Dubai is renowned as a city that values personal grooming. In fact, in 2009 the beauty industry generated Dhs320 milllon – clearly there are scores of people who spend hours every week getting their hair coiffed, beards groomed, skin soothed and nails trimmed. Yet summer is a minefield of beauty issues for both men and women, heralding frizzy hair, stressed skin, clogged pores and pasty complexions.
Luckily, Dubai’s foremost beauty experts have lived through their fair share of humid Augusts and know how to combat even the trickiest of problems. They’ll be sharing their tricks of the trade this week at Beautyworld, the region’s largest beauty and spa trade show, which lands at Dubai World Trade Centre on May 24-26 (www.beautyworldme.com). Last year 16,000 aesthetic enthusiasts walked through the doors and, while the show isn’t open to the public, it does mean that many fine beauty minds have their eyes on Dubai right now. We spoke to several of them, as well as to our favourite local experts, to discover their inside secrets for looking your best in the UAE’s sweltering summer heat.
Natural beauty guru Mona Mirza, director of Biolite Skin Clinic, gives us her top chemical-free tips for summer
1 ‘Dilute some chamomile tea into a spray bottle and keep it in the fridge for whenever your skin feels hot and bothered. It can be used all over the body.’
2‘Got some leftover muesli? Crush into a coarse powder and mix with some creamy yogurt. Add half a teaspoon of honey and smear it on your body, then get scrubbing to nourish and exfoliate.’
3 ‘To deepen your tan, mix some carrot juice, half a cup of strong tea (Tetley if possible) and some coconut oil, then rub it on your skin for a deep orange colour. Beware: the colour looks different on different shades of skin.’
4 ‘For total sun protection, apply an even layer of nappy rash cream all over your face. Your skin will be as smooth and clear as a baby’s bottom.’
5 ‘Hair-wise, summer is a great time to try a slicked-back ponytail or wet-look style, so use hair oil to nourish your roots. Heat one part coconut oil and one part almond oil and rub into the roots and scalp.’ Biolite Skin Clinic, Dubai Healthcare City (04 375 2122).
Medi-spa expert Rebecca Treston, founder of Rebecca Treston Aesthetics, on how to keep skin healthy in the heat
6 ‘It may seem obvious, but it’s vital to drink at least two litres of water every day. The body is made up of 90 per cent water, so keeping your water intake high will have a direct impact on the condition of your skin and the clarity of your complexion.’
7 ‘Studies show that while most people put sunscreen on their faces, they skip the delicate chest and neck area, which is susceptible to sun damage and can age rapidly. Prevent damage by applying your daily facial sunscreen to the entire décolletage area.’
8 ‘Abandon the winter make-up routine and embrace your natural beauty. Tinted moisturisers cover flaws, but feel less “cakey”. If you don’t think your complexion is able to carry off the natural look, treat it to a professional peel for instant radiance.’ Rebecca Treston Aesthetics, Euromed Clinic, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 394 5422).
Dermatologist Dr Inaam Fariq, the medical director at Eternel Medspa, gives us the doctor’s orders on how to handle summer for your skin 9 ‘People often forget to apply sunscreen or balm to the lip area, which is a common site for skin cancer, primarily because of extended sun exposure. Cracked, peeling, scaly lips that aren’t soothed by lip balm may be a sign of actinic karatoses, a condition that can be the earliest stage of the development of skin cancer.’
10 ‘If you want the perfect tan this summer, don’t expose your face and body intensely to the heat – it will make you prone to sunburn and wrinkles. Instead, spend short periods of time outside, say an hour every two to three days, and build the tan gradually.’
11 ‘The weather causes environmental and biological changes that directly affect our skin. During the summer it’s important to switch to less greasy moisturisers – try a lotion instead of a cream. Products that contain glycerine, lanolin or petrolatum will suffocate your skin during the summer months, so avoid them.’ Eternel MedSpa, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 0008).
