Live Like a Heroine

A Chat With Dina Kabbani, Fashion & Beauty Editor for Elle Arabia

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A 90's kid from Egypt with a lifelong passion for beauty and fashion, so great that she became Fashion & Beauty Editor for Elle Arabia. Here's Dina Kabbani's exclusive Muse & Heroine Interview.

First thing first, tell us how you got into beauty & fashion content creation
Growing up in Egypt as a teenager in the early 90s, it wasn’t easy getting one’s hands on a magazine like Vogue, so when I did, I relished every second of it. For me, it was all about the visuals; the over-the-top shoots, the pretty product pages – they all ended up on my wall though and now, I barely have any leftover copies in one piece! It was the cut and pasting/collage part of it that got me into the crazy and creative industry that I’m in.
Where do you usually find out about new products and beauty trends?

Besides my daily beauty fix from Into the Gloss and The Goop, I love leafing through magazines like Porter where they have the whole scan and buy option; the beauty section is a gem highlighting what’s in, relevant and if you’re digging the product – boom, you can scan and shop it on the spot (how cool is that!?). Makes life way easier for those who like me don’t have that much time on their hands.

Right, we want to know your beauty secrets. What is your daily beauty regimen? What is your weekly beauty regimen?

I’m what you call a loyal customer – once I find a product that works for me, I’ll use it forever or until something pretty noteworthy comes along and tempts me away. That being said, my daily regimen is pretty much the same throughout the week: Mornings, I’ll wash my face with ice-cold water (has to be freezing through to melt any overnight puffiness caused by too much pillow time). I won’t use a facial wash to avoid over stripping my skin especially since I would have thoroughly cleansed it the night before. Then its serum, moisturizer (always with SPF!), and then my make-up. Evenings, I’ll definitely start off cleansing my face then it’s serum followed by a pea-sized amount of fast-absorbing eye cream and my evening moisturizer. I then seal it all off with Plum oil - my magic potion introduced to me by Muse & Heroine’s founder, Janine Knizia.

An expensive-but-worth-it product or treatment?

Investing in good pre/probiotics. Everything begins with the gut, whether it’s your health, skin, sleep, or even cognitive ability… a clean gut equals a better you.

Do you have a beauty DIY recipe?

I don’t have a go-to recipe but I love coconut oil for everything – my hair, nails, skin… it’s multipurpose, cheap, and found in most kitchen cupboards!

Let’s talk about body care. What are your favorite products?

I’m a sucker for a body moisturizer, especially one that smells of summer, so anything vanilla or coconut-based. I’ll also switch it up sometimes and use bio-oil which has become a staple in my beauty cupboard following my first pregnancy; I used it throughout and it helped so much with stretch marks and skin elasticity. For hair, Ouai products are dreamy particularly if like me, you have long hair… it works wonders and is one of those products that makes you feel and smell sexy coming out of the shower.

What is your favorite workout? And your favorite supplement?

I’m a Pilates girl through and through, and it’s taught me that you don’t need to do HIIT to see results. Right now, I’m obsessed with Lagree Fitness’ Megaformer – I’ve been doing it for a year at Reform Studio in Dubai and it’s changed my body and made me so much stronger. For supplements, I take Onnit’s Total Human. It comes with a day and night pack of essential vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids. I also add MCT oil to my morning coffees for that extra brain boost or if I’m feeling super sluggish, I’ll start my day with Welleco’s Super Elixir mixed in with a breakfast smoothie; it helps with stomach flora as well as those nasty weekend hangovers!

Tell us one of your best-kept beauty secrets.

You are what you eat! Yes, I’m a total believer that what you put into your body plays a major role in how you feel on the inside as well as the outside. It’s been a personal highlight of mine moving to clean eating and I can’t recommend it enough.

Are there any beauty secrets that your mother or grandmother passed down to you?

Rosewater! My grandmother would use it for everything; as a toner, to calm flare-ups, and even to get rid of acne. 

What is your self-care approach?

To go easy on myself. There are some days where I won’t stick to eating clean or a week where I’ll totally neglect my skincare routine. It’s important to embrace those off days and not dwell on every little mishap.

Ok, now for some quickfire questions.
Favorite App on your phone?

Spotify – I need music in my life to function.

 Last thing you do before bed?

Binge scroll through my Instagram feed; I’m usually quite busy throughout the day so I catch up at night!

 And the first thing you do in the morning?

A warm glass of water with apple cider vinegar to kickstart digestion.

 Favorite meal to eat?

Breakfast! I wake up dreaming about my peanut butter and banana sandwich.

 Your favorite health spot?

Dubai’s Comptoir 102 or Wild and the Moon - hands down.

 Your favorite holistic destination?

I love Ardi Sanctuary which is located in Dahshur, Egypt. It’s a simple haven amidst palm tree groves, perfect for those looking to escape and recharge.

What`s the best thing about being a woman?

My answer is - What isn’t!?

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Follow Dina on Instagram @dinakabbani.