Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style

Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style. (Shutterstock)
Updated 01 January 2019
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Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style

DUBAI: From camping trips to gatherings in Beirut, the Middle East’s favorite influencers celebrated New Year’s Eve in style last night and spoke to Arab News about their resolutions for 2019.

Dubai-based fashion and fitness influencer Tala Samman — whose Instagram account @myfashdiary features a carefully curated mix of party snaps, workout videos and slick sportswear — celebrated the end of a successful year in Oman.

The US-Syrian DJ, who opened up for such big-name acts as Dua Lipa in Abu Dhabi in February, decided to change things up this year and head out to the desert for a more peaceful celebration with friends.

“New Year’s Eve is so overrated, I always end up doing a party and spend the night worrying about traffic,” she told Arab News.

Her resolutions for the new year are all about mental health and wellbeing.

“(At the) end of 2016, I made the decision to focus on mental health, focus on myself and my wellbeing. My focus for 2019 is to be cautious about where and what I (invest) my energy in, appreciate every moment and continue to challenge myself.”

Lebanese-Australian model, influencer and humanitarian Jessica Kahawaty echoed Samman’s focus on personal wellbeing.

Kahawaty, who celebrated New Year’s Eve Down Under, told Arab News that her hopes for 2019 were two-fold.

“On a personal front, I wish for health for my family and friends, as well as to continue doing what I love,” she said.

“I also wish for a more tolerant region and (am) praying for the safety and rebuilding of neighboring countries like Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”

Kuwaiti influencer Rawan bin Hussain, who has 3.2 million followers on Instagram and launched her own beauty brand this year, celebrated not one but two occasions last night — her 22nd birthday and New Year’s Eve.

Although her birthday was on Dec. 30, the style star hosted a celebration in Beirut with her “loved ones and close friends. This is the first time hosting there and I am having so much fun planning,” she told Arab News before the day.

She expressed her excitement about the year to come.

“I think every year is beautiful and 2018 was in its own (way) — I collaborated with lots of amazing brands, launched my makeup brand, House of Rawan, and visited so many stunning places. I am grateful, forever. But I can’t help but be more excited for what’s to come.”

Meanwhile, Dubai-based Syrian influencer Dounia Sheikh El-Ard rang in the new year at a party in Beirut and told Arab News that she hopes to “travel to niche destinations and explore my adventurous side” in 2019.

Pushing boundaries seems to be a common theme as up-and-coming Jordanian influencer Zeena Zaid added that she hopes to “liven up my lifestyle and face fears and insecurities” in what promises to be an exciting new year.

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Karen Wazen stars in flirty, fun fragrance campaign

Updated 19 January 2019
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Karen Wazen stars in flirty, fun fragrance campaign

DUBAI: Lebanese influencer Karen B. Wazen took to Instagram over the weekend to share her latest advert campaign with British perfume brand Jo Malone.
The stylish blogger shared the video with her 858,000 followers and was quickly inundated with overwhelmingly positive comments on the social media platform.
“So happy to share with you my campaign with @jomalonelondon — ‘You and I together and nothing else matters… Combining nature and love ... Combining two scents... combining two souls’,” she captioned the video.
Directed by Dubai-based influencer and designer Ahmed El-Sayed, who goes by the name @Twistedcurlz on Instagram, the short clip sees Wazen posing for the camera in a park while holding two bottles of the new fragrance.
Wazen shows off biker chic style in the new campaign video, wearing a black leather beret and oversized, boxy leather jacket covered in silver studs.
She draws a heart in the sand, throws fallen leaves at the camera and mouths “I love you” in the flirty, fun clip.

“I loved working on this with you guys,” Wazen added in her caption.
Dubbed a “Cologne Intense,” the new fragrance that Wazen shows off in the video is called “Bronze Wood & Leather” and is described by the brand as a “sultry leather (fragrance) encased in a medley of woods… A rich, enveloping new scent.”
It’s been a busy week for Wazen, who took to Instagram to get involved in the viral #10YearChallenge with a series of snaps.
The blogger shared two side-by-side photos — the first of which was a photo of her posing with her husband, Elias Bakhazi, 10 years ago alongside a more recent shot. “It started when we were young,” she captioned the photographs.
The challenge saw celebrities around the world share decade-old snaps of themselves alongside recent photos to show just how much — and is some cases, how little — they have changed.
However, Wazen isn’t one to just sit back and follow international trends and viral crazes. In December, the successful style star launched her very own range of edgy eyewear featuring 15 designs in a range of retro-to-futuristic styles and colors that are available on karenwazen.com.