Saturday, April 2, 2016

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review - Yay or Nay?

So, I waited patiently to do this review and have now been using the Clarisonic Mia 2 for a whole 4 months - that's like a lifetime in waiting-to-write-a-blog-post years.

If you've not already heard about this product, the Clarisonic Mia 2 is a facial sonic cleansing brush with an oscillating brush head that's meant to give you squeaky clean skin by cleaning 6 times more intensely than if you would wash your face with your hands alone.

What, where, how much



Let's look at the basic info - the Mia 2 model is a good one to start with. It comes with a compact charger (each charge will last you 30-ish uses), a sensitive brush head, a sample of the Clarisonic cleanser and a travel case. It's definitely pricey at AED 700 - see it as a relatively long-term investment but do keep in mind that it's best to change brush heads every 3 months which cost roughly 100 AED. You can get the Mia 2 as well as the brush heads at Sephora. There seem to be vendors selling it online for cheaper, be cautious of fakes as always.

How does it work?

It's pretty easy to use - apply your cleanser of choice either onto the brush or onto your face. Mia 2 also has a useful setting which is a buzzer for every time you need to switch to a different spot on your face in the 1-minute period - 20 seconds on chin/nose, 20 seconds on forehead, 10 seconds on each cheek. It also has two speeds in case you want to experiment with what works better with your skin.

So, switch on the Clarisonic and follow the vibrating buzz-es. Afterwards, rinse your face and then rinse your brush head, dab the brush head onto a towel to remove the extra water, put on the lid and it should dry off before your next use. You can use it in the shower even as it's waterproof.

Chapter 1: Mia 2 + Sensitive Brush Head


Now, for the review itself. My expectations from the Mia 2 was to help improve my skin texture in general. I started off using the Mia 2 once a day with the sensitive brush head that came with the product and the first time I used it - I was very impressed, my skin was super smooth, soft and so clean.

Yeah, this lasted all of one week. I started breaking out so horribly and I hadn't changed anything else in my routine except for adding the Mia 2. So, I gave it up and decided to just chalk it to a bad purchase. I went online, read some reviews to see who I can blame this on and move on with my life, and came across a bunch that mentioned that they had the same issue before it got so much better.

So, I went back to reluctantly using the Mia 2 and waited for the light at the end of the tunnel. Nope, nothing - still as bad and no signs of improvement. At this point, I did feel as though the sensitive brush head was harsh on my skin and caused redness, but I just dismissed that thought assuming that that is how the brush felt and plus I was still waiting for this to turn better as it did for most people.

Chapter 2: Mia 2 + Acne Brush Head

My final ray of hope was to try a different brush head. My skin had been strangely sensitive over the last 6 months prior to Mia 2, so I had figured that the 'sensitive' brush head that I'm already using should be best for it. I anyway looked at some options and decided to try out the acne cleansing brush head which is usually for acne-prone skin.

In the meanwhile, I stopped using the Clarisonic till I got this new brush head and as soon as it came, I braced myself for whatever was about to come - one last try.


And.. it worked. The acne brush head is INCREDIBLE. It is essentially the brush head that is meant to be used for people with sensitive skin - it's much softer and gentle on your skin than the damn sensitive brush head + it almost feels like it's polishing your skin while deep cleaning it. So if you've reached this part of the post and hate your Clarisonic, try the acne brush head!

Since the acne brush head, I've experienced some vast improvements in my skin - much smoother, my skin feels so soft and radiant, my pores seem smaller and makeup goes on much nicer. It's even helped with absorption of my other products into my skin helping get better results from them as well, so more bang for your buck. I usually use it once a day at night and follow it up with my night routine.

It didn't seem help to particularly help with scars or pigmentation - let me know if you've seen otherwise.

Verdict

Yay! Absolutely recommend if you're looking to elevate your skincare routine. You'll be fine without it for sure but I'm glad I got onto this wagon (though it took a while). If you're looking for a good cleanse and refined skin texture, you can bank on this product for that. It also means for fewer facials (lesser $$) as you have far less blackheads, acne and clogged pores etc. You're giving your skin some TLC essentially everyday with this one.


And that brings to me to the end of this saga. Let me know if you have any tips/tricks for me to try out with this one!

