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

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty


Back in March I waged a full out war on the 9 crimes against beauty that have given us terrifying reputations and landed Arabs on some of the world’s most notorious beauty faux pas lists. Prior to that I launched the Online Petition Against Tattooed Eyebrows to counter the growing  pandemic of creepy crawlers taking over our Lebanon.

Sadly there still exists a long list of atrocities in the name of beauty and fashion that need to be address. Thank you to all those who have joined the cause, we may have won the battle but the war is not over my friends.


Exhibit K: Porn Star Nails

french nails beauty crimes

If the dramatic gel half-white half-transparent nail wasn’t tragic enough they had to slap on those nasty embellishments. Let’s be real, no nails ever looked like that naturally, nobody is buying it. The French manicure was initially meant to be classic and subtle but leave it to us Arabs to take it to a whole new level. The entire look screams slutty and those razor sharp edges are a serious hazard. Do yourself a favor and soak them off.

Exhibit L: Matchy Matchy

It pains me when I hear a makeup artist or a sales assistant utter these words “what color is your dress?” Because what they’ll do next is attempt to match your eye shadow, lipstick, blush, nails, clutch, shoes and bra strap to the damn outfit. Color coordinating is one thing but looking like you’ve been hit by a fuchsia hurricane is not a very flattering look for anyone. This may have been a trend in the late 90s but I have never seen a people collectively hang on to a style so dearly.

matchy machty

Exhibit M: Double D’s

I’m all for plunging necklines but I’m not a fan of racks on display. When you’re able to rest something on your cleavage or worse, lose something in there then it’s time for you to reconsider your shirt’s style and bra size. You can be the smartest candle on the cake and still be treated like a bimbo if you insist on covering up only half of your breasts. And if you’re small and skinny then D Cup implants are not for you. In fact implants are so passé, proof to that is Victoria Beckham got hers removed and she looks more stylish and better than ever.

Exhibit N: Extensions

long hair arab beauty crimes

There’s a very thin line between long hair and tacky long hair. Sure the belly dancer looks sexy when her hair bounces on her hips but take her out of her context and she’ll look like a hobo. Nowadays most hairdressers will spend an hour on a woman’s hair and another on her hair extensions which is hanging right next to her. The entire scene is disturbing. Arab woman have some of the thickest most beautiful voluminous hair and yet they still think they need more? Go figure…

Exhibit O: Hooker Heels

arab style heels

I heart heels. But I heart heels to dinner and I heart heels to weddings. I do not heart 9inch heels at 7am in the morning, unless you’re in that line of business. So when I see a bank teller or a notary public wobbling in sky high open-toe stilettos I don’t think they quite understand how inappropriate and out of place they look. It’s like they’re trying to prove some kind of point which is beyond me.


Exhibit P: Face Paint

arab style makeup

We are notorious for this. How much we love to use every single color in the eye shadow palette. How much we love our foundation, our compact powder and our bronzer. How much we hate to blend.



9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

Join the Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

8 Things To Avoid Doing At The Beach This Summer

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

Arab Celebrities Separated At Birth

Murex D’or 2014 Best and Worst Dressed by Ivy Says




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UBER Beirut and Why I’m Never Taking A Taxi Ever Again

dana uber ivy says

I’ve been obsessing over UBER all weekend, making random people download the app, for two good reasons: the concept is brilliant and the service is practically flawless.

When I first heard about Uber coming to this city after being in more than 70 countries including KSA and Dubai my first thought was yeah right, it’s not like we don’t have enough cabs in Beirut. And I’m always skeptical about a technology orientated service in Lebanon in general. But here’s the common misconception, Uber is not a taxi company, it’s actually a private chauffeured car service that allows you to arrange every little detail of your ride though the mobile app.

How it Works:

It’s 7:40 pm and I’m at Pacifico in Monot having some drinks. I’m supposed to meet a friend in Deek Duke Ashrafieh at 8pm. But I’m really not in the mood to go through the hassle of getting on the phone and ordering a Taxi and giving him detailed directions and then unknowingly waiting for his “missed” call and passing on the phone to someone so they can give the right directions. And…and… and… Oh and one more thing, I don’t have any cash on me.

