Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Influenster ::: TRESemmé Beauty-FULL Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner & Shampoo

I have an extremely short & quick post today. I recently received two products from TRESemme from their new #reverseYourRoutine via Influenster. If you dont know what is Influenster check here. I highly encourage you to open an account :-) You will definitely enjoy it.

So this VoxBox contains two full-size products - TRESemmé Beauty-FULL Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner & Shampoo! I am 100% sure that all of us are pretty used to wash our hair first with shampoo and then use the conditioner. This system actually reverses that routine to bring back volume to the hair. :-) !!

It's a bit difficult to get used to applying conditioner directly onto wet hair without washing it first. Specially when I consider that hair to be dirty :-) I have been using this for last two weeks and that's big for me. I never change up my hair routine! But I definitely have been liking it enough! 

First of all, I dont have fine, flat hair. In fact, quite the opposite. I have very wavy thick hair which almost tends to be frizzy. So, I am not quite the best person to check the claim about the volume effect. However, I do like the feel of both the products. The whole process was quicker than my normal routine.  The shampoo lather up pretty fast as well. So, if you have very flat hair than you might check these out.

I am that person who always apply coconut oil every night before washing my hair the next day. So for me, I cannot use the conditioner first without washing and getting rid of the excess coconut oil. But I still think I will incorporate this once a month or so in my normal hair care.

Once again, thank you Influenster for sending these to me for review purpose!

Hope you enjoyed this quick little reveiw. I will be back with a new post in just a few days :-)


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Play! by Sephora ::: June 2016

Today I have a review of this month's Sephora Play (check here)! It is a subscription service offered by my beloved Sephora :-)  It is $10 per month and comes with 5 deluxe products available in Sephora and a bonus fragrance sample. Every month, the box is curated with a theme in mind and they include a pamphlet describing as much as they can about the products. This month's theme was "The Minimalists"; Sephora definitely succeed in curing a box with products fitting to the theme! I have had a few of these products before and I am excited to share my views on the box :-)  

TARTE Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30: I have finished one or two sample packets of this before and I was almost ready to buy the full size. Absolutely beautiful consistency for a sunscreen! It does not feel greasy, applies smoothly and very easy to wear under makeup. And  thanks to the handy note in the box :-), I finally know what broad spectrum means :-) It’s tiny little bottle and it will hardly last me 7-10 days but nonetheless it is a good product to have.

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter: Definitely another exciting product in this month’s bag. Becca released this product sometime last year and looks like it has become a definite favorite in the beauty community. I have had this before in “Becca Blushed Radiance Set” (reviewed here) and for some reason I did not enjoy it back then! I found it thick to blend and it remained a bit patchy at some places. However, I decided to give it another try and I am totally enjoying it now! I must have had dry, very dehydrated skin during the first trial. I am using this for the last 3-4 days and I enjoy the subtle glow it provides! I have worn it underneath liquid foundation and surprisingly my skin has not looked oily through out the day The other day with this on underneath a full-face of makeup, I took a 3.5 mile long walk in additin to my daily chores :-) and my makeup stayed perfectly on! (Yes, I sometime go for exercise-walk with full face of makeup) :-) I have worn it alone as well, and I like it that way too! It smells so nice; almost spicy but very clean and fresh at the same time! Very, very invigorating! My only complaint is the pump; it is a bit difficult to control and squirts out a bit much than what I need. I hope the full size bottle does not have the same issue.

I am wearing the primer and the bronzer here.

BARE MINERALS bareSkin Sheer Sun Bronzer: I love the name “Sheer Sun”. This was the product that I was most excited about, mainly because my all-time favorite bronzer is from Bare Minerals. Sheer Sun is a quite a liquid-y product. When I drop it on the palm of my hand it looks a bit dark however upon application is blends very well into my skin/or foundation and provides a very natural warmth! Hence the name “sheer sun”, I guess! :-) personally, I enjoy a bronzer that has a little more warmth to it. I am also not very open to this liquid of a product. Nonetheless, makeup is for playing, for having fun and for discovering new products along the way! :-) I have been really liking it so far! Its quite a small sample though, if I use daily, I can see myself finishing it in 10-12 days.

