Friday, October 30, 2015

Sephora Haul

Sephora haul

However much I tell myself 'Stacey you have enough make up now' or 'Stacey you don't need to go to Sephora' there seems to be a magnetic force outside the store that pulls me in.  And in this case I had a few minutes to kill before meeting my parents for dinner and I wanted to look at a couple of things in Sephora.  A couple equals 11 right?

Ok so I went a bit foundation crazy.  I needed a new Estee Lauder DoubleWear as I have been eeking out the remains of my bottle for weeks now.  I am the shade Ecru which is a good match for my NW15/Mont Blanc skintone.  I just can't see me being without this foundation now although I have to admit this week I have been using the MAC Pro Longwear foundation again and I love it too!

I have been wanting to try the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation in the stick form since it launched and it's now in Dubai.  I went for a shade down from my usual 117 as that looked like custard against my arm but to be honest the MUFE shading is so very complex.  I went for 115 which is supposed to have a pink undertone but it still looks quite yellow.  But I do love the idea of swipe on and buff in foundation so am looking forward to giving this a go!

In my US Sephora 'loves' list these two products from Marc Jacobs beauty have been around for months and when I spotted them in Dubai I decided to bite the bullet.  The foundation on the left is the new Re(marc)able Full Coverage foundation which I am hoping will be much better than the Genius Gel version which I hated and the Perfecting Coconut Face Primer just sounds dreamy!  I am all over hydrating primers at the moment for making foundation look better on this skin.

I recently ran out of the Josie Maran Illuminating Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer  which I truly loved for adding glow to the face.  I can't buy it in Dubai but I am totally sold on the concept of faux glow so I did some research to try and find an alternative.  I hit upon NARS Illuminator in Hot Sand as a possible replacement.  When I had a quick swatch at home it's definitely runnier and more peachy gold than the Josie Maran but I will give it a go and report back.  I am tempted to buy another Josie Maran though!

My skin is fairly settled at the moment but I would much rather be in 'prevention rather than cure' mode.  The Estee Lauder Clear Difference range has been on my radar for ages now but when I saw a review of this serum by Laura it gave me the push I needed to invest.  That and the words 'salicylic acid'.  I have pretty high hopes for this after reading good things about the entire range but I will definitely report back.

My best friend Dani has been raving to me about the Sephora Colorful Shadow and Liner sticks from Sephora and asked me to pick her some up, so whilst I did that I go two for myself.  I went for typical Stacey colours-a shimmery dark taupe and a shimmery beige.  Could these be Charlotte Tilbury dupes?  I'll let you know.  The top shade is called Taupe and the bottom shade is Dark Taupe Shimmer.

Finally I picked up some of the Sephora own brand eye masks.  These are the saturated cotton pads you place under your eyes and then discard-I have long been a fan of the SKII ones but oh so pricey!  These are a much more pocket friendly AED18 (about £3).  I love the fact they're disposable and there is no rinsing/mess afterwards.  I love face masks but that's my pet hate.  Later in the week I got my mum to buy me 3 of the sheet face masks and I tried one immediately and actually really liked it!  Yes you look like (according to Sarah) Jason Voorhees for 20 minutes but the mask was so cooling and pleasant on the skin and it forced me to stop and chill for 20 mins.  And then no annoying rinsing off afterwards.  I can see me having a permanent stock of these!

What have you been buying recently?  Maybe you shouldn't tell me-I need to go on a serious no buy!  Oh go on then........

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dubai Lifestyle: Afternoon tea at The Palace Downtown

I know what you're thinking...I just posted about Afternoon Tea 10 days ago-you're right, what can I say, I have a penchant for itty bitty sandwiches and all the cake!  I wanted to post about this one at The Palace because a) its the third time I have been and I love it so much (I posted about it first here) b) it's the only afternoon tea I know of in Dubai that offers a buffet style tea (currently offered on a Wednesday and Sunday) and c) if you live in Dubai or are visiting I highly recommend it.  Oh and d) I went with my parents and I am really missing them now they are back in the UK.

So sit back and enjoy pictures of cake-hope it doesn't make you too hungry!  When we visited this time there was a 'honey' theme to the afternoon tea with honey tastings.  There was also a 'breast cancer awareness month' theme and the decorations above the cake/sandwich table were very striking.

