Monday, July 25, 2016

Play! by Sephora ::: July 2016

Another month, another Play by Sephora! I really loved the June box and (read my review here). I was very eagerly waiting for this month’s box as well! However, I am not too happy about this month’s!

This box is actually very good in terms of value; Blotterazi is almost a full-size product [the one in Sephora is with 2 sponges, a mirrored case is $20]. Ouai hair spray sample and the cleanser is also of pretty decent size! However, personally  I am not 100% happy with the products themselves. I have a fear that I am going to sound like a “Negative Nancy” today! By the way, this box came with two versions – for oily and dry skin! I got the one for dry skin!

BeautyBlender Blotterazzi: Not going to lie, this was the product that I was most excited for. It sounds like a gimmicky product and I could not think about spending $20 on it. I used it and I am not yet sure if I like it or not. I like my blotting papers enough and I don’t have any desire to change it :-) My main concern with this is the storage. They sent it a plastic-flimsy packaging which is not all ideal especially as these products live inside purses for a long time. Secondly, the shape is so different that I don’t know if I will be able to find a DIY storage system for it. That means, if I like the product, I have to buy the whole $20 set just for the container;  I don’t want to have to do that! I guess, I don’t like that “marketing” aspect attached with it.

Ouai Wave Spray: Aha! Another relatively new product! This is a brand by Celebrity Hair Stylist Jen Atkins! This stuff smells amazing. I have shared before that I am not someone who enjoys trying out different hair products! I have thick, almost coarse Asian hair and a lot of the time most of the hair products does not perform as they claim! This was nice! I already have enough waves to my hair so I don’t know if it did anything to my hair for achieving that “undone” look but I definitely like the finished look. 

Benefit Cosmetics “Dew the Hoola” Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer: This is a new-er product and I was very excited to try it. With the overwhelming amount of beauty products launching every day along with my limited budget, I have to pick and choose which products to buy and review! But I am glad that I got to try this and not spend my hard earned money on the full-size product.Unfortunately this did not impress me! It smells incredible, has a thick but creamy consistency and blends very well. However, very sadly I have to say that this is a TERRIBLE SHADE for a bronzer! Color is such an important aspect in any makeup product, especially for bronzer shades; there is not much of a margin for error. It should not be too red or too orange or too grey. It has to have that exact warmth to the shade that gives that sun-kissed look. However, this bronzer actually looked like a foundation for medium skin-tone with a STRONG YELLOW undertone! I am not able to use it alone as a bronzer. I have worn it 2-3 times and every time I have mixed it with Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drop in Candlelight (reviewed here) to make it wearable!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: This is a product that has been on the market for a long time now, I may have a few sample packets lying here and there in my house; obviously it does not make dance with thrill! This time I finally tried and I like it. It is a silicone-y primer and decent one at that. Even though it could not completely minimize and smooth the pore-“heavy” areas of my face - it gave me a smooth base and my makeup did last for the whole day! It is a tiny-size tube but will be more than enough for a week’s use.  

 First Aid Face Cleanser: Another product I may already have but did not get the chance to try it yet! I heard so much about this brand especially about how good this brand is for dry skin. But I did not like their moisturizers; it was not hydrating enough! I am not really thrilled about it, but who knows I may end up LOVING it!

Nest Fragrances “Citrine”:  Very summery citrus fresh smell. I like it!

Over all, it is a very decent box! The products are definitely worth more than 10$; I personally did not like half of the product so there’s that! Let’s see what month has in store!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Liquid Metal ft. CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops ::: "Sunlight" & "Candlelight" review and swatches!

I have a detailed picture-heavy review for you today. I did one of such thorough, long reviews during last holiday season on Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca palette.

I am talking about the new Custom Enhancer Drops from Cover FX Cosmetics! Let’s get started.

These are liquid highlighter/bronzer! They should actually go ahead and rename these as “Liquid Metal” Enhancer Drops! They literally mimic the look of liquefied metal! I love when brands experiment and creates ingenious; but if not done properly, an innovative idea can result in a gimmicky product rather than a novel, useful product. HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT THE CASE with these drops! These are extraordinary. Let’s be honest, today’s beauty market is filled with highlighters! Every brand from drugstore to high end has been releasing new highlighters every day, a lot of which are liquid highlighters! But in such a sea of highlighters, Cover FX still manages to be innovative and create an incredibly unique product with their distinct “Cover FX” characteristic.

