Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR : Lets welcome 2015 with some glitters :-)

Sooo!! What are you doing this afternoon when we bid adieu to 2014? I, for one, was never the one who parties a lot! Mostly because I am a little shy to venture out with new people and also my job has always left me at some weird locations with VERY few friends! I basically have had a very few rare glam-sham New Year Eve parties!! This year also it is no exception; I have absolutely no plans :-) I just came back from a wonderful trip to my friend's place in the rainy city of Seattle. It is a beautiful city, more so, if you happen to be there during sunny days. Hence I am not really complaining about staying indoors in the dead cold winter of Chicago :-)

Back in the days, I used to reminisce over my actions for the entire year during the last week of December and jot down my feelings! Indian winter would be at its peak, the exams would be over and my mom will engage me and my sister in some craft or embroidery projects! December will be a relaxing month after a whole year of tough studies :-) Most of the years, my father was posted outside Guwahati, our hometown. And every 31st December evening, we would eagerly wait for our father to come home. Because it is winter, we used to cook on the outdoor verandah in firewood. There would be my mother's original chicken curry on firewood with a few other vegetable items. Then there would be some interesting Bollywood programs aired on TV, filled with hot shot Bollywood actors :-) When we were younger, I and my sister would be desperate to watch this program; now it feels so gimmicky :-) I and my sister would switch between watching the TV in the living room and helping my parents with the cooking outside! Apart from one or two occasional guests, most of these New Year Eve nights were closed cozy family event. I remember back in 2000 or 2001 at midnight my father announced about purchasing our first family car! It was a sweet surprise for all of us. I don't really remember how long it has been since I spent New Year's Eve with my family! I miss the coziness dearly and I really hope to spend some of the future 31st nights with my family. 

Anyhow, just because I don’t have any plans does not mean I cannot bury myself in some glitters. I decided to pull out the glitters and pigments that screams “New year Eve” and have some fun :-) When I started blogging more sincerely earlier this year, I never thought that I will post any makeup looks. But New Year calls for some change; right? So here it goes!


Prerequisite: I have dry skin so I need to heavily moisturize my skin before I put any makeup.

EYES: I always do eyes first; just so you know :-)
  • I applied MAC Paint Pot (“Layin' Low”) all over my eyelid
  • Then I used a light violet matte shade (“Violet” in IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty palette) as crease transition color with a small-short crease eye brush.
  • Using the same brush I applied a deeper violet color (“Iconic” from IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty) on the same position in the crease! This creates depth and makes the eyeshadow more transitional and smooth. 
  • I applied some flesh tone shade (=a shade which is similar to your skin tone) above the violet color. Blend, blend and blend! This makes sure that there are no harsh lines and the shades transition from dark violet to lighter shade. 
  • I applied a dark shimmery purple (“Dark Purple” in Lorac Pro) all over the eye lid. This is my base for the glitters.
  • Smoothen out the line between the shimmery purple and crease transition colors. The goal is to remove any distinction between different eyeshadow colors.
  • Use MAC Fix+ to create the glitter coat. This gives the glitters a more "foiled-d" look :-) I used two gorgeous pigments from Makeup Geek; “Utopia” and “Bewitched”.
  • I then applied a coat of glitter glue (from Elf Cosmetics) on the eyelid.
  • I used a flat shader brush to apply the glitter on the lid. For one last time smooth out the line where the glitter ends.
  • Then I drew a wing liner. I love a thick wing liner so it is an unavoidable step for me.
  • I rimmed my water line with a black kohl liner (I used Tarte skinny Amazonian Clay waterproof eyeliner)
  • I used a small tiny shader line with dark purple that I used with my lid. I also like to smoothen out some more with the “Violet” shade. I LOVE to smoke out my lower lash line whenever I wear dark smokey eye looks.
  • As a final step, I applied a generous coat of mascara ("They are Real" from Benefit Cosmetics). As I don't use false eyelashes, this is a VERY important step for me.
  • Also apply a very thin layer of mascara on the lower lash line!
  • Eyes are done!! Finally :-)

