A Unique Baby Gift Idea from Pottery Barn Kids

ivy says blankets customized lifestyle

I don’t know about you but my Facebook timeline has been flooded with pictures of my pregnant friends or newborn babies lately. And unless someone has already registered for a Baby Gift Registry, finding a nice, unconventional gift can be a little challenging.

So I was very happy discover Pottery Barn Kids, an offshoot of one of my favorite furniture and home style stores I’d stop by on a regular basis in both Canada or Dubai, Pottery Barn, was available in Lebanon only at City Centre Beirut. During my many visits, in preparation for my own baby’s nursery (more on that in a later post) I discovered that Pottery Barn Kids offers an in-store monogramming service on most of their own textiles and beddings for an additional fee. There were so many options to personalize from lovely quilted pillows, initials on babies towels or fleece and wool blankets.

ivy says baby gifts city centre pottery barn lebanon

I picked out two super soft Satin Trim Blankets, in grey and baby blue, from the new collection for two different friends with baby boys, Brian and Karl. You can never go wrong with a nice blanket, that can be thrown over a stroller or  placed on a rocking chair.

The Monogramming Station

baby gift ideas city centre beirut

The friendly staff will give you a form fill out, where you will be asked to write down the baby’s name, and then proceed to choose the size and font you like. Next, you will be given a choice of yarn colors available on display. If you’re unsure about where you would like to monogram either the baby’s full name or initials request that the staff provide you with some in-store samples. Keep in mind that it takes around a day or two for the monogram to be ready after you purchase your items so don’t expect it to be done on the spot.

Monogramming at pottery barn kids city centre beirut

I have so many plans to customize my baby’s beddings, linens and towels and I’ll be sharing those with you as I go along so make sure to follow me on Instagram. If you too are having a baby for the first time and are still new to this baby shopping thing, then I suggest you pay a visit to Pottery Barn Kinds located on Level 2 at City Centre Beirut. You can find everything from unique furniture, rugs, lamps, decorative pieces and so much more for your babies or children’s rooms.

ivy says nursery pottery barn kids city centre beirut

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A Makeup Session With BOBBI BROWN

Bobbi Brown Hamra Ivy Says ReviewMakeup beauty blogger ivy says

Last week, I got to celebrate the first anniversary of  Bobbi Brown’s first stand-alone boutique in Hamra with a lovely makeup session by the brand’s international makeup artist Eliano Abou Assi. As may or may not know, Bobbi Brown is all about achieving a natural look, with a huge emphasis on good skin, which requires prepping the face with moisturizing and hydrating skin care products from the line before applying makeup.

But the Bobbi Brown philosophy is also centered around achieving that au naturel fresh-faced glow by using the right shade of both Correctors and Concealers followed by foundation. These steps alone should blend in naturally with your skin tone, even without requiring any additional makeup if a flawless wide-awake look is what you’re after.

ivy says makeup free no makeup look

The makeup artist opted for a warm nude CC Cream for my face followed by Bobbi Brown’s iconic Skin Foundation Stick that felt both weightless yet creamy. Although he meticulously applied the products, when he was done, I somehow managed to look makeup free yet my skin looked radiant, even and blemish-free, not like it was waiting for more makeup to applied, but rather it glowed in all the right places, made me almost wish I could actually wake up like this.

Bobbi Brown makeup Dana Khairallah look review

He completed the look with sheer finished pressed powder to help it settle and some bronzer and the Shimmer Brick Compact in Nectar. I requested a soft smokey eye and he suggested the lovely Art Stick in Sunset Orange to go with my cheeks. Loved how easy and fresh faced the entire look came together.

Ivy Says makeup bobbi brownBobbi Brown Makeup Chart Ivy says

Make sure to pass by the Bobbi Brown in Hamra to browse the entire extensive collection and request a personal consultation if you’re hesitant about the right shades that work for you, staff are more than happy and knowledgeable to assist in that department.

