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FOTD : Return Of The Eyeliner

September 14, 2014

With good eyeliners I find myself wanting to line my eyes everyday. I don’t usually go for the perfectly winged out or dramatic look. Simple is what I like most. You know me. This is how it goes down when simple and eyeliner meet.

No foundation is required here. I’ve been having a good skin week so far *knocks on wood*. Maybelline’s Instant Anti-Age concealer was applied to the under eye area and around the nose. 
I can’t get enough of the Clarins bronzer. I’m probably annoying you with that by now. Sorry not sorry. I used this lightly to warm up the face with the classic “3 shape” technique. It’s all about giving life to your complexion, people! Click here for more about Clarins bronzer. 
After mentioning it in my last post, I remembered how amazing this stuff is: Tom Ford’s blush in Love Lust was blended on the apples of the cheeks and brought up to the cheekbones. 
UD Naked Basics palette served me well: Foxy on the lid, Naked 2 and Faint in the crease, Crave in the outer-corner, and Venus on the brow bone and inner-corner. I’ve been using this really often. What makes this palette amazing is that it’s exactly what you need and it works for every occasion. Pure genius!
Then a not-so-thin and not-so-thick line using MUFE’s Artist Liner happened. This was featured in My top 5 eyeliners post. It’s very creamy and black. What makes this one special is that you can smudge it to create a smoky effect without eyeshadow. The intensity of the product can be played with. 
I’ve been really loving the first step “Extreme Volume” of the MaxFactor Excess Volume double-ended mascara. It actually looks a lot like their normal mascaras that they already have. The second step which is called “Dark Lacquer” is to avoid. It’s complete rubbish. 
Another favourite that has been featured here and here is Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in Satisfaction. It’s the perfect nude version of my lips but better. 
Au naturel. In other words: couldn’t be bothered.  
What do you have on your face today? Tried any of these products? 
– Zein xx

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 

The Daily Makeup Routine – The Essentials

August 18, 2014

A busy summer wasn’t what I had in mind. I imagined long days at the beach, hanging out with friends until late hours, eating all the food in the world, etc. Starting from mid-July none of that really happened (except for the food part – that’s mandatory). Instead, I ran around Beirut finishing paperwork for university. Makeup-wise, I didn’t even bother. Only two looks were worn this summer 1) very little makeup look and 2) no makeup at all. Here’s how it went down when I happened to wear makeup .. 

First rule: no foundation. I’ve put a big cross on that for the past two months. Blame my good friend humidity. I though that I was smart enough by running away from it in Dubai. Well think again Zein, Beirut’s humidity makes errrthang go cray. But thank you humidity, I always wanted to look like the Lion King.

Rather than starting with a heavy base, I go for Benefit’s Fake Up concealer. I’m trying to finish up a sample that I got. This is actually the lightest shade in the range but it works quite well for highlighting the under eye area and for emphasizing that gorgeous summer tan (not that mine is gorgeous in any way). If you have zero tan at the moment, don’t worry just follow the next step. I got you covered. 
Ah, the Clarins bronzer. L.O.V.E -ing it! That’s where the party’s at. This goes wherever the sun naturally hits the face using the Glambox kabuki brush. NARS’s illuminator in Hot Sand is then applied to cheekbones all the way to brow bones. This stuff is so beautiful, I can’t even! Finally, Rimmel’s cream blush in Apricot Glow provides that extra healthy glow and colour on the apples of the cheeks. 
Believe it or not but that is it. For defining my eyes, I sometimes use MaxFactor’s Lash Extension Effect by coating my lashes. Honestly, I don’t love that stuff. Not volumizing and barely lengthening. But I guess it works well for a “no makeup” makeup look. 
What makeup look have you been sporting this summer? Leave a comment by listing the products 🙂 
– Zein xx 

Major Beauty Haul

July 27, 2014

I totally bought a crap load of makeup.

So I didn’t buy all the products in this photo. I received a few “souvenirs” that you’ll know more of later in the post. I posted on twitter that I was travelling to Lebanon for a few weeks and made a short long pit stop at the duty free’s beauty department that had 20 per cent off on all products. Yes, 20 freakin’ por ciento. Crazy is what my mother and I were in front of the counters.

