Tag Archives: beauty

Le Royal Beirut Spa, A Piece of Paradise

Lebanon is not the most stress-free of cities to live in- and that’s putting it mildly. So every month or two, I make it a point to treat my man and I to a spa day, where we both take a good hour or so out of our busy schedules to turn off our phones and brains and just surrender ourselves.

Le Royal Hotel and Resorts Spa Pool

My next spa stop escape happened to be at Lebanon’s luxurious hotel; Le Royal Beirut, a five star mammoth complex perched on a towering hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea just 15km from Beirut.

The award winning spa is not like many you’ll come across and an incredibly huge operation, stretching out over an astounding 3-floor complex covering 3.5000 m2. It also boasts a magnificent indoor swimming pool that’s looks like something out of a Roman fable, fit for royalty with botanical vines twisted across grandiose pillars looking out at the sea, surrounded by relaxing area to unwind after a treatment or fitness session.

Le Royal Hotel and Resorts Spa Pool 2 ivy says

We were signed up for the duo Candle Massage, but first our lovely therapists escorted us to our changing rooms fully equipped with saunas and Jacuzzis intended to help us wind down before the treatment. Everything we needed was in our customized lockers waiting for us.

Le Royal Hotel and Resorts Spa Pool 2 ivy says spa 9Le Royal Hotel and Resorts Spa Pool 2 ivy says spa

After getting comfortable in our Le Royal robes, we made our way to our private massage room where the candle oil that would be used in our massage was melting into a perfect pool of massage oil and the entire area smelled of a natural fragrance that engaged our senses to the point of ultimate relaxation.

Le Royal Hotel and Resorts candle wax

The lights went off and the room was now only lightly dimmed by candle light, as our therapists administered a blend of soothing oils and warm waxes to deeply moisturize, nourish, soften and hydrate our skin. For the next 90 minutes we each drifted to our own thoughts and zen states, as our bodies released all the built-up tension and our therapists worked their magic.

Le Royal Hotel and Resorts Spa Pool 2 ivy says spa 7

Following our massages we were offered some herbal tea in a very stylishly-tiled oval shaped relaxation zone as we watched other guests about to embark on similar treatments before we headed out for some more down time in the Jacuzzi.

Le Royal Hotel and Resorts candle wax massageLe Royal Hotel and Resorts Spa Pool 2 ivy says spa 78

Le Royal Hotel and Resorts Spa Pool  ivy says spa

It comes as no surprise that Le Royal Hotel and Resorts Beirut was awarded with the title of 2014 Leading Spa Award as well as the certificate of Excellence from Travel Advisor. The place is nothing short of world class luxury and the staff leave a lasting impression with their attentiveness, professionalism, friendliness. This makes it on my top Must-Try Spa recommendations for 2015.

More Reviews:

Four Seasons Beirut Spa

Ivy Reviews Bioskinspa

Shiseido Day Spa

New Year’s Eve Nails by Beauty Express

Sombré Hair By Georges El Mendelek

A Night at O Monot Boutique Hotel

A Night At Monte Cassino Hotel


New Year’s Eve Nails by Beauty Express

ivy says new years eve nails china glaze

For my last pampering session of 2014, I wanted to get festive New Year’s nails that will go with my celebration outfit. So after some shopping I headed over to the newly opened Beauty Express branch at  Dunes Verdun to do just that. Beauty Express is a full service beauty institute across Lebanon that offers everything from facials, to makeup art and nail care. They also happen to be the exclusive distributors of China Glaze and Le Ciel, a French brand I tried for the first time and loved, so you can imagine what a range of colors I had to choose from.

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My aesthetician Sandy who also happens to be Beauty Express’s professional nail design artist started me off with a luxurious manicure followed by a soothing hand massage. She explained to me that in order to achieve perfectly polished nails and best results, it was vital nails were perfectly manicured first.

new years nails beauty express

But before she began painting my nails she applied a coat of their customer- favorite Le Ciel Ultra Hardener.

le ciel

I chose a color palette of hot red, black, white and silver glitter from China Glaze and Le Ciel. The base would be China Glaze’s Rouge Baiser and Liquid Leather.

