Tag Archives: lebanon

Ivy Reviews: La Crêperie Restaurant in Jounieh

La Crêperie  Photo-by-Marco-Pinarelli

When I first heard La Crêperie closed to be majorly renovated, I have to admit I was a little sad and worried, though I have to also admit it needed it badly. I had so many fond memories at this historic spot that dates all the way back to the 19th century and a long-standing iconic restaurant which had first opened its doors in 1968. Describing this landmark as perched would be an understatement, it literally hangs off a cliff, and boasts one THE best views in the country, overlooking the entire bay of Jounieh and the Mediterranean Sea.

Every inch of the place has been completely restored and managed by Sky Management (the same folks that brought us SKYBAR and O1NE House of Entertainment) and after much anticipation it opened its doors earlier this Spring.

La Crêperie  review 1

The venue is a design marvel, with each corner looking like it had taken a page out of Architectural Digest, a savvy combination of French Provence decor with traditional Lebanese Ottoman-style heritage boasting magnificently high ceilings and stellar marble columns. But it’s the interior decor which left the biggest impression on me, since I’m absolutely obsessed with the combination of country-chic furniture, soothing pastels and crystal chandeliers.

La Crêperie 2]

Most people prefer to dine on the picturesque outdoor terrace or in Les Jardins ( La Crêperie botanical backyard), but my personal favorite place is a cozy table inside. I got to try out many items on the assorted international/Mediterranean menu on a recent lunch with friends. And here are some of my recommendations worth trying.

La Crêperie  Garden

As the name suggests, La Crêperie; you can choose from 13 savory crêpes and a total of 18 sweet ones. We opted for the Jambon, Fromage et Beurre crêpe, a generously stuffed one with ham, cheese and butter which I loved, but I have to say, it’s enough to stuff you, so don’t get greedy.

La Crêperie  Crepe Jambon fromage Beurre

For starters, we also had the flavorful Quinoa Salad, with avocados, mangos, cucumbers, raisons and corn in a refreshing lemon and oil dressing topped with cilantro. I’ve never had this combination of ingredients with Quinoa before and I have to say it was a lovely new perspective.

La Crêperie Quinoa salade

The Scottish Salmon dish was made of four unfussy wrapped roles of smoked salmon, simple and straight to the point.

La Crêperie scottish salmon

The Bresaola au Parmesan had a crisp topping of mesclun green leaves tossed in an oil and lemon that gave each mouthful a fresh vibe. The lentil salad had a very Mediterranean feel to it with cherry tomatoes, chives and parsley in a vinaigrette sauce.

La Crêperie bresaolaLa Crêperie  Lentille salade

And finally, another favorite of mine, the Ravioli aux cèpes, a delectable mixture of fresh mushrooms encased in a ravioli, cooked to perfection with a hearty creamy/buttery sauce. I would without a doubt have this on my own next time as a main dish, sharing it with not easy.

La Crêperie  Ravioli

For mains, we shared three entrees, the Loup de Mer, a significantly-sized grilled white fish, with a side of steamed greens, it was a little simple for my liking as I would prefer my fish usually more marinated with flavors, however it was grilled just right, not overdone and still moist.

La Crêperie  grilled fish

The house burger, was the kind you would get at an authentic French Bistro, nothing too complicated and my personal favorite the colossal Escalope de Veau Panée, breaded white veal with a side of penne pasta in a tomato sauce.

La Crêperie Burger MaisonLa Crêperie  Veau panneLa Crêperie menu review jounieh

And finally my favorite part of any meal, dessert, with the king of all cheesecakes, the berry cheesecake no exaggeration,may be one of the best I’ve had in Lebanon so far, wholesome and utterly delightful with each bite. La Crêperie  cheesecakeFor the chocolate aficionados I also recommend the Tarte au Chocolate, made with a firm dark chocolate interior in a perfect little tart shell. And some of the house sorbet to beat the heat.

