Monday, May 16, 2016

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Pure Powder Glow in "Myracle" ::: Review and Swatches!!!

As a makeup lover and pro Internet browser I am very much aware of the iconic makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin and the cosmetics brand he founded in 2001. He is definitely very intriguing person and someday I intend to read his best sellers book like “Face Forward”, “Making Faces”! His products are more sophisticated and bear a reputation of being technically correct as far as the formulation of the products is compared against the usage of them. In simple words, his philosophies as makeup artist are far more important than the pressure of “selling” a product! I have never been fascinated much in his products as I think that I am still learning and it’s still a bit of time till I will consider myself to be able to do his products justice :-) Also the sheer prices of the products intimate me!

I finally had a chance to try a Kevyn Aucoin product. I got the Pure Powder Glow Blush in Mryacle in the Lucky Bag for 2016 that is curated by Beautylish. (Read more about Lucky Bag here)

These blushes are retailed at a price of $37. I am not sure if I am personally willing to pay that much for a blush alone. But because I got it in Lucky Bag, I paid much less. Packaging is gorgeous, very robust and the compact has an ombre look to it. My only complaint is about the closure of the compact. It opens up under just a tiny bit of pressure and I am always afraid that it will open up and the product will get ruined. That is why I try to keep it inside the cloth purse that it came with, especially when I am travelling. You can buy this blush from Beautylish, Sephora, Nordstrom and Barneys.

I have totally fallen in love with it. It’s quite a bright shade. I did have a few similar shades from different brands and may be for that reason I did not try it for a long time! It took me a while to appreciate this shade. However, I am loving it now. It made it to my Monthly Favorites last month as well. It’s matte in finish but works fine with my dry skin.  It’s a tad powdery but I don’t find that a problem! It’s a much pigmented product, so I use a fluffy brush and apply it very carefully. I always use light strokes first and build up the color intensity as needed. It is very blendable so I usually apply 2-3 light layers. The shade has such a brightening affect. I think it has a blue undertone to it but I have paired it with nude lips or with bright warm red lips, warm eyeshadows and it definitely works great! It immediately brings so much light to my face and makes me look so healthy! I usually get around 7-8 hrs. of wear time. I took this with me to India this time and this is what I applied on my sister for her engagement ceremony. It held up beautifully throughout the very busy in hot humid weather :-) I also wore the same shade. It shade also perfectly flattered all the bright Indian dress we were wearing (You can check a few pictures from the event here).

I am so glad that my Lucky Bag contained this! If you don’t hesitate to invest $37 in a blush, I would definitely recommend it. Especially if you are looking for deeper, bolder pigmented shades, this line has quite a few to offer.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Products I've Used Up/Empties Vol. 6

Every time I compile my "Empties" post, I promise myself that next time I am going to do this frequently so that I dont have to talk about 15-16 products at one time :-) While this posts make me so happy to see that I am using up my products editing this post can get very mundane from time to time. Nontheless, here is my latest empties post. Lots of travel size of products this time :-)

Ayur Herbal Skin Toner: Ayur is a very popular brand from India. I used to use this toner religiously when I was India. I remember loving this product at that time. But when I started using it since the beginning of this year, I did not fall back in love.  It is a decent toner and it gets the work done. But the smell has started to feel the too strong and chemically for me. It also felt a bit too harsh on my skin. May be it is better suited for hot and humid weather in India. I don’t think I would repurchase.

Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Hand Cream: Oh my God! This was a painful product to use up. I bought it in Walmart long time back and it has such sticky feel to it. It also smells sickeningly sweet. You must be thinking if I disliked it that much why not I discarded it! I can be a stubborn person; the more I disliked it the more resolute I became to empty it up. I even asked my friends and guest to help me finish it :-) If you don’t like sweet smell, DO NOT buy this. I know I am never going to repurchase this …ugghh!

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream: This is one of my very favorite hand creams. I apply it before going to bed at night, it feels so luxurious! I am in love with the smell. It’s little bit citrusy and feels very fresh; its very subtle too! I have one or two backups of this and I will definitely keep using this.

O.P.I. avojuice hand & body lotion – “spiced persimmon”: I bought a value set of this hand set back during black Friday. I love the size and the smell too! It’s not too heavy so I need to reuse it often during the day. But it was an adorable size to carry around in my purse.