You are getting 0.5 oz. of product at a price of $42. That is an awfully steep price! But at the same time, I have to say that I only need the tiniest drop per application. This will definitely last you a long time and that’s why I personally I think the price is still justifiable.

It comes in a small dropper type of bottle; exactly like their custom cover drops. It is a glass bottle and it is color coded to the highlighter shade inside. It looks beautiful – now I have to make room in my makeup desk just so I can show them off :-) I am not entirely sure though if they will be travel safely. I am not brave enough to experiment and travel with them yet. I will rather transfer some to a small bottle for when I am travelling!

Let’s talk about the formula – this is what drew my attention the most. It’s a very pigmented liquid and they literally feels like luxurious liquid metals (apart from the fact that liquid metal will be impossibly hot to touch #sciencenerd!) A tiny, tiny amount is enough to apply on both of the cheeks. I absolutely love the formula but it definitely needed a bit of trial and error for me to figure out the best way that works for me! I will share more in a bit. The wear time is incredible. It will be there until you wash/remove it off! Today I mixed a bit of foundation with sunlight and candlelight with my bronzer to wear on the outer area of my face. I wore my makeup around 5.30 in the morning, came home and did a bit of Zumba exercise and finally washed my face around 9 pm. Throughout the day, my face looked so bright and beautiful (:-)if I can say so myself!). Even though it was super-hot here today, it did not look greasy or oily at all! Also the formula is very consistent among shades; the ones I got behaved exactly the same!

There are 6 shades in this range, I initially picked up Candlelight but the product is so lust-worthy that I had to get Sunlight to use as more of a highlighter! Here are all the shades as described in Sephora website

Celestial: glistening pearl
Moonlight: soft, silver glow
Sunlight: soft, golden glow
Candlelight: shimmering golden bronze
Sunkissed: a light sunkissed look
Sunset: a deeper sunkissed look

These last two shades are bronzer shades and do not have much shine as the other four. Here is a video swatch in different looks here. Do have a look :-)

Sunlight: It is gorgeous gold shade. Very pale, calm champagne gold! In fact under some light it appears very similar shade as moonlight. Personally, I would have preferred it to be a bit more gold as I think that flatters my skin tone a bit more but I am not at all complaining :-). As far as gold-champagne shade of cheek highlighters are concerned, Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop (reviewed here) will always have my heart but this is my new favorite product to mix out with foundation for getting that brilliant glow :-)  I also mix candlelight with it to get the perfect shade for my liking.

Candlelight: This shade reminds me so much of the Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector in Blushed Copper (reviewed here). Completely different formula but shade-wise they look very similar. Candlelight is a pale coppery-bronze shade and is the deepest shade for highlighter in this line. It is a beautiful color and that’s why I bought it, however on my medium tan skin tone this does not always work as highlighter. If I want to use it as cheek highlighter I have to pre-plan my whole look. Especially, I have to wear a darker shade of blush. But I still absolutely love it! I have added it on my foundation to get that sunset glowy-bronzey look. That’s my ultimate favorite way to wear it (and I have declared that 100 times already :-) ) I have also applied it on my eyelids, in just sheer layer as well as glossy, wet layer to imitate those high fashion runway looks! Even though I put on a thicker layer it did not slide or crease away; I am in love. 

You can buy this from Sephora, Beautylish and CoverFX website. Currently most of the shades are out-of-stock. I am also not sure if these are permanent products. But I have high hope that they will restock them considering the heavy demand :-)

I know that I have included a TON of photos but I really wanted to show many different ways of how I use these. I know that all liquid highlighters claim that they can be used in many ways. However the unique consistency of these drops makes all the difference! You can see from the photos, these can easily be one of those highlighters that “can be detected from outer space” (I love this “phrase” even though in reality that is not accurate :-)) But, you can also make it very subtle! I have been really enjoying the “customizable” quality of these drops and having a lot of fun playing “makeup-mixologist”.  I have used it on top of liquid foundation and bare skin, on top of powder foundation, and it does not create any texture/mismatch issue for the product underneath.