FACE:
  • I applied a thin layer of primer (I used "Palladio Herbal Primer"; good stuff!) on my face. It’s important to wait for at least 5 minutes before you apply the foundation. I generally use this time in some other "getting-ready" steps :-)
  • I used a very thin layer of concealer ("24 hr. stay concealer" from Maybelline) on the under eye area and on any blemishes. I try to use as less as I can because I don’t really love FULL coverage look. :-)
  • I also applied a bit of bronzer on the cheekbones (I used "Lorac TANtalizer", the matte brown bronze shade)
  • Then I applied a neutral blush shade on the apple of my cheeks; very lightly. I choose Becca Mineral Blush in “Songbird” so that it does not clash the glittery eye look.
  • I also used a fan brush to highlight ever-so-slightly (the highlighter shade from the same Lorac TANtalizer) the top of my cheekbones. 
LIPS: Because eyes are so glamorous, I did not put much effort on the lips :-)
  • I used BareMinerals lipstick in "Speak Your Mind". I also used the NYX Lip liner in "Mauve" just to smooth out the edge of the lip lines.


I hope everybody is having a wonderful New Year's Eve. My heartiest wishes for all of you out there for a promising and happy 2015!! :-) Also, did you like the look? Please share :-)
HAPPY NEW YEAR folks :-)

Love
~Arrru

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beauty Favorites from 2014

"Monthly Favorites" is a very popular topic in the Beauty Blogger/Vlogger's world. My work require that I travel a lot and I am on the field all the time. This is a challenging work environment to use and experiment with my cosmetics products. Hence it is almost impractical to carry a lot of makeup with me, which eventually does not inspire me enough to pick up my "monthly favorites" and blog about it. 


Nevertheless, I have been completely enjoying the world of beauty and cosmetics and it has been great till now. Today I am very excited to share the few products that stood out to me this year. I have been constantly using and loving these products:

BareMinerals First Resort Bronzing Kit (Limited Edition, 35$ for the whole kit with a brush and lip gloss): This is undoubtedly my MOST used product this year. I have raved about this in my earlier blog post back in May '14, and, 7 months later, my love is still intact! This product changed how I felt about bronzers; now I love using them throughout the year to bring some warmth to my face. This palette has a matte warm tone mid-brown (with a VERY little sheen), a highlighter shade and a golden shimmery shade which is my most favorite. It looks a little bit too shimmery on the pan but when applied it gives a BEAUTIFUL healthy-glow without the shimmer showing up much.


MAC Ruby Woo ($16): My first MAC lipstick and I could not have chosen better. I love how flattering it looks on my skin tone; makes me feel elegant and very alluring about myself! It's a retro matte finish which makes your lips very dry! But I love the color and the amazing staying power. More review and swatches here.

Bite Beauty Lip Products: Bite Beauty is undoubtedly one of the best lipstick brands that I have experienced till date. Every single product and shade that I have tried has totally impressed me; they are hydrating, creamy and stay on for a long time on my lips. Among the ones I have, I am a little biased towards Rouge Crème Lipstick in Cin Cin ($24) and High Pigment Pencil in Quince (bought in a kit, $25)! You know I love my bright bold colors :-)

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette ($42): Prior to 2014 I own only one tiny little eyeshadow Quad. And then makeup fixation grew on me and now I have more palettes than I can ever possibly finish up. This palette from IT Cosmetics however will always have a special place in my heart! These are some very-soft-buttery-smooth-long-lasting matte eyeshadows in some very beautiful soft and romantic shades. I do love shimmery-glittery eyeshadows and use them quite often, but, I picked this palette for "2014 Favorites" because of how easy these shadows are to use. The only problem is the outer velvet-clothing type packaging; it has started to accumulate dirt. More swatches here in my earlier blog post.


MAC Paint Pot in "Layin' low" ($21): A must have for me. I use it almost every time I wear eyeshadows. It keeps them in place for a really long time. Read my previous review here.

