Jan 27, 2011

Marks and Spencers Shea Nut Lip Butter

Marks Spencer Shea Nut Lip Butter
Marks and Spencer Shea Nut Lip Butter
The M&S folks sure know their marketing.  Found these at the billing counter kept in a neat row - perfect to pick up and add to the bill.  Small enough to carry around in the bag but not so tiny that it gets clumsy to open or difficult to find in an overcrowded bag.  The lid is a screw-on type, and no risk of accidental opening or leakage.

The product has a sweet coconutty-chocolatey smell to it - reminds me of Bounty (which BTW I hate hate hate because of all that coconut in it) - but no flavor when it goes on the lips.

Marks Spencer Shea Nut Lip Butter

It's a fabulous lip balm, and I can find absolutely no faults with it.  Even the Bounty-like smell, I really have no issues with.  What I really really love about this, though, is that its AMAZING on rough elbows - which is a constant problem for me because apart from being superlazy at moisturizing, I also have this annoying habit of leaning on my elbows all the time.  I have started using this lip butter on my elbows, and they really are so much smoother now.  Safe to say, this has been the product I have ever used on my elbows.

Marks Spencer Shea Nut Lip Butter
M&S Shea Nut Lip Butter - Ingredients
Cost:  Rs. 245/10 g

Blog - Export/Import Blog

A few days back I lost my blog - disappeared without any notice, and I was clueless.  It ultimately did come back, on it's own, and I am assuming it was some blogger glitch.  I did learn a few things with that experience though, and I thought of sharing them here through a series of posts (Blogger - Things to Do) which can also be accessed from the sidebar.  Hopefully, this proves useful to someone :) :)

The first thing I learned from my "My blog is missing" experience was to get backups for my blog.  I didn't even remember when was the last time I had got one - okay, I did remember, but it was a long time back.  Of course, AFTER the issue got solved, I know what I should have done :P

If you use Blogger, this would be the absolute first thing you need to do.  I am assuming there is at least one person out there who is like me and didn't even know this button exists :D :D

Get into the habit of storing backups of the blog - REGULARLY and FREQUENTLY. 

Here's how you do it:

Dashboard - Settings - Basic - Export Blog

Clicking on Export blog brings up the next window

Click on Download Blog and save the file.
Click OK and you are done with saving - takes hardly any time, at least for me since I have a pretty smallish blog :)

This takes hardly any time and I am planning on doing this every day - at least for now, since I am fresh out of my scary experience - plus I post daily.  You can change the frequency depending on your posting schedule/frequency.

Why is this important:  In the unfortunate event that you lose your blog, and it doesn't ever get restored or if it takes ages to get back - you can start another blog and use "Import blog" option - it's right next to the export blog -  and you will have everything that was there in your old blog including comments.  I am sure this also has some other use, but this is the only use I am aware of right now :D

And no, you cannot do this AFTER your blog disappears!

Jan 25, 2011

MAC Select Moisturecover Dual Concealer

A limited-edition dual-sided Select Moisture Concealer featuring two tones to help conceal blemishes and correct dark circles under the eyes. Line softening, moisturized finish makes it ideal for undereyes.

MAC Select Moisturecover Dual Concealer
MAC Select Moisturecover Duo

Cost: Rs. 1400/8 mL

I bought this for a bunch of reasons:  I have dark circles, and I have deep-set eyes - trust me, it's a bad combination.  I needed a coral-based concealer for the dark circles and a more yellow one for lightening.  I had planned on buying two separate products from another brand, when this collection launched, and the concealer seemed made for me :P :P  The cost was another reason.  Buying two separate products would have cost me more.

MAC Select Moisturecover Dual Concealer
Coral Corrector
MAC Select Moisturecover Dual Concealer
Yellow Corrector
To use:  Mix sufficient quantities of both correctors to get a close match for your skin, apply to the areas that need it (in my case, undereyes), dab with a sponge to take off any excess, and set with powder.  (Check this article/video for better detail.)

