Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Beauty Favorites - 2015

It was so easy and quick for me to pick up 2014 Beauty Favorites (click here to read more) and I am still loving and using most of them. This year I reviewed a lot of products and I had fun doing that! But at the same time these reviews kept me busy and I had very little time to go for products that I childishly enjoy rather than the ones that I have been reviewing. May be next year, I will take every single opportunity to play with the entire spectrum that I have at my disposal! I had to spend quite some time processing my thoughts and deciding my favorites this year. After a lot of analysis and deliberate decision making, here is what I think have been my most favorite and most used products this year :-)

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner ($25 for 0.01 oz.): I got this in a limited-edition set from Sephora (reviewed here). All of these are very gorgeous shades; apply easily and last the whole day with the same intensity and without any creasing whatsoever! Even the black one lasts on my waterline whole day which is typically a bit challenging on my watery eyes. I have been using these for a year now, and it feels like they have dried just a tiny bit, but I still love them especially to wear to work. It makes me feel glam without much effort and that’s why I use them at least three times a week. Even though it was challenging to compile the favorites list this year, these highliners are the only product that I did not have to think twice about putting at the top of my list :-) Sephora currently has a similar set here.

Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in “Intense Black” ($22 for 0.016 oz.): One whole year with this liner! I have been using it at least ¾ th of the time that I use eyeliner and it still has not dried up yet. Its waterproof, has a felt tip that is very easy to control & draw a nice wing with and it truly stays all-day! The finish is slightly glossy but I like that. Whenever I want to ensure that I get a quick and easy wing liner that needs to last all day, this is what I use. It is almost a holy grail in my arsenal. 

Clinique Cheek Pop in "Fig Pop" ($22 for 0.12 oz.): There are a lot of reasons to love Clinique Cheek Pops. Incredible product - easy to blend, great pigmentation and good staying power; incredible packaging - genius, innovative and totally functional! It also comes in a great range of shades. This year, I reviewed a lot of colorful eyeshadows which essentially means I wore these shades to work in order to review them, so I had to wear subdued blush to make sure that my overall look still appears neutral enough to wear to work! “Fig Pop” (Reviewed here) has been my go-to blush for that exact reason! Apart from wearing to work, I have been noticing that I have been picking it a lot with any look; it’s just easy and very trustworthy to get a nice healthy look :-)

Bobby Brown Blush in “Sand Pink” ($28 for 0.13 oz.): To be honest, Bobbi Brown products do not hugely thrill me. May be because of the predictable black packaging, or the steep price, I never feel encouraged to try out her products. Having said that, I have to admit that whenever I wear this particular blush, I feel pretty! It adds just a tiny bit rosiness on my cheeks and immediately brightens up my face; it’s an excellent everyday shade on me. I prefer Fig Pop just a tiny bit more but both of these have been in constant rotation in my every day makeup routine.

Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Champagne Pop” ($38 for 0.28 oz.): Actually every single cheek product from Becca has been my favorite, I am not lying! Everything I have tried from this brand has won my heart. I love the shimmering soufflés, beach tints, mineral blushes and all the highlighters, but decided to include only this in my favorites list. Before this, I never gave much importance to highlighters. But this completely changed my attitude towards them :-) I love how it makes me look luminous and healthy. It’s a strong highlighter, so you have to apply it carefully. But once you try it, you cannot deny the glow and subsequent feel-good. 

Beauty Blender the original beautyblender ($20): Before this I was using a $3 look-alike sponge that I bought from eBay, which at that time I thought was decent in performance. But once I tried the actual Beauty Blender, I absolutely loved it. It makes my foundation application very easy and super-fast. It takes just 2-3 minutes to get an even flawless skin. You need to try this!

Elf Cosmetics Complexion Brush ($3): Yes, it’s just $3 and it is an excellent quality brush. Does not shed, and incredibly soft. I have been using it mostly to apply matte bronzers and I love it.

Bare Minerals Original Foundation in ($28 for 0.28 oz.): I refuse to wear liquid foundation every single day as I need my skin to breathe :-) This is a powder foundation that is quite forgiving on my dry skin and just a little bit of it makes my skin look even. I have never tried to wear it as a full coverage foundation but for day-to-day wear I love it. I enjoy that I can apply cream or powder products on top of it with same ease. It’s not a product that thrills me with joy, but after using it for 1and a ½ years; I have grown to appreciate its importance in my daily routine.