Uber cuts to the chase, the app allows you to pinpoint your location on a map and in a matter of seconds you will spot the driver closest to you on the screen. You will be able to view his photo and his vehicle model and make. It will show you exactly where he is and how long he needs to get to you. In fact you will be able to track him on a map as he approaches you. So you know exactly when to meet him outside. The app will even send you a notification once he’s arrived.

photo 3

Why I love it

First, it’s cashless. For someone who’s always out of cash, I can’t tell you how convenient and fast it is for me to just hop in and out of a ride without a money exchange. That and the fact that you know you’re getting a standard rate, no rip offs or extras depending on the driver’s mood. All you need is a credit card that will automatically be charged when the ride is complete. The prices are seriously competitive with an average ride in Beirut costing you around $6 to $7 only, so you’re basically being charged by kilometer and minute. If you’re traveling with a friend who’s also registered you can pick the Split Fare option, where the app allows you to both share the cost from your accounts.

fare breakdown uber


After a night out until 3am we need a ride home. In a matter of minutes, a driver in a Volkswagen Passat arrived to pick us up and drop us home safely for just $6. No waiting on the road, no drunk driving.

uber 3am ivy says

It’s not a Taxi

What makes this service even more brilliant is that fact that the cars are not branded, so you don’t get the taxi ride feel, but rather, you get picked up by a private luxury car with an elegantly dressed and well-spoken driver who greets and drives you to your destination.

ivy says danna uber 2

Don’t forget to use my promo code “IvySays” to get $25 credit of your first ride here’s how

ivy says uber promo code


How NOT To Lose A Guy In Two Dates

Dating and fishing are more similar than you think, to get them hooked you gotta have the right bait. The time between when you meet a guy and your first few dates can be critical. If some guys have been pulling a disappearing act on you then you need to follow the directions below.


1) No kissing on the first date, no matter how strong the sparks are even if it’s a good bye I had such a great time peck. As much as you want to believe you’re both on the same wavelength he will judge you and wonder if this is a frequent habit of yours.

no kiss


2) The same goes for the second date. No pecks, no monkey business, just one long lingering hug if you absolutely must.


3) No dates under short notice, even if you’re in your PJs watching Ashra Abeed Zghar gobbling away on a sandwich your teta made for you. Why? Because you are a busy lady and most of all unavailable, unless he gives you heads up at least one day in advance. At the least…

tv and popcorn


4) Don’t let him pay for everything. If he insists on treating you to a fancy dinner let him. But you get the drinks later. Men want to know that you’re not just a free rider that wants a man to “take care” of her. Show a little Beyoncé.



5) Don’t WhatsApp all day. Remember how only years ago he had to actually send a well-thought out SMS to make conversation with you and then wait patiently and unknowingly until you replied. Yeah well WhatsApp killed that. Again you are a busy unattainable lady who doesn’t have time to waste precious time in meaningless conversation all day. Stay mysterious and save the long chats for dinner.


6) Socialize with his friends. Like it or not he will be asking them for their opinions of you as soon as you head to the washroom so make sure they have good things to say about you



7) Do not I repeat do not post a photo with him on your Instagram or Facebook platforms. That can be interpreted as a public unilateral announcement of your dating status. Stay on your game, you do not want him to think he’s out of the woods just yet or that you don’t have any other potential suitors.

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits Of Middle Eastern Men

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits of Middle Eastern Women

8 Reasons Why Arab Men Won’t Marry You

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



A Day At La Plage

la plage pool

Most of us would make the hour plus long traffic-ridden stressful commute to either Jiyyeh or Batroun to enjoy a serene sun-soaking therapy session by the sea. But if you’re behind on your tan because you’d rather get pasty-white instead of going through the nerve-racking trip, then La Plage is your perfect alternative.

la plage beirut 1

La Plage sits amidst the hustle and bustle of Ain El Mreisseh and embodies the posh lifestyle Lebanese are known to sport. Throughout the years it’s managed to stand strong as one of Beirut’s classic “see and be seen” venues, where the cities ’sexiest and toned bodies donning designer bikinis come to escape while still being in the center of it all. The place is not large but definitely adequate enough to give it an exclusive and cozy relaxed feel. A condensed pool and swim-up bar greet you as you walk in while a DJ Booth is strategically placed corner-side. If you’re like me and appreciate your space then I suggest you opt for the pier front lounge-area where you can stretch out on a full corner sofa and sun-bed with friends and enjoy unparalleled and unobstructed views of the Mediterranean.

