Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Beauty Favorites - 2020

2020!!!! What a year ha? This was a challenging year for me, for many reasons. May be some day I will talk about it in detail! Just may be!

But today I am here with my MAKEUP FAVORITES for the year 2020! I have worn so much makeup this year! I worked from home for almost the entire year, thereby cutting down 2 hrs. of commute everyday, which in turn gave me a lot of time to play with makeup during the weekends. It was almost like a therapy for me - something to bring in a little bit of sanity to my mind throughout this incredibly crazy year. And because I love playing with color, you can see I have picked items that are so very colorful.

All of these products bring me so much joy, and that was my only criteria in selecting these product. Okay, here we go!

Let's talk about eye products first as this was the year I realized completely that I love playing with eyeshadows the most. So naturally I have a lot of eye stuff!

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow in Plum: Hands down the most used eye pencil this year. I used it mainly to darken up my inner lash lines. It is so comfortable to use, no tugging or harsh application! It also stays put very nicely! And the color is so very pretty, it does the same function for which I will use a black eyeliner but it is a little bit less harsh. Also, you get so much product in this.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zodiac, Delirious, and Accuse (Full review here): As I mentioned, I wore a lot of colorful eyeshadow and I kept reaching for these 3 shades of eye pencils to have a coordinating color on my eye-looks. It almost immediately disappears from the very outer corner of my lower lash-line but other than that I did really enjoy these.

2020 was also the year where I wore so much glitter, so much glitter 😊

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy (Full review here): I absolutely love this glitter. First, the antique gold type of shade is very compatible with all colors of eyeshadows I wore. I also learnt one or two new techniques to use it - so I was able to get more use out of it. Every time, I incorporated this glitter Ifelt like it added so much dimension to the look.

Milani in Lollapa-Blue-Za (Full review here): I picked up 3 shades from this line and while I love all 3, this is the one I used the most. The glitter particles are tiny but quite punchy. It also has a little bit of a duo-chrome sheen to it which just makes them extra fun. I find them easy to apply and quite long lasting. 

Make Up For Ever Star Lit Powder in #19 Ultramarine: This is the blue of my dreams! I am obsessed with this type of deep cobalt blue eyeshadows! And within the embarrassing amount of blue eye product I have, this is the most beautiful blue! This is a star powder; it is extremely refined and it has such a beautiful soft but impactful shine that looks gorgeous on the eyes! Its VERY messy but I don't even care!

DANESSA MYRICKS BEAUTY ColorFix 24-Hour Cream Color Matte in Primary Red: Probably one of the top few products that gave me the most joy this year. I am in love with this Colorfix. It's the red of my dreams! Fierce and unapologetic RED! It took me a minute to figure out the best application technique but I think I have gotten the hang of it. I have applied it as a sheer wash of colors couple of times. But I am mainly using it to create graphic liners and I love it. I wear it alone or mix it with other cream formulas to get custom colors. 

Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Twig: This is the first product I fell in love with in 2020. This is a stunning dark coppery brown shimmer shade that immediately makes me feel and look sultry! I apply it on one eye at a time! I pat it on & just blend it with my fingertips. There is a little bit of time to play with it but don't need to wait forever for the eyeshadow to set! It is fast, and easy but looks like I spent a lot of time & effort in creating the eye look . Also, tremendous staying power. I wore it almost every time I used Indian saree or mekhela sador this year and LOVED it!

Viseart Eyeshadow Palette  in Editorial Brights: I have longed for this palette for years and I finally got it this year. This palette makes me happy. All the colors show up as vibrant as they appear on the pan! Yellow, and purple shades are simply amazing. The blues are a bit finicky. I have created looks with all these shades; and everytime I have used this palette, I find myself being so happy and content. 

Viseart Eyeshadow Palette in Dark Edit (Full review here): This sneakily made it to the list - I am surprised actually! I got this palette last year and although I did love it, only this year I found my deep love for it. These colors are my type of colors; rich, vibrant and so very easy to work with. I did not pay much attention to the shimmers before but they are so goooood! Especially that gold is beautiful.

