Review: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

Sunday, June 30, 2013

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will know by now that I use a handful of Elemis products and it is one of my favorite brands. I recommend everyone to at least, try Elemis once either at a spa (head to Cleopatra's Spa, Wafi Mall or read my spa experience) or at home. They are selective of the ingredients used and the benefits it provides. Did I mention my favorite was the Visible Brilliance Serum?

Elemis recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of their best selling anti-ageing moisturizer: the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. Apparently, one pot is sold every minute!

So, when I got this to try I asked  my mum to volunteer as the cream has been designed to work effectively on mature skin. I tried this cream too but for different reasons. Read on.

The Pro-Collagen Marine Cream uses a marine extract which is an algae infused with skin enriching benefits. Elemis claims that you will notice a difference in your skin in 2 weeks' time i.e. reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, optimum levels of hydration and firm skin. While my mum is blessed with beautiful skin (soft skin with not one acne mark. I'm still figuring out how I can end up with skin like that), she does have slight pigmentation on her cheeks and emerging wrinkles on her forehead. So, I told her to target those areas and try the cream.

The consistency is amazing. It is a completely light moisturizer and not thick in texture. The fragrance is not overwhelming; it smells so wonderful that every time I opened the pot I'd bring it close to my nose to get a whiff of it. The cream is absorbed by the skin in a matter of seconds and leaves you with a nice dewy to matte finish which means your face doesn't shine like the sun. When I first applied it, it looked greasy and I was so disappointed but a few seconds later, all was ok.

Onto the results! My mum tried it for a little more than 2 weeks and she told me her skin felt smoother. The pesky lines on her forehead, while they didn't completely disappear (we weren't expecting that either), they did look less prominent. Score! So the claim of "reducing the appearance of wrinkles" is true. She felt the skin around the cheeks looked uplifted although nothing much has happened to the pigmentation. She applied the cream every evening (because I kept asking her what the results were like everyday, haha!) after cleansing and toning. My mum's still using it and is quite happy with it.

I used the cream for its moisturizing properties (and because I love the fragrance). I saw the results in a day's time- the few dry patches I had on my face especially around the nose area were gone and I was so content knowing that Elemis didn't fail to disappoint me or mum for that matter.

The Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is quite luxurious and you will need very little everyday which means you aren't going to run out of it quickly. Visit their website for a list of store locations.

Have you tried this cream? What do you think of it?

*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.

June Beauty Bliss

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

With summer, a host of beauty/skin predicaments come along as well. Several people want to tan but don't want to damage their skin under the sun's unforgiving rays, some complain of skin striped off of its moisture aka dry/dehydrated skin, some find ways to keep their make-up from melting...this list can go on, right? In order to combat all this and more, this month's Beauty Bliss consists of some of my favorite things.

Want to achieve that radiant bronzed look without having to spend a minute under the sun or tanning salons? Then you must give this a go- Une Golden BB Cream. It's not just a BB cream- it's a tan enhancer too. It's absolutely gorgeous!

You can use this in two ways: enhance your tan with this cream so you can end up with golden luminous skin or, you can do what I do- use this on top of the cheekbones (or nose bridge), eyebrow bone as a highlighter or even as eye-shadow. As a bonus, you can also use it on your shoulders and decollete area.

The BB cream is made out of natural ingredients and contains fine iridescent golden particles. The cream is light and feathery to touch and blends beautifully to impart a glow that Cleopatra would love! Apply either with fingers or a brush. I love love love it! Unfortunately, the swatch doesn't show up clearly on camera.

A sun-kissed skin looks awesome with pink lips and I love it when the pink isn't too bright or in your face. I tried Mikyajy's Charming Matte Lipstick in 04 Pink Tulip.

I have a thing for matte lipsticks (still searching for that perfect red matte lipstick). This one is a a light pink that is close to the color of lips (I'm not a beige nude lipsticks).

And here's a swatch of the lip color. If you are looking for a matte lipstick that doesn't dry out your lips and stays put for hours, then give this a whirl.

Not a lipstick girl? Then try lip gloss. Bourjois 3D Effect Volume & Brilliance Gloss keeps lips hydrated with a subtle plumpness while giving them a smooth glossy finish. It's light and non-sticky.

Coral is one of the emerging colors on the catwalk, so you have the perfect excuse to make this gloss a part of your collection.

One layer will create a subtle coral finish while a second will add a color punch. Available in 15 shades.

Looking for a fresh fragrance? Dueto Citiver is a spicy blend of lemon, nutmeg, cedarwood, grapefruit, patchouli, musk and more.

While it is positioned as a unisex fragrance, I think men would prefer over women. It's a strong fragrance and definitely more suitable for evenings.

You can look pretty and smell great but a parched/dry skin is just uncomfortable to look at and touch. Enter Jane Iredale Pommisst Hydration Spray. This facial spray/mist is infused with one of my favorite fruits- pomegranate!