The sandwiches are just to die for here-the chicken and chive mayo seems to be a staple and it's absolutely delicious.  The cream cheese with pecan, smoked salmon roulade and the melted goats cheese with grape were my favourite from the selection on offer.

As you can see the attention to detail is just astounding-can you imagine making all of these individual desserts by hand?  I love edible gold leaf!

The scones here admittedly aren't my favourite, I find them quite heavy and doughy but the jam is delicious.  There were two types of scones available, traditional and green tea.

The view from the terrace outside is quite stunning-the Burj Khalifa in all it's glittery glory to the right and the hotel pool ahead-it's very peaceful given the hub of activity all around this area.

This is a lovely way to spend a lazy afternoon with friends or family and the food, setting and value for money really can't be beaten I think.  There's something for everyone and you definitely won't leave hungry!  On the other days to the buffet they do the traditional stand afternoon tea which you can read about here-it may have changed as it's a couple of years since I took my parents but I personally think the buffet is much better for fussy eaters like me!

The price of this Afternoon Tea is currently AED160 per head and if you have the Entertainer App/Book (UAE people will know what I mean) there are 3 buy one get one free vouchers for afternoon tea in Al Bayt in there.  Meaning I can go twice more before the end of the year ;-)

PS-not a sponsored post-I booked and paid for this myself, I just love it and think it is worthy of a blog post!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Lip Six

Happy Monday and hello from Cairo!  I'm here working until Thursday and I have a feeling this week is going to be a tough one!  But first lipstick....

Top row (L) YSL Rouge Volupte Pearl in 113 Iridescent Burgundy (beautiful colour but so hard to get even) (R) Illamasqua lipstick in Eurydice

Middle row (L) Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Precieuse (LE) (R) Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Amazing Grace (review!)

Bottom row (L) Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Candy (R) Dolce and Gabbana Classic Creme lipstick in 240 Gorgeous (review!)

I just wanted to explain why over the past couple of weeks there has been a few Estee Lauder, Charlotte Tilbury and YSL lipsticks.  On my snapchat I showed some of my lipstick storage and pledged to go through my lipstick drawer methodically over the next few weeks and try every single lipstick.  I am doing it line by line but I do house my lipsticks by brand hence the frequent appearance of these brands at the moment!

Next week expect lots of Burberry!

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Four things I am using right now

I've been wanting to do a series of mini reviews for a while as I use a lot of things that are worthy of mention so here is 'four things I am using right now #1'.

First up is the Kat Von D Immortal 24 hr Lash mascara.  I love the packaging-ok so it is that horrible, 'attracts all dirt and fingerprints' rubberised packaging but it has a red foiled pattern on it that happens to match my nail polish exactly!  The wand is really unusual-it's a flexible silicone wand with a spiked, spiral stem and then a rounded spiked ball tip.  The spiked, spiral stem is ingenious for getting to the root of the lashes and really coating them from root to tip.  I'm not a huge fan of the round spiky tip but I haven't spoken highly of other mascaras with this ball mechanism like the Givenchy Noir Couture.  But this mascara delivers volume, length and separation and doesn't smudge or flake.  What I really like is that it is so buildable-you can really ramp up the effect by layering without fearing it will go clumpy or you'll end up with a monolash. If you're debating between this and the NARS Audacious mascara then I rate this one much higher than the NARS.  The brush also doesn't scratch my lashes like the NARS mascara does.  I bought mine in the US but KVD is a brand that Sephora will ship to the UK and if you're in Dubai, the brand has just launched here.

Kat Von D Immortal 24 hr Lash mascara

It's been well documented that I need a another perfume like a hole in the head but when Jo Malone releases one I go weak at the knees.  Enter Mimosa and Cardamon-the newest launch.  I won't say too much because my perfume reviews are about as useful as a chocolate fireguard given my sense of smell is null and void but from what I can smell, I love.  I have always loved Tonka Bean which is the base note and what I smell on myself is warm and comforting yet fresh at the same time.   I love 'creamy' scents when we move into Autumn and Winter and this fits the bill nicely.  I believe this layers well with Wood Sage & Sea Salt, Nectarine & Honey Blossom and English Pear & Freesia-all of which I own.  The major complaint I have seen online seems to be the longevity of this fragrance but layering fragrances can definitely help.

