Stranger Things: Keeping the Spielberg and Stephen King Era Alive… Review. 

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“Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that you could barely tell the difference between the real world and the dream world?”- Anonymous

Yes I have. Plenty of times and this feeling is very surreal yet pitiful when you actually wake up from the transition.

Stranger Things is what that is. It is dreamy and yet a stunning reality, a visual and scripted irony of its own just the way Steven Spielberg kept it going with his massive 1980s hits. The beauty with Spielberg’s movies are that he makes the audience a part of his films, as if we are the secondry and non digetic subjects playing along with the actors.

And what happens when you bend the imaginations of Spielberg and Stephen King together? A phenomenal TV show like Stranger Things is what happens.

From a personal perspective, I’m not a TV person. I can do with movies but not a TV show. The back pain of having to sit in front of my Netflix to view hours of series is boring and time consuming. Besides, I have barely come across a show as compelling and as attention captivating as Stranger Things. Yes, there were times when I used to watch flips of shows skipping one episode or the other and never giving a damn to chronologically watch them but Stranger Things changed that for me.

And the only reason for me to even bother was that I’m a 1980s sucker and everyone was talking about it like it was some football World Cup sensation.

I am glad to say that I don’t regret my decision even for a second! So what is the show all about?

Will Byers is a young boy who goes missing and as with any missing child, a mother’s anxiety roars up. Following his disappearance, events unfold that lead us to the mystery that is known as ‘The Upside Down’- a CIA controlled alternate dimensional world that the town of Hawkins in Indiana is not aware of and where a gooey sickening creature wonders around freely. So where did Will disappear to? To the Upside down with the gooey creature.

Following this main storyline, different stories are involved that eventually lead up to the main mission of the mystery: To find Will Byers and hunt the monster.

The various stories that lead us to the main mission are that of Will’s friends who go looking for him in the woods but end up finding a weird girl with kinetic abilities called Eleven. Eleven befriends Mike and lives with him in his basement before anyone could find her, while his friends are skeptical of her, Mike remains her complete confidant.; While Eleven hides in the basement, above, Mike’s older sister Nancy has her own life drama in High school where she channels her Molly Ringwald side in ‘Pretty in Pink’ by dating the coolest guy in High school at the same time maintaining her geeky friend, Barbara.; Jonathan Byers is on a quest of his own to find his little brother until he teams up with Nancy; Chief Jim Hopper compelled by the pleas of Joyce Byers goes looking for her son until he finally teams up with her as frightening governmental conspiracies unfold.

All the above mentioned factors lead them to their quest to finally find out what happens to Will Byers and how to stop the evil CIA plot.

What I cannot put into the story description are the feelings and the journey that we as an audience feel with the characters of the show. There is an emotional plight witnessed between Joyce and her son, her memories with Will Byers; Chief Hoppers emotional stigma that drains him out and the loss of his own daughter that leads him to not give up on finding Will; the true friendship and love displayed by Will’s friends to not give up on finding his whereabouts; Eleven’s sacrifice for humanity despite the pain and suffering she endures at the Hawkins Science Laboratory etc. are all enough to take you down the 80s nostalgia trip to make you feel the way Spielberg made you feel when you saw the children in E.T. drifting away from their strange little friend from another world.

I believe emotions, love and adventure keeps a script looking outstanding that leads to a sensational entertainment. These 3 factors are missing heavily in modern movies and shows and it is this feeling of old 80s hit movies that I used to watch as a child that lead me to confirm that Stranger Things is a great piece of entertainment in a very long time.

I rate it 5/5!

A must watch.

An Easy Guide to Blushes For Your Skin Shade and How to Pick The Right Formula For Your Skin Type 

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As regular makeup addicts, when we shop for blushes, we pick anything that we think will look good on us and let’s admit it, quite a few times we regret the decision of not having picked a better blush that could suit us. This has happened to us at least once in our lifetime. It doesn’t happen that often but why take the chances of wasting your money even once or having to refund the item wasting your time?

Today I will give you the guidelines on how you can pick the right blush colour for your skin shade.

As we begin, I need to let you know that a lot goes in to choose the best blush. The formula, the tone of the product to suit your skin tone besides the hue, the pigmentation and the occasion on why you would use that blush.

The formula is very important when you shop for a blush because the texture of the product can make it or break it. For instance, if you have an oily skin with breakouts, using a cream based blush with ingredients that don’t match your skin type can cause you more damage. And let’s be serious, what’s the point of looking pretty at the cost of having a worsened skin situation? You might have not worn the product in the first place.

And why would you wear a cream/oil based blush on an already oily skin? It’ll melt away the product further more throughout the day giving you the look of having not worn it to begin with. So if you have oily skin, always stick with matte, satin or mousse textured blushes.

As far as combination skin goes, those with an oily t-zone, and normal cheeks can wear any formula or texture. You’re indeed lucky unless you have sensitive skin that is prone to pimples then you should avoid cream or oil based blushes.

Those with dry skin can wear whatever is regarded as unsuitable for oily skin type, including blushes. And lastly, Those with normal skin are indeed the luckiest of them all.

Now we begin with the skin shade guide to pick the blush that flatters your skin shade the best.

1. Ivory – Fair – Light

If you are someone who picks foundations based on those key words, irrelevant of your undertone, always pick a pastel or a baby shade that are averagely pigmented when buying a blush. Now what is a pastel or baby shade? Any color with the most white base to it is called pastel color. For instance, you might have seen various shades of pink, the darkest pink or Fuschia has black Base to it to make it look darker, whereas the light pink or baby pink has more more whites to it. It is that simple in case you are new regarding color wheel.

Some of my favorite picks for light skin are M.A.C. Fleur Power, Peaches and Max Factors Nude Mauve. 

Max Factor blush in ‘Nude Mauve’

2. Medium – Caramel – Banana

If you are of those group of people who picks foundations based on the above keywords, you should most preferably pick blushes that have more warm undertones to it. Warm based products flatter warm complexions and wise versa. Never wear pastel shades unless they are slightly darker or else they can make you look ashy.

Some of my favourite picks for your skin shade are Milani’s Luminoso ( a great example of a slightly darker pastel blush that can also be worn by fair people) and Becca Cosmetics Snapdragon. Trust me and you will never be disappointed with these choices of mine.

Milani Cosmetics Blush in Luminoso

Becca Cosmetics blush in Snapdragon

3. Mocha – Deep – Ebony – Dusk
If you come under the more deeper or the most deepest skin color possible, you should be wearing neon or extremely pigmented blushes. However, even as a dark skinned woman if you have a mental setback with wearing neon shades then opt for more Berry toned deep blushes or bronzers as blushes and you’ll look like Naomi Campbell in a stunning 90s ad campaign.

Some of my most favourite blush picks for your skin color are M.A.C Mineralize blush in Gleeful and Bobbi Brown’s Flame 43. 

M.A.C Mineralize Blush in the shade Gleeful

Bobbi Brown blush in the shade ‘Flame 43’

So that was all of my guideline for women of all skin shades. Make the most out of what you have and flaunt it.

I love you all.

Bidu.

Rituals Cosmetics Welcomes Its New Store In Dubai

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Rituals Cosmetics has opened its first store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Dubai’s luxury Mall of Emirates (MOE) as part of its expansion plan in the Middle East. A second mall will follow in Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi in May 2016.

Rituals Cosmetics is the first brand in the world to combine Home & Body Cosmetics. With a wide product line including body care, skin care, precious mineral make-up, pure tea, scented candles and fragrance sticks, the brand transforms every day routines into more meaningful moments. Each product, over 400 in total, is inspired by an ancient Eastern tradition. Today, the luxury lifestyle brand holds over 400 stores, more than 1300 shop-in-shops and 4 City spas in 25 countries worldwide. Rituals Cosmetics has also seen a rapid expansion in duty free, airline, cruise liners and ferries as well as hotels.

The story of RITUALS originally started in Paris in 1999 when Raymond Cloosterman, founder and CEO of RITUALS, decided to create a global beauty and lifestyle brand. “At RITUALS we are passionate about enriching life with beautiful things. We are not just another cosmetics brand. Our extensive collection of beautifully designed products is inspired by ancient Eastern traditions which help encourage a well balanced lifestyle. That is why we are thrilled to be launching RITUALS in UAE, so UAE residents can now also enjoy our philosophy of finding happiness in the smallest of things and transforming everyday routines into more meaningful moments.”

The opening of the very first store in Amsterdam in 2000 was followed by openings in vibrant cities such as London, Madrid, Antwerp, Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, Stockholm, São Paulo and New York. Looking at the successful development of the brand in most recent markets, such as Germany with 100 stores in 6 years and 400 Shop in Shops, with renowned partners such as Karstadt, Kaufhof and Douglas, RITUALS has strong ambitions regarding its expansion plan. Today, the luxury lifestyle brand holds over 350 stores, more than 1000 shop-in-shops and 4 City Spas in 21 countries worldwide. RITUALS Cosmetics has also seen a rapid expansion in duty free, airline, cruise liners and ferries as well as hotels and is sold on or supplied by 17 different airlines.
In 2016, RITUALS Cosmetics will conquer UAE with strong and ambitious expectations for this territory. “Over the past 10 years, RITUALS has become one of the fastest growing luxury brands in Europe. We strongly believe that the UAE market has a great potential for RITUALS” says Raymond Cloosterman. The first RITUALS boutique will open its doors in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai followed by Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi in May 2016. The shopping environment embodies the characteristic RITUALS philosophy and will truly give you the ultimate slow shopping experience and an insight of what RITUALS Cosmetics has to offer.

What is the Philosophy behind RITUALS?

The philosophy of the brand is to “Transform everyday routines into more meaningful moments”. Simply by taking time out of our busy lives to enjoy a warm bath with candles and oils, savouring a cup of refreshing tea, or by pampering ourselves with a mini treatment at home, we can help create a meaningful, memorable experience during the rare moments of ‘me time’.

And for those who care to know, Rituals is quite popular among the Hollywood stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, and Michelle Williams.

Are you willing to give your bathing routine a new discovery? I would say you should.

Till Then

Love and Peace

BIDU

Beauty World Middle East 2016 Haul… Ofra, L.A. Splash, Nyx, etc.

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Another year and another yearly exhibition by Nazih Trading for small companies to branch out into bigger markets. Although I couldn’t contain myself from raving about Beauty World continuously last year on my blog, it unfortunately didn’t meet the expectation this year. A lot many companies that I got in touch with last year did not show up this year, the stands for big companies were smaller, the product rates were higher compared to the previous year, there was commotion almost everywhere, and the much wanted products for my blog went out of stock before I could get my hands on them. However, the plate wasn’t left empty ( I made sure on that! ) and there were few keen exhibitors who were friendly towards bloggers and the rest is history…

So here is my tiny haul from Beauty World ME, and I hope you enjoy this post.

I will start with Universal Beauty Products, Inc. from the USA. This is a shout-out to both Sam and Barry who were extremely kind and generous with us. They gave my sister men’s grooming kit and some essential oils that they wish gets tons of exposure in the market. All the best Sam if you’re reading this.

DNA Trademark Essential Oils for Hair and Body.

DNA Trademark Essential Oils for Hair and Body.

As an avid Asian eyeliner lover, it was only acceptable to stop by Hashmi Cosmetics. On arrival, my sister picked up a couple of eyeliners from them but this time I wanted to try their rose water once again. A full review on Hashmi products is in my beauty archive if you readers would like to check it out.

Hashmi Rose Water for Face and Eyes.

Hashmi Rose Water for Face and Eyes.

We then went to Palladio Cosmetics stand in Hall number 2 and grabbed two bags of their new line of cosmetics. We haven’t heard of this brand before but the quality is shockingly brilliant! Thomas, the president of the company, was sweet, kind and helpful. He helped us to pick up some kohl liners, waterproof creamy lipliners, crushed metallic eye shadows, etc. We are amazed by the quality and a different post on Palladio is coming soon.

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Palladio

L.A. Splash was quite a surprise for us. Usually, in an exhibition like Beauty World you are more likely to see brands that have never been heard of, but it was quite an overwhelming experience stopping by at the infamous Instagram brand and picking up a few liquid lipsticks for my haul, and here they are…

L.A. Splash Liquid Lipsticks in the shades Goals AF, Lovestruck and Latte Confession

L.A. Splash Liquid Lipsticks in the shades Goals AF, Lovestruck and Latte Confession

Koi Cosmetics is a Polish skincare brand that specialises in products suitable for various age gaps, and hence gets the tagline ‘for the Mother and the Daughter’. I wanted something that can help me reduce my whiteheads and blackheads. Lucky for me, Koi’s active ingredient is retinol which counteracts blackheads very well. The serum was just a cherry on top of the cake.

Koi Cosmetics Retinol Moisturiser and Face Serum

Koi Cosmetics Retinol Moisturiser and Face Serum

Closer to Koi was Annabelle Minerals selling all mineralised face products, my sister and I picked up a mineral blush and a loose powder.

Annabelle Minerals

Annabelle Minerals

This was another surprise for us, and that is because Nyx does not need a distributor and neither does it need a bigger marketing platform considering it is already a big, well branched out and a very popular makeup brand all over the world, but that does not matter since it only created more excitement and buzz for Beauty World this year as the brands last year that were exhibiting were pretty dry, and below is a picture of what we got…

Nyx

Nyx

Ofra Cosmetics is getting quite famous thanks to makeup artist Manny Mua, blogger Kathleen Lights, and many more. I wouldn’t have bothered with them if they were at Beauty World last year but seeing all the hype and craze with their liquid lipsticks in the last few months, I picked up two of them and will do a swatch review and test for my next post.

Ofra Liquid Lipsticks in the shades Staten Island and Santa Ana

Ofra Liquid Lipsticks in the shades Staten Island and Santa Ana

Lexira is a luxury skincare brand that wants to retail exclusively in Spas and Saloons. As a blogger, I was given a micellar water with rose infusion and a bag of serums and moisturisers used only by Belgian spa professionals. What can I say? I cannot wait to try these products.

