March 31, 2013

Simple Joys - Easter

Love me some Candy!!

The bunny HAD to make its appearance... and he ain't alone. Oh, so in LOVE!!

Eat Sweets... Stay Blessed!

Happy Easter everyone... :)

March 29, 2013

Too Faced Primed & Poreless - Review makeup primer scientifically formulated to achieve the look of flawless skin without makeup. 

This one-of-a-kind makeup primer was scientifically formulated to wear alone or under bronzers and foundation powders for a look of flawless skin without makeup. Vitamins A & C, mulberry extract, and a powerful dose of Retinol virtually banish pores while tired skin is left hydrated, firmer, and detoxified. Primed & Poreless creates the perfect canvas to allow powders, bronzers, and foundations to slide seamlessly on the skin—delivering a flawless and perfectly blended look that stay in place all day. Skin appears brighter, fresher, and younger. 

It looks great on any skintone! The nude tone becomes invisible once applied.

Color: Light brownish Beige, Skintone color but turns colorless and invisible when blended.

Texture: Smooth, silky, Velvety

Consistency: Light weight but thick, creamy and not at all runny.

Fragrance: No Fragrance

Packaging: Light Pink Squeeze tube, with needle nose opening. It is easy to control the amount of product while squeezing. Better than some pump dispensers, that are hygienic, but leads to wastage.

Application: I apply this using my fingers. Just a little over pea size amount is more than enough to cover my face. I concentrate it more on forehead and around nose area. The presence of silicone helps the product to glide easily, leaving a thin film on top of the skin. The product being silicone based just sits on the skin and so I would not recommend trying to blend the product in an attempt for it to get absorbed. It won’t be absorbed. The product will just ball up and crumble or leave flakes.

Feel on skin: This feels light on skin and the skin feels super smooth and even. The face does not feels oily or greasy. The product does an excellent job of filling the fine lines. I cannot say much about the pore filling property, because I don’t have large pores, but it did not clog the pores. It didn’t break me out. It is not an oil controlling primer.

My Thoughts: Like every other silicone based primer, this did the job well of creating a smooth canvas before applying foundation. I personally don’t use liquid foundation much, but for reviewing I did wear this under liquid foundation a couple of times. I did not notice any increase in longevity of my foundation wear or makeup in general. Also, the makeup didn’t turn blotchy by end of the day.

Under powder foundation and mineralized skin finish, this gave a very flawless look to the skin. I enjoy wearing this under powder products. This primer has a beige tint to it and it helps in evening out the skin tone, though it cannot be used as a major color corrector. I also doubt this color correcting property would make much difference on darker skin tones. The primer does not helps with any oil control and hence not a mattifying primer like CARGO BLU_RAY High Definition Mattifier.

It is a good primer and even though some people find this step totally unnecessary, I absolutely enjoy using Primers. I have tried few in the past and this did not disappoint at all.

Any favorite Primers?? Any suggestions?

Note: This primer was part of a kit that I had picked last year during Black Friday from Ulta. So the packaging and sizing may appear different than the regular ones. you can buy this in regular size @ Sephora and Ulta.

March 27, 2013

YSL - Pure Colour Satiny Radiance Lipstick #28

A highly pigmented lipstick that gives medium to full coverage in a radiant, satin finish.

This luxurious, multitasking lipstick is Yves Saint Laurent's makeup must-have. Color saturates the lips while protecting them from the sun with SPF 15. A powerful cocktail of hydro-spheres and natural extracts comforts and hydrates lips throughout the day.

Formulated WITHOUT: - Parabens - Sulfates - Petrochemicals - Phthalates - GMOs - Triclosan

I love love this color on me. It has the right amount of Plum/violet/wine tone to it and hence does not makes it look like Pink Pink or Berry Pink on me.

Color: #28 Rose Boheme. A Pink Plum Color. It has wonderful undertones of deep, rich, Plum color making it appear very different from a Berry Pink shade of lipstick. It does not has any sparkle, but has the tiniest amout of shimmer, which gives it a unique depth and does makes it appear like a flat matte color.

Texture: Smooth and creamy, but not super buttery like YSL Rouge Volupte Shine. It retains its shape well in tube and does not 'smooshes' against the walls of tube.

Fragrance: It has a mild, floral scent to it. This didn't bother me, but some people may not like it.

