Tag Archives: lebanon

Ivy Says x Adidas Festive Fitness

adidas originals zx flux tweed rita ora

Who said running shoes can’t sparkle too?

Just in time for the holiday season adidas Originals have once again teamed up with Rita Ora for the F/W2015 to bring a monochrome palette with lots of vibrant contrasts. This has to be my favorite favorite collaboration to date, I still can’t get over my S/S15 Superstar 80s sneakers which I wear religiously you can check out the full shoot here.

As you know I’m lucky enough to view and receive pieces from the collection before they hit stores and this time I fell for this glittery tweed version of the ZX Flux. As you can tell they have the soul of an iconic adidas runner from the ’80s with a whole new look. I absolutely love how the ZX Flux has evolved throughout the years while still preserving it’s original DNA. It’s minimal yet trendy, it’s available in some incredible prints, and you don’t have to run to wear it.

Zx Flux torsions fall winter 2015 tweed

dana khairallah zx flux ivy says adidasivy says adidas

In fact, I styled my ZX Flux with a regular silky Zara top and plain black track pants but then I threw on this statement metallic blazer from a Paul and Joe and my black Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour. It’s comfortable, stylish and festive.

ivy says adidas torsion originals zx flux (Copy)adidas zx flux ivy saysadidas

You can grab these babies at adidas Originals in Saad Zaghloul Street in downtown Beirut.

Don’t forget to  to get the first look at all the hottest release from adidas this season first.

IvySays x Adidas Rita Ora Superstar 80s Sneakers

Ivy Says x Adidas Outdoor Yoga

IvySays x Adidas IT BEGINS

My Breast Cancer Scare Story

Ivy Armani Maestro

I woke up one morning 5 years ago feeling a large lump on my breast. I couldn’t breathe. CANCER was the first thing that came to my mind. But how? I’m only 25. I didn’t want to go get it checked, I was too scared and not prepared for dreadful news. But then again, who would be?

For two week I didn’t tell anyone. I was worried they’d panic, then I would panic. So I decided that it would be my secret. I hoped that by not telling anyone, it would just go away on its own.

It didn’t. Every day I would look for the lump and there it would be. I would have a panic attack under the sheets and pray. Prayer should make it go away. It didn’t. I would put my hand and there it was, lumpy and almost protruding. It felt like the universe was betraying me. That’s it I’m dying. So young.

Two weeks later I caved and broke the news to my mother and husband who was my fiancé at the time. They were appalled that I hadn’t shared the news with them earlier, that I had let my fear silence me. My mother reassured me that breast cancer did not run in the family, but nevertheless they rushed me to get checked.

Getting a mammogram made it all the more real. It was painful the way the machine pressured my breast. I cried. Not from the pain. But the fear, again. I felt so weak and already defeated.

As I sat in the waiting room I kept envisioning scenarios in my head. And I kept making promises to god. One more chance, please don’t make me go through this. Please let this be a false alarm. One more chance.

It was benign. I had more than ten lumps in my breasts and they were all Fibrocystic. It was the name of a very common condition that more than half of women would experience at some point in their lives. But the doctor would have to keep a close eye on them, especially since they continue to grow, which meant that I would have to go in for an ecography every 6 months. It wasn’t ideal but you bet I was thanking my lucky stars.

But then I thought of all the unlucky women who received different news. My heart ached for them and the difficult battle ahead. The one with no guarantee of a win. The sort of battle that would kick your ass whether you would win or lose. And even when you win, you’d still get a good beating. I started reading up on breast cancer. I learned that 90% of cases of breast cancer were preventable. I learned that the only way breast cancer can kill you is if you don’t detect it early enough. I learned that you can’t detect it without a check up. Yet I also learned that a very few women actually go in for frequent screenings, because cancer “can’t possibly happen to them.”

And I hope it never does. To anyone. But we both know that’s wishful thinking. Breast Cancer rates are alarming, almost one in 8 women will be diagnosed with cancer. So let’s decrease those rates by spreading awareness.

