December 31, 2010



December 26, 2010


Like every year, this year too I learnt few new things about myself, my likings and life in general. This being a Beauty and Accessory kind of fun blog, I would mention a things related to Make up and Skincare that worked for me in 2010. The products mentioned here are my favorites, in no particular order though. Few of these have been a part of Beauty Community since ages...I discovered them in 2010!

Bobbi Brown Corrector: This product (corrector) did miracles for my under eyes. All these years I was struggling to find the right shade of Concealer. Unfortunately many of them used to either turn ashy and light or way too dark. Corrector helped me big time. It helped me to cancel out all the blue undertones and totally changed the way my whole eye area looks. (Review)

MAC 188 Small Stippling Face Brush: This was definately not LOVE at FIRST USE. I had to figure out some way for it to work for me. With some good practice, this brush has become a staple in my Vanity. I use it a lot and it has made the application of Bright Cheek products like NARS Desire, Taj Mahal etc Super easy and quick, which were actually very difficult to apply with a regular Blush Brush. (Review)

Laura Mercier Brightening Powder: This Brightening powder had all the 3 Qualities that I always wanted. It sets my concealer and makes it stay longer, Brightens the under eye area without turning it white and does not settles in my fine lines. This just ROCKS! I could notice the obvious difference using both Corrector and Brightener and so did others! (Review)

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat: This one is just PERFECT!!! I was enjoying the OPI Drip Dry until I tried this one. OPI Drip Dry, though a good product, tends to vanish in thin air if kept for long time. Sheer wastage!! This product on the other hand has made WAITING FOREVER to dry the Nail Polish GONE FOREVER!! (Review)

Illuminating Fluid: All I had ever used (Liquid Product) in the past to Achieve "that Glow" was Benefit High Beam and Moon Beam. One was Frosty and other was Crappy. After saving some, I picked this CHANEL Product and let me tell you, it seems as if it was custom made for me. The color Sunkissed worked so well with my skintone and now I totally enjoy "that glow"!! It is worth every single penny spent!!! (Review)

Highlighters: I loved MAC MSFs, but they were accentuating my pores if not applied correctly. After finding DIOR Shimmer Powder and one shade of the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Copper Diamond, I need not worry about open pores anymore. Surprisingly these don't turn frosty or ashy on me. Hit the Jackpot!!!

Colored Eye liners: I was a Black and Brown eyeliner user. I slowly branched out in using colors. Deep dark rich colors like Forest green and Eggplant made my eyes look sultry and totally changed the way my whole face appeared in real life and in Photographs. I could manage to smudge these dark colors and look sexy, without looking harsh and Cruel....Now, I doubt I would ever go back to Black Liners.

Nail Polish: I never followed any Nail color collection. My main aim always was to just have 'some color' on my nails. This year though I followed what other blogs were talking about Nail Polishes. I did follow some collections and releases. Obviously, I didn't get crazy with buying the whole collections, but certain family of neutral colors rocked my nails and I was able to take good care of my nails aswell.

NeoStrata Bionic Eye Cream: This was a product sent to me for consideration. An avid user of eye creams, I found this one wearable for both day and night time. It hydrated, was non greasy and did not hurt the eye at all. Also, it managed to reduce the dark circles. A product I would love to buy again. (Review)

These were a bunch of things that really stood out for me in the year 2010. Not that I don't love other stuff that I have. These just had that something special...

p.s: These have managed to work for me. It may or may not work for you.

I say Good Bye to this lovely 2010 and Thank you all for visiting Dazzle-n- Sparkle and showing support. See you next year...With Loads of Luck, Love and Best Wishes..

December 23, 2010

Its all SO FESTIVE....

HOLIDAYS are the best time of the year...My Favorite Winter and all the Festive Spirit is something I wait for the whole year. For me the Holiday is NO HOLIDAY without...

