Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Top Places for Budget Shopping

I thought I'd make up for my lack of posting by listing a few of my favorite places for budget shopping.

The Oasis Center, Sheikh Zayed Road
The beauty department at the bottom of the Oasis Center is a great place for bargain makeup. They definitely don't stock as many hair and body products as Lifestyle but they have a nice set up and more than enough staff to help you out (a little more annoying than helpful, if you ask me, but just focus on the makeup!)
They have a big selection of Rimmel, Maybelline and Prestige...but if you really wanna hit the jackpot, check out NYX. Quite the little treasure trove and very popular amongst makeup gurus all over the world for their MAC look-a-like shades, great quality and affordability. Plus, their products come in really cute packaging. I'm really fond of their Black Label Lipstick in Garnet. It's the perfect red for my yellow-undertoned skin. Another great buy is their Doll Eye mascara. I think I got mine for 36dhs.

Boots Drugstores
Boots is a great place to pick up bargain beauty buys. They make everything from hair care products, deodorants, hair removal products, even teeth whitening kits. And I love the fact that their packaging is so simple. Then there's the Botanics range and Boots No 7. I really like their Cucumber Face Mask. I try and use it a few times a week in the shower and it's really convenient because it only needs to be left on for 3 minutes, and it costs less than 15 dirhams so you can stock up if you use it a lot.

For Love 21, Deira City Center
ForLove 21 is one of my favorite stores in the city!! It's one of the only reasons I ever hit DCC. I park outside behind Woolworths, head into FL21 and head straight back out! They stock all sorts of accessories from jewelry to scarves to shoes, and you really can't beat their prices. I rarely spend over 50dhs on a piece of jewelry there, so it's perfect if you wanna try out a new trend but don't want to spend a lot of money on it. Just make sure you coat all of your purchases with clear polish when you get home, cuz their stuff tends to turn quickly. I just bought this silver necklace for 39dhs. It fits in perfectly with this fall's "heavy metal" trend and it works really well with the 70s punk theme I'm trying to work myself around :)

If you know me well enough, then you will know that I am a total Avon girl. I regularly purchase their retexturizing facial peels and Firm & Sculpt bust contouring cream. One of my favorite products by them is Glimmerstick Luxe in Pearly. It's a really creamy eyeliner in a soft, pretty shimmery pearl shade that I love to use on my lower lashline for a wide-eyed effect. Avon has two offices that I know of, one in Dubai and one in Sharjah. I've bought products directly from their office and through an Avon lady so they are also quite convenient. The Dubai office is on the airport road, their number is 04-2822832 and the Sharjah one is kind of near the corniche, their number is 06-5738585.

Zuris Gallery, near the Hyatt Regency
I actually found this place by mistake. I was desperately looking for pure African Shea Butter and my dad asked these two African women that worked in his department. They gave him the number to Zuris Gallery and I decided to drive down to the souq and find this place by myself. HA! It took me like 50 minutes to find it and when I go there they didn't even have what I was looking for!
What they did have, though, was a whole assortment of shampoos, conditioner, body lotions, hair extensions and makeup. It is a store that caters to African women, but it's worth checking out because it's really inexpensive and they do have some good stuff. I've bought their Olive Oil Hair Mask (a whopping 19dirhams!!) and I also stocked up on 3dirham nail polish. My favorite product so far, is the Ultimate Organics Moisturizing Body Gloss. It's got a delicious blend of lots of different oils (like soybean and sweet almond) and it soaks in really well, leaving behind a gorgeous subtle sheen. It's really light and great for when you want to wear shorts or a short dress out at night. AND, I paid 13 dirhams for a 12oz bottle. Yay! Call them for directions on 04-2716414.

Monday, July 27, 2009


A Really Easy Way to Clean Silver Jewelry

I'm on a bit of a silver kick right now. I usually love gold jewelry and I do love my black stones and beads, but I decided it's time to mix things up a bit.

So, I dug out some of my silver jewelry and I noticed some of them had really tarnished. I usually use a mix of toothpaste and baking soda with a toothbrush to buff off the tarnishing, but I wanted to find something a bit less abrasive.

I did a search online and apparently there is a really easy (and eco-friendly!) way to clean tarnished jewelry! Yay!

Basically, you need an aluminium plate (or a regular plate covered in aluminium foil) and about a tbsp each of salt and baking soda. Mix the salt and baking soda on the plate and cover it with warm water then stir it till they dissolve. Then just put your jewelry in that for a few minutes and tada! If your stuff is really, really tarnished you may have to redo the process but it's just soo easy!

Here is a link that I found explaining the process:
How to Clean Tarnished Silver

Another great tip:
The first thing I do whenever I buy costume jewelry is coat it with clear nail polish. My skin tends to react with metals and thats causes both the jewelry and my skin to turn a funny color. Coating my jewelry with nail polish really extends it's wearability. My grandmother taught me to coat my earring posts with clearn nail polish too, to prevent nickel allergies.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Summer Holiday 2009

I really wanted to go to Europe this summer and hit a music festival, but I wasn't able to (read: couldn't afford it). So I went with my family on an all expenses paid holiday to the Philippines! I had never been there before so I was pretty excited to add another stamp :)

We flew Qatar Air, which was actually quite nice. I flew them to Bangkok last December, but this time I got to fly first and business class which made SUCH a huge difference! It was a nine and a half our flight going there and we had a two hour layover in Qatar. BTW, the airport there SUCKS unless you get to use the lounges that have an Elemis spa, bedrooms, sauna and jacuzzi. AND (obviously this part impressed me the most) the bathroom stocks Molton Brown products so I grabbed a few hehe

It was wet season when we got to Manila and it was sooo humid and damp that I quickly realised it was pretty pointless for me to bring my makeup and curling iron.

My brother and I took a short trip to Boracay and stayed at a lovely little place on the beach called the Boracay Mandarin.Luckily it only rained on our last evening and even then it only sprinkled a little bit.

Then we headed back to Manila and did some sightseeing.

Then I headed down with my parents and sisters to a place called Coco Beach resort in Peurto Galera.

Such a cute little place. Everything was made out of wood and very "eco-chic". We were all meant to stay in one of the bungalows, but the 'stairs' were actually ladders leading upstairs and my dad thought it would be too dangerous at night (since the bathroom was downstairs) so he got another one for him and my mom and I shared one with my sisters.

Then we were back in Manila for about another week before heading back home. I did soo much shopping cuz it was soo cheap! One dirham came to about 13 pesos and my dad was paying for it all so I bought pretty much everything I saw! haha They also had a few Avon stores and a warehouse so I stocked up on their products as well. (More on that later!)

We spent three weeks there which is long enough to emotionally detox and de-stress. (And long enough for several massages and mani-pedis) I did miss my cat alot and I worried about him because he was a little ill when we left, but he survived :)