Onto skincare-first up the cult Omorovicza thermal cleansing balm.  I am really on the fence about it-I love it as a cleanser but I think it's very expensive considering how fast I have gotten through it and it's also bugger to remove.  The cleanser itself is a black Hungarian Moor Mud oily balm, enriched with thermal waters and minerals such as copper, zinc, magnesium and calcium.  I feel that the quality of the ingredients mean this should be a great, skin benefiting second cleanse in the evening but actually it's also a very effective make up remover that cuts through heavy make up easily.

Omorovicza thermal cleansing balm

Omorovicza thermal cleansing balm

The texture is the most bizarre thing-in the pot it feels light and oily and applies to dry skin it massages in easily.  It's 99% smooth but very occasionally I feel little tiny scrubby bits in the formula.  When you add water though the balm thickens and feels like a gel and it really sticks to the skin.  You cannot rinse this off.  It's genuinely impossible.  You must gently rinse this off with a wet flannel-you'll be amazed at the colour of your flannel and how much makeup this takes off.  But I do find you really have to be careful not to leave a residue on the skin and to really take the time and effort remove it properly.  I find it slightly easier if I dampen my hands first before applying it to my skin.  But afterwards my skin is so soft-the softest I have ever felt after cleaning.  The clays keep my skin clear and calm but at £46 for 50ml I just think there are other things that are just as efficient at removing make up-although admittedly I have never found anything that leaves my skin as soft.

Last up the Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost*.  I haven't met anyone who doesn't love the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Balm-this was in my Holy Grails of 2014 post and I recently bought another one.  I had a little wishlist of Oskia products to try so I was thrilled when this landed on my doorstep.  I feel like overnight booster creams/masks have become quite popular over the past year or so-products that work hard whilst you don't.  I love the packaging-it's heavy glass and really luxurious.  The cream looks quite heavy in the jar but on the skin it's actually very light.  I love rose scented products and the scent of this is very calming-especially as a last step in my evening routine.

Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost
Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost

There is a luxurious cocktail of skin boosters in this cream-Oskia's patented MSM Regen-Complex, Milk Peptides, vitamins A, B3 and E, Swiss Apple Stem Cells, Hyaluronic Acid, Phytosterols and Omegas 3, 6 and 9.  They all work together to plump out fine lines, boost hydration and improve tone and texture.  It absorbs immediately with no residue.  I've been using it every other night (with the Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster on the other nights).  If you have slightly drier skin you will love this and want to slather your face in it!  I feel like I walk up with plumper and better hydrated skin-meaning my makeup is sitting better on my skin the next day.

Have you tried any of these products?

*contains a PR sample.  All thoughts are, of course my very own.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Becca Beach Tint review

Becca Beach Tint review

I know if you're in the UK or the US (or basically anywhere west of Dubai) then to be reviewing a 'beach tint' in October may be seasonally inappropriate.  But what can I say-cream blush is cream blush and something I slather on my cheeks all year round.  And anyway, we only have two seasons in Dubai-hot and scorchio.

I fully expected to love the Becca Beach Tint water resistant colour for cheeks and lips-cream blush is something I use every day.  Sadly however, I don't like the formula of these.  Swatched on my arm they look pigmented but I find them to be watery and uneven.  The texture is light and non greasy and they do dry down on the skin.  But I have tried applying them both with a small stippling brush (MAC130 is my weapon of choice) and my fingers and I just find that they eat through the foundation/primer I have put on and look wishy washy on my skin.  I feel like the blush lifts the foundation off my skin and mixes in with the blush which dilutes it.  Both of the colours look the same on me despite dragonfruit being much paler and more coral in real life.

I don't like them on my lips either-I feel again that they are too wishy washy and uneven on the lips.

Becca Beach Tint review

As I've said earlier I do like cream blush and currently absolutely love the NARS Multiples-you just swipe on the skin straight from the tube and blend out-they don't penetrate the foundation underneath and because it's a heavier formula it sits much more nicely on the skin.

Have you tried the Becca beach tints or similar?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Recent empties

I haven't done an empties post for a couple of months so I thought I would share the empties that are piling up-if only so I can get rid of them!

