What We Are Buying Today: ‘Asteri’ - first Saudi makeup brand

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Updated 29 October 2023
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What We Are Buying Today: ‘Asteri’ - first Saudi makeup brand

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  • Founded by Saudi designer Sara Al-Rashed, the brand is cruelty free, vegan, and microplastic free. It also aims to become B Corp certified

Asteri is the first Saudi premium makeup brand in the market spotlighting authentic Arab beauty. Its mission is to break stereotypes and portray the modern vision of Arab women through a local, feminine lens.

Naturally, we had to try it out.

The brand offers an array of products that are “desert-proof,” meaning that they have been formulated specifically to last despite Saudi’s shifting weather, which can vary from extreme heat, dryness, humidity, to cold and windy.

Founded by Saudi designer Sara Al-Rashed, the brand is cruelty free, vegan, and microplastic free. It also aims to become B Corp certified.

Their Legacy Lipsticks were the first to catch our eye. The formulation is creamy and glossy, yet noticeably longer-lasting than most lipsticks across the market.

Rich in color, the refillable products are also hydrating and smooth. From soft corals to bold ruby reds, the eight available shades are also each named after a prominent woman in Al-Rashed’s life, giving a personal touch to the line.

The Legacy Lip Balm is an elevated version of an everyday essential, and contains moringa oil, argan oil, and lychee fruit extract for extreme nourishment.

The hydrating balm looks as if it contains chunky glitter but glides on clear and is the perfect product to use alongside their Universal Lip Liners or just on its own.

Their Maha Mascara is stunningly packaged and extremely buildable, leaving lashes looking long and natural. We also found that it does not smudge under the eyes throughout the day, like many non-waterproof products do.

No eye look is complete without eyeliner, and Asteri’s smudge and water-proof HERizon Eye Liner is a great grayish black felt-tip liquid liner for dramatic looks or simple cat eyes. They also offer a pencil kohl liner in a true black shade.

For the perfect base, their Aura Radiant Concealers and Foundations finish off with a skin-like texture while giving buildable coverage for blemishes, redness, dark circles, and pigmentation.

If you are shopping online, the website offers a “Find My Shade” feature which can match your current foundation or concealer from dozens of brands or help you through a quiz.

Asteri also supplies other products including lip glosses, eyebrow pencils and gels, powder bronzer and highlighters, and a two-in-one blush stick that doubles as lip color.

 

 


Model Loli Bahia builds ties with Louis Vuitton

Model Loli Bahia builds ties with Louis Vuitton
Updated 28 February 2024
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Model Loli Bahia builds ties with Louis Vuitton

Model Loli Bahia builds ties with Louis Vuitton
  • In-demand model is currently in Paris for the city’s fashion week

DUBAI: French-Algerian model Loli Bahia is cementing her relationship with the prestigious luxury brand Louis Vuitton.

This week, the fashion house unveiled its latest campaign for the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, featuring the 21-year-old burgeoning star.

In the promotional clip, Bahia showcased the brand’s pieces accessorizing with a vibrant orange Dauphine bag crafted from supple leather.

Complementing the statement accessory, she donned an oversized blazer dress adorned with multiple buttons, accentuated with white stockings and heels.

This is not Bahia’s first collaboration with the brand.

In March 2023, she walked the Louis Vuitton show during Paris Fashion Week.

Loli Bahia has previously graced the runways for Louis Vuitton. (Getty Images)

She graced the catwalk in a white suit that featured ripped trousers — secured with a thin black belt — and a blazer that was unbuttoned from the center. She donned closed-toed black heels and an off-white purse.

Bahia, who is signed to Women Management Paris, made her runway debut in 2020 at Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2021 show.

She also starred in the Parisian luxury house’s advertising campaign for Fall 2021.

The model is currently in Paris for the city’s fashion week.

On Tuesday, she made a striking debut on the runways walking for Saint Laurent. Dressed in a sheer knee-length beige gown featuring a sophisticated turtleneck, she added a touch of flair with a vibrant red belt adorned with a gold buckle and oversized bangles.

Last week, she opened the Versace runway during Milan Fashion Week in a black mini-dress, complementing her ensemble with a bold pop of color courtesy of a fiery red purse.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Loli bahia (@lolibahiaa)

She took to Instagram to express her excitement. “OPENING VERSACE… my best walk for now so proud,” she wrote adding a video of her walk.

Bahia is one of the most in-demand models in the industry, becoming a runway fixture in just a few months after a breakthrough Spring 2022 fashion season, where she walked in 65 shows.

She has walked for a host of prestigious labels, including Chanel, Tory Burch, Givenchy, Lanvin, Schiaparelli and Valentino.

Bahia also fronted campaigns for Saint Laurent, Tod’s, Isabel Marant, Courreges and Max Mara in addition to starring on the cover of Vogue Italia.


