Dollz in Dubai Beauty. Brains. Bollywood! Wed, 24 May 2017 19:57:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dollz in Dubai 32 32 28530567 Tried & Tested: Meat Me Sundays at Level Seven, W Dubai Sat, 11 Feb 2017 14:01:01 +0000 I feel a bit obsessed with food these days considering I’ve talked about Saturday brunch and a Friday brunch quite recently. Well, why stop there as today it’s all about a Sunday brunch! But since Sunday is a working day in Dubai, brunch had to be replaced by drunch – and I was off to the fairly new W Dubai at Al Habtoor City for the Meat Me night at Level Seven.

The W Dubai is part of the brand new Al Habtoor City expansion that has opened next to the new Dubai Canal. With three ultra-luxury hotels adjacent to each other – Dubai’s first St. Regis, the flagship W and a new Westin – this place is bound to become the new destination for your days and nights in the upcoming months.

Level Seven is the W’s signature restaurant that plays host to the hotel guests. But just because you aren’t living there, it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of their dining options. The restaurant is primarily Mediterranean-themed with a gifted bartender (and I’m tough to please) and a dessert chef, which makes it an excellent option regardless of your plans. They have multiple dining options/themed nights to choose from as well:

  • Daily Deals
    • Business Lunch – from AED 79 – 12:30-3:30 pm, Daily
    • Ladies Aloud Breakfast – from AED 75 – 8-11 am, Daily
    • Coffee + Cake Break – from AED 45 – 8am-6pm, Sat-Thu
  • Themed Nights
    • Meat Me – AED 225 – 7-11 pm, Sundays
    • Sea Me – AED 245 – 7-11 pm, Wednesdays
    • Feed Me – AED 395, 12:30-4:30 pm, Fridays

After nine days of a veggie diet, I was ravenous for some meat and Meat Me at Level Seven seemed like a perfect option for me and anyone who loves meat.

If you’ve been to a W anywhere in the world, you know their decor is one of the highlights, which oscillates between post-modern and hipster. And while the nightclub-inspired lighting lobby might not appeal to you, Level Seven has a bright, welcoming vibe. The ceiling is covered in pots and pans arranged into a variation on lighting fixtures.

While the set menu doesn’t include beverages, there is a special discounted wine menu and a cocktail selection as well. If you’re not in the mood for red wine, their Old Fashioned gets my stamp of approval and I’d easily return just for that.

But of course, the main event is the food. Level Seven has a casual vibe with stations spread around. There’s a salad bar, charcuterie station (no pork but the bresaola is excellent), main dishes, meat carving station, appetizers, cheese and finally a dessert bar. I didn’t see any steak upon a browse and was worried but turns out the steak selection is brought to your table. Select the cut and number of grams and it’s cooked as per your order. The steak was easily one of the best I’ve had in Dubai which is an accomplishment some steakhouses in Dubai haven’t mastered. Considering a good steak will easily set you back AED 200 at most restaurants, AED 225 for the full menu at Level Seven makes the pricing is excellent. Either I have lived in Dubai too long and have a warped view, or restaurants are starting to focus on value for money with dining options. Either way, I was pleased.

It’ll be easy to overdo it on the mains but I’d say save some room for the cheese selection and a slice of cheesecake. This might be one of the best slices I’ve had in Dubai – not your typical (think Cheesecake Factory) dense slice but an airy baked version. Absolutely exquisite!

If you’re looking to entertain a large group – think business associates or extended family/friends – I’d pay a visit to Level Seven. It has a more casual vibe than Al Qasr and isn’t as heavy on the wallet. Of course, I’d leave out the vegetarians and make sure all guests are in a carnivorous mood. Or check out the alternate themed nights – I think the Seafood-themed Wednesday are next on my to-do.

What: Meat Me Mondays,
Every Sunday, 7-11 pm
Why: Meat lovers paradise
Where: W Dubai, Al Habtoor City
How much: AED 225 (food only)
Pros: The steak and value for money
Cons: Not for vegetarians
Rating: 4 stars

Level Seven, W Dubai
T: +971 4 436 6677

Disclaimer: This review contains a product/service that was provided for consideration by the brand or its PR firm.

Review: Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:30:19 +0000 When I review things here, I like to make sure I take my time. Especially when something costs in excess of US$400. So after six months of testing, I’m finally ready to review THE beauty release of the year, the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer.


The Dyson Supersonic launched with a lot of buzz last year – starting in June in the UK and in the fall in the USA. And it finally arrives in Dubai this week (January 27th) being sold exclusively at Sephora for a whopping AED 1,499.

