GAP Dubai: Spring 2013 Launch

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ever since I attended Gap's Spring/Summer 2012 show last year, I've become a fan. They actually put the fun back in jackets and denims.

The Gap 2013 Spring collection for men and women is just that- fun infused with bursts of color.

For females, the designs are inspired by the casual New York female. The collection offers a variety of colored denims known as Skimmer, pastel colored khakis, sweaters, striped T-shirts, blazers and summer dresses. The Skimmer denims are a new addition to my wardrobe- I love them.

I'm a fan of blazers and believe colored blazers bring life to any outfit; you go from dull to sharp in a matter of minutes. I want to buy all the blazers from the new collection.

For men, the collection features classics- from bright colored polos to T-shirts decked in different patterns, Gap has you covered for this season. Sharp and trendy, anyone?

 I absolutely love the printed pants and the red & white stripes look! It's casual yet fashion forward. It reminded me of the 2012 Holiday Collection.

My second favorite look. I like how the colors complement each other and not look over the top especially since there's a neon piece included.

Gap also considered something for the tots in your life. If only those printed denims came in my size...

And here are more of my favorites making their way to my wardrobe.

The Gap Spring 2013 collection is now available in all stores across the UAE.

Celebrating The UAE with It'Sugar

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I love chocolate. Who doesn't? Do you know what my favorite book was when I was a kid? Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also loved Matila by the same author but let's leave that story for another day. When the book was adapted into a movie, I wished for such a chocolate factory but nothing happened. So much for believing in the tooth fairy!

The children of today, however don't have to look out for magical creatures with wings made out of crystal. In Dubai (and cities across the world) we have places like It'Sugar to satisfy those sweet cravings.

When I received the invite to the 'It'Sugar Celebrates The UAE' event, I was intrigued by what was mentioned- "...unveiling iconic UAE statuses covered in candy". I had no idea what this meant and all I kept thinking about was a model of the world's tallest tower made out of chocolate.

The big reveal took place at the event. It'Sugar selected three main icons that are part of UAE's tradition and covered them in candy, candy and more candy!

The traditional coffee pot covered in gummy bears!

 The gentle giant of the desert covered in all sorts of candy including the feet...

And the abra as well!

It wasn't only the icons covered in everything sweet but also Azza from It'Sugar who had a custom made abaya with candy over it (for those who aren't aware, an 'abaya' is a Muslim woman's robe-like clothing). I spot gummy bears, lollipops, Runts! How fun is that?

Apart from this, I spotted a few things that tickled my fancy.

Remember Nerds? If you don't, then...leave this planet, yo! These are Nerds wrist bands...

Skittles flavored candles...

And a fun way to express love- fill each letter with different kind of candy.

It was fun being there to witness tradition and candy being fused together. Half the candy from childhood like Nerds, Runts, Gobstopper and more are all available at It'Sugar. Nothing like bringing back the childhood memories. Who needs a tooth fairy now?

Salvatore Ferragamo's Acqua Essenziale Launch in Dubai

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm a perfume-aholic. In my room, I have a chest of (5) drawers and one of them is dedicated solely to my collection of perfumes. I usually buy them the day after they are launched. That's why none of my friends can gift me perfumes for my birthday or any other occasion for that matter. Having said that, I also get to know the latest and best in men's fragrances thanks to my brother, dad, male friends and the occasional sample strips shoved in my face while I stroll in the malls. Casual Friday by Escada had become my favorite male perfume years ago and now it's Man by Bvlgari.

Last week, I was invited to the Dubai launch event of Salvatore Ferragamo's latest fragrance Acqua Essenziale.

Dubbed as a 'man's real essence', the fragrance is a mixture of subtle citrus, floral and musk/wood. Upon application, your olfactory system is immediately treated to a wave of the top notes- grapefruit, mint, mandarin and lemon tree leaf. This is what got me sold. The heart of the fragrance (middle notes) consist of  Rosemary, Geranium, Lavander and Cascalone while the base notes are more woody and musk- Patchouli, Vetiver, Cistus and Helveltolide.

Because it isn't an overwhelming fragrance, you can easily use this during both, day and night. Acqua Essenziale is available in variations of 30ml, 50ml and 100ml along with complimentary products such as the After Shave Lotion, After Shave Balm, Shampoo & Shower Gel and the Deodorant Stick.

You can grab Acqua Essenziale in the UAE in March this year.  Ladies, this would make an excellent choice for the man in your life. Men, if you are looking for a fresh fragrance with a hint of uniqueness then you should give this a try.

