Tag Archive | Alpha Hydroxy acid

iHerb Haul #4 – Skincare, Makeup, Snacks and more!

Hey guys!

I am back with another haul from my favorite online shopping site – iHerb!. This time I bought a variety of items. Here they are:

IMG_1348Click this picture if you wish to add everything shown in this picture to your cart in one click.

1) Indigo Wild Zum Soap Lover’s Gift Box – My mom is a huge fan of Bath & Beauty items. Her birthday is coming up next month and what better gift than a Soap Lover’s gift box?. Indigo Wild produces soaps, mists and other body care products containing no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, preservatives, detergents, synthetic fragrances or colorings. It really appealed to me. Goat’s milk soap has many benefits. It delays signs of skin aging due to its high content of alpha-hydroxy acids, has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties (making it perfect for those with acne) and is loaded with vitamins that are easily absorbed into our bodies.

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This box contains 10 items and they are:

  • Three Goat’s Milk soap bars, each 3 oz (85 gms) and having different and exotic smells like Frankincense-Lavender, Eucalyptus and Tangerine-Orange.
  • Three All-Natural Aromatherapy Laundry Soap, each 30 ml, with scents namely Sweet Orange, Frankincense & Myrrh and Eucalyptus-Citrus
  • Three liquid soaps, with scents namely Lemon Grass, Rosemary-Mint and Frankincense & Myrrh
  • One sachet of goat milk bar shavings, which can be used to keep anywhere to take away bad odor like stinky drawers or a stuffy closet.

These smell heavenly and was the first thing I could register when I opened my iHerb package. This is such a perfect gift for those who love bath and beauty products.

Price: $22 (AED 80.81). That’s how much I paid. However, currently there is a promotion and as such it is $20.55 (AED 75.48)

Talking about gifts, iHerb has put together an amazing selection of gift sets for just about anyone in your life, be it men, children, makeup lovers, tea lovers or anyone, in anticipation of the Holiday season ahead of us. Do check it out!

2) 100% Raw Manuka Honey, Active 16+ by Wedderspoon Organic Inc. – I have been wanting to try Manuka honey for so long now. It is a monofloral (means bees get the honey from only one kind of plant species) honey from New Zealand. It is high in anti-bacterial properties making it an excellent product for wound care, skincare and for digestion. So basically, you can eat it, apply it on your face as a soothing face mask (it makes your skin really soft and glowing) and also apply on wounds to help it heal faster.

Since Manuka honey is so rare, it is pretty expensive. I have seen many kinds here in UAE. Were it not so expensive, I would definitely have bought different brands to find out which one is the best. However, that’s just wishful thinking!. Since, I did decide to invest money in it, I thought why not go for the best?. Wedderspoon is a really raved about brand. So I bought the one with the highest Active number, which is 16+ from their range. Active number shows the peroxide activity rate. In layman’s terms, it just means higher the number the better. It starts from 5. But if you are looking for honey to use in wound care, you should definitely aim for 10+.

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During my researches on which honey I should go for, I did come across a particular article which said any company could put any ‘Active’ number on their label and what you really should look for is the UMF rating. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. However, since Wedderspoon is a known brand and there are hundreds of rave reviews on it, I decided to buy it.

Indeed, it has a very unique taste. I would describe it as herbal and woody. It leaves a slightly bitter after taste which goes away within seconds. I really love it. It tastes pretty powerful!. It’s texture is thick, very smooth and almost like a creamy jelly. It’s color is a beautiful golden brown. On the Pfund scale, used to measure the color of honey, I would say, the batch of honey that I received falls in the category between 75 – 85 mm.

ManukaPfundScaleThanks to google.ae for this pic!

It’s perfect to take while having throat infection or cough and it did benefit me. I will be incorporating it into masks and trying some DIY recipes. Will definitely post one soon. I did try it alone on my face and it’s really nice. Skin seemed visibly brightened and softer. Also, while other honeys are a really sticky mess and tough to spread on the skin, this one goes on very smoothly and overall, it’s application is so convenient and easy.

