Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quick look on "ARDENCY INN" Modster Eyeliner Trio

Sometime last year Jaclyn Hill mentioned this value kit from “Ardency Inn” in one of her videos. It had a beautiful medium deep blue, a black and a gold. If it is already not obvious from my Instagram profile, let me declare here- Blue is one of my most favorite colors to wear on my eyes. If it were not for my conventional workplace, I would sport “Blue” on my eyes every single day! I still wear “sophisticated” blue to work once a week :-) :-)

Let me handle the distractive effect that blue eyeshadow has on me and focus on this set! The set with blue was out of stock (when Jaclyn Hill says something is her favorite it sells out like hot cakes!) I waited and waited for that set and Sephora did not restock it. They now have a new set of these “MODSTER Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner” at a price of $29. There are 3 full size pencils with 0.04 oz. of products each. If you buy these separately it will cost $57…so basically you are paying half the price. Isn’t that awesome? The colors in the set are - Black, Coffee and Gold (all are permanent shades. This set will definitely appeal to a larger set of makeup wearers because all these colors are incredible to use day to day. Everyone needs a black and a brown in their arsenal and gold is always useful to add a touch of glam to any look. But if you are a makeup hoarder like me, you may already have similar shades!

Ardency Inn is a makeup brand evolved around downtown New York music scene - read more about it here. It does not have thousand different products but the ones they have are quite popular. This is my first product from the brand, I did buy Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments in “Royal” but I have not worn it yet. Because Jaclyn praised these eyeliners so much I had really high hopes. It was really creamy and smudge-proof. Very easy to wear, goes on really smooth and the colors are quite pigmented. I expected these to stay on my water line for the WHOLE day, but unfortunately it was not the case. It lasted for 4-5 hrs. perfectly and then it faded and started vanishing! It was disappointing. Apart from that I loved the formula.

Black: If you ask me, a girl or boy can never have too many black eyeliners! Every little girl in India back in my day would learn to use a black deep kajol pencil as some very first makeup items. I adore darkly lined sultry eye looks - so black is something I find super useful.

Gold: This one has a gold base and dense gold speckles throughout it. I love to wear gold on my eyelids…it looks flattering against my skin tone. It does not look as flattering as eyeliner but it I do like to have options!

Coffee: I don’t find brown eyeliners very appealing! It’s too basic for me…ha ha! But I do think that it is the most useful shade in the bunch. On my eyes, because it is similar to my skin tone it is almost undetectable. But for a wide variation of skin tones “Coffee” would be great for everyday use. 

Overall, the set is a great bang for your bucks. But because it did not give me CRAZY long wear, I decided to return it. I have similar shades in similar formulas so I tried to be good and not spend my money on something I don’t need. Having said that, I would surely mention that if the blue set comes back, I will definitely stock that up!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Review and Swatches ::: Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette

First of all, big thank you to my sweetheart sister for summoning me to find her a “small” eyeshadow palette with silver, gold, light blue, pink, gold and black shades that would supposedly be perfect for travel! Pheww!! :-) After I bought this for her she was kind enough ;-) to let me use and review it here before giving it to her when I go home next :-) Suddenly I remember our childhood days; we did not let each other borrow anything at all!! We certainly have grown up :-)

So yes, I bought the palette for her considering it has majority of the shades she needed and like a real “evil big sister” I have been constantly using it from the first day :-) At a retail price of $30, you get 12 versatile shades in matte, shimmer and metallic finishes. Pink Champagne is 0.023 oz. in weight while rest are 0.025 oz. each. You also get a double ended brush which is actually quite useful. Compared to other high end brands this is a very affordable palette with amazing performance. I love the packaging. The design is very classy and minimalistic. It’s very compact too! It’s not extremely strong in built, so I will recommend you to take a little bit of care while you pack this in your makeup bag for travelling.

