Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lips Don't Lie (Simple Care for Lips)

Hi Everyone,

Being a lipstick junkie means taking extra care of your lips. Even otherwise, it's absolutely essential that one takes care of them, throughout the year I mean...not only in winters.

Your lips need exfoliation and moisturizing just as the rest of your body. Many of you might already be aware of the steps involved in caring for your pout , but here’s sharing nonetheless –

1. EXFOLIATION - in order to get rid of the dead skin cells and dry flaky bits on your lips you need to exfoliate regularly. This not only gets rid of the dead skin layers but also helps the growth of new skin cells by promoting blood circulation. Here are 2 ways I do this –

a. DIY Sugar and Honey Scrub – Mix 1tsp of granulated sugar with 1tsp of honey to make your own DIY Lip Scrub.  If you’re a fan of flavoured lip scrubs then you can add the flavor of your choice. Add coffee for a nice ‘kick’ or a small drop of Vanilla essence. Adding drops of Lemon juice, also helps lighten pigmented lips over a period of time. Caution – these can be totally yummy, so don’t go eating them up!! Save some for your poor lips! Lol take some of this mixture on a clean finger and use it to gently scrub away the dead skin by using circular motions. Wipe away with a damn cloth or wash with water.

b. ELF Lip Exfoliator – This comes in a Lipstick like form, with a bullet that has a mixture of Sugar, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Avocado, Grape and Jojoba Oil. These retail for about $3 to $4. You can either order them online or ask someone who lives abroad, to send them across. Use them just as you would a lipstick, and swipe/rotate the bullet in circular motions on your lips.

ELF Lip Exfoliator

Bullet with scrub melts into a smooth scrub on application

c. Good 'ol Toothbrush – Use any old soft toothbrush to exfoliate your lips. Do not use your current one or try to do this while you’re brushing, it beats the purpose!! Silly me tried this to save time and the fluoride in the toothpaste made my lips all the more chappy and dry!! ***Sigh***

2. MOISTURIZING – After any kind of exfoliation, the skin needs to soak up as much moisture as possible. Lack of moisture after exfoliating your lips, can lead to extra dry and chapped lips, so be sure to keep your lipbalm handy. Here are a couple of options I’ve tried and that have really worked for me.

                a. Maybelline Baby Lips Lipbalm – Pick any of the flavours, you won’t be disappointed! Trust me on these, they’re God-sent!! With an SPF 20, you can use them even when you’re stepping out without having to worry about Sun damage. My favourite ones for summer are Mango Pie and Berry Crush ( or maybe Berry Blast, I don’t remember hehe). From their recent Electro Pop range, I absolutely love Berry Shock …Yes, yes I love Purple and therefore I love Berry … yay, mystery solved! **Paadum Pum Phoosh!!** (Chandler Bing reference which you will understand only if you’re a fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S!!)

Maybelline Baby Lips Electro Pop in Berry Shock
     b. Oriflame Tender Care – This has the consistency of a petroleum jelly and it extremely hydrating and moisturizing.  It comes in different flavours, but two that I have tried in the past, are Blackcurrant and Coconut. There’s a non-flavoured one too which I'm currently trying to finish.

Maybelline Lip Balm and Oriflame Tender Care

     c. Nivea Lip Care Fruity Shine – Absolutely yummy lip balms! I never knew these existed until my pal, Yamz, pulled out one from her bag to use it. An absolutely yummy guava fragrance made me sit up and take notice. She gave me the details of the lip balm and I was scampering the local supermarket for these, right after she left . I have tried out the Pomegranate, Guava and the Cherry flavours from this range. They're scrumptious!!

So go give your lip some extra TLC this summer!! Try out some of these tips and let me know what you think! Do share in the comments section, some of your lip care tips so I could try them out....


Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 2015 Fab Bag - Review

Hey Everyone!