I took part in City Centre Beirut’s latest campaign to #BreastCancerAwareness. Please take a moment to watch the video I’m featured in below and share.


3 Skin Serums I Love


I think I speak for a lot of women when I say there’s not much time in our day for a good skin care routine. So instead of layering up on different types of creams, most of us are looking for that multifunctional one that works to resolve many of the issues we face (pun intended). When it comes to serums and creams I’m all about trying different formulas and brands though I tend to stick to a few favorites.

ivy says  beauty review creams

I generally have good skin that is combination, with quite dry cheeks and a T-zone that tends to oil up, so these products have been tried and tested and have worked wonders for me. And though all three include as a dark spot correctors it’s important to note that none will really eliminate them all together, just significantly reduce and prevent them. I also don’t use them all together at once nor do they replace my moisturizers and day creams, but rather they serve as a base.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum


I was lucky enough to catch the Shiseido road show in Lebanon when the Ultimune was launched back in 2014. There’s a lot of technology that when into this serum and I can attest to the fact that it delivers on many of the promises it makes. I use it right after cleaning and toning my face and before my moisturizer. It works on minimizing fine lines, soothing skin and giving off a generally healthy glow. I also noticed a dewy and fresh-faced look and it has worked to improve the general appearance of my skin after 3 months of use. The formula is light and gelish and super easy to blend, it really feels like you have nothing on, which I appreciate as heavy textures bug me. It’s a little pricey but worth the splurge in my books.

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum

Clinique smart serum

Though I have an overall good skin tone, I do have my share of skin blemishes and discolorations from the occasional popped pimple and sun exposure when I was to cool to use SPF in my teens. I discovered Smart Custom Repair at the launching dinner with Clinque last year and have been hooked since. Clinique Smart is all about repairing damages and dark spots. I’ve always resorted to Clinique Laser Focus for dark spot repair in the past and this one is no exception. The formula is also gel-like ( yes I prefer that texture over creamy ones) and lightweight and it doesn’t have to replace your daily moisturizer so a simple pump really goes a long way. I tend to concentrate it on discolorations and I’ve had noticeable results over a period of 2 months. But I find that it’s all about maintenance so I suggest you apply preventatively as well.

Clarins Mission Perfection Serum

Clarins Mission Perfection serum review ivy says

I was introduced to Mission Perfection earlier this year during a breakfast presentation with Clarins. It focuses mainly on correcting pigmentation be it dark marks, acne marks or even a red or dull complexion which occurs more when the temperatures drop. It’s more creamy than the above two formulas but still on the gelish side of things and that works wonderfully for me. I’ve been using it throughout my pregnancy and I can safely say it’s managed to lighten up my dark spots significantly. I like to apply it before bedtime especially as it smells really good. It has a shimmer to its finish which gives a lovely radiance to my face especially when I decide to go sans makeup.

I hope you enjoyed this review for more check out the links below

A Makeup Look By Yves Saint Laurent For My Show

Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

My 2 Summer Must-Haves by Yves Saint Laurent

The Clarins Spa Experience

A Makeup Session With BOBBI BROWN





Baby Luca’s Chocolates by Boite Sucrée

Boite Sucrée Baby Luca set up

I was very much looking forward to picking out Baby Luca’s chocolate and favors as my due date approached. We’re huge on chocolates and party favors in Lebanon especially for weddings, births and baptisms and now even more for engagements, graduations, proposals and birthdays. This was an extra special occasion for me, the birth of my first child, and I had put a lot of thought into the sort of look and feel I wanted. Many of my friends had also given birth recently and although I thought some of their displays were beautiful, I couldn’t help but notice just how similar they all were, even using identical props and themes from the same store.

So I knew I wanted to find a chocolate design boutique that was unique and I also knew I wanted to collaborate with a designer who was flexible and approachable yet inspiring. I wasn’t looking for something over-the-top or complicated, but at the same time I definitely didn’t want someone to sell me a design that was recycled over and over again. So after doing my rounds on the usual suspects I fell on a gem in Kfarhbeb (Jounieh) run by the lovely mother and daughter duo, Dana and Ghada Nakhoul, the creative directors and managing partners behind Boite Sucrée.

