Black and Teal: A Full Look from Forever 21

When I lived in both the UAE and Toronto, Forever 21 was a frequent stop I’d make to get affordable deals on some of the latest trends right off the runway. So it was quite disappointing not to be able pass by the LA-based retailer and pick up a couple of tops or dresses before a night out or weekend getaway during the past few years of moving to Lebanon. But like many exclusive stores that opened at City Centre Beirut, one of them was Forever 21 that made an appearance in January of this year. It’s just as big on outfits as it is on accessories and when I say accessories I mean EVERYTHING from shoes, bags, jewelry, makeup and even hair supplies.

Now I’m not one to shop at maternity stores, though I’m a little over 7 months pregnant, but I’m happy to say shopping at Forever21 was no challenge at all, I was lucky to find many trends and styles that work with my growing bump.

Ivy says Forever 21 city centre beirut

First up I immediately fell in love with this teal green dress that had a cut out bustier with black mesh in the centre and a thigh high slit. Though this dress was a little sexy, it was also elegant and revealed just the right amount of skin.

forever 21 Dana khairallah

forever 21 city centre beirut ivy says

I wanted to style this look with a 90’s vibe so I chose these patent black flatform pumps that are very much IN this season another 90’s favorite, the backpack. The bag also helped make this otherwise more formal dress more day appropriate, as opposed to a clutch.

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This dress is also available in black and white. Make sure to stop by soon to check out my second look from Forever 21.

City centre beirut ivy says forever 21

 

 

More Hot Trends This Season

Ivy’s Summer Beach Essentials

8 Ways To Transform Your Balcony

My 7 Favorite Things This July

 

My 7 Favorite Things This July

1.  Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet by The Body Shop

Fuji green tea sorbet The body Shop

Though I usually go straight to their Body Butter Collection I’m currently obsessing over the texture and spa-like smell of The body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet. It’s actually gel-like and really feels as cooling and light as sorbet and smells marvelously fresh, the perfect remedy this summer for all your after sunburn woes .

2. Oysho

Oysho Oysho Moments Campaign

As you may have noticed, Oysho is no longer just for those cutie animated PJs, the brand has totally evolved into a full-fledged line of beachwear, gymwear and even footwear. I’ve been in invited to take part of their #OyshoMomentsLebanon campaign and it’s been fun discovering and mixing and matching their different collections together. I’m loving this crimson monokini and a pair of espadrilles which I picked from their Summer 2015 Collection.

3. Starbucks Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Starbucks Lebanon Dulce et lecheCan we please discuss these new desserts we’ve been seeing at Starbucks? My eyes almost popped out of their sockets when I spotted this not-so-little baby, the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake and instantly had to have it. It tasted exactly how it looked and exceeded expectations, two layers of extra-creamy cheesecake batter sandwiching a dreamy, sinful yet wholesome (I can’t find enough adjectives to describe it) layer of caramel. You won’t be able to move after you’re done but who cares, you’ve reached your destination.

4. Tufenkjian Pearl Necklace

Tufenjian pearl chain

The mono-pearl short chain necklace has been trending for a while and leave it to Lebanon’s most prestigious fine jeweler, Tufenkjian Freres, to add a pair of diamonds to each corner to take things up a notch. I’m loving staple piece that I wear with almost anything, day and night, it also makes the perfect memorable gift for a friend or loved one.

5. Versace Eros Pour Femme Fragrance

Versace Eros Pour Femme Fragrance

Last month, I attended the launch of Versace’s Eros Pour Femme. I’m very particular with my scents and usually stick to what I know but I was immediately drawn to the feminine accents of Jasmine, peonies, pomegranate and sandalwood. The bottle also makes the perfect addition to my makeup table, with the design house’s classic motif on the edges and the Versace Medusa right in the center. This will definitely be a classic on my counter.

6. Brunch at The Four Seasons Grill Room

Four Seasons Beirut The Grill Room brunch

Although The Grill Room is mostly known for those magnificent Charolais cuts of beef and fine dining, it also boats one of my favorite gourmet brunches in the city. You can indulge in an entire selection of pastries from the buffet but for your hot dishes, you can choose from an unlimited selection off the menu and the best part is you can have your pick of local Lebanese and international favorites. So my recommendation is to start with the labneh, mhammarah foul, grilled halloumi round up and then be sure to go for their amazing eggs Benedict with your choice of endless sides. And for the grand finale, if you still have some room in there, get the pancakes. It’s makes for the perfect birthday or celebratory brunch and it goes for $40 per person but totally worth every penny.

7. Adidas Flip Flops and Tank

adidas summer 2015 flip flops ivy says

I’m loving this pair of monochrome spotted flip flops by Adidas which I matched with this Royal Blue (also spotted) workout tank, perfect for the beach or a quick swim after hitting the gym.

Read More:

My Top 10 Favorite Things This Spring

My Top 12 Favorite Things This Summer

 

 

Ivy’s Home: 8 Ways To Transform Your Balcony

Before and After HM Home

You may or may not know that home decor is one of my passions. I’m no interior designer- far from it- though I’ve single-handedly worked with carpenters and upholsterers to design my own home, a work I consider still in progress even after four years (of procrastination.) I’ve been meaning to introduce a new home decor category to my blog for some time now and have finally gotten around to doing so.

It’s not so much a category about what textures and colors go with what, you’ll quickly notice I don’t follow any rules. It’s about the little tips, tricks, hacks and buys that can really transform a living space from basic to beautiful. I’m all about the little details, I despise things that come in sets and love mixing and matching different styles together. According to my interior architect friend I’m what you’d call eclectic.

So first up on my list of design improvements this summer, was to try and add a little more life to one of our favorite areas in the house; the balcony. It’s a spot where we have our breakfast almost daily and host endless brunches , happy hours and dinners at least 8 months out of the year.

Since it overlooks the sea, I’ve wanted to keep things fresh and inspired by everything nautical. So on my recent trip to City Centre Beirut I dropped by H&M Home which to my delight opened there exclusively in March of this year. They carry a wide affordable collection which includes everything from living room accessories, linens, Chinaware, rugs and much more. So you can always change things up in your home without spending a fortune.

h&m home City Centre Beirut

Our glass round table was looking a little bland so I decided to accessorize with a few pieces that I picked up, actually 8 in total. I also made sure these items are basics that I could use again and again even with a different theme. Here’s what the table looked like before.

Ivy says Home City Centre Beirut

And here are the items I picked out from H&M Home:

  1. A white Linen Tablecloth
  2. A Navy Table Runner
  3. A Glass Bottle
  4. A Flat Tray Basket
  5. Small Wooden Serving Bowls
  6. Small Wooden Serving Bowl
  7. A Metal Container
  8. A Beer Opener

More home HM Home

And here is how I placed each item. I dressed the table with the white linen table cloth and strategically positioned the navy runner right at the center. I then proceeded to place a small orchid plant into the Metal Container and a bunch of fake flowers into the glass bottle which I used as a vase.

H&M Home 1

I used the Flat Tray Basket as a tray in the middle to serve as a base for both the wooden serving bowls and the vase.

Ivy Says H&M HomeH&M Home City Centre Ivy Says decor

And I kept the Beer Opener on the table for convenience and because it looked pretty

H&M Home City Centre Ivy Says Beirut 1

Et Voila, my table looked Pinterest-worthy and was ready for a whole lot of hosting.

H&M Home City Centre Ivy Says

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Ivy Reviews: La Crêperie Restaurant in Jounieh

La Crêperie  Photo-by-Marco-Pinarelli

When I first heard La Crêperie closed to be majorly renovated, I have to admit I was a little sad and worried, though I have to also admit it needed it badly. I had so many fond memories at this historic spot that dates all the way back to the 19th century and a long-standing iconic restaurant which had first opened its doors in 1968. Describing this landmark as perched would be an understatement, it literally hangs off a cliff, and boasts one THE best views in the country, overlooking the entire bay of Jounieh and the Mediterranean Sea.

Every inch of the place has been completely restored and managed by Sky Management (the same folks that brought us SKYBAR and O1NE House of Entertainment) and after much anticipation it opened its doors earlier this Spring.

La Crêperie  review 1

The venue is a design marvel, with each corner looking like it had taken a page out of Architectural Digest, a savvy combination of French Provence decor with traditional Lebanese Ottoman-style heritage boasting magnificently high ceilings and stellar marble columns. But it’s the interior decor which left the biggest impression on me, since I’m absolutely obsessed with the combination of country-chic furniture, soothing pastels and crystal chandeliers.

La Crêperie 2]

Most people prefer to dine on the picturesque outdoor terrace or in Les Jardins ( La Crêperie botanical backyard), but my personal favorite place is a cozy table inside. I got to try out many items on the assorted international/Mediterranean menu on a recent lunch with friends. And here are some of my recommendations worth trying.

