Banana Republic x L'Wren Scott Limited Edition Collection

Friday, December 27, 2013

This has been a year of some wonderful Banana Republic collaborations- from the Milly to the Issa collections, they have been beautiful.

I realized sometime ago (this happens when you read too many online magazines) that, the brand was due to launch a collection in collaboration with L'Wren Scott. I had viewed the sneak peek sketches of 2 designs and they looked beyond amazing. I couldn't wait to see the actual pieces of clothing. And when I did, let me put it in two words: mind = blown.

The Banana Republic x L'Wren Scott limited edition collection is an incredibly gorgeous palette of prints, lace, sequins, metallics and more. The pieces are perfect when it comes to fit and fall. From office wear to evening wear, this collection has got you covered. Think tailored printed trousers, faux fur shrugs, sequinned cardigans, metallic dresses, brocade suits and a lot more.

This peony print trousers is my favorite. It's so beautiful and would amp up any outfit.

I love sequins and glitter; this cardigan has made its way into my wardrobe. There's also a red and green version of this.

The collection also features clutches, bags, scarves and more.

If you've spotted a favorite, I suggest you rush to buy it because this is a limited edition collection.

The Banana Republic x L'Wren Scott Collection is now available in stores across the UAE.

Review: OPI Eiffel For This Color

Thursday, December 26, 2013

OPI's Eiffel For This Color is just as brilliant on the nails as it is in the bottle. This shade is all the rage right now on the runway and it doesn't look like the trend is going anywhere.

The aubergine color goes hand in hand with the winter season. So, we have about 3 months of winter in the UAE but I'm not complaining. I'd rock this color throughout the year though.

The below is one generous coat. Isn't the color just gorgeous?

This is the color with flash photography. See how the aubergine shade shines through? I love it!

I didn't use a top coat but it will help if you want to prevent unnecessary chipping and want extra shine.

Totally loving this color (big thanks to OPI's PR team for sending this to me). Here's a tip: Dark and metallic colors look better on shorter nails than they do on longer ones.

OPI has just released their new collection entitled San Francisco; it consists of a palette of beautiful reds, brown, silver and more.

Have you picked a color from the new collection?

The San Francisco Collection and the OPI Eiffel For This Color is available across Sephora stores in the UAE.

Shopping Deals With MasterCard

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

 Are you still stumped in terms of what presents to get your family members, friends and others? If your ‘Gift Ideas’ list looks like a blank paper, fear not, as I’m here to save the day (like Batman). At least I’ll try and by the end of this post, you should have a good idea of what you will be gift wrapping.

How do these sound- special offers, free shipping, discounts and the likes? For those who like to shop online like me, free shipping is a bonus. When items from wishlists go on sale, it’s an even bigger bonus (whip out that credit card and never look back!).Thanks to MasterCard, shopaholics have access to online discounts, free returns, discounted/free shipping and more from select merchants such as Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Gilt and more.

Purchase your favorites by Dec 31, 2013 using your MasterCard credit card, enter the code MCSHOP at checkout and you will be entitled to redeem the fab offers!

Since my wishlist is larger than life, I browsed Bloomingdales, J.Crew, Neiman Marcus and Gilt. All of them have crazy discounts and offers. J.Crew for me is synonymous to gorgeous statement necklaces (which are not available in the UAE), Gilt always has some seriously special deals on shoes, bags and dresses; Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus have the best selection when it comes to…well, everything. I looked around for hours on what to buy because all of them had items with prices slashed to the ‘are-you-kidding-me’ level.

I finally made a purchase; this was after sitting next to mum for about 30 mins straight, nudging her to give me feedback on every single item that was in my shopping cart, cancelling a few items, adding those back to the cart...well, you get the idea. After using the MCSHOP code, I received confirmation on my order. It was a pretty smooth experience and even better when I am not being charged for shipping (hurray!).

Now that I know about these special offers like the back of my hand, I shall lead you into the world of a few of my favorites and recommendations.

How incredibly beautiful is this Carolina Herrera dress? It had my name written all over it, even before I saw it. I love the flared dress and the scattered sequins. It would usually cost you AED 25,557/ US$ 6,946, but now you only pay AED 4,262/ US$ 1,161. Available at Gilt.

This lilac flower necklace is apt for all seasons. Available at J.Crew for AED 444/ US$ 121 (original price: AED 977/ US$ 266).

