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?




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Ivy Reviews: La Petite Maison Beirut

It’s true, over the past couple of years Beirut has been flooded with French Bistros, but the same doesn’t apply to authentic French restaurants serving gourmet French cuisine. In fact it may come as a surprise to know that there are a very few restaurants in Lebanon that specialize in serving French chic food, not the usual suspects that we see on almost every menu today and that’s what the renowned La Petite Maison Beirut brings to the table.

I reviewed La Petite Maison Dubai back in March 2013 and mentioned rumors of it’s opening in Beirut, and not long after that it did at Le Vendôme Beirut, one of my favorite hotels in Lebanon. For those not familiar, this top-notch spot started off at Old Nice in France and has a very popular branch in London. The place embodies the gastronomic spirit of the Côte d’Azur and neighboring Liguria.

Most of us associate French cuisine with dense/creamy/ buttery food, a meal that sits heavy on the belly, but you’ll be more than happy to know that conception is a far cry from the culinary concept La Petite Maison (LPM) is all about. LPM’s entire menu contains very little if not any cream and instead a vast selection of healthy Provençal flavorsome ingredients inspired by fresh and seasonal local produces.

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After a busy work week my man and I made our way down for an extended intimate dinner to de-stress at LPM. The décor is the envy of many newcomers looking to emulate its effortlessly sophisticated setting with its open-plan kitchen, banquettes and round tables. And of course their signature olive oil, tomato and lemon trio that sit on each table.

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As you’ve probably noticed by now, we’re big fans of trying out new signature cocktails, especially when introduced to new flavors tastefully mixed to perfection by tier-one Mixologists. And so the feast kicked off with LPM’s own quirky take on the classic Bloody Mary and crowd-pleaser, the famous Tomatini, made with cherry tomatoes; a perfect balance of vodka and spices. My man had the Le Mans a superb champagne based cocktail with lemon juice. We also tried the Spring Tea, Twinkle and Manhattan Plum ( my personal favorite) all of which I highly recommend you experience.

La Petite Maison Beirut 4

The tables at LPM are designed for sharing, so if you really want to take the full tour I suggest you share as many appetizers as you can before you get to the mains. The starter list is immense and it was very hard make a decision so we may have slightly over-indulged although we had no regrets whatsoever.

Let me start by gushing over the splendid Grilled Aubergine with Mozzarella, Prawns and Pesto. I’ve never before had this magical combination of gentle flavors with prawns but I can attest that it was absolutely heavenly. A must-try.

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Next up were the warm prawns with olive oil and though I always order this dish I can’t begin to describe how succulent the pink large juicy tiger prawns were, split right in the middle with just the right crispness on the outside and seamlessly soft texture inside with a burst of flavors in every bite.

La Petite Maison Beirut 5

We also had the uber fresh Yellowtail Tuna Carpaccio , made exclusively for LPM Beirut, garnished with pickled pepper and aubergine.

La Petite Maison Beirut 7

And the Fried Calamari, a bowl of hot curls of crisped squid with one of the best batters I’ve tried in a very long time and a vigorous taste of spice. At first I was a little disappointed when I noticed it didn’t come with a dip but as I took in each piece I understood it would be a scandal to cover up those salacious flavors.

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I also thoroughly enjoyed the light and refreshing thinly stripped Marinated Salmon with Pink Peppercorn.

La Petite Maison Beirut 6

Sharing also applies to the mains. We had the Canard a L’Orange, slow cooked Duck Legs with a tangy orange glaze. I tend to like my duck confit style but this one was wonderfully seared and the sweetness combined with the tender meat that immediately fell from the bone made me fall for this classic festive dish.

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But the Grilled Rib Eye Steak made quite the impression, a glorious chunk of simply seasoned tender marble beef sliced into strips to expose its rosy interiors and paired with a strong mustard sauce and a relish dip.La Petite Maison Beirut 16. JPG

For sides we had the Baked Gratinated Potatoes, which were an absolute delight and of course fries, thick, spiced identical fresh cut fries that provided the much needed carb compliment to go with the meats.