So why all the hype behind a hair dryer? And that too from a brand that is best known for its vacuum cleaners!

Let’s start with the investments Dyson has made in the development of this product:

  • £50 million in the development
  • Built a bespoke, state of the art Hair Laboratory in research, design, and development
  • 1010 miles of human hair has been used in testing
  • 600 prototypes
  • 100+ patents pending
  • 16 patents pending for the attachments alone
  • 4 years in development
  • 103 engineers

So how does this translate into the actual product? Let’s break it down:

The Packaging

Opening up the boss reminded me of one thing – Apple. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an appliance packed as beautifully as the Dyson. Each piece has a place and there’s no excessive amount of protective material or papers. My Dyson came to me from the UK via Shop’n’Ship and arrived in mint condition.

Inside the box, you get three attachments: a wide nozzle, a smoothing nozzle and a diffuser. I use the wide nozzle while rough drying, the smoothing nozzle for straightening and the diffuser while enhancing my curls. The attachments themselves don’t need to be clipped in as there’s a magnetic connection. It screams luxury and I spent 20 minutes just ooh-ing and aah-ing.

You also get a grippy mat and a hanging hook – both which I have duly ignored.

The Device

As a pink lover, I opted for the grey and pink model but you can choose from a white version as well.

One thing I find with most hairdryers is they are either too heavy or too light and seem cheap. Dyson has heft but doesn’t seem unmanageable. It is engineered for balance and as such the motor is housed in the handle in your hand vs the top and hence remains balanced in your hand.

The Dyson Supersonic has four heat settings, three airflow settings, and a cold shot as well allowing you to customize usage for your hair type. The heat controls are intelligently managed to prevent extreme heat damage.

Using It

I’ll admit that I rarely use a hair dryer. Back in college, I used to use a blow dryer but after discovering the GHD, I air dry my hair and then flat iron it. As a result, my hair styling skills are negligible. But after 6 months of using the Dyson, I’m convinced.

Starting with the drying process, the Dyson is super-efficient. I can rough dry my hair in just a few minutes cutting drying time in half. While not soundless, compared the other hairdryers, the Dyson is quiet. I can get away with watching TV while blow-drying and with my door closed, noise in the adjacent room is minimal.

However, rough drying doesn’t exactly require a $400 blow dryer. Once I switched over to the smoothing nozzle and without using a brush and just vertically drying, I was able to smooth and get my hair straight. Once I added a brush into the mix, I was able to straighten my hair to the point where I didn’t need a flat iron. I generally suffer from dull hair but with the Dyson I was able to get a glossy/shiny look. The diffuser has eluded me so far but I’m sure that’s more to do with my styling skills vs the Dyson itself.

Bottom Line

The Dyson Supersonic is unlike any hair dryer you have. When I think of the Jetson era, these are the devices I was promised. Now, will it turn you into Jen Atkin overnight? No. But will it make your life easier? Yes. Massive splurge? Of course but I always put quality over price. If this manages up to Dyson’s name, the cost per use makes this a great investment. It comes with a 2-year guarantee giving you further peace of mind.

Ultimately the Supersonic is a luxury item. Sure I can use another hair dryer but like the GHD, the Dyson Supersonic is easy to use, gets me the results and is amazing to use. So for me, this is a great buy and a great gift. And unlike most brands, it is priced competitively with no additional markup on the UK/USA prices.

What: Dyson Supersonic
Why: The hairdryer from the future
Where: Sephora (UAE and USA),
Arrives in the UAE on the 27th of January
How much: AED 1450 (UAE)/ USD 399(USA)
Pros: Design, Ergonomics
Cons: Expensive
Rating:  4.5 stars

Disclaimer: This review contains a product/service that was purchased by me.

What to Watch | DIFF 2016 Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:16:15 +0000 Considering how much of a movie buff I am, it is rather surprising that it took me 13 years to finally attend DIFF, i.e the Dubai International Film Festival. This is the first year I’ll be attending not one, not two, but at least four screenings and maybe a few more impromptu ones.


DIFF has matured over the years with bigger stars attending and movies premiering here; and this year’s program might be the best one yet. DIFF primarily takes place at Madinat Jumeirah with red carpet gala screenings show at the Madinat Arena. Other screenings take place at Mall of Emirates and the outdoor cinema at The Beach. And with tickets starting at AED 35 (and AED 100 for the galas), it’s an affordable way to spend the week. Plus there are talks and roundtables with actors, directors and those in the business that you can also attend.

