Love story.

Most of us have had experiences where a certain smell—a flower, freshly baked cookies or the salty beach air—floods our brain with memories of a distinct event or location that we associate clearly with certain emotions.

There have been scientific studies using a variety of approaches to back up this anecdotal evidence. One was a study led by a female scientist at Brown University in 2004. Dr. Rachel Herz and her team found that a group of five women showed more brain activity when smelling a perfume with which they associated a positive memory than when smelling a control perfume they had never before smelled. This is likely due to the brains anatomy and I am going to stop myself here before I embark on diving further into medical terms like the amygdala and hippocampus (hippowhatWHAT?).

I consider the sense of smell one of my superpowers. It is one of my strongest senses (which is somewhat of a nuisance when the scents in question are unpleasant and makes public transport a no go) but it also makes me somewhat of a perfume connoisseur. As a blogger I have the privilege to receive most releases before they hit the shop floors and whilst I sniff them all (and oooh and aaaah over the luxe packaging); I am loyal to a very few.

In general anything with undertones of clean laundry or baby-powder-resembling-notes goes down well with me. Florals aren’t my favourites – with the exception of the delicate frangipani (and if you ever go to the Maldives they will quickly become your favourite too). The same applies to orange blossom which again is related to a fond memory of a certain place. The orange blossom is hugely prominent in the Middle East (my home as of the last 12 years) and works on soothing aching tummies, flavouring trays of home made baklavas and symbolises purity when used in abundant wedding bouquets. I have also grown to be very fond of oud and sandalwood based concoctions – both ingredients with a heritage strongly tied to the place that I nowadays call home.

Chloé’s latest release: Love Story Eau Sensuelle (which is the third fragrance in the brands story line and the second in my collection) has French actress Clémence Poésy as the face of the campaign. It combines orange blossom with sweet heliotrope and velvety sandal wood and hence makes it into my top 3 daytime favourites. / XXX Teresa

The one about skin care.

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Hello after a little (long) break!

Skincare is one of my favorite topics – I try to (more or less successfully) aspire to have skin so good that make up is a fun bonus and not a daily necessity.

Now to be very honest with you (I like being able to be honest with you); a few things have to be mentioned before I venture out onto the ”product territory”.

  • No product will work if used half heartedly. No matter the price tag. If you (like me) occasionally forget to cleanse before going to bed (and don’t get me started on the instant wipes that do very little else but move the dirt around); no miracle cream will work to it’s full potential. It’s only when I became religiously strike on the good old daily cleanse / tone / moisturize that I noticed a positive difference.
  • The cliches are cliches for a reason – in other words sleep matters. Drinking sufficient amounts of water matters. (I personally also find that Bikram yoga gives me a long lasting glow. There are no scientific reports that I can wisearsedly quote here (neither do I want to), but all the sweating and the moving and the hydrating afterwards always makes me feel ”pure” skin-wise.)
  • I use Botox twice a year. It obviously prevents the wrinkles from appearing (I started with Botox at the age of 32 as a preventative measure) but it doesn’t mean it secures a good complexion. I still feel obliged to mention it as I don’t want to be “selling you” creams when in fact I also use the heavier ammo.
  • The proverbial ‘eat your greens’; is a big one – every time I go on a cleanse I bathe in compliments on the clarity of my skin. I don’t really believe in cleanses to the extent that they’ve been declared a magical cure of illnesses, obesity and fatique BUT they do mean that for whatever period you’re on them you stay away from nasties and get a fruit and veggie fix that many of us are in deficit of. If you apply that into your daily habits the results should mimic the one of a cleanse.

Now let’s talk lotions and potions and creams.

  1. I am currently using a lot os Shiseido. Yes – they were gifted to me in exchange for a review but so are many many other products (and I am being transparent, not Braggy McBrag here). I have chosen to stick to theirs because I like that they are not overly fragrant (why add ingredients that have no purpose but may end up irritating your skin); that the brand invests in a lot of scientific research and really goes deep on a cellular level with their products. They agree with my skin and if I stick to the: A.) Gentle Cleansing Cream B.) Future Solution Softener C.) Future Solution Radiance Serum and D.) Bio Performance eye and face cream my skin is balanced, moisturized without feeling oily and radiant with or without make up.
  2. I treat myself to weekly face masks – when pottering around the house or listening to music. Aesop makes a GREAT cleaning Primrose / white clay one and NUXE has a lovely soothing balm called Creme Fraiche De Beaute.
  3. For night I love Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I know other bloggers have raved about it too.
  4. Since I recently discovered that I have pigmentation spots (and I have never suffered from those before but I am taking a lot of hormones related to female troublezzzz) I also added a Dark Spot Solution from Kiehls into the mix.
  5. Household ingredients like Kefir and Coconut Oil make for great moisturizers – our mums were onto something with the unknowingly holistic approach to beauty.