One thing I don’t quite like about it is that it comes in a plastic tub. Usually potent honeys are stored in dark colored glass jars. Wedderspoon uses BPA free plastic tubs. Only positive thing about it is that they won’t break while in transit!. I definitely do recommend this brand anyway, because the quality of the honey is great!

Price: $40.86 (AED 150.08) for a tub containing 500 gms, which is pretty good pricing considering Manuka honey with Active 15+ rating usually sells for about AED195, here in UAE. Thanks to my friend Abidha for mentioning that to me.

3) Snackimals Animal Chocolate Chip cookies by Barbara’s Bakery : I love chocolate chip cookies. That being said, I actually feel extremely guilty when saying this… I didn’t buy this for myself. I bought it for my little nephew but ended up eating it since that particular weekend that they were supposed to come visit me from Abu Dhabi, they didn’t and the thought that there is a large pack of chocolate chip cookies in my cupboard just didn’t let me think of anything else!. OMG!. How bad am I??. But I also thought, “Hey, I never tested it out. I should probably test it out and only if it’s good I’ll get it for my nephew”. Man, it’s scrumptious!. Such a lovely pack of animal shaped cookies, that is made from organic grains.

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It’s thin but sturdy and crunchy. Since’s it not chewy and rich, you don’t feel guilty at all!. But I got to say it’s not low in calories. You can see tiny sugar crystals on the backside of the cookies, if you notice that in the picture above. One serving, which is 10 cookies contains 120 calories. The problem is that you wouldn’t stop with 10 cookies. I bet you, you wouldn’t even count :P. It’s really yum and a great snack for kids and adults too. My husband who doesn’t even like cookies, loved it!.  It comes in a good quality resealable pack, ensuring freshness every time, not that you will need it anyway. The pack will be over in one sitting! I will definitely buy this one again and I will be buying one for my little nephew too 🙂

Price : $4.46 (AED 16.38) for a pack containing 213 gms.

4) Exfoliating Serum by Mad Hippie Skincare : I came across the brand Mad Hippie by chance on iHerb one day. When I searched more about it, the more I understood that they incorporate really potent active ingredients into their skincare line. Even their motto is “Advanced skincare”. Usually brands incorporate one or two active ingredients in their products. But this particular serum contains a stunning number of 16 actives!. I love serum like nothing else. They are powerful and penetrate into the deeper layers of our skin. Once I try this product out properly, I will post a detailed review about it.

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Price : $27.99 (AED 102.81)

5) Traditional Italian Risotto by Lundberg : I love risotto and though I don’t know how to make it, I have had it several times in hotels. So, when I saw an option to make it at home easily out of a packet, I went for it :). I love mushrooms. So I went for the Porcini Mushroom option.

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Inside the box, there were two packets. One containing Italian Arborio rice (1/4 cup) and the other containing seasoning and pieces of Porcini mushroom. All you got to do is sauté the rice in 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, then add 2.5 cups of water and mix the seasoning in it. Once it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. It’s ready to serve!. It’s that easy.

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The result was quite good. In between the cook, I tasted it and felt it needed more salt. Adding it at that time meant it really got absorbed by the rice. The final product tasted good. I got to say though that in the seasoning, there is butter and dried onion among other ingredients. It tasted a bit too strongly of those two. Once prepared, it amounts to 1 cup of risotto. I couldn’t finish it one go, since I felt it to be pretty heavy. I kept it covered in the fridge and reheated it the next day. I felt it tasted better the next day!. I do recommend this easy and convenient product.

Price : $3.43 (AED 12.60)

6) Dark Chocolate Fusion by The Tea Room : Once I read the concept of this brand, I fell in love with it. The makers of this brand love tea and chocolate. So, they decided to infuse tea into chocolate!. What a novel idea!. Each bar of chocolate contains 1 cup of tea in it. They have infused different types of teas into dark chocolates containing varying degrees of cacao in it.

