Oscars 2015 Red Carpet Best And Worst Dressed

There’s no strut down the red carpet like Oscars walk and you can count on the A-listers to pull out all the fashion stops. Designers from every major couture house all over the world sent in their best gowns but it’s up to the celebrities and their stylists to choose and pair the right gown with the right look that works for them.

So like I do every year, I stayed up and kept a watchful eye for you on the carpet and here is my list of the big hits and misses.

Jennifer aniston in versace

Jennifer Aniston has had a a boring streak but as a presenter I had a feeling she would make sure to take our breath away at this Academy Awards and she did in this absolutely enchanting Atelier Versace Spring 2015 asymmetrical gown. I love everything about it from the beaded bandage bustier to the sheer skirt and side slit. She pulled it off with her casual signature hair. One of my best dressed of the evening.

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This must be the first time in a very very long time Nicole Kidman disappoints on the red carpet, in this strapless Louis Vuitton gown. The yellow tone of this sequined dress washes out her already very fair skin tone and that red belt on her waist was such a unnecessary clash. But her hair and makeup were the real let downs, she looked like she needed a major splash of color on her seemingly tired face. The only thing I loved was that LV clutch.

Noami Watts

I think we can safely say Naomi Watts has mastered the art of the red carpet and can be now considered as red carpet royalty. She wore a STUNNING Armani Privé art deco halter metallic dress unlike one we’ve seen before. I loved how the dress had sparkly black breast band and thought her berry lips were such a perfect match with this modern look. One of my best dressed, hands down.

Lupita Nyong'o Oscars

How does one create a gown with a astounding 6000 pearls, well leave it to Calvin Klein collection to do so. And it was none then red carpet darling Lupita Nyong’o who dared to wear this one-of-a kind-creation. I thought the top part of the dress was an absolute masterpiece and I especially loved the cut out at her mid-riff. This is definitely unlike anything we’ve seen before and I commend Lupita for always taking that fashion risk.

Kiera Knightly

Looks like Kiera Knightley finally decided to ditch Chanel after the hideous get up she donned at the Globes, and instead opted for Valentino in this floral ensemble with countless layers of tulle. I thought the floral crown was again an overkill and the birds on this dress majorly reminded me of the butterflies on that Chanel dress (nightmares aren’t going away). I just wish she didn’t insist on looking like a cute pregnant women this awards season, so many celebs have rocked their baby bumps in figure-hugging dresses and I don’t see why she insisted on playing it safe. Embrace the bump!

Sienna Miller Oscars

Sienna Miller looks like a classic Hollywood vision in this navy lace and floral macramé by Oscar de la Renta. The intricate detailing on this dress and the subtle ribbons looked so feminine and sweet and Sienna dreamy makeup and swept back was just what it needed to take this entire look to a another height. Perfection!

Julianne Moore Chanel Oscars

Julianne Moore. Her name has become synonymous with red carpet wins, whether she’s picking up an award or taking yet another fashion risk, this ginger beauty can do no wrong. And she was twice the winner in this Chanel Haute Couture gown. If you look closely you can see that every inch of this gown is covered in this gorgeous scaly sequins and the rows of black ones made this gown a masterpiece. At the risk of over- accessorizing she paired it with these dreamy Chopard earrings, a sleek low bun and flawless marsala lips. Damn!

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Let’s get one thing out of the way Emma Stone is gorgeous and Emma Stone is one if those faces that looks amazing in colorful makeup. So put a rag on this woman, and she will still make us gawk. And let us now forget her Golden Globe pan suit!! Now have one of the world’s most talented designers custom-make a gown for her and you got yourself a winning combo. This long-sleeved beaded number is a signature look from the Lebanese designer but what really captured everyone’s attention is the bright Chartreuse color of this dress, which is not a very common one and sometimes not a very flattering one. Yet the fair skinned beauty looked statuesque in it and wore it with these Christian Louboutins as not to add too much contrast. But it was her asymmetrical bob and shimmery bold coral lips that completed this look and made a favorite for the night.