Application: Application is a breeze. One swipe imparts good color, without pulling or tugging. Two swipes are more than enough to give rich color as in tube. This is a pretty opaque color, with a sheen and is nicely pigmented. Good color pay off.

Feel on Lips: This feels comfortable. Not to heavy or thick. It does not sinks into the fine lines and the color does not bleeds. It is not the most moisturizing of the lot, but still feels good on lips and does not give that dry, matte feel. It did not peel my lips either.

Longevity: This lasted for around 4 hours, with obvious mild fading. It faded evenly and did leave a little stain. I had to re-touch.

Swatch of YSL Pure Color Satiny Radiance Lipstick #28 Rose Boheme - Pink Plum 

Packaging: YSL always excels in this department. A luxurious, elegant golden tube! Always a delight to pull out from the purse in powder room. It is like carrying a sturdy piece of cosmetic jewel.

Comparisons: I just compared it with few lipsticks that I could get hold of in my vanity. I was surprised to see I don't have any color in this family. I do have some Plummy shades and some wine shades, but a Pink with Plum and that too right amount of Plum was a pleasant addition to my collection.

Comparison Swatches of YSL #28 Rose Boheme, Too Faced Cinnamon kiss, Stila Exquisite, Laura Mercier Dry Rose

Lipstick Swatches

Thoughts: I like this color and the formula, but I like it more for the color. This is a bright lipstick, but not garish. It has a sophisticated vibe to it. Usually dark Fuchsia, Hot pink lipsticks if not worn properly or if the color is not complementing the skin tone, can end up looking cheap and tacky. Its not the case with this one. It worked beautifully for me. I am super pleased!

So do you people Love it...Like it... Indifferent about it??

March 25, 2013

Simple Joys

The Joy of freebies!!! Estee lauder got this right with Spring colors and floral pattern.

Every time a shoes and bags catalog lands home, I cannot stop drooling over the yummy bags. I am partial to bags. This time though I must admit, I had my eyes only for these shoe racks lined with candy colored shoes in all their glory! How cute!!!

Finally picked some Easter themed candies and sweet treats. These mini bags are perfect for someone (ME) who is trying to 'lose' weight and get more fit.

TJMaxx never disappoints with their stationary collection. These post its are so tiny, but so cute. Cuteness kills!!! Perfect for a girly office table.

No signs of spring in weather here. It is still pretty cold, chilly and windy here in Chicago. The melting snow gives me some hopes that very soon we will have just a lovely lake and no snow!!

Have a great week everyone!

March 23, 2013

Beauty Buys - Estee Lauder, Caudalie

'BEAUTY BUYS' is just another term coined for the infamous 'HAUL'. Its the list of things I buy, try and the ones you will hear me 'yak', 'blab', 'review' about in next few posts!!! Call this a 'Preview'..

I had tried products from Caudalie brand before and I really liked them. So when I saw this whole set of 4 products in Sephora for $35, I couldn't resist myself from buyin them. As always, great way to try skincare products when they come in these value sets.
Products in this set includes:

Caudalie Beauty Elixir - 1 oz.
Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser - 1.7 oz.
Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator - 2 oz.
Caudalie Hand And Nail Cream - 1 oz.

Very good size products and I am super excited to try these, especially the exfoliator and Beauty Elixir.

How can one say NO to a beautiful, colorful travel make up bag by Lilly Pulitzer filled with awesome goodies for free? Estee Lauder had this GWP at Macy's.

I picked the very popular Estee Lauder Advanced Night repair serum. I am almost done with my Kiehl's products. Time to try new goodies.

How stunning is this palette!! Such lovely colors!! Hello...SPRING!

I don't know if I want to use the colors in this palette. They are super wearable, but I have way too many eyeshadows. I love the cuteness of the whole packaging though.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend... :)

March 22, 2013

Burt's Bees Hand Salve - Review

This Burt’s Bee Product was also a part of the starter kit. A great way to try so many products in their generous mini sizes to pick the perfect one! Let me begin by saying I LOVE the smell. I love smell of Vicks, Eucalyptus Oil and all those Asian Tiger Balms that have some level of Menthol in it. This product has that same kind of Herbal Scent and I LOVE ittt!!

Salvation for rough, dry hands.

• Moisturizes rough, dry hands with botanical oils and Beeswax
• Herbal scent
• Perfect for both men and women

This description from the website pretty much sums up the whole review. This is exactly what it is.