La Plage boasts a list of fresh fruit cocktails and exotic punches which serve as the perfect refreshments. My personal favorite had to be the Fresh Coconut, which also included Lychee, Malibu, Rum and Coconut Cream.

la plage 4

After some intense tanning we made our way to La Plage’s Seafood restaurant situated only steps away from the pool and deck but visibly separated to ensure privacy, since it is also open to the public and not just beach-goers.

When I’m lunching by the sea, I have a classic selection of dishes I usually order especially when the spot serves Lebanese mezza and seafood combined. So we started off a crisp fresh bowl of the iconic Fattoush, a hearty bowl of hommos and juicy stuffed vine leaves.

la plage seafood 6

I’m usually on the fence between Shrimp Provençale or fried ones, so we had both. You can never go wrong with a garlicky, lemony dish of fresh shrimps or a Fried shrimps rolled with vermicelli dough dipped in cocktail sauce.

la plage seafood 8la plage seafood 7

As you’ve probably noticed by now I also have a thing for a golden portion of batter-coated fried Calamari with some Tartar Sauce.

la plage calamari

For mains we shared a lovely dish of barbequed veal on a stick, which were as soft and tender as can be, smeared on the outside but pink and juicy on the inside.

la plage veal

And of course no Lebanese multi-course meal is complete without a mammoth portion of fresh fruits which really complemented the day so well.

la plage

Summer days are numbered so make sure to head down to La Plage for some good beats, great cocktails, fresh seafood and one of the primest tanning spots in the city.

My Top 12 Favorite Things This Summer

8 Things To Avoid Doing At The Beach This Summer

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

A Night At Monte Cassino Hotel

A Sunday Lunch On “The Terrace”

La Petite Maison Dubai

La Serre Bistro Dubai

Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

Prune French Bistro

Métropole Brasserie




30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

princess grace

1) We need to look like royalty.

2) Do we really have to invite the company driver to our wedding party too?

3) Our wedding is going to be one of the most different and coolest weddings EVER!

4) Wait, does a single rose really cost $9?

5) Dried flowers are the new trend, everyone’s doing it.

6) So we just like go home together after the wedding party, no eyebrows raised?

wedding night

7) Maybe we should just sell a kidney. Who needs both anyway?

8) Marriage is so overrated. Let’s just date forever.

9) No but we’re going to remember this forever it should be worth the fortune.

dont care

10) What do you mean honeymoons are not a month long?

11) If my boss doesn’t let me take all those days off I’m just going to quit.

12) What if there are strippers at the bachelor’s party?

13) Why are we fighting so much, should we even get married?


14) How the hell did we go from 200 guests to 450?

15) Would he get pissed if we didn’t invite him?

16) We haven’t seen him for years anyway.

17) But I wanted to put MY friends on that table next to the dance floor.

cant take it anymore

18) There’s no way in hell we’re getting a smoke machine. ( Books smoke machine next day)

19) Will people get bored if we don’t hire Ragheb Alama?

20) Wait HOW MUCH does this cost again?


21) Our friends better make it to Zaffeh practice.

22) Will people be able to tell that the cake is fake?


23) Everyone better rent white cars.

24) Is this thing really happening?

25) Are we allowed to get wasted too?


26) Are people going to think our wedding wasn’t big enough?

27) Your auntie wants us to invite WHO?


