Sunday, April 30, 2017

TARTE COSMETICS Shape Tape Contouring Concealer in TAN SAND

I almost feel shy posting this review. Everybody has already about this Shape Tape Contour Concealer from Tarte Cosmetics any many months ago! It was (and may still is) so hyped! Plus, beauty community has already moved on to the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer. But I have my own reasons for not being able to keep up with these new releases! Companies are releasing new products every single day! I am a full-time Engineering Professional and I can manage to blog only when I have some spare time. Secondly, it takes me a lot of conviction to venture out and buy new concealer :-)

Anyway, better late than never! I finally picked this up during last December when I had a 20% off coupon from Ulta. Here’s what I think –

Price & Packaging: This will cost you $25 for  0.34 oz. of product. It is very comparable to lot of concealers from similar high-end brands. You need just a little bit so this will last you a long time. 
The size of this tube initially scared me! It is huge! Almost double than the Naked Skin Concealer by Urban Decay. Obviously, the wand is also quite huge. I need to scrape off some of the product on the inside edge of the tube to get the least amount on the wand. It is a Vegan, Cruelty Free product as well. You can buy this from Tarte Cosmetics & Ulta. It is a little bit difficult to get a hold of.

Weartime & Quality: Personally, I don’t like to use base products that are thick in consistency. But I also quite enjoy wearing crazy bright eyeshadows, I totally understand the value of good under eye concealer. This has quite a thick but also liquid-y consistency. It is very easy to blend but if my under-eye areas are very dry it has the tendency to cling on to dry patches. Because of the thick and tacky consistency, it needs a powder to set it in. I use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light.
Lately I have been using it on the center of my nose; it gives me a tiny bit of definition without having to contour (I don’t really know how to contour but that’s a whole other story). It is named as “Shape Tape Contouring Concealer” so it is meant for contouring as well. But I have not tried contouring with it full scale.

Back to the weartime, if I have managed to keep my under-eye area hydrated before after applying this & I set it nicely, this stays on till I remove at night. I have a few fine lines under my eye and the area around those starts to break up till the later part of the day. But it is something that always happens with me. I have not yet used on my blemishes though! 

There are 2 main points I want to share about this concealer –
  • I absolutely LOVE to use this when I am reviewing new products and taking picture for the blog. I love colourful makeup, so with full face of makeup this concealer looks absolutely perfect. I don’t think my under-eye discoloration is too bad but this completely covers what I have. I must use this with beauty blender; the blender helps in toning down the thickness otherwise it can get too thick and cakey for my dry skin.
  • But I also really DON’T LIKE the product because there is no way I can use it without wearing foundation. I don’t wear foundation for my day-to-day makeup to work. I just don’t. But I do wear concealer! I love wearing Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer because I can use it without having to apply foundation, it does not look weird at all. This however is so full coverage that it looks quite odd and too obvious on a just moisturized, bare face. So I am sad that I will not be able to wear it on my every day routine!

Shade: Tarte always does a good job with their shade selection. They now have 14 shades with 4 of them being relatively newer shades. I have “Tan Sand” which is one of the new shades. The sales associate in Ulta told me to get Tan but I wanted to get one of the new shades. In retrospect “Tan” would have been a better match for my skintone. This shade has just a bit more yellow in it. Here is a comparison of Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer and Tarte Shape Tape side by side.

This is the first ever concealer review in this blog and it is the third ever concealer that I have tried. I love color cosmetics – eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks, highlighters; they excite me, inspire to create different looks. I don’t have perfect skin; in reality I have hug pores, acne marks and what not! But as a person I don’t find comfort in trying to hide every little imperfections (if you even call them that) on my face. Bottom line- I don’t fuss much about having a perfect base. I know it’s not the perfect philosophy but it’s my philosophy. Hence the lack of interest in trying out foundations and concealers.

I only bought this because I was running out of my Urban Decay one. I eventually repurchased Urban Decay but I am glad I picked this up. It needs a bit of careful application; you have to keep in mind that less is more otherwise it can get cakey, you also have to set it. but I have been really enjoying this during my full-face glam make up days.