It keeps the skin hydrated and smooth from the moment you spray it on (I use it after cleansing). It contains doubles up as a UV protector, contains White Tea Leaf extract and Olive Leaf among other ingredients and has a wonderful fragrance. You can use it post make-up as well or whenever you feel like you want to have soft, supple skin. It's your trusty handbag partner and my must-have for the summer. I love the fresh fragrance- totally reminds me of pomegranates!

These are a few of my summer favorites! What's yours? Is there something you just can't do without this summer?

Quick Beauty: Applying Eye Cream The Right Way

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I'm not going to repeat what everyone already knows about the eyes (eye area is delicate, use your ring finger to apply cream/concealer, use a gentle eye make-up remover for the eyes etc etc etc). But what I am going to tell you is something many aren't aware of.

How do you apply your eye cream? Do you apply it on the dark circles/eye bags and massage the cream/eye gel in? That's the wrong way. What you are doing is dragging the eye area by rubbing it under the pretense of massaging in the cream. It doesn't matter how gentle you are when it comes to the eye area or what instructions are provided; eye creams are not meant to be rubbed in/massaged on eye bags.

The correct way to use an eye cream is to apply the cream/gel in tapping motions to the eye contour area and not directly on the area under the eyes. This is the most effective way. You can also create a full circle by tapping the eye cream a little below the brow bone.

In general, when you apply cream right under the eyes, the surrounding skin pulls up the cream and that's why at times you may wake up with swollen eye lids. Most likely the cream gets into your eyes and the reaction to that is witnessed in the morning. So, when you apply to the eye contour, the cream reaches the right area instead of seeping into your eyes.

Remember this when you reach out for your eye cream next time. I learnt this at the Clarins Boutique when I went to get an eye cream.

Visible Brilliance Facial At Cleopatra's Spa

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I don't usually have the luxury of time to go in for frequent facials at spas so when I go in for a facial, I make a mental note of what products were used on my skin (the fragrance is a bonus!) and at times, I buy them so I can emulate the spa process at home.

But before that, I consider a number of things when selecting a spa. The place, the reputation, the feedback from friends/family, the products they use and the customer service. I find the last one to be significant because it determines if I will return to that spa. Having said that, Cleopatra's Spa has always been a favorite of mine. Always. I'm not sure if it is The Pyramids (location of the spa at Wafi Mall) or the fact they use Elemis in their facials. I think it's a combination of both because I am obsessed with ancient Egyptian history and Elemis is one of my favorite skin and body care brands (find your favorite from my reviews).

I headed to Cleopatra's Spa for the Visible Brilliance Facial. Visible Brilliance is a serum I love like crazy (here's why) so I could only imagine the wonders of the facial. And I was blown away by the result. No exaggeration here- I wasn't expecting such results because of all the facials I've been to, I haven't achieved this kind of result. Before I tell you about the result, let me take you through how my facial went and what was slathered on my face.

The facial began with the therapist, Mary asking me a few questions about my skin care routine and what I was expecting from the facial. I always look for something that will keep my skin hydrated. After this, she led me to the room and while I was lost in thought about a certain handbag I had my mind set on, she applied the Soothing Chamomile Cleanser to remove the day's impurities off my face. That cleanser's fragrance was soooo amazing and gentle on the skin. She then followed it with the Balancing Lavender Toner which is alcohol free(!) so it doesn't dry the skin. She applied the Soothing Apricot Toner on my eye area- yes, you can use this specific toner for an eye treatment. So now my face was ready for the next step- exfoliating.

My therapist recommended the Papaya Enzyme Peel instead of a previously agreed upon granular exfoliator because I had two zits on my face (I hate them so much!) and she didn't want to aggravate them. Bonus points to her for scrutinizing my face to such an extent. I use the Papaya Enzyme Peel at home so I was no stranger to how it works on the skin.

Then came what I love- face masks! I was told this was a 2-mask phase...I had no idea what I was in for. The first mask was an Amino Acid Peel Off Mask. It comes in a fine powder format where you have to mix it with a little water to create a paste. When it was applied to my face, it felt cold and thick like cream- I'm not complaining, because it felt amazing! Silk Eye Compresses were put on my eyelid and I kid you not, a few minutes later I almost dozed off because it was so relaxing (this is embarrassing). When the mask was 'peeled' off, it literally felt as if a layer of gunk was taken off my face. I've used peel off masks at home before but this was something else. My face even felt cooler for some reason. The Amino Acid Peel mask among other things, contains donkey's milk. I laughed when I spotted that within the ingredients list but then it hit me why my skin felt amazing post the peel off. The milk has moisturizing properties and leaves your skin as smooth as silk- even Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey's milk! I inquired if I could purchase it, unfortunately it's only for professional use.

The 2-mask phase was complete with a Herbal Lavendar Repair Mask. To conclude the facial, the SOS Emergency Cream was applied to the zits. I have used this at home before so I was quite happy I knew about some of the things being put on my face. I don't remember if a moisturizer was applied.