Jean Girard, local general manager at dermo-cosmetic brand Bioderma, explains which products to choose
12 ‘When selecting beauty products to use over summer, opt for those that are both hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (products that won’t block your pores).’
13‘Try to stick to a single brand for your skincare and sunscreen. This allows the products to act in synergy, preventing possible intolerances when mixing products from different brands.’ www.bioderma.com.
Noria Pakzat, regional manager at men’s-only spa 1847, knows a thing or two about how gents can look their best. Here are her summer tips.
14 ‘In Dubai we spend a lot of our time in and out of A/C, especially at this time of year. To ensure you get the right balance for your skin, so that it’s not too oily from the humidity or too dried-out from the constant cold breeze of A/C, try a weekly facial. This can be just an express facial (30 minutes, Dhs130), which will clear the skin of impurities and ensure it is fully moisturised.’
15 ‘This summer marks the return of the beard, but there are many ways to wear a beard and many get it wrong. For summer, keep it shorter than usual and well-trimmed. Instead of doing it yourself, visit a barber at least once a week – they will moisture the face to ensure an oil-free complexion and no ingrown hairs.’ 1847, various locations including The Walk at JBR (04 437 0252).
Ladies 16 CH L’Eau by Carolina Herrera: This scent is light and summer-focused, with top notes of lemon blossom, rose and freesia, yet it’s never cloying or too sweet thanks to a base of rich cinnamon. Dhs350, available at most good beauty retailers
17 Sunshine Fragrance by Clarins: It’s all in the name here. With strong aromas of watermelon and chamomile, this light scent is less heavy than strong eau de parfums. A good one to keep in your bag for an on-the-hour spritz. Dhs240, available at Clarins Skin Spa, The Dubai Mall (04 434 0522).
Men 18 Eternity for Men Summer limited edition by Calvin Klein: With top notes of citrus, mint and coriander, this people-pleasing scent is genuinely refreshing. It’s long-lasting too, so you needn’t pack it in your man bag. Dhs245, available at most good beauty retailers.
19 Aramis Impeccable: This fragrance is inspired by a perfectly cut tuxedo – it’s stronger and more bold than most summer fragrances, but we like it because it lasts on the skin well (key on a sweaty day). Dhs225, available at most good beauty retailers.
Vimi Joshi, MAC’s senior make-up artist for the Middle East and India, on what make-up to apply and how to use it
20 ‘Make sure skin is hydrated constantly. Try MAC Fix+ (Dhs81), which we use backstage – it’s a spray with cucumber, chamomile and green tea. You can carry it in your bag and spray it on any time, and you’ll feel the skin plump up when you do.’
21 ‘Be intelligent about your make-up choices and investigate whether products are long-lasting or not. Go for waterproof mascaras and long-wearing foundations, and try products such as MAC Paint Pots (Dhs92) on your eyes. Apply a layer of concealer first and pat it down with powder. The colour will last all day.’
22 ‘The hottest trend this season is the neon lip, as seen on the Jil Sander, spring/summer 11 runway. Go for a bright, bold colour on your lips and a dash of mascara – that will be enough. In fact, if you only wear one item of make-up this summer, make it mascara.’
23 ‘This season it’s not about one block of colour on the face. Keep it multi-dimensional yet tan-tastic with bronzer. Run your applicator brush in a figure eight so you just brush the temples, cheekbones and jawline.’
24 ‘Instead of lipstick, use lip liner over your whole lip. It will last all day and won’t come off, even if you’re out in the sun.’
Vimi’s mascara rules
25 ‘Choose your mascara carefully. MAC sells 14 types – don’t be afraid to talk to the make-up artists in store about the look you want.’
26 ‘When applying, never pump the applicator into the mascara bottle – this dries it out. Instead, twist the applicator as you remove it to coat the brush.’
27 ‘Apply mascara on the bottom side of your top lashes first and give it 30 seconds to dr. This will cause them to naturally curl upwards. Then shimmy the brush carefully against your lower lashes for light coverage.’
