Interview with Personal Stylist Ruchika Chani

Ruchika Chani is a personal stylist who also provides wardrobe edits to those who wish to refresh their closets and overall style. She comes from New York where she has worked in fashion with some of the top brands and consulted many celebrities on trends and personal styling. She specializes in colour analysis, body shape and style analysis, wardrobe coordination & organisation, packing for travel and personal shopping for women and men of all ages.  Styling and image consulting services are provided for individuals, groups, and business professionals.

Ruchika how did you get into Personal Styling?

I grew up around fashion and textiles and was always mesmerized by the colors and fabrics. My creative side was ignited and the flame only grew as I got older which led me to helping friends who started their own lines and would come to me to style their photoshoots. Things moved quickly from that point and I was soon doing shoots for swimwear lines like Brette Sandler and Zoe nyc.

What are your favorite brands?

We are spoilt for choice in the fashion industry. I have a new favorite with every season, this season I’m loving Haider Akermann and Peter Pilotto. My timeless favorites are Valentino, Chanel and Tom Ford.

How would you describe your style?

It changes daily on my mood.

Comfort is my motto. I will never wear something I’m not comfortable in and I like to mix all kinds of styles together from rocker chic to ladylike florals. I would say my style is edgy and fun yet classic.

How do you conduct a session with a client?

I am very goal oriented with my clients. If they aren’t happy then I’ve failed. The key is knowing when to push them out their comfort zone. I start with getting to know what they want to change or improve on and take it from there.

What is the best part about giving someone a wardrobe edit?

The best way to describe a wardrobe edit is that it is the equivalent of an intense workout and at the end you feel lighter, stronger and a sense of accomplishment that is visible.

Any tips you’d like to share with our audience on updating their fall style?

This season its all about black white and grey, houndstooth and tartan. I love it!

Book Your Personal Styling Consultation or Wardrobe Edit with Ruchika today. Contact us for more information

Meet Celebrity Make Up Artist Karuna Chani

karuna chani

Karuna Chani is an internationally recognized and accomplished make up artist, image and skin care consultant. Catering to the crème de la crème of South Asians both in the US and internationally, she is also a beauty contributor to top fashion publications and online press like Marie Claire India, Hello Magazine India, Cosmopolitan Magazine Indonesia,, etc. Also touching the faces of notable figures like Priyanka Chopra, Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon, Shahani Goswami; her clients will tell you that her talent lies in her ability to bring the runway to realway! A fierce advocate for women’s rights and empowerment, Karuna takes every opportunity to help women feel confident, powerful and sexy.  So as Karuna is one of the best in the business, we’re excited to welcome her to So-Famous as one of our exclusive beauty contributors.

And kicking off her the start of many beauty tips to come  is her first piece on Foundation!! How do you find the right foundation for you? Karuna’s got you covered with all you need to know!

Picking out the right foundation shade can be a problem for women of all races, but it can be especially difficult for Olive and Brown skin tones. Though the range of shades and cosmetic lines for women of color has improved over the years, many lines still don’t go beyond caramel. And even for those with a lighter complexion, it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to wear the lighter shades. This is because most cosmetics brands often have a pink undertone, which is obviously incorrect for brown skin tones.

The wrong shade of foundation can look orange, pasty or muddy on darker skin. 
So when picking a foundation, it’s important to match not only the color of your skin but its undertones (i.e., yellow/golden, pink/red and olive) as well. Then lastly, it’s important to match the tone and warmth of your complexion.

When ready to test your foundation, test from your cheekbone to jaw line, or if you feel you may be sensitive skin type, use the lower jaw line to neck. But NEVER, EVER  use the back of your hand. The hand is actually the worst place to test a product and color that is meant for your face. Testing your foundation on your face will more easily reveal your undertone and quickly narrow the search when trying to pick the right foundation.

