Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Life in Dubai | Should you Visit?

Dear Reader,

Today I delve yet again into the subject of Dubai. As a resident of seven years, I have had plenty of time to explore every nook and cranny of this ever-changing landscape. Unsurprisingly, this city never gets old and, as the number of tourists grow each year, so do the attractions - a plus for Dubai-dwellers. So, clearly, I am going to write this article from a perhaps-bias viewpoint by unleashing all the best attractions and treasures this metropolis has hidden under it's warm sands.


Tourists are so obvious around summer time. In fact, my friend and I enjoy 'tourist-spotting' when we go summer shopping. They always have wide-brimmed hats, huge sunglasses, shorts, tank-tops, and red skin because they come underestimating the intensity of the sun. Almost all of my relatives live in England, and from what I hear I can understand why cold-climate-country-citizens look upon Dubai with a sense of envy. However, with little to no cloud cover at all, and the dry desert heat, tourists flock to the beaches to soak up the sun, and end up scorched. My advice? If you're visiting in the summer, keep to the indoors and air-conned attractions and if you can't resist the beaches, take an early morning dip in the glistening sea and get back to the shade before midday.



Although Dubai advertises itself as the city of record-breaking skyscrapers, it's natural surroundings are just as awe-inspiring. Take a desert-safari if you really want to see the true beauty of the desert - another idea is to stay in a Bedouin-inspired camp where you can witness first-hand the culture and lifestyle that occupied these sands only 50 years back (furthermore, they might offer camel rides which, although bumpy, are great fun!). Although the water parks and tourist attractions can be thrilling with their high-speed slides and crazy heights, I find them a little too predictable and prefer something more dangerous and exhilarating such as being flung around in the passenger seat of a Jeep crashing through the mountains of sands - something we like to call Dune-Bashing.


I'll start this section with the obvious tourist attractions - however I'm only writing about the ones I truly recommend. To start with, you haven't fully discovered Dubai until you stand more than 800m above the ground with only a sheet of glass separating you from a splat on the sidewalk. Ok, so it's not as scary as I'm making it sound but it truly is breath-taking. You get that on-top-of-the-world feeling as you stand on the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa - the worlds' tallest building. Another great attraction is the indoor ski-slope. You may be thinking, I've come to Dubai for the sun, not the snow, but trust me when I say it's quite an out-of-this-world experience to ski in a desert. It takes a brief five minutes to transfer from a sweltering sidewalk to a snowy ski-slope and it takes even longer for your brain to logically explain the situation to your sweaty yet shivering body. Finally, as I mentioned in my previous post, you should definitely take a walk around the Souks in Old Dubai. You can visit the Gold Souk, Fish Souk, Spice Souk, Textile Souk, or anything your heart desires! It's a colourful, and sense-filling experience, and quite different (and less pricey) from the colossal shopping malls that Dubai is so famous for.

So, dear reader, it's up to you whether you want to visit. But keep in mind that, if you do come, there's more to Dubai than shopping and sun-tans.

Izzy ♥ - Life, Love, Laughter

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Monday, 29 July 2013

Life in Dubai | A Buzzing Desert City

Dear Reader,

Due to the long post I wrote yesterday - which took me too many hours to complete - today I have opted to do a series of short posts, focusing on Dubai, my current city of residence.

In a city that buzzes as much as Dubai, you can not help but live on the fast-lane. The lives of people around you are stuck on fast forward and before long, your neighbours are married, your best friend's off to college, and your cousin has children... But you can't help but feel young in this city - which is so young itself, having developed in only the last 50 years. What's more, it's rare to find a head of grey hair in this metropolis, or a familiar face for that matter, as people come and go like fashion trends - by the way, big prints are so in right now.

Dubai roads and skyscrapers

Dubai is a haven for the wealthy, with million dollar houses, high-street designer brands, and - this one being a plus for everyone - this desert paradise comes tax-free! But you don't need a bulging wallet to love this land, Dubai is the epitome of growth and success and attracts those desiring a fresh start. With business booming - despite the recent crash - entrepreneurs rush to make their mark and skyscrapers rise out of the sand every day, waiting to be filled by eager expats.

