Tag Archives: beauty

Ivy Reviews: Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro

It’s not every day that I fall on a lip product that prompts me to write a review but I just had to share my latest beauty obsession of the past couple of months.
Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro.

Ivy Review Georgio Armani Lip Maestro

I first got introduced to this matte lacquer (it’s not a gloss) back in August when I had my makeup done by Armani for  #IVYSBIGREVEAL. Their makeup artist gave me a strong smokey eye and finished my lips with a satin almost-powder-cream-like layer of Lip Maestro #202.
I was pleasantly surprised by two things, first how ridiculously smooth and velvety the texture was, as though he was dabbing on a matte liquid foundation on my lips and secondly just how long it lasted on my lips- literally for around 6 hours. I took various coffee (and wine) breaks during the day and yet this little gem stayed put.

Ivy Review Georgio Armani Lip Maestro 2
My lips dry and chap easily, I’ve found that with the exception of a few brand favorites, lipsticks and mostly glosses tend to bring out the worst in them, after a couple of hours some of the skin will literally begin peeling off ( sorry for the visual)
But Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro is one of the few formulas that actually hydrates lips and truly retains lip moisture, add to that the super light weight texture which at some point you will forget is even there (something I also find very difficult to do.)
Finally, Lip Maestro is incredibly pigmented; you will never get a sheer moment, just pure true rich matte color and finish with great color release. Make sure you don’t over-drench the applicator with formula; a small amount will be more than enough to stain your entire lips. It comes in 14 shades, my favorite being the Dolce 202, 500 Blush, 503 Red Fuchsia.

Ivy Armani Maestro

Have you tried it?



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9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

roula saad

Back in October 2013 I  launched the Online Petition Against Tattooed Eyebrows to counter the growing  pandemic of creepy crawlers taking over our country. It has become one of my most successful posts to date shared by hundreds beauty advocates brave enough to stand up for what is right. Today I wage a full out war, on the crimes against beauty that have given us terrifying reputations and landed us on some of the world’s most notorious beauty faux pas lists. Join me, for united we are stronger.

Exhibit A:  Permanent Lip Liner

lip liner

Let’s get one thing straight, Lip liners were intended to give your lips that natural contour and define borders not for drawing on entirely new ones. But to go as far as making those things permanent and darker than your natural lip line? That’s borderline self-loathing.

Fact: Nobody actually believes those are real lips, and when they’re extended upwards they begin to resemble a mustache. Worst of all, eventually the liner begins to fade in different areas leaving you looking like you marked yourself with a pen by mistake. Stop it.

Verdict: Life without Parole

Exhibit B:Going Blonde


Some women go blonde and it looks like they have Scandinavian blood and others are smart enough to steer clear. But there remains a significant portion of ladies who insist on looking artificial by bleaching their locks regardless of their skin tone, and adding insult to injury by dying their eyebrows as well. Hair Coloring is a science and it should be done by a professional, so make sure you’re nice to your colorist or he won’t tell you the truth you need to know.

Verdict: 30 Hours of Community Service

Exhibit C: Concealer Overdose


We are notorious for this. Sure concealer is a miracle worker adding that instant fresh boost and covering dark circles, but the whole point was to conceal those bags not paint them a bright shade of white, unless the plan is to resemble a raccoon.

Verdict: Hefty Fine

Exhibit D: Botched lips.


Yes, I know we’re all guilty of coveting plump lips. But whatever happened to proportion, symmetry, and common sense? Lindsay went from 25 to 55 overnight because her doctor didn’t tell her how over-sized and droopy her lips had become compared to the rest of her face. When you look like you’re constantly duck-faced and your inner lips protruding like a Trout, it’s time to lay off those collagen injections. When one side of your lip is more filled than the other it’s time to sue your doctor.

 Verdict: 30 years to Life

Exhibit E: Ombre Hair


There’s Ombre and then there’s negligence. Growing your dyed hair out only to pass it off as dip dye or Ombre is a really really bad idea especially when the contrast between the light and dark is huge. Ombre is about having a subtle fade in color if done professionally otherwise it looks plain tacky.

Verdict: 30 days House Arrest

Exhibit F: Botox


I’m not vehemently against surgical beauty enhancement and I’m not going to speak too soon either. I’m young enough to enjoy the natural collagen on my skin without having to resort to botox just yet. BUT by just yet I mean at least until my forties. I mean come on, girls in their 20’s (yes 20’s and early 30’s) are getting botoxed like it’s a bikini wax and in doing so are emulating women in their 50’s. How pancake face is becoming the ultimate status symbol beats me! Walking around with permanently raised eyebrows makes you look constantly suspicious or shocked and laughing with no facial expression makes you look looney.  It’s ludicrous I tell you.

Verdict: Life without parole/solitary confinement

Exhibit H: Fake/excessive Tanning


Whether you’re ruthlessly exposing your body to harmful sun rays, addicted to the tanning booth or pouring it on from a bottle the only thing that should sport that shade of red is an Orangutan.

Verdict: 15 years with possibility of early release for good behavior

Exhibit I: Very Light Foundation.  


