Tag Archives: beauty

Ivy’s Holiday Makeup Must Haves from Beauty Concept

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Selection

No matter how much makeup I accumulate, I can’t seem to ever have enough. It could be five parallel degrees of one shade of blush or lipstick, but I’ll convince myself that they’re not the same, and end up with them all. No complaints there.

As part of my journey discovering the treasures at Dunes Verdun and to my delight, my next stop was at Beauty Concept. Beauty Concept is a chain of retail shops in the mall carrying more than 100 internationally renowned high-end brands we’ve come to love, with a variety of products including makeup, skincare, fragrance, and many more beauty products.

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Their makeup artist and beauty adviser Jackie, was nice enough to get me all dolled up for a Saturday night out on the town. I wanted to go for a semi-light nuanced smokey eye look. So we decided to mix and match new collections and Jackie help deed me select the shades and formulas that worked on my skin type and tone. Here’s a what she used and a full list of  the latest must-haves for your beauty bag this holiday season.

Lancôme La Base Pro Hydra Glow. Nothings gets your face ready for flawless makeup wear like primer. Although I’m a fan of  Lancôme ‘s viscous wax-like primer, this one is refreshingly dewy, light and gives your skin the hydration it promises to. Just a small amount helped Jackie even out my skin tone so that the colors she applies are uniform all over my face.

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SHISEIDO Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation- this isn’t your average foundation, like most things from SHISEIDO it has a multi-functional skin care component, and works to lift, cover wrinkles and brighten your skin. I usually go dark with my foundation but Jackie insisted I try one as light as my face and I have to say I was sold. It gave me a radiant, uniform finish with medium coverage. The bottle design is also stunning.

SHISEIDO Sheer and Perfect Compact Foundation- I loved the feel of this uber light powder compact foundation with a sheer soft finish that works as the perfect complement to set foundation and even skin tone and absorbs all grease and shine that comes with hours of wear.

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection 4

SHISEIDO Smoothing Lip Pencil- here’s a secret I’m a HUGE fan of lip liners, but subtle blendable ones that can really give your lips a natural contour. SHISEIDO was not kidding when it named this one smooth because this is by far the smoothest and most hydrating lip liner I’ve come across to date. And the shades are simply ethereal! The only down side, is it doesn’t last as long as you would hope it would so keep it in your bag.

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Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara deserves all the hype and I have to admit I was skeptical. It’s actually the first patented wand, that works to cover every single lash no matter how small. If long- and I mean REALLY long lashes are your thing, you will not be disappointed. I had to get my friend to touch my lashes to prove I wasn’t wearing any falsies!

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection Lancome

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Says Selection

Chanel Camelia de Plumes Highlighting Powder is part of the brand’s Holiday 2014 Limited Edition Collection inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s original Fine Jewelry creations, It’s a sheer silver and gold illuminator that Jackie demonstrated can be used on cheekbones, decollete and even shoulders. Definitely a collector’s favorite and perfect to gift this Christmas.

Beauty Concept Dunes Verdun Ivy Selection 2

Les 5 Ombres de Chanel Oiseaux de Nuit — The Chanel holiday eyeshadow palette Jackie used features winter shades: a frosty white, a grayish lavender, dark purple with a satin finish, black with a frosty finish and a very subtle gold. We used all the colors for this smokey eyeyh

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I loved this look and I hope you do too. Let me know if you have any questions about any of items we used. If you like this look and would like to recreate it head on down to Beauty Concept in Dunes Verdun and let them know you want the Ivy Selection!

Happy Holidays!

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16 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Man

1) He likes to take the role of your goon in public. A mere glance your way from another man could escalate into an Animal Planet fight scene, thick manes and all.

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2) You no longer have any more male contacts on your phone book except maybe for your hairdresser and doctor.

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3) Meanwhile, his ex is now one of his closest friends and no, you don’t get to have a say.

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4) He’s well into his mid-30s and doesn’t see why he needs to move out of his parent’s house. Ever

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5) Most of the qualities he seeks in his ideal woman involve housekeeping.

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6) It doesn’t matter how hairy, overweight and unattractive he is, he still deserves a supermodel.

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7) He could have been the next Ronaldo, but daddy pushed him into Engineering.

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8) He has a special budget allocated each month to keep his beard in control.

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9) You’re almost certain he showers in cologne, his scent remains in a room half an hour after he leaves it.

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10) In his head every woman he dates is dying to marry him and if she doesn’t then she must be a skank

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11) His life plans: marry “good” wife, produce male heir, take over family business.

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12) He’ll gladly marry a gold digger. It’s flattering.

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13) Reaching out for the bill on a date is equivalent to spitting in his face.

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14) Getting behind the driving wheel is the most emasculating thing you can do to him.

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15) 50% of his brain shuts down when he spots a blonde.

