Yves Saint Laurent Makeup Step-By-Step Review

A month back, Yves Saint Laurent invited me to their beauty counter at ABC Ashrafieh for a makeover and to test out some of their makeup collection. I was already obsessing over their Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation which I reviewed here back in July so I knew I was in for a treat. Here is the final look. You can follow the steps below to achieve it

YSL Ivy Says Dana Khairallah makeup look

YSL Ivy Says beauty review

 

Step 1: Forever Light Creator CC Cream in Apricot

It was early during the day and their lovely artist wanted to give me a fresh-faced daytime appropriate look and so she started it off with Forever Light Creator CC Cream as a base, or what I like to personally call, the CC Cream of all CC Creams, which essentially works as a tinted color corrector that over time works to improve stuff like redness, fine lines, enlarged pores and most imperfections you want to hide. It doesn’t need to replace your foundation especially if you’re not big on daily foundation use as a lot of my not-as-makeup-obsessed friends are ; but still want to sport an even skin tone with a healthy radiance, then you will enjoy the medium coverage of the Forever Light Creator. I’m loving the golden glow of the Apricot shade but if it’s a rosy radiance you’re after then you should try out Rose shade. And did I mention the impressive SPF 35!

Ysl CC Cream and Touch eclat

Step 2: Couture Palettes in Afrique

Next I was excited to try out YSL’s much talked about new line of Couture Palettes in particular #3 Afrique, which has gotten raving reviews from the beauty community. It’s a combination of 5 warm toned, plum, bronze, and rose eye shadow shades in diverse textures metallic shades that when layered (from the crease all the way to the inner corners of your eyes) give them intense dimensions. This super bendable set of shades is definitely a beauty staple for any season.

YSL Couture palettes and MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS

Step 3: MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS

She completed my eyes with the award-winning Yves Saint Laurent MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS in high density black. Let me tell you this one’s really racks up the volume and made my lashes significantly thicker after the second round. I’ve been wearing it regularly and I have to say, it’s been exceptionally clump-free and smooth on my lashes. I’ve also tried way too many mascaras lately that separate so it was a nice change to experience thick fringe lashes for a change. I also recommend this one in the deep purple shade.

Step 4: Touche Éclat.

Of course no makeup session at YSL is complete without the cult classic (gold pen) which I’ve been a big fan of for years now the Touche Éclat. This has been a miracle worker in my makeup bag ever since I landed my first job. And although I’ve been using Touche Éclat to add light to the entire area under my eyes, usually as a final step or for the really early morning meetings with the boss, you’ll be surprised to know it can be used as a highlighter and illuminator along your entire face such as your nose and that area over your eyebrows to lift them up and most recently I’ve been dabbing some on my cheekbones for some extra radiance.

Step 5: Baby Doll Kiss and Blush

Baby Doll YSL Kiss and Blush

And finally she completed my look with my latest obsession to date the YSL’s Baby Doll Kiss and Blush. It’s an air whipped mousse that works on both your lips and cheeks to give a flirty pop of color and eventually turns into a stain. At first glance you would think that the formula was a super lacquerish one but it magically forms a velvet smooth matte finish that sits so beautifully on your lips and sports some serious staying power. I just love how it also gives my cheeks a very blendable warm flush. For the day time she used the golden-orangey Corail Affranchi on me but I’ve been using the Rouge Effrontee which is basically this gorgeous reddish-fuchsia color and I just love how buildable it is, so it works both day and night. I haven’t been this crazy about a lip product since I discovered Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro.

For the first time last month I decided to work on my own makeup for a friend’s wedding and here are the results. For this look I used the CC Cream, Touche Éclat and the bronze and rose gold eye shadows from Couture Palettes  on my eyebrow bone for blending and highlighting.

