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Primer

Beauty tips : Getting ready for school – take 2

September 11, 2013

I’ve discovered a very interesting fact about myself this year: I’m so not a morning person. Well, it’s nothing new. Mother dearest knew it all along but I was always in denial – typical Zein. Not being a morning person gives me about two minutes to do makeup and not be late. But I’m always late – again, typical Zein. So here’s how I would do my makeup everyday for school..

First, I discovered that the Benefit Stay Flawless primer is an instant skin enhancer. A wee bit of that all over the face is a good start to fool people into thinking I wake up looking pretty and flawless when it’s not really the case. Then a good concealer like MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer (been using this for ages!) should do the trick to hide whatever needs to be hidden. Both products don’t need a brush to be applied. Thumbs up for time savers! 

I then move on to eye primer – something I can’t live without. Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is normally what I go for. If I wanted a bit of color, Sigma’s Eye Shadow Base in Pose or Revlon’s Smoky Shadow stick are as great as the Primer Potion and both can be applied/blended with fingers. If I had a bit of time, which is extremely rare, I would choose a subtle eyeshadow to dust all over the lid. Finish off the eye look with a good coat of mascara. I’ve gone back to using the Maybelline Colossal one, at the moment. Eyes done!
As for blush, I just grab whatever appears in front of my face and make a bit of effort to blend it well. 
Et voila! That is all I do, really. No Effort, hardly any brushes and time saving. As for lips, I slap on any clear lip balm on my way to school. If the look turns out to be a bit cakey, a good mist would do the job like Jane Iredale’s Pommisst or Urban Decay’s All Nighter. Both love love love! As for brows, I don’t even bother looking at them. I just quickly brush them with my fingers in the elevator, on my way down.
I try to keep all the face products used in a small pouch which I keep with me in case of emergencies. And I always have my Rimmel Stay Matte powder with a big fluffy brush for touch ups with me. If I don’t have time to do any of that at home, I’d go and hibernate in the girl’s bathroom and do my makeup in front of everyone. Awkward.
How would you do your makeup for school/work?
– Zein xx

Makeup : Revlon’s Colorstay Smoky Shadow Stick

September 7, 2013

I’ve been kind of obsessing over primers lately, specially eye primers. To continue my little primer saga, I decided that it would be the perfect occasion to blog about a little gem that I grabbed at the airport on my way back home, a few weeks ago. Normally, at the duty free, I tend to contemplate and gift myself with something from the Chanel and Dior counters. However, this time I did some serious damage at the Revlon counter and ended with this little beauty along with other products.

Some drugstore products are not available in the UAE. So I have a hard time finding recommendations by bloggers/vloggers living in Europe or the US. The Revlon Smoky Shadow Sticks are one of the products that I’ve never seen in Dubai, unless I’m starting to have poor eyesight.

The chosen shade is Torch and, as you can see, it’s a double ended stick with a pretty pink toned highlighting shade and a gorgeous bonze. Both colors are shimmery and glide on so smoothly onto the eyes. This type of stuff is excellent for school or work – it can be popped on directly from the stick and then blended with fingers in less than two seconds. And it doesn’t crease! I initially picked this up expecting that the champagne pink shade would turn out looking, well, pink. It rather looks like a creamy pink toned white in swatches, a bit like Phloof from MAC. This was a a bit of a disappointment for me… But I love using it in the tear duct area and on the brow bone. It does an amazing job at making you look awake when you actually had only three hours of sleep!

I highly recommend this product if you need to accomplish a go-to ‘presentable’ look in less than a minute or in the car if you’re in a rush. I believe you can find it at the duty free but not in drugstores (in Dubai, not the rest of the world). So next time you travel, make sure you stop at the Revlon counter and have a look at it πŸ˜‰

What is your go-to primer/eye shadow base? 

– Zein xx

Makeup : Sigma’s Eye Shadow Base in Pose

September 3, 2013

I’ve had my eye on the Sigma Eye Shadow Base collection ever since it launched. There are nine colors available that are sold individually or in sets of three. Luckily, I was sent one – along with other products – in the shade Pose. I’m obsessed.

