Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips: Leopard Print

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I bought a few Sally Hansen Nail Strips since sitting in the salon and getting nails minxed demands time (atleast 45mins) and I don't have a lot of that element in my life right now (or will ever). The first polish strip design I applied to my nails was the leopard because I'm such a huge fan of that print. The application was pretty easy- there are instructions on the back of the box. You just take the strip and measure it against the size of your nail, cut off the extra, peel of the sticky part and press against your nail. With the Minx, it's a little different since you have to heat the stickers against a light bulb or hair dryer in order for them to stick on your nails. So once the Sally Hansen strips were on my nails, I used a clear top coat just to add the extra shine. But you do not need to do this as the strips already have the glaze to them. And that's it!

 
You don't have to sit and dry your nails- once you stick them on, you're done. The best part is the nails look awesome. I got quite a few a compliments including 2 from males (both of whom are straight btw), one of them commented, "Those are some fierce nails you got there". When it comes to durability, such stickers or minx nails can last only up to 2-4 days but mine lasted for well over a week- no chipping!


I had no complaints until I got to the part where I wanted to remove the stickers off my nails. When it comes to the minx, you just hold your nails against a heated appliance (like a hair dryer) and then peel them off without any problems. For the Sally Hansen strips, the instructions read "Apply nailpolish remover to take it off". So I did just that. Nothing happened except for a little bit of dullness that appeared on the strips because the alcohol/acetone took off the glitter/glaze. So I tried a second nailpolish remover and the same thing but the strips remained on my nails. Then I literally had to scrap off the design!!! It was a pain to remove these stickers and that's the only downside of this product. I will use the other designs since there are some good ones (there's one with gold and glitter!) but will research on how people take the stickers off as opposed to using nailpolish remover.
Other than that, the strips/ designs are great and you can get fierce to glamorous nails in the luxury of your home.

I know a few people who have trouble in stores finding this- I got mine from Carrefour (retails at AED60). Boots Pharmacy also stocks this. It is also available now at Iconic and Virgin Megastore.

Shopping Alert: ASOS

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Savvy Sunday on Asos.com is up and running i.e. 40% off selected items. I placed an order already (it's another story that half the things I wanted weren't available). Go shop!

Shoe Sundays: Muted Metallic Gold

This is the first series of shoe madness and you will see one every Sunday or whenever I see good looking shoes. I love shoes, in fact I bought so many this year (about 9 in total and some are still in their original packaging) I have taken it on myself not to buy any more shoes or flats or heels until Jan next year. Oh, I spotted an amazing pair of leopard print Tory Burch flats...

So, today's post features my friend, Nagham and her purchase from River Island. She wore these pretty cool pair of flats that had a metallic gold shine on them- it's not too much or too less of shine, it's about enough to make a pair of flats look gorgeous. And on the plus side, these flats can very much make your entire outfit look fab!

Available at River Island

The Food Byte: Banoffee Pie

Friday, November 25, 2011

Banoffee Pie may sound complicated but it is one of the easiest British desserts to make and also one that got me liking bananas. I don't quite like that fruit, I'm more of a berries, raisins, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, sultanas, pomegranates person. Did I mention strawberries?

So a banoffee pie is primarily made out of bananas, cream, caramel and to make it interesting- chocolate is used as topping. The only trouble I had was finding a jar of ready-made caramel. In Dubai, the brand Nestle does not stock its popular Carnation Caramel and I don't know how to make caramel at home although there are several instructions that came up when I researched a how-to.

So I scoured Dubai for ready-made caramel, spoke to friends, colleagues, even asked an SMS based service that answers all questions (The Question Company) but in vain. Yes, I tried Marks & Spencer as well and nothing. After days of searching and almost giving up, I *finally* located it at Carrefour Express. It was hiding among other jams bottles and ready-made spreads.


The caramel started to melt since it was kept out of the fridge for a long time :(
There are some recipes that ask for the baking of the crust of the pie etc etc. I found an alternative to that.