Closer look :-)
The best thing about this palette is the shade selection. There are peachy beige, black, medium and dark brown mattes which take care of your crease and blending shades. Then you have some vibrant pop of colors like azure and heirloom…and then some graceful shimmer and metallic shades that you can use for every day wear or even to glam up any look. I have travelled with this once or twice and it is so easy to achieve different cohesive eye looks using ONLY this palette! It does not even need a lot of effort to come up with different eye looks! I really cannot praise the Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) team enough for creating a palette that truly is “travel friendly”!! Good job!!

For the price point, these shadows really perform very well! Matte shades blends effortlessly and without any fall out! The shimmers are gorgeous too! Metallic shades have some fall out when you use them dry but while wet they are very forgiving!! “Spoiled” is a bit weak but rest of them are quite pigmented. I always wear some kind of primer with my eye shadows. These stay on my eyelids for 7-8 hrs. without fading with Mac Paint Pot underneath it. And oh, they can be worn wet or dry. Keep on reading for more detail on individual shades!

Soft Peach (matte): Very pastel peach which appears “beige” to my eyes. Very blendable and pigmented; I use it to blend out my crease color as well as highlighter under the brow bone.
Morocco (matte): ABH describes it as deep burnt orange and I agree but I personally tend to view it as a very warm medium brown with a strong red under tone  :-) Nonetheless, it is a VERY beautiful and quite useful for my skin tone; I have been constantly using it as my crease color.  Definitely one of my favorite shades from this palette.
Heirloom (sparkle): Such a beautiful shade! A lot of pink-purple micro glitters on a medium purple base. It does not have a lot of fall out but you do lose a few glitters when you apply it on your eyes, the sparkle still shows though! Pigment wise it is just a tiny bit weak and it does not stay as some of the others. Little bit powder-y but the fall out does not occur when applying the eyelids. Quality wise it is not best in this palette but it’s a very pretty shade.
Bellini (Satin): Beautiful peachy gold! It goes on easily and stays on the lid for decent 6-7 hrs. This type of gold suits every skin tone; especially on olive skin tones like mine. I do have similar shades from other brands so I am not very very curious about this one hence have not used it as much the rest, but I do love the shade.
Pink Champagne (Glitter): Shimmery pink champagne with lot of micro glitters. It does need 2-3 coats to get opacity while applied dry and there are some fall out. But I wore it “wet” the other day and it looked incredible. It was easy to apply, there were no fall out and it stayed on the lid till late night after surviving a hot day of outdoor tourist-y activities! I did not think I would enjoy this shade as much as I have been!
Chic (Shimmer): It is just taupy grey, and it looks very similar to Pink Champagne in finish and appearance. Personally I am not a big fan of colors like this but it is useful for every day wear! This also comes handy when you want to add a little glam on your everyday look.

Spoiled (Metallic): Lots of gold micro glitters on Peach base. Pigment wise it is the weakest but I bet it will perform well when wet. It looks great as all over lid shade.
Fudge (Matte): Deep warm chocolate brown. Another one of my favorite! It can be used as crease color and also to intensify the outer v area to add depth to any look. It’s extremely blendable and incredibly pigmented.
Azure (Metallic): Very vibrant blue; and if you scroll through my Instagram profile you will immediately noticed how much I love “Blue”! It is one of favorite shades to wear, especially on my eyes. This applies well but it does need 3-4 coats to get a truly opaque coverage. I really hoped this would have been a little bit deeper and a little bit more pigmented.
Intense Gaze (Satin): Such a beautiful shimmery bronzy coral. I totally LOVE this shade. Applies very well, blends easily and it stayed strong from 7 in the morning till I reach home around 5.30 pm before starting to fade. This shade along with “Morocco”, “Fudge” and “Noir” makes such a warm and deep Fall appropriate eye look; I have been sporting that a lot lately.