My single shadow love! This was the year that I finally caved and tried some indie brands! And oh my my, they are so very beautiful and they bring me so much joy! I tried to pick only a few shades from JD Glow and Devinah, but I couldn't. They are all are so versatile and happiness inducing.

JD Glow single shadows in Unexpected, Good Gawd, Lavendar, Anomaly, Prismatic, Lemonade and Volcano: I become speechless when I need to talk about these eyeshadows. They are so good! Apart from the Lemonade and Volcano, all other shades are galaxy shadows; they are chunky multidimensional glittery shades and there is a certain learning curve to using them but use any one shade - it will take your look to a different level.

Devinah single shadows in Salvatore, Blazed, Cleopatra, Rainbow Blossom, Confetti Kisses, Creampuff Cuddles, Kazookles: These shadows are breathtaking! These are much softer to touch than the JD Glow and are much more soft and comfortable on the eyes. Almost all the shades I have here have such gorgeous multichromes, I tried to see if I loved a few over the others but no, I love them all.

Makeup Geek single eyeshadows in Voltage and Steampunk: Steampunk is an old favorite, I absolutely love the duo-chrome in this and I often use it for my smoking out my lower lash-line. I got a lot of use out of the Voltage shade as an inner corner shade, it is so very sheeny and beige/cream shade is so flattering with so many colors as inner corners.

Urban Decay x Krsiten Leanne Leo+Brixton (full review here): This was a limited palette but I have been using and loving these two shades for inner corner highlight this year. 

Lets talk about the cheek products now!

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Indiscretion, Addiction, Devotion, Seduction (Full review here): This was a limited edition holiday palette from few years ago, and I have used this palette so much this year, especially in the first half of the year. I can use all the shades and I love the different tones in each of the shades. The darker shade I use to add some sheen to my bronzer. 

KEVYN AUCOIN Glass Glow Face in Prism Rose: This has to be the product that I have used the least out of this bunch. I picked up the full size in late summer after using up a foil sample packet early in the year. It is a very glass looking highlighter and it is exactly what I wanted. I don't think it is for everyone. But it is in this list simply because it makes me happy.

Rituel De Fille probably was my favorite brand discovery of  this year!

The Alchemist Highlighter Intensifier: Uuuuf, this product makes my heart sing! It makes me not care about the world and be the most "I-am-uniquely-me" version of myself. It has very sparkling, very visible but very classy looking glitters on a solid  oil base. I love wearing it on my eyes for adding an editorial edge to my looks. I also love wearing it on my cheeks. Yes, the glitters are very visible and yes, I am in my mid thirties and I don't care if I have glittery cheeks :-)

Rituel De Fille Color Nectar Pigment Balm in Bloodflower (Full review here): I absolutely love this blush. As you can see, I have already made a dent in the pan. I love the red shade, I love how easy it is to use, I love how easily it can be layered with other shades and I love the faint herbal smell it has. Overall, a very big fan of this.

Rituel De Fille Rare Light Crème Luminizer in Solaris: I used this shade so much during Fall and Winter, such a gorgeous burnt orange shade and it looks so very flattering on my skin-tone.  It is a bit of a stiff cream formula but once you warm it up it is very easy apply and modify. 

Becca Mineral Blushes in Lantana, Hyacinth and Songbird (Full review here): These are some of my older products in my collection but I am very happy I have them. This year I have learnt the art of layering blush. I typically use a cream blush and they once I apply my highlighter and bronzer I finish it off with applying one of these shades with a very fluffy brush for a very light application. It makes the whole look so seamless. Songbird is definitely the most used out of these 3!

Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Bronzer in Best Coast (Full review here): Definitely my most used bronzer. My Buriti Bronzer (that I finished this year - see review here) is still a tad bit more favorite than this one, but I definitely loved using Best Coast It has quite a red undertone and it has a shimmery finish but I really like the formula. It is so very easy apply as well. You can already probably see a dip going on.

Coverfx Custom Enhancer Drops in Candlelight (Full review here): Shout out to my beloved Custom Enhancer drops. It is an older product but it is still performing great. I exclusively use it by adding a tiny drop with my foundation, it gives such a beautiful sheen! I love it! 

