Yves Saint Laurent Noël 2011 makeup collection

Last week in Attica Department Store, an interesting event took place: Fred Letailleur, European makeup artist for YSL, presented the new Yves Saint Laurent makeup collection for this Christmas, notably named
"Look Noël".

And I must say, I was charmed.

First and foremost, the makeup collection itself is indeed so inspiring; it captures the essense of the iconic YSL black tuxedo and all the fine fabrics that create different shades of black. Me, being a total-black-outfit fanatic, I fell for it right away.

The most exciting product of this makeup collection is the LE Black Tuxedo eyeshadow palette that contains 4 variations of black and a shimmering white in the middle. Wrapped around this palette is a black YSL "belt" that you can actually wear as a wrist cuff ;)

Other LE products in this collection: the White Tuxedo palette (complexion illuminator with silver, pink and violet hues) and the Black Manicure duo (one matte and one glossy).

The Noël makeup collection is completed with a few products from the YSL permanent makeup range, as shown below:

Personally, if I was to grab just one product from this collection, it would have to be the Black Tuxedo eyeshadow palette (slightly biased cause of the black wrist cuff, can you blame me?); the White Tuxedo didn't catch my fancy- I'd rather have a golden highlighter than a cool-toned powder. And I think I can dupe the black manicure shown on the promo pics with cheaper nail polishes, hehe

As for the rest non-LE products, my eyes were drawn to the new Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks- if you're a lipstick lover like me, let me tell you that you won't find such bold and yet sophisticated shades at Mac, and that's a fact; see, I could easily imagine a mature lady wearing the YSL #39 purple lipstick, but in no way could she go out of the house wearing Mac's Violetta...
I decided to wait for everyone else in the blogosphere to have their go on the Rouge Pur Coutures, so then I can do my homework with their swatches and pick out my favourite ;)

Fred Letailleur was so lovely!!! I wasn't expecting a world renowned makeup artist to be so down to earth and kind with all the inquiring people surrounding him and just... cute! Only thing I wanted was to pinch his cheeks! Aww...

He did 2 makeup looks on gorgeous models Adela and Katerina; I managed to take notes of his invaluable tips, so here they are:

* It's best to start with the most dramatic aspect on your makeup- be it a dark smokey eye or a vampy lip, so that you can adjust the rest of the makeup accordingly without overdoing it
* To make a smokey eye look more modern, it's best to bring the focus to the eyeshadow shape dragging it towards the temples, than to apply lots and lots of black eyeliner around the eye
* For an understated cheek, all you have to do is to use a darker shade of Touche Eclat to contour under the cheekbones, and apply a shimmering powder high on the cheeks in a "C" shape
* And as for lips, plum is the new red for this season (so true!)

All in all, it was an enjoyable event and I did get closer to the brand- although I have to say I feel like I've betrayed myself for enjoying a LE makeup collection... No, my feelings haven't shifted 180 degrees- I'm still not loving the fact that you can't repurchase a LE product, but I came to realise that such makeup collections are there not only to sell-sell-sell, but to inspire as well.

It's the same as with high fashion shows- you may not always be able to afford all the outfits worn at the catwalk, but they sure serve as a style inspiration. Non?

So, what are your thoughts on this YSL makeup collection?



Mac Paintpot in Painterly

I've had this product for the past 6 months and I can wholeheartedly say that I love it to bits.

So much so that it might just make it to my HGs list!

Painterly is the most popular shade among all Paintpots by Mac, so I won't go into much detail describing its colour; we're dealing with a pink-toned creamy eyeshadow primer. And that's that.

Is it effective at keeping the eye makeup crease-free?
Definitely, 100% yes! Although to be honest, in occasions I keep my makeup on for more than 5-6 hours, I can still see a miiinor creasing- but that's so little that I really don't mind.

If you want to use Painterly Paintpot at its full potential, there are a couple of things you should take into consideration:

* Before application, you have to make sure that your eyelids are clean- traces of last night's eye makeup, leftovers from greasy eye makeup removers and skin oiliness in general, all have to be wiped away before applying Painterly. It's a simple rule but makes all the difference to prevent eyeshadow from creasing!