Loccitane Crème Mains Dry Skin Hand Cream: I absolutely love this. It’s not a strong thick hand cream, but it is really great for day time use. Especially to use in office environment. I also adore the size. I take this when I am travelling; its especially useful in air travels. Its that affordable of a product but the good thing is that it typically gets included in some Sephora Favorites sets :-)

Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash: It’s a very frothy wash. I needed just a little bit to build up a good foam so it took me a long time to finish it up. It’s a good face wash for basic cleansing. But I do feel it can get a bit drying on the skin! Especially during winter. May be I will like it better during summer. I love Origins products and I typically buy their value sets, so I have one or two backups of these, but I don’t think I will be purchasing a full size of this.

Maybelline Moisturizing Mascara Remover: I bought this in some kind of a deal, so it was quite affordable. It does a decent job in removing the mascara but it leaves a lot of oily residue. This was my second bottle and I am not going to repurchase!

Sephora 2 in 1 waterproof eye makeup remover gel: I bought this out on a whim! I have never tried a gel makeup remover before and this product immediately intrigued me, plus it was on sale :-) I really liked using it. It’s not the MOST PERFECT eye makeup remover however it is a decent one. The only problem I had was that sometimes if it enters my eyes, it burnt a little. I am trying out a lot of removers recently and I am not sure if I buy this one again. I absolutely loved the packaging though. It was such a mess-free product to use.

Paris Hilton Fragrance: Now this is quite interesting! I have no idea why I bought a fragrance from her line. What’s more interesting is that I finished up a 3.4 oz bottle? I must have liked it …ha ha! It’s a light weight simple fragrance, not too sweet as well. It does not last for the entire day though. I am almost elated that I was finally able to finish the two big bottles of fragrances that I have been using for last 2-3 years :-) which meant I was finally able to treat myself with some new fragrances!

Tocca Simmone: Look how cute is this bottle! It was a gift with purchase from Sephora. I love this smell, its simple and refreshing smell. I have way many perfumes samples to finish up so I am not going to invest in this right this moment. But I did enjoy it while it lasted.

Bath and Body Works Amber Rush eau de toilette: I grabbed a few of these to give as gifts at $3 per piece sometime back when I was travelling to India. I kept one for me, initially I thought I liked it but now it feels way too strong and sweet for my taste. Glad that I finally used it up.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner: I absolutely love using this lip balm. However, this particular one might be from a bad batch and it did not feel anything like the previous one that I used. Currently, I am on my third tube of this, and this one feels exactly the first one I used. But this type of inconsistency makes me unhappy and I am not quite sure if I will be happy to repurchase it. Its 12$ each, so not that easy on my wallet :-)

111 Skin Space Defense Bright Eye Lift Gel: I got this in Birhchbox value set (reviewed here) last holiday season: A regular bottle of this cost $ which is just insane. It has a lightweight gel consistency. It is easy to use alone or under makeup. It is an air pump, so it took me about 50 pumps to get the very first product out of the pump that was annoying but later it started working fine. While I did like it I don’t think it did anything magical; especially given the price. I mean sure, it helped not deterioting my under eye condition but it did not improve it either.

Tarte Maracuja C-brightner eye treatment: It was a 0.088 oz. jar and I was surprised to see how soon I was able to finish it. I know it is very tiny jar, but typically a little eye cream is more than enough for one use. It is a very smooth, easy-to-wear eye cream. It absorbs so quickly hence it is easier to use underneath the eyes. :-) I can definitely see myself repurchasing this once I can finish off all the tiny little jars/bottles of eye creams I have been hoarding :-)

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment: This was a sample size included in some Sephora Favorites set. I have tried a few different Glamglow masks and honestly nothing has impressed me. I like using this one and I felt that sometimes it does help clearing up some of my acnes but it was nothing magical!

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask: This is a staple product in my beauty routine. It’s a hydrating type of mask; simple and easy. I like that it’s a clear mask, it has a green tint to it but when applied it goes clear. I tend to use it at least once a week.