Lexira

Lexira

Eveline Cosmetics are a brand that are so underrated that it hurts. I was happy to give them a space on my blog but I wish more content writers would give them the exposure that they deserve. Here are a few different products that I was given to try this year…

Eveline Cosmetics

Eveline Cosmetics

Believe it or not, the manager at the stall of Syorell Skincare promised me that their anti acne cream will be the next big thing beating out well known brands like Neutrogena, Proactive and Clearasil. The brand is known for having its own cosmetic lab in its home town of Turkey, and they avoid almost all GMO ingredients as possible. They grow their own botanical garden from which they collect fruits and flowers to later cross pollinate into their products. For those living in the Middle East, watch out for this brand. Seems promising as for what I hear…

Syorell Anti Acne and Pimple Cream

Syorell Anti Acne/Pimple Cream

Alpol Cosmetique from France were kind enough to give me a full size bottle of their cream face mask and their gel based cleanser. Let’s see how this works.

Alpol Cosmetique

Alpol Cosmetique

The last bit is by Cosmaline, a brand from Lebanon. They gave me a hair mask and a hand cream. Not bad.

Cosmaline

Cosmaline

I found this to be a pretty interesting haul, and that is because it is more fun to try products you haven’t ever heard of before. I will put them to test for a month, if they’re good they’ll be mentioned by me and if not then this post is where they’ll be mentioned for the first and the last time.

I hope you enjoyed watching and reading this haul as much as I enjoyed showing it to you all.

Love and Regards

BIDU!

Why Liquid Lipsticks Aren’t As Great As They Are Deemed To Be… The Truth.

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For those of you who are passing by my blog for the first time and are loving the liquid lipstick trend, I am a qualified makeup artist who has written that bold heading for many reasons. I will point them out below after a brief introduction…

I have been holding onto this liquid lippie trend ever since Lime Crime and Dose of Colours created their very own blockbuster liquid lipsticks that took Instagram and YouTube by storm. I have since tried almost all possible brands that I could get my hands on and unfortunately the trend is as much a makeup faux pas as those Isa Dora hair mascaras in the 90s. While it is understandable that the trend is especially creating waves for being extremely long lasting, matte and less bleeding, one can achieve those results with a classic bullet lipstick too. The fact that they come in a liquid format to break conventions and to get rid of the boring bullet routine is the only sole reason they still exist in the market. But again, this post exists for my own reasons and experiences with the trend. Even my clients can’t stand the trend. So if you have an argument against my views, you’re free to skip this post.

And let’s be honest, it is more of a hassle with liquid lipsticks than with traditional bullet lipsticks, because:

  • Butthole Lips : Yes, you read that right. With a classic lipstick, there is less of a chance to get a view of the flesh where our lip area ends, but a liquid lipstick makes that area more prominent. The point of a lipstick is to make our lips look ethereally coloured as if we’ve bitten a fruit.
  • The Obvious Fine Lines : Has any other beauty blogger ever told you how drying it can be to wear one? Most formulas, be it water or mousse based feel like cement on the lips and that is not a good feeling at all. The dried look shows fine lines and make your lips appear having a different texture altogether. Let lips be lips. Amen. This point applies to every brand! And nope, applying a Vaseline or Carmex underneath or on top does not help.
  • The Unpleasant fall outs : I was shocked by the fall outs when I first got into the liquid lipstick bandwagon, even the most thin layer would start cracking. I had this reaction with Colourpop, L.A. Splash and Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks quite often. Considering I like ABH liquid lipstick formulas the best, it was even more shocking when I got the fallouts after newly purchasing the shade Ashton from their Spring collection.
  • They Bleed Anyway! : Yes, they bleed like a classic lipstick would. Even the darker hues. I have worn the most toughest of liquid lipsticks only to have them all disappear or bleed after a meal or a coffee break. While anyone can get away with nude shades munching food, managing red or deeper colours is another story as you all makeup junkies might be aware. So there you have it.
  • The Constant Battle with An Oil Based Remover: If you follow Tati Westbrook on YouTube then click on her video that is solely dedicated to her showdown on liquid lipsticks, she will tell you that Colourpop’s liquid lipstick was so hard to remove that even a thick consistency of an olive oil didn’t help to get rid of the colour. While she had this issue with one brand, I and my clients faced the same issue with different brands… Makes me wonder why should we endure such a struggle with makeup.
  • The Doe Foot Applicators that Are A Pain : Let’s be real, I can get away with applying a liquid lipstick with a mere applicator because I am trained, but if you are promoting and advertising these lipsticks to teenagers who scroll through their Instagram feeds after a tiring day from high school, then don’t expect them to be or act like professionals. If that’s not enough, these liquid lipsticks are famously promoted to be worn without a lip liner because of its longevity, that too with a lip brush which most teenagers might not have. This hypothesis has resulted in various Tumblr and Instagram pictures with girls wearing liquid lipsticks unevenly. On the other hand, a lip liner does a far better and an easier job of getting even lines around our mouth than a doe foot applicator ever will.
  • The Pay Off Is Not Always Worth It : They are sometimes patchy, be it in a nude shade or in the deepest shade. They glide on smoothly to only show another reality. For those who have been wearing liquid lipstick for a long time will know what I mean by this point. One might as well wear a bullet lipstick if the patchy look is what they want. Hence, the trend does not respond to any real benefits.

And that was my two cents on the whole concept of a liquid lipstick. However, I am still eagerly waiting for the best formula to reach the market. Maybe a new technology or idea might take over, who knows. A video on powder lipstick recently went viral. Is a new trend emerging? I am always in line to try because that’s where the fun is, not the final product. With that in mind, let’s end this post with the wise words from Hemingway…

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway

How To Clean And Maintain The Longevity of Your Beauty Blenders In 5 Easy Steps

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Often we end up not only using but “abusing” our beauty blenders to such an extent that the wear and tear within a few months makes us frustrated and we tend to have no solution for this. Who wouldn’t be in such a situation? It has literally replaced a traditional foundation brush, and no tool has come close it. So to help you avoid this little disadvantage, here are my few tips on how I have been successfully able to maintain and use my blenders for ages:

  • Some people that I have heard of often use hard soaps or strong shampoos to clean their sponges, little do they know that using hard soaps is the beginning of the death of your beauty sponges! Baby soaps and mild shampoos are more than enough to do the job, though it will take a little longer, but it is worth it.
  • On the days you’re not using the tool, after washing your sponge, don’t store it away in your vanity kit, a wet sponge is likely to collect germs and cause it to wear off. Rather, keep it in the open for it to dry in the atmosphere.
  • Avoid washing it with warm or worse, hot water because that is where your blender starts tearing a little by little and constantly washing it under hot water will only aggravate the issue. Cold water is enough to clean your blender and helps it to retain the texture.
  • One of my favourite ways to clean a beauty blender is to take four drops of apple cider vinegar, mix it with the cold water and a mild shampoo in a wash basin and dip my beauty blenders with my hands within the mixture for a good 10 minutes (if you have the patience). Once you’re done, clean off the excess and then use it. This procedure not only maintains the outlook of the product, but helps in preventing breakouts if you are too lazy to wash your sponge after every foundation routine.
  • The last and the best tip to help your blender function for a long time is to use it only to smooth out your foundation after you’ve worn it with a foundation brush. A clean and wet sponge will do the exact job once you have used the foundation with a brush as you would do your foundation routine with only a blender. Why? Because in this circumstance, your beauty blender isn’t sucking up too much product which in return makes it harder for it to retain its quality after a period of time. Instead you’re working with the foundation that is already on your face with the help of a brush, and your blender won’t suck in much of the foundation. Therefore, cleaning and maintaining it is easier.

I hope these tips will help you the way they have helped me.

Regards and Love

Until next time…

BIDU

Fall/Winter Essentials If You’re Visiting Dubai In December…

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I know that Dubai is a place that is close to anything but winter. We have humidity 24/7 and a good long summer that makes California look cooler. However, in the last two years, Dubai has been facing the usual short but definitely strong and surprisingly chilly winters. Earlier this year in January, I felt I was in a ski slope but with no snow to be seen around the corner, or maybe just maybe, my low haemoglobin is giving way. But whatever may be the case, the winter in Dubai has certainly got chillier, and if you’re one of those people who cannot step into the month of December without having a few fall items, then go ahead and read my list for the Fall Essentials you shouldn’t miss out if you’re coming to Dubai.

First things First, no fall is ever complete without a good Trench coat.

Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai

Burberry Trench Coat. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Above is the classic Burberry Trench Coat that has been a fashion staple and been worn for decades by celebrities and commoners alike. You could find dupes of the coat in shops like Gap, Zara, Massimo Dutti etc. Even if it isn’t a long beige trench coat, any coat would do as long as it is doing a good job of keeping you warm and making you look trendy. So if you are visiting or living in Dubai, and have no fall fashion ideas, a long coat does a good job making you look stylish. Plus points? You could wear it with anything, even pyjamas!

And now that we were talking about jackets, lets talk about sweaters/cardigans too, since they’re a winter keeper and no one could live without them. A sweater is a cult winter essential worn all over the world.

Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

A plain white Cardigan. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

I specifically posted a white cardigan above since they were all over the runway shows of the Fall/Winter ’15 collection. It suits all skin types, and is a good cheat to pair it up with any coloured accessories. I specifically bought mine when I saw Cameron Diaz wearing an off white version of the same cardigan from Prada on an article inside a Vogue magazine.

And yes, whites and beiges are my favourites when it comes to fall besides being universally flattering. And so, I decided to pull out a pair of off white suede boots that compliment anything, from skinny jeans to long dresses.

Copyright: Zara Suede Boots.

Zara Suede Boots. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

These Zara boots are perfect for a mild winter. I purposely picked these out keeping in mind that we don’t need those thigh high extra thick boots for the winter of Dubai. Ankle Length boots would do a perfect job of keeping you warm and fall ready.

The other products I will be briefing you all about are some skincare nourishments and makeup that will keep you looking chic and pretty for the upcoming winter.

I will start of with thick moisturisers.

Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Shea Butter Moisturiser. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Just like in the month of Ramadan, some of us can feel dehydrated on the skin even during mild winters. A thick moisturiser like the one above from L’Occitane does a great job for those who suffer from dry skin all year round, and suffer even more during winter. Perfect for dry to very dry skin, the L’occitane shea butter moisturiser boasts 25% raw Shea butter ingredient, and prevents flakiness and dullness during the colder months. I will suggest this for people with combination skin issues too. This has been a cult favourite moisturiser of mine for the past year and a half.

Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Vaseline. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

For those of you who don’t know, Vaseline is a fantastic all purpose moisturiser/fixer/setter etc. I use this for my makeup routines to fix my eyebrows and even as a tanning ingredient with my bronzer. Besides, it is such a versatile product for moisturising purposes that it beats the hell out of those heavily endorsed cold creams. I use it during winters for dry patches on my body and as a base for my makeup. For those who have sensitive skin and can’t tolerate coarse skin during winter, this is your ideal moisturiser. I personally get rashes, and dry skin wounds, and Vaseline is always there to protect me from those horrible winter skin dilemmas. I once heard a beauty blogger say, “Never underestimate the power of Vaseline, even though it is the cheapest moisturiser in the world, it will always be a holy grail.” I second her.

Next are my makeup rounds for the winter…

I will start off with the lipsticks.

Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Fall Lipsticks. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

A dark lip does not hurt anyone, and I mean it. I used to be one of those people who couldn’t step out of my house without a nude lipstick only because it was a fail safe option. Before I got into the vampy and red colours, I was afraid to pull them off. And let me just tell you, it is nothing but a mere mental block that you can’t wear a deep burgundy lipstick for winter. When I attempted to wear my first dark lipstick shade, I was blown away by its overwhelming beauty, and how flawless it made my skin look. If you’re the natural or no makeup kind of person, just a dark lipstick would be enough to make you look ready. I promise you. But if you are still hesitant to give a dark lip a try, a better option would be a light red or a golden/Bronzy shade of lipstick.

Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Vitalumiere Foundation by Chanel. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

This foundation is ideal for the colder months. It is a moisturising foundation for combination to dry skin, and has a buildable coverage from light to medium. Gone are the days when I used to have patchy foundation routines during winter, thanks to Vitalumiere, it has changed my fall makeup routine.

The Plum blushes…

Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Blushes. Copyright: Beautiful In Dubai.

Though blushes of any hue would do, Plum and rosy shades add a nuance to your fall beauty makeup. After all, who likes to be stuck in a makeup rut? If I am wearing my corals and bold pinks for summer, I switch to plums for fall, because changes are absolutely necessary, unless you love routines. Besides, plums suit all skin colors, and give a stunning English rose liveliness that we all love. The above pictures ones are Red Vino by Milani Cosmetics, and Mauve Rose by Max Factor.

So I hope you all liked my winter essentials. Do leave your winter suggestions in the comment section down below.

Love you all,

Bidu.

5 Books You Won’t Regret Reading!

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There are good books, bad books, and books you wonder if you’ve committed a time crime reading them. Then there are those iconic books that are passed down through generations, with timeless stories each generation could relate to. But then there are books that are so addictive, you wish you hadn’t reached the finishing page.

Today I will be recommending 5 of those books that are not only addictive, but are written so profoundly and are so hypnotic, you wouldn’t even notice when your destination has arrived if you’re reading in your local metro train.

So without a further delay, let’s elaborate on the books I will be suggesting you guys…

  1. Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
Photo Credit: Sonia Khatri

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

Some reviewers call this book by the Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, as the Lolita of the Bosphorus. I agree with them, excluding the fact that it is a bit more compelling than Vladimir Nabokov’s original Lolita. It is a story about a wealthy young man who is about to get engaged to a woman of his league, until he gets drawn to a young shop girl called Fusun. With his engagement coming on the way very soon, things quickly get out of hands, and before he realizes it, he is horribly heartbroken.

Pamuk, said in one of his interview, that the main idea of writing this story was to emphasis the Turkish culture and traditions through the eyes of Kemal ( the wealthy protagonist ) by reflecting on his love life with Fusun. The culture and Kemal’s story are intertwined into a beautiful, powerful tale of a man who reaches a breaking point, hurting his friends, breaking social ties among the rich of Istanbul, and losing self control for his ultimate passion.

P.S. This book is not at all like the clichéd love stories you’ll ever read. I will rate this 4.5/5 .

