Monday, September 29, 2014

Sephora Favorites Limited Edition "Give Me Some Lip": Swatches & Review

The holiday season is fast approaching!! This is particularly a very exciting time for any makeup lover as different cosmetics brands have started the promotions for their Holiday Gift and Value sets! It is almost impossible for me to resist the temptation of getting each and every kit :-) 

So, keeping the upcoming the holiday season in mind, I thought this will be a good idea to share my experience with "Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip" set that I got awhile back! "Sephora Favorite" sets always consists of a bundle of fantastic products at bargain price; I especially like these sets as they have mini or deluxe size products which are much easier to finish up for someone like me who loves makeup but not a professional makeup artist! This is a Limited Edition set from Sephora with 6 products including one full-size lip gloss! Let me be upfront here, the selling point for me in this set was the Bite Beauty lip pencil. I am head over heels for Bite Beauty and anything from them attracts me, almost immediately!

The price for the set is $25. Awesome, right? :-) It contains
  1. Urban Decay Naked Revolution Lipstick (Mini, 0.03 oz.)
  2. Nars Orgasm Lip Gloss (Deluxe, 0.12 oz.)
  3. Buxom Full On Lip Cream in White Russian (Mini, 0.07 oz.)
  4. Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer in Kissability (Mini, 0.02 oz.) 
  5. Bite High Pigment Lip Pencil in Meritage (Deluxe, 0.05 oz.) 
  6. Smashbox Be Legendary Gloss in Pout (Full-size, 0.20 oz.)
Let's take a look.

Smashbox Be Legendary Gloss (in Pout): This is a VERY pale-pinky lip gloss. The finish is smooth and feels really easy on the lips! I do see some sparkle in the tube but while applying it does not show off on the lips. I guess I am upset about the fact that "Pout" is described as a pale-pink but it almost looks like "white" against my skin tone! :-( I pair it with some of my every day wear rosey lip-colors to avoid looking pale and sick! While I can still make it somehow useful, the shade is not very flattering on me! 
And ironically, this is the Full-size product in the set!! 

Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil (in Meritage): I have Bite's crème lipsticks and the lip pencils and let me tell you, they are worth EVERY penny! Meritage is a very subtle rosey pink shade, IDEAL for office and every day wear! This is also very moisturizing and comfortable on the lips; stays for up to 6-7 hrs. And like any other Bite products that I have tried this also has proved up to my expectation! For the past few months, I have been loving my BOLD shades so much that I hardly notice I don't own a lot of my-lips-but-better colors. This will definitely fill the void :-) 

Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer (in Kissability): Hmmm.... Marc Jacobs...just the name makes me feel so luxurious! It is a mini-size lip gloss so obviously the tube is very tiny, sleek and cute! :-) It almost does not even need any space to store. JUST PERFECT for putting in your smaller purses and clutches!! This is also a rosey-hued pink with some almost-unnoticeable golden shimmers in it. It has a bit minty tingling feel when you first apply, but nothing overwhelming. It’s a very light-weight lip gloss and applies very sheer! I like that :-)
The only complaint I have is with its applicator. It’s so very small that I need 3-5 swipes to cover up my entire lip! I wonder if the full size glosses have the same size applicator!

Buxom Full On Lip Cream (in White Russian): This is a very adored product among makeup lovers! I am not a big lip gloss fanatic, but buxom lip glosses definitely had me intrigued for some time! This is another pale baby pink kind of color in the bunch; but it is much easier to carry off than the Smashbox one. It is very thick and full coverage lip-gloss, may feel just a tiny bit sticky, but it’s hydrating! It has a strong minty tingling feel which stayed even after one cup of tea :-) Personally I do like that feeling :-)
It also gave me 3-3.5 hrs. of wear that included two cups of tea! Yes, I am from the famous-for-tea state of "Assam" and I can drink one cup every hour ;-) Considering it’s a gloss, the staying power is definitely satisfying.