Cate Blanchette

My heart skipped a beat when as I waited for her Majesty the Queen of the Red Carpet but I can’t tell you how disappointed Kate Blanchett left me last night. No major fashion statement just this boring and simple black column dress by Margiela Couture. She accessorized it with this statement turquoise necklace. Why Kate? What is the meaning of this?

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And the best princess moment goes to: Jennifer Lopez. Finally, finally, something different! She finally ditched the curve-hugging though high slit dress for this nude Elie Saab tulle gown from his 2014 collection. But the only common denominators was the deep neckline and excess cleavage which we all know Jennifer can never leave behind. I loved her simple high pony tail, which didn’t compete with her dress and her softer makeup and pink lips that made her look less signature fierce and more feminine.

Felicity Jones Oscars

Leave it to a British actress to wear Alexander McQueen and ‘The Theory of Everything’ actress Felicity Jones looked have edgy half prom-ish in this ivory gown by the fashion house. Here’s the thing, the 3D pearl and floral embellished bodice is EVERYTHING. But its the sweeping bridal skirt that kills the vibe of this dress and takes it to a more princessy place. I think it overwhelms the otherwise petite actress’s small frame and could have progressed into something just as chic. The Cinderella hair doesn’t help either.

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Chrissy Teigen looks VA-VA-VOOM in this powder blue Zuhair Murad beaded long sleeved V-neck gown and thigh high slit. She styled it flawlessly with her loose retro curls and those bold burgundy lips. One of the Oscar’s best dressed!

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A little rusty aren’t we Mrs.Johansson? Scarlett makes it on most of the world’s worst dressed list in this emerald Atelier Versace gown. But the gown which alone looks dull was paired with this mamoth Swarovski crystal embroidered collar that looked like a bib and was terribly matched and over-accessorized with a mismatched pair of earrings. And the X-Men hair just added insult to injury. All in all she looked like a scary flashback from the 90s that we were hoping to forget. It’s going to be a long road to recovery from this one but are best wishes are with you.

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Simple, sophisticated and subtle are what comes to mind when I saw Gwyneth Paltrow in this asymmetrical blush pink dress by Ralph & Russo. The dress fits her like a glove and the over-sized flower on the shoulder gives it the couture kick it needs to keep it from looking dull. I love her side-parted hairdo the large diamond-drop earrings that give this monotone look a jolt of color. It’s definitely all-in-all very Gwyneth.

Georgina Chapman

Last but not least feast your eyes on this magnificent gown worn by Marchesa’s co-founder Georgina Chapman inspired by what she calls “opium dreams.” It is decadent to say the least, with its floral embroidery, fitted sleeves and fairytale full skirt. Her hair, makeup and earrings were just flawless. One of my favorite looks, hands down!

Thoughts?

Read More

Golden Globes 2015 Best and Worst Dressed

Haiifa MJK the Arab Transvestite On Instagram

Haifaa MJK Tranny

No I’m not referring to the actual superstar Haifa Wehbe. Meet @HaiifaMJk on Instagram ,at first you’d probably guess this is yet another one of those hundreds of women in the Middle East obsessed with looking and acting every inch like Haifa, with her signature black hair, bee stung lips, colored lenses, striking curves and seductive demeanor.

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Well, this one’s a little different, you’ll probably be surprised to find out it’s actually a transsexual Arab man with Palestinian origins whose taken that obsession to the next level and undergone plastic surgeries (he denies them) including sex reassignment surgery to emulate his favorite star. Although he’s been reported to live in Thailand, Haiifa MJK whose real name is unknown has also been spotted in Dubai, where he’s been also reported to have been booked for various singing gigs and has made a career out of emulating his favorite star. He’s now also giving beauty tips and makeup tutorials to women after various inquires by fans.