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Don’t blow it: this is the only product I have not tried out yet. I don’t style my hair per se and I don’t typically switch up my hair routine as well. But looks like Sephora Play Box has one hair product every month and that can get a bit problematic for me.

BENEFIT COSMETICS They’re Real!  Mascara: Dear Sephora, please stop putting this mascara in every little kit you can! I am so annoyed with it. Because of my love for value sets and gift sets I already have collected atleast 4-5 of theis. I don’t like this mascara at all; I mean it gives a bit of volume but it looks so spikey. I don’t like the wand and I absolutely abhor how difficult it is to wash off.

TOCCA BEAUTY Beauty Florence: every Play box comes with a bonus fragrance which is always a good thing :-) I love this brand and I have tried a few of their fragrances before! This is definitely a favorite :-) It reminds me of all the tacky fragrance from childhood but so much elegance and sophisticated in it :-)

Overall, I like this month’s box than last month's. The samples are really petite in size however I can see myself using all of these. Who else subscribes to Sephora Play? :-)


Monday, June 20, 2016

SMASHBOX + Lilly Singh Collaboration - Always On Liquid Lipstick in "BAWSE" ::: Review and Swatches!!!

Finally, a product to write an enthusiastic review for! Whatever products I have been investing in these past few days has been getting very dreary reviews from me! Anyway, today I am talking about the brand new Always On Liquid Lipstick from Smashbox Cosmetics! The shade I have it is “Bawse” – it is a collaboration between Smashbox and YouTuber Lilly Singh! You may know her by her YouTube name ||SuperWoman||, with an unbelievable 9 million subscribers. I have not subscribed to her yet, but I have no hesitance in admitting that I do have a soft spot for her; mainly because of our Indian connection! I feel pride in her achievement; I feel so happy that an individual with Indian origin has established herself with incredible success in an area that is considered unconventional and atypical for “Indians” J, and has gained so much love worldwide!

Besides, Red is my all favorite shade to wear. I remember back in the days when I was so uncomfortable about wearing red. But now I love every single shade of red! Some of my very favorite red shades are Mac Ruby Woo, NARS Cruella, Stila Beso, Bite Beauty Coulis and many more! :-) “Bawse” is definitely getting up there in that list :-) I firmly believe every one of us should own a kickass red lipstick. Every time I wear red on my lips, it makes me feel confident and powerful.

This lipstick comes with 0.13 fl. oz. of products at a retail price of $24. It is quite interesting to see how the price and amount for liquid lipsticks varies among different brands (e.g. Stila All Day Stay Liquid Lipstick is $24 for 0.10 fl.oz., Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is $22 for 0.22 oz). You can buy these lipsticks from Sephora and Smashbox Website.

It comes in a very robust rectangle tube, made of plastic, but very sturdy. I love the outer packaging as well, which actually contains all the information like ingredients and amount of product. I would have preferred if the actual lipstick tube would have more information on it like at least the total amount of the product near the name of the shade. I absolutely LOVE the wand! It’s like a flat doe-foot applicator but with a pointed tip which makes it so very convenient to apply the lipstick, and to get a very precise edge! I have to mention that the tube is a bit bulky so it may not fit in a typical lipstick holder.

Let’s talk about the formula. I have dry skin, and my lips are starting to get a bit wrinkly with age. So, liquid lipstick is not always my best friend. But, I think this formula definitely works on me. It’s a thicker, mousy kind of formula that has been infused with their primer oil complex; I think that makes it achieve such a nice consistency! Its SUPER opaque, glides very smoothly and one swipe is enough to apply on both lips. But it is easy enough to layer as well. Like with any liquid lipsticks you will have to exfoliate your lips. I have worn it on “not so smooth” lips and I saw that I had parts of the lipstick missing from my lips. It was simply my fault, because my dry lips were peeling off at some places :-) Next day I properly exfoliated my lips, and the lipstick wore so nicely.