In past years, DIFF has snuck on me and I’ve never had enough time to plan as it can be overwhelming with so many options. So here’s a “beginners viewing guide” for the 13th Annual Dubai Film Festival. Disclaimer: these are all fairly “commercial” so if you’re looking for more artsy picks, please visit the DIFF guide for more information.

Befikre – Thursday, December 8 – 7 pm

The main reason I’m attending DIFF this year is for the world premiere of Befikre – the Bollywood film starring Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor and directed by Aditya Chopra. Ranveer Singh has been bae since he debuted with Band Baaja Baarat and I’ve loved him in Lootera. This one is touted to be Bollywood’s first “romantic comedy” which is surprising considering the majority of Bollywood movies are romances. But they all have a big dose of drama so I’m looking forward to light, fun movie, which as a bonus is fully shot in France.

Their Finest – Friday, December 9, 9:30 pm

I admit I can be convinced to watch a movie purely on the casting. After watching Love, Rosie and Me Before You, I’m a major Sam Claflin fan and this World War II romantic comedy stars him alongside Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy. The movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year and has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 75% so far suggesting this will be worth the watch.

La La Land – Saturday, December 10, 1:30 pm

Possibly the movie I’m most excited about this year. Buzz has been building for this Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling romantic musical comedy/drama since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival, with Oscar buzz building for Stone. At a 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating, this might be one of the best movies of the year with DIFF hosting its MENA premiere.

Nocturnal Animals – Monday, December 12, 9:30 pm

This Tom Ford-directed drama is his 2nd film after A Single Man, which I admit was hard for me to get through but I can’t resist anything with Amy Adams (I still need to watch Arrival). This is a neo-noir psychological thriller that won the Grand Jury Prize when it premiered at the Venice International Festival. Friends who’ve seen it in the US are declaring it a must-watch.

While these are the ones I’ve already picked up my tickets for (Dollz Tip – use your Emirates NBD card for Buy One, Get One Free and buy them from the DIFF website), if my schedule allows, there are a few more I’d suggest:

  • Collateral Beauty – Tuesday, December 13: The Will Smith drama looks interesting from the trailer and the ensemble cast featuring Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris.
  • The Founder – Saturday, December 10: This Michael Keaton starrer is a biographical drama about Ray Croc, i.e. the founder of McDonald’s. Currently at 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Miss Sloane – Wednesday, December 7 & Sunday, December 11: The Jessica Chastain starrer is opening DIFF this year and you can catch the 2nd screening later in the week. Currently at 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Jackie – Saturday, December 10 & Wednesday, December 14: They are calling this Natalie Portman’s finest performance yet and her next Oscar. Both screenings are already sold out but do keep an eye out for standby tickets.

Are you visiting DIFF this year? Make sure to follow me on Snapchat to see red carpet sightings and instant reviews!

Tried & Tested: Café Belge Alfresco Brunch Sat, 05 Nov 2016 15:24:48 +0000 If there’s one question that comes up often when chatting with my Dubai friends, it’s “Where is the best place to brunch in Dubai?” After all, Friday brunch is an institution in Dubai. For that reason I have a dedicated page for my favorite brunch options. Yet despite the explosion of dining options, my Friday brunch go-to’s remain the same year after year. But there’s a brand new addition to my list now – the Café Belge Alfresco Brunch at the Ritz Carlton DIFC. To set the mood, let’s start with this:

Now when I think DIFC, I definitely don’t think Friday brunch. After all, as the weather cools, you want an outdoors venue that doesn’t scream corporate. So I wasn’t expecting much. But when a venue is described as 1920’s “vintage glamor”, my attention was sparked.

A seafood lover’s paradise

I can usually tell within the first 5 minutes if I’m going to like a place and Café Belge’s vibe just brings you in – from the live saxophone player, to the female DJ spinning an excellent set, and of course a glass of champagne to get started. You can choose from three beverage packages: AED 325 for soft drinks, AED 450 for wine, beer and select cocktails, and AED 575 for everything + Laurent Perrier Brut champagne. The cocktail selection is limited but well done and my favorite drink of the afternoon was the Kriek’s Spritz – a blend of Kriek beer, prosecco and rhubarb syrup.

Menu and beverage package options

Cafe Belge has a seated brunch concept – all starters and mains are brought to your table. You can repeat anything you liked but there is so much food that I suggest to avoid that. Even for a table of four, the food was overwhelming and we barely managed to eat 50% of what was brought.