Last but not least – SPF is essential but surely you knew that already? I seriously see a big difference between myself and my sun worshiping friends who are a lot younger. I don’t want my décolletage to look like a leather purse when I am 50!

Feel free to recommend a good / non greasy facial SPF inn the comments below or on social media; I am currently on the lookout for one. Big hugs X

Oud & Rose

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Oud & Rose is French L’occitanes latest creation; one that resonates very well with the Middle East. I have always been a fan of Oud based scents and I consume rose water by the gallon (in my tea, as a facial toner and in Arabic desserts). Needless to say I was thrilled to work with the brand on illustrating the theme of the perfume through a series of images.

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The warmth of the Oud marries well with rose from Grasse, a region in Provence known for it’s cultivation of aromatic plants. If Provence is too far of a journey our neighboring Oman hosts beautiful rose plantations too – a beautiful sight throughout mid to late August.

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Few things are as beautiful as pure undisturbed desert and so that’s where we decided to host the photo shoot.

If you wish to buy a bottle HERE is the shopping link. If the perfume is too strong for you to start with I recommend that you start with the lightly scented body lotion – bonus points come with the shimmery finish. / XXX

Kerastase Elixir Ultime

kerastaseI always say that as an adult, once you have a good dentist / tailor and hairdresser in your life you can take on pretty much anything. Up until meeting Vesna (who works at Pastels at the Ritz Carlton JBR), me and my fine Scandinavian hair were feeling very misunderstood by most UAE hairdressers. Blonde hair is a nightmare to maintain and Dubai’s harsh tap water situation contributes to an ongoing struggle with limp tresses, itchy scalp, thinning hair and generic ugliness.

Whilst I once ventured over to the dark side and really liked myself as a brunette, step one in regaining a somewhat acceptable hair quality was to make peace with my natural hair colour. Step two was making usage of dry shampoo a habit, in order to avoid daily wear and tear and step three was regularly consulting Vesna on a range of products that suit my hair type.

Just like your skin, your hair goes through stages and has different needs depending on it’s current state, time of the year and most importantly your lifestyle. Consistent usage of protein packed products have restored my hair quality to a somewhat decent one and now I was looking for something that would add my strands that extra oomph – enter the luxe Kerastase Elixir Ultime Collection. (Read all the technical facts about the products HERE).

I have purchased the mask and the creme and they have quickly become a fixed part of my hair care regimen. The creme in particular smells divine, (optically) repairs and seals dry sections and lives up to it’s promise of being weightless so my glamour curls stay nice and bouncy. The mask comes to it’s fullest potential when applied in a salon under a steamer, or the at-home version of a warm towel wrap. / XXX

Pastels Salon: phone nr. 04 388 3534/3397


Les Beiges

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I like CHANEL. This is no news to anyone. In fact I am convinced that the frequent exposure of the Double C’s on all my social media outlets has lead to me getting bumped off other beauty brands media lists. But I am like that, loyal to the bone and a creature of habit.

The new releases in the Les Beiges family have left me shrieking with joy – the entire range feels virtually made for the ”less is more” girls. Optimising the feeling of an outdoor glow, the CC cream provides medium coverage great for daytime, protects with an SPF of 50 and injects hydration.

The limited edition creamy blush stick (I use nr. 20 which is a muted bronze with a hint of shimmer) glides on rather sheer and may need to get topped up with a powder equivalent if you’re looking for a strong colour effect. I have also used mine on the eyelids, because a wise person skilled in the art of make up once told me that I could. 🙂

The 2015 Summer Collection also includes a healthy glow hydrating balm. The no.10 (which is the only colour released) is a rosy hue with shea-butter-like consistency. In other words you get 100 percent moisture and zero stickiness. Because the struggle of getting bouncy tresses stuck to your shiny lips is real.

Beige Pur and Precious Beige nail varnish shades are like cafe latte and almond nougat for your fingertips. Two applications suffice but three give solid coverage. (Remember to finish of the paint job off with a salon quality top coat for a prolonged result).

Last but not least  – the Les Beiges Multi Colour powder can be applied as 3 different products or as an all over face powder. Like everything else CHANEL, the packaging itself makes me feel a little posh when flipped open in a ladies bathroom to everyone else’s envy. Clean, luxe and timeless the beige containers ooze of effortless elegance. Because who does’t want to be effortlessly elegant. XXX

The collection will be released worldwide in June 2015.