Dana Nakhoul Boite Sucrée.

Upon entering the lovely boutique I was immediately taken by the chocolates and decor on display, ready to be delivered to clients. Take a look at some of the gorgeous set ups below.

Boite sucreeBoite sucree chocolateswedding chocolates Boite SucréeChocolates by Boite Sucrée reviewchocolate favors Boite Sucrée.

For our first meeting, we developed a lovely mood board of the theme I had envisioned. I wanted it to flow with Baby Luca’s nursery which was full of teddy bears, with the color scheme of grey and beige. And since the set up would be on display in my living area I also wanted to incorporate white which makes a major appearance in our home.

sami and dana khairallah Luca

Besides, the creativity of Boite Sucrée. they weren’t just about the looks, their candy and chocolate range is absolutely delicious. We did a tasting and I picked my finalists though it was not easy. For the chocolates, we would have two different designs on a plain bar and another wafer one, both from the Belgian gourmet chocolate the delicious Callebaut.

Ivy says Boite Sucrée set upivy says Boite Sucrée lebanon

I also fell madly in love with the white chocolate coated dates stuffed with walnuts and the delicious Oreo cookies coated with Callebaut milk chocolate. I added the calisson printed cookies, with Luca’s name and sugared almonds in white and a matte silver which would be placed in convenient jars as favors. I loved the concept of “Meghleh” chocolate spoons and a bucket of iced hand decorated cookies shaped like baby boots and bibs on a stick. And finally the divine white chocolate coconut balls that would hang on a little tree.

Boite Sucrée boutiqueOrea Boite SucréeBoite Sucrée LebanonBoite Sucrée Ivy says Baby Luca Chocolates

The process was easy and straight forward, I was invited back to the store to take a look at the design options Dana had prepared. It was exactly what I had in mind, and I really appreciated that there would be no backs and forths since at the time I was heavily in my final trimester.

The best part? Boite Sucrée also gives clients the add-on of delivery and set-up when you’re at the hospital so when you’re home with baby everything is perfect and ready for celebrations.

I plan on commissioning Boite Sucrée and the team for all our upcoming occasions especially Baby Luca’s milestones. You can follow them on Instagram here or get in touch at 03788178.

Read More

What’s In My Hospital Bag


8 Things To Do Before Having a Baby

8 things to do before having a baby

On September 5th, the hubby and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Yes, although we welcomed our first child 3 weeks ago, we will still technically have been married for that long without procreating, something that is considered a fail or tragedy in Middle Eastern society. You bet we’ve been pressured, by all sorts of people, some close to us and others who’ve simply installed electrical appliances in our home.

We’ve been successful at dodging the question thus far although some wildly inappropriate remarks from mere acquaintances have been relentlessly persistent  throughout the years, mind you, I’m still not entirely sure what sort of added value a child of ours would bring into their lives. Nevertheless, we took our sweet, sweet time, we didn’t succumb, and now I can honestly say we are overjoyed and more than ready to embark on this journey with our baby Luca.

You see we didn’t marry with the traditional idea “starting a family.” We married because we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I was adamant on going through a marriage bucket list that I had updated as we went along, desperate to make the most memories out of our marriage before we shared and dedicated a huge portion of our lives to our much loved little third wheeler.

So if you’ve tied the knot now or have been wed for some time, my advice to you is to get to spend as much time as possible with your other half before making babies. And here are 8 things to do

1. Travel together, anywhere and everywhere. I don’t just mean go on a honeymoon, I mean go on adventures, visit as many countries as you can, take long road trips and endless train rides, try different cuisines and drink lots of wine. It’s about getting to know each other in as many different settings as possible. Don’t just be husband and wife, be fun travel companions outside the norm making memories that will last a lifetime.