MAC Select Moisturecover Dual Concealer
I try to mix it to get a colour similar to my foundation shade
makes it easier for me to figure out how much to use of each corrector.
My take on this so far (have used it only twice now - and I haven't really used very many concealers so far):
  • It's perfect for people who have not been able to find a suitable shade of concealer - like me, I need two separate shades to get a proper effect.  I mix and use for concealing, then use a bit more of the yellow to make the area look a bit brighter.
  • I liked the packaging - definitely easier having to search for one product rather than two :P
  • I mix it on the back of my hand, and I end up wasting a lot of product that sticks on to my hand.
  • It's a limited edition product, so if you love it, and you run out of whatever you have stocked up - uh-ohhh!!!
  • I would use this for now, but I don't know if I would repurchase.  Oh well, it's limited edition anyway, so I might not get it to repurchase either :D
Update:  With a little practice, I found that I can use the coral corrector first - dab dab little of it on the undereye area - pat with little finger - then dab dab little of the yellow corrector and pat with little finger - to get a good coverage.  This way, I waste no product either.  Takes a bit of trial and error but is easy to do :)

Related post:  MAC Siahi EOTD

Jan 23, 2011

Monday Morning Blues

MAC Fluidline Siahi EOTD

Finally got around to trying the MAC Siahi - loved it.  Here's how I used it:

Inglot brown eyeshadow all over lids
Applied Siahi with angled brush
because that's the only brush I have :P
Applied Bourjois (intense black) all over lid
totally lacking in pigmentation but fab for this work :D
Tightlining and lower waterline with kohl
(Used - MaxFactor Black)
Finish off with mascara
(Used - Chanel Inimitable)
And this is what I ended up with.  I prefer this toned down Siahi to the original colour (for me, that is).

And that's my version of MAC Siahi - EOTD
Related Post:   Maybelline Gel Liner - Charcoal/Charbon
MAC Fluidline - Dark Diversion

Jan 20, 2011

Feel Good Inside Out with Lush Charity Pot

Charity Pot was created in April 2007 to raise money for charities and other good causes. Every penny you pay goes to helping those groups and the work they do. In the last financial year LUSH (world wide) donated £340,000 to small organizations working in the areas of environment, animal protection and human rights. In India through the sales of Charity Pot, LUSH has the opportunity to be part of SoCare, a charitable organisation that shelters kids of life-term convicts. It’s their vision to establish a pro-active society for the children of life-term prisoners.

lush charity pot india partner so care launch event

Yesterday, LUSH had a small event at the Garuda Mall, Bangalore, with some cute children from SoCare accompanied by two volunteers, Mr. Rao and Ms. Asha, and together they launched the Charity Pot, a hand and body lotion, 100% of the proceeds (excluding tax) goes to this charity.  I got some pics from the event to share (posted some pics earlier here).

lush charity pot india partner so care launch event
lush charity pot india partner so care launch event
Superenthusiastic Lush staff
the lady in pink-violet is Ms. Sangeetha Kamat - one of the directors of Lush
the girl behind the counter is my fav SA, Sushmita.
lush charity pot india partner so care launch event
The Charity Pot was hidden under a cover on the table and the children were
asked to search for this and lift the sheets off to reveal the lotion.  I thought
that was a really cute way to launch the lotion.
lush charity pot india partner so care launch event
Mr. Mani speaking about SoCare and Lush's support to this charity.  SoCare has
154 children of lifeterm convicts, and their aim is to provide education, discipline,
vocational training so these children have a level playing field
with children from normal backgrounds.
lush charity pot india partner so care launch event
Loads of munchies - chocolates, samosas, kachoris, and potato chips - yummm :D
(The other kids are searching for the Charity Pot on the shelves.)
lush charity pot india partner so care launch event
Every time you buy a Charity Pot, you bring a smile and a better life to one of them.

Charity Pot:  Fairtrade, organic cocoa butter moisturises and gives Charity Pot an incredibly rich chocolate scent, like a pot of rich and creamy chocolate. It's made with skin-softening cocoa butter and almond oil to make your skin feel lovely, and it has a scent you’ll want to sniff all day long.  Geranium essential oil is balancing and lends a delicate fragrance.  Every penny that you pay for a pot, excluding the VAT, goes to grassroots charities all around the world.
lush charity pot india partner so care launch event
Every time you buy a Charity Pot, you bring a smile and a better life to one of them.

Ingredients:  Water, almond Oil, Fair Trade Cocoa Butter, Glycerine, Stearic Acid, Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata), Geranium Oil (Pelargonium crispum), Tagettes Oil (Tagetes glandulifera), Triethanolamine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Cost:  Rs. 990/240 g

Review in another week or two after I use this a bit, but I really never have read anything bad about Charity Pot.  Lush puts in some of the finest ingredients to make this, and it is one of the more affordable body lotions at Lush.  Couple with the fact that the proceeds support such a fabulous cause, if you plan to get a body lotion from Lush, I would urge you to give this a try :)

Interested in knowing more about SoCare - check their website here.