I read and heard a lot of great reviews about these gems but I never thought that I would be that impressed. Sigma proved me wrong. The product has such a creamy and luxurious texture. It blends so perfectly and doesn’t dry too quickly. So it leaves time to blend it with a brush. And once it dries, it’s dry. It will not move. My lids can get pretty oily during the day and Dubai’s heat is no help. I always apply a sweat and oil proof primer on my lids to insure that everything stays in its rightful place. This does the job perfectly. What I like mostly about this stuff is that the color is buildable. It can vary from a very subtle bronze to an opaque bronze.

It comes in a pretty bulky pot that doesn’t look like anything I have in my collection. So it’s a bit hard to store. But a very clever move was to put this little white lid. That way it won’t dry out too quickly – like other primers in pots would. One point for Sigma! The only thing that bugs me in this product is the name “Eye Shadow Base”. I mean, can this get any more creative?

I know this is hard to get in Dubai because the shipping rates are mucho expensive. Well, they’re more expensive than the product itself which I find a bit ridiculous. But it was worth the mention! I believe you can find the Sigma Eye Shadow Bases on estilo.ae or by clicking here along with the discount code on the right (Sigma banner) to get 10% off your purchase.

Have you tried the Sigma Eye Shadow Base? 

– Zein xx

Flawless : Benefit’s Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer

September 2, 2013

I’ve never had a hard time deciding wether I like a product or not until the 15-hour primer, Stay Flawless, from Benefit Cosmetics arrived at my door. Dubai’s freakishly hot weather and humidity along with my oily skin were enough for me to see if this primer would be able to fight against these obstacles.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you would already know that you got a Benefit gal over here (me!). And because I love their Porefessional primer so much, I had very hight expectations when I first saw this primer release in the US months ago. At first glance, I noticed that its the type of product that would dry out a bit quickly (which explains the little white cap – very clever).

As you may have seen in the pictures, it’s in a stick form. Hence, application is directly from the stick onto the skin. Not very hygienic, I know… But as my friends would say to anything against my norms – yolo!

I must say, the immediate result was quite impressive. My skin really looked flawless. The type of flawless that would make you say “oh, I look pretty today”. Surprisingly, the primer reduced the appearance of blemishes and redness. It can be applied on its own with just a bit of concealer. And it makes the foundation a bit more matte as it sticks to the skin like a magnet. Thus, the increase of foundation coverage.

Now the question is… Did it last 15 hours? Unfortunately, not as long as it promises. I was a bit disappointed that my face started to appear oily after 5 hours, only. Blotting papers and powder must definitely be kept in the bag in case of emergencies. The product itself is actually quite portable and can be tossed in the handbag. I wonder if it can be reapplied over makeup during the day? I’ll try that and keep you posted πŸ˜‰

If it wasn’t for the lasting power of the Stay Flawless primer, I would give a two thumbs to this product. I know that it doesn’t hold on my skin all day, but it won’t prevent me from using it!

Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer is available in at Sephora and Faces for 152 AED. 

Have you tried this product? Thoughts?

– Zein xx

P.S: The packaging is so damn cute!

The Residence’s Favorites : Making my way through summer

August 11, 2013

Now that I’m in Lebanon for the holidays, I got rid of Dubai’s 50 degrees celsius heat. However, humidity is still haunting me, here in Lebanon. A few products are helping me battle against the summer weather in order to protect my makeup and keep it in place.

Jane Iredale’s Pommisst adds up the dewiness to the look while hydrating it. It’s the perfect pick me up! I ditched the UD All Nighter setting spray that I raved about last may. Crazy, I know. Unfortunately, there is some sort of problem or technical mistake with the lid of the bottle which makes it leak liquid. I had an unpleasant surprise in my suitcase when I arrived to Lebanon. Because of that, I can’t carry it around in my handbag *hashtag sad*.

Staying in the mist mood, the Lush “Eau Roma Water” toner has been very good to me lately. It controles oils very well without drying the skin. If you can’t get this, rose water has the exact same effect and you can find it in your kitchen. Thumbs up for kitchen beauty!

If I had to leave the house with one makeup product on, it would definitely be mascara. I love a good mascara, everyone knows that. And They’re Real by Benefit is more than a good mascara… It’s a great mascara! I’m not the biggest fan of the waterproof ones, but They’re Real is only water resistant so it will not leave mascara stains under my brow bone (where my lashes reach). This one is an all-time favorite!

My life without Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is meaningless. Am I exaggerating? Not at all. I get very oily lids and like to keep my eyes intact during the whole day. This primer keeps EVERYTHING in place. I hope the capital letters show how good it really is.

