Stone Town, Zanzibar

Once you have feasted your eyes on the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar, it is difficult to pull yourself away to explore Stone Town. Without a tour of Stone Town however, your trip to Zanzibar will be incomplete. The town captures the history of the city and the unique fusion of cultures that cannot be found anywhere else. The culture is an amalgamation of African, Arab and Indian which you will notice in the food, clothes, handicrafts and even the people.

Stone Town will either fill you with intrigue or it will make you want to run away. The colonial architecture is beautiful but tainted by the poorly maintained exteriors of the buildings. Make sure you get a tour-guide or research as you wont have a clue otherwise.

I learnt so many interesting facts about Zanzibar on the tour however the former slave market overshadowed everything. Everything the tour guide said pulled at my heartstrings and it made me realize how much we had failed as Humanity. Of course I was aware of the slave trade well before this trip, however learning the details and facts made me feel sick to my stomach. As we stood in a room where the ceiling was so low I had to bend down, he explained that this is where slaves were held for weeks and months on end until somebody bought them. They were starved and chained together as a means to test them. They had no toilets no amenities, they were crammed in like sardines into a space that wasn’t even big enough for me to stand in.

The energy in the room made me feel sick, I shuddered at the thought of what these four walls had witnessed, how much suffering this tiny room had endured, how humankind had inflicted this on their own, how people were treated worse then animals. They were given very little food and it was survival of the fittest. They were whipped and tortured as a test to see who was strongest and those who screamed were sold for less or simply just left to die.

It was heartbreaking to listen to and part of me was relieved to move on to the markets. Although there are many tourists, Stone Town is full of locals. You will find them at the many markets doing the daily shopping. There is a market full of artisanal handcrafts, meat, fish and vegetable markets and also Foradhani gardens. Foradhani was my favourite! A streetfood market on the waterfront that comes alive after 5pm. There is a delicious selection of local favourites such as zanzibar pizza, zanzibar mix, grilled skewers of various meats and seafood and plenty of other dishes. I tried all of the above and recommend them all!

Stone Town definitely has an eerie feel to it for me, I loved exploring it but wouldn’t stay there too long. I am definitely a beachbum and those beaches are too good to miss! You will see them in my next post.
Ciao for now x

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Zizzleblog’s Summer Skin Essentials

IMG_20170529_120339_924Summer is almost here and nobody wants a full face of make-up in this sweltering heat but that doesn’t mean you can’t look beautiful. I think summer is the time of the year where our confidence needs to come back out from behind those winter trench coats and spring layers, this is the season to shine! Good skin is key, invest in your skin people and that doesn’t mean buy the most expensive products, it means get into a regime and invest 10 minutes a day to looking after your skin!

I have tested a lot of products and these are the ones I loved and have added to my daily routine or at least I would never travel without them!

Clarisonic Mia 2- I always bang on about this I know but I just have to say again how much it has transformed my skin. It gets rid of all of those bumps below the surface and leaves your skin smooth and glowing.

GlamGlow DreamDuo – This is my star product! It has completely transformed my skin. Its a nightly treatment, it smells super delicious, you can just smell it wafting while you fall asleep. It has two compartments when you open it, one is the dreamserum which is pearlescent and the other is a grey cream called dreamseal. It has a rich texture and I love putting on at night and waking up to really plumped, radiant skin. I am going to invest in more of GlamGlows products as their mud mask also blew me away!

Sephora’s charcoal scrub – This is super gentle and draws out impurities from the skin while restoring moisture. I love the smell of this scrub and it comes in a travel sized bottle. There are six different ingredients in the range so you can choose the one most appropriate for your skin, they all smell yummy!

Sephora’s charcoal wipes – I love these wipes and will definitely be restocking! They are textured on one side so they exfoliate and the other side is smooth so you can wipe of your make-up!

Bioderma Perfect Skin Suncare- This product really wowed me! It is great for hitting the beach as it is an all-in-one moisturiser, has a tint to smooth your complexion and also has oil control for 8 hours! In addition it is factor 50+ AND illuminates the skin so your highlight will be on fleek! Its great for oily skin but cakey on dry skin, the formula is light and really natural. I have the medium tone which blends into a vast range of skin-tones. This all-in-one aspect will save me a lot of space when I travel as for beach holidays it is my everything!! I love how it looks on me, I hate wearing makeup to the beach but also feel sometimes my skin needs a little coverage and this little baby does it all!