Contrary to Middle Eastern practice foundation is supposed to match your skin tone not create a new one. I don’t care how many Fair and Lovely ads you’ve seen, using a lighter foundation  makes your head look like it belongs on another body and will actually age you.(gasp)

Verdict: Heavy fine and monthly makeup purchase limit

Exhibit J: Colored Contact Lenses

fake lenses

I thought colored contact lenses were just a fad, I really thought by now we’ll look back, point and laugh at ourselves hysterically but sadly Arab stars are so adamant on keeping that trend alive that lenses have become synonymous with cheap and vulgar. How something so unflattering and fake could be so popular is beyond me!

Verdict: Electronic Tagging

Did I miss a few?

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Ivy Says is Special Magazine’s Beautysta of the Month

For February’s issue, I had the pleasure of getting selected as Spécial Magazine Beautysta of the month. In this interview (in French) I share some of my beauty DO’s and DON’T’s and makeup tips and tricks, favorites products and more!  Take a look and don’t forget to grab your copy.

Dana BeautystaClick on the image to enlarge

Hair by Riad Khalil at Tony El Mendelek Salon

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Mes Obsessions Du Jour

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Join the Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows


Alright. So I’m about to acknowledge the elephant in the country. Someone’s gotta do it already, and I’m taking one for the team.

Two words: Tattooed Eyebrows. We all breathed a sigh of relief as we bid farewell to decades of notoriously pin-thin over-plucked half-moons, little did we know we’d only be paving the way for these jumbo eye-staches? When did it suddenly become cool to have creepy caterpillars on your forehead? Dark, moist, ridiculously thick and worst of all, supernaturally defined and straight substitutes or deformed arches of what was once, hair.

I must have missed the memo, you know the one that incited these poor unsuspecting women to go out in flocks, shave off their eyebrows and replace them with absurd PERMANENTLY tattooed marks on their heads. I woke up one day and everywhere I looked there they were, red ones, gray ones, brownish-orange ones, and very very black ones. The Horror.

No tattooed eyebrows do not look natural. No matter how many times you ask or what ridiculous sum of money you paid for them. No matter what that beautician told you. They just don’t. And they never will. You’ve been punk’d.

Besides, the point of recreating a look is to emulate something that actually exists in the first place. I promise you, the last women that probably sported those things were living in caves and even they felt insecure about them when they discovered the mirror.

And what about when they peel ( yes, those things peel!) if it were up to me, it should be illegal for women to go out in public when they’re freshly inked and their new creatures are covered with this nasty coat of gunk.

I thought long and hard before writing this post. Because I thought of all the women that got them. That’s a lot of women to piss off. But you know what, they should have listened. They had done no justice to their once beautiful faces. You may tell me my opinion is uncalled for. Perhaps.

But there’s one thing I’m sure of, Tattooed eyebrows should be criminalized, if not for the women who wear them then at least think of the  people who have to withstand the pain of looking at them. Because we all know that when you’re speaking to someone with tattooed eyebrows, you can’t look anywhere else but at those things. It’s all you can focus on. And you get caught so many times doing it. And you try and try to look away but you end up staring right at them the entire time.

So ladies, enough is enough, you can fight this, resist the urge to go in for that retouch session, let them go , and in a year or two,  they will fade away like a far distant memory. And if you’re lucky no one will remember that you had the same facial expression for an entire year.

Sign the petition today by leaving your name in the comment section below!

Mes Obsessions Du Jour

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More Obsessions HERE


Ivy Reviews: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation

This gallery contains 14 photos.

I spend most of my time running from one meeting to the next. And for a while now I’ve been looking for that everyday foundation that won’t melt off my face as the temperatures rise and most importantly one with … Continue reading

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IVY Reviews: Shiseido Day Spa


The lovely folks over at Shiseido Day Spa located in the heart of Ashrafieh really know how to pamper a girl. I felt like a queen for a day as I was greeted by the professional and courteous staff who treated me like I was the most important person in the world as soon as I set foot in the ultra-zen space that imposes this profound peacefulness and tranquility. I knew right then I was in good hands (literally.)

I was surprised to know Shiseido Spa has been open in Lebanon for 14 years with a long list of regular clientele who visit on a weekly basis to get away from it all if only for an hour or two. And though I’ve had my fair share of massage and facial sessions both in Lebanon and abroad, this experience was hands down one of my top 3 favorites. Let me tell you why.


My session began with a choice of 3 aromas that I later learned would become part of my facial. I chose Jasmine. But first my beauty therapist Perla, whom I highly recommend, soaked my feet in a rose petal-infused tub of water for a couple of minutes. I was a little curious why my feet were getting the class-A treatment even though I was scheduled for a facial. She eloquently explained that relaxation began with the feet. And I can’t tell you how much that works.


As I lay on the massage table in my big fluffy robe with the serene music playing in the background, I fought the urge to doze off instantly. The therapist began gently removing all my makeup with Shiseido makeup removers and creams and guided me through some deep aroma breathing exercise using the Jasmine scent  I had chosen that put me in a deep rhythmical state of relaxation.


