Jul 30, 2011

South India On a Plate: Madurai Idli Kadai, Sunnyvale

I am a die-hard dosa fan, and if you didn't know that about me already...well...err..okay..so you know that now :D :D   Luckily for me this part of California is like a miniature version of South India - the Indian stores here stock chutneys and mixes I haven't seen in Bangalore.  I also managed to find a shop that serves up the yummiest, tastiest, mom-would-approve dosas.


Food:  Awesome!  South Indian, vegetarian.  My favorite - Ghee Dosa :D
Location:  744 S Wolfe Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086
#408-738-4354
Find them on the web at:  www.maduraiidlikadai.com

This "idli kadai" does serve idlis, in case you were wondering :D

Jul 29, 2011

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes erase 99.3% of your most stubborn makeup, even waterproof mascara, in one easy step. The gentle, ultra-soft cloths leave skin thoroughly clean with no traces of makeup, dirt, and oil—so there's no need to rinse! Use daily for clean, fresh, makeup-free skin.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Reviews Blog

I grabbed these a couple of days back after being informed of its existence on TV.  Neutrogena claims, their makeup-remover towelettes are:
  • Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
  • Ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested
  • Allergy tested
  • Alcohol free
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Reviews Blog

These soft white cleansing wipes have a nice smell and are sufficiently large (19 x 18.5 cm) and have a teeny bit of a stretch to them.  They are quite effective at taking off every bit of makeup from my face - I don't use waterproof mascara, so I am not very sure at how good these wipes are at removing that!  I would never need more than one towelette, and I love the soft texture that doesn't irritate my skin.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Reviews Blog

What I don't like, though, is the heavy film it leaves behind on my face.  It looks greasy but it definitely does not seem like oil to me.  Whatever it is, my Dove face wash finds it a bit difficult to wash off!   It has not caused any breakouts or irritated my skin in anyway, but the residue left behind means I absolutely have to wash my face after using these wipes (yes, yes, I am lazy - if I could I would go off to sleep right away).

Ingredients:

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Reviews Ingredients

Cost:  $5.49/21 towelettes.  I got the smaller 7-towelette size but forgot the price of that :P

Related Posts:

Neutrogena Fine Fairness Deep Whitening Mask
Neutrogena Deep Clean Foaming Cleanser 

Friday FOTD: Brown Eye Makeup and Peach-Brown Lips

I was watching the promos for Friends With Benefits the other day on TV and loved Mila Kunis' eye makeup.  I checked a few photos online and decided on a brown eyeshadow with a plum-burgundy eyeshadow on the outer corner - and black liner along the upper lashline.  Am sure she has a more complicated makeup, but this is all I am up to :)  Disclaimer over.

friday fotd brown-burgundy mila kunis makeup
Products I used:

For the eyes:  I used NYX HD eyeshadow base.  Used Chanel Ombre D'Eau shadow Splash all over lid.  Used Inglot eyeshadow AMC Shine 30 for the inner corner.  Used MAC Vainglorious eyeshadow to the outer corner and crease area.  ELF liquid liner in black to the upper lashline and along the lower lashline.  Finished with a coat of mascara - YSL Faux Cils Noir Radical.

friday fotd brown-burgundy mila kunis makeup

For the face:  I used MAC Select Moisturecover dual concealer followed by Chanel's Le Blanc base.  Used the Chanel Mat Lumiere powder foundation and Lakme's Kiss of a Rose blush.  Lipstick - Maybelline Color Sensational My Mahogany.

I spent the day chatting with my friend and did a bit of cooking (rajma).  No plans for the weekend, but what about you - what's cooking over the weekend?

Related Posts:
Inglot eye shadows

Jul 28, 2011

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm


TBS Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm - available HERE.

Nourish and protect your skin from dryness with a rich, comforting and intensely moisturizing balm that will leave it feeling soft, velvety smooth and scented with our traditional Spa Wisdom™ Africa fragrance.

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm Reviews
The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm Reviews

The Spa Wisdom range from TBS is one of my favorites, along with their fabulous body butters.  The African Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm seemed very similar to the body butters, but I have to confess, it is the packaging that caught my attention - the jar with the metal clasps is quite different from the usual tubs and tubes.

