Clarisonic Plus Review and My Head to Toe Facials

Clarisonic plus Review Ivy Says 4

I’ve been blessed with good combination skin with the infrequent outbreak of a crude pimple here and there but I do have a reoccurring black head issue which I haven’t been able to get rid of for some time now.

You see a couple of years back when I was prepping for my big day; I did the amateur’s mistake of signing up for a facial at a relatively well known beauty spot (which I shall not name) but which seemed quite professional.

What I didn’t know was that facial included a gruesome and tremendously painful blackhead extraction treatment with nothing but a lady’s long nails squeezing through my face until I squirmed in pain and which also left me with her red blistering nail marks. At the time, I was under the impression that that was one of the prices a girl had to pay to be rid of her black heads. Little did I know that such extraction processes are the worst thing you can put your face through and how unhygienic it was for her to use her bare hands and not that metal tool. Since then I’ve been reluctant to try out extractions and instead opt for regular non-invasive surface facials. And though they would clean out my face temporarily those black always popped back their ugly heads again.

But about a month ago, things changed. I was invited for a face cleansing session at the new Clarisonic stand over at ABC Ashrafieh’s beauty department floor. Unsuspectingly I went with a full face of makeup only to find out that Clarisonic is intended to clean your face.

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What Is Clarisonic Plus?

Simply put its two separate brushes for your face and body that work as a cleansing system. Clarisonic’s brushes use what they call sonic technology, making 300 movements per second, so it’s so fast that you actually hardly feeling it moving, and instead you just get gentle vibrations that are intended to wipe off dirt, oil and a full face of makeup. Oh and it’s waterproof.

Clarisonic is not supposed to replace your favorite face cleanser/wash. Instead it complements it by improving its performance. All you have to do is either put some on your face or directly on the brush. I found that the latter works best for me.

It also has a built-in timer. And if you’re like me and are usually half asleep when you’re washing your face in the morning then you’ll find it super helpful, since it can make a beep to indicate whenever one part of your face is done and so you just move on to another.

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So is it an Exfoliator?

No but it will sure feel like one when you first start using it. That’s because when you wash your face with your hands you’re not really simulating you pores or scraping away any surface black heads or dirt that’s beyond the very top surface of your skin. And black heads are the result of the unavoidable piling up of makeup and dirt in your pores over time. So with Clarisonic Plus once you get that first harsh layer of dirt off the first 5 times, it will feel less like an exfoliator and do what it’s meant to do, gently cleanse and stimulate.

I started by using Clarisonic twice a day at first, and I can’t describe to you how incredibly smooth it felt, in fact so smooth that my moisturizer and day cream absorbed into my skin way better than ever, you can tell just by the way the cream will rest on your face right after you’re done. But the most noticeable effect you’ll get is the way your foundation and makeup will blend so smoothly. I guess that’s why they claim that it makes your face more radiant.

My Routine

I found that I don’t like to use my Clarisonic Plus directly on a full caked face of makeup since I’m not a fan of watching the brush turn brown and gunky. So what I do is dab some of my favorite makeup remover on a piece of cotton and just give my face a very swift wipe especially around the eye area before I turn on the machine.

My cheeks turned rosier than usual the first couple of times I began using it. I noticed it was because I automatically got the urge to press and tug a little on it. There’s no need for any of that as it will do the job just fine on its own so be gentle. Also, I once experimented by applying some scrub on the brush rather than facial wash,it was harsh and let’s just say not one of my brightest moments, stick to cleaners or face washes.

As for the body brush, I don’t use it with my daily shower but I will use it on the weekends when I feel like a massage and when I know I’m about to lather my skin with a moisturizer or after a long day at the beach to effectively remove tanning oils.

The Results

No wonder it made it to Oprah’s list of favorite things. I’m addicted. It’s now an integral part of my daily beauty routine. I stayed at a hotel last week and forgot my Clarisonic Plus at home. I can’t tell you how ineffective washing my face manually again felt like. It’s like applying shampoo on your hair without actually massaging your head. After three weeks (twice a day) my black head issue is almost unnoticeable. I’m so happy to have avoided painful extractions but most of all my skin is always feeling as smooth as it does post-facial.

clarisonic review ivy says

 

 

 

 

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

In case you missed The Murex D’or awards last night then let me fill you in as best as I can. For those of you not aware this is sort of like the Lebanese version of the Oscars for both actors, singers and performers. Last year I covered their red carpet best and worst dressed here.

