Ivy Says in Special Magazine

I’m very happy to be featured in the August 2015 issue of Special Magazine out this Saturday. In the interview I’m attaching we discuss the idea behind Ivy Says, how it has evolved throughout the years and why City Centre Beirut is my preferred shopping destination in Lebanon.

Click on images to enlarge

Ivy says Interview Special Magazine Dana KhairallahIvy says Interview Special Magazine Dana Khairallah CCB

Check it out below and don’t forget to grab your copy!

A special thank you to the wonderful Special Magazine Team!

Read about my Big Reveal

More Ivy In the Press here

Beauty Review: Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion

Pro Bronze Fusion Ivy says review make up for ever

For years I used to expose my face to the sun just like I would the rest of my body and let’s just say those weren’t my brightest days (though I was very tanned.) So now as I layer my face with SPF 50 you can imagine how fair it looks compared to the rest of my body post-beach. That’s why I’m always up for discovering new bronzers which can give me a sun-kissed glow without the risk of premature wrinkles.

MAKE UP FOR EVER’s new Pro Bronze Fusion has done the trick this summer and here are a couple of reasons why it worked for me.

Pro Bronze Fusion Review

The Formula: First, it’s waterproof. That’s right, no melting, no streaking and creasing in the heat. Next, it’s super lightweight, to the point where I’m like wait a sec.. Am I even getting any product out? But that’s where the Kabuki Brush comes in (read below)

It’s also a gel powder bronzer, this means that it won’t leave your skin looking cakey, but rather blends in super smoothly, giving you a luminous healthy glow. It’s not as pigmented as a say a Guerlain or MAC bronzer if strong color-release is what you’re after, but I personally hate to see the obvious marks of bronzer application, so the second skin-like feel to it is a plus for me. However, this will not work if you’re looking to Insta-style contour and highlight so obviously.

The Finish: Although you would expect it to be shimmery, it only has very subtle hints, it’s more natural and matte, which I prefer, though I coupled it with some Armani Fluid Sheer highlighter for this look.

Color Release: It’s true if you don’t use the Make Up For Ever 136 Pro Bronze Kabuki Brush to apply it, you may feel like the you’re getting minimal product out so I totally recommend you give this dense and stout brush a go. My preferred technique is to first apply as you would usually (with medium pressure) and then blend backwards in a circular motion.

Pro Bronze Fusion make up for ever

I tried both 30M Seinna and 35i Caramel and found that the first works better for me when I’m not so tanned and the latter works better with a tan.

Pro Bronze Fusion Ivy says review

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Summer Safari- A Look from Forever 21

Ivy says city centre Forever 21

I absolutely love the endless choices of accessories, hats and shoes that you can pair with outfits at Forever 21 located exclusively at City Centre Beirut. The convenience of completing an entire outfit from head-to-toe in one stop is also something you will come to appreciate when pressed on time.

I loved the boho-chic feel of my first Black and Teal look but for my second look with Forever 21, I chose this short denim dress which I thought would make the perfect addition to my wardrobe this summer, since it’s both versatile, light and can be dressed in so many different ways.

ivy says forever 21 day look

I styled it a little differently, with a pair of closed black mules which I remember rocking back in the 90s (they’re back big time) and a small-sized pretty powder pink backpack and completed the look with this Indiana Jones style Fedora I loved so much I also picked up in black. I like how the entire outfit put together looked safari-themed and fun. What do you think?

Forever 21 styled by ivy saysIvy says Forever 21

The Top 5 Perfumes This Season

Ivy's Top perfumes

1. Black Opium by YSL

Black Opium YSL review

Derived from its 1977 classic Opium, trust me when I say Black Opium smells just as good as it looks. It has notes of coffee ,electric pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and cedar and is one of those scents that lingers on even after you’ve left the room. It now one of my signature scents and favorite fragrances to date from YSL.

2. Versace Eros Pour Femme Fragrance

Versace eros pour femme

I was immediately drawn to the feminine accents of Jasmine, peonies, pomegranate and sandalwood of Versace Eros, the newly launched fragrance by Versace. 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 definitely smells and looks like a classic on my counter.