Makeup Geek Eye Brushes (varies from $5.99 to $8.99): Considering it’s been just a year for me since I have dived into the world of makeup, I am still experimenting with brushes, especially for the face. I am trying to find out my Holy Grail tools. But as far as eyeshadow brushes are concerned I am pretty much set with these brushes from Makeup Geek. I love the sizes of the bristles because they are just the perfect size for my tiny eyelids. The stiff dome brush is wonderful for very precise application on the crease, and the soft dome brush is amazing for blending. I also love how affordable they are :-) 

It's a 10 Miracle leave-in Plus Keratin ($20 for 4 oz.): Such a long name ;-) It's a pricey product but I think it is worth it. I don't believe that it can satisfy all the 10 claims mentioned in their packaging but I absolutely love using it. I apply it on damp hair after wash and it makes my hair very silky and fuzz free. It also manages to lengthen the interval between hair washes. I received it as a sample product from Ulta but I already have repurchased the biggest size :-)

SPECIAL MENTION
Tarte Amazonian Clay waterproof liner in BRONZE definitely deserves a mention in this list. It's a gel liner but I mostly use it as a single-lid color. It is a very rich bronze with golden micro-shimmer. I have reviewed it in detail here. It's my wonder product; needs just a minute to apply, looks good even without an eyeliner and has an amazing staying power. Slap it on and go outta door; FOOLPROOF   ;-) ;-) ;-) 

So, there you go! I really enjoyed sharing my most favorite products from this year. While I continue trying my best to use up my current products I cannot wait to see what new items hit the market in 2015 :-) NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette expected to release in January looks very interesting :-) What are your favorite products this year? Share with me :-)  

And I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday time with your friends and families... 

Merry Christmas in advance folks! 
Love,
~Arrru 

Quick Look: Smashbox "On The Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette"

Today, I have a very quick and crisp review about another limited edition item :-) I was exploring Sephora the other day for some gift ideas for one of my friends and found the Smashbox "On The Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette" at $18, I immediately knew it is an awesome value for a eyeshadow palette from Smashbox.


It has a total of 12 very vibrant shimmery-glittery shades each of 0.04 oz. The original price for a total of 0.48 oz. was $36. The packaging is absolutely lovely. It is compact and very very elegant to look at. Specially when you photograph it, it shines like diamonds. I really LOVED it. And I love the jewel-toned shade range. If your collection is filled with neutral shades, this will be a perfect palette to add a boatload of colors. The possibility of creating different eye look is huge. 



The performance overall was "ok". They are very smooth and there is a little bit of fallout, but nothing unmanageable! They are easy to blend too. I am not HUGELY impressed by the wear time of these though. I have tried with different primers like MAC Paint Pot and Urban Decay Primer Potion, but both of the time it started to crease (ever-so-slightly) after 3-4 hrs of use. I really expected better. 


So here is my quick take on the palette

Pros:
  • Stunning range of beautiful shade; you get neutrals along with blue, green and purple! 
  • Compact packaging.
  • The sale price $18 is an absolute bargain.
  • It is often impossible to find a palette which has the prefect wearable blue, purple and green shade. This has all of them.
  • The eye look booklet definitely helps.
Cons:
  • Not-so-impressive wear time. 
  • I do feel the need of a matte brown shade to act as a crease color. If that color would have been added, this palette would be perfect for travelling.
  • Limited edition.

Because I already have a few colorful eye shadows which looks almost the same as the colors in this palette, I am most likely returning this. However, if you are still looking for some last-minute holiday gifts this is perfect for anyone who enjoys makeup. If you have a teenager cousin or anybody who is just stepping into the world of cosmetics, I highly recommend this. This will definitely make them giddy with happiness. :-) The palette is still available in Ulta, Nordstrom and Smashbox website.

Hope you all are having awesome holidays with your friends and families, I am spending some quality time with some very old friends here in Seattle; it is a beautiful city!! :-)

Love,
~Arrru

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday 2014 Sephora Favorite "Makeup Must-Haves Beauty Essentials" Kit: Quick Review and swatches!!!

Holidays are here, finally! :-) Given that I came back from vacationing in India not that long ago, I don't feel like "Holiday"; yet! But I am going for a short trip soon, so I am slowly getting into the holiday groove. This is the time of the year when beauty-market is filled with holiday edition products from all the different cosmetics brands. I am usually good at holding back temptations but at imes a good deal is just too hard to pass on!



