This week, I thought I’d do something a little different – and everyone loves a sneak peek inside other people’s bathroom cabinets..! Beauty products and all that razzamatazz is not really my area as I generally like to keep things easy and simple, but there are a few things that I absolutely love to use – or can’t live without, and since Mr. Arabian Notes is mostly underwhelmed at my great excitement, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite things with you instead! 🙂

1. Skin care 

– Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
This has been a staple in my bathroom for years now. I first discovered it after having a Dermalogica facial years ago in London and became a convert. It’s a bit weird the first time you use it as it comes in a powder form that you have to wet and mix before you rub it all over your face, but once you’ve used it once and felt the difference it makes to your skin I’m pretty sure you’ll be a convert too. It’s won heaps of prizes and awards and I can see why – love it.
Buy from Boots or the Dermalogica shop at WTCAD.

– REN T-Zone Balancing Gel-Creme
I’ve heard good things about REN for yonks but had never been able to find it in the UAE previously. There are sadly no stockists in Abu Dhabi at the moment but you can get it in Dubai from Harvey Nichols, NBAR, 1847, Make Up etc and The Change Initiative. I also recently found it online at the GlamBox shop so I can have it delivered without having to go to Dubai – hurrah! My skin has been a bit mad in the last year or so but I find this helps it stay matte and is nice and lightweight, and makes my skin feel great. REN products are also free of mineral oils, parabens, silicons, sulfates, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances and other nasties so that’s also a big bonus in my book.

– Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair
Another bathroom staple that has also won loads of awards and accolades, this stuff is like a secret elixir – a bit on the face before bed helps make your skin look nice and refreshed, glowy and plump by morning. And of course it’s supposed to do lots of good things to help my skin stay young, fight wrinkles and stuff too so that’s a bonus.
You can get this from beauty departments at places like Areej and Debenhams.

– Fig & Rouge 100% natural lip, face and body balm
I actually saw this on Instagram of all places and thought I’d give it a go. Needless to say, I’ve fallen in love with this stuff – the texture is lovely and thick and so moisturising on my lips – it makes them feel amazing! It also has good staying power so it keeps your lips soft and protected for ages. I only use it as a lip balm, but you can use for all sorts of other dry or bothersome bits all over your body.
You can buy it from Boots.

– Eve Lom Rescue Mask
This face mask is my favourite. I don’t use it too often as it can be drying if I use it too much, but every couple of weeks or so it’s great. I find it really gets into my pores and clears out any remaining goop and I definitely notice a massive difference in the appearance of my skin afterwards.
I bought this is the UK but I think Sensasia Spas in Dubai may have it.

2. Make up

Yep, again – this is quite a short list as often I don’t wear any make up at all, but on the days that I do make the effort, the below pretty much sums up my routine…

– Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser SPF30
I don’t wear foundation, it’s all a bit too much faffing around with colours and brushes for me, so a tinted moisturiser is about as far as I go. Of course it doesn’t have as much coverage as a foundation but I can live with that. It’s easy, it helps even out skin tone and it has SPF. What else could you want?!
You can buy this from House of Fraser.

– Laura Mercier Pressed Powder
I used to use a Benefit face powder that had chalk in it which stopped your skin getting that shiny look throughout the day (as you might have gathered, I’m not much for bothering to reapply later on in the day!) but sadly, they stopped making it so I had to find a new favourite. Enter stage left Laura Mercier. It’s light and easy, I find it doesn’t clog my skin or make me look too powdery, and it keeps the shiny effect at bay. Simples.
Available from House of Fraser.

– Yves Saint Laurent Touché Eclat
I know you can use this to do all sorts of fandango highlighting effects on your face that make you look like a supermodel if you do it right, but I just use it as a lazy under eye concealer. Turn the pen end to wet the tip, swish, swoosh, dab it in and bob’s your mother’s brother.
You can get this in lost of stores with beauty departments including Paris Gallery, but I often find that it’s out of stock as it’s so popular so is easier to pick up at duty-free at the airport when you’re flying somewhere.

– Bobbi Brown Colour Corrector
In case of any areas that do need a bit more coverage – spots, dots, dark circles – this is my go to. It’s not a concealer – you’re supposed to use it after you’ve used a concealer but I find it works great just on any areas you need to even out a little bit. Just a little dab of it with a small brush (I use a lip brush!), blend in and boom, that’s it.
Get it at the Bobbi Brown shop in Al Wahda Mall or their stands inside beauty stores like Areej.

– Benefit Eye Bright
I found this little beauty years ago after an especially long night partying in London – I suddenly remembered the morning after that I had an engagement party to go that night straight after work and had not come armed with any make up that day (every second of sleep counted!). On this particular occasion I looked terrible, my eyes were red and I just generally looked incredibly hungover – it wouldn’t do to turn up to an engagement celebration looking like that! So I pottered off before the party to the nearest Boots to see what emergency rescue kit I could find – and this is one thing that has forever stayed with me. This little pink stick of wonder is just amazing – you pencil it on in the inner and outer corners of your eye, and I also use it on my lower eye lids for an extra pink pop – it’s like an instant nap in a stick and I wouldn’t be without it now.
Available at Sephora.

– Benefit Dandelion Powder
My final favourite is this pinky powder. I have always had rosy red cheeks so I’ve never really got into the blusher thing, and I find this is just enough for me. I give it a few sweeps across my cheeks for a natural enhancing glow, and then a very light swipe all over the rest of my face for a delicate, natural pinky look that again makes you look fresh and like you’ve slept for days – even when you haven’t had a wink!
Available at Sephora.

I also use a mascara too when I’m putting make up on, but the position for favourite is still wide open here as I tend to try a new one each time. Any recommendations are appreciated! 🙂

So there you have it – my favourite beauty staples! Watch out for part two coming soon where I’ll share my favourite hair and body care products.

If you’re into this sort of stuff, you should check out the lovely Simone Loves Make Up – she’s an Irish blogger based in Dubai who will keep you up to date on all the latest make up and beauty must haves, what she thinks of them and whether they’re worth parting with your hard-earned or not. She also has a YouTube channel with all sorts of entertaining beauty and lifestyle goings on so you can catch her there too if you fancy a bit of that.