3. Fatale Agent Provocateur

Fatale by Agent Provocateur

It’s no secret that like everything from Agent Provocateur, Fatale is very seductive. It’s also smells super sweet, with bold top notes of spicy Pink Pepper with succulent Mango and exotic Blackcurrant and chocolate. I love the combination of fruity-floral-gourmand and just the longevity of the scent. I also appreciate just how practical the compact bottle design fits rights into my purse. If you love your perfumes sugary than you need to try this one out.

4. La Nuit Trésor by Lancome

La Nuit Tresor Lancome Review

Dubbed as the black Diamond of Lancome and announced as the first gourmand aphrodisiac from the brand, La Nuit Trésor is the result of combining the heart of a black rose, with vanilla orchid and my personal favorite, Lychee praline. It also has a very distinct raspberry top note as soon as you smell it. If I would describe this smell in one word, I would say it’s romantic. The bottle is exquisitely shaped like a diamond with a pretty satin black rose and bow. If you loved Lancome’s original bestselling Trésor then you will love the modern sultry take on La Nuit Trésor.

5. My Burberry

My Burberry Perfume Review

An iconically British fragrance that is inspired by the brand’s famous cult trench coat and the smell of a London urban garden after the rain. It opens with notes of sweet peas geranium, freesia flowers rounded up with patchouli in the base, joined with Damascus and Centifolia rose, in other words, it’s very floral and feminine. I love to put this one on during the daytime, especially when I have meetings

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Ivy’s Home: Five Star Hotel Room Luxury At Home

The white company ivy says style home

Like most people who love luxury hotels, I’ve come to appreciate the linens, lotions, towels and most of all bathrobes that come in the rooms. So I thought to myself why not take things up a notch at home and include those five-star touches in our very own bedroom and bathroom, and so I went to the obvious choice, The White Company, which opened its first and only branch in Lebanon at City Centre Beirut on Level 2. I love the stylish simplicity of this British store, which smells like a fresh sea breeze and looks crisp and clean, a place where it’s summer all year long.

Ivy Says Home

I wanted to take that smell home with me and picked out the White Geranium Scent Diffuser, a refreshingly light floral scent – with notes of lavender and eucalyptus, followed by aromatic geranium laced with rose and fresh thyme. I also bought the White Geranium Candle another relaxing and calming scent and completed the set with the Hand & Body Balm from the same series.

Geranuim set The white company reviewThe white company city centre beirut

I spoiled my husband and I with one of The White Company’s signature items, a short Hydrocotton Robe for me and the long Hydrocotton robe for him. Now let me tell you, these are one of the fluffiest and softest quality bathrobes you will find, even after washing over and over again, they make you want to nestle inside. They’re surprisingly quite lightweight, so I like to wear mine around the house over my PJs before I start my day.

The White Company Hydro cottonHome decor lebanon ivy says

I made sure our feet too get to indulge in the same experience as we stepped out of the bath, so I complemented the set with the lIe de Ré bath mat, like our bathrobes, they too are made of Hydrocotton, this amazingly thick, reversible, fluffy mat that makes you feel like you landed on a pillow, and most importantly is super fast dry.

Bath Mat The White Company

And finally, no trip to The White Company would be complete without some items from the Seychelles series, with warm notes of exotic coconut, vanilla and almond. I chose the Body Lotion and Bath and Shower Gel which really made us feel like we were on holiday at some fancy beach resort.

Seychelles  lotion the white company city centre beirut

These simple items really helped give our bed and bathroom that hotel room feel we crave, especially after a long stressful day or during a relaxing weekend at the beach. I also think they make the perfect gifts for friends who too appreciate the finer (and uber-soft) things in life.

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30 Things You’ll Learn By 30

30 things to learn by 3030 things to learn by 30 ivy says

I thought I’d share with you some of the wisdom bestowed upon me from this milestone new decade I hit earlier this year. My 20s were (a little too much) fun and unforgettable, but they were a time when I was struggling to figure things out while getting to know myself as a person.  Now at 30, I can honestly say I know who I am and what I want. And though I realize that some of these points may sound like inspiring quotes, they could serve as a guide and save you a lot of trouble and life-contemplation as you approach your dirty thirty.