Makeup Must-Haves Beauty Essentials Sephora Favorite kit exclusive to Sephora inside JC Penny was such a deal for me :-) These "Sephora Favorite" kits are made of their best-selling products. I have successfully tried a few kits. Sometimes all the products in the kit may not suit you or may not be 100% useful or even worth the money; but they give you a GREAT chance to test out different products at a much better price and size.

Among all the irresistible kits that were displayed at the store,  this one stood out the most because 4 out of 6 products are Full-Size at a total price of $39. All the items are interesting and luckily are not presently in my collection. The total value of this is $122. The geeky, nerdy girl in me was very excited to do the calculation and break it down for you.

Product
Full-Size Amount
Full-Size Price
Amount in Kit
Value
Bite Beauty Lipstick
0.15 oz.
$24
2g/0.07 oz.
$11.2
They are real Mascara
0.3 oz.
$23
1.42 g/0.05 oz.
$3.83
Smashbox BB Cream
1 oz.
$39
1 oz. (Full-Size)
$39
Urban Decay Eyeshadow
0.05 oz.
$18
1.5g/0.05 oz. (Full-Size)
$18
NARS Blush
0.15 oz.
$30
4.8 g/0.05 oz. (Full-Size)
$30
Stilla Eyeliner
0.016 oz.
$20
0.5 ml/0.016 oz. (Full-Size)
$20


Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick (in "Palomino"): It is one of my favorite brands, so I am going to start with it. Their rouge lipsticks are very moisturizing, extremely pigmented and have super impressive staying power. The color range they have is also very wide. I loved "Palomino" - it's a bright bold deep-pink color. I did have this shade in another Mini Double Ended Lipstick but I know I am going get use out of this. The packaging is pretty and sturdy! And how cute and adorable is this tiny bullet anyway :-)

Benefit Cosmetics "They Are Real Mascara": This is such a popular product. It performed just "ok" for me though. The bristles are of stiff plastic which is not really my cup of tea. Staying power was good! The consistency is also ok! But I am NOT really "wow"ed by it. It did not give me the "They are real" effect that I was hoping for!

Smashbox BB Cream (in "Light"): I have heard good things about this and I liked using it. The consistency was good and easy to apply with my beauty blender type makeup sponge. It lasted the entire time without any oxidization! However, the shade is a little light for me so I need to mix  it with my other darker bases. But other than that it was a good first experience.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow (in "Sin"): Other than the Naked Palettes, UD products in general was never exciting-enough for me. But after I received a few free samples like their lipsticks, setting spray, I have started to view the brand in a whole new light! "Sin" is a very popular shade in Urban Decay's arsenal. An absolutely gorgoreous color! It is a shimmery champaigne color with a light pink undertone. Swipe accross and there you have stunning shining lid; appropriate for work or for daytime. It can also be used as a inner corner and cheek highlighter too. I used it with UD Primer Potion and it lasted 7-8 hrs before fading! Not a bad performance for the first use!

NARS Blush (in "Orgasm"): Whoo!! Controversial name but the whole beauty world is filled with stellar reviews for this product in this particular shade. I never understood the hype and love for this product, especially after I swatched it in the store (on my hand though!). It always appeared to have so much glitter in it; I was scared to even imagine how it will look on the cheeks. But after I gave it a try today, I have changed my opinion. I am really liking the glowing effect it has been giving me. "Orgasm" is a beautiful peach color with an orange undertone and whole lot of micro glitter. Holidays demand glitters, right!!?

Stilla Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner (in "Black"): I have been wanting to try this product for forever and now that I have tried I think it is worth the hype. And when they say waterproof they mean "WATERPROOF"! It's kind of a permanent marker for your eyes until you apply a waterproof makeup remover. I tried using water to remove the hand-swatch after 4-5 hrs of use and it did not budge. It is a pen-type liquid eyeliner with a decent length tip (just like my beloved Lakme Eyeliner). The finish is semi-glossy! Overall, first impression has been great! I love when this type of poplar product performs exactly the way I expect it to.

