July 31, 2013

Get the Look for MUCH Less - Floral Shades!

It's sunny almost everyday during the summer months so why restrict yourself to one pair of sunglasses? Have fun with them and incorporate them into your outfits - buy a pair for the beach, one in every color for your outfits, and one really nice pair for special occasions. Get them in different shapes and sizes. There is no need for your shades to be expensive - choose ones that are fun, affordable and colorful. I like TOPSHOP and H&M's selections best. 

Floral sunglasses were all over the catwalk this season, led by Dolce & Gabbana with the coolest pair. Here is a GREAT Get the Look for Less which will let you follow the trend without even denting your savings :)

AED 1,900 

AED 2,300 

AED 75

Be one step AHEAD of the Fash Pack and store them in a cute floral case:

AED 45

Will you be wearing floral shades this summer?

July 30, 2013

EXCLUSIVE Summer Interview: Nadine Kanso of BilArabi Jewellery

How do you pack your jewellery for the summer? What do you take and what do you leave behind? For this week's Exclusive Summer Interview, I sat down with Nadine Kanso, the designer behind the beautiful jewellery brand BilArabi. We discussed travelling to destinations like Beirut, London and Mykonos, how to not overpack jewellery, and enjoying not having any schedule during summer and switching off. 

Tell me about yourself and your jewellery line?
I am a Lebanese-born, Dubai-based jewellery designer and artist photographer. I started my jewellery line BilArabi in 2006 (Link). It started off with a single ring in the Arabic letter N "noon". I designed and handcrafted it out of 18 carat gold and semi-precious stones. It was a hit! Soon after, I made it in all the letters of the alphabet and women started to express themselves 'Bil Arabi' - In Arabic. Today my line includes rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and cufflinks that draw on the beauty of the Arabic alphabet, calligraphy, and common expressions. Bil Arabi captures the essence of Modern Arab identity in the 21st century.

Where will you be travelling this summer?
This summer I will be travelling from one place to another. I have a jewellery show at Athr Gallery in Jeddah, London and Beirut for family time, and Mykonos with my husband. I might find time to squeeze in somewhere new like Sicily! 

How long will you be staying?
5 weeks. I am looking forward to some summer fun and relaxation!

Any plans while there?
Each location will offer something different and special. What I enjoy most while on holiday are walks, sitting by the sea, or having a simple espresso in a cafe and watch people passing by, reading a book. Basically having time to do all the simple things without the rush and hassle of our busy daily schedules.

What will you be shopping for?
I prefer to walk the cities, enjoy the beaches and the food rather than shopping. Having said that, I will never say no to something my heart falls for while going around the cities, especially in London!

Who will you be travelling with?
This summer is a combination of everything and everyone - from family to friends to an all girls trip so the mix will be cool.

Do you usually pack heavy or light?
I try to be as practical as I can but with the different destinations and the long trip, packing light isn't really an option this summer.

What will you pack?
EVERYTHING! I will be taking long beach dresses By Malene Birger and Monoplaza that I bought from S*uce. 

I always pack all my chargers and personal items in my Bil Arabi pouches
 They are so practical for travelling

How do you pack your jewellery for your holidays? 
I try not to pack all of my jewellery with me and pick pieces that work both day and night. 2 or 3 sets of earrings with rings to match. After all, a woman always has to have a touch of glamour :)

These T-shirt wrap bracelets are my summer jewellery must-haves. They are always packed in my jewellery pouch for summer as I can change the colors of the ribbon depending on my outfits. They are casual pieces yet eye-catching, eye-candy ones :)

I always pack my 2 rings with the letter N on them. They can be worn both day & night, look like tattoos on the finger, and the letters are not that obvious. People ALWAYS stop me and ask about them! 

What are your summer beauty essentials?
When travelling to beach destinations, body and hair oils are a must as well as sun protection and moisturizer. Always a cool hat.

My favourite summer oils include:

What will you pack in your carryon?
My book of the moment The Oil Kings, computer, camera, agenda and paperwork I need to work on. 

Nadine Kanso's jewellery brand BilArabi is sold in the U.A.E at S*uce, Bloomingdales, and Harvey Nichols. 

