Tag Archives: Lebanese Bloggers


#IAmWhatIAm With BHV Lebanon

Imagine a world where you could be anything you wanted to be. What could be better, right? Well now you can thanks to an amazing initiative by BHV Lebanon!



Join BHV Lebanon and myself in this inspiring campaign that aims to support Lebanon’s youth by asking them to speak their minds. I chose to be summer, but you could choose to be free, happy, excited, or state your opinion about the things that matter to you the most. The instructions are pretty simple:

  • Create a short video and express yourself in 10 to 15 seconds
  • Upload the video to your Instagram page- make sure your account is not a private one
  • Don’t forget to add the hashtags #BHVIAmWhatIAm and #IAmWhatIAmWithLara

The lucky winner will be treated to a styling and photo shoot session with BHV and myself. Make sure to upload your videos before August 7th!


me packaged

The LUSH Experience: Creating a Fresh Face Mask for the Brand

I had the best time creating a catastrophe mask for Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics!


me packaged


Let’s rewind: Last Friday, I visited Lush in Beirut Souks to create one of the brand’s signature catastrophe blue-berry based masks. Mixing, grinding, and crushing the ingredients together was such a soothing experience, especially after a long work week!



putting together


The mask is incredibly calming and perfectly moisturizes the skin. Packed with blueberries, calamine, chamomile, and almond oil, it soothes and softens the skin. You just need to smooth a generous layer onto your face, leave for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water. It’s as simple as that!




The best part is I packed and signed a few extra masks for all you readers to enjoy! All you need to do is head to LUSH in Beirut Souks in the coming few days and ask for your complimentary mask from Carmel + Vanilla for Lush!




Many thanks to Mirna and Mavis from IPN for this super-fun idea and to Lina and the Lush team for being so welcoming!


lush all


Don’t forget to follow Lush Lebanon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to receive all their fresh updates!

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Beauty Essentials your Skin Needs to Survive the Chilly Weather this Week

With temperatures rumored to hit freezing levels this week, you’re all probably reaching for your thermal sweaters, wool trench coats, and furry boots.
However, as the days get shorter and your anticipation to go home, hug your bed, and wish you could hibernate until the storm is over, there’s one element that you should not neglect: your skin.


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The harsh cold is what often contributes to dry skin which in turns rids your skin of its natural glow. To fight this, here are a few beauty essentials that your skin will need to survive:

Your face:
If you normally moisturize your skin once a day, it might be a good idea to double up on your routine and apply your face cream twice (morning and night). A great moisturizer is Clarins’ Daily Energizer Cream which perfectly hydrates, reflects freshness, and provides your skin with a healthy winter glow.


clarins face
Your lips:
Your lips have probably been chapped for at least a month now, but harsh temperatures will increase the dryness and may even cause bleeding. Maintain your signature pout by using lip balm every 2-3 hours and patting your lips with a damp cloth throughout the day.




Your hands:
Washing your hands (specifically with very hot water or very cold water) will cause them to dry in the days ahead. Invest in a good hand cream to combat the dryness: Bath and Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar cream will give your skin a creamy feel, Clarins’ Hand and Nail Treatment Cream will soften your hands and strengthen your nails (tried and tested!), while the medicated Glycerodermine is perfect for overnight application. It would also be a good idea to moisturize after every hand wash.



Your feet:
You may think that your feet are tucked away in warm socks and furry boots, but all these long hours will take a toll on them. Take off your socks before bedtime and let your toes breathe. You can also apply a designated foot cream-what better treatment for your feet than Scholl’s Foot Therapy- to combat dryness.


Your eyes:
Work or university commitments will always require you to look presentable. In this case, water-proof mascara is your best friend. The cold weather coupled with high winds will cause your eyes to tear up; invest in a great waterproof product that won’t have you reaching for the nearest Kleenex. Dior has some of the best beauty products in the market and their waterproof mascara is a makeup essential that you will use until the last stroke.




What are some of your favorite winter beauty essentials?


Dining in Style at Bagatelle

To celebrate my birthday this past weekend, Ralph surprised me with a romantic and cozy dinner for 2 at Bagatelle in Hamra. The restaurant just celebrated its 2 year anniversary since its founding, and despite our numerous visits to the area, we never crossed this place.