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The desserts were a masterclass. I discovered my now all-time favorite dessert , not that my list was lacking or anything. The fresh berry Panna Cotta. No this is not your average Panna Cota, trust me. This one’s adapted to Lebanon by using our traditional Laban (yogurt) instead and let’s just say this is the only part of the meal where you will not want to share. Each spoonful will be followed by some gushing sounds you didn’t know you could make, so you can imagine how we weren’t all that discreet.

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We also tried refreshing the Passion Fruit and Mango Posset, a superb fragrant grouping of chilled zesty posset with warm fruits that work so well together with just the balance of savory and sweet.

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La Petite Maison Beirut does not kid when it dubs itself “Tous célèbres ici !”

It translates into “Everyone is Famous here” and that’s just a prelude to the VIP treatment you will receive. Friendly, knowledgeable and attentive, are just three of a list of many adjectives I can use to rate the service we experienced.

I know I’ll be back to La Petite Maison Beirut for casual business lunches, dinner and drinks with friends or even a reason to celebrate. A three-course dinner and drinks for two will average up to $90-$120 per person.

Verdict: Hands down, the chicest French Food and Restaurant in town with the best Panna Cotta in the region.

Rumour Has It: It may be opening its doors in Istanbul soon and I look forward to reviewing it there as well!


More Reviews

La Petite Maison Dubai

La Serre Bistro Dubai

Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

Prune French Bistro

Métropole Brasserie








Profiling Lebanon’s Next First Lady: Marianne Henry Helou

Meet Marianne Helou, wife of Lebanese presidential candidate Henry Helou who’s name is currently being deliberated as a possible consensus candidate by the Progressive Socialist party. But it’s not Henry nor his political aspirations we’re interested in rather it’s Mrs. Helou, his French wife.

She’s a top tier socialite and a regular front rower at Paris Couture Week with her “glossy fur coat, her blonde hair perfectly coiffed.” 

She’s been spotted and interviewed at the likes of Elie Saab, Georges Shakra, Zuhair Murad and Dany Atrache fashion shows in Paris just to name a few. She’s also a favorite face at Mondanite where you can find the blonde beauty repeatedly posing with friends as she makes her rounds on the Lebanese social scene. Marianne and her husband also seem to enjoy an active lifestyle sailing the Greek Islands on vacation and regularly spotted out and about.

I think Marianne Helou definitely has the poise and fashion sense required for First Lady material and would definitely be a subject of intrigue for international media if her husband where to be elected as Lebanon’s president. She would be the first French native to hold such a position and I think she would excel in the fashion department with her signature statement pieces styled with simple mostly black attire.

There’s no doubt Marianne Helou is an elegant woman who may just bring a new sort of charm and sophistication to the table.

marianna helou henry helou


Marianna and Henry Heloumarianna helou elie saabmarianne heloumarianna helou mondanitemarianne henry helou 8marianna henry heloumarianne henry helou 2marianna henry helou 3

You can also watch Marianne Helou interviewed by Fashiontv at Dany Atrache’s Fashion Show in Paris at the 1:23 min mark


Image source Mondanite.net


Also see

Profiling Lebanon’s Next First Lady: Sethrida Geagea

Profiling Lebanon’s Next First Lady: Rima Karkafi Frangieh



And The Bioskinspa Giveaway Winners Are…



Thank you to all the fabulous participants who took part in this giveaway. I really enjoyed and related to almost all your comments, right here and on Instagram.

As I mentioned previously the winners have been solely chosen by Bioskinspa since I would have never been able to choose just three ( you’re all winners in my eyes)

Ladies, if your name appears here please contact Bioskinspa on 09 637 260 to claim your prize. I know you’re going to love getting pampered and I’d love to hear about your experience.

I also want to thank both Bioskinspa and the Ogilvy & Mather team for making this happen!