2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

Have you ever had a dream so intense that you would spend every aspect of your life to achieve it? Chiyo Sakamoto is a young girl who has had a turmoil of a childhood, being disliked and used by everyone, losing her family and her self esteem. One day, she is found crying near the central part of Kyoto. On hearing her soft whimpers, a rich but an extremely kind businessman with a Geisha accompanying him, approaches Chiyo and strikes an amiable conversation asking her if she is alright. Experiencing kindness for the first time, the young girl promises herself and prays that to be in the company of this gentleman, she would do anything to be a Geisha and to be loved by him forever.

An astonishing account of what happens in the life of a Geisha, to a cultural narration of pre WWII Japan, this book is a fabulous read for those who love history, melancholy, detailed writing and poetic metaphors. I am not a big fan of melancholy, but I still loved it.

I would rate this book a good 4.5/5.

3. Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

When it comes to short stories, no one beats the mighty king of modern literature. Stephen King has this phenomenal ability to make you experience a story as if you’re yourself a character in it. You experience the plot like the invisible third person in his stories. You laugh, cheer, fear and hate with the main protagonist, and this pretty much sums up the major hypnotic short story from Everything’s Eventual, called Riding the Bullet.

The book contains 14 dark tales of horror, crime, psychopathy, misery, mystery and sadness that are beautifully narrated in a grotesque fashion ( typical of the King ). Summing up a few stories, you’ll love 1408 if you’re specifically into the old style horror genre. That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French is Inception before Christopher Nolan made another story about Inception. Lunch At the Gotham Cafe will make you question insanity at its heights. But if you ask me, my most favourite story was none other than Riding the Bullet. It has the very Stephen King essence that we all love.

Rating: 5/5

4. Why Some Positive Thinkers Get Powerful Results by Norman Vincent Peale

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

As you might see from the above picture, it is in a pure wear and tear outlook, thanks to my complete obsession with the book. This book is not a fiction like the ones I have previously mentioned in the list. It is a social help guide book that beats the living hell out of those so called guide books that actually turn out to be not motivating at all. This book is a personal recount of Norman Vincent Peale. It is a true story that acts as a guiding light to those who have lived most of their life with no success and are drawn to negative thoughts. Peale breaks down the guide book into success stories of some of the famous businessman, athletes, priests etc whom he has known personally, who found their own positivity, through God or through parents to lead them into living a successful life. In other recounts, Peale, who is also a social speaker, has himself changed the lives of those who were once very negative. In other parts of the book, he tells you how to achieve living a good life with a few tips he saw common in most accomplished people.

A great read. It really changed my ideas on life, and made me believe that anything good can happen to me provided if I work for it.

Rating: 4/5

And I love leaving the best for last…

5. 1984 by George Orwell

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

Photo Courtesy: Sonia Khatri

We all must at some point in our lives have heard the disturbing slogan ” War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”. This quote was made famous by none other than George Orwell, the author of 1984. Prior to his career in the writing field, Orwell did some peculiar jobs associated to WWII and mostly related to governmental sectors. His endless experience related to the government is what lead him to create a literary masterpiece that has been controversial, but loved by generations. The story is based on a dystopian future where everyone is succumbed to the fallacies of a tyrannical government, where Big Brother, the head of the leading National Party of Oceania is worshipped as if he could do no wrong. Winston Smith, the main protagonist, is obviously a unique thinker in a nation full of zombies, but who controls the apocalypse? The Thought Police. They will get you and “correct” you if you are caught thinking different from the others.

Major plus points are given to NewSpeak, a language created by Orwell in the novel, and terms that are now frighteningly used in chatting social apps such as abbreviations of literal meaning of the whole word,thanks to Orwell’s fantastic command on the English language.

This book will thoroughly make you think of the future twice and will make you wish you weren’t living in 2015, and rather in the 1950s or beyond. Hypnotic, depressing, mesmerising, yet captivating, this book is every book lover’s must read.

What are your favourite reads? Do share your thoughts in the comment section.

The Breakfast Club. Movie Review.

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What happens when you’re stranded in a detention room with unlike minded people? Detest. And the questioning of this detest is what creates the story line of the movie, The Breakfast Club.

Five kids with five different school stereotypes gather on a Sunday detention of 8 am to 4 pm. They each follow one after the other in the detention room, that takes place in a giant library. There is your usual Prom Queen, played by Molly Ringwald, The Criminal (Judd Nelson), The athlete (Emilio Estevez), The Basketcase (Ally Sheedy), and the Brain (Anthony Michael Hall).

The movie then begins when the school principal hands over blank papers to the detained kids to write an essay describing to him about who they are in no more than a 1000 words. He then disappears giving the student their responsibility for the day. What follows is a series of gasps, cold silence and nervousness of having to be around people one can hardly relate to, until the Criminal decides to break the silence by mocking and flirting with the Princess.

Shouts follow, agony unfolds, and the discovery of an unknown quest into the lives of these versatile school personalities begins. They say that to reach the rose, one has to bear the thorns. And that’s exactly what happens when these kids who initially are forced into breaking the silence of coldness through screams and argument, come to appreciate their differences, and finally realize that they have a lot more in common than the labels that are associated to them.

For instance, we learn about how important it is for the Brain to gain perfection academically, either through peer pressure or through strict moral principles of his parents. We then learn how dominating Andrew’s father is on forcing him to be a tough guy to get scholarships through baseball games. Claire’s parents are emotionless that leaves her sensitive and alone deep inside, whereas John Bender, who is a criminal, has to bear the anger and foul behaviour of his father everyday. Sheedy’s character, Alison, is no exception, since she models the typical quiet and insecure girls we have seen in our school days.

All these kids get together and learn that what they have in common are the desire for love and longing, the pain of not being understood by parents, and a dream to not be socially obliged to anyone for anything. A question on adolescent heartbreak will reminisce you into your own younger days as a school kid, and will make you realize how adults overlook the needs of young people. We have all been there, and done that.

Now is your time to dig Netflix or buy a DVD to watch this heart wrenching, beautiful, and yet relatable movie about adolescent problems and the beauty of having to be understood and being accepted for your flaws, because except for Barbie, no human is ever perfect.

My points on this movie is 4.5/5. A definite must watch.

I hope you guys loved my movie review.

Love you all

XOXO

Natural Brows: How to Achieve Them? 5 Step Tutorial.

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Brow management is never an easy game, especially making them look natural, since many of us get carried away by extreme brow tint.

In order to avoid making it look dark and fake, here is my easy tutorial on how to achieve simple, and natural brows that look clean and well shaped.

As usual, I will be using a product from the Queen of Brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills, excluding the brow mascara, which is from L’Oreal.

So without any further a due, below is my picture tutorial:

Step 1:

Look in the mirror and observe your brows, are there extra hair beyond the brow border? Tweeze them. Are both of my brows looking same or opposite? Now there is where we begin using our brow makeup.

As you can see, my brows are unshaped an without any brow makeup. I am taking the time to observe them and how I could correct them.

As you can see, my brows are unshaped and without any brow makeup. I am taking the time to observe them and thinking how I could correct them.

Step 2:

Get ready with a brow gel and an angled or a flat definer brush ( both the brushes work great on brows ).

The Dipbrow pomade by Anastasia and the brow brush.

The Dipbrow pomade by Anastasia and the brow brush.

Step 3:

Once you are ready observing your incorrect brows and your brow products, you start working to fix them as usual.

Note: Use a very light hand when you do your brow makeup, excess product will mess up the look, especially if you’re using a brow gel such as the Anastasia Pomade. 

Start from the outer corner, since you’re supposed to make the outer corner the darkest with a sharp finish. We start from the outer corner being darkest to the inner corner being the lightest.

From Outer to Inner Corner

From Outer to Inner Corner

Like most Instagram tutorials, you don’t have to make those “brow lines” on the upper and lower areas of your brows. Just start filling it where the natural shape is, and correct it where there is a missing hair.

Step 4:

Make sure to lighten up the inner corner with the left out product from the brush. And this is how the finished look will appear:

Finished Left Brow. Right Brow looks blank.

Finished Left Brow. Right Brow looks blank.

You then finish off the right brow. Note: You don’t have to make both the brows look exactly the same as if they’re twins. Brows should look like sisters. 

Outer Brow to Inner Brow

Outer Brow to Inner Brow

Step 5: 

This step is not necessary but it helps if you’re going to be wearing your brow makeup the whole day.

Fix your brows with a brow mascara to help make it stay in place all day. I am using brow plumper from L’Oreal.

Fix it in place with a brow mascara.

Fix it in place with a brow mascara.

And that’s all you folks.

That's all!

That’s all! Finished look.

Hope you guys enjoyed this small tutorial. If any feedbacks, do leave it in the comment section down below, and I will reply all of you.

Regards

xoxo

Markette Restaurant! Yummy or Yucky? Food Review.

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If you ever ask me that given a choice, would I eat at an Italian, Indian, Asian or a Continental Restaurant, I would certainly pick a continental food joint. This is so because in a continental restaurant I would have a vast variety to choose whatever I would want to eat given the versatile menu and a cozy ambiance.

The pros also include a more relaxed staff, since in an ethnic restaurant, the employees have to pull up a cultural attitude and you have to act in coherence with their behavior. Besides, unlike an Indian restaurant, the food is also less spicy.

So was a typical day when me and my mother were strolling in Box Park, Al Safa and came across Markette. As you might not know, we can’t leave a shopping complex without a bite and decided to stop at the place.

Starting with the ambiance, it was cozy and reminded me of those local coffee shops in French Villages, such as in Lorraine. It somehow gave a modern theatrical atmosphere and I felt I could simply pull a Gene Kelly ‘Singing in the Rain’ act.

The Exterior of the Markette

The Exterior of the Markette

The Markette Interior: Cozy and Warm

The Markette Interior: Cozy and Warm

Interior Typical to French Coffee Shops

Interior Typical to French Coffee Shops

There was a row made for cooking food, and a counter on the further end of the restaurant for serving pastries and other delicacies. It gave a vibe as if you’re in the set of the French movie Amelie. 

We sat at a classic wooden table and clothed chairs, and placed order for the food. The menu looked very interesting, and we placed order for spicy oxtail fries, a lime drink, a falafel appetizer, a chocolate crepe, and we got a complimentary ginger bread with tomato chutney. 

It took exactly 20 minutes for our food to arrive, which was pretty impressive in terms of their service. Before that, we were drooling in the atmosphere of the restaurant, its interiors and gazing at the open window looking at the Jumeira street, till the food arrived, and our expectations broke!

The basket of the ginger breads and the tomato paste was bland and completely opposite to what it appears in the picture below. The next appetizer were the oxtail fries and the falafel plate, which too were horrible in taste and smelled like wife beater tank tops. The ingredients weren’t fresh and some of the food tasted raw, as if the chef was forced to cook it. The one thing that tasted fresh was the lime drink, but it was very sour. The only credible item worth eating was the chocolate crepe. It was a full chocolate overload, with ice cream, banana wrapped in chocolate syrup, oreo cookies and extra thick chocolate ganashe. It could possibly be one of the best desserts I have ever had, and fortunately saved me a lot from the horrors of the previous flavors that I had to force feed myself. Below are the pictures of the food we ate:

The Complimentary Starter.

The Complimentary Starter.

Fries Platter

Fries Platter

The Falafel Platter

The Falafel Platter

The Lime Drink

The Lime Drink

Saving the Best for Last: Chocolate Crepe for Dessert.

Saving the Best for Last: Chocolate Crepe for Dessert.

Overall thoughts? Another attractive eating outlet that is just beauty in disguise, and could do so much more with their food. Like I said for my previous food review, and I will say it again for this food review too, that it is impossible to impress the curious onlookers with mere interiors if your restaurant cannot fulfill the main objective of satisfying the sensations of the tongue.

Plus Point: You also get a complimentary dessert from Angelina Cafe while leaving the restaurant. Besides, quick service and the waiters are always present for your needs.

Yummy or Yucky? Yucky main-course with a yummy dessert. My feelings for this place is average.

Last but not the least, I don’t know about your taste buds, but I would certainly never go to this place for the food. It is the desserts one should look forward to in this restaurant. Or maybe just maybe, I will try the food once again to eat something else completely different from what I ordered, thus giving it a second chance.

*Pulls of a Humphrey Bogart from Casablanca* Here’s watching out for you second time, Markette.

I love you all

XOXO

Human Morality in 2015. Wait, Is Morality Even Part of the Modern Dictionary?

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As an ardent lover of YouTube over any social media site, few months ago I came across quite a few vintage educational videos about behaving well, controlling our emotions, being humble, knowing when it is the right man in your life etc.

Most of these videos were from 1940s-50s, and quite surprisingly I found them very interesting and could relate them to the very existing time of the world. As you all know, technology progresses, but human needs and emotions don’t. I saw few clips on the harms of being a bully, shabby, rude, and a gossiper. I learnt the need to look attractive for our well being and doing makeup the right way ( lot of red lipsticks, wink wink* ). I understood that irrelevant of what we choose to believe, humanity and morality go hand in hand, and no matter even if the world is going the wrong way, we must always follow what we believe is the right thing to do from the people who love and care for us truly.

As usual, these inspiring videos had some condescending and mean comments mocking how rigid and constraining societies were back then, which were not at all related to the theme of the videos. Now here is where I will talk about how we as humans have come a long way from the 50s.

You see, We now live in a world where people build their conscience and ethics from Facebook, Twitter, Music videos/lyrics, and memes from Tumblr so much, that they have actually forgotten to take inspiration from their parents, grandparents, best friends, nature, teachers, and motivating successful people. This very lack of human touch in our lives has depleted what morality actually means, and has replaced it with Jay Z’s version of morality i.e. Swag.

And that is right! I am not joking. The infamous word “swag” can be found all over Facebook and the rest of the social media portals where kids in order to appear right or cool, use the word “swag” to justify how correct they are.

According to Urban Dictionary, swag means…

The most used word in the whole fucking universe. Douche bags use it, your kids use it, your mail man uses it, and your fucking dog uses it. If you got swag, you generally wear those shitty hats side way, and your ass hanging out like a fucking goof cause your pants are half way down your white ass legs. To break down the word, it means (Secretly We Are Gay). It is also a word that means to represent yourself/ the way you represent yourself, baggy clothes, shitty hats, small penis and basically a way to say your afraid to come out of the closet.

