7 Ways To Own Your Online Reputation- Ivy Says for Entrepreneur Middle East

Whether you’re a brand, celebrity or professional in an industry; chances are you’re always looking for ways to improve your online reputation. I share seven tactics as part of my contribution to Entrepreneur Middle East’s April Issue.

Dana khairallah Entrepreneur Middleeast

It’s a well-known fact that people are more likely to tell their social circles about a negative experience than a positive one-bad news travels fast. Couple that with the major influence online reviews have on purchasing decisions and you’ve got yourself a losing equation. This is the right around the time when brands or public figures decide to call up seasoned reputation managers looking for a quick fix to make it all go away. And although online crisis management tactics could stop some of the bleeding, the wound needs time to heal.

To understand reputation management one has to think of it like insurance, you don’t think about it when you don’t need it, but you’re really grateful to have it when you’re in trouble.

Online reputation management is relatively new, most small to medium businesses in the region have just come to terms (and budgets) with hiring agencies, freelancers or in-house experts as community managers to develop their social media strategy and manage their day-to-day online presence. While that is essential, it’s just a component of the overall long-term strategy and effort it entails to truly control an online reputation.

When was the last time you tracked or monitored your brand’s reputation? (No, the occasional Google search doesn’t count.) Are you in control of those results?

If not, here are a couple of tactics that you should be aware of Read The Rest of the Article here

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Ivy Reviews: Prune French Bistro

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I just returned from a much needed 9 day stint in Europe, namely Paris and I can honestly say that I like (dine-in) French food in Lebanon more than French food in France and yes I’m generalizing.

The bar was set pretty high during a pre-trip dinner at Prune with friends, a relatively new French Bistro that set up shop in Mar Mikhael. You can call Prune cozy or you can call it tiny, both French characteristics, perhaps intended. So reservations don’t come easy and even when they do, don’t expect leg space. Nevertheless, it adds to the charm of this busy joint even on a Monday night. I didn’t know what to expect as I didn’t do much research on Prune online but I enjoyed the mystery of it all.

We started things off with a ruby red bottle of Domaines des Tourelles, one of my favorite Lebanese wines, fruity and subtle a perfect companion for red meat.

of Domaines des Tourelles,  Prune

The menu features many classic dishes one would expect a French joint to serve and every now and then the star prune makes an appearance on the menu such as the Chevre, prunes en compote, the Foie gras et chutney de Prune and the Poulet aux Prunes.

We settled for the Salade King Crab fenouil, a generous serving of succulent and fresh-as-can-be shredded crab, none of that fish imitation rubbish you’d usually expect, on a bed of crisp fenouil soaked in a delectable olive oil, lemon and what felt like paprika or sumac dressing. It was by far the best crab salad I’ve had since moving to Lebanon. And though it will set you back 38,000 LL,  worth every lira.

Prune Bistro King Crab salad

Next, we shared the Calamars et pouples grilles. I like it when calamari tastes and feels like chicken and this one did, though my friend found it a tad over-spiced. It came with a side of more fenouil and parsley.

Prune Bistro Calamari

The waiter lured us into a breaded oven cooked Australian fillet, part of Prune’s daily special, but apologized profusely minutes later when he was informed by the chef that there were none left. I was glad that happened or else I wouldn’t have had Prune’s Award Winning Steak Frites (38,000LL), yes, I’m giving them an award for that dish, because this is not some marble piece of faux filet or bavette steak, this steak felt, tasted and fell apart like a prime filet mignon coupled with a creamy sauce unlike anything I’ve had before. It’s one of those things that you’ll remember each time you have a craving for a great steak in Beirut.

Steak Frites Prune Bistro

My friend had the signature Poulet aux Prunes (36,000), a very generous portion of chicken breast in a hearty comforting sauce with prunes. This dish was a perfect companion on a cold winter night though in my opinion it was missing a much needed side of carbs such as a soothing fluffy portion of mashed potatoes that I think would go wonderfully with it.