Beautiful Christmas tree: Fake or Real, choice is personal. Though I love real trees, I have a fake one decorated for ease and convenience. Probably next year, I will install a real one again. (The tree skirt is missing, because I know its somewhere in the house, but I could not locate it!)

Swarovski Annual Ornaments

Swarovski Poinsettia

Ornaments for the tree: I LOVE the Keepsake Ornaments and Collectibles. They just give your tree that special, personal and emotional touch. Along with the regular stuff, I have been buying Swarovski Annual releases since the year my son was born. 2005 to be precise. Swarovski has been releasing a star Ornament every odd year and a Snowflake every even year since 1991. These look amazing when the sunlight hits on them. They look stunning both on the tree or as a separate display on a table top tree. They make great collectibles as well as an elegant gift item.

Chocolates and MORE Chocolates: I am biased to anything Chocolate. Rich, smooth, Dark Chocolate. The HOT CHOCOLATE MIX from William Sonoma is a great tasting one. A bit expensive considering the fact that its just chocolate shavings and only 8 servings for $20, it still is a luxury indulgence during the Holidays!

Ferrero Rocher and Ferrero Rondnoir are another of my absolute favorite. This one is an all time hit in my family. I end up giving one box to almost everyone I gift (whether they like it or not).

Candles: Fragrant Candles gives that warm feeling when lit. Especially, with it becoming dark by 4 pm, the best way for me to distinguish between evening and Night for my 5 yr old is LIGHTING the candle and filling the house with lovely scent. My personal favorite is Cinammon, Pine, Cedar, Balsamic, Christmas wreath. All festive and fun.
I am not a fan of anything Vanilla, Coconut, Cupcake frosting and similar.

Gifts UNDER the Christmas tree: This year in the past one month, amongst me, my husband and my son we bought things that were good enough to qualify for a decent Holiday gift. An I-pad and Macro camera lens for my Husband, Nintendo-DS XL and some games to go with it for my son and all those jewelry for me. All of these gifts have been opened and are actually in USE. Now, there is nothing substantial under our tree. This makes everything a bit un-festive and un-enthusiastic for us.
I still ended up buying some essential as stocking stuffers for my son and Gift cards for hubby, but its not the same. The surprise element will be missing for sure.
I realized its not the gifts, its GIFT UNDER THE TREE that made me happy…Oh, well…

Family: Yes, though I mentioned this point at last, in reality this is what everyone wants for the Holidaya. To be with Family and everyone else you love or mean most to you. Lucky and Blessed are all those people who have family with them to celebrate the festivities.

I wish you all have a Great, Healthy and Happy Holidays and a Fantastic,Successful New Year ahead…..

December 17, 2010


This is a blogpost that was pending for a very long time and I just forgot to post it! Here we see a few Neutral Brown eyeshadows from MAC, that are mostly warm and have some sort of red undertones. They may seem to be totally different when you apply on eyes, but to my naked eye they did appear to fall in one category and I have these nested in one palette.

TWINKS: This is a permanent shade and it is a Veluxe Pearl Finish. A very Beautiful, wearable shade of brown with some Burgundy/Plum hues to it. This one is decently pigmented and buildable. Needless to say has a soft, smooth texture. Very Blendable too. There is some subtle sheen to it, a characteristic of Veluxe Pearl finish. Over a Black Base this just transforms into a unique color. The Burgundy undertones of Twinks might be difficult to wear by someone who has Dark under eye circles with bluish tones to it. I still find it would work for both warm and cool toned person.

GLAMOUR CHECK: This is a Starflash finish and it was Limited Edition color, though released twice. Many sites say its similar to Twinks, though I think it has no Plum/Purple undertones at all. It is more of a Warm, Red based Brown. There is more of Brown to it. Thanks to the Starflash finish, the texture is buttery smooth and the color is pigmented aswell. Its not at all frosty or metallic. I personally find it looks more flattering on me than Twinks, because it has no Pluminess to it.