It is formulated without parabens, phthalates and sulphates. Smashbox claims up to 8 hrs. of smudge proof, budge proof application and I find that to be true! Unless I am eating something very oily and greasy, this lasts more than 8 hrs. Yesterday, it was around 80 F, I wore it in the morning, went out and about for shopping, walked around 3.5 miles and spent about 1 hr. in the kitchen. My day also involved a few cups of water/tea and two meals! But my lipstick definitely survived; it faded around the center after the dinner but by then it gave me 9-10 hrs. of wear. I reapplied to see if I can layer without any discomfort. And I am happy to report that it did that perfectly even after so many hrs. of wear. It dries really fast, feels lightweight on my lips and it does not dry my lips, at all! I can see myself wearing this without discomfort for 3-4 consecutive days. It bleeds a tiny bit on the edges and that’s why I like to wear a lip liner underneath even though it is easy to get a precise application with the wand itself. I also like to spread my mouth open while applying it so that the product gets into all the cracks of my lips :-) Overall, I am very happy with the formula.

Bawse is a deep true red. Beautiful shade! If you have skin tone that is similar to mine, this will suit you perfectly. In fact, I think this is a red that will flatter every skin tone. :-)  I have added a swatch comparison of a few of my favorite red shades for your reference.

I am absolutely enjoying the product and I am so eager to test out more shades but I am trying to control my expenses! I think I will hold off for now :-) But if you LOVE a good red lipstick I highly recommend you to check this out.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Review & Swatches ::: LORAC Cosmetics Color Source Buildable Blush in "Chroma" and "Infrared"

Like many other things in life, blogging needs practice to make it better, if not perfect! It needs rhythm and because I don’t do this as a profession, it takes a backseat amidst the hustle-bustle of life. As I may have already shared that April was quite the busy month for me as I took a vacation trip to India. Coming back, work has been CRAZY! Amidst all that, I really did not have the vigor and fun approach to discuss makeup. I sincerely apologize for that! But I am back now and hoping to create good, hearty content here :-)

Lorac Cosmetics recently came out with quite a few new products - TANtego Bronzer palette (reviewed here), Light Source Highlighters and the Color Source Buildable Blushes! I have a special weakness for blushes (even though I have 2000 pores on my cheek :-)) and I decided to pick two of these blushes!

They come with 0.14 oz. of products and costs 22$ each! You can buy them from Ulta Beauty, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Lorac Cosmetics website, and Dermstore etc. The packaging of these blushes is very gorgeous. They have big pans but overall it’s quite compact! I absolutely enjoy the gunmetal packaging! It looks edgy :-) ! Because there is no mirror, so the lid is clear and you can see the color of the blush without opening it! That’s always very convenient! Oh, it also has a magnetic closure.

Peculiar to Lorac, these powders are quite soft as well. And if you have any of their pro products you may already know that they can get powdery! That holds true for these blushes as well. I will discuss the formula and performance with each shade.

Chroma: I paid 12$ for this at Kohl’s as I had $10 Kohl’s cash! Anyway, this is in matte finish (and surprisingly Ulta website says it’s a satin). Chroma is a medium coral-plum shade. Beautiful everyday shade for medium/deep skin tones. It has a neutral, almost cool undertone, so depending on the light it sometimes tends to look ashy on me! However, despite the powdery-ness of the formula, it was quite easy to apply and blend! It did appear quite matte as well and stayed on for a decent 5-6 hrs.
I liked this, but it did not make me fall in love! Also, I had to return a few of the items to Kohl’s for which I got the Kohl’s Cash! Bottom line, I finally decided to return it!  