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Calling him controversial would be the understatement of the year, a title which he welcomes, with a whopping 289,000 followers on his private Instagram account-yes you need to be approved to view his profile- he definitely speaks and acts like a diva, as evident in his captions- regularly throwing shade at his haters who he calls old spinsters, thanks his own booty and brags about his fame.

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But what’s really got people talking is the videos he posts of himself very provocatively dancing around half-naked and lip-synching to Arabic songs. And although I think he’s managed to look like a woman, it’s his husky voice that gives him away.

I personally don’t care that he’s a transvestite, to each his own. He has a great body but I just thing he comes off way too hyper sexual, relies heavily on the shock factor and is a total attention seeker. His account looks practically looks like a soft-porn hub. But I think this is the ultimate compliment to Haifa Wehbe, you know you’ve become an icon when men undergo complete transformations just to look like you!

Haifa Transvestite

What do you think?

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Avoiding Valentine’s Day Clichés For Kotex’s TheMakeOver.me

V day cliche

I know a lot of us both in relationships and single are kind of over Valentine’s day. It can feel so outdated at times. So as one of Lebanon’s first online and radio relationship experts KOTEX has asked me to come up with some new ideas that could shake things up a little this V-Day .

Click here to read my guest post on TheMakeover.me and don’t forget to let me know what you think.

10 Reasons Why You Should Not Get Married

Divorce

1. You don’t trust each other, even when you’re together. This kind of relationship is toxic-trust me. You know he has a wandering eye but you’re hoping marriage will fix that, because then he’ll only be yours. Nice try… Why spend your life trying to catch him instead of just going with your gut?

2. You can’t agree on anything. You both thought it was cute when you couldn’t decide on which mini-appetizer roles to order, but it’s not that cute anymore when it involves life-altering decisions like whether you want to move to KSA or pull out a mortgage on a house.

3. You’re at that age where your parents would really like to see you married, so they’re putting on the pressure. And you want to make them happy and proud. So you keep ignoring the signs and just settle hoping it will all work out. You just gambled your life, good luck.

4. You’ve succumbed to life-altering decisions because you were over powered. And no I don’t mean you had a gun held to your head, you just couldn’t win the argument so you just gave in to your own unhappiness- for the next fifteen years!

5. You’ve spent so much time together already, sharing your life together doesn’t even sound that appealing anymore to you.  The spark is gone. That’s bad. No matter how long you’ve been together for, you should ALWAYS get excited at the idea of being together-and yes forever. So if that thought makes you queasy, think thrice. 6. You’ve spent so much time together, it’s only correct you do the right thing and tie the knot. Everyone is expecting you to, especially her parents. Otherwise, it will look like you just dated for fun and wasted her time. GASP

7. You already share an apartment, a car and the same friends what’s an official paper going to do right? Well, not if you’re not convinced he/she is your soul mate. Convenience will slowly evolve into burden and misery and only then you’ll realize what that paper really means.

8. You have totally different outlooks/lifestyles. While you want to save up for the yacht and cruise the Mediterranean, your partner wants to grow veggies on a farm and enjoy the simple life. While he wants to travel the world with his hot-shot consulting job you’re happy just having 3 children right way. You want different things from life – the sooner you come to terms with it, the less difficult you make it on each other.

9. You’re constantly trying to change each other. You think he can be more generous and he thinks you spend too much. It’s all fun and games when you’re just dating but unless you accept each other the way you are, your marriage will become a constant barrage. Throw some children in the mix and you can join the divorce statistics.

10. You want to get married your partner doesn’t. So you keep giving him/her the ultimatum until they give in. Is that really how you want to base your marriage, on blackmail? Think long and hard about it. Read More

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A Ballerina Bun by Tony Sawaya

For my final stop at Dunes Verdun as part of my Ambassadorship, I had the pleasure of experiencing celebrity hair stylist Tony Sawaya at his salon located on L1 floor right by Shogun Lounge.

