April 30, 2013

Simple Joys

Love the pastels and spring colors on my nails.

These were Franchesca Boutique find. Love these light weight earrings and the number of compliments I get every time I wear these. No wonder these are soon becoming my absolute favorite pair!!


This book had great reviews on Amazon. Recently got it, though I have yet to even flip a page.

Every single time I get flowers, I pick my camera. Rose.. Red rose!!! Its just such a beautiful color!

This was the scene last week in front of our home. The golf course was actually submerged!! No, it was not a joyful sight. Why the pic here?? Well, I was amazed at the clarity and beauty of this photograph that was taken from my balcony. Think Joy, when you get something 'just right'..

April 25, 2013

L'Occitane Silky Body Gel - Moisturizer (Review)

This is a review of a fantastic Body Gel by L'Occitane. I picked this in a limited edition scent of Roses during the Holidays, but L'Occitane usually has this same product in various scents throughout the year. The product is so amazing both in scent and texture that it quickly became a Holy grail body lotion for Spring-
Summer months.

Our gel formula, made with moisturing shea butter which immediately penetrates the skin, leaves it supple and velvety-soft.

The uniqueness of this product lies in its wonderful, light texture and consistency. It literally melts into the skin. It spreads super easily and is absorbed almost instantly by the skin. There is absolutely not heaviness and stickiness. The gel is more like water and there is no greasiness whatsoever. It moisturizes the skin beautifully and is a perfect lotion/moisturizer for Spring or early Fall, when the weather is all weird. It is not very drying, but the skin still needs some extra moisturizing to avoid that stretchy feel one gets after bath. The skin feels velvety soft and by velvet I mean literally velvet.

This particular one that I have is rose scented and is absolutely divine. The product itself is on pricey side, but it is something worth investing for the season. The product is light enough to use after a clean bath at night in those summer months when the weather is hot and humid outside and inside is dry and cold due to 24/7 use of air conditioners.
Maybe I am not able to explain it well, but I know you got the idea.

A product worth giving a try. If you know an alternative to this similar kind of Body gel at a lower price point, I would love to know. Please mention them in the comments below.

April 20, 2013

Beauty Buys - Tarte, Hourglass, Urban Decay, Buxom


'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'..

Both ULTA and Sephora had great sales in April. Ulta had 20% off all items and Sephora had Chic Week that gave 15% off all their products. I had a decent wish list, but I stuck to things I actually wanted. There were some products that were on my list, but I was low on cash. So I let them go.


Goodies I picked from ULTA

Essie Base Coat: I badly needed a base coat for my nails. I had heard good things about both Orly Bonder and Essie, but chose the later one.

CND Top Coat: After my not so good experience with Essie's Top Coat, I picked the CND one. I used it on the day I picked and I am really liking this top coat. It is super shiny.

L'Oreal Nail Polishes: My first time trying L'Oreal Polishes. I picked the obvious Spring Funky Colors. A blue and a Purple.

Tarte BB Primer: Like I need another primer in my life... seriously!

Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liners: I always wanted to try these, but just could never justify paying high price for Lip liners. Mascaras and Lip Liners. I just find drug store ones work pretty good!

Tarte Mini Set of 3 products: The stores always keep these minis near their cash counters. A great way to try some products before buying the full size. It has a Primer, a Mascara and a BB Cream I believe.

Real Techniques Blush Brush: These brushes are awesome! I am yet to be disappointed by any one of them.


Goodies I picked from Sephora

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners: They came out with some amazing new shades. I picked 3 matte ones and I already own 2 of new Matte Shades that I picked in a set during the Holidays 2012. There is nothing comparable to these liners. I just love them!

Hourglass Primer and Serum Set: My first time trying any product from this brand. I chose the primer and Serum set, because I have heard many many great things about their primer. A mini kit was my choice for obvious reasons.

Buxom Big and Healthy Lipstick: I had been eyeing this color in Hooligan. It is Mauvey Pink color, very my kinds.


Sephora has lovely freebies. The 100 point perks got me a Free Givenchy Lipstick, a Benefit 'They are Real' Mascara, an Ole Henriksen Serum and a Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening serum (I love serums!!)

Super excited to try all these goodies and freebies. I am more excited to try freebies. They are just so awesome and generous in size!

As always I will review these products and share swatches as and when I use them.

April 15, 2013

RO'S Argan Body Conditioner (Review)

As gimmicky as it sounds, I love the concept of Body Conditioner. A product to be used on the body in shower to moisturize and condition. Very innovative and unique.
I have very mixed feelings about this product. I like it, but I don’t love it. There is this one stage in the whole process of application that I absolutely hate. I dislike how it feels on the body at that stage…

Color: Pale Peachy pink

Texture and Consistency: Silky Smooth, buttery soft, thick, light weight, creamy.

