Sephora Launches New Generation Makeup Collection In Dubai

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I discovered Sephora at a time when the brand did not exist in the Middle East. When I stumbled upon the Sephora US website, I was drawn to their makeovers, videos and tips. It was everything I wanted from a beauty site- there were beauty experts dishing out secrets, products being sold online, gift so I signed up for their newsletter.This was in 2002 (I had to go through my emails and yes, I still have that first newsletter I received!). I haven't unsubscribed from their list because their newsletters just keep getting better!

Today, Sephora is available across the Middle East and I can recognize the monochrome stripes from a distance. Sephora houses makeup from some of the best brands and of late, they launched their own line of beauty products.

The latest collection, a new 'generation of makeup' was launched at the Meydan Beach Club in Dubai and it was a delight to see the ol' black and white stripes along with a host of new beauty products.

The new generation makeup featured a host of Sephora nail polishes, eye shadows, blushes, palettes, lipsticks in Spring ready colors. Do you spot the turquoise mascara (my favorite!) and the gorgeous blushes?

Skincare products included moisturizing serums, CC creams, water based cleansers and more.

While all products looked great, I tested out a handful of them. Do they live up to their claim?

The first product I tried was Sephora's Liquid Moisturizing Skin Concentrate. Sephora calls this a liquid moisturizer that's as powerful as a serum and doubles up as a toner. I call it amazing.

You either apply this directly to the face (after cleansing) with a cotton pad or with your finger tips. I do the latter, I just think using this with a cotton pad is a waste. The product is light-weight and instantly absorbed by the skin. It has such a wonderful fragrance, it reminds me of freshly cut cucumbers.

The liquid moisturizer claims to smooth, illuminate and refine the skin's texture. While I can't comment on those as of yet, I can confirm that it provides ample hydration. The minor dry patches on my face disappeared after a few day's use (I did use my moisturizing cream in conjunction with this). So far, I love this moisturizer. You can definitely use this on its own i.e. don't follow up with a moisturizing cream and you will notice it keeps the skin hydrated.

The Sephora Super Regenerating Oil-Serum is another star product. It is an anti-ageing face oil and claims to repair the skin while making it radiant.

The first thing that came to my mind when I read the name of the product was that it would be slightly thicker in consistency. But no. It's almost like that of water, has a subtle rose fragrance and is packed with seaweed extract and a collagen booster peptide. It does keep my skin soft and imparts a subtle radiance; other than that I have yet to notice other benefits. I love this because I can quickly slip this on before the BB cream routine/ powder foundation.

The Sephora 10 hour Fix & Correct Concealer is my new favorite when it comes to hiding skin flaws. This dual ended product corrects, brightens and conceals. The fine tip corrects and conceals under eye circles and other blemishes.The other side brightens the eye area and blends effortlessly. Totally love this product!

Ever put on amazing eye makeup and then struggled with applying glitter on top? Do you, like the rest of the girls apply a little Vaseline for the glitter to stay put? The Sephora 24 hour Glittergaurd is a brilliant way to keep glitter in place. Whilst the product states that it will keep glitter on your eyelids sans the fallout, it serves as an eye makeup primer to hold everything from shimmer to other eye shadows. And when you are applying darker colors on the lid, make sure to use this one. It makes the color more vibrant.

I will be reviewing the other products soon including the revolutionary upside down mascara and lip inks.

Have you tried Sephora's new generation makeup? Do you have a favorite?

Review: Illamasqua Glamore Collection

Friday, April 25, 2014

Let me start off by saying that I am sold on Illamasqua. I usually would shy away from the brand because it appeared to be too Halloween-ish. I always associated Illamasqua with dark colored makeup- the blacks, the crimsons, the greys. I Instagramed an Illamasqua look that I instantly loved; notice the eye shadow shades, though? This was then.

My perspective on the brand changed completely when I was introduced to the Spring 2014 collection entitled Glamore. I was pleasantly surprised. The collection features 3 gorgeous lipsticks, 1 eye brow shade and 3 brilliant nail polish shades.

I grabbed 3 of my favorites and here's what I think. Let's start with my uber favorite- the lipstick! The Satin Finish Glamore lipstick in Glissade is an intense pink.

Creamy, full of shine and glides on easily- did I mention how  pigmented this is? Post a meal, the color fades to a decent deep pink stain. I also created a matte finish with this lip color using a matching blush (known as Tweak from Illamasqua).

Overall, gorgeous color. Love it! The Satin Finish Glamore lipsticks are available in 2 more shades: Luster (a candy pink) and Soaked (a vivid coral).

Next are my second favorites- the nail polishes. Yes, I am a polish addict and when it comes to glitter polishes, the 5 year old in me comes alive.

The Shattered Star Nail Varnish in Trilliant and Fire Rose (gotta love the names!) are shimmering shades that light up the nails. Both are glitter based polishes but aren't your standard glitter finishes. There are several polishes that have sparse glitter in them and are usually good as a top coat to a solid color. Trilliant and Fire Rose are the complete opposite- they are opaque glitter shades.