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An All Italian Look

Dana Khairallah ivy says furla

What happens when two very Italian things come together? Fashion.

That’s right. I was one of the first few to get my hands on the new Superga raffia flatform sneakers, as part of the brand’s latest collaboration with famous street style blogger Gala Gonzalez, and these multicolored half-espadrille half wedge hotties proved to be the perfect staple to my wardrobe this season.

Ivy says superga sneakers raffia gala

It also happens that I was invited to preview Italian house Furla latest Pre-fall 2015 collection this summer and had fallen for this Stacy drawstring bag blue in which I’ve been endlessly styling ever since, you can view another look here

Ivy Says Furla Superga gala

I’ve been sporting a baby bump all summer in case you’ve mistaken my round midsection for a big lunch… and I’ve opted for loose and casual wear, especially with the scorching heat.  I loved accessorizing these two Italian beauties with a comfortable short dress for a day out.  I’ll be pairing these two in more ways than one so don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

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A special thank you to Chouchic.com for sending over this colorful encrusted statement necklace and whose accessories I always love!

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Floral Sunglasses by Bana Sunglasses,

ivy says superga furla


3 Looks From Ted Baker

ted baker city centre beirut store

Most people who know me well know I have a weakness for Ted Baker, the British luxury brand known mostly for their signature unique prints which I absolutely adore. And to my bank account’s dismay, I almost never leave one of their stores empty handed even when I promise myself I’m “just browsing.”

But what also puts this designer on one of my list of absolute favorite brands is the fantastic fit most of their outfits have and no I don’t just mean on my own figure, and I’ll prove that to you today in this post. Whether it’s a form-hugging midi dress, maxi, tunic or even a floral jumper, there is something about the intricate tailoring and cuts that just about flatter every figure thanks to Ted Baker’s superior craftsmanship and grade A quality

Although Ted Baker is partially present at a few department stores in Lebanon, it officially opened its first stand-alone store at City Centre Beirut and this is the only one with a complete men’s section as well. You’ll find the full range here from outfits, bags shoes and all sorts of accessories.

You must be wondering if they carry a maternity line, since I’m very much into last trimester, they don’t, but that’s why I’m such a fan, I was able to shop here and find the full collection of the latest outfits that worked even with my big baby bump, all I had to do was go a size or two larger.

City centre ted baker ivy says

For my first look I went for this playful outfit with a white preppy top that had a pearl embroidered collar and a powder pink flowy midi-skirt which I styled with a matching floral pair of pumps and a clutch. I loved how passe-partout the look was, perfect for both a brunch or dinner.

Ted Baker clutch and heels ivy says choice

For my second look, I wanted a little black dress to wear to an upcoming event and I loved how this-off the-shoulder one hugged my figure and showed off my bump without making it look over exaggerated. I added a pop of color with these patent crimson pumps and this cut-out monochrome clutch.

Little black dressIvy says Ted baker city centre

And finally, this Fuchsia Floral print tunic dress was something I could wear daily, I obsessed with the colors and couldn’t help but dress it down with a pair of matching sneakers which were also love at first sight. They work with almost anything and are just so comfortable.

Ivy says dana khairallah fashion city centreTed baker dana khairallah city centre

Ted baker is located on Level 2 of  City Centre Beirut.

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Ivy Reviews: Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Nostalgie D’Orient

Ivy says beauty blogger lebanon Review

Before I tell you about the wonderful message behind Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics limited Nostaligie d’Orient  I think I I speak for a lot of women when I say we appreciate makeup that gets us, the kind of easy-to-carry sets that can be thrown into a makeup bag and pulled out for quick pick-me-ups throughout the day. So when I heard that Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics was coming out with  this three-piece pencil set that included a black kohl, red lipstick and concealer all in one, I knew I had to give it a try.