The lip category made me sad coz typically I would have at least one bright bold shade. But given how this year turned out, I didn't really use bold shades for going out and about.

Kosas Kosasport LipFuel Hyaluronic Lip Balm in Pulse (Full review here): This is tinted lip balm and I am using it with a lot of different shades to manipulate other shades. And it is good for that purpose, along with being a decent lip balm. I think this product made it to the list based on how much I have used it. 

Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in 038: I have started to use Lip pencils quite consistently this year. It is a good formula and the shade is useable with a lot of different shade. Of course, Bite discontinued this formula. 

NAILS INC in Knightriders Street: A neon shade that flatters my skin-tone? Do you know how rare is that? Anyway this neon green is so opaque in two coats and on me it lasts 10+ days. I loved it throughout the entire summer. I really enjoyed it this year.

Tell me about your favorites 😍..did you play more or less with makeup this year?



Thursday, December 24, 2020

Pan 20 in 2020 ::: Project Pan Finale

Today I am here with the finale of my Pan 20 in 2020 project. When I selected these products for panning in early January, we had no idea what kind of year 2020 was going to be. I selected a lot of products that were my everyday go-to products - products that I would use most often and/or products that I would use for everyday work looks. But I spent almost the whole year working from home because of the pandemic. But I also got a lot of time during weekends to play with makeup. These changes in scenarios definitely affected which products I was able to use up and which ones did not really see much improvement. 

But I am really very happy with my performance. I was able to achieve the goals I set for 11 items out of the 20 items. I finished some of the base products that we getting older in my collection. I am almost sure this is my most successful "pan xx in xxxx" project.

Here are all the products at the end of the year. See the table below for a comprehensive look at my performance -

 And here is my performance along with the goals I set with each of the products -

1A) Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water (DONE): Yes, I finished it. I have a few drops which will not spray out anymore, so I am going to call it "done". 

1B) Marc Jacobs Re(cover) Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist (DONE): Yes, I believe this was the first product I finished out of this group. 

2) Becca Backlight Priming Filter (DONE): Yes, I did completely used it up sometime in August I think! 
December, 2020

January, 2020

3) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation (DONE): YESSSS! I am so freaking proud. I used it up around mid-December! Perfect timing 😍!

4) Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer: So, I was very confident that I will be able to use it up. This was my everyday concealer and as I have been working from home since Feb-March, I am not wearing makeup on week days and thus didn't get much use out of this. 

5) Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in "Sunlight" (DONE): My goal was to use up 3/4 of the product and I think I did that. I use it almost every time I wear glam makeup during the weekends.  
December, 2020
January, 2020

6) Smashbox 24 hour Photo Shadow Primer: Hmm, I got very very close, but there is still at least a few week's product left in there. 

7) Benefit POREfessional (DONE): This is such a tiny but mighty tube, I may get 2-3 more uses out of this. But for my own satisfaction, I am calling this "finished".

8) Hourglass Ambient Powder in "Dim Light": I promise I have been using this powder to set my concealer every time I wear makeup. But I didn't see much dent in the pan. So, no could not use it up.
December, 2020

January, 2020

9) NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in "Himaliya": Another product that I used to wear to work but I have been working from home since Feb-March, I am not wearing makeup on week days so I didn't get any use out of this.

10) Makeup Geek Eyshadow "Crème Brulee" (DONE) & "Cocoa Bear": I performed exactly how I thought I would. I hit pan on "Creme Brulee" early in January or February and the pan is quite grown now. Panning "Cocoa Bear" was an ambitious goal because this shade is crazy pigmented and you really don't need a lot. 

11) RMS Beauty Living Luminizer (DONE):  The goal was to hit pan. I  was able to achieve that early in the year but I was secretly hoping that I could completely use it up. I used to wear to work almost everyday,  hence used to get a lot of work. Not anymore since I am on WFH schedule. But the dip is getting deeper and I am happy about that.

12) RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer (DONE): Yay, another product that I am super proud of. My goal was to use it up and I did it!
December, 2020

January, 2020

13) Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner in "Indigo" & "Midnight": They are still showing some pigment so I am going to keep using them.

