Emily Blunt glitters in Osman Yousefzada design

Emily Blunt stars in ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ which will hit theaters in late December. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 05 December 2018
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Emily Blunt glitters in Osman Yousefzada design

DUBAI: Hollywood actress Emily Blunt made an appearance on US television’s The Ellen Show this week, wearing a glittering top by British designer Osman Yousefzada.
The Birmingham-born designer, who is of Afghan descent, founded his namesake label OSMAN in 2008 and has gone on to make a name for himself on the British fashion scene.
Blunt is the latest in a long line of stars to show off clothes from his label and chose the sparkling black “Amos” top from the designer’s collection. The blouse features a high-necked collar, bow details on the back and is covered with sequins.

Blunt wore the top with casual jeans and strappy black heels for her appearance on The Ellen Show, where she was promoting her latest film, “Mary Poppins Returns.”
The film, set some 20 years after the original movie made actress Julie Andrews a star, was named as one of the 10 best films of 2018 by the American Film Institute on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
The honors are among the first to be handed out during Hollywood’s awards seasons, which continues with Golden Globe nominations on Thursday through the Academy Awards in February.
The film had its world premiere in Los Angeles last week, featuring a new cast and new music but with a nostalgic nod to the original.
The 1964 film “Mary Poppins” starring Andrews and Dick Van Dyke as a cheerful chimney sweep brought a best actress Oscar for Andrews and an award-winning score of songs like “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” that have become classics.
In “Mary Poppins Returns,” Blunt plays the firm but kind singing nanny who descends on London in the early 20th century to take care of the children of the now adult Banks siblings from the 1964 film.
Like the original, “Mary Poppins Returns” features fantasy sequences and plenty of dance numbers. It even brings back the animated dancing penguins.
“It really is a trip down nostalgia lane and paying homage to these incredible movies that we all grew up watching that are so representative of everything we remember as children,” Blunt told reporters on the red carpet, according to Reuters.
“Yet we’re doing something new, and I think it’s a film that’s just full of feeling and full of joy.”
“Hamilton” rap musical creator Lin-Manuel Miranda takes on the role played by Van Dyke in 1964, but as a young lamp lighter rather than a chimney sweep. Van Dyke, 92, who was given a standing ovation by the Hollywood audience on Thursday, has a cameo as a kindly, tap-dancing banker.
Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” marks the first time in 54 years that the character, who was created in books written by P.L. Travers in the 1930s and 1940s, has been revisited on film. The story was turned into a Broadway and London stage musical 15 years ago.


Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

Coco Sabon. (Supplied)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

  • Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world”

RIYADH: The healing and relaxing powers of nature are at the heart of Coco Sabon’s philosophy.
Launched by Dr. Cynthia Mosher — an American living in Riyadh — the skincare firm is committed to sourcing high-quality, natural oriental ingredients that provide the skin with gentle care and nourishment.
“I launched Coco Sabon in November 2015 at Alfaisal University’s first bazaar,” she said.
Mosher, who completed a bachelor of science in natural health sciences, said she hoped to do something more than simply diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments. She also wanted to have time for other important things and people, so now she is working as an educator, training a new generation of medical students.
She encourages people to make healthy choices when it comes to ingredients they use on their bodies.
“I fell in love with formulating and creating beautiful, natural skincare products. I continued my creative journey while pursuing my medical degree, which deepened my commitment to develop ‘do no harm’ skincare based on natural ingredients,” she said.
“Layered with my admiration of Arabian culture, the rich regional ingredients, and my passion for integrative medicine, I developed a deep sense of holistic self-care that guides my formulations. My love for the fragrances, natural remedies and skincare routines of the Middle East are the heart and soul of Coco Sabon.”
There is a growing demand for Coco Sabon products. “After years of requests from family and friends to make and sell my products, I tested the waters, so to speak. We sold out of everything that day.”
She added: “About six weeks later we were invited to participate at the Gathering in Al-Bujairi in January 2016. We had a crowd of customers nonstop for three days and again sold out of everything. It was a decisive weekend. Coco Sabon was born and we have not looked back since.”
Mosher’s family and friends offered encouragement, but one of her strongest supporters was her best friend, Audrey Wilkinson. She said: “Audrey was my supporter, helper and adviser. She now works with me, formulating and producing our candles, cremes and face care line.”
Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world.”
The brand offers a wide range of products, including soap, bath bombs, scrubs, cremes, face and body oils, perfumes and candles.
“Everything is produced by hand in small batches here in Riyadh using natural, safe and organic ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible,” Mosher said.
Coco Sabon believes in supporting local businesses and in sourcing the best ingredients possible. The store also designs its packaging and hand packages, labels and wraps each item, selling through an online store (cocosabon.com), Instagram, WhatsApp, and local popup shop events.
Mosher has also started offering workshops on making her products.
“Some might think that to be unwise because I could very well teach a future competitor,” she said. “Well, that’s true for the medical students I teach now. Should I withhold my knowledge for fear of them becoming better doctors and doing better? Of course not. The more knowledge we put out there, the better our society will be. The workshops also help build community.
“I connect with people who are curious, who want to learn how to create and how to make good choices for their health. I welcome workshop students young and older (my youngest so far was just 6 years old), and I encourage them to take what they learn and use it to improve their lives and that of others around them. If they make a business out of doing so, then good for them. We all have something to offer the world,” she said.
Mosher is happy that she created a job she loves. “Sometimes I miss practicing clinical medicine, but I remind myself that I am helping people make healthier choices for their bodies, their minds, their souls and the planet,” she said.
“That’s a special kind of medicine that I believe can help heal the world.”