Ok, time to reveal the results that I have been going on about! Mary handed me the mirror and here's what I noticed- my face was radiant and (obviously looked) hydrated. I was pleasantly surprised because I have been to facials at several spas before and while I have noticed a difference on my face (more like smooth skin), this facial really made my face look brighter. I actually realized how radiant my face was when I got home. The lighting at home is different than that of the spa room so I was extremely happy because my face was actually glowing. No wonder it's called Visible Brilliance! And you know why I love this even more? The results of the facial lasted for 48 hours instead of 24 hours. The next morning when I woke up, my face still looked radiant and moisturized. I didn't apply moisturizer when I went to sleep the night before.

I can't get over the fact that this facial truly imparts the said radiance/brightness and it is the perfect facial for a bride to be or for those attending special occasions. All I expected from this facial was a squeaky clean smooth skin and moisturized face but I got a lot more. This facial has become my favorite and I don't think there's any on the list at Cleopatra's Spa that does the same.

The Visible Brilliance Facial is an anti-ageing facial and although I am not in dire need of anti-ageing products, the therapist mentioned it would, for my skin serve as a an excellent hydration and clarified complexion treatment.

This facial has my seal of approval and I can't wait to get it done again (most probably the evening before Eid!).

Banana Republic x Milly NY 2013 Collection In Dubai

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's time for Banana Republic to churn out yet another great collection. This time it's a collaboration with Milly NY; designer Michelle Smith is famous for her playful modern designs.

Being an ardent fan of Banana Republic (see their Mad Men SS13 collaboration here or the 2012 Holiday Collection here or the SS12 collection here), I was excited to have been invited to the VIP preview of the collection.

The Banana Republic x Milly NY collection is inspired by the Hamptons. Think beaches, vivid colors, glistening water and wide brimmed hats. The limited edition versatile collection is a combination of summer glamour and chic designs for men and women.

The vibrant colors and striking patterns are a delight; you can expect bursts of neon, color block, floral and pleated maxi dresses (so pretty!), bold pattern shorts and skirts. The men take on this season in classic polo shirts, well-fitted blazers and shorts.

The collection also features accessories and is a fresh polished take of what you would wear this summer and once again, Banana Republic- you have not failed to impress me. Thank you to the Banana Republic ME team for making this a great one! The team also gifted us goodies (thank you!) and I created a quick video (my first ever on Vine!) to reveal what it was.

The collection is now available across the UAE. Have fun shopping!

An Evening With Elemis

Monday, June 3, 2013

Elemis is one of my favorite skin and body care brands (along with Clarins and L'occitane). I've been a fan of and use Elemis ever since I discovered their moisturizing cream. Of all the creams, body scrubs and foot soaks  I have tried, none have disappointed me. I love's quite luxurious to say the least- the packaging, ingredients used, the effect on the skin etc. is wonderful. My favorite? The Visible Brilliance serum. The name couldn't be more apt. You can read the rest of my Elemis reviews here; perhaps you will find your favorite too!

Last week, Elemis hosted an exclusive event at Seville's, Wafi Mall.

This was my first time visiting the Spanish restaurant and the food was pretty good. While I tried a few appetizers from the menu;  my favorite was the Croquettes with Chicken and Manchengo cheese.

There was the famous Gazpacho Andaluz i.e. chilled tomato soup...several liked this one...

...and the fried potatoes with spicy sauce serving.

Unfortunately, I couldn't take more pictures as my camera battery started to die and in turn I couldn't make use of the flash settings. And a Blackberry doesn't take good res images.

It was great meeting everyone at the event including the Elemis team along with the people from Cleopatra's Spa and Pharaoh's Club.

Elemis sent us home with a generous gift bag that included Freshskin (I've reviewed this previously) and their bestseller limited edition Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. I've given this to my mum to try because this cream works on mature skin so watch out for a review on this and other products including Bliss soon!

Thank you team Elemis for a wonderful evening!

Competition: Max Factor

Updated (June 12, 2013): Winners of the competition are:

Facebook: Adil Nowshirwan Rashid
Twitter: @faraheswheel

You will soon receive a message on how to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated!


By now, you must know that Max Factor's Facefinity foundation has become one of my favorites. It's a 3 in 1 foundation and the results are impressive.

I'm giving two lucky readers of my blog a chance to win the new foundation in addition to eye shadows, blush, mascara, lip gloss, and lots more. The goody bag is worth AED 500!

*Actual prizes may vary from those displayed in the image 

Watch Joelle talk about the latest from Max Factor.

Winners will be selected from Twitter and Facebook.

Here's how to enter:

1) Like my Facebook page
2) Follow on Twitter here and here
3) Post your answer to this question in the comments section below: What featured product does Joelle talk about in the video?
4) Mention your Facebook and Twitter name along with your comment/answer
5) Tweet the following from your Twitter account: I entered @KeepingUpWithN competition to win makeup from Max Factor 

You must follow all the steps to be eligible to win. Prizes must be collected from Dubai.

Competition open to UAE residents only. Good luck!

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