Blogged by Mays

Lisbon: A travel guide & getaway breakdown

They say, if you've lived in a bustling city long enough, your heart will never be satisfied elsewhere.

 That's me I'm afraid (well at least to some extent).  I live and breathe London in all of its pollutive glory. Yes, you can cleanse your face all you want in the morning and head out hopping on a train or two, but by the time you're home, your makeup wipe will not only take off your favourite foundation, but a nice chunky layer of London's smog will be in that mix too. 


January and February are London's iciest months. The warmest place to be in Europe this time of year -other than Spain- is Portugal of course and I am so glad I choose Lisbon as the destination of my getaway. I'm going to try to keep this short, sweet and straight to the point.


  •                    Ideal number of days to explore the city? 4 days are perfect in the winter.
  • Where to stay? We stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel literally just off the centre square; Rossio Square called Pensao Estacao Central. The location could not be anymore perfect as it was dead on in the city centre and as you know I am a city girl, so the centre of any city is very me. 
Most importantly: What to do?


1. Hire a cute zip car and spend the day exploring the old district of Alfama
FYI: We faced some difficulty following the GPS system as it wasn't as technologically savvy as I would've thought. It was quite slow and somewhat confusing, so you're probably better off exploring Alfama by foot, unless you're lazy like moi. 
With food, I made the mistake of not googling recommended restaurants and ended up having a v. chewy steak nearby. My advice is, go onto Trip Advisor and pinpoint the restaurants with the highest ratings and choose according to the distance and preferred cuisine. I'll also be listing the amazing food I had the rest of the break down below though.

2. 








Why I opted for hiking boots as a change / Product Review

As temperatures drop down to unbearable numbers throughout the world -unless you're lucky enough to be soaking up the sun in another continent like Australia-, it seems stylish footwear options are simultaneously shrinking too. I mean how does one stay warm but still look chic nowadays? I think that query resonates with millennials the most as we relentlessly ask ourselves this day in and day out.

With the likes of Jimmy Choo and Chloé introducing their own versions last season and not to mention Louis Vuitton bringing life to their brand with their take on hiking boots this season, it is physically impossible and almost foolish to ignore this glorious trend.

Shop the Palladium boots range here 


A by-product of the athleisure trend is the hiker boot and for that we are eternally grateful; as we are now able to braze freezing cold while not looking like a hot mess wearing 4 layers of the thickest socks you own.

I decided to jump on the hiker boot bandwagon and I am so glad I chose Palladium boots to do so. Their durability and comfort set the bar for quality boots. I wore them for a full day of brunching and shopping walking up and down Oxford Street and I did not suffer from any blisters, which is a natural side-effect when trying to "wear-in" other tough boots.


First Impressions

Let me get down to the basics, at first I was a little weary as my mind was blank thinking of the full outfit but then I found my pair quite easy and straightforward to style. I particularly chose this pair as the canvas and outer layer of the shoe was a mix of black and charcoal grey which virtually goes with everything. I received mine in a UK 5 and they do run true to size with good room for easy movement.

The pair gives off this kind of masculine geologist vibe and I was positive the long-line checkered coat I wore would come along perfectly with the whole outfit. 



The range can also be shopped at ASOS!

So what do you guys think?  Would you opt for hiking boots as a change of your fashion scene? 

P.s. Kindly note all images and opinions are my own.
As usual, let me know any of your thoughts and feedback on this post.

Love and light, 

                             Maysoon xo

A stay at the Kempinski Ishtar Hotel - The Dead Sea -

The Dead Sea - I rest assured that most readers of this post know of the Dead Sea or have heard of it mentioned in a conversation or two. For those of you that don't, then I am about to unveil this wonder. It is a salt lake (the saltiest in the world actually which explains why there are NO living organisms in it). It is 1,412 ft below sea level making it the lowest point on earth; and one saying they've been to the lowest point known to man is alone boast worthy.

