This week's roundup of what we can't live without.
Our favourite things: garlic peelers, YSL, kettles and Beats by Dre
Savoury recipes, for me, are all the more enjoyable when they feature garlic as an ingredient. But there's a problem with garlic. It smells. It's so pungent that washing your hands with standard soap does not guarantee getting rid of the smell. Enter the garlic peeler. This cylinder made of silicone may look simple enough, but what it does is a little bit of magic. Separate your bulb of garlic into cloves. Put a clove into the tube and roll in-between your hands. And out will pop a bald, smooth piece of garlic! The garlic peeler is available to order from various sites on the internet but I got mine from @Home in Al Wahda Mall.
* Felicity Campbell
Through sheer luck, last month I happened to be in London when the much talked-about Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation from YSL launched at Selfridges and Brown Thomas on June 28.
Now, as devotees know, Touche Éclat concealer is a cult beauty classic. In the UK, three of these flaw-fixing little beauties are sold every minute, meaning that expectations for the foundation were high.
Well, this time I can report that the hype is justified. The foundation (Dh161) comes in an impressive 22 shades and despite looking and feeling lovely and light, it manages to brighten, smooth and just generally improve. A really excellent product.
YSL's Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation is due to launch in the UAE in the next couple of months, but if you have a friend or relative living in the UK, it might be worth asking them to source you a bottle; they're currently offering free shipping for all orders placed online (UK only) for a limited time. See www.yslbeauty.co.uk.
* Emily Shardlow
The most obvious kitchen appliance
I really don't think people should choose to go about their daily lives without an electric kettle. It's probably one of the first things I purchased when I moved to the UAE; that, and curtains, because let's face it, these kind of sun rays need some sort of filter. But my electric kettle? That purchase was a no-brainer: I use it for instant hot water in a pinch. Whether I'm about to make a pasta dish, or have guests and need instant cups of tea at the ready, or just need the immediate solution to hunger associated with some instant noodles, I've decided that life is too short to wait for water to boil the old-fashioned way, in a pot or kettle on an open flame. Sure, there's a unique sort of comfort that comes from putting the kettle on for an authentic cuppa, but considering how rarely I have time for that, it's the joys of modern appliances all the way.
* Hala Khalaf
Beats by Dre Studio
Celebrity-endorsed headphones are a dime a dozen. However, the mega-successful Beats by Dre range, designed by the manufacturer Monster in partnership with the hip-hop super-producer Andre "Dr Dre" Young, is an aural bullseye. With up to five different headphones catering to different budgets, the Studio version is the top of the line for the average music listener (the proceeding two ranges cater towards DJs and music professionals and can set you back up to Dh2,000). Available in funky colours including yellow, green, purple, orange and red (mine is the latter), the headphones deliver as much in quality as in style. The sound is exceptional and caters to varying genres. The kick-drum is well pronounced on metal records, pop tunes sound extra crisp and glossy, while the bass is thick and heavy when spinning hip-hop. My favourite features, however, are the noise-cancelling plush ear cups, allowing me to indulge in hours of listening pleasure without distraction or discomfort. They may cost a pretty penny but it's a worthy investment for those wanting to listen to the finer details and with style. Dh1,400 at Virgin Megastore.
* Saeed Saeed