1. Blessings do come in disguise. You know how our parents say this to help us stay positive when things don’t go as we’d hoped? Well its true. I’ve had many aspirations that never transpired and I thank my lucky stars today they didn’t, they would taken me on a completely different path.

2. We all seek success but success is relative, there is no textbook metric. A successful stockbroker may perceive a full-time blogger like myself as a complete failure. It really all comes down personal outlooks.

3. Stop rushing everything. I was in a rush to graduate, then I was in a rush to  work, then I was in a rush to get promoted, then to find my better half then get married etc. I don’t regret my choices  but now I realize 30 is really not that old, in fact it’s still pretty young and I could have stressed less because everything would have fallen into place alone and you will never have it all figured out, at any age.

4. Your inner happiness should really come first. Even if it means turning down that amazing job on paper or finally ending it with a clingy girlfriend/boyfriend because deep down you know it’s not what you want. The more you procrastinate the more likely you’re to be stuck somewhere you don’t want to be by 30. Brave it up. Use your 30s to thrive not struggle.

5. We live at a time where you CAN CREATE the job or business you want. When I decided to blog full-time some people thought I had my head in the clouds. Others told me straight up to quit fooling around and get a “real” job. But I just kept writing and writing and writing until I made a living out of it. It’s sounds quite cliché but hard work DOES pay off.

6. Sure Money isn’t everything, but it is something. Never be afraid to put a price tag on your efforts and stick to your guns, everyone will want a bargain but it’s up to you to value your worth.

7. It’s so easy to get cozy in your comfort zone and not pursue things. Resisting change, fear of rejection and adapting to everyday routine may stop you from going after some of the biggest opportunities that may come your way.  Take it from me, leave no stone unturned.

8. I used to want to call out every single person that imitated or copied me, especially since I began blogging in 2009. I’m at a point now where I’m confident enough to know that it’s not a bad thing, it’s flattering to be an influence, even if some don’t want to admit it.

9. Competition can be healthy, but most of the time it’s petty. No matter what you do or where you work, if you’re confident about your skills and talent  you’ll never see others as a threat, rather you’d guide them. Insecurity is so unattractive.

10. Take responsibility for your actions. I used to think apologies were a sign of weakness, how wrong was I. Apologizing and admitting your wrong can only be acquired with time and maturity, not anyone can own up to mistakes but there is an amazing sense of freedom and respect you get from just saying “I’m sorry.” It brings people closer and builds much stronger lasting relationships.

11. At some point you’ll grow apart from your high school besties but the real friendships will be back, you’ve both just been distracted. No matter how many new friends you make, none will be as comforting as the ones who’ve known you, seen you through puberty and still stuck around.

12. Choose your entourage wisely. The people you break bread with will reflect on you whether you admit it to yourself or not. Hanging out with successful people will unknowingly make you more ambitious.

13. Also, choose your battles wisely. But don’t forget to stand up for yourself, even if it means burning a couple of bridges along the way and earning yourself a “difficult´reputation, they may not like you for it but they’ll sure think twice before they mess with you again.

14. Best friends are not made overnight. No matter how strong the connection is. The quickest ones to call you a bestie, will be the first one to drop you when the going gets tough.

15. It’s okay to say NO straight up no matter how difficult/awkward it may be. If that’s an excuse for someone to cut ties with you then better sooner than later.

16. Take criticism, but never from the same person over and over again, you’ll find out eventually that they just don’t like you.

17. I was fast to lose my temper, until I discovered it’s very easy to get rude. Staying calm, collected and composed in the face of adversary is the real show of strength.

18. Getting back at someone because they hurt you doesn’t feel as good as it sounds. The best revenge is indifference. To Truly not give a shit.

19. Never talk about anyone behind their back unless you intend for it to reach them. Assuming anything otherwise is inexperienced.

20. People will always judge you before they meet you, so instead of being resentful, be nice and show them just how much they don’t know you. If they still don’t like you then they just don’t and most likely won’t, move on, you can’t please them all.

