Category Archives: beauty

La Fête du Citron – a dose of Vitamin C in the French Riviera!

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La Fête du Citron – a dose of Vitamin C in the French Riviera!

Created in Menton, France in 1934, La Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival), is an extremely bright and unique event which attracts more than 160,000 visitors every year!

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This vivid event consists of designs up to 10 meters tall, incredible decorations, and floats requiring over 140 tons of oranges and lemons! For three weeks, the Jardins Biovès [Biovès Gardens] and the streets are given over to these bright, sunny citrus giants!!

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Floral processions are organized on the Promenade du Soleil, with a mixture of citrus-themed floats, confetti, dancers and folk groups. Displayed in giant floats, Citrus Limonia is saluted by entertainers, brass bands and other creatures full of divine charm. During the festival, the Biovès Gardens are clad with citrus fruit, forming temporary sculptures in dazzling yellow and orange shades. At nightfall, the orange and lemon monuments sparkle in their flamboyant colors, and night-time events are sometimes held.

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La Fête du Citron is the second most important event on the French Riviera – after Nice Carnival – and is just ahead of the Monaco Formula 1. More than 300 professionals work on the project and 145 tons of citrus fruits are used.

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This festival is held from mid-February for three weeks, the perfect time of year to get your dose of vitamin C!

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-Karen Bahri

Italy’s most Underrated destinations

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Italy’s most Underrated destinations

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Ahhh Italy!!! Italy is such an amazing and beautiful country where there are sooo many famous cities/towns you have to check out. It’s like you have to take a couple months off so you can see everything! All the major cities – Venice, Milan, Tuscany, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, oh my god!! Italy just doesn’t stop!!

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I’m about to make your Italian itinerary a bit more complicated (insert evil smile emoji) Forget the major cities…okay maybe not, but try for a moment. Wouldn’t it be nice to explore REAL Italy?! Outside the major tourist destinations? Wouldn’t it be cool to get lost and see what Italy is REALLY like? Of course it would!! Just brush up on some Italiano and follow my list of destinations in Italy that are a little less “well known” but you get away from the crowds and actually see Italy for what it REALLY is!

MODENA

The ancient town of Modena boasts to have the best restaurant in ALL OF EUROPE (Osteria Francescana) as well as it is the hub of Italian auto making.

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RAVELLO

Amalfi Coast – be damned! The cliffside town of Ravello also offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea!

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SIRACUSA

Settlements in this Sicilian archeological wonderland date back as far as 734 BC! Siracusa was once the largest city in the ancient world! It is best known for its Ancient Greek ruins as well as amazing food.

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PARMA

Home of …you guessed it! Parmesan Cheese! Parma is a foodie’s paradise as it is the first Italian city to win the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy award! It is also home of one of the oldest universities in the world – Parma University.

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MATERA

This ancient city is carved into a canyon believe it or not! It is one of the oldest still-inhabited places on earth and extremely exotic to visit!

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TRIESTE

Visiting Trieste is like pretending like you are actually in Slovenia, but actually you are not! This place is filled with Viennese coffee houses and Slavic restaurants. Uncommon for Italy, Trieste is kind of a melting pot of Italian, Latin, German, Jewish and Slavic people.

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So now which one or ones of these places do you think you want to include on your bucket list next time you are in Italy?? Let me know! 🙂

 

-Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Switzerland’s Earth Shattering Secret Wonderland!

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Switzerland’s Earth Shattering Secret Wonderland!

If you have ever wondered what it’s like to live in a home blanketed inside earth, start packing your bags and head over to Dietikon, Switzerland and find out what it actually feels like to be at one with nature!

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Earth House Estate Lattenstrasse is located in Dietikon, Switzerland. These homes are ACTUALLY tucked within mounds of earth. You will totally get the feeling as if you have stumbled upon a secret society! “Earth Houses” are so called because they’re designed to reside within their environment, blending into the natural contours of the land rather than merely set down on top of it. These homes appear like small cozy huts to live in, but are actually quite spacious inside. They also have a balance of the best of modern design and energy-efficient living. The estate includes 9 separate homes, featuring three 3 bedroom, a 4 bedroom, a 5 bedroom, three 6 bedroom and a 7 bedroom house. There is even an artificial lake in the center, a subterranean parking lot, and room to grow vegetation on the property.