YSL Ivy Says makeup look

More Beauty Reviews Below

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation

Clinique Moisture Surge

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara

Clarisonic Plus Review

Ivy Reviews: Miss Manga Mega Volume Mascara by L’Oréal

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro

Essie Nail Polish

Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel

Too-Faced Lip Injection Gloss

Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Tints Collection

 

 

 

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20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

 

1. She’s the jealous type. The last time a hostess smiled and greeted you at a bar she threatened to “cut her”

shut up

2. The first thing she’ll ask you when she’s sees a pretty girl is “do you think she’s pretty?”

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3. Yet  she’s self-obsessed. You never knew someone could love themselves so much.

attitude

4. She’s constantly complaining. About anything and every little thing. Her life is a series of endless rants.

eye roll

5. You’re constantly reminded that she’s better than you and that you  should be grateful she chose you.

get a life

6. Calling her “not nice” would be the understatement of the year. The girl makes Cruela de Vil deserve a halo.

not dealing with your bullshit

7. According to her and her mother, everyone is jealous… of her.

jealous

8. She’s more judgmental than your 80 year old aunt.

My-Big-Fat-Greek-Wedding-quotes-1

9. Yet she’s a major hypocrite. Apparently nothing applies to her.

hair

10. She hates all her friends. But they have no idea.

stabbing you

11. She hates all your friends. They noticed.

dont care really

12. According to her, if  you really loved her like you said you did, then you would give her all your passwords.

HELLO

13. Tantrums are like second nature to her. She has no problem throwing them anywhere.

flip out

14. And just when you’re about to win a point, she wins by crying.

cry baby

15. She’s constantly bragging about how all the guys want her hand in marriage.

lala

16. But the minute you threaten to leave her she’ll blackmail you with suicide.

suicide

17. Part of loving her, means that you get to spend your entire income on her. Every month.

shopping

 18. She’s always at war with someone.

rude

19. She basks in other people’s misfortunes. You’ve never seen her happier.

happy happy

20. Yet, somehow she’s managed to convince you to make her your wife.

marriage

Read More

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

What Men Really Want- Especially Lebanese Men

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits Of Middle Eastern Men

8 Reasons Why Arab Men Won’t Marry You

 

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty

 

 

Preowned Designer Resale, The Secret No One Wants To Share

pink vintage chanel bag

A few years back it was practically unheard of for Middle Eastern women to buy second hand luxury goods, the mere act in itself fell somewhere under a category of honor crimes. But as the word vintage began to take on a new, more attractive meaning, suddenly pre-owned items didn’t feel like such a shame after all. The idea of owning a piece of history like a vintage Chanel Flap bag, Birkin or Cartier Love bracelet has now become a source of pride. Not to mention that fact that you can now actually own a Birkin for $10,000 instead of $20,000. Online designer luxury resale and consignment stores have been around for years but as of lately the boom has been astounding. And it works for everyone, women can now make a small return on selling their unloved designer items instead of letting them collect dust in their closets and others who can’t or would rather avoid hefty retail prices can still wear the designer models they love.

But here’s where things get tricky. Although many of the websites and stores claim to have in-house teams of luxury experts and seasoned inspectors who meticulously authenticate each item, there has been the occasional claim that a few have been passing of counterfeit goods as the real thing. That’s why it’s really important you do some research before you decide on who you’re going to choose.

So I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list for you of both consignment and  luxury resale stores in the Lebanon, the Middle East and internationally in no particular order which I recommend.

Lebanon

1. Garage Luxe

garage luxe lebanon

The leading store of its kind in Lebanon, Garage Luxe isn’t exactly an e-commerce store just yet (their website is under construction) though they do showcase most of their new arrivals on social media platforms including their Facebook page and Instagram. So when you see an item you like you can simply send them a message via Whatsapp/call/ or email them and book a private appointment, yes private, to ensure their client’s anonymity and comfort they don’t accept walks-ins and you’re free to browse around at your own pace. You’ll just have to be a little swift as things tend to get sold faster than you can imagine.

2. Washed and Found

Washed and Found

It’s been reported that Washed and Found were actually the first of their kind to brave the stigma and set up shop in Lebanon and that’s why I included them here. You can purchase their items online and they deliver to both Lebanon and worldwide but they’ll also be happy to welcome you by appointment. You can also fill out a consignment form to sell your items and they’ll contact you in 3 days. The prices are very competitive but they also have a somewhat of a miniscule more out-dated collection as compared to the rest on this list.