Poulet Prune Bistro

I’m ashamed to say we didn’t have any dessert, it was late in the evening and Pain Perdu isn’t exactly good for the thighs before bed, Anthony from No Garlic No Onions describes it as one of the best he’s had in Lebanon to date. I’ll definitely be heading back to try out a selection of Prune’s desserts.

Prune is about that true gastronomic experience, giving you that lovely Parisian bistro feel but with fantastic food and great service. It’s about time something of this caliber showed up.

The Prices: Dinner for 4 with bottle of wine $200

The Verdict: One of the best (if not the best) French Bistros in town

More Restaurant review HERE

 

 

GAP Styld.by + IvySays = Weekend Walks

Finding the perfect fitting pair of jeans doesn’t come easy for a girl, what works on your legs doesn’t always work on your hips. So when do finally land on the right ones, you hang on to them.

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I loved these GAP 1969 Ashore washed always skinny jeans I wore for my Spring Statements Look for GAP Styled.by so much I decided to wear them down this time with a cream crop pull over from Zara, a pair of sequined-print sneakers from Marc by Marc Jacobs and my calf-skin navy blue satchel by Marc Jacobs. I accessorized the look with my favorite animal print gold bracelet courtesy of Juicy Couture and a statement pair of Dior sunnies.

GAP_IvySays_Spring-900px-19This shoot took place right outside the very Lebanese vintage Beriz Café in Old Souk Jounieh, who were such enthusiasts and really made us feel welcome.

Photos by Mokhtar Beirut.

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Check out my feature on GAP Styld.by Global Page

Ivy Reviews: Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro

It’s not every day that I fall on a lip product that prompts me to write a review but I just had to share my latest beauty obsession of the past couple of months.
Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro.

Ivy Review Georgio Armani Lip Maestro

I first got introduced to this matte lacquer (it’s not a gloss) back in August when I had my makeup done by Armani for  #IVYSBIGREVEAL. Their makeup artist gave me a strong smokey eye and finished my lips with a satin almost-powder-cream-like layer of Lip Maestro #202.
I was pleasantly surprised by two things, first how ridiculously smooth and velvety the texture was, as though he was dabbing on a matte liquid foundation on my lips and secondly just how long it lasted on my lips- literally for around 6 hours. I took various coffee (and wine) breaks during the day and yet this little gem stayed put.

Ivy Review Georgio Armani Lip Maestro 2
My lips dry and chap easily, I’ve found that with the exception of a few brand favorites, lipsticks and mostly glosses tend to bring out the worst in them, after a couple of hours some of the skin will literally begin peeling off ( sorry for the visual)
But Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro is one of the few formulas that actually hydrates lips and truly retains lip moisture, add to that the super light weight texture which at some point you will forget is even there (something I also find very difficult to do.)
Finally, Lip Maestro is incredibly pigmented; you will never get a sheer moment, just pure true rich matte color and finish with great color release. Make sure you don’t over-drench the applicator with formula; a small amount will be more than enough to stain your entire lips. It comes in 14 shades, my favorite being the Dolce 202, 500 Blush, 503 Red Fuchsia.

Ivy Armani Maestro

Have you tried it?

 

 

GAP styld.by + IvySays = Spring Statements

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My ultimate spring outfit fix is a crisp white shirt and a flattering pair of cut-out blue jeans, it’s a versatile and simple combo that can be dressed up or down. For my most recent collaboration with GAP styld.by I wanted to add as many statement pieces as possible to this classic favorite.

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I chose these GAP 1969 Ashore washed always skinny jeans and styled them with this Zara white netted polo and a statement necklace. I also fell in love with these color blocked, white, pastel pink and black Zara pumps and this embossed snakeskin clutch courtesy of Uterqüe. I accessorized with a gorgeous calf-hair animal print gold bracelet courtesy of Juicy Couture. Finally I completed the look with  a statement pair of sunnies I picked up on my recent trip to Paris, the new “Dior Eyes” in gold and ivory by Christian Dior.

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The shoot took place in the beautiful streets of the old souk in Jounieh by Mokhtar Beirut who’s always such a pleasure to work with.