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The aim of building an earth house is not to live under or in the ground; but with it. The earth house concept uses the ground as an insulating blanket that efficiently protects the homes from rain, low temperatures, wind and natural abrasion.

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Being that the homes are protected by a layer of earth, they have natural insulation during the winter that allows them to use only a third of the energy a normal home would consume. During the summer, the homes stay cool, making air conditioners and fans unnecessary.

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The earth house concept uses its surroundings as an advantage – the surroundings are not adapted to the building, rather, but the house is shaped in order to preserve the natural environment. Modern earth-house architecture incorporates the latest interior finishing, such as contemporary kitchens, bathrooms and house-control systems. Furthermore, every house is newly designed in accordance with the wishes of its owners.

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This amazing little community definitely will make you feel like you have stepped into a hobbit hole from the Lord of The Rings trilogy or something!

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~Karen Bahri

 

St. Ives Pop Up Shop!

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St. Ives Pop Up Shop!

As I was walking down the shops in SoHo this weekend, this caught my eye:

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St. Ives opened it’s first ever pop up shop in SoHo! Unfortunately it’s only temporary around; but I would assume depending on the way things go hopefully they will launch an actual store.

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I’m sure just about everyone has an empty tube of St. Ives Apricot Scrub in the back of their shower they have forgotten about. What’s not to love about this product line?! I grew up using it. It’s cheap, it’s all natural; making it a great scrub which has always made my skin look and feel better than many of the more pricy scrubs and lotions I have tried.

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The concept behind this shop is that you can customize your very own face scrub or body lotion, starting with their 100% natural exfoliants, extracts, or moisturizers.

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Their exclusive Mixing Bar contains over 50 ingredient combinations. The combinations are endless! But in the end, you will have created your very own unique mix!!

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Umm, they also have a really cool photo booth!! With a hashtag so you can jump on insta and hash the crap out of your pics. YASSS!!!!! 😁🙋‍♀️

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The staff is really friendly. The decor is fresh and fun. They also sell candles. You could wind up spending a whole afternoon there – but you have to hurry! The pop up shop is only around until the 30th of June! So get going before it’s gone!

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-Karen Bahri

 

Time to add this Rainbow colored Indonesian village to your Bucket List!

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Time to add this Rainbow colored Indonesian village to your Bucket List!

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Just when you thought the world was becoming dull and lifeless, you discover a rainbow colored village in Indonesia!

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There has been a colourful makeover in the town of Kampung Pelangi, which literally translates to “Rainbow Village”, in Randusari, Indonesia. It’s bringing in tourists in flocks – and it’s all for a great cause!

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The town, originally called Kampung Wonosari, is home to 223 houses which have all recently been painted a minimum of three bright colors and decked out with fun, artistic murals which are so much fun to pose against and post up all over your instagram page! It’s an artists paradise!

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All this color has been provided thanks to funding from the government, who were hoping to banish it’s slum status as well as boost the tourism to the area. It’s certainly working, Instagram is filled with pictures of travellers in front of the colourful buildings and giant murals with their fun and creative poses!

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This project has greatly increased the economy in the village and has turned it from a slum to a thriving tourist destination you should definately add to your bucket list!

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-Karen Bahri

Kay Meeks-A Southern Belle’s journey to a sucessful New York Fashionista!

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Kay Meeks-A Southern Belle’s journey to a sucessful New York Fashionista!

So the whole thing started on my way out the door at the Plitzs New York Fashion Week Show. I was running late to meet a friend. As I was jetting out the door – this woman walks by in the most stunning gown ever! She looked so glamorous I literally just stopped and had to talk to her. I saw her look back at me with this look like “why is this girl staring at me” lol so I asked her if she is a model. She said she is but today she is interviewing people for TV. That’s how it all began! We started chatting and this is where a friendship as well as a professional connection began!

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This is the photo I clicked of her at Plitzs!