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16) And if his parents don’t approve of you there’s no way he’s EVER going to marry you. oh no

 

 

20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

Join the Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows

 

 

 

My Sombré Hair By Georges El Mendelek

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair

His father may be one of the most renowned names in Haute Coiffure but the apple sure doesn’t fall far from the tree with Georges El Mendelek. He’s built quite a reputation for being picky with his exclusive list of clientele, and his signature touch does not go unnoticed with official hair styling gigs at Mission Fashion, The Miss Lebanon Franchise and MTV shows. To top it all off earlier this year he’s been named an ambassador for beauty giant-L‘Oréal Professionnel.

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I first met Georges El Mendelek in Paris and was immediately drawn to his refreshingly “new school” take on hair styling. It was at a time where I was coming out of a couple of bold color stints and the awkward growing-out stage of a very short haircut and had decided to stop dying my hair all together and simply grow it out. But lately my hair has been turning up quite dark and dull in photos and as a result made me look washed out.

So I decided to enlist the help of Georges. He recommended low-lights in the form of sombré hair, yes that’s sombre not ombré . Essentially it involves adding a more subtle and blendable graduation of lighter toned shades into the hair, giving your look a more vibrant feel without the worry of re-growth and maintenance.
But this isn’t just any sombré, it’s George El Mendelek’s personal twist on this L’Oreal F/W 14/15 It Look which involves separating and tying hair into more than 20 bunches (as opposed to just 4) and then soaking the end of strands with L’Oreal Professional’s Infinie Platine as a base.

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When the color settles, strands are then toned to a more wearable and warm shade of caramel and honey. All the while hair is still in bunches. The results are astounding; a gradient melange of what looks like naturally sun-beached hair. None of that dramatic color-cut off that comes with ombré,

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair L'oreal
I loved this look because it added a much-needed kick to my look without seeming too striking, a look that can also work in a professional setting. I’m also secretly looking forward to having my hair blend in with my fur jackets this winter.

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek  Sombre hair L'Oreal 1
So If you’re like me and want to give your hair a breath of fresh air this season without going all the way and avoiding hours of upkeep then I recommend you get your hair professionally Sombréd by the creative genius Georges El Mendelek.

Ivy Says Georges El Mendelek Sombre hair

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!

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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

 

 

 

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

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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

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty

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Back in March I waged a full out war on the 9 crimes against beauty that have given us terrifying reputations and landed Arabs on some of the world’s most notorious beauty faux pas lists. Prior to that I launched the Online Petition Against Tattooed Eyebrows to counter the growing  pandemic of creepy crawlers taking over our Lebanon.

Sadly there still exists a long list of atrocities in the name of beauty and fashion that need to be address. Thank you to all those who have joined the cause, we may have won the battle but the war is not over my friends.

 

Exhibit K: Porn Star Nails

french nails beauty crimes

If the dramatic gel half-white half-transparent nail wasn’t tragic enough they had to slap on those nasty embellishments. Let’s be real, no nails ever looked like that naturally, nobody is buying it. The French manicure was initially meant to be classic and subtle but leave it to us Arabs to take it to a whole new level. The entire look screams slutty and those razor sharp edges are a serious hazard. Do yourself a favor and soak them off.

Exhibit L: Matchy Matchy

It pains me when I hear a makeup artist or a sales assistant utter these words “what color is your dress?” Because what they’ll do next is attempt to match your eye shadow, lipstick, blush, nails, clutch, shoes and bra strap to the damn outfit. Color coordinating is one thing but looking like you’ve been hit by a fuchsia hurricane is not a very flattering look for anyone. This may have been a trend in the late 90s but I have never seen a people collectively hang on to a style so dearly.

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Exhibit M: Double D’s

I’m all for plunging necklines but I’m not a fan of racks on display. When you’re able to rest something on your cleavage or worse, lose something in there then it’s time for you to reconsider your shirt’s style and bra size. You can be the smartest candle on the cake and still be treated like a bimbo if you insist on covering up only half of your breasts. And if you’re small and skinny then D Cup implants are not for you. In fact implants are so passé, proof to that is Victoria Beckham got hers removed and she looks more stylish and better than ever.

Exhibit N: Extensions

long hair arab beauty crimes

There’s a very thin line between long hair and tacky long hair. Sure the belly dancer looks sexy when her hair bounces on her hips but take her out of her context and she’ll look like a hobo. Nowadays most hairdressers will spend an hour on a woman’s hair and another on her hair extensions which is hanging right next to her. The entire scene is disturbing. Arab woman have some of the thickest most beautiful voluminous hair and yet they still think they need more? Go figure…

Exhibit O: Hooker Heels

arab style heels

I heart heels. But I heart heels to dinner and I heart heels to weddings. I do not heart 9inch heels at 7am in the morning, unless you’re in that line of business. So when I see a bank teller or a notary public wobbling in sky high open-toe stilettos I don’t think they quite understand how inappropriate and out of place they look. It’s like they’re trying to prove some kind of point which is beyond me.

 

Exhibit P: Face Paint

arab style makeup

We are notorious for this. How much we love to use every single color in the eye shadow palette. How much we love our foundation, our compact powder and our bronzer. How much we hate to blend.

 

 

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

Join the Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

8 Things To Avoid Doing At The Beach This Summer

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

Arab Celebrities Separated At Birth

Murex D’or 2014 Best and Worst Dressed by Ivy Says

 

 

 

Clarisonic Plus Review and My Head to Toe Facials

Clarisonic plus Review Ivy Says 4

I’ve been blessed with good combination skin with the infrequent outbreak of a crude pimple here and there but I do have a reoccurring black head issue which I haven’t been able to get rid of for some time now.

You see a couple of years back when I was prepping for my big day; I did the amateur’s mistake of signing up for a facial at a relatively well known beauty spot (which I shall not name) but which seemed quite professional.

What I didn’t know was that facial included a gruesome and tremendously painful blackhead extraction treatment with nothing but a lady’s long nails squeezing through my face until I squirmed in pain and which also left me with her red blistering nail marks. At the time, I was under the impression that that was one of the prices a girl had to pay to be rid of her black heads. Little did I know that such extraction processes are the worst thing you can put your face through and how unhygienic it was for her to use her bare hands and not that metal tool. Since then I’ve been reluctant to try out extractions and instead opt for regular non-invasive surface facials. And though they would clean out my face temporarily those black always popped back their ugly heads again.

But about a month ago, things changed. I was invited for a face cleansing session at the new Clarisonic stand over at ABC Ashrafieh’s beauty department floor. Unsuspectingly I went with a full face of makeup only to find out that Clarisonic is intended to clean your face.

Clarisonic plus Review Ivy Says 2Clarisonic plus Review Ivy Says 1

What Is Clarisonic Plus?

Simply put its two separate brushes for your face and body that work as a cleansing system. Clarisonic’s brushes use what they call sonic technology, making 300 movements per second, so it’s so fast that you actually hardly feeling it moving, and instead you just get gentle vibrations that are intended to wipe off dirt, oil and a full face of makeup. Oh and it’s waterproof.

Clarisonic is not supposed to replace your favorite face cleanser/wash. Instead it complements it by improving its performance. All you have to do is either put some on your face or directly on the brush. I found that the latter works best for me.

It also has a built-in timer. And if you’re like me and are usually half asleep when you’re washing your face in the morning then you’ll find it super helpful, since it can make a beep to indicate whenever one part of your face is done and so you just move on to another.

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So is it an Exfoliator?

No but it will sure feel like one when you first start using it. That’s because when you wash your face with your hands you’re not really simulating you pores or scraping away any surface black heads or dirt that’s beyond the very top surface of your skin. And black heads are the result of the unavoidable piling up of makeup and dirt in your pores over time. So with Clarisonic Plus once you get that first harsh layer of dirt off the first 5 times, it will feel less like an exfoliator and do what it’s meant to do, gently cleanse and stimulate.

I started by using Clarisonic twice a day at first, and I can’t describe to you how incredibly smooth it felt, in fact so smooth that my moisturizer and day cream absorbed into my skin way better than ever, you can tell just by the way the cream will rest on your face right after you’re done. But the most noticeable effect you’ll get is the way your foundation and makeup will blend so smoothly. I guess that’s why they claim that it makes your face more radiant.

My Routine

I found that I don’t like to use my Clarisonic Plus directly on a full caked face of makeup since I’m not a fan of watching the brush turn brown and gunky. So what I do is dab some of my favorite makeup remover on a piece of cotton and just give my face a very swift wipe especially around the eye area before I turn on the machine.

My cheeks turned rosier than usual the first couple of times I began using it. I noticed it was because I automatically got the urge to press and tug a little on it. There’s no need for any of that as it will do the job just fine on its own so be gentle. Also, I once experimented by applying some scrub on the brush rather than facial wash,it was harsh and let’s just say not one of my brightest moments, stick to cleaners or face washes.

As for the body brush, I don’t use it with my daily shower but I will use it on the weekends when I feel like a massage and when I know I’m about to lather my skin with a moisturizer or after a long day at the beach to effectively remove tanning oils.

The Results

No wonder it made it to Oprah’s list of favorite things. I’m addicted. It’s now an integral part of my daily beauty routine. I stayed at a hotel last week and forgot my Clarisonic Plus at home. I can’t tell you how ineffective washing my face manually again felt like. It’s like applying shampoo on your hair without actually massaging your head. After three weeks (twice a day) my black head issue is almost unnoticeable. I’m so happy to have avoided painful extractions but most of all my skin is always feeling as smooth as it does post-facial.

clarisonic review ivy says