UAE

3. The Closet

Ivy's pick- purple clear

the closet online shop uae

 

The Closet is renowned as one of the leading consignment stores in the region for pre-owned bags and accessories and also has one of the highest resale rates and one of my personal favorites. They have a mammoth collection that includes many current models and not just the classics you see everywhere and they are popular for picking items in fantastic condition. They also offer new handbags for sale. The Closet also has one of the largest vintage Chanel bag collections you will see on any online resale site and they’re super quick to answer any inquiry on Whatsapp. You can also visit them at their boutique in Dubai at Jumeirah Centre. Keep up faster with them on Instagram.

4. OMG Fancy That

omg fancy that

Having been established in late 2013, OMG Fancy that is slowly gaining traction in the UAE although their social media presence is weak. Louboutins, Valentinos and YSL Tributes are just a few of the many shoes you can find at OMG Fancy That’s site. This Dubai-based business established by two young entrepreneurs only collects  high-end  brands and has even developed an app that can help you stay up to date with all their new arrivals. They deliver worldwide.

 

5. The Real Real

The real real

This online consignment marketplace for luxury goods is one of the most recommended  in the world, with celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Whitney Port having sold some of their designer items here. You won’t see any of those old raggedy boring models as the items are curated by some of Hollywood’s best stylists and its not just high-end, you can also find other medium range items from Tory Burch or Alice +Olivia. But you can’t browse unless your sign up. The Real Real have put their expertise into a mobile app that will also allow consumers to monitor the resale value of a designer good before even buying it! They currently do not ship to Lebanon.

6. The Fashionphile

The Fashionphile

A veteran in the secondary market for luxury resale, The Fashionphile has one of the most extensive collections online, what I love the most about them is how detailed they are about the condition of each item and how easy it is to browse their website. You also have a section where you can search by style. Although they don’t ship directly to Lebanon they actually partnered with MY USA who can provide you with a US shipping address or you can ship them to a UAE address.

 

Taxes and Custom “Clearance” Fees

luxury taxes

I’m constantly asked about shipping to Lebanon and import taxes on luxury goods. Yes, you get charged ridiculous sums of money by what is considered VAT and an additional custom clearance fees on any luxury item. Let’s just say its Lebanon’s way of deterring you from shopping abroad.  The amount can vary, but I’ve once had to pay $90 dollars in taxes and clearance fees on a $100 item. So be warned.

 

My Top 7 Favorite Things This October

shiseido perfect cleansing oil

This is the first makeup remover I try that doesn’t need tissue or cotton to use. Shiseido’s Perfect Cleansing oil is my latest discovery. It’s clear, super light and gentle but don’t be fooled by its subtle-ness, it will quickly dissolve your makeup (even the most waterproof) with a quick massage and will also give your face a really good thorough cleanse in itself. I really like how it instantly wears off after a rinse and won’t leave your face looking greasy.

Lindt Chocolate Praline bars

On my last trip to Switzerland I went a little overboard on my chocolate consumption. And though I was keen on trying some high quality local chocolatiers I was also on the prowl for some Lindt varieties we don’t usually find in Lebanon. 128,203,837 calories later I found CREATION pralines and I’ve never been the same since. This large chocolate bar contains a soft pocket of almond and hazelnut praline center that leave you in a dreamy haze. Perfect with a latte I’ve been munching on my small stock of these all week.

Superga Versus Sneakers

What happens with iconic Italian fashion house Versace joins forces with Italian sneaker superstar Superga? These haute stuff. The design features Versace’s signature baroque detailing, a pop of colors and their signature Versus logo on the back. Fun Fact: no pair is identical as they are all made out of one long roll of cotton canvas.

Lock and stock burger

One of my favorite bars/coffee shops in Mar Mikhael, Lock Stock serves one of the most outstanding cheese infused mini-burgers in town, hands down. Four little monster patties are served with a generous crisp golden portion of fries. Wash it down with their signature drink Lack of a Better Man.

