Clean Beauty – the guide to what it is, what to buy, and how it works

Hey guys!

Today’s post focuses on something that’s very important to me and something that I could honestly talk about for ages. As a science geek, I’ve always found it interesting to know what I’m using, for example, I find it so exciting when I look at my moisturizer bottle, and I can identify what the ingredients are and what they do for my skin. I’m also a bit of a nature nerd, as I’ve mentioned before I love the outdoors and any plants and flowers, and I find it so fascinating that these everyday plants can be crushed or squeezed in a specific way, that can cure you of your acne, or leave you with super soft skin. Every time I talk about this kind of stuff, I get so excited, and honestly, I know its a bit sad but I love spending my time researching the natural healing powers of specific plants and looking at the latest natural beauty products.

So that is why in today’s post, I want to pass on a bit of my passion for all things natural to you guys and share with you a change that I’ve made in this past year. To rewind a bit, from the time I hit age 13 I started to suffer from teenage acne, and this could of been for a variety of reasons: hormones, stress, or the products that I used on my skin, but I didn’t really know what I should be doing to cure this acne. I started covering it up with makeup every day, and I live in Dubai so I was sweating in this makeup all day long, and my skin really did not appreciate it. To just add onto this whole mess of things, I have really really sensitive skin, so my skin reacts to pretty much anything I use, and I have to be very careful. It’s been almost three years since I first started getting acne, and like most teens I’ve pretty much grown out of it. I still get some breakouts, but my skin has improved a lot because of the changes I’ve made in the past year. Not only have my breakouts reduced, but I’ve also found my skin overall looking more ‘glowy’ and healthy.

I made the switch to using clean beauty products this year, and being more aware of what I’m putting on my skin and my body. I realised that I make such an effort to fill my body with nutritious and healthy food, when I cover it with products full of toxins and all kinds of chemicals, which is kind of hypocritical. And I know, clean beauty seems like it’s all the rage right now, with more and more brands claiming to be ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, but if you find real clean beauty products, you will soon realise this whole clean beauty regime is not a fad, it really truly does work.

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So what is clean beauty?

There is no exact definition, but clean beauty encompasses a range of things. One being that the products are completely transparent about what’s inside them, and they are safe for people to use. It means that the quality is not compromised, and the main goal of the company is not to just, sell more, but to create products that genuinely work and benefit the user. Another aspect of clean beauty is that from production to usage, these products are safe to everyone, this means no animal testing, or anything that will affect the environment negatively.

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Why should I use clean beauty products?

As I mentioned before I have seen great benefits from using clean beauty products on myself, not only in clearing up my acne, but also contributing to my overall wellbeing. I don’t feel like I’m slapping on chemicals onto my skin and drying it out, I feel like I’m really taking care of myself and not compromising my health at the cost of the products I’m using. Also looking at the more environmental side to the argument, clean beauty products are much more sustainable. And yes, they are a little more pricey, but trust me with clean beauty less is more. Most products are of such good quality that you don’t need to buy heaps of cosmetics, and remember you’re spending money to improve your wellbeing. That being said, don’t just go out and buy anything that says it’s a clean beauty product, personally I spend ages choosing what products to buy and what they will do for me. I spent a really long time trying to find a clean beauty vendor that’s accessible to me, and looking at what options they have. Once I chose the products that I wanted to try, I read heaps of reviews to see if they actually worked, and if they were compatible with my skin type.

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Where do I buy my products?

I think buying products from a clean beauty specific vendor, is easier than looking at stores individually. I also read a lot of other reviews of clean beauty products so that I’m always finding more. If you live in the U.S. you can take a look at companies such as ‘Credo Beauty’ or ‘The Detox Market’ who gather a selection of clean beauty products which they curate themselves. These companies aren’t as accessible for me, so I looked for something in Dubai, but sadly I haven’t found anything yet, please let me know if you know of somewhere that sells clean beauty products in Dubai! So I checked out clean beauty stores in the U.K, and decided on ‘Content Beauty & Wellbeing’. It curates the products it sells, making sure they don’t contain harmful chemicals, while still delivering high end results. I also sometimes visit ‘Space NK’ if I’m looking for something specific. But always be sure to look into the products you want to buy before purchasing them, to be sure they fit all the criteria you want.

 

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I found this really helpful guide from Today, (I don’t take credit for making it) but it lets you see what the little icons on your cosmetics mean.

 

What do I use?

