Thursday, 18 December 2014

Summer in the midst of winter

Amidst all the Christmas merrymaking and due to a friend of mine my mind wandered off to Santorini.

artificial light. Can any of the beauty geeks recognise the back of this book?

direct sunlight

I used Mavala-167-Cyclades Blue as a base since you can't get more cycladic than Santorini, then I used Korres 82 Ciel in the central part of the nail and I painted the ribbon with what proved to be a really nasty acrylic paint that kept bleeding everywhere so I went on top of it with Ciaté Snatch 039 to make it smoother and a bit more vibrant.

Let this be a cautionary example for us all: never use anything for the first time if you're going to be seen in it or make a post about it. I always follow this rule and the one time I didn't chaos ensued.

I should do something Chrismas-y next!
XxX
Elysse

Monday, 3 November 2014

So tonight that I might see

Mazzy Star’s album “So tonight that I might see” is one of my favourites of all time. I became acquainted with Hope Sandoval’s warm and otherworldly voice in the early 90s along with the rest of the world through the song ‘Fade into you’. One song was not enough to quench my thirst for music that spoke to me; I got the album and have been under its spell ever since.

It wasn’t just the music I loved, as I found the album cover equally mesmerizing. The early ‘90s were not a time where arabesques were popular and purple has always been a favourite colour of mine. It was only a matter of time before I attempted to replicate the design in one of my manicures.

I tried many colours and combinations to achieve this design, it was harder than I initially thought it would be. In the end I used 1 layer of a-England’s Camelot and then I used Stargazer’s Chrome Nail Polish in 235 to stamp a design from the Drikk drk-A palette and in the end I dabbed a little bit of Le Chat CM in True Violet.

I couldn't not attach a song to this post now, could I?

What do you think?

*Non-affiliated links

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Life's no fun without a good scare

I have kind of disappeared from this blog, and somehow I always make it back for Hallowe’en. I am starting to believe I may be the phantom of the blogosphere! MWA HA HA HA…
I was only planning on doing some basic Halloween themed stamping, ideas started forming in my head, one thing led to another and I ended up painting them all by hand. It was good fun! They weren’t supposed to be this side up which is how I ended up with the anti-gravity blood. I was going to fix it, but I like it like that. It's more ghoulish!

The nail polishes I used are (thumb to pinky):
Etude House – WH702 with brushstrokes of Korres – 32 Light Mocha
OPI – Stranger Tides, the perfect ghoulish colour
Etude House – WH702 with drops of Essie – 381 Fishnet Stockings as blood
A-England – Camelot, the perfect black for the darkest of nights
Korres – 51 Tempting Coral.
The details were done using acrylic paints.

I couldn’t leave without an appropriate song so here is Tom Waits. It’s the song I was listening to while the idea for the meeting of preternatural creatures on my nails came.
XxX
Elysse


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Hallowe'en!!

Don't you just love Hallowe'en? I find it's the height of Autumn! Everybody feels festive and nature is at its most glorious!

I am not very experienced with using foils and they are a bit of a headache to be honest, but they are also the best way to achieve an iridescent result.

Breakdown:
1 coat of A-England - Camelot 
Foil in Iridescent Swirl
Bundle Monster stamp- white Κοnad polish
Drk stamp- Borghese - B475 Castello Blue. I really liked this one cause while it is visible in sunlightt, it's undetectable anywhere else, much like real spiderwebs.






Enjoy yourselves!
xXx
Elysse

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Flowers from Korea

A few months ago a dear friend of mine went to Korea. She’s one of those people that wherever she goes pleasant surprises happen and they are the stuff we talk and laugh about for years. I wonder what stories she’ll have to share when she comes back from her travels later this week. Along with her amusing stories she also brought back a ton of presents, some of which you will be seeing eventually. Not the chocolates, though. Those are already gone.

One of those presents was a colourful cosmetics bag. I love unusual combinations of colours, and this is definitely a winner combination. It’s one of those combinations that when you hear about it, it sounds like it wouldn’t work, but then you see it and it’s beautiful, vibrant, it makes your day just looking at it! I aim to become brave enough to combine colours that way. 


