NARS Haulin'

Hurray! NARS is back! After many years of impatient waiting the brand has finally decided to give the UAE a second chance and a fully stocked stand now sits proudly in Sephora Mall of the Emirates.

Obviously such news triggered purposeful marching into store to finger the rubbery-packaged goodness and wouldn’t you know a little purchase was made as a result! I think I got a little over-excited….

The Eyeshadows

There are still a few of these Dual Intensity shadows that I want – specifically Himalia, Desdemona and, following an Instagram recommendation, Subra – but for now I picked up Phoebe (right) and Giove.

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Well, the good news is that Giove is a deep navy-indigo shadow that looks good dry and great wet. I had spied this online before and umm’d and aaah’d about it but I needn’t have hesitated. It is spectacular.

Phoebe however, is a little insipid and a little disappointing. I point my finger at the Sephora lights. Those bright bulbs gave a warmer undertone to the shadow in store but when swiped dry across my lid all I got was a weak lavender. I wore it yesterday (with Giove as liner and a bit of MAC Corduroy on the outer corner) but it didn’t make me happy. 

All is not lost though, I tried this wet today, swatching it on my hand and I think this is the format that brings out the true tone. I live in hope!

The lip products

I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at the Audacious lipsticks but in the end the shade I wanted (a nude – duh!) was out of stock. I plumped for Natalie because this, along with a few others, was the only one that seemed to stand out.  It’s a bright Flamingo but very wearable thanks to the creamy, rich finish of the line. 

There is no doubt that the texture of the Audacious is a good one but there is also no question that the price has been DRAMATICALLY inflated for this market. We pay 160AED per lipstick – that’s $43 a-piece whereas in the US they are closer to $32. Sorry, but at that price I’d rather go to Tom Ford.

Obviously my grudge against price didn’t extend so far as to prohibit any more lip product purchases. I got the Super Orgasm lip-gloss and it’s a stunner. I like wearing this on it’s own and over nude lipsticks because it adds a little punch and warmth to the colour.

The foundation

The last purchase made was Sheer Glow (shade Punjab). I first tried this when it came out nearly 4 years ago and I loved it then. It was always a good dependable choice. Okay, so the name is incredibly misleading (it’s neither sheer nor glowy) but this was a good medium-coverage foundation that offered decent longevity and most importantly, made me feel good about my skin.

After road testing it yesterday I will say this: it’s okay.


Would I tell you now that you NEED to buy this? Absolutely not. Either my tastes have changed or foundation technology has evolved since it’s initial release and what seemed like a great product once upon a time no longer feels at all innovative or interesting.

It still looks okay. It’s still easy to blend. It still lasts a decent amount of time but if you asked me to choose between this, Clarins Extra Comfort, Laura Mercier Silk Crème, Chantecaille Just Skin or my current foundation crush of Dior Star mixed with MUFE HD I would say no-friggin-way.

I’d be interested to hear what you think about Sheer Glow? I know it still has many fans but I also know that it probably as just as many rejectors! Let me know!

Life Lately #3

Let’s life lately shall we?

I totally forgot about these posts so I have cobbled some images together and want to share some events and musings with you.

(L-R/Top to bottom)

  1. Diptyque – I went to a beautiful event at the Marriott Marquis for Diptyque recently. It was to herald the release of the 34collection which celebrates 50 years for the brand.  The scent itself is a comforting wood blend and I have my eye on the room diffuser. Since going to this event I am reminded how much I want to buy Philosykos perfume – it’s been on my list for such a long time!
  2. Gin! – I have found a new drinks/food destination! It’s called The Scene and it’s in Pier 7/Marina Mall. I mainly like this place because it reminds me of Bills  - casual and non-pretentious with good, simple food. I also very much appreciate the face that they have a Gin and Tonic menu – you’re winning when you’re ginning!
  3. Garden time – for half the year we live indoors, not daring to go outside much. From October onwards restaurants start reopening their terraces, walking in the sun no longer becomes a ridiculous idea and the garden furniture is fetched from the garage. Roger and Rose are absolutely delighted with the change of season and enjoy watching the world go by while barking hysterically at any bird that comes within 100 metres of them.
  4. Jo Malone Sea Salt & Sage – so very hyped on UK blogs but it has only just reached us over here. I was on my way to a makeover and saw it in the store and had to go in and rapidly spray it all over. It’s very “marine”, not what I expected but then I can’t exactly say I had a good idea of what Sea Salt and Sage really smell like together beforehand, did you?
  5. Makeovers! – I had such a lovely makeover with Will Malherbe, the Smashbox regional trainer. On my lips is the amazing Firecracker! Post coming soon J
  6. Gucci makeup – this has taken up some considerable floor space in Harvey Nichols and although I worship anything that Pat McGrath does, the concept doesn’t particularly excite me. There are some good looking eyeshadows and a pretty bronzer but nothing really lures me in. Maybe it’s because Gucci is a brand that stopped exciting me once Tom Ford ditched it….to be continued… (AKA I will probably buy something!).
  7. MAC Woodwinked – I have been reaching for my old school MAC palette recently. This gem has all the oldies – Tempting, Amber Lights, Carbon, Black Tied, Cranberry, Soba and the like…it also contains Woodwinked which is an outstanding golden bronze shade that makes eyes shine.
  8. Lunching – Simone and I trundled to the Pavilion in Downtown at the end of last week for a long lunch. I had a good looking chicken salad (and ahem…chips!) but it’s more the space that I like. It’s one of those places that you can rock up to with your laptop and hot desk the day away.
  9. DIY manicures – I haven’t been able to get a manicure for a few weeks (I know, Jesus wept) so I have had to DIY it and have enjoyed a spectacularly bad polish application phase as a result. Tom Ford’s “Viper” is probably the first one that hasn’t been a total bodge up.

