International Friendship Day with Yalla Spree

In honor of International Friendship Day, which was on August 7th, I’ve partnered with Yalla Spree and Micaroon Makeup for the ultimate beauty giveaway. All participants receive a 20% discount, and 10 lucky winners will receive a goodie bag filled with some fabulous Micaroon products.

Yalla Spree is the UAE’s largest retail directory, offering everything from shop locations and reviews, to the hottest sales and bargains. I love visiting the many Dubai malls just to do some browsing and window shopping, but I was amazed at how many store locations I wasn’t aware of until I came across Yalla Spree. It’s also a great way to get updates on new items and special promotions that come up.

Macaroon Makeup just launched their liquid matte lipsticks, and this is the perfect opportunity to get your hands on some of their beautiful colors. To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is visit the Yalla Spree campaign page here and post a selfie telling us what your favorite color means to you. Tag your besties, share the love and show us your pretty pouts. Good luck babes!

xo Rania

“A friendship is a soul trapped in two bodies.”

Bella Maxi by Flynn Skye

I came across Flynn Skye on Instagram and immediately loved their feminine and laid back designs. The Bella Maxi sells out so fast that I had to stay on alert for days until I was able to order it in this White Rose print. Another current favorite of mine is the lace up sandals and heels, especially in suede. They’re sexy with a bit of an edge which contrasts with the femininity of the floral print and flowy fabric of the dress.

I’m becoming more aware of where clothes are manufactured and making an effort to find and support up and coming designers and brands. Just like the weather, fashion trends ebb and flow and so does my style.

When I visited L.A. a few years ago, I was smitten with all the little boutiques, local designers and shops. California is home to beautiful beaches, a variety of cultures and really stylish people. Flynn Skye is the epitome of L.A. style, with so many prints for different tastes. Their designs can be worn during the spring, through summer and well into fall in warmer locations. If there are any brands and designers you’re loving lately, let me know so I can check them out!

xo Rania

flynn skye bella maxiflynn skyebella maxi flynn skyethe bella maxiwhite rose bella maxiwhite rosebella maxiBella Maxi dress: Flynn Skye. Photography by Natelee Cocks.

A special thanks to Comptoir 102 for letting us shoot in their beautiful space.

 

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Darling, You Were Made to Be Great

I know a little something about coming from a sheltered upbringing. I grew up in a loving home, my hand held tight with each step I take and my cocoon safe and warm. It’s true that we learn to swim better when we’re dropped in the deep end, with no floaters and only encouraging voices giving strength to our arms and legs. But what if no one tosses you in? What if you’re so lucky to have loved ones who can’t bear to see you struggle? Well for me, it left me afraid.

I questioned every decision I made, searching for validation from those hands that had always guided me, seeking comfort in our intertwined fingers. So I suppressed every fantasy, swallowed all my insecurities and watched the flame of adventure slowly burn out in my soul. I tiptoed in fear around my dreams, wishing I could believe in myself, hoping I could look in the mirror and see the little girl who wanted everything. For a long time I waited, but she never came.

I woke up one day, and just decided, I don’t want to feel this way anymore. So I set my hands free, broke ragged holes in my shell until my wings broke through and I let the fear consume me. This time the fear wouldn’t hold me back – this fear would wake me up.

I want you to know, you are not the sum of your shortcomings or failures. You are not just one thing – afraid, shy or inexperienced. You are not just a friend, a mother, a sister, a daughter, or a wife. You are not too old to change. You are not too young or too old to dream. It’s not too late to start over. Most importantly, it’s okay to be scared. Your fear doesn’t define who you are, because it only makes up a small part of you. The sun may shine brightly on a bed of clear blue, but when the moon shyly appears, it lights up the entire sky and awakens all the stars.

You are made of so many beautiful little pieces that make up a perfect whole, my darling. You were made to be great. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

xo Rania

Dress: Flynn Skye | Shoes: Aldo 

Photo Credit: Natelee Cocks

A Special Thanks to Comptoir 102 for allowing us to shoot in their beautiful space.

 

Loose Curls for Short Hair Tutorial

Now that my mane is somewhat of a long blunt bob, I’ve been working on improving my technique of creating loose curls for short hair. I partnered up with EIDEAL to show you how you can achieve soft loose curls with their Twin Fusion, which is a flat iron that comes with a clip-on half curling barrel. Check out the steps below on how to easily create loose curls for short hair. This technique works better the shorter your hair is.

Step 1:

Start by applying a heat protector of your choice to your wet hair, then blow-dry until it’s completely dry.

Step 2:

Section out your hair into small, manageable pieces.

Loose Curls for Short Hair

Step 3:

Using the Twin Fusion from EIDEAL, twist this around each section to create a smooth curl. Place the Twin Fusion behind the section and curl backwards to create a softer finish to the top. Repeat this until all of the hair is curled and allow it to cool to help set in place.