So, basically that also means you can be a bully and call people of religion or those different from you “fags” and backward, and disrespect your parents/ your loved ones who actually care about you only to do whatever the hell you have to do so that you appear like “a boss maaan”.

And no matter what justification these kids give, social media has certainly made them narcissistic ( countless selfies ), lose ground on reality ( digital likes has made it so easy, you see ),  and made them numb to what actually is right or wrong.

Lost in the entertainment wasteland of Jay Z and One Direction (not criticizing any musician concerned), people don’t realize that whatever songs these musicians create are not supposed to be taken seriously, because they are purely and purely for entertainment purposes. They’re just a face value. Most musicians write for commercial ratings or from their personal stances, and yes, music can be like a drug, you’re lost in it. But again, drugs have been illegal for a reason, and this is why drugs are used mildly in medicines and only for health purposes. And that is exactly how we are supposed to treat music. We can consume it, but there’s always a limit to never over exceed. This is why we need the long lost word Morality.

Morality didn’t become a word coined by the trees. It dates back to Latin Greece, when Socrates and his disciples were making themes on human self control and self discipline. Human beings have always needed discipline and morality even back then. In Latin, it simply means ‘moralitas’ i.e. manner, character, proper behavior and self judgement.

Because I understand this, and because I have read the works of Socrates, his student Plato and the other philosophers, is the reason why I can make sound judgement for myself before being rude to those who are different from me.

In fact, the truth is, that even if we hit the year 2340, we will still need morality and the discipline that guards us as human beings to achieve a wholesome and a happy life. And unfortunately, morality does come with a price tag, just the same way achieving all good dreams are. We have to be firm and draw a line to our greed, learn to say no to our desires ( which only lead to our downfall as humans), resist temptation from excess and be thrilled with the joy of what we have, and have something to believe in, if not God, then at least our soul.

Morality has many contemporaries, they are focus, patience, hard work, self control, sound thoughts, legit reasoning, and thought before speech.

If we see beauty in our souls over our flesh, morality will only be your soulmate.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my rant, below are few clips from YouTube on Personality and Moral development.

I love you all

XOXO

Maybelline VS Nars: Which Concealer Wins?

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Lately, I have been seeing a lot many drugstore dupes for High End brands, and it doesn’t surprise me to see how well drugstore products can work in comparison to their high end counterparts. The only reason why drugstore products are cheaper is because their packaging is cheap, but the product functions can be the same or better than the high end ones.

Also, I have seen in various forums where people wanted to know whether the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is better than the Maybelline’s Fit Me. While it was a tough battle between the two, I have been using the Nars concealer for about 8 months, and it hasn’t been all so great for what its hyped about.

As far as the Maybelline one is concerned, it is pretty decent, very long lasting and is just as creamy and thicker in consistency as the Nars one, also the Maybelline concealer lasts longer than the Nars concealer and creases less.

So the winner is…. Maybelline’s Fit Me.

What are your favorite liquid concealers? Don’t forget to share it with me in the comments down below…

Kat Von D Shade+Light Eye Palette: Review, Swatches and Two Looks.

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Never one to underestimate Kat Von D’s products, I sadly did have a two failures with her star studded eye shadow book and her Interstellar palette, which I had no choice, as much as I hate to say it, I gave them away. So with a lot of gut wrenches and huge breaths, I made the decision to purchase her shade+light palette which has only gotten good reviews.

So here is my much awaited review on the very hyped and appraised Kat Von D shade+light eye palette. I first heard about this palette from a fellow blogger i.e. Living Disrobed (check her blog out, she uses WordPress too.), and I know for a fact that she would certainly not recommend anything only for the sake of getting into the beauty conformity norm.

It was only after looking at her review and swatches, I made the decision to purchase the palette, and use it. So let me start off by telling you all about the shades. First, the palette is divided into three separate quad for every skin tone. It has a neutral quad, a cool quad and a warm quad, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the palette however the way you want. You can be as creative as you want with makeup in general. Anyway, This palette is the most versatile matte palette you would ever get around to, and I will give it props for that, because no neutral matte palette has ever come up with shades meant for all different skin colors, making it easier for makeup artists to work on different people with different hues. So that’s a hit!

Kat Von D's Shade+Light Palette

Kat Von D’s Shade+Light Palette

Second, the whole palette is decently pigmented, and when I mean decently pigmented, I mean in the sense that you can blend these colors easily with no fuss, while having the colors pop onto your eyelids. So that’s another hit! Here are some swatches:

Swatches of the Palette. From left to Right, First four shades are the Neutral colors, next four shades are cool, and the last four shades are warm.

Swatches of the Palette. From left to Right, First four shades are the Neutral colors, next four shades are cool, and the last four shades are warm.

As you can see above, almost all the swatches, including the white shades look pretty pigmented excluding the deep orange shade, which was a disappointment, but the palette is still amazing, anyway.

Third, unlike most matte palettes, it was fun to work with this palette because of the stunning taupe shades. I decided to create two looks in order to get a better understanding of the palette.

Here are my two looks:

Dramatic Cut Crease. No foundation, No other stuff, just plain cut crease.

Dramatic Cut Crease. No foundation, No other stuff, just plain cut crease.

Devil's Horn Neutral+Black smokey liner look.

Devil’s Horn Neutral+Black smokey liner look.

So after swatching this palette, trying different looks with it, etc. I have to say I love this palette. I can’t wait to go more overboard with it.

If you’re someone looking forward to build a professional makeup kit, then this palette is perfect for you. And for those who just want a great taupe palette, then this is exactly what you should have.

My rating? 4.5/5 …Love it.

I hope you guys liked my review, don’t forget to like this post and give me a follow. Any thoughts and comments, don’t forget to write it down below.

I love you all

XOXO

7 Beauty Products I Would Repurchase Again And Again… (Part 1)

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I have never had specific choices in makeup products, as all of them fulfilled their needs decent enough to make it obvious that there is makeup on my face, or at least as long as I was satisfied with them. I was proven wrong when I was taught products skillfulness in the makeup academy I went to. As a pro makeup artist, I can now say that there goes so much more in the art of makeup than our skills and tools, the products need to meet the satisfaction than just being mere pigmented and long lasting, because at the end of the day, the makeup needs to look good on the model/client, and no matter how good our skills as makeup artists might be, if the product does not work, all the meticulous hard work goes in vain.

And so this is why I summed up a few absolute favorites of mine that have never failed me. I am truly blessed to have discovered these great products that save me from disaster on shoots and from saving me from having a bad face day when I need to go out for a bite or work.

So without any further a due, Here are my current favorites –

First product I will be talking to you guys about is the incredible, super rich, and absolutely gorgeous blush from Bobbi Brown i.e. Flame 43.

Bobbi Brown's Flame 43

Bobbi Brown’s Flame 43

Yes it looks hyper pigmented, and it is super deep red in shade, and no it won’t make you look like a clown. Why? Because when you wear blushes of these rich red hues, your skin looks exactly as naturally flushed as if you were out in the scorching sun without an SPF, or “turned red” due to an embarrassing or a frightening situation, and no matter how awful those situations might be, you do end up looking pretty, ironically. And so, this blush helps me to achieve exactly that natural sun exposed cheeks that people of all skin colors go through. It is a tomato red with a slight orange undertone, and looks beautiful on women of all skin colors, and so this is always in my makeup kit. From shoots to bridal makeovers or on yourself for a normal movie outing,this blush never fails to give you a natural flush.

And yes, I will recommend the red blush from Bobbie Brown than any other brand in the whole world because no other red blush has helped me achieve the natural heat exposed redness the way this blush has. I at times wonder why this isn’t on any other beauty blogger’s holy grail list… hmmm…

The other set of blushes are from drugstore, but they look absolutely luxurious when you wear them on your face! These are the Milani blushes, and I own the shades Rose D’Oro and Red Vino.

Rose D'Oro and Red Vino by Milani Cosmetics

Rose D’Oro and Red Vino by Milani Cosmetics

They are powder blushes but are very buttery in texture and spread so smoothly into your skin, that it makes you look super radiant and natural, as if the color on your cheeks are your own natural color. A perfect staple for my brides, I can’t live without these on my own self.

The next product or set of products I will be talking to you guys about is the Prestige Cosmetics Matte Lipsticks collection.

Prestige Matt lipsticks

Prestige Matte lipsticks

These lipsticks have been my favorites forever. I don’t care if you guys might hate me for this, but I prefer them any day over the MAC matte lipsticks, and I am shocked why these lipsticks haven’t received the hype they absolutely deserve. First and foremost, they are gorgeously pigmented with a creamy matte finish that lasts the whole day and even on super hot days without bleeding. Secondly, they are a drugstore brand and affordable, but for the quality that beats most high end brands, it is a steal. I proudly use these shades on myself and my clients, and I recommend these to my models too. Also, for girls like me with weirdly dry lips, these lipsticks do what liquid lipsticks fail to do. And yes, I am not quite on the liquid lipstick bandwagon in case you are wondering. Most liquid lipsticks are over drying and I have used five brands that cater to the Liquid Lipstick hype and have failed on my lips, so the classic lipstick tubes work simply awesome for me. I give these lipsticks by Prestige Cosmetics a full 5/5. Below are the swatches –

Swatches of the Three randomly picked Prestige Matte Lipsticks from my collection.

Swatches of the Three randomly picked Prestige Matte Lipsticks from my collection.

Next is the cleanser that has saved me hours and hours from the much tough job of washing and drying my makeup brushes and sponges with my shampoos. I know this product has been on the market for a long time and it is done with, but I have discovered this just a few months ago and I was wondering what was I even doing with my life without it…

Blender Cleanser Solid by Beauty Blender

Blender Cleanser Solid by Beauty Blender

As you can see from the above pic, it is my second purchase, and I am thoroughly impressed with how it has saved me time, energy and has lead to cleaning my brushes and sponges thoroughly squeaky clean. Most pro artists I know, use only this soap to clean their tools. However, it is pricey for 65 Dirhams, and a cheaper dupe for this product is the Dr. Bronner’s Magic soap in baby mild. You can find Dr. Bronner’s at the dessert cart website.

Next is the Contouring powder with a mini highlighting shade that has impressed me way more than the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit. I understand and respect the hype with the ABH Contour Kit, but it certainly has not surpassed the quality and longevity of the Nars Contour blush that has been a huge success on my various professional shoots.

Nars Contour Set in Paloma

Nars Contour Set in Paloma

I use the color range called Paloma. The Nars Contour set comes in three different hues, but mostly my models are Asian or Middle Eastern, and so this always works on handy. Besides, the shades are very professional and has the perfect contour hue that people get below their cheekbones when they lose weight or are skinny. So I will recommend this to all those who are genuinely looking for a professional contour powder palette.

Next are the two mascaras from two different brands that I will continue using even when I become a granny. These mascaras have become a beauty cult in my family and friends circle, and they all thank me now for introducing these to them.

They are

Maybelline's Falsies Waterproof Mascara

Maybelline’s Falsies Waterproof Mascara

And last but not the least…

Benefit's They're Real Mascara in Black

Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara in Black

For a long time now, I haven’t been high on mascaras until I discovered these two. It is because my lashes are short, and no matter whatever mascara I used to wear, the results were never great and so I relied on false lashes to make it appear that I have some length and volume going on in there. And mind you, I know these two products might seem a bit abrupt picks by me to you guys, but believe me, I have tried the very hyped Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara, Diorshow Mascara, Lancome’s much overrated Doll Eyes Mascara, Maybelline’s classic Great lash mascara that comes in green and pink packaging, Too Faced’s Better than Sex Mascara, Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash Mascara, Max Factor’s Masterpiece etc. but all did nothing but fail my expectations and wasted my hard earned money.

And its pure coincident and magic that both these mascaras from brands that have had some serious failures of mascaras had worked so well on me. I was seriously blown. For the Benefit’s They’re real Mascara, I don’t even need a lash curler to help amp up my lashes, it does the job completely well. Whereas the Maybelline’s Falsies in Waterproof needs only one stroke of lash curler and the product covers much of the job. Before I had discovered these mascaras, mascara was my most hated makeup product ever. I am glad things have changed.

So that was all, you folks. Hope you enjoyed my favorites, Part 2 will be on its way very soon. And remember, what works on me, my clients and my family might not work on you. So always try before buying.

If you guys have any good suggestions of makeup/beauty products, do let me know in the comment section below.

I love you all…

XOXO

Tutorial: Cream Contouring For Medium Skin Tones ( Specifically For Indian Tones )

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And here I am, after being busy with Ramadan and Eid, finally getting my hands on this blog.

So today, we will be showing you guys how to achieve the Perfect slim faced makeup look using cream contour for our medium toned beauties, especially for you Indian ladies out there who always have very few tutorials catering to your skin colour and types.

But why cream contouring for Indian babes? This is because often on wedding events and professional shoots where a woman wants to look slim and toned, powder contouring gets washed off in the photograph as if the makeup wasn’t there, also photographs make you look 40% larger than what you really look in real life, and you look back at those photos thinking as if there was barely any makeup on your big day, thus leaving you to disappointments.

This is why cream contouring, when done well, is sure to make your face look slim and toned.

And here is the much awaited tutorial for you all:

I started off by priming my face to minimize my pores using the Benefits Cosmetics Porefessional primer…

Pore Minimizer

Pore Minimizer

Priming My Face

Priming My Face

I then went ahead and applied my favorite light coverage foundation by Chanel, it is called Vitalumiere in the shade 10 impide nude. And yes, I know cream contouring is a heavy procedure, but your face still won’t cake up with a light coverage foundation underneath, plus, it only helps in making your skin look smooth and clean.

Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation

Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation

Applying Foundation

Applying Foundation

I then went ahead and concealed as usual using the Mac Pro Concealer Palette in Medium…

Mac Pro concealor

Mac Pro concealor

Concealing

Concealing

I then went ahead and cream contoured my face using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit in Medium, and then I fixed the cream from creasing by using very little of the Powder Contour Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills to set it up.

Cream Contour Kit

Cream Contour Kit

All Set to Blend !

All Set to Blend !

Blended Cream Contoured Face

Blended Cream Contoured Face

Powder Contour Kit to set the face

Powder Contour Kit to set the darker parts of the face

Setting the Brown Contour

Setting the Brown Contour

Banana shade to set the Lighter Areas of the Face

Banana shade to set the Lighter Areas of the Face

Setting The Cream Contour with Banana shade

Setting The Cream Contour with Banana shade

And finally the Finished look with our base fixed!