Now, the most important question: WHERE DO YOU STAY?  →→→ The Kempinski Ishtar Hotel 

& should you ask why, my photo diary below would suffice to explain.

The Celestial Pool surrounded by lagoons

The swimming pools here exclusively top my holiday agenda as there are nine to choose from. Each is beautifully differentiated from the other so it is quite difficult to get bored (literally). I'm quite partial to the infinity pool but I also find myself spending a large portion of my time in the Celestial Pool, I mean just look at it!

Top of the notch sun beds
There is a reason The Kempinski Ishtar is a 5 star hotel that truly lives up to its name; small details such as the comfort and size of a sun bed really matter to me, especially since I spend 80% of my time sunbathing (never my face though) and relaxing by the pool. This is where you can rely on receiving the luxury you are expecting to find and indulge in.

POOL ESSENTIALS 
As I mentioned before, as of last year I made the decision that I will no longer sun tan my face as I've seen too many cases suffer from very early pigmentation, sun spots and early ageing resulting in wrinkles due to over exposure to the sun.
As a result of that, If I were to expose my face for 15 minutes or so to get that glow and extra dose of Vitamin D (which I so very need as I live in London) I would generously apply Guinot Factor 50 sun protection cream all over my face. I also use Guinot Factor 50 sun oil on my body which protects me from harmful UV rays but still gives me that golden tan we would all kill for. So grab your glossiest gloss, favourite book and chicest fedora and wallow in.

Balcony of our room (Ishtar Deluxe Room)
This was taken right after my visit to the spa (I had the Renaissance 90 minute massage), I highly recommend it as it concentrates on areas of the body that suffer from tension and my muscles felt super relaxed afterwards.


WHERE TO EAT?

           ASHUR PIZZA & GRILL RESTAURANT
Go for the Margherita pizza, simple but boasting with flavour.
P.S. They serve Nutella Pizza as desert. I rest my case.

Must do: Watching the sunset by the pool

Dinner by the pool (arrange it so that you dine at sunset, AMAZING experience)

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this mini hotel guide/ review - I am beyond excited to produce more in the future, so look out for my next one. If you have any comments or suggestions you think I should add to this post, then please feel free to let me know!

For more information on booking and reservation, kindly visit https://www.kempinski.com/en/dead-sea/hotel-ishtar/rooms-and-suites/
Alternatively, you can contact the team on +96253568888.

Kindly note that all images and words are my own.

Sending you love and light as always,
 Maysoon xo


When do we have till to have life figured out?


When do we have till to have life figured out?

I am writing this undercover at work and I realistically shouldn't be, but I’ve come across some inspiration to write and I NEED to pour it out before I lose my stream of thought. This post could be a hit or a miss. I really can’t tell yet.

Growing up I’ve always found myself leaning into the creative world, I loved to dance and act (saying that makes me cringe too I promise) That also sounded like the hobby list you would include in a C.V, but the point of what I am saying is; I always wanted to be someone and achieve greatness -whatever illusive meaning that word actually beholds- so then why at 23 years of age do I still feel relatively behind even though I do have my life sort of together?
SHOP BAKER BOY HAT HERE

*PAUSE & take a moment to think if you also agree*

I strongly hope you can relate to me at some point, if you don't then props to you, you are winning in life!

The answer to my question is down to a few things for me personally: my internal struggle of being a realist vs./and a dreamer, the problematic habit of comparison, and the desire to reach my mother’s success.
SHOP YSL BELT HERE

Ideally, those 3 factors have made me who I am today which I am proud of (YES it is all about self-love and confidence, don’t mistake that for narcissism), but they are also the reason I am stressed AF.
I crave to live a passionate undull life everyday, I crave to use my brain and creativity everyday. I crave to feel that I, Maysoon make a difference everyday and not only some days, simply put. I crave to succeed. That is my ultimate goal in life.