I’ve been enjoying these four products for summer and been using them everyday. I think this is turning out to be more of a favorites post… As for me, I’ve been trying to lay off the laptop this summer. Instead, I’ve been reading books a lot. Need some major catching up on blogs!

What are your favorite products for summer’s heat? Leave a comment below πŸ™‚

– Zein xx

Monthly Favorites : My June Favorites!

July 1, 2013

I can’t believe that this month has come to an end. I’m not sure if I should be happy or sad about it. A lot has happen during these thirty days: a lot of exams, first part of the baccalaureate (one more year and I’m done!), my birthday, end of school year and beginning of summer sales! I can proudly say that during this month I have mastered the art of multitasking which unsurprisingly lead to several nervous breakdowns. Back to the topic… Behold, my june favorites!

I payed a visit to Bath & Body Works not long ago knowing they had a huge sale going on. I picked up a few candles to burn in my room and came across “Mahogany Teakwood” and Oh. My. God. it smells so good! Are you familiar with the Abercrombie & Fitch “Fierce” perfume? You know, the one they spray in the whole store and on their clothes. It smells exactly the same. It’s that heavenly masculine scent that makes me take a deep breath every time I smell it. I’m quite bad when it comes to describing scents. So if you have the chance to stop by a B&BW shop, make sure you have a whiff of that. You’ll fall in love. 

Next is Boujois’s Regard Effect Metallise eyeliner in Vert Pepite. I’ve discovered this in my mother’s stash and thought why not use it? It gives a beautiful pop of color and an extra oomph to the makeup look. It glides on smoothly and the consistency is very luxurious and buttery. It’s a great change from the traditional neutral eye look. 
Speaking of eyeliners. On casual days, I’ve been going out simply with black eyeliner on my top lash line and mascara. I’ve been using MAC’s Blacktrack a lot as it can last all day without melting away (it rimes, haha!). As for mascara, I’ve been reaching out for Mikyajy’s 3 in 1 mascara from the Sabaya line. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it but it’s doing the job. Another eye product is MAC’s All That Glitters, a very well loved eyeshadow. I’ve been sweeping this very lightly over the lids to add a bit of sheen to the look.
Bourjois released not long ago a summer collection that consists of all type of bronzers. And I was in desperate need of a new bronzer and something to mix up with my foundations as they were all too pale for me. I got the Bronzing Primer which answered all of my prayers. I was so damn impressed when I used it! It’s the softest cream product I’ve ever used. It blends beautifully and seamlessly with the natural skin tone. It leaves a very nice tanned and healthy look that allow you to step out of the house without any other makeup on. However, it doesn’t control oil very well. A good blot is needed. I like to use it on its own or mix it up with foundation for more coverage or apply it to the hollows of my cheeks for a bit of contour. Some compare it to the Chanel Tan de Soleil, which I’m dying to try out and which is tres expensive. 
To avoid any interaction with the bronzy-ness, I’ve been using Benefit’s Dandelion blush which isn’t too overpowering. It adds the perfect touch of pink. I’ve been alternating with MAC’s Lovecloud a lot. There’s something about summer that makes me love this blush. I remember adding it to last year’s summer favorites. I believe it was part of my july favorites?
I’ve shown a lot of compassion towards this next item but I feel that I haven’t expressed much love for it on the blog. The Sigma F35 brush is officially my all-time favorite brush out there! It can be used for cream or powder products, highlighters, bronzers, blush, setting powders, blending concealers… The list can go on and on if you really think of it. This gem has served me so well ever since I bought it. Definitely a must for a starters kit!
Last but not least is the newest member of the makeup family. Please put your hands together for Bourjois’s Healthy Mix Serum! My best friend came back from London and kindly got me this foundation which I was craving. Luckily, the shade turned out to be the perfect one. Words cannot describe how much I love this product. It blends and applies so smoothly and luxuriously. It leaves a flawless dewy finish. What’s not to love? 
So this post turned out to be longer that I thought it would. A lot of products caught my heart, specially the Bourjois ones. This brand has reached the top of my favorites list. I’m definitely going back for more. 
What are you favorites this month? Tried any of the products mentioned? 
– Zein xx

Monthly Favorites : My April Favorites!