Nars Lip Gloss (in Orgasm): A lot of people get offended by the shade-names Nars assigns to their products; I personally find them fun and interesting :-)
Anyway just like their insanely popular blush in "Orgasm" this is also a peachy-burnt orange kind of color with lots and lots of golden glitters! Looks extremely beautiful when swatched. But it’s a little bit too glittery and has a brown kind of undertone; if I am not much careful in executing my entire look, this may make me appear "very-wrongly-tanned"! Nonetheless it’s a very pretty color; this kind of color was very popular in India a few years back. It's light, easy to wear and gives me around 2.5 to 3.5 of wear! It does not have any smell to it and no stickiness; I really like the feel on my lips. Also the packaging is quite adorable.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick (in Naked): This is a "TRUE NUDE" for my skin tone. With every nudish color that I have, I always need to use some kind of brightening lip gloss to make them wearable. But this one, I can just slap on and not be concerned about looking "ghostly" :-) I was never interested enough to try out other products from Urban Decay even though I love their eyeshadows! I must say, I am pleasantly surprised by the performance of this lipstick...It stays on and I love the overall feel. The finish is matte so after a few hrs., I feel a bit of dryness, but there is nothing that a quick swipe of gloss or balm cannot cure...I am now curious to check out other shades from this line of lipsticks!

  • Good value to try out products from different brands!
  • They are mostly mini or deluxe size, so perfect for travelling.
  • If you love natural and everyday color, this is a wonderful set.
  • Too many glosses in the kit (for my taste) :-)
  • There is no bright color (I love me some bold bright color)
  • The full-size gloss is a little too "blah" for my taste!
The color range is not very exciting for me; also there are many glosses. But as I have been using a few of these for the past month, I have been finding them perfect for office wear! I would definitely say I am getting my money's worth. If you are lip gloss type of girl or if you love natural easy-to-wear colors, this "set" is going to impress you for sure :-)

Thank you so much for taking time to visit my share what products you are going to get from the upcoming holiday collection! I would love to know :-)


Friday, September 19, 2014

Bought it, emptied it: Philosphy's "Hope in a Jar for Dry Skin"

This is the first skincare product in "Discovering Me" and I am going to keep it short :-) Philosophy's "Hope in a Jar" is a cult-favorite moisturizer. Like every beauty enthusiast, I also feel the curiosity to check out "insanely hyped" products like this one :-) My skin is VERY dry skin; and I don’t know about others, but I am already dreading the winter. Anyway, I moved to the harshly cold Chicago from the humid south-central just before the horrible polar vortex in the beginning of the year, and that sudden change in weather left my already dry skin extremely parched! As my regular moisturizer was not cutting it, I picked up a value set especially aimed for dry skin from Philosophy (which included "Hope in a Jar for Dry Skin") hoping that they will bring back some life to my skin. While I loved the moisturizer well enough to finish off the jar (I just emptied the jar today :-) ), I will not be repurchasing it, not for now at least! That's my experience in a nutshell.

The price for 2 oz. of product is a whopping $42. You can find it in  Sephora,  Ulta, Macy's, Nordstrom, among other places and also from Philosophy website. Because I got this in a value set, I spent much less than the regular price for this particular jar. 

It has a simple, classic and effective packaging with plastic white jar and black lid! It's minimalistic; which I really like. After using and travelling with it for 3-4 months, I did see a crack on the outer side of the jar that made me question about the sturdiness of the bottle. (I swear, I have never dropped it!). Also, whenever I travel with it, the moisturizer clings onto the lining (which is unavoidable), but because the lining is cardboard it seems to absorb some of the oil from the moisturizer. I feel it compromises the moisturizing quality over time.