Something that beautiful of course had to be translated to a mani and here is my attempt, along with the colours I used to achieve it. I chose the plum tree pattern from the Konad plate m66 as the fabric has a similar embossed floral pattern, though you can’t see it in the pictures. The colours I used were (thumb to pinky):

Essie – 563 Bachelorette Bash
Butter London – Dosh
Orly – Everything’s Rosy
OPI – Kyoto Pearl 
Bourjois – 39 Jaune Trendy
Nails Inc – 050 Tower Bridge (for stamping)



Saturday, 31 August 2013

How to Survive the Summer Heat

Summer is nearly over, but I can’t possibly wait till next year to share this since it proved to be such a life-saver for me. So, how do you keep cool when it’s over 40C where you are? I managed it with the help of floral waters!

I use floral waters all the time in my beauty routine; as a toner, as a mixing medium when I want to use an eye shadow wet, I spray my face with them when my make-up looks cakey, etc. I loved using orange blossom water in the summer because it smells so refreshing that I thought, why limit its use to when I am at home. Why not put some in a spray bottle and spray myself when I am out and it’s too hot. Frankly, it changed the way I feel about the hot summer days in Greece. Even on days when the temperature climbed up to 44oC, I felt a lot better every time I used it.

As I mentioned, I prefer orange blossom water because I find the smell more uplifting and cool, but you can also use rosewater, kevda water, lavender water or whatever else pleases your nostrils. It’s worth trying to find a spraying bottle that provides a good and even distribution of liquid; you want a refreshing mist that won’t interfere with your make-up, not the water hose effect. Nobody wants the water hose effect on top of all the sweating unless they are desperate.



Additionally, you can use essential oils with your floral water. Some lavender adds to the uplifting effect and a little bit of jasmine can calm any storm that might be going on in your head. If you’re really into essential oils, you can even dupe Caudalie’s famous Beauty Elixir since it is essentially a mix of orange blossom water with essential and synthetic oils. I hadn't thought of mixing peppermint oil prior to smelling the Beauty Elixir as I don’t really like peppermint oil-I overused it to help me concentrate as a student-, but I tried it and it works fine.

If you do use essential oils, remember to shake the mixture vigorously before every use. Oils don’t mix with water so you need to shake it every time to get an even distribution. I find that when they mix well, especially if I’ve added sambac jasmine, the mix looks a bit milky and pretty.

A final word of caution: do not use any citrus essential oils, ie no lemon, orange, mandarin, neroli, grapefruit or petitgrain. They are notoriously photosensitive (sensitive to natural light) and you could end up harming your skin. Always check whether the essential oil you are planning to use is photosensitive.


I hope you give it a try and let me know how it went. It was a life-saver for me as it made the heat more bearable and my skin felt so much better at the end of a hot day than it did before I started using it. 
xxx
Elysse

Friday, 12 April 2013

King Tutankhamun and the 20s Egyptian Revival


The discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 had a huge impact all over the world. The tomb was almost intact and the findings were so rich and beautiful that the newspapers were full of news on the subject.  Even now when we think of Egypt one of the first images that comes up is the golden mask of Tutankhamun. Add to that the 'curse of the Pharaos' and the audience was captivated! 
Such an event influenced the fashions of the day as one would expect. With that in mind I was examining the pictures of the artefacts from the tomb to find patterns on them that one can find in 20s clothes, jewellery and    decorative items. Ancient Egyptian style without the hieroglyphics if you like. Can you spot them on the items? 

The base colour is the most royal of golds, A-England - Holy Grail (the original formulation) and the blue on the middle finger is LeChat CM - Navy. The rest were done with acrylic colours and all topped with Seche Vite which unfortunately cause some major shrinkage at the tips. 
Shade (unusually sunny for England)
Shade (overcast)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Retropolish: Seventeen Super Shine #471

I thought I'd create a special tag for my older polishes that may or may not be discontinued. I'll kick off this journey through my collection with a Greek polish by the company Seventeen (nothing to do with the UK 17 brand). These polishes unfortunately don't have names, only numbers, but they have an near infinite variety of colours. No 471 is a bit tricky to describe as depending on the light it looks from purplish to steel. It doesn't shift like a duochrome, the change in colour is much more solid with this one as you can see in the pictures. So pretty!
natural light (shade)
incandescent light

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