The first course is a fresh seafood platter with lobster, mussels, oysters, shrimp and more. And if you need even more oysters, there are the girls from Oyster Elite to come by and give you fresh shucks – a seafood lover’s paradise. This is followed by six more appetizers including smoked salmon, tuna tartar, foie gras waffle bites, scrambled egg, petite quiche and goat cheese toast. Like I said, plenty of food!

(L, M) My take on the vintage glamour theme. (R) The Oyster Girl.

At this point you get a short break to walk around and explore the gorgeous interiors before the live beef tartar trolley comes around and is prepared table side. Then come the main courses with seven options: beef chateaubriand, beer braised chicken, baked sea bass, vegetable ratatouille, modules champagnes cream, grilled salmon and potato gratin.

Endless food – come with an appetite

With all that food it’s hard to say what stood out but special mention for the oysters, lobster, mussels, salmon and potato gratin. And if you still have some space, walk over to the dessert room and make sure to get fresh warm belgian waffles topped with your favorite accompaniments.

Dessert room

And while the food was excellent, it’s the vibe that’ll take me back here. The restaurant is airy and the music adds just the right background noise. I would definitely book on the terrace while the weather is great. And even though the cocktails are free flowing, it doesn’t get “messy” as the crowd is a bit sophisticated for that. It’s an excellent venue to catch-up with friends where all your food is top quality and a very good price for all that seafood.

Bonus, if you’re a shisha junkie like me, end your brunch with a drink/smoke at the Sunken Garden at the Ritz. It’s adjacent to Café Belge’s terrace and is a hidden gem in the middle of DIFC’s concrete jungle. They do excellent shisha and a mean old fashioned. Perfect end to a perfect brunch.

Café Belge might have dethroned Al Qasr as my go-to brunch to take visitors. Because while Al Qasr might have the largest spread of food, quality beats quantity and it’s the vibe of Cafe Belge that makes it my new favorite.

What: Café Belge Alfresco Brunch,
Every Friday, 12-4 pm
Why: Ritz luxury and service with
Where: Ritz Carlton, DIFC
How much: AED 325: Soft beverages;
AED 450: Belgian beers by the draught, wine & signature cocktails;
AED 575: Champagne, Belgian beers by the draught, wine & signature cocktails
Pros: The food, drinks, vibe!
Cons: Not for vegetarians
Rating: 4.5 stars

Café Belge
T: +971 4 372 2323

Disclaimer: This review contains a product/service that was provided for consideration by the brand or its PR firm.

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Tarte in Dubai + Your Shopping Guide Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:11:45 +0000 My one thought when it comes to Sephora these days!

As if all the holiday releases weren’t enough, Sephora Middle East is stepping up their game. With Becca arriving in June, this month brings us one of my favorite brands: Tarte! It’s been on my Dubai wishlist since 2013 and will officially launch at Sephora Dubai Mall on October 26th with other branches following soon after.

Tarte has the tagline of “high performance naturals” meaning that their products have no parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and gluten. Moreover, they are a cruelty-free brand with a large portion of their products being vegan. And with some brands that might mean less pigmented or effective products, but Tarte manages to cross that gap and make some phenomenal products. So if you find yourself in front of a Tarte counter this weekend, here’s what I’d start with:

Rainforest of the Sea™ Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

My newest foundation discovery and one of Tarte’s recent launches. If you need buildable coverage but want your skin to look like skin, this needs to be your next buy. This water-based foundation is both hydrating and has SPF protection and makes it a perfect daily foundation. Another plus for their color range, which has undertones that work for both warm and cool tones.

Tarteist™ Contour Palette

Even though contouring might have passed its peak, there are some days when your natural bone structure isn’t enough. Tarte’s Contour Palette is easy to use and perfect for even beginners. I love that there are two contour and highlight colors so you can find the perfect blend for your skin tone and the intensity you want. Excellent for traveling and the upcoming wedding season.

The Sculptor – Contouring Face Slenderizer

Another contour product – this one’s great if you love cream products. Super blendable–this gives you a snatched nose in a few seconds, plus the stick format makes it super portable. This can run warm so make sure to give this a test on your skin tone.

Lights, Camera, Lashes™ Inner Rim Brightener

This one is a bit random but the one product you probably don’t have in your stash. If you like the awake, big-eyed effect, then this nude-colored liner needs to be your next buy. I first picked this up a few years ago and loved it so much that I immediately bought a backup. You got to use this to understand the hype!