Oh, I forgot to talk about the make up bag. I love collecting these. They are especially handy for gifting purpose when I go home (to India) for vacation. This is a decent size bag in a bautiful matallic bronze color. If you dont carry a pile of makeup with you while travelling, this would be prefect; it is also nice to put into in your handbag for daily use. 


As you can already tell, I have been pretty happy to realize that I made a good investment in this kit. I also love that all the products make this a very comprehensive kit. Apart from the lower lashline and the bronzer, everything I used in this look is from this kit. You really can achieve an elegant look just by using this set. My nearest Sephora inside JC penny still have a plenty of this left. I really think it will be a very useful gift for someone who is just starting with makeup :-)

Happy holidays, folks!

Love,
~Arrru

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ash Gourd and Chickpeas with Alkali ( কোমোৰাৰ আগ আৰু বুটৰ সৈতে খাৰ)



Life has been hectic past few months! I had a very busy trip to India; before and after that I lived in different cities for different projects. Among all that, I have not been able to find time as well as inspiration to cook much at the comfort of my own kitchen!

Anyway, you guys know that I love authentic Assamese cuisine. One of the major reasons for that is my mother’s awesome cooking! Her style of cooking is simple and very fast and her dishes are never boring no matter how many times she prepares them! When I went to India in 2013 for vacation, I did not really have much chance to gorge on mom-made awesome food, but for this trip I made sure that I don’t miss any lunch and dinners at home among my cozy little family :-) There have been pigeon meat, duck curries, pork fries, different type of freshwater fish and lot of pitha-laru (delicious sweet snacks loved by every Assamese)! I have every intention of sharing all these recipes but let's first start with something green and healthy :-) This sabji (curry) is one of the many tricks my mom uses to jazz up an otherwise boring vegetarian meal! It's definitely different than the vegetarian recipes that I can prepare here in USA.

Ingredients: Young/budding leaves and vines of Ash Gourd tree (not the best description so please refer to the picture below :-)), Chickpeas (white ones known as Kabuli Boot or Brown ones known as Desi Boot in Assam), Ginger Paste, Pasfuron, Dry Red Chilies, Khar (alkali solution. you can also substitute it for Baking Powder), Salt, fresh Green Chilies. Turmeric powder is NOT needed.



1. Soak the chickpeas in water for at least 2-3 hrs.
2. We need to clean up the leaves and the stems. First peel away the outer layer (which is also covered with short coarse hair) of the stems and chop them into medium or to your preferred size.
3. Heat oil in a pan (I use mustard oil). Add the pasfuron and dry chilies.
4. Add the vegetables and chickpeas. Keep stirring.
5. Add ginger paste, you may add a clove of garlic if you want.
6. Add the khar/baking powder and salt.
7. When you can start seeing the vegetables have started to melt add the green chilies. This gives a fresh aroma to the sabji. Keep stirring.
8. This sabji does not really need a lot of time to cook. Add a little bit of water and bring to heavy-thick gravy like consistency.
9. Serve with rice, roti, bread or with whatever you wish for.
10. The other side-dish you see in the plate (at the bottom) consists of the vegetables seen on the picture at the side :-) (Very easy to prepare; add the vegetables in a heated oil and keep frying untill it melts with little ginger-garlic paste, that's it.)


In a proper Assamese meal this khar sabji serves as a side dish. :-) I am yet to figure out a grocery store here in USA where I can find these type of green stems so I don't really know when next I am going to taste this sabji again :-) I can only hope :-( 

Love,
~Arrru

Thursday, December 11, 2014

BITE BEAUTY Best Bite High Pigment Pencil Set

Value sets, lipsticks and Bite Beauty!!! My 3 current weaknesses together in this cute little tin box :-)



Ever since I got their Luminous Creme Lipstick in Cin Cin (reviewed here) last Spring, I have completely fallen in love with Bite Beauty. I have seen similar sets floating around in beauty blogosphere for quite some time now! So, when I saw this kit reappear in Sephora, I ordered it immediately :-) and I am really glad that I did.