I bought two bars. First one is Dark Chocolate Fusion with Mate & Cacao nibs, which contains 72% cacao from Europe, organic yerba mate tea from South America, and organic cacao nibs from Ecuador. It tastes very smooth and nice. I have never tasted yerba mate tea. So, I guess the foreign taste it has is of the tea. There are minute pieces of cacao nibs in it which contributes towards the rich and intense experience, that is having this bar of chocolate.

The second bar is Dark Chocolate Fusion with Raspberry Rooibos, which contains 60% cacao from Europe, and organic red raspberry rooibos tea from South Africa. OMG!. This one is absolutely delicious. I love the intense berry taste of this one.

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Overall, the dark chocolate is tasty and so smooth. The bars are covered in a wrap. As soon as you open it, the smell is really inviting. iHerb takes care not to ship out chocolates in hot months. My bars were soft when it arrived. I popped it immediately in the fridge. As you can see, my bars have maintained their structure.

I highly recommend this brand and eventually I hope to try out their other great flavors like Black Masala Chai from India and Lapsang Souchong tea from Fujian in future.

Price : $2.99 (AED 10.98) for each bar, containing 1.8 oz (51 gms)

7) E.L.F Clarifying Pressed powder in Spice : This pressed powder is quite OK. When you apply it, immediately the lack of quality can be felt. The formulation isn’t really great. But when you pay less, that’s all you should expect!. Positives are many though. It’s perfect for someone who is just beginning to collect makeup and is looking for budget friendly options. It takes away any oily sheen on the skin and really mattifies. It also gives a natural look to the face. It’s coverage is low. So, it’s definitely not for someone who even expects medium coverage. For the amount paid, it’s definitely OK and perfect to carry in your purse for touch ups.

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It comes in cute and handy compact, with a white powder puff. I got it in the color Spice. There are a variety of shades and Spice is color just below the darkest one which is Toffee.

Price : $1.99 (AED 7.31).

Discount received

During the month of October, there was a promotion going on whereby if your order is over $40, you get a 10% discount. So, I got a discount of $10.67 (AED 39.19)!. I got a cute little notepad and pencil too in my package.

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iHerb always has some promotion or the other going on in addition to the discounts they give on each product. I just love this site!. You can save so much, while doing your normal shopping.

Shipping

The shipping cost was $13.74 (AED 50.47). This time my order took two days to process and less than two days to reach my doorstep in UAE, from US. I love DHL and I am so glad iHerb has teamed up with them. They move so fast!

Overall, I am love with the things I bought this time. Once again, I highly suggest this site to you. They ship worldwide, ultra fast.

Use the code SCZ695 at checkout to receive upto $10 off your first transaction with them!

Follow on BloglovinLove,

Naz ♥

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Review: Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel system! (Amazon purchase #2)

Hello you guys!

In Jan, I was browsing through Amazon, which is one of my favorite sites ever for online shopping, when I came across an Olay product that I have never seen in the UAE market. It’s a microdermabrasion and peel system from the Regenerist range.

FYI: my skin type is normal, leaning towards dry at times

I love Olay. It’s an amazing brand. 90% of my skincare products are from this brand. I currently use Olay Total Effects range. I understand that the Regenerist range of products is best for 30+ aged people. However, this one product I saw really tempted me. I have never done microdermabrasion in my life, either with at-home products or professionally. I researched more about this product, read reviews and all that. Then I finally decided to buy it!. Here is more about this product, which came in a cardboard box:

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The Olay Regenerist M & P system is an advanced specialty treatment, which promises to do the following:

  • Resurface skin’s texture
  • Activate surface cell renewal
  • Balance skin tone
  • Regenerate skin’s appearance
  • Condition skin to leave it feeling soft and smooth
  • Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

What’s not to like about it!!. The box contains two products – The Microdermabrasion treatment and the Peel Activator serum.