SHOP MY MATTE LIQUID LIP HERE

BLOGGING
I feel like I should be putting in a minimum of 2 hours per day towards working on my blog but I am by far NOT doing. But HOW can I when I have got a 9-6 some days for 1 job, a 10-8 for my other job, the necessity to produce news story proposals for my 3rd freelance job and schedule IG posts all whilst attempting to stay in contact & go out with my friends on weekends (which I work sometimes) and also stick to my promise of trying to ditch junk food & cook healthier meals in between? If you have a way to juggle all things life-related then be a star and drop me a line!

My life the last 14 days
BTW I am not complaining. I am just venting. I am truly blessed thank God. I know I work very hard but sometimes I find myself saying well maybe I’m not since.. Here it comes..! my worst enemy:
I only gained 6 followers today” and “oh but blogger X and Y managed to quit their job and blog full time in 5 months, why haven’t I?”.
Comparison is a creative individual’s deathbed. Actually cross that, not only a creative person; it's EVERYONE’S deathbed. Do not fall into that trap because your path & destiny is different to others and there is only one of you in this world, embrace that. Now enough with the spiritual mantra.

SHOP SIMILAR KNIT HERE


So why blogging out all of things then?

I love being in front of a camera and literally everyone knows that. I love makeup and all of it’s glory. I can’t stress how much I love intricately planning each new outfit and going out to hunt it. I love discussing life and the struggles we all encounter whilst trying to discover ourselves and most of all, I love talking to people about all of this. So WHY NOT just do it in front of a camera lens to a bunch of randoms and maybe, just maybe I actually help someone find a perfect outfit for a date let’s say or even better; I actually comfort someone who has been struggling with life by writing a post like this. If I stopped pursuing what I wanted because I heard "but everyone is doing it now Mays!" then I would be a very very sad girl right now.. but I didn't listen so I am not, I'm actually the opposite 😊
I want my voice to be heard and I want my writing to be read. Period.
SHOP SIMILAR TROUSERS HERE

NEXT----

Food for thought

Get to the point Mays, I know.
Find a passion and pursue it like a monster, whatever the hell that passion might be. Do not settle for a 9-5 to make ends meat, that is not living my friend. Thought of something? Great, now plan it and start it straightaway, get over any obstacle of shyness or fear of failing and just.do.it. What’s the worst than can happen? It doesn’t work out the way you want? Fine, but trust me when I say you don’t want to get to a stage in your life and wonder ‘what if’. What if I actually started that food blog? What if I actually started that design course? What if I actually pursued football professionally back when I could have?

SHOP CHECKED SLINGBACKS HERE

Things take time.
It is okay to not become a one-night wonder regardless of what you are pursuing.
It is okay to be achieving whatever you want slowly.
It is okay to not know what you next move is.
It is okay to not have life that figured out, do not fall into the trap of believing those who show their life as ‘perfect and glitzy glam all-year-round’ No mate sorry but this is one of bitter realities that social media has brought our way.


Do you know what is NOT okay though? To settle. To settle living a life you are not happy in. Have faith in yourself and your dreams. I know it is easier said than done but humour me and try it out. Carve your journey out the way you desire it to be.
To set things within context and to give a definite answer to the question I started off this post with - I say till forever.

SHOP BRIGHTENING UV SHIELD HERE
Photographer: @Jason_cheu
Love you and leave you for now my lovelies -
As per usual, let me know your thoughts
Maysoon xo

A timeless lifestyle with Jord

For as long as I can remember, going back to being 8 years old and snooping through
my mother's wardrobe, my eyes filled (and still do) with absolute content whenever I
see a timeless piece at art that we all know as a watch.


To me, an outfit -regardless of its nature- casual or dressy is never complete without
that added touch a watch can bring. Once you've fully immersed yourself in the beauty of wearing of a watch, your wrist will consequently feel utterly naked without it. This is exactly how I felt when I first took off my Jord watch after a few days of consistently wearing it. To me, I feel there is a kind of lifestyle that is brought about with a Jord watch; one of subtle luxury and timeless elegance. I sense this whenever I take a look at their collections, but I especially felt this when I first saw the dark sandalwood and smoke piece from the Frankie series which is why I knew I had to have it.
I personally believe that if you instantly feel a sort of connection with a type of product and can imagine yourself wearing it on more than one occasion, then it is highly likely that purchasing it is a very good investment. I never opt for items that I can only style once, because what is the point of that really; if it can only be enjoyed once?

