Hey Beauties!

One of the most coveted events for beauty lovers is quickly approaching. Yes, The Makeup Show NYC will be here May 3rd and 4th! And as always you can expect exclusives from your favorite brands and seminars from top makeup artists and beauty professionals in the industry.

This is the 10th Anniversary of the Makeup Show and of course it will be epic. They have tons of events lined up for the week and special projects that you can participate in as well (click here for the events page). There will be workshops with Danessa Myricks, NYC Beauty Tours, The Makeup Show Gala, and a career fair.

makeupshow10

Join us for an entire week dedicated to

Artistry, Networking, Community, Inspiration and Education.

  • Fill your kit with pro-driven essentials.
  • Refine your skill-set in our exclusive hands-on workshops and seminars.
  • Work with FX, Fantasy and Beauty.
  • Explore Business strategies and opportunities during forums & Keynotes.
  • Unite with fellow industry insiders.
  • Network with brands execs and CEOS.                                –Source

This is a perfect opportunity to network with other makeup artists, beauty enthusiasts, bloggers, vloggers, and brand reps.

Some of my favorite brands that I am looking forward to seeing are:

Bdellium Tools (I LOVE THEIR BRUSHES), NYX Cosmetics, BlackUp Cosmetics, and of course Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC). Click here for a full list of exhibitors for the 10th Anniversary Makeup Show NYC.

Advanced ticket sells will end Thursday April 30, 2015. Tickets are $55 for one day $75 for two days. Tickets at the door will be $65 for one day and $86 for two days.

Click here to purchase tickets!

Recently I was on the phone with my mother and she told me to turn to HSN because she saw a skort that she thought I would like. She said, “These are cute! I wouldn’t pay $60 for them but you might.” So I turned to channel 151 and saw that it was Giuliana Rancic’s line for HSN. I thought the skort was really cute and I was particularly fond of the white pair, but I know some people probably wouldn’t want to spend $60 for them. So I did what I do best and found the skort for more than 50% off. My mom said, “How did you do that so fast?” and I simply replied, “I got skills.” lol.

lookforless-wrapskort

The skorts are very similar, and I’m sure the quality of G by Giuliana will be better, but if you need a cute look for brunch or an all white party, then the Charlotte Russe skort would work for you as well.

G by Giuliana Wrap Skort $60 (Comes in black, white, and mineral green)

Charlotte Russe Envelope Wrap Mini Skort $23

Would you rock this look for the spring and summer?

I returned last week from my trip to the UAE and wanted to find a way to tell you all about my travels without writing long and drawn out paragraphs. What better way to get to the gist of my trip then to do a list! This way I can narrow down what is most important and not give you all unnecessary details.

Logistics( Travel/Weather/Currency)

1. Etihad Airways provides great customer service- Traveling to the UAE we had an 11 hour flight. Coming back to the states it was 14 hours. On both flights we were given a pillow, blanket, flying pouch with socks (your feet swell when in the air for a long period of time), ear plugs, headphones, eye mask, toothbrush and tooth paste. We were served two meals, one sandwich, and plenty of drinks, including alcohol. If your flight is not full, you can move around and find a space comfortable for you. I do however suggest you bring your own snacks and water/juice, especially if you have children. Although we were served two meals and a sandwich I wanted snacks and more water.

2. Check the weather! Beware of sand storms- When we landed it was a really bad sand storm and many of the touristy things that we could do were not available because it can be quite dangerous being out in a sand storm. Have a back up plan of things to do inside during a sand storm if your plans for the day was outside.

3. Exchange your money for dirham- We ran into quite a few problems because we thought we could pay USD, but 90% of the places we went only accepted dirham or credit cards (mainly Visa and Mastercard). Hotels can exchange money for you, but you may be limited to a certain price per day i.e. $100 usd per day. Notify your bank if you plan on using your card while oversees. With identify theft and scammers running rampant, you do not want your bank to but a hold on your card and you do not have access to any money.

Tourism

4. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL. Our cab driver said they were doing construction so we ended up walking around the entire mosque before we got to the entrance. We didn’t mind because it was definitely a site to see. Although I am a believer in Christ I can appreciate beauty and words cannot describe how it felt to see the mosque in person. Ladies, an abaya (traditional dress for women) can be borrowed. You need to have a picture ID (not a passport) The lines are long so if the tour starts at 5, I would aim to get there around 4 to get an abaya pending a long line. You do not have to rent an abaya if you have the right clothing (hair, arms, and legs covered).

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*Bonus* Make sure your squat game is real.

*Bonus* Make sure your squat game is real.

5. The Dubai Miracle Garden is FASCINATING. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with an amazing fragrance of flowers. Now my boyfriend isn’t really fond of gardens and things, but he was amazed at how beautiful everything was. The level of creativity shown at the garden was just simply amazing. We literally sat down and “smelled the roses” and just relaxed and took in the amazing views.

Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden

6. Food Nom Nom Nom– I have never seen so many Chili’s Restaurants in my life. They are literally everywhere. So is McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and even TGI Fridays. In the malls you had of course all of the chain/franchise restaurants. We tried our hardest to eat at places that we did not have in the states. We ate at Lemon Grass (Thai Restaurant) even though they have one in Brooklyn, it beat going to Fridays. We opted for ice cream first at London Dairy rather than Baskin Robins or ColdStone. The best food we had was at a restaurant at the World Trade Center Souk in Abu Dhabi called Tarbouche. They serve Lebanese food and the food was DELICIOUS. We started with Kebbeh as an appetizer, then for our entree we had Chicken Mousakhan (arguably one of the best chicken dishes I ever had in my life) and Kabab Instanbul. You can find the menu here. We had breakfast at the hotels and they served a typical American buffet breakfast with Arab cuisine sprinkled in. I did however have lamb sausage and other Arab delicacies for breakfast. For desert we pretty much had gelato. Across from Tarbouche there is a gelato and nut shop called Tawadoh and the pomegranate gelato was TDF. I also tried the saffron and pistachio which was interesting.

Food at Tarbouche

Food at Tarbouche

7. Ride an abra down the Dubai Creek– Most people that go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi tour the marina on a yacht. Some have yacht parties and that is great. We however chose to tour the Dubai creek in an abra- this is a boat that was meant to take residents from Bur Dubai to Deira. It costs 1 dirham to ride from side to side, but to ride up and down the Dubai creek it will cost approximately 30 dirham per person for 30-60 minutes. The view of Downtown Dubai, Deira, and Bur Dubai are amazing. It was a peaceful ride down the creek. There is a gelato stand near the abra docks that serves camel milk gelato and YOU HAVE TO TRY IT. I mean, it was so sweet and delicious.

Abra -Dubai Creek

Abra -Dubai Creek

Abra

Burj Khalifa from Dubai Creek

Burj Khalifa from Dubai Creek

8. The Burj Khalifa and Dubai Architecture– only one word can describe this and that is a monstoristy. I mean the skyline is outrageous and more developments are going up. the Burj Khalifa is unbelievable. We went to the observation deck on the 124th floor and the view was amazing. The view of the Burj Khalifa from the highway, the Dubai Creek and other places like hotels is simply amazing. We learned about the history of the building and downtown Dubai on the way up to the observation deck.

124th Floor of Burj Khalifa

124th Floor of Burj Khalifa

9. The Gold Souk– I heard the prices were incredibly cheap, but I’m not sure according to whose standards. Even with haggling prices aren’t as cheap as people said. It was great to look at the gold, especially the world’s largest handmade gold necklace, but I don’t think it is worth being harrassed by local vendors trying to get you to go down side streets and alley’s to buy fake bags, watches, weave, and fake jewelry. They literally follow you throughout the entire souk. When we would go in stores they would wait outside for us. It was very annoying. We left quickly. It was nice to look at the gold, but unless you have any intention on buying it, I would pass, it is not worth the hassle.

World's Largest Handmade Gold Necklace at the Gold Souk

World’s Largest Handmade Gold Necklace at the Gold Souk

10. The Desert Safari- Let me first say, make sure you book your safari with a reputable company. We waited until the last minute and almost did not go on the safari and that would have sucked big time. We were able to secure a spot at 11pm in the Dubai Mall for a safari our very last day. We were cutting it close, but we took the chance and luckily it worked out. Some people paid for a tour and the drivers never showed up. My boyfriend and I were paired with 4 women from England visiting a friend who works in Dubai. Most tours advertise a 6 hour safari, that includes pick up, the ride to the desert and the 45-minute layover for the drivers to let air out of the tires for dune bashing. During the 45-minutes we rode ATVs in the desert which was awesome! Beware, during this stop the local vendors just start dressing you in the traditional headwraps. I thought it was free then the guy asked for 25 dirham. After the layover, we went to the sand dunes. You have to drive through the dunes to get to the camp site. There is no way around it. Dune bashing was like a 20 minute roller coaster. Our driver, Raj, was very skilled with different tricks. We were literally driving on two wheels, jumping from dune to dune, nose diving into dunes, it was so much. I can’t even begin to describe everything. If you have a weak stomach ask the driver to go easy because you will get sick. Have a plastic bag and lots of water, you are in the desert remember that. We stopped for photo opps along the way to the camp site. The desert is beautiful and peaceful. I didn’t get great pictures because I was to nauseous from the dune bashing. When we got to the site we could either get on line for the camel ride, our camel ride was very short (like only a minute) I didn’t mind though. I was scared on that thing lol. We took pics with the falcon, had arabian treats, and watched live entertainment. There was plenty of water to drink and soda. You had to pay for alcohol. The food was great too. The only thing was the organization of getting the food. There were lines for men and women and some people never had food in their lives so they were being a little barbaric. There was PLENTY of food for everyone. There was enough for people get seconds, thirds, and fourths. Once we finished eating and the entertainment (belly dancing and men’s folk dancing-they were all really talented) it was time to hit the sand (no road). We drove through the desert in the dark (no street lights of course) and it was quite terrifying honestly. Especially since our driver still wanted to show us his tricks, but this lasted on 5 minutes. We had to wait to put air back in the tires and then we were all dropped off at our different destinations.

