Tags: skincare

Korean Beauty Secrets

My best friend is obsessed with K pop and practically everything related to Koreans. So naturally she pulled me into it. While I can’t sit through a single episode of Korean dramas (way too lovey dovey for my taste), I listen to their music sometimes and I love the movie called 200 Pound Beauty!

Koreans have certain beauty standards that might be considered different to western culture. While its all the rage to be tanned in America, Koreans prefer snow white skin.

Koreans are really obsessed with beauty. Other than being one of the places where plastic surgery ads are commonly seen on the streets, they also have beauty secrets. The one I’ll talking about is the 10 step skincare rountine


The 10 Step Skincare Routine

Because your usual cleanse, tone and moisturise isn’t enough. “Skincare is a culture in Korea”, so it’s obvious that these women would definitely have a lengthier skincare regime.

Step 1 – Remove the day’s makeup with a moist towelette. Next use a gentle oil cleanser to remove any sebum or any impurities that might be found on your skin.

Step 2 – Wash your face with a mild cleanser or face wash.

Step 3 – Exfoliate problem areas. If you have visible pores or blackheads, concentrate on those parts of the face.

Step 4 – Pat your face dry and apply toner on your face. Opt for toners that are hydrating.

Step 5 – Apply Essence. It’s a nourishing liquid that is concentrated and helps improve elasticity, firmness and brightness.

Step 6 – Apply Ampoule. It’s a more condensed version of essence and is packed with vitamins. A few drops is enough.

Step 7 – It’s Mask time. Do this only 2 or 3 times a week. You can opt for facial sheet masks or you can choose an eye patches that boost collagen or a lip mask that hydrates your lips.

Step 8 – Eye cream. While applying eye cream make sure you don’t tug at the skin or pull it. Be as gentle as you can.

Step 9 – Emulsify. Basically apply a moisturiser on your face and neck

Step 10 – Cream mask. Apply a layer of night cream. This helps keep your skin hydrated throughout the night.


For amazing Korean beauty products, Check out Sokoglam.com 

- Neha Prasad

7 Must Haves For The Summer

There’s three ways to be sure that summer in Dubai has begun. One, your makeup melts off within five minutes of stepping out. Two, the temperature reaches 30 degrees before the clock hits 9am. Three, the roads are surprisingly empty because everyone’s on a vacay.


If you aren’t travelling anywhere this summer, here’s a list of things you need to survive summer in Dubai.


1. The Trio: A pair of shades, sunscreen and a floppy hat. (For those brave souls who go to the beach in this weather, may you never get sunburnt)

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2. Triangl swimsuits (For those late night pool parties)

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3. Moisturiser with a high SPF. (Nobody wants to look older than they actually are)

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4. Sandals. (Anything that doesn’t completely cover your foot and make it sweat, like sneakers)

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5. Pedicure. (Your feet need to be at their best since you’ll be wearing open toe shoes)



6. Maxi dresses. (Pants? In this weather? Nope)

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7. Skater dresses (For chic evenings out)

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- Neha Prasad

Supermodel Beauty Secrets



“Use a great concealer, it can hide a multitude of sins, apply a small amount over any blemishes before you add foundation, as you may find you don’t need more coverage.” – Claudia Schiffer



“My favourite Rimmel products are their eyeliners. I can’t live without black eyeliner – it’s my absolute essential.” – Kate Moss




“Use intensive masks on your tresses and have it trimmed regularly, I also take vitamin supplements to keep my hair healthy from the inside out.” – Eva Herzigova



Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award Honoring Iman and Missoni

“Patricia Wexler is my dermatologist, and 10 years ago, she told me to start wearing SPF 50 sunscreen on my face every day. I said, “I have dark skin, I don’t need that high of an SPF every day!” But I took her advice, and I’m convinced that’s why my skin has stayed in such good condition.” – Iman



“My skin is sensitive so I use mostly natural products. Less is more in my opinion. I use coconut oil for body and tea tree oil and green tea face wash.” – Candice Swanepoel




“Get your eyebrow shape right, it can make a real difference to the structure of your face” – Naomi Campbell




“For fitness, I mix it up and always remain active. I mix boxing with cardio and pilates. If I’m not busy or working, I’ll work out every day. If I am busy, I’ll try to at least sneak in 30 minutes or try to work out every other day.” – Joan Small


- Neha Prasad

How to Keep Your Skin Blemish Free




Here are a couple tips to keep your skin blemish free and beautiful all year long!

  • Water is your best friend. Add lemon or mint to flavour your water.
  • Always wear sunscreen. SPF 30 is a minimum if you live in UAE.
  • Avoid touching your face with your fingers as much as you can.
  • Exfoliate! Removing the layer of dead cells will lighten blemishes.
  • using lemon juice also lightens/ bleaches the blemishes and helps in achieving an even skin tone.
  • Cleanse, tone, moisturise. This is the golden mantra.
  • Regularly wash your pillowcase. Any surface that your face comes into contact with needs to be clean.

