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The Vitamin-E Phenomenon

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.

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Healthy Snacking : The Tasty Tit-bits !

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 !

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Look at those colours !

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Personal Favourites 🙂

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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.

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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.

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Fantastic Rice Crackers

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Master Rice Crackers

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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.

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Nature Valley variety packs are my favourite !

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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.

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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 🙂

Products I’ve Used Up : 1st Edit

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.

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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.

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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 !

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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 …

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Asos Loves – The Pleasant Picks

Now having covered the basics of online shopping and the two categories of people it might interest. I must share a few elaborate/evening appropriate  purchases I made from the website.

These are perhaps those moments, that dangle between the “basics” and “fashionista” categories. Where the basics are great but just getting a bit mehh… and you want to up your outfits just a tad bit. And we aren’t talking Vogue editorial ballsy ! Just a bit more intriguing.

One of my friend’s  also smartly  pointed out that I should make the items on my posts linkable, so if you like something you can click your way to the ASOS website and make your purchase !

Shopper’s Tip:  Please Note prices fluctuate as sales are quite frequent on the website and also some items may be out of stock ! 

1) The Quilted Midi –

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A beautiful brown-hued skirt with good weight, not flimsy at all and appropriate for evening/formal events.

 Link: http://www.asos.com//Asos/Asos-Full-Quilted-Midi-Skirt/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=3314027

2) The Metallic Blouse:

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Appropriate for dinner parties or just any party for that matter, this beautiful top has a coppery sheen which is eye-catching , but not obscenely loud. Also it is versatile enough to be worn tucked in or out !

Link:http://www.asos.com//Pippa-Lynn/Pippa-Lynn-Metallic-Drape-Wrap-Blouse/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=3245762

3) The Jersey Midi:

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This skirt is perfect for the hot summer’s where even the lightest fabrics can get clingy and uncomfortable. The skirt allows room to breathe and is the perfect dash of colour for my wardrobe. Can be paired with several different things and hence translate easily from day to night and also work through the seasons.

Link:http://www.asos.com//Asos/Asos-Full-Midi-Skirt/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2907057

4) The Printed Dress:

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When dolled up with the right accessories, this dress is very evening appropriate, the fabric is light and breathable and the fit is perfect, especially for those who are “bottom heavy” as it does not cling to the body and widens up ever so slightly. A great way to get into the spring summer colours !

Link:http://www.asos.com//Asos/Asos-Wiggle-Dress-In-Floral-Print-With-Belt/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=3347134

5) The Dramatic Sleeves:

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Sometimes you get bored with the run of the mill black/white tops and crave something a bit extra. This blouse is my craving fulfilled with a dramatic take on the sleeves it will leave even the simplest outfit looking that little extra chic. A great way to make believe that you put in a lot of effort into your outfit !

Link:http://www.asos.com//Asos/Asos-Shell-Top-With-Dramatic-Ruffle-Sleeve/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=3260332

Loving a Local : Mikyajy

You may be 17 or 70 … or perhaps in between both,but your love for lip products  is almost certain if you are a woman who likes to take care of herself. I for one was not quick to venture into make-up,thanks to my mum there were rules and some of them included “Nothing but Johnson’s baby cream for the face” for quite some time.

Today of course….things are VERY different.I love my lip products with a passion and have quite ahem the “collection”. Also the cosmetic industry, perhaps is not what it was a decade ago,with new product releases/launches by the second ! each trying to up the other’s claim, the choices are innumerable and sometimes can be very overwhelming.

Now Mikyajy is not a brand that is new to my knowledge. In fact it is one of those stores that sadly you just  pass by, because oh well I want to get something a bit more MAC or Bobbi Brown (snob alert) or  run to the drugstore/pharmacy to look at the new L’Oréal or Maybelline displays.

Mikyajy was brought to my attention about a year ago by my niece, who was wearing a beautiful lip colour. Matte, yet not dry and flaky and it stayed put through the night,withstanding food,drink,chatter and all ! So without a doubt I had to pop the question….What do you have on your lips???

Being women….there began our excited conversation about this Mikyajy lip-liner and how it was a favourite amongst many women from this region,prices were affordable….yet the product was great etc etc.

On the particular day that I sauntered into a Mikyajy store,I was looking to find the perfect “nude” lipstick.    Note : Having yellow undertones means  this a task and a half.

Also they had a “Buy 2 get 1 free” on their Sabaya moisture lip colour range,which is one of their most comfortable lipstick formula to wear.

PURCHASES

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Lip-Liners –

1) Sabaya Line and Define Pencil (No3)

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2) Sabaya Line and Define Pencil (No1)

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Verdict – Smooth and creamy, these liners glide right on and are comfortable enough to wear all over the lip ( as pictured above) without the uncomfortable “crayon on my mouth” feeling. The staying power is great too although they will fade a bit if in contact with a lot of liquids. Over all good product for the price and there are quite a few shades to choose from.

Beauty Tip : If you are planning to wear these all over your lips, make sure your lips are exfoliated as the lip liner will cling on to any dry bits making the wear a bit rough and uneven.

Lipsticks –

1) Sabaya Moisture Lip Colour (No4) – The Brown(y) Nude

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2) Sabaya Moisture Lip Colour (No11) – The Pink (y) Nude

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3) Sabaya Moisture Lip Colour (No14) – The Pretty Pink

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Verdict : With a rich formula these lipsticks go on beautifully and stay true to their name of being a “moisture” lip colour. However, if you are looking for a good long wear for hours at a stretch without a touch-up, these formulations are not the one for you. But the colour pay-off is good and they fade nicely and don’t leave that awkward residue on the lips. Also since these are lighter formulas the colour will vary according to the pigmentation of your natural lip colour.