Mona xo 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Landmark International SS'16 Trends

So, it's fortunately (or unfortunately) nearly spring time which only means it's time for some new clothes! I was recently invited to the Landmark International SS'16 preview - I now want to throw all my existing clothes and get the superb new ones from this preview.

Anyway, highlights for me were that New Look had these wonderful collections inspired by 90s trends, Reiss featured some amazing prints inspired by artist Marlene Dumas, Koton's collection Ole is pretty much a summer dream, Lipsy has collaborated with Ariana Grande on a fun flirty collection,  and finally Yours London has launched swim wear for plus-size & modest!

So now that you're all caught up, let's look at some of this season's trends:

Laser-cut

Lots of laser-cut garments across the lines, not complaining though - it's SO pretty.

L to R: New Look, Lipsy, Reiss

Belted

This is a trend I can get on board with - flattering on pretty much any body type and is classy AF.

L to R: Koton, Reiss, New Look

Stripes

I like how differently each brand has treated the stripes - nothing new but still interesting.

L to R: Lipsy, Reiss, New Look

Florals

Florals is a no-brainer for spring, I'm starting to think florals are pretty much never going to go out of style.

L to R: Koton (Ole), Lipsy, Yours London

Spring/summer is looking pretty good, eh? Time to shop!

Mona xo

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 resolutions

Another year has come and gone. And also, yes, it has been a while since I've been on here - but hey, new year new me? (just threw up a little bit in my mouth)

This blogging stuff is hard (#firstworldpain) and I often find myself struggling to talk about something fresh, something that's not just another product or trend or whatever else. Don't get me wrong - it's interesting to share that content and I binge-read those blogs but to do that constantly is really not up my alley. 

So, back to the new year, 2016 has been just the same as 2015 so far which isn't necessarily a bad thing! But nevertheless, let's get this out the way. Presenting some damn resolutions:

1. #52booksin2016

So I've taken this on because I've been sorely disappointed with how many books I've read in the last few years and hopefully, this helps kick start something. On that note, please drop me some suggestions - I made a whole deal about making a full list for this and have a grand total of 12 books on there so far.

2. Lose some weight

I've struggled with my weight more or less all of my life and it's about time to try and get a hold on it. I feel like this is everyone and their mothers' resolution so you know how this goes.

3. Less stress

I've come to a not-so-crazy realization that I stress about the stupidest damn things and this needs to stop, preferably very soon.

4. No more nail biting 

I have a painfully chronic nail biting habit and I almost succeeded at kicking this end of last year until I didn't. So, here goes attempt no. 5687.

And that's it. My list is very short and sweet this year, hoping less is more. Let's kick some 2016 butt!

What are some of your resolutions? Share - would love to know what you guys are taking on!

Mona xo

Monday, November 23, 2015

Festive Season Wishlist

The festive season is upon us! Yes, it's only November but I honestly can't wait any longer to partake in ALL them festivities and I'm sure most people would agree. I've been browsing online for some gift ideas (mostly for myself, ahem) and have now fallen in love with many new discoveries, thanks to this 'research'.

So, in the spirit of the holidays, here's my wishlist for the season:


1. YouBeauty advent calendar -  If I could, I would put all them damn beauty advent calendars on this list because each one of them looks incredible. My current favorite from this season is this YouBeauty one - it seems to have a great mix of skincare as well as beauty products from some brands I'm looking to try out such as Rodial, Philip Kingsley, Nuxe etc. Other favorite advent calendars include the Marks & Spencer and L'Occitane calendars.

2. Bakery Charms Pizza Ring - I don't know how you can go wrong with anything you buy from Bakery Charms. All their pieces are winners but have to say, this was my favorite - it was a very close call between this one and an equally realistic cake ring.

3. Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation - Based on several reviews, this foundation seems to be a tough cookie which pretty much stays on no matter what. As someone who lives in Dubai where it's summer for most part of the year, this could be very useful!

4. Skinnydip London Milk iPhone case - I'm not usually one for these obnoxiously giant cases for your phone but this one is just so adorable! I must have it.

5. Diptyque Holiday Collection - Diptyque is no new addition to the candle party but I can honestly admit that I solely want to buy these candles just based on this packaging - SO festive and I'm sure they smell equally delicious! The three scents in the holiday collection are Sapin, Liquidambar and Oliban.