Rainforest of the Sea™ so fine micro liner

If you wear a cat-liner daily, then this micro liner needs to be in your collection. This might be the tiniest eye liner brush I’ve come across. I also hear good things about the Tarteist™ Double Take Eyeliner and that’s next on my wishlist.

Cheek Stain

Personally my favorite Tarte product, I love these gel-blushes. If you suffer from any dryness on your cheeks, then this will be your next favorite. Gives an effortless glow in one swipe. Super pigmented so be frugal with application and blend well.

Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush

The original product that got everyone’s attention on Tarte and mine too. If you’re a blush addict, the Amazonian clay blushes are the best. Pigmented, in a massive a range of shades and they don’t budge for hours! They’ve also expanded this to bronzers and highlighters so if there’s one product you need to checkout, it’s this.

I still have a few more Tarte products on my wishlist which I’ll be stalking Sephora for:

So start saving your money because your makeup wishlist is going to get longer! And a little birdie tells me Sephora Middle East will be launching their e-commerce site soon so goodbye savings!

tarte dubai sephora

Disclaimer: Items featured here were purchased by me.

First Impressions: Make Up For Ever – The Brow Show Sat, 15 Oct 2016 19:03:15 +0000 If you’re an Instagram user who loves beauty, you probably didn’t escape the mention of THE BROW SHOW by Make Up For Ever (MUFE).  As is, brows are a big deal in the Middle East. My colleagues (they are Emirati) and I routinely trade brow secrets and the next must-buy product. So MUFE doing a mega focus on brows is smart.


Now what exactly is The Brow Show? From my understanding is that like your makeup – think red lips for an evening occasion or a bright stain for the day time – you can amplify or reduce the glam with your brows. I’ve been doing mine the same way regardless of occasion, so this was a new approach for me.

As part of THE BROW SHOW, MUFE gave me their range of brow products to try. And I being the self-sacrificial lamb decided to test them all. I will admit that it usually takes me months or years to declare complete love for a product, so these are my first impressions. I’ve also tried to rank each product on two parameters: difficulty (1: Easy to 5: Most Difficult) and transformational (1: Basic Enhancement to 5: Fill-up Bald Brows) level.

Pro Sculpting Brow

What it does: The Pro Sculpting range takes contouring to the next level with easy Pro tools and techniques to shape your entire face with lights and shadows. Pro Sculpting Brow is specifically designed to contour and sculpt brows in 3 easy steps. 1. The slanted edge colors and defines. 2. The brush combs and sculpts. 3. The sponge tip highlighter adds natural light for perfectly sculpted brow.

3-in-1 Brow Sculpting Pen
5 shades – My Color: 20 – Dark Blond

My usual way of doing brows involves a pencil so I thought this would be easy. Not exactly. MUFE’s Pro Sculpting Brow has an interesting triangular shape which means you can do more than draw in strokes. It also has a waxy feel which means that it adds pigment and keeps your hairs in place. The first time I used it, I barely got any pay-off. But the 2nd time I decided to be less nervous and apply more pressure and WOW. I have mismatched brows and this was the first time I was able to shape them to be more twins than adopted sisters. Plus the lasting power is intense. Even after a 14-hour day, my brows looked just as great. Bonus is the built-in matte highlighter.

  • Difficulty Level: 2
  • Transformational Level: 4

Pro Sculpting Brow Palette

What it does: The next level of contouring in the Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting range, Pro tools and techniques to shape your entire face with light and shadow. Groom, Define and Shape your brows like a Pro with our 4-in-1 Pro Sculpting Brow Palette. Your tools in this newest addition to the Pro Sculpting range are: an Applicator; a Wax: To groom and tame your brow hairs; a Trio of Powders: In light, medium, and dark shades; and a Highlighter.

2 palettes – My Color: Harmony 1

When I first started out, my go-to brow product was MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadow and the 219 brush. But over the years I’ve come to love pencil more. So going back to powders wouldn’t be my first choice, but if you’re looking from somewhere to start from, this is it. It’s almost impossible to go wrong with powder products as they are buildable. This palette is unique because it not only consists of brow shadows, but also includes a brow wax, highlight and three shades to work with. That means you can get a more realistic, natural effect by combining the shades. If you have a decent pair of brows that just need a bit of assistance, this is where to start from.

