In order to continue to address some of the FAQ I receive, next up will most probably have to be: “do you use all products or do you just hoard them?”. This one is really simple for me to answer: some products that are collectors items have been purchased for the sole purpose of keeping untouched. The rest of my collection I use. I could never refrain to! I love makeup and skincare way too much not to play around with it and my fascination for fragrances would not be fed unless I got to wear my perfumes, try to layer them and challenge myself.
When it comes to applying makeup it is also a fact that you might watch all the youtube videos out there, but until you start practicing on your own face you’ll never really get the hang of it! After hundreds of hours looking at Lisa Eldridge or Sam (Pixiwoo) all I know is that we don’t share the same eye shape, bone structure or colourings. In order to ever achieve a beautiful result you have to know your own face, structure and actually, your age! This might sound offensive to some people but personally I don’t find it appropriate or beautiful with a sharp winged eyeliner and red lips on an 11-year old and I wouldn’t encourage an ’80s inspired disco look on my mother – both looks that are beautiful in the right setting.
As I work so many hours by myself I tend to wear next to or no makeup in front of the computer – that’s my skincare slot where I get to test out masks and oils, face creams and spot treatments without having anyone witness the insanity. When I head out to meetings I try my best to wear toned down makeups. The glamour, I save for brunches and dinners out!
Whenever we go out or get an invitation to go somewhere I always see it as a golden opportunity to put on a pretty face, go all in and play with my collection. It is an act of transformation not because I don’t like my face as it is, but because I love the creativity and artistic moment spent with my sponges and brushes. It is a ritual with great music and I allow myself to take time for it. As with everything else, like gardening or cooking, applying makeup in all the steps takes time!
Last week I had the chance to visit the restaurant Casa de Tapas here in Dubai, to try out their famous Tapas Brunch. Obviously, I got to bring my husband as well (eating tapas all by yourself seems wrong) and my first thought was: what #motd to wear?
I thought I would present it to you for some inspiration and then talk you through the Brunch experience!
So. Makeup of the day. For a Spanish Tapas Brunch. I felt I wanted to be playful but yet down to earth as I knew that the venue we were going to visit wasn’t one of the “marble and chandelier” Dubai establishments. I decided to build my whole face around one single product:
the new MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish Illuminating powder in the shade Beaming Blush. This product is a part of the brand’s Strobing range (strobing being the opposite of contouring, where you create structure on your face by strategically applying highlighter to lift the skin forward). I’m not a hardcore strobing or contouring fan but won’t deny that a little bit of it enhances my features.
The Extra Dimension Skinfinish Powder comes in four different tones, I won’t say shades as each of them Illuminates the skin by using different particles of shades to catch the light. My Beaming Blush is the most pink of them all, but the shade runs from cold pink via spectrums of greens and lands somewhere in between salmon and golden peach. And you know what: I used it as my primary eyeshadow!
I prepped my skin with primer and added a sheer foundation (both Burberry) as I wanted the look to be fresh. With some assistance of the “orange” MAC Color corrector I still managed to cover up most of my pigmentation spots! After applying the MAC Beaming Blush all over the mobile lid and blending upwards I and letting the highlight work its magic at the centre of the lid and inner corner of the eye, I opted for the MAC Eye Shadow ‘Carbon Matte’. This might be my most beloved MAC single-shadow as it also works amazingly well as eyeliner!
I decided to also apply it in an other V and into the socket line and blend it in with the gleam. The great thing with this shade is that it can look almost smokey grey or be built up to a charcoal black for preference.
In order to make a smooth transition between the shiny golden and the matte, somewhat distinctive black, I pulled out my MAC Eye Shadow ‘Plumage Matte’. This is where it all got interesting!
As the Beaming Blush transcends into some green reflective huges, adding this cold-toned and dark green shade into the black eyeliner makes the whole look come to life! It is very subtle but incredibly effective – especially with my hazelnut brown eyes. Loads of mascara and a neat eyebrow wrapped it all in nicely.
In order for me to finalise my look, keep it balanced and Brunch-appropriate I once again reached for the Beaming Blush to use it as it is originally intended to be worn: as a highlighter and to build up my cheekbones. With a quite strong eye makeup I wanted to keep it casual for my lips and as I was planning on drinking and eating at the brunch I needed my lips to be low-maintenance.
Applying MAC Lustre Lipstick in Syrup made the whole #motd elegant and smooth without being too obvious or overly done. The rich rosy and cold tone of this lipstick makes it the perfect nude without actually being a nude.
With this look on together with a black dress and some heels, I was all but ready for Tapas Brunch!
So I will keep this light as we all know I’m not a food critic. However, I love to cook and even more so: I love to eat well. Tapas might be this family’s favourite food. All food, really, which allows us to dine for a long time, munch in small bites and mix different flavours and textures makes us happy. I guess anything from Tacos, Fondue and Cheese trays falls under this category.
Ever since we moved to Dubai, we’ve always felt that the restaurant scene here is lacking of Tapas options. It might have to do with the fact that Tapas often equals pork (pork isn’t served in restaurants without a special licence, same as with alcohol) thus it will contribute to the city only offering a handful of Spanish outlets. We had been to four of them but never before visited Casa de Tapas. The restaurant is located at the luxurious Dubai Creek Yacht Club and as that’s about 40 minutes drive from our home, we very rarely go to visit that part of town.
The view is spectacular. Yes, Dubai offers a lot of sand and desert, but we also have water running alongside the whole Emirate. The Creek, as you see on the pictures here, provides a wonderful vista, overlooking our large and green Zabeel Park. Dubai, just as NYC holds several large parks that offers recreational spots for all of us living here.
Usually, when dining in Dubai, you’ll get a polished experience of marble and chandeliers, mirrors and china that looks spectacularly coordinated. The interior design is as sleek and expensive as the guest looks hahaha and it is quite the scene. If this is what you’re looking for, Casa de Tapas might not be for you.
Known for their rustic and down to earth authentic Bodega-style restaurant, Casa de Tapas feels more like a friendly eatery. Dark wooden floors and beautiful , colourful mosaic tiles matches the plates in a whimsical way. It is very Spanish and the open kitchen makes you feel all the fragrances of the food.
Head Chef Miguel Badosa Alvarez really puts on a show when Brunch is served. All over the restaurant you’ll find food stations offering all of the cold alternatives. Hubby and I went straight for our favourites such as the pork station, all different Spanish cheeses and condiments, breads, gazpacho and what I found to be the best part: a huge selection of salads, greens, vegetables and olives. I know that eating Tapas might present a challenge for those who wish to eat healthy. At this brunch it was so easy to find fresh and tasty alternatives to the more heavy food.
While we were seated with our plates filled with cold tapas, out waiter easily served us drinks and at the same time double checked on all my food allergies. This is one of the first times in a while where both the waiter and the Head Chef paid accurate attention to this detail. Most times in Dubai I feel that F&B staff are ignorant and poorly educated on the ramifications of a guest going into an allergic chock.
I’ll tell you straight up that for this service (they could tell me about all of the dishes I had to avoid, by heart) and for the amazing and authentic quality of the food, we will for ever return to Casa de Tapas.
While the restaurant where absolutely jam-packed with happy guests, live music streamed out and some even started to dance. The whole place is very chilled with focus on simple but tasty food. As we were munching on our cold tapas, the kitchen started to send out the hot alternatives, straight onto our tables. We were already quite full but had the chance to taste the Gambas al ajillo and some Chicken meatballs in hot tomato as well as Fried Calamares, to name a few. Once again, the quality of the food, the seasoning and portion sizes were simply lovely. The only thing we felt was that it might have been better if we could have pre-ordered our dishes of choice since I don’t like to waste food and as my husband doesn’t eat fish or shellfish, some of the plates that came to our table remained untouched. We missed our beloved Patatas Bravas and Mushrooms in garlic and white wine. But I’m NOT complaining, as the selection of food served was way more than you could handle anyway.
After salads, soup, cold and hot tapas and breads came….Paella. We were already so full but guys: this is what it is all about! This is the BEST Paella we’ve ever had and may I just add that my husband lived for a while in Spain!
For the brunch, there were two alternatives, one with chicken and the other one with shellfish and seafood. I’m not going to lie, we actually went back to Casa de Tapas a couple of days later simply for the chicken paella 🙂 It is really hard to photograph well but the flavour is absolutely amazing!
If you ever make it to the dessert table alive, I can assure you that there were plenty of traditional Spanish sweets to choose from. I only had eyes for these (and I’m quite sure they’re not available in the A la Carte Menu): A soft meringue on top of a sweet and zesty lemon curd. Super fresh ending to a wonderful brunch experience.
We loved the food, the heartfelt service, the attention to details and the amazing view. Personally, I would have liked the interior of the place to be cleaned up a bit and all flatscreen tv:s certainly ruin the “rustic” ambience – when you see them, it is hard to understand that the food quality is so high as the restaurant atmosphere itself doesn’t really match the spirit.
However, as That Luxurious Feeling is a site for high-end beauty and I (like you guys) am crazy for those beautiful details, I will finish by telling you that all the restrooms were equipped with luxurious products by Elemis SPA. For that, Casa de Tapas gets an extra gold star in the margin!