Shortly after 10 PM on Saturday, we walked into Bagatelle located on the ground floor of an old building. We took in the little details such as the old floor tiles and the wooden furniture before being seated at a private table on the terrace. The weather was amazing – it really is the perfect time to enjoy a meal outdoors!




Our waiter came and offered us a wooden board decorated with freshly baked bread and olives. We ordered some wine and a few appetizers to kick off the meal.




The Classic Bruschetta contained 3 generous pieces of sliced bread; the first had a tasty mix of tomatoes and fresh Mozarella with a touch of pesto, the second was filled with sauteed mushrooms and garnished with Parmesan, while the third was spread with Philadelphia cheese and topped with Parma ham. Delicious!




We  then ordered the Nicoise salad to share before our main course. While the serving was a generous one, I found it odd that the restaurant used canned tuna and that eggs were missing from the salad. Perhaps this is something to be considered :)




Following the appetizers and salad, Ralph and I split the Filet Mignon. This was my favorite dish and possibly one of the best steaks I’ve eaten in a long time! The meat was cooked perfectly and the pepper sauce was absolute perfection! I would recommend adding some more vegetables, since 2 slices of carrots and zucchini are really too little!




Following the meal, I was so surprised to see the waiter serve me with a bowl of Pain Perdu with a candle on it. He said that this was for my Birthday and he continued by wishing me a happy year ahead. To start with, the Pain Perdu was perfect. I am not really a fan of Pain Perdu but this specific one was insanely good. And second of all, I cannot begin to stress how amazing the service was at Bagatelle; our waiter was so knowledgeable, kind, generous, and attentive. Seriously a type of service that I wish can rub off on more restaurants in this country!


Pain Perdu


We left with big smiles on our faces and that’s surely how we’ll return to Bagatelle!

Bagatelle is located on Jabre Doumit St, Hamra. For reservations, call 01 342 842

Meal for 2 with wine approx. USD $100


Dining in Style | Found: Lebanon’s Best Italian Restaurant

We walked into La Traviata on Pasteur Streey shortly after 10:30 PM on Valentine’s Day. The place is literally the size of a standard salon, which made it incredibly cozy. There was no big fuss about Valentine and no set menu which was perfect!




After being seated at a cozy table for two by the window, we ordered two glasses of Italian white wine which we enjoyed with the tastiest freshly baked pain au fromage and parma ham.


pain au fromage

more pain


Shortly after, our Caprese salad and special house roasted potatoes came in. The Mozarella was so fresh and the pesto dressing was just right. The roasted potatoes had an addictive scent of rosemary and were as crunchy as they should be.




We enjoyed our starters while staring at pedestrians passing by on a big television screen. This sight turned out to be a live camera installed in La Traviata’s home restaurant in Bologna, Italy. We loved this detail!




It was time to order our entrees and to our surprise and it turns out, La Traviata makes all their pastas in house. We had a true Italian experience by ordering the Spaghetti with mushrooms and Parma ham and the most delicious Parmesan Ravioli. Simply YUM!


parma ham spaghetti




Our experience came to a perfect end with the Nutella Tortellini (also homemade). The dessert was fresh out of the oven, which made the nutella simply melt in our mouths. A true perfect ending to the best Valentine’s dinner date ever!





You simply have to try it!


La Traviata is located on Pasteur Street, Gemayzeh. To reserve, call 01 444 471

Meal for two with wine: USD $90

Dining In Style | Celebrating World Pasta Day

Since it’s World Pasta Day today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I have found the best pasta dish in the country!

No for real. For over a year now, I’ve been going to Signor Sassi to enjoy their succulent Spaghetti Pomodoro with basil leaves. This extremely simple dish is so delicious that I’ve never ordered anything else in this Italian restaurant by the bay. The cherry tomatoes are perfectly cooked, but still taste fresh and the spaghetti is perfectly aldenté.


with flower



Sprinkle some Parmigiano Reggiano on the pasta and wash it down with the restaurant’s signature Italian white wine for a true Italian experience.


pasta with glasses


But leave some space for their tasty desserts; we had the crepes stuffed with creme and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Yum!


des flat


Signor Sassi is a great location for a cozy dinner with a special date on the weekend or a big family gathering on Sunday. Great service, excellent food, and a truly dedicated Italian manager. Dine al fresco for a view of the bay or choose a table inside and enjoy the soft Italian music.


des in yo face



Signor Sassi is located in Zaitunay Bay. Call 01 369 930 for your reservations.