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Check out more of my looks with GAP Styld.by below

Beirut Street Pop Art

Under The Bridge

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

roula saad

Back in October 2013 I  launched the Online Petition Against Tattooed Eyebrows to counter the growing  pandemic of creepy crawlers taking over our country. It has become one of my most successful posts to date shared by hundreds beauty advocates brave enough to stand up for what is right. Today I wage a full out war, on the crimes against beauty that have given us terrifying reputations and landed us on some of the world’s most notorious beauty faux pas lists. Join me, for united we are stronger.

Exhibit A:  Permanent Lip Liner

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Let’s get one thing straight, Lip liners were intended to give your lips that natural contour and define borders not for drawing on entirely new ones. But to go as far as making those things permanent and darker than your natural lip line? That’s borderline self-loathing.

Fact: Nobody actually believes those are real lips, and when they’re extended upwards they begin to resemble a mustache. Worst of all, eventually the liner begins to fade in different areas leaving you looking like you marked yourself with a pen by mistake. Stop it.

Verdict: Life without Parole

Exhibit B:Going Blonde

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Some women go blonde and it looks like they have Scandinavian blood and others are smart enough to steer clear. But there remains a significant portion of ladies who insist on looking artificial by bleaching their locks regardless of their skin tone, and adding insult to injury by dying their eyebrows as well. Hair Coloring is a science and it should be done by a professional, so make sure you’re nice to your colorist or he won’t tell you the truth you need to know.

Verdict: 30 Hours of Community Service

Exhibit C: Concealer Overdose

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We are notorious for this. Sure concealer is a miracle worker adding that instant fresh boost and covering dark circles, but the whole point was to conceal those bags not paint them a bright shade of white, unless the plan is to resemble a raccoon.

Verdict: Hefty Fine

Exhibit D: Botched lips.

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Yes, I know we’re all guilty of coveting plump lips. But whatever happened to proportion, symmetry, and common sense? Lindsay went from 25 to 55 overnight because her doctor didn’t tell her how over-sized and droopy her lips had become compared to the rest of her face. When you look like you’re constantly duck-faced and your inner lips protruding like a Trout, it’s time to lay off those collagen injections. When one side of your lip is more filled than the other it’s time to sue your doctor.

 Verdict: 30 years to Life

Exhibit E: Ombre Hair

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There’s Ombre and then there’s negligence. Growing your dyed hair out only to pass it off as dip dye or Ombre is a really really bad idea especially when the contrast between the light and dark is huge. Ombre is about having a subtle fade in color if done professionally otherwise it looks plain tacky.

Verdict: 30 days House Arrest

Exhibit F: Botox

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I’m not vehemently against surgical beauty enhancement and I’m not going to speak too soon either. I’m young enough to enjoy the natural collagen on my skin without having to resort to botox just yet. BUT by just yet I mean at least until my forties. I mean come on, girls in their 20’s (yes 20’s and early 30’s) are getting botoxed like it’s a bikini wax and in doing so are emulating women in their 50’s. How pancake face is becoming the ultimate status symbol beats me! Walking around with permanently raised eyebrows makes you look constantly suspicious or shocked and laughing with no facial expression makes you look looney.  It’s ludicrous I tell you.

Verdict: Life without parole/solitary confinement

Exhibit H: Fake/excessive Tanning

maya-diab

Whether you’re ruthlessly exposing your body to harmful sun rays, addicted to the tanning booth or pouring it on from a bottle the only thing that should sport that shade of red is an Orangutan.

Verdict: 15 years with possibility of early release for good behavior

Exhibit I: Very Light Foundation.  

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Contrary to Middle Eastern practice foundation is supposed to match your skin tone not create a new one. I don’t care how many Fair and Lovely ads you’ve seen, using a lighter foundation  makes your head look like it belongs on another body and will actually age you.(gasp)

Verdict: Heavy fine and monthly makeup purchase limit

Exhibit J: Colored Contact Lenses

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I thought colored contact lenses were just a fad, I really thought by now we’ll look back, point and laugh at ourselves hysterically but sadly Arab stars are so adamant on keeping that trend alive that lenses have become synonymous with cheap and vulgar. How something so unflattering and fake could be so popular is beyond me!

Verdict: Electronic Tagging

Did I miss a few?