Ingredients:
*It really depends how big or small your tart tin is- I used a medium sized one so accordingly, the measurement is as follows:*

- 1 small pack of Digestive cookies
- 3/4th cup of solid butter
- 2 ripe bananas (throw in an additional one if you are a banana fan)
- 1 jar caramel
- 2 cups whipping cream (or heavy cream)
- Chocolate, for garnishing (I used Cadbury's Flake)

Method:
- Crush the cookies and mix with the butter. Press them into the base of the tart tin and keep it in the refrigerator for about 20mins or until it is set.
- Spread spoonfuls of caramel onto the base until it is covered (a thin to medium layer of caramel should do just fine). Place it in the fridge for about 45mins to an hour.
- Once the caramel has set, cut the banana and top the slices over the biscuit and caramel base. Spread the whipped cream over the banana slices.
- Top this with chocolate shavings.
And you are done!

P.S. Again- this was the only (blurred) pic I could take before chowing it down.

L.K. Bennett store opens in Dubai

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I've been looking for the perfect pair of nude heels forever. Whenever I spot a pair, either the color is not right (too beige-ish) or the size isn't available. It either that or the heel length is either too short or way too long. At times, it's all the options mentioned.

So when I heard that a.L.K. Bennett store opened in Dubai's Mirdif City Center recently, the first thing that came to my mind was- you guessed it- nude heels! The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton has been photographed wearing L.K. Bennett nude heels regularly called 'Sledge' (I have no idea why that name!) and I was on a lookout for such a pair!



The color is great, the heel is the right length, totally in love with this pair. I know where I'll be shopping over the weekend!

Elemis Maximum Moisture Day Cream

I buy quite a few products from time to time and because I live in Dubai, I experience an on and off session of patches of dry skin on my face. I have a normal to dry skin type and I can safely say that it's during winter I notice a few patches here and there. Annoying. The best thing to do is drink water, exfoliate and moisturize; the first one of which I hardly do- I know, terrible habit. Last month, I aimed to drink 5 bottles of water and by the end of the day I was on bottle # 2.  So I rely on moisturizers.

I've blogged about another moisturizer that works and guess what? I found another one! It's by a UK company called Elemis. I was a bit skeptical about trying out another moisturizing cream but this definitely shows the results the moment you put it on. It has a subtle fragrance and it's light weight, so it sinks right in. It doesn't leave your skin looking shiny like a lightbulb so hurray! Can I just say it one more time out of the 100 times that I absolutely love this cream? I would definitely buy this again.


In case you want to know which one you should get for your skin, I suggest you head to the Elemis section at Bloomingdale's in Dubai Mall. They do a free skin test and the system shows the problematic areas on your face. You are then suggested a set of products to use. 

Cleopatra's Spa at Wafi Mall uses Elemis products for facials and other spa treatments. I have to book an appointment them which has been pending for so long!

Fashion Gone Wrong

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What was going on with Chloe Moretz's D&G dress at the premiere of Martin Scorsese's Hugo? The dress looks weird! But hey, she's wearing shoes that are on trend but in my opinion, I don't think they do anything for her outfit.

 
 

Stationery Love

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I love fancy stationery. A lame notepad looks so much better and funkier when it's got a gold cover or blobs of colorful ink on it. Or when a pen has Louis Vuitton inscriptions on it.



I happened to stumble upon an interesting stationery store called Prints at Mirdiff City Centre. Apart from having notepads, albums, notebooks, telephone diaries all in different colors, they also had a few things that stood out of the ordinary like the bookmarks I purchased.

Aren't we all used to narrow long strips of hard paper called bookmarks? The ones I got can in different shapes! I bought 2 teddy bears, one snowflake and the other a glittered violet heart (yea, I know I sound like a teen). I also bought a pen that was twisted and had butterflies on it. Never leave me alone in a stationery store.

Minx Nails

For those of you who aren't aware- apart from this blog, I have a Dubai shopping blog that I write with my friend. I got my nails minxed in gold and loved them.


I got so many compliments...well, my nails got the compliments not me. Among family and friends who complimented me, there was a store attendant at the mall who totally went crazy over the nails! :)
I got my nails done in Minx gold at Pastels Salon, Ritz Carlton Dubai.

 
The session took about 20mins and my nails never looked this glam! I couldn't stop staring at my nails. I was told the minx nails would last for 2-4 days but guess what?!
 

It lasted for a whole week. Not kidding! A little chipping (since I was involved in some furniture shifting but the chipping was not noticeable), no tearing of the design, no nothing!
 

To remove, I just peeled the Minx off after exposing my nails to a hair dryer for a few seconds.
 I suggest you go try it! It's glaaaamorous!