La Crêperie Tarte au chocolateLa Crêperie dessertLa Crêperie  dessert

Verdict: Rarely is the new able to encompass the original spirit of institutions like this one, but the new La Crêperie takes it a step further, it’s not only managed to restore this Lebanese landmark back its original glory, it has thrust it into a new era of golden years ahead.

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La Petite Maison Dubai

La Serre Bistro Dubai

Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

Prune French Bistro

Métropole Brasserie

Cannelle’s Finest Desserts

My 2 Summer Must-Haves by Yves Saint Laurent

Ivy Says Dana Khairallah YSL Look

Ysl Summer 2015 must haves

For someone who’s not going to do much tanning this summer, I thought I had lost all hope for a natural sun-kissed glow that looked makeup-free until I discovered YSL’s brand new Les Sahariennes Blur Perfector last month.

YSL Les Sahariennes Blur Perfector

It’s a very lightweight balm-powder so like the name suggests the texture is in fact creamy like a balm, but has a surprisingly matte finish- like a powder. I was also not expecting it to give my skin a healthy radiant kind of glow but it did. It also didn’t settle like your typical powder would, but rather it covered imperfections and smoothened skin almost like a primer would.

You can actually use it to contour or as a bronzer all over, I opted for the latter in this look below but I will definitely be using it to contour to sculpt my cheeks, nose chin and brows along with my Touche Éclat as a highlighter although I still need my share of practice on that.

This was my first creamy bronzer so I have to admit, I was a little skeptical, mainly about how it would blend and whether or not it would turn out blotchy, but I found that it blends onto skin so effortlessly and even though it comes with a double-ended brush and sponge applicator, it worked best for me when I used my fingers to both transfer and blend product.

Color release is not as strong as the shade looks so you will have to brave it up and press a little harder than you would think but you’ll be surprised by the color pay-off so be warned not to over-do it as well.

Les Sahariennes Blur Perfector Rouge Pur Couture  Review

Like everything YSL I loved the elegance of the packaging and how big the mirror was inside, along with the signature YSL dust bag, the Blur Perfector is a product you can just slip into your handbag for touch-ups on the go.

I paired it with the Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain, and if you’re looking for a lip product this summer that works like a stain but gives you the full-out glossy effect than this revolutionary new lip product from YSL Beauty is something you will appreciate.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain

It’s a highly pigmented formula that will initially come off as a super bright and shiny but then eventually fade into a stain that will last for hours on end. What I loved it didn’t dry out my lips or fade even after hosting my one-long hour radio show and sipping on lots of liquid. The applicator is identical to that of YSL’s Kiss and Blush which I also love but be warned a little goes a long way. In this look I’m wearing the Vernis à Lèvres in 201 (bright fuchsia)

Read More Looks and Reviews

An Edgy Makeup Look By Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Step-By-Step Review

A Makeup Look By Yves Saint Laurent For My Show

Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

6 Red Carpet Lessons From Murex D’or and Biaf 2015

Murex dor and biaf 2015

This week was red carpet par excellence for Lebanon with not one but two awards ceremonies, The Murex D’or and the Biaf. And if you were hoping to spot the latest international red carpet trends in couture don’t hold your breath darlings, we like to do things a little differently here and over-the-top doesn’t even big to describe it. So if you want to fit in make sure you got these below red carpet tips covered because if not you might go unnoticed or (gasp) boring- and lord forbid that ever happens to your career.

1, Begin by enlarging your head, it has to be at least three-to four times bigger than your actual body and it will be one hell of a balancing act. Lebanese hairdressers are specialists at this infamous signature chignon so don’t you worry. All they will need is their ego, a year’s supply of hairpins and of course enough hairspray to annihilate a population of cockroaches. Et Voila madmoiselle, tu es une star.

Viviance Mradsoha kikano

2. A mask, and no I don’t mean one you can put on, it has to be hand- painted on you by a makeup artist with a supply of K Stars makeup. Do not proceed without letting him know the color of your gown and make sure you stress that you want your look to be a huge “succès.” Steer clear from earthy tones and remember highlighter and strong pigments are your best friends. Get a head start by retouching those eyebrow tattoos a week or two in advance. Let go of your instinct, trust his touch and let the magic begin.