    I will also add at this point that the Formula X system is not good – I hate the brush that comes with the cleanser (glorified rubbing alcohol) and the top coat takes far too long to dry for my liking. I’ll stick to my tried and tested base and top coats in the future!

I am off to an Illamasqua event tonight which I am super excited about and then I plan to hit the newly opened NARS stand in Mall of the Emirates at some point this I always say (mainly to myself), you can never have too much makeup!

See you soon :) x

Man Repellers

I made a beeline for this blouse in Zara because it’s one of those “handy” pieces that works both in and out of work and could feasibly be paired with both trousers and skirts. I also think a major part of the reason I bought it is because they merchandised it with boyfriend jeans and I loved that contrast between a silky top and ripped denim. Sold!

I wore it today with my favourite River Island boyfriend jeans. These are the kind of jeans that men seem to hate. They don’t make your arse look good and the crotch can hang low because they sit wide at the waist. Sorry I’m not sorry though because these man repellers are a delight to wear. 

I attempted a token nod to femininity by wearing heels (not pictured) but this was very much a sloppy dressed down day look. Sometimes you just have to break away from the skirts and dresses, right?

Jeans: River Island – Link! - don't be afraid to buy a size down. 
Blouse: Zara – Link!
Shoes: Topshop
Bag: Furla – Link!

Sunglasses: House of Harlow

This was a bit of a nothing outfit I think so I will try to make it up to you with lots of lovely makeup posts. I have alot to share :) 

See you tomorrow!

Semi-permanent brows at Sister's Beauty Lounge/Dubai Mall

I have tried it all. Expensive treatments with Shavata (first at Michaeljohn and then at Harrods), the humiliation of the department store brow bar, where passers by would often stop to see the tears rolls down my cheeks during threading sessions, serums and an occasional dabble in HD brows.

There was only one treatment left to explore - the semi-permanent eyebrow tattoo. This is the application of individual strokes and colour that can last anywhere between 1-5 years and make the perfect low maintenance option. I had this done last week and can I just say that I clearly saved the best for last.

I had it done at Sisters in Dubai Mall. Chloe is the therapist that specialises in semi-permanent makeup and out of all the people that offer this service in Dubai, is the only one I would recommend. You can check her Instagram to see why. Go to someone else at your own risk - there are ALOT of bad tattoo'd brows round this neck of the woods.

Now I would probably describe my natural brows as "just okay". They are too rounded in the front and towards the end there is a pathetic whisper of a tail. When I pencil them in I like to give more thickness and definition so that they frame my face - but they definitely require product to look acceptable.

I loved the idea of having good defined brows all the time but I will admit to being a bit scared about ending up with dark slugs that turn green or purple. One of the reasons I went for semi-permanent tattooing is that although a needle is used to deposit pigment, it does not penetrate as deep as your standard tattoo. This mitigates against that weird tint end result.

Sisters give this treatment in three parts:

1) Consultation and tint test to ensure that you are not allergic to the pigment
2) The treatment
3) The top-up (typically conducted 1-3 months after the actual treatment)

Now the treatment itself took about an hour and a half and I would say more time was spent discussing colour and shape than the actual tattooing itself. Honestly, I think this is important - you need to make sure that you are going to be happy when you walk out of the salon. Brows are lightly groomed, with strays plucked away, and then the tattooing starts. Chloe used a mixture of two shades and two different needle types - one to give the appearance of actual hairs and the other to deposit colour to define the shape. This does not hurt at all. I repeat this does not hurt. Numbing cream is whacked on beforehand but all I felt was a device lightly vibrating over my brow area.

In the picture above you see my brows one day after the treatment. It is normal and expected that they appear darker than the end result at this point but I quite liked the intensity! Right now they are flaking a little and I can see a much lighter colour underneath. Should I want a darker end result then I can always do that come top-up time and that's thankfully included in the price. From there top-ups can be given whenever required - from what I have read online it's normal to return to the salon once a year.

I am just so happy that I finally tried this out. It's been a very easy, pain-free process and the end result is just what I wanted.  I think my husband said it best when he stated that: "it's just highlighted how very weak your brows were before." Thank you so much! ;)

PS. I had the Glamour Brow treatment at Sisters which costs 3000 AED. Visit their website here - Link!

Have you ever thought/had this done?
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