The show was hosted by journalist Paula Yaacoubian and the ridiculously handsome previous MP Misbah El-Ahdab who should seriously consider retiring from politics and pursuing a career in TV. Paula on the other hand, should just stick to what she does best and that’s political journalism.

mosbah ahdab murex dor

The official photos are not out yet but I had to get as resourceful as possible so these will have to do for now. I also don’t have a full list of the designers but I’ll update them throughout the day.

carole samaha murex dor

Songstress Carol Samaha looked effortlessly chic in a crocodile-shape jewel encrusted black halter and figure-defining silhouette by designer Mario Osta. She styled it with an elegant updo and some seriously striking diamond earrings. She knows what works for her body and she’s working it.

dina azar murex dor

Former Ms. Lebanon Dina Azar wore a bright fuchsia one shoulder thigh slinky dress with a thigh high slit by Maison Rabih Keyrouz and kept her blonde hair simple and sleek. She almost looked flawless if it weren’t for the matchy matchy strong makeup and fuchsia on the eyes.

 

marianne helou murex dor

Socialite Mariane Helou- wife of presidential candidate Henry Helou who I profiled as a potential first lady months ago here, was awkwardly introduced as First Lady since as most of you know Lebanon has no president, I guess someone Googled my article.

She looked every inch the 80’s Dynasty character in her sparkly fiery red gown and matching red chiffon shoulder shawl, her signature blonde hair and winged eyeliner.

 

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TV personality Rola Beksmati (who I’ve never been acquainted before) committed the fashion crime of the season in what looked like a kryptonite giant strawberry by designer Jean Louis Sabaji I don’t really have to get into it, something must have went terribly wrong in the creative process, terribly wrong. She makes Lena Dunham’s latest fashion faux pas at the Emmys look like a misdemeanor.

 

zeina yazigi murex dor

Journalist Zeina Yazijy looked like a glow-in-the dark  skeleton Zebra in an over-the-top nude and black long-sleeved gown encrusted with striped diamantes. And though Balmain Fall 2014 collection features a similar style which Lindsay Lohan donned, this piece did not flatter Zeina’s hips nor her pretty face, it was seriously hard to concentrate with everything going on. And though I commend her efforts to take a fashion risk this look will not be remembered for the right reasons at all. Fashion fail.

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My best dressed from the Murex D’or without a doubt in my head goes to songstress Sherine Abdel Wahhab who absolutely dazzled in a Nicolas Gebran creation with an intricate mesh embroidered and crochet toned figure-hugging white long sleeve dress complete with a train. I loved the classic bun and lovely nude soft makeup that didn’t compete with her dress.

nawal al zoghby murex dor

Second runner up for best dressed and for not lip-synching might I add was the “Golden Diva” Nawal Al Zoghbi who has been making some major fashion waves in her latest gown choices by Zuhair Murad and I’m not sure who her stylist is but she should give him/her a raise. She brought some sparkling glamor to the award show in this black strapless bedazzled bodice which accented her figure with a leaf gold belt and princess skirt. Her signature big hair also made an appearance in retro waves and a statement red lipstick.

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Let’s get one thing straight, Cyrine Abdel Nour is one of the most talented and gorgeous arab actresses out there. Having said that, Cyrine is still stuck in the old-school of exaggerated looks that we love in our parts of the world. The one where everything has to be super over-done. It’s always the super sparkly super tight super revealing flashy dress that screams for attention (remember last year’s?) and never the elegant classy subtle look, the one that brings more attention to the face and character rather highlight every little inch of her. This red lace number is designed by Antoine Kareh Couture. The hair, necklace and makeup could have passed but that dress for yet another year, butchered it.