Shopping at Dubai Mall

But this is the side of Dubai everyone hears about, along with multiple tourist attractions - including the tallest building in the world (currently, I think China's rushing to beat us), waterparks, a giant indoor ski slope, and shopping malls with every brand name available - however, there are hidden jewels of culture hidden among this modern metropolis. For example, take a trip to Old Dubai, and you'll find souks full of vibrant colours, handmade fabrics, exotic spices, and of course, gold!

Shops in a souk in Dubai

Furthermore, if you wish to cross the Dubai creek, - the birth place of this city - you can hop on a traditional Dhow (once used as sailing boats for pearl divers) and sail across the warm, glistening waters. Despite the large influx of tourists and overseas immigrants, the Dubai government has been inviting and aware of it's populations needs - unlike some of its geographical neighbours - which has resulted in a great variety of cultures and nationalities.

Dhow cruise on Dubai creek

So, I would consider life in Dubai a pleasant experience, and - along with many long-lasting residents - watching this city grow has been magical and astounding. Of course, there is so much more that I could say about this bustling urban kingdom, and I will provide further updates in the future. My next post shall be aimed at tourists and will hopefully help you answer the question 'should you visit Dubai?'.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this and please leave a comment if you have any questions about Dubai or just to provide feedback, so I don't feel like I'm just talking to myself :P Again, if you want me to check out your blog then write it down and I will pop by!

Izzy ♥ - Life, Love, and Laughter

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

66 Makeup Tips | For Flawless Faces

Dear Reader,

It took me all day but - finally - here it is. I have collected, processed, and organised makeup tips from the best and the brightest so that you can have them all in one place. And why have I done this? Well, I didn't think I would have much more to offer than what's already out there and because - in the words of L'Oréal - you're worth it. ;)

Anyway, away with the cliché's! This post is a compilation of tips, but it isn't a guide on How-To achieve such-and-such a look. It's simply the tricks that help you get there and obtain a better end result. Furthermore, since there are so many, I made it even more reader-friendly by splitting it up into categories (and sub-categories) - eyes, eyebrows, lips, skin, and general makeup tips - so pick and choose as you desire.

If you are looking for tutorials for different looks then you can go here: http://www.maybelline.com/makeup-looks.aspx

Ah, yes, that reminds me, along the way I'll be directing you to various sites - all optional, of course - where you can find more information. Most of these links can be found in the captions of the pictures in this post.

So, this is what I found on the world wide web...


  • If cloudy, red eyes are getting in your way, use eye drops before application.
  • Weird-but-true: Putting Vaseline on your eyelashes can make them appear healthier and longer.
  • Don’t continue using mascara or liquid liners four months after buying as bacteria build-up can occur and cause eye infections.


  • Apply mascara by wiggling the wand through the lashes to avoid clumps.
  • To prevent clumps, wipe the wand on a tissue beforehand to remove excess mascara.
  • For super full lashes, mix mascaras by applying a coat of lengthening mascara followed by a coat of thickening mascara.
  • Don’t apply more mascara after the first coat dries or you will get clumps.
  • Don’t pump the mascara wand in and out of the tube as it will dry out the mascara faster.
  • Using a lengthening mascara regularly will produce naturally longer lashes over time.

Mascara Colours

  • Black works on everyone, but can be harsh on fair blondes.
  • Blondes should opt for brown/black during the day and reserve black for night.
  • Burgundy/plum/blue mascaras can make blue eyes pop.
  • Brown eyes stand out with purple mascara.

Eyelash Curler

  • When using an eyelash curler, warm it up first using a hairdryer.
  • You can curl eyelashes after mascara application once it has dried.

False Eyelashes

  • If your eyelashes are quite sparse, but you don’t want to have obviously fake lashes, then you can opt for single false lashes and simply place them where you need it – usually four on the outer corner is enough.

Eye Liners

  • Apply liquid liner in two steps for a smooth line. First line the inner area of the eye to the middle. Then from the outer part of the eye to the middle and stop where the two lines connect.
  • If you’re worried your liquid eyeliner may turn out to be uneven, draw a light practice line using pencil eyeliner on each eye and then go over it with your liquid eyeliner.
  • Also, you can use transparent sticky tape under each eye to create a line for you to follow to make the perfect winged eyeliner.
  • Dots of liquid liner between the lashes can give the illusion of super thick eyelashes.
  • Line the inner rims of eyes with a beige pencil to give the appearance of wider eyes.
  • For long-lasting eyeliners, use waterproof pencils.
  • If you want a more natural look, line your eyes with a dark brown eyeshadow.