28) Let’s just got to Italy and get married. ALONE

29) Can’t wait till it’s over we just wanna be married.


staying home

Read More Here

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

8 Things To Avoid Doing At The Beach This Summer

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

The Lebanese Celebrities Wedding Album

The Lebanese Politicians’ Wedding Album





A Night At Monte Cassino Hotel

Out of the hundreds of hotels that have set up camp in the Maameltein and Tabarja area, less than a handful are actually decent enough to recommend, in service, quality and reputation. So when Monte Cassino invited my man and I to be amongst the first guests to stay at this hotel which opened its doors back in June, we were taken aback by the grandiose establishment situated only a stone’s throw away from the landmark, Casino du Liban.

monte cassino 9

Monte Cassino is a luxury boutique hotel in Tabarja with an exterior that somewhat resembles a private Italian villa, with impressive pillars and a renaissance feel to it. The hotel boasts 12 opulent suites overlooking the magnificent Jounieh Bay with unobstructed views reminiscent of the Amalfi coast; steep green mountainous terrain and tranquil turquoise waters. Each suite is exquisitely designed for both comfort and convenience and also features its very own Jacuzzi either within the lavish washroom or right in the center of the suite. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that toiletries included one of my favorite ranges from The Body Shop.

sway rooftop Monte Casinomonte cassino hot tub 5monte cassino balcony 2monte cassino body shop 4

After checking in to our room we made our way down to the Tulip Lounge for some fine dining. We kicked things off with glass of Chardonnay and a sumptuous dish of Beef Carpaccio on a bed of rocca with a lemon mustard dressing. I especially enjoyed the breaded calamari on some hommus, which I thought was a rather lovely twist to an otherwise classic dish. For mains I had a divine cut of Filet Mignon cooked to seamless medium-rare with a side of grilled vegetables and some splendid potato gratin. I also got to taste the orange salmon with a side of fluffy Basmati rice which I would recommend if fish is your thing.

monte cassino filet 7monte cassino tulip salmon 6monte cassino dinner

We enjoyed more drinks on the lobby terrace before heading to Monte Casino’s new rooftop, SWAY, an effortlessly chic bar, lounge and pool area with a magnificent unrivalled 180 degree view of Jounieh and its surroundings. Just then the much –anticipated annual firework show began to mark the commencement of the Jounieh International Festival and let me tell you, we never before had the chance to experience it from what felt like a front-row seat. The rooftop began to get busier as more guests arrived and the DJ began playing some of the season’s hottest tunes as we were offered more drinks and danced the night away under the stars.

monte cassino sway 1ivy says dana at monte casino

Following a great night’s sleep we had a continental breakfast in a glamorous area which happened to be my personal favorite, furnished in chic denim 50’s style. Most of the guests headed back to the rooftop pool which is open all week for those who want to soak up the sun.

monte cassino dining 3

There’s no doubt Monte Cassino will be at last upping the game in Jounieh, bringing much-needed elegance, standards and all-star service to a mediocre area that is seriously lacking in all three. All the while remaining effortless and elegant with none-of-that over-the-top tacky nonsense. It’s a true boutique hotel with a unique character that if remains meticulously managed at the same level will be raising the stakes.

More Reviews:

A Sunday Lunch On “The Terrace”

The Roof, Four Season’s Über-Fabulous Lounge

Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

La Serre Bistro, Vida Downtown, Dubai

La Petite Maison Beirut

Shiseido Day Spa




My Top 12 Favorite Things This Summer

1. Lazy B 11 lazy b If you like to go to the beach to actually tan and chill rather than see and be seen, then you need to be in Lazy B in Jîyé this summer. It’s quiet, it’s hippy it’s earthy and super colorful. Every little inch is an Instagram photo opp and it also has one of the cleanest freshest coldest natural salt water lagoons you will see in Lebanon. But be warned service is also lazy.

2. Deek Duke Chicken Press Burger 8 press burger by deek duke

You have to allow yourself Deek Duke’s orgasmic Chicken Press Burger at least once ( though I doubt it will end there) A beautiful golden breaded three-cheese mix patty sits atop a juicy chunky grilled chicken breast and together they make little bites of love. And if that makes you feel guilty just do what I did, order it with a diet coke and a baked potato.(it’s all in the head) Deek Duke is now also open at City Mall Dora.