Infrared: I bought this from Ulta Beauty, when I had a 20% off coupon. Now this is in Satin finish and it has a significant sheen-y finish to it; so much so that you almost don’t need a highlighter with it! I love how glowy, sheen-y it looks as more time passes. Infrared is beautiful muted burgundy shade. I can imagine deep skin beauties rocking these shades. However, based on the inconsistent performance of Infrared, I am very torn as to whether or not to love this shade. I have worn this a few times now, but the performance has not been constant and you can see that in the pictures here! I wore a pore vanishing primer with my regular foundation but it applied so dense on some parts even though I used a very light hand and it was almost impossible to blend! It wore off sooner as well. On a different day, I wore it on my bare, only moisturized skin, and it applied beautifully; blended perfectly and stayed on the whole day! I am quit confused :-| I am going to play more and check back.

I know that many people love these blushes and the brand in general. I love the brand as well. I respect that they offer products that caters to a very wide range of skin tones! But if I look back, personally I have mixed experience with their products. Don’t get me wrong; I love quite a few of their products like their Tantalizer Bronzer; I like the Pro Original palette and I recommend it to every makeup beginner! However I am not emotionally attached to the palette. Almost similar feeling for the blushes as well! You may love them, but for me it has been “absolutely amazing”! It’s not bad but I have had better.



Friday, June 10, 2016

My first ever Play! by Sephora :::: May 2016

I have mentioned many different times that I don’t have any particular interest in Subscription Boxes. But, I do have irresistible interest in Sephora and everything that Sephora offers! :-) So, when I first heard of Sephora Play, I could not decide if I wanted to opt in! Luckily, it did not lunch in my city. When I was in India this April, I got an email stating that Play is now available for Chicago :-) and I could not fight the curiosity.

Play by Sephora is a subscription offered by my beloved Sephora :-) It is $10 per month and comes with 5 deluxe products available in Sephora and a bonus fragrance sample. Every month, the box is curated with a theme in mind and they include a pamphlet describing as much as they can about the products. This month was my very first Play box and to be 100% honest, I have not been able to test out all the products. Today I am sharing a very brief overview of the box.

This month’s theme was “The Forces of Nature”. It included products that are made of high performance ingredients that are supposedly “good” for your skin. I loved the packaging of the box. It comes in a cardboard package in typical black-and-white Sephora prints. I adore the cloth bag that the products came in and I am pretty sure I would repurpose the bag. Let’s discuss the products that I have tried first.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Kimchi: I have been using Bite Product for a long time. They are made of food-grade ingredients; that alone is enough to make me feel excited about the product. I appreciate this product in this box. It is quite pigmented, so this tiny deluxe size will last you a long time. “Kimchi” is a neon fuchsia shade; very bright, very beautiful. However, I don’t think this color flatters my skin tone. It ends up looking a bit ashy; also I much preferred their Rouge Crème formula which is now unfortunately discontinued (Yes, I am still very sad about that).

Tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram: Fancy name for a lipliner; don’t you think? Anyway, I enjoy the tiny, compact packaging of the liner. It will be great for travelling and it will be easier to use up. I have heard people complaining that because the liner itself is so tiny, the product itself breaks off a lot. That has not happened to me though! It has a nice consistency; a bit thick which is not bad for a lipliner. I like the shade as well, a pretty everyday shade!

Origins Maskimizer + Drink Up & Clear Improvement Masks: I am actually super excited about this maximizer, I am interested to see if this actually does something or it’s just some unnecessary marketing gimmick. I may try to use this during the weekend. The clear improvement charcoal mask is an absolute must have for me so it’s always great to have a travel packet.

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial: I have used their Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial and I absolutely love using it when my skin is espaically dehadrated and patchy. I am pretty hopeful that I would like this one too. My yogurt one is almost empty and I am excited to try this one out.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask: I am not someone who tries a lot of hair products! But somehow I end up buying them anyway. :-) This is a very new brand in Sephora and although I am typically a tad bit nervous about trying new product on my hair, I think I could use some hydration :-) I used it today and it made me realize that it will give me only one or two usage for my long hair. That was a bummer. Anyway, it was an average product, I mean it was same as my regular conditioner, and I am not yet impressed enough to replace that. I will keep trying though!