A regular lip crayon from them costs $24 for 0.09 oz. In this kit there are 4 beautiful hues, each of 0.05 oz. (1.48 g) for a total cost of $25. Per oz. costwise, this is a BETTER deal. And I really LOVE that these are deluxe size; that makes me hopeful that I might be able to finish these up at some point :-) 


These lip pencils are very very creamy. It glides on extremely easy and does not bleed. Very long-wearing too!  Each shade is really pigmented. In the packaging the texture is mentioned as modern matte, but I don't find the finish either to be glossy or matte. It has a beautiful gliding sheen, which I am really really loving. Overall, I am very satisfied with the quality. Feel and consistency wise, the lip crayons and the Creme lipsticks appears almost similar to me. However, after 5-6 hours of wear I do feel that it gets a bit drying on the lips.


I love the packaging too! How cute is the tin box, I think I might jump on another similar set just for the box. It also has a good size mirror, which is pretty cool! The lip pencils are housed in Bite Beauty's signature rubberized dark-grey tubes. Very slick! They are automatic, so no trouble of sharpening :-) I love that they are mini size (I said that already :-)), it is so much easier to put it in the purse and run outta home. I also love the color range. You pretty much get all the "must have" colors for your collection. I am a big fan of bold colors, so having 3 bright-er colors in the set surely makes me happy.

Madeira: This is very nude for my skin tone. Still, I can mix it with a brighter lip gloss to make it more wearable. I also love to pair it with classic black smokey eye to achieve a slightly more dramatic look! This definitely will be much more flattering if you have lighter skin tone than mine :-)

Cranberry: This is one of my favorites; unfortunately this is a limited-edition shade. A beautiful vibrant deep red. Different than the the other reds that I have! :-)

Rhubarb: An everyday rosy-mauve no-fuss kinda shade. Everyone needs one of these, one shade that you can wear without thinking if it will match with your eyeshadow, blush or the entire look. I also love the stain it leaves after 4-5 hours of wear.

Quince: This may be one of my top favorite shades from my whole collection. A very deep fuchsia color. Even if it's a bold color, it's not difficult to carry off. When I am having a sick day or if I am not in a very jolly mood, this is the shade I reach for in the hope of cheering myself up. I love how it brightens up my entire face and eventually my mood too! And this is such a flattering color which will look good with every skin tone.

Pros: 
  • Excellent value
  • Great range of color
  • Very moisturizing; Food grade ingredient is an added bonus.
  • Very slim. Perfect for carrying it in the purse.
Cons:
  • Few of the shades may feel a bit drying after 5-6 hours of wear.
  • Limited edition.
This was a limited-edition set sold in Sephora & looks like it is not available anymore. I must tell, if this or any similar set like this from Bite Beauty is available, snag it! If you are just a beginner, this kit has all the color that you need in your arsenal and if you are a pro, this is a deal not to pass up! :-)


There are a lot of interesting holiday lip-sets in the market these days...have you guys tried any? Tell me more; I would love to know... :-)

Love you.
~~Arrru

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CK One Color Mascara :: ULTA Free Birthday Gift 2014

I know I am dangerously late in reviewing this product considering my birthday falls in January! 

I discovered Ulta Beauty in last December and I have become a fan! There are definitely some issues like every other store, but I have loved it so far! Mainly for two reasons, 
a) you can find high-end and drugstore products at the same place which is very convenient., 
b) Their "cash-back" Rewards program! 
If you live in USA and have not yet started your obsession with "Ulta Beauty", you need to! Ha ha! But before that do enroll yourself in their free membership program. There are lots of perks that comes with it. One such reward perk is their birthday gift. This was my first year receiving it and I was so happy to learn that it was a Full-size product. :-) For 2014, they offered the CK One Mascara! CK stands for Calvin Klein; (duh... everybody knows that :-) !)

The product weighs 0.31 fl oz. and has a regular price of $18 (which I think is expensive!). It’s a regular black shade. The minimalistic black and white packaging is attractive, but I find it a bit bulky. The black rubbery type material also gets dirty with usage. It has a plastic brush which feels very stiff. One cool thing is that the brush can be adjusted into two positions by just twisting the lid. As listed in Ulta's website "Twist in cap to provide more mascara load for more volume. Twist out cap to define, lift and lengthen. Apply mascara from lash roots to tips. Removes easily with any eye makeup remove." 