  • Apply in the order of lightest shades to darkest and blend, blend, blend!
  • Blend on the outside edge only when applying dark shadow to the crease of your eye.
  • Use primer to make eyeshadow last much longer.
  • Shimmer eyeshadow can show off wrinkles so use with caution.
  • Go for colours opposite to your eye colour when choosing an eyeshadow to make your eyes really stand out.
  • Concealer can be used on your eyelids as a base for eyeshadow.




  • Go to a professional to have your eyebrows waxed, tweezed or threaded and then you can neaten things up every now and then without worrying you’re shaping them wrong.
  • Don’t overpluck! Because it can take months – and even years – for the hair to grow back. If you’re unsure about your eyebrows, go see a professional.
  • If you have oveplucked, don’t freak out… just fill your eyebrows in using a pencil and powder shade.
  • You can encourage hair growth by massaging your eyebrows with a toothbrush every day.
  • To learn how to shape your eyebrows, go here: http://beauty.about.com/od/allaboutyoureyes/ht/groombrows.htm


  • Pencils should be a shade lighter than your brows (unless your eyebrows are very light, then choose a shade darker).
  • If you have a hard pencil, you can warm the tip by rubbing it in between the palms of your hands.
  • The powder should match the colour of your brows.


  • To keep brows in place, you can spray some hairspray on your finger and brush it onto the brow.
  • You can keep your brows looking healthy by applying castor oil to them.
  • Careful: darker eyebrows can make you look older.




  • Apply foundation to lips before lipstick to achieve truer lipstick colours.
  • Also, apply a lip balm before lipstick to keep them moisturised, as some lipsticks can dry out your lips.
  • When using lip liner, smudge the lip line slightly to get fuller looking lips.
  • Lipglosses are great for a quick shine and moisturise, but they won’t last very long. To achieve a longer lasting shine, apply lipliner or lipstick beforehand.


  • Lighter lip colours create the illusion of fuller lips.
  • To achieve soft lips, apply vaseline onto them, leave for 5 minutes, then brush off using a clean toothbrush. This will remove dry skin and leave your lips soft and plump. I find that an electric toothbrush leaves a smoother finish.
  • Pair shimmery eyes with matte lips to avoid too much shiny!



  • When concealing, opposite colours cancel each other out, so green-pigmented concealer covers redness, and orangey concealer removes blue – such as under-eye areas.
  • For under-eye areas, use liquid concealer and blend using your ring finger.
  • When applying concealer to imperfections such as spots, a brush is able to get into the crevices of the blemish better than your finger.
  • Patting your concealer in creates a much more flawless look than rubbing it in.


  • Always moisturise your skin before applying makeup for smoother coverage (but don’t overmoisturise!). For oily skin, use an oil-free moisturiser – this will help prevent oil build-up and spots.
  • Often, bags under your eyes – contrary to popular belief – are not caused by tiredness, but dehydration, so always drink lots of water and invest in a good quality under-eye moisturiser.


  • Get the full coverage from foundation without looking caked on by mixing it with your primer.
  • When contouring, anything lighter than the skin tone will make an area stand out, and anything darker will make that area sink in.
  • To know where to apply blush, bend over for 30 seconds then slowly stand up. Where your cheeks appear flushed is where you should apply blush.
  • When applying bronzer, keep it away from the centre of your face as it can make you look older.

After Makeup

  • Use facial oil-blotter sheets to remove excess oil without disturbing makeup.
  • If you struggle with keeping your makeup in place or making it last, there is makeup sealing spray that you simply spray over the top of your makeup to keep it lasting for hours.

General Makeup Tips

  •  Less is more.
  • Accentuate your best features. If you have luscious lips, go for bold lipsticks. If you have dazzling eyes, then make them pop with the perfect eyeshadow.
  • If you go for bold, bright lips, make your eye makeup more subtle – in contrast, if you do dramatic eye makeup, choose nude and conservative lips – to avoid an over-made-up look.
  • Carry your makeup necessities in your handbag for quick touch-ups while out and about.
  • If you want animal friendly, skin friendly, and eco-friendly products, then buy mineral makeup.
  • Gently wash all your makeup off every night to let your skin breathe.
  • Finally, it’s no good being pretty on the outside if you’re not beautiful on the inside. So, smile!