28 ‘Now imagine your lashes as a fan. Brush the inner lashes inwards, towards your nose, the centre lashes out straight and the outer lashes away from your nose. This will expand the lash.’
29 ‘Don’t forget about those sleeping lashes at the very edge of your eye. They often go without mascara, but with it they give you that almond-eye look.’ MAC, various locations including The Dubai Mall (04 339 9681).
Lama Bazzari, CEO of NStyle, teaches us how to treat our talons this season
30 ‘Smother hands and feet with Vaseline and wear cotton mittens and socks overnight or for a few hours for heavenly nourished skin.’
31 ‘Use a foot file on the feet on a weekly basis in the bath or shower. This will keep your feet smooth, and will help to ensure you don’t get a build-up of dead skin.’
32 ‘Always wear sunscreen on your hands and feet before you step outside for the day. We tend to forget that they’re almost always exposed.’
Lama’s seasonal colour picks
33 Paint your nails with one of summer’s hottest colours. From left: Fashion Addict, Sunset Beach, Poetic Petra and Fancy Farrah. Dhs40 each, available at N-Style, various locations, www.nstyleintl.com.
UK-based hairdresser Steve Turner, who runs www.myhairdressers.com, reveals which styles to go for this season
34 ‘Keep it simple. If your hair is curly, use lots of conditioner, then rinse and apply a hair cream, comb through and allow it to dry naturally. Don’t touch and play with it until it’s dry. If you leave it alone, it won’t be so frizzy.’
35 ‘If your hair is shorter, add serum and cream, then style in a low parting by combing and tucking behind the ear. Just leave it like that.’
36 ‘For straighter hair, simple looks include placing hair in a ponytail either at the back or side of the head, then plaiting it loosely, backcombing the ends and pulling some strands out. Then take the ponytail hair-tie out and wrap the plait around itself, pinning into place. It’s a very editorial look.’ www.myhairdressers.com.
Locally-based hair guru Maria Dowling on how to keep your scalp and strands healthy in the summer heat
37 ‘Before going into the swimming pool, rinse your hair with warm water. This will stop the chlorine getting into your hair, because the cuticle can only absorb so much water.’
38 ‘The heat and sun can upset the scalp’s natural balance, causing tightness, extra dryness or oiliness. The danger is that we may turn to harsh remedies to treat a condition that doesn’t exist. For example, flakiness – which may be surface scalp dryness – may be taken for dandruff and treated with harsh shampoos. Never self-prescribe – ask a professional for advice.’
39 ‘Plaits are a great styling tool in summer: they’re sweat-proof and humid-proof. They’re not for beach days though as they expose the scalp to the sun. Opt for hats at the beach or put conditioner on your hair as a protective barrier against the sun.’ Mariadowling, near Capitol Hotel, Satwa (04 345 4225).
This month’s hot spa deals!
40 Exfoliate Why? When skin gets dry (which it will from the A/C), you’ll need to slough off dead skin and start afresh. Where? This month, women can book a half-hour back massage at Beauty Within and get a free full back exfoliation. Dhs150 for the massage (a saving of Dhs75). Beauty Within, Dubai Marina (04 430 8719).
41 Stand and tan Why? In summer it’s just too hot (and dangerous) to sit on the beach. Instead, try a spray tan to keep you glowing through to September. Where? Sisters Beauty Lounge has just launched St Tropez spray tans, and the salon is giving away a free spray tan when ladies buy four (all to be used within six months). Dhs215 per session. Sisters, The Dubai Mall (04 339 8500).
42 Unwind Why? The daily grind of summer can be very stressful, making a monthly massage even more paramount. Where? Men get a 15 per cent discount on detoxifying shiatsu massages at Urban Male Lounge. Dhs233.75 for an hour (normally Dhs275). Urban Male Lounge, Mall of the Emirates (04 395 1103).