Now on to the product itself! Even though it's for dry skin, it is a very light moisturizer. I did not find it greasy and it really sinks into my skin comfortably. I do use my favorite “Hope Is Not Enough Facial Firming Serum” every other day in conjunction with this. When I first started using it as a daytime moisturizer during the winter months, I really hoped it would take care of all the dry patches in my skin; it did not do anything magical though! It performed well, provided me decent moisturizing but not 100% up to my expectation. Some days, I needed to reapply twice or thrice during the day! It was, however, perfect for my dry skin once summer set in. I really liked to use it when I am having good-skin days, but whenever I deviate from my regular routine and my dryness goes out of control, this just is not enough! I have to use some kind of facial oil to tackle the dryness! That is the reason why I am not very keen on repurchasing it. This might be ideal for someone who has normal skin, but what’s the point when it is meant for dry skin right? ;-) I have seen some complaints about the scent in Sephora review, but I am very comfortable with it :-) I also love that it has never given me any issue while using under makeup

  1. Thin and not greasy.
  2. Absorbs quickly.
  3. Works well under makeup.
  4. Great in summer.
  1. Very steep price.
  2. I personally don't like the cardboard lining in the lid. 
  3. Not good ENOUGH for me during EXTREME winter.
  4. The packaging on the outside cracked a bit towards the end :-( 
42$ is a lot of money to be paying for a moisturizer; so I naturally have had high hopes! Like I said I did have a pleasant time using up the entire bottle, but it did not mesmerize me enough to repurchase.

This review is ENTIRELY based on how it has worked on me! I am a strong believer of the fact that the performance of a skincare product entirely depends on the nature of the user's skin. While it was nothing miraculous for me, it might work wonders for your skin! Have you used it? If you have, what's your experience? Please feel free to share; I always appreciate your feedback! 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: "Viswakarma Puja" - Now and Then!!

How time changes everything, well “almost” everything!! I am always amazed by this very true fact of life. Being an Engineer in India, September 17th was always different than other days! Because, it is when “Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated. Viswakarma is the Architect God in Hindu mythology, and this particular Puja is celebrated mainly in the industrial sector across many different states in more about "Viswakarma Puja" here :-)

I remember washing and cleaning all the machines in our home with my sister; when we were younger we handled small apparatus like refrigerator, mom's sewing machine, TV, VCR etc. :-) and as we grew older, we got promoted to washing the car! :-) Whether each of us personally believes in God or in the power of prayer, as Indians, Pujas are such an integral part of our culture. For this particular Puja, we pray and thank the almighty for blessing us with so much technology; that’s the essence. I also remember going to my uncle's office who worked in the Public Works Department where this Puja was a huge thing and being so overwhelmed by the amazing community consisting of technical personnel from all level. After that, I joined Engineering, and because my home was in the same city as my college, I was able to help mom with the household duties and still catch AEC (Assam Engineering CollegePuja in action :-) I especially enjoyed the enthusiasm and vigor of the lab technicians while planning and organizing the Puja! After that I missed it for a bit as I was out-of-state for a few years. Then I joined ASEB (Assam State Electricity Board) and it was a whole different story! I worked at a divisional head-office and we supervised three sub-divisions. Each unit will organize their own Puja and after attending the Puja at our office, we will visit each subdivision. I do miss the joyous feeling of an otherwise extremely busy and comparatively tensed revenue office; it was really a refreshing change for me! Each subdivision would also organize a gourmet feast after the Puja; it was almost competitive among the subdivisions! As they would try to book the best available date for organizing the feast and not to mention, to plan the best menu J. Working in an electric utility where “limited resources” is a constant problem, can be really stressful for employees at every level; hence I really appreciated this kind of festivity once in a while!

Me with my wonderful ex-collegues; yes, we all dolled up and I can't believe how much
 I have changed in these years :-)
But now September 17th is just another day - I wake up, get ready and go to office, come home, surf a bit, have dinner and get ready for the next day! And thanks to my nomadic work life, I don't even get to pray and do the Puja on my own, even on a minuscule level! But change is inevitable and I am hoping, someday again, I will be able to observe and enjoy these festivities again :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Liebster Award

Zahra from I AM CHIC LONDON is a fellow blogger and she has recently nominated me for the Liebster Award. She is the first friend I made from this beautiful world of beauty blogging. Thank you so much for this, Zahra! To give you all a better idea about Liebster, I am explaining it, as found in her blog :-) And definitely check her out; she is very chic and elegant :-)