Macau Musings May ’13

Attending one our dear friend’s wedding was a promise we made to bribe the sweet “SR”  all the way to our own, from Hong Kong. Also Kudos to her not only for making the journey but staying for the entire .. ahem… WEEK long celebrations.

Boy oh boy …. did her wedding turn out to be one of the best promises I ever had to keep !  Attending the 3 day non-stop gala was a destination wedding at none other than Macau !

Macau (Macao) is a part of the Republic of China and is easily best described as the “Las Vegas” of the Far East. With an economy that is majorly based on gambling and tourism. Macau is a quick weekend destination for residents of China and Hong Kong, and is now also extremely popular as a destination for grand celeberations.

Our route to Macau (from Bahrain) was via Hong Kong, so Cathay Pacific is a fairly good bet for those flying from the Middle East to Macau, and then from Hong Kong Airport  it was on to a ferry (about an hour long) to Macau.

Traveller’s Tip : Please do NOT make the same dire mistake we made of leaving the airport after baggage claim to look for the ferry. There is a ferry that can be taken from within the airport itself, without visiting half of Hong Kong on the train.

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With an array of hotels and resorts to choose from, visitors are spoiled for choice, our hotel stay was kindly organised at the Galaxy Macau, one of the most breath-taking properties ever both in its sheer expanse and quality/array of services. The property is actually 3 hotels all attached from within, so at the Galaxy Macau you could choose to stay either at the main hotel or at the Hotel Okura or Banyan Tree Macau, all of which are inter-connected, yet are individually designed and have their own unique aesthetic.

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The hotel was vibrant and had enough colour to keep you ogling forever. The structure grand and built over a huge area leaves you wondering what this enormity may NOT have. The answer is of course almost nothing  that you can put your finger on immediately. Comprising of a spa, salon, cinemas, restaurants (fine and casual dining and a food court), coffee shops, a wide array of shops.. we are talking high-end designers and regular high street stores, drug stores, supermarkets, bars, lounges and of course the never-ending expanse of the casino floor.

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With a packed wedding schedule for 3 days continuous, there was not much of the Macau that we actually ventured out into. But by the second day when we had a break for a meal a couple of friends ventured across from the Galaxy to the Venetian to grab a bite and I was quick to realise that Macau pretty much had the same things throughout the city … Hotels and Resorts.

And each hotel has the same kind of things to offer just in a different layout/ambience.

Here are some of the wedding venues

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The Welcome Lunch Venue

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The Wedding Ceremony Venue

 

So who is Macau city suitable for ?

1) The Lounger: For those who need a few days to switch off and just have everything within an arm’s ( or an elevator’s in this case) reach, saunter into the lobby and find everything they desire within one property, I’m talking shopping, food, cinemas, spa and casinos. This would be a perfect 3 day break for you. Spend on your hotel and yourself , there is no sight-seeing as such that you are missing out on. Pick a good hotel/resort and enjoy it !

 

2) The Gambler: If you are one with a love for Casino’s and gambling , then you my friend are in the right place. Gambling is one of the main industry’s of Macau City and the expanse of the Casino floors can leave you dizzy. Several different arrays of slot-machines and other gambling (games?) is a vital part of each hotel. Take your pick ! Or saunter into different Casinos across hotels as you please !

Traveller’s Tip: If you are not a resident of Hong-Kong or China make your Macau trip a 2-3 day part of a longer vacation.

Asos Loves – The Basics

So  I love malls. Always have always will probably. Hence the idea of online shopping was one that never appealed to me personally. Looking at images and clicking on them to purchase….Pffffft.. What a bore ! Takes away from the complete store experience, the ambience, the trial room havoc etc etc.. you get the point.

However, these were all thoughts that changed when i stumbled across ASOS (www.asos.com). * Dramatic Drum Roll*

Now for most people who live in the GCC, the mall culture is very prevalent as the  temperatures are soaring most months of the year and it is difficult and uncomfortable to stay outdoors for a a considerable amount of time. Also thankfully for us the malls are bursting with options and one will usually find what they need and will not leave dissatisfied.

That being said, the two kinds of people who I believe would benefit from a website like ASOS are :

1) The Fashionista : The shopper who does not want to wait until trends of the season filter their way down to the Middle East and reach the likes of Zara/ Massimo / Topshop. For these people online shopping is Paradise on earth with hundreds of websites to choose from and each website being updated with new products, the outfit equations are innumerable and can be custom made to suit any occasion under the sun.

 

2) The Basics Collector : The good old basic pieces in one’s wardrobe that can be worn with multiple  things and are staples that can take you through the seasons. These wardrobe staples are sometimes the most difficult to find and especially for those with a classic sensibility  hunting for the perfect “White Shirt ” or that classic pair of “Black Trousers” can be such a painful task.

 

Personally I  belong a bit to both the categories , probably like most people.

Sometimes not being the most proportionate person will leave me scavenging the stores for a basic pair of blue jeans. Or a white top that isn’t sheer but still wont suffocate me under the sun.  Anyway long story short, I always knew of Asos’s existence but was never bothered until I craved having the perfect pair of wide-legged black trousers and just could not find one anywhere ! Possibly  too late to jump on the band-wagon ( Hence the falling between both categories), I logged on to Asos typed in “Wide legged trousers and up popped 15 options !! No Kidding !!  And oh boy how I have utilized those trousers.

Find below the two basic wardrobe pieces that I purchased from the website and have worn on several different occasions.

The Wide-Legged Trouser

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The Midi-Skirt

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