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Next the fun began. Sandy carefully hand crafted two feline designs on my ring fingers, the first a cute black cat with big eyes and a diamond collar and the second, silver and white paws on a base of black.

nail  designphoto 1new years ivy nails

I have to say I’m absolutely obsessed, I already have a long list of designs I’m hoping to have done at Beauty Express soon and I promise to be sharing them with you. Also make sure you ask for Ivy’s Choice at their Dunes Verdun branch to get this design. Happy 2015!

ivy says new years eve nails


An Essie Affair

Holiday Makeup Must Haves from Beauty Concept

Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Step-By-Step Review



A Makeup Look By Yves Saint Laurent

YSL Makeup Ivy Says shoot

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

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

Ivy Says YSL Beauty Review look makeup

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

Beauty Blogger Lebanon YSL IVY

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

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Review

Shot by the very talented Patrick Sawaya.

Print Louize Sweater by Ted Baker

Sunglasses Prada- Minimal Baroque

Belt- Hermes

Ivy Beauty Blogger YSL Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Step-By-Step Review

Beauty Review: YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara

Clarisonic Plus Review

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro

Essie Nail Polish

Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel

Too-Faced Lip Injection Gloss

Ivy’s Holiday Makeup Must Haves from Beauty Concept

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Selection

No matter how much makeup I accumulate, I can’t seem to ever have enough. It could be five parallel degrees of one shade of blush or lipstick, but I’ll convince myself that they’re not the same, and end up with them all. No complaints there.

As part of my journey discovering the treasures at Dunes Verdun and to my delight, my next stop was at Beauty Concept. Beauty Concept is a chain of retail shops in the mall carrying more than 100 internationally renowned high-end brands we’ve come to love, with a variety of products including makeup, skincare, fragrance, and many more beauty products.


Their makeup artist and beauty adviser Jackie, was nice enough to get me all dolled up for a Saturday night out on the town. I wanted to go for a semi-light nuanced smokey eye look. So we decided to mix and match new collections and Jackie help deed me select the shades and formulas that worked on my skin type and tone. Here’s a what she used and a full list of  the latest must-haves for your beauty bag this holiday season.

Lancôme La Base Pro Hydra Glow. Nothings gets your face ready for flawless makeup wear like primer. Although I’m a fan of  Lancôme ‘s viscous wax-like primer, this one is refreshingly dewy, light and gives your skin the hydration it promises to. Just a small amount helped Jackie even out my skin tone so that the colors she applies are uniform all over my face.

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection 5. jpg

SHISEIDO Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation- this isn’t your average foundation, like most things from SHISEIDO it has a multi-functional skin care component, and works to lift, cover wrinkles and brighten your skin. I usually go dark with my foundation but Jackie insisted I try one as light as my face and I have to say I was sold. It gave me a radiant, uniform finish with medium coverage. The bottle design is also stunning.

SHISEIDO Sheer and Perfect Compact Foundation- I loved the feel of this uber light powder compact foundation with a sheer soft finish that works as the perfect complement to set foundation and even skin tone and absorbs all grease and shine that comes with hours of wear.

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection 4

SHISEIDO Smoothing Lip Pencil- here’s a secret I’m a HUGE fan of lip liners, but subtle blendable ones that can really give your lips a natural contour. SHISEIDO was not kidding when it named this one smooth because this is by far the smoothest and most hydrating lip liner I’ve come across to date. And the shades are simply ethereal! The only down side, is it doesn’t last as long as you would hope it would so keep it in your bag.


Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara deserves all the hype and I have to admit I was skeptical. It’s actually the first patented wand, that works to cover every single lash no matter how small. If long- and I mean REALLY long lashes are your thing, you will not be disappointed. I had to get my friend to touch my lashes to prove I wasn’t wearing any falsies!