21. Take things with a grain of salt.There are two-sides to every story, no matter how much you trust your sources. People may see the dress white and gold others see it blue and black. It doesn’t mean you should always doubt others  but you should most definitely always leave room for bias (and bullshit)

22. Not everyone deserves (or even wants) your confrontation and honesty. Don’t call people out just because you can. Sometimes even when you know someone is being dishonest, sit back, listen and smile to yourself. It falls somewhere under diplomacy.

23. Invest in your own space, even if you’re still single, or can’t afford to buy one, rent one and make it your own, but most importantly move out if you haven’t already. By 30 your parents should be your friends not your caregivers.

24. People who told you to wear sunscreen were not exaggerating when they said it would prevent wrinkles. I started in my mid-twenties and I have to say I’m grateful  but wish I did even sooner.

25. In a couple of years it won’t matter who designed your dress or how many tiers your wedding cake had, the only thing that will count is how much you really make each other happy and just how well you get along.

26. Don’t make announcements you may regret. I used to say kids were not for me, my marriage will be different, “cooler” it will just be us conquering the world. And it was that way for almost five years. Now the thought of a stroller gets me all giddy and excited.

27. Space is as important in a relationship as is time spent together. You don’t have to like the same things, same food or same people or do everything together just because you’re together.

28. You can still eat what you want but work out a little harder. If you haven’t been to the gym in your early-mid twenties it’s very unlikely you will get active in your late twenties and thirties. Remember it’s a lifestyle not a duty.

29. Being self-deprecating shows you have a sense of humor -never resist the urge to laugh or make fun of yourself and more importantly never take yourself too seriously.

30. I’m not going to lie its tough to bid your 20s goodbye and admit you’re 30. But I’m more at peace with myself now,and if I had to choose between what I know now, where I am,  and how little I knew back then, I would always chose now.

 

 

 

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How To Prevent Stretch Marks

Ivy Says Mustela Review

I think I speak for a lot of women when I say there are not many things that plant fear in our hearts, but one of them is stretch marks because those little zigzagish horrors strike when you least expect them to, at times even overnight. I never gave them much thought, until I got pregnant, then the warnings began…

Watch Out”

Moisturize!”

Use Bio Oil

Cocoa butter is your best friend.”

They’re genetic!

Everyone was chiming in and there I was lathering myself to the point where I was looking like a baby seal.

Then one day, I received an invitation for a presentation about Mustela, a skin care line designed to taking care of mothers-to-be and their babies. I was intrigued, this was all very new to me.

Mustela Full stretch mark collection pregnancy

It was definitely an eye opening hour, I learned that although stretch marks during pregnancy are indeed the result of your body growing too big and fast for your skin to stretch along with it, they were also brought on by a surge of hormones that relax collagen in skin. And although stretch marks may not be prevented completely, they can be warded off with the proper skin care routine.

That’s where Mustela comes in with its complete revolutionary range of products for pre-and post pregnancy. The best part they’re hypoallergenic and dermatologically assessed for safety for mom and baby during pre-natal and post-partum pregnancy use , the first concern that pops into a pregnant woman’s mind, trust me.

Mustela Double Action review strech marks

I was presented with a set of skin care products, for pre and post pregnancy. The two I have been using for the past 2 months are the Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action which I apply both during the day and in the evening after a hot shower and it smells REALLY good and the Stretch Marks Care Oil made with only natural origins that I massage on to my skin before bed. It’s grease-free (surprisingly) so you don’t have to worry about staining your PJs or linens. I’m currently 30 weeks along and I’m very relieved to say, not a stretch mark in sight just yet (fingers crossed.) So if you’re expecting or plan on it I suggest you keep these two by your bedside at the soonest.

Mustela Stretch Mark oil review

I also plan to continue trying out this line even after I have my baby, the first is the Body Restructuring Gel, to firm up any saggy skin and decrease puffiness, and also the Stretch Marks Intensive Action Cream, to reduce the color and size of any stretch marks that may appear. It really feels good to know that I have those two-on stand by for later.

You can find the Mustela range in Lebanon at most pharmacies.

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