My final look!

My final look!

You see that? The end result wasn’t as cakey as one would expect from cream contouring, and that is because you need to be slow and patient with cream contour when you’re blending it to get the best result. TIP: Always use gentle strokes, and keep on blending for two minutes each area at a time to get a smooth look.

And here is the final look with the makeup on. I wore a grunge glam look for rock concert attending babes…

Final Look with Makeup On!

Final Look with Makeup On!

Straight View of the Grunge Glam Look!

Straight View of the Grunge Glam Look!

So that was all, you people. Hope you liked it. Don’t forget to like and share this post.

Love you all!

xoxo

Yves Rocher Skincare Review. Beauty from France.

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Bloglovin

First and foremost, I am absolutely grateful to Yves Rocher Paris for keeping hope on my blogging ambitions and giving me their anti ageing skincare products to try it out to give a review to mature ladies out there who are unable to find a decent online review for good anti ageing skin treatments and products for their age group.

But hey, when I made my beauty section, I wanted to reach out to women with all concerns irregardless of their age. So why not?

So my tiny haul included an anti ageing serum, An emulsion, and an organic volume elixir mascara for short lashes.

First I will talk to you guys about the Serum Vegetal. It is a day anti ageing cream made for all skin types, known to provide wrinkle treatment and radiance, and made of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum also known as Life Plant, The company boasts of it being the only brand to use Life Plant for ageing skin issues, and to survive extreme conditions, suitable for the Middle Eastern climate. It is known to give drastic results after four weeks of use, and so I waited for a month to make this blog post ever since I got the products from Beauty World Middle East.

The Serum Vegetal

The Serum Vegetal

Since I don’t have wrinkle issues, I asked my mom to try out this cream, and this is what she had to say after four weeks of treatment, in her words –

A great moisturizer, stops my skin from looking like a dull, muddy, and a hanging mess. This is my second most favorite product after my Shiseido creams and Argan Oil, I am impressed.

So there you have it. She liked it, and if you’re interested in Serum Vegetal by Yves Rocher, check out their website by clicking on this red link.

Next was the White Botanical emulsion for providing youth and protection from sunlight, heals dark spots, making the skin lighter, and just like the serum vegetal, the results from this emulsion begin to show after a month of usage. Made of botanical ingredients such as  liquorice and white lupin, it is perfect for an anti ageing treatment along with the serum vegetal. So the duo are a perfect package when used together.

White Botanical Youth Emulsion

White Botanical Youth Emulsion

Mom’s thoughts on the Emulsion are …

Great light moisturizer. It is especially perfect during the days when I am dehydrated, and helps me in pumping life back into my skin. My skin looks brighter, but there’s more to go than just a four weeks trial.

And last but certainly not the least was the beautiful mascara in a golden tube known to provide volume and strength to weak and short lashes to make them look denser without clumping the lashes, I must admit, I was in love with it! I prefer this over my Chanel Le Volume De Chanel mascara, and my mom tried it too and loved it too.

Mascara that works awesome and has a great  packaging

Mascara that works awesome and has a great packaging

Fat wand but doesn't clump!

Fat wand but doesn’t clump!

So the overall experience with the Yves Rocher products was amazing. My mom was satisfied especially with the serum vegetal and the mascara, and we both are looking forward to try more of their products.

For those of you living in Dubai and wanting to try it out, it is located in Al Rigga, Deira according to google maps and certain private retails sell their products too.

I hope you all enjoyed my formal review on this mature line of skincare range, do give me a thumbs up on this article, don’t forget to comment and follow me too.

I love you all

XOXO

Trending Topic: The Strobing Technique. Tutorial On How To Achieve The Look. Is It Better Than Contouring?

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First and foremost, I am sorry for not being able to post regularly since Ramadan kept me busy with prayers and preparations. But I am back after creating a neat schedule to be able to post articles on a continuous basis.

So today I will be talking and showing you guys the very trending and the latest makeup technique that has been gaining a lot of popularity on Instagram. It is called the “Strobing” Technique, and it was made majorly popular by the creative work of makeup artist, Alex Box. The picture that took Instagram by the storm is the one I will show you guys below:

Strobing

“Bye bye contouring, and hello Strobing”

My reaction to this whole “strobing” sensation was filled with mixed feelings about it. Even though I am always excited about new changes in the field of beauty, since art is always changing and evolving considering it is a creative profession, but the very fact that the picture above says, “bye bye contouring” makes me feel unkept that I wont be able to make my face look slimmer again with the help of contouring if the trend of strobing replaces it seriously. But who cares as long as long as it is supposed to look good on you, right? *wink wink*

Coming to the point, Now what is strobing?

Strobing is just the application of highlighting your face minus the contouring. Strobing involves highlighting the bridge of your nose, top of your cheekbones, upper lip area, the jaw in the centre, the area right below where you normally contour on your face, the empty space between the eyebrows and the brow bones, just like you would typically highlight your face, but with an extra added impact. That impact means applying a glowing base underneath your makeup, or applying a liquid highlighter all over your foundation and then highlighting with a normal powder highlighter to make your skin appear extra glowing and luminous.

I tried the very hyped technique today, Below is my tutorial on how to achieve the look, and my thoughts on it (with pictures included) :

My Bare Face without any makeup

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Makeup Less

I first started by applying my Benefit Cosmetics Pore minimizer primer followed by Eveline Cosmetics illuminator as a base, I skipped the moisturizer on purpose to see if it has as much of an impact as it has been overrated for.

Primed my face

Primed my Face

Applied my favorite illuminator

Applied my favorite illuminator

And then followed the normal foundation and concealing routine setting only my under eye with a powder leaving out the rest of the face…

Application

Application

Chanel Vitalumiere

Chanel Vitalumiere

Concealing

Concealing

Then came the best part of the test, i.e. the highlighter ofcourse. I used the famous Nars’ Albatross highlighter, which is known to be used on many models and actresses for giving them an “HD” glow. I purposely skipped out on the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter products because they aren’t as mainstream on actresses at least, and the Nars one is very well overrated on movie sets.

The Albatross Highlighter

The Albatross Highlighter

For those of you who are still new to highlighting, below are the pictures for a step by step on where and how you can apply the product. Also, I purposely skipped applying highlighter to my brow bone because I already have big eyes and I didn’t want to emphasize more, else it would create too much of a negative space. Tips: Sweep gently in a straight motion, apply more if needed. After all, Highlighting could never be enough.

highlight the lip line...

highlight the lip line…

Highlight the Bridge of your nose

Highlight the Bridge of your nose…

Highlight the Temples

Highlight the Temples

Jaws...

Jaws…

Highlight the Cheeks...

Highlight the Cheeks…

below where you would normally contour

below where you would normally contour…

And finish it all off with a setting spray, I used my favorite Mac Fix+ …

Mac Fix+ to set the face up to make it appear luminous

Mac Fix+ to set the face up to make it appear luminous…

And here was the final result –

My face has been lit up!

My face has been lit up!

To be honest, I wasn’t much impressed initially. I felt like I could get the same look with the contouring procedure. But I gave myself some time to set it all up and finished off the look with a usual makeup look. So below are pictures of how my face looked after I was done ‘strobing’. Each picture was taken after a 20 minutes time lapse to see the difference it made…

The Finished 'strobing' look with a full makeup on.

The Finished ‘strobing’ look with a full makeup on.

With the 4 o’clock afternoon light in full bloom, it did make a difference on my skin, and I felt like I was slowly turning into a ‘strobing’ technique fan. After 20 minutes when the light was slowly fading off, it only got better, because the makeup was slowly syncing into the skin to make it appear as if I was glowing from within…

The Inner Glow...

The Inner Glow…

And the final round, again after 20 more minutes. This picture below is what made my final impression…

its getting dark outside, but I am still glowing...

its getting dark outside, but I am still glowing…

I have to admit, I was pretty impressed after giving myself these time lapses to let the makeup get set once and for all into my skin.

And so, I am a new ‘strobing’ fan, if that makes sense that is… Just a pinch of patience and great highlighting products, both liquid and powder, will do the job for you.

I hope you guys enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed creating it for you all.

I love you all, and I hope to hear out your opinions on strobing.

XOXO

7 Beauty Tips For The Coming Ramadan…

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Ramadan begins tomorrow in GGC, including in Dubai, and for those of us ladies who will be keeping fast and staying in devotion to God need some tips to help us through this month. Why? Because fasting also means that your change in diet timings will alter changes to your skin, you will have to be makeup free most of the time, and drinking 8 glasses of water will not always be possible. So how do we maintain our skin looking like it looked the rest of the year? Here are some tips for you all …

1. Drink a glass of home made watermelon juice during your iftar ( the time when when Muslims break their fast). This is because watermelon has 80% water content, and is equal to having 3 glasses of water in one go. It helps in rejuvenation of our skin cells, provides immense hydration, cures acne etc.

2. Apply Shea oil to moisturize your skin. Shea has amazing benefits to turn a dull skin into a baby’s bottom and is excellent for women who have pre-mature skin ageing issues with excessive dry skin. This is necessary in Ramadan because women with dry skin who keep fast suffer severe and intense flakiness when they’re not in touch with water. So having Shea oil near you is a must. And yes, I am not recommending a Shea cream or a butter for the skin, though they are easily accessible is because cream based products get into the pores quickly since they are chemically made, and have non organic additives. Oils on the other hand are natural solutions and come raw from the main product.

3. If you’re someone who cannot live a day without makeup, then I would recommend that you invest in some natural mineral makeup that could be easily washed off. This is so because wearing normal makeup that has other chemical additives makes your prayer invalid since during ablution the water is unable to get to your pores. Non-Comedogenic Makeup brands such as Coverderm, Everyday Minerals and Bare Minerals have some decent products that do not have preservatives or extra chemicals that would hinder you from praying, and can get washed off easily during ablution. Plus, it helps you stay away from post-makeup breakouts.

4. Avoid primers underneath your makeup, they successfully block pores, so use a glycerin oil ( if possible to find ) instead of a primer.

5. Since you cant sport a nail polish, maintain basic manicure and pedicure. And if possible, you can always find an oxygen polish invented specially for Muslim women in Nazih saloon supplies here in Dubai.

6. Because it is Ramadan and some of us get more dryer on the skin, invest in a very good face scrub, and use it thrice a week maximum. Compared to normal bead scrubs, a sugar or a salt scrub work best since they poke the skin surface harder. I prefer my Lush’ Ocean Salt.

7. Lastly, avoid eating fried food during iftar since they can be more adverse on our skin and counteract the hydration we achieved while drinking that watermelon juice. All the extra care that we take to keep our skin looking great goes in waste due to fried food.

So that’s all, you folks. Hope you have a very jolly Ramadan with tons of blessings.

I love you all.

XOXO

Eveline Cosmetics: First Impressions.

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Since beauty exhibitions are a huge platform for different companies and countries to establish their brands and get distributors, it is always interesting to know and understand different countries ideals, notions and favorite ingredients for their beauty regime.

However, as I have noticed, most countries specializing in skincare all had the common ingredients of Macadamia and Argan oil that seems to do wonders on your skin and complexion. And so I dived into more products with Argan contents and this is my thought on the Polish brand, Eveline Cosmetics…

Products

Eveline Products

I got three products as you can see above, a body lotion, a CC Cream and a waterproof cleanser.

Starting with the lotion, it says that it gives moisture for upto 24 hours, can cure celluloid, firm the skin, adds youth, rejuvenates (thanks to the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids from the Macadamia oil), comes with hyaluronic acid, and pump up the collagen lacking in the epidermis etc.

Argan + Macadamia Lotion

Argan + Macadamia Lotion

Reading all those great benefits compelled me to try this out, also my celluloid were annoying me awfully, so I went ahead, and have been moisturizing my skin with this product for a week, and I must admit, it definitely moisturizes the skin for only upto 12 hours, but it hasn’t firmed mine yet, it has a beautiful smell of Argan that is long lasting, and it isn’t sticky. Therefore, it works like a normal body lotion, but feels a little more luxurious than the typical Niveas and Jergens.

I expected a lot more considering all the extra benefits it claims to provide, and trust me, lotions work quickly on my skin, considering I have sensitive skin that reacts quickly to any product, whereas normal skin would need one month to consider if the products are meant for them. This is why a week was enough for me to know the results. And so far, it works like an average lotion.

Hit or Miss on this Product? Miss, because of its long claims but only to end up working like a typical lotion.

Second was the CC Cream, it says that it has 24 karat gold and diamonds as ingredients, can work as a primer , a plain moisturizer for the face and even as a lightweight foundation.

24 Karat gold and diamond CC Cream

24 Karat gold and diamond CC Cream

After swatching it on my hands and then trying it on my face for a couple of days, it didn’t show that I was wearing any kind of lightweight foundation at all, though of-course when this product first came into my hand, I expected it to work like a light coverage foundation since that’s what CC creams and BB creams do.

However, I love this product for the fact that it gives a beautiful dim glow like those Becca shimmering skin perfectors, and makes even the most dull and gray skin look like one might have undergone a super expensive pre-bridal facial treatment. This product works best as a primer or a moisturizer for brides. It somehow also reminded me of Charlotte Tillbury’s Wonder Glow primer which I am crazy about! Plus, it covered my big pores perfectly.

Below are the pictures of the product in raw, its result on the back of my hand and how it looked on my face after makeup…

The CC cream that is yet to be blended into my dull hands.

The CC cream that is yet to be blended into my dull hands.

The finished look of the CC Cream on my skin. As you can see, my hand looks brighter compared to what it looked before.

The finished look of the CC Cream on my skin. As you can see, my hand looks brighter compared to what it looked before.

After doing my makeup, and using the CC Cream as a primer, this is how my face looked. Bright and Lit like a bride's face.

After doing my makeup, and using the CC Cream as a primer, this is how my face looked. Bright and Lit like a bride’s face. No filter added. 

And so I was thoroughly impressed by this product, and would definitely be restocking it once it gets over.

HIT OR MISS ON THIS PRODUCT? I would definitely give it a big HIT!

Last product was the waterproof cleanser is a dupe of the L’oreal waterproof makeup remover.