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection Lancome

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection

Chanel Camelia de Plumes Highlighting Powder is part of the brand’s Holiday 2014 Limited Edition Collection inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s original Fine Jewelry creations, It’s a sheer silver and gold illuminator that Jackie demonstrated can be used on cheekbones, decollete and even shoulders. Definitely a collector’s favorite and perfect to gift this Christmas.

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Selection 2

Les 5 Ombres de Chanel Oiseaux de Nuit — The Chanel holiday eyeshadow palette Jackie used features winter shades: a frosty white, a grayish lavender, dark purple with a satin finish, black with a frosty finish and a very subtle gold. We used all the colors for this smokey eyeyh


Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection 3

I loved this look and I hope you do too. Let me know if you have any questions about any of items we used. If you like this look and would like to recreate it head on down to Beauty Concept in Dunes Verdun and let them know you want the Ivy Selection!

Happy Holidays!

16 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Man

1) He likes to take the role of your goon in public. A mere glance your way from another man could escalate into an Animal Planet fight scene, thick manes and all.

animal planet

2) You no longer have any more male contacts on your phone book except maybe for your hairdresser and doctor.


3) Meanwhile, his ex is now one of his closest friends and no, you don’t get to have a say.


4) He’s well into his mid-30s and doesn’t see why he needs to move out of his parent’s house. Ever

tv and popcorn

5) Most of the qualities he seeks in his ideal woman involve housekeeping.


6) It doesn’t matter how hairy, overweight and unattractive he is, he still deserves a supermodel.

supermodel 2

7) He could have been the next Ronaldo, but daddy pushed him into Engineering.


8) He has a special budget allocated each month to keep his beard in control.


9) You’re almost certain he showers in cologne, his scent remains in a room half an hour after he leaves it.


10) In his head every woman he dates is dying to marry him and if she doesn’t then she must be a skank


11) His life plans: marry “good” wife, produce male heir, take over family business.


12) He’ll gladly marry a gold digger. It’s flattering.

gold digger 2

13) Reaching out for the bill on a date is equivalent to spitting in his face.


14) Getting behind the driving wheel is the most emasculating thing you can do to him.

I drive

15) 50% of his brain shuts down when he spots a blonde.


16) And if his parents don’t approve of you there’s no way he’s EVER going to marry you. oh no



20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

Join the Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows




My Sombré Hair By Georges El Mendelek

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair

His father may be one of the most renowned names in Haute Coiffure but the apple sure doesn’t fall far from the tree with Georges El Mendelek. He’s built quite a reputation for being picky with his exclusive list of clientele, and his signature touch does not go unnoticed with official hair styling gigs at Mission Fashion, The Miss Lebanon Franchise and MTV shows. To top it all off earlier this year he’s been named an ambassador for beauty giant-L‘Oréal Professionnel.

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair 4
I first met Georges El Mendelek in Paris and was immediately drawn to his refreshingly “new school” take on hair styling. It was at a time where I was coming out of a couple of bold color stints and the awkward growing-out stage of a very short haircut and had decided to stop dying my hair all together and simply grow it out. But lately my hair has been turning up quite dark and dull in photos and as a result made me look washed out.

So I decided to enlist the help of Georges. He recommended low-lights in the form of sombré hair, yes that’s sombre not ombré . Essentially it involves adding a more subtle and blendable graduation of lighter toned shades into the hair, giving your look a more vibrant feel without the worry of re-growth and maintenance.
But this isn’t just any sombré, it’s George El Mendelek’s personal twist on this L’Oreal F/W 14/15 It Look which involves separating and tying hair into more than 20 bunches (as opposed to just 4) and then soaking the end of strands with L’Oreal Professional’s Infinie Platine as a base.

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair 5

When the color settles, strands are then toned to a more wearable and warm shade of caramel and honey. All the while hair is still in bunches. The results are astounding; a gradient melange of what looks like naturally sun-beached hair. None of that dramatic color-cut off that comes with ombré,

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair L'oreal
I loved this look because it added a much-needed kick to my look without seeming too striking, a look that can also work in a professional setting. I’m also secretly looking forward to having my hair blend in with my fur jackets this winter.

