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The Residence’s Favorites : Best 14 of 2014

January 4, 2015
End of year favorites: the easiest post to write, said no one ever. It took me a whole plane ride from Beirut to Dubai to think through all the new products that were tried and tested. And guess what!? Turns out I have fourteen favorites in 2014. Get it?

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Products Worth The Splurge

September 8, 2014

I try to avoid high-end brands. They’re expensive and I’m broke. The basics. Naturally, we all love luxurious products and expect them to be good. Truth is, some of them are rubbish. Shocker. But then again, other pricey toys are simply outstanding.

Other than my five must haves, here are a few items that make me say I’m totally buying this again.

I personally think that no blush will beat Tom Ford blushes. The packaging itself makes you feel like the queen of Sheba. The formula is very buttery. The pigmentation is crazy. And the blendability is dreamy. You can’t ask for more. There aren’t that many shades in the permanent line. Nevertheless, they all look gorgeous. I have the shade Love Lust.

Chanel Chanel Chanel. The double C. The black and gold. The everything. Like our friend Mr. Ford, Ms. Chanel got everything right. For the lipstick lovers out there, the Rouge Coco Shine in Satisfaction is a must have. A go-to universal nude that can be thrown in the handbag but never forgotten. Yes, ladies. It is possible.

Then comes Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. Although applying foundation during the summer is against the Zein laws, this product is worth the mention. It’s actually not a foundation. It’s more of a mask: full coverage and beautiful glow. Just make sure to shake it before using it and to set it after applying it. Other than that, enjoy the flawless finish!

And for the bold lip type of gals, this NARS combo will make you dream. The satin lip pencil in Yu and the Priscilla lip gloss are the perfect glossy fuchsia you’ll find on the market. I never go for fuchsias. Little did I know, they make my eyes look greener than emeralds. Truth. I’m definitely looking forward to trying out more satin lip pencils. And I’m in love with that simple statement packaging. Swoon!

Have you tried any of these products? What are your worth the splurge products? 

– Zein xx

5 Products You Need

September 1, 2014

I came to notice that there are exactly five products I can’t live without (hence the name of the post. Duh.) Even though I don’t use them all on daily basis, they are still necessary items to own.

Starting with my beloved Clarins bronzer. I’m not going to comment on this a lot as I’ve featured it enough already on the blog in the past two months. I think it’s the best bronzer one can have to warm up the face a bit when feeling like a zombie or to contour. You can read more about it here, here and here
Then we have Benefit’s They’re Real eye makeup remover. Dear Lowd! I don’t know what’s in that stuff but it’s CRAZY! I kid you not, it removes bulletproof eyeliners and mascaras. Now, I don’t use eyeliner everyday. But when I do, I use this to take it off. What bugs me a bit is that it’s a creamy consistency. So the removal is kind of messy. 
Have you heard of Foreo? I haven’t before trying it out. It’s a rubber device for deep cleansing. Apparently it’s better and less harsh than Clarisonic (never tried it, so I wouldn’t know). People, this is were the party’s at. It gets into the deepest of pores. Cleansed and polished is what you feel after using it. In less than a week, you’ll start noticing that your skin is improving. I have the mini size one which has less features than the normal size. I’ll probably do another post to talk more about it. I honestly don’t understand how I’ve lived 18 years without Foreo. Everyone needs this. 
NARS illuminator in Hot Sand. A very pearly sand colour which gives the most natural healthy glow. I like to apply it in a “C” shape going from cheekbone to brow bone. Be-you-ti-ful. Also NARS is coming back to Dubai in October. The ones who are not excited should be kicked out of the county. 
Last but not least is YSL’s Kiss & Blush. Whatever the colour is, you need one of those. It dries matte, lasts for a good while and works perfectly for lips and cheeks. We all love multitask products, don’t we? Well this one won’t fail to impress you. Very good investment. 
Have a lovely day!
What are your indispensable 5 products? Let me know in the comments 🙂
– Zein xx 

My top 5 eyeliners

July 31, 2014

Eyeliners. They’re hard to use and take time to apply. Well, for me at least. This is why I go the easy way by totally rejecting them on daily basis. However, I found myself using them a lot at the moment. Like, a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love an eye look with liner but it’s such a hassle to put it on and take it off. I need to be mentally prepared in advanced for this process. A few eyeliners have made it to my top list at the moment.