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Nancy Ajram played it safe in a sleeveless black Azzaro gown with jewel encrusted neckline and waist which she accessorized with diamond bracelets and kept her hair down and makeup simple. I really enjoyed the royal blue Balmain she wore last year and would have loved to see a more lively look on the young superstar.

aline lahoud murex dor

Aline Lahoud made quite the comeback from the disastrous frock she donned last year. This is a complete 180 degree fashion redemption for her in this gorgeous dress by Elie Wehbe Couture. I love the contrast and color blocking of of the silver sequin top with deep V neckline and royal blue high waist voluminous floor length. The only thing I would drop is the bold red lipstick and instead have gone with a simple nude or bonne mine shade.

Who was your pick for best and worst dressed?

 

Check out More Red Carpet Reviews here

Murex D’Or 2013 The Best and Worst Dressed on the Red Carpet

 

Emmys 2014 Red Carpet Best and Worst Dressed

MET Gala 2014

2013 Golden Globes Red Carpet

Oscars 2013 Red Carpet

2012 Emmys Red Carpet

MTV Video Music Awards 2013

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.

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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

Safety

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.

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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.

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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
 

 

Fashion Report: Emmys 2014 Red Carpet Best and Worst Dressed

Januray Jones mad men

Always one to make a dramatic statement on the red carpet January Jones donned this fiery strapless Prabal Gurung gown which on its own with those heels are smashing. And though I love her for always being experimental I’m stunned by how unflattering and greasy those messy and uneven bangs look on her. In fact from her neck upwards her head looks like it could be Photoshopped on.

Claire danes in Geivenchy

Another red number for the night with fashion darling Claire Danes who never ceases to turn heads on the red carpet though I’m not exactly sure why she’s still relevant. This red laced sheer paneled Givenchy is gorgeous especially with the edgy neck embroidery though it falls frumpy on her waist. Love the back-swept hair and striking lipstick.

 

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I just love tuxedos on the red carpet and it takes a real mature women to pull it off (think Tilda Swinton and Sharon Stone) and still get all the attention. House of Cards star Robin Wright (Claire) turns heads in this backless cream Ralph Lauren Collection tuxedo-jumpsuit and her signature slicked back hair.

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Lena Dunham- I really don’t want to talk about it.

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Screen siren Natalie Dormer stunned in this color-blocked J. Mendel Resort 2015 gown. It fit her like a glove and showed off her gorgeous figure though I don’t think orange is particularly her color. Still it was a refreshingly different look we haven’t seen much of.

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One of the best dressed of the Emmys was Lizzy Kaplan (remember her from Mean Girls?) girl brought her A-game to the red carpet in this monochrome satin cut-out ballgown by Donna Karen Atelier. Her hair and makeup did not compete at all with the dress and all in all she looked so effortless.

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Kate Mara sashayed her way down the red carpet in this ethereal and quite complicated white J. Mendel gown but she still managed to look effortless. I love the combination of the chiffon layers with the dramatically beaded top and strategic cut-outs. She matched it perfectly with those lovely monochrome Charlotte Olympia platforms. Lovely!

Julia Roberts

I’m grateful to Julia Roberts for finally trying and getting out of that vicious frumpy cycle, I also want to commend her on the new hot bod she’s been rocking. Having said that I don’t think this beaded Elie Saab Couture mini was the way to go. The dress in itself is stunning but would have been more suited for a younger actress, it just seemed a little out of place for this seasoned Hollywood veteran. And those Louboutin peep-toe pumps were way too chunky. Still a huge improvement from last year.

Halle Berry

Another Elie Saab creation makes an appearance at the Emmys this time on Halle Berry in this powder purple halter chiffon dress. Though this is a new look for her I’m not sure she looked so effortless in it, as it just seemed like she wasn’t quite in her element since she almost always wears figure-hugging dresses and shows way more skin but I guess that’s what happens when you get of your style comfort zone.

sofia vergara

Two words for this look; Mermaid and déjà vu. Sofia Vergara manages to wear yet again the same style with a different color, this time it’s a white Roberto Cavalli with silver embellishments. Yes we get it she has the most celebrated curves in the industry and good for her to know what works on her body type and run with it but she may as well just start recycling dresses because this is becoming way too redundant. I’d love to see her step out of her comfort zone for once on that red carpet.