It claims to have certain acids that goes deep within the pores to completely get rid of not only makeup but also excessive unwanted oils that could cause blackheads and breakouts on the skin.

It worked like a typical waterproof makeup cleanser, so nothing exciting or fascinating.

Waterproof Cleanser

Waterproof Cleanser

Additional benefit is that it works smooth on sensitive skin, so I had no reaction.

HIT OR MISS ON THIS PRODUCT? A decent Hit.

Overall, as far as my impression with the Eveline Cosmetics products is that I am satisfied, not thoroughly, but satisfied enough to know and understand that every brand has its hits and misses, and so Eveline Cosmetics is my new go-to brand that I would be looking forward to more in the future.

I would certainly recommend the CC Cream. It worked great on me.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this review, and do give me a thumbs up and you can share your thoughts on this article.

I love you all.

XOXO

Home Bakery: Food Review and Experience. Hit or Miss?

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It was 5 pm in the evening, me and my sister were terribly hungry from all the shopping at Galleria Mall and first decided to go to Slider Station for a quick bite, sadly the place was full and we had to wait an hour for a booking. But we had no patience with all the rats running in our belly and decided to try Home bakery for a change inspired by all the yummy Instagram posts that we encountered about their one of a kind baking.

Picture Courtesy: Zomato

Picture Courtesy: Zomato

Picture Courtesy: Zomato

Picture Courtesy: Zomato

The fact that it was located in Al Wasl in Jumeira 1 and had plenty of rave reviews on Instagram is the reason we didn’t hesitate trying this place at first. When we entered the place, it had a warm ambiance, softly spoken people and very helpful waiters. The bakery fridge looked like any food lover’s dream! It had cakes and pastries with all the pop culture chocolates that we are familiar with, i.e. a kit kat cake, caramel pecan cheesecake etc. you name it. The creativity and the presentation of their cakes, food, drinks and their restaurant was mind blowing. It had all the details of a plush and posh bake shop that would make celebration cakes for the elites of Dubai. Even the menu sounded pretty tempting and we felt like ordering everything because of those lovely names they named their food after.

The Lovely Menu...

The Lovely Menu…

However, one cannot judge a book by its cover as the saying goes, and besides the spinach croissant that we ordered, nothing else tasted as we expected.

Their Hot Chocolate tasted like a chocolate that existed with no taste, their coconut milkshake tasted like bounty chocolate grinded with Nido milk powder, which is a shame considering it tasted like something one would get at a low budget cafeteria.

Last but not the least, we ordered what happens to be their most Instagrammed and infamous desserts of all time.

And we took the plunge with the Ferrero and Hidden Treasures winter desserts that are the bakery shop’s best sellers.

The Ferrero looked very delicious, but tasted nothing exceptional. It had a huge Ferrero Rocher ball with a caramel and walnut topping, with minor chocolate drizzles and ground coffee sprinkles here and there… Getting to the taste, I was regretting why I even bothered ordering it. It tasted way too sweet and after every bite, I felt as if the essence of what I ate wasn’t there anymore and the linger of the dessert didn’t even come to my senses. I was craving after every bite that the essence or the taste stays, but it did not. It was like wearing a perfume on yourself and only when you came close to sniffing it, you realized that there was no smell at all! A bad gimmick? I don’t know but I swear nothing was wrong with my taste buds that day, I wasn’t having a cold, and I was perfectly well. Later that day I ate a burger and I could easily get a taste. Strange, isn’t it?

Here is what the Ferrero looked like –

Ferrero: Don't get fooled by its appearance.

Ferrero: Don’t get fooled by its appearance.

Next was the dessert called Hidden Treasures that my sister ordered. It looked like a typical molten chocolate cake with a vanilla bean ice cream, caramel spread, almond pieces, and the fancy decoration, but it wasn’t worth the hype just like the Ferrero, and costed way beyond it deserves. When I took a bite from it after resting for about 20 minutes from my previous dessert, it tasted like your typical grocery store brownie with a normal dark chocolate filling, the only thing that saved this dessert was the ice cream, which tasted good. I wasn’t overwhelmed as usual despite the great presentation.

Here is what it looked like –

Hidden Treasures: Nothing to treasure.

Hidden Treasures: Nothing to treasure.

So that was all we ate. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything else. I don’t mean to make the guys at Home Bakery feel low, but despite the great service and attention to detail, they didn’t complete the primary satisfaction and that was to make our taste buds feel good.

If a restaurant, no matter how fancy and chic they are or where they’re located and how highly priced they might be, cannot please the basic satisfaction of tasting good, then nothing else could possibly please people. As a foodie and a lover of sweets, I expected a lot more.

Recommendation? While Home Bakery have done a great job with everything else, they need to focus a little more on the taste of their food.

So keeping everything about the place in mind, I will give them 3 stars out of 5.

And by rating 3 and being pleased with their effort and hard work to make their cakes and pastries look good, I am vouching out on them to improve the quality of their food and so I will be visiting them just once more only to see if they have taken notice of my Zomato and blog review, and made the changes.

So good try, Home Bakery, but see you soon for another chance.

I love you all

XOXO

Hashmi Surma And Rose Water Products: Beauty From East Asia…

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I have always loved the intensity of Indian/Pakistani kohl liners, and I swear there is no liner in the world as dark and intense as the classic kajal made in these two countries. They are long lasting and super pigmented and I wonder where the hell have they disappeared in the midst of modern gel liners and pen liners….

Hashmi Surma, a kohl liner company from Pakistan specializes in creating the most pigmented liners that could be ever found in the world, and have maintained the tradition ever since the beginning of the 19th century. They also manufacture the most fresh rose water for beauty regime for women.

My grandmother was a religious user of their products and continued holding onto them till her last breath, there was certainly something about them, and here is my tiny haul on all the best sellers from Hashmi Surma.

First, I will talk about their kajal of course. Made of rich organic countryside raw materials from Karachi, these kohl powder and clay liners have been an Indian/Pakistani staple when it comes to liners. They are known to not only serve commitments related to beauty but also to look after concerns regarding eye care and conjunctivitis. So you get a super pigmented eye liner look that not only looks great and lasts long, but also something that could help improve your sight diseases.

Here is the swatch of the Kajal known to be used by millions of Eastern Asian women …

Hashmi Kajal

The swatch of the Kajal

Second was the rose water for facial care that has healed millions of skin problems, including minor breakouts sans makeup. The Hashmi Rose water is one of the best toners I have ever used for my skin, and no, this is not a sponsored article sugar coating how flawless the brand is, this is my personal opinion and experience with their products, and it has certainly been one of the first ever beauty brands I have used as a child, and my loyalty for the never ending performance and delivery of their products remain intact to this very day.

Below is the rose water and its effect on my skin…

Hashmi Rose Water

Hashmi Rose Water

The effect of the Rose Water on my Makeup-less skin... dewy and soft.

The effect of the Rose Water on my Makeup-less skin… dewy and soft.

Yes, that is my face and mind you, my skin does not always look this hydrated and soft, considering I have had a bad history of acute dry skin. Thanks to my change of moisture regime that I have seen some improvement, and toning continuously with rose water has its advantages too.

So my opinion on the product is a BIG THUMBS UP!

Third product is the rose water for the eye care. It is great for those with sensitive eyes that easily get watery, have eye sight burning, tiredness, and are allergic to kohl liner around their waterline. I used it once and saw not much difference. But again, I am not so familiar with this specific product because I have barely had any eye sight issue, but for the sake of the review and haul, it has worked like what a medical eye solution for weak eyes would do.

Below is the product.

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Consistency of the Rose Eye Water

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The packaging.

Since I can’t say much about the product, I have to admit that the packaging is pretty lame, but that doesn’t matter since they have been doing quite well for themselves anyway. But, I must also admit that the consistency is pretty thin and clear and there is no extra formula or ingredient that has been added to make the product any different, thus it proves that it is a 100% pure rose water. Even their website claims so.

My overall experience? Amazing.

Hats off to Hashmi Surma for maintaining the legacy of their products and carrying on the tradition without a single disappointment or adding “extra formulas or ingredient” for a change. For those of you who haven’t heard about Hashmi Surma, you must check them out.

I love you all…

XOXO

Kung Fury: The 1980s reminisced As Never Before…

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We now live in a time where most of us have almost forgotten the 80s, as if it sunk into the oblivion, only to be pushed forth onto us by the Swedish genius named David Sandberg, the director, writer and the lead actor of the parody action movie, Kung Fury.

Besides super big voluminous hair, over the top fashion that had shoulder pads, awesome music, and average mass media, 80s pop culture is something that once you’re exposed to it, it is hard to get rid of, and I am one of them, and proud of it.

Even though I am a 90s baby, it was mostly the 80s I was most exposed to in my childhood, and radio shows back when I was a kid mostly played songs from Kenny Loggins to Motley Crue; and the movies on TV I watched included sci fi thrillers, flying cars, extra terrestrials, to Arnold Schwarzenegger in sweaty tank tops.

And of course! Nothing shouted the words “high energy”, “recharge” , “muscle”, “action” and “thriller” more than the 80s action flicks. Any average 80s action movie would motivate anyone to be active, run and workout. That includes me. Filled with positive energy and great fight sequences, action movies of the era had everyone on the charge, and even the ladies couldn’t hold themselves back from their (the movies) enthusiasm and zest for life.

Kung Fury is simply a tribute by a fellow 80s lover, David Sandberg, to those brilliant movies that made us fall in love and admire actors such as Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris etc, you name it.

The movie, is about a renegade ninja cop called Kung Fury in the year 1985, and in order to save humanity and revenge the death of his friend, he has to hack his way all the way back to the 1940s to kill, as you know it, Adolf Hitler, who meanwhile is training himself to be a Kung Fu expert and changes his pen name to “Kung Fuhrer”.

While Fury goes back in time to save humanity, the Fuhrer is finding his way out to the future.

What follows is a great influence from movies such as Back to the Future (flying cars and immitation of the DeLorean); Karate Kid (ninja moves and the cult red headband); Cobra (the character “Kung Fury” was inspired by Stallone’s famous Lieutenant Cobra) ; Lethal Weapon (for all the cop scenes); RoboCop (the arcade robot scenes and triceratops being featured); a popular 80s TV show called Knight Rider (David Hasselhoff’s guest appearance as Hoff9000) etc. to cover all the details to make it an enjoyable action flick that people could think of when considering the term “80s kick ass movies”.

In order to pump it up more for commercial movie watchers, there was an addition of dinosaurs, Vikings, and a cool computer geek to add more thrill to a short 30 minutes movie.

Great Bonus? This movie was played and applauded at the Cannes Film Festival. So there is no way you should ignore watching it.

80s Tribute

80s Tribute “Kung Fury”

I watched the movie only yesterday and I still can’t find myself thinking over anything else, since then I have been hitting the gym and working out extra hard, listening to great soundtracks such as Rocky’s “Eye of the Tiger”, and wearing colorful clothes simply because this movie energized me into a full swing 1980s mood. I was looking through my pile of clothes to find a varsity jacket that I once owned, brushed off the dust and I have put it on now while I am writing this piece of article for you. All this much for an excitement only because while people are still talking about the 90s era and making tributes on it, it was only Sandberg who took the effort to go a little further more into the past to deliver a great performance, and create an excellent action parody that made us laugh and sad at the same time because those moments in the movies brought back nostalgia from my childhood I will never forget.

A comical vibe meets a hearty tribute, Sandberg didn’t leave an atom behind to cover all the major and minor details of the 80s in a very short time of only a half an hour, and made us all love him and support his pre-production funds all the more.

And yes, the movie is what it is now, thanks to the crowdfunding support that Sandberg gained due to his low budget, as well as an extra mile of support all the way from the iconic 80s drama king, David Hasselhoff, who made a short appearance in the movie and sang the soundtrack for the end credits.

After all, who ignores a Kung Fu movie without a good soundtrack?

Here is the soundtrack, “True Survivor” by Hasselhoff with a few clips from the movie to get you into the “Kung Fury” mood.

For more information on the movie, check out Laser Unicorns on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

I love you all

XOXO

The Blissful Beauty Of The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque…

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While I won’t brief my readers with the whole concept of Islam and its beginnings, I will certainly say that its impact in the Middle East has lead to the rise of beautiful culture, arts, traditions and monuments such as the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

If you are new in this country, or if you are a tourist, then there should be no reason for you to miss out on this stunning piece of architecture.

The mosque was built when the late Sheikh Zayed (May God Bless his soul) laid the first foundation stone and came up with the idea of a big mosque that stands as a national symbol for the whole of United Arab Emirates, while the country was still progressing from its arid days. Since religion was and continues to be of utmost importance to the Arabs, the late Sheikh saw this as the vision from which he would continue to develop this nation beginning from his faith in God Almighty, and today we see a beautiful, pure and a mystical mosque that holds a brief but a beautiful history that has captured the heart of all those who have ever visited the place.

Faith and Purity

Faith and Purity

There are stories/rumors that those who came to the mosque for the first time began to read about Islam and ended up reverting to the religion. I do not know if these stories are true, but I can definitely say from my first visit to this holy place that I was overwhelmed with its beauty and the positive energy that it instilled within me, I remember I had come from a terrible makeup lesson that day and my mood was certainly off, but the visit calmed me down, consoled me, and it was only by stepping my foot inside the mosque that I felt my soul healing.

Enchanting and bright were the clouds that day, and the white mosque only looked more breathtaking against the day’s ombre blue backdrop.

Forgive me if my article sounds like a saturation of interpersonal spiritual experience, but I am not the only one to have felt that way, my mother and my uncle who accompanied me were also taken aback by its unusual positive energy and stunning features.

Made of Belgian and Macedonian white marbles, this mosque looked like a Palace of a fusion between Euro-Arab influences from the exterior. From interiors, it had stone carvings on ceilings in gold that matches the prints of the floor carpet in exact detailing. I found that concept to be interesting and yet flawless. Then there were walls with their own detailing of glass work and marble, and another wall mentioned the 99 names of God, accompanied by a clock that was constructed for the Muslims to guide them to their five daily prayers.

Marble Fusion

Marble Fusion

The Interior

The Interior

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the time to capture its essence as a whole, but I hope as a reader you get the idea of what I am talking about through these pictures.

Another incredible element to the interior were the Chandeliers that came in exotic shades of the jewel color palette.