2. Make a home. I don’t just mean buy one and hire an interior decorator to fix it up. I mean make a home that looks and feels like the both of you, let it embody the character of your relationship. If your hubby wants his own smoking room or billiards table go for it and if you’ve always dreamt of designing a dressing room or having a home gym, do it, even if space is limited, don’t leave it empty because it may one day be for your child,

3. Go out, for dinners, drinks and hit up as many dance floors as you can until the wee of hours of the morning. Party together, get wasted together, go through hangovers together, experiment together. Become regulars at a spot together. Marriage doesn’t mean growing up it means growing old together. So if you still feeling like doing all the things you did while you were single, by all means do them together and do them a lot. Do them until you feel something is missing. Then have a baby.

4. Support each other to quit the jobs you hate and find the jobs or start the business you love, even if you have a mortgage to pay off. If you don’t do it now you’re very less likely to do it when you have children and tuitions. Watch your relationship become happier and stronger and the quality of  your lives improve once you’re finally in your element, waking up every day to something you love and the rest of the pieces will fall into place.

5. Make friends. I don’t mean with others I mean with each other. It’s one thing to be husband and wife and a total different thing to become best friends. Friends have fun together doing absolutely nothing without having to be constantly surrounded by other people all the time. Learn to truly enjoy each others company. Be partners in crime, attraction is great but spending a lifetime together requires true friendship and seasoned companionship.

6. Get a hobby together. Some couples like to hit the gym together and others prefer to ride on motorbikes , but whatever it is, make it your thing and make it sacred. My hubby and I love to throw champagne brunches for friends on our balcony during weekends and cook up storms in the kitchen in the evening with our favorite bottle(s) of wine and watch our favorite series for hours on end.

7. Splurge and live a little. Ok live a lot. Whether it’s a new car he loves or high-end spa sessions are you’re thing, make sure you spoil yourselves and enjoy the finer things in life. You will have plenty of time to play it safe, sacrifice (and save) once the kids come into the picture.

8. And finally, share a pet. Not only are those furry things entertaining but they’ll also give you a taste of responsibility to come. Pets need to be fed, walked, played with, nurtured and loved and sharing that form of dependability may help you consider whether or not you’re at a place in your lives where you’re ready to split your attention and efforts. It’s will also give you a glimpse of what type of parent your partner will make or not make.

Have I missed any? What’s on your married bucket list?

What’s In My Hospital Bag

Luca baby ivy says

As some of you may know my hubby and I welcomed our precious little boy Luca into the world on September 15, 2015 at 7:50 am.  We couldn’t be more humbled, overjoyed and grateful to call ourselves the parents of this sweet little guy and I want to thank each and everyone of you for your well wishes.

Like most expectant mommas, it’s been months and months of shopping and preparations as we counted down to D-Day- and I couldn’t complain that I finally had a legit reason to shop. But I have to admit, things started to get real as soon as I was told a number of times to keep the hospital bag on standby.

I found most of the items  at City Centre Beirut which has an entire level (2) dedicated to babies, so it served as the perfect one-stop spot for me as I went through my long-LONG list.

But first I knew I had to find the perfect hospital bag, something spacious and pretty to go with all the adorable little outfits I had bought for baby.

jacadi lebanon city centre

My first stop happened to be at one of my favorite baby boutiques, Jacadi at City Centre Beirut. I fell in love with this large travel bag and I thought the size was spacious enough to fit almost everything including some diapers, and the zippers inside and multiple pockets on the outside were ideal for socks, hats and accessories. A month later I was surprised to find a parcel from Jacadi had arrived only to find that they had sent over an identical bag to the one I had except it it was the diaper bag from the same series. Great Timing! Although this one came with a convenient changing mat, bottle bag and pouch for the time being I planned on using it as my own bag for the hospital. Matchy Matchy with baby, we we’re off to a perfect start!

Jacadi Diaper Bag Ivy says city centre

I also wanted a cute little onsie for baby Luca, something special that he would wear as we left the hospital to head home for the first time. This white cute velvet cute one caught my eye, it felt baby soft and I knew it was just perfect! Jacadi also sent over some much-needed all purpose muslin clothes and a sweet little Doudou which I also included in his bag.