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Kay Meeks is a multi-talented and graceful woman you cannot help but admire! As she was telling me all the creative entrepreneul things she partakes in my  mind was racing and I knew I needed to interview her as well as introduce her to my people

 

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Hat available on Meekswear.com

Growing up in a tiny town in North Carolina called Bunn, with a population of less than 345 people (!!!!!), Kay was girly and loved fashion. She was also a trend setter! In fact, one time in the 6th grade, she took a black colored pencil and made it into eyeliner! Even though she got punished on a daily basis by her mom, she still continued to wear it! In middle school she made a pocketbook from a Merita Bread bag with yarn and she also started cutting up her jeans even before it became popular! The world of fashion had been calling her since she was young and she was destined for a life!

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She moved to New York City four and a half years ago to pursue her dream of working in the fashion world. It all started when she replied to a modeling ad for a runway show in Jamaica, Queens. Luck was on her side and she got the gig! This is where her career in the modeling world started! From that one show, she got flooded with offers! As her career in modeling was flourishing she also did films, music videos, hosted broadcasts and so much more! This is a true success story of a small town southern belle, who came to the big, bad city and landed her first ever modeling assignment at age 38!!!!! She is an inspiration and proved that it’s never too late and nothing should stop you from chasing your dreams!

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Slaying in Meekswear!

 

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Meekswear earrings

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Modeling a choker from Meekswear

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Meekswear – the “Carol’s” glasses

Kay also owns her own brand of fashion wear. Meeks Wear is Kay’s very own, unique, stylish and trendy fashion wear line. She’s got a variety of products from quirky sunglasses, stylish watches, dazzling watches, cellphone covers, custom designed eyeglass frames and extremely unique clothing with creative designs and catchy quotes!  She adds a touch of her very own individuality to each of her pieces and all are so cool, creative, colorful and fun! She models many of her styles on her instagram and loves it when her customers send her pics of them modeling her gear! Everything on her site is pretty affordable as well, so you can go crazy and buy, buy, buy!!!

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She decided to take things one step forward and take a fashion design class. She saw that there was a very affordable class down the street from where she lived, so she decided why not! During the class, Kay had been scrolling through instagram when she discovered the account of the most stylish elderly women she had ever seen! The one and only Baddiewinkle! She became obsessed with this woman and her impeccable style! There was one outfit in particular Kay saw and had to have!!! She hunted everywhere for this dress and asked everrryyyone!!! When she finally found it, she realized the dress also came with a pretty price tag. This didn’t discourage her at all though! She decided she was going to make her own unique remake of that same dress but switch it up with her own unique flare! She got to working, sketching, researching and choosing fabric. Nothing was stopping her from recreating it with her own personal touch! She tirelessly put her work in and created the most fabulous remake of Baddiewinkle’s red lip yellow dress! Her teacher saw ambition, creativity, style and talent in Kay that she herself had not discovered!

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Kay modeling her fabulous rendition of Baddie Winkle’s Yellow dress!

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Meekswear.com – search “yellow dress”

The talent doesn’t stop there! What’s amazing about her journey is that she found the fashion design class, which I might add was a $10 class and a few blocks from her place in the Bronx, with the intention of becoming a couture gown designer but found her talent to lead her to become a buyer for her own business!

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#OOTD – Heading to her first Fashion Design class

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All smiles in her design class!

It was a great pleasure and if I may add, an honor to have had the opportunity to speak to Kay over the phone the other day. I believe we meet people and people are brought into our lives for a reason! I could have, and almost, kept running out the door that evening without stopping but I stopped and I am very glad I did!

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“Keisha” oversized sunglasses

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Meekswear.com – Puff Ball wooden earrings

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All accessories can be found on Meekswear.com

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“Savage” top & Faux Fur Crossbody purse available on Meekswear.com

I met an amazing woman who is a role model, inspiration, multi-talent, hardworking, intelligent and extremely friendly new friend! Aaannnddd btw – I bought the red lip yellow dress tooooo!!! It’s being shipped. Watch out for a selfie on my instagram as soon as it arrives!!!

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Meekswear.com – “Don’t Worry Be Yonce”

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Meekswear shades

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Meekswear Watch

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Meekswear Cellphone cover & Hat

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Meekswear Cartoon Top

Shout out to Kay Meeks!! Keep moving forward!!

