Healthier skincare habits

During the past months my skin has been exposed daily for first time after 7 years to cold weather, as I have moved from the extreme heat of Gulf countries, to the fresh and crispy European air. Apart from the different weather conditions, I saw my extremely sensitive and combination-oily skin getting red easier, being 10 times more than before unforgiving to comedogenic ingredients such as Cetearyl Alcohol, Coco glycerides, Caprylic Triglyceride, pure Almond oil and more. The message was clear: From now and on, I should use on my skin products that are as pure as possible.

This post will cover my slaloms between faulty products, new skincare habits for face and body, easy tips to create homemade skin care remedies and few products that preserved and improved the condition of my skin.

FACE

Cleanser

Since 2009 I have mainly been using Nuxe’s Reve de Miel cleansing gel. Its base is honey (fourth ingredient), embellished with many rubbish ingredients such as sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (third in list and high in concentration), peg-8 esters and more. Regardless, Nuxe’s cleanser was the most reliable out of an extensive list of tragic products (La Roche Posay Lait Physiologique, Guelrain Blanc de Perle cleansing foam and Secret de Purete foaming cream, Avene Soapless gel cleanser and Extremely Gentle cleanser and many many more).

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Therefore, I decided to start using pure, clean honey. I am pleased with the results as it leaves my skin soft, not dry at all, yet clean. However, I make sure I clean my face twice in a row with it to secure results. During second wash I also use a cleansing brush similar to Clarisonic, by Ayvo.

Demaquillage

Eaux Micellaires is the most fresh and easiest way to remove make up effectively and that is why more and more brands add one micellaire in their range.

Who hasn’t tried or read about Bioderma’s  Sensibio H2O Solution Micellaire?  It is one of the first micellaires and a product I have been used and trusted for years, along with thousands of others among you. Those Capric glycerides however, made my skin not appreciating it as much as I would like. The area around the eye was always left with small red spots and of course I would not dare to swipe that cotton pad soaked in Sensibio all over my face.

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Looking for environmental friendlier demaquillage options, I tried sweet almond oil for eyes and jojoba oil for face. Apart from the twice the effort to remove all make up, I also was also left with blurry eyes from almond and red spots which stayed up to next day on face and they eye area.

Lately I discovered a couple of new Garnier micellar waters products, which are effective and have safe ingredients. Specially the Cleansing water (the one in huge bottle) is perfect for my sensitive skin and leaves it spot free and clean. For me, both Garnier waters and that of Bioderma’s clean the same well. The difference is on skin’s hygiene.

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Toner

As I have replaced many poor performing marketed products with natural, so I did with my toner! To be honest I have not tried that many branded toners (the latest was the uber moisturizing Guerlain’s Super Aqua lotion), but I find it a little stiff and useless for its purpose to pay anything from 10 to 41 Euro for a product full preservatives, and fabricated emollients.

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My homemade remedy is the following: I use a small container made of dark glass (to preserve the ingredients’ beneficial properties) and I fill it with the following proportions according to its size.

2/4 freshly squeezed lemon (astringent and whitening properties)

¼ freshly squeezed mandarine (for radiance)

¼ freshly blended cucumber (immaculate hydrating properties)

Sometimes I might pour a little more cucumber than lemon, to balance it. Shake well before use! I make sure to use the toner only at night due to citric acid, and next day I wear 30+ SPF regardless if it is sunny or not. I also want to note that this remedy and specifically lemon has helped me A LOT to deal with my melasma problem.

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Moisturizing cream

My most recent failure in hydration was Dr. Organic’s Aloe Vera concentrated hydrating cream, which was the worse thing I have ever used in my life without exaggeration. It is full of silicones, coco glycerides, parabens, in other words nothing but organic. It is rubbish as a facial cream but it works well as a cream for feet!

Anyhow, apart from failures we also have successes and one of these is Apivita’s Aqua Vita 24 hour moisturizing cream. The one I use now is for oily/combination skin. I have also used the one for dry skin about 8 months ago (early autumn), which however I found a little drying and not well absorbing. The one for combination skin works great, has a light texture, does not leave a film on skin, it absorbs pretty quickly and leaves skin matt. Its best part? It is made of 98% natural ingredients and none scary one for us who have sensitive skin.

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Serum

I bought Apivita’s Natural Serum with aloe and hyaluronic acid in order to use it as a moisturizer. It carries the name “serum” and as one can think it could be thick and rich, yet it is runny and very light. To be honest I see this working better in oily skins and under heat.

It is absorbed directly and dries mat, making a perfect base for make up. Initially I appreciated all the 98% natural ingredients, but something was irritating my skin each time I applied the serum. I cannot tell yet which ingredient. All in all the serum is somehow moisturizing, but not what I expected.

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Scrub

I have abandoned branded scrubs since many years ago. What was I using? Penicillin!

Penicillin or else aspirin diluted in water, with a tablespoon of honey. I was happy with the results and the salicylic acid was keeping break outs away. The only issue was that aspirin is a little harsh to scrub against a sensitive skin as mine and most importantly it did not work well with the melasma spots on my forehead and cheeks.

A friend of mine introduced me to a life changing product. I would not dare to use the term “life changing” if the scrub he gave me wouldn’t help diminish my melasma spots!

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It is a biological peeling from Meditopics, a Dutch brand and is used by many beauty clinics and dermatologists in the Netherlands. It is 100%biological and safe to use even for people with sensitive skin. Surprisingly it doesn’t dry out the skin and is safe to use as often as every other day. I place about half a spoon (included in box) of powder in my palm. I drop few drops of water and make a thick paste. I then apply it on my face and I lightly scrub allover and the problematic areas. I let it dry and then I rinse it well.