Bioderma Sun Mist – Again factor 50 which is great as protecting your skin is really important! I love that its a mist and you just spray it on wet skin from 20cm away. You don’t need to rub it in and you can’t even feel when its on. I usually find factor 50 products suffocating as they are so thick and sticky, the light formula is the best part! You can use it on your face too, simply spray it on your hands and rub it on.

Erborian CC Creme – This Korean skin therapy brand is a new favourite of mine. When my skin is decent I use this moisturiser daily instead of a foundation as the light coverage is enough to give an even skin tone. Of course you can apply your foundation on top of it for fuller coverage. It helps boost radiance while hydrating your skin. It is factor 25 so it gives you protection from those UV rays. It is sulphate and paraben free and contains a lot of skin food!

Decleor Soothing Eye Contour Gel – Perfect for soothing tired, puffy eyes. This gel feels really cool and also firms the skin.

Jergens Hydrating Coconut – It smells like a holiday and is super rich and creamy. Perfect for rehydrating dry skin after a day in the sun. It’s really nourishing and contains hydraluscence which illuminates your skin leaving you glowing!

Black Up Makeup

No Transfer Matte Liquid Lipcolor No. 1 AED 105I finally got my hands on some Black-Up Makeup while I was in London and had a bit of a haul! I am so excited to announce that it will be sitting shelves in the UAE at Sephora on the 1st of June! The brand is catered to darker skin tones but has product lines for everyone.

I am obsessed with the No Transfer Matte Liquid Lip Color. I have to see these are the first matte lip cremes that I have been wearing all the time! Usually I am a gloss girl and I hate the way matte lipsticks make my lips feel dry and almost masked by this suffocating layer but I have to say Black up’s is moisturising and I love it!! My favourite shade is of course a nude and its 34 which is the perfect nude for me actually. The range is elegant and comfortable. The formula contains ultra-pigments liquid that gives lips a matte, opaque finish in just one application. This long-lasting, rapid-dry formula guarantees that your lip color lasts and lasts. Its gel texture ensures a smooth application and a soft, creamy feel.

Concealer Palette No. 1_AED 135I also love the concealer palette which has four shades including one to contour and one to highlight. I have to say my love for the brand is definitely fuelled by the shades, most brands were not formulated for darker skin-tones it was something they later developed but I feel like a huge chunk of Black-Outs products suit me which is really exciting! Most brands I can only wear a fraction of the products (excluding eyes) so I was really excited to find palettes where I can use pretty much everything.
Contouring Stick No. 2_AED 155The contouring stick is amazing, it has two sides and two shades, really convenient for travel as is the concealer palette! I haven’t tried any of the powder products yet and will definitely be visiting Sephora when they launch next week!

Fiesta De Tapas, Dubai

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The Vista Bar at the Intercontinental, Festival City is hosting a Fiesta de Tapas every Saturday. The spread includes an oyster bar, ceviche station, cold cuts, various tapas dishes, made to order tacos and an array of cheese and desserts. The delicious spread is accompanied by live musicians in a beautiful setting overlooking the Dubai Creek.

Vista Bar and Terrace is a glass restaurant full of light with stunning views. The food spread is refreshing with it being small but really good quality. I am so sick of going to huge Dubai buffets with hundreds of average dishes. Fiesta de Tapas is all you need, a small curated selection of food made with fresh delicious ingredients. My favourite was the ceviche station, you can make your own with scallops, prawns and a variety of fish and choose what they add to it. I also loved the small tapas selections, the prawns and bread canapes were delicious.

I eat with my eyes and I love good presentation and that was another big pull for me at Fiesta de Tapas. The stations are beautifully styled and I loved the cheese spread with floating grapes. The desserts were also pretty good, I liked the caramel eclair the most and the mini ice-cream cones. The band were from Colombia and sang really well, a mixture of classics and new spanish songs which added to the great atmosphere. If you stick around until 7pm you have the perfect view of the light and water show where you will see a hologram dancer pirouetting to the music just below where you dine!