First choose a color that appears to match your overall skin tone, then after applying it to your cheekbone to jaw line area, after a couple minutes confirm that it also matches your undertones as well. Next it’s time to determine whether your tone is light, medium, or dark and either warm, cool or neutral. To do this, try  two to three different shades on each cheek, letting them sit for 30 minutes to set and oxidize. If after 30 minutes of wear the foundation seems to be close to invisible and natural…You’ve got yourself the perfect shade!

If you’re not comfortable choosing your foundation on your own, it’s best to go to a high-end cosmetic boutique or department store. Carefully pick the artist at the counter that is not only closest to your skin tone, but also suits your sense of style. Then have them help you find your perfect foundation, using the guidelines above.

DISCLAIMER: It’s normal to have two different shades of foundation. One for the summer months when skin has a sun-kissed glow, and another for the winter months when skin is a shade or two lighter because the absence of sun makes skin fairer.

BEST Foundation brands for Olive and Brown Skin Tones:

1.       NARS – Sheer Glow

2.       Giorgio Armani – Luminous Silk Foundation

3.       Laura Mercier – Tinted Moisturizer w/ SPF 20

4.       Bobbi Brown – Skin Foundation w/ SPF 15

5.       Makeup Forever – HD Foundation

For beauty tips and more information  Email:

Marie Claire-July 2012(1)

An Interview With Dubai’s Beauty Dannielle Blaker

Dannielle Blaker

What do you love most about Dubai Dannielle?

There are so many things I love about Dubai, but the main thing for me is beach living! The weather has had a tremendous impact on me and has made outdoor activities easy accessible which has become a big part of my lifestyle and makes me happy. I’ve spent most of my life in cold weather cities with a lot of rain (Vancouver, London, Luxembourg) and until I moved to Dubai, I had no idea how much weather affected my mood. I’m more positive and I’ve finally become a morning person who loves waking up, as I’m greeted with sunshine!

Tell us about your beauty routine Dannielle!

I’m a firm believer that what you eat and your lifestyle contribute to a person’s beauty. For me, I try to incorporate eating well (lots of greens and water) into my routine along with weekly reflexology to keep the energy flowing. As for skincare, I use a gentle face scrub 4 times a week followed by a toner with 2% salicylic acid as I’m a little obsessed with getting rid of dead skin. I have several night creams on rotation depending on level of moisture needed and I always wear at least 30 SPF on my face everyday.

What are 3 of your favorite beauty products?

– I really like Alba Botanica products and I’ve recently discovered their Deep Clean Astringent toner.

– The Faceshop ( South Korean brand) BB Cream Power Perfection.

– Natura Bisse C+C vitamin scrub

Best Makeup tip you d like to share with our audience?

This is a really big secret but it’s the best tip I’ve ever been told so I’ll share it. There’s a liquid solution called Latisse and if you apply it to your eyelashes regularly, they grow crazy long! I get it from the US and it’s usually by prescription only, however I think it’s become available over the counter now due to popularity.

How do you stay in such great shape?

I run a lot. I find it’s the best way to keep fit and it’s a great stress relief for me. I like to mix up the running with yoga, Cross Fit and I love trying all the new fitness trends/ classes that come to Dubai. I get bored easily and I find this keeps exercise interesting. I also go horse riding 2 times a week and play on a competitive beach volleyball team.

Anything else you’d like to share?

This wonderful city is new but it’s growing up so fast and it’s great to be a part of it. I work in digital advertising and this is somewhat new to the Middle East compared to North America or Europe. I love being part of an industry that is learning, pushing the boundaries and trying new things everyday. It allows us to be innovative within this region.

Dannielle Blaker


Our Favorite Beauty Products/ Wilhelmina Models Dubai Headbooker

Cynthia Gutierrez, Wilhelmina Models Dubai’s headbooker is responsible for bringing international models with different looks and style to the region and we asked her to share some of her favorite products.

Favorite Perfume?

Euphoria by Calvin Klein


What is the one make up product you dont leave the house without?

