Happy 44th National Day, UAE!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

National Days are filled with pride and genuine love. In a place like the UAE, almost everyone jumps on the bandwagon to express their love for the country that's home away from home.

There are brands that create unique elements to celebrate the day and people take it upon themselves to parade the colors of the flag in various formats- from leveraging their cars to clothes and everything in between. Have you noticed the malls decked with everything UAE on 2nd December? And those crazy special offers? This year, most of the stores in the mall have 44% off! Sephora is generously giving away 44 reward points with every purchase. Pretty cool, huh?


OPI: Driving Breast Cancer Awareness

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October is my favorite month. Apart from Halloween, there are so many things that happen (including birthdays!) and one of them are the Breast Cancer Awareness drives.

I'm of the opinion that we really don't require a specific month/event to be made aware of our health (or loved ones for that matter). But I appreciate and support initiatives that remind women that they must, apart from their families take care of themselves too.

Glorious Locks With L'oreal's Jewel Edition Mythic Oil

Friday, July 17, 2015

I can't count on my fingers how many girls in the country complain about their hair. Even the girls with the prettiest hair have something to say about the humidity/ heat that is wrecking havoc on their tresses. Dubai's unforgivable heat not only melts your makeup but gives you a head full of frizz.

The other day I had blow dried my hair at home in a hurry whilst skipping the serum because I was late (never doing this again) and headed to my favorite hotel in the city, Zabeel Saray. If you haven't been there yet, do so. It truly is an exceptional hotel with impeccable service and grand views. After having lunch at Nafoorah (another good Lebanese restaurant), I waited outside for the valet to get my car. Sure enough, there was a warm breeze that navigated through my hair every now and then. I didn't pay much attention, got in the car and drove back home. What I'm going to say next is not exaggerated.


July Glambox Revealed

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Let me start of by saying the June Glambox is one of the BEST this year. Aptly named Arabian Nights, the beauty box arrived in the month of Ramadan filled with several things I fell in love with.

Many thanks to Glambox for creating these special themed boxes and bringing a smile to a lot of faces, including mine.

Here's the lowdown on what you can expect from each product:


The Body Shop & You: Empowering Children This Ramadan

Over the years, The Body Shop has regularly made an effort to champion environmental and social changes across the world. They make their voice heard through fundraising and charitable activities that in turn helps to improve the state of human rights, animal and environmental protection.

I appreciate a company that looks beyond their profit margin. In the region, The Body Shop develops and implements numerous charitable initiatives that require minimal effort from us. This year for Ramadan, they've partnered with War Child, a global charity that aims to improve the lives of children in war-trodden countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and more.

I was invited to be part of the launch event and was introduced to two new products. I got my hands on this gift set of fragrance mists- how amazing are the illustrations? If you look closely, it depicts the country of inspiration!


Reviewed: Miller Harris Cassis en Feuille Fragrance

Monday, July 6, 2015

If you read my blog, you will be aware of my penchant for fragrances. While some may argue that you only need 1 to 2 fragrances that serve as your signature scent, I say experiment. Sure, we all have that all-time favorite fragrance that was love at first sight. No matter what, it will always remain a favorite and evoke certain memories. But there's always room to discover other fragrances that may end up in your beauty case.

For me, those fragrances are unique in the sense that they are a far cry from the bottles of scented liquid I own. I usually go for woody/oriental; I do dabble in subtle floral fragrances every now and then but had the chance recently to be part of something new (and unique).

British perfumery Miller Harris celebrated its 15th anniversary and selected our very own Dubai to launch the vibrant, inspired by the gardens Le Jardin D'enfance collection. I was invited to discover the world of Miller Harris at my favorite place for tea, Fortnum and Mason (I love it!).


The Food Byte: Iftar at 3in1 Restaurant, Vida Downtown Dubai

Sunday, July 5, 2015

One of the best things about Ramadan is the variety of food that's prepared at home. It's a different menu in Ramadan and thanks to numerous magazines and food shows on TV, I get a chance to try my hand at new recipes. And by that I mean all things sweet.

I come from a family that excels in the art of desserts. I kid you not. Starting from my grandma to my cousin, we will all happily jump on the desserts bandwagon and treat you to royal desserts. It doesn't matter how full you are, you must eat something sweet. The table spread during Eid is something to behold- apart from the ready-made desserts there will always be a handful of new home-made desserts each year. I still remember looking at the selection and wondering how I would eat it all. I couldn't. I did however, manage to eat a decadent chocolate orange truffle.