14) NARS Eyeliner in "Via Vaneto": This dried up before I could finish it. So I decluttered it.

15) Bare Minerals Bronzer (DONE): My goal was to hit pan and yesssssss, I did finally hit pan.  It sure felt like an achievement. 
December, 2020

January, 2020

16) Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer: To be honest, I was focusing on Buriti Bronzer and Bare Minerals bronzer so this one did not get much use. 

17) Pat McGrath Matte Trance Lipstick in "Elson": Because this is an expensive product, I refrained from using it during my play-with-makeup days :-). So did not achieve the goal but I am okay with that.

18) Bite Beauty Amuse Bouch in "Verbena" (DONE) : Woohoo! I did completely finished it round late summer.
December, 2020

January, 2020

19) Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in "Cin Cin": I have gotten some use out of it but did not completely finish it. I have an emotional connection to this shade! So, I am okay even if I didn't use it up. 

20) Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner in "Crimson & Clover" & "Nobody's Baby": My goal was to use 1/2 of both of these lip conditioners. I didn't quite get there but I did use them pretty regularly. 

Did you do any project pans this year? If you did, how did you do with your goals?


Thursday, December 3, 2020

Sephora Favorites CLEAN MAKEUP KIT: Review & Swatches!!

Some 2-3 months ago, I bought the Clean Makeup Kit from Sephora! Unfortunately the kit is not available anymore. But these products are permanent within these brands so I am hoping this will be helpful in case you are looking for swatches or reviews. 

A couple of things -

1. The definition of "clean'/"nontoxic" beauty is not very clear. The more I try to educate myself about it the more I find that it's even more complex than I thought. What I have learnt so far is that what I consider as clean will depend entirely on what attributes "I" look for and accept as 'clean'; so what I view as a clean product may not be 'clean' for you! I gravitate more towards clean brands but honestly, I have just recently started my reluctant, very slow journey towards conscious brands! We will see how far this journey takes me!

2. I prefer the word conscious beauty than 'clean' or 'non-toxic'! I personally feel that clean or toxic terminology inadvertently imply that all other brands are toxic! But obviously the hashtag "cleanbeauty" is easier to find ☹️.

3. I sincerely hope & wish these sets come in more shades, at-least two variations! If you look at the swatches, you will see that these shades is somehow just barely compatible with my skin-tone but if you have skin-tones that are deeper than me, most of these will not work or will not be flattering. 

Anyway here are the products:

KOSAS Kosasport LipFuel Hyaluronic Lip Balm in Pulse (FULL SIZE): This is a tinted lip balm! The unconventional shape of the bullet threw me off at first! But not anymore 😊! I love the 18 months shelf life! It has Hyaluronic Acid which typically works for my skin. I love the tan rosey hue, its the perfect nude shade on me, especially when I have an extra bold and colorful eye look going on. It does not wash me off but is still looks "nude". I live in Chicago which is tragically cold around this time of the year, so I have to reapply once or twice a day, but it works decently as a lip balm. I also love the faint mint smell. It is probably the product that I have used the most out of all 6 of the products here. 

lilah b. Lovingly Lip™ Tinted Lip Oil in b.elegant (Travel size): I have been quite intrigued by this brand for quite some time now, glad that I got a chance to try it out without paying full price. I love this color. It's a very nude shade on me - nude which almost washes you off, but does not 😁! It does not lean too pink or too brown which typically happens with almost all the nude shades on me. It is a lip oil - it has a liquid but kind of a thick formula; it is very moisturizing but not sticky at all. I love it! 

Ilia Beauty Color Haze Multi-Use Pigment in Before Today (FULL SIZE): I love the Lip Conditioners (reviewed here) from Ilia Beauty and I am glad to test out more products from them. This is in full-size and yet somehow, in my mind, seemed so small! It is a cool toned mauve shade! Most of my blushes lean towards warm-tone. So I am glad to have something different. It is a thick cream formula (not a runny consistency) and its quite pigmented. So, I don't really need a lot for the color to show up. It has a adhering quality to it (I don't really know how else to explain it) it is not sticky but it is not as weightless I hoped it to be! It does stay on my cheeks quite a lot. It does not survive when I reapply my sunscreen but the other day I took a quick little nap with this on and to my surprise, it did not wear off from my cheeks. So, no complaints here! 

