Dec 17, 2015

Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel

Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel - Asian Brightening Skincare Scrub Powder - Review
Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel - $60 at Sephora
Product shown in photo is a deluxe sample size.

There's a lot to love about Sephora, but my favorite part has to be the samplers/GWPs that I get to pick out every once in a while.  Despite all the grumbling about epic-fail rewards, I have to admit, I have picked up quite a few generous deluxe samples over the years and discovered some favorites along the way.  Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel is one such product.  I have always been fascinated with Asian skincare products and routines, and for the most part, I find the products and formula quite unique, whether it be in terms of packaging or just how they work on the skin.  Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel pretty much lives up to this image.  This scrub features a new-to-me formula - a soft powder that mixes with water to create a gentle foam.  The exfoliation is provided not by scrubbing granules or harsh particles but rather with botanical ingredients such as papaya enzyme, papain.  This natural enzyme exfoliates skin without irritation while green tea and alantoin soothe the skin and protect against free radicals.  Scroll on for my thoughts on the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel.

Dec 15, 2015

Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Eyeshadow Palette for Holidays 2015 - Photos, Swatches

Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Eyeshadow Palette for Holidays 2015 Photos Swatches
Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Eyeshadow Palette for Holidays 2015

The Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix palette was a limited edition release, and I swatched it at my local Sephora a month or so back and promptly forgot all about posting it.  The palette seems to be sold out now on Sephora, but it is available on Amazon and with quite a few other online sellers, and the colors and quality of this palette is so good, I just had to share the swatches here.  The Mi Vida Loca Remix palette has shadows arranged in two circles - the inner circle consisting of neutrals while the outer circle has vibrant bright colors.  There is a nice mix of matte and satin though nothing too shimmery or glittery, and the pigmentation and formula feels amazing.  Scroll on for swatches.

Giorgio Armani Luxe Is More Makeup Collection for Holidays 2015 - Photos, Swatches

Giorgio Armani Luxe Is More Makeup Collection Holidays 2015 Photos Swatches
Giorgio Armani Luxe Is More Makeup Collection for Holidays 2015

It's the time of the year when just about every makeup brand comes up with holiday gift sets and luxe packaging, and with tempting deals in every store, it's the best time to pick yourself a gift or two.  For those looking for a touch of luxuy, Giorgio Armani's Luxe is More makeup collection would be a good pick.  The face of the campaign is the beautiful Canadian actress Sarah Gadon.  While I have to admit I wasn't too tempted by the campaign image - different skin tone, not my kind of makeup, etc., Sarah Gordon's photos on  the Beauty Geek (with an interesting story about how she landed the campaign), did make me realize just how pretty the soft neutrals and vibrant reds in this collection can be.  Included in the collection are a combination face-eye palette - Luxe is More palette - as well as new shades of the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro and Eye Tints.  Scroll on for photos and swatches.

Nov 9, 2015

Dior Holidays 2015 Makeup Collections - Diorific State of Gold and Couture Smokey Eye Palette - Photos, Swatches

Dior Holidays 2015 Makeup Collections - Diorific State of Gold - Swatches
Dior Holidays 2015 - Diorific State of Gold Makeup Collection - at Sephora

Of all the holiday makeup launches, the one I really, really look forward to is the Dior holiday makeup, and this year's collection - Diorific State of Gold makeup collection - definitely lives up to my expectations, at least in terms of packaging.  The Dior holiday 2015 collection follows what seems to have become an annual trend with luxe gold packaging and gorgeous red lipsticks and nail colors.  Of course, there are other colors and products in there, but it's the lipstcks and nail colors that truly capture the festive spirit...for me.  Also something to check out is the Dior Couture Smokey palette - a beautiful eye-lip palette - which I spotted at Sephora.  I don't have swatches/photos of every product from the Dior holidays 2015 makeup collection, but here's a look at a few bits and bobs.

Chanel Rouge Noir Absolument - Vamp Attitude - Holidays 2015 Makeup Collection - Photos, Swatches

Chanel Rouge Noir Absolument - Vamp Attitude - Holidays 2015 Makeup Collection - Photos, Swatches
Chanel Rouge Noir Absolument - Vamp Attitude - Holidays 2015 Makeup Collection at Nordstrom

Chanel's Holiday 2015 Makeup collection, listed as Rouge Noir Absolument in some places and Vamp Attitude in others, is a gorgeous holiday collection inspired by the classic Chanel vampy nail color Rouge Noir.  This deep dark glossy blackish red first appeared on the runway in 1994 with the Chanel Fall/Winter Ready-to-wear collection and soon became one of Chanel's most sought after colors.  As is quite normal for Chanel, different "versions" of the color have been launched of this limited edition polish, all just as good but with little tweaks that set them aside from the original.  If you are curious about the original Rouge Noir, you may be able to pick one now, released as part of the holiday 2015 collection Rouge Noir Absolument, but more on that in a bit.  A limited edition eyeshadow quad, a beautiful dark Illusion D'Ombre, a couple of lipsticks, and eyeliners and mascaras all add to the vampy charm of the collection.  Scroll on down for swatches of some of the products.

Nov 6, 2015

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Couture Satin Radiance Lipsticks (2015) - Swatches

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Couture Satin Radiance Lipsticks 2015 Swatches
YSL Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipsticks ($36 each) at Sephora

The YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks are an iconic product from the brand that's instantaneously recognizable with its luxe gold packaging and rich pigmented colors.  This year, YSL revamped this lipstick line, but these new lipsticks look and feel just as amazing with luxurious pigmentation with the promise of intense hydration and antioxidant care.  The lipsticks are available in matte as well as satin finishes.  I have posted swatches of the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Mats range earlier.  Scroll on for swatches of some of the lipsticks from the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance line.

