Skin deep

It’s important to have a ritual when it comes to skincare and it’s easier to keep it simple yet effective.

There is one brand that I absolutely swear by (and it’s not just because it is British…woop) and that is ELEMIS. My sister got me into this brand when she worked in a spa that only used their products and I’ve been hooked ever since.

It’s not necessary to purchase the entire collection but the products are a little like pringles, once you pop you just cant stop and now I am borderline obsessive. My top five products that are worth every penny and application have to be:

IMG_8381

 

#1. TRI-ENZYME RESURFACING FACIAL WASH

This gentle facial wash will leave skin revitalised on the daily and leaves skin pure and gently exfoliated. It’s not too heavy and it smells divine. Price point is reasonable and I always go for the 400ml (£58.00) because it will last 8-12 months.

#2. BALANCING LAVENDAR TONER

Ideal for combination skin, this lavender based toner is gentle and refreshing. It is alcohol free and does not include harsh detergents. Again go super sized  400ml because it will last longer (£38.50)

#3. HYDRA-BALANCE DAY CREAM

I have been using this moisturiser for the last year and it always leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day long. It is a thicker consistency and highly fragrant so if you do have sensitive skin perhaps this isn’t the best choice for you (£38.00, 50ml)

#4. HYDRA-NOURISH NIGHT CREAM

This rich night cream helps to nourish skin and repair it from the stresses of daily life as you sleep peacefully. Skin always feels refreshed and smooth when you wake up having used this cream. At £42.00, 50ml, it isn’t the cheapest night cream on the market but…YOLO.

#5. HERBAL LAVENDAR REPAIR MASK

Perfect for a weekly treatment, this repair mask leaves the skin feeling refreshed and rebalanced in less than 15 minutes. It’s the perfect excuse for a Friday night pamper session. (£30.00, 75ml)

The best advantage of Elemis is before you commit to purchasing the larger sized products, they have really handy minis which are perfect if you are exploring which products are best for your skin type. Visit the website at  Elemis to see the full product selections.

 

Advertisements

Totally addicted to shades

If there’s one thing I love more than a handbag, it’s a pair of sun defenders. When living in the sandpit, purchasing a pair of designer shades is always going to be a ‘sensible investment’… or at least that’s what I tell myself when regularly perusing the stores.

Choosing the right sunglasses is always very personal, but there are certain things you should take into consideration – face shape being a major one.

Who knew there are 7 facial shapes?! And to help you determine the styles that are better suited to you, check out this quick reference guide:

  • Diamond-shaped faces: rimless frames, frames with distinctive brow-lines, or oval frames
  • Square faces: softer edged frames; round, oval, even cat-eyed, also thinner frames
  • Triangle shaped face: colourful frames or cat eye sunglasses, also frames with straight top lines
  • Inverted triangle shaped face: rimless frames, light colours and materials
  • Oblong face: frames that are as wide or wider than the broadest part of the face
  • Round faces: rectangular or squarish frames, thicker frames
  • Oval faces: most frames will look good, but especially square and wrap-around

Once you’ve established which facial shape you have, it’s time to go shopping! As a firm believer in matching your shades with your outfit/occasion, I think it’s fair to say I have more than a few pairs.

Ray-Bans are by far my old reliables, from Clubmasters to Wayfarers; they’re ideal for dress down, casual vibes and last a lifetime.

FullSizeRender (1)

CLUBMASTERS

FullSizeRender (1)

WAYFARERS

IMG_1546

ROUND

Then, if I’m feeling a little more classy, I will opt for my all time favourite shape: the Cat Eye. As I have an oblong shaped face, the frames on Cat Eye styles are wider than the broadest part of my face, enhancing my cheek bones and giving my face a more chiselled appearance. The best brands (in my opinion) for this shape as well as quality are Miu Miu, Dolce and Gabbana and Dior.

2015-09-27 22.03.32

2015-09-27 22.54.39

Top Tip: Never buy your designer shades from the Flagship boutiques, they are generally more expensive than the specialised optician stores.