Yes, I am very impressed and happy about this purchase however I do have a few warning points-
  • These dry up relatively quickly. If you think you can put a drop on the back of your hand, dot in on both of your cheeks and then blend out one after another, you are already too late and will have hard time blending it out perfectly. I do one cheek at a time. Much easier that way!
  • When you want a strong look with this, and you have texture issue on those certain areas, this will highlight them, not in flattering way! I have similar textures on my skin so I have to be careful. But applying this makes me SO HAPPY that I could care less about the texture. Nonetheless, it is an important thing to keep in mind.
  • My ultimate favorite way of wearing the drops is to mix with foundation and apply a sheer to medium coverage layer! The finished look is very luminous; it makes me look glow-y, happy and healthy! Also, I don’t typically cover up my blemishes or any acnes I might have, the glow from this mixture somewhat diverts the attention from those nasty parts of the face :-). When looked very closely you can see very, very minuscule sparkles all over the face. It sounds “cringe worthy” but it actually looks super-duper pretty! They are such pretty super fine speckles!  
  • This being a crazy pigmented product, one full drop is often a lot of product for me. I squeeze a lot of the product inside the tube itself and then on the back of my palm, squeeze out the very last, tiny drop that is left behind in the dropper. That way I can avoid taking out excessive amount of product. I use my brush to blend it on the hand first and then apply it on my cheeks. For me this is the easiest way to wear them without looking patchy!
  • I love using my fingers with this type of product but unfortunately that’s not the best way for these. :-(

Alright, with all the points mentioned above, I have to say that this is not a beginner friendly product. There is definitely a learning curve to it. But hey, there is nothing you cannot learn when you practice! Also for the same reasons, I don’t opt for these as cheek highlighter whenever I am in a rush! On the other hand, it is uber easy to wear it mixed with foundation when I have just a few minutes to get and I still want to look a bit polished!

I had so much fun preparing for this post! Makeup in general makes me happy but every once in a while there comes a product that brings PURE JOY! Bottom line, I truly think my money was well invested!!!  Have you already tried these? Are you planning to? :-)

Keep glowing!!!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

New Makeup Geek Eyeshadows - Spring '16

Many of us already know that Makeup Geek (MUG) Cosmetics has an incredible range of eyeshadow shades! But lucky for us this Spring they decided to add a few more! There are 9 matte and 9 shimmers in this collection. The pretty soft-warm “sunset” themed mattes shades are what drew my attention to this release. However when I watched the swatches of the shimmer shadows in online videos, I had to pick some up! :-) I will discuss the shades first and then touch up on the prices and other details towards the end of this post!

MUG shimmer shades are always very beautiful; and I strongly feel that they are well worth the $6 price tag! All the previous shades that I have are quite consistent in formula! But to my surprise, all three shades that I ordered this time seem so very different – formula and texture-wise!
Venom (buy here): Without a doubt, this is the best performing shade in this bunch. It is a khaki shade and it looks very similar to their duo-chrome shade in “Typhoon” but it is much more deeper and does not have a lot of shift in it. It has incredible pigmentation; whether you are using a brush or your finger tips, it is very easy to get an even and intense color payoff on the eyelids! It feels just a bit chalky to touch however it goes very even on application, quite easy to blend. Did I tell you that the pigmentation of it is just out of this world? I absolutely love this shade.

Toxic (buy here): This has a formula that is much more finely milled than Venom, therefore it feels much smoother to touch. It is very, very pigmented but because it is smoother, it appears less strong of a shade and may be because of that it does not appear as vibrant as I wanted to! That’s not a bad thing though; this type of shades are best to use when you long for color and yet not ready to indulge in a “va-va-voom”/”pop”  of color! I also like to use my fingers to dab this on my eyelids to get a stronger and brighter color payoff!  It is almost a blackened purple of a shade and every now and then I like wearing this type of shade as an alternative of dark black/brown shades!