First up a couple of masks and a night time oil.  The Michael Todd Avacado and Mango hydrating mask is the first skincare product I have used from Michael Todd that I haven't loved.  It's a thick yellow creme-gel that doesn't set but yet is still quite difficult to remove.  It's designed to be extremely hydrating but it also contains salicylic acid so should be good for blemish prone skin.  But I just didn't feel any benefit from using this.  The Origins Out of Trouble mask is an old school white clay mask that dries down and contains anti blemish powerhouses like Zinc Oxide, Sulfur, Camphor and Salicylic Acid.  Sometimes I loved this and felt it really cleared up my skin but sometimes I would use it and wake up the next morning with new spots which I know could just be the mask bringing out what is lurking under my skin but it was annoying.

I am however really missing the Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial oil in my evening routine-especially combined with the Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster.  I reviewed both products here and I highly recommend checking both out.  In a nutshell it's a serum oil packed with calming and soothing essential oils, vitamins, peptides and antioxidents all designed to firm and revitalise.

I finished another big bottle of Bioderma.  I never ever use this to remove make up on my face but I do use it to remove my eye make up.  However, I have to say it's not been cutting it recently with the two new mascaras I have been using and I am really just using Bioderma now to clean up leftover mascara smudges after I cleanse or to remove swatches from my hands.  But I will always have a bottle!

There's a full review of the Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash here and this is either my second or third bottle.  It does contain non abrasive, chemically exfoliating ingredients derived from the Larch Tree and Babassu Oil to lift away dead and dull skin cells but it's still gentle enough for sensitive skins and can be used day and night.  200ml lasts for an absolute age and at around the £20 mark I think it's incredible value for money.  I apply to dry skin and rinse off using a damp flannel.

You may have recently read me pledging my love for the Clarins Extra Comfort Anti Pollution Cleansing Cream-if you didn't you can read a full review here.

Cicaplast Levres is LRP's ultra hydrating lip balm and although I used the full tube I didn't like it as much as Eucerin Aquaphor skin balm which is my all time holy grail for dry lips.  But the Cicaplast is packaged much more conveniently than the Aquaphor and is great for throwing in your handbag.

The MAC Prep and Prime Blemish control gel is my holy grail for zapping pesky spots.  It's a salicylic formula but doesn't make the skin dry, flaky or tight.  It is a bit stingy on application but that only lasts a few seconds.

My last skincare empty is the Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse.  Again this is the first thing I have tried from Elemental Herbology that I didn't love.  I think you could only use this as a morning cleanser only because it's not heavy enough to remove make up.  It's a very light liquid oil
that I apply to dry skin as I step into the shower and then rinse off.  It contains avocado oil, vitamin C, raspberry seed, grapefruit and geranium oils plus argan and jojoba oils but I just found it to be a very basic cleanser for a light morning cleanse.

I finished up two brightening concealers-both completely different price points but both lovely and worthy of a repurchase.  The L'Oreal MagiLumi concealer is great for highlighting under the eye and blends well and the Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator is very very similar to YSL Touche Eclat (even down to the packaging) and can be used to conceal dark circles too. 

I had to throw my Clinique bottom lash mascara out as it had all but dried up but I did really love this for it's teeny brush and the fact it never ever smudges.

The MAC Prep and Prime 24 hr extend eye base is my favourite ever eye base.  It has terrible packaging that always squeezes out too much product but it works amazingly well to keep eyeshadow from fading and creasing.  I really like the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer-my brightening under eye shade is Light Warm but admittedly the colour selection/naming is weird and I recommend swatching in store rather than buying blind.  It's similar to the NARS creamy concealer but way better.  It doesn't crease, it has good coverage and it doesn't oxidise-plus it blends like a dream.  I will probably repurchase.

The eyeshadow you see was a limited edition eyeshadow from MAC from the Electric Cool range and this was the shade Superwatt.  I have included it because I think I have seen this back online and it's an amazing cream eyeshadow texture that refuses to budge or crease once on the lid.  Superwatt was an incredible light bronze tone that was beautifully reflective on the eye.  I just patted it on with a finger and blended the edges with a fluffy brush like a MAC 217.  Once it's on, it's on and it's going no where.

Finally, a sad empty-the Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt perfume.  I really love this fragrance from Jo Malone and want to repurchase but my fragrance collection is currently insane.  I'm putting it on my Xmas list though and I still have the candle to enjoy!  I'm also really enjoying the latest release from Jo Malone-Mimosa and Cardamon

Have you used any of these products?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lip Six

Happy Monday!  It's my dads birthday today so we're off out for Chinese food later tonight.

Here's are my last six lip choices.