Step 4:

Gently shake out the curl using your fingers and add some finishing cream to the ends to define them. Finally, spray some hairspray throughout for extra hold. Ouai has a great spray that is not too heavy.

Don’t worry if your curls seem a little tight, because throughout the day the curls tend to loosen up on their own. I personally like to bend my head forward and shake out my hair to soften the curls and add some volume to the roots. Have you tried any of the EIDEAL tools, and if so which are your favorites? I’d love to learn more hair tips from you as well, so please share them with me in the comments below.

xo Rania

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Cocoville Cafe in Dubai

With the heat escalating in sunny Dubai, we’ve been exploring indoor locations to shoot in, which is how we came across the prettiest gem that is Cocoville. When planning a lunch or coffee date with a friend, the number one priority is a tasty menu, but finding an instagram friendly spot is a major plus. Cocoville has all the makings of the ideal coffee shop. From the quaint white and mint walls, the coppery elements and cute chairs, to the marble white table tops and a floor to make you the envy of all the ‘from where I stand’ hashtag users.

CocovilleStriped Flounce TopFlounced TopWhite Checkered Skirt

I think my outfit matched pretty nicely with decor, and I’m just loving blue and white this summer. The striped top and checkered skirt combination is my personal take on mixing prints. The light was pooling in so beautifully, giving the space a homey and serene atmosphere.

Now back to the chocolatey menu. I am one of those people who discovered hot chocolate a little later in life, so I immediately became addicted to it and will drink it all year round. Cocoville’s specialty is mainly everything chocolate, with a variety of candies, cookies, truffles and chocolate covered everything. If you’re a fan of sweets and a bright sunny space, I think you should pay Cocoville a visit as soon as your next craving materializes.

Are there any cute cafes or restaurants in Dubai you love to visit often? I’m always looking for new places to try and would love to hear your recommendations!

xo Rania

Cocoville Cocoville DubaiCocovilleCocoville

Flounced Top: Berksha | Checkered Skirt: Namshi | Wedges: New York & Company | Bag: Aldo | Hat: Mango.

Photography by Natelee Cocks.

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Red Skater Dress

Millie Mackintosh is a total babe and her Asos collection is absolutely gorgeous, with this red skater dress obviously being one of my favorite pieces. Off the shoulder? Check. Strawberry red shade? Check. Flattering skater form? Check. Red’s not an everyday color, but with the soft off shoulder straps and flouncy skirt this red skater dress can be styled so many ways. Wear it casually with flat sandals or your favorite wedges, and dress it up at night with strappy heels and a cheeky clutch. I can’t tell you enough how beautifully this dress fits, with the softest fabric and just the right amount of structure.

Red Off Shoulder DressRed Off Shoulder dress Millie Mackintosh Red Dress

If you haven’t checked out the Millie Mackintosh Asos Collection yet, you need to head there now and have a look. This red skater dress is currently on sale and comes in 2 colors. My biggest worry with online shopping is if the piece is actually true to size and whether it’ll flatter my body type. After seeing the quality and comfort of this dress, I’m pretty confident I’ll love other pieces from the collection. Will you be wearing red this summer? I’d love to know how you would style this red skater dress.

xo Rania

Red Skater DressRed Skater Dress Off Shoulder DressMillie Mackintosh for Asos Millie Mackintosh Dress Red Skater DressRed Skater Dress: Asos | Wedges: New York and Company

Photography by Natelee Cocks.


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One Shoulder Top

I genuinely didn’t anticipate the return of the one shoulder top to be so soon, but of course I saw a little ruffled one and decided it’s time to accept its comeback. I absolutely adore the sailor-style navy and white combination, and this look has an extra feminine twist with the ruffle and lace. I prefer a one shoulder top where the mismatched shoulder is balanced with a trimmed waistline, thus keeping it from getting too overwhelming. I have seen beautiful pieces that are a combination of a one shoulder top or dress, with big ruffles and a babydoll fit which were styled to perfection. However, with my body type I usually like to stay away from overly loud textures and fits to keep my outfit ladylike and slimming. Don’t get me wrong, I never promise to completely avoid something and may try different fits eventually.

Navy Blue One Shoulder TopOne Shoulder TopOne Shoulder Crop Top

When it comes to accessorizing a one shoulder top or dress, it’s best to carry a satchel or clutch so you can avoid having any straps on your shoulder. However, if you’re traveling then it would definitely be more convenient to carry a small crossbody bag with a thin strap. Since it’s summer and everyone is jetting off somewhere beautiful, I chose to wear my favorite strappy flat sandals because they are the right touch of stylish with the added bonus of comfort. Jewelry can be tricky depending on how high your top or dress will fit, so I recommend a dainty little necklace and a pair of sparkly ear jackets. Will you be wearing the one shoulder trend this year, and if so how would you style it, my darling?

xo Rania

One Shoulder TopOne Shoulder TopRuffled One Shoulder TopOne Shoulder TopOne Shoulder Top: Zara | Skirt: Shop the Mint Boutique | Bag: Michael Kors Selma | Sandals: Steve Madden | Wishbone Necklace: Baublebar.