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair L'Oreal 1
So If you’re like me and want to give your hair a breath of fresh air this season without going all the way and avoiding hours of upkeep then I recommend you get your hair professionally Sombréd by the creative genius Georges El Mendelek.

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek Sombre hair

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Step-By-Step Review

A month back, Yves Saint Laurent invited me to their beauty counter at ABC Ashrafieh for a makeover and to test out some of their makeup collection. I was already obsessing over their Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation which I reviewed here back in July so I knew I was in for a treat. Here is the final look. You can follow the steps below to achieve it

YSL Ivy Says Dana Khairallah makeup look

YSL Ivy Says beauty review


Step 1: Forever Light Creator CC Cream in Apricot

It was early during the day and their lovely artist wanted to give me a fresh-faced daytime appropriate look and so she started it off with Forever Light Creator CC Cream as a base, or what I like to personally call, the CC Cream of all CC Creams, which essentially works as a tinted color corrector that over time works to improve stuff like redness, fine lines, enlarged pores and most imperfections you want to hide. It doesn’t need to replace your foundation especially if you’re not big on daily foundation use as a lot of my not-as-makeup-obsessed friends are ; but still want to sport an even skin tone with a healthy radiance, then you will enjoy the medium coverage of the Forever Light Creator. I’m loving the golden glow of the Apricot shade but if it’s a rosy radiance you’re after then you should try out Rose shade. And did I mention the impressive SPF 35!

Ysl CC Cream and Touch eclat

Step 2: Couture Palettes in Afrique

Next I was excited to try out YSL’s much talked about new line of Couture Palettes in particular #3 Afrique, which has gotten raving reviews from the beauty community. It’s a combination of 5 warm toned, plum, bronze, and rose eye shadow shades in diverse textures metallic shades that when layered (from the crease all the way to the inner corners of your eyes) give them intense dimensions. This super bendable set of shades is definitely a beauty staple for any season.



She completed my eyes with the award-winning Yves Saint Laurent MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS in high density black. Let me tell you this one’s really racks up the volume and made my lashes significantly thicker after the second round. I’ve been wearing it regularly and I have to say, it’s been exceptionally clump-free and smooth on my lashes. I’ve also tried way too many mascaras lately that separate so it was a nice change to experience thick fringe lashes for a change. I also recommend this one in the deep purple shade.

Step 4: Touche Éclat.

Of course no makeup session at YSL is complete without the cult classic (gold pen) which I’ve been a big fan of for years now the Touche Éclat. This has been a miracle worker in my makeup bag ever since I landed my first job. And although I’ve been using Touche Éclat to add light to the entire area under my eyes, usually as a final step or for the really early morning meetings with the boss, you’ll be surprised to know it can be used as a highlighter and illuminator along your entire face such as your nose and that area over your eyebrows to lift them up and most recently I’ve been dabbing some on my cheekbones for some extra radiance.

Step 5: Baby Doll Kiss and Blush

Baby Doll YSL Kiss and Blush

And finally she completed my look with my latest obsession to date the YSL’s Baby Doll Kiss and Blush. It’s an air whipped mousse that works on both your lips and cheeks to give a flirty pop of color and eventually turns into a stain. At first glance you would think that the formula was a super lacquerish one but it magically forms a velvet smooth matte finish that sits so beautifully on your lips and sports some serious staying power. I just love how it also gives my cheeks a very blendable warm flush. For the day time she used the golden-orangey Corail Affranchi on me but I’ve been using the Rouge Effrontee which is basically this gorgeous reddish-fuchsia color and I just love how buildable it is, so it works both day and night. I haven’t been this crazy about a lip product since I discovered Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro.

For the first time last month I decided to work on my own makeup for a friend’s wedding and here are the results. For this look I used the CC Cream, Touche Éclat and the bronze and rose gold eye shadows from Couture Palettes  on my eyebrow bone for blending and highlighting.

YSL Ivy Says makeup look

More Beauty Reviews Below

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation

Clinique Moisture Surge

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara

Clarisonic Plus Review

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