Homeward Bound!

Seriously, who doesn't love this movie? People who are dead inside, that's who!

OK my gorgeous little cupcakes! I'm on my way back home. I'm actually leaving a little earlier because I totally forgot that I have tons of stuff to finish this week! haha, typical :) I can't wait to see my cat! I miss him so much (#crazycatlady) and I really miss my gorgeous, comfy bed! 
While I am whatever-thousand feet in the air, why don't you guys check out my post over at Futures? The ever-so-lovely Bex is running a series on bloggers and why they blog, so please check out my contribution :) And do follow her blog, she's super sweet!

PS I have so many things to show you guys! I was packing last night and realized that I was several kgs overweight (the suitcases, that is) . I had to leave some of my stuff here with my parents, and they'll bring everything back with them next week. They're off to some exotic sounding island, and I'm not in the least bit jealous, really! :'(

I hope everyone is enjoying their Eid holidays!! Eid Mubarak everyone!

A Few of My Guilty Pleasures (Tag)

You know, I may give off the vibe of being an ultra-cool It Girl. But, the truth is, I'm far from it (hard to believe, I know!!) hahahahaha Ah, the jokes. They just keep coming! :)

Anyway, I'm in my hotel room, having a grand breakfast of coffee and honey graham crackers and I decided to blog a little.

So here's an easy post, it's a list of some of my guilty pleasures in life. Some of them are horribly shameful and I hope you don't judge me. In fact, I'm not sure why I am posting this, but I'm going to blame it on the fact that I am terribly sleep-deprived and have been doing nothing but pumping sugar, chemicals and e-numbers into my system for the the past three weeks.

Well, here goes nothing.

1. The Script

The Script - Breakeven
I don't know why. I just really like them! I remember seeing them on The Hills (see #5) and then liking them even more! haha I think it's the girlie side of me. Cute Irish boys who sing sweet songs, wear leather jackets and play instruments. What's not to like?

2. The Bad Girls Club

The Bad Girls Club Season 7 Trailer

I'm pretty picky when it comes to reality shows, no Bachelorette or Keeping Up With The Kardashians for me!! So I am not quite sure how I actually got so into this! I started watching this when The Hills ended and I needed a scripted drama fix. The Bad Girls Club sure did fix that!

3. Courtney Love

Hole - Samantha

Courtney Love is someone that I've almost worshiped since I was little(er). I have such a soft spot for her. I always feel like I have to defend her, no matter what crazy thing she's doing (including to her face).  But it's getting soo hard to do. I even have her solo stuff and the new Hole album (with Samantha on it). Obviously, no where near as good as her pre-crazy stuff, but that's how big of a fan I am!

4. Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookies mmmm. Cookies.

My favorite cookies ever. I can literally finish a whole package in a couple of hours. These are kind of expensive in Dubai (a little over $10US per package) and they are rarely in stock. So, I always ask people to bring them in for me. They sell them here in Manila, so I've bought a few packages to take home :)

5. The Hills

Love the Hills. The girls on it were just so pretty and well accessorized! It's funny to watch the first seasons and see how far they've come, style wise. I even watched the final season with Kirsten (yeah, I'm sad).

Well, those are a few of my guilty pleasures! I'm not sure if this is already a tag, but I'd love to see what your guilty pleasures are! Maybe I won't feel so bad about mine hehe. So I am tagging all of you to post about 5 of your guilty pleasures! :)

Guest Post: Drina From Eaternal Zest

Totally Easy Tortellini-Ricotta-Spinach in mushroom sauce

Hello all you beauties,
I’m Drina C and i’m pretty sure you haven’t heard of me.. yet, i’m not as popular as Ms. Aseya here. She’s a real good friend of mine and ever since I have started food blogging about 2 weeks ago, she’s been the best support I have had. We gather on weekends, do a little bead work and in turn she allows me to try my recipes on her with a 2 course lunch :) 
Well check this out, this is something I came up with and it seriously takes no more than 30 minutes.
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 250g Ricotta-spinach Tortellini (The art of pasta making is something else and something i definitely don’t know; so lets stick with the pre-made ones)
  • 100g Fine french beans
  • Handful Shiitake mushrooms
  • 200g white button mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ large onion
  • 2 handfuls of parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 red chillies
  • 100ml Sour cream
  • 1 cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes

Lets start off with the mushroom sauce. Puree the white button mushrooms, parsley with the juice of 1 lemon and ½ cup of water. Once reaching a smooth consistency mix in the sour cream with a spatula and set aside.
Dice the onion, red chillies and cloves of garlic finely. Toss them into a pan with some olive oil. Slice up the shitake mushrooms length wise and add them to the pan. Once the onion starts to change color, add in the mushroom sauce.

Cut the fine beans like so and fry them lightly in a separate pan for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the french beans to the mushroom sauce, stir and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Set the tortellini in a pot of salted hot boiling water for roughly about 1-2 minutes (follow instructions as per packet)
Add the tortellini into the mushroom sauce.
Finally cut the cherry tomatoes in quarters; add to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
There it is, serve and garnish; nice and easy and under 30 minutes.

If you’d like to know more about me and my recipes you are very welcomed to visit my world via www.eaternalzest.com

Eaternally Yours,
Drina C.

Guest Post: Bex from Futures

Hi there! My names Bex  I blog over at Futures (www.ialwaysbelievedinfutures.blogspot.com). I’m here with a guest blog whilst Aseya goes away for a few days.

Today I am going to write about My Beauty Essentials:

Let’s start off with the basics. Everyone needs a good base, or foundation. Pictured above is the foundation I am currently using. I have tried numerous foundations, but I always end up going back to the Rimmel brand. I figure that why should I spend a fortune on a foundation that possibly won’t work for me when I know for sure that Rimmel works for me? 

This is a fairly new purchase as I only recently ran out of my last tube, I realised that I’d ran out of foundation way too late one day the other week to pop into town and get some, so even though this is a very affordable product, I had to pay my local pharmacies prices… *sad face*

Next, everyone needs a good mascara. As with foundation, I have tried many products, yet I still haven’t found the ‘one’. Pictured above is the mascara I am currently using…this is actually one of the better mascaras I’ve found, but I have no idea where it’s from… any ideas, anyone?

Being a loyal Rimmel fan though, I was extremely disappointed in their Sexy Curves mascara. I found it made my eyelashes clumpy and it was rather messy. 

I shall continue to look for my perfect mascara though & if any of you have any suggestions, let me know!

A good lipstick is not a necessity for some girls, however, to me; a great lipstick really pulls a look together. I have far too many lipsticks for my own good, they’re everywhere, yet I always buy more. The above product is possibly my most favourite out of my whole collection – it’s noticeable but not too OTT. Such as some girls makeup staple is an eyeliner (which I rarely use), mine is lipstick.
We all have that cheap, affordable treat that we can’t live without. This ^ is mine. Even if I’m feeling like rubbish & cannot be bothered to apply any makeup, I always use this roll on under my eyes on my under eye circles, and this definitely makes a difference. Its cooling as it’s applied and I have definitely seen an improvement in my under eye circles since I first started using this product. What’s your affordable treat?

And finally – everyone has that one product. The product that you will buy without fail, regardless of price tag. This is mine. It retails at £19, which isn’t a completely extortionate price to pay for a beauty product, yet it’s out of my normal price range for cosmetics. I’m definitely a high street girl, rather than high end.
The reason this product is my ‘Holy Grail’ product? Simple. It does the job. I used to constantly suffer with sore, cracked skin around my lips, which I used to then irritate further by licking. I tried various lip balms and lip salves, but nothing worked. A friend suggested this, and after umm-ing and aah-ing for a while about whether to purchase this, I finally did so and I wouldn’t be without it now. I haven’t had even a slight irritation around my lips since I began using the stick, and I have been using it for over a month now. Also, this little beauty is SPF 15 so I’m also protecting my lips against the sun when wearing this. Great, huh?