This has to be the prettiest cuff ever! Available at J.Crew for AED345/ US$94 (original price: AED 484/ US$ 132). 

I love shoes and have a growing collection of flats. So, when I saw this silver glittery(!) pair of DKNY flats slashed to AED 183/ US$ 50 from the original AED 458/ US$ 125, I couldn’t resist adding it to the shopping cart. Available at Bloomingdales.

Another pair of red hot shoes from Ivanka Trump slashed to AED 183/ US$ 50 from the original AED 458/ US$125. Major bargain at Bloomingdales!

Love these skinny denims print. Now available for AED 877/ US$ 239 vs original AED 1,254/ US$ 342. Available at True Religion.

Gorgeous Tory Burch wallet was previously priced at AED770/ US$ 210. Now available for AED 402/ US$ 110. Available at Neiman Marcus.

This is a small list of what’s available. Remember, in order to be eligible for different offers from participating merchants, you must use your MasterCard credit card and use MCSHOP at checkout.

Happy shopping and let me know what you got!

*Terms and conditions apply.

Disclaimer: This post was created in connection with my appointment as blogger for the MasterCard Cross Border Promotion Program.

Review: Bourjois Color Boost Plum Russian

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sometime ago when I reviewed the Bourjois Color Boost lip crayon, I wondered if the brand would extend the range by adding more colors. I really liked the lip crayon and the water like glossy effect it had on the lips.

The Color Edition 24H Collection answered my question. This is Bourjois latest for Christmas and one that showcases eyeshadows in metallic finish, 2 new nail polish shades and 2 new colors within the Color Boost range (hurray!).

The Bourjois Color Boost in Plum Russian is a bold lip color. A deep plum that fits right in with the winter beauty trends. With vampy/berry lips being all the rage, this lip crayon will be your trusty sidekick.

If you read my previous Color Boost review, you will know that this product delivers an absolutely brilliant finish. One coat deposits enough color on the lips. However, if you are to use this in the evening I feel this color in particular, is best used in multiple layers.

The shade looks absolutely gorgeous when you build it up. The deep plum shines through and you can never go wrong with this. The color looks beautiful because of the water-like glossy finish.

It literally feels like there's colored water on your lips and I was sold because of this feature. This is not your ordinary lip gloss (give it a try, and you'll realize what I'm talking about). It, however, does not survive a meal or drink completely (as it is with any other lip crayon/gloss) so you will need to carry it around with you. I prefer matte lipsticks more  however, the Color Boost lip crayons are an exception I'm ready to make when it comes to a glossy pout.

While I love both of these (read the Fuschia Libre review here), the Plum Russian has become a new favorite. This color is like the sister of the powerful red lipstick. Both exude confidence and a don't-mess-with-me attitude.

The Bourjois Color Edition 24 Hours Collection is now available at select stores in the UAE.

Are you a fan of this color? Have you tried the others from the range?

*The product(s) 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.

Review: Jane Iredale Glamor Palette & PureMoist Lipstick

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The last product I tried from Jane Iredale was a mini palette. I looked at it and said to myself, "This is the cutest eyeshadow palette I've ever seen".

Little did I know that a few months down the line, I would be treated to a bigger and beautiful makeup palette. I was introduced to the Jane Iredale Glamor Eye & Lip Palette during their launch event.

I met the Vice President, Theresa who was such a lovely lady to talk to (I hope you got to visit the Dubai beaches before you left!). She imparted loads of tips on makeup and helped me select a lip color too (scroll down for the review).

The Glamor Eye & Lip Palette is packaged in a gorgeous rose gold colored mirrored case.  This case could not get more prettier. This is a limited edition palette and just in time for the holiday season (the packaging is a give away, isn't it?).

The palette consists of 15 PurePressed Eyeshadows, 10 PureMoist Lipsticks and 5 PureGloss Lip Glosses in addition to an eyeshadow and lip brush/applicator.

The eyeshadows are beautiful. There's a soft mint, an ocean blue, a deep lilac, a dusty rose, a midnight blue with fine shimmer (my favorite!) and more. The eyeshadows go on smoothly and do not move about even after 5 hours of wear.

The lip colors along with the lip glosses are a real treat. You get to try each of the PureMoist lipsticks (which are enriched with avocado and sunflower seed oil); the lip glosses are wonderful as well and you can use them on their own for a sheer finish or post applying lipstick.

