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




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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




Beauty Review: YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

Teint Touche Éclat Foundation YSL

Foundation can be a very tricky thing during summer. Most ladies tend to opt for tinted BB creams and moisturizers. But sometimes when you’re trying to perfect that makeup base or get that all-natural no makeup look, you require a foundation that can at the least provide you with medium coverage. I’ve been testing out many different formulas lately until I fell on one of my current favorites so far; Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation.

The Formula: First and foremost the formula is practically weightless, super thin, almost watery, with a texture that’s even lighter than the moisturizer I use on my face first thing in the morning and just as light as a BB Cream. It blends seamlessly. The downside is that it may be slightly too light, even for adequate medium coverage so you will have to go in for a second round, if you have more imperfections to cover.

Teint Touche Éclat Foundation.

The Finish: YSL TeintTouche Éclat Foundation is known for being luminous; giving your skin instant radiance and it’s true. Though I’m a big fan of matte foundations here is the deal breaker: although it does in fact leave your skin with a dewy finish it actually settles and blends in so well that it mattifies too. What I’m trying to say is that you won’t get that greasy over-shiny look, but instead get a healthy glow with a solid base.

Teint Touche Éclat Foundation dana khairalah YSL

Staying Power: You have yourself a good 4-5 hours before you need to give your face a good touch up. This doesn’t mean it will produce visible signs as it wears off, it will just fade away slightly. And of course the Middle Eastern heat doesn’t exactly make it easy. It comes in a generous 30ml bottle that will last for months.

Verdict: Light, Dewy and Natural, YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation is ideal for summer, day and night and can easily substitute a BB Cream.

Teint Touche Éclat Foundation Dana Khairallah YSL ivy says

More Beauty Reviews:

Ivy Reviews: Miss Manga Mega Volume Mascara by L’Oréal

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro

Essie Nail Polish

Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel

Too-Faced Lip Injection Gloss

Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Tints Collection

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation

Clinique Moisture Surge


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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20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

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How To Find Your Soul Mate

soul mate search

Although my Facebook timeline has been flooded with puffy white wedding gowns and cute chubby newborns lately, a portion of my dearest friends (both ladies and gents) are a long way from settling down anytime soon. I say this with confidence because they’re either single and really fed up with mingling or they’re dating someone casually who they would never dream of introducing to the parents.

So you see they’ve settled too, in their own way, either by convincing themselves that they should not bother searching for their Soul Mate anymore, that cuddling is totally overrated and they’re saving their energy for their careers or by pursuing a relationship with a guy/girl who blurts cryptic things like “Marriage is just something society created to organize people”

I’m not going to give you a speech on why you shouldn’t give up ( although you shouldn’t) or reassure you that there is that right person for you out there (I’m a hopeless romantic) I’m just going to share with you a brief list of how you could be enabling yourself from failing to find the right person for you.

1)      You’re not going to find your soul mate by being a bitter pissed off person all the time, going on unwarranted rants online and being generally unkind and rude to others just because you want to come off as strong and invincible. It’s just not attractive.

2)      You’re not going to find your soul mate by carrying excessive baggage from your past breakups and being paranoid and suspicious because you never want to get hurt again so you go on labeling the opposite sex as “cheaters” or “opportunists” and make wild declarations like “I don’t believe in love” to every guy/girl you meet.

3)      You’re not going to find your soul mate by staying in your comfort zone through randomly hooking up with every single guy/girl who’s emotionally unavailable too or by agreeing to an open relationship because you’re scared he/she might leave you otherwise.

4)      You’re not going to find your soul mate by creating all these preposterous credentials you require in a partner before you would even consider dating them like, religion, social status, bank account, height.

5)      You’re not going to find your soul mate by seeking your parent’s approval because no one is truly good enough for you. Or by purposely pursuing someone who lives abroad because you know they’re going to leave eventually.

6)     Speaking of no one is truly good enough for you, I hope you don’t really believe those prep talks. Sure you’re great- in some ways- but you probably have a long list of vices that your better half will have to put up with as well. So take it easy with the whole “no one deserves me” attitude.

6)      You’re not going to find your soul mate because you can’t afford to throw a wedding extravaganza and don’t think anyone will settle for anything less.

7)      And you most definitely will not find your soul mate if you keep posting silly quotes like “I’m single and free and it’s just me ”

All this is not to say that being single isn’t one of the most amazing crucial independent phases in a person’s life, a time where you can create some of the strongest bonds and make the most amazing memories with friends. But just like staying in college for too long, the fun eventually fades. And I am fully aware that not all of us want the same things out of life; like a beautiful house and bouncy babies. I’m just trying to say that maybe you haven’t found your soul mate because maybe just maybe you’ve inadvertently done everything not to be found.


Also See

8 Reasons Why Arab Men Won’t Marry You

6 Reasons Why He Didn’t Call You Back

What Men Really Want- Especially Lebanese Men

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

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits Of Middle Eastern Men

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits of Middle Eastern Women





Did Revlon by Marchesa Copy Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics?

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but where do we draw the line between inspiration and a downright rip off?

Revlon has recently launched a new limited edition collection in collaboration with Marchesa “inspired by the couture house” but it looks to me it was inspired by a little more than that. I couldn’t help but notice the alarmingly similar design of their beauty tools to Bassam Fattouh Cosmetic’s line, in particular his Pin Up Collection which has been around for over 3 years now. The most obvious being Revlon’s by Marchesa’s Compact Mirror which is practically identical to Bassam Fattouh’s Pin Up Blush, from design to shape to logo layout. See for yourself

bassam fattouh versus Revlon Marchesa

Also check out the full Revlon Marchesa collection which include a nail box and filer which I placed side by side with Bassam Fattouh’s Pin Up Collection packaging.

Revlon by Marchesa full collection versus bassam fattouhrevlon by marchesa nail kitbassam fattouh liselotte watkins and pin up collection

It’s not a secret that the beauty and fashion industry is flooded with copyright infringements, designers are constantly drawing inspiration from one another without crediting the source. I’ve recently written an Article for Entrepreneur Middle East about this rising trend (especially on social media), but where do we draw the line? And would a cosmetics giant like Revlon really give the go ahead for such design from couture house Marchesa without doing some research first? Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics today has become a household name, with a presence at some of the most high-end departments all over the Middle East alongside some of the biggest names in the cosmetics world, so I find it hard to believe that this was purely a coincidence.

What do you think?