Finally! For the most exciting part of this post, what products I use!!! I’m more of a ‘natural look girl’ I hardly wear makeup, and when I do, I like to make sure that it doesn’t look heavy. So most of the products that I use cater to this, and to my skincare needs. Some of these products I’ve been using for a while, and some are fairly new, but all the products I share in this post, I’m confident to say that I genuinely like.

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Skincare + Bodywash

Tata Harper Skincare – I talked about it a while back, but I have been using Tata Harper products on my skin for almost a year now, and this is where I’ve seen incredible improvements. All the skincare products I use on my face are from this brand, from my cleanser & moisturiser, to my toner.

Evolve Beauty – I have recently started using a body wash from evolve beauty, and I really like it. I’ve tried a few different clean body washes, but this is the first one that I can fully say is perfect! It doesn’t dry out my skin at all, and it smells soooo good. Evolve beauty was kind enough to send me some samples, so you will definitely be seeing a post about them soon, and what other products I like from their collection.

Isla Apothecary – I really like using roll on essential oils as an alternative to perfume, and Isla Apothecary has a really nice one that I’ve been using.

Neal’s Yard Remedies – I also use an essential oil rollable from Neal’s Yard, in the scent ‘energy’ which is amazing.

Odacite – I am soooo excited to try more products from them, but for now I only have a serum for my face, leaves me with super soft skin.

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Beauty

Lilah Beauty – This is the first clean beauty makeup brand that I started using, and I haven’t yet found anything that compares. I use the concealer, powder, as well as an eyeshadow palette from Lilah.b and it blends into my skin so well, and it creates a really nice natural look on my skin, that I haven’t found from anyone else.

ILIA Beauty – I use a lipstick and an illuminator from here, and I really like their products, you can still look amazing, while benefitting your health!

Lily Lolo Mineral Cosmetics – I recently brought a mascara and a blush from Lily Lolo, and I’ve really liked them so far, I look forward to trying a few more of their products.

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I really hope you found this post interesting, I had so much fun writing it! As always, please let me know if you liked it. Also let me know in the comments if you use clean beauty products, and if you want to make the change. Also, if you have any recommendations for clean beauty products for me to try, let me know! And if you’re a brand that wants me to try your products, you can find all my information about collaborations here.

Little Miss Expat

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January In Review – What I’ve been loving, doing, and my favourites!

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe that January is already over, that went really quickly! This month has been a very busy one, with new years resolutions, starting school again, the end of one semester, and being well into the Cross Country Season. In this post, I’m going to share with you what products I’ve been using a lot this month, and what I’m loving. And I’ll also share what’s been going on in my life, and what’s coming in February. I hope you enjoy!

What Have I Been Loving?

Over the Winter Break, I made a conscious effort to start using more natural products on my skin, as I have really sensitive skin and I see a lot of benefits when I simplify what I use on my skin and use natural products. I already use natural make-up and cleansers (I wrote about them in this post if you’re interested) but I picked out a natural body wash and toothpaste, and I’ve been absolutely loving them!

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I wanted to make the change to a natural toothpaste because I realized how silly I was being, I care so much about what I eat and if it’s good for me, yet I was putting chemicals and artificial flavours into my mouth twice a day without really registering it. I was worried that this toothpaste would taste weird, but I’ve actually really been enjoying it and it doesn’t taste too bad.

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I also wanted to simplify the kind of body wash I use on my skin, and I’ve been noticing really good things since I started using this one. I usually get very dry skin during the winter, but this soap doesn’t seem to dry out my skin as much. And it smells amazing!! I did buy a natural shampoo and conditioner (from a different brand), but it was making my hair dry and coarse, does anyone have any recommendations?

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I started using a toner on my face and it’s been helping my skin a lot. It acts as an extra cleanse, and it helps reduce your pore size before you put on any makeup or moisturizer, which makes sure less bacteria gets into your skin. I still don’t have completely clear skin, but I have been noticing a huge difference since I started using a toner. I got this one from Clarins, and it’s the special one for sensitive skin, but they have lots of different options for different skin types. Do any of you use a toner, and if so do you see a difference?