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The microdermabrasion treatment with derma-crystals, comes in a tub. It has a thick yet liquid like consistency. But every bit of it is made up of very fine crystals. It’s yellow in color and has a very nice pleasant smell. The tub contains 64 gms. It has a peel off cover when you open the lid:

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On opening that, here is what you see..

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The peel activator serum contains lactic acid. This is a natural AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) found in sour milk. AHAs are excellent for anti aging and definitely gives the six benefits, which I mentioned above, that this system promises to do. That’s one of reasons I trusted this system/product would really work.

The serum is colorless and syrupy in consistency. It has a fruit like smell. Something like bananas. It’s definitely pleasant. If you are thinking “Oh it’s an acid, it might smell like a chemical”, well no. That’s wrong. It comes in a bottle, containing 59 ml.

Here is how it works / Directions to use (as listed on the labels):

Step 1 : Apply derma-crystals to clean,dry face (about the size of a quarter). Cover entire face like a mask (avoid the eye area). Gently massage for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Step 2 : Apply the activator serum onto fingertips adding a thick layer directly over the entire derma-crystal mask. Gently massage for upto 1 minute. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, using a wash cloth for best results.

When applying the derma crystals, it feels mildly abrasive. The smell is really pleasant and soothing though. I sometimes take more than a quarter to work on my entire face and neck. I don’t press hard instead I gently spread it. Then, on adding the peel activator serum, it reacts with the derma crystals and dissolves it, along with a layer of your skin. There is a mildly warm sensation. Also, when these two products meet, a white foam is produced. It is a conditioner, released to your skin’s surface. If you wish to, you can add more serum to dissolve the crystals. It’s not harmful or anything. Though they suggest you wash your face with warm water, I did try with regular water at room temperature and the results are just the same. Immediately after using this, they suggest to apply a serum to keep your skin moisturized. I use Olay’s serum from the Total Effects range.

If by reading the last paragraph, you are skeptical or scared by the words like ‘warm’, ‘white foam’ or ‘dissolve’, let me assure you that it’s gentle!. The warm sensation, on a scale of 1 to 10, is at 1. Just a warm feeling that spreads on your skin. Dissolving a layer of your skin would mean that your skin instantly looks fresher, brighter and feels incredibly smooth because a dull layer of dead skin cells is what was dissolved off.

This product is gentle enough to be used twice a week. But you shouldn’t be overzealous and try your luck by using it more times. You might end up irritating your skin. Also this product shouldn’t be used on irritated, damaged or diseased skin (as written on the label). You should never use this along with other exfoliating products or with cleansing devices. Before, first using this on my face, I did a 1 day patch test on my hand. Though lactic acid is good, it’s natural and you can never predict how your skin will react.

My skin feels and looks incredibly soft and smooth after using this product. There is a brightness to my skin that is very much noticeable. When my family saw me after some time of being apart, they really noticed the difference.

If you are a fair person, I guarantee one thing!. Your skin will be red after using this product. My skin doesn’t turn red usually, because I have a dark skin tone. Yet, on the sides of my nose, I noticed slight redness, during the first three times I used this. But now, it doesn’t turn red anymore.

Though the tub contains only 64gm and the bottle contains only 59ml, this is an 8 week treatment. I highly doubted that it would last that long. However, surprise!. I have used this for 9 weeks now and check out how much more is left!

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The one thing I don’t like is that I cannot determine how much more product is left in the bottle. When I hold it in my hand, it does feel like there is a considerable amount left. So yay!. I don’t know how many more weeks I can use this but it’s totally worth it!

The shipping was fast. Amazon shipped it via Aramex and they delivered right to my door. It took 8 days to reach me once I ordered it, which is quite good.