Starting with Bourjois. They released a new line of eyeliners lately and I have the shades Ultra Black and Crazy About Brown. Coming from a drugstore brand, they are crazy pigmented, super creamy, very long lasting and waterproof. Love love love. I used that brown shimmery shade in my waterline for my graduation look (click here to see it) and it lasted a pretty good while. They also have crazy and fun colours in their line. Very interesting!

Moving on to Make Up For Ever. They came out with three new eyeliners this season. First is the artist liner. It’s a twist up kind of pencil. So no need for sharpening. Thank God! Another extremely creamy and black liner. It works amazingly as a base too for a smokey eye and can be easily smudged – you can play with the different intensities. A multitasking product is always a winner!
Next is the graphic liner. We all love those liner pens, don’t we? You can go from very thin to very thick. This type of liner makes it super easy to create a flick as you easily have full control of that pointy tip. Amazing stuff!
Last but not least is the ink liner. What makes this different from any other liquid liner? It dries matte. Ah! Matte. If you’re not into matte at the moment then I suggest you change decades immediately. C’est fini le glossy liquid liner. What I love about the applicator is that it’s not a brush but a hard bendable sponge type of thing. Makes sense? I don’t think so.. 
What are your top 5 eyeliners? Have you tried any of the above? Would love to know it the comments! 
– Zein xx

Monthly favorites : My February Favorites!

March 7, 2014

So it’s the end of a little two week holidays for me. I’m going back to school on Sunday with a load of exams waiting for me. I can’t wait for this year to finally end. I’ve used all my mental capacities by using and abusing my brain. Other than that, a few products have entered the love circle this month.

We have the new Nivea in-shower Body Lotion. I was supposed to mention this about, er, three months ago? Whoever came up with this concept is a pure genius and a very lazy person. I don’t know about you, but every time I get a new lotion/body cream I get excited about it for the first two days and promise myself that I’ll lather my whole body with it everyday. Of course, I never keep that promise because either I hate the sticky feeling of body lotions, I forget or I’m too lazy. How does this genius-ness work? After washing your whole body in the shower, spread this on the areas you want to moisturise and then rinse it off. Voila. Mucho easy and simple. 

Next is the classic fluidline Blacktrack by MAC. This is some sort of rediscovery. I’ve been using this a lot this month. It’s very smooth and easy to apply. 
On my nails is Isadora’s Summer Red. I don’t really care if it says ‘summer’ in the name, I used this during the whole winter (or whatever that breeziness was in Dubai). Ladies and gentlemen, I have found the truest of all reds. On top of that, the quality is amazeballs, comparable to Essie if not better. Now all I have to do is go get myself a new bottle because I can’t work anymore with this little sample that came in my Glambox
Speaking of Glambox, in January’s box was this BB cream by Pond’s. Now I don’t get that much excited about BB creams just because BB, CC, foundation, tinted moisturisers… It’s all the same to me. Of course, there are a few things that change (formula, finish, coverage, shade). Now, I’ve been reaching out a lot for this BB cream. It’s great for everyday use. Plus, I don’t need to powder my face with this. It dries to a semi-matte finish and lasts quite a while. The only problem is that my skin is a bit light for this right now. So I always need to slap a s*** load of bronzer down my neck. 
Finally, the Maybelline Insant Anti-Age Eraser concealer. I have a love/hate relationship with this and now I seem to be in the love phase. Lately, this has been so good to me and I’m scared run out of it knowing that it’s not available in Dubai. You know what they say, all good this come to an end.

Have a lovely Friday 🙂 

What are your favorites this month? Tried any of these? 
– Zein xx

Monthly favorites : My January Favorites

February 6, 2014

Monthly favorites posts haven’t seen the light of day for a while, here on the blog, simply because I’m using almost the same products all the time and because nothing seems to be mind blowing these days.