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3. Research all the techniques that flatter your body type, now  proceed to make sure you don’t follow a single one of those tips, rules are made to be broken anyway. Be tactical about what you want to reveal. Chubby arms- go for a tube cut. Large breasts- you will need two sizes smaller to highlight that décolletage, Thick thighs- Something see-through and short. Huge waist- No A-line cuts for you. Overweight- big prints bright colors and sheer fabrics! Over 50? Dress like you’re in your 20s. You get the drift…

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4. Choose a Lebanese designer who’s name is followed by the words Haute Couture,one that loves all types of fabrics, together at the same time, without discrimination. We’re talking tulle, organza, satin and lots of lots of lace. Someone who wants to make a walking masterpiece out of you with a keen eye for producing cheap replicas and a love affair with bad embroidery and terrible finishing.

IMG_6767IMG_6755IMG_6754rasha khatibMaggie Bou GhosnIMG_6753Carine Salemeh Murex dor 2015Vivaine Mrad Biaf 2015

5. The whole simplicity is sophistication is just a silly myth, more is more, and adding accessories to your outfit will only put the odds in your favor and get you the recognition and fashionista title you deserve.  Wanna throw on all your accessories including your everyday watch? Go for it. Feel like putting on that hat you’ve had in your wardrobe for years? Knock yourself out. Wear whatever jewelry is handed to you, you’re a star  darling after all and stars need bling.

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IMG_6768lili atrash

6.  Give us that old school 90s hand-on-hip pose, as soon as you spot the camera.  Who cares if it’s cheesy and makes you look like you’re posing way too hard, there is nothing natural about your entire look anyway so you might as well just werk it gurl, you are fierce!

gHIDA FUTURE TV

IMG_6762Dalida khalil red carpet

Murex D’Or 2013 The Best and Worst Dressed 

Murex D’or 2014 Best and Worst Dressed

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty

The Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows

Wear It For Change

Dana-Khairallah-CSB-ready-to-wear-it-for-change-1

I’m very proud to support Creative Space Beirut, a non-profit free school in fashion design that provides design education to talented individuals who lack the resources to pursue a degree in fashion. This school has been supported by renowned fashion houses such as Derek Lam, Diane Von Furstenberg and Parsons.

A month ago I was chosen by them along with some of Beirut’s most compelling women, “with innovative minds and huge hearts” and asked about the importance of free creative education and to be part of their new online campaign that aims to bring attention and raise funds as they launch their first crowd-sourcing campaign.

ivy says creative space beirut

It was the first shoot I did while appearing visibly pregnant and I chose this one-size-fits all gorgeous Twist Top in olive from their Creative Space Beirut Ready To Wear collection which I styled with a pair of my trusty black leggings, these Zara black scuba style heels which I love and my Saint Laurent Nano Sac du Jour. If you like this top which is also available in crème, grey, black and striped jersey you can check it out tomorrow at the debut of their Ready To Wear Brand at their studio in Mar Mikhael as part of Beirut Design Week 2015.

Shot by Ayla Hibra with a film camera.

Ivy says creative space beirut campaign

beirut design week ivy says creative space

In an effort to continue to work towards self-sustainability, they need as much support as possible from those who believe in their cause. You can click here to read their full story and donate online

Ivy’s Summer Beach Essentials

Ivy says Juicy Couture City Centre Beyond Optics

I’ve been in dire need of some serious summer attire but haven’t really had the time to dedicate an entire day to shopping; it’s been quite a busy couple of weeks for me. But since we were planning on taking in some much needed vitamin D at the beach next weekend, I headed over to City Centre Beirut to finally pick out some must-have summer pieces in my wardrobe. I wanted to pack up some trendy essentials that would both work during a day in the sun and for sunset cocktails.

So I’ve documented a few of my favorite finds all of which are currently available at these stores at City Centre Beirut.

First up a summer staple; short shorts, and I wanted to change things up from the typical denim ones so I choose this magenta pink pair from Jack Wills, exclusive to City Centre Beirut. They’re also available in a white, green and orange if pink is not your thing.