Ivy says Nostalgie D'orient

With Nostalgie d’Orient, Bassam Fattouh wanted to depict the beautiful side of Lebanon, the idea that despite all the issues this country faces which dominate international headlines, it also imports beauty around the world, something we tend to forget… So this collection is his way of paying homage and celebrating both the past and the present by combining the three landmarks we are so proud of; our Baher (sea), Jabal (Mountain) and the capital Beirut, in a vintage pop art package designed by renowned graphic designer Rana Salam.

The Set

Nostalgie D'orient by bassam fattouh review

Beirut: My favorite thing about this Lipstick is that it’s one of the few times you get to wear a bold color without requiring a lip liner, because it basically combines the super creaminess of a lipstick with the precision of lip liner, just keep it sharpened. The color is a signature fiery red one which never fails to impress and although it is very matte it’s quite lively upon application.

Jabal: This one’s a bold carbon black eyeliner, with a very VERY highly pigmented formula. I recommend you use it for tracing and creating kohled eyes or a bold oriental cat eye more than blending for a smokey eye look. The color release is excellent and it will last and last without smudging or streaking, It’s uber matte too.

Baher: I confess, this is my first experience with a pencil concealer, and lately I’ve been quite frustrated with formulas that fade with blending, but the yellow-based formula on this one is thick and heavy enough to stay. It’s not as blendable as you would think but I don’t mind because it’s perfect for highlighting and contouring. My only suggestion is to apply lightly because a little really goes a long way.

Nostalgie Dorient bassam fattouh color swatches

Et Voila, a full makeup look using these three pencils.

Ivy says review Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Nostaligie D'orient

If you’re fan of makeup and a fan of Lebanon then this is one limited edition set you don’t want to miss out on. You can order Nostalgie d’Orient online here

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10 Dating Mistakes All Men and Women Are Making


1. Over-Sharing. As tempting as it is to come undone, and give a tell all about how your last boyfriend/girlfriend cheated and left you and how you lost your faith in dating etc… the first few dates are not for pouring your heart out or confusing an interested looking date with a therapist.  Please keep it light, fun and semi-sober. In other words if you want a second date keep your shit together, at all times.

no kiss

2.  Acting Uninterested– yes it’s important to stay on your game but that doesn’t mean that you should pretend to ignore your date, especially if you are into him/her. Hard to get means not putting out, not revealing all your cards too soon and not coming off as lonely and desperate, but by no means does it mean acting nonchalantly or  plain rude. That’s just a turn off- no really- it is, unless you’re into low confidence.

money money

3. Setting the Standards too High- part of the wooing process involves its fair share of seduction techniques; a pick-up (no matter how far she lives), a high-end dinner, perhaps even a bottle of something extra special, in other words, showing off. But keep in mind, first impressions are lasting and that sort of treatment will become expected throughout the relationship. So if it’s out of your league  and you plan on eating at the neighbor hood snack  for the rest of your relationship (and there is no shame there), keep it simple and keep it real. No need to over-impress only to over-mislead.


4. Be friendly but don’t flirt with others– yes of course everyone wants to date the popular guy/girl but don’t start acting like you’re running for a congeniality contest especially with the opposite sex. It’s important to show interest and respect for your date, it says a lot about your character.


5. Talking smack about serious relationships and marriage– unless you’re a serial dater we all know that the whole point of dating revolves around finding that special someone in your life. So, if you’re going to sit there all night and trash the sanctity of marriage or relationships, then don’t throw a fit when your date asks you to take it slow 6 months down the line when you’re secretly picking out rings. Be clear about your goals and expectations.


6. But don’t talk marriage too soon either– even if you’re eager to walk down the aisle. Some people think that if they just go ahead and mention the word marriage from the get-go, they’ll be saving themselves time and future heartache. Announcing you’re only marriage material is desperate, not to mention you’re selling yourself short, why give your date the upper hand like that? Maybe your date isn’t YOUR idea of marriage material… so why put yourself out there in that way? Think about it…

7. Be Honest-  if you had a good time, mention it, not toooo eagerly- but show  your appreciation. And if you didn’t, then don’t say “thanks I had fun” many times either and then complain about him/her harassing you later.