Ivy Reviews Bioskinspa and 3 Terrific Giveaways

bioskin spa

You can probably tell by now how much I enjoy pampering myself, and though I’ve had my fair share of spa treatments and facials I’ve yet to delve into the world of advanced (non-invasive) beauty treatments.

lounge area bioskinspa

I had the pleasure of attending a one-of-a kind Face Beautifying custom session at the exclusive Bioskinspa this week, a new age innovative treatment center that specializes in a combination of the latest in aesthetic technologies and top of the line skin care products to diminish flaws and bring out the best in your skin.

The spa premises resembles somewhat of a hidden sanctuary you would never guess was even there, situated on the 8th floor of a high rise in Kaslik, with a spectacular view overlooking the Jounieh Bay.


To describe it as fresh would be an understatement, with its turquoise walls and ethereal white curtains you can’t help but feel like you’re on vacation as soon as you step in. But the colossal fountain on its private terrace takes home the prize, a large open space overlooking the city where Bioskinspa clients can relax pre or post treatment with some homemade detox juice or a coffee and soak in some sun while listening to the soothing water in the background.

bioskin spa terrace

My experience kicked off with a one-on-one consultation session with a very professional beauty therapist named Reine whom I highly recommend. She thoroughly inquired about my skin type and allergies as well as some of my lifestyle habits. She took the time to advise me and propose some healthy choices I can adapt to make sure my skin is always at its best.

I was scheduled for a Oxygen Facial, the latest celebrity craze to hit the market ( also known as the new Botox.) Pressurized oxygen and a skin serum is applied through a machine (painless as it doesn’t even come in contact with your skin) to the skin. The concentrated Oxygen (which feels amazingly cool) works to reverse the damage of pollution and sun rays, paving the way for firmer and a more radiant looking skin. Next I underwent a treatment with a rotating wheel technically known as Diamond Dermabrasion, (also totally painless for scaredy cats like me) The wheel rotates rapidly to remove the upper layers of the skin, smoothens out fine lines, and deep cleans clogged pores and blackheads.

bioskin spa biosphere

And though my first inclination is to be quite skeptical about such treatments, I’m not exaggerating when I say the results are immediate. My skin was smoother than I ever remember; I couldn’t stop touching my cheeks and the surface of my nose, which felt unfamiliar. Next I underwent a relaxing facial on both my neck and face using only Biosphere, swiss-made high-end line of skin care products exclusive to Bioskinspa and an amazing mask and peel that stayed on for 20 minutes.

bioskin spa biosphere and view

I was then escorted into a different treatment room with a breathtaking view for a ten-minute Lifting session. Reine pointed out the fine lines next to my mouth and with a gentle buffing machine that combined infrared and dry heat she massaged my face for ten minutes. My face looked visibly plumper and the fine lines had miraculously diminished. Magic!

Bioskinspa detox juice

Afterwards I was offered some of that fresh detox juice while I got my nails filed and painted with this lovely shade from O.P.I. named Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around.

bioskin spa opi nail polish

BioSkinSpa also offers a wide range of scalp and hair treatments as well as an in-house blow-outs to get your hair done if you want to look primp and proper following a full day of treatments.

And here comes the great news! Bioskinspa is giving away three sessions to my fabulous readers (men and women).

To get a chance to win one of these

1- O2 Therapy Facial Session

2- Lifting Facial Treatment Session

3- ORA Hair Spa Treatment


All you have to do is follow Ivy Says on Instagram by clicking here

And leave a comment either on Instagram or right here in the comment section below answering this question

How do you like to pamper/spoil yourself?

Three winners will be chosen by BioskinSpa this Saturday!

Good luck!


Intellectual Property Ethics and Online Content Creation For Your Brand: Ivy Says for Entrepreneur

ivy says enterprenuer Middle east june

In June’s issue of Entrepreneur Middle East I discuss the ethical quagmire of online content creation and your brand. Does drawing constant inspiration through recycling ideas and recreating  visuals make your idea original or does it constitute intellectual property theft?