Bdellium Tools Studio 942 Slanted Contour Brush ($11): I have smaller cheek area so I need a smaller brush. I had to search a lot to get the perfect blush brush. It’s such a nicely shaped brush. I love using this with my matte blushes. However it sheds a bit. So while I am not head-over heels on the product quality I love how it makes it easier for me to apply blushes these days :-)

Formula X Color Nail Polish in “Eureka” (Reviewed here): I wore this shade on my toes and on my hands all summer long! It’s such a lively hot pink shade. The formula is amazing; very creamy, applies without any streak and quite long lasting. I really enjoyed this particular shade this year.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in “N9” ($20 for 0.12 oz.): Tiny adorable innocent lipstick bullet! I got this as part of the birthday gift in 2014 from Sephora; I have finished more than half of it since. After 2 years of blogging and numerous trials with nude lips, I have come to a conclusion that this is the perfect nude shade on my skin tone. It’s not too warm, not too cool! Works great with any heavy makeup looks or on bare skin without any other makeup. I absolutely adore it. I just wished it would last a few hrs. more.

There is nothing like Red Lipstick: I am an ardent fan of red lip shades! That is no secret :-), but this year, I could not make enough opportunities to wear red lipsticks up to my heart’s content! J I still managed to try a few, and I have 3 new favorites! Coulis (Reviewed here) is Bite Beauty‘s highly trustworthy long lasting matte formula but it actually appears more like satin; looks incredibly sexy and demure at the same time! Cruella (Reviewed here) is classic cult favorite lip pencil from NARS. Whenever I need my red lipstick to stay all day without drying, I pick Cruella. It makes me feel like a boss! Classified Crimson (Reviewed here) is a new formula from Buxom and while the wear time is not the best, I LOVE the shade. It appears totally matte and does not dry your lips. It’s very sultry looking and beautiful.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in “Med-Dark Neutral” ($28 for 0.16 oz.): I often tell my friends that when it comes to makeup, my philosophy is to have fun with splendid colors; each different from the other! Concealing, contouring type of thing does not interest me much! That is why I don’t really talk a lot about foundations or concealers! I know that as a Beauty Blogger it is a weird thing to say, but I guess I am wired that way :-) Anyway, I bought this concealer in late May! Since then, I have never gone back to my old concealer which at that time I thought to be quite good. This is very light-weight concealer with a thin, tacky (in a good way) but moist consistency so it is perfect on my dry under-eye area. I love that I can use it on bare skin or with any full-coverage base; liquid or powder foundations or bb creams! It’s very easy to blend, does not crease unless you put a lot of it. Very rarely I tend to be heavy handed and I have to set it with a powder.  Also it darkens up a slight bit from when you first apply it. The shade range of this product is not quite extensive here, that’s my only complaint with this product but other than that I adore it (I never thought I will say that about a concealer)!

I don’t do monthly favorites, but I absolutely love yearly favorites posts! I hope you enjoyed my favorites for this year. I know most of these are my everyday wear products, but I do have some bold pieces! :-) I just wished I would have been able to wear them more often.

What have you been loving this year? Are there any launches that are particularly exciting in the coming months? Share with me! :-)



Sunday, December 27, 2015

2014 Favorites ::: A year later!!!

I had a lot of fun compiling my favorites from 2014 (Click here for the complete blog post). That was the first annual favorites post on my blog and I totally enjoyed preparing it. I am currently working on my 2015 favorites, meanwhile I thought it will be a good idea to give an update on my last favorites, if I still love and use them etc. Well, I am happy to report that I am constantly using and loving them. Please keep on reading.

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette ($42): This palette has officially been included in my “holy grail” palette. I have tried a lot of different eyeshadow in single and in palettes this year but I always end up grabbing this palette to finish off my eye looks. All the shades here are my absolute must-have crease and outer-V shades. One whole year later, all of these shades are still performing exactly the same; good blendability, opacity, color pay off, no fall out and great staying power! I, very occasionally I would create an entire look from this palette itself, but with any other palette I have, I only feel peace when I use Naturally Palette to finish off the look! I have been using it almost every day that I wear makeup but there as you can see there is hardly any dent :-)

MAC Paint Pot in "Layin' low" ($21): Another Holy Grail product. I always use this if I am wearing powder eyeshadow. If the eyeshadow is way too thick or very powder-y, I prefer to use Urban Decay Primer Potion but otherwise I use this Paint Pot on a daily basis and it’s not even halfway done(?). I even scooped out a bit in a jar to give to my sister. It may be costly but it definitely goes a long way as you need just a tiny bit. Excellent eye primer! If it’s not 100 F and extremely humid, my eyeshadows are not going anywhere once I apply this underneath them :-)

It's a 10 Miracle leave-in Plus Keratin ($20 for 4 oz.): Absolutely loving this leave-in conditioner! It’s been a year since my last hair-straightening treatment and hence my original hereditary crazy waves are coming back! May be because of that its effect has not been as mind-blowing as before. But it still does a great job in managing my uncontrollable wavy hair and makes them look smooth and presentable. I will continue to use it.