The deal with food in Ramadan is that there's way too much to eat, by the grace of God. And every time, we are faced with wastage. We cook based on everyone's preference but 90% of time, there will be extras/left-overs. It is even worse in hotels. I can imagine the quantity of food that is binned every evening. However, there are places that make an extra effort to counter this. One such place is the 3in1 Restaurant at Vida, Downtown Dubai.


Competition: Win Fa Oud Elixir Goodies

Monday, June 29, 2015

Update (July 21, 2015): Winners announcement! Congratulations to the following:

Cheryl Ciudad Saleem
Nipa Gandhi
Seema Shelat
Nafisa Sadia [July 26: A new winner, Selma Romola has been selected as the previous one did not provide her details within 72 hours of the announcement].

 Please message me through Facebook with your details. Thanks to everyone who participated.

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One of the best things to come from the Arab world is oud. No, not the musical instrument but the fragrant oil. I love oud and if you have been acquainted with authentic oud, you will appreciate it even more.

I grab almost every opportunity to own something oud based provided it gives off a pleasant fragrance. There are several global brands that have jumped on the bandwagon and have had success. But you have to leave oud (and bakhoor) to the Arab world, because we do it best.

What better way to let you in on oud than gifting them to you? I've collaborated with Fa to give away goody bags containing their latest Oud Elixir range. It is perfect for Ramadan (and Eid)! The line-up comes in White Musk, Golden Amber and Desert Rose fragrances that are laced with oud. The fragrances are true to their names and my personal favorite is White Musk. The oud based soaps are quite a delight as well. Fa, can we please have a shower gel within the same oud range?

Want to take this prize home?


The Food Byte: Iftar At Citymax Hotel, Dubai

Iftar in Dubai hotels is quite an experience. At some venues, it's an extravagant feast fit for weddings while others provide reasonably good portions. I'm all for eliminating food wastage, I hate to see untouched food go straight to the bin.

Among other things, Ramadan is also about what new savory/dessert you can put on the table. At hotels, each restaurant aims to whip up traditional and unique dishes catering to all. Would you believe it if I said there's a restaurant that's serving seafood iftar? It's true! I can't digest the thought of consuming seafood right after fasting for hours (that and the fact that I'm not a seafood fan). I usually play it safe with local cuisine- who can go wrong with freshly cut greens for salads, fatayer, hummus and the likes? I recently paid a visit to City Cafe at Citymax Hotels for an Arabic iftar.


The Food Byte: Bloomsbury's, Dubai Mall

Sunday, June 14, 2015

As a kid, I visited several different carnivals, picnics and birthday parties. And every time I attended these, there were 2 things I eagerly looked forward to. The fun games we would get to play and the candy we would get to gobble.

Halloween was one of those holidays which was almost like the Black Friday of candies.  And it was also quite special because it arrived in my birthday month. I'd round up my friends and go from door to door, chanting "trick or treeeeeeat" in unison and heading back home towards the end of evening to count how long our loot would last. Trust me when I say, we were disappointed that some of our neighbors gave us cash as opposed to candy.

I get my sweet tooth from my dad. I am forever experimenting and making desserts at home and I absolutely appreciate places in Dubai that put in that extra effort into making your whole experience delightful. There are several quirky and unique dessert venues in the city but only a few of them score high on food, quality, service and other elements. And I discovered one such place, Bloomsbury's located in Dubai Mall.


The Food Byte: Peppermill Restaurant, Dubai

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Indian food isn't easy to make. There are several non-Indian restaurants in Dubai that attempt to do so and don't score big. Nonetheless, the city does have its good spots when it comes to this particular cuisine and once in a while you stumble upon restaurants that make you go, "Why am I only finding out about this place now?".

Being born in Dubai exposed me to several different cuisines, some of which I love and some...well, let's leave it at that.

 I've been to and ordered from a fair share of Indian restaurants in the city. Suffice to say, only a few make me want to dine with them again. It's a medley of service, quality, food, atmosphere, ease of locating the venue, parking etc that makes me recommend it to friends and family. I recently paid a visit to Peppermill Restaurant in Barsha and it has become a firm favorite.


Soap & Glory's Summer Essentials

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In Dubai, we have something known as perpetual summer with temperatures rising up to 48 degrees. We get about 3-4 months of winter and then before you know it, summer's back. The good thing about summer is that you get to wear those maxi dresses, floppy hats and airy tops.