I had placed my order for the April Fab Bag on 2nd April and received it on 22nd April this month. As always I was excited about the bag, but this time around a little more as I was waiting for the City Color Blush to be a part of the goodies. Turns out it was a limited period offer :-(

The bag this month is a funky Zebra printed bag, which makes for a very nice makeup pouch in itself. I'm not sure of the material exactly, but it has a nice finish and looks tough enough to be water-proof. The theme this month is 9-to-9 Beauty secrets, so basically they mean to say that with these products, you're all set for the whole day!

Let's see what I received and try to see when they'll come in handy during a day -

1. Malavara Lime Vetiver Body Wash & Body Lotion -

Needless to say a nice way to start your day is with a body wash and lotion that have a fresh, lemony fragrance to kick start your day this summer! I cant seem to sleep early nowadays even if my toddler goes to bed early (I'd like to thanks Instagram and Facebook for the Dark Circles award I receive today!!). This body wash and lotion will definitely wake up the 'Sleepy-Me' in the mornings. Shower? Check! Now for the Hair...

2. Denman Volumizing Hair Brush - 

This brush is said to volumize your hair when used in a C-shaped movement, while you blow dry your hair. I ain't the blow-drying kinda person and I dont need more volume for sure. I have thin hair which somehow looks voluminous by itself LOL dont ask me how, I have absolutely no idea!! So this brush was graciously passed on to the Husband, who is a MAN after all and doesn't care about volume, flow and all that jazz. As long as he's got a comb, he's good! Aaah MEN!! So anyway, hair done, now for the FACE...

3. Bella Pierre Cosmetics Mineral Powder Foundation in Cinnamon - 

This one was a tad bit disappointing for 2 reasons - 1. I got this in place of the blush I was lusting after and 2.It's wayyy too light for me (like am not pale enough already!!) LOL but its okay, I'll try and make this work for me. Will keep you posted on this one in future. For women on the go, if you get a good color match on this, its absolutely quick to apply and being a mineral foundation, it most probably wont break you out. Face done, phew...now to start your day...

4. Iraya Manjishtha Eye Contour Gel - 

Undoubtedly, my favourite in this month's bag! It's got a lovely, calming fragrance which is wonderful. When applied in the under-eye area, it has a nice, cold feeling to it. I do need to give it more time to validate the 'minimizes dark circles' claim. Although, I have been sleeping late, I've been sleeping well thanks to this product. No under-eye puffiness and I feel well-rested. Ahh, Good Night everyone...

Wait! What? I was writing a post, right? lol sorry, got distracted there...well to end it all, I'd like to say that the 'Themed bags' concept by FabBag is really nice. It gives me a lot to look forward to. I was just telling my Sis-in-law, that I am surprised at myself for liking their skin care range so much, be it the Dead Sea mask and the Splurge saffron moisturiser (Jan 2015), Kama Ayurveda Soap free cleanser or Kama Night Cream (Feb 2015) or the InVeda BB cream (March 2015). Good Job Team FabBag! 

So until the next post, Adios Amigos!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shimmery Blue eyes and N*de lips (Party Makeup look)

Hi Everyone!

Sorry about the late post, I am guilty for not being as regular with my posts as I’d like to be hehe... I usually write whenever I feel like and whenever I can, but mostly the two don’t happen together. Today was different, I felt that I had to sit myself down and write this post or else I’ll burst!! LOL Has that ever happened with you, that you feel the strongest urge to sit down and just write your heart away? Hey don't worry though, I will try to keep it short, crisp and to-the-point!

Today I will share how I created this 'Shimmery Blue eyes and N*de lips' look. It turned out really well that day and the best part about it was that I hadn’t planned on doing this. It just happened and turned out really great (or so I feel!!).

