Saturday, 30 August 2014

Beauty: Benefit They're Real!

I was always loyal to Benefit Bad Gal Mascara. It treated me so well for many years and always had the desired affect on my lashes, making them longer and thicker and more voluminous. I always swore my mascara allegiance would lie with Bad Gal. So when I received a Benefit gift set with a tiny tube of They're Real, it was put to the bottom of my make up basket, to be forgotten about forever.


And then came the day when my make up supplies ran dry and I needed a teeny tiny mascara to throw in my handbag. That's when the glistening top of Benefit They're Real caught my eye and my allegiance quickly faded away. Pride swallowed, this mascara is amazing!

Another reason, aside from my loyalty, that I didn't want to leave Bad Gal is because of the brush. I love the soft bristle, full and fat brush for the wonders it does to my lashes. And I had only ever had bad experiences with the plastic bristle brushes that seem to everywhere now.

But They're Real surprised me. The brush worked wonders through my lashes and the formula added amazing length and volume. While Benefit's price point is a little higher than your average high street brand, you can feel the quality and see the effects of each product.

I'm a They're Real convert.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Review: Tom & Serg, Al Quoz Dubai

As a new expat in Dubai, I figured the best way to understand what this city had to offer was to read about it. So since I arrived I have been reading food blogs, religiously buying Time Out Dubai  and finding places on instagram to follow and lets face it, drool over.



I stumbled across the Tom & Serg instagram feed thanks to the explore feature and it was love at first sight. It seemed like such a cool place, with amazing looking, hearty dishes and during Ramadan they mixed up the iftar offerings with a Rule the Roast. I never made it to the roast dinner unfortunately and ever since I have been kicking myself. 

But yesterday, I finally made it to Tom & Serg, albeit to pick up take-away and it is as cool as it looks on instagram. The huge space has an industrial feel, yet somehow they've made it feel homely. Maybe that has something to do with the super friendly, attentive staff that greet you. I fell in love with the chalkboard wall and the cool open cased light fixtures that hang all the way down from the ceiling. And it has plenty of seating with a mezzanine floor for extra space, so even when we went at about 12.30 it didn't feel crowded. It was full of people working on their laptops, families having lunch and friends catching up over coffee and it really felt like a place for anyone; no age limit, no style profile, just a welcoming eatery. 

And the food is simply delicious; the breakfast menu caters for those heading down the healthy route or those wanting to treat themselves and they have a small but strong range of dishes, perfect for lunch or dinner. We opted for the morning after wrap, a breakfast style burrito with a fantastic collection of flavours, generously crammed into a paratha. With scrambled egg, beef bacon, roast chicken, mozzarella, crushed avocado, tomato and a black bean & lime salsa, it is a must try lunch fix. I can also sincerely recommend the super gooey, chocolatey brownie and the fresh orange juice too.

There is so much to do in Dubai that for a newbie expat it becomes a bit overwhelming, but slowly and surely, my bucket list of places to eat, things to see and stuff to do will be conquered. Starting with a return trip to Tom & Serg. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Medical: Moving to Dubai with Expatsblog.com

Keeping my feet on UAE soil was a sticking point and sorting out my visa asap was at the top of my priority list upon landing here. So much so that first thing Sunday morning we were up and out, after just two days in the country, sitting in a waiting room at a The Al Safa VIP medical centre in Jumeirah, waiting to complete my medical assessment for my visa.


Most people back home in London found it awfully strange when I told them that part of the visa process for Dubai included a medical assessment. I guess it sounds kinda strict when you take a step back and think about it. But their strict visa processes ensure the country runs the way it does and that ain't a bad thing let me tell you. 

That's not to say I wasn't nervous about the whole process. Navigating immigration procedures in a foreign country is always nerve racking and my experience in Cyprus, despite being a fellow EU citizen was less than ideal. So I had several sleepless nights about the process in Dubai. Needless to say it was super easy and the medical examination took just a few minutes of my day and we were on our way. 

We used the VIP service which sounds fancy, but in reality you pay a couple of hundred dirhams extra which isn't much in the grand scheme of things and you get through the process a lot quicker. There are companies you can pay to help you or your own company will do it with you. We did it on our own and had no problems so my advice, visits Al Safa Medical Centre. 

If you want to know more about the medical examination process, my next article for Expatsblog.com is now live: More About The Medical Examination in Dubai. 

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