The formula is not that bad though; not very dry or wet. I kept it unopened for few months and I loved that it did not really dry up :-) I am a simple natural-lashes kind of girl; this does that! It separates my lashes and gives a decent length to them. After I twist it up into the next position, I see a very very minor improvement which does not really impress me much. So far it has not flaked on me apart from that one time I took a nap during the day :-) The stiff plastic brushes are not very comfortable to use though, it almost hurts my lashes! Unfortunately! :-(

However the good impression on the first trial was totally overturned when I started to wash off my makeup. It took ages and ages to get rid of it, and it’s not even waterproof! I tried with Neutrogena Eye makeup remover which does a pretty good job in removing my other waterproof mascaras. I left scratching, scrubbing and rubbing my eyes but no matter how much I wash; I can still see flakes adhered to my lashes. I feel like I spend FOREVER in removing the mascara. I have tried with coconut and olive oil as well but same result. I really don't want to spend 15-20 minutes in removing eye makeup alone! I love the look the mascara gives me but because of the "removal" process I have stopped using it. Sadly!! :-(

I do not particularly love the mascara but I do HIGHLY appreciate Ulta Beauty for offering a full size product for their member’s birthday. I know it's December already, but if your birthday has not gone yet, go and pick it up, you might like it!!

You can register at Ulta rewards here :-) I can't wait to see what Ulta will offer as 2015 Birthday Gifts...Just a few more weeks to know. :-)


Review: LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant


Ahh! The feeling of finding a product that a favorite YouTuber has been raving about and is also under 10$ in Sephora :-) I don't know about you, but I feel victorious; more so when this happens during Sephora's once-in-a-blue-moon sales :-) I am talking about the LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant.

I bought the travel size product of The Healthy Mini Deodorant in Pure Vanilla at $6 for 0.90 oz. (25 g) during Sephora's 15% spring sale. You can also find it in Lavanilla website. The regular size costs $14 for 1.7 oz. Right now they have a gift set which comes with 2 of these travel size Pure Vanilla deodorants at $14.


First of all, how elegant is the packaging! Simple, classy and quite sturdy! I love the colors of the bottle too! Plus it is a natural product, which is always good thing. As mentioned in their website there are "no Parabens, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Silicones, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oils, Synthetic Dyes, Sulfates, Chemical Sunscreens, or Aluminum". The scent is to die for! It's very relaxing, moderately sweet and peaceful. (Well, I am not particularly great in describing scent-notes :-) ). It's a white solid type of deodorant; glides on very smoothly, takes just a minute or two to dry and does not transform to the clothing. The longevity is not super impressive though! It gives me decent wear time during my normal work hours or when I am running just a few errands. Based on my experience, I don't think it will be 100 % effective for long time wear during heavy-duty tasks!!   


Lavanilla has different types of deodorent with vanilla as the base scent e.g. Vanilla-grapefruit and vanilla lavender. I think I am going to stick with vanilla original. It's mild, peaceful and very refreshing :-) And I like the size! I have been constantly travelling for my work for last two years and I have unknowingly started to choose travel-size products over regular sized ones. 

Overall, I am definitely happy with the performance when compared against my need and will happily repurchase.What are you all's favorite deodorant? Any suggestions for me? :-)

Love,
~Arrru

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Products I've Used Up/Empties Vol. 2

Woohoo!!! My second empties post!! :-) I believe I am getting better at this; you know in "using up products" :) :) :) Without further awe, let's see what in the list this time :-)


1. When Hope is Not Enough Facial Farming Serum (43 USD for 1 oz.): Philosophy's "Hope in a jar" line of products are very very hyped. I bought a value-set sometime last year. While I was not completely blown away by the entire set, I can definitely vouch for this serum. Unfortunately, the tip of the glass dropper broke and fell into the serum (I have been travelling insanely last few weeks). Hence I had to get rid of this. I am sad that I lost about 1/6th of the product in this process :-(
Anyway, I really LOVEd using it. I am dangerously closing the age of 30, so last year, I finally started incorporating anti-aging products into my skincare routine. I used it every other day. Just a few drops is enough per use. I really feel it has smoothened my skin. I have a few sample serums to finish off first, but I am definitely going to repurchase it. It is pricey, but I feel its worth it.