Here’s how I did it –

  • For the Base, I used my trusty Lakme CC Cream and set it with Blue Heaven Compressed Powder for a matte look.
Lakme CC Cream in 'Bronze' & Blue Heaven Compressed Powder
  • For the Eyes, I started with using a little foundation as an eye primer and set it with the same powder as mentioned above.
  • Next, I took a flat shader eye shadow brush and dampened it by spraying a little water on it. I picked up the Faces Canada Blue Sparkle Dust with this brush and dabbed it all over my eyelid, being careful not to go above the crease. Since the pigment is wet, there is less fallout and the flat shader brush also helps. ('Fallout' is the extra eye shadow that 'falls out' on your cheek during eye makeup). In case, you do have fallout, wipe it off with a baby wipe or a dry brush gently, so that you don't mess up your foundation. Or better still, first finish the eye makeup and then go for foundation!
Faces Canada Sparkle Dust in Blue 
  • Once I had the intense blue colour that I was looking for, I waited for it to dry. Taking a little bit of a purple eye shadow, I used this to blend out the harsh edge of the blue shadow on the crease. Since I have hooded eyes, I blended this purple shadow a little above the crease so that its visible when I look straight ahead. (Hooded eyes simply means that when I look straight ahead, there is very little space between the brow bone and eye-lid).
  • Once the blue and purple were blended well, I lined my eyes with Elle 18 BlackOut liquid liner and used the Lakme Eyeconic Brown Kajal to line the lower lash line. I lined this only half-way and left the inner corners bare, to open up the eyes.
Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in 'Bronze Orange'
  • For some warmth on the face, I used the Lakme 9 to 5 Blush in Peach Affair. As I wanted the eyes to be in focus, I opted for a n*de shade on the lips. I used Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in Bronze Orange to finish off the look.

I was always apprehensive of working with pigments but with practice, I've become slightly comfortable with them. I loved this look that I created and was absolutely surprised when it elicited a “WOW!!” from the Husband! Now who doesn’t like that eh? 

Do try out the look with Blue or any another colour of your choice and let me know how it turned out. Do leave me comments in the comments section below!!

Till then, in the words of my toddler, Baa-Byeee!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

STREETWEAR Color Rich Ultramoist Lipsticks - Review

Hello Everyone!

Budget-friendly beauty essentials are everyone’s favourite but when I started following beauty blogs, a couple of years ago, I always wondered why they weren’t showcased as much. I thought to myself that if I ever have a beauty blog of my own, I’d definitely keep it focused on good quality Budget beauty products, while occasionally showcasing high-end brands (cuz who doesn’t love those? Ahem!)

Today I will be reviewing a couple of great Budget lipsticks that can easily compete with other Indian brands in many more ways, than just their price-points. Girls, Ladies, Fellow Makeup lovers, I present (well, actually Revlon presents..) 

STREETWEAR COLOR RICH Ultramoist Lipsticks.

Photo-bombed by my lil munchkin

Let's look at the shades I own and absolutely adore...
  • Mystic Mauve no.7 (Alluring Aisha range)

Mystic Mauve No.7

A muted Mauve shade well suited for daily wear. This shade would work great for office-goers who wish to wear something subtle yet pretty. This shade is pretty sheer and needs to be layered on for true pigmentation. I mostly use this when I’m going for a dramatic eye look, so that it gives colour to the lips without taking away attention from the eye makeup.

  • Very Vampire No.2 (Flirty Susie range)

Very Vampire No.2

A bright, coral Red that’s so deeply pigmented that it needs to be swiped only once to show its true color. A great young shade of Red if you wish to stay away from the more deep, mature Reds. Use it as a stain for the day-time look and layer it on for the ‘Va-Va-Voom’ look in the evenings. On paler, fairer skin tones, this sometimes tends to come up as an Orangey-Red. PS - If you are very fair/pale and want to use this to it full colour, I'd recommend wearing a light blush or bronzer - some sort of colour to warm up your skin, or else you'll really look 'Very Vampire'!! lol

  • Pink Passion No.3 (Alluring Aisha range)

Pink Passion No.3

A vibrant blue-based fuchsia Pink which perks up your complexion; Hell, this one perks up your MOOD on a dull day!! It’s a beautiful bright pink that screams ‘Achtung Baby!!’ (German for Attention Baby!!) I love this one so much that I don’t dare to wear anything but a simple liner and a kajal in my eyes along with it.