This is a product that I would advise using strictly in your home as a bedtime/overnight  treatment  or as a part of deep  hand care regime, because the scent is really powerful and the product is super greasy.  The scent would put some people off and the greasiness will make it difficult to continue with chores. 

Color: Cloudy white (Vaseline like)

Texture: Greasy and super greasy!

Consistency: Thick Balm (think Vaseline)

Scent/Fragrance:  Herbal like Tiger Balm (as mentioned above)

Application: I just slather a  dime size amount. It is enough  to cover my hands well. Then I massage it well till the Salve actually floats on my hands leaving a shiny, greasy coat. I cover it with a soft hand gloves, especially made for these kind of treatments and are infused with Aloe Vera and some good stuff.

Feel  on skin: On application it feels oily/greasy, sticky and heavy. The beewax creates this thin waxy film which protects the skin from drying. The essential oils take their own good time to sink into the skin. My hands feel very soft, moisturized and nourished after the whole ritual.

Packaging: The mini one I have came in tin, but the full size too comes in a wide tin jar.

My Thoughts: I personally like the stuff for hands. The strong Eucalyptus smell does not bothers me. In fact, I enjoy it.  The heaviness, greasiness and strong smell can be reasons for many people not liking the product.
This is definitely a treatment for dry and very dry hands. I don’t  use this as an everyday hand cream (for reasons mentioned above). For that I prefer  L’Occitane Hand Creams.

I am curious to know anyone else enjoys this?

March 20, 2013

Too Faced La Crème Lipstick - Review & Swatches

A rich and creamy lip color infused with moisturizing and strengthening benefits.

Indulge lips with luxurious color and super moisturizers including white lotus flower and power peptides. This rich formula comes in abundant shades in four essential color ranges: nudes, spices, pinks, and reds.

These are high end version of Revlon Lip Butters, just more pigmented and less glossy.

Packaging: Absolutely cute, sleek matte gold colored metallic tube.  The cap fits snuggly and smoothly.

Too Faced La Crème Color Drenched Lip Creams in Cinnamon Kiss and Sweet Maple (L to R)

Colors: The color I picked are Cinnamon Kiss and Sweet Maple. These are darker colors from their line of color selection.  Cinnamon Kiss is a Rosy Mauve Color, which is warm but does not has much of brown shades to it. This looks pretty pink on me. Sweet Maple is a Muted Rose color and my absolute favorite. It has this hint of Maple Brown to it, making it a perfect MLLB (my lips, but better) color for me.

Too Faced Lipsticks in Sweet Maple and Cinnamon Kiss

Fragrance: It smells like some fruit. Very faint hint when sniffed from tube, but does not bothers at all. I didn't even notice when it was on lips.

Texture: Very creamy, buttery and smooth. Reminds me of Revlon Lip Butters, but minus the smooshing/metling in tube part. The lipstick holds its shape well in tube. It is winter right now, but maybe in summer it might show its true color (read shape). Non sticky, non shimmer, Non glitter.

Application: Two to three swipes are more than enough to impart the actual tube color on lip. I applied it directly from tube. The shape of lipstick tip is very wide and round. So it is difficult to reach the corners and also applying from tube directly didn't give even coverage. Using a lip brush gave even coverage and cleaner finish.

Feel on Lips: This feels very light on lips. It is not super moisturizing, but does not dries the lips off. The lipstick is not completely matte or opaque. It is not super glossy, but has a lovely sheen to it. This sheen is subtle and looks very neat n chic.

Swatch of Too Faced Lipstick in Cinnamon Kiss and Sweet Maple 
(Ignore the dry, wrinkly hand. I didn't moisturize it on purpose, to get a decent swatch and picture)

Pigmentation: This has good pigmentation. The colors showed well on my pigmented lips. Color is buildable. This fades quickly and does not even leaves a stain (which is not good).

Longevity: Not so good. It barely lasted for 3 hours. I didn't even eat or drink. I had to reapply multiple times over the whole day. Also when it faded, it didn't leave any stain or hint of color, making my lips look very 'bare'. If I try to layer it too much , for it to last longer it just made my lips feel heavy.