Price of this product is $19.19 (AED 70.48). Looks like a great price right?. Well, that’s until you know how much the shipping charge was!. It was $15.91 (AED58.48) :(. It’s so sad that the shipment charge is almost as much as the product itself. But I really wanted to try it. So that’s why I bought it and seriously, I am in love with this product. I just wish it was available locally at a lower price because I will definitely buy this again and again!. I did search on Souq.com to see if it’s listed and it was but the price was AED198!. That is AED70 more than the total Amazon price!

FYI, I just now checked and noticed that the price of this product has increased to $20.99 (AED77.10) as of right now. If you wish to place an order, click here.

So all in all, it’s freaking amazing. I love it and I highly recommend it to all.

If you are in UAE and you are doubtful about ordering from Amazon, click here to read various steps to follow, to purchase from there.

Please leave your thoughts about my review in the comments section below and if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer!

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Love,

Naz 🙂

Amazon haul #1 – Haircare, Jewelry and more!

Hello beautiful people!

I love online shopping, like crazy. It’s easy peasy and can be done at the comforts of your home. What can be more convenient than that? (Not for everyone though, like poor Roger below :P).

1029I mostly do local purchases, because I don’t have to worry about customs or the weight or anything like that. But then I decided to shop at Amazon US store because there are some items which are not available locally and I wanted to try them. I am always up for trying new products :). It’s so much fun right?.

As the title says, I had placed the order back in February and chose a shipping option of 8 – 16 days. I received one item within 6 days and three items in March (in 13 days). Everything came carefully and neatly packed. There were small air bags inside, so that the products (which were individually wrapped) are separated well and don’t get damaged while in transit.

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I delayed doing this post, because I didn’t want to jump to conclusions about any product that I am reviewing here. Three months is a good amount of time to judge a product. So here goes…

All the prices mentioned in this post are the ones I have bought it at. I have noticed that Amazon prices tend to fluctuate. The prices in the brackets are the cost of it as of today. Anyways, here are the 4 items that I bought:

1) Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask, 8.5 ounces Jar (250 ml) : If you just type this in a YouTube search bar, you will be surprised at the number of people raving about it. Being a hair-care freak (well the number of haircare DIYs on this blog might have given you a hint!), I wanted to try this so badly.

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The tub is really pretty. In fact, to me, it looks like a coconut (Forget the green part of it :P). Brown on the outside and creamy white inside. The smell is literally HEAVENLY. Like you guys won’t believe how rich, luxurious and amazing the smell is. The tub comes with directions and it says there that this is an intense repairing mask and thus should not be used more than twice a week. I totally agree with that. You should never overwhelm your hair with products, however amazing they are.

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I used it twice in the first week that I received it. Then on, I used it once every week. While applying it, at that time itself, hair feels super-duper soft. The directions on the tub says to apply it liberally onto wet hair. The very first time, I shampooed my hair and then applied it. I found my hair to be really dry after it completely air-dried. The second time though, I applied it to wet hair without shampooing and found that my hair had a really soft texture and was easily manageable. So that’s how I have been using it since.

The directions say to apply it for 7 minutes. I have timed myself every single time and never exceeded that time limit. However, I did find someone saying that they applied it for 20 minutes and then her hair was much more softer than a 7 minutes application. But well, I am happy with 7 minutes. I apply it only to the lower half of my hair (from the level of my ear and down). I believe that conditioners should not be applied to the scalp, because it’s totally unnecessary. The new hair at the scalp is already nourished by the oils produced by our skin and does not require an external conditioning treatment.

I would definitely purchase this again. I highly recommend this product to all. It does what it promises and that according to me, is a great deal!. It will be after quite a while though, because this tub is going to last me a LONG time.

Price : US $16.86 (As of today, it costs US $18.84)

2) Organic R/s Root Stimulator Hair Fertilizer, 6 Ounce (170 gms) : Ok, another hair-care product :D.. Hehe. The name itself is very attractive. Not the fertilizer part. Well, that brings images of plant manure and what not. But believe me, ‘this fertilizer’ smells good and has a cream colored mayonnaise-like texture. The tub says to apply it daily. But I chose to apply it thrice a week. I do other hair-care DIYs too. So I really don’t want to overwhelm my hair with daily application.