Now not all the products are mine. I’m sharing them with the big sister and the mother. But showing you the whole haul was necessary.

First at the duty free was the Chanel counter. My mum needed a mascara and a foundation pretty badly. After reading and seeing so many good reviews, I ended up picking up for her the Vitalumiere Aqua compact foundation and the Volume de Chanel mascara.

Another Chanel eye candy is the Rouge Coco Shine in Satisfaction. I saw this in Tanya Burr’s haul and knew that I needed this right away. Now that I have it, I can finally die in peace. I have a feeling that I’m really going to like this one. I can feel it in my bones!

Then the YSL counter happened. Heart melts. The YSL packaging kills me. It’s so luxurious and heavy making you feel like a thousand dollars just by looking at it. Of course, price tag inspired to faint. All products picked up from this brand are due to peer pressure (damn you bloggers and youtubers!). The Baby Doll Kiss & Blush are in shade 3, 9 and 12. The big sis is taking 3, mum is taking 12 and I’m taking the shade 9.

Next is this gloss in the shade Golden 19. The perfect pink nude. In reality it’s a tad bit lighter. And oh em gee it’s so pretty and not sticky. Yves does it best.

Finally are these Kiko products. My aunt went to Italy recently and she knows how big my love for makeup is. She got these palettes and lipsticks for mother and I that I just can’t wait to try out! The colours are so pretty in reality that the pictures don’t do them justice.

Bottom to top 220; 288; 241 and 295; 243; 401

Shade 04 and 03 (orangier) 

That is all for the haul! Sadly I don’t own this entire set of goodies. Nevertheless, I am going to try them all and hopefully report back. Have a great Sunday and Eid Mubarak for those of you who are celebrating!

Have you tried any of these? What have you bought lately? Leave a comment, would love to know! 

– Zein xx 

FOTD : Hello summer!

March 29, 2014

Summer is finally back in Dubai. Yes, yes. Summer. There is no such thing as spring here. Bikinis, tank tops, shorts and beach dresses are already popped out and the makeup has gone lighter. But no matter how hot it gets, nothing will keep me from piling up layers of makeup. 

The look that I went for today is nothing new, really. It’s actually very similar to what I do everyday for school but with more makeup. It’s like an upgraded version of the everyday look. 

1. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum – this is actually my summer shade and I’m still a bit pale to use this. So mixed it up with a lighter tinted moisturiser. 
2. Bourjois CC eye cream – I used this under my eyes and around my nose. Click here for a full review!
3. Benefit Highbeam – this was applied to the cheekbones and brow bones. It gives the most beautiful healthy glow.
4. Benefit Agent Zero – I used this only on my T-zone. I’m still testing it out and don’t really know how I feel about it. Have you tried it out? 
5. Urban Decay Sin and MAC Phloof eye shadows – I mixed these two eye shadows that I dusted onto my lids. Using a light eyeshadow on your lid will deepen the crease and will make you look more tanned. Fact. 
6. MAC Gingerly blush – I’m still hooked to this and it’s almost gone. I’ve used this very lightly as the whole look was really subtle. 
7. Bourjois 3D Effect Gloss in Rose Allegoric – this stuff is glossy like crazy! I could see the reflection of my reflection on my lips when I looked in the mirror. Insane. I haven’t been using gloss that much lately, but I love the natural and healthy colour this gives. Plus, it’s so moisturising. Love it!
As you can see, I went for the typical effortless look. Unfortunately, pictures tend to wash out the colours a lot. But after taking pictures, I added a bit more of Gingerly to add up the “tan” and a pop of warm pink on the apples of my cheeks. Of course, I used mascara. I went for a Maybelline one that I found in my stash. It’s terrible! I can’t believe I used to like this crap. I need to find a new mascara, I’m bored of the ones that I have. Recommendations? 
Also, I’ve mentioned in my previous posts that I was ill and I looked terrible. Please, just look at the business happening under my eyes. Actually, the whole eye area is really puffy. On the bright side, I’m recovering and feeling like myself again. Woohoo!
How are you celebrating the start of spring/summer (wherever you are in the world)? 
– Zein xx

On Wednesday we wear pink

March 12, 2014

I’m really not supposed to be writing this right now. I have a four hour economics exam tomorrow and here I am rambling about makeup, not feeling guilty at all. I gave myself a little break to get away from studying (in other words: I’m procrastinating – what I do best) by playing around with my beautiful toys.