Shades used: Morocco, Soft Peach, Fudge, Noir, Azure, Metallic and Spoiled.
Metallic (Metallic): This is such an intense unique gold; it kind of reminds me of “Liquid Gold” pigment from Makeup Geek. It’s overwhelmingly pigmented, applies really well and has the strongest staying power among the bunch. Because it is so pigmented it is a little difficult to incorporate in everyday look, but I do LOVE this shade.
Noir (Matte): Thank you ABH for not forgetting to include a black shade in the palette. Every palette needs a black shade. It is a tiny bit dry but very pigmented. Blends well and stays well :-)

Shades used: Morocco, Fudge, Soft Peach, Intense Gaze, Heirloom, Metallic and
absolutely "no mascara" :-)
Doble Ended Brush: One side is a stiff small dome brush which can be used to add crease colors. Because of the smaller size, it is easier to control it and add the shade exactly where you want. Other end is more like a blending brush with longer brush. The bristles are very smooth and very useful. I am very happy about the fact that I was able to create a whole look with only this brush. The small ribbon does not seem much, but it is actually useful in pulling out the brush from the slot very comfortably. This might be the only brush included in a palette that I have truly love. 

I have been never been interested in any of the previous palettes ABH released. I felt like they have been putting out the similar shades in different variations. I am sure some of the shades in this palette are repeat occurrence too, but they did a real good job in curating the shades. At a price point of $30, I definitely think it is one of the best well-rounded palettes to come out this year. It is a Limited edition palette and looks like it is not available in Sephora or Ulta anymore! But it is still available in ABH website. Grab yours while you can - I highly, highly recommend it!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Day of Fall with Bite Beauty "Barberry"

Am I excited about “Fall”? Hell no! But has that deterred me from trying out new Fall-exclusive Beauty launches? Absolutely not! I am not the biggest fan of Fall because to me it is a reminder that WINTER is just around the corner! I never liked vampy lip-shades as well! But for some reason this year I have suddenly become so interested in Fall makeup trends; especially dark lip colors! Bite Beauty recently came out with a new range of lipsticks called “Frozen Berries” that are inspired by flash-frozen wild berries! Each shade is dark and fall appropriate but my eyes were stuck on “Barberry”! It was sold out online but I am glad that I was able to find it in my local Sephora inside JC Penny!

Bite Beauty Lip Formulas are undoubtedly one of best formulas I have tried. But recently I have been a little annoyed with them; no personal reason though! They have been releasing out different limited-edition collections which they are retailing at more than the average price of their regular products. They had a new line called Butter Cream lipsticks where they hand cut the bullets in order to retain utmost creaminess. These cost $28 for the same 0.15 oz. of product. Their Lip Lab Limited Release Crème Deluxe Lipstick costs a whopping $36 for the same 0.15 oz. of product. I simply ADORE their rouge crème lipstick formula and I am truly not sure if it can get any better! I personally have not tried these new ranges of products but it seems people like them. I am however still skeptical and a little bit annoyed with the higher price of these new releases.

But just when I thought I am over my Bite Beauty obsession, they released these “Frozen Berries” lipsticks. And they retail at the same price of $24 for 0.15 oz. of product. 5 rich fall/winter shades in Juniper (deep fuschia), Barberry (muted orchid), Plum (rich eggplant), Elderberry (deep purple), Black Cherry (deep oxblood)! The formula is called “Matte Crème” which is described as pigmented and highly moisturizing and is formulated without Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates. I personally did not feel a lot of difference between this and their regular rouge crème lipstick formula. The packaging is same dark grey rubberized packaging. Very elegant! The only thing I don’t like is that you cannot really distinguish the lipstick shade from outside. It is difficult to grab the right shade without opening the cap, especially when you keep collecting these :-)

Like all of their lip products, this formula is smooth and easy to apply! It’s very comfortable on the lips and weightless and you get the feeling that you are wearing a high end lipstick! It is described as matte but in application as well as finish I don’t find it utterly and drying-ly matte. You can see in the swipe that there is a very subtle metallic hint to the finish; I actually really enjoy that. I think it gives a different dimension to the appearance! 
As I have mentioned before in this blog, Bite Beauty lipsticks has impressive staying power for crème lipsticks. This also lasted for around 5 to 7 hrs beautifully, after that it slightly fades! “Barberry” is without doubt a very unique and complex color. It is described as a muted orchid and it IS a muted orchid :-) In some light it appears to be a grey type of purple but in sunlight it is a brighter richer beautiful violet. And like other purple shades it does not make my teeth look yellow. I am totally LOVING this shade.