11 Random Facts about me:
  1. I miss Pomy, our pet dog who left us in 2010 after spending 11 years beautiful years with us. I miss her EVERY single day.
  2. Mango, Pineapple and Pomegranate- A few of my favorite fruits.
  3. I have been to 18 states in United States of America.
  4. I prefer pen or liquid eyeliner over gel liners.
  5. I want to visit Paris and Santorini. Some day!
  6. Strangely, I don't remember my VERY first lipstick.
  7. When I was a kid, I never liked fish. But now that I am so far away from home, I miss freshwater fish so very much.
  8. I love assembling IKEA furniture ;-)
  9. The brighter the lip color, the better.
  10. I have a younger sister (more like a twin) and we talk about makeup and fashion for more than 75% of time during our overseas call.
  11. I love exploring different cuisines.   
Zahra’s questions:
  1. What are you most passionate about? :::: I am not sure :-) I have such compartmental passion for many different things. My career is very important... :-) and then I love blogging, I love working towards promoting of my mother tongue and ethnic nuances of Assamese culture!
  2. What inspired you to start blogging? :::: From childhood, I always had an interest in writing. After I joined my first job, I started to slowly publish my poems and articles (which are still in my blog) and since last December, I have started blogging on a regular basis about my two new-found fascination: cooking and makeup :-) Your top tip for newbie bloggers? :::: Always invest your time in taking your pictures.
  3. Who is your style icon? :::: I pick up inspiration from everywhere; people I observe in my day-to-day life, internet and the good old fashion books :-)
  4. Do you have a motto that you live by or favorite quote? :::: One of my favorite quote is from Madbhagawat Gita (an spiritual book on Indian Mythology). It says "কৰ্মতহে তোমাৰ অধিকাৰ, তাৰ ফলত নহয়" ("You have a right to perform your pescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action."). Another one is "Live and let live". I so hope everyone would respect this quote.
  5. What’s your favorite make up product/brand? :::: Oops! Tough question for a beauty blogger and I am going to give a long answer. My favorite product keeps changing. Sometimes I am crazy about bronzers and sometimes it’s all about the blushes! But Bright lipsticks and black eye liner will always remain my all-time-favorite. And if I have to pick up only one brand, it will be "Tarte". And special mention to "Bite Beauty" for lipsticks!
  6. Your favorite Book/Movie/TV show? :::: All time Favorite book "Anuradhar Desh" (The land of Anuradha, it's a novel in Assamese language). My favorite movies keep changing- currently it's Milli, Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, Dil Chahta Hai, Silver Lining Playbook. All-time favorite TV-series: "Friends". Current favorite: "Modern Family".
  7. Your favorite social platform? :::: Instagram, for now!
  8. What makes you smile? :::: Spending time with the best of my friends and family, compliments from stranger, appreciations on my blogs and Instagram pics, "Friends" show! And a lot of other things....
  9. Favorite travel destination? :::: Out of the places I have been to, California is my very favorite.
  10. Currently top on your wish list? :::: I am currently a bit bankrupt ;-) so, I am trying to hold off temptation. But here is my list 
  11. # Clinique Cheek Pop
    # Marc Jacobs Siren Palette
    # Kat Von D Tattoo Liner.
  12. Do you have a favorite MUA/YouTuber? :::: Lisa Eldridge (so much to learn from her), Jaclyn Hill (so much fun with her), Marlena (for overall inspiration)
I am further nominating all these beauties :-)
  1. Heather from allthingsHeather 
  2. Zhahara from Azhian Beauty
  3. Poppy from Glitter In Her Eyes
  4. Manashi from I am What I am
  5. Ivy and Daisy from the eighth forest 
  6. Maya from PINKCOGNITO
  7. Laura from lipstickjunkie 
  8. Meagan from kissmeg 
  9. Sanchari from The Serious Butterfly 
  10. Cel from TropicThrill  
  11. Hannah from Hannahh(??)
My questions for you all are
  1. If money and time is not a problem where would you go for an epic vacation?
  2. Favorite color for makeup packaging?
  3. Books/Movies/Shows that you can read or watch over and over?
  4. Are you a morning person or a midnight-lover?
  5. Favorite color for clothing?
  6. Cooking - Love or Loathe?
  7. Do you feel boredom? What do you do to avoid it?
  8. Designer brands with obnoxious price! How do you feel about it?
  9. Favorite Hollywood icon and why?
  10. What do you fear most?
  11. What do you love most for the choice of platform (WordPress, BlogSpot etc.) for your blog?
Thank you so much for your time... I hope all the beauties I tagged will keep the chain going forward :-) Happy blogging!!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