My black or green eyeliner. I use Maybelline express liner.


What color nailpolish are you currently wearing?

For the toes I like colorful colors, but for the hands I prefer dark ones. I love black nails


Who are your favorite models Cynthia?

For the runway I have to say Naomi Campbel because her walk is amazing. For natural beauty I would have to say Christy Turlington. For male models I really like the look of Willie Carter and Sean O’Dry who has perfect cheek bones and amazing eyes.


Sean O'pry

willie carter

If you had to pick one brand that best represents your style which one would it be?

Its very difficult to pick just one brand I love to mix style so I’m not loyal to just one brand but for everyday I like Spanish brands such as Blanco, Lynx or Bimba & Lola.

What’s one fashion trend you don’t like?

Platform shoes! I hate them.


Beauty Tips & Our Favorite Products

Every week we will be updating our blog with our own SO Famous team’s insider beauty tips with product information and much more. Today we share our General Manager Leila Antakly’s personal favorites.

Favorite Perfume?

Love in Black by Creed

love in black

What is the one make up product you dont leave the house without?

Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzer


Favorite Mascara?

Lancome’s Hypnose

lancome hypnose

Favorite day cream and skincare products?

I love Obagi day moisturizer and I love my friend Jen Yen’s skincare line called Purlisse.


Who are your favorite fashion models?

Lily Aldridge for her natural beauty and model turned yogi Cameron Alborzian.

lily aldridget


Which fashion brand best represents your style?

Zadig & Voltaire


Is there a beauty trend you dont like?

Yes, feathered manicures!

feathered manicure


Mastering Dewy Looking Skin

dewy skin

Dewy skin effect is difficult to fake. You can’t just dust on shimmer powder and hope for the best. Because what’s really beautiful about dewy skin is that it is a natural glow that looks like it’s coming from within your complexion, not on top. The key is hydration, hydration, hydration. Your skin is constantly craving moisture so if you give it the right mix it will perk up instantly. 

Exfoliate Whether you use a peel, scrub, or glycolic-infused cleanser, nothing helps plump up dull skin like sloughing off dead skin cells. Try to exfoliate in one way or another at least twice a week to keep your complexion looking fresh.

Use a hydrating mask Here’s one step that gets skipped far too often. Even if you never forget to apply moisturizer, worship night cream, and practically bathe in serum, you’re skin still needs the special kind of TLC that can only come from a hydrating mask. Why? Think of it like this: even if you eat relatively healthy you still probably need to take vitamins. Well, a mask once a week is an intense, concentrated dose of all the medicines (antioxidants, vitamins, and acids) your skin needs in one sitting. Opt for a brightening one, which will instantly give skin a natural glow.



Anti-Aging Makeup Tricks

Anti-Aging Makeup Tricks

anti aging

The right foundation or lip color can make you look younger—instantly.

If your skin seems dull, try a foundation with light-reflecting particles (they’re tiny, so you won’t look like a showgirl). “They hide flaws and make skin look radiant,” says makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. Any formula labeled illuminating, brightening, or luminous will do the trick. Try Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation

Smooth lids with shimmer

A neutral-colored shimmery shadow is like Spanx for crepe-y eyelids: It gives the illusion of tautness. Use a powder — not cream — shadow one shade lighter than your skin, such as Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin (for light skin), Baked (for medium), or Smog (for dark),

Airbrush skin with primer

It makes you look like you’re always standing in flattering light, says makeup artist Maria Verel. “Primer blurs the appearance of uneven skin and fine lines, so your face seems smoother.” Rub on a pea-size drop after moisturizing — even if you don’t wear foundation over it. Verel likes Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer,

Fight gravity with eyeliner

“After age 40, eyelids can start to droop at the outer corners,” says Sandy Linter, a Lancôme makeup artist. Her fix: Line your top lash line with a creamy black pencil, then use a pointed Q-tip to smudge the line slightly up and out past the outer corner “to create a subtle lift.”

