Dollz in Dubai Beauty. Brains. Bollywood! Thu, 24 Aug 2017 22:30:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dollz in Dubai 32 32 28530567 Movie Review: A Gentleman – Sundar, Susheel, Risky Thu, 24 Aug 2017 22:12:11 +0000 I haven’t done one of these post-midnight movie reviews in a long time but today’s movie has brought this blogger out of retirement. Full disclosure – I’m a Siddharth Malhotra fan; he’s easy on the eyes and I like his screen presence that’s been growing on me since his debut in Student of the Year. So when the promos of A Gentleman came out, I was intrigued. When I heard the soundtrack (which I love) and figured out it was an action romance, I grabbed a gaggle of girls and pre-booked my tickets. Tonight before the 10 pm showing at Roxy Cinemas, I decided to check into Twitter to see the reviews, which veered towards negative. Not surprising considering the directors Raj & DK haven’t had much critical success and while Siddharth is A-list, his success has primarily come in multi-starrers and/or Dharma Productions. But spoiler alert – I, and my group, all came out of the theatre happy and pleased with our entertainment of the evening.

What is it about?

Gaurav dreams of settling down with Kavya, the woman of his dreams, but she prefers a man who’s more adventurous and willing to take risks. He soon stands to lose everything when a case of mistaken identity rocks his once-happy life.

What is it actually about?

The movie has been promoted as an action romance but it’s more of an action comedy with the supporting cast getting more screen time than the heroine, Jacqueline Fernandes. It’s a masala Bollywood film with a strong dose of action, comedy, and of course a few songs thrown in, plus filmed in gorgeous locations – namely Miami. The plot twist is revealed at the interval but the film manages to hold your attention until the end thanks to the crisp editing and restrained runtime.

Should I watch it?

Yes! My last visit to the cinema for a Bollywood flick was Jab Harry Met Sejal which was an abomination. A Gentleman is fun, entertaining and a breeze to watch. It’s a big step for Siddharth Malhotra who manages to carry the film and commands the screen with his presence. Yes, he’s good looking but he pulls off the action sequences really well and I feel he’s the perfect actor to take over reins from Akshay Kumar. Another bonus point for his excellent Hindi dialogue delivery. The comedy comes in bits and pieces, usually at the expense of Gujaratis but is not overdone. The supporting cast, especially Hussain Dalal (Dixit), provide good support but Suneil Shetty is wasted. The soundtrack is great but seems a little forced into the narrative. However, the background music really helps and the placement of “Bandook Meri Laila” is excellent. Jacqueline Fernandes doesn’t have much to do but stands out in two scenes – their escape and the shoot out. My main crib with the producers was the overt branding with Brylcreem and Epson being shoved down your throat – a little restraint, please!

But can I watch it at home?

No – piracy is bad. Also, can I request Empire Movies/Fox Start Hindi to increase the number of screens in Dubai? We had to drive down to Roxy Cinemas, Citywalk from the Marina to find a showing, which was almost at capacity. There’s clearly a lot of people craving a masala Bollywood film.

But I’m busy this weekend?

Yes, but if you wait longer, someone is going to ruin the plot twist. And props to Raj & DK for tieing the plot in with the element of time.

Anything else?

One of the songs is an end-credits song so sit in your seat. Also, buy the soundtrack on iTunes. And warm yourself up with the Bandook video which has some excellent rapping skills by Siddharth Malhotra.

A Gentleman Movie Rating: 4/5

Or rather 3.5/5 because I have to remove 0.5 stars for my Siddharth Malhotra bias!



The Ultimate Travel Packing List Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:30:56 +0000 I like to think of myself as an organized person but when it comes to the night before I’m supposed to travel, I’m always anxious. And without fail, each time I’m on my way to the airport (usually when I’m just far enough I can’t turn back) I remember something I forgot to pack and wish I had.

And while I believe that as long as you have your phone, passport and a credit card, you’ll be fine – after everything else can be bought! I still think it’s much better when you have all things together and it’s a much more relaxing way to start a trip.

So after many years of trial and error, I finally put together *drumroll* The Ultimate Travel Packing List. I’ve been using a version of this for a few years now. I started by consulting a few apps to see if I could find something that could work for me. I liked dedicated packing apps like PackPoint and TripList but I just don’t see the point of downloading another app just dedicated to packing.