The only thing I didn't like about this palette was that the makeup is too small in size! While I appreciate the packaging, the size of the eyeshadows and lip colors had me surprised. It would've been great if they came in the standard size. Nonetheless, this makes a gorgeous gift. Did I mention how much I love the rose gold colored packaging?

Next up is the PureMoist Lipstick. While the Glamor Palette offered you samples to try the different lip colors, this is the actual product.

While at the event, I told Theresa that I was looking for a lip color that was a combination of beige and pink. She recommended 'Sharon' which is a nude lip color that has a good mix of the colors I mentioned. I think this would suit everyone.

The brilliant red you see below is from the same range and its called Margi (reviewed previously). The PureMoist lipsticks are creamy matte that hydrate your lips. They have a fruity fragrance and it almost makes you want to bite into them (if you are a fan of cherries and pomegranates).

Both colors are available within the Glamor Palette. Just remember, the palette is limited edition so, hurry and grab one.

The Jane Iredale Glamor Eyes & Lip Palette and PureMoist Lipsticks are available in the UAE. Call: 04- 447 7636 or connect with them on their Facebook page.

Have you tried the lipstick or the palette already? Tell me what you think in the comments section below.

*The product(s) 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.

Review: Sally Hansen Go Baroque Collection

I don't think us polish geeks (I refuse to use the term 'addict') will quit buying polishes. Even if it means the storage case at home cracks and eventually breaks apart. No. We love our polishes even if it means having 6 versions of the same color ("But it's a deep teal, not just teal!").

Having said that, let me introduce you to Sally Hansen's latest: the Baroque Collection. Featuring rich reds to shimmering silvers, this collection features 6 gorgeous colors.

The polishes are glossy on their own, I did not apply a top coat. I'm a fan of dark colors, so let's start with that.

Belle Of The Ball is a deep red. Do you remember the time when oxblood was featured on almost every runway in the form of clothing accessories and more? This polish would be a perfect fit for that trend.

What you see here is one coat of the polish. Belle Of The Ball has subtle shimmer and it highlights the color even more beautifully when light hits the nails.

The next is a contrast. Of Cors-et is a shimmering silver grey. It is a beautiful color; unlike Belle Of The Ball, this color is quite sheer. The below is the product of 2-3 coats.

Although the color does not scream 'look at my nails', this will be appreciated by girls who are into subtle hues. This reminded me of the London sky.

So-nata Problem is a gorgeous midnight blue. One coat gave me a sheer blue color while the second coat reflected the true color in the bottle.

A third coat makes the color look almost black, so unless you are a fan of that color, you might want to stick to 2 coats. This color, for some reason reminded me of Scotland (I have no idea why!).

Star Powder is white with subtle shimmer. I would say Of Cors-et and Star Powder are part of the same family. The first coat is sheer- it does not quite display the color. A third coat did the job.

I used this to create my own nail art on Dec 2 (UAE's National Day). This made an appearance on my Instagram.

Don't be put off by the color. It's white but it's not flat. It has subtle shimmer, enough to make someone go, "That's a nice color you got there".

Out of the colors, Belle Of The Ball and So-nata Problem are my favorites. All 4 polishes went on smoothly without any bubbles or streaking (hurray!).

The collection also features Aria-Ready, a vibrant red and Starcrossed, a sheer gold glitter.

The Sally Hansen Baroque Collection is now available at select stores in the UAE.

Do you have a favorite color? Have you already tried this collection? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

*The product(s) 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.

Early Access To Eataly Restaurant, Dubai Mall

Thursday, December 19, 2013

When I first came across the restaurant Eataly, I wondered about its name. I couldn't put a finger on it. I thought it was a weird name for a restaurant. A few days ago, my cousin and I were talking about the pressure that participants in Master Chef Australia go through.

Cousin: is such a big deal for them.
Me: They are prepping themselves for something big. Some of them go on to set-up their own little cafes and restaurants. By the way, there's a new place to gobble at Dubai Mall. Eataly.
Cousin: What?
Me: Eataly....Eeeee-taaaa-lyyyy. 

And then it hit me. Eataly sounded so much like Italy! The name seemed so apt.

Eataly is a new restaurant at Dubai Mall that specializes in Italian cuisine. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Italian food? Pizza? Tiramisu? There's no doubt that you will end up tasting Italy's finest at Eataly due to the quality of ingredients used in the dishes (most are organic and free of preservatives and natural colors/flavors). Think right off the farm, fresh and delicious.