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Another thing that I’ve been using a lot this month is my sleep mask and spray. I had never worn a sleep mask before this year because I always thought they were such a hassle, and I didn’t understand why someone would wear one in their own house? But let me tell you if you have a struggle falling asleep you need to invest in one of these. I’m a really sensitive sleeper, so once I see some light shining through my curtains, I’m immediately awake. During the week that’s okay because when I wake up, the sun isn’t really up yet. But on the weekends it’s very annoying because I can hardly ever sleep in past 7am because I find it too sunny. This sleep mask has been a lifesaver! Not only has it been allowing me to sleep for longer, but also I fall asleep much quicker now because once I put on my mask, my body knows that it’s time to fall asleep. I also got a new sleep spray over the break, which is meant to calm and relax you before you turn off the lights and go to sleep. I’ve been using a spray for a few years now, and I really recommend them, they create a nice environment and help you fall asleep more easily.

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One of my new years resolutions was to stress less and to start practicing meditation. And I’m proud to say that I have been sticking to the meditation part! No matter how stressed I’ve been getting during the day, before I go to bed, I make sure that I do a little bit of meditation so that I can relax and unwind. Insight Timer is a free app, and I have to say it’s my favourite meditation app out of all the ones I’ve tried. It’s kind of like a meditation Spotify, you can browse through hundreds of guided meditations for different amounts of time, and for specific things such as stress, or compassion, and pick which one you like. You can also freely meditate with a timer for as long as you want. I know meditation doesn’t sound like the coolest way to be spending your evening, but it really only takes 5 minutes, and it’s really helpful to me.

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Another really big part of my year so far has been my planner. I know I’m a nerd. But I love being organized! I make endless lists, plan out every hour of my day, and every day of my week. Before I got my planner, I did this on sticky notes and it was a bit annoying because I didn’t have them all in one place, and I didn’t have enough space to make notes. So I did a LOT of research to find the PERFECT PLANNER, one with a monthly view, and a page for each day where you can plan out your day by the hour, as well as a daily quote, and a place to write your daily goals and gratitude. I have literally been living through my planner, and it’s been taking a lot of stress off me because I don’t have to remember everything anymore. I got my planner from The Day Designer and I can not tell you how much I love it! Be sure to look at theirs if you need one for 2018.

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Lastly, because, of course, I need to include a little bit of food in this post. My favourite snack this month has been dates. I know, kind of random right? But in Dubai, we have dates everywhere, and they’re a really nice small sweet snack. I’ve been loving having them because they’re also really good for you, and I’ve been seeing great improvements in my digestion. I usually need something sweet after I eat dinner, and instead of eating a chocolate, eating a date is so much healthier!

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What Else Has Happened This Month?

Running:

If you’re one of my regular readers, you will know that at the beginning of this month I found out I had a stress injury. If you want to know more about this, I wrote a whole blog post explaining my injury in detail, you can find it here. But I’m not going to lie, that really put me off track for the start of the new year. I really love running, and not being able to run made me really sad and upset. I was also scared that all my hard work training would just go down the drain because I had to take so much time off. I was a miserable blob for a good few weeks, and I felt so useless and sorry for myself. But it taught me that in life you just have to accept that sometimes there are things that are out of your control. There was nothing I could do to be able to run, all I could do was work on recovering quickly.

One of my friends also told me something that really helped me stop feeling sorry for myself. Some of my best friends are on the Cross Country team with me, and we all support each other with whatever we’re going through. And my friend who has been injured for a while told me that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself, but after a while, you have to stop because it just makes it worse. You can have one day to cry and feel bad about whatever is going on, but after that, you need to accept that there’s nothing you can do, and you need to be strong again. And that has really helped me this month , because if I didn’t stop thinking about it, it would have taken over my whole month.

I’ve been working hard ever since I was allowed to run again, and I was selected for the MESAC competition (Middle East, South Asia, Conference), basically a big Cross Country competition. And wow am I nervous! I am so happy and grateful that I was selected, but it’s next weekend and I’m starting to get very nervous. This year I’ve been pretty good at not letting my nerves take over before Cross Country competitions, but this is the biggest one I’ve ever had to compete in, and I’m already feeling nervous. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with nerves? And how to fuel up before a big race? I would love to hear them!

Semester 1 of School Is Over!

In other news, I’ve officially finished Semester 1 of my Sophomore year, and wow was that intense! Ever since I came back from Winter Break, it has been GO GO GO! With so many things happening, it was kind of overwhelming and challenging, but I’ve had this long weekend to relax and prepare for the next semester. I wrote a long post about it on my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) yesterday, so take a look at that if you’re interested.

60 Followers On The Blog!

This month I hit 60 followers on my blog which is crazy!! I’m so grateful for each and every one of you that reads my posts and supports me. It’s amazing to think that I started this all from scratch almost 7 months ago, and it’s come this far. I love writing for you guys, and I hope you enjoy my content! I’m almost at 300 followers on my Instagram too, so hopefully when you read my February in Review post, I’ll be celebrating 300 Instagram followers!