And that’s when all the magic happened. I signed up for the Hydro-Nourishing Facial, an intensive hour and fifteen minute long incredibly soothing treatment for dry/sensitive skin. This facial uses a Shiseido line of products with ingredients containing the Chinese Yuzu fruit to accelerate skin’s moisture production and Trehalose plant sugar to plump the skin. What I loved about this facial is that it didn’t include any of those painful extraction techniques to remove blackheads but rather a rotating small machine that works its way on the skin’s surface to massage and clean. Next, the therapist began a specialized Japanese mask technique covering my entire face with a combo of cold and hot towels intended to liven up skin cells.

The session concluded with a head, shoulder and hand massage that put me in a state of trance.

I felt like I had just woken up from one of the most peaceful comas as I was invited to relax on a long chair in a room with herbal tea and an assortment of dried apricots, raisins and almonds.



I touched my face which felt like it had formed a unfamiliarly smooth plump layer and I looked in the mirror only to notice that it was radiant. I was hooked. I knew I had to come back. And though this treatment costs about $120 it is one of the best quick fix relaxing sessions you will get in a country as crazy as Beirut.

I had one of the most peaceful drives back home, not because traffic had ceased, on the contrary, it was rush hour, but I felt as though I have popped some cryptic pill that made me immune to all annoyances and stress surrounding me on the roads, while everyone else was too busy trying to cut through each other, there I was with a big silly smile and magnificent glow on my face.





Ivy Reviews: Clinique Moisture Surge

IMG_5261I’ve never been one to moisturize religiously partly due to laziness and partly because I just couldn’t bare the dense consistency of most facial moisturizers on my face. I’m also profoundly sensitive to scents and even the most renowned creams made me uncomfortable and prompted me to wash my face immediately.

That was until my mother insisted I try out the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturizer. I was already a big fan of Clinque’s 3 step system since my late teens, having used their Liquid Facial Soap and Clarifying Lotion almost daily. So I brought my first jar of this award winning Moisture surge two years ago and have been hooked ever since.


I instantly fell in love with the texture, which is actually more like a gel than a cream, hands down, it’s one of the softest pink sheer formulas I’ve ever touched and it spreads perfectly onto skin and gets absorbed instantly, like it was never there. But it’s there alright, because it will leave your face feeling super baby soft and refreshed, almost plumped. The best part is that’s its actually oil-free.

IMG_5258It’s now a fundamental part of my daily regimen and even managed to get my makeup to blend much better. Although it doesn’t come cheap (around $60 for 75ml in Lebanon) it will last for 3 months easy since you really need a very small amount to comfortably spread it all over.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

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Ivy Reviews: The Body Shop Leona Lewis Collection

IMG_4856Last week I got my hands on The Body Shop’s new limited edition collection by gorgeous songstress Leona Lewis. The cruelty-free range recently hit stores in Lebanon and also includes a very playful musk-fragrance.


I also got the chance to review my first BB (Beauty Blemish) Cream, the latest sensation to take the beauty world by storm.

First things first, I was invited to the summer opening of one of Beirut’s hotspots this weekend and complemented my look with the Shimmer Palette in Bronze from the range, which works perfectly as a blush or bronzer for contouring.


I loved how well the colour transferred onto my skin and was a breeze to blend, a problem I usually face with most blushers. I even used some of the crème shimmer as a base on my eyelids and I must say the shade worked so well with the rest of my face. It’s one of those palettes that matches all skin tones to give you this subtle sun-kissed glow without looking over-the-top shiny or plastic.


I paired my look with the Honey Bronze Lip Nectar which really felt like I dabbed actual honey on my lips, the gold tint in it really livened up my look and reflected so perfectly with the Shimmer palette.


The formula is pretty viscous, so I suggest you give it a slight squeeze when applying and blend it really well with a brush to avoid unevenness. I’m not big on sticky glosses so I dabbed some powder from the shimmer palette on top to reduce it. I also tried and really liked the bright and fabulous shimmer-free Deelicious Fuchsia shade which I also paired with the Shimmer palette for a brunch the next day.

But before I applied all that makeup I used the Vitamin E Cool BB Crème which basically works as a (light coverage) moisturizer and all over hydrator.


If you’re not yet familiar with BB creams, they serve two purposes; skin care and makeup in one- sort of like applying a really good moisturizer on your face with a tint that will not only even out your skin tone but also lightly cover up your flaws.

And if you’re like me and wear foundation occasionally, then this is for you. It doesn’t mean that it’s a substitute for foundation, but the light coverage when applied solo will give you a naturally radiant look perfect for those light makeup-free days.

It also serves as a base right before your foundation. Vitamin E Cool BB Cream comes off matte, very sheer with a light coverage and shine. If you have oily skin this one’s for you but if your skin is on the drier side of things than you may want something slightly more luminous with higher coverage like their All-In-One BB Cream.


This new limited edition collection is available at The Body Shop stores across Lebanon but supplies are limited.

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