  • Difficulty Level: 1
  • Transformational Level: 3

Aqua Brow Kit

What it does: Aqua Brow is a highly pigmented gel that enhances and reshapes natural brows. Its superior waterproof formula creates a strong hold while its high concentration of pigments allows for intense color payoff that will not fade. Aqua Brow’s creamy gel texture gives an even, natural result that will last all day.

Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector + Brush + Spoolie
7 Shades – My Color: 35 – Taupe

Aqua Brow has been on my wishlist forever as it’s waterproof, which means it’s perfect for Dubai summers and beach season.  However, it looked too “professional” for me and that’s why I was holding off; and this definitely requires some skills. Aqua Brow is a cream/gel formula that is highly pigmented so you have to be careful how much you use. But that also means you can get a really transformation when it comes to your brows – whether you have sparse brows or just need to give them some intensity, this works for all cases. I like that MUFE have introduced a kit version as the tools that come with it are definitely required. I would definitely keep this in my kit for special occasions/wedding makeup as there’s nothing like it.

  • Difficulty Level: 4
  • Transformational Level: 5

Brow Liner

My Color: 20

This seems to be a Middle East exclusive/pre-release as I couldn’t find any information online. It was also my first time using a liner for my brows but these products seem to be quite popular in Asia. My shade was a taupe-green blend so I was doubtful but this applies like a dream! The sharp liner point means you can draw in individual hairs and picking a lighter color means you get a more natural effect. If you’re looking for a quick way to intense brows, this is your best bet.

  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Transformational Level: 3

Double-Ended Angled Eyebrow and Eyelash Brush 274

What it does: This practical, multi-use brush is an absolute must-have for quick eyebrow grooming. Use the angled end of the brush to fill in and define brows and the spiral end to groom brows and separate lashes. It can be used to apply eyebrow creams and pressed powders.

Not another product but a must-have tool. MUFE have always been the king of brushes and you want to get this tool brush in your kit regardless of the product you go with.

Since Make Up For Ever color-matched the products to me, I was surprised by the color they selected – for some of the products I was given the second lightest shades. If I was shopping on my own, these are definitely not the colors I would have picked. However, once on, they were a perfect match. Any darker and I would have “Instagram brows” that were obviously enhanced. And with this selection, no one could tell where the hairs end and the products star.

And in case you’re still building up your brow arsenal, I recommend you pickup a brow gel as well to set and put the final step on your brows. You can test out Make Up For Ever’s Brow Seal or the trust Benefit Cosmetics’ Gimme Brow.

So there are no excuses for bad brows anymore. Make Up For Ever has products for every skill level and requirement. So make your ways to a MUFE boutique, get color-matched and you’re all set for THE BROW SHOW!

Product Best For Price Where to Buy
Pro Sculpting Brow Everyday use $27 Sephora.comMUFE
Pro Sculpting Brow Palette Beginners $42 Sephora.comMUFE
Aqua Brow Kit Special occasions, intense looks $38 Sephora.comMUFE
Brow Liner When you’re short on time
Eyebrow and Eyelash Brush All products $28 Sephora.comMUFE


Disclaimer: This review contains a product/service that was provided for consideration by the brand or its PR firm.

Tried & Tested: Vida ‘Saturdaze’ Brunch Mon, 10 Oct 2016 16:55:30 +0000 Fall is here which means we finally leave the bubble of airconditioning for alfresco dining and the resurgence of Dubai’s brunch season. It’s not that you can’t brunch in the summer, but I somehow can’t make myself indulge in afternoons of hearty eating and drinking during the horrid summers. But that all changes from October onwards in Dubai.

I kicked off this season with brunch at Vida Downtown with a twist–instead of the usual Friday brunch**, I went over on Saturday. And instead of stumbling away and needing a nap, I was energized and excited to take on a new week.


Vida’s brunch concept is named “Saturdaze” – if you’ve had a hectic weekend and need to recover, or just want to savor the last hours of the weekend, this the perfect one for you. If you’ve ever done a Sunday brunch in NYC, then this will feel right at home, i.e. tasty food that might even be nutritionist approved plus a breakfast cocktail for a bit of fun.

Vida Saturdaze is based around one à la carte main that feature a variety of savory and sweet breakfast classics, as well as mains and salads for those in more of a lunch mode.


The mains are supplemented by a breakfast brunch bar featuring cereal, fruits, baked goods, cheese, cold cuts, salads and fresh juice bar that will whip you up whatever detox shake you need to undo Friday night’s excesses.

The fun part–brunch includes one cocktail where you can pick from a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Aperol Spritz or White Whine. Plus free flowing coffee, tea and juices.