Bare Minerals First Resort Bronzing Kit ($35, Limited Edition): My love for this bronzer is still there. But I am mostly grabbing for matte bronzers this year. I wear a lot of shimmery neutrals on my eyes on a day-to-day basis and I am just little worried about wearing any shiny bronzing product on top of that;  it might be a bit too much for my conventional office environment . Also, it is a limited edition product so I have been very gentle while using it to avoid finishing it up. :-) But I still occasionally use it and love it whenever I do!

Time for a little lip story. For the first 7 months, I did not buy a single lip product. To be honest, I was not buying a ton of makeup either. But all of a sudden since August, I have converted into a lipstick hoarder. I am not able to stop buying them. Does that happen to any of you? The point is I have been wearing and trying a lot of new products which means old favorite colors have taken a backseat! I only get to wear bold, bright lipstick colors only on weekends. I still absolutely love Ruby Woo, Cin Cin and Quince but I have not been wearing them as much I would have liked to!

Makeup Geek Eye Brushes (varies from $5.99 to $8.99): MUG eye crease brushes are my most used brush. Truth be told, I am yet to find an affordable range of brushes that has firm, dense and small crease brushes. Regular crease brushes from different brands are too big for my tiny eyelid spaces. It has been almost 2 years with these brushes and now they aren’t such a delight to work as before. I am slightly disappointed. 2 of the crease brushes have started to appear scratchy and irritating! It was so smooth when I first started using them. Especially the crease brush is getting really rough and unpleasant to use. But, unfortunately I have not been able to find any other brush that are small and of the perfect size for my small eyes. These have the perfect shape and very fitting for my eyes. So I am still using it.

Hope you enjoyed this quick little update. I cannot wait to share my 2015 favorites! Stay tuned!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Olivia Palermo x Ciaté London "The Smouldering Eye Palette" ::: Review and Swatches!!!

Olivia Palermo is an American Socialite and is currently serving as Guest Creative Director for Ciate London. She has also collaborated with the brand to create an 11-piece Fall collection that is as chic as you would expect from something she created. For US folks it is presently available in Sephora and if you happen to read this from UK it can be found at Ciate London website. This collection includes 2 eyeshadow palettes, 4 lipsticks, 2 eye pencils, 2 blush-bronzer duo and a few nail polishes. 

If you google “Olivia Palermo Makeup” you will see eye looks that can be defined as effortlessly glamourous. Very sultry, expressive and yet subtle!  She took inspiration from different fabrics and fall colors to create a collection that can be easily transitioned from day to night time wear for every skin tone. I can see that thought reflecting in the entire collection! Today I will be talking about The Smouldering Eye Palette which has more colorful shades compared to the The Smokey Suedes Palette! There are a total of 9 shades in matte, pearl and shimmer finishes. 4 of the shades has 0.042 oz. of product and the rest has 0.052 oz. of products each. So you get a total of 0.42 oz. of product at a price of $39. You can see in the picture that the eyeshadow pan is very close to the rim of the palette which means you are getting a bit more than the average amount you will normally get. It is quite a compact palette and very easily fits into my fist. But when I keep in mind the size, I cannot help but wonder if a $39 price is justified.

I absolutely adore the packaging. Simple & chic, edgy and yet has a girl-next-door vibe to it. I think it quite fits her personality. It’s a very well built palette. The palette is gold metallic and has a leather type of textured lid. That is quite uncommon and I absolutely love it. It also has big mirror that stands on its own! As I already mentioned the actual product comes very near to the inner rim of the palette; whoever designed it, did an excellent job in optimum space utilization! I love the outer paper box too! It’s quite festive looking! Also, it is definitely one of the smaller palettes with these many shadows, in my collection.