As an example, I purchased a pair of New Collection Fendi sunglasses (not the ones in the above picture) from a local optical store 50% cheaper than it would have cost me in the Fendi Flagship boutique; the opticians purchases in large quantities and can get away with offering more competitive prices.

Plus, if you live in Dubai there is ALWAYS some kind of promotion for sunglasses, seeing as they’re an absolute necessity. You quite literally never have to pay full price for your shades…leaving more money for cocktails on the beach!

And so while everyone else around Europe is preparing to pack up their sunglasses for hibernation, here in the UAE… winter is coming, and it’s perfect weather to don the shades. So if you are reading from Europe perhaps a well deserved holiday is on the cards?!

Back in black

From business meetings to cocktail events; birthday parties to weddings, the thought of what to wear tends to send us into a spiralling panic. For me the choice is obvious: black dress, black trousers, black blazer, black shoes. It’s become such a funeral-fest in my wardrobe that it’s kind of a standing joke if I do throw caution to the wind and wear colour.

So why am I such a commit-ophobe when it comes to colour? Or better still, why do I always choose black?

1. It hides a multitude of sins – black flatters all your best assets, and hides those you want to draw less attention to. Need to wear your Bridget Jones pants? Not a problem. In a LBD, no one will notice!

2015-04-27 16.39.04

I’m wearing Bridget Jones’ pants 😉

2. It’s the best canvas colour for accessorising – whether it’s a pair of coloured stilettos with a black dress, signature clutch bag or statement jewellery, you really can transform any outfit.

3. It’s timeless – in every sense. Looking through my wardrobe; I have one Whistles dress, purchased back in 2008, and I still wear it to this day – jazzing it up with a fur stole, sequin shawl or freshwater pearls

2015-05-02 15.56.58

         This is the Whistles dress that I paid around AED 300 for, simply accessorised with a gold sequin shawl from River Island

4. It’s all in the way you wear it – As Gok Wan would say, “It’s all about the confidence!” You really don’t need to spend a lot on black coloured garments for an outfit to look fabulous. Be sure to get the right style and fit that compliments your body and top it off with killer hair and make up; boom – you’re sorted! Remember: no one really cares what you are wearing, it’s all about how you carry yourself…and your shoes and handbag, of course.

5. Invest in accessories – you might like the pink stilettos now, but I guarantee you’ll quickly tire of them and kick yourself when you find out they’ve gone on sale. My black YSL Tribute 105’s and clutch bag have been my ultimate saviour; without a doubt the best accessories investment I have ever committed to!

11180031_10155414317145408_1899806272_n

Top Tip: Avoid buying seasonal accessories, especially if you are looking mid season. If you have the will power, hold out for the sales to grab yourself a bargain. Instead, buy black or nude coloured accessories as investment pieces, they very rarely go on discount and more often than not only ever increase in price.

Besides, it’s all about building on your existing wardrobe. Investing in timeless pieces will ensure you have an outfit fit for any occasion. Seasons come and go, but black is here to stay!

Jewellery Junkie

If there is one thing I obsess about more than chocolate, it’s jewellery. Where chocolate tends to satisfy me for a few minutes (ok seconds) I have endless enjoyment looking at my beautiful bling and love how a single piece can revitalise even the simplest of outfits.

Here’s my Top 5 from my personal collection:

1. Monica Vinader – for the sheer simplicity of the designs. The Fiji bracelets go with just about anything and are great for stacking. They are a perfect gift idea and you can get them engraved with an English or Arabic message via the website when you order or at your nearest store. As green is my ultimate favourite colour – I was gifted two pieces from the Baja collection – the green onyx and gold bracelet and oversized ring (as seen in the image), timeless and eye catching.

Screenshot_2015-04-20-10-23-55-1

2. Swarovski – whether it’s a cocktail ring or a pair of earrings, worn with the right outfit they can look just as good as the real deal. Top Tip: wait for the sales, they tend to start with 30% reductions and then with further mark downs can reach up to 60% off. Win!