July 29, 2013

Obsession Alert: Lancome Gloss In Love

I have a new beauty obsession that I HAVE to share with you - Lancome In Love Lip glosses (Link)! They are a special summer collection for 2013. They come in 12 majorly addictive colors, are non-sticky, super glossy, super moisturizing, and super soft on the lips. Their colors are so rich that you don't need to apply lipstick - two coats and you have a perfect, shiny pout. They are also infused with a soft fruity-vanilla scent so they even taste good! 

The Lipgloss has a push-button so there is no need to twist open the cap 
Unlink other glosses, lipgoss doesn't melt on the cap (even after leaving it in the sun)

My favourite perk? While the shine goes after you eat and drink, the color stays on your lips for a LONG time. These glosses have become my ultimate favourite summer beauty essential this year. I'm SO OBSESSED that I have a tube in my beach bag, one in my day bag, and one in my  car just in case! 

Wearing my Gloss in Love in 385 - Under the Spotlight 
Look how glossy my lips are! 

Which shade is your favourite? 

July 27, 2013

Michelle Belau Beachwear

I love the water and go to the beach or pool for at least 9 months out of the year. Especially for my summer vacations, I am constantly on the lookout for really great swimwear and beach coverups. I don't like fancy-cut bikinis or anything too crazy for the beach- just simple, good fitting swimwear with nice colours and catchy prints or materials.  There is nothing worse than a woman wearing a swimsuit that doesn't fit well!

I recently discovered the Peruvian brand Michelle Belau (Link). It has really great swimwear and everyday clothes at very affordable prices. I especially love their bikinis - they fit really well, are nice quality, and can be re-worn hundreds of times without getting ruined. Luckily, the brand is launching soon in the U.A.E and will be sold in the Michelle Belau store at the Citywalk in Dubai Jumeirah. Something to look forward to!!


The Michelle Belau store will open in August at Citywalk Jumeirah on Al Wasl Road

July 26, 2013

Outfit Du Jour

Dress: MARA HOFFMAN at West La Boutique in Dubai or online HERE 
Necklace: ETRO

July 24, 2013

Get the Look for MUCH Less!

Duffle Bags are a very popular bag trend for Fall/Winter 2013. Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham, Furla, and Louis Vuitton have all sent models down their runways carrying duffles. 

I found this amazing duffle at ZARA at a fraction of the cost and is a great alternative to the expensive brands. It is available in a stunning blue, black or beige/black combo, and will make a great day bag this summer and fall :)

Material: Leather, lined in suede
Available Colors: Red & Grey
AED 3,800 (Small) - AED 7,800 (Large)

Material: Leather
Available Colors: Blue, Black, Beige/Black
AED 295 (Small) - AED 350 (Large)

Happy Shopping Ladies! :)

July 23, 2013

EXCLUSIVE Summer Interview: Celebrity Manicurist Ashlie Johnson

One of my biggest beauty dilemmas during my summer vacations has always been my nails. It is really difficult to find a decent nail parlour in Europe that does as good a job as the ones I am used to in the U.A.E. I always wondered how women keep their manis and pedis looking fresh throughout the summer, especially on beach holidays with all the salt and chlorine! 

For this week's Exclusive Summer Interview, I sat down with Chanel Celebrity Manicurist Ashlie Johnson (Link). She counts Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Mendes, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Alba as clients and does their nails for events and photoshoots. We discussed travelling to beautiful Costa Rica and the products she uses to prolong her manis and pedis. Enjoy :)

Where will you be travelling this summer?
Costa Rica. I've always wanted to visit the rain forest and practice my surfing. It's meant to be the ideal spot. 

Rio Celeste waterfall in Costa Rica's tropical rainforest  
(Source: www.cardelmar.co.uk)

How long will you be staying?
Two weeks

Any plans while there?
I don't think there is much shopping to do in the jungle! I'll mostly be in the water or hopefully exploring the jungle animals and taking photos. I'm not aware of any 'hot-spots' or places to dine at, so meals will be very low key. Fresh and healthy.

If you find shops, what will you be shopping for?
I love to find awesome local jewellery when I go on vacations. It is easy to travel back with them and they make unique gifts for friends. 

Wooden Costa Rican Jewellery

Who will you be travelling with?
I'm going with a great girlfriend of mine who turned me onto paddle boarding last summer. But then we got the bug to surf this summer! There are some great surf camps in Costa Rica so we are hoping to get better :)

Do you usually pack heavy or light?
I went to Paris for my first time in May and I packed heavy but for a beach vacation, I pack light. All you need are swimsuits, coverups, and flipflops. That's what I love about the beach.