And there you go! That took me forever... :P Anyways, I really hope that this came in handy to someone. If it did, please please please tell me by leaving a comment below! Of course, I don't expect you to have read the whole thing! Only the parts you wanted to :) But even if you just read one bullet point, thank you ^_^

Anyways, please leave a comment so I don't feel like I've been talking to myself the whole time! And I'll probably go check out your blog if you do :P Thanks and byeeeeeeee,

Izzy ♥ - Life, Love, and Laughter

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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Healthy Alternatives at Snack Time | Dried Fruit Energy Nuggets

Dear Reader,

This post is focused on a delicious little recipe for dried fruit energy nuggets - found on the BBC good food website. Here is the link:


It's no surprise that these scrumptious balls of goodness are found under the Food for Athletes section, containing a mixture of fruits, seeds and coconut oil. It will likely come as no shock to you that I am not very athletic, and most certainly would not consider myself an athlete, however these energy nuggets are a perfect substitute to my usual snack-time items.

Previously, I would indulge myself - guiltily - in an abundance of cookies and chocolates. Don't worry, I'm not completely oblivious to my body's cries for health. Often, I would opt for the richer and healthier dark-chocolate choice - proven by scientists to be good for your heart, brain, and other areas of your body (learn more at http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html)... when eaten in small quantities and paired with regular exercise... oh dear. 
Learn about how dark chocolate can help prevent heart attacks here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923104408.htm

However, recently, I have been able to shake off my guilty fears and break free from my chocolate-chomping habits while still being able to satisfy my sweet tooth. Snack time is a time for recharging my batteries and these balls of energy give the perfect blend of yumminess, healthiness, and filling me up just enough to last till my next meal.

So, try them out, tell me what you think, and experiment with different recipes. Personally, along with coconut oil, I like to add coconut flakes into the mix to liven up the texture. Thanks for reading, I hope this was beneficial to you and if you enjoyed this then tell me and I'll write about more tips on achieving a healthier lifestyle! As always, feel free to leave a link to your blog along with your comment and I'll be more than happy to check it out :)

Izzy ♥ - Life, Love and Laughter

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Introduction to Blogger | Hi!

Dear Reader,

I thought it suitable to begin my time here on Blogger with an introduction of myself and my partner in crime, Calvin.

To be honest, I am a typical crazy blonde, driven by emotion and passionate for winning, due to a streak of inherited-from-Dad competitiveness. I love to be challenged and taken to the edge, but like every energetic extrovert, I have my quiet moments where only the gentle murmur of a happy cat may be heard in my presence.

Having lived in Singapore and Dubai for most of my life - one a tropical paradise, the other a desert haven - I long for the seasons of England and the feeling of sitting by a fire with a mug of hot chocolate while the white winter wonderland sets itself in place. However, I do fear that my idealistic view of an English winter has been romanticised by one-too-many old lovey-dovey films.

Hot Cocoa in Snow - http://nassau.happeningmag.com/top-5-hot-chocolate-spots-long-island

But enough of me, I think it's time you should meet Calvin, my best and only friend (just kidding..). Calvin - a teddy bear at heart - has the appearance of a wild desert cat, with short, ginger fur, tiger stripes, leopard spots, and crocodile eyes. He has experienced tragedy and loss, come close to starvation, and developed a timid personality, but despite this he has remained a loyal and cuddly pet, and often sleeps cradled in my arms like a soft toy. If you are reading this and you are not a cat lover, then you have probably determined that am I just a crazy cat-lady. Well, you're probably right, but I love him so that's that.

Curled up and trying to sleep ♥

Now that you've come to learn a lot of random information about a stranger and her cat, I'll let you in on a little sneak peak of what's to come. I'll probably write plenty more about Calvin, as he's my muse - or should that be mewse... haha - as well as product/movie reviews, jibber-jabber on different countries and cities, artsy-fartsy stuff, and talking about food, as well as lots more :P

So, if you're still reading this, then... wow... and thank you! And I hope I wasn't too boring. Please leave a comment or question or maybe if you just want me to check out your blog(s), I'd be more than happy :) Byeeeeeeeeeeeee,

Izzy ♥ - Life, love, and laughter.

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