Apart from helping me remember all my items, this list helped me cut my packing time down. I would notice that while the initial packing would take me no more than 30 minutes, I’d still be packing for hours later adding an item each time I remember. With the list, I just pull out everything onto my bed within 15 minutes, and another 10 minutes to pack everything into a suitcase and/or carry-on. Organized and time-saving!

I’ve created my list in a few formats. I primarily use Wunderlist for a consolidated view of my to-dos. Unfortunately they don’t have public lists but email me if you use Wunderlist as well.  I’m also a fan of Evernote, so I’ve created a template in that. And finally, you can also download a PDF or Word copy.

If there’s one thing I’ve realized is that each person has personalized packing needs. So feel free to add/delete items to make your own list – and drop me a comment if I’m missing something essential. I also suggest adding a section to it for seasonal or special occasions, i.e a ski trip or a wedding.

Download The Ultimate Packing List:

What’s your packing strategy?

Movie Review: Okja Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:03:04 +0000 Being a movie addict, I pay attention to what’s the buzz coming from Cannes and other film festivals so I can make sure to catch those movies if and when they make it to DIFF. One of the buzzier movies this year was Okja, that has a talented cast featuring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Lily Collins but is actually a Netflix production and won’t be coming to the cinemas. So once I spotted it on Netflix, I had to give it a watch.

What is it about?

For 10 idyllic years, young Mija has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja – a massive animal and an even bigger friend – at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when family-owned, multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where an image-obsessed and self-promoting CEO has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission.

What is it actually about?

A Netflix production, this is a South Korean movie (with about half the dialog in Korean). A girl raises a gigantic pig and then has to save it from becoming your next hot dog.

Should I watch it?

YES! Weird, funny and emotional – you’ll probably want to watch a few more Korean movies after this. The subtitles don’t take away from it.

But can I watch it at home?

That’s the only way. It’s only available on Netflix though this would have been great for the cinemas.

But I’m busy this weekend.

It’s available to stream so take your time, but definitely, make time for this. Until now Netflix was killing it with TV shows, but even they seem to have a knack for movies as well.

Anything else?

Plan a vegetarian dinner and you might stop eating meat for a while. And it definitely gets emotional at the end.

Rating: 5/5

Movie Review: Dunkirk Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:23:33 +0000 Possibly the biggest movie of the summer, Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) latest set in World War II. I’ve been excited for this one and the reviews have all been positive. Plus, there’s Harry Styles & Tom Hardy as a bit of man-candy so last night I set off to watch it.

What is it about?

Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight) wrote and directed this historical thriller about the Dunkirk evacuation during the early days of World War II. When 400,000 British and Allied troops end up trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, following a catastrophic defeat, a number of civilian boats set out to rescue them before they are decimated by the approaching Nazi forces.

What is it actually about?

Dunkirk is the story of how 400,000 English soldiers were trapped at surrounded by the Nazis and their rescue by common folks. Since it’s a Christopher Nolan movie, there’s more to it, with 3 stories running at different paces – the story on the beach spans a week, the one on the sea a day, and the one in the air an hour – so a bit of time bendy stuff. Plus the cinematography and soundtrack are on another level and very Nolan-esque.

Should I watch it?


But can I watch it at home?

Definitely not. This one needs to be seen in IMAX. If you’re in Dubai, head to Vox Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates. The Dolby Atmos sound takes it to another level with Hans Zimmer’s acclaimed soundrack.

But I’m busy this weekend.

This really should be the one thing you do this weekend.

Anything else?

It’s intense so take some tissues if you’re a crier or grab a double-whiskey after.

Rating: 5/5

Movie Review: Baby Driver Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:38:28 +0000 With positive reviews and an eye-catching trailer, I was excited to see Baby Driver. And when Empire Movies held the premiere at Roxy Cinemas, Citywalk, I had to catch the early screening.

What is it about?

A partially deaf getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) gets caught up in a botched heist in this action comedy from writer/director Edgar Wright. Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, and Sky Ferreira co-star.

What is it actually about?

La La Land meets Fast & the Furious with a killer soundtrack. Ansel Elgort (Baby) has a hearing condition which means he has to listen to music all the time. He also happens to be a talented getaway driver. Each scene of this movie is set to the beat of the song and might be the most beautifully made movie since La La Land.

Should I watch it?


But can I watch it at home?

It’s worth a cinema visit.

But I’m busy this weekend.

The buzz is high so make sure you watch it before someone spoils the end.

Anything else?

You’ll want to buy the soundtrack afterward.

Rating: 4.5/5

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.