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Makeup, Don’t FakeUp

With the increasingly large numbers of fake cosmetics flooding the Market, health risks have increased tremendously! What could begin as an exciting new product trial can turn into a disastrous nightmare!! I was devastated to find out how many people had been conned into buying fake makeup unknowingly. At each of my makeup classes there was at least one victim and that’s what inspired me to start @LaBoutique.za where I could personally guarantee each and every product myself!

While fake bags and clothes can’t harm you, the use of fake cosmetics is a cause of real concern. While the original products will usually be packed with good ingredients fake cosmetics can expose your skin to harmful ingredients like cyanide, arsenic, rat poison, urine or lead that definitely shouldn’t be in your household, much less your makeup!

Unfortunately, it’s becoming extremely tough to spot fake makeup at first glance. Ive listed a few guidelines that will hopefully help you steer clear of falling into the trap of using these hazardous products unknowingly!

1. Consider the market price:
If the price of the item you’re purchasing is way below market price and it sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is!

2. Buy from reliable sources:
Choose retailers that are reliable and in good standing. No fly by nights! Some just pop up to make a buck and are gone the next day.

3. Look closely at the packaging:
As close as the replicas get, there are always slight differences in packaging to the original. The quality of the material used, the fonts and colours are usually a good indication. Bad spelling, Uneven Fonts and inconsistent patterns are a dead giveaway. Sometimes you see a version of a product that the brand itself never ever had.

4.  Test the product:
If you’ve already purchased something try testing it out. To maintain a lower price, replicas usually compromise on quality and the product could apply patchy and of a poorer quality to the original. Fakes tend to have a lesser pigment payoff or a slightly different shade.

5. Please avoid makeup sold at China Malls and the like. China has strict laws for products being sold in china and product manufactured in China as well, but products with harmful ingredients are found in our local markets originating from China.

I always advise my students to rather opt for a cheaper alternative from a drug store, one that has undergone testing and gained the necessary health approvals, than buying fake makeup!!

Be careful and make wise decisions!!

Lots of Love Raeesah 🙂

Huda Beauty Lip Contour

It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with the flawless UAE blogger Huda Kattan and her lip contour range is no different! She recently launched her set of lip contours which sold out worldwide within moments. And with good reason! The colours are beautiful, the texture sublime and the staying power just incredible!

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Each lip contour is a creamy lip pencil that goes on matte and doesn’t move an inch once it’s set! Huda Beauty Lip Contour comes in 9 different shades featured below from left to right: Vixen,Video Star, Icon, Trophy wife, Gossip Gurl, Trendsetter, Bombshell, Cheerleader, Famous.

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I’ve been using them in 3 different ways since I got my hands on them.

1. Use them as a lip liner with any lipstick or gloss already in your collection.

2. Apply the lip contour all over the lip as a long lasting matte lip colour.

3. My favourite way: Choose 2 colours of the amazing contour. Apply the darker colour along the outside of the lips. Add small vertical lines in between the lip as well. Apply the second lighter colour over and blend a bit. Overall effect: your lips look fuller and your pout is puffier!  Voila: your lips are now contoured!!!

I’m so excited about this new product and look forward to all the new and amazing things she will share with us in the future! Her amazing personality and vaste knowledge makes her one of my favourite beauty bloggers of all time!!

The contours are scheduled to restock soon. My advice: get your hands on 1 or all ASAP!!

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Lots of love
Raeesah

Mini Bag Mania!

The  Fast growing Street style trend of sporting your favourite designer handbag in a teeny tiny size is hard to resist! Converting to the minis and nanos of the fashion world might take some extra effort for those of us who instinctively reach for the largest bag our arms can carry! The bigger bag trend of the past had the benefit of fitting all our daily essentials and then some, without a second thought! Just throw it all in and you’re good to go!!

The mini bag, however, requires a bit more planning and skill. An IPhone, sunglasses, credit card and gloss is about as much as you’ll manage to squeeze in! However, the hint of sophistication added by these adorable armcandies make it well worth the effort.

As much love as I have for these mini’s, I am in no way ready to completely forsake my huge totes! I’ve found its all about balance. Keep the carryalls for school runs and soccer practice and whip out the nano’s for more ladylike adventures!

I’ve rounded up my top ten mini must haves  but with the way things are going I’m sure this list will keep growing!!

