THE ROUNDUP – Regional pop-culture highlights

The Bahraini-Palestinian singer-songwriter Banah is back with another single blending influences and sounds from East and West. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 12 March 2020

THE ROUNDUP – Regional pop-culture highlights

‘A’kes El Shi’

Banah

The Bahraini-Palestinian singer-songwriter is back with another single blending influences and sounds from East and West. “A’kes El Shi” (The Opposite of That) is about someone who discovers their partner fails to back up their words with actions. “I liked the fact that although she is sad, she is also empowered — in a way — by knowing the truth,” Banah said in a statement.

‘Articulations’

Safar

The Lebanese indie group dropped a new video for this track from their most-recent EP, “Studies of an Unknown Lover,” early in March. Directed by Adam Jammal, it’s an appropriate visual accompaniment for this elegiac, cinematic track about someone haunted by a missing lover. 

‘Fake Sounds’

Battlefield Detectives

An album of experimental soundscapes created 2011 but only released last month. “Fake Sounds” won’t be getting any airtime on commercial radio, but as a creative record of a period of unrest in Bahrain, it’s an interesting listen. “I began recording… things. I didn’t ask questions, I didn’t overthink, I just did,” the artist, Ali Al-Saeed, wrote on Facebook. “Make of it what you will, but it reflects the state we were in back then.”

‘FREAKY’ 

Jack Sleiman

The Lebanese DJ and producer dropped this “high-energy anthem” (the press release’s words, not ours) on Valentine’s Day. It’s a collaboration with Hungarian singer Mardoll and Nigerian rapper Skales on which Sleiman sings for the first time. “It’s a track that gets you up and excited for a workout,” Sleiman says. “It’s uplifting, a bit disruptive, and aimed at hyping up listeners.” 


UAE brand’s fresh approach to skincare looking good for future

Having lived in Dubai for more than seven years, Kathryn Jones learned a lot about the Middle Eastern market and the needs of people who live within the region. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 May 2020

UAE brand’s fresh approach to skincare looking good for future

DUBAI: Skincare products can quite often sit on shelfs or in delivery vehicles for weeks and months, stored in unsuitable conditions.

And despite brands promoting them as organic and natural, some customers might question the effectiveness of products left lying around for long periods after being produced.

However, Kathryn Jones, founder of the UAE-based brand Kathryn Jones Hand Blended Serums, or KJ Serums for short, told Arab News how her company created fresh products every month for customers.

Jones, who is originally from Wales, in the UK, launched KJ Serums in 2017 and started her brand “out of necessity.” (Supplied)

“The concept of a freshly-made skincare serum is something quite different and our customers have really embraced it. They appreciate it’s a fresh product that must be used up within a month when it’s at its most active and effective and repurchased – almost like a food stuff,” she said.

Jones, who is originally from Wales, in the UK, launched KJ Serums in 2017 and started her brand “out of necessity.”

She added: “I simply could not afford the prices of some of the top skincare brands but still wanted excellent results.”

With her background in the biopharmaceuticals industry, she started experimenting and developing her own formulas. “The core proposition is ‘hand blended’ because that’s how it all started, by hand blending and perfecting the serum formulas myself here in the UAE,” she said.

Having lived in Dubai for more than seven years, the entrepreneur learned a lot about the Middle Eastern market and the needs of people who live within the region.

“Our climate here is extreme often for eight months or more of the year, especially in the Gulf region. A lot our customers will ask for a product that reduces oiliness and sheen on the skin and are reluctant to purchase products that contain a lot of oils, or are very heavily moisturizing,” Jones added.

The businesswoman believes the Middle East market is “wonderfully diverse” with different attitudes and expectations toward skincare products.

“Of course, this is a challenge to develop effective products which can address many different skin types and issues, but the market is truly receptive to new concepts,” she said.

Jones pointed out that with the current lockdown situation due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), people had more time to care for their skin.

“The coronavirus pandemic has obviously confined us to our homes, and, given the steady increase in the number of enquiries we are receiving, it suggests consumers currently have more time to consider their online skincare purchases and perhaps have more time to invest in an effective routine,” she said.

On whether the COVID-19 outbreak would change the future of the skincare industry, Jones added: “I think that many consumers, either through necessity or out of a desire to support local brands might have chosen to source their products from different manufacturers and therefore brand loyalties may have been affected to a certain extent.”