As described in Sephora website it is an “An eye palette with nine fabric-inspired, suede-like textures for simple to smoky eye”. Formula wise these shadows are ultra-soft. When I touch them with my finger it almost feels too soft and delicate and a just a tad dry for my taste! But it is not a bad thing either! Because of this texture they blend almost immediately. I was watching on YouTube and one reviewer said that one has to be careful not to over-blend and I totally agree! If I put way too much time and effort in blending, it can quickly become muddy-looking and all shades merge into each other but not in a good way! For the same reason I find it difficult to create much intricate looks! But I do enjoy how soft and fast they are to work with! In my experience, this is best for effortless smokey eye looks that can also be viewed as “slightly undone”. Did I mention how easy these shadows are to work with?

As you can see, the palette contains an impressive range of the shadows and can definitely be an all-in-one palette. It has a dark and medium brown, a matte brow bone highlighter and a lot of different shimmery shades! All of these shades are very balanced; not too cool or warm. All of these are quite enough to complete a look without any help. Overall I am really enjoying the shade assortment here. 

Here are the shades-
Penny Jar: Described as purple grey shimmer pearl; “Penny Jar” has grey purple-y base and beautiful multi-colored speckles across it. The glitters are very finely milled and I dont feel anything harsh on my eyes. The glitters are very prominent and quite reflective. The base kind of disappears on my skin tone but that gorgeous glitters look so incredibly beautiful and elegant. There will be a ton of fall out if you don’t use any primer, so I always apply glitter glue or normal eye primer. Once you are done with the application, there is no fall out though. It can be a messy shade to work with but I am absolutely enjoying it, and almost every day that I am wearing this palette, I am incorporating this shade somewhere in my look!

Double Denim: I am glad that blue eyeshadows are making a comeback and almost every palette this year has included a blue in them (eg Anastasia Beverly Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette, , UD Gwen Stefani Palette, Make Up For Ever 15 Artist Shadow Palette, Lorac Pro 2)! “Double Denim” is a deep and muted midnight blue; nothing extraordinary about it but can be used for a quick colorful smokey eye as an alternative to boring black or brown shade.

Camo: I don’t have any khaki olive shades so this fills up that void. I love wearing it all over my lid. These are not insanely pigmented and they blend out without any effort. Sometimes I don’t even need to apply any matte crease shade to finish the look.

Mulberry: This year, I have developed a great affinity towards this type of maroon shades. “Mulberry” is superb for wearing to work when I need to feel a little glammed up. This is pigmented, however it still needs 2-3 layers to pack a punch of color. I still absolutely adore this shade!

Pisces: It’s a cool tone simple light grey shade in pearl finish. I am quite sure that this will be my least used shade. This type of cool tone shades makes me feel more aged, or so I feel! But I am trying to move out of my comfort zone. I wore it today all over my lid and I am very satisfied  with the performance.

Rest of the shadows are matte in textures.
Butler: This name is so random! Anyway, it is a perfect cream brow bone shade. Very, very soft in texture, extremely easy and quick to blend! It would also be a perfect for blending the crease area if you have a paler skin tone. I love this shade!

Amaretto: I love that they included this matte aubergine-brown and placed it close to “Mulberry”; it is super quick to create a fast and easy fall cranberry eye look. It’s a bit pigmented than the rest of the palette, perfect crease or outer corner shade.

Blondie: When I was reviewing the “Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette” I was talking about the absence of mid-range brown like this! These are a must have shades for me and I am glad that it is here. It is a slightly cool toned mid-range brown, when applied it appears just a tiny hint darker than my skin tone. Performance wise all these matte shades are quite consistent.

London: I wished they would have included a light black or even darker grey instead of this. But same smooth formula; easy to use and blend. 

I am quite impressed with the staying power. May be because of the powdery formula, I favor Urban Decay Primer Potion then my MAC Paint Pot to use underneath these shadows. They stayed at least for 10 hrs. before starting to ever-slightly fade. However my feelings are very lukewarm about the formula of these. I like the satin, suede like finish and the easiness to work with them. It makes it perfect for someone who is just starting out with makeup or for someone who is always busy and running out of time like me :-)! However, the pigmentation is not strong or vivid enough to my liking. It is evident from my swatches here that these are just less intense! But at the same time they are quite even, not patchy at all and easy to work with. Some of the colors just don’t pack a punch as much as I would have liked.