Zara Home

Confession: Almost all the frames, dishes, bed sheets, coffee tables and glasses in my house are from Zara Home. Another confession: I have almost fifty frames in my linen cupboard still packed in boxes. But that hasn’t kept me from buying more. At my recent visit to Zara Home I picked up all these items on sale. It was a glorious moment in home décor for me.

Prune pain perdu retrouve

At Prune the Pain Perdu is not lost but found, Le Pain Retrouvé. After Blathzar’s this is one of the most celebrated sweet loafs of bread in town. Because the folks at Prune give it a shot of caramel and a heavenly scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can read my full review of Prune here

top shop necklace

Statement necklaces are here to stay for fall (thank goodness) and I’ve seriously worn out this beaded ethnic one from Topshop all summer. I especially love this because it almost works on all colors, from light pastels to blacks. In fact I loved it so much I bought my friend one too, though I maintain all shotgun privileges.

Indian night at le royal

Anybody who knows me well knows I’m a huge fan of Indian food. And although Butter Chicken makes me weak in the knees I also love variety and so when I found out Le Royal Hotel Beirut has been organizing an Indian night under the patronage of the Indian Embassy in Lebanon I just knew I had to join. The colorful themed night took place at Le Jardin with professional dancers flown to preform stunning shows while guests dine on an extravagant buffet and numerous live cooking stations from Biryani to barbequed tandoori and more. Just make sure you wear a sari and book in advance as places are usually limited.

Read More:

My Top 12 Favorite Things This Summer

The 8 Must-Have Items in Your Closet This Summer

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

 

Miss Lebanon 2014 is Sally Greige and A Fall On Stage

sally griegeSally Greige Miss Lebanon 2014 7Sally Greige Miss Lebanon 2014Sally Greige and karen Ghrawi

Hours ago, Sally Greige, 24,  was crowned as Miss Lebanon 2014. She was actually one of the strong contenders who spoke about women’s rights. She is also majoring in Civil Engineering

Sally goes home as the lucky winner of more than $500,000 in prizes including an apartment and a car.

Miss Lebanon Sally Greige 2014

Sally, along with the 13 other contenders was dressed exclusively by Lebanese and International designer Zuhair Murad. The event was hosted by TV Journalist Dima Sadek who also donned a monochrome number by the designer.

dima sadek miss lebanon 2014

Superstar Nancy Ajram  preformed two songs on stage in two different looks, the first in Dolce and Gabbana and for the second one she wore a low cut Elie Saab number

nanvy ajram miss lebanon 2014 2nancy ajram miss lebanon 2014.

But Twitter really exploded when former Miss Lebanon 2013 Karen Ghrawi made her final appearance on stage with the crown and then took and terrible slip and fall on stage. It must have been horrifying as she seemed visibly distraught with the ordeal and she struggled to overcome it.The video has gone viral since, you can watch it by clicking here

miss lebanon 2013 falls on stage

As for the contestant levels this year and since this IS a beauty pageant where we can openly judge women based on their looks, I have to say it was definitely a big improvement from last year but still managed to maintain a very average level of contestants (both aesthetically and intellectually) that will not allow Lebanon to compete or stand a real chance at Miss Universe,  though I thought that out of the bunch Sally Greige deserved the win.

But what do you think will Sally Greige become just another forgettable beauty queen or will she join the ranks of Joelle Behlok, Georgina Rizk, Dina Azar, Nadine Njeim and other beauties who have left their marks on the scene?

Miss Lebanon 2012- Battle Of The Twins

Miss Lebanon Living It Up In Vegas

The Miss Lebanon 2011 Competition- What A Joke!

Lebanese Beauty or American Bombshell? Miss USA 2010

Profiling New Global Fashion Icon: Lebanon’s Amal Alamuddin

amal george clooney

The world is smitten by its latest fashion icon, Amal Alamuddin or the new Mrs. Clooney. She’s managed to not only snag one of the most-coveted bachelors in the world but she’s also landed herself in the same ranks as some of the world’s fashion royalty and to get the nod from just about every usually unimpressed fashion editor out there.