So, here is the first Sephora Play that I received, I still have not deliberately thought about the price and the value of the box. But I am contented enough to try for a few more months! And then I will decide.

Have a wonderful weekend, guys!


Friday, June 3, 2016

Monthly Favorites ::: May ‘16

May has been a quite a event-less month for me in terms of playing with makeup. I had been very tired from my latest vacation trip in India, then I fell ill; overall I have not been at all interested in playing with makeup this last month. I have not wearing much makeup as well and if I am wearing anything at all, I have been sticking to my old favorites instead of experimenting with new makeup. But nonetheless, here is my most used and most loved products from May.

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette: Aah! The old and faithful neutral palette! I love this palette so very much, but I have to admit that I don’t reach for it often. And every time I do use it, I fall in love with the eye look I create with it. These colors are very flattering for almost all skin tone. They are pigmented , easy to blend, and have good wear time. There is something in these shades that immediately makes me feel beautiful :-) I don’t like the shade “Sidecar” as it causes a lot of fall-out but I absolutely enjoy the rest of the palette. I have been using this exclusively this month (except for one glamorous look :-)) If you already don’t have this palette, go buy it! You will not regret it.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in “Tipsy”: You may have already noticed in the pictures that I have completely dived in summer colors for my makeup. Tipsy a beautiful coral shade and it’s a “must-have” for me; especially for spring and summer. I do use it occasionally all year around as well. But during summer I gravitate towards this at least twice a week. I absolutely love how flattering it looks on my skin tone. Also, the lasting power of these Amazonian clay blushes is incredible. These blushes are very pigmented but quite easy to blend. I love that about these blushes. 

Bite Beauty Rouge Crème Lipstick in “Cin Cin”: Another spring & summer staple for me. Well, it is a always a staple in my vanity, irrespective of the season! It is a shame that Bite Beauty has already discontinued this amazing line of lipsticks. I love this bright coral shade! Very summery! I love to wear it in opaque layer but this past month I have been dabbing this in a light layer and putting Bare Minerals gloss over top of it. I am so sad that these Rouge Crème lipsticks are already gone from the shelves :-( If you are still interested, read my full review here.

BareMinerals Marvelous Moxi Lip Gloss in “Party Stater”: This is the gloss I was talking about just now. It is a very similar shade as “Cin Cin” and in gloss format. I like the plumping feeling as well. For a gloss it gives me quite few hours of wear. By the way this is a different packaging on the picture as compared to the original tube from Bare Minerals. The original was an awful tube, it caused leakage while being shipped to me and I lost almost half of the products. I had to transfer the product to this gloss tube. Anyway, I do love the product.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lipstick in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”: This has made it to my monthly favorites before as well. If I did not wear “Cin Cin”, I have been wearing this for this month. Read full review here.  It is such a pretty everyday color that looks a bit pink on me. I love the formula; very creamy in texture and yet quite matte in appearance. It is not drying; I can feel my lips remaining comfortable during the day. I love wearing it to work!

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in “Watermelon/Moonstone”: There is nothing from Becca that I don’t love. These shimmer soufflés are the perfect summer blush! I love the formula! It’s a cream but not at all sticky. I love that I can wear it on just moisturized skin or on over powder/liquid foundation. These have a strong sheen to them which I totally enjoy. Shade wise it is quite similar to Tipsy but it has a lot of golden sheen to it because of the “moonstone” shimmering skin perfector that’s been mixed in it. I really want to check the other shades in this line but let’s be real, I already have way too many blushes :-)

I hope June will bring some respite for me as far as work is concerned and I get a bit more free time to indulge in blogging :-)

Hope you all have been gearing up for Summer :-)