Jack wills ivy says city centre shorts pink summer

I matched them with breezy pair of  feminine lace espadrilles I found at Pieces. Love how these things just slip right on and off and can even be worn instead of flip flops to the beach

Vero Moda Espadrilles Ivy says city centre beirut

And I fell in love with this very cool print summer Tee at Juicy Couture that matched perfectly.

Juicy Couture Ivy says City Centre Beirut T shirt Beach

I was also on the hunt for an eccentric statement pair of summer sunnies, something fun and vibrant that would stand out.  So I made my way to Beyond Optics also exclusive to City Centre Beirut and fell in love with this pair Stella McCartney green peaked cat eye sunglasses with fabulous gold mirror lenses.

Ivy says City Centre Beyond Optics Stella McCartney

For the sunset cocktails and dinner, I chose a navy print floor length gown also from Juicy Couture, I love how flowy and light it felt on and I styled it with this cute Juicy Couture micro bag that can also be worn as a cross over.

Juicy Couture Beyond OpticsJuicy Couture Nano Bag City Centre

And finally no summer shopping is complete without a swimsuit and since monokinis are this season’s hottest trend, I fell in love with this  Juicy Couture 50’s one which matched my Stella McCartney sunnies. I styled  them with this pair of floral platforms from Pieces which are ideal to switch up any beach outfit and went perfectly with the shorts and dress.

Juicy Couture Monokini Pieces Platforms City Centre

Hope you enjoyed my beach selection. I’ll be posting a summer essential list very soon on the blog.

You can click on the video below to catch some glimpses of my fun shopping session that also started out with quick makeup session at M.A.C. Cosmetics.

 

 

Elissa Falls Victim To Domestic Violence

Elissa Ya Merayti video

As much as I’d like to appreciate and enjoy Arabic music I don’t. With the exception of the occasional classics played at weddings when you’re too tipsy to care anymore and make you want to pull out those moves you learned at those two belly dancing classes you took back in high school. I’m also appalled by most video clips that accompany Arabic songs, they’re usually cheap, vulgar, abundant with clichés and ripped off.

Having said that, I came across the new music video of Lebanese songstress Elissa’s latest song Ya Merayti (My Mirror) this weekend and I was immediately drawn to both the production and powerful message it portrays.

Directed by Angie Jammal, the story tells the all too common tale of a wife and mother who is a victim of domestic violence, a shamefully widespread issue in Lebanon, according to local NGO and strongest advocate on the matter, KAFA, -25 women reported to have been killed by family members between 2010 and 2013 and four deaths occurred as a result in 2014-and that’s only what’s been reported, because most women don’t come forward or live to tell their story. Worse yet , the criminalization of marital rape has not been included in any legislation to date. Awful…

Now as much as we tend to hear about this in our 8pm evening news bulletins, the impact is much stronger when millions of fans and followers of Elissa in Lebanon and around the world get to watch her over and over again as a victim herself, portraying the sad reality of a struggling mother who suffers the fate of an abusive violent husband, one who beats her until the brink of death. But her story comes with the message of hope and action, and will resonate loudly and powerfully I’m sure in the many minds of women who today suffer in silence and encourage them to come forward.

Elissa Ya Merayti video 2

The video was shot on location in Serbia, and could have easily been yet another opportunity for the singer to simply show off her  beauty, style and vocal cords. But it wasn’t. So thank you Elissa, for taking the high road and choosing to bring awareness to domestic violence, in what obviously is a high quality and budget production to promote and shed more light on this dire matter. RESPECT

Watch the video below and let me know your thoughts…

Barbra Streisand and Elissa- Separated At Birth

Nancy or Elissa; Who Wore It Best?

Lebanese Singer Channels Her Inner Britney

10 Makeup Mistakes We’re All Doing

Applying makeup the right way is not as simple as it sounds. And yes, as ideal as it would to just slid on some under-eye liner and swipe on blush,  ( respect to the ladies who can still pull that off) makeup has evolved into a slightly more meticulous and dare I say scientific process.