I had a pretty hectic day today at work with some field visits but otherwise I would have totally worn this to welcome the official start for Fall weather :-)… This is a limited edition line so grab it while it lasts…and Barberry was available available online on Sephora till late night yesterday but it is currently showing out of stock. If you are interested I suggest you opt for email notification so that whenever it is in stock again, you get to be the first one to know :-) 

If you are interested, I have done a pretty lengthy review of “Cin Cin from their line back when I started blogging regularly. “Cin Cin” is one of my top 5 favorite lipsticks. But because of the steep price I always end up buying their value sets rather than expanding my collection of regular rouge crème lipsticks. I am so glad that I waited this long for this collection to come out. Now my “Cin Cin” has a pretty little sister :-)


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Clinique Cheek Pop in "Fig Pop" ::: Review & Swatches (PS. these are incredible :-))

I have had quite clear skin since I can remember. But last year during fall, I had nasty acnes on my face which left me with some noticeable blemishes. Also as I age, I can see thousands of HUGE pores on my both my cheeks. As they get deeper and bigger I get more and more attracted to “blushes”! And I can’t stop buying them- neutral blush, everyday blush, bold blush, summer blush…all kinda blushes! It seems to be almost an exponential relationship between my pores and my affinity towards blushes!

And if you love blushes as much as I do, you must have one or two shades from this very adorable line from Clinique. Or maybe you are thinking of getting one! Yes, I am talking about the very beautiful and cute “Cheek Pop” blush range from Clinique. They look like daisy flowers, who wouldn’t love that? Clinique initially had 4 shades, but they recently came out with 8 new ones which are all permanent. I was quite successful on holding off when they first came out but with the Sephora VIB 15% off sale early this year and the new shades, I gave in to temptation and bought Fig Pop”.

These are retailed at a price of $22 for 0.12 oz. of product. You can find them in Ulta, Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Clinique websites and Cosmetic Company Outlets have the older shades as well. Clinique is an experienced and respected brand. When I compare this blush with some of my other high end blushes I have, I do think that you get your money’s worth! The brilliant packaging is definitely a big plus. It’s housed in a glass round case which is very sturdy and has survived few trips here and there :-) Because it is glass, you can see the blush from outside which seems very different and appealing to me. There is no mirror, but as you can see that would have defeated the whole the purpose of the genius design. I never tend to use the mirror anyway, but I do understand sometimes it’s important. The “daisy” flower engraving on the blush itself is absolutely gorgeous. I personally don’t care for extra cute and girly packaging…but this is so cute and yet so elegant. The very small bubbles near the center (my apologies for being ridiculously detailed) vanish after 4-5 usages but the petals in the design will stay for a long time. 

I absolutely love the fact that it’s not just a fancy design but the blush itself is an absolute delight to work with. The product is very smooth and very easy to pick up with a brush. It is also not EXTRA pigmented and just deposits just the right amount of color on the cheeks. So it’s very forgiving for beginners or even for rushed applications! It’s very velvety to touch and has a very beautiful sheen which I really really love. The wear time also is very impressive. I put on my makeup around 6.30-7 in the morning and I can see the blush on my cheeks till 3 in the afternoon! After that it fades a bit.

“Fig Pop” is a pretty shade. I am an ardent fan of bold bright colors, that’s no secret. But for every day I wear minimal makeup that is more appropriate for my work! I was looking for something that is easy enough to apply when I am half asleep in the morning. I was torn between “Heather” and “Fig” but Heather has a lot more pink in it. Fig is a nude with just the right amount of mauve in it. It is the perfect “my cheek but slightly flushed” shade on my medium skin tone.