May 3, 2013

April has been by far the craziest, busiest, awesomest, eventful month of my life. So much has happened during these 30 days.
I haven’t done a favorites post in such a long time! I feel that it has been literally ages. My favorite products have been the same for months until april. I’ve rediscovered so many products that I’ve used in the past and have not repurchased.

I have to start with my most obvious choice: Benefit Cosmetics. That brand stole my heart this month.

They’re Real is, as Simone would say, amaze-balls! If you haven’t tried yet, please do so. It will change your life. Literally. You might think that I’m crazy… Try it, you’ll understand what I mean.

I’m using up a sample of Porefessional and loving it. I’ve been putting this on everyday, with or without makeup. I know it’s bad to put primer everyday, but hey, it really is magic!

Highbeam is already a favorite of mine. I thought it deserved to be mentioned once more.

And the last Benefit product is Erase Paste: a new one for me. I’ve been loving it so far for dark circles. Review soon!

A new member to my makeup family has made it to my favorites list for month. I’ve tweeted about it, instagramed it and reviewed it. It’s the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable in Honey Douce.

My last two products are from MAC. Surprise, surprise… They have been in my stash ever since I started blogging. I’ve been using Gingerly blush a lot lately to change from usual pink blushes. And the second product is a “long time not used” summer shade foundation that I absolutely love but wasn’t able to use it much due to the lack of tanning that I have. I know people in Dubai are supposed to be tanned but I have no time to go to the beach. Homework took over my life. Blame the french system! And no, I don’t fake tan. But I did consider that option…



Don’t forget to enter my giveaway, it ends on 5th May!

What are your monthly favorites? Leave a comment below πŸ™‚ 

– Zein xx

FOTD : The “no makeup” look

April 10, 2013

My skin has been breaking out a lot lately for I don’t know which reason. Today was one of those days where I look and feel like a mess. Not a tiny bit of makeup would make me feel a tiny bit beautiful. But, I had to do something about my face and hide all the atrocities that have appeared to stay for a while. As I had enough of homework for the day, I took a little break and decided to dig out a few products to achieve a “no makeup” look or “I’m too lazy to do anything” look.

I didn’t bother doing my eyes as I was unwilling to consume my last bit of energy on the mascara removal process. Girls, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!

I started with Benefit’s Porefessional to smooth out my face and minimize my pores because, today, everything has gone wrong and a good primer was urgently needed. This is the little sample I got here. Then I packed thin layers of the lightweight Tinted Moisturizer by Laura Mercier, a very well loved product. Enough has been applied in order to get rid of all the redness. I then dug out of my mum’s makeup drawer Benefit’s Erase Paste and tried it for the first time today. It did a great job at brightening and concealing my under eye area but I still needed MAC’s studio finish concealer to eliminate the breakouts. Yes, it was that bad! I’ll review Erase Paste after a few more tries. Stay tuned!

To add up a bit of “fun” to the look and to fake my healthy looking skin, I applied a tiny bit of Benefit’s PosieTint on the apple of my cheeks blending it towards my cheekbones where I slapped on Highbeam by Benefit. I switched back to this highlighter to obtain a healthy, young, glowy skin with a candlelight effect. To finish up the look I dusted a wee bit of Gingerly by MAC along the hollow of the cheeks bringing it up towards by temples. I know I live in Dubai, but I haven’t seen the sun this year due to homework and extra curricular activities. Thank god for makeup!


Don’t forget to enter my giveaway

What do you have on your face today? Leave your response in the comments below πŸ™‚ 

– Zein xx

Project 10 Pan : Am I getting rid of my makeup??

January 18, 2013

Me getting rid of my makeup? Please! This will only happen when sun and earth collide.

To be honest, I still don’t have an exorbitant amount of lipsticks like other beauty bloggers out there but I’m starting to feel that I have more makeup than I need. So I thought: how to use up makeup without getting rid of it? Project 10 Pan was the key to all of my questions. Have you ever heard of it before?


Project 10 Pan is … a project. I believe you all got that already, haha! It has been on the net for quite some time now… Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose 10 products. 
  2. Hit pan or finish up all of the products.
  3. You are not allowed to buy any products until you have accomplished rule #2. 

Now, because I’ve always been a bad player and a very good cheater when it comes to games, I chose a product that I’ve already hit pan on. So I’ll have to finish up this one completely. And, I kind of adjusted rule #2 by reducing the number of product to two. Well, this is how you satisfy a materialistic/shopaholic’s needs (moi!).