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What is really encouraging is the fact that helped diminishing the dark spots I have, thing that I struggle with since 2008. I am not using any other special treatment for the dark spots for a couple of years now. Just the scrub 2 times per week, the Ayvo brush (similar to Clarisonic) daily and every morning my SPF. DSC03498

Eyes

How hard is to find a decent eye cream? The market is pretty disappointing in this field. Most eye creams are either too sticky, or too thick, or drying, or “poor”. I have done two posts in the past dedicated to eye creams and if the following cream existed or I could find it in Dubai back then, I would have included it.

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This is Apivita’s anti wrinkle eye mask with grape with 99% natural ingredients. It is marketed as a mask, however according to the ingredients list it is 100% identical to anti wrinke’s eye and lip cream from the brand’s wine elixir line. The only difference is in the price as a 15ml pot of the cream costs 37.90 Euro and 16ml of 8 mask-cream packages cost 14 Euro. On to the cream itself, I love how fast absorbing and well hydrating it is. Nothing heavy, nothing smelly, just an extremely comfortable wearing eye cream, which is a good base for concealer as well.

BODY

Scrub

I decided to use from now and on a scrub remedy that I made of my own, when I realized the difference in results! The body scrubs that I used in the past were leaving my skin soft but not as moisturized. What is the key here? Olive oil! Have a look at the remedy:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2,5 tablespoons black sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange

Mix well all ingredients and use it fresh during shower or bath. You could also leave the mix in the fridge for 10 minutes to “unify”.

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Hydration

This is Apivita’s refreshing body milk with aloe and fig. I picked it initially for its not mainstream scent and the alluring ingredients. It absorbs quickly, the scent stays for hours and its properties as moisturizer suit perfectly combination skins and summer weather! For winter and dried out skin, I would choose a heavier formula.

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Now, I want to point out how annoying are Alcohol and Parfum as body lotion ingredients. Most lotions (including those out of perfume ranges) contain this ingredients high in their list and in high concentration, making the lotion useless and drying. If you really like the body lotions of your favourite perfumes, yet you find them drying I recommend trying the following: Buy a fragrance free body lotion with nice ingredients and before each time you apply it over your skin, spray/drop just a few drops of your perfume. In this way you will not only prolong your perfume’s effect, but you will also ensure your skin is well moisturized.

Hands

Hand creams are important for me, as I used them often throughout the day and before sleep at night. For many years I was alternating between Neutrogena’s original, Nivea’s Hydra IQ and original formula, Dove’s visible effects and few other drugstore hand creams. Sadly and regardless of their effectiveness (for instance Neutrogena cream is pleasant to use) they all have parabens and even some have mineral oil (Nivea range).

I recently choose Apivita’s moisturizing hand cream with aloe and honey, in light texture. Its 98%natural components consistency is far from “dangerous” in harmful ingredients than that of many other hand creams. It is perfect to use during the day, as it doesn’t leave the skin “sweaty”, it absorbs quickly and has a discreet clean scent. In other words, superb!

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At this point I want to underline that I am not affiliated to neither Meditopics, nor Apivita, that the products were purchased by me and that I decided to include them in this honest post because I find them way much better than other so called organic or natural or pharmaceutical products. It also worth pointing out that before I buy them I researched thoroughly their ingredients list and examined each ingredient with the help of Environmental Working Group http://www.ewg.org, as I wanted to use products as natural as they can get.

 

What are your healthy skincare habits?

 

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Autumn- Winter 2013-2014: Make up & Nail Trends

Here is a collage of season’s most important make up and nail trends… Draw inspiration and grab your make up brushes!

BERRY STAIN

1. d&g2.Somarta, M∙A∙C AW13 Tokyo Fashion Week Fashion Week

3.glamour.com-fendi-mohawks-fall-2013-w724 4. Vera Wang

5.Veronique Branquinho, M∙A∙C AW13 Paris Fashion Week6. Voilette De Madame

The trend: Either it is a raspberry, or a blackcurrant, a strawberry or a gooseberry… it is fashion! For a lighter version of the colour, try wearing a soft formula as stain patting colour from lipstick’s bullet on lips and for a more intense version, use a creamier formula with a matching lip pencil.

Pictures: 1. Dolce & Gabbana, via Pinterest 2. Somarta, via Mac Facebook page

3. Fendi, via Glamour.com 4. Vera Wang, via Pinterest 5. Veronique Branquinho, via Mac Facebook

6. Guerlain “Voilette de Madame” collection

GLITTER AND STRASS

1. tumblr_mppu53F7HI1rpywblo1_1280

tumblr_mpmi99RDuV1rpywblo1_1280tumblr_mppu6mV41B1rpywblo1_1280 

2. autumn-winter-2013-14 chanel via adaymag.com Chanel 

3. thakoon

4. House of Holland, M∙A∙C AW13 London Fashion Week 5. Manish AroraParis mac

The trend: It comes to sprinkle some magic to our special occasions! To light up your complexion and add mystery, you can use a touch of fine glitter that compliments your make up, on the eyes just above the pupils. If you are brave and you want to make a statement, apply strass or chunky pieces of glitter on your eyes or dress your lips, over your lipstick, in fine glitter with the help of an eyeshadow brush with synthetic hair.

Pictures: 1. Christian Dior, via dior.tumblr.com 2. Chanel, via Pinterest 3. Thakoon, via Elle

4. House of Holland and 5. Manish Arora, via Mac Facebook page.

GRAPHIC LINES

1. glamour.com-Pucci-bangs-beauty-w724 2. home_news_item_03

3.Backstage at Libertine, M∙A∙C AW13 New York Fashion Week 4.Anna+Sui+Fall+2013+Backstage+RlRyoppbjnGl

The trend: It is such a timeless makeup! This trend is a remix of Brigitte Bardot’s style. It includes quite, natural tones on face and extravagant, bold eyeliners and lashes. This season, you are encouraged to play with your liner, push and extend the lines and your limits. Do not forget to add the final touch: a pair of rich false lashes!

Pictures: 1. Pucci, via Glamour.com 2. Lancôme “Artliner” collection 3. Libertine, via Mac Facebook

4. Anna Sui, via Stylebistro

METALLIC EYES

1. CDior 2. Estee Lauder

3.Etro 4. Gucci. 

5.TomFordBeautyFall2013 6. Jean-Pierre Braganza

The trend: Metallic eyeshadows is around for quite few seasons now, perhaps showing us the way to how futuristic make up will be. It is a trend I love and I honour from time to time, myself. As for colours, right now red- burgundy and everything from light to dark grey are HOT! Dare to wear your metallic eyeshadows with bold red lipctick in a glamorous night out!

Pictures: 1. Christian Dior “Mystic Metallics” collection, via dior.tumblr.com

2. Estee Lauder 3. Etro, via Pinterest 4. Gucci, via Allure 5. Tom Ford Beauty campaign

6. Jean-Pierre Braganza, via Style.com 

SMUDGED LINES

1. Holly Fulton, M∙A∙C AW13 London Fashion Week 2. Alexis Mabille, M∙A∙C AW13 Paris Fashion Week

3.Just Cavalli, M∙A∙C AW13 Milan Fashion Week. 4. Stephane Rolland MAC PARIS HAUTE COUTURE fashionweek

5. Kenzo Paris Fashion week 6.Missoni, M∙A∙C AW13 Milan Fashion Week

7. Rodarte 8.glamour.com-RobertoCavalli-rimmed-eyes-beauty-w724. jpg

The trend: The smudgier the better! This is the most wearable trend that can be worn from day to night and it is ideal for those days, when we are invited somewhere right after work and we have no time to re-apply make up. Things are simple: for a morning look, smudge the edges of a brown/ dark purple/dark green eyeliner that you have placed on your top lash lines or waterline and lower lash lines. Take the look from morning to night, reapplying black eyeliner on waterline and lower lash lines and smudging it. Pair it with red lipstick or your favourite “your lips but better” lipstick and you are good to go!

Pictures: 1. Holly Fulton and 2. Alexis Mabille and 3. Just Cavalli, via Mac Facebook page

4. Stephane Rolland and 5. Kenzo and 6. Missoni, via Mac Facebook page

7. Rodarte, via Style.com 8. Roberto Cavalli, via Glamour.com

FULLY SMOKEY EYES

1. Elie Saab, M∙A∙C Paris Haute-Couture Fashion Week Fall:Winter ‘13 2. Johan Ku, M∙A∙C AW13 Tokyo Fashion Week Fashion Week

3.Alexandrevauthier. via strangelycompelling.netjpg 4. Backstage at Donna Karan, M∙A∙C AW13 New York Fashion Week

5.Chanel-Make-Up-Collection-Fall-2013 6.glamour. com-ferre-beauty-composite-w724

7.Francesco Scognamiglio, M∙A∙C AW13 Milan FashionFrancesco Scognamiglio, M∙A∙C AW13 Milan Fashion Week.

The trend: Whats is sexier and more mysterious than a smokey eye make up? A fuller smokey eye make up! This season, “smoke” reaches the ceiling, meaning the eye brows! Colours to play around with are black, bronze and khaki. To copy the trend, pair your intense smokey with a light peachy toned lipstick.

Pictures: 1. Elie Saab and 2.  Johan Ku, via Mac Facebook page

3. Alexandre Vauthier, via Strangelycompelling.net 4. Donna Karan, via Mac Facebook page

5. Chanel “Superstition” collection 6. Gianfranco Ferré, via Glamour.com

7. Francesco Scognamiglio, via Mac Facebook page

OMBRE LIPS

1.Backstage at Kenneth Cole, M∙A∙C AW13 New York Fashion Week Backstage at Kenneth Cole, M∙A∙C AW13 New York Fashion WeekMAC

2. Backstage at Zac Posen, M∙A∙C AW13 New York Fashion Week 3. glamour.com-Emporio-armani-red-lips-w724

The trend: Ombre on hair, ombre on brows, ombre on clothes, ombre is everywhere! Now, it is also on lips. The trend encourage us to grab our red and berry lip pencils and lipsticks and our lip brushes. Start by scrubbing and prepping your lips, with the right for you products. Then, dab powder on lips to help your colours stay on place. Apply your darker colour first at outer corners with light strokes. Then, gently apply your lighter colour to the centre and blend the edges evenly, to diffuse any lines. Do not add lipgloss!

Pictures: 1. Kenneth Cole and 2. Zac Posen, via Mac Facebook page 3. Emporio Armani, via Glamour.com

THE “NO MAKE UP” MAKE UP

1. Valentino2.burberry-beauty-booth-at-the-burberry-prorsum-womenswear-autumn_winter-2013-show-karlie-kloss 3. yiqing-yin-details-haute-couture-autumn-201via the empressofdress.com31

4. Backstage at Alberta Ferretti, M∙A∙C AW13 Milan Fashion Week. 5.  Alexander Wang

6.Backstage at Victoria Beckham, M∙A∙C AW13 New York Fashion Week 7. Carolina Herrera, M∙A∙C AW13 New York FWeek.Fall 13 Forecast Eyes pallete. Oyster creme shadieall over. Rsutic red cream shadow at contour.hot tahiti with brush on lipsjpg

8. glamour.com-Blumarine-eyes-beauty-w724 9.glamour.com-DSquared-beauty-w724

The trend:  The “no make up” make up, or else “Mans’ favourite”! The trend does not imply that we should go out nude from mascara or concealer but to use products that give natural textures and skin coloured effects, just enough to make us look healthy. That translates into fresh and dewy foundation, a good but light concealer and a fine milled powder, peachy eyeshadows, pinky- rosey blushes and rosey-peach lipsticks. Do not forget to add a thin black liner on top lash lines and mascara!

Pictures: 1. Valentino, via Mizhattan 2. Burberry “Trench Kisses” collection 3. Yiqing Yin

4. Alberta Ferretti and 6.Victoria Beckham and 7.Carolina Herrera, via Mac Facebook page

5. Alexander Wang, via Pinterest 8. Blumarine and 9. Dsquared2, via Glamour.com

COLOURFUL EYES

 Aquilano RimondiM-A-CGiorgio-Armani-Kaleidoscope-makeup-for-fall-2013 

The trend: With blue being the colour mostly seen, this is the most playful trend of the season and it inspires us to go wild when doing makeup! Though blue eyeshadow is very popular, it is however a dangerous colour to wear and pretty much out outdated. There are many new products and palettes in the market, that finding wearable and fresh colours is guaranteed. Try out purple, lilac and grey-green, for a more modern version!

Pictures: Left: Aquilano Rimondi, via Mac Facebook page. Right: Giorgio Armani “Kaleidoscope” collection

BUSHY BROWS

autumn-winter-2013-14-trends-beauty-make-up-03.via adaymag.comjpg Chloè, M∙A∙C AW13 Paris Fashion Week

The trend: Bushy brows is probably the trend of the century. From messy to well groomed, we are seeing them around for years. To sport the trend you need to have naturally full brows or grow them as much as possible (if possible). Make sure to fill the gaps with pencils and brow powders or eye shadows and correct their shape with gels and liquid liners.

Pictures: Left: Burberry, via adaymag.com. Right: Chloè, via Mac Facebook page

NAIL TRENDS

1. Dior2. Gareth Pugh, M∙A∙C AW13 Paris Fashion Week

3.golden flakes 4. hbz-nail-trends-fw13-black0-La-Perla-de

5. tom ford red 6. red-silver

7.elle-01-zac-posen-nail-trends-xln-lgn 8.Manish Arora, M∙A∙C AW13 Paris Fashion Week  

The colours: Black, Lilac, Berry, Red, Grey, Nude skin colour, Blue, anything Metallic.

The designing trends: Golden flakes at tips or base of nail, silver tip at tips,

stroke of colours mixed at the half of the nail, hearts, strass and pearls.

Pictures: 1. Christian Dior “Mystic Metallics” collection, via dior.tumblr.com

2. Gareth Pugh, via Mac Facebook page 3. Golden flakes, via Pinterest  4. La Perla

5. Tom Ford red 6. Red with metallic silver tips, via Pinterest 7. Zac Posen, via Elle.com

8. Manish Arora, via Mac Facebook page

What goes around- November ’13

LVMH PRIZE: YOUNG FASHION DESIGNER 2014

Colossal luxury goods conglomerate LVMH has undertook a unique initiative that aims to expand the Group’s philanthropic synergies and bring out and support tomorrow’s pivotal fashion designers: The Young Fashion Designer prize. The competition, which is open worldwide until February 2nd 2014, addresses to students on their final year in fashion schools and to young fashion brands with 2 collections already in hand.

The prizes for the winning brand and 3 lucky students are generous and on a par to LVMH. Winners from the student category will receive a 10,000 Euro grant and one-year contract to work with a designing team of a fashion brand design that belongs to LVMH group. The big winner will receive a 300,000 Euro grant, a year-long, tailor made technical and financial support by the Group (from marketing, to production), as well as a star trophy (Christian Dior’s personal lucky symbol) created by contemporary French artist Jean –Michel Othoniel, mostly known for his works with glass.

LVMH_Prize-com-imgUK

The jury consists of 8 fashion designers and 3 head members of the LVMH Group: Nicolas Ghesquière, Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of Fendi, Raf Simons, Creative Director of Dior, Marc Jacobs, Creative Director of Marc Jacobs, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Creative Directors of Kenzo, Phoebe Philo, Creative Director of Céline, Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of Givenchy, as well as, Delphine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Claverie, Advisor to LVMH owner, Bernard Arnault and Pierre Yves Roussel, who is Chairman and CEO of the LVMH fashion divison.

It is essential to be noted that throughout the competition, we all can become talent hunters, only by uploading our favorite young fashion designer on Instagram. The best fashion scout will have the -once in a lifetime- chance to participate in Paris Fashion Week and vote their favourite finalist out of 10, who will be presented to the jury. Check out the first bunch of participants here.

MAISON GUERLAIN RENOVATION & OPENING 

guerlain-flagship01 guerlain-flagship02

Pics via guerlain.fr

Today is the day! The fully renovated, iconic and historical Maison Guerlain in Paris opens again its doors for the public and its loyal clientele. The building located at Champs- Elysées 68, has undergone a complete architectural change by American architect Peter Marino.

The transformation of Guerlain House, which is open since 1914, created essential space for creativity and concepts that will fascinate Guerlain’s visitors. Apart from the brand new perfume organ, the room for bespoke perfumes, the make up room, the skincare room and the renovated Spa Guerlain, new spaces have been added to enhance and complete the Guerlain experience.

c770060d09a8e0186ebc3ec70dab1a1f e0a3142d37ceedcbf622321ee566f827 e941411589825f9abd365f06782b2e7d 786f2c011ae49d776ac0fd8ddd95d8e8 83f709653b94aec5fcc913720bc2c999 Pics via instagram.com

Spaces such as “Le 68” restaurant by Michelin starred chef Guy Martin,  “Les Delices du 68” patisserie and tea shop and the “fashion corner” hosting luxurious scarfs made of silk, scented silk fans and a whole collection of leather scented gloves in Mitsouko and La Petit Robe Noire, made in collaboration with Maison Fabre.  Scented gloves is a trend brought back to life after many centuries, as it was firstly sported by Catherine de Medici’s and Elizabeth I in 16th century and disappeared in the beginning of 18th century.

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Pics via guerlain.fr and instagram.com

Yesterday, November 22nd Guerlain organized a mini preview of the renovated House on Google+ with a tour inside the building and a virtual hangout with Laurent Boillot, President and General Manager of Guerlain, Natalia Vodianova, Ambassador of Guerlain, Thierry Wasser, Head Perfumer, Guy Martin, Chef of restaurant “Le 68”, Olivier Échaudemaison, Creative Director and 5 bloggers from the U.S.A., Russia, France and China.

ISABEL MARANT COLLECTION FOR H&M

After 16 celebrated collaborations with various fashion designers and popular singers, H&M commissioned French label Isabel Marant to create a limited edition collection, true to Marant’s style. The collection is in stores since November 14th and includes fashionable pieces that dress us from morning to night. Knits, faux leathers, metallic textures, shoes and fashion accessories all signed by Isabel Marant, tempt us to fall for them. Here is a picture from H&M Dam square in Amsterdam.

the Dam

Here are few pieces from the collection that I singled out.

isabel-53 isabel-21 isabel-15 isabel-16 isabel-34 isabel-41

Pictures of clothes via by teenvogue.com

THE CHEAPSIDE HOARD EXHIBITION AND ITS PERFUME OF 17TH CENTURY

Who would have thought that a cellar somewhere on Cheapside Street of London would have hided so many secrets! An excavation of the area back in 1912 brought to light by accident an entire collection of priceless jewels and gemstones dated from the late 16th and early 17th century and were buried there for 3 centuries after a massive fire destroyed a big part of London.

21e75e3d5a7f123c545612a81cc56223_f1897 8c66f6e2605dec167874a7b57f01331d_f1861 4ebb08f8026171f34eccf84fd0fd23c1_f1898 Pics via http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk

Gold hat ornament with amethysts en.paperblog.com

Pics via ‪en.paperblog.com

Grape Pendant web Pic via ‪www.professionaljeweller.com

Pendant conservation Museum of London webSigned-Gilt-Watch-374x500

Pics via http://www.ianvisits.co.uk

On the occasion of the exhibition’s opening, Museum of London asked British perfumer Roja Dove to craft a bespoke scent, reminiscing of that era. Roja Dove created a scent containing ambergris, rose and spices, ingredients that though were available only to society’s wealthiest people, they were certainly characteristic of an era, when the trading activities with the colonies were at their peak. Visitors will have the chance to experience this unique perfume by approaching and smelling a square piece of railing, behind which the perfume is placed.

dove

Picture via Basenotes.

The exhibition is open until April 27th, 2014 at the Museum of London. Prices start from 7 to 10 British pounds. Read more about the exhibition here.

MISS DIOR EVENT

Miss Dior Event is an ode to the first perfume ever created by Christian Dior and to anything that generates the idea of Mademoiselle Dior as the designer envisioned her himself.

dior_0

In this event, 15 female international artists have been given a blank cheque to translate virtually their idea of Miss Dior, drawing inspiration from the scent, the bottle, the stopper, the character and the aura around the perfume.

1 3 2 4 5 7 6 Pics via LVMH.

The event is being held inside the Galerie Courbe of Grand Palais for 2 more days. Admission is free of charge. For details look here.

What goes around- October ’13

LVMH AND NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD

As of September 2013, multi-awarded shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood gained a key ally: LVMH group. Being a selective retailer in luxury business and a strategic investor, LVMH decides to buy stakes in the promising British brand. Nicholas Kirkwood is known for his architectural shoe designs and sculptural forms that are anything but unnoticeable. Read more here.

donghokim.wordpress.com.nicholas-kirkwood-green1 nicholas-kirkwood-ss09-02 nitrolicious.com] Nicholas Kirkwood labellamia2011.wordpress.com nicholas-kirkwood-sandals liiiiiiis.blogspot.com

Pic 1 via donghokim.wordpress.com. Pic 2 via nitrolicious.com.

Pic 3 via labellamia2011.wordpress.com. Pic 4 via liiiiiiis.blogspot.com.

ESTEE LAUDER AND DUKAS FOR BREAST CANCER

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and Estee Lauder is known to support this holy purpose by taking dynamic actions globally.  This year, Estee Lauder in Greece collaborates with the successful, local shoe designer Dukas for 9th consecutive time to create limited editions accessories, in order to campaign, inspire and motivate. Since 2005, Dukas designs stylish bracelets for this purpose.

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This year’s bracelets are made of ecological leather in pink and white and gold plated ribbons for women and black ecological leather for men. The bracelets will be available until the end of the month at all Estee Lauder points of sale, throughout Greece. Find out more here.

All pictures are taken from Estee Lauder’s fan page.

AJMAL YOUNG PERFUMER TALENT HUNT

Are you between 16-21 years old, a United Arab Emirates resident and you ‘ve got a “nose”? Ajmal is looking for you!

Emirati perfume house Ajmal is touring around the UAE until last day of October, stationing at several universities and malls and conducting simple tests, in order to discover the next generation of perfumers. The initial process involves fun, 3-step, scent tests based on perception and memory.

Out of all registers, 20 lucky young and potential “noses” will get specialization through an intensive training program in theory and practice. During finals, the finalists will have to create their own perfumes, based on what they learnt. Five of them will get shortlisted and one of them will be awarded the “Ajmal Young Perfumer Talent Hunt for the year 2013” title.

All 20 will be given gifts and the first 4runner ups will receive cash prizes! As for winner no1, apart from the title and a generous cash cheque, he or she will have the chance to work as an Intern for Firmenich in Dubai and participate in projects for both Ajmal and Firmenich.

For detailed scheduale of Ajmal roadshows and more information on jury and prizes click here.

CIRCUITS BIJOUX: DANS LA LIGNE DE MIRE

Circuits Bijoux is the feast of modern joaillerie! It is an artistic program until March 2014, including 70 exhibitions, conferences and appointments with a single purpose: to get to know better the French contemporary jewelry.

Aurelie Lanoiselee, L'or bleu, 2002 collier-shaun-leane-boucheron-330000 Collection Chanel Haute Couture Automne:Hiver 2010 Emmanuel Lacoste, bijou de langue. Or fin 2006 Astrio Meyer, Pendentif, 2001. mica, fer peint, laiton, bronze, inox

In this program’s framework, the biggest probably event that takes place is the “Dans la ligne de mire, scènes du bijou contemporain en France” exhibition, held in the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Rue de Rivoli, Paris, France. The exhibition hosts characteristic pieces of contemporary jewellery by 55 French, independent designers. Tickets start from 8 Euro and the jewelleries will be on display until March 2nd 2013.

Géraldine Luttenbacher, Bracelet Giverny, 2001 Gilles Jonemann, Collier Nacre. 2012 Maison Hermes, Sac bijou Nausica 2013 Maison Lanvin, Pectoral Dédale, collection Lanvin Eté 2013 Natalia Brilli, Nolex, 2007-2008 derma Taher Chemirik, Collier

Pics are taken from Museum’s website.

THE FASHION WORLD OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: FROM SIDEWALK TO CATWALK

Brooklyn Museum of New York pays homage to one of the most influential fashion designers of our ages, Jean Paul Gaultier. Through a multimedia exhibition that includes 140 haute couture and prêt-à-porter ensembles, sketches, stage costumes, and many more, Brooklyn museum unfolds the designer’s inspirational and influential path from his childhood, to his first steps in fashion in the 70’s, to the Hermès years and his latest creations.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s teddy bear, Nana, circa 1957 Jean Paul Gaultier (French, b. 1952). Corset-style body suit with garters, 1990, Duchess satin. Worn by Madonna during the “Metropolis” (“Express Yourself”) sequence of the Blond Ambition World Tour (1990). Collection of Madonna, New York

Some of the rare and original exhibits on display are Gaultier’s 56 years old favourite teddy bear, in full make up and accessories styled by him, Madonna’s conical corset that highlighted the years of sexual revolution and the eccentric wedding gown “La Mariée” resembling a mermaid!

Karl Lagerfeld (German, b. 1935). Untitled (Alek Wek) Numéro, March 2000. “Dubar” gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Romantic India” women’s spring-summer haute couture collection of 2000. A design from Jean Paul Gaultier’s “French Cancan” women’s ready-to-wear fall-winter collection of 1991–92, as seen at his thirtieth anniversary retrospective runway show, October 2006. “La Mariée” wedding gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Mermaids” spring-summer haute couture collection of 2008. Latex bodysuit with golden scales; cone bra with shells; long, form-fitting sequined alpaca skirt with latex mermaid’s tail.

Tickets start from 10 Euro. The exhibition will open on October 25th and will last up to February 23rd 2014.

Pictures are taken from exhibition main website.

Rendez-vous with history

In my family, we all are avid lovers of antiques to the point that we have incorporated important and historical pieces of furnitures, decoration and household items in our daily activities.

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Among other treasures, my mother Angeliki holds a fabulous collection of authentic, vintage little things, such as make up powder compacts (with traces of powder!), lipstick holders (with traces of lip colour!), mirrors, perfume bottles, glass boxes, ink pots, personal notebooks, fans, engraved cigarette cases and many, many more.

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A piece that added recently in her collection and draw my attention was a tiny, metallic box, embellished with a green jewel. It was given to her by my grandmother Ioanna and contained perfume in the form of wax. What was it? Helena Rubinstein’s “Heaven Sent” dated 1941!!!

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As I have not experienced range’s eaux, I can only comment on what we have in wax: it is a pleasant, outdated scent with floral notes and a balmy leftover in taste. If you wish to know more about “Heaven Sent” and its history, visit fellow blogger Cleopatra’s  Boudoir.DSC03289

 

Do you like antiques and vintage perfumes?

Experiencing Magnetic Scent(s)

Magnetic Scent is a young perfume House with mature creations. The sophisticated, niche perfume brand debuted in 2012 with 4 perfumes. The perpetrator behind the idea, creation and aesthetic diligence of every fragrance is Dr. Spyros Drosopoulos, an unconventional man of diverse and alluring background.

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After a perfume workshop and almost 3 years of intensive study and experimentation, Spyros renounced his “monotonic” career as Professor of Psychology Department at the University of Amsterdam, for a “polytonic” position behind perfumer’s organ, not only to express himself through unique artistic creations but also to carry on his scientific research onto the correlation between scents and human psyche.

In this post, I share with you my thoughts on the four perfumes: Indigo, Tindrer, Untitled 1 and Untitled 2 that the perfumer kindly sent me to explore.

Untitled #1

What it scents like 

Untitled #1 is a floral perfume based on Jasmine. Seconds after opening with jasmine, we have rose coming up and an aggressive tuberose note that mingle up with vanilla. After some time, aggressiveness from tuberose has gone and what is left is a sweet and creamy sense of cacao on palate. During drydown and after the pompous acting of ingredients, jasmine and vanilla mellow into a warm trail.

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What it feels like

Untitled #1 is undoubtedly a summer scent and even if it is known as unisex, I would also say effeminate. In a scene where everything feels more intense and senses are in alert, this perfume would portray an outdoors, sun bathed afternoon tea with cocoa and vanilla pastries, in a huge garden full of jasmines. On a different note, my father unwittingly confirmed the rule that wants men finding the scent of jasmine extremely appealing and said that out of all four fragrances he liked Untitled #1 the most.

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Perfumer’s notes

Through this fragrance Spyros wanted to create an original and unexplored version of a perfume based on sambac jasmine. He worked 2 years for it and after 300 versions, he achieved to reconstruct the desired scent from scratch. The final result is bottled under the name: Untitled 1.

Ingredients: Jasmine, Wormwood, Galanga, Cacao.

Untitled #2

What it scents like

Untitled #2 is a gourmand-spicy perfume that opens with a blast of mild cloves, cinnamon and anise dipped in sugar. After the intense blast some rose is coming up. As time passes by, we have more herbal spices showing up, that blend nicely with the rose. From then and there we have a dance for two elements going on, with rose and spices dominate once at a time. During dry down all the spices are baptized in vanilla, that gives a sensual vibe. Though the fragrance begun as a warm composition, it turned out as cool and aromatic.

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What it feels like

Since the perfume is deliberately orphan from title, I will be cheeky and name it “the secrets of tea rituals”. No, I am not referring to the often dry or cool or mainstream British and Japanese teas, but to the highly aromatic and “multilayered” in taste and scent Karak tea (as I know it). Karak tea or else Masala chai, is a hot beverage originally coming from the Indian subcontinent and contains black tea, sugar and several spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, ginger, saffron and cloves, all dipped in milk and boiled over low fire for hours and hours.

Cozy yet sweetened spices in the beginning, a sense of creaminess minutes later, and a cool, concise residue, exactly as the effect of a Karak tea from the first sip until the moment that gets cold, that is what Untitled #2 is like.

I classify it as a scent for Fall and early Winter and it is my second favourite from Magnetic Scent.

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Perfumer’s notes

Deviating a little from the original version of Masala Chai, Spyros attempted to recreate a wearable version of the spicy tea that he loves so much. He added rose and cacao in the composition, after an alternative recipe that stigmatized him.

Ingredients: Masala Chai, Cacao, Rose, Milk, Vanilla.

Tindrer

What it scents like

Tindrer is a green, earthy scent with woody and flowery notes. Upon opening I sense wet woods, sweet resins and wet soil! After a while I feel violet and musk coming in. As time passes by, violet is getting more prominent and accompanies in the same tone the fragrance until it blurs out to nothing.

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What it feels like

I have met this fragrance before in my homeland’s woods; it is one of Earth’s most exclusive and characteristic scent. Oh how much have I missed the smell of rain that derives out of the randy for water soil!Tindrer is a sweet version of the events that take place on ground just a little before or a little after the rain or even watering. Violet gives a velvety dimension to it. I see this perfume as the perfect palette to play around layering it with nice resinous scents and dark leather perfumes. Initially, I feel Tindrer as a Spring and Summer scent, which however can be worn layered all year round due to its woods and earthy notes.

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Perfumer’s notes

Tindrer was made infused by the homonym song by Danish band “Under Byen”. Inspired by the alternations and contradictions of the song and the artists-musicians’ anarchistic interpretation of how rock sounds like, the artist-perfumer alternates warm and cool earthy tones in a creation that depictures sparkling, cold spring mornings or Scandinavian nights.

Ingredients: Green grass, Wet oil tincture, Cedar, Oakmoss, Galbanum, Cypress, Violet, Musk, Amber, heliotrope.

Indigo

What it scents like

Indigo is a highly aromatic and resinous scent. During opening I experienced a blast of mastic, rose, and a dry green flowery note, angelica. As the perfume unfolds, it feels clean, fresh and balmy. Its drydown was mellow, with its resins getting sweeter and amber leaving a mighty footprint.

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What it feels like

It feels like I am uplifted! All this cool and beautiful mastic sets me in the mood for sun, endless cycling in the gardens and cool drinks. Indigo is a truly original scent and personally speaking my favourite from Magnetic Scent. For me, there is a point during drydown, where it speaks the same language as Amouage’s Epic for women. Indigo matches nicely with Spring, Summer nights and early Autumn days.

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Perfumer’s notes

This was Spyros’s very first project in Magnetic Scent; a project that somehow correlates with his vocation and Ph.D. in Sleep and Memory consolidation. He worked more than a year for Indigo, wanting to deliver a specific disposition: the transition from a state of introspection or daydreaming to unification with what is happening right here, right now.

Apart from this, Indigo as a title is a connotation to the colour’s role in meditation and colour psychology, which refers to the highest level of intuition, consciousness and perception.

Packaging is illustrated by the Berlin-based artist Ekaterina Koroleva.

Ingredients: Mastic oil, Hibiscus, Rose, Hyacinth, Artemisia, Angelica root, Atlas cedar, Sandalwood, Amber, Ambrette seed.

The verdict

Magnetic Scent has clean scents made of high quality ingredients, which initially is confirmed by their clarity and longevity. The compositions are worked nicely by Spyros and they have nothing to do with mainstream creations for the mass. They are extraordinary juices that twist and unfold in a different way. Last but not least, I want to highlight that the House has ecological consciousness with all its products, from content to packaging, made by hand.

What goes around

SALTY BAG

Underlining the value of recycling and the importance of squeezing the life out of things we consider as trash, an original and super eco-friendly project came to life in Corfu, Greece.

pic from designfather.com castelli-2

Salty Bag is a concept based on withdrawn sails, life jackets, wetsuits, kites and more, dipped in saltiness and winds. The result is stylish, minimalistic and versatile, hand crafted bags and accessories, embellished with leather. Find more information in saltybag.com. Keep your eyes open for Salty Bag’s upcoming line, created to support the Greek sailors dream team on their road to the Olympic Games of Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

the_marina-2 castos

Pics via saltybag.com and designfather.com

LA LÉGENDE DE SHALIMAR

It could be an extract from the Lord of the Rings sequel, but it just the breathtaking short movie/ promotional clip for Guerlain’s flagship perfume Shalimar.

Revoluting the tactics of austerity and misery during financial crisis, Guerlain stigmatizes its total renovation in logo, in Champs Elysee’s boutique and in marketing strategy (beginning by the super successful and awarded campaign of La petite Robe noire), with a mythical production: La Légend De Shalimar.

The colossal project involved settings in India, directory by maestro Bruno Aveillan, clothing by rising star Yiqiyan Yin, acting by the aetheral Willy Cartier in the role of Shah Jahan and the official spokesperson of Guerlain Natalia Vodianova in the role of Princess Mumtaz Mahal.

LOVE THE OCEAN CAMPAIGN BY COOL WATER DAVIDOFF

Through its best seller “Cool Water”, Davidoff supports National Geographic’s initiation “Pristine Seas Mission” that aims to explore, create awareness, research and protect seas as such.

davidoff Pic via love-the-ocean.com

Apart from the scientific expertise, the initiation bases also its power on communication tools that convince leaders to develop large marine reserves in order to preserve these untouched by human intervention marine ecosystems.

Find out more in here.

THE AMAZING SHOEMAKER

From Evita Peron to Marylin Monroe and from Indira of Baroda to Audrey Hepburn, all have worn pieces from the historic Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo. These and some more pairs out of 10000 models are being on display in Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence, Italy. The palazzo that was bought by Ferragamo in 30’s, now operates as Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.

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www.iluxdb.com motilo.com

Pics via museoferragamo.it, iluxdb.com and motilo.com respectively

If you wish to know more about the art of shoemaking and the designers and you happen to live or visit Florence, make sure to visit the current exhibition titled “The Amazing Shoemaker: Fairy Tales about shoes and shoemakers.” in Museo Salvatore Ferragamo. Ticket costs 6 Euro (people under 10 and over 65 enter for free) and the proceeds from ticket sales go to scholarships for the new generation of footwear designers. For more info click here.

A QUEEN HISTORY OF FASHION: FROM CLOSET TO CATWALK

Have you ever wondered how sexual revolution has contributed to what you have in your wardrobe? A progressive exhibition called “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” examines and showcases the relationship between homosexualism and fashion through the spectrum of some of the most important fashion designers from 18th to 21 century.

man's 3 piece suit Queer-dior-web

100 indicative and historic garments by Halston, Pierre Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Gianni Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander Mc Queen and more are exhibited in chronological order in Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, located in New York City, until 4th of January 2014.

Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume, and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, edited and managed the exhibition after 2 years of research, along with scholars, FIT faculty and industry professionals. For more information click here.

Queer_Gaultier_conesQueer_McQueenPics via fitnyc.edu

LA MÉCANIQUE DES DESSOUS

Armors, wires, steel, smothering leather and thick wool; suffering for beauty is written in our genes. The first “plastic surgeries” in history of humanity were definitely not on surgeons’ beds but behind 14th century tailor partitions.

Corps a baleines Faux cul Panier

The exhibition “La mécanique des dessous, une histoire indiscrète de la silhouette” aims to snitch the inventions of fashion that literally “adjust” silhouettes to the likings of the client. The exhibits include historical pieces from private and public collections, such as beards, crown paddings, hinges, rings, corsets, crinolines and many, many more, dated14th century up to nowadays.

The exhibition is taking place in Les Art Décoratifs  Institution at Rue de Rivoli, in Paris, France up to November 24th, 2013. Ticket prices start from 9.5 Euro. Discounted tickets also apply. To find out more, click here.

Justaucorpsd6730fc95f8e2ef8f3cc1d7bb04589a122930d39f6981690e8be5ba40ee23277Pics via lesartsdecoratifs.fr

ALAÏA

Palais Galliera in Paris, France celebrates fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, dedicating him a grand exhibition in Museum of Modern Art- Matisse chambre. Alaïa’s talent in handling the jersey, the wool and specially the leather is portrayed through 70 characteristic ensembles, proving us the value of his studies as sculptor.

The exhibition that honours the Oscar awarded Tunisian designer, opened for public on September 28th  and will have the doors open until January 2014. Tickets cost from 4 to 8 Euro. To find our more click here.

azzedine-alaia. by gloria-agostina.com  alaia_galliera_5518_0

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Pics via gloria-agostina.com and palaisgalliera.paris.fr