Similar Posts:
Lush Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion (Product Review)
Lush Saving Face Serum Bar
Lush Dream Cream
Lush Pied De Pepper Foot Lotion
Sympathy For The Skin

A Quiet Day :D

I met some really cute people today - where, how, why - that's for tomorrow - just sharing a pic or two - okay three - today :D

Lush Benefits Charity Pot Launch Event Partnership SoCare Organization Indian Kids

Lush Benefits Charity Pot Launch Event Partnership SoCare Organization Indian Kids

And for all the curious cats who wanted to know what I look like :P :P :P

Lush Benefits Charity Pot Launch Event Partnership SoCare Organization Indian Kids

Tune back in tomorrow to know the story behind the smiles...(posted - check here)

Jan 18, 2011

Lush Saving Face Serum Bar

Lush serum bars - Saving Face and Full of Grace - here's my review of Saving Face.

The difference is in the size of the ingredient molecules.  Moisturisers have larger molecules and hence work mostly on surface layer of skin whereas a face serum has smaller molecules and hence is able to penetrate into deeper skin layers thus enabling serums to more effectively solve skin  problems.

lush saving face serum bar reviews ingredients

Here's what Lush has to say about the Saving Face:  Saving Face contains thyme infusion to alleviate problems, while the grapefruit and lime oils tone and refresh your face by mopping up excess oils and making your skin sparkle. The illipe and shea butters moisturize the skin with natural goodness. The ingredients are more concentrated and will really enhance any other products you use with it. Massage into the skin to save that lovely face of yours from trouble, or apply before using a Fresh Face Mask to enhance the effect.

Usage:  As recommended, this is ideal for use before applying a mask.  I usually do the whole routine - cleanse, scrub, serum bar, and finish off with a mask.  Wipe of any excess product with a warm damp towel and then apply a clay-based mask, like the Himalay Neem pack.  This can also be used, according to Lush, instead of a moisturiser or in combination with a moisturiser.  For my skin at least, that is not a regular-use option.  I can get away with using this as a night-time moisturiser maybe for a day or two.  After that my skin not-so-very politely tells me to stop (I get these teeny tiny bumps here and there on my face - ignore and I get a pimple).

lush saving face serum bar reviews ingredients
lush saving face serum bar reviews ingredients

The product itself feels somewhat similar to rubbing a stick of butter (not thawed) on the skin.  It melts easily enough and feels very light.  I did try swatching - not that I could figure out much from the pics - but anyway :D

Filled with natural ingredients, in my opinion, this is a great product for a massage-face pack routine.  It's not that I saw any drastic improvement in my skin with using this, but I just feel better knowing I am putting a whole lot of good ingredients rather than some -cone ingredients and fillers.  It lasts ages, since you really don't need to use much.  This is a solid bar, which means it comes free of preservatives (solid products have no moisture content and therefore do not require preservatives to stay unspoiled).

Some faults (?):

For some reason, I was expecting a larger size bar.  This is really small, smaller than the average lipstick tube. However as I said earlier, you need very less product, and this bar would last ages.

lush saving face serum bar reviews ingredients

Naked bars - as Lush calls so many of it's solid products - come wrapped in a piece of paper, and while that might seem very nice and pretty, you do need an actual container to store this in.  I have stored mine in a Lush tin (costs around Rs. 150 I think - but I got it free free free).  Can store in any empty container - a used cream tin, for instance, or an inexpensive soap box, so really it does not seem such a big deal to me.

lush saving face serum bar reviews ingredients

Cost:  Rs. 880/20 g

Ingredients:  Illipe Butter (Shorea stenoptera), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Kaolin, Fresh Organic Lime Juice (Citrus aurantifolia), Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Fresh Thyme Infusion (Thymus zygis), Talc, Perfume, Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Grapefruit Oil (Citrus paradisi), Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara), Citral, Geraniol, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool, Chlorophyllin.

Related Posts:

Lush Fresh Face Masks - Ayesha Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub
Lush Angels on Bare Skin - Cleanser

Lush Dark Angels Face Cleanser/Scrub

Jan 17, 2011

VLCC Skin Defense Indian Berberry Face Scrub

VLCC Skin Defense Indian Berberry Face Scrub - The remarkable product exfoliates and rejuvenates, porcelains and retextures, cleans & refreshes the skin. Plant extracts make this exfoliater apt for all skin types.