Why did I choose a Jord watch?
I'm going to break it down for you in a few simple points as to the reasons I opted for a Jord watch a few months ago.
1. Unique: the wooden design gives it such a different, vintage feel and I personally haven't seen it saturated in the market. The reason this is ever so important for me is that I like some of my items and accessories to be unique from every 'Sally and Sarah' walking on the street.
2. Durability & Quality: They mention on their website a sentence that has really stuck with me and has been imprinted in my mind since; "The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed". What I gather from that is if investing in a Jord watch, you are guaranteed preserved quality in the heart of your watch. To me that is what makes every penny worth it. It is so crucial when buying an item from a brand to rest assure and have doubts or question marks in the back of your mind of whether or not your purchase will break down in the next 2 months. I am positive that all of you reading this will also share that same thought.


First impressions:
When I first heard the delivery man knock on my door, I was so excited to open the intricately packaged box. When you first hold it, you can feel the soft grainy texture with a warm dark brown tone. Even though it is made of East African Sandalwood, I have tested it by wearing it for continuous days and it is still as comfortable as it was the first day.
The straps sit very nicely on my wrist and cause 0 discomfort.

I usually love asking my friends and those around of their opinions on my latest purchases and I received such positive feedback on the watch. Something I also loved about the brand is that they asked for my wrist size in order to send my watch accordingly. I think this is such an amazing selling point for the brand as I believe watches especially need to fit perfectly since by default one uses their arms and hands for EVERYTHING!

Dark Sandalwood & Smoke

Here's the link to the watch I chose👇🏽
https://www.woodwatches.com/series/frankie/dark-sandalwood-and-smoke

Here are the links to have a look at some other styles!
Women: https://www.jordwatches.com/shop/women/#maysbastoni

Men:  https://www.jordwatches.com/shop/men/#maysbastoni
The one below is my favourite pick from the mens section. This would be a perfect gift for a father, partner or brother. Make sure to check out their Instagram for more inspiration HERE.



 I hope you enjoyed reading the post. As always, let me know your thoughts!
 Love & light,
Maysoon xo


Comfortable in my own skin // how to treat wax burns

Disclaimer: photos in this post may not be eye-pleasing and some may find disturbing. 

This is a very different kind of blog post to my usual. I normally post photos and blog posts that are all about how glamorous life and fashion can be. Sadly, that's not always the case and I am very proud of myself for sharing this post to the whole world when initially I had only been able to show photos of the incident to the people very close to me. I started blogging not only because I liked taking pretty pictures of my outfit and uploading to Instagram but also because I wanted to share my genuine experiences in life that may not all be 'pretty' and show that there is more to my Instagram and Instagram in general than just fashion. With Instagram, people have become their own worst enemy, body shaming themselves and never really happy with how they are because they think they should look a certain way. This is heartbreaking. With that being said, I want to break this cycle and show you photos of myself that are NOT attractive or Instagram worthy and it's okay because the most important thing in this doomful technological age I think is self confidence and NEVER letting anyone or any platform put you down.