It is definitely worth the hype.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why I cancelled my Sephora Play??

I subscribed to “Play! By Sephora” in April, last year! But soon thereafter, I started to ponder if it is really worth 10 bucks for me! In December, as soon as I got the shipping email from Sephora, I went ahead and cancelled the box. I was contemplating for months after all; December box just made it easier for me to pull the plug and cancel the subscription.   

In this last year, I had 8 boxes and only 2 or 3 of them has been “TRULY EXCITING” for me! It is 10$ per month and it typically comes with 5 sample sized products and a tiny vial of perfume. They send relatively new chic fragrances and I enjoy that! All the brands in these boxes are some very coveted brands found in Sephora. That is the most satisfactory part for me. However, I often find the samples to be too small! I would have appreciated a generous or full-size products once in a while. When I look at all the items I have got so far, only a VERY FEW stand out. I was also disappointed in the fact that Sephora includes some samples that they always offer as rewards or in Sephora Favorites set or even as Gift with Purchases. If you are beauty hoarder like me, you may already have collected a lot of these samples. I am talking about products like Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, Smashbox Primers, Benefit They’re Real Mascara etc. etc.! Also, I have noticed that they have been including lip-glosses/lipsticks that in very pale, pink shades; not every skin-tone can pull off that kind of color.

The only think I liked about these boxes were the brands. Unlike other subscription boxes that seem to send smaller, unknown brands, I loved that I could be assured that these products would come from reputed brands.

Overall, it was not giving me enough joy to keep pursuing it. I don’t think it’s a good fit for me, personally! Past few weeks, I have been trying hard to bring some sort of order to my collection. It has become quite overwhelming! I have realized that I am not enjoing even 50% of the products, so there is no point hoarding all these products from a subscription box! I already have a huge stash of sample and I need to finish them up rather than hoarding some more samples!

But here is where I think it will be an excellent box for you. If you are just starting out with makeup or you have been just recently introduced to the wonders of Sephora, this is the PERFECT SUBSCRIPTION BOX for you. You would not have as many products as a beauty hoarder like me :-) and you will actually have a chance to enjoy all the products you get! It is just 10$ and you actually get Beauty Insider points along with 50 points additional points that you can redeem at a Sephora Store with a purchase.

It has been 4 months since I cancelled the box and looking at the Instagram pictures I see for these 4 months, not one box has made me regret my decision to cancel the box! All the boxes are so lackluster in content; as an avid beauty fan these are products that I have seen or have had in my collection!

I hope this helped you understand this box a bit better. Here are my boxes and the contents; I have mentioned the size of all the products for which I was able to find. You can see how tiny are these samples! I have also highlighted the products that has been my favorites!

December 2016 (Full review here):
Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer (0.16 fl oz.)
Lancôme Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara
Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red (0.04 fl oz.)
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo (0.8 oz)
Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose

November 2016 (Full review here):
Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (0.3 oz.)
Cover FX Illuminating Primer (0.16 oz.)
*FAV*The Estee Edit by ESTEE LAUDER Dissolve the Drama (0.5 oz.)
Sephora Collection Ultra Shiner Lip Gel in “Pin Up Pink” (0.1 oz.)
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in “Rose Gold” (0.03 oz.)
Stella McCartney POP 

October 2016 (Full review here):
Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in “Driver’s Seat”
*FAV* The Estee Edit Flash Photo Gloss
Erborian Bamboo Crepe Frappe (0.17 oz.)
Farmacy Skin Dew Mist (0.68 fl oz.)
Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask (1.7 fl oz.)
Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris

September 2016 (Full review here):

*FAV*Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel (0.085 fl oz.)
*FAV*Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (0.007 fl oz.)
Dr Jart Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer (1 fl oz.)
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Protector (1 fl oz.)
Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell (0.035 oz.)
Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte

August 2016 (Full review here):
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 (0.02 oz.)
Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Love Affair (0.017 oz.) 
*FAV*Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (0.1 fl oz.)
Algenist Eye Renewal Balm (0.23 fl oz.)
Lancome Energie De Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer
Clean Reserve Warm Cotton