I hope you enjoyed this little Beauty Essentials guest post, and I would like to thank Aseya for giving me the opportunity to write this for you :)

(CLOSED) Giveaway! Bourjois Delice de Soleil Mineral Bronzing Foundation and Bronzing Powder

 This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for taking part! :)

I know that summer is almost over for some of you, and I thought this would be a great way to prolong the season!

Up for grabs are two products from Bourjois' uber popular Delice de Soleil range. These are the perfect products to help you keep that 'sun kissed goddess' look going all year long!

Bourjois Mineral Bronzing Foundation #02 and Bourjois Bronzing Powder for Face and Body

The Mineral Bronzing Foundation contains two shades that can be applied separately or blended together to allow you to adjust the amount depending on the season and the look you want to create. It's 'unifying mineral formula hides imperfections and the blend of the two bronzing shades create a natural, radiant and customized tan.'
The Bronzing Powder contains Cocoa Bean for radiance and Orange Blossom Extract for hydration. The powder mist 'delicately melts onto the skin for a perfect, natural and even tan. No need to rub! This ultra-fine powder dries instantly so you can get dressed straight away.'

 Wanna win them both? Here's how!

1. You must be a follower of the blog. There are three ways you can follow Pretty In The Desert:
a) Google Friend Connect (click the link on the right)
You will get one entry for each way that you follow the blog, so that's up to three entries!

 2. Leave a comment below on this page to let me know that you would like to win these. Make sure you mention how you follow the blog, because I will check!

3. Please leave your email address (or any way for me to contact you) so that I can get in touch if you win.

This giveaway is open internationally, and will end on the 6th of September (when I get home). The winner will be chosen at random and will have 72 hours to respond to my email, or I will have to pick another winner.

Good luck, everyone!!

Holiday Haul - 1

I wanted to share some of the stuff I bought this week. I figured it would be easier for me to make a weekly haul post than to post it all when I get home. But I'll put up proper reviews and looks when I am back :)

Up first, some stuff I bought at Duty Free when we left Dubai:

 Soleil Tan De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid Sunkissed, MAC Blush PeachTwist, MAC Select Cover Up Concealer NC43, YSL Rouge Pur Shine #31 Tuxedo Pink

 YSL Rouge Pur Shine Lipstick #31 Pink Tuxedo, Soleil Tan De Chanel Illuminating Fluid in Sunkissed, MAC Sheertone Blush in PeachTwist, MAC Select Cover Up Concealer NC 43

I just fell in LOVE with the Chanel illuminator. I tried it on my cheekbones and it looked gorgeous! Can't wait to use this at home. The lipstick was an impulse buy. It is such a pretty glossy pink and it seems to be little warmer than my Girl About Town. I thought PeachTwist was beautiful (I am going through a really big shimmer phase, again!) And I'm pretty much in love with anything that has Peach or Coral in the name! I needed some new concealer and have always loved the texture of Select Cover Up. I'm just not sure about how it will match up in the winter, but I can always buy another one :)

And here's some stuff that I bought in the city.

  ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen Black, Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain Frenzy, Wet'n'Wild Natural Wear Lip Shimmer Spice, Wet'n'Wild Coloricon Palette Vanity

 Elf Eyeliner Pen, Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain Frenzy, Wet'n'Wild Lip Shimmer Spice, Wet'n'Wild Coloricon shadows Vanity

I was soo excited to find ELF and Wet'n'Wild!! I literally had to stop myself from running over there, like a kid! We don't get Just Bitten lip stains yet, either so I was excited to find them. I bought Frenzy, but I think it might be a little too red for me.

 Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo, Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Instant Repair Treatment. 

I have been wanting to try these for a while, ever since reading reviews online. I actually went to like three different stores to find these! Haven't tried them yet, but hair-wash-day is tomorrow, so I will definitely let you guys know how it goes! :)

 Celeteque Facial Wash, Dermaction Gentle Skin Cleanser, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sun screen, Nivea Sun Collagen Protect sun screen. 