  • Excellent product. Very easy to work with. Impressive staying power.
  • Wide range of shades.
  • Gorgeous and yet very functional packaging.
  • Good value when compared to other high end brands.
  • No mirror. For some of the users, a mirror may be important.

I love my “Fig Pop” and there are so many interesting shades in the line. Have you seen Pansy and Cola Pop? Clinique did an awesome job on these! If you are new to makeup and looking for a shade you know you can learn with and use every day, I highly recommend you to check these blushes; you will surely find a color that you love! And if you are shopaholic like me and thinking about trying these, go for it…you will not be disappointed!

I am just back from a very relaxing trip with old friends and we probably over ate :-) Hope you all had a wonderful weekend too.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

New Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick "Graphic Grape", "Coral Confession", "Red Inferno" ::: Review and Swatches!!!

Look for swatches at the very end... :-)
Buxom Cosmetics recently released a new range of permanent lipsticks called “Big & Sexy Bold Gel” Lipsticks. There are a total of 30 shades in matte and satin finishes! I reviewed “Classified Crimson”, “Ultraviolet”,  “Evocative Petal” here. But, I did not realize that I ordered all matte shades! As I wanted to share my view on full range of products I placed another order with 2 satins. In my previous post, I have shared a bit about Buxom Cosmetics. It is exclusively available at Sephora. I have been quite happy with the shades mentioned above but these three were not that impressive!! 

Packaging of these are beautiful. It’s one of the broader tubes with magnetic closure! Fancy and functional! The shade names are at the bottom in coordinated color label so that’s helpful. The tube material itself is satin or matte corresponding to the formula. I love the packaging, except that it needs bigger slots than found in a normal lipstick holder. You can find these at a retail price of $22 for 0.09 oz. of products in SephoraLet’s just dive into the colors.

Graphic Grape (satin): I don’t have a lot of purple lipshades. So, I may not be 100% correct when I say that this is very unique purple. But it is definitely unique in my vanity. It’s a deep purple+plum vampy shade! One of the reason I don’t like vampy shades on me, but this one has just the right mixture of vampy-ness and brightness so that I can wear it without being uncomfortable. However, the staying power is weak, lasts only for around 4-4.30 hrs. It was smooth to apply and I was able to get an even application in just one swipe. I love this shade and formula was good too; but I recently picked up “After Dark” Matte Revolution lipstick from Urban Decay. It is similar type of color and I think I am going to favor “After Dark” a bit more. So I might be returning this. But overall, other than relatively weak staying power, I really like this particular shade.

Coral Confession (satin): Being a medium olive skin tone, I find it easier to wear corals. But off late, I am not having much luck! Venezia (bright poppy coral) liquid lipstick from Stila was a disappointment and now this one! This is a very pale faint coral, so I can see it to be more flattering on fair and lighter skin tone. But if you have a deeper skin tone, I don’t think it will be suitable. I understand that every shade is not meant to suit everyone. But my main concern is the formula! It’s a satin finish but it was very patchy and uneven on application; it was difficult to apply and get a good opaque look even after 2-3 layers. I tried a few times on exfoliated and moisturized lips but I could not get an even layer of application any one time! I hoped for it to be a “My Lips But Better” color on my skin tone, but formula utterly disappointed me. I have already returned it. 

Inferno Red (matte): Red lipsticks are very hard for me to pass up on. The red shade I reviewed earlier – “Classified Crimson” had a hint of coral warmth and I wanted a neutral deep red. “Red Inferno” looked very interesting. But it actually has a pink undertone which is not my favorite when it comes to red lipsticks. Also, upon application on the lips, it was difficult to distinguish between this and “Classified Crimson”. So I returned it. But it was smooth, even on application and easy to wear. And even if it wears out a after 4-5 hrs, the stain left behind is really beautiful. If this is your kind of red, you might want to pick this up. 