The Jewel Chandelier

The Jewel Chandelier

99 names of God

99 names of God

The Clock To Prayer

The Clock To Prayer

The Marble Embroidery

The Marble Embroidery

The whole mosque was divided into separate sections, some areas where tourists could visit, others for Muslims to pray while they are in the state of ablution.

Photographs were were being taken from left, right and centre by people until the whole of its being was inhaled to the very core of their soul.

I could go to lengths describing how this place deeply affected me emotionally and spiritually, and sadly my pictures don’t do any justice to it, but you have the opportunity to discover it yourself and enjoy the everlasting visions that were a treat on their own without giving anyone anything to posses.

Economical and perfect for sight trotters, I believe you’ll only be able to digest its standing brilliance once you get there.

Now that is some place to stay beautiful in Dubai…

XOXO

Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Movie Review and Thoughts.

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While I barely give much attention to Bollywood movies, this one was particularly interesting to watch because I had already seen the first series of this movie, Tanu Weds Manu (2011) and I loved it. So it was only fair to watch the sequel. Bonus: Kangana Ranaut plays two different characters who are not related at all to add fun to a boring plot.

The story follows an already married couple from the first series, now getting ready to separate ways for the time due to misunderstandings and marital mishaps.

Tanu moves back to her parents house to clear her head from her marital issues with Manu, while Manu has already made up his mind after returning to his family in Delhi from a mental institution in UK that the marriage is incapable of progressing anymore and sends Tanu a divorce warning.

Meanwhile, Tanu goes city trotting with her ex boyfriend, and Manu tries hard to heal his broken heart from the marriage, until one day he finds an athlete in a college where he was a guest spokesperson, and sees his estranged wife in her.

As usual, he is head over heels, follows the athlete, tries to know where she lives etc. until she figures out he’s been stalking her, gives him a piece of mind only to find out that his ex wife DOES look like her.

Then follows a typical Bollywood movie plot where Manu falls in love with the woman, and Tanu comes chasing him to sort the matter of their marriage out once and for all. Clashes happen, of course, but the only thing that saves this movie is the fact that it is as much a comedy as it is a drama.

And the only reason why I pulled myself through the whole movie was because of the funny moments from Pappi (played by Deepak Dobriyal), Manu’s relative who helps him throughout his distraught moments, Datu, the athlete (played by Kangana Ranaut), and the new character Chintu, an illegal part time resident at Tanu’s house and an aspiring lawyer who gets smitten by her.

While my review may not amuse many of you, but the fact remains that the story would have been absolutely bland and awful without the great moments of laughter every now and then. I have to applaud Anand L. Rai, the director/producer, for saving this movie through catchy Punjabi songs and adding an X factor to a sequel through non stop comedy, considering that most sequels never live up to the fame of their first series, this movie was a smooth flow from its previous story line and stayed true to its nature to give as much enjoyment to Masala movie watchers as it did with Tanu weds Manu (2011).

My Final thoughts? Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. More Bonuses? It is worth watching in your personal bedroom zones as much as it is in a cinema.

Korean Beauty+Makeup Haul! My Thoughts and Impression.

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Initially when all the beauty bloggers were getting high on Asian beauty products, it didn’t excite me much only because my past experiences weren’t so great with them. However, when it was specified to the Korean line of products and was spoken of highly by my favorite makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge, I had to give it a try because she never recommends anything wrong. Her and Wayne Goss especially won’t recommend anything that is anywhere close to average.

And I have to admit that I was blown away. Even though these are fresh products purchased only a few days back, I tried them out at the Beauty World Trade show and was thoroughly impressed. Right from the packaging to the functional benefits and the fact that they were cheaper certainly got me hooked into buying them without a second thought. However, since I am a blogger, Bisous, the cosmetic brand created from Korea gave me their makeup line for free to try it out and give you guys a review.

Beauty and Makeup from Korea

Beauty and Makeup from Korea

As you guys can see above, the haul included a bag of Bisous cosmetics that came with two lipsticks, one peach/pink blush, a compact powder, and a pen liner.

The blue bag from ReBom cosmetics and skincare included a facial soap bar for brightening and whitening the skin.

Others were an oil cleanser that also acts as a liquid soap, a day emulsion with a UV protection, and an olive oil fabric face mask.

Now lets start with the Beauty Products! As I have already admitted, they blew me away. I personally tried the face mask, and the skincare right then and there at the Korean Pavilion at Beauty World to give me a better satisfaction before I could spend my hard earned money on them.

Korean Beauty Line

Korean Beauty Line

The face mask is unlike any other mask you will ever try. It is as I told you previously a fabric mask, it comes wet and you take the fabric and stick it on your face. Leave it on for ten minutes and you’re done with it. You don’t have to wash your face and do other complication of drying and toning, it works well on its own. It has hyaluoronic acid and olive oil ingredients and is perfect for moisturizing dry or flaky skin. My thoughts on it? awesome! Bonus: it comes with a serum which is step 1 but also optional, I prefer it without the serum. You are required to first wear the serum and then wear the mask.

Olive Oil Face Mask

Olive Oil Face Mask

Next is the soap bar! While it smells like any ordinary soap bar from a drugstore, it was the last piece left for me at the pavilion only because it genuinely works according to the consumers who have been familiar with Korean products. I haven’t tried it and I can’t voice my opinion on it yet, but for the sake of a haul article, it remains on this post.

Brightening Facial Soap

Brightening Facial Soap

Next was the Oil cleanser from ReBom cosmetic suppliers and they were heavily promoting the oil cleanser because it is very popular among Korean women. I was personally fascinated by it because it cleanses heavy duty/waterproof makeup and acts like a face wash too. All you have to do is squeeze out some drops and rub it all over the makeup you want to clear off, add some water on the palm of your hands and rub your face again and the oil turns into a foamy soap! How cool is that? A 2 in 1 was never this good, and I have already tried it twice and didn’t even need a toner to cleanse off excess since it does everything required to clean your face from all the makeup products you had previously on. Bonus: it has lemon extracts which is anti inflammatory and helps those who suffer from coincidental breakouts. My impression? AWESOME!

Amitie cleanser

Amitie cleanser

Then followed a moisturizer/emulsion from the brand Langsre for women who are aged 20 years and above to protect them from pre-mature wrinkling, UV rays, and skin burns. I was assured by the lovely Korean lady that I could wear it on the day or during the night. I have worn it as a base under my makeup and my makeup lasted all day, so I will give it a thumbs up for that.

Langsre Moisturizer/Emulsion

Langsre Moisturizer/Emulsion

Now comes the exciting bit! The Makeup Haul and experience. Now let me tell you that while I have tried the product pigmentation on my skin at the time I got them, I haven’t done a makeover with them yet. I absolutely loved and loved the lipsticks and didn’t spare my Instagram from constantly promoting them too. The blush is to die for. Bisous Bisous could easily be the Korean version of Benefits Cosmetics and their funky advertorials are proof too. I was however disappointed with their pen liner because it wasn’t so black, it looked more carbon, and also because it felt more watery than a little thick. The compact looked great but I cannot comment yet since I haven’t tried it on my face. But here comes the lovely pictures and the swatches!

Pearl Cased Compact

Pearl Cased Compact

Compact Swatch

Compact Swatch

The Peach Blusher

The Peach Blusher

The Stunning Case

The Stunning Case reads, “Love you Cherie”.

Blush Swatch. <3

Blush Swatch. ❤

The Lipsticks! *drools*

The Lipsticks! *drools*

Swatches of the Lipsticks. One was orange, the other was a light pink.

Swatches of the Lipsticks and the Pen Liner.

The disappointment of a liner!

The disappointment of a liner!

And yes, I could write a sonnet on how breathtaking the packaging was, considering that cosmetics that are drugstore priced cut costs on their product packaging, Bisous was a drugstore heaven. From the price, to the pigmentation and the packaging was absolutely mind blowing, even though I didn’t buy them, I checked the prices and was amazed but also disappointed because most of their products were already out of stock.

But I still have nothing to lose, and these lovelies are my new friends in my makeup drawer.

What are your thoughts on Korean beauty products? Comment below if you want. Give this post a like if you enjoyed it and don’t forget to share it.

I love you all

XOXO

La Dolce Vita (1960): Movie Review, from Maxim’s list of 300 Movies To Watch Before You Die.

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“Marcello! Come here… Marcello!” Shouts the beautiful Anita Ekberg from the now infamous Trevi fountain in Rome. Little did Federico Fellini, the director of the film, know that the project he was working on in the late 1950s would get this famous and become a pop culture classic movie and status, all the while summing up on the various lists of google’s search engine of 100 movies to watch before you die.

While I personally didn’t find anything exciting about the plot of this movie while I read its excerpts, the very fact that from famous actors and directors to movie critics have often called La Dolce Vita a “classic” and a “must watch” is what made me go ahead and watch this movie and there goes my review on it…

It follows the story of a common journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) working around Rome, taking pictures and interviewing the hottest celebrities of the time. Some journalists never have it this easy, but this young man seems to have his game fallen in perfect places. He dates a socialite and has one back in his apartment. Both the women are beautiful and rich, and both crave for his attention while he wavers from one place to the other to cover his job. If that’s not enough, among many media professionals, he specifically gets chosen to be around the best nightclubs and even greets the sexiest movie star from Sweden (Anita Ekberg) when she comes to Rome for a Press Conference.

And to make life more sweet, he even indulges with her in a fountain in the middle of the night while she is drunk and he could have all the opportunity in the world to be with her, and he does so when he blindly tells her that he loves her so much!

But she goes away and the drama is over. Marcello at the time doesn’t know he has it all for himself: the women, the life, the perfect job, and the countless friends. Yet why is he still so unsatisfied?

He escapes into his spiritual and humble friend’s house and has a get together to discover self realization, only sooner to realize that the man commits suicide.

Marcello is still distressed about his life but carries on with his daily job as a journalist. He still parties, meets weird people on the go, keeps his flings, but when an opportunity for him to understand the real meaning of the ultimate ‘sweet life’ arrives, he wavers off. For instance, he meets a lovely blonde girl while working a little far from home, she enchants him with her demure appeal and innocence, but he barely gives any care about his encounter with the girl.

All in the midst of it, years pass by, and Marcello continues feeling empty, still trying to see the perfect meaning of life while his friends continue making fools of themselves…

The success of this movie all goes back to Ebert’s reasoning of how Marcello holds the qualities of what every man in their different passages of age go through: to discover themselves.

The metaphorical beauty of this movie’s theme is also seen when in the beginning we see a statue of Jesus landing over Rome: Beautiful But fake., And in the ending when we see an ugly dead fish lying on the shore: ugly but real.

Overall, this whole movie conceptualizes Shakespeare’s famous proverb, “All that glitters is not gold”.

And while even to this day, we all are still trying hard to reach the peakest point of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need, some of us fall, or fall in sync with whatever is around us, as long as we exist.

I for one, had to watch this movie twice to understand exactly what was happening, and like most, was confused with all that was going on within the movie, considering it is a Fellini movie, there were obviously moments where one needs to read in between the lines. Luckily, it was only the second time, I fell in love with it.

While we see on the outside a fabulous modern city life, everyone is struggling from within, while it is shallow, Marcello is trying hard to find the intensity within him. It is a war between two stark emotions. Who wins? None. Marcello just shrugs off as if there is nothing he can do about it, minds his business like a pro media guy, and remains as someone who doesn’t need to know his personal demons.

Not a tempting move from his side, but this is what we all do at some point in our lives. Live the life while it is right in front of our eyes, without worrying about the future, crying about the past, and just being content with the way things are, irrelevant of whether it is a sweet life or not.

Now go and watch this movie. It is worth it.

BeautyWorld Middle East 2015. Recap And What I did There As A Blogger.

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First and foremost, don’t worry about this post being boring. I will not feed you into the technical details and the business aspects of it at all. Besides being a major corporate event hosting beauty brands all over the globe in one single place i.e. Trade Centre Dubai, Beauty World was an excellent host to upcoming and already existing bloggers like me, they were great contributors to all the posts that will be arriving on this blog in the coming future, and practically gave us all ( be it bloggers, salon owners, beauticians, retailers, agencies, artists etc) an opportunity to base future projects on.

Now what is Beauty World all about?

It is a yearly trade exhibition that takes place in the UAE World Trade Centre. Beauty/Cosmetic brands from all over the world hold exhibition here to get local distributors to carry out export business activities and create international branches for their companies. Arranged and majorly sponsored by Nazih Cosmetic and Salon supplies, this was an excellent trade show I have ever attended.

How did it work out for my benefit?

I got to meet a lot and a lot of people, be it business associates or local retailers, I got to exchange my business card with them and told them that I am a beauty/lifestyle blogger who reviews and demonstrates makeup and skincare products to my viewers. I even told them what makeup I like and the products I generally use on myself, in return I got to know their favorite food, travel spots, likes and dislikes, and in a minutes I got to make plenty of friends who would look forward to my blog and my social media platforms.

Often as young entrepreneurs, we underestimate the power and importance of such trade shows or business platforms where we get to learn so much, understand so much, where we get to socialize and make friends for nothing, etc. In return for being the brand ambassador for my site, I got to take products to try out on myself, I even shopped for the products that most people like to know more about, and even had my nails done to know all the hype about the new CND spring/summer collection. My thoughts on the mini manicure? Excellent! Overall experience at beauty world? AWESOME!

Update: A massive beauty haul coming soon! brand by brand.

CND manicure

CND manicure

Beauty Haul

Beauty Haul

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Visitor Badge

Longing for Local Distributors...

Longing for Local Distributors…

How to Create an Easy Cut Crease look! 5 Written tips.

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Sometimes the most complicated looking Makeup looks could be the easiest to wear and vise versa! On this post, I will advice you beauties how to create a simple cut crease without having to sweat for an hour.

Makeup By Sonia Khatri

Tip No. 1 (And this applies for any kind of makeup)

Leave your foundation and rest of the face makeup for the end, this way you feel relaxed and don’t have to worry about ruining your face, and so whatever errors you seemed to have made could be rectified easily.

Tip No. 2

Prime your eyes as normal using a white or a beige base, start by creating a dome ( like a C ) exactly an inch above your crease socket, and then pull out another dome making the C shape into an S. It is very easy, remember when you drew an ocean wave as a kid while playing with crayons? That’s exactly what I am talking about.