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Tony is the hairdresser behind so many of the designs and styles you see on some Middle Eastern stars, such as Najwa Karam, Maya Diab and Ahlam. I had an appointment on Saturday with the very humble man himself for a special event and was lucky to have him personally work on my hair. We wanted to do things a little differently and since I rarely put my hair up, I thought a messy high ballerina bun would be ideal for the outfit I had planned.

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Tony Sawaya Salon, is a breath of fresh air, with its sleek and super chic monochrome interior. I especially loved his wall of fame featuring some of his most renowned clients and a very glamorous corner where clients can have a one-on-one consultation with Tony, who actually specializes in re-looking.

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What I also love about going there is that you don’t have to go through any of the parking madness and valet drama like you would at most top tier salons, instead you just park your car at Dunes Verdun parking and you can access the place by elevator.

They started me off with a shampoo and quick blow dry, and then meticulously twirled each bunch until I had a head full of curls which reminded me of the 60’s pin up look. And that’s when Tony began to work his magic. First he parted my hair, and then tied it into a high pony tail. He then teased it until it had enough volume to be controlled and styled. I loved how he added his own twist to the ballerina bun, and how he used the sombre end of my hair as a final finish, to give it a colorful modern streak.

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Check out the final look and how I styled it with a black lace jumpsuit, my Farah Asmar Clutch and a classic winged eyeliner and red lip pair.

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For all your booking and appointments you can reach Tony Sawaya Salon at Dunes Verdun at +961 1 868656 – +961 70 868656m

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Eating Light At Zaatar W Zeit

Zaatar W ZeitAfter another fruitful shopping day at Dunes Verdun I was craving some Zaatar W Zeit. So I headed down to the food court located on B2 and there it was in all its glory. But I’m still on my post-holiday health and calorie conscious resolution and though I tend to associate Zaatar W Zeit with their signature Lahme B3ajjine Man2ousheh and my all-time favorite Halloumi Bacon I wanted to give their Redefining Light menu a go. So here are my light recommendations if you still want to enjoy this classic urban eatery without sacrificing on taste and pleasure.

Zaatar w Zeit menu

Now I’ve made it no secret that I’m a huge fan Quinoa Tabbouleh, ZwZ’s own twist on the classic Lebanese tabbouleh but with quinoa instead of burghol. And having never been a fan of the original version, it allowed me to enjoy this fresh and light mix of parsley, tomatoes and onions with just the right amount of my personal favorite super food, quinoa. Mind you, replacing ingredients on the very traditional and profound source of national pride; the tabbouleh was a bold move for ZwZ, but it works so wonderfully, especially with the dressing, which consistently contains the perfect ratio of oil to lemon, one of the pillars of a successful tabbouleh.

Zaatar w zeit tabbouleh

I wanted to add some protein to my meal so I went for the Chicken Light wrap, it also pays homage to our popular chicken and garlic pairing; strips of roasted chicken with tomatoes, lettuce and pickles in a light aioli sauce bundled in a wholesome multi-cereal thin dough. So even though you’re actually having some dough, it’s not much compared to the usually heavy white one. So you have it and you don’t feel so bad, in fact, you hardly feel anything, since it sits so lightly in your tummy.

Zaatar  W Zeit cheese

And finally, the Guiltless Kafta, a much lighter take on the popular Mighty Kafta sans the mayo and cheese and instead wrapped also in a thin brown dough and light mustard sauce. It hits the spot especially if you favor their delicious kebab mix and like the name suggests, it’s not accompanied with the guilty feeling you get after you finish the original.

Zaatar w Zeit sandwhich

But whether you’re looking to keep things light or not, I have to insist you give their miniature dessert cups a try, since the portion is a controlled one. I recommend the Strawberry Cheescake but if you’re a fan of something traditionally Lebanese then go for the Vanilla Custard; crème brûlée the ZWZ way, over a layer of strawberry syrup topped with caramelized nuts, an absolute delight.