SABLE: MAC describes this color as Gold-plum with bronze pearl. In simple language call it Pink/Plum Brown. It has a Velvet Finish and I am not a fan of that finish. I does not applied evenly and is not smooth or pigmented. It is not as bad as Lustre formula, but again it does not has the ebst formula. This color has the potential to give you a tired look if not combined carefully with other color. It leans on the cooler side of Spectrum and me not a fan!

ANTIQUED: The color is Antiqued and not Antique as I have mis-spelled in the Photo below. Its a Veluxe Pearl finish and true to its nature, the color is richly Pigmented and smooth. The subtle gold sheen is flattering and the color is easy to work with. MAC described the color as Ash Brown with Bronze. I don't see Ash anywhere in the color. I would call it Coppery Brown with Red undertones. It is a beautiful color and warm toned people will enjoy pairing it with Golds.

Swatches of MAC Eyeshadows in Twinks, Glamour Check, Sable, Antiqued,
Swiss Chocolate, Folie, Brown Down and Embark

SWISS CHOCOLATE: I love the sound of this shadow. So tasty! Unfortunately, this Matte Reddish Brown color has a poor pay off and it takes very long to build the actual color. Its a good crease color, but again its difficult to blend. Well, most of the Mattes are certainly not a dream to work with, but this dude lacks both in pigmentation and Blendability. A bunch of other Brands carry similar Brown and a little research will help you to get a better one.

FOLIE: This is a Satin Finish and the description MAC site gives is pretty accurate. It is a Reddish - Plum Brown. Its non Shimmery, semi-pigmented color. Does not applies very well on the lid, but a stiff, dense brush and patting motion would help deposit the color more evenly as opposed to regular, fluffy shadow brush. It is pretty similar to another Satin Color I have called Haux, which is more Pink Brown and poorly pigmented.
The color can give you tired effect, if the lids and the eye area is pigmented. A base would help the color to pop and adhere well.

BROWN DOWN: The MAC description says its a Teddy bear brown. What does this means anyways?? Teddy Bear are of so many! It is a Veluxe Finish. MAC has only 3 colors in this Finish. Its soft, but not super Pigmented. This does takes some time to blend, but its not a hopeless case like MAC Mattes. It has no sheen or shimmer. Not a Unique color and being on warm side, some cool skintones might not enjoy using this.

EMBARK: The color is Nice, the texture is Crap! I mean, if you are going to pay $14.50 for a pot of eye shadow, it better be something good, right? Just saying that it's a Matte and hence the crapy texture is no excuse! This is described as Intense Reddish Brown and it sure is intense. The problem is, I have a hard time getting any of that intensity depositted on my lids. Again, a very dense and stiff brush would help deposit the color. I personally use it to darken the crease or as a liner. It takes time and patience to work with MAC Mattes. The color is pretty warm too.

MAC Eyeshadow swatches: Bold n Brazen and Brown Script

: This was a Limited Edition color, released during the Starflash collection and has the same Starflash finish. It actually is not supposed to be in this Brown category. It is more of a peachy/coppery color. In pot though, it looked like coppery Brown to me. Hence it is in the Brown palette. I like the finish. It is smooth, soft with mild sheen (no glitters) and is not too Frosty. The color is Peachy/Coppery Brown with hints of Gold. Its a lovely color when paired with Glamour Check from the same series.

BROWN SCRIPT: This is Matte 2 Formula and I don't understand why MAC does not makes more color in this formula. It has all the features of a Matte shadow (no glitter, no sheen, no shimmer) without actually the pain of a matte shadow (Blending issues, Patchy application).
The color is described as Warm Chestnut Brown. It has Obvious hints of Orange and is very unique compared to other stuff I have. It may look like a crap color, but I like to use it in crease with other browns and the results are lovely. It is a good Fall color and if you find MAC Rule eyeshadow to be too Orange, try this and it should work.

These area bunch of MAC Brown shadows that I have. MAC has many more. I will post a Part 2 with the remaining MAC Browns in my collection. I would suggest trying Urban Decay Shadows in Matte texture. They have a better pay off and are easy to work with. I have tried only Two myself and they are pretty impressive.

