Dec 30, 2013

NARS Eye Makeup Brush: #15 Smudge Brush

NARS 15 Smudge Eye Makeup Brush - Pony Hair - Review - How to Use
NARS #15 Smudge Eye Makeup Brush ($26)

NARS #15 Smudge Brush is another of the NARS eye makeup brushes that I own...and sort of like.  By the description on the NARS website, this brush is made of "pony hair ideal for applying eyeshadow near the lash line for smokey effect."  Like all the other NARS eye makeup brushes I have tried, the black handles on this brush are a little on the longer side compared to most other brushes, and the shiny metal ferrule crimps towards the end, holding the densely bundled hair quite securely.  I have had this brush for more than a year, and it looks just as good as new through all the washings and smudgings.  Scroll on for more photos.

Chanel Sonate and Murmure Levres Scintillantes Glossimer (Spring 2014 - Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection)

Chanel Sonate Murmure Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Spring 2014 Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection Swatches Photos Review
On my lips:  Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer in Sonate
(Chanel Notes de Printemps - Spring 2014 Makeup Collection)

Chanel Spring 2014 makeup collection - Notes de Printemps - turned up at counters and online about a week or two back.  The collection has a lovely mix of peaches and pretty pinks and some lovely bright lipsticks, but I decided to go with the two Levres Scintillantes Glossimer - Sonate (a reddish peach) and Murmure (soft pink).  Both the lipglosses are creamy, relatively opaque (by gloss standards), and there is no shimmer mixed in.  Take a look at some more photos and swatches.

Dec 29, 2013

Know the Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

For years, I have had oily skin and was never without at least a few pimples on my face.  Over time, aging has taken it's toll on my skin - in a good way, I guess - and the oiliness and the pimples have almost completely disappeared.  I still have sensitive skin, though, and I have to be careful what I throw on my face or I could easily end up with a pesky pimple and the marks to remind of my mistake for another month or two.  If you have skin like mine, that needs a bit of a moisture boost, especially in the winters, but not something oily, then you might want to give hyaluronic acid a try.

La Nuit de Chanel from the Chanel Resynchronizing Skincare range has made me a believer in the moisturizing effects of hyaluoronic acid.  I generally use this at night, but it's also great to use under my foundation to avoid any pesky dry patches.
If you don't want to switch your current moisturizers but want to give this ingredient a try, check Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel Face Mask.  Available as single-use sheet masks, they plump skin without adding in any oiliness.

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks - Swatches

Giorgio Armani Makeup Beauty - Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks - Swatches
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks ($34)

With Rouge Ecstasy, the Giorgio Armani laboratories push the boundaries of the exceptional even further with the first “CC” lipstick. “Color & Care” – new innovative hybrid product that marks the start of a new era in lipstick.  Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks feature a velvety-soft formula designed to coat your lips in a luminous shade that lasts all day.   The collection features a broad palette of intense, vibrant colors to satisfy any lipstick craving.  Available in 36 shades.  Winner of Allure magazine's 'Best of Beauty' 2013 award for Best Dark Lipstick:  Night Viper 602.

Here's a look at the swatches.

Dec 28, 2013

Chanel Charivari Nail Polish (Spring 2014 - Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection)

Chanel Charivari Nail Polish - Swatches Photos Review - Spring 2014 Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection
Chanel Charivari Nail Polish
Notes de Printemps Spring 2014 Makeup Collection

It's been a week since I got some of the products from the Chanel Spring 2014 makeup collection, but I have been busy with things and just couldn't find the time to review most of them.  I had made up my mind, though, to post at least the nail polish today, so here's a quick look at the dark purple-mauve nail polish Charivari.  It's a creamy, glossy eggplant with just a hint of grey to it and can look a brownish black under some lights.  The formula is just fabulous, very easy to apply, and opaque in 1-2 coats.  You could follow with a top coat for extra glossiness, but it's nto really necessary, imo.  Scroll on for more photos.

Dec 27, 2013

Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream

Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Antiaging Cream - Review
Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream - $124 (2.6 oz)

Reshape, refirm, and resmooth deep wrinkles with this must-have facial restoring cream.  Shiseido's exclusive Bio-Renewal Complex rejuvenates the skin, keeping it firm and resilient.  It contains rose apple leaf extract to protect fibroblasts from harmful stressors such as UV rays, preventing damage and maintaining youthful skin.  Super bio-hyaluronic acid supplies a high level of moisture to help maintain a moisturized, healthy-looking complexion.

Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Antiaging Cream - Review

About 3 years back, Shiseido was my go-to skincare brand.  I was living in India, and the Pureness range from Shiseido with it's oil-control benefits was perfect for my oily acne-prone skin.  Along with the Shiseido Skincare Hydrobalancing Softener, it kept my skin hydrated minus the oiliness and pimples.  After moving here to the US, though, I hopped on to other brands and forgot all about Shiseido until I got a few samples of the Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream from Sephora.  Shiseido makes quite a few antiaging, wrinkle-fighting, skincare-miracles-in-tubs sort of creams, and partly because my skin doesn't take too well to most antiaging ingredients and also because everything is just so pricey, I have never tried these out.  I have used the Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream for about a month.  Despite being an antiaging cream, this isn't very greasy and is absorbed quite easily into the skin.  The cream has an old-fashioned but pleasant fragrance to it.  Like a lot of Shiseido creams (in my opinion), this too has some slip to it, so applying it feels like a mini-massage session for my face.  I probably haven't used this cream long enough or consistently enough to see any drastic difference, but it does seem like a nice moisturizer for combination-dry skins.  Oilier skin types might find this better suited for winters and/or as a night-time moisturizer.  I amn't going to buy this, though, only because it's not really something I need, and I have a skincare routine that I am quite happy with currently.

Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream - Ingredients
Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Antiaging Cream - Ingredients

Make Up For Ever Sens'Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser

Make Up For Ever SensEyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser Makeup Remover - Review
Make Up For Ever Sens'Eyes Waterproof Makeup Remover

A mineral oil-free, gel makeup remover for eyes and lips, Make Up For Ever Sens'Eyes instantly removes impurities and even waterproof makeup on the most sensitive eyes, and works well for contact lens wearers.  Moisturizes and soothes eyelids.  Extremely effective and incredibly gentle, this lightweight cleanser won't leave the eyelids feeling greasy.  Dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested.

Dec 26, 2013

Diesel Loverdose Eau de Parfum

Diesel Loverdose Eau de Parfum - Womens Fragrance - Review
Diesel Loverdose

Like a lot of the perfumes that I review on this blog, Diesel Loverdose Eau de Parfum is a Sephora GWP from ages back.  The purple heart-shaped glass bottle is pretty much the same as what the original/regular-size looks like, but of course, mine is just a dab-dab bottle..and maybe that's a good thing.  I got it some time in the summer, took one whiff of the "overdose" and tossed it aside.  Now that the weather is cooler, and I am starting to layer and bundle up more, I decided to give this another try...

NARS Makeup Brush: #13 Large Dome Eyeshadow Blending Brush

NARS #13 Large Dome Eyeshadow Blending Makeup Brush - Review
NARS #13 Large Dome Eye Makeup Brush ($33)

I have these phases where I am obsessed with a brand or a color, and for a while everything I buy would be the same - am sure it happens with a lot of us :P  Anyway, my obsession with NARS is one such thing, and it was during one of my want-everything-NARS moods that I picked up a bunch of the NARS makeup brushes.  I have been using these brushes for about a year now, and I figured I might as well start reviewing them now.  First on my list is the NARS #13 Large Dome Eye Brush.  Most NARS makeup brushes feature black handles and shiny metal ferrules, and at least the eye makeup brushes I have tried are all longer than the average makeup brushes.  The NARS #13 is made of "squirrel hair for creating a soft, rounded eye or for blending harsh lines."  Scroll on for more photos.

Dec 25, 2013

Chanel Notes de Printemps Spring 2014 Makeup Collection - Sneak Peak Picks and Some Quick Swatches

Chanel Spring 2014 Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection Swatches Photos
Chanel Spring 2014 - Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection 

We are just getting into winter - or whatever little of it that we have in this part of California - but the makeup counters are already filling up with spring makeup collections.  Chanel's Spring 2014 Makeup Collection - Notes de Printemps - turned up online and in stores last week.  I got a few of the products from the Chanel website (free overnight shipping, so no waiting), and I got to swatch most of the collection at my Chanel counter at Nordstrom too - blurry photo added in below :P  Anyway, the collection seems perfect for spring and any other sunny day with a lot of peaches and corals.  I will post reviews on the products I picked up in a bit, but for now, here's a look at some swatches.

Dec 24, 2013

Wei Gingko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment Pads

Wei Gingko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment Pads Sheet Mask - Review - How to Use
Wei Gingko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment Pads 
Gingko: Brightens and protects skin against free radical damage.
Bamboo Leaf and Motherwort: Help reduce the appearance of redness.
Hyaluronic Acid: Hydrates.

A package of extraordinary all-in-one antiaging face pads made from natural plant fiber, these powerful treatment pads quickly address the appearance of sagging, dryness, dullness, redness, and large pores, while imparting a slight tingling and lovely cooling sensation.  Skin is brought into balance and left feeling firm, dewy, and smooth with a healthy radiant glow in 10 minutes.  Contains Gingko extract - considered a living fossil and believed in Chinese Traditional Medicine to have repairing ability.  The natural amino acids in Gingko help brighten while natural flavonoids in Gingko help protect against free radical damage.  Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.

Dec 23, 2013

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish Scrub Exfoliator - Review
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish - $22.50

A sweet treatment that that leaves lips incredibly soft and smooth.  This unique formula is enriched with real brown sugar crystals to gently buff away dry flakes.  It nourishes the lips with the oils of meadowfoam seed, jojoba seed, and grapeseed while shea butter provides long-lasting moisture.  Formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, triclosan.

I have incredibly dry lips - the sort that is rarely flake-free despite the stockpile of lip balms that are lying around the house - and I am always on the lookout for the next best miracle product that promises fabulous lips in one swipe.  While that miracle is still out there somewhere waiting to be found, I have found a few almost-miracles, and the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish is one of those.

Chanel Rose Majeur Eyeshadow Duo (Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection - Spring 2014)

Chanel Rose Majeur 70 Ombres Constraste Eyeshadow Duo - Chanel Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection Spring 2014 - Swatches Photos Review Looks
Chanel Rose Majeur (70) Ombres Contraste Duo - $42
Chanel Notes de Printemps Makeup Collection for Spring 2014

While snowy roads and cloudy grey skies might not seem like spring, the makeup world follows it's own special calendar, and the first of the spring 2014 makeup collections are already starting to show up at counters.  Case in point - Chanel Notes de Printemps makeup collection for Spring 2014.  I picked up a few pieces from this collection, and today's review is the Ombres Contraste Duo in Rose Majeur.  The two shades in this eyeshadow duo are deep matte eggplant-greyish shade and a satin-shimmery peach-pink.  The shadows are housed in the usual classic black Chanel compact, and the packaging also includes 2 small applicators.  Scroll on for more photos.

Dec 15, 2013

Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette - Photos and Swatches

Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette - Photos Swatches
Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette ($52)

For the benefit of the 3 people in the world who may not know about it:  Urban Decay released a new addition to the Naked palette - Naked3.  Like the pervious editions, the new Naked3 eyeshadow palette is a dream-come-true collection of eyeshadows for anyone who loves neutral eye colours.  The palette features 12 new eyeshadows, and the common theme that links them all together - from the darkest to the lightest these are all rose-based colors.  There is also a good mix of shimmer, mattes and shimmers in there.  Here's a look at photos and swatches from my local Sephora.

Dec 9, 2013

Today's Makeup and an Easy How-To: Smokey Eyes with NARS Brousse and Urban Decay Sabbath

Purple Winter Smokey Eyes Makeup Tutorial - NARS Brousse Madrague MAC Saddle Urban Decay Sabbath
Smokey Eye Look for the Winters with NARS Brousse, MAC Saddle, and UD Sabbath

Ever since I discovered them on one of my Sephora-swatching sprees, NARS eyeshadows have become one of my favorite makeup products as are the Urban Decay eyeliner pencils.  For today's makeup, I used some of these old favorites - NARS Brousse from the Fairy's Kiss palette, Madrague eyeshadow duo, and Urban Decay eyeliner in Sabbath - as well as a new love - MAC eyeshadow in Saddle.  NARS Brousse isn't a universal favorite from the brand; at least one review I read said it ought to be named "bruise" because that's what the purplish taupe color translates to on some skin tones, but I love this greyish purple shade and pairing it with a warmer brown like Saddle instead of the usual pinks or lilacs keeps it from looking ashy on my eyelids.  Combined with a softer lip color, this darker purple/taupey smokey eye is an easy but perfect look for winter days, and it's what I have been wearing all of last week and weekend.  Here's a look at the products I used and an easy how-to.

DHC - Winters/Holiday Gift Ideas

DHC Skincare Haircare Winters - Sneak Peek Reviews

DHC is a Japanese skincare company with skin and haircare (and makeup) products that have olive oil as one of the main ingredients.  The products aren't available in stores and have to be ordered online from their website (in the US, at least).  I have tried a few products from this brand before, and the DHC Deep Cleansing Oils is definitely one of my favorites, and I think one of their best-sellers.  I gave a bottle of this to my friend, and she is obsessed with it!  A couple of days back, I received a few more products, c/o the folks at DHC, and now that winter has finally arrived here in California, these couldn't have come at a better time :D  Here's a sneak peek at some winter skin/haircare goodies from DHC.

Dec 5, 2013

Sponge-Gradient Nails with Maybelline India Color Show Nail Polish Bold Gold and Chrome Pink

Sponge-Gradient Nail Art - Maybelline India Color Show Nail Polish - Bold Gold Chrome Pink

It's been a while since I posted anything - swatch posts don't count - and much as I would love to pretend work has kept me busy, it's mostly been Netflix and online shopping :P  A nail art post seemed like the easiest way to get back into blogging, and I tried out a simple gradient nail with Maybelline India's Color Show nail polishes.  The colors I used are a metallic warm pink (Chrome Pink) and gold (Bold Gold).  The pink is a little brighter than what I ordinarily wear and adding a dull gold gradient helps tone it down a bit, imo.  These polishes cost Rs. 75 each (a friend bought these for me in India) and are a fabulous pick if you like doing nail art or just change polishes very often.