Here is a quick look at all the 6 shades I tried! Check out the other shades here!As you can see, this was not a very pleasant review for me to write. But apart from “Coral Confession” formula wise rest of them were good! My biggest concern is their staying power. For a lipstick worth $22, its wear-time is low. Also after playing with these for a month, I have a confession to make! I am not really a big fan of the lipstick bullet shape. The curve makes it very easy to apply on the upper lip but for lower lips it not really comfortable to work with. I am still happy with the colors I chose the first time! But unfortunately these new three shades most likely will not find a place in my vanity.  … 

This was my first blogpost covering these many shades of a new release... I hope it was helpful :-)


Saturday, September 12, 2015

BECCA Mineral Blush ::: Review and Swatches of the NEW shade in "Hyacinth"

Becca Cosmetics is a prestige cosmetics brand originally founded by Rebecca Morris-Williams in Australia. They have been around for some time but they have been gaining insane popularity among makeup lovers in recent years. I have only tried their cheek products; all different blush formulas as well as most of their cheek highlighter formulas! And pick any one of these, you will fall in love!

I have been using “Wild Honey” and “Song Bird” mineral blushes for a while and I will someday share a blogpost on them! :-) But today, I am going to review one of their NEW and permanent mineral blush shades in “Hyacinth”! Previously mineral blush shades were mostly light and better fitted for fair up to medium skin tones! I am so glad that Becca added these 3 new vibrant shades - Lantana (crimson), Nightingale (mulberry) and Hyacinth. These do look a little darker for my skin tone but who cares! ;-) ;-) I am very happy about these additions because bright and colorful things make me super happy!

This is an expensive blush and Becca overall is a pricy brand! For 0.2 oz. of product the retail price is $32. I had a 20% off coupon from Ulta and they had a promotional event of a FREE full-size “Beach Tint” gift with purchase with 30$ Becca product; how awesome is that! If you have read one of my latest blogposts on “Champagne Pop” you know how much I love the design of these Becca compacts! It looks so elegant and worth the price! Becca is available in Sephora, Ulta as well as in Becca website.

So “Hyacinth” is a bright poppy pink shade (Hyacinth is a flower, native to East Mediterranean btw)! So very beautiful and at the same time very scary to look at in the pan! Like all Becca product, this is extremely pigmented. Texture wise these are powder blushes and the formula is very smooth and velvety to touch and when applied, it gives a beautiful healthy satin-y look to your cheeks. As a dry skin girl, I love this formula! But because they are so pigmented I have to be cautious and patient while applying. I like to use a light fluffy blush brush, just very slightly touch the blush, swirl at the back of my hand and then apply. If needed I will go back and use another one or two layers! Like I already stated, these are UTTERLY pigmented, so you can get the color with just one application but with this strong pigmentation it is safer to slowly and patiently build up the color you want! In the picture here, I put on a heavy layer so it would be easier on the picture! It does blend beautifully and has a very long lasting staying power; when I wash my face at night I can still see some color on! This is definitely not something that I gravitate towards during my busy days. But if I want my makeup to last ALL day, I use this. And Fall weather being upon us, this is a perfect shade to wear.

My only complaint is that the powder is very prone to crack :-) The formula is so incredibly velvety and light that a little bit of shake or jerk may shatter and crack it up; I will never have the courage to bring this with me when I am travelling! But I am personally going to ignore this negative point because the same crack prone formula and texture is what makes this product one of a kind. I understand that shades this bright and deeply pigmented may not be particularly enjoyable for everyone! But I totally love the performance! Overall with my 20% off and a great gift with purchase I am very happy with the purchase.

Becca has been getting a lot of love from me recently. I have been enjoying their beach shimmer souffle, the new limited edition highlighters in “Blushed Copper” and “Champagne Pop” (Reviews are linked if you are interested :-)) ! I don’t think this love is going to die down soon! If you have similar skin tone like mine or deeper you should definitely check these new shades! I very highly recommend all of their cheek products!

Happy weekend, everyone!