Since it is Wednesday, pink is the appropriate colour to go for. Hence, the name of the post. I have a confession to make: I never watched the movie Mean Girls. I know, I know. It’s the first step that introduces you to the teenage life. But I’m still alive, aren’t I?

Starting with the eyes, we have MAC’s All That Glitters eyeshadow. My all time favourite, go-to eyeshadow that, unfortunately, smashed a few days ago *sheds a tear*. It’s not the first time that this shadow appears on the blog. It really brings out the green in my eyes and looks so flattering with my skin tone.

For the cheeks, I found this Bobbi Brown blush in Nectar hidden in mama’s stash a while ago. The pigmentation is cray cray! You literally need the tiniest amount of powder because otherwise it’ll either look like you’ve just been slapped or you’ve got a really bad sunburn. The application has to be like a flower caressing the cheeks. Ouh, I actually felt that just by imagining it.

Lastly, we’ve got two Benefit products for the lips: the new Lollitint – sister of Benetint, and ultra plush lip gloss in Lollibop. I was quite surprised by Lollitint at first. The liquid itself looks more plummy rather than pink. But that changed once I tried it on. When applied onto the cheeks, it is safe to say that it is one of the strongest pinks in my whole collection of blushes. It would look great with a red lip. As for the lip application, it gives nice just bitten extra hard that you’re about to bleed lips. Today, I used this on my lips only and topped it with the gloss which, btw, is my favourite type of lip gloss EVA. The ultra plush glosses are simple divine a) they’re not sticky, b) they smell amazing and c) they’re super smooth. Basically, it’s the type of product that would give a makeup boner. Very appropriate.

That’s all for now! What are your pink (or not pink) products this Wednesday? 

– Zein xx

FOTD : The daily face

January 19, 2014

Even though it’s a new year, some things never change. For example, waking up on time in the morning. Alarms become useless the moment I shut them off and go back to bed for another fifteen or twenty minutes. Obviously, this consumes the time I use for doing my makeup properly. Hence, a new go-to look has been created for people who take time like me *waves hand innocently*.

When I go to school, I prefer using products that suit me instead of trying a new foundation or blush that make me look like an oompa loompa. We all have those days… So most of the products mentioned are old favourites that I’ve been rediscovering, at the momento.

My skin has gone back to being really pale. Surprisingly, not as pale as last year. So I popped out Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturiser, a last year’s winter favorite. Whoa! I forgot how great it looks on the skin. It goes on so smoothly and blends perfectly with your skin. I believe I have fallen back in love with this treasure. And to cover up dark circles, blemishes and whatever sleep deprivation does to your face, I use my beloved, old and boring MAC studio finish concealer. Surprise, surprise..

Another old treasure that I’ve been using is MAC’s gingerly blush. I’m so surprised by how much I’ve been enjoying this lately. I’m almost sure that it’s the only flattering blush in my collection now. When I bought it at first, I thought it would look good as a bronzer, but it’s actually a melange of both, bronzer and blush. Talk about best of both worlds, eh?

As for eyes, it’s really the standard Zein look: Sigma cream base in Provoke and a good coat of Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. This mascara is the only one that seems to give me, both, volume and length at the same time. Where are them other good mascaras at??

As you may have noticed, I’m sticking to the products that I know best. But this will get pretty boring after a week or two. I’m open to new products suggestions. Concealer? Mascara? Blush? Anything! It gives me another excuse to go shopping 😀

What are your “keeping it safe” products? 