- Neha Prasad

Beauty Products In Your Kitchen Part Deux

One post isn’t enough to sum up all the amazing natural beauty products that you can find in your kitchen, so here’s part deux…


  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is known for being a acne remedy. It removes the excess oil from your face and exfoliates dead skin cells. Add honey or tea tree oil to cooked oatmeal to use it as a facial mask. Let the oatmeal cool and then apply. Rinse off after 15 minutes.



  • Sugar – Brown sugar is amazing for exfoliating skin and keeps it healthy and from breaking out. You can use for your face, body and hair. For making a simple scrub, add olive oil to brown sugar. The consistency of the scrub should be more grainy than liquid.


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  • Avocado – Avocado is a triple threat. Other than being yummy to eat, it’s also fantastic for your hair, skin and health. It helps reduce wrinkles, moisturises your skin and nourishes your hair. For a avocado hair mask, add a  finely mashed avocado, yoghurt, olive oil and a egg yolk. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse.



  • Cucumber – Cucumber helps in reducing and lightening dark circles around your eyes, they also reduce puffiness. Place two slices of cucumber on your eyes for 20 minutes and relax.



  • Lemon – Lemon juice is wonderful in reducing scars and helps in fading dark spots. It helps in brightening skin and makes it soft. For a moisturising mask, mix equal parts of lemon juice , honey and olive oil. Keep it on for 10 minutes or until dry and rinse with warm water.


- Neha Prasad

Beauty Products in Your Kitchen

Before the various coloured goop in neatly packaged bottles and jars, you had your humble home made beauty remedies made from things you could find in the kitchen. Other than being cheap, these remedies are, obviously, au naturel. So ladies, Ditch the goop for some time and get concocting.


  • Aloe Vera – The plant has healing properties and can be used to heal scars and spots. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells and it also increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. The best way to use Aloe Vera, is to cut it in between exposing the fleshy part that contains the sap. Apply it to a freshly cleansed face.


  • Olive Oil – Olive oil has anti inflammatory qualities and can be used as a moisturiser, a mask and even as an exfoliator. extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed are best for using it on your skin. Olive oil does not clog pores. Mix olive oil and sugar to make a body scrub.


  • Almond Oil – Almond oil is used mainly for hair. It promotes hair growth. Its also strengthens the roots and makes hair shiny. You can apply the oil hot or cold onto the scalp directly. Let it soak for about an hour and wash your hair.


  • Turmeric – Now this ingredient is really common in indian curries. It has antiseptic  properties. It helps in reducing acne and hair growth on the body. But it gets messy and tends to stain everything you touch. You can mix it with any oil of your preference, milk or water and apply it on your skin. This helps lighten the appearance of stretch marks.


  • Honey – It’s full of antioxidants, which are good for wrinkles and aging skin. It is antibacterial, which helps with acne treatments and prevention. It clarifies skin by opening up and unclogging pores. Apply honey on your face like a face mask and let it sit for 15 – 30 mins and rinse it off with warm water.

- Neha Prasad

Organic Products

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We got lots of feedback and comments on S.O’s post and advice on organic make up so here we are with more information.

Stefanie what ingredient one should look at while choosing an organic makeup product?

Personally, I suggest looking out for USDA organic-certified products and be aware of so called “natural” products, which only claim to be natural and they are in fact petroleum based and contain in fact only very little plant extracts and lots of artificial fragrances.

What are the advantages of using organic makeup products for long term use?

I believe that using organic makeup and skincare can definitely improve the condition of your skin but also help to limit the amount of toxins we are exposing ourselves to. By detoxing and absorbing less toxins, you start looking more beautiful and believe it or not begin to lose weight considering that you are following a healthy diet as well.

Which organic products do you recommend to keeping skin healthy and fresh?

I have begun washing with face with Manuka honey and using Organic Argan Oil as a night cream and organic Shea butter whipped with Argan Oil for Daytime. I also really love Dr. Hauschka products which I buy at the Organic Shop.

SPF Protection


Even though its been “cold”  for Dubai standards, we still get a lot of sun here so our blog contributor Georgina Antakly decided to do a post on the importance of SPF. Little known facts you may or may not already know. Contrary to what many of you believe, wearing SPF does not translate into not getting a tan, plus do you really want to look like Snookie from the Jersey shore? Here are some secret pointers and the best options out there to keep your skin smooth, glowing and more importantly safe from the sun.
Did you know?

Research has found that the number one skin cancer spot on women is their calves, be sure to cover yourself from head to toe in SPF. Many people put SPF around the main spots on their face but forget important and sensitive areas such as the hairline and ears.

Sunscreens DO have an expiration date and the protecting ingredients can break down in the heat, so be sure to store them somewhere shady and check their expiration regularly.