NYX Cosmetics Rouge Cream Blush in "ROSE PETAL"

NYX Cosmetics is overall a wonderful brand. They have a vast array of products at a very affordable price range and you are bound to find love for one or more products from them!

One such product for me is their Rouge Cream Blushes. I have it only in the shade "Rose Petal" and it's my "I-don't-know-what-goes-with-this-eye-look" blush. Yes, this little guy surely deserves that long a name :-) It was my first successful buy so far as blushes are concerned. It's a lovely natural shade and applies so easily! You can already tell, I LOVE it!

Let's start with the packaging. At first look, it appears to be a bit more voluminous than I prefer. The compact is black and of well-built plastic packaging, which is very typical of NYX. It's round in shape and strong enough to carry; I have travelled a lot with it. The lid opens up to 120 degrees and is clear, which makes it easier to find the exact shade from your collection. It does not have a mirror. This is not a deal breaker for me but being a girl who is constantly on the move for business and leisure trips, I have started to appreciate mirrored packaging for makeup products.  

One of the best aspects of NYX is their very affordable price range! This is also no exception. For a total of 0.12 oz. (3.5 g), this costs around 6$ to 7$. Such a deal for this wonderful product. Especially if you pick it up during 'Buy One Get one at 50%' or other sale offers which they offer quite regularly. Even though the price is very "drugstore-like", NYX is not available in all drugstores. I personally have seen them only in Ulta and select products in select Target stores. You can definitely access them in NYX website and of course there is Amazon (Personally, I prefer buying makeup products directly from the brand website, drugstore or from Beauty stores). By the way, I learnt that Sephora India offers NYX in their stores! I find it very interesting :-) I love online shopping but I like to explore makeup and beauty products before buying; so I really do wish more availability of NYX products in the future :-)

Anyway, this is one of my most favorite products from NYX :-) Some people are a not very comfortable with cream blushes but I started my 'blush journey' with this very product. The texture is very smooth and it’s a dream to blend. It made it extremely easy to wear "blush" for the naive beginner in me! I simply use my fingers for application and it glides on my skin within seconds. It does not emphasize the pores on my cheeks as well. You also need the tiniest bit for the color to show up; very pigmented product. 

The shade "Rose Petal" is a very natural rose hued warmer pink. It does not have any shimmer but the end finish definitely gives you a glossy-glowy finish. Because the shade is subtle in nature, it can be worn with absolutely minimal makeup as well as with very glam smokey eye makeup. Like I said, whenever I can't decide what blush color will work well with my overall makeup look, or whenever I don't have enough spare time to spend on make-up, this is what I pick up. It does not have crazy long staying power though. It does not last more than 4 to 5 hrs. if you are out and about in hot humid weather. But it has lasted for around 6 to 7 hrs. on me during indoor events. The shade will suit almost all skin tones although it can come off a bit ashy if you have a very deep skin-tone. It is also non-scented and has never broken me out. But then, I don't have sensitive skin.

  • Beautiful texture.
  • Easy-to-apply; easier to blend. Excellent for beginner.
  • Very affordable.
  • NYX is a cruelty free brand which is always an added advantage for me.
  • Excellent for girls with dry skin (me, me!!)
  • The compact does not have a mirror.
  • I wished it would have a little more staying power.
  • Not readily available in all drugstores.

I will always have a special place in my heart for this blush as this one was my first ;-) But because I have recently gone through a major blush-kick, I have forced myself into a "restricted-buyer" mode for now. I would definitely love to check out other shades in future though :-)

If you are looking for a natural cheek color, I would surely recommend this particular shade. Hope it was helpful :-) Enjoy....