DAS for Clinique

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DAS Collection has recently partnered with Clinique (Middle East) to launch a DAS For Clinique limited-edition clutch and scarf. Isn't it awesome?


In order to get your hands on the limited edition goodies, all you have to do is make a purchase at Clinique worth AED600. In addition to receiving the DAS scarf and clutch, you'll also receive a bag full of Clinique samples.
If you are in Dubai, UAE on Nov 17th, you'll also get a chance to meet Hind Beljafla, one of the designers behind the DAS Collection brand :) 

This sounds like a blast from the past when Clinique teamed up with Aiisha Ramadan for a limited edition silk scarf and clutch. I LOVE the fact that the scarf was used as an add-on on the clutch! Fun way to jazz up a plain white clutch.

Aiisha Ramadan for Clinique
The clutch looks brilliant with the scarf as a bow!

DKNY: Lace and Sequins

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I love how DKNY has revamped the LBD to create a lace LBD. And that skirt! Oversized sequins never looked so fab. Both are going to be grand for a party. It's on the wishlist!


Designer focus: Elie Saab

Saturday, November 12, 2011

One of my favorite designers is Elie Saab. I absolutely love his designs. I wait on pins and needles every time there's an announcement of him launching a new collection. I actually tried on an Elie Saab creation a few years ago at Boutique 1, it was in my favorite color- red! Needless to say, I didn't want to take it off.
His gowns are masterpieces, rich in color, cut, shape, the fall- everything is breathtaking. Take a look at the below:

 

 

And here are a few designs from his latest Spring/Summer 2012 collection. Vibrant colors and beautiful gowns- can this get any better?




A Star

Friday, November 11, 2011

 I wish...
And I hope...

The Food Byte: Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apart from writing about beauty, style and movies on this blog, I also happen to contribute to my friend's food blog. And because I have a sweet tooth, majority of my contributions have been all about desserts.

Ferrero Rocher and cheesecakes are 2 of my favorite things among other desserts, so a Ferrero Rocher cheesecake seems like a brilliant 'oh my God, totally frickin' awesome' idea. Here's the recipe off the food blog:

  
Ingredients:
  • One box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates
  • One jar of Nutella
  • 1 250g packet of Chocolate Digestive Biscuits
  • 100g Butter, melted
  • 1 Tub of Double Cream (300ml)
  • 1 Tub of Cream Cheese (300g Philadelphia)
  • 3 tablespoons of Icing Sugar
  • a handful of chopped roasted Hazelnuts (to decorate)
 Method:
  1. Line the cheesecake tin with baking parchment
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits in a mixer and add the melted butter into the mixer. Pulse the mixture till combined.
  3. Pour into the cheesecake tin and press down firmly
  4. Whip a bit of the cream with the Philadelphia to soften and remove any lumps. 
  5. Whip the rest of the cream in a separate bowl with the icing sugar
  6. Add the softened Philadelphia to whipped cream and mix till just combined
  7. Pour the combined cream cheese mixture into the cheesecake tin, smoothing down with a spatula or spoon.
  8. Spread a layer of Nutella over the cream cheese mixture. 
  9. Sprinkle on some roasted chopped hazelnuts
  10. Add one whole Ferrero Rocher per slice of cheesecake. (usually 8/10 slices)
Top tips:
  • If you are making it in a cheesecake tin, line the tin with baking parchment
  • Grease the baking parchment with some butter to make it stick to the inside of the tin
  • You can make individual cheesecake pots (see picture above)
  • Press the digestive biscuit base down gently with a spoon or fingers if you like getting messy
  • Dipping the spoon/spatula in water helps the Nutella layer smooth out

I'm making this over the weekend and will post about my success or failure. I'm also making the Oreo Chocolate Truffles since there's a get-together and this time I'll be sure to get a pic of the truffles before they disappear!

Versace for H&M

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So Versace for H&M showcased their range recently  and although I saw some designs when it was first announced that the designer label would collaborate with H&M, the designs I saw in the most recent pics made me add things to my wishlist! Like this dress Jessica Alba wore.

Image credits: Pop Sugar
Or this yellow dress Chloe Moretz wore!

