Perfect nude nails for summer


Essence – the gel nail polish in sweet as candy

I had been looking for a pink-pearly nude nail colour for a long time. Without any intention to purchase, I tried on Essence colours while awaiting my turn at the checkout counter, and bam! Here’s the little naughty nail varnish that I had been searching for oh-so-long.

It’s part of the Essence’s gel nail colour range, and is called Sweet as Candy. Ideally, you need to apply it with its own base and top coat to enjoy long lasting colour and chip resistance, but I only wanted the colour. Also, I am not a fan of gelish nail.

Click here to read my one and only experience with gel nail polish at Sisters Beauty Salon

Anyway. Essence Sweet as Candy has a curvy bottle, wide applicator and a translucent colour. It swings between pale pink and pearly white, and is an easy colour to carry for all skin tones (or maybe more so for tan girls).

What I love – the colour, for it’s subtle. Also, I have been wearing it for 5 days now and not a chip. So even without the LED lamp and gel top and base coat, it lasts easily for a week (at least).

It costs approximately AED15, and is available across Dubai.

If you need more information, let me know and I can help you find the nearest location – no, it is not a sponsored post. I am trying to be genuinely nice for a change.

And now comes the infamous #handfie: Continue Reading

Weight loss with Bariatric Surgery – Here’s what you need to know

Patrick Noel, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, The American Surgecenter

Patrick Noel, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, The American Surgecenter

It is an age-old problem that men and women around the world have battled with for a long time. While lifestyle changes and fad diets were in vogue couple a years ago for weight loss, now it is all about short cuts and quick procedures to get rid of the excess fat and trim down those bulges.

One such procedure for weight loss is Bariatric Surgery — this is where weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).

Cherry Cross spoke exclusively to the The American Surgecenter laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon Patrick Noel to know what this is all about, its relation with pregnancy, side effects and costs involved.

Shaheen Nouman, editor, Cherry Cross: Does bariatric surgery negatively affect pregnancy in any way?

Patrick Noel, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, The American Surgecenter: Obese women are three times more likely to suffer infertility than women with a normal body mass index, especially because obesity causes hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation.

Moreover, it is proven that Bariatric Surgery can help with fertility issues. Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve menstrual cyclicity in anovulatory women, which probably explains why more than 80 per cent of bariatric procedures are performed in women, and approximately half of these are performed in reproductive aged women. The increased risk of miscarriage in obese women may also decline after bariatric surgery.

Pregnancy is safe after Bariatric Surgery. However, it is highly recommended to wait a minimum of six to nine months after the surgery to conceive.

SN: It is a surgical process – are there any side effects or complications a patient should know about?

PN: It is important to note that gastric surgery is a tool to assist with significant lifestyle changes, and is the beginning and not the end of the process to achieving a healthier weight and lifestyle. Side effects of the surgery include gastroesophageal reflux, usually accompanied by heartburn. Continue Reading

Make a Statement with Swarovski


For a long time, Swarovski was synonymous to dainty precious jewelry for me. I remember Mr. N gifting me a Swarovski necklace on my first birthday with him, five years ago, and I thought to myself ‘I personify goth – what will I do with something so delicate?’. I carefully wrapped it back in and placed it with other precious jewels my mom had been collection for my trousseau.


This perception got a kick in the shin at the launch of Swarovski’s FW ’15 collection, themed Winter Gardens. The collection was anything but demure. It had the signature sparkle and dazzle, but with a lot more oomph and ‘I dare you to look away’ undertone.

Inspired by nature and gardens, the collection takes flora and fauna to an autumnal interpretation. Foliage morphs into lace-like filigrees, insects and night butterflies transform into stylized pendants, in a palette of autumnal flowers and berry tones. The collection features a generous offering of easy to wear designs ranging from the timeless to the fashionable and from the subtle to the bold.

Dusky necklace exemplifies this contemporary reference to nature with repeated drop-shaped crystals which take centre stage on a rose-gold polished metal all-around base, twisted by the addition of leather. Continue Reading

Balmain to design for H&M

senatus_z2mRBsOlivier Rousteing has confirmed to Vogue UK that he is designing a Balmain collection for H&M.

Enlisting the help of two of his famous fans, Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner, the designer announced the collaboration at last night’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas – with both models arriving on his arm, wearing designs from the collection.

“I want to talk to my generation − this is my main aim as a designer,” Rousteing said this morning. “H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain, getting a piece of the dream and creating a global #HMBalmaination: a movement of togetherness, fuelled on a hashtag. The collaboration felt extremely natural to me as H&M is a brand that everybody connects to. It calls for unity, and I am all for it.”

Naturally, Rousteing has already been building excitement for his latest venture on Instagram – where his followers top one million – posting a short video with the caption, “THE WORD IS OUT #secretrevealed join MY new ARMY #HMBALMAINNATION #areyouready?” Continue Reading

CC Favourite: Contouring/Highlighting Kit

EssenceI generally don’t splurge on cosmetics. But I am a hoarder. Always looking for something new. Cosmetics are more of an impulse purchase for me than planned excursions.