I used a $15 off of $50 purchase while ordering this and Urban Decay Delirious pencil set (reviewed here)! Considering that and the gorgeous shades with impressive staying power and absolute easiness to work with, I am quite happy! If you are interested in this palette, go for it :-) But it is not something that excite me enough to vehemently advocate for it and ask you to run to your nearest Sephora (or to the website) to grab it! :-)

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank and appreciate all my readers and followers here :-) your comments and feedbacks are always very much appreciated! Hope you all are having a wonderful time with your loved ones! :-)

Merry Christmas everyone!!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday 2015 ::: Urban Decay Delirious Travel-Size Set Of 5 Review & Swatches!!

The 24/7 glide-on eye pencils from Urban Decay (UD) are one of the cult favorite products in the beauty industry! These waterproof pencils claim to be creamy enough to blend out and strong enough to provide a budge proof long lasting finish. Like any other permanent product in UD’s repertoire, these pencils also come in a wide array of spectacular shades. I don’t know for how long I have been yearning for these pencils! Every year UD curates limited edition value sets with 3 or more new and permanent shades. This year’s “Delirious Travel-Size Set of 5” has such beautiful shades that I had to give in and bit the bullet.

And also, this is currently on Sale; check here:-) :-) They dropped the price by $10; it almost makes me annoyed because I paid $29. But hey, it’s a great news for all of you :-) This set is limited edition and is exclusive to Sephora. But UD has another 5 piece set called “Cosmic” (check here, also found in Macy’s) that has some beautiful neutral everyday shades. If you love your neutrals, you should check it out.

A regular size of 24/7 glide-on pencil has 0.04 oz. of product and costs $20. In this set each of the pencil has 0.03 oz. The set originally cost $29 but with the new sale price of $19, you are basically getting products for 4 full size pencils at a price of less than one! That’s an awesome deal

Like I said, I love the color range! They are gorgeous vivid shades in jewel toned finish! Four of these are brand new, never-seen-before shades. They are extremely creamy in texture, quite easy to apply and can be blended out! Because of the formula, it is not quite easy to get a defined line! I mostly use them on the upper lash line for a quick defined yet blended liner. I wear contacts and I fear that the little speckles will hurt my contact. So I don’t wear them on my lower lash line as much but they look absolutely beautiful on lower lash line. My skin around the eye area can get dry from time to time, but these pencils glide on quite smoothly. There are a few eyeliner formulas that never stay on my eyelid no matter how great of a primer I use underneath it. E.g. NYX Jumbo Eye pencils last only for 5 minutes before horribly creasing on my eyes. These were so creamy and smooth that I was extremely afraid that they will also melt and disappear. But, so far, all of these have performed rather well. With primer underneath these stay on my eye lid for 5-6 hrs. and then start to fade. While it is not the best wear time, they also did not make a mess while disappearing, I really enjoyed that. But I would have really preferred a bit stronger staying power. Also, they are a little lightly pigmented; I will talk about it more a bit later.

My biggest complaint with these is that they are not automatic. You need to sharpen them and because the formula is so soft and creamy that it needs a bit more product per application when compared against a thicker formula like Marc Jacobs Highliners. This essentially means that I will have to sharpen them more frequently; I am not looking forward to that part. Also, among all the holiday madness of putting products out in the market, UD and Sephora team completely messed up the color of the liners on the packaging and in their descriptions, especially with the “Zodiac” shade.

Perversion: This is such an iconic shade! A lot of people adore this and I can see why. It is marketed as their blackest black and I really enjoy how black it is. Very smooth, buttery and very strongly pigmented. It lasted on my lids for 6-7 hrs. before starting to very gracefully fade. If you already have perversion in your collection, you may or may not get annoyed with its inclusion in this set. Personally for me, the blacker it gets, the better it gets.

Rest of the shades are all brand new! Like I already mentioned they are a bit light in pigmentation, not patchy or uneven but just a bit weaker; I need to use 2-3 layers to get a stronger, brighter application.  

Zodiac: This shade in the packaging and the website appear as a very vivid, bright emerald shade. They describe it as “smoky black with blue-green 3-D sparkle”. Unfortunately, I don’t find any resemblance with either of those. But it is still very gorgeous! It’s a gorgeous deep metallic but muted olive green with lots of shimmer. On the eyes, it appears even more muted. I love that because it makes it more work appropriate. :-)

Accuse: Yay for blue eyeliners!! I am a big advocate of wearing blue on the eyes :-) “Accuse” is such a vibrant, fun yet a mature blue. It’s a bright metallic jewel toned blue shade with shimmer. Don’t be afraid of this type of color especially if you have olive/tan skin tone like me. I absolutely LOVE it.