Aether Beauty Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Eyeshadow in Metallic Rose Quartz: Another brand that has intrigued me for some time now. It is kind of weird to have a random triangle shaped pan with all my round and square pans of eyeshadows! Lucky for me, I am an engineer and I don't mind triangles, lol! It is described as rose gold- I see the shade as a very pale pink with a strong but soft metallic sheen; nothing revolutionary but it is very beautiful. It works with flat stiff brush or with my fingertip, I do prefer the later. Excellent performance as well. I always wear eyeshadow primer and it did stay the entire day. I am overall very pleased with this. 

RMS Beauty Living Luminzier Glow Face & Body Powder: I love the Living Luminizer (reviewed here) and the Buriti Bronzer (reviewed here) from RMS Beauty so I was excited to try this. It is quite a warm golden highlighter - not for the faint hearted! I love a good bling-y highlighter but even with that much love for strong sheen, I  still need to be careful with it. It can get out of hand very quickly. I don't like the packaging mainly because it just needs extra effort to use loose highlighters than a pressed one. I also noticed something kind of random - when I reapplied my sunscreen middle of the day, I could still see the glimmer and the glow shine through the sunscreen and I liked that. But overall, I am pretty sure I will not get more use out of this. Mainly because of the "loose" formula.

tarte SEA Surfer Curl™ Volumizing Mascara (Travel Size): I used to love Tarte when I first got into makeup but I haven't tried anything from them in a hot minute.

This mascara has somewhat of a drier formula; it really helps me get long fluttery lashes but it does not add a lot of volume. And I can use some help in that department. I noticed some flaking the first few times I wore it but now I don't experience that anymore. The travel size was troublesome because of the tiny tube and overwhelming amount of product it had, it kept squeezing out of the tube. But overall, I am getting a lot of use out of this.

lilah.b Lip Oil in b.elegant on the lips

Kosas Lip Fuel in Pulse on the lips,
Aether Beauty Metallic Rose Quartz on the eye-lids

Kosas Lip Fuel in Pulse on the lips,
Tarte SEA Surfer Mascara on the Eyes

lilah.b Lip Oil in b.elegant on the lips

RMS Beauty  Living Luminzier Glow Face & Body Powder as highlighter,
Ilia Pigment in Before Today on the cheeks as blush

This set costs me $29 and I think that was an effective cost. I typically do a breakdown of products when I get these type of value sets but as this set is not available anymore, I don't see any point in doing so! I hope that is ok. But I am using them in my makeup routine and I enjoying them!



Sunday, November 29, 2020

Bought it, emptied it: RMS BEAUTY "Buriti Bronzer"

A long time ago, I used to do a series where I would talk about a product after I had completely finished it up! It was a great way for me to share a very detailed review of the product! I am bringing the series back! This is not going to be a very regular occasion but every once in a while, I will use this series to talk about products that I have completely used up.

Today I am talking about the "Buriti Bronzer" from RMS Beauty. I completely used up this entire bronzer! Yes, you do see a little bit still there; I am keeping this tiny little portion for shade comparison in the future, just for my own reference.

Needless to say, I absolutely LOVE this bronzer. Typically, I really do enjoy cream products; they work great on my dry skin. And in general, it is a little tricky to find a (cream) bronzer that works on my skin-tone. But this was a GREAT color (for me) and that is why I think this bronzer scores some extra points from me! 😀 

Formula, Quality & Staying Power: This is a beautiful cream formula with a glowy/radiant finish and a strong reddish undertone. And somehow it really flatters my warm olive tan skin-tone. I would just pat it on using my fingertips and blend it with a beauty blender or a thick but fluffy brush. It blends easily and stays put. I love that I can get a very natural look out of it for a simple 'no foundation/everyday' makeup! Or I can use it over foundation for a full glamorous over-the-top looks. Before 2020, before I started working from home and would have to go to office everyday, I would use this along with the Living Luminizer (reviewed here) from the same brand on bare moisturized skin! I would apply some mascara, lipstick and that would my favorite & most efficient way of getting a work-ready look! I really enjoyed the combo of Living Luminizer and Buriti Bronzer; I instantly look alive in it!