There are a lot of lovely shades in the range but I own only these many. Let's take a quick look at the swatches...

Hand Swatches - 

Outdoors in Natural Light
(L-R) Very Vampire, Pink Passion & Mystic Mauve

Indoor Lighting
(L-R) Very Vampire, Pink Passion & Mystic Mauve

Lip Swatches -

Mystic Mauve No.7

Pink Passion No.3

Very Vampire No.2

Pros –
1. Abso-freaking-lutely easy on the pocket - They went from being 180/- to 220/- very recently..It's a bummer, I wonder why they went over the Rs.200 mark? Lol anyway, still budget-friendly!
2. Great shade range - Reds, Corals, Pinks, Purples or Browns – take your pick
3. Availability – A very popular brand from the house of Revlon, which has revamped its quality as well as packaging to suit the needs of the Indian market.
      4. Creamy formula which has good staying power for the price – The lipsticks last upto 4hrs with slight fading. Having said that, they don’t last through a meal, they need to be touched up after a meal or drinks.

Cons –
     1. Not all the shades are equally pigmented – Some of the lighter, muted colours like Mystic Mauve are sheer and need to be layered on. The deeper shades have much better pigmentation.
     2. Ultra-moist claim – Let’s get real.. they’re creamy, yes..but they aren’t hydrating or moisturizing on your lips. You’ll need to have exfoliated, moisturized lips before you apply them or they might not look good. Being creamy textured, they might accentuate the dry, flaky skin on your lips (#Personalexperience, #lipsticklifelesson).
     3. Flimsy packaging – (Aarrgh! I’m so picky) The packaging could have been a little more stronger overall . Also, the actual lipstick bullet doesn’t twist back fully; it keeps sticking out of the lipstick case even after you twist the end completely, which might mean accidental nicks and dents to the lipstick, while fixing the cap.

Hope you liked this review! Do try out these lipsticks, they're really nice. If you already own some of them, I'd love to know your views on them. Leave me comments below to connect with me! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lotus Herbals Color Kick Kajal - Review

Hey Everyone, today I bring to you a review of the Lotus Herbals Color Kick Kajal.

I was looking around for a new kajal pencil at the store, when a bright pink pencil in the Lotus Herbals aisle, caught my eyes. I checked with the SA who told me that it was a new launch and went back to gossiping with her colleagues. Honestly, for me, this was a refreshing change; I get slightly annoyed when SAs keep on asking me if they can help. LOL Yes, I’m Neha, I love movies and long (undisturbed) walks down the makeup aisle!! ***wink wink***. 

Sorry sorry, back to the bright pink pencil that caught my eye. It was the Lotus Makeup Color Kick Kajal. At first, I was turned off by the packaging, a bright pink packaging for a black kajal? Weird! Nah..not interested!! But then Lotus Herbals was a brand that had never disappointed me in the past. I have loved all their sunscreens which I have been using since the beginning of time! I really wanted to try out this new kajal, so I got it! I was recently cleaning out my vanity box and realized this lil guy was banished to the corners for a long time. I brought him out and I’m sure he’s going to be a trusty lil companion this summer.

Price – At only Rs.199/- for 0.28g (I know, I know Lakme Eyeconic is Rs.200/- for 0.35g, but come on, I wanted to try something new!)

Packaging – A bright, hot pink body with a matching cap, that shuts tightly with a click. You will definitely not feel the need to look out for this kajal in the dark depths of your purse (Lol, we are women and we can carry our world in our purse..), this pink cutie will stand out from all your other makeup. A great plus about this pencil is that, it’s twistable and doesn’t need sharpening. I love this mechanism because seriously, how many of us ladies carry sharpeners around with us? (Yes, the world we carry, but not sharpeners!).