Lancome My French Noel Palette for Holiday 2015 - Swatches

Lancome My French Noel Makeup Palette for Holiday 2015 - Swatches
Lancome My French Noel Makeup Palette for Holidays 2015 - $65 at Sephora

Lancome's new My French Noel Palette is a sleek lip-and-eye makeup palette that's perfect for the ultimate holiday look.  Inspired by Parisian elegance, this palette features 6 eyeshadows as well as a hydrating lip base and two matte red lip colors.  The eyeshadows include warm coppers and golds as well as plummy browns, perfect for creating a range of looks from neutral soft eye makeup looks to a  darker smokey eye.  The palette itself has a sleek, convenient packaging, with the 3 lip products seperated from the powder eyeshadows with a flap to keep the powders from mixing in with the sticky lip products.  I don't own any palettes which combine creamy, and powder products like this palette does, and I have read enough reviews that complain about how messy it can get, but, the design of the Lancome My French Noel palette does seem like it should be easy to keep clean since there is a flap to keep the lip colors protected.  Here's a look at more photos and swatches of this holiday palette.

Oct 30, 2015

Masque Bar by Look Beauty Cucumber Face Sheet Mask

Masque Bar by Look Beauty Cucumber Sheeet Face Mask Review
Masque Bar by Look Beauty Cucumber Mask
Product provided for review.

Sheet masks are among my favorite skincare products.  What's not to like about a mask that only needs you to put on a soothing sheet dripping with skincare goodness on to your face and relax?  There is no washing, rinsing, cleaning up after use with these asks, and they are so easy to use, I try a mask or two every other week.  Among the many that I have tried, I have had a pretty good run so far with the ones from the Masque Bar by Look Beauty range.  Look Beauty masks are quite inexpensive and are available in Target as well as on Amazon.  The range includes quite a few interesting masks (a hydrating foot mask and a fun lip gel mask), but my favorites have been the face masks.  I have previously tried out the Masque Bar by Look Beauty Apricot mask - perfect if you are looking for a quick boost of radiance to the face - and I recently got the chance to try out another of their face masks - Masque Bar by Look Beauty Cucumber Face Mask.  Scroll on for more photos and my thoughts on this revitalizing and hydrating face mask.

Oct 29, 2015

Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil Longwear Eyeliner - Swatches, (Mini) Review

Wearing Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil Longwear Eyeliner in Noir Intense along the lashline, waterline.
MAC Brown Script eyeshadow all over the lids.

I love a good black eyeliner, so I was quite prompt with picking up a mini-size Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil Eyeliner in Noir Intense as a Sephora GWP.  Lancome claims to combine the intense color payoff of a liquid liner with the convenience of a pencil in a smooth, creamy formula that stays on for 24 hours without budging or fading.  With my short time of trying out this pencil, I definitely have to agree on the long-wear claims.  I checked out other colors in the range at my local Sephora and got some swatches to share.  There are a quite a few colors ranging from a matte white to deep blacks and everything in between, and none of them have the chunky glitter or shimmer that is the one I thing I don't like about some of the Urban Decay pencils.  Scroll on down for a mini review and swatches of the Lancome Drama-Liqui Pencils.

Oct 27, 2015

Makeup Tutorial - How to Use Concealers for a Flawless Fall Makeup Look

How to Use Concealers for a Flawless Fall Makeup Look on Darker Indian Skin - Step by Step Tutorial
Fall Makeup Trend - Concealer Wardrobe for Flawless Skin

I am sure I had pretty good skin at some point, but for the longest time - starting from my college days - my skin has been going through bouts of breakouts, either acne or reactions to products.  It took me quite a bit of time and trials to get to a skincare routine that works for my skin, and while my skin is relatively well behaved now, I still have a lot of blemishes left behind.  I also have dark pigmentation around deep-set eyes so I end up looking like I have really dark circles.  Needless to say, a good foundation-concealer routine is an essential for me, and over time, I have learnt that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the concealers I can use.  I get better results using specific concealers to target each skin concern, and while it might seem like using too much product, in fact, with a bit of patience and some pinpoint application, there's less product used and a more "naturally flawless" effect to the skin.  Scroll on for a quick look at my concealer wardrobe and how I apply concealers for a flawless fall makeup routine.

Oct 20, 2015

Easy Fall Makeup Look - Berry Lips and Navy Liner

Easy Fall Makeup Look Tutorial - Berry Lips Navy Eyeliner Warm Brown Bronze Eyeshadow
Easy Fall Makeup Look - Berry Lips and Navy Liner

Autumn has always been my favorite season.  I love the fresh cold air and the beautiful fall colors on the leaves, but what I have been finding a bit inconvenient is the lack of light!  I have quite a few houseplants, and the windowsill is now prime real estate with stiff competition over which lucky few get to call it home for the next couple of months.  Of course, good looks always help, and some orchids and a nonstop blooming African violet have already snagged spots there.  The beautiful flowers do add a lovely splash of color to the otherwise grey, drab days.  The same has been working for me in terms of makeup.  It's the time of the year I tend to reach for richer colors, and while I have never really embraced the vampy dark lip, I do wear a lot of pinks and berries this time of the year.  My makeup last weekend was just that - a pink-berry lip and a navy liner.  After numerous failed attempts, I have given up on the winged liner, but of late, I have been extending out the liner just a tiny bit to help give a slightly more elongated look to my eyes.  It's simple makeup that is perfect for a cool fall day, and here's a quick makeup how-to.