I also love to layer powder bronzers on top of Buriti Bronzer; it makes my bronzer stay longer! I have included a few recent looks below where I used this bronzer exclusively.

Shade: Now, one of the con about this product is that it is offered in only one shade. And that is a huge con! I am not sure how it could work for every skin-tone. I am not a makeup artist and I don't have any direct experience of applying makeup on different skin-tones but it is hard for me to believe that one shade is going to work on every skin-tone! It is such a good product, we need more shades so every skin-tone can have access to it. They also had a product called "Contour Bronzer" which looked a little bit darker, however I do not see that product in RMS beauty website anymore. Also, I personally love the red undertone and the strong sheen in "Buriti Bronzer" but it might not be your cup of tea. 

Price & Availability: This is a permanent product in their line. It will cost you $28 for 0.20 oz of products. You will find this in Sephora, Credo Beauty, RMS Beauty and Dermstore.

Will I repurchase: The perk of doing the "Bought it emptied it" series is that I can ask myself if I would repurchase the product or if I have already repurchased it! That kind of tells you how much I actually liked something, right? So YES, I can definitely see myself repurchasing this bronzer in the future, probably next summer?! I know that if I repurchase it right now, I will start using it constantly and all the other bronzers in my collection will not get any love. So, I will repurchase this once I get more use out of my other bronzers and/or when I feel that I CANNOT live without it!

This has been a favorite product for quite some time now, especially in the conscious beauty world so hopefully this detailed review can be helpful to you all!  



Wednesday, November 11, 2020

MILANI Ludicrous Lights Eye Topper in PINK-AROO, LOLLAPA-BLUE-ZA & PEACH-ELLA ::: Review & Swatches!!

Talking about twinkly, sparkly eye products from Milani; it seems fitting since Diwali, the indian festivak of lights is right around the corner. 

Sometime ago, over at my instagram page, I expressed how I have been loving glittery, sparkly top coats with sheer base on top of my eyeshadow! After doing a little bit of research I landed up on these.

Availability: I got these from Ulta, they were 50% off, and I had a lot of Ulta points as well some coupon, so got a great deal on these. They are also available in Milani Website and Walmart. I do not see them in Ulta anymore.

Shades: I have the following three shades

PINK-AROO - This is described as Magenta with Blue reflects. I think it appears as more of a pink than a magenta but I definitely see the blue reflects. It is beautiful.

LOLLAPA-BLUE-ZA -This is described as Frosty Blue with purple reflects. I also see a lot of silver reflects in it. I love this shade - I think I have used this the most. 

PEACH-ELLA - This is described as Champagne Peach with gold and pink reflects. This is such a gorgeous shade. With all the all the gold and pink reflects it almost look like a multichrome! Well, almost. I love that it has a neutral undertone - I can pair them with a lot of different eyeshadows.

Formula, Quality & Staying Power: As you can see, these are very sparkly with small micro glitters! The duo chromy flip on all three of them is beautiful. On their website, it is described as a water-based formula. I find the formula to be very easy to work with. I typically swipe a little bit out on my hand and use a brush to apply the product. I do not even use glitter glue most of the time. These can be applied as a sheer eye topper as well as built up. I can also apply it on targeted areas using a small flat eyeliner brush. I love how these can be used to add a little it of a pop to my eye-looks or if I want to overly dramatic look. I also can use these to creat graphic liners. As you can see, I was able to create a varieties of looks. 

Although, as life has changed from before and I haven't really wore this out and about for full day of activities, but I do see that it lasted on me all day long. I am really happy with these 😍

Price: The retail cost for these are $10.99 but it is not that difficult to find sales for this one. 

Packaging: Simple tube, no comments on this ha ha!

Do you have any favorite eyeshadow topper?