Fiesta de Tapas is priced at 150 AED without alcohol and 250 AED with alcohol. Already a reasonable price for this type of setup but definitely good value when you taste the quality of the dishes. I can’t wait to go back! For more info visit www.diningdfc.com

Vista Bar & Terrace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eshak Restaurant, City Walk

Last night I had the chance to review Eshak Restaurant which is located in City Walk 2. I expected it to be Arabic grilled food but I was surprised when I  learned the menu was a fusion of Uzbek, Georgian and Middle Eastern Food with many freshly baked items.

The interior of Eshak was mystical with a combination of gold and dark hues of purple with paintings that looked like warrior princesses from another realm. The restaurant is quite long and has a huge bar and kitchen area. The weather was beautiful so we sat outside to enjoy the breezy night air. I noticed a row of baskets full of fruit and curiosity got the best of me so I went to take a look. I realized it was a market, the hostess explained that the fruits and vegetables were from all over the world and as she said it I feasted my eyes on the bright pink dragon fruit. They get new fruit every few days and it was a lovely idea.

After reading the menu I felt quite excited as there were many dishes I had never tried before! In fact I had never had Uzbeki or Georgian cuisine so I was excited for the culinary experience. They brought out hoummos, tabbouleh, muhammara (chilli paste, walnuts, breadcrumbs and olive oil blended into a paste), warak enab bil zet (stuffed vine leaves) and baklajan rolls (rolled eggplant stuffed with cream cheese, tomatoes and pesto).

I loved the muhammara which I had never had before, the nuts gave it a sweetness and the spice from the chilli added a kick. I could not stop dipping my fresh tandoor bread in there which was hot from the oven! I also loved the baklajan rolls, they were bursting with flavour and unlike anything I had tried before yet so simple. You could taste how fresh all the ingredients were, everything was fragrant, vibrant and tasty. Vine leaves never impress me, they are cold and a weird texture…not for me!

The waiter brought out Megrel Khachapuri which is a Georgian puff pastry with cheese. It was steaming hot out of the oven and was like a pizza on puff pastry, it was gooey and delicious! Definitely one to order again. A Chicken Kutab arrived which was a crepe with a chicken filling served with tahini, it was also very good! Then came my dish of the day, the lamb pilaf. It is a traditional dish from Uzbekistan but one bite in and I could taste my grandmothers cooking. It was a spiced fragrant rice embellished with pieces of slow cooked lamb. This was a cheat day that I did not feel bad about, every bite of that rice was worth and I would go back to eat it again!
I was not overly keen on the dessert which was 3 pieces of cream cheese swimming in a berry jam but once I tried it I was converted. I expected it to be sharp and tart but it was sweet and tasted like cheesecake topping and the cheese cut through the sugar giving it a lovely balance.

While flicking through the menu I spotted some incredible breakfast options so I will be going back for those too!! If you are looking for some simple but hearty food then Eshak is the place for you!

Eshak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Win Mothers Day Shoot at The Studio Dubai!

IMG_20170321_190431_844Get glammed up and win a photo-shoot with your mum for mothers day! Some of you are celebrating today and others will be celebrating on Sunday, I will be picking 3 lucky winners on Saturday 25th March. To enter, simply follow Zizzleblog (top right corner of this page). You can exchange the shoot for a full family shoot if you would prefer!

Good Luck!! x

Repechage Facial

I visited the Tribe Spa to have a Repechage four layer facial. I have wanted to try this facial since I heard about it years ago but of the many spas I have been to none offered it. The Tribe spa is located in Tribe Fitness and has 2 treatment rooms, it is small but sufficient and the staff are very warm and welcoming.

I was really looking forward to trying the four later facial which uses layers of fresh European seaweed which is supposed to rejuvenate, tone and firm the appearance of the skin. I was actually on the 2nd week of a detox when I went for this facial so my skin was in desperate need of extraction as I had a lot of toxins surfacing.

The therapist was lovely and before starting showed me each layer and explained what it would do so that I understood the treatment. I really appreciated this because sometimes I have been for treatments where I have no idea of the time scale or what exactly they are applying and then I have to ask questions instead of relaxing and enjoying the treatment.

Initially she cleaned my face and then began the extraction, obviously this is never pleasant as extractions are painful but she was as gentle as possible and I was glad to get it over with and begin the nice stuff!