Oct 15, 2015

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Eau de Parfum Spray

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Eau de Parfum Spray - Fall Winter Perfume Review
Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Eau de Parfum Spray ($80-$165) at Sephora
Fragrance notes:  Mandarin Oil, Bitter Orange Oil, Ginger Extract, Rose Absolute, Jasmine Accord, Orange Flower, Indian Kulfi Accord, Vanilla Madagascar, Amber, Australian Sandal Wood, Lentisque Resinoid.
Style:  Floral. Oriental. Sensual.

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme is the new counterpart to the existing versions of Tom Ford Noir for men.  It is inspired by the Tom Ford woman and her mix of confidence and vulnerability, and everything from the gold and black packaging to the rich perfume inside is a reflection of this.  The bottle design is elegant and classy with a grooved pattern all over the black bottle as well as the gold cap.

The perfume is described as a sensual, floral-oriental, but the first spritz opens with a blast of citrus notes that smell fresh and green.  As the perfume settles down, warmer floral notes open up and mix in with a hint of sweetness from the vanilla.  There is a creaminess to the perfume, which I assume is the Indian kulfi (a creamy thickened milk dessert similar to icecream) accord.  On my skin, this perfume is warm and smokey with just a hint of sweetness to it.  Once the initial citrus blast dies down, the perfume morphs into a smokey, warm mix of vanilla and amber with the woody basenotes keeping it from smelling too sweet.

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Eau de Parfum is a bold, strong fragrance.  It's the kind of perfume that I love to wear, especially for the cooler winter months,  A little goes a long way with it, and the fragrance lasts a good while on my skin.  Definitely one of my favorite perfumes this year.  Pick this up if you like warm, spicy fragrances with just a hint of creamy sweetness.

Links provided in the post are for information only and are NOT affiliate/sponsored links.  Review based on a Sephora sampler.


Marc Jacobs The Sofia - Five Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection - Photos, Swatches

Marc Jacobs The Sofia Five Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection Swatches Holiday 2015 Makeup Gift Set
Marc Jacobs The Sofia - Five Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection ($45) at Sephora

One of the many holiday makeup sets to pop up this time of the year is the Marc Jacobs The Sofia Le Marc Lip Creme Collection - a set of 5 petite-sized lipsticks with colors ranging from soft peony to deep dark berry.  Marc Jacobs lipsticks are generally quite amazing in the formula and color range, so to snag 5 of these in travel-friendly sizes and a pretty clutch to house them all is a must-have in my opinion.  Individually, the lipsticks are definitely small - similar to what you would get as a deluxe sample in GWPs or Sephora point perks, but I rarely use up a regular-size tube of lipstick, so for me these are perfect sizes to have, and I get a bunch of different colors to try.  Scroll on for more photos and swatches.

Oct 13, 2015

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 20 Plush Eyeshadow Palette (The Free Spirit) - Photos, Swatches

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 20 Plush Eyeshadow Palette The Free Spirit Photos Swatches
Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 20 Plush Eyeshadow Palette (The Free Spirit) - $99 at Sephora

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 20 Plush Eyeshadow palette (named The Free Spirit after model Charlotte Free) is a new, limited edition release from the brand and features 20 shades of shimmery metallic, buttery matte, and lusturous sheen eyeshadows.  The shadows are housed in a large shiny black compact, and while it's almost square shape makes it look larger than the usual long sleek compacts, I prefer this shape and the extra-large mirror it comes with.  The eyeshadow formula uses advanced pigments to allow the rich colors to show up vibrant and last longer. Here's a look at the swatches.

Oct 12, 2015

Bobbi Brown Sterling Nights Holiday 2015 Makeup Collection - Photos, Swatches

Bobbi Brown Sterling Nights Holiday 2015 Makeup Collection Photos Swatches
Bobbi Brown Sterling Nights - Holiday 2015 Makeup Collection at Nordstrom

Fall/winter makeup collections are my favorites, and almost every brand comes out with amazing holiday gift sets this time of the year.   I spotted the Bobbi Brown Holiday 2015 Makeup Collection - Sterling Nights - at my local Nordstrom and got some photos and swatches to share.  Inspired by the star-sprinkled night sky, this collection brings in deep smokey shades, metallic shimmer, and rich colors.  It includes some of the usual Bobbi Brown products like a neutral eyeshadow palette and lipsticks, but there are some lovely new products in this collection like the new Bobbi Brown Sequin eyeshadows and 3 new face highlighters.   Scroll on for more photos and swatches.

Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau de Parfum Spray

Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau de Parfum Spray Fragrance Review
Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau de Parfum Spray ($28-$120) at Sephora
Notes:  Italian Plum, Iris Flower, Saffron, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine Sambac,
Orris, Vetiver, Papyrus Woods, Liquid Amber.
Style:  Qualitative. Opulent. Surprising.

Marc Jacobs fragrances are among my favorites, and I love the easy-to-wear fruity floral fragrances as much as I love the beautifully designed bottles that house these perfumes.  The newest launch from the brand, Decadence, combines both these aspects with a luxurious, sophisticated design and a warm, sensual fragrance.  The perfume bottle is designed to resemble a purse with a deep green python print cap and a gold chain adorned with black tassles.  This edgy bold design is matched by the perfume it houses - a warm woody fragrance that is indulgent and luxurious.