Shade, Texture & Longevity – It’s a dark, jet black colour and really pigmented. One swipe with a light hand will deposit great colour on your lashline. The texture is very creamy and soft. It sets in about 10 seconds of application to a smudge-proof finish and stays till the end of the day. Having said that, it doesn’t dry out and form those dirty lil boogers in your lashes. PS - I do recommend removing your kajal before bed-time. I never followed it myself; until I did and found that it really made a difference!

I use this kajal in different ways. Some examples of how I like to use this pencil - 

Used only half-way towards the outer lash-line
Opens up the eyes

Used to define complete upper and lower lash-line
Closes the eyes, but looks dramatic

Used to define only lower lash-line
Everyday look

Used as a smudged base for smokey eyes

Thumbs up -
  • Price point
  • Staying power
  • Pigmentation

Thumbs down -
  • Packaging (Cute pink pencil yet some of us maybe slightly turned off by it and not even give it a second look! To be honest, the pink packaging is not REALLY a Thumbs down, just a matter of preference with some)

      Hope you all liked this review..do let me know what's your 'go-to' kajal. If you've tried out a new kajal recently, let me know about it in the comments section below.

      Till then, Ciao! Have fun experimenting!!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Brown Smokey Eyes & Red Lips

Hi Everyone,

Today I’m going to decode one of my all-time favourite looks – 'Brown Smokey Eyes and Red Lips'

It's a classic! And of course, my favourite way to hike up the Glam Quotient on any given day! Some might say that this look is best saved for occasions, I say I’d wear this every single day if I could!! LOL Yep, that’s how easy this is to create and that’s how much I adore it! 

Let’s get into the step-by-step process of how I created this look –

1.   For the Base, I used Lakme CC Cream in Bronze. It’s got nice coverage and creates a good base. Next, the Blue Heaven Compact Powder got rid of excess shine on the T-zone. With the Revlon Highlighter palette, I bronzed up my face to add a little colour.

2.   For the Eyes, I lined the upper lash line with the Lotus Herbals Color Kick Kajal (which silly me, forgot to click **sad face**). Now, with the help of a smudging brush or a cue tip (ear bud), I smudged this out all over the moving eyelid, up to the crease. This formed a thin black base for the eye shadow to lay on.

Used these products to create this look.
Missed out on clicking the kajal, my bad! ;-) hehe

3.  With the help of my ring finger, I patted a slightly shimmery brown eye shadow all over the base. I used the Revlon Shadowlink in Java. You could use matte brown too, if you prefer. Try to stay within your crease (the fold of the eyelid). I usually have to take the shadow, a little past the crease, towards the brow-bone so that it shows up on my eyes.

4.  Next, I blended this brown eye shadow into the crease with a simple blending brush (or you can use your pointer finger). I used the ‘windshield wiper’ motions to blend this brown well into the crease, to create a gradient effect. The eye lashes should be the darkest while fading out to a light brown towards the crease (Smokey..remember?) hehe…

5.  For the lower lash line, I wore a simple kajal and again smudged it out with some eye shadow on a cue tip for the smoked out effect. TIP - For an added depth, you could use black eyeliner on top of the lashes again, to ensure they look dark and full. You can also add false lashes if you’re comfortable wearing them.

6.  To finish off the look, wear your favourite lipstick. I wore the Miss Claire Soft Matte Lip cream in No.10 Red for this look.

And there you go! Ready to rock!

I have worn this look with my glasses sometimes and it looks equally good. Since this look plays up the eyes,it brings them out, even from a thick-rimmed frame. Due to the classic tones in the look, it can be worn beautifully with Indian as well as Western outfits.

Hope you like this look! Do try this out sometime and let me know about it in the comments below!

Bye for now!