Monday, May 24, 2010

Beauty Appointment with Dell Ashley: YSL Extravaganza (review, tips and general euphoria)

Let’s start the week with a bonanza of beauty! If you’ve been faithfully reading and scrutinizing my blog (or at least skimming it when you’re supposed to be working); you may have seen a little heads up a while back about some amazing store events from Yves Saint Laurent (aka: YSL) Beauty. YSL national makeup artist, Dell Ashley is appearing all over the country right now to introduce some beautiful new looks, shades and products.

After posting about the event, I decided to make an appointment. It turns out Dell was going to be at my local Nordstrom (in King of Prussia) last Wednesday – and I had the day off. I went in the afternoon, and got to meet Dell and some of the other YSL experts. I feel really lucky. Dell is an incredibly talented and skilled artist (and a super nice guy). He not only made me look fabulous; he also explained everything and gave me some amazing tips! First the products…

Hydra Feel Water Gel Moisturizer

Blurb: A breakthrough from YSL Beauté Research. Drawing on sugar technology, this hydra-repleneshing moisturizer supports the skin's natural hydration mechanisms. Upon application, the skin is bathed with freshness. A refreshing, creamy gel that gives comfort to normal to combination skin.

Temps Majeur Eye Contour

Blurb: Extremely fine and silky, this complete eye contour treatment features a selection of high-performance active ingredients to regenerate, energize and enhance the eye area. Upon application, the eyes light up. The eye contour is smoothed and refreshed. Day after day, dark circles and puffiness fade away.

Top Secrets Pore Refiner (with Skincare Brush)

Blurb: A unique pore refining skincare brush for combination skin prone to imperfections. This targeted skincare product instantly reduces the look of enlarged pores and mattifies shine, making skin appear visibly smoother and more even. Skin quality is improved and ready for a flawless make-up application.

Teint Resist Long Wear Transfer Resistant Foundation (SPF 10)

Blurb: Guarantees unfailing wear and radiance for up to 14 hours. The luminous, transfer-resistant formula forms perfectly to the skin for a soft and seamless result. Pigments are specially coated for a color-true effect and the formula absorbs excess oil through the day, for a complexion which always looks and feels fresh.

Touche Éclat Radiant Touch

Blurb: Light, luminosity, radiance. The award winning, must-have, take anywhere instant highlighter that banishes shadows, erases signs of fatigue and leaves your skin looking radiant. Touche Éclat is 8 hours of sleep in a pen - the one item no woman can be without.

Ombre Solo Mono Eyeshadows

Blurb: Ombre Solo shades the eyelids with a matt, satiny or iridescent veil of endlessly adjustable and long-lasting colour. The exceptional smoothing effect reveals the radiance of the colours for a wonderfully luminous makeup.

Dessin Du Regard Crayon Yeux Haute Tenue Eye Pencils

Blurb: Updated with a new formula, with highly pigmented colour for a deep impact and long-lasting finish. The texture glides onto the skin effortlessly, and Jojoba Oil makes the finish on the skin smooth and comfortable. A wax adhesive acts as a fixing agent to reinforce the intensity of the pigment for hours.

Volume Effet Faux Cils Noir Radical Mascara

Blurb: The ultimate luxurious mascara for a false lash effect in our deepest black colour ever, for a dangerously glamourous look. NOIR RADICAL takes our must-have industry leading mascara, Volume Effet Faux Cils Luxurious Mascara, to a new depth with mineral pigments more intense than traditional iron oxide black pigments, to achieve the blackest black, deep and powerful.

Touche Blush

Blurb: A true beauty accessory, a makeup concept that transforms blush application into a moment of pure pleasure. The ingenious packaging is associated with an ultra-fine powder to provide a luminous and natural makeup result.

Dessin Des Lèvres Lip Liner

Blurb: A high precision and richly textured lip pencil to outline, re-define and colour the lips.

Rouge Pur Shine Sheer Lipstick (SPF 15)

Blurb: This shiny lipstick with exceptional gliding properties illuminates the lips with sparkling, transparent colours. The exclusive long golden cap opens in a "click" to reveal a delightful, hydrating texture that reshapes the lips while ensuring comfort and protection.

Gloss Pur Pure Lip Gloss

Blurb: Pure colour and high shine. YSL's newest lip gloss is everything you need to achieve an ultra-sophisticated every-day look. Based on YSL's top selling lip gloss, Golden Gloss, Gloss Pur delivers a sparkle-free beautiful and glossy sheen to the lips.