Oct 8, 2015

Skintreat Spa by Look Beauty Intensive Lip Care Gel Patch Mask

Skintreat Spa by Look Beauty Intensive Lip Care Gel Patch Mask Review
Skintreat Spa by Look Beauty Intensive Lip Care Gel Patch Mask ($9.99/4)
Product provided for review.

I love trying out face masks, and sheet masks are a favorite of mine because they are just so easy to use.  The mask I am reviewing today is a sheet mask for the lips - Skintreat Spa by Look Beauty Intensive Lip Care Gel Patch.  While Look Beauty does make some interesting masks (like this foot mask), I have to admit I was quite intrigued by the idea of a lip mask.  I did a bit of looking around on the internet, and apparently, these sort of masks are quite commonly available in Asia, but it is new to me.  This is a gel-based mask enriched with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, cranberry extract, jojoba oil and vitamin E and claims to intensely hydrate and soothe dry, cracked, chapped lips and add long-lasting moisture to the lips.  Scroll on for more photos and my thoughts on this fun lip mask.

Oct 2, 2015

AHAVA Cactus and Pink Pepper Skincare Collection

Ahava Cactus and Pink Pepper Collection Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion Hand Cream Plants Dry Oil Body Mist - Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Review
AHAVA Cactus and Pink Pepper Collection 
Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion - Dead Sea Water Mineral Hand Cream Dead Sea Plants Dry Oil Body Mist 
Products provided for review.

Dead Sea water and minerals have long been considered to have amazing health and skincare benefits, and while the best ways to enjoy these benefits would be to take a trip to the Dead Sea, for most of us an easier option would be using products that contain Dead Sea minerals and/or water, and one such brand is AHAVA.  AHAVA products claim to use a perfectly balanced concentrate of Dead Sea minerals - Osmoter - that effectively replenishes, rehydrates, and recharges the skin.  Their products are also paraben-free, allergy tested, and approved for sensitive skin (as well as free of GMOs).  I recently got to try out products from the new  AHAVA Cactus and Pink Pepper collection.  Common to all the products is the pretty pink packaging and the fresh floral scent that they all leave behind on the skin.  Scroll on for more photos and my thoughts on this range.

Sep 22, 2015

KMS California Moist Repair Revival Creme

KMS Moist Repair Revival Creme - Leave-In Cream Conditioner - Review
KMS California Moist Repair Revival Creme ($17) at Ulta

My hair has always been a bit of a touchy subject for me.  Ages back, I had long, thick, borderline good-looking hair, but that was when my mom or granny was in charge of the looking after.  Once it was up to me to mange my hair on my own, things started going downhill.  While the steady decline has stopped at least for now, I still put it through a bit of abuse with blow drying, straightening, and of course, coloring.  To compensate, I love to try out deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners.  The newest addition to my haircare routine is the KMS Moist Repair Revival Creme.  I don't experiment much with haircare brands, but for a while now, I have been using (and loving) the KMS Free Shape Hot Flex Creme, so I didn't mind giving this leave-in conditioner a try.  KMS California products are divided into various categories based on the hair type that the products are best suited for and/or depending on the best use for the product.  The Moist Repair range includes products that are good for dry damaged hair and add moisture to repair the hair.  I have dry hair, and a leave-in creme that promises to restore moisture and make hair much more manageable is always welcome.  Scroll on for my thoughts on this product.

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Mats Lipsticks (New - 2015) - Swatches

YSL Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Mats Lipsticks Swatches - Fall 2015 Makeup
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Mats Lipsticks ($36 each) at Sephora

Between the luxe packaging and the creamy, pigmented formula, YSL lipsticks have always been my favorite among the luxury brand lipsticks.  The golden tubes look classy - even to a can't-stand-gold person like me - and I always find some unique shades among the YSL lipsticks.  The YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats lipsticks are a newer launch, and as seems to be the trend this fall, this is a creamy matte lipstick.  True to the YSL philosophy, these lipsticks are pure luxury both inside and out.  The formula feels velvety smooth, and the colors are bold and rich.  Here's a look at the swatches of some of the lipsticks from this range.

Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge Définition Demi-Matte Lipstick (Fall 2015) - Swatches

Lancome LAbsolu Rouge Definition DemiMatte Lipstick Fall 2015 Swatches 184 Le Vermillon 388 Le Magenta 385 Le Violet 294 Le Pourpre 195 Le Carmin 285 Le Sepia
Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Definition Demi-Matte Lipsticks ($30.50 each) at Sephora

Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Definition Demi-Matte lipsticks are a new launch from the brand, and as with a lot of the newer fall lipsticks, these too feature rich saturated colors with a soft satin-matte finish.  There are 5 colors available in this range, and all of these are vibrant and opaque, with rich color with just a single swipe.  The formula is smooth, and the finish is a softened matte finish, not a true dry matte.  Lancome claims the formula contains essential oils like jojoba oil for moisturized lips and a light-diffusing gel which provides a gorgeous finish and feels comfortable on the lips.  The lipstick bullet has a pointy shape that is supposed to help with precise application, though of course, I assume it will wear down to a more rounded shape with use.  Here's a look at the swatches.