I needed to get a cleanser because my waterless one isn't cutting it when it comes to Manila grime. Celeteque is for sensitive skin, but it dried mine out. Dermaction seems to be better, I think it might just be a generic version of Cetaphil. I haven't seen either of these sunscreens in Dubai yet, so I thought I'd try them out. So far, the Neutrogena one is OK, but it seems to leave my face feeling a tad greasy. I haven't tried the Nivea one yet, so fingers crossed! :)

 Wet'n'Wild Shine Nail Color Blaze, Stila Wonderful in Waikiki palette, Wet'n'Wild Shine Nail Protector

 Stila Wonderful in Waikiki Palette

 Wonderful in Waikiki swatches

I bought the nail polish because I needed to redo my nails, but I ended up getting them done at the spa. I thought Blaze was a good color to buy because it would work through to Spring. How cute is this Stila palette? I wasn't even looking for it, so I was excited when I came across the whole collection! I chose this one because of that gorgeous blue! These colors really are perfectly beachy!  Even the blush and bronzer make me think of an island :)

Well, that's this week's beauty and makeup haul! Oh, and I forgot, I have one more picture for you guys...


We no longer get Laura Mercier or Nars products in Dubai. I almost screamed when I saw this and immediately took a picture (like the loser tourist that I am! hahaha) Unfortunately, Laura Mercier didn't have the tinted moisturizer in my shade, and I'm waiting for them to call me. And NARS in Manila no longer carries cream blushes or shadows. So I'm going to have to go back when I have a think about what I want :)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! :)

Summer Hit List - Eyes

Shu Umuera Lash Curler, Bourjois Little Round Pot Intense Eyeshadow 06, NYX Concealer Wand Medium,Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil Rehab, Benefit They're Real Mascara,  L'oreal Lash Renewal Serum, Urban Decay Primer Potion, Sleek MakeUp Oh So Special Palette, MAC 190 brush, Too Faced Brownie Eyebrow pencil Brown-y,

 NYX Concealer Wand Medium, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeshadow Pencil Rehab, Too Faced Brownie Eyebrow Pencil Brown-y, Bourjois Intense Pots

Ok, so this is a slightly long list...but everything really deserves to be on here!!

Shu Uemura Lash Curlers: I've had these for nearly four years now and I still love them to bits. These give me perfect, curled lashes and make my eyes look awake and doe-eyed.

Bourjois Little Round Pot Intense Eyeshadow: A gorgeous dark blue with a hint of shimmer. It's so great for lining your eyes when you want an alternative to black, or I will apply it to my lid and blend out for a smokey evening look. This stuff lasts forever and doesn't smudge at all. Plus, it's tiny so you can throw it in your clutch!

NYX Concealer Wand: Probably not the best shade match for me now that it's summer, but oh well. This concealer is light, but has enough coverage for my under eye circles. It's almost a little mousse like (though that could just be mine) and it blends so easily. I keep this in my bag for after the gym or the beach because it's so easy to use.

MAC 290 SE Brush: This is a miniature of their famous foundation brush, but lately I've been using it to blend my concealer and it works like a dream!

Two Faced Brownie Eyebrow Pencil: I bought this when I went blonde a couple of years ago, and I forgot how good it is! It's brilliant. It lasts ages and ages, even on sweaty old me! Which is great, because my brows are kinda non existent.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil: This pencil deserves it's own post (and it will get one, soon!) It's a shimmery taupe and the perfect every occasion shadow. I swipe it onto my lid, blend with my finger add a little mascara, and I'm good to go! And it lasts and lasts. Urban Decay is quickly becoming my favorite for long lasting eye products.

Benefit They're Real Mascara: Ok, so this is new. But I am obsessed! Obsessed, I tell you!! This mascara not only curls and adds volume to my lashes, but it also magically makes it actually look like I have more lashes than I do! This isn't "waterproof" but it doesn't smudge at all when I use my eye drops or take a nap. (full review and pictures coming soon)

L'oreal Lash Renewal Serum: This serum actually does make a difference to my lashes. When applied regularly, I can notice a difference within a week or so. I even get compliments on my lashes when I use this.

Urban Decay Primer Potion: Here's the deal. If you live in the Middle East or anywhere where it's hot and stick, YOU NEED THIS. Don't ask any questions, just go buy it. In fact, buy two of them. You can thank me later.

Sleek MakeUP Oh So Special Palette: This has been my best friend the past month. It's kind of bad in a way, because I don't really bother to use my other shadows, I just reach straight for this one. You can check out my review and some looks I've made using this palette.

Well, that's my (very long) summer hit list for eye makeup! Have you tried any of these products? What are your favorite summer eye products? :)

On the Way to Manila

How is everyone? I've been in Manila for a few days now, and wanted to share some pictures I took along the way. The trip was long (about 18 hours) with a stop in Hong Kong. For some reason, my asthma started to act up and I started to get kind of sick along the way :( It wasn't very fun. But we're here now and I'm slowly catching up on my sleep! :)

Leaving Dubai. It was so dusty and smoggy, this is literally the clearest picture I got!

On the way to Hong Kong. I kept showing this to everyone going "Harry Pottaaaah'. Yes, I am a dork!

 A rainy early morning in Hong Kong

My dad was so cute. He booked us seats on the top level of the plane because my sister and I had never ridden a double decker (sorry, don't know the plane terms!) before. I didn't get any pictures of this flight because I was starting to get really sick, and I couldn't turn around :(

In Manila!

 I thought this was cute :)

 My (kinda messy) room for the week. All of that stuff on the couch and bed is shopping!

So that's how we got here! :) We're leaving Manila next week to go to an island somewhere called Antique. I'm trying to read up on it, but according to my dad there are a lot of water activities and stuff to do, which makes this Pisces very happy! I've got some pictures of the city and my haul so far to show you guys, too. I'm gonna try and post that tonight. And I also have some stuff I was supposed to review in Dubai, but ran out of time. So I'm going to try to hopefully review them this week.
How's everyone doing? I'm missing my blogger ladies!!

Guest Post: Beth from All Things Beautiful

Hey everyone!

As you read this, I will be en-route to my holiday! Yay! :)

To keep you guys company for a while, I've lined up a bunch of guest posts. The first one is by the adorable Beth from All Things Beautiful. Take it away, Beth!

Hi! I'm Beth, a 14 year old beauty blogger that mostly does makeup tutorials. I really hope you all like this look, if you do, check out my blog for many more! http://blog-allthingsbeautiful.blogspot.com/
This look is easy to do and is very glam! If you want the look to be more wearable, just skip the winged liner!

Prime your eyes with your favourite primer, apply a gold eyeshadow over your lid, and lower lash line. I applied the colour to the lid with my finger and on the lower lash line I used a pencil brush. 

With a purple eyeshadow and a fluffy blending brush blend the colour into the crease. Take a shimmery highlight colour and apply it to the brow bone.

Line your upper lash line with liquid liner and extend the line outwards, following the shape of your eye. This takes practice, so be patient!

I really hope you found this tutorial useful and liked the look! Please leave a comment saying if you like it in the comments.

Sleek MakeUp Pout Paints First Impressions

I can't even tell you how excited I was to get these! They were supposed to get to me earlier, but were held up at the post office for a while and I was so upset. It took so long that I assumed they must have been stuck in customs or something.The box finally arrived yesterday and the custom's department hadn't even touched it! Oh well, at least they're here now! :)

  Sleek MakeUp Pout Paints in Cloud 9, Peek-A-Bloo, Pin Up, Peachy Keen and Mauve Over. $8.00 each, available from sleekmakeup.com

I really love the pointed tips, they keep everything neat and tidy!

 Cloud 9 and Peek-A-Bloo are the mixer shades. Peek-A-Bloo is a "unique blue tone to add depth and warmth" and Cloud 9 is a "pure white to lighten the load"

 This is about the amount you will need to use (slightly more if you have bigger lips, like I do)

 Fresh swatches: Cloud 9, Peek-A-Bloo, Peachy Keen, Mauve Over, Pin Up

After about 20 minutes. You can see that they've still got that soft, semi matte texture and havne't dried out at all.

These do transfer a tiny bit, so just be careful who/where you kiss!