Hope you find the perfect mini masterpiece ❤❤

  1. Fend Peekaboo Mini

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2. Moynat Rejane mini

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3. Gucci Mini Top Handle

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4. Fendi Micro

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5. Michael Kors Ava Mini Bag

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6. Zara City bag

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7. Zara Embossed City bag

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8. Louis Vuitton mini capucine

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9. Chanel Round Messenger

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10. Louis Vuitton Palm Springs mini backpack/crossbody

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Makeup Detox

 

A day without makeup can be quite daunting for many of us but just bare with me while I explain what spurred on my mad makeup detox!
I’ve always been pedantic when it comes to removing my makeup thoroughly each day and those who’ve attended my class will know how much I stress on taking makeup free days or opting for tinted moisturizer just to give your skin a break! You might be surprised to know that even though I’m a makeup artist, I don’t wear makeup everyday and strongly believe in keeping your skin healthy at all costs!
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I recently came across an experiment in which a lady did not remove her makeup for 30 days. Tests done on her skin cells before and after showed that her skin had aged 10 years in that short time!! Shocking I know!
That was when I decided to begin my makeup detox week!! I decided to have a week free of makeup to allow my skin the opportunity to heal and breath! I can’t lie, I did miss my extra long lashes and rosy cheeks but it was definitely worth it. My skin felt healthier and more luminous given the chance to absorb the skin care products without any distractions!
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I really do recommend taking time off your makeup. Not the typical advice you would expect from a makeup blog I know, but bare in mind everything needs to breathe, especially your skin. If you can’t manage an entire week, try a day here and there or opt for lighter products to creams! Another option, if you really can’t bare to go without, is using healthy,mineral based products during the week and saving the heavier items for weekends or special occasions!
Have a glowing week!
Lotsa love
Raeesah

Shangri la Barr al Jissah

A few years ago a friend of mine had recommend I visit the Shangri-La resort in Oman. I had added it to my travel list but with so little time and many places to explore I just never got down to it.

This year I decided to make the best of our extended national day holiday and cart the family to the much talked about beach side resort for a week. Bar al jissah is a 30 minute drive from Muscat, the main city in Oman which is only a short 45 min flight from Dubai. However at the recommendation of my brother we all realized a road trip was long over due so we decided to brave it! We set off for the Oman border early Friday morning and the day was eventful to say the least. As luck would have it the first border we got to was closed and we had to re route to another which was then offline! Coupled with a thousand stops for the kids, a 5 hour journey ended up taking all of 9 hours and we arrived at the resort tired and crabby!

Luckily the resort and it’s amazing staff made certain that that was the last of the drama. The resort consists of 3 hotels: Al Husn, A bandar and Al Waha. Al Husn being the most exclusive of the 3 with the best rooms and beach areas is unfortunately only available to adults! However don’t despair the second best Al Bandar is worth traveling to Oman for. The resort offers a wide range of activities ranging from camel rides, mini golf, snorkeling, water sports and incredible Doplhin viewing trips. Be sure sure not to miss out on the luxurious spa treatments offered by the Chi spa especially the hammam and massage!

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Knowing me and my love for food, you won’t be surprised that I was most pleased about the exceptional food we were treated to. Breakfast and dinner was a different theme each day,ranging from seafood to Indian and everything in between. Lunch at the poolside was delicious and the beach was just as welcoming!

Overall it’s a great place for a family vacation especially if you live in the Middle East and want to avoid a long flight. The hotel is homely, the staff are helpful and obliging and the weather this time of year was great! I’m glad I finally made it to Oman, it was a trip worth taking!

Lotsa Love

Raeesah 🙂

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Tartelette Love

To say I’m obsessed with healthy ingredients in my makeup is an understatement. As much as I love the new fad pallettes my main concern is the well being of my skin. Take care of your skin and you’ll cut your makeup time down dramatically. Good skin means less stress with concealing and foundation and gives you extra time to spend on creating the artwork of your eyeshadow!

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For this reason I am always overjoyed when I find new brands that share my love for good ingredients. Tarte beauty is one those brands. The range is a leader in healthy, eco-chic beauty, offering cruelty-free cosmetics infused with skinvigorating ingredients like superfruit and plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, essential oils and other naturally-derived ingredients. And it gets better! All of their products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten. Their products are long lasting and the range of colours are beautiful and blend effortlessly.

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I highly recommend trying something from the range. The amazonian clay eyeshadows are my absolute favourite. I’m also very fond of the easy to use contour stick’s. They come in 3 shades and are the easiest to blend from any cream contour I’ve tried! The clay liner and lipsurgence (lip balm with a tint) are 2 other popular items worth giving a try!

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This year I’m most excited about their holiday collection. Not only do you recieve insane value for money, the packaging is to die for!!! From sequinz to shimmer there is no way you won’t fall in love with these beauties!

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Tarte is available at Sephora in the USA, online and @laboutiquedemaquillage in South Africa.

Hope you become a tartelette too!

Lotsa love

Raeesah 🙂

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Espadrille Obsessed!!

