Tips & Toes

When I used to work at ITP Publishing, me and a handful of other women who edited magazines would cross the street to this little slice of heaven to get mani-pedis: Tips & Toes in Arjaan Tower remains one of my favorite place to get pampered in Dubai. Small, unassuming and with some of the best technicians in town, I often prefer it to the noisy nail spas in malls or the pricy ones in hotels.

They have a row of chairs with purple pillows, dim lighting and spa music that helps you zone out the world. You feel zen as soon as you set foot inside.


When you walk in, there’s a selection of colours to your right. I went with hot pink, because… summer.


They have some fantastic offers during the summer, including discounts on services. The best one is where they will be taking 8 lucky customers to Bali this summer with their #TakeMeToBaliTNT promotion. The winners (and their guest) will be whisked away for a luxurious 3-night stay at the stunning Chapung Se Bali resort in Ubud to experience the beautiful island that Tips & Toes takes influence from. This is on top of the fantastic “Summer In The City”daily deals that run from July 1st – August 26th, in which customers can save up to 50% off their favourite services.

I decided to take advantage and try a service I’ve always wondered about – eyelash extensions. As a working mom, the idea of looking groomed with flirty lashes without having to put on eye makeup every day is very appealing.

Step 1: Remove Eye Makeup

I was given a mirror and cotton pads to remove all traces of mascara. This is also when she asked if I wear contact lenses – it would have been better to take them off beforehand, but I didn’t have solution on me.

Step 2: Choose Lash Length

A lash menu! How cute is this. I wanted something that made my lashes look fuller and longer without being OTT – something for daily effect, not a red carpet. I went with #10.

Step 3: Lie Down for 1.5 Hrs

I work. I have a kid. I have a blog. I run my home. Lying down for 1.5 hours without having to do something is a gift in my world. It felt like the technician was lightly brushing my eyelids and eyelashes the whole time.

And relaaaax….

Step 4: Voila, Movie Star Lashes

They last for 3 weeks and I am told in one week from application, some of the lashes fall off for a more ‘natural’ look. This was my perfect send off to summer travels that includes a friend’s wedding!

Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

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