Exclusive Shopping Offers With MasterCard

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Still struggling to find that perfect gift for the festive season? You won't have to, not for long.

MasterCard's collaboration with Borderfree lets cardholders in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa enjoy a host of online discounts and more from top US retailers.

The promotion lasts from now until Dec 31, 2013 and provides MasterCard cardholders free and discounted shipping, exclusive discounts up to 25% - 75% in the UAE and free returns from US brands such as Bloomingdale's, J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, True Religion, Gilt and more! Special weekly offers for eligible markets will also be available at participating merchants. 

To redeem free shipping and special offers, MasterCard cardholders need to enter the code MCSHOP when checking out at participating merchants. 

If you always had your eyes on those gorgeous pair of shoes or that party clutch, now is the time to log on to and score that item!

*Terms and conditions apply. 

Disclaimer: This post was created in connection with my appointment as blogger for the MasterCard Cross Border Promotion Program.

Review: Max Factor CC Cream

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

First there were BB creams. Then came CC creams. Then DD creams. Bet the beauty brands around the world are coming up with another cream pretty soon. While the beauty industry is figuring that out, let me take this opportunity to tell you about a fabulous CC cream.

Make-up brand Max Factor launched their CC cream sometime back. The 'CC' in CC cream stands for Color Correction.

This multi-tasking cream is quite handy especially for girls who want to skip all the make-up routine but yearn for a beautiful flawless finish. In the mornings, I usually reach out for a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream as opposed to foundation because I barely have time (I'm always running late, hah!).

This cream is super helpful and I truly love it. It's become my go-to product at times especially in the evenings.

CC creams are built to care for your skin rather than just provide coverage. Max Factor's CC cream is packed with skin benefiting ingredients such as cucumber water, rose hip extract, sea buckthorn and glycerin that help hydrate and brighten the skin. Secondly, it contains foundation pigments that deliver the flawless coverage everyone is after. Thirdly, it helps tame down the redness around the nose and cheek area (I've got minor redness around the nose).

I was expecting thick cream like consistency but the texture turned out to be surprisingly liquid cream. No, not the runny kind but the one that will stay put for hours. It blends effortlessly.

I witnessed an even toned skin and any sign of blemishes (damn them zit spots) were reduced. In addition to this, my skin had a natural glow without screaming, "Hey, look! I have some sort of cream/foundation on my face!". Did I mention the CC cream delivers a hint of a dewy finish? What's not to love about this?

The product has an in-built sunscreen i.e. SPF 10 (a little low in my opinion). Women with dry skin- I recommend to apply your daily moisturizer prior to the CC Cream.

The Max Factor CC Cream is now available in select stores across the UAE and comes in 6 different colors (for UAE) and 5 (for KSA).

What's your favorite CC Cream?

*The product(s) 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.

Review: Une Rock Collection Mascara

Une's Rock Collection is all about mesmerizing eyes and so I present to you, the Green Pride Volume Mascara.

Une is popular for using organic ingredients and this mascara is no different. It contains shea butter, carnauba and beeswax to boost lash volume.

One of the best things about the brush is that it isn't loaded with mascara once you pull the wand, thereby eliminating the need to wipe away the excess. The mascara does have a subtle fragrance, not too overpowering though.

The first coat gave my lashes a very natural look as the brush fanned out the lashes. I did not experience any clumping, smudging or fall out after it dried.

This mascara is best suited for women who want the natural lashes effect. The brush was surprisingly shorter but that didn't affect the end result. It's a great everyday-mascara to use.

Une is available at selected stores across the UAE.

*The product(s) 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.

Banana Republic Holiday Collection 2013 Launches In Dubai

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Do you guys remember the fab 2012 Holiday Collection by Banana Republic? Time to make some space for the new pieces from their 2013 Holiday Collection that featured beautiful prints, textures and vivid colors.

From structured coats to fit-and-flare dresses, the collection showcased pieces fit for Dubai's mild winter season.

The womens collection a featured vibrant palette of pinks, blues, reds and minor baroque-esque print along with the monochrome stripes and animal prints. Accessories were washed in solid colors including bowling bags, totes and gloves.

The mens collection included leather jackets, trousers, shirts and accessories for a polished look.

Being a huge fan of leopard print, I loved the leopard print bag and the striped top with a hint of pink. My favorite though, is this dress.

The Banana Republic Holiday Collection 2013 is now available across stores in the UAE.

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