Amira Al-Zuhair, Arab models turn heads on the runway

Amira Al-Zuhair, Arab models turn heads on the runway
Updated 27 February 2024
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Amira Al-Zuhair, Arab models turn heads on the runway

Amira Al-Zuhair, Arab models turn heads on the runway

DUBAI: Part-Saudi model Amira Al-Zuhair, alongside British Moroccan star Nora Attal and Moroccan Italian model Malika El-Maslouhi, turned heads at a futuristic Missoni show in Milan before heading to Paris Fashion Week.

The Italian luxury fashion label’s runway showcased an abundance of printed designs featuring lines in various orientations over the weekend.

From horizontal stripes on flowing dresses to diagonal lines adorning tailored jackets and vertical stripes enhancing structured coats, the collection offered a diverse array of patterns. 

Her outfit comprised vertically striped tights, diagonal striped shorts and a printed cover-up. (Getty Images)

Each garment exemplified Missoni’s expertise in knitwear, with the interplay of lines adding depth and dimension to the pieces. 

Al-Zuhair, born in Paris to a French mother and Saudi father, made a striking statement in a black, white, and grey ensemble on the runway. Her outfit comprised vertically striped tights, diagonal striped shorts and a printed cover-up. 

The leggings were integrated into her shoes, adding a unique twist to her ensemble.

Completing the look, she adorned a headpiece that echoed the leggings and accessorized with brown and white shades.

El-Maslouhi captivated in a black-and-white dress featuring a short cape and a thigh-high slit. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, El-Maslouhi captivated in a black-and-white dress featuring a short cape and a thigh-high slit, elegantly paired with the same vertically striped tights worn by Al-Zuhair.

Attal also showed off a sophisticated black-and-white ensemble, wearing tailored trousers paired with a cropped fur coat.

In addition to the monochrome ensembles worn by all the aforementioned models, the Fall/Winter 2025 women’s collection showcased a burst of color without fixating on specific hues. From vibrant purple and pink to earthy brown, fiery orange, cool blue and every shade in between, the collection embraced a diverse spectrum of colors.

Attal also showed off a sophisticated black-and-white ensemble, wearing tailored trousers paired with a cropped fur coat. (Getty Images)

According to the brand’s website, the stripes symbolize “a new beginning” and intertwine “to create the drawings of the renowned (fashion) illustrator Brunetta (Mateldi).”

Al-Zuhair has made her mark on the fashion world by walking for an array of esteemed brands beyond Missoni. Her runway presence has been felt in shows for renowned fashion houses such as Maison Alaia, Brunello Cucinelli, Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana, Giambattista Valli, Giorgio Armani, Elie Saab and many more. 

In addition to her runway appearances, Al-Zuhair has been featured in campaigns for various high-profile brands including Prada, Chanel and Carolina Herrera.

All three models will no doubt hit the runway at the ongoing edition of Paris Fashion Week, with past appearances suggesting they will walk for a clutch of high-end fashion houses during the event that wraps up on March 5.


Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup

Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup
Updated 27 February 2024
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Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup

Saudi jewelry designer dazzles at Saudi Cup
  • Raghad Al-Hogail’s jewelry creations are inspired by Saudi heritage, Arab identity

RIYADH: Los Angeles-based Saudi jewelry designer Raghad Al-Hogail brought showstopping looks to the Saudi Cup, accentuating her style statement with select pieces of jewelry she designed.

The founder of Ragail Jewelry spoke to Arab News about the thought that went into the pieces she was wearing: “I chose the most relatable piece — the Sun Orchid flower — because this flower when planted anywhere, it helps the other plants around them to grow and this is how I feel about Saudi people, they help each other grow.”

The brand’s origin began when Al Hogail was asked to participate in an exhibition in 2007. (Supplied)

Ragail Jewelry, a Saudi brand founded in 2014, features collections that emphasize the Saudi and Arab identities. Al-Hogail is proud of her identity and heritage, which is why she incorporates motifs such as Arabic lettering, camels, and Saudi coffee dallah in her designs.

The brand’s origin began when Al Hogail was asked to participate in an exhibition in 2007. It was her first time designing and presenting a collection, and she was surprised when every piece sold.

“In high school, my pieces were just brass, ribbon, and plastic and when my entire inventory was sold, I realized I had something special when it came to jewelry.

HIGHLIGHTS

● Ragail Jewelry was founded by Saudi designer Raghad Al-Hogail in 2014.

● The designs incorporate motifs such as Arabic lettering, camels, and Saudi coffee dallah.

● The designer hopes to create an art gallery in Saudi Arabia where people can engage and create art pieces.

“I participated in galleries and exhibits inside and outside the Kingdom and went to 40 shows around the world, including Paris Fashion Week, the Doha Jewelry Show, and more. I also started using materials like diamond, silver, and gold,” she said.

She exhibited her collections in Personage concept store from 2018 to 2020 and recalls it as a “a good experience.”

A piece inspired by the silver frame around the Black Stone located in the corner of the Kaaba in Makkah. (Supplied)

Al-Hogail relocated to California in 2014, attended a jewelry design school, and launched her own business in the downtown district of Los Angeles.