And that is how I came across Essence Sun Club. It is all-in-one bronzing and highlighting kit, and can be used on eyes, face and body. It is available in two shades – one for darker skin and brunettes and the other for lighter skin and blondes.

What do I think about the product? I have become a devotee; it has beautiful colours, great transfer-ability, coverage and can be used as an eye-shadow, highlighter and contouring powder.

I have used the whole kit, seriously. It works for a subtle glow during the stay and an all-out glam look for a night out.

I was stuck in traffic (for the umpteenth time) and decided to work the Sun Club magic to show you the before and after. Here’s the result: Continue Reading

Product Review: Secrets of the Smokey Eye

_MG_2876On my beauty desk today – Deborah’s Secrets of the Smokey Eye. Super quick and snappy review for ‘ain’t nobody got time for that‘!

It has become my handbag essential for the neutrals, base and highlighting colours are perfect for an everyday look. The deeper shades help me transform the look from day to night effortlessly. Also, the packaging is super handy and durable, with a wide mirror inside for beauties on the go. Continue Reading

Futuristic Lover

Amato By Furne One - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015Amato by Furne One was the closing act for Fashion Forward season 5, and for all the right reasons. The Filipino designer, who comes across as a shy and utterly demure person, pushed all boundaries to put on a fantastic, impressing and headline-generating show.

He is an established haute couturier and had dressed many a-list celebrities. His reputation for meticulously made garments, handmade accessories, homemade textiles and embroideries has taken him to the runways and red carpets of New York, Paris, London and back to Dubai.

His collection for Fashion forward’s season 5’s runway was inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s tragic 1877 novel Anna Karenina. There was an underline depression, decorated with high fashion charcoal grey, acid-­washed blue denim and russet reds.

As the 40-strong collection haunted catwalk of gravel mounds and decayed tree for the show, we saw some of the most covetable skirts we’ve seen in a long time: denim skirts belted with a bow or knee-length with frills at the back. There were also washed-out denim flare pants that can take you from day to night, and, as usual, heavily beaded lace bodices and red-carpet worthy numbers. Continue Reading

Take 5 with Ranji Kelekar

RANJI-GOA2Cherry Cross spoke Ranji Kelekar, the designer behind the RANJI-GOA, as he prepares to showcase his SS15 collection for the very first time in Dubai, to find out more about the mysterious aura of the brand, inspiration for SS15 and future plans.

1. What’s your background and how did you get into fashion designing?

I am a self-taught designer. I learned to cut from an old seamstress who had studied at the Paris school of seamstresses back in the 1960s. I always loved the idea of dressing-up and was very interested in the way regular people put things together to create their distinct look.

Also, being a creative person, I always wanted to either make clothes or food. I got rejected by the catering school, so the only option left was to make clothes.

2. Tell us about your SS15 collection – inspiration, silhouette, fabrics, embellishments and price range?

My main inspiration is minimalistic design with an emphasis on colour — a neutral palette which is timeless. I have been inspired by the Pathan men who wear floor length shirts with wide pyjamas. So I have taken that as my main shallot and transformed it in feminine silhouette with floral slips and graphic pyjamas. The main fabrics of this collection are voiles, satins and cotton prints, which are detailed with tribal tie-details of running stitch and crochet flowers made by local women in Goa. Continue Reading

Crimson Runway by Ezra at FFWD

Ezra - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015One of the headline designers for Fashion Forward Dubai Season 5, Ezra Santos set the ramp on fire with his crimson collection. Predominantly pastel pink and fiery red palette, the collection was equal amounts of feminine, seductive and dreamy.

Commenting on the inspiration for the collection Santos said: “My inspiration is the old Manila in the 1930’s and the beauty of the older days, the gorgeous mestizas clad in their finest Maria Clara and the days of the Spanish occupancy in our country that has had a major influence in the Philippine fashion.”

Ezra - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015He further added that he worked with Piña (Pineapple Fibre), a fibre made from the leaves of a pineapple plant mixed with silk to create a textile and therefore very organic. It is commonly used in the Philippines for formal wears like our famous Barong Tagalog, Maria Clara and wedding dresses. It’s a hand-woven fabric made by weavers and is very precious and scarce.

He also used inabel, another organic fabric from the Philippines and the rest are tulle, jacquard, crepe silk and neoprene.

I loved the flowy-silhouette, the edgy laser cut floral patterns, camouflaging embellishments and above all the indiscreet gold accents – be it fingerless gloves or skinny belts.

Ezra - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015Also, he is one of the few designers in the region who understands the importance of drama on the runway and bedazzled the audience with a romantic symphony of love, fashion and timeless elegance.

Here are some of the images from Ezra’s fashion show at Fashion Forward (courtesy of Getty Images): Continue Reading