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm Reviews

The Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm is a soft cream with an amazing but not overwhelming fragrance.  This pale peach-coloured cream is easy to spread and is very light and fast absorbing.  I was expecting something thicker, like the usual TBS body butters, but this is much lighter and perhaps more suitable for the summers.

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm Reviews

While I love this product for the amazing smell and the light and effective moisturization it provides, I do have a few problems with it.  I ordered this online from the TBS site, and there was some leakage around the rim of the tub.  Apart from some wastage of the product, it also left the tub messy :(  This might be something to consider if you intend traveling with the tub - absolutely essential to pack carefully in a separate plastic bag.

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm Reviews
This is after I cleaned up as best as I could - you can still see the dried bits along the rim.
At $24.00/193 g (Rs. 1095 in India), this is also a very expensive product, and I doubt if I would ever pick it up at this price.  I got it at a discount at one of the frequent TBS sales, and that's the only way I would buy this!

TBS Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm Ingredients:

 

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Shea Butter and Sesame Oil Body Balm Ingredients TBS

A fabulous moisturizer, perfect for those looking for something between a body butter and a lotion, this is one of my favorites but definitely a sale-time purchase only.  Have you tried any of the TBS Spa Wisdom products?

Related Posts:
The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Polynesia Monoi Miracle Oil
TBS Lip Scuff and Lip Care
The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Japan Yuzu and Green Tea Bathing Salts 

Complete list of TBS product reviews check here.

Burt's Bees Hand Salve (Review)

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Our most intensive hand treatment, this formula is packed with botanical oils, herbs and beeswax to moisturize hard working, rough, dry hands. It's an everyday miracle.

Burts Bees Hand Salve Reviews Ingredients
Burts Bees Hand Salve Reviews Ingredients

The Burt's Bees Hand Salve reminds me of a lip balm - it has the same waxy consistency and texture.  The smell is a sharp smell - mix of citrusy and eucalyptus.  I don't have a problem with the smell, but it might seem too strong/sharp for some.

How to Use:  For best results, gently massage the salve into skin daily before and after gardening and other outdoor activates.

I scrape out a bit of the balm-like product on to my palm, rub to melt and spread the product on my hand.  It has a very thin, light oily texture to it - goes on kind of like a thinner version of Vaseline.  As instructed, the product needs to be massaged into the skin, and it takes a bit of time to get absorbed, but my hands do feel softer with it.  Personally, I prefer creams, so I really couldn't get myself to like the consistency of this product.  However, this is perfect for those who do a bit of gardening or any work that leaves hands very dry pretty soon - especially when used before starting the work.  My hands aren't that dry any more, so I couldn't tell much of a difference with using this product, but I love using this as a night-time hand cream.  It has a pretty impressive ingredient list, and I am happy with a little pampering for my hands :)  Also, you need very little of the product as compared to regular creams.

Ingredients:

Burts Bees Hand Salve Reviews Ingredients


Cost:  $9.00/85 g (product shown in review is a much smaller size)

Overall, you will like this product if:
  • You have extremely dry hands - work outdoors, wash hands frequently, etc.
  • You don't mind a strong-smelling product.
  • Don't mind spending a bit of time massaging the product into the hands and don't mind the greasy hands for a while.
If your hands aren't that dry, and if you are used to regular hand lotions, you would probably not like/need this product.

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Jul 27, 2011

NYX HD Eye Shadow Base

Prep your eyelids with this lightweight eye makeup primer that evens skin tone, smooths lines and ensures lasting makeup application. The High Definition Eye Shadow Base alleviates creases and pumps up the vibrancy of your eye shadow.

NYX HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base Reviews Swatches Ingredients
NYX HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base Reviews Swatches Ingredients

I bought this eyeshadow base along with a few NYX lipsticks from Cherry Culture a while back, and while I sent the lipsticks off to loving homes elsewhere, the eyeshadow base has been getting a lot of attention from me for a while now.  This is the first eyeshadow base/primer I am trying, so I really didn't know what to expect when I bought it, but now that I have used it for a while, here's my take on it.