La Crêperie  Garden

As the name suggests, La Crêperie; you can choose from 13 savory crêpes and a total of 18 sweet ones. We opted for the Jambon, Fromage et Beurre crêpe, a generously stuffed one with ham, cheese and butter which I loved, but I have to say, it’s enough to stuff you, so don’t get greedy.

La Crêperie  Crepe Jambon fromage Beurre

For starters, we also had the flavorful Quinoa Salad, with avocados, mangos, cucumbers, raisons and corn in a refreshing lemon and oil dressing topped with cilantro. I’ve never had this combination of ingredients with Quinoa before and I have to say it was a lovely new perspective.

La Crêperie Quinoa salade

The Scottish Salmon dish was made of four unfussy wrapped roles of smoked salmon, simple and straight to the point.

La Crêperie scottish salmon

The Bresaola au Parmesan had a crisp topping of mesclun green leaves tossed in an oil and lemon that gave each mouthful a fresh vibe. The lentil salad had a very Mediterranean feel to it with cherry tomatoes, chives and parsley in a vinaigrette sauce.

La Crêperie bresaolaLa Crêperie  Lentille salade

And finally, another favorite of mine, the Ravioli aux cèpes, a delectable mixture of fresh mushrooms encased in a ravioli, cooked to perfection with a hearty creamy/buttery sauce. I would without a doubt have this on my own next time as a main dish, sharing it with not easy.

La Crêperie  Ravioli

For mains, we shared three entrees, the Loup de Mer, a significantly-sized grilled white fish, with a side of steamed greens, it was a little simple for my liking as I would prefer my fish usually more marinated with flavors, however it was grilled just right, not overdone and still moist.

La Crêperie  grilled fish

The house burger, was the kind you would get at an authentic French Bistro, nothing too complicated and my personal favorite the colossal Escalope de Veau Panée, breaded white veal with a side of penne pasta in a tomato sauce.

La Crêperie Burger MaisonLa Crêperie  Veau panneLa Crêperie menu review jounieh

And finally my favorite part of any meal, dessert, with the king of all cheesecakes, the berry cheesecake no exaggeration,may be one of the best I’ve had in Lebanon so far, wholesome and utterly delightful with each bite. La Crêperie  cheesecakeFor the chocolate aficionados I also recommend the Tarte au Chocolate, made with a firm dark chocolate interior in a perfect little tart shell. And some of the house sorbet to beat the heat.

La Crêperie Tarte au chocolateLa Crêperie dessertLa Crêperie  dessert

Verdict: Rarely is the new able to encompass the original spirit of institutions like this one, but the new La Crêperie takes it a step further, it’s not only managed to restore this Lebanese landmark back its original glory, it has thrust it into a new era of golden years ahead.

More Reviews by Ivy Says

La Petite Maison Beirut

La Petite Maison Dubai

La Serre Bistro Dubai

Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

Prune French Bistro

Métropole Brasserie

Cannelle’s Finest Desserts

33 Truths Nobody Tells You About Being Pregnant

33 truth about pregnancy

Of course pregnancy is a blessing. Of course it is one of life’s most beautiful miracles and a gift from god. But you all know that already. Before I myself got pregnant (yes, I’ve just entered the third and final trimester) the majority of pregnant women I would encounter would gush about how amazing the whole thing was, and how beautiful they feel ALL THE TIME. Does Angeline Jolie’s famous words ring a bell here?

Now, although the second trimester has been a walk in the park compared to the gruesome first one, I hear whispers about how not so magical the final and third one may be. But before I jump ahead of myself I thought I’d share you with the real face of pregnancy, the not so glamorous one you don’t read about in the media, the one most expectant mommas would much rather keep mum about (pun intended) at the risk of sounding ungrateful. As for me I’m not ungrateful I’m a blogger. You’ve been warned…

preggo

1. Whomever named it morning sickness needs to be sued. It’s not morning sickness, it’s morning, afternoon, late afternoon, early evening and midnight sickness.

2. If you’re not throwing up, you’re just nauseous all the time during the first trimester. It’s like being hung-over all day minus the booze and fun the night before.

3. Cravings are evil. And they usually hit when a fruit is out of season. Your man will work so to find it for you only to have you throw it up an hour later. Charming really…

4. Suddenly life just becomes so emotional, a lost dog post can get you in hysterical tears and so can an empty jar of Nutella. Hormones don’t discriminate.

pregnancy cravings

5. You finally have the bigger breasts you wanted. The bad news is that they’re accompanied with a bigger everything. Not so hot after all.