July 2016 (Full review here):
BeautyBlender Blotterazzi
Ouai Wave Spray (1.7 fl oz.)
Benefit Cosmetics “Dew the Hoola” Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer (0.16 fl oz.)
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (0.25 fl oz.)
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
Nest Fragrances “Citrine”

June 2016 (Full review here):

*FAV* Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30
*FAV* Becca Backlight Priming Filter (0.20 fl oz.)
Bare Minerals bareSkin Sheer Sun Bronzer (0.10 fl oz.)
Bumble and Bumble Don’t blow it
Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real!  Mascara
Tocca Beauty Beauty Florence

May 2016 (Full review here):

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Kimchi
Tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram
Origins Maskimizer + Drink Up & Clear Improvement Masks
Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial (0.34 fl oz.)
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
Atelier Cologne orange sanguine

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lip Balms Galore ::: Multi Brand Series, Episode 1

Starting a brand new series here! This series will focus on a particular product and my experience with the product from different brand. I can see mundane beauty products like makeup removers, toners, eyeliners get featured in this series. These products do not excite me enough to prepare individual post but I still use them everyday! I don't have a fixed schedule for this but I will post as soon as I think I have tried enough of the product from different palette. So, this is going to be the first episode in this Multi-Brand series! I have gone through many different lip balms and I never talk about them!

Lip balms are important to me! I have dry, chapped lips all year round. At this point, I have given up on hopes that my lips are going to be TOTALLY healed and remain constantly smooth! But I have found lip products that tremendously help me in maintaining my lips in a standard "cared-for" position. I was going through my vanity and I noticed that I have way too many backup lip balms! I decided to change the way I work on finishing up my lip balms. I now use 3-4 different lip balms in the hope that I will be able to finish up more products in a faster way! Besides, we all need one balm in our purse, one in the vanity area, one near the sofa of the living room (so that I don't have to run upstairs if my lips are feeling dry but I don't want to leave the netflix series I am watching)! And last, but not the least one or 2 by my bed-side.

Nivea Lip Balm ($2.99, 0.17 oz): This is my staple lip balm; it goes everywhere with me! I have gone through many tubes of this in many different scents/flavours like "A Kiss of Moisture Essential Lip Care", "Milk & Honey Soothing Lip Care". Original is my most favorite. But anyway, I love that I can use it over any lipstick I am wearing and I don't necessarily need any mirror to do that. Most of the time I donut see any lipstick/lipbalm up on my teeth. Some lipbalm can mess up the lipstick you are already wearing. It is an absolute MUST-HAVE for me! I have also gone through 2 lip butter from Nivea as well and I love them. It is quite thick so it can appear like a white-cast on the lips but it is awesome to apply at nighttime.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner ($12, 0.15 oz): At 12$ a tube, this is probably the most expensive lip balms I have used. I did love this as I have gone through 3 of these (thank goodness for holiday value-set). The texture here is silky-smooth and it is really moisturizing. However, last 2 tubes started to smell a little odd after I have used 2/3rd of the tubes. I used to carry it in my purse and I don't know if the outside weather has any effect in creating the odd smell. The current tube I am using is kept in my living room. It is almost empty but I have not got that odd scent yet. Also, it can get used up pretty quickly which is sad considering how expensive it is. I am not sure if I will repurchase at full-price.

Aquaphor Heal Ointment Mini Jar ($2.99, 0.25 oz) : Now this is completely on the opposite end of spectrum, price wise! It was an impulse buy from Ulta just so I could get free shipping! But I absolutely enjoy this product. It is a tiny jar but it has lasted me a long time. I am almost running out of it. I typically use this before I go to bed and it heals and smoothens my lips for the next day. I make sure to use this at night if I used a matte liquid lipstick or any drying regular lipstick that day. Moisturization-wise this is a bit better than my trusted Nivea! I would ABSOLUTELY repurchase.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve ($6, 0.8 oz): The consistency and texture of this balm takes me straight to my childhood! This resembles something that my grandmas would have had in their vanity. It is such a giant jar, I am honestly not sure if I will ever be able to finish it up! Opening the huge jar is kind of cumbersome because it gets so slippery, I finally depotted some to another little jar to make my life better. It is VERY moisturizing and a little bit heavy so I don't use it during day-time. But I thoroughly enjoy it using alternatively with the aquaphor. I am not sure if I will repurchase just because of the sheer volume of product you get in here!