Always be sure to reapply after taking a dip, sweating or in general after two hours just to be safe and not burn.

Some of my favorite products out there now-

For a good general SPF go with Supergoop a new brand that comes in all different styles, SPF for the face and body and after suncare. Cream not your thing ? go with an oil-based SPF such as L’oreal Sublime Sun 50+, For those of you that are more outdoorsy, try Neutrogena Ultimate Sport 100+. For those of you who spend a lot of time traveling, a good everyday one is Estee Lauder Daywear Spf 50. For those of you that want a good ole fashioned tropical smelling SPF, Hawaiian Tropic brings you a new line of ultra luxe products such as the Silk Hydration which starts at SPF 15 and up, you can also try their new Aloe Vera cream for a relaxing cooling sensation.

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Last but not least, you can always fake a sun-kissed body, Most brands are coming out with their own lines of self-tanners, my favorite ones are L’oreal Sublime Bronze that comes in an airbrush spray so you get a flawless, streakless look or you can get it in lotion form. For a pricier option, you can try the St. Tropez brand, which many of today’s celebrities swear by. Ladies at the end of the day, just remember that sexy glow does not always pay off at the end, be smart and SPF savvy and go enjoy those summer vacations you’ve worked so hard for.


S.O. Beauty Tips


Today our S.O. office manager Vanessa, shares some of her favorite beauty products and brands.


Avon’s charming pomegranate Moisture Rich Lipstick- It’s just like a lipstick and lip gloss in one!


Estee Lauder Double Wear Mascara and Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

Skincare routine?

Day and Night Cream by Sonya Skin Care

Favorite model or beauty inspiration?

Miranda Kerr for her stunning natural beauty

Favorite perfume for a night out?

Fan di  Fendi


Have You Heard of Coconut Oil Pulling?

Stefanie Ost recently read this article on MIND BODY GREEN and decided to try it at home. She has since become a fan of “oil pulling” and raves on the results.  The following excerpt comes from the article.

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. It’s a simple practice, with quite remarkable results. Many have heard of it, but never actually dove in to try it. It definitely has a mystical and exciting vibe around it, which made me eager to try. But what exactly is it? What does it do?

To oil pull, simply swish your choice of unrefined, high quality oil in your mouth; similar to the way you would use a mouthwash. My favorite is coconut oil. This can be done anywhere from five to 20 minutes. The process attracts and removes bacteria, toxins, and parasites that live in your mouth or lymph system, and also pulls congestion and mucus from your throat and loosens up your sinuses, which is amazing! With the help of your saliva, all these scary undesirables bind with the oil, ready to be disposed of. Pulling also helps re-mineralize your teeth and strengthen your gums by thoroughly cleansing the area. This sounds good, right? But how exactly do you do it?

Traditionally, oil pullers used virgin sesame oil. The reason I prefer to use raw coconut oil is because it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and enzymatic properties. This provides the added benefit of killing any unwanted bacteria that may be residing in the mouth, while leaving behind healthy probiotic strains. A perfect exchange!

To start, scoop ½ to 1 full tablespoon of oil into the mouth; if it’s cold, allow the oil to melt. Now push, swirl, and pull the oil between your teeth, around your gums, and allow it to touch every part of your mouth except your throat. You don’t want the oil getting in contact with your throat because it’s now carrying somewhat toxic material. No gargling!

Have fun with it, though! Hum a little song, or practice deep breathing through your nose. Allow this to be a sacred time. Enjoy the feeling of cleansing, the relaxation with the absence of talking. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of smiling with a mouth full of oil. Something about it just feels so right!

Once your time pulling is over, spit into the trash or toilet, but never the sink — the oil could solidify and clog your drain. Now rinse your mouth out with clean water two or three times. Finally, drink a glass of water and relax. You should be feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Why oil pull? A popular reason for oil pulling is to find relief from congestion in the sinuses and throat. It is unbelievable how quickly this happens! Immediately after rinsing, you will find yourself blowing your nose and clearing your throat. I have worked with people struggling with chronic sinus congestion who experienced relief unlike anything else, after oil pulling only once! Their condition improved and the congestion eventually went away completely.

I began pulling to benefit my gums and teeth, which used to be extremely sensitive. My gums strengthened, and teeth became much whiter! It also proved to be beneficial to my skin, which cleared up dramatically, and became bright and almost glowing. Swishing with coconut oil has also proven to be beneficial to those with skin disorders such as psoriasis, and is great for anyone who wants to detox and begin taking better care of their immune system.

Oil pulling can be done at any time of the day, but for a more thorough detox, its best to do this in the morning, before eating or drinking. If you are having a hard time fitting oil pulling into your routine, I’ve found a nice time to do this is while in the shower. This way, you aren’t counting the clock until the minutes are up; simply spit when your shower is done.