She applied a cool  C-Serum Seaweed Concentrate liquid to moisturise, soothe and tone the skin. It felt really nice and she left it for a couple of minutes to absorb into my skin. Then she applied a rich thermal mask which she massaged onto my skin. It contained hydrating seaweed cream and we waited till it dried. As it dried it tingled because it was a thermal mask and created heat, it was a little strange but not uncomfortable.

The third layer dries almost like another skin, it has a rubbery texture and becomes solid. The light green fresh seaweed mask is soothing and cooling to the skin. I could feel the heat underneath this layer from the thermal mask and it felt like it was getting hotter probably because it trapped the heat. It was definitely doing something! the 4th and final layer is the application of the seaweed mineral mask on the skin which is applied thickly and dries like clay. It does get a little itchy underneath but you just have to bear with it. When it dries she pulled the rubbery layer underneath from the edges to loosen the top layer which had moulded to my face. Then she lifted it and it comes off in one piece as a mould of your face which I thought was really cool! Unfortunately it was in pieces by the time I got it home but cool nonetheless.

She wiped my face clean and I looked in the mirror to find a much brighter, smoother complexion which was actually immediate. Usually you leave a facial quite red-faced but this was a welcome surprise. I touched my face and it really did feel good! Smooth and clean with tighter pores.

I would highly recommend having the Repechage facial at Tribe Spa in Dubai Marina! It was a great experience and I would definitely go back and do it again.

 

Urban Defense Complexion Primer

Urban Defense Complexion Primer AED 149

I test new products on a weekly basis and I often find ones I love and add to my kit, however it is rare that I add something to my daily make-up regime! Well…NEW MUST HAVE ALERT!!

Living in the sandpit, sunscreen is A MUST and should always be worn before makeup however I have combination skin and often the added layer give me added shine so I am guilty of skipping it. Urban Defense Complexion Primer by Urban Decay has finally put an end to my search for a sunscreen that won’t mess up my makeup!!

The first time I applied it it disappeared into my skin and I felt that it would be useless but I was duped!! Like a force field, this crystal-clear primer feels like nothing you’ve ever tried and protects your skin from whatever the day throws at you. It feels as though you have not applied a product unlike some greasy primers that leave a residue. It contains SPF 30 to protect you from the sun but what amazed me was that it actually controlled my oil which is something that it does not claim to do. I did not powder for the entire day and my skin felt and looked moisturised and healthy without being oily and shiny!

Not only does it guard you from the sun, it also primes and smooths skin while minimising the look of pores..It DOES exist…a completely clear sunscreen that feels amazing, won’t interfere with your makeup, and smoothes your complexion for better application. In a clinical study of Urban Defense Complexion Primer, immediately after use:* •96% of participants had a reduction in pore visibility. • 100% had smoother-looking skin.•100% had more even-toned skin.*Based on clinical grading in a 31-person study.

My oily skinned comrades, you will be blown away, I literally have found no negatives, even the size is generous!! This is the best 149 AED you will spend on skin-prep, the product is available in all Sephora Middle East stores!

Kat Von D Better Together

Too Faced and Kat Von D Beauty have teamed up to celebrate beauty and friendship with a Limited edition collection Better Together!

This wonderful collaboration is a celebration of friendship between the gorgeous Kat Von D and Jerrod Blandino who is the co-founder of Too Faced. The collection captures Kats edgy side and Jerrod’s playful nature and fuse to create the cutest collection of products.

better-together-ultimate-eye-collection_1_aed-275The Eye Collection contains 6 eye-shadows from each and a tattoo liner from Kat Von D. The magnetic half hearts stick together making them easy to carry individually in your make-up bags priced at AED 275.

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I just love the adorable makeup pouch featuring their beloved pets: one side features Piaf, Kat’s cat, while the other stars Clover Jerrod’s dog! It is stuffed with some of their best-selling mini’s including Blush, Highlighting powder and lipsticks priced at 165 AED.

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The 3rd item in the collection sports the classic Tattoo Liner in Trooper and Better Than Love Mascara! These two products will offer double the trouble, and double the fun for that lined, winged, and wide-eyed look that will be sure to turn heads. Priced at 90AED

These products are available from tomorrow exclusively on sephora.ae and from March 1st -March 15th in stores in the Middle East!