And though the hundreds and thousands of beauty Video bloggers put out content daily to help us get things right, we (including myself) are still doing some basic makeup faux pas without noticing and would most likely look much prettier avoiding all together.  I’ve also gone ahead and used myself in a few examples with Photoshop.

1.The Wrong Shade of Foundation

makeup mistakes to avoid 1 ivy

Sounds pretty basic right? Yeah well… you’d be surprised just how much of a frequent offense this is. Mostly because we either ask for something lighter or darker when we should simply find a shade that MATCHES our skin tone. Secondly, because most of the time when we’re shopping for makeup we usually already have makeup on, and as a result end up testing foundation on our arms rather than our faces.

2. Applying Way Too Much Bronzer-Everywhere.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 3

It’s hard to believe but Bronzer is not to be applied all over the face as many ladies do. The face-baked look is never in. Simply put: it’s for the areas where the sun would naturally hit your face so that would be your forehead, cheekbones, nose and jawline- sort of like the drawing the number 3.

Ivy’s Tip: Bronzer goes on after makeup before blush and should only be  at most two shades darker than your natural tone.

3. Over-Defining Your Eyebrows.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 7

If this were a crime, half our female population would be in jail. I observed a fair blonde lady the other day demanding a  charcoal black eyebrow pencil while the sales assistant kept advising her to go for the light brown one. Sure the Cara big bushy brows are a trend but you don’t see hers looking like markers, they look messy and natural. So lay off that super dark shader and use a pencil to simply fill-in sparse areas.

Ivy’s Tip: Brush upwards before applying then don’t forget to please put them back in place. Sign my Tattooed Eyebrow Petition here

4. Using A Dried Up Mascara

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy eye lashes

Mascaras have a much shorter life than advertised-even designer ones. But that’s the sticky truth. If you find that it’s getting clumpy and messy to apply from round one it means you need a new one. Mascara, like hair should be strangle free, and neat even when exaggerated. If your formula is drying up fast make sure you’re not pumping the wand in and out when you use it.

5. Exaggerated Lashes

makeup mistakes to avoid 4

We all love those big wedding lashes, but when did it suddenly become okay to wear them to brunch? When your makeup is simple and day-appropriate but your lashes are over-the-top, they look bulky, heavy and a little silly.

6. Over-Extending your Natural Lip Line

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 89

I know I know EVERYONE’S doing it. But bigger isn’t always better. Of course we can extend our natural lip line but nowhere close to our nostrils. And most importantly, always, always match your lip liner shade to your lipstick!

7. Clown Cheeks.

makeup mistakes to avoid 2 ivy

Applying Blush is one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn. By no means should it circular and as pretty as that shade looks on the counter it can look awful if it doesn’t match your tone. Blush is meant to look like a warm natural flush on your face, the kind you’d get when you’re feeling shy, in love or after a serious workout. Keep that in mind the next time you buy one.

Ivy’s Tip: If the sales assistant looks like she’s got war paint on then don’t let her assist you.

8. Dry Chappy Lips with Matte Lipstick.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 9

I’m terribly  guilty of this mostly because I LOVE matte colors and constantly peel my lips with my teeth. Lips should be exfoliated too. And dabbing on some primer or concealer can do the trick.

9. Highlighter Overdose.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy

Remember when shiny cheeks meant greasy cheeks? Well apparently not anymore. Now everyone’s buying a gold sheer fluid and spreading it all across their cheeks bones. But unless you’re a contestant on Dancing With The Stars you should seriously rethink your quantities.

10. Bold Lips are not for everyone.

"Thanks For Sharing" - Los Angeles Premiere Held at The ArcLight Hollywood Featuring: Gwyneth Paltrow Where: Hollywood, California, United States When: 17 Sep 2013 Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

I’m sorry but it’s the truth. When you’re nose is a little too large or your lips are on the smaller side a strong lipstick can attract unwarranted attention to your not so favorite areas. And as much as we all want to go for the hot red lips trend, some of us are better off sticking to pretty nudes.

More on Beauty

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty

The Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows