The arrival of a new season means new launches from many of our favorite cosmetic brands and we could not be more ready to update our list of makeup essentials. While it can sometimes be intimidating to wade through a boutique’s endless aisles or narrow down our online shopping cart at the end of a spree, we asked the region’s top beauty influencers to help us round up the must-have products of the moment. From haircare and skincare to everything in between, these local experts divulge their favorite new beauty buys to invest in as well as the insiders’ tips we should keep in mind when putting them to (very) good use.
While Saudi Arabia’s first black beauty vlogger is busy transforming industry standards from within, she is also busy testing out the hottest new products. Although her top pick changes “a lot”, the frontrunner of the moment is a new line of creamy lip colors courtesy of Rihanna’s eponymous cosmetic label. “Right now, I’m obsessed with Fenty Beauty’s new Slip Shine Lipstick because they are sheer, shiny, and gorgeous.” Packed with a hydrating pomegranate butter formula that simply glides on, these lightweight lipsticks quickly became Sinder’s daily staple. “I literally wear it every day now because it complements any type of makeup and gives your lips a nice shiny juicy look that lasts,” says Sinder, adding that she also “loves how it moisturizer my lips”. Out of the 10 inclusive and easy-to-match shades, Sinder’s go-to is Cookies & Cocoa—a warm berry hue with a delicate shimmer. “I’d just recommend finding the shade that complements your skin tone and rocking it.”
Dima Al Sheikhly
With the infamous desert summer officially in full swing—and coupled with the stress and fatigue from this pandemic period—taking care of your skin has never been so important. Enter Ole Henriksen C-Rush Brightening Gel Crème. This bestselling moisturizer from the Danish skincare specialist to the stars quickly became Al Sheikhly’s favorite to shower her skin with some much-needed TLC. “My skin became so dry after this quarantine so I started applying it every day before I sleep and when I wake up since it’s filled with vitamin C,” explained the Dubai-based It girl. Championing nature’s nutrient-rich ingredients, the exfoliating crème helps nourish and energize your overworked skin as well as reduce visible signs of aging—just be conscious the way you’re applying it isn’t counteracting the process. “When applying, never rub your skincare in a circular motion because it’ll cause wrinkles and it’s always better to just dab and slightly rub forward and back,” Al Sheikhly recommends. At the end of the day, the secret to skin success is establishing a regimen that best caters to your unique needs. “My tip to skin resiliency is knowing your skin and treating it well! You really need to know what your skin type is before applying anything on your face.”
Juggling various bottles of hair products that cater to individual issues is a hassle, which is why this beauty expert and owner of Dubai’s Snob Salon has a newfound love: Davines OI All In One Milk. “My hair is important to me but now that it’s summer and humid, I’m trying to simplify my hair routine and this product makes my hair super easy to look good in this heat,” says Odeh. This sustainable leave-in spray treatment made from roucou oil is a one-stop-shop for soft, silky tresses—regardless of your hair type. “The reason I love this product is because of how versatile it is. I’m going to the beach a lot at the moment and to remedy the damage caused by salt and sun, I need a really effective hair product. The milk hydrates and nourishes as well as frizzes my hair but is so lightweight that it doesn’t weigh my hair down at all.” An added bonus? Save a few extra minutes during your styling routine. “I use it after the shower on damp hair and it cuts down any time I need for styling because when my hair air dries, it’s still pretty smooth. Just spritz on your ends when your hair is damp after the shower or use it on dry hair to refresh and defrizz your hair before styling.”
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While many of us are still spending the majority of our time behind a screen, we don’t necessarily have to look like we haven’t seen the light of day in a while. Luckily, cult-favorite beauty brand NARS released a collection of bronzing powders in a “heavenly” extended shade range that this makeup artist and beauty blogger deems a makeup bag necessity, especially in the summer. “Since we are all still pretty much stuck at home, the NARS bronzing powders will help you achieve a gorgeous warmth that will make people think that you just got back from a tropical island vacation,” says Daou. “A sweep of bronzer in the right spots will give your complexion a subtle hint of radiance and dimension.” While achieving a warm, sun-kissed glow is a simple shimmer away, always remember the purpose of a bronzer is to enhance your natural complexion—not redefine it—so buying the right shade is paramount. “A general rule of thumb when purchasing a bronzer is to opt for one that is a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone to avoid having it look muddy or too dark. A great tip when using any bronzer is to have a light hand when applying it and always try to see your bronzer in natural light before purchasing it.”
The frequent, up-close snaps of Alnamlah’s flawless complexion is a source of admiration (and a tad bit of envy) from beauty enthusiasts all over the region and the Saudi-based makeup artist and blogger is finally revealing how we too can emulate this fresh-faced look. Straight from the couture runway to the beauty counter, Dior Forever Skin Correct is the latest concealer from the luxury maison that promises smooth, long-lasting cover of any pesky blemish or localized redness with a highlighting effect. “I advise people to apply it as a brightening or a full-coverage concealer that covers the dark circles and gives a very nice and fresh look for their face,” says Alnamlah. “They can use also the darker shades for contour as well because it’s very easy to blend.” Equipped with 30 creamy shades and a trusty applicator wand, the opportunities for easily buildable coverage seem endless—airbrush effects not necessary.
Zahra Lyla Khalil
As a former Vogue editor turned lifestyle blogger, Khalil has picked up a few tricks of the trade throughout her years in the industry—especially when it comes to keeping your skin clean and clear. “I am a big fan of double cleansing and I love using balms to first remove my makeup before using a face cleanser,” shared the Dubai-based creative. Turning to French luxury skincare specialist Sisley, Khalil touts its Triple-Oil Balm Makeup Remover & Cleanser as the hero of helping her skin “stay clear and acne-free”. Made from a combination of soothing babassu, shea, and macadamia oils, this transformative balm cum cleanser is a gentle way for all skin types to remove their face and eye make-up every night, even if it’s waterproof. “I recommend using it on dry skin and massaging lightly for a minute before removing it with a damp cloth. This helps break down the makeup and cleanse deeper before using a face wash to clean any remaining residue. If you like using face wipes, this is a much better alternative.”