Screenshot_2015-04-20-20-09-15-1

3. Thomas Sabo – I’m not really a lover of charm bracelets but this cute little pearl bracelet looks great with or without a charm and can be dressed up or down. The thin bracelet with round pavé elements made of white zirconia teams up perfectly with the Monica Vinader Fiji stacking bracelets to create a layered look.

IMG_20150418_162021

4. YSL Arty Rings – who doesn’t like an Arty ring? Now almost impossible to get your hands on as they are not part of Hedi Slimane’s creative vision but equally as iconic for the brand. I never fail to receive a compliment when I am wearing one.

20150420_215321-1

5. H&M – no introduction necessary. Cheap and cheerful. My ultimate favourites are a pair of crystal drop earrings. I’ve been asked on numerous occasions if they are “real” or not?!

20150420_221821

Summer ready with a bold print

Nothing screams, “Summer, I’m coming for you!” like a bold print. Luckily H&M is here to help, with a Moroccan-inspired piece. I managed to get my hands on the beautiful lagoon blue two-piece before they sell out of the popular sizes. Wooo-hooo!

20150419_193134-1

Although I won’t be rushing out in the bold printed shirt and trousers coupled together, for fear of looking like a 12 year old heading off to her first slumber party, the loose fitting combo do work well as separates.

20150419_201302-1

The length of the trousers is perfect and can be worn with flats or paired with a heel depending on whether you wear them on or below the hips (if you are average height :-/). I did buy the next size up in the shirt – it was the last piece and I had to have it. However, it does work well oversized and, with a black vest top underneath, it can be worn open.

20150419_202107-1

Trousers: AED 99, Shirt: AED 129…Yalla, go and grab it while you can.

Top tip: H&M Mall of the Emirates have had a new delivery of the shirts and also full availability on the trousers…you can thank me later.

H&M Conscious Exclusive: With great fashion comes great responsibility

In an effort to promote responsible fashion, H&M’s Conscious Exclusives collection is produced using the highest quality materials and techniques and offers a staple collection worthy of any fashionistas spring/summer wardrobe. Admittedly I was taken a back by the sheer splendour of the offering in my local store. I was instantaneously drawn to the minimalist window display which lures you into the store with a selection of their hot picks.

20150419_142451

Wanting desperately to try EVERYTHING I narrowed it down to 3 dresses and a staple, white leather picadoresque jacket. Cleverly all the dresses paired up with the leather jacket perfectly. Interestingly the jacket is the leather of cows organically bred for meat production in Swedish farms so you can appreciate the cost at AED 1299.  The black dress with tubular details was my favourite, not just because it’s black (black being my favourite colour) but also it was an extremely elegant style, fit for any occasion. The price for the dress is AED 399…for an organic silk dress?! That’s got to be wardrobe worthy, right?

IMG_20150419_160730

20150419_135058-1

Pair it up with a pair of YSL Tribs or a timeless suede black stiletto and you are ready to rock and roll.

Learn more about the Conscious and Conscious Exclusive collections here and be sure to check out the collection at your nearest H&M store.

I knew if I waited long enough I would get the jacket in the sale….and I picked it up for an absolute steal price of AED 120!

FullSizeRender

Pixellated Print Love

With an unhealthy obsession for jackets and anything pastel coloured, I squealed with joy when I skipped into my local Zara to find this pixellated print jacket hanging before my eyes.

Admittedly, living in Dubai and battling the summer heat, it isn’t exactly a ‘staple’ for my summer wardrobe but I simply had to have it. It teams up perfectly with lighter denims and cute little cream tops and the pop of colour really compliments my Gucci Claudie heels.

At AED 495 I already feel like I have got my cost per wear out of it (I’ve worn it 4 times already) and for those brave enough to get their pins out (mine are far too white) there is a matching skirt available.

IMG_20150403_162955

20150418_183737-1