Fresh Youth Preserve Face Cream: A very favorite product from this empties bunch! It’s such a light moisturizing cream. I love the smell, quite different, almost herbal-y but not overwhelmingly so! It’s an expensive product and I often think that my dry skin might need a more thicker moisturizer. But nonetheless using this makes me feel fancy and that’s something I need once in a while :-)

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argon Oil: I have tried very little from this brand, but for some reason it is always seems to intriguing to me. This is one of the most popular products from them! I was interested to compare it with the Maracuja Oil from Tarte. I enjoyed this so much more than the maracuja oil; it absorbs very quickly and is quite light, but gives me enough moisturization, especially around my mouth where my skin is very dry. I applied it before bed and it made my skin smooth and moisturized overnight.
However, I was just using it just for a week and I did not travelled anywhere with it. But suddenly, the cap kind of melt off! The glass dropper inside broke off and the cap was melted at the screw area! There were black particles all around the neck of the bottle making the oil completely unusuable. I may still be able to salvage it to use on my legs or something! But I am completely unhappy with the packaging! I don’t think I will repurchase even though I really like the product.

Origins High-Potency Night-A-mins Mineral-enriched renewal cream: Aah, another Origins product! I don’t think it is my most favorite night creams but I do like using it. I have been using a regular size one now and I have a travel size one that I have been saving for my travels.

Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Body Lotion: I got this when I stayed in a Marriot Hotel. I have to admit that looking at luxury toiletries at a hotel surely made me feel fancy! Anyway, I liked using it. It was good moisturizer but nothing fancy about it. I have not checked the price of it but I know that I did not like it that much to purchase in regular size :-)

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream: This might be my most favorite product from this bunch of empties. I absolutely love their “The Righteous Butter” (reviewed here) buttercream. When I first started using this one, the scent was a little strong to me. But over time I actually grew quite fond of it. It’s an excellent moisturizer, very thick but not greasy and absorbs in seconds! I have quite dry skin and this absolutely saved me during the weather change from winter to spring here in the windy city. Also, the zesty lemon fragrance is quite refreshing in the morning to use. I will definitely, definitely repurchase it.

Bath and Body Works Shower Gel - “moonlight path”: This is one of my most favorite scents from BBW. It’s simple and yet very invigorating. I don’t think BBW shower gels need more explanation; everyone loves them, including me. I have been hoarding quite a few different shower gel type of products that I need to finish first, but I am sure I will repurchase this sometime.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Mascara by Kate Moss: I got this in an Influenster VoxBox, and I actually finished it awhile back but somehow did not store in my finished product pile. I love the brush; it is huge and chunky which is not something I typically enjoy! But I love the curve; it makes it easier to use. I did use it a lot; and I had mixed feelings throughout. 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.

Lakme Absolute Precision Liquid Liner: I loved this eyeliner. I have grewn up using liquid eyeliners from this brand. When it come it a pen type liner there was nothing better. I also love the tip. It a thick rigid felt but is very tapered at the end. It made it so easy to control! Using this, I sometimes feel that the Sila liner should have a thicker tip :-) This was my second pen and I think I will pick one up next time I visit India. :-)

Tarte Lights, Camera and Lashes Mascara: I don’t think I gave this a fair chance. I kept it in store for way too long and it almost dried up. Beauty blogger problem :-)

Hope you enjoyed my mini reviews! Here's to finishing up few more products in next 3-4 months :-)


Monday, May 2, 2016

Monthly Favorites ::: April 2016

April was a very busy month for me! First, work was quite demanding. It was fun as I got to learn a lot but 10-12 hr. work days can be very much tiring! Work aside; personally it was quite an eventful month. My little sister got engaged this month, and to celebrate the occasion there was a small ceremony back home. I was able to get some days off from work and manage a 10-day trip to India. The journey is at least 20 hr. for one-way trip and two such hectic air trips completely took the toll on of my health; I am still recovering from it!

The trip was super fun though! I got to meet a lot of family members that I have not met in years! It always amazes me to see how Indian people can find such immense joy and happiness over news of any marriage :-) I did my sister’s makeup and hair for the engagement ceremony. During the first 10 days of the month, I was testing out products from my stash to figure out what I consider the best to take with me to India. Naturally, I have used all these products A LOT this month and they are surely becoming my absolute favorite, if not “Holy Grail” products!

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Water: As we age, I have started to have more troubles with our skin; it has become acne prone, and yet there are a lot of serious dry and patchy parts on my face! Same for my sister! This primer water has been quite the savior! It does not irritate the oily, acne prone areas while hydrating the drier part and provides a moisturized skin for makeup application. It’s super easy to apply, absorbs quickly and truly prolongs the wear of the makeup. Also, isn’t the travel size bottle so cute?