Lately, I’ve been really trying to get good looking skin because:

a) I’m starting to breakout again (fyi I took the Accutane treatment), and…
b) I can’t be bothered to do my eyes everyday. Something has to look good!

This month, I got introduced to Eucerin products thanks to Glambox. The first product is their lip balm. I’ve already used this in the past. It’s one of the most hydrating lip balms that I’ve ever tried! It lives in my pencil case and I always pop it out in class. All the teachers stare at me with a weird look when I do that, haha!
The next Eucerin product is the Aqua Porin Active eye cream. I’ve never used eye cream before, just argan oil sometimes. Wow. I was definitely blown away by the difference it makes. It’s really refreshing and light, and it goes on smoothly.

Since I’ve been working on by skin more than eyes or lips, I’ve been switching between two foundations. The first one is my Holy Grail foundation for everyday use: the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. Love Love Love Looove. I’ve wrote enough about it, you can check out the review here.
Another foundation I’ve been using on my ‘good looking skin’ days is Skin Ideal by Une. I have a deep affection for the dewy glowy fresh finish this gives. If you’re a fan of dewiness and lightweight foundations, this is definitely for you.

The last product on my list has also been introduced to me by Glambox. It’s Lolita Lempika’s Elle L’aime perfume. It’s a mix of floral, fresh lime and coconut. It reminds me a lot of when I’m on holidays.

As for other random updates, there is the Dubai Cycle Tour happening during the weekend. Most of the roads are closed, that’s a bummer. But on the bright side, schools are off today which leaves me with a three day long weekend. Oh Dubai, how I love you!

What are your monthly favorites? Tried any of these before? Leave a comment 🙂 

– Zein xx

The Residence’s Favorites : Winter lip shades

January 24, 2014

Ok I have to admit I am obsessed with lipsticks but don’t wear them that often. Well.. there are a few reasons 1. I go to school five days a week where people are not ashamed of commenting if your face looks different (whether it’s a positive or negative comment) and 2. lipstick can make your face look “overdressed” when you’re used to seeing your face naked. But there’s no such thing as overdressed. Am I right or am I right?

Although I don’t use lipstick as often as other people, there are a few shades that I find absolutely flattering for winter. After snapping a few shots for the post, I noticed that MAC bullets have invaded the picture. How cliché, I know. I didn’t choose MAC products on purpose, I swear. Also, I have to admit that I don’t own all of these goodies. Few of them are mother dearest’s stuff. Sharing is caring, isn’t it?

Brave by MAC
This has been my go-to lip colour ever since I got it. I find that it works perfectly for every season, throughout the year. Review here.

Cream in your coffee by MAC
As you can see in the picture above, this one is a bit darker than Brave. It looks so nice and natural in this combo here.

Plumful by MAC
My very first MAC lipstick was Plumful – you can tell by whatever is left from it. Out of all the lipsticks they have in store, I still don’t know why I chose this one because it’s really not my type of shade. I’m so glad that I did though. I find it so flattering on almost every skin tone. Unlike most MAC lipsticks, it’s pretty sheer. You can of course build up the colour. Review here.

Rebel by MAC 
No, I have never been able to rock a deep lip. Too shy. But I sometimes dab a bit of Rebel onto my lips. It’s actually my mum’s favourite lipstick. I love it when she has it on!

Russian Red by MAC 
Although I find this a bit too blue toned, Russian Red stays the standard red lip shade for winter and only winter. If I were to choose a red lippy during the rest of the year, it would definitely not be this one.

Honey Douce by Revlon
This one is from the Just Bitten Kissable line. Another go-to lip shade for casual days. I would wear this to school unlike the MAC ones. It’s pretty subtle and flattering. Review here.

Celestial by Rimmel 
Celestial is part of the Apocalips line. I still have to mention how amazing this line is. I just can’t get over it. Celestial is another pink colour that would look lovely during the whole year. Review here.

From top to bottom: Celestial; Honey Douce; Russian Red; Rebel; Plumful; Cream in your coffee; Brave

What are you favorite lip shades for winter? 

– Zein xx
P.S: I forgot to add this lipstick as well. You’ll love it if you’re a Brave/Cream in your coffee fan!