This week's round-up of our favourite must-haves and what we can't live wthout.
What we're loving this week: Tips & Toes and Clarisonic skin brush
Tips & Toes
I’ve been loyal to my local Tips & Toes since the day it opened on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. So imagine my delight when the chain’s newest branch in Business Bay announced it was vastly expanding its services to include hair and body treatments. I popped in for a “Kate Middleton” cut and blow dry (a cut and blow dry starts at Dh150 for short hair and Dh200 for medium-length hair), impressively express at around 45 minutes, before bouncing into the next room for my habitual manicure and pedicure.
The idea of having a one-stop shop – where you can have anything from eyelash extensions to a slimming wrap and a new updo in succession at a ladies-only salon – is a winner.
Also check out the latest range of Tito nail colours now in stock, including My Fair Lad” (hot pink), Casablanca (iridescent blue) and Fatal Attraction (khaki green). An added bonus: these varnishes are all free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) and cost only Dh30 per bottle. To find your nearest branch or book an appointment, visit www.tipsandtoes.com or call 04 399 0550.
First Listen by NPR
What with all the new music out there right now, it’s a daunting task sorting out the quality from the muck. I find the First Listen page from the US’s National Public Radio website a worthwhile resource for the latest tunes worth listening to. Updated weekly, the page streams full, new albums by a wide variety of established and up-and-coming artists across all genres, from jazz and rock to pop and heavy metal. The page has already hosted album-listening sessions by Leonard Cohen and Glen Hansard, as well as the hotly anticipated new album by the indie princess Cat Power. The best part is the sound: it’s almost CD-quality in terms of clarity. If you have a strong internet network connection, a regular visit to www.npr.org is a must.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
For the first half of this small tale, about a timid man who steps out of his house one morning only to find himself walking the length of England to visit a dying former colleague, I could not stop myself from thinking: “Why, Harold, why? Just get on a train!” But I soon stopped wondering and accepted what he was doing, simply turning the pages compulsively as Rachel Joyce, a debut author but accomplished BBC4 playwright, slowly metes out the details fuelling his strange journey. I loved Fry’s simple habit of accepting everyone he encounters, no matter how odd or grumpy, as well as the overarching message: that even in our most trying times, we need only to get up in the morning, put on our shoes and keep placing one foot in front of the other.
Clarisonic skin brush
It’s no exaggeration to say that woman across North America are ordering their friends and sisters to invest in a Clarisonic vibrating face brush. When my best friend since childhood did so on a recent visit back to Canada, I finally gave in and am so glad I did. The Clarisonic is a big gun when it comes to exfoliation, proper cleaning and prepping the skin for serums and lotions. It also feels amazing and has become a welcome one-minute morning and night ritual. The brush goes in and out of the shower, is equipped with a handy timer indicating when to move it from the forehead to the nose and mouth and both cheeks, and lasts for weeks after recharging. There are various models, including one for the body, and while they are not cheap, neither are exfoliators in bottles and jars – and those need to be continually replenished. I went for the Mia 2, which costs the equivalent of Dh642. Heads need to be replaced every three months or so (although if you remove your make-up before you exfoliate, they can last up to double that time), and cost about Dh100. Unfortunately, Clarisonics are not yet sold in the UAE, so you’ll have to keep an eye out when travelling. Sephora in North America stocks them, as do many beauty product sites that ship to the US, including www.asos.com and www.amazon.com. For more information, visit www.clarisonic.com.