Top row: (L) YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in 9 Caress Pink (R) Burberry Lip Cover in Oxblood

Middle row (L) Burberry Lip Velvet in Pink Amber (R) Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gel in 14 Pink Dahlia

Bottom row (L) Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Raise The Bar (R) Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Lost Cherry

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine review

Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine review

Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine review

Damn it I haven't done a negative review of a Tom Ford make up product yet.  Today I am going to.  Well it's not negative, negative per se, it's just more lukewarm and 'I'm not advocating you go straight out and buy these'.

I love Tom Ford lipsticks.  Like love them.  I reviewed four of the Private Blend shades from my collection here and even looking back at that post I am thinking 'so nice'!

So mainline Private Blend Tom Ford lipsticks are a splurge I know, but they're a worthwhile one if you want (need) a luxury lipstick.

I purchased four of the Lip Color Shine formula (£38 each in the UK), the glossier and lighter version of the Private Blend lipsticks.  I've been impressed with other 'shine' formulas, such as the Dior Rouge Dior Baume and Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Shine and I reach for them often as a no fuss, sheeny veil of colour so I had really high expectations of the Tom Ford version.

They come packaged in the same luxury black and gold lipstick casing but a slightly skinnier version.  There is the signature TF embossed into the casing lid but no TF embossed onto the actual bullet.  The bullet has a flattened off angled tip which seems common in this type of formula.

Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine review

Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine review

Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine review

So my thoughts.....I really dislike two of them and the other two I like but they're practically the same shade and I definitely don't need both.

Bare and Chastity do absolutely nothing for me at all.  Bare is so grey toned on me it makes me look ill.  It also has extremely visible gold glitter specks through it that remain on the lips long after the colour has worn off which looks weird.  Chastity is a shade I really searched for as it was always out of stock, but again it looks terrible on me-streaky, uneven and really milky.  It's so pale it makes me look ghostly and it also has that smattering of golden glitter in the formula.

Quiver and Ravenous though are blue based pinks that are right up my street...but look how similar they are to each other.  Quiver is ever so slightly darker and has a slight lavender undertone to it.  I don't need both.

The formula though can't be knocked-these lipsticks are supremely hydrating and glossy.  They wear comfortably for 1-2 hours and are easy to reapply.  They tick all the boxes of what I look for in a 'shine' formula-light, balmy and glossy.  I just don't think the price (or glitter content of some) is justified.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1-Nudes

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1-Nudes

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1-Nudes

I've always had a bit of a thing about Make Up For Ever.  I think it's because it's a brand that is easily accessible in Dubai-it's sold in Sephora and Paris Gallery but also has a standalone boutique in Dubai Mall.  To me, I've always felt it was quite a 'pro' brand aimed at serious make up professionals but accessible to numpties like me who just love slapping it all over my face.

Ever since the Artist Palette Volume 1 launched I wanted it.  To add to my collection of 134,832 other neutral palettes.  I bought it from Sephora in Vegas.  It was literally the first thing I zoned in on when I entered the store.

The palette is packaged in black cardboard-it's solid enough to not be flimsy but sleek enough to throw into your make up bag when you're travelling.  It features 9 shadows, one matte black, one satin fawn brown tone and the rest of the shadows are shimmery.  Like very shimmery.  They pack a lot of pigment on the lid and have an almost metallic finish-if you like things like Stila Kitten eyeshadow, Make Up Geek foil finish eyeshadows, MAC Veluxe Pearl or the shimmery colours in the Naked palettes then this will be right up your street.

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1-Nudes

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1-Nudes

Let me explain the value of this palette.  It costs $45 (sadly not available in the UK yet and I haven't seen it in Dubai although I haven't been to MUFE for a while).  MUFE sell these eyeshadows as singles for $21 each.  So basically you can have 9 shadows for $45 or buy two singles for $42.  I needn't say any more.

MUFE offer 198 single eyeshadows on Sephora.  That is bonkers.  Truly something for everyone but a lot of them are shimmery/iridescent.  In this palette every single shade is in the permanent collection meaning that could buy the individual shades if you want to.  However, if memory serves me correct the singles are sold as magnetised pans of colour only designed to be put into a Z palette or similar. They do sell a MUFE 1 pan, 2 pan or 3 pan holder to put them in for $1 but I have a couple of singles I have just stuck into a Z palette.  Again this is a pointer to the fact this is a 'professionals' make up brand designed for a make up artist to be able to customise a palette.  I've also just spotted this on the Sephora website under these shadows:

Add a MAKE UP FOR EVER Mono, Duo, or Trio Artist Shadow Custom Palette Case to your cart for $1. When you add 2 MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadows and a Duo Palette to your basket, a $9/C$10 discount will be applied automatically at checkout. When you add 3 MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadows and a Trio Palette to your basket, a $20/C$23 discount will be applied automatically at checkout. Only one discount applied per order; discount not applicable for orders shipping outside the U.S.