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Lebanese Celebrities Separated at Birth

Ivy Reviews: Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

sydneys table

Perched atop of Le Vendôme’s glassed rooftop is Sydney’s, one of Beirut’s longstanding hotspots following a recent refurbishment .

Home to stunning unrivaled views overlooking Beirut’s glistening Manara strip, this upscale yet warm spot caters to all tastes; private luxurious lounge areas for the Cuban cigar aficionados, a grandiose oak bar complete with a rare selection of cognacs and malt whiskies and a collection of the sassiest cocktails in the city for someone like me. Sydney’s has also managed to attract almost every foodie in town and rightfully so, all thanks to its diverse international menu featuring some universal favorites, from tacos to tenderloins .

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Last Wednesday my man and I were treated an unforgettable four course meal that courted our taste buds and challenged our intake capacity.

The Drinks

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We kicked things off with two of Sydney’s 7 Wonder Cocktails. My man who’s a big fan of mojitos had the fabulously refreshing Apple Mojito made with Zapaca rum and apple sour liqueur while I went with an obvious choice, the Earl Grey Fizz a genius mix of homemade tea syrup and Yellow Label Veuve Cliquot, both spot-on.

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We nibbled on some complimentary Edamame and Grissini as we sipped on our drinks.

The Food

For starters we shared Sydney’s Burrata served with juicy Heirloom tomatoes and basil, it was just right, the outer shell was a nice firm Mozzarella with a soft rich and creamy textured interior.

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We also had the lovely Lentil salad with some string beans and asparagus in a balsamic dressing and the Fresh Artichokes and String Bean salad, a combination we both never had before, it was an interesting first, with the grilled cauliflower and fried white onion rings though I wasn’t a big fan of the chestnuts.

Next we had two signature dishes that put Sydney’s on the map, the first being the succulent Raviolis de cèpes, with grilled wild pleurotes in a delectably rich mushroom sauce.

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It paved the way for the best, yes the BEST authentic club sandwich in the city. Layers of juicy sliced chicken, crisp bacon, hard boiled eggs with a secret basil mayonnaise sauce in 3 pairs of toasted cereal bread and a side of Parmesan fries.

photo 1As for mains we shared the Beef Tenderloin fit for a king and grilled to absolute perfection, seared on the outside and just perfectly pink and supple on the inside with a side of fresh vegetables and an exquisite sauce.

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We also split the Pan-fried Salmon with coucous and white organic quinoa salad served with a dollop of pesto sauce. The salmon was lovely but all in all this entire dish was slightly plain and dry for my liking, I tend to enjoy this particular fish drenched in sweeter sauces.

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The Dessert

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Dessert presented a dilemma; we couldn’t get ourselves to eat a sight so pretty. So for a while we just stared. I finally gathered the courage to dip my spoon and crack into the Strawberry Comfit Crème Brûlée Tartlet that tasted it exactly how it looked. Decadent.

If you love caramelized pineapples and real vanilla ice cream don’t miss out on the The Pinapple Feuillette.

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And finally Sydney’s innovative take on the Baba au Rhum, two cute little babas generously soaked in none other than Cointreau and served with fluffy whipped cream.

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The Service

Impeccable. Customer is still king at Sydney’s. Yes, most five star establishments are renowned for their grade A service but let’s just say Le Vendome goes that extra mile; attentive staff, well-rounded waiters who tend to your every need without making you even feel they’re there and a whole hearted smile from just about everyone.

The Prices

Now here’s the part that will surprise you. The prices are reasonable to the extent where an appetizer costs roughly the same as it would in any mid-range restaurant in Beirut such as Casper and Gambini or Metropole, except this is one of Lebanon’s most exclusive 5 star hotels. Nothing that would break bank. The lentil salad or quinoa for example goes from (23,000 to 28,000LL) while pasta or risotto costs between (28,000 and 36,000) and the salmon is 49,000. A meal for two with appetizers and drinks can cost anywhere from 60$ to $75 per person.

The Verdict

Lives up to it’s hype and exceeds exceptions. I’m looking forward to trying out their popular brunch as well.

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