Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bought it, emptied: Sephora Exclusive "Peter Thomas Roth Skinstant Mask Magic" Set!

I am a Sephora browse-o-holic - browsing the site at least 3-4 times a week, even though I don’t need anything. I am pretty sure some of you do that too! :-)

So last night, I was browsing Sephora as usual, and I saw that the limited-edition "Skinstant Mask Magic" set from Peter Thomas Roth was available again! Just in time for me, as I have already finished one mask from the same set I got last year and I'd be soon done with the other two..

First, lets talk about the cost. A regular size of these masks varies from $45 to $58 for 5 oz. of products. There are x 1.7 oz. of masks at a price of $45. You get Cucumber Gel Mask, Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask and Pumpkin Enzyme Mask which are a few of their most popular masks. As mentioned in Sephora website "Cucumber Gel Mask helps soothe, hydrate, and detoxify dry, irritated skin while Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask contains cutting-edge plant biotechnology that isolates and replicates the perfect rose stem cells for maximum age repair. Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is a powerful and highly effective exfoliating treatment that addresses a dull, aging, and congested complexion." This set is a great way to try the masks and I personally prefer this size compared to the regular one as it is much more easier for me to finish them before they even have a chance to get spoiled. I have successfully traveled many times with these masks; they are very sturdy! I find the jars pretty and I am definitely reusing them. Also, are not the color of the masks beautiful? I especially enjoy the fact that rose and cucumber are very clear on the face when applied. So when I go for vacation with friends, post long flight and other travels, I can put on the mask and still participate in late-night discussions and 'addas' without making my friends aware that I am wearing a skincare mask :-) I see gentle but consistent effect from all 3 of these. But they are mild as masks; if you are hoping for or looking for crazy, dramatic and visible improvement within just a few minutes, they will not please you much!

Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: This is the most effective among the whole set. I use it whenever I think my skin needs a good cleanup action along with some strong exfoliating. I apply it and the first few seconds I do feel a very mild burning sensation which I think I enjoy. I generally keep it for 15-20 minutes and rinse while rubbing gently. My skin immediately feels smooth. I do agree, that I can still see a bit of dry flakes here and there but then again, I have extremely dry skin. The mask makes my skin feel so so refreshing and free of all the gunk and dirt. I LOVE it. The grits in this are very fine so it does not harm your skin in the name of exfoliating!

Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Gel Mask: As it is evident from the name, the texture of the mask is like jelly so it is pretty easy to put on. Like I said, it is clear when applied. If my skin is feeling rough and dry, dehydrated I use this as rejuvenating mask. I used to travel quite a lot and whenever I have air travel, I would use this the night before! It surely helps in tackling the dry skin following air travel.

Cucumber Gel Mask: As mentioned in the website, Cucumber and Rose masks have different purposes! But apart from their smell (which is very light) I don’t feel much of a difference between these two. The Rose one may be slightly heavier than the cucumber one. This one is definitely my most used one. It is very light so its simple enough for me to incorporate this once or twice a week in my skincare routine. 

I first started using them during last summer and I did not really notice a “WOW” performance during summer. I have been regularly including these in my skincare and I have to say that now I love using them, specially during the winter. I truly believe the rose and cucumber masks really helped me survive the brutal Chicago winter. In short, I adore these masks and I have already repurchased! Here are my brand new ones ;-)

Remember, they are limited-edition and Sephora exclusive :-) If you are interested grab one while it is still available! :-) 


Monday, June 22, 2015

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Palette Volume 2 – Artistic ::: Review and Swatches!!!