Rebel (buy Now this is a very unique color. It has a periwinkle blue-grey base with a gold shade. It is almost a duochrome! I am not sure if these two “shift” shades complement each other! Under some light I like the combo and really enjoy the shift but under some different some light, it don’t like it at all! It also feels much drier in comparison to Venom and Toxic. It has a smooth texture but it surely is dry! It is not my favorite but I enjoy the fact that I can still wear it to work for a quick everyday-glam look!

I bought 3 new matte shades from this release and they all were really consistent in formula!

Tuscan Sun (buy here): This feels so incredibly smooth, when I was swatching these I felt I could just keep on swirling my fingers on it :-) It is a gorgeous soft pinky-coral shade – reminds me of soft corally shades during sunset! It is quite an enchanting shade for me :-) Not very heavily pigmented like some of their other mattes. But for this particular shade, that “less stronger pigmentation” actually works out better. I have worn it as crease shade and as well as all-over-the-lid shades. Both ways, it performs the same. I adore this shade.

Fashion Addict (buy here): About 2 months ago, my sister was vigorously looking for Pink/Hot Pink eyeshadows. While doing the research for her I realized, there are not a whole lot of pink eyeshadows. Some are more corally, some are orangey, some are red and a lot of them are more purple than pink. But I love this shade. I know that on MUG website, it is described as an orchid purple. But I see it more of a true pink when applied on the eyes. Such a happy shade! It will immediately brighten up your entire look. It has the same soft texture as Tuscan Sun, easy to blend and has beautiful pigmentation. Very happy!

Tiki Hut (buy here): Such a cute name! I have recently developed a love for these type of deeper brown shades. It is very versatile; sheer it out to use as crease shade, or add on the lower lid, use it as an alternative for a boring black. This appears to be a bit less smoother  and less pigmentation than Cocoa Bear, one of my absolute favorite shade (review here). But on the eyes, it performs the same.

Chickadee (buy here): This is an existing shade! I bought it in this order, so I thought of including it in this review. It’s a beautiful deep mustard-yellow shade; very unique shade. It’s excellent to slightly warm up your looks! It’s not an everyday color for me but I do enjoy it as crease and blending shades in my looks! 

With Urban Decay Primer Potion and Mac Paint Pot underneath, these stayed on for entire day- at least for 11-12 hrs. But on a daily basis, when I am not putting much effort and time in my makeup in the morning, it fades by afternoon ie after 7-8 hrs of application! The price for these shadows is now $6.00/pan for 0.064 oz. (1.8 g). I know MUG gained popularity because of its incredible quality at much affordable price but I opt for MUG shadows more when I am looking for particular shades! I have reviewed a few of MUG shades before (you can check them here and here). Apart from Rebel, I really have been liking these new shades :-)

Today is my off Friday, and I have crap ton of chores to take care of! So it is gonna be one of those “busy-for-nothing” weekends! What about you guys, any fun plans?


Friday, July 8, 2016

500 point perk from Sephora ::: A Flawless Fit from Laura Mercier!!!

If you live in USA or Canada (or any other place that has a Sephora) and happen to be a Beauty Lover, I am almost sure that you have a Sephora Beauty Insider account. I have one too! And I don’t know about you, but I love hoarding my points, mainly because I hardly see product that seem worth the points! I am particularly iffy about their 500 point perks. More often than not, the kits consist of tiny little products and not at all equivalent to 500 points. The last 500 point perk that really excited me was the Urban Decay Urban Vices Palette (reviewed here). I am still in love with that!

And after a few months, finally a 500 point reward that in my mind, is worth spending the point for :-) I am fully aware that this is not available online anymore; but I am sharing my thoughts anyway because of the following reasons -
  • These are permanent products.
  • Some of the stores may still have them.
  • It is always good to review these as sets!
For those of you who don’t already know, Sephora has a reward program called “Beauty Insider” through which they award you 1 point for every dollar spent against your account. Once you have collected enough points you can redeem rewards that comes in 100 point perks, 500 point perks and 250 point perks. Some time they bring out limited edition 1000, 500 and 10000 point perks and the controversy regarding those is a WHOLE OTHER story!