3. Adidas Originals X Farm

adidas FIFA FARM sneakers brazil

The 2014 FIFA World Cup may be over, but these babies are here to stay. For the second time around, Adidas has collaborated with the iconic Brazilian label The FARM Company to bring us this colorful carnival of vibrant and exotic colors. Adidas sent them over just in time for the finale and although Brazil lost miserably these sneakers definitely won!

4. Helado Ice Cream9 Helado ice cream in sahel alma

Literally a hidden gem in the crooked and curvy streets of Sahel Alma. Anthony from No Garlic No Onions was the first to discover this homemade ice cream parlor that’s been around for more than 15 years. It’s always swarmed with people and the average wait can last up to 30 minutes but it’s totally worth it. Helado is the only spot in Lebanon to serve real flavors like Lotus Biscuit, Lebanese Wine, Knefe, and my personal favorite Framboise. This is not your average stretchy gooey Lebanese Ice Cream, this local spot gives Ben and Jerry’s a run for their money. Totally worth the ride.

5. Maybelline New York Brazen Beige 732 Lipstick

3 maybelline new york beige brazen lipstick

Although most of us may shy away from heavy lipsticks and opt for light lip glosses when the temperatures are rising, you’ll be surprised how barely-there this Maybelline NY lipstick feels. It’s my go-to shade with my tan and has a versatile shade that works both day and night.

6. Iftars

iftars 1

Having been born and raised in the UAE, Iftars were never just for adamant fasters, they were a part of the diverse culture, and became a wonderful social tradition that brought family friends together every day during Ramadan. So to keep the tradition alive I make sure they begin with my favorite two things, a hearty bowl of Lentil Soup and an amazing chilled glass of Ayran ( Laban Yogurt Drink) and then I go on to massacre the buffet.( Thank you Le Ciel at Habtoor for the amazing Iftar yesterday)

7. Bonbon by Viktor & Rolf7 bonbon by victor and rolf

Sweet, delicious, decadent and feminine are just a few words to describe this newly launched fragrance by Viktor and Rolf. This light caramel-based scent is one of those perfumes that smells even better after an hour or two making it ideal for summer. If you like candy then I have no doubt you would enjoy Bonbon.

8. Louboutin Iriza Pumps

louboutin so kate

The So Kates and Pigalles are wonderful classics but in my quest for the perfect classic Louboutin black pumps this summer I loved the sultry and open-sided design of the Iriza because they allow your foot to breath in this super hot weather. If you’re having trouble finding your size ( both Beirut and Paris are usually sold out) then you will be surprised to find a surplus of sizes at Dubai Mall.

9. Crop Tops

12 crop tops

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The beauty of crop tops is that you don’t have to have a Bündchen belly to be able to wear one. You can minimize/control mid-riff exposure by simply wearing a high waist skirt or shorts and it will keep you cool and refreshed in the scorching heat.

10. Abd El Wahab

abdel wahab

I used to order their Plat Du Jour almost every day for 4 years when I was working full-time. Having earned it’s rank as one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Lebanon, Abd El Wahab never fails with its classic oriental decor and heavenly mezza. I was very proud to celebrate their 15 anniversary with them last month on their gorgeous terrace and will be back for an Iftar or two this summer.

11. Bonita Bay6 tanning

Bonita Bay is one of Batroun’s landmarks and one of those places that never fails to attract sunshine even when Jounieh is looking bleak and grey. I’ve been adamant about getting a tan this summer and there was something about the way the sun hit Bonita Bay that made it ideal for tanning. The only downside is that it’s not a sandy beach but rather a pebbled one, so be prepared to see a lot of people trip and fall as well as some embarrassing moments of your own.

12. Passion Fruit Body Butter by The Body Shop

2 body shop body butter passion fruit

My friends and I used to drench our skin in this rich good stuff after hours of soaking up the harsh UAE sun. It’s actually one of the all-time favorites from The Body Shop because no matter what those after-sun products say, nothing can help sooth a sun burn like this intensive shea butter tub. It will last for months on end and will leave your skin looking moisturized for hours and hours after use. I’ve tried it in coconut, mango, olive, papaya and strawberry but my favorite hands down is the purple Passion Fruit one.


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