I was recently gifted a pair of gorgeous Louboutin espadrilles that made the shoe addict in me smile from ear to ear. I instantly fell in love and rushed out to add the white to my collection! Espadrilles are making a huge comeback and I’m obsessed!!

The infamous and much coveted Chanel espadrille is the one that started it all!! A pair of these gorgeous babies retail at almost $900  and even if you can afford a dent that size in your wallet, you’re not guaranteed to get one. The waiting list to get one of these are endless and the store is rumored to sell them out within 2 hours on the day they are restocked!

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For those of you willing to splurge on a pair of rocking espadrilles but don’t have the patience to wait for your Chanel’s, I’ve found a gorgeous range of options that will add some wonder to your wardrobe! Rock them with boyfriend jeans, a dungaree or even a cute dress to be both trendy and comfortable. Alternatively, an espadrille heel is perfect for the days you’d like to dress it up a bit!

Dior : An espadrille with touch of class. Mink is one of my favorite colours of the year and these Diors have just the right amount of sparkle.

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Gucci: These are super soft and perfect for everyday!! They’re those live in kind of shoes!!

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Fendi: Classic with a touch of pop. Loving the cobalt detail.

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Steve Madden: These come in two options: a thin and thicker sole. Both are super comfy and won’t put you too out of pocket.

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Top shop: They have both the heel and flat option so you’re spoilt for choice!

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Forever 21: Who said you have to spend a fortune to be fashionable? These are a steal not to be missed!!

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Zara: Classy and cool, I’m loving the combo of the linen and silver!

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I decided to wear mine a bit differently and pair them with a printed cape style abaya!

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Hope you find your perfect pair!

Lotsa love
Raeesah

A Glimpse of Turkey

On a last minute whim we decided to dash away to Turkey for the long weekend and it turned out to be an unforgettable few days!!

The start of  the Islamic month of Muharram spoiled us with a long weekend in Dubai and the family and I were tossing ideas around about options of a local getaway. Fast forward a few hours and we had settled on a weekend to Turkey! Quite a drastic leap from our original idea, I know, but as you get to know me better you’ll realise I thrive on spontaneity.

We decided on Tuesday morning, booked in the afternoon and were off on Wednesday.  Fortunately South Africans don’t need to apply for Turkish visas in advance so we could be on our way, hassle free.

We arrived in Turkey late Wednesday evening at the Four seasons Hotel in Sultan Ahmet. The location is ideal for a short trip as all the main tourist attractions are a stones throw away. I can not emphasize enough the hospitality and amazing service we received from the hotel, from the moment we checked in till we left. The attention to detail was astounding!! From our favourite snacks to prayer requirements, we were short of nothing!! They even included an entire toiletry set, chair, toys, snacks and games for my two boys which kept them fully occupied and allowed us time to settle in. Four Seasons hotels, in general, have to be on my list of top hotel chains in the world. Turkey would be my 5th destination staying at one of their hotels and it just gets better and better. There’s so much I’d like to share with you about my Four Seasons experiences that I’ve decided to do a separate post on them soon!

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With limited time, I decided to visit the most famous attractions: Topkapi museum, The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. I had goosebumps walking from one extroadirnary exhibit to the next. Seeing the staff of Moosa (A.S), the swords of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and the clothing of the great women of Islam was Surreal! That one experience alone would have made the entire trip worth it! This city was once part of the greatest empire in the world and the centre of Islamic learning and culture.

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The kids had a ball hopping from one street vendor to the next sampling the corn, roasted chest nuts and Simit bread!! Not forgetting the extra kilos we piled on from all the delicious Turkish delight. I quickly became addicted to the intense Turkish coffee. Definately an acquired taste, my advice, if it’s too strong at first don’t give up!! Try it with water, fresh Turkish delight, opting for small sips at a time and soon you’ll be able to taste the most amazing blend of coffee followed with an underlying taste of chocolate!! If you’re a strong coffee lover this is a dream come true!

My favourite part of this weekend getaway was  a treat at the Aya Sofia Hamam. It was definately the most interesting ‘bath’ I’ve had in my life!! The treatment begins with a deep exfoliation, followed by a revitalising clay masque and ends with a relaxing sultan massage!! I definately recommend you try it if you ever visit the city!! If you’re on the shy side perhaps opt for a private package or choose a time when you’re not likely to bump into another barely clothed human! Trust me, if you’re not expecting it, the sight can be quite shocking!!

Whats any trip without a little shopping! I headed over to taksim square to get a taste of the local vibe! I loved the hip atmosphere of the area and the little local treasures I found along the way. I then visited the famous Grand Bazaar. Here you can find the exact replica of almost every designer bag and shoe! I fell in love with the beautiful carpets!! Those handmade beauties are definately on my list for my next trip!