The packaging is kind of like a lip gloss, complete with a doe-foot applicator wand.  I have read reviews complaining that this packaging isn't the best to take out every last bit of product - many prefer a tube packaging to get all the product out - but I still have loads of product left so I really don't know about that yet :D

NYX HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base Reviews Swatches Ingredients Blog

The primer/base itself is slightly thin though not really runny in consistency and is almost translucent-creamish in colour.  You need to apply very little to each eyelid, and what I do is wipe off all the product from the wand on the mouth of the tube and then dab the wand on my eyelid.  That much product is more than sufficient.  In fact, if you use more it tends to look patchy and uneven, though of course that would get covered by your eyeshadow :D

Here's the swatch on my hand:

NYX HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base Reviews Swatches Ingredients Blog
I have not blended the product.  Once you blend it into your skin it's almost invisible.

I have swatched a brown eyeshadow - L'Oreal HIP eyeshadow duo Dashing - doesn't show up much since it almost matches my skin colour without the base.  On this base though, you can really see the difference..

NYX HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base Reviews Swatches Ingredients

I have no faults to list out for this primer/base, so am just listing out all that is good:
  • Eyeshadows last whole day with this - no creasing, migrating, traveling, fading, or any other crazy word you can think of :P
  • Brings out the colour of the shadows.
Cost:  $7.00

Ingredients:

NYX HD High Definition Eyeshadow Base Reviews Swatches Ingredients

Verdict:  This is a must-have, inexpensive product that I cannot find any faults with.  LOVE!  A lot of reviewers compare this to the Urban Decay Primer Potion, and while I had always wanted to give that a try, I find the NYX HD Eyeshadow Base such a fabulous product I doubt if I would ever want to spend the extra cash :D :D :D


Jul 22, 2011

ELF Long-Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Pen (Black)

Ever since I came to the US, I have been wanting to buy something from ELF - the $1 price tag had me so curious!  I finally found the brand at Target and picked up this black eyeliner since that was one thing I did actually need.  No point wasting a dollar on things I already have :D

elf waterproof eyeliner pen black
elf waterproof eyeliner pen black reviews eotds swatches

The eyeliner comes in a pen-type packaging with a snugly fitting cap that doesn't seem like it would come loose.  The felt tip dispenses the eyeliner and can draw thin or thick lines depending on your requirement.

elf waterproof eyeliner pen black reviews eotds swatches
elf waterproof eyeliner pen black reviews eotds swatches

On my hand, it is very easy to swatch and is quite black and pigmented.  It dries very fast and true to it's claims the swatch is waterproof.  I held my hand under water for some time and the swatch stayed on just as it was.  I tried rubbing the swatch with a towel and it got smudged slightly after that.

elf waterproof eyeliner pen black reviews eotds swatches
L:  Original swatch before water testing.
R:  Swatch after testing under water and rubbing
with a towel.
However while using it on my eyes, I didn't find it that easy to apply.  The tip seemed a bit scratchy, and the colour didn't apply that smoothly.  I don't know if it is because of my lack of experience with these kind of eyeliners or that's just how this is - either way I found it a little difficult to apply a thin line with this pen.  I can't say I am very disappointed with it, but I would have liked it if it was a little more smooth in its application.  I tried using it on my waterline, but the colour didn't show up at all - didn't get applied at all - on the waterline.  There was a bit of a grey tinge, and I only tried once and left it after that.

On my eyes:

elf waterproof eyeliner pen black reviews eotds swatches

The colour is just as black on my eyes as it is in the hand swatch, but I guess the sunlight was just too much and washed out the colour making it look less dark.

Overall, I find this to be a very decent eyeliner.  I do wish ELF would do something about the scratchy applicator, but at the $1 price, I guess there is only so much I can complain about.

Have you tried ELF products?  Which ones would you recommend?

Jul 20, 2011

The Body Shop Bath Gloves


TBS Bath Gloves - get even more lather with textured bath mitts that exfoliate gently.

HOW TO USE THE BODY SHOP BATH MITTS:

  • For extra exfoliation, use with a scrub from The Body Shop Bath and Body range.
  • Use two to three times a week for maximum effect. Regular exfoliating and massaging can help tone and firm the skin.
  • Rinse after use and hang to dry.
TBS Body Shop Bathing Exfoliating Gloves Mitts Reviews skincare makeup beauty blog

Available in a variety of colours (I was quite confused on which one to pick - there was a bright greeen shade too), the Body Shop exfoliating bath mitts are made of a nylon-type synthetic material with some stretch to it because of elastic fibers woven in.  There is only one size available, and since they stretch, I guess they would fit most hand sizes.