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The product is very thick and at first I feared applying it would be tough. However, the product is absorbed by the hair pretty fast and I like that. It does not leave the hair greasy, which is a huge plus. I usually brush my hair first and make sure it’s untangled. Then I scoop the product out, apply on the scalp and then brush again so that it’s evenly distributed.

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I believe this is formulated to be applied on the hair and washed off after some time. But nothing is mentioned about it in the directions. So I chose to apply it in the night and wash off in the morning. As it’s not greasy, it’s totally ok.

Within the second week of using it, I felt a really good difference. My hair has a beautiful shine and it’s softer now.

I would highly recommend this product too :). I would definitely re-purchase. 

Price : US $7.69 (As of today, it costs US $7.67)

3) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Eye Cream, 0.5 Ounce (15gms) : This product is supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eye area.  As I didn’t have an eye cream for my skincare routine, I decided to make this a part of my night time routine. It contains Alpha Hydroxy in it and it’s supposed to be anti-ageing. That’s what attracted me to this product. I have used it for 1 month now and it’s nearly over.

I just take a tiny dot on my ring finger and work it around my eyes in a patting/dabbing motion. Eye creams should never be rubbed on, as the skin is really delicate there. I think it has the right consistency. Not liquidy nor thick. Very easy to apply. It has a VERY faint smell of medicine/pharmacy!. But it’s a nice smell not bad at all. Infact, after the first couple of uses, you can’t even smell it anymore because by then you would get used to the faint smell. This cream can be applied under makeup too but I have never tried that. Also, it says to apply it twice a day but I apply it only in the night. Please keep in mind that products with alpha hydroxy acid should not be worn out in the sunlight, as our skin becomes more susceptible to damage.

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Well, about it’s effect on my skin, umm, I am still kind of undecided on it. I am 25 by the way and I don’t actually have a lot of lines around my eyes. I *think* the lines on the crow’s feet area is lesser. But, you know how sometimes you like to make yourself believe that a product is working and it appears like it really does work, while probably it’s not?. Jeez!.. Does that even make any sense?. But that’s how I feel about this product. Maybe others have totally benefited from it and it does say on the tube “Clinically proven to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eye area”. I think I am fooling myself into thinking that this product works. For 15 gms, it’s pretty expensive, mostly because it’s from the brand Neutrogena (I have had positive experience from other products of this brand but this… um….).

I won’t be re-purchasing this product and I don’t really recommend it to others.

Price : US $9.83 (As of today, it costs US $12.50)

4) 18K Rose Gold Plated Sterling Silver Diamond Heart MOM Pendant Necklace (0.01 cttw, I-J Color, I3 Clarity) : This is such a gorgeous chain and pendant. From the below picture on the site, I kind of expected the pendant to be slightly bigger than it actually is.

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But still, I am not complaining. Sometimes, small and simple is more beautiful. My mom absolutely loved it.

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If you are new to my blog, you probably wouldn’t know that I had gifted it to my mom along with a DIY greeting card, on Mother’s Day. This is actually a beautiful gift to give to your mom, any time of the year.

Price : US $39.00 (As of today, it costs US $29.00 (Man, I feel ripped off!!), but is temporarily out of stock)

My total shipping fee was US $23.02 and was delivered right to my door step by Aramex. The people at Amazon decided to divide my order into two and I believe it’s done so that, what is available readily, gets faster to me. The chain arrived first and the rest followed. I paid only one shipping fee for the order and obviously was not charged for two separate deliveries.

I really hope you loved my mini haul from Amazon / review 😀

If you are in UAE and you have never purchased from Amazon before, you will find my “How to” guide extremely useful!

Don’t forget to follow my blog 🙂

Love,

Naz =)