– Zein xx

Blushed : Benefit’s Rockateur blush

December 20, 2013

We’ve all heard about the Benefit’s Box O’ Powder blushes. I’ve had the chance to try out a few of them which I all really loved. After knowing that a new blush was added to their collection, Rockateur, I was beyond excited and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

According to Benefit “this rockin’ rose gold cheek powder gives a famous provocative flush that turns heads on-stage and off”. It comes with a little brush, as all the Box O’ Powders, that I surprisingly enjoy using. They’ve changed the shape and the bristles of their brushes making them softer and easier to use. I hated the old ones, they always ended up thrown away.

At first, it had some sort of golden spray which was quite scary and making me a bit nervous. I don’t use frosted blushes very often. Fortunately, it was immediately and beautifully blended with the rest of the blush after the first swirl.

In the pan, it looks like a very pretty rose gold with lovely flecks of shimmer (it doesn’t appear like that due to the terrible lighting in my house – sorry!). However, the biggest surprise, for me, was how it ended up looking on the cheeks. If you actually try it on your skin – not swatching it on the back of your hand – you’ll find it very natural and flattering. I ended up with a natural warm pink flush on my cheeks. This is why I mostly enjoy satin finishes or blushes with a bit of sheen to them, rather than a matte finish that can sometimes look chalky and fake.

I must admit, I’m bummed about the packaging. I always have high expectations when it comes to Benefit packaging. I also hoped that a bit more shimmer would transfer onto the skin. But that doesn’t seem to be a big of a problem.

I find that this is an amazing blush for everyday, especially if you fancy natural looking skin. I believe it would work on any skin tone and any makeup look whether you’re going for a natural eye or a smokey eye. It also smells fabulous!

A bit of good news, I finally have a few weeks off. School, exams and university applications have been driving me nuts and they’ve been taking over my personal time hence the long absence on the blog.

Have you tried this blush? What is your favorite Benefit blush? Leave a comment below 🙂

– Zein xx

FOTD : The Fashion Forward Face – Day 1

October 20, 2013

Fashion Forward kicked off the first day of the Eid. I was busy all day long so I had to make sure that my makeup lasted throughout the day and stayed flawless. As promised, here’s what my face looked like on day uno.

For my base, I used Benefit’s Stay Flawless primer topped with Sephora’s Light veil foundation. I popped my go-to concealer of the moment, Maybelline’s Dream Lumi Touch, on the under eye area and under the brow bone to brighten up and to do a bit of lifting. I decided to go for the sculpted look. So Bourjois’s Bronzing Primer was applied to the hallows of my cheeks and a generous amount of Benefit’s Highbeam was applied and blended on the cheekbones with this foundation brush and fingers. I then powdered the face with Rimmel’s Stay Matte by applying it only on the T-zone in order to keep the gorgeous healthy glow that the highlighter gave. I added a touch of rosiness to the cheeks with a hint of Lovecloud blush by MAC.

Moving on to the eyes. I started by priming them with Urban Decay’s primer potion – the usual. I dusted Sigma’s eyeshadow in the shade Act (my all-time favourite base to all my looks) and applied a bit of Urban Decay’s Dark Horse on the outer corner, which was later blended into the crease, and a wee bit on the lower lash line. Before finishing off the eyes with a good coat of Benefit’s They’re Real mascara, I went for eyeliner on the top lash line – a look that I’m sporting a lot lately. I used Revlon’s Colorstay liquid eye pen.

As for brows, I filled them with Revlon’s Brow Fantasy – a very handy brow product that I’ve been quite liking lately.

I kept the lips subtle with MAC’s Brave lipstick topped with a pretty old Chanel nude lipgloss. I know I need to throw it away because of its age. Don’t kill me. But it’s Chanel… It deserves to stay. I’m probably going to get sick and have weird skin problems because of this.

Before heading to Fashion Forward, I quickly accentuated my cheekbones by applying MAC’s Gingerly blush to the hallows of the cheeks and MAC’s Soft and Gentle msf to the cheekbones.

I did my hair at the hairdresser’s and asked him to go for the wavy look. Of course, the waves didn’t last a very long time.

Sorry for the poor iPhone quality picture, I barely had time to do a self-photoshoot for my Fashion Forward outfits and makeup looks.

– Zein xx