I love Make Up For Ever (MUFE) as a brand. I have just a few products from them, but, I find such sincerity and professionalism from these products, and from the brand itself. They have a wide range of shades in almost every product they offer. Also, as an engineer, I enjoy the fact that they use numbers for their product's shade-names :-) Of late, they have been bringing out a lot of new and reformulated products! Currently, I am very intrigued by the new pro bronzers! But, I may already have too many bronzers! :-)

So, let’s talk about the products that I did buy. MUFE reformulated their eyeshadow line a while back, and everyone in the makeup community went ballistic over them! They became very popular instantly. They are expensive, even if I consider the enormous pan size, and I have been hesitating to try. But, these two very new palettes were made available online on Sephora just before their Spring Beauty Insider sale (15% off for VIB/Rouge) ended. As someone enthusiastic about bright colors, I obviously picked up Artist-Shadows 2 (9 Artist Shadow Palette).

The packaging is very nice. It is a cardboard palette but very well built. I like the square-ish size too; it’s unique in my collection. The palette is heavy and strong, and I love that! The pattern on the cover is very intriguing - it’s bold, bright and very artsy! The mirror is good too. Overall, I am loving the packaging now even though it might develop stains.

It is an excellent value limited-edition palette! At a retail price of $42,there are a total of 9 shades in 3 x 3 rows with 1.8 g (0.06 oz.) of product in each pan. Their regular single artist shadow is $21 for 0.07 oz. of product. Basically, for the price of 2 single shadows you get to try 9 different shades that are just 0.01 oz. less. With the 15%, I paid $35.70 before the tax. If you are a fan of colors, you should try this palette.  There are 3 very pale neutrals, 2 extremely bold colors, 1 gold and 3 intriguing dark colors. MUFE has 5 different finishes; all of these colors are either Satin, Iridescent, Diamond or Metallic. There are no matte shades!

I heard so much about these shadows that I guess it made me have way much hope for them! I thought they will stick to my eyelids like glue…ha ha! I have been wearing these for quite some days now and they are really really good. Very pigmented, easy to blend and good to work with. The staying power is strong too. I guess I expected to not want to use anything else after using these shadows :-) But, unfortunately, I did not get that “Oh My God; these are UNBELIEVABLE” feel! It takes me around 12 hours to be back home since I apply my makeup in the morning. These shadows start to fade on me around the 10 hr mark. So, the staying power is really good. Even though they are shimmery metallic shades, they DON’T HAVE any fall out. That's awesome. The other day I wore "Peacock" on my upper lash line as a liner, and I had to go for a 4 hrs long field visit to a refinery. My liner completely vanished; may be because of the humid conditions inside the refinery. It might also be because it was a rushed work-day application by me. Either way, it kind of made me sad. I used the shadows with other primers during weekends while taking my time in doing my makeup and it stayed on my lid for the whole day. I really do love the quality of them!

I-872 (Pearly Pink; Iridescent finish): It is a very soft pale champagne pink with microscopic shimmer. Very very beautiful and shiny. I wear it on my entire lid; a little something in my everyday work-eye look.
D-552 (Crystalline Gray Beige; Diamond finish): I don’t know how to describe this shade, :-). It looks like a pale taupe-y beige (I know it’s a horrible description) and it’s unique in my stash. It is in diamond finish so it is more metallic with some shimmer. I love to wear it on my inner corner or all over my lid; it’s easier that way.
ME-512 (Golden Beige; Metallic finish): This one is much yellower! I love it. Also, even though these shadows are mostly on the paler side but I can still use these 3 on my medium skin tone and make it look appropriate for everyday use :-)
Honestly speaking, once these 3 shades are on my lid, I can’t really distinguish one from the other, or I may have not found enough time to observe, and appreciate in leisure. Typically, I ignore lighter shades in any palette; but I like and use all 3 of them.