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Gwen Stephani is a rock-star and it shows in every fashion decision she makes. This silver metallic number by Atelier Versace with plunging square cut-outs may not be as formal as one would expect to an Emmys Red Carpet event but still I’m really feeling this look on her. Her slick straight hair complements it perfectly and I’m happy to see she ditched the crimson lipstick for a change.

camilla alves

Camila Alves killed it in an intricate white mosaic Zuhair Murad gown from his Ready-to-Wear Collection. The gown is a masterpiece with its sheer details and shapely form. Hands down this is one of my favorite looks from the Emmys.

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Yes I know I’m constantly complaining that not enough fashion risks are happening on the red carpet but there is no risk here, just a doomed scenario. Sarah Paulson looks like she got caught in a fishing net loaded with crabs that or someone who hasn’t had a wax in years. The Armani Prive dress certainly got a lot of attention but definitely not for the right reasons. Sadly this will go down as one of the biggest red carpet fails of all times though Kim Kardashian’s couch dress still reigns.

Kerry Washington

I really don’t understand this Prada gown on Kerry Washington with a thigh high split and shimmery navy skirt. I don’t care about the details everyone is swooning over, the fact is it’s not a flattering cut or color and there’s just way too much going on there and her choice of pumps only worsened the disaster. Fashion felony for sure.

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Omg it’s Queen Cersei Lannister! Lena Heady looks every inch the edgy bad-ass in this asymmetrical Rubin Singer dress and cute pixie cut. She actually looks less intimidating then her Game of Thrones character though she’s decked in black.

 

What do you think?

 

Read More Red Carpet Reports

MET Gala 2014

2013 Golden Globes Red Carpet

Oscars 2013 Red Carpet

2012 Emmys Red Carpet

MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Murex D’Or 2013

The MET Gala 2012

2012 Oscars Best And Worst Dressed

 

 

 

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.

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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…

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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.

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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

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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

 

 

Ivy Reviews: Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara

ivy says lancome review

When it comes to statement lashes, Lancôme is the authority. I’ve been a big fan of Lancome Hypnose Drama for years but this was my first time trying out the new Hypnose Doll Eyes and I wasn’t disappointed.

Mascara is one of the best pick-me-ups when it comes to makeup, it can make even the most tired of eyes look wide and awake with the least possible effort. And it’s celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Miranda Kerr who have really put the term doll eyes in every girl’s beauty radar, we all want those dramatic false-looking fluttery lashes that trended in the 50’s.

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If you’re in the market for a high-end Mascara then here is why I suggest you go for Lancome’s Hypnose Doll Eyes:

The Formula: Surprisingly light and by that I mean it doesn’t feel heavy after two coats, though one was more than enough for my medium-length lashes. It’s a lovely intense black shade that glides on effortlessly but dries relatively fast and can really hold a curl to give you that super wide-eyed look.

The Brush: One of my favorites so far, it’s a cone shaped bristle brush. I usually have trouble making sure my inner eye lashes get their fair share of formula so the super pointed tip really gets the job done and ensures every lash is generously coated, extensively separated and lifted.

Volume: Mascara’s that give you Doll Eyes aren’t primary supposed to give your lashes volume they’re supposed to elongate, separate and lift up. So if it’s just volume you’re after then this one isn’t for you though it will still give shorter lashes a fuller illusion.

Length: Amazing. Because what it essentially does is group your lashes in bunches and curl them up hence the name Doll Eyes.

Staying Power: I wore this one for 6 hours straight and it didn’t flake or scatter. In fact it didn’t want to come off at all.

ivy says reviews lancome hypnose doll eyes

I paired this look with Lancome’s a super moist shiny L’Absolu Nu in Rose Veil. Lightweight, sheer and long-lasting are a few my favorite things about this Lipstick. The shade is such a soft feminine summer-appropriate color and I will be visiting Lancome to discover some more colors from this range.

Ivy Says reviews Lancome beauty Lipstick

Verdict: Lancome yet again hits this one out of the ballpark with Hypnose Doll Eyes. If flirty doll eyes are your thing then you need to try it out.

ivy Says Dana Khairallah beauty review Lancome Doll Eyes

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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SUD

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