Sep 11, 2015

Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip and Cheek Color in Venice Beach Bronze

Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip Cheek Color Venice Beach Bronze Review
Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Cheek and Lip Color - Venice Beach Bronze ($29) at Sephora
Product provided for review

For a while now, the makeup world has been all about strobing - a makeup trend that ditches contouring and relies on highlighter placed strategically over the high points of the face to create a glowing, fresh look and enhanced natural bone structure.  I love the idea of luminous, highlighted skin, but because I have oily-combination skin and a lot of acne marks and visible pores, especially over the cheeks, highlighters don't always work well for me.  The few that do are ones that have low levels of shimmer and have a base color that either matches my skin tone or at least doesn't contrast too much with it.  One such highlighter that I recently got to try is the Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Cheek and Lip Color.  This is a multi-tasking lip and cheek color product that gives a natural-looking glow to the skin and, depending on the color, adds a subtle hint of color or a deeper flush.  Available in 5 shades, the color I am reviewing today is a soft shimmery bronze shade - Venice Beach Bronze.  Scroll on for more photos, swatches, and my thoughts on this multi-tasking product.

Sep 10, 2015

YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum Spray

Perfume Review - YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum Spray - Fall Winter Fragrance
Black Opium Eau de Parfum Spray by Yves Saint Laurent ($67-$115) at Sephora
Fragrance Notes:  Coffee, orange blossom, cedar wood, patchouli.
Style:  Addictive. Floral. Energetic.

YSL Black Opium launched a while back, but I have been holding off on reviewing it for the cooler fall-autumn months.  We aren't there yet, at least in this part of California, but we do get the occasional cool night, and I have been reaching for warmer and sweeter perfumes.  With rich sweet notes of vanilla mixed in with cedarwood and patchouli, YSL Black Opium might be a bit heavy for some, but this is the sort of perfume that I love wearing during the autumn-winter months and sometimes during the warmer months too.  Designed to reflect the darker, edgier aspect to the perfume, YSL Black Opium is housed in a chunky black bottle that, to me, looks like wet stone, with an uneven texture and a glistening look to it.  I don't particularly care for the design, but it doesn't bother me too much either.

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Melondrama

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Melondrama Review Swatches Photos

I was thinking of bringing out the darker eyeshadows and getting back to my usual smokey eye looks, but it looks summer will be around for a few more days.  Temperatures have been hovering around 100, and I don't even want to step out into the balcony to water the plants.  The good thing, though, is I get a bit of extra time to play around with some fun summer colors like the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Melondrama - a soft orangey shade that's just right for summers.  The Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick range features both creamy and matte shades, and Melondrama is a creamy finish though not very glossy.  Scroll on for photos, swatches, and more.

Orico London Jazzy Ultra Moisturising Hand Lotion

Orico London Jazzy Ultra Moisturising Hand Lotion ($22)
Product provided for review 

I have an obsession with handcare products - lotions, potions, scrubs, you name it, and I would have probably tried it a couple of times already - yet you wouldn't guess that from looking at my hands.  I have dry skin, and for years, I did not have the time (or interest) to look after my hands/feet.  While I have been trying to compensate for all those years of neglect, I still do a lot of cooking-cleaning, household chores, and wash my hands a lot many times through the day.  I use heavier body butters or creams as part of my night-time handcare routine, but through the day, I like to use lighter lotions that are easily absorbed without leaving a greasy mess on everything I touch.  I recently got to try out a new-to-me skincare brand - Orico - and am currently using the Orico Jazzy Ultra-Moisturising Hand Lotion as my daytime hand moisturizer.  Described as "daily hand therapy for city hands," this lightweight moisturizer is packed with organic ingredients like Baobab and Kigelia extracts to soften skin and mandarin and orange essential oils to leave hands smelling great.  Scroll on for more photos and my thoughts on this hand lotion.

Sep 7, 2015

MAC Vamplify Lip Collection (Fall 2015 Makeup) - Lipgloss and Pro Longwear Lip Pencils - Swatches

MAC Vamplify Lipgloss Pencil Collection - Swatches
MAC Vamplify Lip Collection for Fall 2015 at Nordstrom

I don't know if it's because I have been swatching so many new makeup launches this year or if it's just me getting older-wiser, but I have been noticing a lot of similar trends with makeup launches across brands.  This fall, there seems to be a matte lip trend going on with every other brand having a matte version of their lipstick, and as a contrast are the pigmented-saturated lip gloss collections.  MAC Vamplify Lip Collection falls in the latter category.  The collection includes 17 shades of Vamplify lip glosses and 12 new shades of Pro Long Wear Lip Pencils to pair them with.  The lipglosses feature rich pigments, nourishing oils, and claim to last hours on the lips.  They come packaged in slim, long tubes, and the lipgloss applicator wands are slightly angled for better application.  Going by the name, I was expecting the MAC Vamplify Lip Glosses to be dark, vampy colors that are all the rage every fall, so I was quite surprised - and pleasantly so - to see a few lovely neutrals in the range.  Scroll on for swatches.

Sep 5, 2015

Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser

Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser Face Wash Review
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser ($24/8 fl. oz) at Ulta Beauty
Product provided for review.

I have oily-combination skin that is also somewhat sensitive, so I am very careful with my facial skincare.  I rarely change or add anything new to my carefully selected line-up of products, but when I do want to try something new from a brand, I usually start with a face wash.  It's usually a good indicator for whether I need to bother picking up anything else from the brand.  Most times, face washes aren't as expensive as face creams or serums, so I don't feel too bad if things don't work out either.  My newest skincare product testing has been the Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (received courtesy of Ulta Beauty and People StyleWatch).  This simple face wash claims to melt away oil, dirt, and makeup as well as tone and lightly hydrate skin in one easy step, leaving skin feeling clean and comfortably balanced.