ME-700 (Amber; Metallic Finish): I have special affinity for gold eyeshadows. I think gold looks beautiful and very flattering on tan/medium skin tone. Amber is a pale gold and has brown hint in it and very shiny-glittery. I love to wear it on its own or tie it together with the darker shades in the third row.
ME-910 (Electric Magenta; Mettalic Finish): Ooh, that hot pink! I don’t know if I would ever wear this on my lid but it’s so different for me, and I like different. It is a blush shade. It looks very bold and frightening in the palette, and it is pigmented but may be because of its unique texture it does not come across that pigmented when applied, and it is a good thing. I do not need extra carefulness while using the color. I have used it as a blush, and it’s actually very easy to wear. You need just a bit and is easy to blend; I was very scared otherwise. I wore it around 7 am and  it stayed till 3-3.30 pm, very beautifully!
ME-232 (Turquoise Blue; Metallic Finish): I love blue as a color! Navy, Teal, Cobalt, Sky Blue; I love every single shade! This is also not any exception. I see it as teal tiny sparkles on pale sky-blue bed. It is definitely a fun, daring shade of blue and not easy to wear without getting noticed. I love to use it on my lower lash line!  

This is undoubtedly my most favorite row. I love how the colors are bold, strong and exciting, yet they can be worked into an everyday work appropriate look.

S-924 (Purple; Satin Finish): Another shade to be used as blush. Extremely scary to look at, in the pan. But I believe it can still be controlled, I have not used it as blush yet. I did use this as crease color for purple eye-looks, shown here and I love it.
ME-302 (Peacock; Metallic Finish): From my research, I understand that this is one of the most loved shades from MUFE. It’s a deep dark green with a brown base duo-chrome, kinda like my car! :-) :-) It’s very sheeny and very very smooth and bouncy to touch!. It’s so dark and deep that it looks like a deep neutral shade which makes it daytime wearable. I love applying it on my lash-line. I also enjoy that I can go full-on glamour and create a smokey look whenever I want, with this shade :-)
ME-930 (Black Purple; Metallic Finish) : Like Peacock, it is also very soft, squishy, and has a velvety feel to it. I love it. It’s a very deep, dark and shiny purple; almost like a deep eggplant. Perfect for creating a smokey look or to wear on your upper and lower lash-line or in your Outer-V corner. There are so many possibilities!!

  1. Excellent value.
  2. Sturdy packaging.
  3. Easy to wear, blend out and overall good quality.
  4. The blush option is a nice touch if you are on the go.
  1. No matte shades.
Comparing to what I had hoped for, I am not head over heels impressed by the shadows, just yet! I am still experimenting and I am hoping to be MADLY in love with them the more I use these. I will still like to reiterate that it is an excellent value, pigmented and long wearing; there is no doubt about it! If you are still wanting to try MUFE shadows, or if you are trying to add some colors into your eyeshadow-wardrobe, go pick it up while it is still available You will not regret it.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Influenster: BellaVoxBox

I am not the biggest fan of subscription boxes. Not that I have tried many, but I like to have utmost control over a very few things in life. Choosing what beauty products to try is definitely one of those things! I love watching subscription unwrapping videos on YouTube, but I already collect so many samples from my beauty purchases that there is not much sense for me to get any subscription boxes. Also, I don't like how you can get completely ransom stuff even though you have edited your profile meticulously. To keep it short, "Subscription Box" isn't for me!

I will have to admit that I do not recollect when and how I decided to try out Influenster. It must be a very boring day in between my on-site projects :-) ! Also, the fact that Influenster sends these free of cost to be reviewed by the consumer peaked my interest. So I filled out my profile and just a few weeks thereafter got picked up for "BellaVoxBox". I was absolutely thrilled after I watched the YouTube sneak peak! There is chocolate and a red lipstick; what more a girl wants!!

The chocolate did not last long as expected, but I have had the chance to use the other products for last few weeks...Here are my thoughts!