Trilliant is a beautiful champagne shade. I adore it!

Fire Rose is a pretty pink. This is my (unsuccessful) attempt at nail art but hey! You get to see how pretty Fire Rose is.

Team up Fire Rose and Glissade for a pop of pink! The polishes are available in 3 shades including Marquise, a vibrant orange.

I love this collection. Usually, when any brand launches a new range of products, I'll either love two products from it or not like any. Illamasqua's Glamore doesn't disappoint!

Do you have an Illamasqua product you absolutely love? Tell me about it, I might go try it!

The Glamore collection is available across Illamasqua stores in the UAE.

Competition: 6 Month Glambox Subscription

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Updated: May 18, 2014

The winner is: Bana Abu Maizer. Congrats! You will receive an email shortly.

Thanks to everyone who participated.


Always wanted to get your hands on Glambox? I've partnered with the fab people at Glambox to give one of my lucky readers a 6 month subscription to Glambox! And it is worth AED 449.

Every month, for 6 months you will receive a glorious box filled with beauty products. Is this something you want?

Here's how to enter:

1) Like my Facebook page & Glambox's Facebook page.
2) Follow me on Twitter account here & here
3) Answer this question: Why do you want to win this prize? Comment below with your email address

You must follow all the steps to be eligible to win.

Winner will be chosen on random through an automated system.

Competition open to UAE residents only. Good luck!

April Glambox Revealed

Monday, April 21, 2014

Receiving a box filled with beauty goodies every month is just wonderful, right? Glambox is a subscriptions based beauty service available to the residents of UAE. Glambox is literally a glamor box that helps you discover different beauty products and services for a nominal fee. While some products are available in sample sizes, the others are full size thereby permitting you to test out a product prior to purchasing it.

Glambox provides 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions. My readers have a special 25% discount- use the code GBNEELOFERto avail this discount. Sign up here.

The April Glambox is filled with interesting products. There are vouchers, skin smoothing creams, an eye shadow and so much more!

I was delighted to see Dove as part of this box. It is one of my favorite brands- I think I've tried almost every Dove product there is. In addition to this, I was pleasantly surprised to discover one of Glambox's new offerings- their own makeup brushes!

So here's what you can expect in this month's box:

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion with SPF 30: I dread the summer season. My skin tends to burn easily...let's just say the sun and I are not on talking terms. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of sunscreen lotions and have a few of my favorites. The Hawaiian Tropic lotion promises to protect under the sun with SPF 30 while keeping skin moisturized for hours. It has a sweet fragrance to it and the best part? It does not leave a greasy finish. This product sits in my car now.

Herbline Essentials Fairness Cream: I actually received the (full size) product from Herbline a few weeks ago and I've put it to test. Watch out for a post with my full review on it. To summarize, this cream targets pigmented areas on the face and aims to lighten them. It is slightly thicker in consistency and has a wonderful fragrance. More about this once I complete the test period.

Inglot Freedom Eye Shadow: This is such a gorgeous silver eye-shadow. It stays put for hours esp. when you have primer on and makes your eyelids dazzle. This is the first time I use Inglot products and it didn't disappoint.

Dove Purely Pampering Body Cream: Aaah Dove. What can I say more about one of my favorite brands? This cream in particular is infused with shea butter and keeps skin moisturized and silky like a baby's. Dove can do no wrong in my books. I love it.

Glambox Stippling Brush: Great for liquid foundations, this brush helps the product go on smoothly so you achieve an airbrushed finish. The bristles while on the softer side, does the job perfectly well.

I was quite excited to have gotten my hands on Caudalie products. I've heard so much about the brand and this was my opportunity to try it.

I tried the Hand & Nail cream first. Made from orange pulp and almond powder, this cream works to keep your hands and nails nourished at all times. While I love oranges (they are one of my favorite fruits) and love the fact that they are included in some of my skincare products, I found the fragrance of this cream a little too overwhelming. Apart from that, the cream is absorbed into the skin leaving my hands smooth.

The Caudalie Vino Perfect Day Perfecting Fluid is an oil-free facial moisturizer packed with skin perfecting benefits. I have yet to try this.

In addition to all these products, I received 2 vouchers- Nstyle offered a polish change and Wellbeing Medical Center gifted a AED 500 voucher.

If you loved what you saw and read, sign up today! Use the code GBNEELOFER to get 25% off your subscription!

The Food Byte: Little More Cafe

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What happens when you put a hungry bunch together who keep changing the venue? Frustrations and growling stomachs, that's what. When we finally decided and arrived to Little More Cafe, Dubai Marina Mall (this cafe is part of  the original More Cafe family), the place was packed. More frustrations and growling stomachs.

Eventually, we got our table and what happened next was worth documenting here. With the menu handed to me, I quickly scanned for something chicken. I'm not a fan of other meat or seafood for that matter. I and the rest placed our orders while talking about TV shows, books and random things. 

Our food arrived and I must say, it is one of the best things I've had. I started with a berry packed smoothie, the Blueberry Raspberry Strawberry Oats smoothie. 

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