Riding ATVS in the Sharjah Desert

Riding ATVS in the Sharjah Desert

Views from the Desert

Views from the Desert

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Honorable Mention- The Malls- I think we went to like 4 malls (Mushrif, The Dubai Mall, The Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Wahada Mall, World Trade Center Mall). They had many of the same stores like Nike, H&M, Inglot (I was shocked at this) Forever 21, Aldo, Adidas, etc. The Dubai Mall had everything and more including tons of designer stores. We didn’t come across anything special so we didn’t buy anything.

There is so much more that I can write, but this is just a small portion of my experience. Overall I enjoyed the atmosphere and culture of Abu Dhabi more than Dubai. I may be in the minority with this, but in Dubai I always felt like I was on the go like in Manhattan, I’m not sure if it was me always moving or just the nature of the city life. In Abu Dhabi, I actually felt like I was on a relaxing vacation. I would definitely go back to both places though in the future.

Have any of you gone to the UAE? What were your thoughts?

*All pics were taken with my iPhone 6*

Horrible. Yes I said it. Who thought this no carb thing was a good idea? I don’t know what I was thinking. I can understand minimizing the amount of carbs you eat, but completely stopping has left me feeling blah. I don’t know if it is because I stopped cold turkey or what, but this just isn’t going to work for me.

low carb-1

I missed my quinoa and brown rice. Last week I only ate chicken, wild salmon, eggs, nitrate free turkey bacon, dairy (eggs and cheese), and vegetables (spinach and whole green beans). The food was delicious, but I just felt bloated. In hindsight, maybe I should have gone off the carbs gradually. I do know one thing, and that is I am never doing that again. Or maybe I should do more research…

bloating

After doing some research, I realized that I was missing something key in my diet that I get from my carbs and that is fiber! I came to this revelation after reading this Live Strong article about gas and bloating.

fiber

Benefits of Fiber (Source)

1. Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it.

2. Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fiber is fermented in the colon.

3. Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that fiber may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

4. Helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

5. Aids in achieving healthy weight. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.

Here is a list of foods that are high in fiber from MayoClinic.org

  1. Raspberries
  2. Pears (with skin)
  3. Apples (with skin)
  4. Bananas
  5. Whole wheat pasta
  6. Bran
  7. Oatmeal
  8. Whole wheat or multi-grain bread
  9. Lentils
  10. Black beans
  11. Lima beans
  12. Almonds
  13. Pistachios
  14. Artichoke
  15. Green peas
  16. Broccoli
  17. Sweet corn
  18. Brussel sprouts
  19. Carrots
  20. Baked potatoes (with skin)

 Most of the items were essential parts of my diet. I don’t know what I was thinking this week. I know not to have those thoughts anymore lol. I guess the real reason is that I wanted to drop 2-3 lbs before my trip, since I know I will gain about 5lbs lol.

I think I get in my own way. I know what I need to do, I just need to rid the urges of immediate results and become comfortable with delayed gratification. I know I said I won’t ever do that again, but who knows…now that I know the foods that have fiber and are low carb, I may feel better. Maybe I didn’t let my body get used to the change. Whatever it is, I don’t want to ever feel like this again..=

If the low-carb thing works for you…God. Bless. You.

Have any of you ever tried these diet fads?

I. HATE. PACKING. I really do. I can never decide what I want to bring and I always end up leaving something important or not bringing enough of something. The story of my traveling life. So in an effort to alleviate some of my stress I created “The HGB Packing List” to make sure I pack everything I need for any trip.

packing101

In addition to the packing list, I will also share some packing tips that will help prevent overpacking with all of these baggage fees.

1. Use travel size toiletries– I know when traveling you want to feel like you are at home, but full-size products are very bulky. Buy travel size items or the travel size bottles from places like the $.99. I pour my full size products into the smaller bottles when traveling. Use ziploc bags to keep all of your toiletries together.

2. Don’t pack what is already there. Make sure your hotel has the amenities to make packing easier. So things like a blowdryer and iron aren’t needed.

3. Be strategic of what goes in your carry-on. Do not put in your luggage that you check important things like medication and important documents (passport, credit cards, etc). That should be in your carry-on. In my carry-0n I always pack an extra outfit and my toiletries and other essentials like my contact lenses and solution, just incase the airline loses my luggage.

4. Pack things that are multipurpose. Before I would pack a different pair of shoes for each outfit. I don’t think that is necessary for me any more. Especially since I don’t want to lug around heavy bags.

5. Pack in layers. Roll your clothes and stack them in layers. This will save space as opposed to folding. If you are really trying to save space, do the bundle method. Check out this video here

What are some of your packing tips?