Hope you found this Old Post a bit interesting and useful...

December 14, 2010

Philosophy Purity Made Simple (Review)

A highly effective one-step facial cleanser.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple
is a ph-balanced formula that rapidly dissolves dirt and makeup while deep
cleaning pores. The best-selling cleanser contains infusions of sage, chamomile,
and carrot.

Purity Made Simple is part of a collection of Philosophy
products designed to soothe even the most dry and sensitive skin.

Currently I am using this Cleaner as a part of my daily skincare routine.
I have been meaning to try this since a very long time, but it really takes a long time to finish an old bottle of cleanser, to start with a new one.

Philosophy cleanser has been getting rave reviews and many girls in the beauty community seem to love the product. At times, things like these fall into the OVER HYPED product category!

Anyways, personally I find it to be a good cleanser, but definitely not an Amazing one.

Lets dissect the product!

Fragrance: I personally didn’t like the fragrance. Its not something super annoying or irritating, its just not me. There is something in it that bugs me. I didn’t like it. In any case, it just vanishes after sometime, so not something to be bothered about.

Consistency: It is a very soft and has a creamy lotion like consistency. It reminds me of Cetaphil cleanser.

Color: Light Creamish color.

Application: I apply a dime size or maybe a little more on damp face and it spreads easily without foaming. Feels like I am rubbing lotion all over my face. After a minute of mild scrubbing, I wash it off with tepid water.

Feel on the skin: The skin feels soft. This is probably the best part of the cleanser. It does not dries the skin at all. Also, I have dry skin, so usually a mild cleanser like Clinique (Mild) gives me that stretched feeling in winter (not in summer). This totally keeps the skin soft and gives that Hydrated feeling. Also I did not experience any tingling or itching sensation after using this. Unlike some creamy cleansers, it does not leaves the skin feeling unclean and soapy.

This one did not break me out and also I am having less dry, flakey patches this winter. I am also using serums, so I would not give the whole credit to this cleanser alone.
Oh, did I mention, this did not hurt/burn my eyes at all, which at times is a problem with some skincare products.

As far as removing the make-up goes, it does not helps completely. I usually prefer cleaning my make-up with make up removers and then use a cleanser. For the sake of review, I did try removing my make up directly with this cleanser and it didn’t do the job completely. There was a good lot of make up residue left, especially the eye make up.

I would not blame the cleanser though. We apply so much things on the eye, Urban Decay Primer Potion, Long wearing eyeliners, Mascara etc. The poor cleanser is really helpless!
It helps to get rid of basic make-up though (tinted Moisturizer, lip gloss etc).

At $18 it’s a good cleanser, but not something that you won’t be able to achieve from a good quality Drugstore cleanser from brands like Neutrogena or Cetaphil to name a few. It is a decent product, but not exceptionally different or Amazing, as I had heard You Tube Gurus rave.

What is your experience with this Cleanser? Any AMAZING cleanser you would like suggest?

December 9, 2010

MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush - Review

I could not use this brush with multi-texture products as described by MAC.

This is a MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush that retails for around $34. A pretty pricey brush to begin with.

A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending
of any formula colour – fluid, cream, powder or pigment. Ideal for creating soft
layers or adding textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres

I can use this brush only for applying very pigmented Powder Blushes like NARS Taj Mahal or Desire. The brush is not dense, so the tips pick only very small amount of color, exactly as we need with a pigmented blush. The brush head is small, so it deposits the color exactly on the areas I intend to.
The blending part though takes some time, patience and practice. I swirl the brush in small, short circular motions and it helps in buffing the color. Its always advisable to layer on very pigmented blushes, to avoid patchy appearance. This brush helps achieve that flawless look. The entire end result looks soft and natural.

Now on to the boo part. I failed badly in using this brush with cream, gel and Fluid Products. Firstly, my 'stippling' skills are not so good and secondly, the brush is not dense enough to pick a good amount of cream/gel product. The end part of the bristles that pick product is very flimsy. Also, the brush head is small, so I don't think its a great choice for applying Foundation quicker. I found it was difficult to blend cream blushes and it just didn't work for me. The result was uneven and patchy. I blame my application skills and brush for that.

At $34 I would have enjoyed if I could use it in more ways. I do enjoy it for Pigmented powder blushes though.

Do suggest any tips or tricks you know to use this brush with cream products.

December 5, 2010

Make Up For Ever - HD Blush #6 Quickie

Make Up For Ever - HD Blush #6 Quickie

HD Microfinish Blush is a cream blush that naturally sculpts and highlights the
cheeks for a healthy glow. It combines mattifying and reflecting powders to
create a soft-focus effect for a radiant complexion. Its ultra-fine, second-skin
texture blends seamlessly, imparting a healthy glow that's hard not to notice.

What else you need to know:
Formulated with evaporating oils, HD Microfinish Blush has a long-lasting result. Dermatologist tested. Paraben free.

Swatch of Make Up For Ever - HD Blush #6 Quickie

This is a FANTASTIC product and this comes as a shocking, but pleasant surprise to me, simply because I had tried this in the past and back then it had not worked for me.

Rewinding back, when this was released few months ago, I got a tiny sample of this from my local Sephora in a small sample jar. When I tried it, I found that it was drying quickly without giving me much time to blend properly. The consistency was thick. I think, the sample in jar from tester bottle was not a good choice. It altered the consistency of the blush making it dry.

Recently, Sephora gave tiny sample bottles of the blush as their 100 point perk (the deluxe sample) thing. I got it in Number 6 Quickie.

Make Up For Ever - HD Blush #6 Quickie and Illamasqua Rude

The Color:

It is a lovely Salmon Pink or Coral Pink, a shade which is warm and perfectly a good color for my NC40/42 warm skin tone. Infact, I can see this working on many skin tones as it can be sheered out or layered on for extra pop of color. The color is buildable. It has absolutely no shimmers or glitters and looks creamy/milky in the bottle.

The consistency:
It is a thick liquid, but not goopy. It is not sticky or oily to touch. It slips and slides easily.

The Application and Finish:
I dot it on my cheeks with fingers and it spreads and blends easily, without leaving any patchy spots. This does dry to a matte finish. It imparts a beautiful healthy flush of color and is not dewy. This does not looks fake at all. This does not accentuates any pores at all.

I don’t have a stiff flat top brush like MAC 130, which I think will do a great and maybe better job. I tried using my MAC 188 stippling brush and absolutely hated the way it worked. It is not a good brush for this liquid product.

The end result is very natural.

In my experience it takes a bit of practice in layering the color to avoid patchy application. A little quickness is needed. The color is highly pigmented and a little goes a long way. Also it is advisable to do one cheek at a time and shake the bottle well before use.

The product has no Fragrance at all.

The staying power is good. It lasted the whole day for me. Again I would point out that its winter and I don’t sweat at all. The real ‘staying power’ test of any product is in a place like Florida. If a product lasts the humidity of that place, it would last anywhere! Topping the color with a matching/complimenting powder blush will also help the product stay longer on the skin.

The Packaging:
The tiny bottle comes with a pump. This though is a good, hygienic option for a cream, gel or liquid products, does not works well for a pigmented Blush. Too much product is actually wasted. There is no way to control the amount of product dispensed. It is also difficult for touch ups.

Illamasqua Cream Blusher in RUDE is a very close color, but the end results are different. Illamasqua blush is more dewy and this one is more matte.

Personally, I am enjoying this product. I am glad that I got this original sample. I would have never spent $25 for trying the product especially after my first experience. Would love to try some more colors. Any suggestions?

p.s: Not tried it in front of camera, nor have seen any pictures of myself sporting this. Cannot comment on the whole HD part.

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