2. Davidoff Cool Water Gentle Shower Breeze (Price varies depending on the store): I got a Davidoff kit last year as a gift during the holidays which included this shower gel. I love the "Cool Water" fragrance line! I have been using their Eau De Toilette for a few years now. The same exact fragrance; clean, refreshing and performs wonderful as a shower gel. It is a travel size tube, so I generally brought it with me whenever I am on trips spanning 2-3 days :-) May be that is why it took me a lot of time to finish it off.


3. Hope in a Jar Moisturizer for Dry Skin (42 USD for 2 oz): I have reviewed it in my earlier post in details. It is a decent moisturizer; nothing to complain about or nothing to rave about either. It is VERY pricey, and I am not yet sure if I am going to repurchase it. I liked it while it lasted but I think I am still in search of the perfect heavy-moisturizer for my dry skin during the cold chilly moths in the windy city.

4. Bath and Body Works Shower Gel "Moonlight Path": To be honest, Bath and Body Works scents become quite overwhelming for me at times. Even if I like a particular flavour at first, I get bored by the time I finish. But "Moonlight Path" is the first fragrance that I actually loved and enjoyed till the end. Its clean, musky and a little bit sweet but not at all overpowering. (Please keep in mind I am not really good in describing scents :-)) I am definitely buying this again once I can finish it off numerous number of backup shower gels I have with me!

5. Bausch+Lomb Bio True Multi Purpose Solution: Currently I use Bausch+Lomb contact lenses and this is my favorite lens solution. Nothing fancy, but a very much a NEEDED product. :-)

6. Neutrogena Body Oil (Light Sesame Formula): I just reviewed this product here. This is one of my HOLY-GRAIL products. I cannot do without this oil, specially during the winter! And when winter lasts 8 months in a year, it's a saviour. I have gone through many many bottles of these and I am pretty sure I am gonna need many more.

Products I've Used Up/Empties Vol. 2

Now only I am realizing that every product here are skincare products. Ha ha!! But hey, I gotta pamper myself from time to time./my skin needs the pampering!

7. Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter (6 USD for 1.7 oz/22 USD for 10.1 oz) This is the first product that I tried from this brand which is originally from United Kingdom. It definitely lived up to its name/hype. It's very thick and have a strong but pleasant fragrance which reads a little medicinal to me; pleasant type of "medicinal", if such thing exists, It really IS moisturizing. Its a little bit too thick for my taste, but I get the moisturizing I want.. so that's fine. :-) Plus, I love the cute little pink pot. Perfect for travelling and very very easy for reusing purpose. I do think that as a moisturizer, it is definitely a little bit costly.I got this in a really good value-set, so I am not complaining.

8. Ole Henriksen Sheer Transforming Face Creme: This was a decent sample tub I received as free gift with a purchase from Sephora. This gave me an excellent chance to try out the product. Unfortunately, I DID NOT become a fan. It was very thin; I love and need a thicker moisturizer! It does not have any fragrance but my skin does not feel as supple as I expected.

9. Tarte Maracuja Oil: This thing is all over beauty blogs and YouTube. I was really excited when I got a kit at $10 with this oil (0.23 fl oz) and an eye cream. This is a very small bottle, but you only need a few drops so it lasted for months. I used it at nighttime during Spring and now in Winter. Its not very heavy or not too thin either. It did give me enough moisturizing for some hours but did not last till the morning. I do have an extremely dry skin. I did repurchase the regular size bottle. But I am not sure if I am going to buy another one after that/this.


10. Nivea Lip Balm "A Kiss of Milk & Honey": LOVE this product. Simple, affordable and very very effective lip balm. One of these is always in my purse. Not a glamorous product but absolutely important.

11. UB Lip Balm: Free stuff from my most recent Alma matter. It was a decent balm, but I guess it has been with me purely for nostalgic reasons.

That's it for today. I seriously hope that I get to play more with makeup in coming days and get some of the items finished.I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading my this post...thanks again for sticking with me till now...

Love you.
~Arrru