My goal isn’t to get rid of my “clutter”, as my mum would call it. Hell no. My goal is to finish up these babies to be able to buy new products and test new stuff. I guess this project “purifies” my makeup collection. Plus, it’s a great way to control your money and save up for the good stuff on the market. And most importantly, it reminds you how grateful you should be for having all of the makeup you own and being able to afford it (that last bit was kind of a clichΓ©, wasn’t it?).

I picked my products to form a “daily routine”. Of course, these aren’t the only products I use in that routine:

  1. Stay Matte by Rimmel 
  2. Maybelline’s falsies drama mascara
  3. MAC’s tendertone in hush hush
  4. MAC’s fluidline in Blacktrack
  5. Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer 
  6. Urban Decay Primer Potion 
  7. MAC lipstick in Plumful  
  8. MAC studio finish concealer
  9. Benefit’s Dandelion blush 
  10. Pinch O’ Peach blush by MAC 

Again, I didn’t choose these products because I don’t like them. Au contraire mon ami! I have a few favorites in this list. I’m doing Project 10 Pan to renew few products, it doesn’t matter wether I love them or not.

Did this post make sense to you? Because it did to me, in my head. Even I got lost during the process of writing it, haha! 
I’ll keep you updated in two weeks to let you know what happens with these products πŸ˜‰
Have you ever done Project 10 Pan? What are the products you chose? Leave everything about your experience in the comments below πŸ™‚ 
– Zein xx

The Residence’s Favorites : Beauty products of 2012!

December 27, 2012

I can’t believe this year is coming to an end. Now that I’m looking back at everything that happened during 2012, I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself haha. Starting a blog, staying up-to-date about new products and trends, maintaining my relatively good grades in school, taking Accutane (or Roaccutane or Curacne, whatever you would call it), committing to extra curricular activities, establishing new friendships, and most importantly staying healthy and always being there for my family and friends. All of that ain’t easy and 2013 is going to be even more tough! Challenge accepted!

No, don’t worry, you’re not going to read about my achievements. Instead, be prepared to read about beauty products that rocked my socks during this whole entire year!

It wasn’t hard for me to choose the items for this post. My choice was quite obvious. For those of you who have been reading whatever nonsense I came up with ever since I started blogging (thank you!), you might have seen all of these products. If I haven’t reviewed them, then I probably mentioned them already.

Disclaimer: I’m a very materialistic person and proud. Don’t mind if I get a bit carried away.

1. Naked Palette by Urban Decay. Words cannot describe my love to this palette. It’s the best thing that happened to my life. Am I exaggerating? Maybe, a bit. Buttery smooth pigmented eyeshadows that are perfect for everyday and every occasion. What is more to ask?

2. Eyeshadow Primer Potion by Urban Decay. Yes, Urban Decay caught my heart this year. I have very oily skin and in a matter of two hours my eyeshadow tends to smudge without primer. Wether I’m wearing eyeshadow or not, I always have this on my eyes to avoid shiny lids. Love this stuff!

3. Pinch O’ Peach blush by MAC. No matter how many blushes I try I keep going back to this one, the first blush I ever bought. Pinch O’ Peach was featured in my first Monthly Favorites post that you can find by clicking here.

4. Lipcare lipblam by Beesline. Hands down THE best lip balm on planet earth. I think I raved enough about it here.

5. Love Lust blush by Tom Ford. I don’t know in which cocoon I’ve lived in for never trying out Tom Ford’s blushes. This stuff is freakin’ awesome. Literally. I’m looking forward to trying other Tom Ford products, if I can save up for them. Yes, I’m talking about their well known lipsticks that everyone raves about. Review here!

6. Tinted Moiturizer by Laura Mercier. I’ve been using this one religiously. My excuse for having it on my face everyday: it contains SPF. Full review about it here.

7. Stay Matte pressed powder by Rimmel. Last but not least, another amazing product that stayed in my handbag and that is reviewed here. Can’t live without this baby.

When I purchase products they are considered as new toys. When I start to love them, they become my babies and, together, we form a big happy family. That’s sad.

Hope you’ve all had a great year. I know I did πŸ™‚

Leave a comment sharing your beauty products of the year! 

– Zein xx