Check her out on her instagram: Kay_Meeks

Also here’s the link to her website!! Go on and shop til you drop!!! If you want to purchase the same yellow dress that I did, just go to the search bar and search “yellow dress”.

https://www.meekswear.com/

 

Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burano, Italy – walking through a Kaleidoscope of Colours!

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Burano, Italy – walking through a Kaleidoscope of Colours!
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Colorful Burano, Italy!

I know you all may be noticing a pattern on my last few posts, as well as some of my instagam photos so far this year. It’s all kind of collaging (or kaleiding hehe) into a huge “cute European village” type vibe. But hey! I’ve been discovering these places and they are toooo cuuuutttee not to share with my Kaleidoscopers, so why not, hey!

This time, I am taking you all to a little Island off the northern coast of Italy!

Grab some vino & leggo to BURANOOOOO!!! 

Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, in northern Italy. Similar to Venice, it’s like an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges. The island is known for its chic lace work and brightly colored fisherman’s cottages!

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The island is situated 4 miles from Venice. You can take a “vaporetti”, which is a Venetian motorboat, and be there in about 40 minutes which adds to the thrill of visiting this vibrantly colorful, yet calm and happy place!

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The current population of Burano is about 2,800. There are many other small islands surrounding Burano as well, but out of them Burano has a high population density at more than 13,000 per square kilometer!That is more than twenty times the density of neighboring island, Mazzorbo. It’s also almost entirely covered by residential buildings, with very few small green areas.

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Burano’s small, brightly painted houses are popular among the artists circle. The colors of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development. Therefore, if someone wishes to paint their home, they have to send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colors permitted for that lot.

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Visiting this island is like stepping back in time. On the island’s meandering narrow streets, you will see laundry strung up between buildings, bicycles &  boats parked up, as well as many ladies sitting in the sun, chatting with their neighbors, while creating delicate Burano lace. Lace is part of the island’s history dating way back to around the 16th century.

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Don’t be fooled by the size of this charming little island! There is actually quiet a bit to do! The colorful houses and buildings make for a very picturesque, enjoyable stroll on these breathtaking streets and lots of brilliant photo taking! You can also  browse through one of the many lace shops, which some may be a bit on the pricier side, but definitely worth every penny.

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It’s key to note that while arriving in Burano, you will find yourself heading down a narrow street full of shops selling lace, including pretty umbrellas and fans. This after passing by one of the few green areas on the island, of course! These shops are highly attractive and very few people can manage to escape from this little street without being lured into one of the gorgeous shops full of colorful scarves, dresses and other such accessories and souvenirs.

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You can also pay a visit to the Museo del Merletto (Museum of Lacemaking). There are many lively shops, cafes, bars and even a cinema as well! As you wander across the many little bridges, you will notice the somewhat ominously leaning bell-tower of The Church of San Martino.

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The pictures alone speak for themselves – Burano is a charming, breathtaking  and enchanting island full of a kaleidoscope of colors for photography nuts and well worth the effort!

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-Karen Bahri

Couture Fashion Week New York

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Couture Fashion Week New York

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the New York Couture Fashion Week Shows 25th season at the Crown Plaza hotel in Times Square. I was there Saturday & Sunday evenings and saw some amazing collections and performances, front row and center!! I definately learned a lot and the experience broadened my ignorance of what fashion shows, runways and models are like.

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At such prestige an event, I realized we are all human, and professional runway models walking a ramp are human and error no matter how much experience they have – just like the rest of us! I saw a few models slip, but continue on as poised as ever. I don’t blame them. Tell a man to walk in 6 inch heels on a slippery catwalk in a lengthy, uncomfortable gown with lights and cameras flashing at them in every direction. Ohh yeah, and a crowd of people too! I also noticed, and this might just be in my mind, I always figured models are supposed to be super tall and super slim. Tall, they were all; but I noticed a handful of girls that weren’t exactly skin and bones. They were far from “fat” but their bodies just seemed normal skinny. I’m not sure if that was just me or if the standards have changed for models; if so, that’s great! There are enough social pressures for younger girls these days!

