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 ?
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.
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 !
Personal Favourites 🙂
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 …
With a beauty industry as saturated as today’s, it isn’t surprising that there is a product for everything. In fact go have a quick peak at your beauty/make-up stash, you are likely to find at least a couple of products that you dint even know could serve a useful purpose in your make-up/beauty regime a few years ago.
Having scoured malls and seen one beauty product after another, sometimes the mind craves an alternative, something that you don’t have to dish out a casual 100 AED or 10BD ( $26.5), every time you run out of it.
Shopper’s Note: The beauty/ make-up products are significantly more expensive in the GCC, especially when compared to the USA.
There are 2 products to which I have sort of found my own alternatives to and they have worked for me, for quite some time now so I thought I would share.
1) Make-Up Brush Cleaners:
Yes, these are wonderful detergents that promise to remove all the residue from your make-up brushes and provide a clean bacteria free application the next time you reach out for them. The problem is …. if you have an active schedule/routine and enjoy slapping your products on (like me), you will go through these like water ! Which can make you cringe a bit every time you reach the end of a bottle.
Alternative: Anti-bacterial hand soap and oil.
The oil (Argan,Olive,Almond..whatever your pick is) will help break down all make-up residue especially liquid/cream products off the bristles of the brushes, this works especially well for synthetic brushes and also brushes that are quite dense.
Obviously since oil is heavy, make sure you only use a very tiny amount just enough to work the product off, otherwise you shall be left with a shapeless mess of bristles on a stick.
After working the oil into the bristles, take one pump of anti-baterial soap and work the brush (now coated with oil) into the soap and rinse-off.
Leave them side-ways on a wash-cloth to dry !
Voila !! Fresh,soft,clean bacteria free brushes, also this is not a time-consuming process ! I did 10 brushes within 3-5 minutes.
Cleaning Tip : For some extra anti-bacterial action, pop a few drops of tea-tree oil into the base oil.
Working It !
2) Volumizing/Texturizing sprays:
For those with fine/limp hair , you know this was one product that brought glory to your crown, and had you wanting to take more pictures at events because.. well your locks don’t get mistaken for a greasy mess no more ! And I must admit I love my volumizing/texturizing spray and that boost that it gives my roots, but after doing this everyday for a week … I couldn’t deal with the aftermath.
Aftermath: 1) you have weird gunky (hairspray-ish) residue in your hair, and its a vicious cycle of wash, spray….go through the day and wash again !
2) You are washing your hair everyday ! which means sulphate overload and hair fall.
Alternative: Table Salt. Yes .. the stuff that you sprinkle on your food ! Now please read further before you think this is far-fetched. Salt is a great natural cleaning agent, and when reading an article about its cleansing properties, and realising the effects of sea salt hairsprays I decided to see if it worked to give volume to the hair, without leaving that grit behind. After a couple of trial and errors, this step by step procedure now works wonders to give volume to my hair sans any residue and has also helped increase the clean hair time I get between 2 washes !
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of Table Salt onto the palm of your hand and add about 2 drops of water creating a semi-solid paste. ( Don’t add two much water, we are not aiming for a liquid-y texture)
- Part your hair and rub mixture into your roots ( Please do NOT be aggressive just gently massage it in) (Caution: If you have a sensitive scalp or any open wounds this is NOT for you)
- Wait 5 minutes.
- Get into the shower , apply conditioner first wait a bit and then shampoo.
This will give you soft managable hair with no residue, and a visible lift to your roots. I do this once every 2 washes.
With a few drops of water. (This is the consistency that you are aiming for !)
Note: My attempts to take pictures of my hair, a before and after shot , were just impossible (hence the step-by step procedure), but basically if you have ever used a volumizing hairspray ,the effects aren’t as dramatic (in terms of lift and volume), however the volume is subtle, yet with a clean scalp and tangle free hair !
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 –
A beautiful brown-hued skirt with good weight, not flimsy at all and appropriate for evening/formal events.
2) The Metallic Blouse:
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 !
3) The Jersey Midi:
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.
4) The Printed Dress:
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 !
5) The Dramatic Sleeves:
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 !