Moroccan Dreams

Moroccan Dreams

Moroccan Dreams

Moroccan Dreams

Moroccan Dreams

Moroccan Dreams

I first met Asmaa Benkirane on the rooftop of the Betsy Hotel on South Beach. I remember it well: it was a ruthlessly hot day. I was there to shoot a Miami spa month story for Deco Drive and I was trying not to sweat bullets through my new, bright green Moroccan style sundress. Wishful thinking…

Within 30 seconds of stepping onto the ocean front, open-air spa veranda, sweat started beading onto my upper lip and traces of moisture trickled down my back. I’m not gonna lie; I was pretty miserable, but I adored the spirit of the people pitching and presenting the story, so I was in it; sweaty neck, back, dress and all.

By the way, sometimes not even that uber-thick, pancake-like television make-up can withstand the South Florida heat. So, you just melt and try to make the best of it. Just as I started dabbing the dampness from my face with the back of my hand, Asmaa walked out of the hotel and into the blistering heat like a cool summer breeze.

She was light, airy and incredibly good-natured. She complimented me on my dress immediately, which would win any woman over, but when she told me she owned a store that specialized in couture kaftans, it caught my attention. Coincidentally, I had just purchased the pretty aforementioned green dress a few weeks prior at Anthropology. I loved its delicate detailing, flowing fit and the way it reminded me of something a woman in Morocco would wear.

Read the rest of my “Moroccan Dreams” fashion article at or shop the look at and remember, if it makes you happy, wear it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 ,

Top 3: Skin Fitness

I’m definitely on a skin maintenance roll lately. Matter of fact, I’ve been completely and utterly obsessed. Thankfully, it’s a little cheaper than shoe-shopping! Seriously, though, my bathroom has turned into a full-fledged drugstore, but secretly I love it and I hope you like all the tips, too.

So, last week it was affordable face washes. The week before, luxury products with pretty hefty price tags and this week, why not keep the skincare ball rolling by dedicating #ShireensTop3 to a local line called “Skin Fitness?” 
I first learned about the company, whose tag line is “pure and simple,” at one of my favorite places on earth, Zen Zen Organic Hair Salon in North Miami Beach. My colorist, Cindy, and my extension specialist, Jess, love em’ some good products. All three of us are always gabbing about what it takes to get good face. I’ve learned a lot of great beauty tips from the two over the last year, but this one is definitely one of my favorites…

Skin Fitness not only offers natural treatments that are scientifically advanced and green-friendly (which is really important to Zen Zen,) but their products contain healing ingredients, too. They’ve bottled up the likes of vitamins, fruit pulps and enzymes to treat things like rosacea, acne scars, hyper-pigmentation and pesky lines and wrinkles. Here’s my top 3/Skin Fitness Products…

skinfitness crystal dew drops for eyes and lips  

Crystal Dew Drops For Eyes & Lips/$88.00

Talk about some major TLC for the under-eye area! This pearlized-looking eye cream is slick, moisturizing and long-lasting. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way. It does two things that I love: help conceal my dark circles because of its iridescent-like glow and prevents my concealer from seeping into the fine lines around my eyes. The good news doesn’t stop there: you can use the Crystal Dew Drops on your kisser, too. It hydrates and protects your pretty pout and if that’s not worth a big kiss, I don’t know what is.

  Skin Fitness Pigment Lightener Gel

Pigment Lightener Gel/$28.00

For years, I’ve battled dark spots on my face. A few are from the sun, but the majority are from fighting a life-altering neurological disorder and the medicines that go along with treating it. Luckily, I’m beating my illness, but in the fight to fix my body, the meds wreaked havoc on my hair and face. Over the last year, Zen Zen has managed to whip my hair back into shape and this Pigment Lightener they recommended is also fixing my face. The gel is slowly, but surely, fading my hyper-pigmentation. Most skin lighters serve up a healthy dose of hydroquinone (a controversial skin lightener said to cause cancer in lab animals when used in large quantities for an extended period of time,) but Skin Fitness takes a more natural approach. They use acids like: Kojic, Azelaic, Glycolic and Salicylic. It’s the perfect healthy potion to get beautiful, even colored-skin.

skin fitness crushed grape seed scrub

Crushed Grape Seed Scrub/$44.00

Before I went on my face-cleanser binge last week, I was using the Crushed Grape Seed Scrub from Skin Fitness. It’s yummy, gentle and exfoliating. This product pulls double duty with granules and natural acids; schluffing away the old skin and readying the new. The result is a squeaky clean, healthy glow. The product has crushed grape seeds, jojoba beads and fruit enzymes. It even has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in it, too. For an extra beauty punch; I steam my face, smear on the scrub, circulate it for about three minutes and rinse. It tingles, tightens and tones.

Wanna get your face in shape? You can buy Skin Fitness products at or Here’s to not looking a day past 29!

Shireen’s Spotlight: Tongue & Cheek

Shireen's Spotlight: Tongue & Cheek

What: Tongue & Cheek, 431 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Why: Because its Owner & Chef extraordinaire, Jamie DeRosa, is a freakin’ genius, that’s why (I’ll get to that in a minute) and besides, who doesn’t love a good, smokin’ Molecular Margarita? (Pictured in the blog.) It’s made with 4 ounces of tequila, blackberry and lime. You can thank me later for the sexy introduction. It’s to die for…

Tongue & Cheek isn’t just one of the hippest and most happening places on South Beach to eat, it stacks up with the best of em’ because there’s something for everyone. Especially on its Miami Spice Menu: the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Whipped Ricotta is delicious for the dieter, the Carrot Cavatelli is the cure for the vivacious vegetarian and the Beef Cheek Burger is great for the gung-ho guy who can’t get enough meat. And…

Have you ever heard the saying that someone’s “in it to win it”? Well, that sums up Jamie to a T. Not only has he made Tongue & Cheek an amazing place to eat with quippy, pop culture-titled menu and drink items, but his infectious personality, social media prowess and personal love of all things art-related (food, fashion and film) make him one of the most relevant restaurant owners in the Magic City today.