My first impressions of these are that they're gorgeous! One of the reasons I am so excited is that I have so many lip colors in mind that I haven't been able to find. These will help me easily create all the colors in my head :)

I know that  a lot of people have compared these to the OCC lip tars, but I don't own any of those, so I can't say. From the swatches I have seen, the OCCs seem to be a little thicker. The Sleek MakeUP ones have a very soft texture and I would imagine that they would work really well as stains.

I didn't have time to take any proper lip swatches, but I'm taking them with me on vacation so I will post up some pictures this week.

OK, I'm off to the airport in 3 hours. I have a lovely guest post scheduled this evening, so you will get that while I am flying! I hope you enjoy it! :)

*these items were sent to me by Sleek MakeUP

Quick Tip: Packing Loose or Mineral Powders

I was in the middle of packing for tomorrow when I thought I'd just write a quick post about how I pack my loose and mineral powders. Yeah, I've totally got my priorities straight! Haha

For some reason, I never manage to save the little plastic inner lids for these powder pots. So here's my quick and easy alternative, to ensure you don't end up with powder all over the place when you get to your destination.

 ID Bare Minerals Foundation

Separate the inner lid from the pot and pour the excess powder back into the pot. Clean up the pot and lids as much as you can.

Put the pot back together and place a cotton pad securely on top of the inner lid. This should be secure enough as it is, but you can always tape it down, too. Then you just screw the top lid back on and you're done! The cotton covers the holes to keep the powder from spilling all over the place and getting into the lid.

If you have a smaller pot, just cut the pad (make sure it's big enough to cover the holes) and tape it down to secure it in place.

I hope you guys liked this tip :) Do you have any packing tips you'd like to share? 

Summer Hit List - Lips

I've decided that instead of writing about my favorites every month, I'm just gonna wait and put everything together in seasonal favorites. So here's the first part of my favorite summer products, lip stuff! I try to use products that contain SPF, not just during the summer, because I like to know that my lips are protected as well as look pretty :) Most of the time, I use a plain SPF lip balm under lip products that don't have SPF.

 Left to right: Hawaiian Tropic Sunkissed Lipgloss, Sleek Makeup Bonair Pout Polish, Benefit Lip Balm, Mac See Sheer Lipstick, Une Glimmer Lips Gloss G02

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub: I have a really bad habit of licking my lips. That means I get dry, chapped lips a lot. This scrub is great for smoothing out my lips and has kind of been a life saver this summer. Plus, it's pink and it tastes like bubble gum. What's not to love?

Hawaain Tropic Sunkissed Lipgloss: This is probably the yummiest lipgloss I have ever had. It tastes like a tropical flavored jelly bean. hehe I like this because it has SPF 25 and a hint of color, plus it's in a tube so I don't have to worry about getting sand it in or anything at the beach.

Sleek Makeup Bonair Pout Polish: Perfectly on trend with a slight orange tint. This really moisturizes my lips and makes them feel soft. Plus, it has an SPF of 15 so I don't have to worry about my lips burning. I like the color because it looks like you've made an effort, but aren't trying too hard. 

Benefit Benetint Lip Balm SPF 15: I'm not kidding you, I went out the other day feeling kinda drab, but as soon as I put this on, I was like 'oh, I actually look kind of pretty today!'. This balm packs a whole lot of rosiness and the hint of color is just enough to really wake up my face. I wasn't sure what the red tint would look like on, but it's just so pretty and feminine. And it smells like roses :)

MAC See Sheer Lipstick: This has been my go-to lipstick for a while now. It's so pretty and it wears so easily. I'm always reaching for this when I don't know what lipstick to wear. And it's perfect for the summer because it isn't a bright in-your-face color and I'm really fond of glossy finishes this season (can you tell? haha)

Une Glimmer Gloss: This is such a great color. It's like one of those shades that you put on and then you just find yourself subconciously pouting. Oh sorry, am I the only one who does that? It's very glossy, but the shimmer is super subtle, so it's great for daytime. And it's very light and not sticky at all so you don't have to worry about your hair sticking to your face! A great option for lunch dates.

What have you guys been loving this summer?