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I had to have my moment too haha

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Proud that Zee TV was an official sponsor

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Again, having a moment! haha

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Anyways! As much as I want to tell you about ALL the designers and show you ALL the pics of every model wearing every outfit in their collections, we would be here all day! And you know me by now, so you know I definitely have all those photos! I’m going to highlight for you my 3 top favorites! These are in no specific order, they all are marvelous in their own unique ways!

 

DESIGNER: Houda El Fechka Eddiouane (Morocco/Netherlands)

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Houda is a Dutch Moroccan haute couture designer internationally well known for her stunning expressions of femininity, romance and elegance intended for both Moroccan and European women alike, as well as all women globally.

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Her statement pieces are appealing to the eye with stunning & exotic elegance. Integrating skillful cuts, luxurious materials with immaculate results which are often marked with an elegant Moroccan touch, her talent for combining assorted influences with perfectly graceful style has been capturing the world of fashion.

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I was really drawn to the Moroccan touch in her pieces and that, for me, is why she made it to my top 3 list! Chic, ethnic, exotic and elegant. The music during her show was a mix which ended with a very soothing French melody that I really enjoyed.

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DESIGNER: Ruchika Kabra (India)

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Ruchika Kabra is a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology in India, where she was recognized with the Most Creative Collection Award in Textile Design. Following this, she came to New York to study Fashion design at New York’s Parsons School of Design. Her evening wear collection won her an honorable mention while she competed with 29 selected designers at FIT & Parsons.

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Ms. Kabra’s latest collection is all about silk used in its natural form. The collection of exclusive gowns is labeled “The Royal Ecru”, fit for a royal, cementing a fashion moment. To make the collection even more mesmerizing, beautiful crystals have been added to create a royal touch, and coordinate well with the sheen of silk.

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It’s obvious why I chose her to be on my top 3, I will always support our desi independent women and I love my India and our fashion! Colorful Indian silks and embroideries fused into Indo-Western couture is elegant , exotic, mysterious, classy and will never go out of style!

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DESIGNER: Alexandra Popescu-York (USA/Romania)

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Acclaimed artist-designer Alexandra Popescu-York made her sixth appearance at Couture Fashion Week New York with her Spring-Summer 2017 clothing collection entitled “Tour du Monde” (World Tour).

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“Tour du Monde” is a capsule-type collection that never goes out of fashion. It is as timeless and stirring as the memories of one’s soul-enriching travels around the world!

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A native of Bucharest, Romania, Alexandra Popescu-York is a New York City based designer and artist. She is a world-class power acknowledged by the industry’s best early in her career.

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This collection was so bizarre in the most fabulous way possible! Eye catching, mood lifting and somewhat questioning (with the yearn to know what it’s all about). The music was thrillingly intense, as if it belonged in a horror movie! The beats resembled glass breaking and things crashing all over the place! So bizarre!  This woman is a true genius and shook up the crowd! Bravo!

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Popescu-York’s humanitarian efforts have earned her the “Ambassador of Good Hearts and Romanian Culture” title. She is also a dotting wife and mother. Her sons Alexander Julian and Ralph have walked the Couture Fashion Week runway in the past, and they were an adorable and lively addition to her magic in this years show as well!

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So those were my top 3 from the Couture Fashion Week New York shows 25th season! Stay tuned my fellow Kaleidoscopers! I still have sooo much more to blog about on the other collections which were amazing as well!! Feel free to stalk my instagram (or you know, follow me xo) to see more video clips of these amazing designers. There were definitely some eye catching moments better captured on video you don’t want to miss!!!

Instagram: Karenskaleidoscope

-Karen Bahri

Korean Magical Lip Powder

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Korean Magical Lip Powder

Korea, and for that matter Japan, are definitely places with some unique beauty trends, fashion and style! The Korean beauty market is like no other and there are a lot of people who love their products so much that they purchase them online regularly. Japanese products as well. I can’t be bias, Asia as a whole has a remarkable beauty industry. Korea and Japan for some reason tend to stand out more globally, which is why I am pointing them out. I’m honestly not that familiar with a lot of the products in that scene or which might be “better” (it’s all a personal choice at the end of the day) but it’s always cool to go to foreign countries and see what the trends are there!

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I recently noticed some beauty bloggers I follow reviewing this product and I thought it was very unique and fun! This is by no means a high-end luxury product, but it just looks fun to try and it contains essential oils and other natural products, so that should make you feel good.