Image credits: Pop Sugar

I'm not a fan of the Hawaii-ish designs they have in collection. I'm a fan of black and gold so here are my picks:


For some strange reason, the dress Jessica Alba wore isn't available on the website which sucks! It's my favorite and I was looking forward to buying it. Perhaps I should just check it out in the store once they launch on Nov 17, 2011.

Oil of Olay: Packed With Moisture

If you are looking for a good moisturizer then look no further- Complete Nourishing Fluid by Oil of Olay is your answer.
I use a few skin products by different brands but this moisturizer by Olay stood out. I say this because of late, I've been using a facial mask that's been leaving some areas of my face dry. I didn't want my face to look like patch work, so the previous night I applied a rather generous layer of Oil of Olay on the dry patches hoping the dryness would pack it's bags and leave my face. When I woke up the next day, I saw very little dryness as opposed to the night before. I'm not exaggerating.  Of course, don't expect this product to act as magic and give you fantastic skin if your diet consists of fizzy drinks and junk food.

 My mom's been using this for years and I'm following in her footsteps. The moisturizer has SPF 15, and it is absorbed quickly by the skin. There's no sticky feeling and because it's an oil-free moisturizer you are guaranteed a no-shiny-look which is extremely important for me. You will not achieve a 100% matte look but  a subtle glow). Great to use before using a skin primer/foundation.

Tried, tested and saw the results. Totally approved!

The Food Byte: Oreo Chocolate Truffles

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Being a fan of desserts, I appreciate everything made out of chocolate. While at the Burgundy Desserts Bar in Jumeirah, Dubai the other day, I picked up 2 boxes of Oreo chocolate truffles- one for a friend and other for myself. I sunk my teeth for the first time into the truffle and immediately ate 3 of them in the next 5 seconds...hey! They were that good! A few weeks later I came across a recipe on how to make these truffles and immediately took it upon myself to make it.

Image credits: The Johnsons Cook

 I couldn't take a pic of the truffles I made since they were eaten by all in a jiffy!
 
A pack of 16 Oreos (I got the classic one without any flavor)
Cream cheese (I took enough to make an Oreo and cream cheese dough)
Plain or white chocolate (to coat the truffles)


Put the Oreos in the food processor/mixer so you have nothing but powdered Oreos. Use enough cream cheese to mix the powder with so you are left with an Oreo dough- it should not be too soft or too hard. Place this in the fridge for about 20mins for it to set. In the meanwhile, melt the chocolate. Get the Oreo dough out of the fridge, take a small piece and roll it in between of your palms. Continue until the dough is finished. Coat the truffles in melted chocolate and put them back in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until they are set. Then you are ready to gobble!

This was my first attempt and I have to say they turned out pretty well. My brother actually asked if I had made another trip to the Burgundy Desserts Bar!

Designer Bracelets

Monday, November 7, 2011

How rad are these Chanel bracelets? I want these! Totally on my wishlist.

DIY Hair Mask: How To Get Softer Hair

I hate my hair. I really do. I try to tame them but noooooo! They got a mind of it's own. I don't have poker straight hair but wavy to straight. I also don't have enough volume in my hair and like all the girls, I experience hair loss. Blame the stress and extreme weather conditions of Dubai.

While at a beauty event, my friend and fellow blogger Ekta suggested I try an avocado+egg hair mask. So I went home, did some research and mixed together in a bowl the following ingredients:


1 mashed avocado (if you have really long hair, use 1.5 avocados)
1 egg yolk
A few tablespoons of honey (this is optional)

I slathered this paste all over my hair avoiding the roots because I was told it would make the top part of the hair look oily. I then covered the hair in a shower cap and waited for an hour before washing it off with shampoo.

I saw the difference in the first wash. My hair were really soft to touch- the frizz was gone! No more fights with the hair- yay! My hair isn't that great so I didn't notice the shine but I'm sure with regular application, I can reap the benefits.

These ingredients work immediately because they are packed with vitamins and proteins. Honey is the best thing when you are experiencing dryness either on your face (make a yogurt and honey mask!) or body (make a sugar and honey body scrub) or hair (either this mask or a mayonnaise and honey mask!).

Benetint: Gorgeous Blush In A Bottle

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When I discovered Benetint at Galeries Lafayette Dubai (Benefit does not stock at Galeries anymore. You can buy it from Sephora), I had to buy it.