6. Suddenly people have the right to comment on your bump “it doesn’t show” is a compliment while “smallah” means you got fat.

7. Either way, they secretly want you to get fat.

8. You develop Spiderman reflexes you never thought you had when it comes to protecting your belly even if it means having to elbow a completely unsuspecting stranger.

9. If you merely mention craving sugar, everyone will tell you you’re having a girl and if it’s something savory then they’re sure it’s a boy. Both times they’re off.

10. The sex of your unborn baby is suddenly public information. “Boy or girl?” will always follow the pregnancy announcement.

pregnancy sex

11. So is your belly, at some point you’ll feel like a Buddha statue, everybody wants to rub it.

12. Next everyone wants to know the name you’ve picked. They will proceed to give you their unsolicited opinions on it. Oh you approve? Not like I care. #sorry #notsorry

13. You don’t realize how many people annoy you until you try to choose a name for your baby.

14. Which makes you realize why some celebrities name their kids “Apple” and “North.”

15. You will now count everything in weeks.

16. Raw vegetables, sushi, cold cuts and hotdogs are suddenly the enemy. But you’ve never wanted them so bad in your life.

17. There’s an awkward phase in-between starting to show and just looking like you love burgers a little too much. People will make it even more awkward by staring. Relentlessly.

18. You can’t wait to show until you start to show. Then you’ll start to complain about how big you’re getting.

19. You’ll never look so forward to a doctor’s visit in your life. Happiness is seeing your baby moving on an ultra-sound.

20. Every family member is secretly convinced the baby will look like him/her, including the second uncle twice removed.

21. You will put off maternity shopping until you start borrowing your husband’s PJs.

maternitt shopping

22. Pregnancy has it perks. People will smile and let you cut in lines, throw in a complementary desert, and ask you if you’d like to sit all the time. The more you stick your belly out, the more effective it is.

23. You will constantly ask people if it’s “hot in here?” It will take you some time to come the realization that it really is just you.

24. Death comes in the new slow and silent form: heartburn.

25. People will try to be nice and tell you you’re glowing. Little do they realize it’s cause you’re sweating like a pig.

26. Cocoa butter and watermelons are your best friends. Never run out.

27. Experienced parents think it’s their duty to tell you how much your life is about to change and how hectic it will all be. You secretly hate them for it.

28. Sleep will become an art and your bed will resemble a game of Risk. Pillows will be placed strategically and your husband’s territory will soon be occupied.

29. There are two types of people you will meet. The experts who will lecture you on pregnancy and parenthood and the curious ones who will ask you about the smallest details you’ve never been more happy to share.

30. Seeing another pregnant woman is like running into your long lost friend in China, there are no boundaries to how much you will exchange in those 5 minutes.

31. Each time someone wishes you a “safe” delivery you secretly start to freak out. Like what do they mean safe? Is it not safe?

32. You will smile, senselessly, for no apparent reason. Even when the baby is practicing karate on your ribs.

33. You’ve never been so selfless and full of love, for someone you haven’t met yet and just can’t wait to meet.

dana khairallah ivy says

Read More:

Wear It For Change: My First Pregnancy Shoot

Ivy’s Summer Beach Essentials

10 Makeup Mistakes We’re All Doing

8 Things To Avoid Doing At The Beach This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

13 Signs You’re Dating a ManChild

My 2 Summer Must-Haves by Yves Saint Laurent

Ivy Says Dana Khairallah YSL Look

Ysl Summer 2015 must haves

For someone who’s not going to do much tanning this summer, I thought I had lost all hope for a natural sun-kissed glow that looked makeup-free until I discovered YSL’s brand new Les Sahariennes Blur Perfector last month.

YSL Les Sahariennes Blur Perfector

It’s a very lightweight balm-powder so like the name suggests the texture is in fact creamy like a balm, but has a surprisingly matte finish- like a powder. I was also not expecting it to give my skin a healthy radiant kind of glow but it did. It also didn’t settle like your typical powder would, but rather it covered imperfections and smoothened skin almost like a primer would.

You can actually use it to contour or as a bronzer all over, I opted for the latter in this look below but I will definitely be using it to contour to sculpt my cheeks, nose chin and brows along with my Touche Éclat as a highlighter although I still need my share of practice on that.

This was my first creamy bronzer so I have to admit, I was a little skeptical, mainly about how it would blend and whether or not it would turn out blotchy, but I found that it blends onto skin so effortlessly and even though it comes with a double-ended brush and sponge applicator, it worked best for me when I used my fingers to both transfer and blend product.