Yes, Amal Alamuddin has given The Duchess of Cambridge a run for her money this weekend with the understated yet perfectly chosen elegant outfits she donned to her star-studded wedding week celebration in Venice. Thanks to her, Lebanon is back in the headlines for all the right reasons again and just about every Lebanese is trying to prove they are related to her.

But before we take a look at her flawless style here’s a little profile on her.

She’s 36, and although she is indeed born in Beirut from Lebanese parents she actually moved to London at the tender age of 2. Her father is a retired American University of Beirut Professor and her mother is a journalist. She’s an Oxford and New York University law school graduate and worked as a Barrister some controversial cases high profile such as the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the Julian Assange extradition case.

Almost every paparazzo camped out in Venice as word broke out of her wedding to George Clooney. The tasteful celebrations were attended by some major A-listers but it’s safe to say that Amal stole the show with her refined fashion sense. The theme was chic romantic Italian elegance. She broke stereotypes and proved to many Lebanese women that you don’t have to wear the flashiest biggest shiniest revealing dress to look magnificent.

Here’s a closer look at the full series of high fashion outfits looks she wore to the entire wedding week

First Pre-Wedding Sighting

Amal channeled her inner Jackie Kennedy in monochrome striped Dolce and Gabbana dress, thick framed Prada Glasses and a vintage style hat box which actually served as a lovely purse.

amal in dolceamal in dolce and gabanna

First Post-Wedding Sighting

This was one of my favorite dresses she chose from Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Amal gave the world the first glimpse of her supper skinny long legs in this long- stiff hem-lined sleeved lace number with embroidered colorful flowers. She also chose the perfect shades to go with her outfit, these cat eye stunners by Heidi London.

Amal in Giambattista Valli Haute 2Amal in Giambattista Valli Haute

The wedding rehearsal dinner

Amal wore an Alexander McQueen scarlet waterfall dress with a black pattern from the design house’s Resort 2011 collection. Her signature big hair also made an appearance and she completed the look with simple pointy black pumps and a bold red lip.

amal in mcqueenEXC - GEORGE CLOONEY AND AMAL ALAMUDDIN IN VENICE!amal in mcqueen 3

 

Civil Marriage Ceremony

This sophisticated look Amal chose left me in complete awe. Most women would usually want to wear dresses for this occasion but not Amal, she chose this cream Stella McCartney trouser suit with a nautical strip and a matching hat. She kept her makeup soft and day-time appropriate and her coiffed hair looked gorgeous. This was one of my favorite looks by far.

 amalamal in suit

 

The Wedding Gown

amal with oscar de la renta fitting

And finally the wedding gown. Amal Alamuddin Clooney chose a dress by Oscar de la Renta from his fall 2014 collection. The ethereal and timeless  cream off-the-shoulder hand stitched creation came with fourteen yards of Chantilly Lace, an embroidered bodice and featured a classic circular train and a floor-length veil. She was reported to have worn pearl earrings with square-cut diamond accents from her parents by Lebanese jeweler Chatila. Amal’s hair? Again simple, as it fell on her shoulders. It did not in any way attempt to compete with the rest of her look, none of that chignon madness or diamond tiara’s you see at most Lebanese weddings. The makeup? As natural as can be, there was no dramatic fierce eyes or extra layers of foundation. As for George Clooney he looked dapper in a Giorgio Armani tuxedo and cufflinks gifted to him by Amal, which read “George” in Arabic.

amal and george clooney wedding photoamal and geroge wedding photo

think we are all looking forward to watch what Amal will be wearing next as the world awaits her honeymoon sightings and how she will fashionably evolve to embrace her new role as Clooney’s wife.

 

Read More

Profiling Lebanon’s Next First Lady: Sethrida Geagea

Profiling Lebanon’s Next First Lady: Rima Karkafi Frangieh

Profiling Lebanon’s Next First Lady: Marianne Henry Helou

Royal Wedding:”Too Simple” In Lebanese Standards

Vintage McQueen and The Duchess Of Cambridge- A Match Made In Heaven

Angelina Jolie’s Wedding Dress- Who Will She Wear?

 

 

A Night at O Monot Boutique Hotel

o monot

When it comes to hotels in Beirut, surprisingly your options are not as vast as one would expect from a country that relies so heavily on hospitality. You’d either have to check yourself into one of the usual larger five star suspects or take a gamble at one of the smaller less established “city” hotels with random, less comforting names that may leave you with a very bitter taste in your mouth, perhaps even literally.

Anyone who also travels to Europe frequently will truly appreciate the combination of location and trendy luxury. When you find a centered hotel that can actually offer both, you know you’re going to hang on it to it dearly. O Monot Luxury Boutique Hotel may have finally filled that gap in Beirut. It’s a true city hotel located on one of the most prime and convenient locations in the city, as the name suggests, Monot Street, especially for guests with limited time who don’t want to miss out on a thing. But it’s also a five star luxury boutique hotel, so there will be no need to compromise on service for location, whatsoever.

O monot hotel 2

The place looks like it has taken a page out of Architectural Digest, the optimization of space and design will have you appreciating it as soon as you walk in. Don’t expect any of that over-the-top middle eastern decadent glamor and crystal chandeliers O Monot’s lobby is all about the understated minimalistic modern elegance, decorated with rich natural materials earthy tones, and with meticulous attention paid to every detail.

O Monot 1

We were greeted by a courteous and well-spoken front desk clerk who gave us a quick tour of the hotel and showed us to our rooms. O Monot boasts 41 suites and we stayed at the very spacious and contemporary Deluxe Suite which came fully equipped with its very own Jacuzzi separated only by a glass wall with electronic blinds. The room was all-white and modern yet cozy and comforting.

O monot hotel beirut 4

o monot hotel 6

The string of LED lights under the bed gave it a floating illusion and its upholstered taupe leather back provided the perfect rest for some last minute-blogging before we headed up to the rooftop for dinner.

o monot hotel 7

O Monot’s Rooftop on 11th floor captivates. For starters the panoramic view is awe-inspiring, there’s no taking your eyes off the stellar chaotic urban vista that is so classically Beirut. But it’s the rooftop’s gorgeous setting that frames this scene so ideally. The zen furniture in light wood accents along with the purple and grey color combinations work so well with the background.  The laid back 5-seater bar facing the miniature turquoise pool help make this setting so earthy and intimate, almost as though you’re in your own private patio.

o monot hotel 15

A host of unfussy signature cocktails make their way to our table before dinner; with the Mojito and Margarita making lasting impressions. If you’re looking to enjoy a post-work sunset I definitely suggest you head there immediately.

The rooftop menu is mostly fusion food, with a creative variety of international favorites such as the marinated salmon with a side of greens, avocado and citron, the busy Thai Shrimp salad, the Filet de Boeuf with fries and a grilled seafood dish.

o monot hotel 11o monot hotel 10o monot hotel 9

The following morning we had breakfast at the serene restaurant on the 10th floor, which also boasted its fair share of the city’s views. After some sunny side ups, scrambled eggs and jam and toast we headed up to the rooftop again for some sun soaking.The pool was cool and crisp just perfect for a quick dip while we sipped on our morning orange juice.

o monot hotel 14o monot hotel 13. JPGo monot hotel 8o monot hotel 12

So whether you’re in Beirut for the weekend or got something special to celebrate or simply looking to kick back with friends over some sunset cocktails I highly recommend you head over to O Monot Luxury Boutique Hotel.

More Beirut Hotspots Here

A Night At Monte Cassino Hotel

A Sunday Lunch On “The Terrace”

The Roof, Four Season’s

Sydney’s at Le Vendôme Beirut

La Serre Bistro, Vida Downtown, Dubai

La Petite Maison Beirut

Shiseido Day Spa

Bioskinspa