I have always been fascinated by Philosophy skincare products, mostly because I first heard about the brand on Oprah, but somehow I have never gotten around to trying anything from the brand.  I love the simple, clean packaging and the positive ideas that inspire Philosophy's skincare line, but does the Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser live up to the Philosophy skincare promise?  Read on for my thoughts on the Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser.

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquer - Swatches

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquer ($38 each) at Nordstrom

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquers are a new makeup launch from the brand and feature a formula that combines the lacquered shine of a lipgloss, comfort of a lipstick, and the lasting power of a stain.  It's innovative technology packs a high concentration of water-soluble pigments to give these lacquer lipglosses vivid color and a long wear time.  The Ecstasy Lacquers also contain glycerin that helps with easy smooth application and keeps lips hydrated.  Because these lipglosses are so concentrated in color pigments, you can either apply them for a sheer effect by dabbing a small amount on the lips and blending it or build up several coats for richer coverage.  Add extra gloss over the center of lower lip for the perfect glossy pout.

Scroll on for swatches of the Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquer lipglosses.

Sep 4, 2015

Buxom Big and Sexy Bold Gel Lipsticks - Swatches

Buxom Big and Sexy Bold Gel Lipsticks ($22 each) at Sephora

I have been seeing a lot of new makeup launches from Buxom Cosmetics, and the Buxom Big and Sexy Bold Gel Lipsticks are the latest from the brand.  Going by my impression of the Buxom Bar eyeshadows, Buxom seems to be coming up with products that feature bright, bold, rich colors and sleeker packaging, and the new Buxom Gel Lipsticks definitely follow the trend.  These lightweight gel lipsticks claim to deliver bold, rich pigment and are available in matte and satin finishes.  There is a wide range of colors to choose from, and the formula boasts a moisturizing finish, with the matte and satin finishes giving a modern bold look.  The packaging is a simple black casing with a magnetic closure (going by reviews I read online), and the shades have cheeky names to go with the bold colors.  Scroll on for swatches.

Stila Convertible Color - Peony

Stila Convertible Color - Peony - Cream Lip-Cheek Blush - Review Swatches
Stila Convertible Color - Peony ($22 at Ulta Beauty)
Product provided for review.

Multi-tasking makeup products are always a favorite with me, especially for travel or carrying around in the bag, and Stila Convertible Colors are a perfect example.  A cream blush and lip color in one, Stila Convertible Colors are sheer cream tints that add a natural glow to the cheeks while giving a soft hint of color to the lips.  The color I am reviewing today is Peony.  I have had a deluxe sample of this for more than a year and recently received a full-size version courtesy of the folks at Ulta Beauty and People Stylewatch.  Scroll on for more photos, swatches, and review.

Sep 3, 2015

Masque Bar by Look Beauty Apricot Sheet Face Mask

Masque Bar by Look Beauty Apricot Sheet Face Mask Review
Masque Bar by Look Beauty Apricot Sheet Face Mask - Available at Amazon and Target
Product provided for review

Sheet masks are having their time in the beauty world now at least here in the US, and with drugstore-budget brands becoming available, a DIY spa day at home is becoming easier than ever.  Masque Bar by Look Beauty is one such brand that makes an affordable version of this Asian-inspired beauty ritual.  Sheet masks are generally cotton or paper masks that are individually packed and come soaked in a lotion/essence that provides moisturizing, brightening, antiaging benefits (depending on the variety of mask used).  I recently got to try out two of the sheet masks by Look Beauty - an Intensive Moisturizing Feetreat Pedi foot mask as well as this Masque Bar by Look Beauty Apricot Face Mask.  Read on for more photos and my thoughts on this sheet face mask.

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream Lipsticks - Swatches, Review (Nude Beach)

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream Lipsticks Swatches Review Nude Beach
Wearing Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Nude Beach ($22 at Ulta Beauty)
Product provided for review.

As someone who is moderately makeup and beauty obsessed, I dabble around in quite a few makeup brands, but while I try to keep up with new makeup launches I sometimes miss out on trusty old favorites.  Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks are a good example.  These buttery, glossy, creamy lipsticks have been around for a while and are a favorite among a lot of people, but I only got around to trying these very recently.  I received the Too Faced La Creme lipstick in Nude Beach courtesy of the folks at Ulta Beauty and People Style Watch.  A nude-neutral lipstick with a mix of pink and brown tones to it, this is the perfect nude lipstick to pair with the a dark smokey eye that's so popular into fall/winter.  I also got some swatches of the other shades in the Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream lipsticks line-up, so scroll on for review, swatches, and a sneak peek sale alert.

Sep 1, 2015

Dior Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks - Swatches (New - Fall 2015)

Dior Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine New Lipsticks Swatches Fall 2015 Makeup
Dior Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks ($35 each) at Nordstrom
Jennifer Lawrence looks awesome!

I spotted the new Dior Addict lipsticks at my local Nordtrom this weekend.  Labeled as "Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine" lipsticks, these lipsticks have a core of moisturizing gel that adds moisture and shine to the lips.  This moisturizing gel is concentrated in a "CD" shape at the center of the lipstick and runs the entire length of the lipstick.  Made up of three different oils, this ultra-moisturizing formula supposedly works like a top coat, giving shine as well as making the color last longer.  I got some swatches to share, but I have to mention, there is some difference in the shade names between the Dior website and sites like Macys or Nordstrom.  I have added in both the names where possible, but if you do notice any errors, please let me know, so I can update the post.  Scroll on for swatches.