Zaatar W Zeit dessert

What I loved the most is that the ZWZ at Dunes Verdun is positioned as an express stand, so you can actually have your sandwich wrapped and to-go if you want to walk around with it in the shopping center or outside, or you can catch a movie right after at Empire Cinema also on the same floor.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Ivy Reviews: Yalla 3a2belkon

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We hit up Empire Cinemas at Dunes Verdun to catch the much buzzed about newly released Yalla 3a2belkon on Thursday. I had two events that evening but I was happy to still be able to catch a movie that night, since Dunes Verdun’s cinema is the only one that runs across the 9:00pm segment which I personally favor since it’s not too early nor too late, so my night didn’t necessarily end after the show and I was still able to grab dinner afterwards. And let me tell you those leather seats at the cinema were like Lazy Boys, with two private arm rests and considerable leg space, we were sprawled across theater comfortably.

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The movie comedically touches on a subject that I’ve discussed regularly on this blog and I know many ladies in Lebanon and the Middle East face in their thirties, societal expectations and the profound pressure on a woman to get married and start a family and how that, regardless of her career will be pedestaled as the sole indicator of true success in her life; hence the name Yalla 3a2belkon a traditional phrase most people throw around at most single people, predominantly women, at weddings which translates into -If god’s willing your next-in line!

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Yalla 3a2belkon centers around the trials and tribulations of four friends and their pursuit of love with beautiful Beirut as the backdrop. First there’s Yasmina, played by in my opinion by one of the best and most underrated Lebanese actresses; Darine Hamze who left a lasting impression on me from her role in the controversial movie Beirut Hotel. Yasmina’s in a long-distance relationship was a mysterious handsome Egyptian man who’s relationship revolves around hot rompy weekend hotel sessions and who’s mother’s ( who embodies a very hilarious cliché ) main mission and agony in life will depend on Yasmina’s ability to find a man and produce children. Taline (played by Nada Abou Farhat who I also adored in the critically acclaimed play Reasons to be Pretty is not your average Lebanese woman, an outspoken, sexually-liberated art dealer, who treats men as nothing but toys. Layan, played by the writer and producer of the film Nibal Arakji, a fashion designer who’s in a vicious cycle dating a philandering married man with children. And finally, Zeena played by Marwa Khalil, a hopeless romantic doctor who will go on as many dates as she has to in order to find the love of her life.

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I loved how the characters weren’t cast as your typically beautiful movie stars, rather they were relatable and could have easily been any group of four women in Beirut. The story sheds light on the hypocritical and judgmental Lebanese society, giving real insight into a number of issues and taboos Lebanese woman face.

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And sure, the movie has been accused of taking inspiration from Sex and the City, but to be fair, almost every movie or series that focuses on women and relationships will definitely intentionally or not draw in reference from there, only because today Sex and the City has become the universal holy grail of our genre. Having said that, you can’t miss the conspicuous similarities between Nada Abou Farhat’s proudly- promiscuous character with that of the infamous Samantha Jones of Sex and the City both in personality and even fashion. And for someone who’s usually fed-up of our shameless borrowing of all things “Western”, I have to say, the big SATC fan in me was so pleased to see what the Lebanese version of Samantha would look like, only because Nada Abou Farhat hits this one right out of the ballpark. Her character was so shocking but she portrayed her subtly, none of that Lebanese over acting or cheesiness.

Whether you enjoyed the film or not, there is no doubt it’s one of the best and highest quality productions coming out of Lebanon.. From the screenplay, the meticulous sets and scenes to the intense character development. And it made us laugh, out load, something no Lebanese film has managed to do in a long, long time. I do however think the movie is a tad longer than necessary for a feature film, some scenes seemed to have dragged on unnecessarily.

Yalla 3a2belkon although fun and light-hearted is a strong film with a strong message and who’s strength lies in a powerful cast of 4 leading ladies who share so much chemistry on screen. Directed by Elie Khalife.

Yalla 3a2belkon is now showing Empire Cinema at Dunes Verdun. Book your tickets in advance at this number, 01-792123 and enjoy those seats. Parking is free in the center for moviegoers.