8. Obsessing and Over-thinking things- even if you do these on your own, they will eventually take a toll on your morale and believe it or not your date will sense them in your post-date phone calls/ whatsapps. Be cool, take it easy no matter how much you like him or her, don’t make life revolve around when and if you will see him/her again.

meet the parents

9. Meet No Parents– I’ve always been wary about those who are eager to introduce us to their parents from the second date. Yes, family people are a plus, but it also shows that everyone gets to meet mom and dad, not necessarily someone special. It’s not that flattering and too soon too fast is not a good sign at all.

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10. You might just be the one” really? You deduced that from the two dinners already? I’m not trying to be a pessimist here but think about all the false hopes that statement carries. Men tend to say that to women to get them to put their guards down and well I think we know what happens next. Even if it were true, don’t fall for it and more importantly don’t make any concessions for it.

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The Clarins Spa Experience at City Centre Beirut

Ivy says clarins spa city centre

You don’t have to be at a five star hotel to get the royal treatment, in fact you could be shopping at City Centre Beirut, only to make a stop at the Clarins store which to my surprise included a fully equipped institute. After a full morning of stocking up on baby supplies I was booked at Clarins for a treatment I had yet to experience, The Neuf Mois en Beauté body massage.

Let me tell you, in my current condition and as I go through the many pregnancy symptoms most expectant mothers do, (heaviness, tiredness, muscle aches and spasms-only to name a few) a professional pre-natal massage with a trained therapist is godsend. In fact, you may not know this- but some of the most luxurious spa centers and hotels in Lebanon don’t offer this treatment to pregnant women, because it is very important that this session is handled by a certified expert.

Clarins Spa review Lebanon

It was also a chance to get to experience the different varieties of the new generation of treatment-specific CLARINSPRO professional products developed and used exclusively by Clarins beauty therapists for each personalized session.

Clarins City CentreClarins institute neuf mois en beauty massge review

The 60-minute massage was instrumental in awakening each of my five senses starting from my feet all the way up to my forehead, but mind you it wasn’t simply about relaxing though I must admit I dozed off a couple of times. It was also about reducing stress on my ligaments and encouraging blood circulation with the added benefits of most Clarins treatments which also work on getting skin toned, firmed and contoured.

My therapist was gentle yet confident in her techniques, which alleviated tension from every area she touched and coupled with the soothing background music, it had left me in a state of trance I haven’t been able to experience for many months now. Though after an hour I was sad it had to come to an end, I didn’t expect to feel as energized as I did. Needless to say, I slept like a baby that evening, with absolutely no nervous tension.

The Clarins spa also offers an extensive list of treatments facials and massages for both men and women which I will be trying out very soon. Just make sure you book in advance, cause they’re usually super busy.

Following my session, I also took the liberty of freshening up with some Clarins skin care and makeup, it really was too tempting to pass up.

Ivy says Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum review

The two new skin care products I’m currently using are the Shaping Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum, which reduces the look of puffiness and double chin ( I’m in dire need of at the moment) while lifting and contouring the face. I also added some of Clarins Mission Perfection Serum, that works as a pigmentation corrector for dark spots, acne marks and dull complexions in general. I love how this combo left my skin looking radiant and moisturized, and is now an essential part of my daily beauty regimen.

Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum Clarins

And of course some  Clarins Crayon Kohl eyeliner never hurt anyone, and I finally got to try out the Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact which I used to warm up and sculpt my face and cheekbones. Loved how matte yet luminous  it settled on my face.

Ivy says clarins makeup lebanonClarins aquatic bronzer application

You can book your own massage or facial session at Clarins City Centre Beirut on 01 286 682

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