Summer also means beach time for about 80% of the population here which translates to perfectly tanned skin that reflects a golden sheen under the sun. 

The Food Byte: A Moroccon Iftar at Pullman Hotel, Deira City Centre

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The month of Ramadan is quite special for Muslims. It's a month where things change for several people and to some extent, it is almost a new year for us. One of the best things about Ramadan is the time of breaking the fast, also known as Iftar.

For me, it is the time when my brother and I sit across each other and not fight (like cats and dogs). It is also a time to eat (more like chow down) all the amazing dishes mom prepares especially desserts (who doesn't like mohalabiya?). I mean, after a day's worth of fasting you have got to consume sugar to kickstart those energy levels, right? 


The Food Byte: Taste of Wafi '15, Dubai

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I have a crazy sweet tooth. I will happily make the most complicated desserts than cook savory dishes. While I love a serving of chocolate mousse, I appreciate cafes and restaurants that have a unique selection of desserts.

Dubai has its fair share of food tasting/sampling events and I happened to pay one a visit recently. A food bazaar that celebrates culinary culture, the Taste of Wafi will woo all the foodies. It also happens to be a dessert lovers heaven.


The Glam Kit: Laura Mercier Spring/Summer '15 Collection

Monday, May 11, 2015

Do you get all excited when a new season arrives and along with it brings the latest in beauty? There's one word to describe Laura Mercier's Spring/Summer '15 collection: gorgeous.

There's nothing like an extraordinary highlighter or lipsticks that deposit brilliant color in one swipe. In essence, the collection is perfect for spring/summer and there are 2 products in particular that have grabbed my attention.


Competition: Summer Beauty Goodies

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Update (June 6, 2015): Winner announcement!
Congratulations to Instagram user @nafisa.s! Please message me through Facebook with your details. Thanks to everyone who participated.

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If you are like me, you tend to change your beauty routine in the summer season. Dubai's unforgiving summer heat is a good reason to go easy on the makeup you use and also tweak your skincare to some extent.

To help you get through summer, I have a goodie bag that's apt for the season. Think of innovative sunscreens to moisturizers and makeup from brands such as Nivea, Max Factor, Bioderma, Pond's, Rimmel and more!

Interested?


Pocket Sized Fun With Woojoh's Chunky Funky Lipsticks

The craze of the chubby lipsticks is far from over. Several brands have successfully navigated into this territory and managed to deliver exceptional performance and color among other things. Jumping on this bandwagon is Wojooh with the Chunky Funky Lips line.


The Food Byte: Cinco De Mayo at Rosa Mexicano, Dubai

Saturday, May 9, 2015

I visited Rosa Mexicano last year and the first thing that my friends and I ordered was the Guacamole with tortilla chips and salsa. We went on to order other items off the menu but the appetizer turned out to be everyone's favorite. I did visit it again and surely the Guacamole made its way to our table.

Fast forward to 2015. I was invited to be part of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations at the Rosa Mexicano restaurant at Dubai Mall.  I hopped and skipped my way to the venue (I was thinking about the Guacamole) and was welcomed by mariachis and a true Mexican vibe. 


Review: The White Room Spa, Dubai

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

In a place like Dubai, where you have a social event every other day, salons are known for their blow dries, mani/pedi services and hair color (in that particular order). When I compliment my friends about their hair, I realize the culprit is a good blow dry.

It's rare that you get to pay a flat fee for blow dries. 90% of the salons charge you based on the length of your hair and half of them don't even do a good job. I've only found one place in Dubai that actually does do good blow dries and charges a flat fee no matter what your hair length is (Marquee, brainchild of the famous Nail Spa). The other day though, I discovered another place and it's become a favorite- The White Room Spa.


March Glambox Revealed

Monday, April 13, 2015

Isn't it always amazing to receive a new product in the monthly Glambox? I, for one was ecstatic when I opened up March's Glambox and discovered a new gem from Dove.


The Food Byte: The Coffee Club, Dubai

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The other day I was intrigued by a tweet that a mysterious Twitter account published. The account had pictures of coffee with a message that read (or rather asked), "Where will I meet you?". There are only a few times when something like this catches my fancy, so I tweeted to them not realizing that I was invited to the venue the week before.