Stila Rendezvous, Too Faced Sweet Maple, Cinnamon Kiss, Stila Exquisite, Benefit La La Land, 
Laura Mercier Dry Rose

Stila Lip colors mentioned above are not available online anymore. I have no idea if they have stopped making these colors or were sold out. These long wear lip colors are really good products. They are easy to apply, long wearing and nicely pigmented. Benefit La La Land is also pretty much similar to Too Faced one, except that it has more glossy sheen to it. Laura Mercier Dry Rose is very opaque and has a totally different feel on lips. It is a semi matte, highly pigmented lipstick with a great staying power. I have reviewed most of these earlier.

Comparison of Lipsticks (Brands: Stila, Too Faced, Laura Mercier, Benefit)

My thoughts: This is a great everyday lipstick, which can be worn with ease and comfort. Moderately hydrating and good color choices. It is a perfect My lips but better kind of thing. Drug Store alternatives are Revlon Lip butters, but better. It is one of those things, which you can wear on lips when a heavy makeup is no-no and bare lips are NOOO....

Have you tried them? Any alternatives of similar kind of thing that you people can suggest?

March 19, 2013

Beauty Buys - Benefit, Fresh, Josie Maran

'BEAUTY BUYS' is just another term coined for the infamous 'HAUL'. Its the list of things I buy, try and the ones you will hear me 'yak', 'blab', 'review' about in next few posts!!! Call this a 'Preview'..

A self confessed Skincare obsessed person that I am, I had to try this new Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil (thats a mouthful!!). Also I know I will be travelling a lot this summer and that to in very hot and humid destinations, so I just need to keep the best skincare stuff ready in my bag. The trial and error has started.

Another product that has been raved a lot is the Josie Maran Argan Balm. It comes in a huge tin and I didn't wanted to buy the big size. So I got a set from QVC and shared it with a friend. If you have read some of my reviews in the past, you probably know my fascination with balms and oils. The greasiness of skincare products used as treatment never bothers me. Excited to try and review this one.

March is my birth month, so I got some freebies from Aveda, Sephora and discount coupons from multiple Stores (you know how they suck you in with lucrative offers!!!).

Sephora gave a Benefit mini kit with two products to try.  Benefit They're Real! Mascara and Benefit Watt's Up! These deluxe sample sizes are generous enough to be used multiple times and give an idea how the products are, before committing to full size ones.

Real Techniques Brushes are the Bomb!!!! I have yet to find a brush that didn't work for me. Amazing quality and a price one cannot beat! I picked 2 more after grand success of the ones I already own. Excited to try these aswell.

My 100 point perk got me Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Again deluxe size product and a great way to try it.

Love love deluxe size samples!!!

Oh, I also got a Glittery Gold Nail Polish Sephora by OPI. I wanted to try a nail art and it needed something in sparkly gold! Blame it on Instagram..

I picked all of these in first or second week of March, so I have played with few of them. Pretty promising products I must say, So far I am liking them, but will use them a few more times to share my thoughts on them.

Thank you for stopping by!!

March 18, 2013

Simple Joys

The multiple home decor catalogs that keep pouring in with lovely cheerful colors. Only if I had the luxury of re-decorating every single season. The candies on Williams-Sonoma catalog reminds me of buying 'pastel' color candies for Easter.

The immense joy of finding something that is beautiful and sold out everywhere. I had seen this stunning pair of J.Crew earrings in their catalog last month or so. None of my stores had it and so I was not sure about their actual size and didn't order online. Obviously it was SOLD OUT!
Luckily I found them 'just like that' in one of J.Crew jewelry drawers and they gave me at their lowest sale price!!!!! How AWESOME is that?

The designing and color combination of this well made piece is absolutely unique and one of its kind. Worth every single Penny I spent on it. Cannot wait to try it with various outfits.

After thinking and re-thinking and more thinking, I finally caved in a bought this tiny glass jar from Anthropologie. It is just a small glass jar that has a very simple look and the cut glass pattern gives it that vintage look. I had once seen some candle inside this jar, but now it seems they come in a globe like glass bottle. I had a hard time justifying $18 for an empty glass jar.

Blessed to have loved ones around!!! I still enjoy the whole 'cake cutting ritual', though I prefer small, very small cupcakes. My son just could not imagine a birthday without actual 'Big Cake', hence this high caloric sweet slab on my happy day.

A wonderful shadow of tree on this huge wall. I wonder how did those dry leaves survived the whole harsh, snowy, windy Chicago weather?