This setup of part-buffet, part-à la carte make Vida Saturdaze an excellent place to catch-up with a friend – even those who might be picky eaters. And while some brunch concepts tend to push display over taste, Vida manages to excel in both. The vibe is effortlessly chic and everything I sampled was great – special mention for my spicey lamb Merguez Scramble, the chia seed pots, and the carrot cake.

And if all that isn’t enough – there’s one more thing you need to know about Vida Saturdaze. And pictures can be more descriptive sometimes:


Since the brunch is located at 3in1, i.e. Vida’s restaurant, terrace and pool concept, you can have your brunch at a pool cabana instead of inside the main dining room. For an additoinal AED 100 per person, you’ll get a private poolside cabana and pool access at this gorgeous setting with a DJ spinning live music. That’s definitely going to be my plan the next time I visit.

And best of all, this brunch is not going to set you back a bomb. At just AED 139 per person (not including pool access), it’s about the same as heading to your neighborhood café for breakfast. Except with much more and the classic Vida touch!

Instagram Photo


What: Vida Saturdaze Brunch
Why: A more chilled out variation to Dubai brunch
Where: Vida Downtown
How much: AED 139 per person,
additional AED 100 per person for cabana, pool access
Pros: Vibe, variety, taste – everything!
Cons: Best when temperatures are cooler
Rating: 4.5 stars

Vida Downtown Dubai
T: +971 4 888 3 444
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** Vida also do a Friday “picnic” brunch which is AED 345 pp with beverages.

Disclaimer: This review contains a product/service that was provided for consideration by the brand or its PR firm.

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Review: Clarisonic Mia Fit Tue, 04 Oct 2016 19:25:21 +0000 With almost 7 years of blogging, there are very few brands that have stood the test of the time. There have been so many advances in beauty and since I love trying new things, few items remain part of my routine for more than a year. But if there’s one thing that gets its spot on my bathroom shelf, it’s the Clarisonic.

I reviewed the Clarisonic Plus over four years ago and have used mine consistently for the past six years. And finally, after 1000s of cleanses and one-too-many drops, it finally did its last vibration a few weeks back. I still love the device and I knew I was going to get a replacement, but since I first bought my Clarisonic in 2010, the family of devices has grown quite a bit:

Mia Fit Alpha Fit Mia 2 Mia 1 Smart Profile
$219 $219 $169 $129 $299
mia-fit-240x240 job_11370-alpha-r1 mia2 mia1 smart
2 speeds 2 speeds 2 speeds 1 speed 5 speeds
Facial brush only Facial and body brush
Portable size Standard size

However my timing was quite right as I attended the launch of the new Clarisonic Mia Fit and Alpha Fit devices. Compared to the old Plus, the new Mia is compact, the smallest Clarisonic yet and absolutely cute. One of my issues with the original Clarisonic is the size – it would often topple off my bathroom shelf (probably contributing to its early death). The Mia Fit is perfectly sized and can sit on top of a tub of body scrub even on the smallest shelves. It’s also more ergonomic and much easier to hold and move across your face. Plus, the compact size also means you can pop it in your gym bag!


All Clarisonic brushes have a built-in rechargeable battery. I love the fact that the Mia Fit comes with a USB-powered charging cradle, which means you don’t need to carry a dedicated charger while traveling. I just reuse my smartphone charger and I’m good!

Like the original Clarisonic, the Mia Fit is waterproof – so you can take it with you in the shower. It has two speed settings – delicate and power-cleanse for a deeper cleanse after workouts or a heavy makeup day. If you’re new to Clarisonic, I always say start slow and see what works for your skin tone. There are also four brush options to pick from and the Deep Pore cleansing brush is my favorite.


And the men can rejoice as Clarisonic have introduced a specially formulated brush for men – the Alpha Fit. Men have tougher skin than women, which can make cleansing of pores (hence they suffer from blackheads more than women) and absorption of products difficult. It’s also a great prep for shaving to avoid razor burn and ingrown hairs. If the man in your life is into sports or spends a lot of time outdoors, I’d highly recommend this as a birthday or holiday gift. It also comes in a nice manly color of grey!