The shadows are all super smooth and easy to blend.  Pigmentation is really really good as is the lasting power on the lid.

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1-Nudes

Small criticisms would be that, I guess some people will feel the palette doesn't offer everything you need for a complete eye look-a couple of matte transition shades would have been useful and this may be a deal breaker for some.  It isn't for me because I have those other 134,832 neutral eyeshadow palettes to fall back on and to be honest the satin shade on the middle row is a great crease colour on me.  The shades in the palette are really beautiful and right up my street.  However I was designing this palette I would have dropped two of the highlight-y shades from the top row and replaced it with a matte transition shade and a darker warm toned bronze-y shade.  But I could probably go to MUFE and buy such shades from the 198 strong line up.

I'd love to know if you have tried Make Up For Ever as a brand and what your thoughts are.  And how you feel about this as a neutral eyeshadow palette?

PS-that pot of gel eyeliner you can see in the second picture-amazeballs...... 

PPS-I've been in Sephora today (18th October) and this is in stock in Dubai Mall! 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dubai lifestyle: Afternoon Tea at the Waldorf Astoria

If we're friends on any social media platform (self confessed social media whore right here) you'll know that my parents arrived in Dubai yesterday!  We have just been for Afternoon Tea at the Waldorf Astoria on the Palm Jumeirah so I thought I would put up a little post as I do love a bit of Afternoon Tea!

I chose this one after seeing a review on Time Out Dubai and only booked it yesterday.  We were the first to arrive but when we left at around 5pm every table was taken.

The Waldorf opened in March 2014 so is still a relatively new hotel in Dubai but it does feel so far away!  It's on the Palm Jumeirah on the East Crescent and it took us about 40 minutes to get there from our apartment-the Palm just seems to go on forever.  The hotel is large and airy but quiet-it's luxurious without being OTT and Afternoon Tea is in Peacock Alley, the lobby lounge.  There are large white sofas and plush cream carpets everywhere and a live pianist who was really good.

The Afternoon Tea starts with the tea trolley where one of waitresses talks you through the different teas available.  They're all TWG teas and mum and I went for creme caramel and dad, ever so traditional English Breakfast.

I absolutely loved the peacock feather table decorations-they're so vibrant and beautiful!

There are two versions of the tea available-a London Afternoon Tea and a Parisian Afternoon Tea.  The sandwiches and pastries differ on both but both are served with 4 buttery and crumbly scones and a bowl of fresh fruit salad.

Dad and I opted for the London version and mum the Parisian version.  The London sandwiches were smoked salmon, cucumber and chive, roasted chicken and air dried beef and mustard.  The Parisian sandwiches were goats cheese and olive, salted beef, crab salad and duck foie gras.

The scones were served with clotted cream, raspberry jam, orange jam and lemon curd.  As you can see we are cream then jam people!

The London pasties were a chocolate and pear mousse, strawberry tart, marbled chocolate cheesecake (yum!) and a lemon macaroon.

The Parisian pastries were a lemon Breton cake, chocolate millefeuille, a chocolate and lychee parfait and a salted caramel eclair.

The food was good and the service was attentive and friendly without being obtrusive.  We weren't offered any second helpings which is quite common here in Dubai to do so, however we left suitably full and the size of the afternoon tea was just right.  It was very traditional which I don't have a problem with but I do really like to see something unusual or unexpected-the afternoon tea at Raffles in Dubai for example is fashion themed and the pastries are just incredible-shaped like shoes and handbags and hats.  I also loved the Alice in Wonderland themed tea at the Sanderson in London.

It was my first time at the Waldorf Astoria in Dubai and I'd really like to go back and try Social restaurant by Heinz Beck because I have heard such good things.  There is still quite a lot of construction in that area but the grounds are large and seemed peaceful when we headed out onto the terrace.

I'll be back with a beauty post tomorrow but today was all about the cake!

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