Category Archives: Diary of a Not-So-Single Girl In Beirut

10 Tips To Becoming A Happier Person

ten tips to becoming a happier person by ivy says

1. Drop a grudge. It doesn’t mean you should befriend someone who hurt you it just means you should rid yourself of the hatred you’re harboring. It takes up too much energy. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.

2. Quit your job. especially if you hate it so much. No plan B? Yeah that happens too. Something better will come along, trust me on this one.

3.Get a pet. even if you grew up in a house that absolutely forbade them. They really are the gift that keeps on giving, provided you train them well. The sheer joy and comical behavior and most importantly unconditional friendship that comes with owning one can is priceless, any god pet owner can attest to that.

get a pet

4. Take up an exercise class; Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Trampoline, Body Pump anything that requires you to establish a healthy routine and allows you to get moving. It’s not just about getting fit, it’s about dedication and a sense of community. Even when you don’t know anyone in the class, you are all still feeding off each others energy and working as a team towards a common goal- and that’s well being. There’s also nothing like earning a guilt-free dinner.

take up a class

5. Clean out your closet. Face it, you’re probably never going to wear (or fit in) to that dress from 4 summers ago but every time you open your closet and see it there it makes you feel miserable. Get rid of it and make some room for the new.

6. Get gutsy and get that hairstyle you always wanted but never dared to. Get out of your comfort zone, change things up. If you find your hair dull and boring, then make it exciting and new. It’s a major confidence booster that will suddenly make you want to try out new makeup and new styles.

get a new hairstyle

7. Speaking of makeup, no matter how many “I hate makeup” declarations you’ve made trust me when I tell you it can change your entire perspective and cover up some major flaws you’ve been hating on forever. Have your beauty expert friend take you on a makeup spree, and watch how you will LOVE discovering that there really is a product for every inch of your face- and they work!

makeup shopping

8. Stop seeing the same people. I don’t mean you should stop talking to your friends all together, just widen the circle. Be more sociable in your approach, you’re never too old for new friends.

9. Spoil yourself especially if you work hard. For some that’s a day at the spa for others it’s a handbag with a hefty price tag but either way go for it.

spoil yourself

10. Quit comparing yourself to others. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be deceiving, and keeping a keen eye on someone’s “perfect” life can make you begin to despise your own.

 

 

 

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

How To Find Your Soul Mate

5 Reasons You’re Still Single; The Arab Men Edition

6 Reasons Why He Didn’t Call You Back

8 Reasons Why Arab Men Won’t Marry You

What Men Really Want- Especially Lebanese Men

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits of Middle Eastern Women

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits Of Middle Eastern Men

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.

tony sawaya dunes verdun beirut

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.

IMG_0826

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.

IMG_0828tony sawaya salon

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.

IMG_0827

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.

ivy says makeup blogIMG_0824ivy says dana khairallah blogger

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

Read Beauty Articles from Dunes Verdun

A Holiday 2014 Look From Dunes Verdun

Ivy’s Holiday Makeup Must Haves from Beauty Concept

New Year’s Eve Nails by Beauty Express

 

 

 

 

Ivy Reviews: Yalla 3a2belkon

yalla 3a2belkoun

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.

IMG_9892

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!

IMG_9999

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.

IMG_9997

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.

IMG_0001

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.

The 7 Highly Unprofessional Habits of Retail Employees in Lebanon

I don’t mean to start the new year with a rant but I’m afraid I must. We all know the Lebanese economy has seen better days, so it baffles me that customers are being treated like a nuisance. Yup, it almost seems as though shop assistants and at times assistant managers have left their basic training behind and instead decided to show us how they really feel about our business; not much. In fact, we’d be doing them a favor if we just got lost. If you’re shaking your head and thinking “oh no not MY business” think again. Everyone’s doing it from the largest retailers in the world to stand alone stores.

 

1) No greeting. Basic right? Gone are the days where the shop keeper or sales assistant would acknowledge you with a simple hello. Ironically, they now give YOU a look as though you’re the one who’s supposed to welcome them into their own store and that’s IF they’re not ignoring you.

pout

2) When the shop assistant tails you to fold and arrange the items you merely touch, but not once asks you if you need any help. In fact you almost hear her grunt in annoyance. She couldn’t give it two minutes until you were at least away from the stand to rearrange it.

really

3) The triumphant “we don’t have your size.” You could swear you almost see a smile. As though they’re relieved that they don’t have to lift a finger. No backroom double check or cross-sell. They may as well just tell you, “now LEAVE!”

bitch

4) The changing room assistant that demands you bring back all the clothes and hangers when you’re done. This has evolved from a courteous request to a conditional downright barking order. I like to catch them off guard by asking them if they would like for me to leave what I’m doing and help them hang and put the piles of clothes away.

angry funny

5) When you realize you have the wrong size and ask the changing room assistant to bring you the right one. She may as well just spit in your face.

what!

 

6) The security guard who doesn’t inform you that he’s about to check your bag but simply signals you to open it up and then shoves his grubby hands inside as though he can find anything like that. I understand our security concerns but let’s take a moment to reflect on the effectiveness of this practice.

rage

7) That moment when you just completed your purchase and don’t get a mere thank you. Instead, you’re the one thanking the cashier who remains silent at this point. And then you ask yourself, “Wait? Did I just thank them for allowing me to spend my money at their store?” Damn straight you did!

you failed

A Makeup Look By Yves Saint Laurent

YSL Makeup Ivy Says shoot

For a promo shoot of my Ivy Says NRJ Radio show, I was delighted to collaborate with the beauty team at Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) who created this day-appropriate soft winged eye and hot pink lip pair on me using some of the latest from the YSL Holiday 2014 Collection.

It was my first shoot wearing the foundation game changer; Fusion Ink Foundation which was applied with the also recently released Perfecting Polisher Brush, one of the most innovative softest and most lightweight formulas I’ve come across to date. The texture felt like a silk matte veil with an ultra-matte finish, somewhere between a liquid and powdered state. It gave me the ideal coverage for a day shoot sans the layered, heavy, cakey look that tends to come with foundation. They also highlighted my face with the iconic Touche Éclat which I reviewed here.

Ivy Says YSL Beauty Review look makeup

To draw the perfect winged liner, I recommend you use intense and carbon-black bestseller Eyeliner Effect Faux Cils. If like me, you get a little jerky when applying eyeliner, then the pen-like grip and tip on this will make your experience a less intimidating one. It’s also waterproof. They finished off my eyes with the award-winning Volume Effect Faux Cils Mascara in high density black which you can also view here

Beauty Blogger Lebanon YSL IVY

And finally, my obsession YSL’s Baby Doll Kiss and Blush in Fuchsia Desinvolte, read about this amazingly air whipped matte mousse and blush here.

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Review

Shot by the very talented Patrick Sawaya.

Print Louize Sweater by Ted Baker

Sunglasses Prada- Minimal Baroque

Belt- Hermes

Ivy Beauty Blogger YSL Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Step-By-Step Review

Beauty Review: YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara

Clarisonic Plus Review

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro

Essie Nail Polish

Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel

Too-Faced Lip Injection Gloss