Benefit Cosmetics' lip and cheek stain product Benetint is, in my opinion an exceptionally great alternative to powder blush. At first, hearing the word 'stain' as part of the product name made me think twice, thrice...five to six times if I really needed this product. After all, I don't want my cheeks stained...it sounds so weird.  But then I purchased Benetint and I haven't looked back.


True to the last word, this product is a sheer tint that will give you the right amount of color on your cheeks. You apply a few dots of color directly with the help of the in-built brush applicator onto your cheeks and then blend. If you want a deeper color, then use multiple strokes to achieve the desired color.

I personally love this product. The color stays put for hours, so you don't have to worry about reapplying. There's no streaking or caking or fading. It sets in pretty quickly so you have to be quick not to leave the tint on your cheek for long without blending. I apply this after putting on moisturizer and or foundation. I seal the color in with just one light swipe of powder blush. Although the product can be used on the lips, I'd rather not because it dries out your lips. You have to pair it with either a clear lip balm or a clear lip gloss.

I totally recommend this! Are you planning to buy it? Do you have one? Try it out and let me know what you think!

Rating: 4/5
Benetint is available in 3 different shades-a rose color, pink and coral (known as Cha Cha tint)

Movie review: The Adventures of Tintin

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg.

These are a few of my favorite directors (and producers in some cases). Remember Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings trilogy? He brought to life the characters from a book that was written years ago by Tolkien. He literally infused life into Tolkien's vision and fired up the big screen. The LOTR trilogy is my favorite after Munich, Identity, The Others and Ronin. And who can forget Steven Spielberg? I was a kid when I first heard about the ever so famous Jaws but the movie that really drilled Spielberg's name and accomplishments in my head was Jurassic Park. Who else created a movie that featured dinosaurs ripping people into shreds and wrecking havoc? It was my first Spielberg movie that I watched in a theatre and was spellbound.

Image credits: Screenrant.com
So when I heard Jackson and Spielberg were teaming up to create a movie all about Tintin, I could not wait! I remember watching Tintin on TV and even reading books on him, his faithful dog and Captain Haddock! So put together the two heavyweights of Hollywood and one of my favorite comic book characters, what do you get? A great movie! I attended the premiere of the movie in Dubai and reacted the same way as I did when I saw Jurassic Park- I was spellbound.

Image credits: IMDB.com
Tintin is on a mission to uncover the mystery of The Unicorn (t's not the fabled creature) and we are thrust into a world of ships, pirates, clues, car chases, villains and a funny captain who just wants to drink forever. You're taken on an adventurous journey with Tintin as he tries to put together the pieces of the puzzle, come face to face with disappointment only to get a firm grasp on things once again and finally succeed.

Jackson and Spielberg have done such an excellent job on this project. They maintained the true spirit of Tintin and ensured the classic bits were present such as the two oblivious detective twins Thompson and Thompson and Tintin or other characters being hit on the head (I got a flashback to when I was a kid when I saw this happen).

I'm impressed as to how all elements in the animated movie come full circle- but then again, that's what you can expect from a Spielberg/ Jackson movie! I'm so glad I wasn't disappointed with the storyline. The movie has it's share of comedy and thrills, great animation; when it ended, I was left wanting for more. And when that happens, I know it's a good movie.

 Rating: 4/5
Go watch it!

Oh, hello!

So here's the first post of the new blog. On this blog, I'm going to cover fashion, food, movies and everything in between.

Starting off with my latest purchase called the iPad2! I've never been an Apple fan. I remember years ago receiving (at that time) the latest iPod. I actually gave it to my brother because I didn't fancy it. That or any other Apple products. You see I'm a Microsoft fan. I'm pretty sure Apple is great in it's own league and you will write a list of things as to why I should convert to Apple but that's not going to happen anytime soon. Having said that, I bought an iPad 2 recently. I also ended up with a fashionable leopard print sleeve! How cool is that? I love leopard prints but I will leave that story for another day.


 So far, the device has been used to make notes, tweet, email and play Angry Birds. And of course, Instagram! I love this app but am pretty upset that Apple didn't pay attention to the iPad's camera/  megapixels. I'm sure you will agree, the device takes crappy pics- it's way too pixelated. You got a great device but sad camera- no, don't give me an excuse as to why the camera is below average. But apart from that, no complaints.


Time to go play some more of those Angry Birds.
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