And that wraps up my January in Review blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been using, and what’s been going on with me. Did you like this post? And do you want to see monthly posts like this one? Please let me know!

See you soon!

Little Miss Expat

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Hidden Gems of Dubai – Local Businesses

Hi Everyone!

So today I decided to write the second post in my ‘Hidden Gems of Dubai’ series In this post I’m going to introduce you to some local Dubai/UAE businesses, and tell you why I love them. Personally, I prefer to buy from smaller, more local shops, not only because you are supporting a small business, but also you find more unique and fun items. I actually wrote about one of my favorite boutiques, Charlie The Shop in my Summer Favourites post (click here to read it), but for a while, I found it hard to find stores like this in Dubai.

I’ve always been on the lookout for small boutiques and stores in Dubai because I don’t usually see a lot of them. So when I visited the Ripe Market last weekend, I was really excited to find LOADS of local businesses and stores. So this collection of local businesses I will share with you are mostly from the Ripe Market, but some are ones that I’ve known about for a while. (This will be something I will write about again in the future, so if you know any local stores in Dubai let me know in the comments, and I will go check them out)

The Salad Jar: So the Salad Jar isn’t necessarily a boutique, but I thought I would mention it in this post because it is a local business here. I’d heard about it quite a bit, but I had never actually tried their salads until they sent me a few. Let me tell you, they are so convenient to eat and have ready at home, and they taste soooo good. Their principle is Shake, Eat, Love. So they give you a layered salad in a jar that you have to shake to mix it, and then eat. It’s such an effective concept, and it’s really yummy! (They also have a stand at the Ripe Market so you can find them there, as well as on their website)

 

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Their stand at the Ripe Market

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A delicious salad from them

 

Emaan Home: I found Emaan Home at the Ripe Market last week, and I was immediately drawn to their stand by their really cute products. I think I got a little over-excited because I honestly loved everything there, but I ended up buying a beautiful speckled bowl, which I think I’m going to have my daily yogurt and granola in (for those of you who follow my Instagram, you’ll know I have an obsession with this). I’m also thinking about purchasing a planner from them, to keep me organized. As they have some really cool planner designs and, to be honest, I would buy everything in their store if I could.

 

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The beautiful speckled bowl I got from them

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Their stand at the Ripe Market, isn’t it so cute?

 

BDB Design Studios: I also came across this store at the Ripe Market, and I fell in love with their embroidered towels. They’re such great quality and the embroidery is really well done. I’ve put in a picture of the towels I purchased, and I think they’re the perfect gift for a friend back home, because of the cute camel design. I look forward to buying more from them in the future! (unfortunately, their website is under construction at the moment, but you can visit their Facebook or Pinterest pages)

 

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I still can’t get over how cute these are!

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Lua Luz: This dainty jewelry store, has been all I’ve been thinking about for the past week! I’m quite particular about the jewelry I wear, I only like to wear dainty pieces, and they have to be long lasting and good quality. And I’ve been on the lookout recently for a dainty necklace with lots of charms, and the necklace I got from them was BEAUTIFUL. I mean just look at the picture. Who wouldn’t love it? You should definitely go look at some of their designs if you’re in need of some new jewelry.

 

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I mean WOW.

 

 

 

Ripe Organic: Okay so technically this isn’t a small business, it’s actually really popular in Dubai, but I still love it and want to share it with you guys. If you guys know me, you know that I love learning about new healthy foods and recipes, and learning how my body works. But sometimes I find it really hard to find all the ingredients out here and I can’t make the recipes I want to. Ripe Organic is a store that sells organic food, which is locally grown in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (!) They also sell a bunch of superfoods, and pantry staples, as well as gluten-free treats! Anyone who lives in Dubai definitely has to check them out.

 

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My heaven

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The Green EcoStore: Guys, I’m all about helping the environment and when I see a store that’s doing this it makes me really happy. The Green EcoStore is a business in Dubai that sells every single eco-friendly item you could possibly want. I’m not kidding. From eco-friendly cleaning products to kitchenware they have it all. They also have a stand at the Ripe Market, if you’re interested in taking a look!

So, those are my 6 favorite local businesses and stores in Dubai at the moment. Like I said I’m always on the lookout for new stores to visit, so if you know any let me know in the comments. Also, if you’re a local business in Dubai visit my collab page, and I’ll be sure to look at your store. Please let me know if you enjoyed this kind of post, and if it was helpful for you!