A while back I was complaining about breakouts on my face and wanted a quick solution. I started using 'ACNELYSE' which is a Turkish brand for treating acne that a doctor recommended. I was warned that my skin would become extremly sensitive and thin due to the cream that would cause my skin to peel, but this fact completely slipped my mind when I had arrived at my upper lip waxing appointment.
The term 'SKIN LIFTING' up until that point had been foreign to me, and instead of finding out what it meant by googling it or watching youtubers talk about it like I do with everything else, I learnt the term the very hard way; by painfully going through it first hand. Lifting is when wax pulls off both live and dead skin. When the therapist pulled off the wax strips I did not feel anything different, it was the usual slight pain that a lip wax would be like. But when I looked into the mirror I knew something had gone terribly wrong... You could see the whole upper layer of my lips was gone. Because I was so terrified that something was wrong, I left the shop immediately and being the person I am I casually walked into Primark acting like nothing was wrong. It was 1 minute after this fake shopping stroll that I tried to open my mouth slightly for some reason and I felt the most excruciating pain, it was as if someone had ripped my lips off. I immediately started crying and frantically trying to facetime my mum for help but she wasn't answering (as usual!). I literally sprinted to Boots pharmacy and the only thing the pharmacist said was to use an anti septic cream called 'Savlon' and that is all I could really do....... I was NOT having that. She pissed me off as she was utterly useless in trying to calm me down even though she saw how distressed and panicky I was.
I know some people may read this and think I am a drama queen, and frankly I may be that exactly. But to be completely honest, I don't mind people thinking that, as from a very young age, my mum had always taught me the importance of looking after my face. As with old age, our hair falls out and our bodies change inevitably. Yet my mum had always taught me, you can never tell a person's age if they have good skin and that is so true. Skincare is so underrated. After becoming a bit obsessed with having perfect skin like my mum and other beauty bloggers (something which I am yet to attain but will update you on that If I ever do manage to get it ha😓). The reason I became SO worried and manic (understatement honestly) about this incident is my fear of developing marks and scars on my face which are results of wax burns. If this happened, my dream of perfect skin would actually be flushed down the toilet.

 Photo of my upper post a few hours ↴


1st STEP IN TREATING A BURN -----> Savlon anti septic cream. (Purchase HERE)
This is SO important so the wound does not get infected.
2nd STEP -----> A soothing and calming cream: Aqueous Calamine Cream (Purchase HERE)

Photo of when it started to scab ↴


3rd product----> I used Acriflex skin cooling gel which helped decrease the burning heat sensation I was experiencing. (Purchase HERE.)

4th & 5th products: now these are THE HOLY GRAIL products that I swear by and that helped heal my wound within  5 days no joke. I would apply Guinot 'Longue Vie Cellulaire' which is a skin renewing treatment and around an hour after I would use Fucidin (this is prescription only, but you can click here to start a consultation). I would perform these steps once a day and once a night, which rapidly helped my skin heal.


Throughout this process, I cannot stress enough how important it is to NEVER expose the wound to the sun as this is what causes marks and scarring. That's why I would apply a very high SPF sunblock (Guinot Newhite Brightening UV shield SPF 50) that would turn into a concealing cream when rubbed in (INSANE I KNOW, purchase HERE.) I literally walked around London for 5 days with this mask on my face and I did it so confidently you would think I'm an absolute nutter. (P.s Although at some times, I would feel a bit broken and down.)
I had people stare at me like a weirdo and even a bus driver say madam and point to my lips when I first had a thick layer of anti septic on. I've learnt from this, that I will never ever stare at a person if they have some deformity or some kind of scar on their face because some people might not be able to be as strong and brush the stares off their shoulder like I did.

Day 5: Final stages of healing ↴


All the creams for reference ↴


Photo: Jersey Beauty Company

Now it's been over 3 weeks and I have NO MARKS OR SCARS. Thank God, I am so blessed to be able to say that and I pray for anyone who has suffered from worse conditions such as acid attacks. 
It took a lot of guts to post these images but I am always trying to grow and hope to at least help one person out there that might be going though the same thing or even similar. 

How to prevent skin lifting:
1. Do not wax or thread the face if you are on ANY acne medication/ creams like Roaccutane or similar products.
2. Make sure to always wax or thread one small part, leave for a few minutes and check how your skin has reacted before moving on to another area.
3. Do not wax or thread if you have any kind of burn from the sun or any other cause. 
---
Leave me a comment below if you have any suggestions of other creams or techniques that are also helpful or if you have experienced this horrible process too!

                                                                                                      Love you & leave you for now,
                                                                                                                                            Maysoon xo

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