Delirious: Another favorite. Rich purple shade with shimmer. Playful yet elegant and I have been totally enjoying it for wearing to work.

Muse: I am either black liner or colored liner type of girl. Brown does not really appeal a lot to me, but this absolutely beautiful. It’s a deep rich brown with shimmer. There are no visible glitters and I have been wearing it on my lower lash line; it surprisingly stayed for a LONG time. I love how it makes my eyes look a bit brighter. 

I would have appreciated a little more strength to the pigmentation for the colored shades, but overall I like the set. I totally love the color range; they are right up my alley. With the new marked down price, I highly recommend you check out this set. I have seen plenty of this left in the stores and it is available online as well. If you are still looking for a last minute gift, or if you have someone who loves eyeliners, this is great little set to give as gift. Have you tried these 24/7 glide on pencils? What’s your favorite shade?

Just 3 more days to Christmas …Yay!!!!!



Sunday, December 20, 2015

Holiday 2015 ::: BECCA Afterglow Palette swatches and reviews!!!!

This year Becca Cosmetics came up with a few holiday set and palettes! “Champagne Glow” palette is exclusive to Sephora and “On the Glow” duo is available in a few different places! I am talking about “Afterglow Palette” today. I will write the whole story behind my chase after the “Champagne Glow” palette someday soon. But, when it went out of stock online I panicked and hastily ordered the “Afterglow” palette from Ulta! Anyway, now that I have it for almost a month, I thought why not review it!

The palette comes with 5 different shades of their quite popular Shimmering Skin Perfector (highlighters) and mineral Blushes. The perfectors are each 0.05 oz. and the blushes are 0.056 oz. Here’s a little break down of the price.

in Full-Size
Full-Size Price (USD)

Amount in 
Value in Set (USD)
Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed
0.28 oz.
(0.05 X 3 )
=0.15 oz.
Mineral Blush
0.2 oz.
(0.056 X 2)
=0.112 oz.

Total Product= 0.262 oz.
Total Value= $38.27

The palette is retailed at a price of $39.50 so you are actually paying a bit more. As I said, it was a rushed purchase; I did not quite pay attention to the price. So, I am a tiny bit disappointed with that. When I think about holiday palettes the first thing that comes to my mind are the savings! Unfortunately, this palette does not offer any savings. The pans are of the same size as MUFE eyeshadow pans, I use smaller brushes anyway so it is not a problem for me to put my brush in the pans without disturbing the neighboring pans. But that might be something you may want to consider.

Closer look!
Let’s talk about the packaging. It’s a very sleek compact rectangle rose-gold colored palette that is absolutely perfect for on-the-go. But I want to state that the material of the palette feels a little weak, more plastic-y than their regular line. I love their sturdy package otherwise. The regular size comes in a very sturdy compact but these powders are so very finely milled that it makes them a little fragile. But the compacts are not quite shock absorbent. There is a huge risk of the powder getting shattered into pieces by any type of shocks. I know for sure that I will never have the guts to take it with me while travelling. That’s where the palette shows the true potential. You get to try 5 different shades for the price of one and you can bring them with you anywhere you travel without the fear of destroying them.

Here are the shades

Moonstone: This is very cream pale gold shade. It can be stark on my skin tone if I am not careful but I definitely wear it and I love it. :-)
Rose Gold: I have a tiny little compact of Rose Gold that I got in another set a while ago. Like the name suggests, it’s very beautiful warm Rose Gold shade. It is very close to my skin tone and so, it is easier to wear to work every day.
Topaz: This is a subdued gold shade. It is a little too strong as a highlighter at times, so I have to be extra careful with this shade. That’s why I don’t gravitate towards it that much. It is also a pretty eye shadow.
Wild Honey: I got this shade in full-size quite some time ago. It’s a very light peachy shade, quite warm but perfect for every day wear. It does not show up a lot on my skin tone, but I absolutely love the luminosity it gives me. Initially I took a little bit of time to warm up to this shade but now I LOVE it. I often use it as a base layer and then top it with a light layer of a different blush over it.

Flowerchild: Another very well-known blush from Becca. This is very peachy golden shade with a strong pink undertone! This one definitely shows up on my skin tone very easily and I love it. 