What will you pack in your suitcase?
I will pack one swimsuit for each day I'm there. I love to collect them so I have a lot! Light dresses that can work day or night, Ancient Greek sandals, Havaiana Flip flops, some cool necklaces, and definitely my camera. 

Beach Vacation Essentials: (Clockwise from Top Left) 

What are your summer beauty essentials?
SUNSCREEN! It's a must- I have light freckled skin and blond hair so I tend to burn. I also pack a big hat to block out the sun. I also can't live without my Sheila Stotts hair brush- nothing will get through the knots without damaging my hair. I also pack L'oreal's Nature Therapy Moisture Conditioner. I have tried every conditioner UNDER THE SUN and this is the only one that leaves my hair shiny and soft even after being in the salt water. 

Any tips for extending your Manicure and Pedicure in the summer?
I always pack a nail file and Top Coat. If you chip a nail, file it with your nail file and then apply a top coat every 2 to 3 days to keep your polish perfect. I also bring along Dr. Hauschka's Neem nail oil pen. It is a spill-proof way to travel with your nail oil. Apply this each night to keep your nails and skin hydrated. 

What's your preferred nail polish color this summer?
Chanel's Azure polish for summer- it looks just like the reflection of the sea!
CHANEL Azure Nailpolish 

Any Travel Tips?
Always make sure that whatever you pack, you can carry yourself. There is nothing worse than not being able to get your bag on a plane or train when in a mad rush. Also, keep your travel info and documents in an easy access compartment in your bag. You don't want to waste time searching for things like your passport! 

If you enjoyed this week's Exclusive Summer Interview- check out Jen Atkin's interview last week (Link Here). She is a celebrity hairstylist who works closely with Ashlie Johnson :)

July 22, 2013

Most Popular Travel Destination - The Greek Islands

With Ramadan over in a few weeks, I am sure a lot of you will be travelling in August for your summer vacations. Where will you go? I teamed up with Reem Shaath, owner of boutique travel consultancy Why Wander (Link) to find out what the Top travel destination is. It turns out that the Greek Islands of Mykonos and Santorini are the most popular. 

Mykonos and Santorini are well known for their stunning beaches, turquoise seas, beautiful sunsets, and delicious, fresh food. They sit on the Aegean sea and are popular during the summer months for tourists from around the world. 

(Source: www.emjoyourholiday.com)

Santorini is larger and more picturesque than Mykonos with it's white villas hugging the cliffs and beaches with black volcanic sand. It's a great place for honeymooners, and tranquil and relaxing holidays.  It's quite therapeutic being there and you'll always feel like you are in a postcard. If you love to shop, Santorini's little town of Oia has amazing boutiques and narrow, cobbled streets. 

(Source: www.travelsupermarket.com)

Mykonos is my ultimate FAVOURITE place to travel to and I have been vacationing there for six years in a row. It is more fun and lively than Santorini and is an ideal destination for a great group of friends or a family. The are beautiful beaches all over the island and most turn into parties at sunset. Mykonos Town is adorable with its painted blue windows, narrow cobbled streets, and really incredible shopping. Everywhere you eat, you will find fresh fish, cheese and olives and the restaurants are delicious. Energy always seems to bounce off the walls of that island and no-one ever sleeps! It is an island that caters to every kind of traveller. 

If you would like to organize a trip to the Greek Islands, contact Reem Shaath at WhyWander.com

Where is your favourite summer destination?

July 20, 2013

Christian Dior & Andy Warhol

I'm OBSESSED with Christian Dior's Fall/Winter 2013 collection! Raf Simmons incorporated pictures of fashion and shoes by the famous Andy Warhol from the late 50's and early 60's.  He took the iconic Lady Dior bag and adorned it with embellished Andy Warhol's signature heels. He put faces and pieces of Warhol's art on the clothes. The end result is a collection of super cool clothes and bags infused with the spirit of Pop.  I can guarantee that once it hits the stores, it will FLY off the shelves around the world. Then Zara will make a copy of the bags and clothes and they will fly off the shelves as well :)

What do you think?

July 19, 2013

Outfit Du Jour


Jumpsuit: Stella McCartney (Link) 
Bag: Balenciaga 
Sandals: Christian Dior
Ring: Kenneth Jay Lane