Have a Beautiful, Blessed week everyone.. :)

March 15, 2013

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme - Review

It looks like Honey, but it is not Honey. This Foot Cream is a pure overnight treatment thing. Basically this is not a cream. It is a goopy thick jelly like syrup thing. I cannot imagine myself using this as a casual, regular foot cream just to moisturize. This tube is TREATMENT!

A fantastic, effective and painfully messy product!

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.

Color: Light Golden Honey Color

Consistency: Goopy, Thick, Jelly/Syrupy and Viscous

Texture: Sticky and heavy.

Fragrance: Sweet Minty scent mixed with Coconut scent. I would have loved if it were either coconut smell or Mint smell. The combination of both is just weird.

Application: I apply a decent amount on my whole foot in thin layer. The top and bottom both. It is thick and viscous. It spreads easily, but is not absorbed completely. Lot of product sits on the skin leaving behind a sticky, shiny residue. I cover it with socks and leave it over night.

Feel on skin: Sticky initially. Next morning though there is not shiny or greasy residue, but still something waxy and slightly tacky stuff remains. It is waxy enough to leave stains. The foot feels super soft that has been pampered and moisturized well.

My thoughts: I love this stuff, simply because it worked for me. If you have read my review on L'Occitane Foot Cream, you would probably know how much I love pampering my feet with these overnight treatments. I just love the whole ritual!

The best thing about this sticky stuff is barrier it creates between the skin and external environment (???). It takes its own time to slowly penetrate the thick soles of foot, moisturizing it deeply. I don't have cracked feet, but this stuff managed to soften the natural lines that an adult foot has. I have no idea if I am able to explain, but this stuff works. It just locks in the moisture.

If I have to give a very homemade equivalent to this stuff, I would say mix Honey, Glycerine and Coconut oil. I remember my mom used to do this, but she used to add some lemon juice as well. It always worked for her.

Looking for something more light and easy? Try L'Occitane Foot Cream, but for stubborn and serious foot dryness and cracks, this is something you might want to try.

March 13, 2013

Laura Mercier Lip Colour - Crème Dry Rose (Review)

An ultra-rich color lipstick.

Lip Colour - Crème delivers ultra-rich color in an irresistibly lightweight formula. Its unique blend of moisturizing, antiaging, antioxidant and plumping ingredients enhance the lips leaving a smoother, healthier appearance. One swipe of color provides hydration and prevents moisture loss ensuring fresh and flawless lips.

Laura Mercier Lip Color - Creme - Dry Rose

Color: Dry Rose is described as a Rose Brown Mauve Color and it is exactly like its description, with more of Rose Brown and less of Mauve. This muted rose color has just the right amount of brown and does not looks super berry red or muddy brown. The hint of mauve makes it one of those my lips but better (MLBB) lipstick for pigmented lips.

Formula, Texture, Consistency:
The semi-matte formula is very creamy, but not overly delicate like lip butters or YSL lipsticks that lose their shape n smoosh inside the tube. This non shiny, non glossy formula is not very drying, but is not moisturizing either. It leans towards dry spectrum for sure. I actually prefer using a lipbalm beneath it. The formula reminds me of Satin and Amplified finish lipsticks from MAC.

Application and Longevity:
This glides beautifully on lips without tugging and one to two swipe leaves a rich, opaque color. This does not sinks in the lines of lips. The lipstick lasts for good 5-6 hours and fades leaving a stain behind.

Lip Stick Comparison Swatches

The color looks good on my Medium, Olive skintone. If you have pigmented lips, this lipstick will have no problem showing up. A nice color, though I wished they were more moisturizing.

Stila Exquisite, Laura Mercier Dry Rose, Benefit La La Land, Stila Rendezvous, MAC Twig,
MAC Creme in your Coffee

These are comparison swatches of  few similar looking lipsticks or at least I thought they looked similar. They all belong to the same Rose, Mauvey, brown all rolled in one family. The "muted" family.

Below are pics of same Lipstick that I took with flash at night time. I was surprised to see how much my flash had changed the color. I thought I would share them anyways. This will give an idea how computer screens, flash and post processing of pictures alters the colors.

Like always, these swatches are to be used as reference. These will just give a guideline. Most of the times lipstick swatches on hands end up looking very different on lips depending a lot on lip pigmentation.

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