I know the price of the Clarisonic can put some people off of it, but considering how long they last, it’s definitely a good investment in the long term. The only comparable cleansing tool to the Clarisonic are Konjac sponges (see my review here), which are great but need to be replaced fairly often:

Clarisonic Konjac Sponge
Device AED 850
Brush Head/Sponge AED 100
Replace every 3 months
AED 75
Replace every 2 weeks
Cost for 1 year AED 1250 AED 1950
Cost for 3 years AED 2050 AED 5850

One look at the math and the value of the device shows up. And that doesn’t count the beautiful, blemish-free skin you’ll be sporting! And, don’t forget Clarisonic is exclusive to Sephora in the UAE.

What: Clarisonic Mia Fit
Why: Deep cleansing in a minute
Where: Sephora (UAE and USA)
How much: AED 850 (UAE)/ USD 219 (USA)
Pros: Deep cleaning, portable
Cons: Expensive
Rating:  4.5 stars

Disclaimer: This review contains a product/service that was provided for consideration by the brand or its PR firm.

Chef’s Table at Pizza Express Sun, 25 Sep 2016 17:40:47 +0000 When you’ve lived in Dubai for 20+ years, dining and entertainment options can get jaded after a while. When’s the last time you tried something new that is (1) fun for everyone, (2) doesn’t cost a bomb, and (3) leaves you well-fed? Well I may have found a venue that checks all three boxes – Pizza Express! I know – who would have thought?!


Luanne invited me to experience the Chef’s Table at the Jazz@Pizza Express branch in JLT. We started out by trying out their new autumn menu:

  • Crab Flatbread: flavorsome but light appetizer to kick off your meal.
  • Spicy Chicken Wings: not your typical chicken wings, these are spicy with Italian seasoning.
  • Superboost Salad: quinoa, chicken, sprouts, seeds – perfect for those watching their diet.
  • Hawaiian Pizza: loved the twist of switching out ham for veal bacon. Perfect with the tangy pineapple.
  • Spaghetti Gamberoni Picante: my favorite dish that I would return for. This prawn & cream sauce spaghetti has a spicy kick!
  • Chocolate Torte Sundae, Passion Fruit Mousse: both dessert options are available in a gluten-free variation!


After stuffing ourselves with food, we proceeded to make some! As part of the experience, each guest gets to make a personalized 10″ pizza. First we got kitted up with our chef’s outfit – paper hat and a much-needed apron (though if you’re like me, your shoes will be covered with pizza flour at the end of the night)! The pizza-making process starts with a mound of dough which you knead and stretch out, after which you personalize with your favorite toppings. And don’t stress out, the Pizza Express experts are always around to lend you a hand.

The pizzas then get put into the oven and while they are baking, you can enjoy the live band – which is worth a visit even if there was no pizza! And for those of you who enjoy a drink, the Movenpick branch is the only Pizza Express branch in Dubai that serves alcoholic beverages. So you can finally enjoy wine and pizza at a great price.

Instagram Photo


And I’m happy to say that our pizzas were edible and delicious – see above for proof! So if you’re looking for some entertainment ideas for the upcoming long weekend, I suggest you visit Jazz@Pizza Express. The chef’s table will set you back AED 149 per person including 3 house beverages (AED 99 with soft drinks). The Friday brunch is also extremely popular at AED 229 per person. But make sure to book ahead as this place is crowded even on week nights! And if you’re gluten-free, Pizza Express has gluten-free pizza bases available.

What: Chef’s Table, Jazz@Pizza Express
Why: Food and entertainment at a bargain
Where: JLT, Cluster A, Dubai
How much: AED 149 per person
Pros: Music, drinks and learning how to cook
Cons: It gets crowded
Rating: 4.5 stars

Pizza Express
T: +9714 441 6342
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Tuesday Tip: The Blending Trick Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:45:36 +0000 If you read any beauty blogs or watch beauty YouTube videos, you know that brushes can make a major difference. And while brushes are an absolute must to apply products with, there’s one trick you need to know about them.


No matter how much you try to blend, there will always be a spot that looks a bit too harsh or uneven. For this reason I always keep a big, clean Duo Fiber brush on hand. A duo fiber brush is also known as a skunk brush and usually consists of a blend of black natural hairs with longer white synthetic hairs. But instead of dipping any product into it, I keep this only for blending. So if I’ve contoured, I use this to blend the edges over, same with blush or highlighter. Even after applying your base, you can do a final once over with a clean brush to take away any excess product that might be hanging around.

The best way analogy for this is the blurring tool in Photoshop. It just melts your makeup together and makes your application look more professional.

If you still don’t have a Duo Fibre brush in your stash, I suggest the MAC 187 or the Sigma F50 brush. And even though you aren’t using these to directly apply product, you better give these a weekly wash at least!