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner ($22, 0.17 oz): Okay, so I guessed I lied! Caudalie is not the most expensive, this is. It costs $22 but I got it in a Sephora Favorites set so I probably did not spend that much. This disappointed me. The balm had a thin consistency and I enjoyed the faint but "real" rose scent, but it was not moisturizing at all! At all! I had to go back to reapply within an hour. I will finish this up but will not repurchase. I understand it is a cleaner brand with a short list of clean ingredients but sadly for me it was not worth the price. 

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 ($24, 0.15 oz): Oh, this is another crazy expensive balm! I have gone through a full-size of this in "Tulip". It was very easy on the lips however once I apply it, it ended up everywhere on my teeth. It was not that moisturizing as well. This one pictured here is in the Rose scent and it is performing much better. It is moisturizing and it does not end up on my lips that badly. I will repurchase but not at full price. 

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 ($7.50, 0.25 oz): I know a lot of people love this but I have not yet managed to try it yet. I am waiting to finish up one of the lip balms I am currently working so I can take advantage of the spf in here during the summer.

Elf Cosmetics Lip Exfoliator ($3, 0.16 oz): This is a handy product to have for 3 bucks. It gets a bit drying but the trick is to use a lip balm and then use the exfoliator. It really gets the job done, it so much more convenient and hassle-free when I am running out of time to get ready but still want a matte lips. I still think mixing olive oil or honey with some sugar gives me the best result. The original is a bit too gritty for my taste but the minty one is way more smooth! If I repurchase, I will probably get the mint one.

Hope this was interesting :-) Do let me know :-)


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Monthly Favorites ::: Feb-March 2017

I did not do a Monthly Favorites for January. I hate that I am not being consistent, I am using makeup in a regular manner, I am using a few new products as well but nothing has really, really excited me! I took another look on my vanity and these are a very few products that I have been using a lot and they are making me happy. They are not the ABSOLUTE favorites but for these two months these are the ones that I am enjoying!

Real Techniques Expert Concealer Brush: Let's talk about the product that is my most favorite in this brush. This is a thick, round eyeshadow brush with soft, short bristles! It is the absolute best brush for me to use on my crease when I want to have blow-out crease, when I want to have a really diffused blended transition of colors from lid to crease. It is fast and deposits eyeshadow in such swift manner. I am really loving it.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter (Full review here): This is in my Finish17in2017 Project Pan and I am trying hard to use it up. I love this product since I got it, but using it again reminded me of how I enjoy using it like a moisturizer type of product in the mornings. It immediately livens up my face and prepares me for blush and bronzer. I don't wear foundation but I love wearing bronzer, blush and highlighter. So this helps me evening out my skintone. I have swatched a pretty heavy layer here, but you can see how glowy it can look! It also smells nice and fresh!

Smashbox Blush in Passion Fruit: I did not have expectations from this when I bought it. I saw a value set and bought it. But it pretty good. It is a soft muted nude-y rose shade. Looks too pale for my skintone but actually it is an everyday simple shade. I have been a lot of heavy eye looks lately and I like how this goes with every crazy colour I want to wear that day.

Tarte Tarteist™ Clay Paint Eyeliner in "Bronze" (Full review here): First of all, I do not always have the time to fuss around with brush and the then squeeze the tube to get the product and work very hard to wear an even eyeliner. So I typically stick to liquid eyeliner pens. But I really do like the look when I use this one. It is a beautiful brown-bronzy shade which really compliments any type of shade of eyeshadow I am working with.

Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer: Such an OG product in the beauty community. It is also a product that Ulta or Sephora loves to distribute as samples or gift with purchase. I started to use it when I went home for my sisters wedding. I apply it on my porous areas on over my cheeks where I have huge crater like pores left from previous acnes. It does a great job in evening out my skin for foundation application and prevents my blushes from getting splotchy!

I sure do hope I have some better, more exciting things to talk about next month :-)