The brand’s name is RiRe and their lip powder is a unique, interesting and fun product that, as implied by it’s name, starts off as a powder, then once applied, it magically turns into a liquid lipstick consistency.

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It’s understandable to think a power may end up becoming flaky and dry; but this product is made with essential oils from chamomile, rosemary extract, peppermint and natto gum (fermented boiled soybeans) to help lock moisture in and keep your lips smooth and hydrated.

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This lip powder comes in a small, transparent plexiglass with a black cap. Through the body of the tiny bottle you can see the fine powder and inside the cap is an angled applicator. It’s actually really small and difficult to use, so you do have to be careful. You must also be careful when opening the bottle because the powder is super fine, similar to translucent powder, and may spill.

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RiRe Lip Powder comes in four colors:

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ORANGE POP

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HOT PLUM

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SUGAR ROSE

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FASHION RED

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What you do is you swipe the applicator on the inner portion of  your lips going outwards. Meaning you start from the inner side, which is a bit more damp and moist, and thus the magic of the powder begins! The powder becomes creamy as soon as it touches your lips. On dry lips (like the outer portion) it doesn’t get as creamy. Be aware though that the color of the powder changes to a slightly different color when applied to the skin. The colors look distinct when swatched on the arm, but on the lips you will see that Hot Plum and Fashion Red look almost similar. Sugar Rose is a less intense pink/cherry and Orange Pop looks like a classy red shade on the lips. The colors are still smooth and nice but its not an exact match to the powder when applied.

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RiRe Lip Powder can help you achieve a smooth, refreshing and persistent lip coverage. The powder emulsion forms a pigmented layer covered by a glossy layer once it touches your lips. Buildable colors allow you to go from soft to vivid in just a few swipes. The powder leaves a soft stain. Depending on the layers you can make the stain stronger or softer.

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This is another cosmetic line that has become a craze over the past months especially on social media platforms. The RiRe Lip Powders have such a unique texture and they feel so lightweight on the lips. The downside of this product is the short applicator, which makes the application a little difficult. It is definitely worth a shot though because it’s different and fun! It’s a Korean product you can purchase online at amazon and other such sites.

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-Karen Bahri

 

 

The Rock – A luxurious fairytale in the Indian Ocean

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The Rock – A luxurious fairytale in the Indian Ocean

Call it a beautiful drop of luxury in the Indian Ocean. The Rock – A fairytale restaurant perched in the Indian Ocean off Zanzibar. It is by far one of the most unusual and unique restaurants in the entire world!

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If there was anywhere to travel half way around the world for, it just might be The Rock in Zanzibar, Tanzania. This restaurant, perched on a rock in the Indian Ocean, is straight from a fairy tale!!! During high tide, it becomes a veritable island with a wooden boat taking you the short distance to shore. In low tide, you simply walk across the seaweed strewn beach to get to this magical place. Both methods will take you to a rickety wooden staircase and into the restaurant, built in the local Zanzibar architectural style with a Makuti palm tree roof.

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Inside the restaurant you will find 12 cozy tables while if you head to the back, you will find a beautiful patio surrounded by the turquoise sea.

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The menu at the Rock is seafood inspired as well as an incredible cocktail menu. Be aware it is a bit on the prettier side of the penny. A two person meal with starter and main course with two cocktails will run you about $90. As a New Yorker, this is pretty standard though.

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The wine list is impressive and you can even got a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne for $330. They have a variety of tropical cocktails to entice you as well. You can take your drinks out the the terrace and take in the beauty of the surrounding ocean and ponder about what life should really be about while watching the sunset – ahhhhh sounds wonderful to me!!!

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So how did this come about and who thought of this unusually magnificent idea?? The story is, as is often the case in Zanzibar, a little blurry round the edges. The people behind this hotel project were (probably) Italian. They left the island because they may or may not have not satisfied the right people in government. Do they still own it? Did they own it in the first place? Possibly.

However it began, it is an absolute unique experience! It being in the ocean though, one cannot control mother nature, so the view will depend on if the tide is high or low. Overall though, it’s worth the adventure!

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-Karen Bahri