All of these products are very consistent in performance. If you already don’t know, “glowy-dewy look from within” is what Becca products are known for. I can definitely attest to that! They are very finely milled; very easy to blend but quite strongly pigmented. If you are looking for something subtle, this is not it. But like I said they are easy to blend, hence don’t be scared. If you proceed with lighter hand they are easy to work with. You also need just a tiny bit for each application and their staying power is phenomenal! Hence this palette will last you years even though you use it every single day. It was a panic purchase but I am thoroughly enjoying this palette. It is still available in Ulta (still in stock), Beautylish (for shipping to outside USA), and also on Becca website

I will review Champagne Glow palette soon :-)


Friday, December 18, 2015

My Black Friday Haul and some random little gift-y kinck-knacks :-)

I have a very fun blogpost today! I did a lot of shopping during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and few other sales around that time. I am totally addicted to value sets and this time of the year is particularly exciting. :-) :-) There are adorable and beautifully packaged gift sets everywhere! I had to blog about the ones that I picked up! I know for sure that these are going to be perfect stocking stuffers or awesome little gifts!

All of these cost me equal or less than 25$, individually. As of now, a few of these are going to cost you more as the sales are over. I am also aware that few of them are not available anymore but I still hope this post will be helpful. Also please keep in mind that the availability of these products are as of 12.18 only. So, here we go!

Makeup Sets
I have to start with some makeup products :-) I am including these three only but I got a few other ones that cost me more than $25. By the way, these first two sets I bought in full price way around August-September and I have been using them a lot. Obviously, I highly recommend them.
Bite Beauty Best Bite Rewind (Detailed review here): It comes with 4 deluxe size matte crème lip crayons in a charming red tin boxI have been constantly wearing these since I got them :-) Absolutely love the versatile color range; it suits a wide array of skin tones. And when it comes to formula and performance, Bite Beauty has never disappointed me. If you know of a certain lipstick lover in your life, this is the perfect little gift! 

Price Availability: 25$, available on Canada Sephora, might be available in a few stores (the ones near me still have them)

Too Faced Most Loved Set (Detail review here): I have been really enjoying this set. It comes with deluxe sizes of Hangover Replenishing Face Primer, Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow PrimerChocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer, Melted Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fig and Better than Sex Mascara. This is a affordable set that has comprehensive products all in universal shade that everyone can use in some way. The lipstick is a very favorite of mine and I have using the bronzer a lot.

Price Availability: 25$, available on Sephora. 
SEPHORA COLLECTION Wishes Come True Eye and Face Makeup Palette: This is a very adorable little palette. I am saving this for one of my cousins as an introductory palette to practice, when go home for vacation next. I have not tried it myself but I swatched it at the store and it felt awesome. The colors in this look very promising.
Price Availability: $15 (I got it at $12). Available on Sephora and check similar palette here.

Hand Cream Set

I love them. I think they are some necessary luxury. And as a gift, you cannot go wrong with hand creams. It is quite hassle-free one-fits-all type of product.  Male, Female, Young or Aged everyone can use hand creams. There are a quite a few holiday value sets this year. You can separate them and build your own gift set by combining them with something else Or just use them as stocking stuffer. Here are the few that I found. To be quite honest, I am yet to try them myself. But I know they will be really good. :-)

Ahava Precious Mineral Crystals Hand & Body Ornament: Currently showing a price of $8.40 but I bought it at $12. Still available on Ulta.

OPI Planet Smooth Mini Avojuice Hand & Body Lotion: I bought because it was so adorable and the sizes are perfect to keep in my handbag! I bought it in Ulta but it is not available anymore, but I found it in amazon. Price: 9.95 $.

Tocca Crema Veloce Collection: My sister had tried these before and she loves it. I am excited to try this out. This particular set is currently out of stock in Sephora but they have a bigger set here. Also, check similar set here and here. Price 16$.

Skincare Sets
Skincare can get tricky! It is more personal thing, so I only prefer to get them as gifts only when I know the recipient’s skin situation. But these brands are very familiar to me and I know that they will have fun trying these.
Origins Task Masters: I love Origins. Everything that I have tried has impressed me. I use the charcoal mask at least once a week. This set is definitely a great way to introduce someone to the wonderful world of Origins Masks.  I bought it for myself for when I am travelling.
Origins Superstar Minis: Yes, I love Origins. And I have used all of these products before so it only makes sense if I have a travel size of each. I would highly suggest to suggest to keep this for yourself, for all all your travelling needs :-)
Price Availability: $35 (I got it at 25$ during Black Friday), available on Macy’s.
Jack Black Comfort & Joy Duo: This is for all the men in your life. I have given value sets from this brand to my father, my friends and my cousins. They have a plenty of different set and all are excellent.
Price Availability: $10, not available anymore but check out similar set on Sephora and Ulta.

