hair, skin , nails etc. How it’s oil gives you the most flawless skin and the shiniest, thickest locks and also how this is found as an ingredient within so many beauty products.
Hence, my curiosity of whether,the Vitamin E phenomenon is true or false. Which is, does this ingredient actually have anything to its own merit or is it just one of the thousand ingredients dumped in to beautifying concoctions to increase their market appeal ?
On a trip to the pharmacy I picked up “Vitamin-E Oil Capsules” from a brand called Nature’s Bounty. A good Chunky sized capsule with Vitamin-E oil filled in each one,and to the test I put them.
Now after several weeks of using them, as oral supplements and for external application, the following uses are my personal favorites and have worked wonders for me.
Firstly, let me just put it out there that the oral consumption of these did nothing for me. I did not notice any significant difference with the texture or complexion of my skin. Neither did I see any improvement with the quality of my hair.
What worked wonders is the external application of this oil. So every night I nip open a capsule and apply the oil all over and under my eyelids, on my forehead, my neck and decolletage ( these are my driest patches of skin), and rub the remainder on the ends of my hair and elbows.
Doing this faithfully for a couple of weeks had left my skin and the ends of my hair so soft , healthy and nourished that it is unbelievable.
Vitamin E oil used right before bed, is by far better than any serum or night cream that I have ever tried and it soaks right in making the plumping effect instant, and not feeling greasy or oily at all.
Beauty Tip: If Vitamin-E oil in its original form is too heavy for your skin, you can always add few drops to your favorite lotion/serum and store the rest for later.
I love snacking…..always have always will. Now I get the concept of breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you have to admit the idea of cosy-ing up with a great book and a bag of Cheetos, or watching back to back episodes of your favourite series and a box of crackers is just blissful
However, snacking is addictive and I find that I often have phases where if one fine day I have a packet of crisps then I have to have them every single day for the next two weeks until I get sick !
Here are some things that I have turned to in the recent past, and they either help fill me up super quickly or even if I go through a box, I don’t end up feeling sickly stuffed and bloated ( Maybe something to do with the gluten free aspect).
1) Blue Diamond Almonds: When it comes to snacking, who EVER said they wanted to eat something tasteless and boring…. yes exactly no one ! And Blue Diamond has done a great job at making “almonds” more appealing to those of us who love flavoured crisps/chips. With some really intense flavours, and the fact that almonds are a very filling nut to munch on, these satisfy the craving (in terms of taste) and fill you up with quite a reasonable portion. Genius !
Look at those colours !
Something for the Sweet-toothed
2) Blue Diamond Almond Crackers : To be honest I don’t know what the almond/ rice proportion is to these, but of late Blue Diamond introduced its new “Almond” crackers range. (Note: These are the most difficult to get a hold of !) Hence, I had to give them a go, and ….boy oh boy, these are trouble !! I can easily go through a whole box no jokes ! However, they are still a better snack than a bag of Lays or Cheetos. Intensely flavoured and packed with a good crunch, these are my favourite substitute to chips🙂
Note : These are wheat and gluten free.
My 2 favourite flavours !
3) Rice Crackers (Fantastic and Master Rice) : Rice crackers aren’t a recent discovery and we have been munching on these for years now ! Two brands that are fairly easily available ( in the GCC) are Fantastic and Master Rice.
Fantastic do a whole bunch of great flavours including some very interesting oriental ones (Seaweed is my husband’s favourite Go Figure !), while Master Rice I believe might be slightly less healthy in terms of snacking as they really have a crisp crunch to them which usually comes from an oilier food item. Also Master Rice offer a “Brown Rice” version of these crackers, which honestly I haven’t tried yet, but they seem quite appetising.
Both are intensely flavoured, baked and gluten free snacks.
Fantastic Rice Crackers
Master Rice Crackers
Brown Rice Version
4) Granola Bars (Nature’s Valley and Oh My Goodness) : Granola Bars have been around for a while and are perhaps the one snacking item that can be found at both ends of the spectrum, from super healthy (gluten,dairy,sugar free) or the unhealthy blissful ones (yes chocolate rice crispy bars I am pointing at you!), for my own eating boundaries I fall somewhere in between and find that these 2 brands of granola bars fit the healthy (yet tasty) bill.
The Nature Valley bars pack a good crunch and are almost like a dense compact cereal, which will most definitely leave you full and content. The “Oh My Goodness” bars are more of a recent discovery and have a softer gooey texture which may have something to do with the fruit content.
Nature Valley variety packs are my favourite !
Oh My Goodness Fruit Explosion bar : Yumminess Personified.
5) Activia Strawberry Low Fat Yogurt: The no-brainer snacking item. That is exactly what this yogurt is, filled with good bacteria, it is the perfect after meal snack. Satisfying the craving to eat something sweet while helping with digestion ( and it isn’t a false claim !), Activia yogurt is something I stock up on during every visit to the supermarket. Also with the scorching sun staring down at us, this is one snack that will keep you cool this summer.
Shopper’s Note: All these items can be found across leading hypermarkets across the GCC. I purchased my goodies from Carrefour.
Have a happy snacking🙂
When going through my stuff I realise that I am a bit of a hoarder, there aren’t a lot of products that I have used up and I still purchase that one odd thing here and there to add to my stash. Most beauty/pampering products are not like toothpaste or shampoo,which you will religiously re-purchase for well…hygienic reasons.
However, if I do manage to finish something… anything for that matter ! It amazes me and I give myself a pat on the back ! So here are my thoughts on 3 products that I recently used up (loved them) and can now honestly have an “Opinion” about.
1) Eucerin Aquaporin Active Moisturising Cream (Rich) : For starters let me tell you, that my skin situation isn’t a pleasant one, with very dry and dehydrated skin I can never have a lotion/cream that can keep the surface of my face moist for more than a couple of hours. Sure, I have been recommended those thick oily formulas which will work just fine on the dryness, but will most definitely result in a bout of unwanted pimples.
Eucerin’s Aquaporin range is the answer for all of those people who have dry dehydrated skin, or even those with normal skin but bouts of dehydration (try the “Light” version). With a lotion like consistency this is a fast absorbing, non oily treat and will leave the skin feeling plump and nourished for hours.
Beauty Tip: This also lives up to it’s claim of being an excellent base for your make-up.
2) CLinique Lipliner 29 Sky Violet : This lip liner does not seem like anything special at first glance, however, for those of us warmer toned gals, who want a beautiful mauve-y pink this is perfect. Strangely enough this is one of the easiest things to line your lips with and can be worn with pinks, nudes, purples and browns making it very versatile.
Also one of my favourite ways to wear this lip-liner was on its own, it gave the most beautiful pouty effect with a hint of the violet hue . ( Although do note that I have quite pigmented lips).
Beauty Tip : This is not a very creamy formula, but is not as tough as MAC liners either. Which makes the application easy and the staying power very good ! Win-Win Situation !
3) Bath and Body Works 3 wick Candle (Espresso Bar): Are you one of those people who’s nerves are calmed instantly by that smell of freshly brewed coffee ?? Then this candle is for you !! I have never burned a candle this fast in my life ! And mind you it wasn’t a small one either.
Now the scent of this candle makes it either a hit or a miss, there is no real middle ground and the scent remains as strong as when you first burn it…all the way up until the bottom. With the rich aroma of coffee wafting through your rooms/home, this candle is any coffee lover’s dream and I will repurchase it forever. Unfortunately, though it was a seasonal candle, and even though I have quite a few other scents left with me to burn,I keep going back to different Bath and Body Works stores and inquiring if these are back in “Season” yet. Sighhh …