* The way I found best to apply it is this: rub a finger into the product, pat (not drag) on the lid and lightly blend with a clean finger. This way you won't get too much product which can then lead to creasing.

* Make sure that you screw the cap ever so tightly after usage and by no means should you leave the product with the cap off, otherwise it will dry out fast... But as I said in the beginning, I've had my Painterly for 6 months and the texture hasn't altered a bit, although you can see that the product has "shrinked" inside the pot.

Compared with my former beloved Art Deco eyeshadow base, as much as I love the affordability of the Art Deco primer, Painterly has to be the winner. The Art Deco primer offers no coverage (boo!!!) and has that sparkle that can show through a matte eyeshadow look, messing it up completely. And it also dries in the pot much quicker than Painterly.

So, have you tried Painterly or other Paintpots by Mac?
Which is your favourite eyeshadow primer- ever?



Kerastase Elixir Ultime review

...An extraordinary blend of beautifying oils for ultimate softness and shine...

So last month I was sent*** this cult beauty product to try out, and these are my thoughts on it!

First off, let's get a couple of things out of the way before we get to the actual synthesis of the product:

For this intricate ottoman-esque pattern on the packaging, Kerastase collaborated with designer brand YAZBUKEY- aka two sisters from Egypt with a flair for unique and funky jewelry. It's the first time Elixir Ultime is dressed up in a Limited Edition bottle- and righty so, because such hair oils that have been used by women in all Eastern civilizations for centuries are back in fashion, so this new arabesque design gives the product a more "down to the roots" feel.
And you know me, I'm the last person to favour anything LE- but, since the product inside is the same as it's always been, I sure don't mind a mere change on the label!

As for the scent, OMG... Think of an expensive amber floral perfume, that's what is smells like! Honestly, if there is a proper perfume on the market that smells like Elixir Ultime, it shall go straight to my wishlist!

Now, for the actual formula inside:

Kerastase markets Elixir Ultime as a multi-tasking product that can be used on all hair types, wet or dry hair, etc.; and if you look at the ingredients list, you can see why:

Containing both oils and silicone, you get the best of both worlds- the nutritive values of 4 oils (Argan, Camelia, Maize, Pracaxi) with the lightweight texture of silicone.
While on the subject, I don't see any problem applying makeup or hair products containing silicone- as long as they're used in moderation.

So, which are the ways to apply it?

Before shampooing: tried that method and wasn't impressed, purely because all its gorgeous scent got vanished after I washed my hair...
After shampooing: leaves my hair conditioned, shiny and smelling fantastic!
Before styling: makes my hair straighteners glide like a dream! Needless to say, Elixir Ultime has become an indispensable product in my styling routine. That is, when I actually decide to style my hair...
As a finishing touch: so as to give emphasis to some locks and make them shinier.
Throughout the day: I can imagine this method working a treat on dry/coloured hair, but mine are fairly healthy so I omit this application, too.

In the end, would I recommend Elixir Ultime?

Well, Elixir Ultime is valued as a cult product in the haircare market and if you do spend much time on your hair, you have to try it out. Personally, I hadn't used any oils/silicones before as I thought it was unnecessary, but now I seem to keep reaching for this one all the time! It might make it to a permanent fixture in my haircare routine, we'll see...

What are your thoughts on Elixir Ultime?
Have you tried any Kerastase products?

***I was contacted to receive this product by Kerastase. I wasn't asked to write a review and I wasn't compensated for it. These are my honest opinions; my loyalty is to my lovely readers!



How I depot my eyeshadows

Someone had asked me how I depot my Body Shop eyeshadows into the Elf quads; so now that I had an extra empty palette from my last Elf order, I thought of taking some pics to show you how it's done!

     List of products used: 4 eyeshadows, an empty palette and a crooked
     hair pin ;)

     First off, I removed the sticker from the back of the eyeshadows... 

     Notice the little holes that reveal part of the eyeshadow metal pan?

     Then I popped all eyeshadows in the oven at around 100°C for 10',
     so that the glue that holds the metal pan together with the plastic
     container gets loosed up...

     Then I just take the hair pin and poke the metal pan through the
     tiny hole, and...

     ...ta-da! Eyeshadow pan removed from the plastic pot!