This is the first product I have tried from the VLCC range of skincare (and they do seem to have quite a few products). I needed a scrub, and this one was tagged as suitable "for all skin types."  Refreshes, deep cleanses, and removes blackhead - pretty much regular scrub claims. What they mean by "porcelains" I am not quite sure :P

VLCC Skin Defense Indian Berberry Face Scrub Indian Skincare Beauty Blog Reviews Ingredients how to use

Packaging/Product: The product comes in an easy-to-squeeze-out tube with a flip-open cap. Easy to use and no problem with product contamination. Travel friendly. The product itself is creamy greyish-white with black granules. It feels very soft, and the scrub granules are not very abrasive - I don't really do a very harsh scrubbing either. The scrub has a mild fruity smell - but not a sweet jelly fruity - more of a banana-fruity smell. Sometimes I feel like I get an ash/charcoal kind of a smell from it, though, when I am scrubbing my face..no idea why..and it's not there all the time, so maybe it's just me.

VLCC Skin Defense Indian Berberry Face Scrub Indian Skincare Beauty Blog Reviews Ingredients how to use

Method of use: Apply on clean skin. Leave for 2-3 minutes, then massage gently for 3-4 minutes. Avoid sensitive skin near eyes. Rinse off using lukewarm water. For best results: Use twice weekly. Follow up with a VLCC face pack suited for your skin type for a glowing skin (as written on tube).

My experience with the product: I found this to be a gentle but effective scrub - with just the right scrubbing granules in the cream base. However, I think this scrub is best meant for normal skins. It did not have any noticeable skin clearing effect, and the cream base left some oiliness on the face. I have oily-combination skin and the climate is very drying right now, so I can get away with using it, but I really don't think this is a good idea for an oily-skinned person. The recommendation of using a face pack after this is actually quite sensible - of course, that means I never really did do that - got too lazy - but I do think using a clay-based mask after this (oily/oily-combination skin) would help absorb the bit of cream residue left on the face.  My face did seem a tad brighter a day after I use this scrub, so it's best to use this a day before you actually want the glowing happy looking skin. As with any product, please do not try out or experiment with this scrub just before an important day. Skin reactions vary from person to person, you do not want to find that out at the wrong time. Otherwise, I would recommend this product for dry, normal, and maybe combination skins if the weather permits, but not much for a truly oily-skinned person.

VLCC Skincare Defense Indian Berberry Face Scrub - Ingredients

VLCC Skin Defense Indian Berberry Face Scrub Indian Skincare Beauty Blog Reviews Ingredients how to use
VLCC Skin Defense Indian Berberry Face Scrub - Key IngredientsPapaya seed, Banana pulp, Margosa ext, Mango seed powder, Date ext, Fenugreek ext, Zinc oxide, Corn oil, Indian berberry ext, Cream base.

Cost: Rs. 215/100 g

Jan 15, 2011

Chanel Spring 2010 (Les Perles De Chanel) - a Tiny Haul

Bought only two products from the Chanel Spring 2010 collection that was launched this week in Bangalore.  Having seen the swatches/products on so many blogs, I was not really very impressed with this collection, but it's Chanel, and it's me, so I did land up at the counter to take a peek.  I was thankfully unimpressed by the eye shadows, and the lipsticks were just too pink for me, but here's what I did buy.

Chanel Spring 2010 Makeup - Les Perles de Chanel - Haul
Chanel Spring 2010 (Les Perles De Chanel) -  a Tiny Haul
Chanel Spring 2010 Makeup - Les Perles de Chanel - Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Nakkar
Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer - Nakkar (Review HERE)
Chanel Spring 2010 Makeup - Les Perles de Chanel - Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Nakkar
Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer - Nakkar
Les Perles de Chanel Spring 2010 Makeup - Joues Contraste Blush Espiegle
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush - Espiegle
Les Perles de Chanel Spring 2010 Makeup - Joues Contraste Blush Espiegle
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush - Espiegle
And I snagged a few tiny samples of some perfumes...even a bit of Chanel does smell heavenly :) :) So, how was your weekend?

Jan 14, 2011

Know the Ingredient: Parabens

Products with Parabens Ingredients Lush TBS Harmful Effects Research

What are Parabens

Parabens are commonly used preservatives in cosmetics and medicines because of their ability to prevent growth of bacteria and fungi.  Parabens can be found in shampoos, moisturizers, medicines, toothpastes, and are also used as food additives.

Types of parabens

  • Butylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Heptylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben

What's so bad about parabens?