A Flawless FIT” comprises of 5 deluxe-size favorites from Laura Mercier Cosmetics. It is a higher end brand and considering I don’t have much from them, it seemed like a good investment for me! Here are the products –

Lip Glaze (0.1 oz.) in Tulip: Let’s start with a product that I have been LOVING! The color is so beautiful; it is a very pretty, sophisticated pink shade with a little bit of lilac mixed in! Packaging is very sturdy with a decent doe-foot applicator. Formula-wise it is little bit thick but I love how moisturizing it is! I also love the fact that I can wear this on top of any other lip product in any shade. I have already replaced the current lip product I have in my everyday bag with this :-); t this is the perfect lip product for that mid-day touch-up!

Matte Radiance Baked Powder (0.06 oz.) in Bronze-03: This was the item that I was most excited for! I got their very popular Matte Radiance Highlight in 01 in one of the Sephora Favorites Superstars kit last holiday season (reviewed here) and I love, LOVE it! So, I definitely had high hopes for this! The formula is “matte” and it definitely is matte (that Highlighter-01 is super shiny even though it is called a matte highlighter). This is a baked formula so not at all difficult to blend. Color wise, it does not show up on me that prominently, and I tend to wear this as a subtle, more natural bronze! I do think it will show much prettier on pale/fair to medium skin tone! I am also excited to wear it as a double duty blush and bronzer.

Translucent Loose Setting Power (0.12 oz.): This is another cult favorite product from Laura Mercier. Every one praises this. I have incredibly dry skin so buying this expensive of a powder was always a no no! But I am glad that I have an adorable mini size to try. I have used it once or twice and to be honest, I don’t have a strong opinion. It performs well and that’s it!

Foundation Primer (0.5 fl. oz.): it is a very clear primer. I have worn it a few times but my experience has been very indifferent. It performed average – my makeup went fine and stayed put. But it did not do anything magical. I will surely use it up but not impressed enough to replace my current favorite primers with this.

Infusion De Rose Nourishing Oil (0.10 fl. oz.): This is the only product that I still have to try. I am almost certain I will like it because my dry skin is very fond of face oils :-)

Here I am wearing the lip glaze and the bronzer for a a very simple look to wear to work!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I sincerely hope you had a chance to pick this up? What is the best Sephora point perk reward that you got? Tell me :-)


Monday, July 4, 2016

Monthly Favorites ::: June 2016!!!

As far as makeup is considered it has been somewhat dull of a month for me! I have been using my old favorites and to be honest I don’t a have a ton of favorites to talk about!

Becca Backlight Priming Filter: I discussed about this product in this month’s Sephora Play Box review! I did not like it the first time I tried, but I have now completely changed my mind about it. I have been constantly using it and I am sure I will run out of this travel-size bottle very soon. My favorite way to wear it is to apply after moisturizer, I typically don’t wear any base product on my face during the week ie when I go to work (Yes, I am one of those who loves wearing blush/highlight/bronzer etc without any base product)! I have added this step into my routine and I love how healthy and glowy it makes me look without adding any oily-ness. I have worn it under foundation as well! Being a greasy product I thought it will be too oily throughout the day, but it’s not. Of course it looks just a bit more glowy or oily at the very end of the day! Also, it smells very nice; it is almost spicy but very clean and fresh at the same time! Very, very invigorating! I am very happy with this product.

Smashbox + Lilly Singh Collaboration - Always On Liquid Lipstick in BAWSE: Well, I have to share that I did not have a lot of chance to wear it this month. But this is new and EXCITING! And I absolutely enjoyed whenever I wore it. It is a very comfortable liquid lipstick formula, definitely one of the best that I have tried. I have a detailed review here, do have a look. This line has a ton of beautiful shades if you are interested. 

Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Powder in Dim Light: Yes, the hype is real. But if you want a specific answer as to what this powder does, I may not have an EXACT answer. It is such a gorgeous; luxury powder that totally works. I have been setting my under-eye area with this constantly. My skin around that area has a tendency to get dry, more than often. This sets my concealer without adding that heavy powder-y look and without accentuating my dry skin. It also adds a very, very subtle glow. I will definitely be purchasing the full-size once I run out of this travel-size compact.

So, this was my tiny little post on June Favorites. July seems promising though, I already have a few items that looks very exciting. I will keep you posted :-)