5 Reasons to Love Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review Photos Swatches
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm ($34) at Ulta Beauty
Product provided for review

When it comes to Urban Decay makeup, a lot of the spotlight is taken up by the Naked palettes, but as amazing as they are, there are some gems in the UD makeup range which don't get as much attention as they deserve.  One such product is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm.  I bought my first tube when it first launched a while back, and I have been a fan ever since.  The original version was a single shade, but it is currently available in 3 shades - light, medium (the original shade), and dark.  The packaging is a no-fuss tube, and the product itself is quite thin and light with a slight fragrance to it.  So what gets this tinted moisturizer on my list of must-have makeup products?  Scroll on to find out.

Aug 31, 2015

Lancome Audacity in Paris Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches

Lancome Lisa Eldridge Audacity in Paris Eyeshadow Palette Swatches Photos
Lancome Auda-city in Paris Eyeshadow Palette ($68) at Nordstrom

Ever since Lisa Eldridge joined Lancome, I have been noticing some lovely new product launches, and the new Lancome Audacity in Paris eyeshadow palette is the latest from the brand.  I have been looking forward trying this mostly because it's the first product designed by Lisa Eldridge for Lancome.  Also, it's a neutral-smokey palette - what's not to like about that?!  The palette feels a bit heavy in the hand and is not very sleek to hold, but the weight does make it feel quite sturdy and safe to travel with.  Inside the palette are 16 eyeshadows in shades ranging from soft mattes to shimmery smokey dark colors.  There is a large/long mirror on one side (with some black embossing over it which does cover a bit of the mirror), and included with the palette is a useful dual-ended brush.  Scroll on for more photos and swatches.

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Lipsticks - Swatches

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Lipsticks - Swatches  Your Majesty - Retro Red - Pale Coral - Parisian Red - Raspberry Pink - Soft Berry - Red Velvet - Brocade  Plum Brandy - Neutral Rose - Pink Cloud - Retro Coral - Pink Nude - Pink Buff - Spring Pink - Sunset Orange - Posh Pink
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Lipsticks ($35 each) at Nordstrom

Bobbi Brown seems to come out with a new makeup range or product almost every month, and while I do end up swatching and sharing most of them on the blog here, I don't think I have ever been truly excited about any of these releases.  The Bobbi Brown Intense Pigment liners are an exception - those mini pigment shadow palettes are a must-have, but for the most part, everything else seems quite similar to existing or older collections.  Given the trend, I was not expecting much from the Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color lipsticks either, but from packaging design to colors, this is one makeup launch you definitely need to check out.  These brand new lipsticks have a beautiful gold packaging, and they feel heavy and luxurious in the hand.  The formula is rich and glossy, and the colors are bight and rich.  There is a mix of neutrals and softer corals and nudes in this range, and there are some deep reds and plums.  Here's a look at the swatches.

Aug 29, 2015

Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalm - Swatches

Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalm Swatches Raspberry Ripple Creamsicle Juicy Papaya Tutti Frutti Pink Grapefruit Sweet Guava Amaretto Swirl Red Velvet Iced Pomegranate Cinnful Cherries Jubilee Cherry on Top
Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalm ($25 each) at Sephora

Laura Mercier is a brand I tend to miss out on quite often, but I did check out the Laura Mercier Lip Parfait lipsticks last weekend (thanks Bee!), and they are awesome!  These Lip Parfaits are infused with vitamins and butters to moisturize the lips while leaving them drenched in rich vibrant color.  The lipstick has the shine and texture of a lip balm, gliding on glossy, shiny color in one swipe.  There are some rich vibrant colors in the range - bright corals and reds - as well as some glossy nudes.  Here's a look at the swatches.

Guerlain Rose Aux Joues Blush - Swatches - Bloom of Rose Fall 2015 Makeup Collection

Guerlain Rose Aux Joues Blush - Swatches - Bloom of Rose Fall 2015 Makeup Collection
Guerlain Rose Aux Joues Blush ($52 each) at Sephora

Also part of the Guerlain Fall 2015 Bloom of Rose Makeup Collection are 6 new shades of blush - Guerlain Rose Aux Joues.  This new blush has a feather light formula with pink-booster pigments to capture the skin's natural pigmentation and enhance the natural pink hue for a soft blushed effect.  The colors include soft peaches and pinks.  Here's a look at the swatches - heavier as well as slightly blended.

Guerlain KissKiss RoseLip Hydrating and Plumping Tinted Lip Balm - Swatches (Fall 2015 Bloom of Rose Makeup Collection)

Guerlain KissKiss RoseLip Hydrating Plumping Tinted Lip Balm Swatches Fall 2015 Bloom of Rose Makeup Collection
Guerlain KissKiss RoseLip Hydrating and Plumping Tinted Lip Balm ($37 each) at Sephora

Guerlain KissKiss RoseLip Balms are part of the Guerlain Fall 2015 makeup collection - Bloom of Rose.  Inspired by the natural beauty of the rose, these tinted lip balms come in 6 soft, romantic shades ranging from charming reds to romantic pinks.  Enriched with hydrating and plumping rose extracts, these lip friendly balms give lips a sheer wash of color. The packaging is similar to the Guerlain KissKiss lipsticks except the RoseLip Balms come in a white lacquer packaging (as opposed to the black of the regular Guerlain KissKiss lipsticks).  Here's a look at the swatches.

Aug 28, 2015

Feetreat Pedi by LookBeauty Intensive Moisturizing Foot Mask

Feetreat Pedi by LookBeauty Intensive Moisturizing Foot Mask - Review Ingredients How to Use
Feetreat Pedi by LookBeauty Intensive Moisturizing Foot Mask - $9.99 for a pack of 2
Product provided for review

Ideally, I would want a foot massage at the end of every long boring day, but it doesn't happen all that often in real life.  An easy compromise is a foot mask, and I have tried a couple of them over the years.  Most of these foot masks have been clay-based masks - apply, wait, wash off - but the mask I am reviewing today is a bit different.  Feetreat Pedi by Look Beauty foot masks are moisturizing sock masks filled with an intensive moisturizer lotion.  All you have to do is slip on the socks.  Scroll on for more photos and my experience with the Feetreat Pedi foot mask.

Aug 25, 2015

OPI - Can't Hear Myself Pink! and The Berry Thought of You (Brights 2015 Nail Polish Collection)

OPI Cant Hear Myself Pink The Berry Thought of You Brights 2015 Nail Polish Collection
OPI Brights 2015 Nail Polish Collection - Can't Hear Myself Pink - The Berry Thought of You
Product provided for review

The spotlight today is in on two more nail colors from the OPI Brights Nail Polish Collection (2015) - Can't Hear Myself Pink! and The Berry Thought of You.  This collection was released for summer 2015, but I got to try out a few of these nail colors only recently.  I have already reviewed My Car Has Navy-Gation and On Pinks & Needles - a cobalt blue and a pink glitter topcoat.  Can't Hear Myself Pink is a shimmery bright pink while The Berry Thought of You is a glossy fuchsia.  Scroll on for more photos.

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadows (2015) - Swatches

MAC Electric Cool Cream Eyeshadows 2015 Swatches
MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadows ($22 each) at Nordstrom

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadows are a new, limited edition collection featuring vibrant, bright eyeshadows with a frost finish.  The texture of these eyeshadows is similar to the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre - cream eyeshadows with a spongy formula and a dry powdery finish when applied on the skin.  The shadows can be applied sheer when blended and/or layered for more opaque color.  There are some beautiful colors in this range, and here's a look at the swatches.

Aug 24, 2015

Bobbi Brown Intense Pigment Liners ( Fall 2015) - Swatches

Bobbi Brown Fall 2015 Makeup Greige Collection Intense Liner Pigment Swatches Black Plum Midnight Forest
Bobbi Brown Intense Pigment Liner ($36 each) at Nordstrom

Bobbi Brown Fall 2015 Makeup Collection also includes a new product - Bobbi Brown Intense Pigment Liner. Available in 3 color combinations, these pigment liners are housed in a small compact, each compact containing three shades of highly pigmented shadows.  These are meant to be used either applied along the lashine as a dark eyeliner or smudged out for a smokey look.  This is the product I have been looking forward to ever since I saw promo images, and it definitely does live up to the claims.  Here's a look at the swatches.

Bobbi Brown Greige Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches

Bobbi Brown Greige Eyeshadow Palette - Fall 2015 Makeup Collection - Swatches
Bobbi Brown Greige Eyeshadow Palette ($70) at Nordstrom
Fall 2015 Makeup Collection - Swatches

Bobbi Brown Fall 2015 Makeup Collection is now available display at my local Nordstrom counter and includes a new limited edition eyeshadow palette - Bobbi Brown Geige Palette.  There are 8 eyeshadows in this sleek palette, all in the grey-brown-neutral range (as the name suggests), and with a mix of matte and shimmers.  It's perfect for soft neutral eye makeup and/or can be used to create a smokey shimmery eye.  Here's a look at the swatches.

Aug 23, 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette

Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette - Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette ($30) at Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette is a limitd edition eyeshadow kit with 12 intense shades, all of which can be used wet or dry.  The colors include warm browns, soft peaches, as well as more vibrant blues and dark matte black. I have been quite impressed with the few products that I have tried from this brand, and the Shadow Couture palette seems to follow the trend. Scroll on for swatches.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette - Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Eyeshadow Palette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette - Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette - Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette - Swatches
Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches

The eyeshadows in this palette are all incredibly pigmented and smooth. Going by the palettes I have tried from this brand previously, I have to assume these eyeshadow would be quite easy to blend on the lids and pretty longlasting too.  I love the warm browns in the palette, and the bright colors included in the palette would look great used on their own - if you aren't shy to try a bright eye makeup look - or as pop of color in a neutral eyeshadow look.  Overall, a good eyeshadow palette if you are looking for something with a wide range of eyeshadow colors.

Links provided in the post are for information only and are NOT affiliate/sponsored links. Please do not copy/download images from the blog and repost on your social media channels or blogs.

Aug 22, 2015

Maybelline The Nudes - Neutral Eyeshadow Palette - Review, Swatches, Photos, Makeup Looks

Maybelline The Nudes - Neutral Eyeshadow Palette - Review Swatches Photos Makeup Looks
Maybelline The Nudes - Neutral Eyeshadow Palette

Maybelline The Nudes eyeshadow palette has been around for a while, but it launched in India only recently.  With its mix of matte and shimmer neutrals, most of them variations of brown, Maybelline The Nudes palette is an affordable option for a neutral eyeshadow palette in the Indian makeup/beauty market.  I generally stay off premade palettes unless I am particularly impressed with the eyeshadows textures or colors.  My most-used palette is from MAC, filled with eyeshadows I picked out myself, so I am definitely not the target audience for this product.  Nevertheless, I bought one out of curiosity, and hopefully, the review is helpful for anyone looking to buy this.  Scroll on for more photos, swatches, and review.