A Lush Life With Lush Treats

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The other day I visited Lush Cosmetics in Dubai Mall and was introduced to their wonderful world of natural  products. I was also made aware that Lush does not test on animals and additionally, they do not purchase any raw materials from companies that use animals for testing purposes. You have got to respect companies like these.

I only started using Lush last year and my first product was the Bath Bombs. I never thought of trying anything else until now.

Lush have wonderful things for this month and some of them are limited edition. The 'Be Mine' set is made up of 3 lush product and comes in a cute packaging.

I have 2 of my favorites from the gift set: the Soft Couer and the Willow Pattern Soap.

Soft Couer (pictured above) is a massage bar that contains chocolate and honey (is this really a bath time treat or dessert?) and the Willow Pattern Soap is a lemon and rosewood soap that smells absolutely amazing! I cannot praise the fragrance more than I already have and the soap itself does wonders to the skin.

The other limited edition product is 'The Kiss'. A vegan light pink lip balm that doubles as a lip gloss.

The 'Heart of Gold' gift set comes in a heart shaped box and consists of 5 fun products. One of them is the massage bar called From Dusk To Dawn. Infused with shea butter, sweet wild orange oil and lemon oil among other things- this bar leaves you feeling refreshed, not to mention skin that feels really smooth and soft.

A really interesting pick at Lush is the Emotional Brilliance range. It is a customized color reading makeup range that tells you what you are currently feeling.

All you do is spin the wheel and choose the first 3 colors that you are drawn towards. I happened to pick colors that represent Happiness, Control and Feeling Secure. It was a bit shocking as those colors were bang on to what I was thinking/feeling. In essence, the colors you select are the ones you should ideally wear. You should give it a try too! You may be surprised.

Have a look at this bath bomb.

Titsy Totsy is made of rose. There are exactly 7 rose buds in each piece. Attention to detail is key at Lush. Titsy Totsy aims to soothe your frazzled nerves and take you into a calm world. It's like being in a spa. Heart shaped and roses...seems like a perfect way to express love.

Sikkim Girls is a perfume inspired by the girls of Sikkim. It boasts of vanilla and jasmine notes with a shot of frangipani.

Among other fun stuff, there's also Shampoo Bars that look like macaroons!

I think we need to give liquid shampoos a rest and try something new and natural for the hair. There are bars to do a number of things such as battle dandruff, add volume and shine to the hair while nourishing it.

Lush has an array of amazing face masks that do tons of good because they contain fruits and other ingredients to benefit the skin. Lush uses only natural products (have a look at the ingredients label and you will know) that are free of preservatives. I'll be reviewing a few of them that have become my absolute favorite! Watch this space.

Review: Dermalogica Cover Tint

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Remember my review on Dermalogica's Sheer Tint? If you want something that provides a little more coverage then perhaps you should consider the Cover Tint.

It is a cream based foundation with SPF 20 and is available in 3 shades. I've said it before and I'll say it again- skincare and makeup products with in-built sunscreen is a huge bonus for me because it eliminates that extra step of applying  sunscreen.

The foundation blends well into the skin and provides a medium to full coverage without leaving a cakey finish. One of the key ingredients is Ginseng extract which regenerates and tones the skin.

Because I have normal-to-dry skin, I apply either a moisturizer or a moisturizing serum and then follow with the foundation else creamy foundations tend to latch on to the dry patches of my skin. I can vouch for the staying power- it lasted up to 8 hours without fading. The finish of it, unlike the Sheer Tint is almost matte. It has no artificial fragrance or colors. I also noticed that there is no shiny T-zone by mid-day; in other words, the finish that you get in the morning stays put until you remove it.

The foundation also brightens the face (very subtle, though) and has marine extracts. Marine based extracts are not only rich in vitamins and minerals but also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Additionally, they lock in moisture and as a result tend to keep the skin hydrated for long periods of time. It's perfect for my skin as I tend to experience minor dryness  during the winter season.

Cover Tint swatch
Blended version is right next to the Cover Tint

I also asked my mom to try it and she had it on for about 4 hours or so while she ran a few errands. After she returned, she told me, "Kept my face looking quite fresh and bright. I like it". Yay!

I always knew Dermalogica provided skin solutions but had no idea they had foundations too.  Overall, this foundation sits with my other skin-care and cosmetics i.e. it has my seal of approval and I love the fact that it is a multi-functional product that cares for the skin.