Speaking about her process and what inspires her collections, she added: “We don’t create collections for the summer or winter, but I do artwork whenever I get inspired. Stories served as inspiration for the pieces we created. It can occur at any moment, just like when writing a poem.”  

The brand’s origin began when Al Hogail was asked to participate in an exhibition in 2007. (Supplied)

According to Al-Hogail, each piece has a story, and the main reason for this is that she wants people to be able to relate to the story— when they wear the jewelry, they experience and become a part of it.

The pieces are made in Los Angeles and start at $400. She has also designed a piece that sold for $400,000, her most expensive creation.

I believe that when creative people come together … they flourish, and I want Saudi Arabia to have such an environ-ment.

Raghad Al-Hogail, Saudi jewelry designer

Al-Hogail said that her most sentimental collection is the Organic line, which she designed during a period of homelessness. The collection was inspired by the silver frame around the Black Stone located in the corner of the Kaaba in Makkah.

Despite being based in Los Angeles, the designer hopes to create an art gallery in Saudi Arabia where people can engage and create art pieces. She also hopes to take part in additional exhibitions within the Kingdom.

Speaking about why this dream is important to her, she said: “I enjoy being in creative environments because I believe that everyone is creative in some capacity. I believe that when creative people come together, whether they be authors, musicians, designers, or something else entirely, they flourish, and I want Saudi Arabia to have such an environment. A gathering place for all artists.”

 


Film Independent Spirit Awards sees Arab wins, Mideast fashion on the red carpet

Film Independent Spirit Awards sees Arab wins, Mideast fashion on the red carpet
Updated 26 February 2024
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Film Independent Spirit Awards sees Arab wins, Mideast fashion on the red carpet

Film Independent Spirit Awards sees Arab wins, Mideast fashion on the red carpet

DUBAI: US director A.V. Rockwell hit the Film Independent Spirit Awards’ red carpet in a look by Lebanese designer Elie Saab as she scooped up the award for best first feature for her movie “A Thousand and One.”

Rockwell’s green-hued gown hailed from the fashion label’s Resort 2024 collection and featured a dark-to-light green gradient color palette, a plunging neckline and a cape that was attached at the shoulders.

US director A.V. Rockwell hit the Film Independent Spirit Awards’ red carpet in a look by Lebanese designer Elie Saab. (Getty Images)

Rockwell’s film stars Teyana Taylor as a mother who kidnaps her six-year-old son, Terry, from the foster care system. The film had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize.

Meanwhile, Celine Song’s quiet romance “Past Lives” won two of the biggest awards at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, including best feature and best director. Other big winners were Cord Jefferson’s comedic satire “American Fiction,” with Jeffrey Wright winning for lead performer; and Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” which won prizes for Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa, the Associated Press reported.

The 39th edition of the show was held Sunday in a beachside tent in Santa Monica, California, and streamed live on IMDb and Film Independent’s YouTube channels and X accounts.

“Thank you so much for letting me share what it feels like to be human, to love and be loved, and thank you for loving our film," Song said in accepting the directing prize, according to the Associated Press.

Her film was among the top nominated at the show, alongside “May December,” which won only one award (for Samy Burch's first screenplay) and “American Fiction,” which fared better.

Wright won for playing a frustrated author who becomes wildly successful by writing something he hates in “American Fiction.”

The Spirit Awards sit firmly within the larger Hollywood awards season, which culminates with the Oscars on March 10. But with a budget cap of $20 million for nominees, the show celebrates films that sometimes go unheralded, or at least under-nominated, at the bigger shows.

Last year, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” swept the Spirit Awards before going on to do the same at the Oscars. But this year, many top Oscar contenders — including “Oppenheimer,” “Barbie” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” — would not have qualified.

Kaouther Ben Hania’s film “Four Daughters,” which is nominated for the corresponding Oscar, won best documentary. And Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” also nominated for best picture at the Oscars, won best international feature over “The Zone of Interest.”


Gigi Hadid, Arab models walk Versace runway

Gigi Hadid, Arab models walk Versace runway
Updated 24 February 2024
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Gigi Hadid, Arab models walk Versace runway

Gigi Hadid, Arab models walk Versace runway

DUBAI: US-Dutch-Palestinian model Gigi Hadid, a staple on Versace runways, made a remarkable return to the Italian brand’s catwalk this week during Milan Fashion Week.

The supermodel stunned the runway in a black sheer, collared dress featuring intricate button-down detailing and a daring thigh-high slit. Complementing her ensemble, she sported black latex gloves and accentuated her look with sharp eye makeup.

Hadid was joined by other part-Arab models, including Imaan Hammam, who is Moroccan, Egyptian and Dutch, and Loli Bahia, who is French Algerian.

Hammam donned a printed blazer layered over a brown top. (Getty Images)

Hammam donned a printed blazer layered over a brown top, completing her ensemble with black tights and thigh-high leather boots. Just like Hadid, she accessorized with latex gloves and striking eye makeup.

Bahia wore a black mini-dress. (Getty Images)

Bahia opened the runway show in a black mini-dress, complementing her ensemble with a bold pop of color courtesy of a fiery red purse.