RIMMEL LONDON Lasting Finish Lipstick-Kate Moss Collection in 01: I love Red Lipstick; that's no secret. This is an extremely loved red shade from RimmelLondon. I always wanted to try it; but did not buy it myself as I have way too many reds! It made me extremely happy when I learn that could get my hands on it free of cost! This is very very easy on the lips; it's creamy and yet does not bleed. Some bold shade of lipsticks get heavy and drying with time but this remained pretty comfortable for at least 5-6 hrs. And it wears down beautifully and quite evenly! The shade is very bright warm red. Its perfect for summer! :-) I love it and would happily repurchase if I ever can finish this tube.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Mascara by Kate in 004 Eye Rock Jet Black: I ma not sure if this is a new product from Rimmel London! I have been using this quite a lot; and I have mixed feelings. It gives me nice, flattering, very natural looking lashes which I really enjoy. But it does flake during some days and transfers to my under-eye area from time to time. Otherwise, I do enjoy the natural look it gives to me. Overall, I do not think I am going to repurchase it.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs in Medium: This is a product that I would have never tried on my own. I have medium skin tone and I just use a bit of illuminating cream if I am feeling extra fancy. That with my natural body color makes my legs firm and decently toned. I have tried it and its a very useful product for those of you who wants to look tan during the summer months. It sets within a few minutes and does not transfer to the clothes, and it gives a very even toned out look to the legs. And its affordable too!

Not Your Mother's Deja Vu 'Do Style Extender: This is a new product and its main idea is to lock the oil in your scalp and keep your hair oil free so that you can elongate the time between you washing your hair. This definitely helps in restraining my hair from getting super oily between washes. It also has a strong fruity smell which does not linger a lot and it does not bother me much, but I am not a fan either. Also, I don't get my hair to shine if I use this. I currently use 'Its a 10' product and I love that. So while I will still happily finish this tube, I don't think I will repurchase.

Ecotools Complexion Collection Mattifying Finish Brush: It's a VERY soft brush ! I have used it with Rimmel Stay Matte powder and it is a decent brush. I don't know what exactly they mean about being "matte finish" :-), I don't find any difference with other powder brushes. I have used it for Tarte blushes too! I wish it is a tad bit denser though, so I am not sure if I would pay full price for this one. But I am always willing to try new brushes and I am glad that I got this for free! It is an OK brush; overall! And I love the beautiful packet it came in. 

Dove Chocolate covered Blueberries: Chocolate and blueberries; there is nothing more to say. I finished it within a few hrs of receiving the parcel.

Let me repeat that I got this box for free to review from Influenster. Check their website at if you are interested. My first experience with their VoxBox has been nice. I love the box and I would definitely use the products... Looking forward to more surprises :-)


P.S: I am pretty excited about sharing two blogposts in two days :-) Make Up For Ever Artist Palette 2 to follow :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I have been shopping ::: Sephora + Random Haul

Remember the Sephora Sale that happened, like a decade ago!? Yes, I am talking about the Sephora VIB Sale, Spring 2015! I bought a few things and now a million years later, I am finally able to sit down and blog! This may be the very first haul post up on "Discovering Me".

If you have been a regular visitor of this blog, you may already know that I am a field engineer which means I travel, a lot, for work. One of the many "perks" (pun intended!) of having a travel job is the unpredictable schedules. I had a few projects in Florida which forced me to move there for a brief while. There has also been a significant change in my professional life as well which I have every intent to share here when the time is right.

In short; life has been utterly busy with a lot of decision making in the past couple of months. I have had very little time for peaceful blogging; even less time to play with makeup. But that did not keep me from buying more know for blogging purposes :-) And how can you pass up on 15% Sephora sale!? Apart from that, there are a few purchases that has been stress induced! There are a few limited edition sets as well, that I bought with the hope of sharing my view on them with you. 

Anyway, I am finally back now and had the chance to lay them down and take pictures. So, thank you for sticking with me through my rant. Let's get to the haul now!    

MAKEUP FOREVER Palette Volume 2 – Artistic ($42): Generally I do my research with due diligence before buying any beauty product. But this popped up in the Sephora website just before the sale was supposed to end. I have always wanted to try MUFE eyeshadows, but they are so pricey! I am so glad that I waited long enough for this palette to come along.