Bath & Body Gift Sets
For gifting purpose, personally I favor these sets over skincare products. I have a lot of friends who are not beauty savvy and they would not really venture into exploring different bath products. But, I strongly believe that in today’s stress ridden life, simple pleasures like a long- pampering bath session once in a while is very important. It is, for me at least! So, whenever I get a chance I tend to try these sets myself and if I like the products I get similar sets for later to use as gifts!
L'Occitane Shea Butter Festive Ornament: It comes with Ultra Rich Lotion, Shower Cream, Extra Gentle Soap and their Dry Skin Hand Cream, all in tiny adorable sizes wrapped in a gorgeous golden packing sheet. I have been using this hand cream for a while and I love it. I am really excited to try the other products here. It will be a tiny gift, but it is very delightful and very beautifully packaged.
Price Availability: $14. Not available in Sephora, but available on Loccitane website.
Ahava Starter Kit: I bought it at 14$ during Black Friday but it is now priced at $20. It includes Mineral Botanic Cream Wash, Mineral Hand Cream, Essential Day Moisturizer and Purifying Mud Mask. I have given similar sets to my friends and they tend to like them, but I will surely report back when I try them. 
Price Availability: $20, available in Ulta
Philosophy Online Only Amazing Grace Set: It comes with shower gel, whipped body crème and a rollerball; all in Amazing Grace fragrance and all are quite hefty size. It cost me just $22 bucks during one of Ulta’s pre Black Friday sale. I bought 3 sets, 1 for me and rest for two of my girlfriends. This definitely makes a very good gift. 
Price Availability: Not known for this size. Check similar but bigger set here.
Bliss Lemony Trinkets: This comes in a cute little festive package with a shower gel and body butter. I got 2 of this and they are going to be mix-and-match gift. I have had great luck with Bliss products that I have tried till date. :-)
Price Availability$10, check similar set on Bliss.

Deluxe Perfume Sets
Without any doubt, these are my favorite type of holiday set. Look, how adorable these are! And I love anything miniature size! They are nice substantial gift for when you are looking for a simple gift or if you are on a pinch but still want to gift something luxurious. I personally will always want quality over quantity, so this will be perfect to gift me :-)! Unfortunately, a lot of these are not currently available. But you can definitely get similar set in a lot of stores!
Macy’s 6-Piece Perfume Sampler: I think this was the best beauty deal I got during these sales. This as a set is definitely wonderful as one gift or you can break them up and put it into different friend’s gifts. These are very niche brnads for perfumes plus these bottles are so pretty/adorable.
Price Availability: $50 (I got it at $15), available in Macy’s.
TokyoMilk Dark Femme Fatale Duo, CLEAN Rollerball Layering Trio and Tocca Beauty Piccolo Tresoro Giulietta-- all these sets were $10 Black Friday deals on Sephora. They are not available anymore, but Sephora has some really cute mini set for luxury perfume brands (check here), I gave the Tory Burch min duo set (which is also sold out now) to one of my friends and she loves it.
Bvlgari Eau Parfumée White Tea Gift Set: This is a tiny little delightful set. The items are not big in size, but it is packaged very beautifully. I usually prefer to bundle up 2-3 small gifts like this; instead of a large gift because I think this way the recipient has a better chance of liking something :-)
Price Availability: $20 (I got it at $10), Not available anymore.
PHILOSOPHY Amazing Grace Spray Fragrance Mini: Mini bottles, rollerball or travel sizes of perfumes make excellent gift. I happen to have this one only to photograph. :-)
Price Availability: $18, Available on Ulta, Sephora.

Random Gift-y Knick-Knacks
Before I started blogging about beauty products, my go-to gift item was jwellery. Every girl loves them; the trick is to figure out if the she likes statement pieces or dainty ones. The ones, shown here are bought from Baublebar.com. All of these were $15 or less, individually.
Also, candles make wonderful gifts. They look so pretty and sophisticated. The Volupsa ones I got from Nordstrom a few months back. They are not the best-performing candles but they are so luxe!
One new thing that has been so interesting to me are the tiny little accessory tray or jwellery holders. I would love to get these gifts :-) The flower tray is from Umbra.com and the box is from Target. 

Hope, everyone had wonderful time shopping for the holidays and I sincerely hope this was of some use to you! Let me know what you picked up :-) :-)