Jacadi Baby Clothes ivy says

Next up, I wanted to personalize a blanket for baby Luca, and headed over to Pottery Barn Kids also on the same floor. I picked out this gray wool one which I got monogrammed with his name check out my full post on this amazing service here and I also picked up a set of three swaddle blankets with playful prints.

Pottery Barn Kids Lebanon

My next stop was at Mothercare at City Centre Beirut for some more outfits and found an adorable set of three onsie PJs, with a zebra theme. My favorite was the black and white striped one which I thought would make for a good laugh and it sure did.

Mothercare City centre beirut

And for my final stop at City Centre Beirut, I picked up this pregnancy beauty guide and skin care kit courtesy of Clarins Spa , I blogged about how much I loved their pregnancy massage in a previous visit and I was delighted to receive this package which included a Stretch Mark Minimizer, an Exfoliating Body Scrub, Beauty Flash Balm for the face and Tonic Body Treatment Oil from plant extracts which I used to firm and massage my body during my stay at the hospital.

clarins pregnancy guide

And of course no baby hospital bag was complete without a full set of Mustela products, this top brand found at most pharmacies had helped me completely avoid stretch marks during my pregnancy, read more here and now they were about to keep my baby, clean, hydrated and uber soft. They’re hypoallergenic, chemical free and paraben free, I packed the entire series, from baby shampoo and cleansing products to his first perfume Musti which smells like pure love. My favorite also happen to be the No-rinse Cleansing Water, Skin Freshener which I like to use on his hair and face and the Massage Oil which baby Luca enjoys thoroughly after his bath.

Mustella review baby

I can’t wait to share many more new finds as I embark on this new journey with my little love :)

What’s in your hospital bag?






Ivy Reviews: Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Nostalgie D’Orient

Ivy says beauty blogger lebanon Review

Before I tell you about the wonderful message behind Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics limited Nostaligie d’Orient  I think I I speak for a lot of women when I say we appreciate makeup that gets us, the kind of easy-to-carry sets that can be thrown into a makeup bag and pulled out for quick pick-me-ups throughout the day. So when I heard that Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics was coming out with  this three-piece pencil set that included a black kohl, red lipstick and concealer all in one, I knew I had to give it a try.

Ivy says Nostalgie D'orient

With Nostalgie d’Orient, Bassam Fattouh wanted to depict the beautiful side of Lebanon, the idea that despite all the issues this country faces which dominate international headlines, it also imports beauty around the world, something we tend to forget… So this collection is his way of paying homage and celebrating both the past and the present by combining the three landmarks we are so proud of; our Baher (sea), Jabal (Mountain) and the capital Beirut, in a vintage pop art package designed by renowned graphic designer Rana Salam.

The Set

Nostalgie D'orient by bassam fattouh review

Beirut: My favorite thing about this Lipstick is that it’s one of the few times you get to wear a bold color without requiring a lip liner, because it basically combines the super creaminess of a lipstick with the precision of lip liner, just keep it sharpened. The color is a signature fiery red one which never fails to impress and although it is very matte it’s quite lively upon application.

Jabal: This one’s a bold carbon black eyeliner, with a very VERY highly pigmented formula. I recommend you use it for tracing and creating kohled eyes or a bold oriental cat eye more than blending for a smokey eye look. The color release is excellent and it will last and last without smudging or streaking, It’s uber matte too.

Baher: I confess, this is my first experience with a pencil concealer, and lately I’ve been quite frustrated with formulas that fade with blending, but the yellow-based formula on this one is thick and heavy enough to stay. It’s not as blendable as you would think but I don’t mind because it’s perfect for highlighting and contouring. My only suggestion is to apply lightly because a little really goes a long way.

Nostalgie Dorient bassam fattouh color swatches

Et Voila, a full makeup look using these three pencils.

Ivy says review Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Nostaligie D'orient

If you’re fan of makeup and a fan of Lebanon then this is one limited edition set you don’t want to miss out on. You can order Nostalgie d’Orient online here

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Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel