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)