When D-day arrived, I still had no idea I was heading to the 'Where will I meet you' event, primarily because the invite didn't include the tag line. Much to my surprise, when I was seated in the cafe I spotted a coaster that read just that. And that's when I realized, I was in Dubai's latest venture, The Coffee Club.


Perfecting Lip Colors With Rimmel's Provocalips

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

With the new trend that is liquid lipsticks, it can get a little tricky to get the perfect finish. There's always the case of bleeding lip colors or fading or staining the lips way too much that it becomes difficult to remove it completely.

There are few brands that have managed to get liquid lip colors right and one of them may as well be Rimmel. I've used Rimmel lipsticks previously and they haven't disappointed- be it matte or glossy. So when news was rife that the brand was launching a liquid lipstick, I was quite excited.


Usher In Spring Nails With Wojooh

Monday, March 23, 2015

If there's one thing I like about the Spring season, it is the vibrant palette that accompanies it- be it in clothing or makeup. Spring also means neatly manicured nails that are show-off worthy and I'll forever be collecting polishes in dark and bright colors with the former being a favorite.

Woojoh (formerly Faces) launched their Color Ritual Breath-in polishes that feature an array of colors, from a barely there beige to a forest green.


February Glambox Revealed

Sunday, March 22, 2015

February's Glambox was a pleasant surprise. The box had a few essentials that literally screamed spring-ready. From a moisturizing body lotion to a vibrant lip color, Glambox has you covered for the new season.


Review: Eau De Gaga Fragrance

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I'm not a fan of celebrity fragrances- they don't put in as much effort as a perfumerie does and the fragrances usually appear to create hype due to the star power.

But it's a pleasant surprise that Lady Gaga's second fragrance, Eau De Gaga is far from disappointment. Much like her, it is a tad bit eccentric when you realize one of the notes contain leather.

The woody zesty fragrance, in a sleek mirror black bottle is unisex. Sure enough, it is a delight to wear. Being a fan of fragrances that exude a little freshness, the initial spritz had me sold.


The Food Byte: Red Star Wok, Dubai

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's always an awesome adventure when you stumble upon a new restaurant/cafe. There is an abundance of such in Dubai but to find one that checks off all boxes when it comes to food, quality, service and the likes, isn't easy. And it's always a hassle to zero in on what to have for lunch. I spend at least 30mins figuring that out, only to end up ordering from the same place I had 2 days ago.

I turned into a happy bunny when I discovered Red Star Wok. If you like Asian cuisine, you will want to give this place a go. Located in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) and Business Bay, Dubai, the first branch operates as a takeaway and the other, dine-in & takeaway. I placed my order at the JLT branch and it came exactly at the anticipated time. I was quite delighted that the food was still warm when it arrived vs. order from other restaurants/cafes. 


Review: Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Foot File + Giveaway

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wouldn't you agree that the neck and feet are the most ignored areas of a human body when it comes to grooming? When was the last time you applied a moisturizing cream or sunscreen to your neck? How about pampering the feet with a foot cream? Sure we spend our time at nail salons for pedicures but how many of us take care of our feet post that? I, for one love heading to the nail salon and getting that extra treatment for the hands and feet but I don't always have the luxury of time. And this is where Scholl's electronic foot file comes handy.

The Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Foot File is one of those easy to use products that deliver remarkable results in the first go. A travel friendly device, this little gem eliminates all the manual scrubbing you usually have to do when using a standard foot file.


Competition: Win Labello Goodies

Monday, January 19, 2015

Updated (Jan 22, 2015): Congratulations to the winner- @rreemabhatia, @reyaraja and @nancyalcantra01.

Please send me a Facebook message with your contact details and delivery address.

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Labello is one of those lip balms/ chapsticks that are reminiscent of colored lips. My very first one was rose colored and it was the perfect 'lipstick' at that time- a natural rosy shade that had an almost matte finish. Fast forward to today and Labello has a plethora of lip balms to suit every girl- there's Milk & Honey, Watermelon, Cherry, Cranberry & Raspberry and much more.

I for one, love the Cranberry & Raspberry lip balm. You have got to practice some self-restraint though. The lip balm has an incredibly delicious fragrance (almost like a raspberry cheesecake). And now, you can try it for yourself!

I've partnered with Labello to give 3 of my readers a watermelon print pouch filled with Labello lip balms. Say goodbye to dry lips! You'll have fun going through all the balms and finding your favorite.

Sounds awesome? Want to win this?


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