Photography by Natelee Cocks.


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Essential Dresses for Your Summer Travels

When packing for your summer vacation, or any other vacation for that matter, your list probably consists of a variety of separates to supply you an endless number of outfit combinations. However, no holiday capsule wardrobe is complete without your essential dresses. No fuss, lightweight garments that can be styled from day to night, your trips this season are the perfect time to be showing off your dress collection. But like any other time you’re filling up your suitcase, the ability to edit is crucial. The specific items to bring will depend on your destination. So if you’re having trouble narrowing down your options, below is a guide on packing according to your holiday getaway.

If you’re going on a city break:
Look fabulously chic in a shirt dress. One of the best features of this classic piece is that it can be adjusted to suit any weather condition. Wear it with a cardigan in case you’re going somewhere cooler, or on its own if the temperatures are at an all-time high. As Marie Claire states, “It’s such a key piece that can be brought out time and time again.”

Essential Dresses for your Summer Travels

If you’re headed for the tropics:
Go for maxi dresses. Style experts from Lyst suggest saving easy jersey maxis and bold prints for the weekend. But when you’re on holiday, you can take full advantage of these summer staples for that laidback feel that’s hard to pull off when you’re in the city.

If you’re traveling to a cultural destination:
Veer towards the conservative side. Places such as Istanbul and other religious spots have stricter dress codes embedded in their cultural norms, so t-shirt dresses that are of modest length are your safest best for destinations like these. Although a long, cotton item might feel a bit restrained compared to the rest of their dresses, The Travel Hack reminds women that it’s possible to look and feel sexy in this travel must-have, without showing any flesh.

What essential dresses will you be bringing on your trip this summer?

xo Rania

Little White Box Pleated Skirt

White is certainly my go-to color, and I just love how this box pleated skirt fits me. The ways to style a skirt like this are endless, and the circle shape is so playful and sweet. The reason a box pleated skirt works so well is the defined waistline and the soft pleating which give the outfit an easy and feminine feel.

A white skirt is a great summer staple that could be styled with flats or heels, bold prints, colorful tops or a bright white-on-white ensemble. You can choose between a mini or midi skirt – or even have one of each  – depending on which is more comfortable and works best for your body type. Caged heels will add a nice edge to a girly outfit, and combined with a skater mini skirt make your legs appear super long and slim. I completed this look with a pair of bold sunglasses which are one of my most favorite summer pieces.

Box Pleated SkirtWhite Asos Prom Skirt Box Pleated SkirtMy hair’s been growing out pretty quickly, and although I’m used to my blunt long bob I have been tempted by all the pictures of gorgeous summer mermaid hair I see all the time. I’m not sure if you’ll agree but I always find different hair lengths and style suited to different outfits. Since summer clothes consist of a lot of maxi co-ord sets, tropical playsuits and cute mini skirts I might leave my hair in this land of in-between for now so I can have more style options available to me. What do you think, long or short?

xo Rania

New Look Stripe ShirtAsos Prom Skirt Hayden SatchelBox Pleated Skirt: Asos | Striped Shirt: New Look | Heels: Aldo, similar from Steve Madden | Bag: Kate Spade Hayden | Sunglasses: Quay Australia | Necklace: Baublebar.

Photography by Natelee Cocks.

Makeup by Beatriz Gonzalez.

Off the Shoulder Top

The heat has officially become unbearable these days, and so I’m provisioning my wardrobe with a bunch of lightweight off the shoulder tops and dresses. Blush pink is so obviously my favorite color, but I don’t actually wear it as often as you would think mainly because I prefer to have a tan when I wear it. I would usually pair this off the shoulder tiered top with white jeans and a full neutral palette, but I wanted to go with a black and pink combo this time. The ruffle on this top gives it an oversized effect which I balanced with skinny jeans and strappy sandals. What I love most about this off the shoulder trend is it looks good on everyone and is quite slimming as well. This style is flirty and cute, so it makes an immediate statement.

Asos topAsos blush pink topoff shoulder pink topI’ve been making it a point to be more intentional with every piece I invest in, and assessing how often I would actually wear something. Ever since I committed to doing that, I’ve been wearing more of my clothes and getting more creative with styling them over and over again. My motto has always been quality over quantity, but I’m putting my money where my mouth is and trying to create a wardrobe I’m confident in and a style that is comfortable and timeless. Have you been going through some style changes, and what’s your mantra these days?

xo Rania

Asos tiered off the shoulder top

Blush Pink Asos TopOff-the-shoulder trend
Off the Shoulder top: Asos | Jeans: Topshop | Heels: Express | Hat: Nordstrom

Photography by Natelee Cocks

Makeup by Beatriz Gonzalez

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