Stay Trim On Vacation


Follow these two simple strategies when planning your next holiday-

1. Work out early


Studies have shown that morning exercisers are most likely to stick with their fitness routine. The same rule may apply for exercising on vacation. And don’t worry if you can’t slot in time for your regular-length exercise; a shorter workout, even just 10 or 20 minutes, is better than nothing, especially on vacation, where your main goal is to stave off weight gain.


2. Be Active

Even if you can’t fit in a formal workout, you can still toast some calories on active excursions. Go hiking with a pack (to burn about 490 calories in an hour), cycling (to burn about 420 calories) or rock climbing (to burn about 563 calories).  Or locate a tour operator that offers running (or biking) tours of your destination, so you can sweat off vacation goodies while learning about the area.


Beauty Tips From Cynthia Abdel Karim

Dior Addict

What are some of your favorite beauty products?
Revive-moisturizing renewal cream.  Its a moisturizing cream that you apply overnight and it does exactly what it says on the jar.. it gently exfoliates, evens out skin /wrinkles and gives you a great glow. When I use it, I wake up and my skin feels dewy, i love that word, fresh and glowing.


Dior- Lip glow : A friend told me about this one, it looks like a chap stick…but when you apply it on your lips magic happens. It basically brings out the color in your lips, like you’re not wearing lipstick…but have naturally red snow white type of au naturel lips. It looks different on each person that uses it as it enhances your lip color.

Cle de Peau -Foundation gives you fabulous even skin tone that lasts all day. Lasts being the operative word, no matter the weather or day you’re having it stays on and your skin looks flawless.  Whenever I travel to the states I load up on it and am always buying stock for my sister, friends etc. a great brand.

What are your tips to protect your skin from the hot summer months ahead?

One has to drink water, moisturize and use sunscreen. I’m good at the last two, I never drink enough water but you have to in Dubai.

How do you get ready for beach season?

Its beach time all year in Dubai, which actually forces you to stay fit all year long. I have a trainer that I’ve been working out with for several years that I swear by, Jane Head. She has a studio where you are max 4 people so she’s very attentive to you and makes sure you are doing everything right vs lost in a big class.  Her technique is core resistance training, so you isolate muscle and use a percentage of your own body weight to work out.

I also love yoga., its great for the mind and body.
And for the best results I just watch what I eat, basically cutting out wheat and dairy although I love food too much to diet.

How do you get the latest news on Fashion and Trends?

I never buy fashion magazines. I mainly go on online portals, websites or newsletters to see what’s new. In fact I even go online to shop cause I find stores too hectic and uninspiring

How do you keep a balance in your busy life?

I really need my downtime so I try not to make too many plans during the week and I need my 8 hours of sleep. Working out regularly is also really the key.

Quick Way to Smooth Skin: Dry Brushing

dry brushing

Dry brushing is a great way to slough flaky, dead skin off your body, especially as prep before applying self-tanner.

Spas have offered the service forever, and doing it at home is ridiculously easy. All you need is a soft natural-bristle brush. “When you give people brushes of all sorts, they think it’s a scrub brush—like you’re cleaning pots and pans,” says  dermatologist Karyn Grossman. “But this is your skin, and you need to be gentle. You’re not supposed to be red or scratched after.” She recommends rubbing in a light, circular motion before hopping into the shower, taking it easy on your chest and avoiding your face completely.  “You can be a little tougher on your knees, elbows, ankles, and the tops of your feet, where the skin is thicker.”

Then, when you’re ready to shower, cleanse with a mild body wash and follow up with an equally mild moisturizer; a bolder scrub or anti-acne wash may leave the skin stinging. “You’re removing that surface layer, which temporarily makes your skin more sensitive. Otherwise, for two minutes of dry brushing, you will be rewarded with skin that feels soft, smooth, and instantly refreshed.