6. Glen Coco Holiday Pullover - Mean Girls + Christmas = shut up and take my money.

7. Clarisonic Mia 2 - I've been looking for something to take my skincare routine to the next level and this product has that's been making quite the difference for many people. It was between this one or the Foreo but after some careful review surfing, the Clarisonic seems to be it!

Apart from this list, I obviously also accept cake, Christmas ornaments and hot chocolate (pretty much all year around).

What's on your wishlist this season? Comment below, let me know!

Mona xo

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Solo Bistronomia and Vino Bar

Wine and cheese on a Tuesday night? Hell yes. I feel like I don't even need to write anything more to convince you to head to Solo Bistronomia and Vino Bar for their 'Genius Loci' night.



Located at Raffles Hotel, this night offers 5 wines paired with 5 cheese (and bread for taste) for an incredible price of AED 120 (yes, you are reading this right). This night is basically my happy place. Spending a cozy evening with wine, cheese and friends in the quirky rustic setting that is Solo is pretty much guaranteed to rid you of midweek blues.

A photo posted by Mona (@monagir) on

Being a newbie with really understanding wine and its ways, it was great that someone did walk us through the different wine and cheese pairs. Bonus - just in case you don't remember the pairings over the course of the evening, the place mat had them listed as well which was such a nice little touch.



The service was wonderful as was all the delicious wine and cheese. I don't think I'm equipped to describe either further so I think you should definitely go find out for yourself! However, I should say that I especially loved the final pairing of the dessert wine with the blue cheese.



So, that's your Tuesday night sorted, you're welcome! If you fancy indulging your sweeth tooth, they also have a wine and chocolate night every Sunday. I'm undoubtedly heading back to get me some good Italian grub and most definitely, for some more wine.

Solo Bistronomia and Vino Bar
Raffles Hotel, 3rd Floor
Tel: 04 370 8999

Have any wine and cheese night recommendations for me? Leave a comment below or tweet me @MonaGir!

Mona xo

Sunday, September 20, 2015

#TMTurns1 Giveaway: Herbline Essentials

It's no secret that Herbline Essentials is one of my favourite brands for skincare - they are part of my nighttime skincare routine as well as one of my favourite face masks.

There are so many natural brands in the market but what I love about HE is that their products are quite reasonably priced, they have ranges for all kinds of skin types and they work! So, if you are looking to try out some of their products, this would be a great time as they have some amazing bundle offers on their website for a limited time and they offer free delivery across the UAE!

But if you're looking to try your luck, I've teamed up with Herbline Essentials to give away products worth AED 500 to one lucky winner! (I almost wanted to keep this for myself)



The products included for this giveaway are:

- Neem and Brahmi Facewash
- Aloevera and Honey Under Eye Gel
- Apricot and Honey Face Scrub
- Aloevera and Liquorice Skin Protection and Healing Cream

Below are all the deets on how to win these lovely products:


The entries for this giveaway will close on 30 September 2015 and the winner will announced shortly after. The competition is open to GCC residents only. Good luck!

Mona xo

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Monalogues Turns 1 + Jarful Giveaway

I'm excited to have a new day to celebrate - today is my blog's first birthday! Happy birthday to my little nook on the WWW! #TMTurns1

One year ago, I launched the Monalogues and I have to admit that this blog has grown beyond anything I had planned for. It's nice when you surprise yourself and that's exactly what's happened here. So, thank you to everyone who has taken a minute to visit this blog!

If you're new here (welcome), or if you'd like to reminisce with me, here are some highlights:

My first official post - Online Shopping - UAE Edition

My most popular post to-date - Subscription Box Roundup - UAE Edition

My personal favourite - Why road trips are the best

My first blog award nomination - Nominated for a Liebster Award!

So, in celebration, I have a couple of giveaways planned for this month starting off with a birthday staple, CAKE!

I've teamed up with the lovelies at Jarful to give away a set of 6 cupcakes!


Jarful is your quintessential cake in a jar. Apart from being painfully cute, they are delicious-o and perfect even as favors at parties/events. I love their classic cupcakes but they also have flavors with a local spin such as Nutty Baklava, Nutella Kunafa and Turkish Coffee Cardamom. You can find their full menu and all the other deets on their website, so head on over there or find them on Twitter & Instagram.

Now, I know you definitely want these! So here's the lowdown on how to enter:


The entries for this giveaway will close on 16 September 2015 and the winner will announced shortly after. The competition is for UAE residents only. Good luck!

Mona xo 
 
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