I use the exfoliating gloves only about 2-3 times a week - and not on a very regular basis either - with any regular body wash though never tried with an exfoliating body wash or a scrub.  I find these quite scrubby enough on their own, so I won't want to try out with an added scrub.  My skin feels really smooth after a wash with these, plus I love that they make it easier to wash off the body washes - even the irrtating slippery ones.  One step I would never skip is washing the gloves after I am done using them  - I know I sound crazy, but I wash them with soap and hang them to drip dry.  They look quite new even now, so I am quite happy :D

TBS Exfoliating Bath Mitts (available here) - Cost:  $5 (Rs. 250 I think).

In case anyone has the same doubt that my friend had, it's a pair.  You cannot buy just one.

Complete list of TBS Product Reviews - check here.

Also Read:
The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Scrub
The Body Shop Deep Sleep Soothing Shower Cream
The Body Shop Passionfruit Scrub
The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Scrub
Lush Spice Curls Soap
Thann Rice Grain Soap 
St. Ives Energizing Citrus Moisturizing Body Wash - Awaken Your Senses

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy: Orange-Ginger Energizing Invigorating Body Wash

Boost your energy. Orange Essential Oil refreshes and uplifts to relieve tension. Ginger Essential Oil stimulates the soul and sharpens the senses.  This nourishing body wash contains Green Tea Extract to help keep sking looking younger and healthier.

Bath and Body Works Energizing Invigorating Orange Ginger Wash Reviews Aromatherapy

This is going to be quite an itsy-bitsy short review.  This was part of a travel set my sister got for me ages back, and I don't have the original packaging, so I cannot put up the ingredient list either.  Anyway on to the bit of the review that I can do :D  This is a clear, pale yellow body wash with a refreshing citrusy spicy smell.  I just need to smell this and feel awake instantly.  As recommended by Bath and Body Works, you need take a deep breath to get the best effect.  Love it.  The smell doesn't stay on the skin after a wash, though.  I use it with The Body Shop bathing gloves to get supersmooth skin, and it washes off easily without leaving a slippery feel on my skin.  While it doesn't dry my skin too much, I do have to follow this up with a moisturizer.

Cost:  $5.00 (59 mL)

I generally love instantly refreshing citrus smells, so this body wash would definitely be a "love it" for me.  Now that I have access to Bath and Body Works, I want to try other products, though.  Which is your favorite product from Bath and Body Works?

Related Posts:

Jul 19, 2011

A Sleepy Day Post

The title is a bit of a brainwave on my part.  I am having one of those sleepy days, and my drowsy brain absolutely refuses to think of anything to post.  Compromise - I thought I will share the makeup I tried last weekend to go with the MAC Evolution Revolution lipglass.

Chanel MAC EOTD FOTD' border=
Chanel MAC EOTD FOTD' border=
I thought a dark khaki eye makeup would work well with
the quite nude/natural-looking lipglass.  I used Chanel's khaki
pencil as a base, then applied Khaki eyeshadow all over
the lid, black on the outer corner, and a rustish brown on the
inner corner.  Used black eyeshadow on upper lashline
and Elle18 kajal on the waterline.














Products Used:

Chanel MAC EOTD FOTD' border=
Eyes:  NYX HD Eyeshadow Base
Chanel Khaki Dore pencil
Chanel Khaki eyeshadow
Inglot Black eyeshadow
Reddish-bronze (?) eyeshadow from Chanel's Bird of Paradise quad.
Chanel MAC EOTD FOTD' border=
Face:  Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating base
Chanel Mat Lumiere Powder foundation
Chanel In Love blush
and MAC Select Moisturecover concealer which I forgot to put in here :D
Chanel MAC EOTD FOTD' border=
Lipcolour:  Shiseido lip pencil (Soft Sepia) and MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass
So that was my attempt at a post.   Now tell me - what is your foolproof method to beat a drowsy day?  I am going to try tea - with some ginger thrown in.  I would like to sleep some more, but I scared a Fedex delivery guy who turned up with a parcel to the wrong address, so I am thinking it's about time I woke up :D

Jul 18, 2011

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo and Conditioner

Sweet and tart team up to turn up your shine. Essential Citrus Oils, featuring Grapefruit, are blended with gentle, plant-based cleansers to create a richly foaming shampoo.  Betaine, made from Sugar Beets, penetrates to help repair damage for hair that feels healthier and looks shinier, naturally.  The conditioner has essential Citrus Oils, featuring Grapefruit, are blended with Betaine, made from Sugar Beets, and Marula Oil to replenish, condition, soften and improve manageability.  Hair feels healthier and looks shinier, naturally.

Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo and Conditiner Reviews

I got the Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit Shampoo and Conditioner as a part of the Burt's Bees Head to Toe Starter Kit - a great set for anyone wishing to try out a bunch of products without hurting the pocket.  Both the shampoo and the conditioner have a citrusy smell and claim to provide supershiny hair.

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo

 

Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo Reviews
Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo Reviews

This is a clear, pale yellow shampoo with a strong citrus smell to it.  Though not really very mild, if your hair needs some extra cleaning or if it's very oily, you might need to use a bit more of this shampoo or maybe shampoo twice to get clean-feeling hair.

Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo Reviews
Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo Ingredients
Burt's Bees Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo - Ingredients
It leaves my hair soft but kind of tangled.  This problem is, of course, solved enough with the conditioner, so no worries :D

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Conditioner

 

Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Conditiner Reviews
Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Conditiner Reviews

A thick, creamy white conditioner that is an absolute essential especially if you have just washed your hair with the Burt's Bees shampoo from the same range, this does what it claims and leaves hair shiny and soft.

Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Conditiner Reviews

I leave it on for at least 2-3 minutes before washing it off.  There is no slippery feel to my hair, and I don't get a dry itchy scalp (a common problem I face with silicone-containing haircare products).  It leaves just naturally soft hair.  A winner for me :D

Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Conditiner Ingredients
Burt's Bees Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Coditioner - Ingredients
Overall, I loved the Burt's Bees Grapefruit and Sugar Beet haircare range.  I love that they don't irritate my scalp and leave my hair feeling quite normal.  I did not find my hair "supershiny" though - was no shinier than usual - but I haven't used it that many times to tell if it is a longterm effect :)  I would definitely NOT use the shampoo WITHOUT the conditioner.  I never follow instructions on using products from the same range, but with the Grapefruit and Sugar Beet range at least, I would follow exactly what Burt's Bees suggests and use the shampoo with the conditioner from the same range.

Cost:  $8.00 (for regular size bottles of both the shampoo and conditioner - not what is shown in this review).

MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass - Bloggers' Obesessions Collection

I cannot pass off as a MAC-obsessed blogger, but I definitely admire MAC for the concept behind the Bloggers' Obsession collection.

A group of bloggers were selected, and to thank them for their honest feedback and passionate devotion MAC invited them to custom create their own eyehadow or lipglass.  Available exclusively online, just like the makeup-mad minds that invented them.

MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass Bloggers Obsession Review Swatch

To be honest, I picked up the Evolution Revolution lipglass mainly because it was designed by the fabulous Karen Monterichard.   It also helped that "Karen's lipglass" seemed like a subtle colour that would be difficult to go wrong with :)

MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass Bloggers Obsession Review Swatch
MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass Bloggers Obsession Review Swatch

This is a pale peachy lipglass with a hint of pink in it and fine shimmer scattered throughout.  The colour has a beautiful depth to it, and unlike the general trend with paler colours, this absolutely does not make me look washed out.

MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass Bloggers Obsession Review Swatch
MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass Bloggers Obsession Review Swatch
MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass Bloggers Obsession Review Swatch

It is sheer and with my pigmented lips, it is not the best idea to use it on its own - I used a lipliner similar to my lipcolour and topped with EvRev.  This is my first MAC lipglass, and I didn't know what to expect texturewise - love the nonsticky texture and the vanilla scent.

Ingredients list for all those who are interested :D

MAC EvRev Lipgloss Ingredients

MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass Bloggers Obsession Review Swatch FOTD




That's me with the EvRev lipglass.

Verdict:  I could only pick one product from this collection, and for me, this was the perfect choice.  It is an easy to use colour and something I see myself using quite often. 

Cost:  $14.50 (currently out of stock, but MAC might be restocking so sign up and stay informed).








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MAC Select Moisturecover Dual Concealer 
MAC Fluidline - Dark Diversion