Tip No. 3

Don’t fret if you are still unable to create it, practice makes it easy but keeping the ‘Ocean Wave’ technique in mind, I easily drew a super pretty cut crease in my second try! *big smile*

Tip No. 4

Once you have your wave ready, start by shading the area with a matte color of your choice above the cut crease using a fat fluffy crease brush, build the color from little to more so that your blending has no errors and it looks smooth. Make the blending thickest on the outer corner and soften it when you reach the inner corner.

Tip No. 5

Coming close to where you drew your cut crease wave, start blending using a darker color and a smaller blending brush in a straight format. Increase and decrease the intensity to create a good gradient while coming to the inner corner.

Shade the lid in whatever soft color you want, draw a thin liner, apply mascara etc and you’re good to go. Of course, finish it off with your usual foundation routine, smack on a blush and a lipstick etc. And there you are!

P.S. It is just as easy as the tips I have mentioned above. You won’t regret it because this is just how I taught my friends to do this look.

Lastly, Give this post a thumbs up, comment if you wish and don’t forget to share this to all the lovely girls out there looking for an easy way out to do a sweet makeup look.

I love you all.

XOXO.

Lolita: A Crude Perversion or A Relentless Love? Short Book Review.

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Humbert Humbert, the protagonist of this infamous and taboo wrecking 1950’s novel by Vladimir Nabokov has some serious issue within his head. Or rather, his heart. To everyone including his American land lady, Charlotte Haze, he appears as a suave, foppish and a modest gentleman who could do no harm, have no odd thoughts or even be considered as a sly pedophile longing for his long lost childhood love (who died of Typhus) in Mrs. Haze’s daughter.

Considering this was the 50’s, in a society where most social norms were within tight principles, with no “fancy or colorful” activities viewed in the media, and where traditional families were always given top priority, through a coca cola billboard ad showing a family of four drinking it on the beach, or through family planning commercial housing ranges, stereotypes were at full swing, and Mr. Humbert looked like a typical fine man to everyone else, who was excellent at concealing his inner desires for Dolores Haze, till a time where even she couldn’t figure it out.

But why should he hide his feelings for the person? It is because she’s a nymphet of 12 years who has yet to attain puberty, while he is a middle aged college professor. And forget about what the society thinks, Mrs Haze would certainly not allow an older man having ‘other thoughts’ for her daughter. Seeing so many restrictions around him while he continuously dreams of Lolita non-stop and secretly keeps on gazing her for seconds coyly, he wishes and keeps wishing that some miracle works on his favor and he gets to have her for the rest of his life.

And while he keeps wishing, Lolita by the time begins flirting with him, or rather starts to ‘tease’ him from the perspective of her innocent aura, till we figure out she’s not that innocent. By that time, Humbert prolongs his stay at his rented room in Mrs. Haze’s house only for Lolita, and even ends up marrying her mother to get even more closer to her.

Unfortunately things start to take a turn when Mrs. Haze comes across Humbert’s diary where he mentions about his deep love and passion for Lolita, she gets hysterical and runs out of the house only to be hit by a car. Humbert takes this as a great opportunity for his and Lolita’s future together. Prior to all this drama between him and Mrs Haze happens, Lolita is sent of within days for summer camp far from home.

And so he picks Lolita from her vacation trip and they travel in a car to ‘run away’ from Mrs. Haze, her house or all that is related to her in order to begin a life with Lolita secretly. Even though eventually the girl learns of her mother’s death, she complies to be with Humbert and engages in versatile intimacy for the time being.

However, they’re not alone on their road trip and someone by the name of Clare Quilty keeps following them, Lolita secretly knows Quilty, while Humbert thinks he’s fishy trying to intrude into other people’s affair.

In this long journey of escaping, and hiding from everyone and everything that might take away Humbert’s never ending desire and love for Lolita, he would do anything to keep her safe and protected from a stranger who would dare tear his life or rather his ‘fantasy’ apart, or even hurt Lolita.

Unfortunately for us, who too shamelessly have been supporting Humbert for him to gain his life long happiness by his endless discussion of his ultimate longing, does Lolita feel the same way for him? Who is Clare Quilty that she’s been secretly meeting? Will Quilty tear Humbert’s life apart?

As usual I won’t leak out more since this is a review and it is only for you book worms to find out what happens next. The only little hint I can give is that when you’re trying to break a norm in secret, not everything goes as planned and deep sadness strikes you the worst when you’re having great expectations.

As far as the book journey with me goes, I loved reading Lolita, firstly, because it was very well written and detailed by an author who’s first language is not English, Vladimir Nabokov pulled every string of my heart through this great book.

Secondly, I love how English, the language itself has come such a long way as we read through the passages of Lolita, or maybe is Nabokov trying to make the book sound poetic? Perhaps, because the other classics that I have read never had an essence similar to that of Lolita, even other 1950’s writers such as Hemingway and Capote didn’t give that much of a thought provoking expression in writing, Nabokov has truly stolen the show with this genius novel.

Third, the fact that this book was based on a time when Humbert’s inordinate emotions weren’t viewed as commonly, this one of a kind subject from a ‘perfect’ era definitely got me curious and I didn’t hesitate reading it. It gave me more insights that even the world back then had its wild side and dark moments which we never got to see through Life Magazine archives, or vintage online websites. It is only now that the media has allowed freedom to show all kinds of abnormality in Human Emotions that we don’t find it exciting anymore.

Hats off to Nabokov for giving me the first sight into the quiet and hidden world where everything looked happy, innocent and perfect.

This book is a must read!

Lolita

Goodbye Dubai

Hits me at the root of the soul. Beautifully written.

Pensive Piscean

After almost thirty years of living in Dubai, I left. Although the possibility of packing up had been hovering as a ‘someday’, the actual decision felt like an anvil hitting the pit of my stomach. I spent my last month in the city driving down forgotten streets, having long conversations by the beach with overly sweetened tea and basically soaking in as much of the past as I could before having to cut the cord. And before I knew it my visa was cancelled, the tickets were booked, suitcases and cartons stuffed after hours spent weighing on what were the real ‘essentials’ needed ( I’m basically an emotional hoarder who can attach the tiniest memories to thoroughly useless objects) and I was off to the airport.

I am no longer officially an NRI.

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TOMS Bloggers Meet Up At The Dubai Mall

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It was a busy day on Monday, 21st of March till I checked my inbox and got notified on the New Collection Bloggers Meet-up For TOMS. Who would want to miss out on this?

The most famous mall in the UAE also happens to be the most crowded modern chic bazaar of the nation. Hurdling past families, giggling teenagers and a few naughty kids, I found my way to TOMS. The store was arranged in its urban bohemian delight and the hosts of the event greeted all bloggers/journalists and toured us around the store for a look at the brand’s new collection.

The new collection is all about spring freshness and the theme of the new designs is based on yachting and sea life. Staying true to its deep hues, TOMS maintained their iconic black, whites and navy blues in different textures of the same style.

The event lasted for three hours, and while having tiny chit chats with other bloggers, I got a customised pair for myself with a hand designed print as a sponsored token. There was no press conference and the store was too small to fit both customers and bloggers. Despite the few cons, the event was a success and it made me ponder on why I had not paid much attention to a few TOMS I had bought for myself in the past? I own two pairs and more than their custom style, I appreciate their humanitarian ambitions behind the brand. For those of you who aren’t aware, for each pair of TOMS bought by anyone, a free pair is donated to a poor child. The slogan of the brand is quite clear about it, “One For One”. Besides this, they also

  • Have partnered to launch seven impact studies (one currently in China) conducted in the field to learn how TOMS Shoes are impacting things like the local economy, health and education in places where they give.
  • Field Visits: Giving Team members from their staff travel to the field often to visit Giving Partners and learn how TOMS Giving is being integrated into larger development programs.
  • Marketing and Messaging: TOMS and the Giving Partners highlight their collaboration through social media, marketing materials, website, campaigns and conferences, amplifying the great impact of their work together.
  • Social Innovation: The team is constantly innovating to improve their giving, existing and future. They also assess and study needs to help determine future One for Ones.
  • Giving Trips: TOMS Giving Trips are a unique TOMS experience. They invite staff and other members of the TOMS community to visit Giving Partners in the field to distribute shoes and learn about TOMS Sight Giving services. Participants gain perspective on the complex realities present in impoverished communities ans see how organizations work to support community growth.
  • Education and Engagement: An important part of TOMS Giving is to inspire, engage and raise awareness of their Giving Partners and their work.

Their most unique selling point on giving to the poor from their share of profits and striving for humanitarian efforts has always made me look forward to their company goals and made me decide on a tightly scheduled day to cancel two of my meetings and be a part of their new launch when I was invited by their team.

… And that my friends is why I have no regrets despite the claustrophobia I experienced in the store.

Till Then,

Sonia in Dubai (Your bidu).

Okku Restaurant Review

The lovely Ample Arabia explains it as it is… check out her review on Okku.

Heena Mak

DSCF9482 Lobster Salad

They say chivalry is dead, but you’d find a rare breed of extremely lovely staff at Okku that’ll prove you wrong. The ambience at this fine dining dream is subtly lit with an amber-bronze tenor adornment; you walk into an elegant setting, reminiscent of Nobu, yet one that bears its own flair. Okku is a favorable night-spot if you’re into good Japanese food with great setting.

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What I Shopped From Sephora! Kat Von D, Too Faced, Huda Beauty Lashes…

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I never go for a major shopping spree, but when I do it is for my blog and my few sweet supporters who have been keeping tab on my work for a few months now. I remember the last haul I did was during Beauty World Middle East earlier this year, so another one is certainly legit. After all, who doesn’t like a haul blog post?

Here is what I shopped for my clients and to make this post happen…

I will begin with the much wanted and the much needed foundation palette by Makeup Forever. It was essential since this is one kit that is good for all skin types, is full coverage, conceals and contours, thus making the life of a pro artist easier. I have always loved the texture and the feeling of Makeup Forever foundations on my skin and on other people’s skin. It looks amazing and is great for photo shoots. So here you have it.

Makeup Forever 11 shades foundation palette.

Makeup Forever 11 shades foundation palette.

The next product is Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer! Yes, I spoke about it on my comparison post with Maybelline’s Fit me Concealer, and it doesn’t work as good as the drugstore option considering the price as well, but it is a great concealer for my clients with very dry under eyes. Maybelline’s Fit me just does not sit well with my chronic dry skin clients. So there comes the drawback for Fit Me.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Medium 1 Custard

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Medium 1 Custard

When it comes to foundation for personal preference, I don’t hesitate in trying anything. I especially get more curious about foundations that have been hyped by popular beauty bloggers on Youtube and Instagram. Taking into consideration the hype and positive feedbacks with the Too Faced Born This Way foundation, I went ahead and purchased one. The cover of the foundation mentions of having hyaloronic acid, alpine rose and coconut ingredients to help those with fine lines and wrinkles, it says that it gives the second skin look as if you were born with that flawless skin. I only got more encouraged to try it out after seeing how it made Nikkie Tutorials’ skin look like a dream! A demonstration and a review on this foundation will be coming soon.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Warm Nude

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Warm Nude

A few days ago, I had purchased a liquid pen liner for myself from Prestige in Centre Point, Dubai, which turned out to be a huge disaster. The felt tip didn’t bring out any liquid when you tried to make a wing and it began leaking everywhere when you tried to get the product out through force! It was such a useless product especially considering how awesome Prestige’s makeup are. Anyway, I got myself the Tattoo Liner in Trooper from Kat Von D as well as her ink liner in Neruda, and I feel blessed that they didn’t create such a mess and went on smoothly when I attempted to create a wing liner! It certainly serves up the hype. Good one, Kat Von D.

Tattoo Liner in Trooper and Ink Liner by Kat Von D in Neruda

Tattoo Liner in Trooper and Ink Liner by Kat Von D in Neruda

Looking through my makeup drawer one day, I discovered I didn’t have a single mink lash. I always kept it at the back of my head about getting a few of them, but the thought always never appeared when I would go for my yearly Sephora dosage. But finally, the thought crossed and I bought myself Huda Beauty’s Mink lashes which she had launched two months ago. Giselle will always be my classic favourite non mink lash from her, but these mink ones looked delicious. And here they are…

Huda Beauty Mink Lashes in Raquel, Sophia, Marilyn and Bridget.

Huda Beauty Mink Lashes in Raquel, Sophia, Marilyn and Bridget.

Now for the sake of the amazing reviews as usual, I bought the Kat Von D Shade and Light contour palette. I already have the eye contour palette, but this specific contour product broke record this year on social media. I read and watched each and every review possible on this product to satisfy and convince me to get one for myself, and so I am excited and can’t wait to try it out. According to Jaclyn Hill, it blends gorgeously and is best for those who are starting to contour.

Shade+Light Contour Palette by Kat Von D

Shade+Light Contour Palette by Kat Von D

Here we begin the best part! I will be showing you all the eye shadow palettes that I picked up. However, I won’t be swatching them since it is purely a haul post. But anyway…

Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette by Kat Von D

Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette by Kat Von D

This one above is a dream for every colour obsessed makeup freak! When I got into Sephora and swatched this, the pigmentation blew me away. Super buttery and finely milled shadows, I can’t wait to create some fun colourful looks with this for you all.

And ofcourse, who does not love the Too Faced Chocolate bar palette? It is a year old and been done with, but for some reason I ran out of some shades similar to the chocolate bar palette and decided to get it.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

Next is the super cute travel size Too Faced Matte Eyes palette. I was drawn to this cutie since I am travelling the coming week to India for a cousin’s wedding and didn’t have travel size warm palettes to carry with me.

Too Faced Natural Matte Palette.

Too Faced Natural Matte Palette.

And the last but certainly not the least are the super sexy melted lipsticks by Too Faced! I got the shades Melted Fuschia and Melted Nude… Yummmm….

Melted Fuschia and Melted Nude by Too Faced

Melted Fuschia and Melted Nude by Too Faced

So there you all have it! That was my first Sephora haul for Beautiful in Dubai. Hopefully more hauls should come in the future for you all. Do support me, give me a like on this post, follow and don’t forget to comment your thoughts.

Love you all

Bidu.