  • Cancer scare: Parabens have been shown to have weakly estrogenic properties (translation - they behave similar to estrogen, but very watered down) on tests conducted on animals. Reason that would seem worrying is a lot of breast cancers are very sensitive to the hormone estrogen. This means in people with a breast tumor, presence of estrogen can (can, not will) make the tumor grow faster. It does not mean that in a healthy person, presence of estrogen causes cancer. However, this is still under a lot of research, plus the amount of parabens used in cosmetics is supposedly a much much much lower dose than the doses mentioned in research papers.
  • Studies have shown that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UV rays from the sun causing skin aging.
  • Some people have skin sensitivities to parabens, paraben allergies, and in such people it can cause skin allergies and rashes. However, this is not a very common occurrence, and generally most people don't have skin reactions to parabens.
The pro-paraben facts - Not really pro, but some arguments against the paraben scare are:
  • Methylparaben is found naturally occurring in several fruits, mainly blueberries, along with other parabens. Not that I am saying if it's natural, it's safe - but blueberries do seem safe.
  • At concentrations generally used in skincare and cosmetics, there is no evidence that methylparaben or propylparaben can be harmful. Methyl and propylparabens are considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe) for food and cosmetic antibacterial preservation.
  • Methylparaben is easily broken down by common soil bacteria - is completely biodegradable.Products containing Parabens Ingredients Harmful Effects
Lush, my favorite brand as some would say (right next to Chanel), uses parabens as preservatives. I have not yet gotten around to researching how safe the ingredients in the paraben-free products are, but having tried a fair amount of products, I still continue to use Lush simply because their products work and are filled with amazingly good ingredients. I really wish someone would hurry up with the research and let me know for sure if I should stay off Lush or not!! What about you? Where do you stand on the paraben issue?

Similar posts - here


A souvenir (from French, for memory), memento or keepsake is an object a traveler brings home for the memories associated with it. 

souvenir fridge magnets san francisco hongkong

I invariably pick up fridge magnets. I know, that's so unimaginative, but that's what I like :)   And apparently the disease runs in the family, cos this is the fridge at my sister's place :D

souvenir fridge magnets NYC landmarks

What's your favorite souvenir?

Jan 13, 2011

Lush Silky Underwear

Lush Silky Underwear - special dusting powder with grated cocoa butter - my review.

lush silky underwear reviews ingredients dusting powder blog

I got this powder for absolutely no other reason other than it's name. Lush claims it has an amazing jasmine fragrance and it leaves the skin super smooth. Also, it does not have any talc in the ingredient list. Rather, it uses cornstarch and kaolin as the absorbent agents. Plus, it has grated cocoa butter added in it which makes the skin smooth. 

My experience with the product:   First, the packaging.  Now, I understand recyclable packaging has its merits, but really for the price they charge, I would want a sturdy packaging.  This comes in a cardobard-kind of a cylinder packing which seems flimsy but has not really been damaged so far, not that I have thrown it around roughly.  The powder is dispensed through a twist cap (I really don't know what to call it) - twist to get the holes into the proper position and dab the powder out.  Theoretically, that should work.  It sure does work in almost all powder dispensers I have seen so far.  The problem I have had is unless you have left the container standing upright all the time, the powder would eventually work its way out of the cap and a lot of it gets wasted.

lush silky underwear reviews ingredients dusting powder blog

The other thing is the smell - I did not find it amazingly perfumed - it has a very mild smell, and really by Lush standards, it is just way too mild.  It's not that I dislike it, but just that Lush's claims of this being jasmine scented are just not true.  Unless I got a really old product and the scent had just disappeared.

Ingredients:   The cornstarch and kaolin do a good enough job at absorbing any moisture/oiliness and do the leave the skin pretty dry.  It's a great dusting powder, especially for use in the summers.  The thing is, though, so is Ponds which I tried some time back and is available for a lot less money - or any other decent powder.

lush silky underwear reviews ingredients dusting powder blog

Lastly, the cocoa bits - this has very very finely grated cocoa butter bits, can almost miss seeing them but you can feel the bits when you first rub the powder on your skin.  They are amazingly finely grated bits and disappear into the skin in no time.  I never even realized they were there until I was reading the Lush site once!  I really don't know if it makes any difference to the powder..but they are there and I suppose they do add something good to the skin.

lush silky underwear reviews ingredients dusting powder blog

Verdict:  I find this an unnecessary buy from Lush - at least for me.  It's very costly, and I really don't have any problem with regular powders that I would need to for such an expensive alternative.  I find this too mildly scented - again, it might be just me feeling that way, so please do smell this at the store.  This is a talc-free and vegan product - so that's really the only advantage I could think of this.  I would rather spend the 600 Rs on something else from Lush.

Cost:  Rs. 630/100 g ($10.95)

Only two Lush products I don't really like: 

Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub
Lush Godiva Solid Shampoo