Dec 2, 2013

MAC Eyeshadows Swatches - Part II

MAC Cosmetics Makeup - Eyeshadows - Swatches
MAC Eyeshadow Swatches - Part II

This is the second part of MAC eyeshadow swatches (part I HERE).  A note on the MAC eyeshadow finishes (from the Nordstrom website)
Frost:  An iridescent shine that adds a highlight to any colour.
Lustre:  Smoothly pearlized; intensely frosted with deluxe ultra-fine 'conditioned' finish.
Matte:  Hi-colour pay-off in a no-shine matte finish.
Matte²: Intense, opaque matte finish with exceptionally rich colour payoff.
Satin:  Pure colour in a satin-style finish. Provides a soft, subtle, non-frost, light-refractive sheen.
Veluxe:  Superfine pigment rich and very luxe. Supple to apply. Provides silky smooth matte finish.
Veluxe Pearl:  Vibrantly toned. Velvety soft. Shimmeringly metallic. Veluxe eye shadow, now overlaid with high-shine pearl.
Velvet:  Soft-look finish with high-color intensity. Has a plush, velvety look and feel.

Here's a look at the swatches on my darker Indian skin tone (around NC45-ish)

Nov 21, 2013

Today's Makeup: Orange-Red Lips and Shimmer on the Eyes

Today's makeup - Orange Red Lipstick Chanel Incandescente - Olive Shimmer Eyeshadow Mystere

There are some lip colors I would never ever try, and a bright red lipstick ranks #1 - a purple or green lipstick would be less scary to me - and while I have bought a red lipstick or two over the years, it's a color I definitely lack the confidence to carry.  A while back, I got a sampler of some Chanel reds, and it has stayed untouched until now.  Today, though, I decided to give these a try, starting with Chanel Incandescente.  Described as a "fire red," this color looks a bright orangey-red on my lips, and I have paired it with a wash of olive-beige shimmer on the eyes and a soft peach blush.

Nov 19, 2013

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick - Swatches

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipsticks - Swatches

Givenchy Rouge Interdit is more than a lipstick: it's a fashion accessory with a designer signature. The black and silver tube is an objet d'art adorned with a ribbon at one end that unlocks this beautiful piece. Wear anytime, in any circumstance. When applied, it immediately soothes and softens.  Its fine, spreadable texture melts over the lips.  An exceptionally smooth, longwearing lipstick, it adds light-reflective color to the lips as it nourishes and hydrates with powerful antioxidants.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick - Swatches

Guerlain Maxishine Lipgloss D'Enfer - Swatches

Guerlain Maxi Shine D'Enfer Lipgloss - Swatches - Candy Strip 468 Coral Wizz 440 Pink Clip 461 La Petite Robe Noir 463 Prune Zip 471 Praline Blop 401 Browny Clap 402 Brun Buzz 403 Rouge Shebam 420 Tangerine Vlam 441
Guerlain Maxishine Gloss D'Enfer ($30)

A lip gloss with intense color, high shine, and a plumping effect.  Guarantee your lips a shimmering, radiant, and plumping finish.  The oil composition creates a moisturizing barrier to ensure an intense softness.  Additionally, each shade presents varying degrees of coverage and pigment intensity.  The perfect partner for a desirable, appealing smile, Maxi Shine offers tailor-made effects for beautifully enhanced lips.

Guerlain Maxishine Gloss D'Enfer - Photos, Swatches

Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact - Swatches

Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick - Swatches - Garance 06 Gala 21 Garconne 25 Gabrielle 60 Grenade 65 Gigolo 70 Gina 20 Greta 22 Gipsy 41 Gemma 64 Garcia 66

Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact is a shimmering, ruby-powder lipstick tucked inside a chic, Parisian case.  The compact marries beauty with high design, and with one click, you will have a luminous lipstick and mirror at your fingertips.  Designed by Lorenz Bäumer, the most talented jeweler from the Place Vendôme in Paris, it is the ultimate accessory of mystery and seduction.  The lipstick contains a ruby-powder formula that interacts with the light and creates a jaw-dropping pout of perfection.  At first glaze, lips will be left defined, smoothed, plumped, and hydrated.

Here's a look at some quick swatches:

Nov 18, 2013

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush - Emotion (87)

Chanel Emotion 87 - Joues Contraste Powder Blush - Swatches Photos Review FOTD

It's been a while since I reviewed a Chanel blush - haven't really bought one after the cream blushes.  This weekend, while browsing through the Nordstrom beauty counters, I spotted a new (at least to me) Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush - Emotion (87).  I am not even sure if this is just a random new release or if it is part of the fall/winter/holiday 2013 collection.  Emotion is a matte blush - unlike the usual Chnael JCs which have a fine shimmer mixed in - and the color is a pink with slight mauve tones to it.  It's a lighter color, but the blush itself is quite pigmented.  The soft formula is easy to pick up on any brush and just as easy to go overboard with!  Scroll on for more photos and swatches.

Givenchy Le Rouge Lipsticks - Swatches

Givenchy Le Rouge Lipsticks - Swatches - 101 Beige Mousseline 102 Beige Plume 103 Brun Creatéur 104 Brun Cachemire Rose Taffetas 202 Rose Dressing - 203 Rose Dentelle 205 Fuchsia Irrésistible 301 Magnolia Organza 304 Mandarine Boléro 306 Carmin Escarpin 307 Grenat Initié
Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick - 103 Brun Creatéur

Enjoy perfectly defined lips that last as long as you do—and a genuine leather goods item. This lipstick-as-accessory delivers intense colors and a semi-mat finish all in one stroke. And as the first lipstick to come in real leather, it imparts a soft, supple touch and sensual feeling.

Givenchy Le Rouge lipsticks are one of my favorites - I have mini-size versions of the Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick in 103 Brun Creatéur - and the formula as well as the packaging is perfect luxury.  These lipsticks have a nondrying, long-lasting matte-velvet finish.  Here's a look at the swatches of the other lipsticks in this range.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Pink in Devotion (No. 6)

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Pink in Devotion No6

Here's a quick peek at one of my favorite lip colors - YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Pink in Devotion.  This is part of a sample/GWP I got from Sephora, and since I stocked up on 2 or 3 of these, it will be a while before I finish and buy a full-size version.  The color is described as a bright hibiscus pink, and the formula of the lipstick is slightly sheer.  It's a beautiful pink that gives an instant pop of brightness to the face.  The formula packs a lot of pigment even with a thin application and stays on the lips for a good 3 hours, leaving a stain even as the lipstick wears off.

Nov 17, 2013

Tom Ford Lipsticks - Swatches

Tom Ford Lipsticks - Swatches
Tom Ford Lip Color - $49

To Tom Ford, there is no more dramatic accessory than a perfect lip.  It is the focus of the face and it has the power to define a woman's whole look.  Each lip color is Tom Ford's modern ideal of an essential makeup shade.  Rare and exotic ingredients, including soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil, create an ultra-creamy texture with an incredibly smooth application.  Specially treated pigments are blended to deliver pure color with just the right balance of luminosity.

Tom Ford Lip Color Shines - Swatches

Tom Ford Beauty - Makeup - Lip Color Shine Lipsticks - Swatches
Tom Ford Lip Color Shine ($48)

Tom Ford Lip Color Shine features a blend of soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil to condition and moisturize your lips while draping you in a veil of high-shine color.

My local Nordstrom has a small - reallly small - Tom Ford counter which up until recently had only the perfumes.  A few weeks back, I noticed the Tom Ford lipsticks turn up, and today, I found the Tom Ford Lip Color Shines.  Am hoping the Tom Ford brushes will be next!  Anywhoooo, I got swatches of the lipsticks today to share.  The Tom Ford lip color shines are creamy and smooth, and at least a few of these also seem to have quite a lot of pigment in them.

Nov 16, 2013

Juice Couture Viva La Juicy Eau de Parfum

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Eau de Parfum Perfume - Review
The Viva la Juicy girl never turns down a glass of champagne or the chance to get into the tiniest bit of trouble.

Viva la Juicy is a warm fruity floral that features notes of delicious wild berries and juicy mandarn gently tempered with honeysuckle, gardenia, and jasmine all wrapped up in woody base notes of amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood, and praline.  The style is described as "tantalizing, teasing, tempting."  I have to admit I was a bit of a snob with this perfume.  The two bottles that I have in the photo above are samplers/GWPs that I got a while back but hadn't bother to try for a really long time until one day when a tiny spritzer sample vial of Viva La Juicy was all I had in my purse.  Turns out, gasp, I was wrong about the perfume!

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream

Your feet support you each and every day.  How about a little love?  Made with Coconut Oil and other natural ingredients, our foot creme revives and rejuvenates your dry, oh-so neglected feet while rosemary and peppermint extracts refresh your weary soles.  You’ll go nuts for it.

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream - Review
Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream ($9)
Product provided for review

I have been trying the Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme for a while now, and for someone who has really dry skin and drier feet, this is something of a must-have.  Like a lot of other foot creams, Burt's Bees claims this refreshes and rejuvenates tired feet with peppermint and rosemary extracts and moisturizes with coconut oil.  Much as I love Burt's Bees natural ingredients, I don't usually see much of a difference with anything other than the greasiest body butters, but turns out they were right about this cream!

5 Reasons to Love Chia

Chia Seeds - Superfoods - Health Nutrition Benefits

The idea of superfoods has always fascinated me.  Most of these ingredients promise huge health benefits without having to drastically alter existing dietary habits.  A while back, I read a couple of books by Dr. Perricone (yes, same person who started the skincare range) and was obsessed with flaxseeds.  Partly because I couldn't quite figure out whether phytoestrogens were good or bad and also because using flax seeds involved a bit of extra work, I lost interest pretty soon.  Of late, though, I have been really curious about the much-talked about chia seed.  I was more familiar with it because of the Chia pets - I don't think those seeds are edible - but now these tiny black seeds are also quite common in a lot of healthfood stores.  Here's 5 reasons why chia seeds would probably be my next superfood obsession:

Nov 15, 2013

DIY Haircare: Warm Oil Treatment For Healthy Hair

Warm Coconut Oil Curry Leaves Hair Treatment - How to Make Use - DIY At-Home Remedy
Coconut Oil infused with curry leaves
Warm oil treatment to prevent premature greying and reduce hair loss.

I love using warm oil treatments for my hair, and most days it's just something as simple as massaging warm olive or coconut oil as a prewash treatment.  Every once in a while, though, I like to add in a little something extra to the oil.  My favorite ingredient to add is curry leaf, commonly used in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine and NOT the same as curry powder.  Apart from the unique flavor they impart to food, curry leaves also have phenomenal health benefits including being rich in antioxidants, iron, flavinoids, etc.  When infused into coconut oil or as a paste, they are also believed to be quite effective in preventing premature greying of hair - not really a big help to me considering I have all the grey hair I need already - as well as strengthening hair roots.  It's easily available in most Indian stores, and here's how you can make your own curry leaves infused warm oil treatment (I am quite familiar with using a microwave and working with oils in a microwave, but if you are not, please ask someone who knows to help you).

Nov 14, 2013

Easy Nail Art Tutorial: Sideways French Manicure with Maybelline India Buried Treasure - Ladies' Night

Easy Nail Art Tutorial - Sideways French Manicure - Maybelline India Nail Polish Buried Treasure Ladies' Night

Have you noticed how some advertisements have a teeny little footnote/disclaimer at the end telling you about what might not be quite accurate in what's displayed in the photos?  Well, I am going to start my post with a small one too.  I have labeled this nail art a "sideways French manicure," but I am not really sure if that's what it's called or if "it" even has a name.  So if any of you know better, please let me know in the comments below :)  That done, on to this really easy nail art:  As would be obvious from the title, this is French manicure for people (me) who cannot figure out the traditional way of doing a stripe along the nail tips.  I don't know how to do it - it looks plain stupid whenever I try it on myself - and the horizontal stripe just makes my short nails look stubbier.  This "sideways French" is the easier version, and because the stripes are along the length of the nail, it also gives an illusion of slimmer/longer nails.

The Smokey Eyes Checklist

How to do Smokey Eye Makeup - Easy Steps - Tips Tricks

Most people associate smokey eyes with "black eyeshadow" and "black eyeliner," and there is no denying that the classic/full-on dark smokey eye is also the most popular.  In general, though, you can do a smokey eye with any color, keeping the intensity darkest near the lashline and fading away towards the outer corner, giving it a smokey hazy appearance - even if it it's using soft neutral browns.  Irrespective of how dark the smokey eye is or what colors are used in the look, I have found that following a few small steps (I don't really want to call them rules) can go a long way in getting the "perfect smokey eye."

Nov 12, 2013

Burberry Nail Polish - Oxblood No. 303

Burberry Nail Polish Oxblood No. 303 - Photos, Swatches, Review, NOTD
 Burberry Nail Polish Oxblood No. 303 ($21)

I finally got my hands on the much-awaited Burberry nail polish Oxblood No. 303.  Part of the newly launched Burberry nail polish collection, Oxblood was the only dark color available at my local Nordstrom, and according to the Burberry SA, it was also selling out quite fast.  I did have a sneaking suspicion she said that just to get me to buy it (to be fair, though, she told me I could reserve it for later and not be charged for it), but it was the one color I was most curious about so I bought it anyway.  The color is a deep, dark burgundy-berry that shows hints of brown tones to it under warmer lighting.  Scroll on for more photos.

Nov 11, 2013

Crabtree Evelyn Citron-Honey-Coriander Skin Quenching Body Lotion

Drench dry skin with our award-winning Citron, Honey & Coriander Body Lotion. A blend of zesty citron scent and softening apricot and peach kernel oils, this lightweight lotion is infused with sugar and fruit extracts to help clarify and smooth skin. So it’s left soft, scented and ready to face the day.

Crabtree Evelyn Citron-Honey-Coriander Skin Quenching Body Lotion - Review
Crabtree Evelyn Citron-Honey-Coriander Skin Quenching Body Lotion - Review

Benefit High Beam - Photos, Swatches, Review, FOTD

Benefit High Beam Highlighter - Photos, Swatches, Review, FOTD
Benefit High Beam ($26) is an ethereal pink liquid highlighter that creates a radiantly dewy complexion.
For an angelic sheen, this pink shimmering lotion adds a soft, natural afterglow.
I got the Benefit High Beam highlighter as part of an older Feelin' Cheeky makeup set (also had Benefit's Posietint and Benetint in it).  I don't have much love for highlighters because, yes, they add shine - something my oily-combination skin doesn't need more of - but most also have chunkier shimmer particles that just help magnifying every little pit and pore on my face!  Benefit High Beam, though, isn't anything like that.  This is an easy-to-use thick silvery pink liquid that comes with a handy brush applicator (looks very much like a nail polish brush).

Nov 10, 2013

Hakuhodo J5523 Makeup Brush

Hakuhodo J5523 Eyeshadow Makeup Blending Brush - Photos Review
Hakuhodo Makeup Brush (available HERE) - $18

Hakuhodo is a Japanese brush manufacturing brand that reportely makes brushes for quite a few well-known makeup brands, but they also have their own range of makeup brushes that can be bought online from the Hakuhodo website.  While they do make some very expensive brushes, the J5523 is one of the more affordable brushes from this brand.  The brush has a black wooden handle and nickel-plated brass ferrule that crimps towards the end where the brush hair are held.  The hair used is uncut goat hair, and the brush can be used to apply liquid, cream, and powder products.  Dimensions of the brush (as provided on the website):  Full Length: 151.0 mm, hair length 16.0 mm, and thickness 4.5 mm

Miss Dior Eau de Parfum - Perfume Review

Miss Dior Eau de Parfum - Perfume Review
Miss Dior Eau de Parfum

In 1947, Christian Dior presented his first couture collection and became an immediate global success. Simultaneously he launched his first fragrance, Miss Dior Original, a perfume inspired by love and romance.  Since its introduction to the runway, Dior perfume has continued to be fashion’s finishing touch, representing elegance, luxury, and spectacular creativity.  Miss Dior is an audacious chypre with a citrusy freshness and a jasmine heart.  Sprinkled with fruity notes and underscored by the elegance of patchouli, this chic and daring fragrance is a new classic.

Miss Dior Eau de Parfum - Fragrance Notes

Italian Mandarin Essence, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Indonesian Patchouli Essence.

Nov 9, 2013

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches (Part I)

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches
MAC Eyeshadows

I have been wanting to try some MAC eyeshadows for a while now, but because MAC has such a huge number of eyeshadows, most of which I am not familiar with, I thought of starting off with some swatches first to get an idea about how the colors look on my skintone.  I got these swatches at Nordstrom, and no I didn't buy all these eyeshadows - they are just swatches from the counter - but I am sharing them here so hopefully it would help someone with a similar skin color.  To avoid making the post too pic-heavy, I will be breaking up the swatches into separate posts in no particular order, but the swatches I have here are mostly neutral colors.

Nov 8, 2013

On my Nails Today: Burberry Nail Polish in Dusky Mauve No. 405 (Spring/Summer 2014)

On my nails today, I have - oh wait a minute, what do I have here?!  That's what I was thinking as I was editing photos for this post.  I applied one polish on my nails and clicked photos of a whole different polish to show the details of the packaging and the brush, and realized the two weren't the same only while staring at the photos on my laptop.  "Wah..wah..perils of having millions of nailpaints," said my helpful friend :-|  So anyway, that's the story behind why this post has no photos of the bottle or the brush or anything else.  As for the color on my nails, it is Burberry nail polish in Dusky Mauve, part of the Spring/Summer 2014 makeup collection.

Burberry Nail Polish Dusky Mauve No 405 Spring Summer 2014 Makeup Collection Photos Swatches Review NOTD Beauty Blog
Burberry Nail Polish Dusky Mauve No 405 Spring Summer 2014 Makeup Collection Photos Swatches Review NOTD Beauty Blog
Burberry Nail Polish Dusky Mauve No 405 Spring Summer 2014 Makeup Collection Photos Swatches Review NOTD Beauty Blog

Burberry Dusky Mauve is a dusty, murky smokey purple with strong grey tones to it.  Under artificial lighting, the color shows more of the purple tones while regular daylight brings out some of the greyish tones in the polish.  This is the first nail polish I am trying from the Burberry range - their polishes are a very recent addition to their makeup range - and the formula is fabulous.  This polish goes on creamy and smooth even on the first coat, though I have used 2 coats here to give some depth to the color.  It dries quite fast between coats, much faster than some of the other high-end nail polishes I have tried so far, and the finish is glossy and smooth.  I have not used a topcoat in the photos above, though of course, adding one would definitely add to the glossy finish as well as the lasting power.  A lovely neutral that would work on any skin tone and an easy pick for cooler fall months, do give the Burberry nail polish in Dusky Mauve a try when it launches again some time in January next year.

Also read:  Burberry Spring/Summer 2014 Nail Colors - Photos/Swatches.
Burberry Mink
Burberry Oxblood
Burberry Dusky Mauve 
Burberry Pale Yellow
Burberry Pale Grape

Nov 7, 2013

Today's Makeup and An Easy How-To: Soft Berry Eyes and A Dark Lip

Soft Berry Eyeshadows Makeup Dark Lips Makeup Tutorial

Not sure if it's the weather getting colder every day or all those fallen leaves, but of late, I find myself reaching for darker (than my normal) makeup colors.  It's still quite bright and sunny outside, though, and a vampy lip or a smokey eye seems quite out of place.  A softer plum eye and a deeper tinted lip color helps bridge the gap just right for me.  Among the products I have used, MAC Fluidline in Dark Diversion is well past it's toss-away date, and I really don't know a close enough dupe for this.  Any suggestions would be awesome!  As for the makeup, here's what I used and also an easy how-to:

Nov 5, 2013

Maybelline India's 12-Hour Smudge-Proof Colossal Kajal - Photos, Swatches, Review, FOTD

Maybelline India 12 Hour Smudge-Proof Deepest Black Colossal Kajal Pencil Eyeliner - Photos, Swatches, Review, FOTD
Maybelline India's Colossal Kajal - Rs. 175

A friend of mine sent across a few Indian makeup products for me to try - mostly nail polishes and also the Maybelline Colossal Kajal.  This seems to be quite a popular product going by reviews by a lot of Indian makeup/beauty bloggers, and it's an uberblack eyeliner, so of course, I love it already :P  The kajal I have is the newer reformulated version which boasts 12 hours of smudge-proof wear (as opposed to the earlier 6 hours) and deepest black color.   This twist-up pencil comes in a bright yellow packaging that's definitely easy to spot in a bag...or a messy room!

Nov 4, 2013

3 Tips to Find a Good Makeup Brush

For the longest time, the only makeup brushes I had were the teeny ones from the TBS travel brush kit, and that was quite enough for me then - I didn't even have a blush!  I certainly have picked up a few more brushes after that, and I have definitely seen a difference in makeup application with better brushes.  It's not necessary to own a ton of brushes, though, or buy crazy expensive brushes.  A few simple rules will help you pick up the right one for you - on any budget.

3 Tips to Buy Good Makeup Brushes on any Budget

Nov 3, 2013

Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Eye Palette (Limited Edition) - Photos, Swatches

What to pair with a leading lady-worthy lip?  This palette plays the perfect supporting role to any look, from the season's rich reds to alluring nudes.  Featuring a mix of cool and warm colors for eyes with glitter and flat finishes, this ultra-wearable palette lets you choose how glamorous you want to go.  Nine separate shades come in a classic black mirrored compact with the Bobbi Brown crest on the top.  Includes a dual ended mini Eye Shadow Brush too (for scene-stealing eye looks wherever you go).

Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Eyeshadow Palette - Holiday 2013 Makeup Collection - Photos swatches
Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Eye Palette ($75)

Bobbi Brown's Holiday 2013 makeup collection gets its inspiration from the glamorous and timeless allure of old Hollywood.  The collection includes metallics and gold to provide the sparkle and shine and glossy red lips and nails add the pop of color.  Old Hollywood Eye Palette is a 9-shadow palette that helps create the eyes to complete the look.  Scroll on for more photos and swatches.

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick - Photos, Swatches

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick - A quartet of pearlescent colors make up the Nude Glow shimmer brick.  The colors are designed to highlight your skin for a lit-from-within luminescence. Though they're designed to highlight your face, all of the colors can be used as an eyeshadow, too.

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick - Holiday 2013 Makeup Collection - Photos Swatches
Bobbi Brown Nude glow Shimmer Brick ($45) - available HERE

A while back, when I was in India and when Bobbi Brown hadn't yet launched there, I had read an article or two (at least) recommending Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks as the must-buy product from the brand.  Armed with all this "expert knowledge," shimmer bricks were the first product I had tried out on one of my earliest Sephora visits.  The shimmer in the bricks was wayyyyyyy too much for me, and for the longest time I didn't bother looking at the Bobbi Brown section (thus my late discovery of the Pot Rouges, gel liners, and the corrector - my favorite products from the brand).  Anywho, when I saw the Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick (part of the holiday 2013 makeup collection) on the Nordstrom website, I imagined something just as sparkly and glittery.  As it turns out, I was wrong.

Nov 1, 2013

Chanel Ombres Matelassees Eyeshadow Palette Charming - Photos, Swatches, Review, FOTD

Part of the Collection Nuit Infinie de Chanel, the limited edition Ombres Matelassees Eyeshadow Palette in Charming unveils a seductive shade spectrum for the season’s most striking eye looks. From soft beige to rich purple, matte and pearlized shadows create glamorous effects and offer endless opportunities for custom-blending. The emblematic quilted motif of Chanel embosses the silky shadows for an added touch of elegance.

Chanel Ombres Matelassees Eyeshadow Palette - Charming - Nuit Infinie Holiday 2013 Makeup Collection - Photos Swatches Review FOTD
Ombres Matelassees Eyeshadow Palette - Charming ($80)

Chanel has released a few 5-color palettes over the years, but either because the colors were just too light or the formula too frosty, I never bought any of those.  Chanel's latest offering, part of the holiday 2013 makeup collection, is a neutral eyeshadow palette featuring a mix of soft neutrals, deeper mattes, and a lovely shimmering bronze brown.  Scroll on for more photos.

Oct 31, 2013

Today's Makeup: Bronze-y Brown Shadow and Smudged Green Liner and An Easy How-To

Easy Step by Step Makeup Tutorial - How to Bronze Brown Eyeshadow Smudged Dark Green Eyeliner Peach Lips

Ever since I bought the NARS Ride Up to the Moon eyeshadow palette, the bronze-brown eyeshadow Fez has been one of my most used colors.  I love pairing it with dark green along the lashline, either with NARS Night Porter (also part of the palette) or smudging a pencil liner like the Urban Decay Loaded along my lashline.   Keep the green subtle for a daytime look or go darker for the evenings.  Here's how you can get this easy wear-any-time-of-the-day look in a few easy steps.