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation: No wonder this foundation is a cult favorite. I am amazed at the staying power of this. The one pictured here is not exactly mine or my sister’s shade but I custom mix it with a lighter shade of Smashbox BB cream. The combo gives me the exact coverage I want without being too cakey. My sister is just a shade or two darker than me and the same combo with different proportion works great for her!  It got a tad bit oily after 6-7 hrs. (You have to keep in mind that it was a crowded family event in a hot, humid gloomy day :-)) And I had to powder, but other than that it was perfect. I definitely need to invest in a full-size bottle!

Makeup Geek (MUG) Eyeshadows: Hmm, where should I start? Similar shades as the colors shown in this palette can be found in many different brands; before the trip I even tried same look with similar shades from Makeup Geek and from Natasha Denona on each of my eyes! But in the end I decided to take MUG shadows with me as it was just so easy to pack and carry around whatever shades I want! I had their regular matte and shimmer shadows (Ice Queen, Crème Brule, Morocco, Cocoa Bear), a few duo-chromes (Mai Tai, Steam Punk, Typhoon) and 3 foiled shadows - Fortune Teller, Untamed, Flame Thrower! These three were the star of the show that day. I created a look with Typhoon and Steampunk to match my golden-green dress. For my sister, I did a halo eye look with the foiled eyeshadows…it flattered her beautiful red-gold Assam Silk attire so beautifully! She looked adorable :-) I am just a little bummed that we did not get enough time to take better pictures of the makeup!

Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow in Myracle: I know, it is a scary shade, but works perfectly with bright Indian dress. I have to apply it very carefully but I like the brightening affect it instantly provide to the overall makeup look. It’s a pink shade but it really completed the bright red lipstick she was wearing! I also used the same shade on me! It’s flat matte shade, very easy to blend and has very good staying power. It’s a tad powdery but I don’t find that a problem!

Bare Minerals The First Resort Bronzer kit: Another old favorite; no matter how many different bronzers I try I always come back to this. Unfortunately this was a Limited Edition product and that is why I use it out only for special occasions! I absolutely love the sheen and glow it gives without being too shimmery!

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop: Unfortunately I forgot to picture this. But there is nothing like Champagne Pop, especially on olive medium skin tones like me. And it also pops against all those traditional Assamese dresses with golden motifs. I feel like it binds the entire look together. I also love how it looks more blended and better with more wear time. I gave one to my sister and she is in love with it; much like I expected! 

Stila Cosmetics All Day Stay Liquid Lipsticks in Beso: My love for red lips runs deep! And I was extremely assured that when it comes to red lipsticks nothing can surpass my love and affinity for MAC Ruby Woo. But I was so wrong!  I got this lipstick in deluxe form as Gift with Purchase from Sephora a few months back. However, I did not like the formula for “Venezia” from the same line last year and that discouraged me to try this out. You may already know that April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I tried to join the #redmylips campaign. When I was checking my stash for red lipsticks this caught my attention! Since then I am wearing it every chance I get. I absolutely love the shade, it’s very brightening but it’s not an orangey tomato red! Ruby woo is slightly deeper and less warm than this. I got so many compliments on this lipstick during the event :-) The formula is thin and extremely opaque in just one swipe! It was easy to apply and fix any mistakes. And it stays for a long long time. On the day of the ceremony, it stayed on through multiple cups of tea, water and one very heavy Indian meal combined with an extreme amount if talking. Every time I wore it, I was truly satisfied with the wear time. Also, it does not dry out my lips that horrendously. New holy grail :-) The only issue with this is that it bleeds a little, but that’s why I love the next item!

Jordana Easyliner for lips in Sedona Lace: I have two of these lip liners and I have been using them for quite a while. They are automatic, has nice firm consistency, quite opaque and very friendly to use. And they are so inexpensive! It definitely helps in stopping any lipsticks that might bleed. I think they definitely need to come out with more shades.

Skindinavia The Makeup Setting Spray: With all the heavy makeup and humidity in India a good makeup setting spray is indispensable. There are a few that I like and I think this one is worth all the hype. It helped me and my sister survive a long hot humid eventful day :-) Only her eyeshadow smudged a bit but I know I used a little too many layers of foiled shadows. Everything else was on point, even after 1 full hr. of dancing at the end of the day.

I hope you all had an eventful month as well. I am trying my best to recover from vacation blues and get back to my regular life :-) So, definitely expect more posts here :-)


PS: Here are some picks from the event...we are wearing Assam Silk attires, which is very peculiar to our place :-) And the makeup on both me and my sister is of course by your's truly :-)