Since it was a quick weekend away, I couldn’t see as much as I would have liked to. It was just a glimpse of a city I hope to visit again soon, most definitely for a longer time to cover everything I missed! I feel like Istanbul is a city you might visit 10 times and still find something exciting and new on your 11th trip. It looks like a city full of hidden treasures I can’t wait to discover!! Send me your Turkey experiences!! Would love to hear about them and add them to my list too.

Lotsa love

Raeesah 🙂

Paris

French Escapade

I couldn’t think of a better way to launch my travel section than with a lovely trip down memory lane to one of my favorite cities, the City of Lights. As far back as I can remember my dream was to travel. While others dreamed of shoes, bags and dresses I only pondered about where my next adventure would take me. It hasn’t hurt that I’ve added gorgeous additions to my closet as a result of visiting so many wonderful places, after all girls will be girls, but for me there is no better feeling than venturing through a new city and discovering it’s hidden wonders!!

I traveled to France in March for a quick break during the school holidays. Weather isn’t ideal in Europe at this time of the year but we packed super warm and decided to brave it!!

Having traveled to Paris before, I was looking forward to taking my kids to Disneyland, once again dining along the famous Champs Elysees and shopping up a storm!

We decided to start out at Disneyland. We arrived quite early from Dubai and went directly to our Hotel at the Disney Park. The Park offers a selection of hotels, each with its own theme .We stayed at The Disneyland Hotel spectacularly situated at the entrance of the park. This hotel is the only 5 star option however bare in mind that the term 5 star is used generously in this case! Its neat, clean, comfortable but looks a little tired inside. We had an absolute ball at both parks: The Disney Hollywood Studios and Disney Land Park. I felt like a child again and enjoyed it just as much as my little ones. Its best to book directly with the Disney hotel or through a Disney agent in your area. If possible take the fast pass option as this really saves time and avoids spending valuable hours in long cues. I definitely recommend Euro Disney over Hong Kong Disney any day!

After a fun filled few days at Disney we headed for the center of Paris. This is about a half an hour drive by car. You could also use the public transport options connecting Paris and Disneyland. We checked in for the remainder of the trip at the Marriot Hotel Champs Elysees. The location of the Marriot is perfect, on the main street of the city. If its your first time in Paris this is where you need to be, you are a short distance away from most of the main Parisian attractions and there is easy access to food outlets, public transport and tour bus services. The Marriot Hotel Champs Elysees is a reasonably priced, 5 star hotel with neat and cozy rooms, modern décor and excellent service. I chose this hotel because the Champs Elysees is so vibrant and in close proximity to all my favorite shopping spots, including the makeup heaven Sephora! Almost everything is in walking distance, the Louvre, the Arc De Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. If your feet are barking from all the walking try a cab, bicycle or one of the tour buses to roam around this amazing city.

The InterContinental Avenue Marceau is another good hotel option in this area.  My two favorites are the Four Seasons Hotel George or Hotel Fouquet, pricey but simply exquisite!

My favorite shopping spots included the golden triangle: (Avenue George V, Champs Elysees and Avenue Montaigne), Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore for luxury shopping and a trip to the famous Galleries Lafayette which in my opinion is a must!! Make certain you visit one of the Christian Louboutin boutiques scattered around the city and take the time to stop for a delicious crepe! If you’re up for a splurge try dining at Fouquet where you’re bound to bump into a star or two while sipping on your soup. Alternatively spoil your palate with delectable macaroons, marshmallows and meringues at the famous Laduree café.

Paris is a great city for a week of fun, food, shopping and touring… romance is a given, it is Paris after all. The famous city of lights has so much to offer its impossible to cover in one trip let alone one post! It’s one of those cities that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy and has you deciding to return over and over!!

Lotsa love

Raeesah

 

 

Moynat Atelier

Moynat

My must have bag for 2015 is the Moynat Rejane. Made in France, It takes a single craftsman over 20 hours to make a Réjane, including cutting, assembling, stitching and finishing the bag. Lining and interlining is made of leather. The inside of the handle is sculpted leather.

Moynat is one of the oldest trunk makers in world established in 1849 well known for its hand crafted made to order leather goods and trunks. The company had become world renowned for their Automobile luggage in the early 1900’s. The house of Moynat closed their boutique doors In 1976 and the brand lay dormant until the it was revived by LVMH in 2011. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of Moynat’s Quattro’s which has become a necessity in my collection. For those who want a bag a little more exclusive and not as wide spread as other luxury brands, find a Moynat. Can’t wait to get my hands on one of the Rejane’s