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Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by ANANTARA

The recent onset of travel photos has lead into me getting asked if I have turned into a travel blogger. Can I be greedy and say that all I want right now is to travel loads and wear nice clothes whilst at it?

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The majestic Qasr Al Sarab has been on my staycation bucket list for ages, seeing at it was located a mere 3 hours drive from Dubai and got mentions in pretty much all luxe travel guides that I had laid my hands on.

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Discovering the resort in the proverbial Middle Of Nowhere (or The Empty Quarter as the region is called) was really magical, just when we thought that we were lost the most regal looking settlement arose from the middle of the dunes. The interiors were’t too shabby either if you know what I’m sayin’.

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We braved the heat (which was bearable seeing as the humidity levels were a lot lower than to what they are in the seaside city of Dubai) and sat on the terrace overlooking the dunes pretty much the entire duration of our stay. If you aren’t staying in one of the private villas make sure you ask for that very room (as opposed to the garden ones). They were the best value for money in my opinion and seeing the sun descent behind the sand from the comfort of your sun lounger was breathtaking even for a desert dweller like myself.

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The signature Anantara spa treatments are not to be missed, I also really loved that the brand of products used in the treatments was UAE founded organic Shiffa.

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Gathering in the library at 4.30 am was tough but seeing the sun rise after the dune bashing session (one that made my boyfriend oh-so-happy) made up for the early call time. Having been to a few of the desert excursions in my days in the UAE I was a tad blasรฉ at first. I mean, it’s just driving right? In a car crammed with screaming German grannies, lead by a driver I don’t feel too confident about and ending at a desert camp as busy as Dubai Mall on a Friday.

Rest assured all my doubts were quickly diffused. Private car took me and The Boy to a secluded breakfast spot and the driver was as knowledgeable as he was skilled at maneuvering the 4×4 in the natures own sand castles. This my friends was pure class and the only screaming granny was me.

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I would very much like to go back to Qasr Al Sarab when it gets a little cooler. It’s a perfect city escape, far enough to feel like a get away but close enough to go over the weekend. I hear the archery classes are a must try and during the winter season the al fresco dining around a fire pit are unforgettable according to other reviews. Until next time then? X

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ย – 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.

Autumn with CHANEL

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Few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with CHANEL’s beauty department and their head make up artist Najete Ezzarqui. Prior to the launch of their autumn hues I was given the opportunity to learn a few application techniques using the latest products as well as work around the shades that suit my colouring.

The collection consists of a spectrum of muted purples, burgundies and taupes – as expected from a fall range. As I am a sun kissed – olive skinned – green eyed strawberry blonde this was very much a complimentary palette for my colouring.

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We opted for a rendition of the smokey eye in deep cold purple; something I have had done on me by many make up artists and thaw is my ”go to” editorial photoshoot look.

Najette helped me with visually reshaping my eyes – I happen to have what make up artists refer to as the Asian framing and a hooded eyelid. In other words there isn’t a lot of eye lid space to work with and application is the key not to close off my squinty eyes any further. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sideways / upwards application of eyeshadow blended thoroughly towards the crease tends to do the trick.

Whilst old skool beauty tips always emphasised the importance o balancing out either a heavy eye or lip but never both together; I have seen throughout my line of work whilst watching make up artists on set that it’s just an urban legend. As a stylist I can only compare it to nonsense tips like ”horizontal stripes make you look bigger”.ย I asked Najette to translate one of my favourite editorial beauty looks (which is a purple lid and a statement red lip) to my facial features and really loved the result. If your colouring is similar to mine I suggest that you give it a try!

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Now let’s talk products:

New and permanent additions to my make up bag from this collections are the above seen Les Ombres in 204 (Poesie), Ombre Essentielle in 104 (Palpitation) and 106 (Hesitation). P.S Don’t you just love the romanticism of the French names?

I have also recently developed the habit of wearing a dark lip – how very goth of me. Whilst a saturated high pigment dark lippy is something I reserve for nocturnal outings CHANEL’s Rouge Coco Shine in 96 (Aura) is great for the daytime. Whilst it looks dark and heavy in the image (could be due to my photography and retouching) it glides on semi transparent and feels more like a glossy lip tint.

The last priceless tip I picked up and have been relying on ever since is using the illuminating base (Le Blanc De CHANEL, link HERE) on top of my make up. This has worked wonders when applied halfway thought a day and prolonged the dewiness of a base applied in wee morning hours. / Teresa XXX