Quick Beauty: Getting The Best Out Of Your Face Mask

Monday, February 11, 2013

Many a times, we come home either from work or shopping (or after a long day), pop open that jar of face mask or create a customized version in the depths of our kitchens, slather it on our face and believe that the ingredients in the mask are working their magic. They do- only to some extent and I'll tell you why.

For the ingredients to work at their full potential, they need to penetrate a layer of the skin. Most of us apply face masks after cleansing (and some just skip the cleansing part all together). The secret in getting the best out of your mask is to exfoliate- but do this prior to applying the mask. That layer of flaky skin/ dead cells is what prevents the ingredients from fully sinking into your skin. When you exfoliate, you are prepping your skin to obtain all the benefits of the mask. I would recommend using a gentle exfoliator that performs a 2-in-1 action of cleansing and exfoliating at the same time.

Notice how your face looks fabulous after a visit to the spa? Because they exfoliate the skin, among other things.  So remember, exfoliate first, face mask later.

Beauty 101 With Johnson & Johnson

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I recently attended a Johnson & Johnson event entitled Beauty 101 and it was almost a blast from the past. How many of you remember the ever so famous Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo? At that time, it was the best invention- no more tears, hurray!

Anyway, the event was pretty cool and I got to meet some lovely girls, get my nails done, learn about cleansers, moisturizers, loads of other skin care related things and leave with a bag of fun products- thank you J&J team for that. I've never used any of the products pictured so, last week was more of a trial week for me.

My most favorite out of all is the Oil Free Acne Wash that keeps acne and spots at bay. While I don't have oily skin or experience acne that often, I tend to go all postal on any zit/pimple that appears. The face wash smells divine! It's got a burst of grapefruit and the fragrance lingers for a while after you've washed it off. The product also doubles up as an exfoliator.

I also love the Cleansing Wipes. I've been on a roll lately when it comes to using cleansing wipes. The J&J Wipes remove waterproof make-up as well and doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped of moisture. If you are one of those people who, after a long day get tired and head to bed without removing make-up, it's time for you to keep a pack of these at your bedside.

There's also the 24 Hour Moisture Soft Cream that, to my delight is infused with shea butter. Anything with shea butter makes me happy because this ingredient in other words, is one of the purest form of nature's moisturizer (just like honey).

Do you use any of the these?

Review: Dermalogica Sheer Tint

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I used my first Dermalogica product about a few years ago. I still remember like it was yesterday- I bought a Clean Start kit that included travel size products of basic skincare along with an acne gel solution. I liked everything in the kit. The acne gel solution known as Bedtime For Breakouts became my favorite and I use it on and off till date (more on that later).

So anyway- when I got my hands on Dermalogica's latest, I was ready to be impressed (and I was!). The Sheer Tint SPF 20 is an amazing amazing beauty packed in a tube.

It's a tinted moisturizer that's available in 3 shades and is completely light weight  i.e. it won't clog up the pores so your skin can breathe and upon application, creates an even finish. For me, products that have an in-built sunscreen is like a huge bonus and the Sheet Tint has a SPF of 20 (UVA and UVB protection- double bonus!). And here's an added bonus- the tint actively treats your skin, not just covers imperfections.

 When reading the ingredients list, I found out it has walnut seed extract that helps improve skin texture while infusing it with moisture. It also has lavender oil known for it's calming properties, olive fruit extract known for keeping skin damage at bay and lactic acid (derivative of milk) which increases the skin's level of hydration. AND it has something called Hyaluronic acid i.e. it is responsible for keeping your skin firm and supple (that is the most basic way I can explain what Hyaluronic acid is; the acid is related to the collagen structure of your skin). The consistency of the tint is almost a combination of lotion and cream.

When I applied it, I noticed a dewy finish- which I love. I have normal to dry skin so the dewy finish most certainly does not look oily- it's like a nice glow.

On the left is the cream direct from the tube and on the right is the slightly blended version (see the dewy/glowy effect?)
Disappears right into your skin :)

Apart from the SPF factor, what I love is the fragrance. It's so fresh! It's almost like someone went into a garden of freshly cut grass and captured the real essence of nature in a tube. The product however, is free of artificial fragrance or color. 

I have been using this for a couple of days now and it's become a regular in my skincare regime. This multi-functional product gets my seal of approval. If you are looking for a change in your moisturizer and wouldn't mind being protected from sun damage among other things, I recommend your try the Sheer Tint.
Remember to test the product on your skin prior to purchasing.

*The product was sent by the brand/ its reps for a review. All reviews are based on my personal experience & outcome thereby presenting an honest opinion to the readers.

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