     There was some left over glue at the back of the pans so they
     sticked nicely into the quad.

Dead-simple, right?

Apart from the Body Shop, these palettes hold eyeshadows by Mac, l'Oreal, Urban Decay, etc. Also, the plastic divider can be removed so that you can pop in eyeshadow pans of any size! Although I have to point out that the metal base is not magnetised but still, for 1,70E I'm more than contempt with my purchase! Made my eyeshadow stash A LOT more organised- so thank you Elf!



The Body Shop NEW shimmer cubes! palette #20

I've been an avid fan of the Body Shop best sellers' Shimmer Cubes for quite some time.

Up until now, there were only 2 palettes in their permanent range (which I have reviewed in an old post here); and each year, the Body Shop used to bring out a LE shimmer cubes palette to jazz things up- but if you read my blog long enough, you'll know that I stay away from anything LE! Naturally, I missed all of those pretty eyeshadow palettes.

So you can imagine my squeal of excitement when I found out that the Body Shop added 4 new shimmer cubes to their permanent makeup range!!!

I only got the #20 palette so far but I'm planning to get them all ;)

Look at these gorgeous shades... Ahhh I can't stop admiring them!
So happy for my purchase!!!

From left to right, we have: Indigo Blue (HG alert, this colour was the reason I got this palette in the first place!), Starlight Silver (beautiful all-over-the-lid colour), Midnight Black (a shimmery dark grey, actually) and Snow White (perfect to highlight the inner corner of the eye).

It's also advised to use them wet;
the colour impact you get is beyond gorgeous!

Compared to the old Shimmer Cubes, there are a few differences:

* the packaging has slightly changed, see the round corners?
* the new formulation is much more smooth to the touch
* there's 4x3.5=14 gr of product in there, whereas the old Shimmer Cubes
  had 4x4=16 gr. But honestly, it's unnoticeable- both new and old cubes
  look as if they have the same volume :/

As for the price, they cost 20E- and before you think that it's a lot, lemme just say that you're paying for 4 eyeshadows that you'll never use up. NEVER. Also, one has to give credit to the greek branch of the Body Shop for keeping the old price tag- if this new launch took place 2 years ago, they would have totally added a fiver!

What do you girls think of the new Shimmer Cubes?
Would you consider getting any for Christmas?



September 2011 in pictures

     The only flower in my parents' summerhouse that survives through
     the whole winter! What a fighter...

     Some fruit and vegetables from our bio garden.
     One of those mini watermelons ended up...

     ...in an early halloweeny ornament!

     I fed the neighbour's dog with some leftovers and the poor thing fell
     asleep with his legs open cause his tummy was so full!

     Meet Cookie!!! Awwww my little baby!!! 

     On our return to Athens, there are these two hideous houses that
     literally crack me up whenever we pass them by... I call this one
     the "Bird House"... 

     ...and this is, respectably, the "Barbie house"!

     Back to Athens, a beautiful gloomy sky...

     ...and the first raindrops.

     Two beautiful buildings shot at sunset... 

     ...memoirs of an optimistic and prosperous city. 

     The entrance sign to a legendary restaurant and one of the most
     charming art-deco manifestations you'll ever come across in Athens.

     Who would believe this is a pic of Ermou str., shot 80 years ago?

     This is a solid example of why I'll always love my city and its people,
     no matter the hardships we're all currently faced with. See, these
     guys are not protesting against austerity measures: they are actors
     and opera singers from the National Opera, parading around
     downtown Athens to advertise a new series of performances with
     free entrance to the public.

     A trip to Ikea. I so want this platter!

     My attempt to sweet and sour chicken with noodles...

     French apple pie- of which the recipe kept me busy for a whole day!

     Did it taste yummy, at least? Nope, don't think so! *thumbs down*

     Having a beer with a friend. Love my contoured cheeks, if I may say
     so myself! tehehe

     I saved the strangest pic for the end: no, these are not UFO saucer
     disks- more like sunflowers hanging down to protect the seeds from
     getting wet...

Hope you enjoyed my collection of photos I shot during September!
I find it so relaxing to stray from beauty related stuff once in a while...

Much love to all    xx xx

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