The lines can be blurry, but more often than not I would choose the latter. In my opinion, a well-rounded content creator is constantly aware of popular posts from competitors while also ensuring that their client’s work isn’t being echoed verbatim across the board. While you can’t always prevent people from copying your work, you can help your brand stay ahead of the curve by continuing to innovate rather than imitate. Having said that, I present you with four points to watch out for when creating content for your brand and the same can be applied for your blog.

You can read the full article HERE

Also check out

7 Ways To Own Your Online Reputation- Ivy Says for Entrepreneur Middle East



Ivy Reviews Dubai’s Latest Hot Spot; La Serre Bistro

la serre dubai one

Whenever La Serre  is mentioned in Dubai, most people quickly associate and compare it to LPM (La Petite Maison) one of Dubai’s most coveted restaurants located at DIFC which I reviewed last year here.

That’s because the resemblance between the two is strikingly similar and it’s not really a coincidence. The common denominator in this case happens to be Chef Izi Ani who left LPM to open up Dubai’s latest hot spot; La Serre Bistro and Boulangerie.

Located in the trendy new Vida Downtown boutique hotel, La Serre boasts two floors in what looks like a glass box from outside, a traditional Parisian boulangerie on the ground floor which opens up early morning to serve freshly-baked breads, viennoiserie and a light breakfast menu and a fancier bistro and bar on the first floor serving Nicoise/Mediterranean cuisine.

On a recent trip to Dubai, I had dinner at Le Serre on a Wednesday evening and the place was packed. The interior is gorgeous, an open marble-clad kitchen looks out at a sea of fancy diners in a white crisp setting with a serene feel to it, and a very chatty ambiance. And just like LPM, a tomato, a citrus and a bottle of olive olive oil await you on your table as well as a very busy and difficult-to-catch waiter who barely has time to greet you before he’s ushered away.

la serre dubai

We had a couple of vodkas and a few fabulous lychee martinis at the bar so we decided to share an array of our favorite appetizers as we continued to sip on our drinks. The Burrata and Tomatoes was the first to make its debut, a generous serving of creamy cheese topped with ripe cherry tomatoes and a serving of basil.

la serre burrata

Next the splendid goat cheese with cherry tomatoes, hazelnut and subtle chilli, a specialty and preferred amongst La Serre regulars.

la serre chevre

We also opted for a French classic, the Lentil salad with pickled vegetables which I thought gave this otherwise typical dish a lovely kick.

The Quinoa salad with confit duck legs and clementine was a real treat, a bright and colorful salad in a light citrusy dressing.

la serre quinoa

But the grilled prawns deserved the chapeau bas, marinated in abundant garlic and rosemary with crunchy toasted sour bread. Perfect.

la serre shrimps

We over-indulged on the appetizers so decided to share the mains, The Cepes Risotto was one of the best I’ve had to date, intense cepes in a creamy rose sauce and pungent Parmesan garnished and cooked to absolute perfection. The portion however was quite stingy.

la serre risotto

And the Lamb Cutlets Provencal lived up to their hype and demanded respect as they made their way to our table, two glistening thick, juicy, succulent and ridiculously tender chops.

la serre lamb cutlets

I’m afraid there was no room for dessert, especially since we moved on to the bar for some more post-dinner drinks. Unlike our waiter, the bartenders were patient, something that often lacks at much-coveted gastronomic powerhouses like this one.

Verdict: La Serre definitely gives La Petite Maison a run for its money, though Dubai without a doubt has the clientele and demand to withstand more than one premium culinary bistro. Perfect for a romantic date, business dinner or a birthday treat with friends. It’s worth the visit to Vida Downtown and if you’re not up for dinner then you can also brunch in the guest garden.

la serre dubai vida

More Restaurant Reviews

La Petite Maison Dubai

Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

Prune French Bistro

Métropole Brasserie