This is a LE palette that they name "Palette Volume 2"; "Palette Volume 1" is all neutral shades. There are a total 0.54 oz of product with 9 shades which are just a little bit smaller than their regular line. So, this is an incredible value palette. It has 4 neutral-hued shades and rest are fun bright colors including 2 very bold fun colors. There are no matte shades though...all of them are iridescent or metallic. I have been playing with the shadows slowly and I really really like it so far, and it is still available in Sephora!

ORIGINS Energy Boosting Bests ($39.50): I really LOVE the Charcoal Mask from Origins and I have been wanting to try out some more products from them! This set caught my attention. This contains  a Super size GinZing™ Energy boosting moisturizer, Clear Improvement™ Active charcoal mask, No Puffery™ Cooling roll-on, Modern Friction™ Nature’s gentle dermabrasion and 100% recycled cotton tote. The moisturizer is retailed at $29.50 for 2.5 oz. of product so this is definitely of wonderful value, and I am excited to try these. Also the tiny tote bag makes the whole kit much more appealing to me :-)

BEAUTYBLENDER Two Original Beautyblenders & Liquid Blendercleanser ($39.95): I have never tried BeautyBlender. When I saw this set, I could not contain my greed :-) It comes with 2 beautyblenders and a 5 oz. cleaner. I have used the bender just once or twice and I have slowly started to fall in love. I will play around more and share my experience soon!

SEPHORA Favorites Beauty on the Fly The Ultimate Travel Bag Face, Body & Hair ($42): I bought this after the sale :-) Sephora Favorites are really some of my favorites. This particular one is definitely one of the best set that Sephora has curated in a while. It includes the following:

- Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser 
- First Aid Beauty® Face Cleanser 
- Kate Somerville® ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment 
- Ole Henriksen® Truth Serum Collagen Booster 
- Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream 
- Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream 
- Glamglow® Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment 
- Vita Liberata Neroli & Argan Milk Broad Spectrum SPF 50 
- Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Sweet Citrus 
- Living Proof® Perfect Hair Day™ Shampoo and Conditioner 
- Alterna Caviar CC Cream for Hair and Travel bag

The Ole Henrikson serum and the Kate somerville cleanser are so expensive that they alone make up for the price of this set. All the other items are also of generous size. I love the Face Cream from Fresh, my mom loves the serum and I am pretty excited to try all the other products.

In the past too, I bought many skincare kits! I use them up and 90% of the time, I love them. But I never got around to blogging about all of them! Skincare takes a lot of time to review and I don't really mix up my skincare products that often. So, by the time I use them and form an opinion, the set gets sold out.

CLINIQUE Cheek Pop Blushes ($21): This is another product that I have been eyeing for a long time now. They have come out with a whole lot of new shades and I had to pick one up during the sale. I got "Fig Pop" which shows up as a very subtle nudish shade with a hint of mauve/pink on my medium/tan skintone. This is the only product out of this haul, that I have been trying and using almost everyday. It is creamy, easy to wear and has a sheen without being very obvious. I am also impressed with the staying power. Needless to say, I am very happy with this purchase. A week ago, I found "Berry Pop" which is one of their older shades, at The Cosmetics Company Outlet near me at just $15, you know I had to grab it. The pretty packaging also makes them very cute in my vanity. 

BECCA "Best of Becca" Cosmetics ($34.50): Yes, another value set. This is exclusive to Ulta and it is very aptly named as "Best of Becca"! It first appeared early this year and then was sold out. So, when I saw this reappearing, I immediately got it. I already have the guava Beach Tint but I completely trust Becca when it comes to cheek product and this set has some of the best products they make. So, I don't mind having a backup. I have used the Beach Souffle and the moonstone highlighter. I am in complete awe of the souffle. Such a delightful product to use!

I have slowly started to try out these product, and should be able to share my thoughts pretty soon, one by one :-) Please share below if you picked up anything from the sale and what you have been loving so far :-) I am always interested in learning about new products :-)

Stay tuned!!!