Color release is not as strong as the shade looks so you will have to brave it up and press a little harder than you would think but you’ll be surprised by the color pay-off so be warned not to over-do it as well.

Les Sahariennes Blur Perfector Rouge Pur Couture  Review

Like everything YSL I loved the elegance of the packaging and how big the mirror was inside, along with the signature YSL dust bag, the Blur Perfector is a product you can just slip into your handbag for touch-ups on the go.

I paired it with the Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain, and if you’re looking for a lip product this summer that works like a stain but gives you the full-out glossy effect than this revolutionary new lip product from YSL Beauty is something you will appreciate.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain

It’s a highly pigmented formula that will initially come off as a super bright and shiny but then eventually fade into a stain that will last for hours on end. What I loved it didn’t dry out my lips or fade even after hosting my one-long hour radio show and sipping on lots of liquid. The applicator is identical to that of YSL’s Kiss and Blush which I also love but be warned a little goes a long way. In this look I’m wearing the Vernis à Lèvres in 201 (bright fuchsia)

Read More Looks and Reviews

An Edgy Makeup Look By Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Step-By-Step Review

A Makeup Look By Yves Saint Laurent For My Show

Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

6 Red Carpet Lessons From Murex D’or and Biaf 2015

Murex dor and biaf 2015

This week was red carpet par excellence for Lebanon with not one but two awards ceremonies, The Murex D’or and the Biaf. And if you were hoping to spot the latest international red carpet trends in couture don’t hold your breath darlings, we like to do things a little differently here and over-the-top doesn’t even big to describe it. So if you want to fit in make sure you got these below red carpet tips covered because if not you might go unnoticed or (gasp) boring- and lord forbid that ever happens to your career.

1, Begin by enlarging your head, it has to be at least three-to four times bigger than your actual body and it will be one hell of a balancing act. Lebanese hairdressers are specialists at this infamous signature chignon so don’t you worry. All they will need is their ego, a year’s supply of hairpins and of course enough hairspray to annihilate a population of cockroaches. Et Voila madmoiselle, tu es une star.

Viviance Mradsoha kikano

2. A mask, and no I don’t mean one you can put on, it has to be hand- painted on you by a makeup artist with a supply of K Stars makeup. Do not proceed without letting him know the color of your gown and make sure you stress that you want your look to be a huge “succès.” Steer clear from earthy tones and remember highlighter and strong pigments are your best friends. Get a head start by retouching those eyebrow tattoos a week or two in advance. Let go of your instinct, trust his touch and let the magic begin.

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3. Research all the techniques that flatter your body type, now  proceed to make sure you don’t follow a single one of those tips, rules are made to be broken anyway. Be tactical about what you want to reveal. Chubby arms- go for a tube cut. Large breasts- you will need two sizes smaller to highlight that décolletage, Thick thighs- Something see-through and short. Huge waist- No A-line cuts for you. Overweight- big prints bright colors and sheer fabrics! Over 50? Dress like you’re in your 20s. You get the drift…

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4. Choose a Lebanese designer who’s name is followed by the words Haute Couture,one that loves all types of fabrics, together at the same time, without discrimination. We’re talking tulle, organza, satin and lots of lots of lace. Someone who wants to make a walking masterpiece out of you with a keen eye for producing cheap replicas and a love affair with bad embroidery and terrible finishing.

IMG_6767IMG_6755IMG_6754rasha khatibMaggie Bou GhosnIMG_6753Carine Salemeh Murex dor 2015Vivaine Mrad Biaf 2015

5. The whole simplicity is sophistication is just a silly myth, more is more, and adding accessories to your outfit will only put the odds in your favor and get you the recognition and fashionista title you deserve.  Wanna throw on all your accessories including your everyday watch? Go for it. Feel like putting on that hat you’ve had in your wardrobe for years? Knock yourself out. Wear whatever jewelry is handed to you, you’re a star  darling after all and stars need bling.

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IMG_6768lili atrash

6.  Give us that old school 90s hand-on-hip pose, as soon as you spot the camera.  Who cares if it’s cheesy and makes you look like you’re posing way too hard, there is nothing natural about your entire look anyway so you might as well just werk it gurl, you are fierce!

gHIDA FUTURE TV

IMG_6762Dalida khalil red carpet

Murex D’Or 2013 The Best and Worst Dressed 

Murex D’or 2014 Best and Worst Dressed

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty

The Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows