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CHANEL Harmonie du Soir – Holiday 2012

 

CHANEL’s Holiday 2012 Collection offers so many beautiful pieces that resistance, as the “Borg” (Star Trek Next Generation reference – yes, I’m a sci-fi geek) would say, is futile. The ‘Harmonie du Soir’ eyeshadow quad is the jewel of this group; visually stunning with the iconic CHANEL quilted pattern and interlocked C’s embossed on the surface of each shade, with colours that are fresh and unique and in a formula that is rich & sublime.


CHANEL Eclats du Soir Holiday 2012 Collection (source)


Harmonie du Soir – iconic black & gold packaging


Harmonie du Soir


 

Regard Signé de CHANEL in Harmonie du Soir – quite different in texture from CHANEL’s other eyeshadow quads, the four shades in this compact each bear a similar silky feel in their formulation, are quite pigment-saturated and last an incredibly long time. With almost no fallout to speak of and no powdery kickback, the first thing you notice upon application is their  butter-smooth glide, followed by the complex & rich jewel-like tone of each colour.

I was a little concerned about wearing a reddish hue on my eyes, but the mulberry shade of the compact has enough brown/russet tones in its base, that it becomes very wearable and adds just the right amount of depth to your look. Mixed with the taupe – a complex and ultra rich mink hue – it develops into a unique mauve/plum tone that will enhance all eye colours. The antiqued hue of the gold shade lends itself well as an inner eye corner highlighter or under the browbone for more dramatic impact, while the pale pink colour works exceptionally well when used to soften the edges of the deeper shades, or even alone as a light wash across the lid.


Gold – top left shade


taupe – top right shade


pink – bottom right shade


mulberry – bottom left shade


swatches – in sunlight


swatches – indirect light


 

The look and format of this year’s ‘Harmonie du Soir’ eyeshadow quad, was originally featured on last year’s limited edition ‘Topkapi’ eyeshadow quad from the limited edition ‘Les Byzances de CHANEL’ collection. Bearing the same buttery smooth and highly pigmented formula in all of the shades offered, I’m happy to see that there are no duplicates in the two and yet they seem to have a common thread, with both cool and warm tones available in each palette for extra wearability and versatility. As you can clearly see from the usage in the above photo, I absolutely love ‘Topkapi’ and turn to it quite a bit for so many looks, although ‘Harmonie du Soir’ has been getting an equal amount of love from me lately.


swatches – in sunlight


swatches – indirect light

 

Final thoughts: It’s difficult for me to choose just one “standout” item from this collection, but as far as versatility goes, you definitely get your money’s worth with the ‘Harmonie du Soir’ eyeshadow quad. The formula is unbelievable and a complete pleasure to work with, while the selection of shades work beautifully either worn alone, in various combinations, or even layered together. In my opinion, this is definitely one of the must-haves of this collection.

Available at The Bay counters and Holt Renfrew across Canada, please note that this is a limited edition item – get it while you can!

Congratulations to Laura B. – winner of my Elizabeth Arden Fall Glam giveaway! Hugs and thank you to all who entered!


A very royal wedding … Greek style!

 

Two weeks ago today, my nephew Costa married the woman of his dreams, Jessica (who also happens to be the über-chic author of the fashion blog Westmount Fashionista). This was a wedding that took a little over a year in the planning, with no detail left overlooked and believe me, when it comes to Greeks, there are a lot of details!

  • The date: Saturday, September 29th, 2012
  • The venue: The Montréal Science Centre
  • The church: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

My nephew Costa – the eldest of my brother’s 2 sons – has always been my “unofficial first born”, as he also happens to be the first of the new generation in our family and we all went a little nuts when he burst onto the scene; there was a lot of spoiling going on, but somehow he managed to rise above that and grow not only into the handsome young man you see here, but also one of the smartest (he’s a lawyer) and nicest people I know. He also happens to be my late father’s namesake, and they always shared the most closest bond. In honour of that relationship, my mom had a special keepsake for Costa’s wedding day: the boutonnière my father wore on his own wedding day, which my mom had split into 3 segments – one for my brother, one for Costa, and the other for Angelo, his brother and Best Man. A truly special and poignant touch!

As to the the bride’s details, I’ll leave that for Jessica to fill you in when she prepares her post on this special day. My part was limited to doing my own nails, hair and makeup, along with my mom’s manicure and makeup, and finally my sister-in-law’s makeup – and may I say that we all still looked as good at 3 am as we did at 1 pm! Not bad at all for a day full of emotions and major partying!

*I need to add here that I wound up changing my shoes 3 times that day: I began with a pair of 5 1/2″ Louboutin heels, changed into 5″ Valentino heels for the reception, and had my Sam Edelman gunmetal silver flats on by the time the meal was over – and not a moment too soon! My outfit was a Ralph Lauren Couture deep eggplant velvet halter evening gown which I dressed with a fur shrug for the church (and thank God as it wound up being a little chilly that day), and I also carried a vintage silver clutch given to me by my mother years ago. As to makeup, I test-drove many looks before finally deciding on what you see here; I will be posting a breakdown of some of items I used in a future review.

Both Jessica and Costa decided from the very first that they were to have a traditional Greek wedding, which also included the groom walking to the church accompanied by his groomsmen, grandparents, and some close family members – good thing the church was close by! The bride and bridesmaids came by limousine, as long gowns and high heels were made for more impressive entrances!

The church, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, also holds special meaning for our family; it happens to be where Costa was baptized and where his parents got married, and the church my father – his grandfather – helped to build and devoted so much of himself to. Yet another beautiful touch falling into place …

Our family is huge – we’re Greek … enough said … and both Jessica and Costa opted to include the cousins in the wedding party; my daughter (who happens to also be Costa’s eldest first cousin) was one of the six bridesmaids – and a more stunning group of girls, I’ve yet to see. Nope…no bias here!

The venue was The Montréal Science Centre located by the port in Old Montréal, which overlooks the downtown area as well as the St. Lawrence River, and from the tastefully decorated hall, to the breathtaking flower arrangements, elegant chairs and table settings, the absolutely mouth-watering catered meal (and free-flowing alcohol – plus the traditional “moonshine” Costa’s grandfather brought … not to be discussed here!), as well as all the beautifully dressed guests in attendance, it was an evening no one will quickly forget. And the speeches; my younger nephew, Angelo, had me crying (both sad & happy tears) with his touching words. Then, there was the party … oh yes, we Greeks definitely know how to do THAT very, very well!

I wanted to share this incredibly special moment in my family’s life with you all, and give you a glimpse as to what a traditional Greek wedding REALLY looks like – a definitively more sophisticated version of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”!

Enjoy and may this fabulous young couple be always happy, healthy and blessed! I love you both so very, very much! 


With the groom, my nephew Costa


With my brother and mom


Siblings: my husband & I with my brother and sister-in-law


My two handsome nephews: Costa and Angelo


A detail view of Costa’s boutonnière


At the church, awaiting the arrival of the wedding party


Costa with Angelo, his Best Man (and brother!) coming down the aisle


Finally! The bride and her parents coming down the aisle


The wedding party assembled before the altar


At the altar, joined by the “wedding crowns”


The “Dance of Isaiah” which symbolizes the couple’s first steps in Holy Matrimony


Before the priest for the final blessing (crowns still on!)


The newly wedded couple! How royal do they look, I ask you?


The newlyweds leaving the church!


Presenting: Costa & Jessica, newlyweds!


The four stunning cousins (of 6 bridesmaids) – my daughter Anna, is on the far right


Me, with the bride!


With my loves, Jessica & Costa!


Mother and daughter: gowned & ready!


With my total knock-out of a daughter, Anna


My family!


Love this one – with my amazing & HOT husband!


My gown!


The table setting – just look at those flowers! And the chairs!


Costa & Jessica’s first dance as newlyweds


The Twirl!


… and dip!


Party – Greek style! That’s me grooving on the left with my daughter on the right!


The groom doing his best Gagnam Style moves!


The Kiss

 

 

Dior – Le Vernis #715 Dune from The Nude Collection 2012 (swatches, comparisons & review)

 

Starting as early as 1947 when Monsieur Christian Dior created what he termed, the “New Look”, his venerable house has been reinventing fashion and beauty ever since – but not always in expected ways. Take nude, for example … or four nudes … or four “Dressy Nudes”. What sounds like an oxymoron, actually begins to make sense when you place it in the context of beauty: subtle, understated, and modern neutrals – sort of like looking perfectly “done” without any effort at all.  Doesn’t get easier than that.


undulating sand dunes of the Sahara desert (source)


Dior Dune


Dior Dune


 

Dune‘, the darkest of the four Dior Nude lacquers released for fall 2012, is a sleeper; a plush mink brown hue with greyed taupe leanings, it holds that sparse & subtle “secret shimmer” deep inside – nothing overt, but a detail which adds a beautiful dimension of depth to the finished look. The formula bore a medium thick viscosity with amazing pigmentation, providing perfectly self-levelling coverage and leaving behind an ultra-glossy mirror like shine. Coats applied: 2

*NOTE: The Seche Vite Top Coat I used for these swatches must be somewhat incompatible with Dior varnishes, as it seemed to shrink from the tips a few minutes after application – something to keep in mind.


in sunlight


in shaded light


with flash


 

When I brought ‘Dune’ home, I immediately went hunting through my collection for any possible look-a-likes, but while this colour itself may not be exceptionally outrageous or unique, it’s still different enough to warrant owning, as the following will show. Like I needed convincing, right? The following swatches are with the 3 shades I found that came the closest tonally, and how they compared. For the record, all four shades had an excellent natural shine and are with two coats of lacquer, in order to keep things consistent.

  • index finger: CHANEL ‘Particulière’ – best coverage with 1st coat, more beige/milk chocolate toned, no shimmer
  • middle finger: Dior ‘Dune’
  • ring finger: OPI ‘You Don’t Know Jacques’ (France collection) – thinnest formula, closest tonally, a touch more grey tinged
  • pinkie finger – Essie ‘Don’t Sweater It’ (reviewed here) – similar viscosity and ease of application, definitive mauve leanings


in sunlight


in shaded light


with flash

 

Final thoughts: The darkest of the four shade of Dior’s Nude Collection, ‘Dune’ drew me, for some particular reason – even though I was sure I already had a zillion like it. Turns out, I have nothing like it; that perfect melted chocolate tone it holds seems to also wear an eerie grey veil at times, coupled with the sparse shimmer that makes a sly appearance now & then … I don’t need to say more, do I? I love how it’s perfectly wearable for day and yet takes on an edgier look for evening, deepening mysteriously. And the formula? Pure perfection, in true Dior style. Which has me wondering why I didn’t go back for the other three already …


 

 

 

*Disclaimer: Some products provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

The Twelve Days of *Beauty* Christmas! (Day 4)

 

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, four beachy bronzers …

 

 

… three silky powders …

 

 

… two lustrous compacts …

 

 

… and an item of surpassing beauty ♥

 

The four bronzers of this verse which include (clockwise from bottom left) CHANEL’s Soleil de Tan #547 ‘Bronze Rosé’ and #537 ‘Bronze Corail’ (Summer 2011 Collection), MAC’s ‘Weekend’ Creme Bronzer (Summer 2010 To The Beach Collection), and Dior Diorskin Nude Glow #002 ‘Sunset’ Healthy Glow Summer Powder (Summer 2011), give you back what winter takes away: that dreamy touch of summer warmth!

 

– Four Calling Birds by Sara Tyson

 

 

 

*Image credit

a-england – November Promo!

*Final Birthday Giveaway ends soon: ‘a-england’! Full details here

 

How awesome is it, that my final birthday giveaway, sponsored by none other than a-england, falls at the same time as the brand’s latest promotion? Beautifully fitting, in my opinion!  For those readers new to the amazing lacquers that a-england has created, here is a wonderful opportunity to try them out.  Not only is the cost of each varnish reduced, but you can also enjoy free worldwide shipping….doesn’t get better than that!

If you desire another incentive to learn more about this brand, feel free to enjoy my previous reviews on a-england’s introductory collection, ‘The Mythicals’:

  • Guinevere, King Arthur and Lady of the Lake – review here
  • Merlin, Avalon and Perceval – review here
  • Iseult, Holy Grail and Excalibur – review here
  • Morgan Le Fay, Galahad and Lancelot – review here
  • Tristam, Elaine and Camelot – review here
  • The Knight Base Coat and The Shield Top Coat – review here

 

For more information, I encourage you to visit the company’s website here. Crown your hands and feet!

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: Promotional information provided by the company for my unbiased consideration