Little Miss Expat

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Summer Favorites

Hi Everyone!

So summer is really truly coming to an end *cries* but this summer has been a great one and I have definitely checked off a lot off my summer bucket list!

To wrap up the summer I wanted to share a few of my summer favorites with you because this summer has been quite a minimalistic summer for me and I have stuck to the quality over quantity rule. In other words, I’ve found a few products that I absolutely love and those are all I’ve been using. So… since I love these products so much I thought it might be cool for you guys to see them!

  • Lilah Beauty – This summer I think I have really fallen back in love with all natural brands. I’ve always been interested in being green, but I never really looked into eco-friendly brands. But when I was looking for a new makeup brand and was introduced to Lilah.b I was OBSESSED. Their products left my face with a dewy, natural look that made me feel amazing, and their products did not irritate my skin at all. I have very sensitive skin and tend to break out a lot, so I usually shy away from wearing a lot of makeup unless I really have to. But recently I’ve wanted something to use that will make me feel good and does not damage my skin. Lilah.b is perfect!! Honestly to anyone going through a hard skin time please please please try this brand, not only are they amazing but almost all their products are vegan and they’re all animal cruelty-free! They’re also just really wonderful to work with,  whenever I tag them or write about them they are sure to leave a comment which I think is just so sweet! Also be sure to check out their products now, as they are currently having a 20% off sale!!! Find them here: @lilahbeauty or here
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b.radiant – concealer and eye primer

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b.classic – flawless finish foundation

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b.stunning – eye quad

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b.lovely – Divine Duo lip & cheek

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  • Charlie The Shop – Before this summer I was having a small dilemma with clothes. I was just so tired of going into a shop and seeing the same styles and quality in every single store. So when I traveled to Lisbon and came across Charlie The Shop I was over the moon. My style is quite simple but elegant, and I like to wear clothes that are good quality. Charlie the shop offers all of this! It was totally by accident that we came across this store. We were walking down a street and saw the window and decided to take a look inside. I can tell you I went crazy looking through the racks of clothes because there were about a billion things I loved. This store is an independent boutique, which means that their clothes have a unique style. Their clothes also come in one size, but I can tell you that this isn’t a problem because their clothes are adaptable and quite flowy. The women in the shop were really nice as well, helping me with my clothes and offering advice. I’ve basically been wearing their clothes all summer long, and I would definitely go back if I could! Find them at @charlietheshop or here
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Striped romper that can be worn on or off the shoulder

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Floaty white top with a lace trim

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Off white maxi dress, with textured detail on the top

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Knitted white cardigan, with gold detailing

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Formal black romper

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Off or on the shoulder white top, with beaded detailing

 

  • Tata Harper Skin Care – this is another one of my favorite natural brands and something that greatly benefits my skin. I can tell you that since I started using this brand of skincare I have not had one breakout. Their products literally smell like you’re in a spa and are really amazing for your skin. They’re all natural and non-toxic, and they’re a sustainable business! WOW. They grow all their own produce on a farm in Vermont, which is what they use in their products ( I think that’s super cool!!) Their products are a little pricey, but they are definitely worth the cost. Find them here: @tataharperskincare or here
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    Refreshing Cleanser

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    Clarifying Moisturizer

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    Nourishing Oil Cleanser

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    Beautifying Face Oil

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    Clarifying Mask

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I hope you liked my summer favorites! Leave me a comment letting me know what your summer favorites are.

Little Miss Expat


Shoes & Shopping

Hi Guys,

So today I wanted to share something really cool I recently got in the mail! Being an expat means that you sometimes miss out on things back home, and have to wait till you get back to receive them. Something that I always do is order a bunch of packages to be delivered to me when I get back to London because there are some things that are easier to get in London than Dubai.

A couple of weeks ago I got my Soludos!!! Soludos are a type of espadrilles that I have seen on literally every fashion blogger recently, and I really liked their quirky designs and colors. So… I got a pair…. or two! I wanted to try them out and give you guys a little peek because, you never know, you might want to try them as well.

So here they are!! Let me know what you guys think, and if you want a review?

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Little Miss Expat

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The packaging for the two pairs I got! They came in individual boxes with some super cute postcards.

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The first pair I got…

 

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The second awesome pair! These were more elegant flats, that tied around my ankles and looked kind of like ballerina shoes!!!!!