Whether you’re drinking a Classic Whiskey Sour during Happy Hour or whiling away a weekend night with a long, lackadaisical dinner, dining at Tongue & Cheek is totally delicious.

Where: T&C is located off of Washington Avenue between 4th and 5th street. It’s a bustling part of South Beach, but don’t worry; they offer valet parking for $5.

When: Dinner – Sun 6pm-10pm/Tues-Thur 11:30am-3pm/Fri-Sat 6pm-12am
Happy Hour Tuesday – Sunday 5pm – 8pm
Twitter: @TandCMiami
Instagram: @TandCMiami
FB: Tongue & Cheek

editor: Matthew Auerbach
producer: Jessie Rosario
photographer: Tod Phillip

Thursday, September 25, 2014 ,

Gypsy Rose

Gypsy Rose

Gypsy Rose

Gypsy Rose

Gypsy Rose

The bohemian beauty of the Southwest is an indelible part of my existence. Partially because I was raised there, but also because of its unique energy, earthy spirit and rugged charm. When I close my eyes to daydream about the desert, this is what I see…

Breathtaking sunsets, sprinkled with soft pinks, blues and purples. The rich and unforgiving landscape that manages to be mysterious and miraculous at the same time and if I gaze just long enough, the sweeping, awe-inspiring, open spaces reveal hidden secrets. Like…

Rolling mesas rippling in and out of gorgeous red clay. Silky, brown sand snaking around dazzling, dark green cacti with beautiful, bright red blossoms and if i’m lucky, I’ll catch a glimpse of a gorgeous, fawn-colored coyote, lackadaisically sauntering its way through the wild flowers of the desert.

Just before I open my eyes, I feel the dry air, formidable wind and the sun shining relentlessly on my shoulders. Then, my daydream gives way to real life and the moment is only a memory. While I’m proud to call Miami my home, I’m still seduced by the trappings of the Southwest. Matter of fact, over the years, I’ve gravitated toward paintings, poetry and precious jewels that illuminate the very things that make my hometown so special.

Read the full article featuring “Eye Gotcha Covered” jewelry at or shop the look at – here’s to Mother Earth!

Top 3: New Face Washes That Work

Okay, so I went a little crazy at the drugstore the other day and if you know me, it’s not the first time. Strangely enough, instead of buying a bunch of make-up, I decided to stock up on face wash. You should see my bathroom counter: I tried a plethora of so many products, you’d think my face was the size of Miami’s last Super Moon. Anyhow, I guess sometimes, a girl just wants to douse away the dirt of the day (literally and figuratively speaking.) Here are the best “New Face Washes That Work”…for under ten dollars.

Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub by St Ives

Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub by St Ives/$4.29

Go out and buy this face scrub immediately! How’s that for an endorsement? Seriously, though, this more-than affordable and fabulous line has produced yet another great product. St. Ives’ Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub is by far the best thing they’ve ever made. The concoction smells fresh and delightful and its small, granular beads are great for targeted exfoliation. I found out about this little gem from one of my favorite hair dressers who may as well have a Ph.D in products because she’s tried everything! What’s more, she never tells me to go and buy anything, so when she ordered me to purchase it ASAP, I drove to the drugstore STAT. It’s officially part of my anti-aging arsenal now.

Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover by Neutrogena Naturals

Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover by Neutrogena Naturals/$5.99

When I hit the door after work, say, around midnight, I need a blow torch and some sandpaper to get my face clean. Between all the television make-up, sweat and dirt of the day, it’s impossible to get squeaky clean. Thanks to Neutrogena’s Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover, though, I can say “good riddance” to the grit of the day. While I’m already addicted to their amazing make-up removing wipes, it’s their all-new natural cleanser that completes my nite time ritual. Although it thoroughly removes the last traces of my waterproof make-up, it doesn’t dry out my skin (which most cleansers do.) It’s rich in Vitamin C & B and Peruvian Tara seed, which boosts moisture levels in your skin and prevents dehydration. The best part: it’s not just good, it’s good for you.

Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin by L'Oreal

Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin by L’Oreal/$4.99

I’m a sucker for good packaging! So, when I stumbled across the new 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleaner by L’Oreal, I was immediately hooked. Its light blue and white bottle comes with a scrublet pressed perfectly into its middle. Once you pop it out, dab a little cleanser on it and use it to spread, lather and exfoliate your face. When you’re done, pop it back in and viola! You’ve cleaned your face and have extra space in the shower. I squealed with excitement the first time I used it! It’s the little things, people. There are four new cleansers in this line: Deep Cleanse, Deep Exfoliation, Anti-Breakout, and Sensitive. I prefer the sensitive one. It’s soothing, and moisturizing. I really enjoyed using this product. It definitely gets Shireen’s Top 3 seal of approval.

Honorable mentions:
Positively Ageless Resurfacing Scrub by Aveeno/$6.99
ReVitaLift Cream Cleanser by L’Oreal/$6.99

Here’s to a squeaky clean face!

Monday, September 22, 2014 , , , , ,