I’m hardly the international jetsetter, but I recently crossed a few items off my bucket list, and it's not even June yet: Dubai, Azerbaijan and Paris. Here, I’m sharing a few photos from my UAE (United Arab Emirates) adventure, where my fiancé and I split our time between the bustling city of Dubai—full of man-made islands, gold and spice “souks” or markets, and skyscrapers galore—and the neighboring emirate Sharjah, where a super cool art show, the Sharjah Biennial was taking place.
But packing for the trip required being sensitive to the local traditions. So, I made sure to 1) bring enough sunscreen and a good lightweight hat I could wear to protect myself from the sun, and 2) knowing we would be visiting more conservative emirates like Sharjah, to pack clothes that erred on the conservative side. Comfy sneakers and a supple, lightweight leather bag I could toss around were also key for strolling through dusty markets, hopping on and off water ferries, and strolling through various neighborhoods. (See top photo: Goorin hat, $140, goorin.com; Weston skirt, $60, anthropologie.com; Baggu bag, $140, baggu.com; Vans sneakers, $60, nordstrom.com)
There were many opportunities to splash around in the water between the hotel and beach visits. We swam and jet-skied in the Caspian sea, and of course made sure to reapply sunblock regularly. For me, this was also a great time to catch up on Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl—highly recommend! And a Sudoku puzzle book keeps me company everywhere I go.
Marc Jacobs bikini top, $128, shopbop.com; Marc Jacobs bikini bottom, $98, shopbop.com; Balenciaga sunglasses, shopbop.com for similar styles; Urban Ears x Marc by Marc Jacobs headphones, urbanears.com for similar styles; Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, $28, amazon.com
I also brought along a supple purse that I could roll up and toss in my suitcase and a structured option for more polished outings—this Loeffler Randall was the winner. My wardrobe consists of a lot of black—I am a New Yorker, after all—white, and shades of blue, so this multi-hued option worked perfectly for me.
Loeffler Randall bag, $367; loefflerrandall.com
One of the higlights? The Arabian Tea House Cafe in the old city was definitely one of my favorite stops. Walking around the neighborhood, we stumbled upon an entryway with flower petals sprinkled just in front of it. Once we entered, we were greeted by an enchanting outdoor garden filled with huge plush white chairs and large white trees that provided shade. Be suer to sample the flavored lemonades there.
Balenciaga sunglasses, shopbop.com for similar styles.
Another aspect of Dubai we loved was taking the water taxis here and there. You can see so much of the city from a different point of view, and all along the water’s edge, colorful boats like these are docked—like a Disney ride but so much better!
One suitcase add that I was particularly happy with: These paper-thin, but sturdy zip pouches were essential for organized packing. Each one was used for a different purpose: Toiletries for him, toiletries for her, medicines, and tech-y items like chargers and adapters. We also made sure to bring along an extra-large size for dirty laundry.
As for beauty, my skincare regimen is pretty simple, and I like to use a mix of high and low products. These are the things I always decant into small vessels and travel with: Oil, for my bleached-out hair; a good lip balm; facial scrub; eye cream; acne-fighting solution in case I feel a zit coming on (and if I don’t have this with me, I just sleep with a dot of toothpaste on the offending blemish); a hard-working hand cream; and my trusty Chanel face lotion that works for any kind of climate, whether dry or humid.
Umberto hair serum, $10, target.com; Rosebud Perfume lip balm, $6, sephora.com; St. Ives face scrub, $2, drugstore.com; Bare Minerals eye cream, $32, sephora.com; Neutrogena 2-in-1 acne gel, $9, drugstore.com; L'occitane hand cream, $28, sephora.com; Chanel face lotion, $87, nordstrom.com
If my beauty routine is minimal, my makeup process is even more so. Mascara and blush are the only things I use everyday. Occasionally I’ll bust out the eyeliner, but usually just for special occasions. I always keep two lipsticks on hand—something red and something dark. When I do have to use foundation, I mix it with a lightweight face lotion to dilute it and to add a boost of moisture.
Bobbi Brown eyeliner in Jet Black, $25; sephora.com; Dior mascara, $28, sephora.com; Mac lipstick in Ruby Woo, $16, nordstrom.com; Chanel Blush in Rose Bronze, $45, nordstrom.com; Dolce & Gabbana Foundation in Bronze 144, $60, sephora.com; Dolce and Gabbana lipstick in Eggplant Purple, $37, sephora.com