Amazing products and an amazing experience! Dell and everyone at Nordstrom were friendly, helpful and extremely knowledgeable (and their makeup was perfect). Every single one of the items Dell used was outstanding! I could easily do a separate post on each one; but part of the experience was getting to see how they all worked together for a total look.

The skincare standouts were the Hydra Feel Moisturizer and the Eye Contour. The moisturizer felt hydrating, yet light enough for warm wather. My skin instantly looked refreshed and soft. The Eye Contour was also excellent (Dell said it’s one of the most requested products). The soothing cream absorbed immediately, making the eye area look softer; and the fine reflective particles (mother of pearl) added brightness.

The Top Secrets Pore Refiner blew me away! In addition to the (stellar!) packaging, lovely feel and mattifying effect; it performed some kind of magic trick that made my pores run away and hide. I really couldn’t believe the difference. Dell applied the Foundation on top and the result was a flawless complexion. I’ve never seen my complexion look that polished. Ever. He highlighted here and there with the Touche Éclat and the total effect was near perfect skin. The look lasted through a long evening, and was still looking gorgeous when I got home that night.

Of course the major fun is in the color! Gorgeous colors and expert application equal fabulousness. And here’s one of the most useful hints I’ve ever gotten – Dell recommended contouring first using the pencil, then applying and blending shadow over the pencil contour. The result was really beautiful. The color was perfectly blended and shaped. And YSL shadows are pretty darn amazing. Velvety texture, saturated color, sophisticated shades and amazing staying power. The new Mascara was another awesome touch. It’s a deep, deep black, and I got a lush, black fringe.

The blush deserves a mention just for the packaging alone. The formula is excellent (a fine, blendable powder); but the brush container/applicator is both practical and adorable. I also loved the Lip Liner, the sheer Lipsticks (awesome for summer), and of course, the Gloss. Besides a glassy finish, Gloss Pur is one of the most comfortable, luscious glosses I’ve ever worn (and it has a yummy Mango fragrance).

In addition to a great look; I got a few fab tips from the expert himself:

1. Foundation: Use a blush brush to apply foundation. The brush glides across skin without tugging, and creates an airbrushed effect.
2. Bronzer: Use the side of a blush brush to apply bronzer, then use the tip to blend. Bronzer will go on more evenly over a larger surface (easier to do, and looks more natural).
3. Eyes (mentioned above): Use a pencil to draw on contours before applying shadow.
4. Lips: To “summer-ize” your beloved red lipsticks; use a sheer gloss to add a watery shine over the darker color.

YSL is always beautiful, luxurious and chic. And the amazing quality and attention to detail are very very French. I was thrilled that I got to try out so many things at once – and even more thrilled that I had a dinner to attend afterwards. I got tons of compliments; and I loved the way everything looked, felt and wore throughout the evening.

For more info (and to check out all the colors), visit the YSL website. You may also want to check out the Limited Editions and Online Exclusives pages. YSL offers free shipping on your first order. You can also find YSL at Sephora and fine department stores. (And is currently offering $5 shipping with any $50 beauty purchase (enter code: BEAUTY).

If you’re interested in having an amazing YSL experience of your own, here’s a list of Dell’s remaining scheduled appearances:

5/26-27- Nordstrom Seattle (WA)
5/28- Nordstrom San Francisco (CA)
5/29- Nordstrom Walnut Creek (CA)
6/3-5- Neiman Marcus Northpark (TX)
6/8- Neiman Marcus Northbrook (IL)
6/9- Saks Bala Cynwyd (PA)
6/10- Lord & Taylor NYC (NY)
6/12- Nordstrom South Coast Plaza (CA)
6/16- Bloomingdale's Aventura (FL)
6/17-18- Saks Boca Raton (FL)
6/19- Neiman Marcus Merrick (FL)
7/14-15- Saks NYC (NY)
7/16- Nordstrom Freehold (NJ)
7/17- Nordstrom Michigan Ave (IL)
7/23- Nordstrom Mall of America (MN)
7/24- Nordstrom Pentagon (DC)
7/29-30- Nordstrom Houston (TX)

Happy Monday everyone!


  1. What a great website!!! I LOVE Dell!!! I am a Retail Specialist for Yves Saint Laurent & have been with them for almost 17 years. Love this website & your comments. I will be at the event with Dell on the 17th & 18th, can't wait!

  2. Thanks for the great compliments - and I agree. How could you NOT love Dell! I'm still telling people how great he is - a true artist! (Lucky you on the 17th & 18th!)