Scent/Fragrance: Floral and Unique. Not very fresh, but lingers on long.

Application: I used it in two different ways.

1. I applied it all over my damp body in shower and then rinsed it off after waiting for two minutes.
2. I applied it after towel drying my skin and leaving it as it is like any other lotion. (BIG MISTAKE!!)

The product spreads very easily, so a small amount is enough. A little goes a long way.

Feel on the Skin: Initially, on application it feels very soft and luxurious. The product spreads like a dream and the silky feel is actually very ‘spa’ kinds. It does not lathers nor is absorbed by the skin. It just slides and glides like silk. After rinsing it with water, the skin feels sticky, like a layer of oil has been applied and it creates this thin, waxy coat that I feel I can scrape off. It just makes me feel unclean, and I am tempted to use soap and scrub myself again! This is the stage I absolutely HATE!!!

Effect on the Skin: On patting dry, the stickiness is gone and the skin feels moisturized, but still I can feel that protective layer, but in a positively good way. I could easily skip the moisturizer.

The scent itself is another story. At first I didn’t like how it smelled, especially after trying Turkish Delight, another product from Lush that has amazing scent of Roses. It was hard for me to detect any rose scent in Ro’s Argan Conditioner. Later the smell grew on me and I started to like it, though I still don’t smell much rose in it. The scent lingers on for really long time. It is not a very fresh, floral, clean and young smell. It is warm and very vintage kinds (if this description makes any sense)

The second way of my application was a bad idea. I didn’t enjoy how it felt.

Packaging: Black plastic jar with a wide mouth and screw top lid. Easy to scoop out the product. Not very hygienic though and water gets in the product, no matter how careful you are.

Thoughts: A good concept, with all natural ingredients. Leans on pricey side of spectrum, but there is lot of product in that container and as very less is required, it can last long. Again all this depends on how often the product is used. It does has an expiry date, but it is not like their face masks that has a shorter shelf life. It is a nice product for winter and early spring, but I I think it would be too heavy to handle in summer.

Buy @: www.lushusa.com

Have you lovely people tried this? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

April 12, 2013

Dazzling Wishlist - Beauty (Sephora Chic Week)

1/2/3/4/5/6
Sephora is celebrating Chic Week by offering 15% off their whole purchase for Beauty Insiders and V.I.B's. Not that I actually 'NEED' anything, but I do have wishlist of the things I 'WANT'

Very excited to try new shades of Urban Decay 24/7 liner pencils. These are my absolute favorite.They have come out with many wearable matte shades.
I have never tried any of Hourglass products, so this list includes 2 of their cult primers and serum duo set and one ultra hyped powder compact. Buxom has come out with full finish lipsticks and I have my eyes set on one color since the time they made their debut.
Edward Bess is another brand that is totally new to me. Unfortunately it is sold only on Sephora.com. I perfer buying makeup in-store after swatching. Lastly, I want to pick Caudalie Serum, that I have already used before and really liked how it worked on me. It is a pricey serum, so 15% would help.

What is everyone getting from this sale? Please share below, so that I can add them on my wishlist too.

April 8, 2013

Fresh - Soy Face Cleanser (review)

A multitasking gel that gently removes impurities and makeup.

The Soy Face Cleanser from Fresh instantly whisks away everyday impurities and makeup—even mascara—without stripping the skin of essential moisture. Rich in amino acids, soy proteins promote moisture retention, elasticity, and firmness. Rosewater balances and tones the skin. Fragrance-free and soap-free, calming cucumber extract and nourishing borage seed oil enriches its formula. 

Formulated WITHOUT: - Sulfates - Synthetic Fragrances - Synthetic Dyes - Phthalates - GMOs - Triclosan

There is nothing special about this cleanser.  It did nothing for my skin. The smell is not divine nor it lived up to its claims. It did not irritate my skin nor broke me out, so it is not a horrible cleanser either, but I don’t see any reason to justify paying $$$ for it.



Color:  Cloudy white

Consistency: Light gel, not viscous but free flowing, runny.

Fragrance: mild fragrance of some scent mixed with the scent of cucumber extract

Packaging: Soft Squeeze tube, with a flip top. Mine is a Deluxe Sample or mini version. So it does not has the regular flip top cap.

Application: I applied it like any other cleanser. Took a dime size cleanser and just rubbed it in circular motion all over my wet face.  I massaged  it for a minute or so and then washed it off with tepid water.

Feel on Skin: The cleanser did not foam much (just light foam). It is not meant to. It emulsifies into a very rich, creamy, smooth and silky feeling product. It was like applying a lotion or cream. It did not hurt my eyes nor irritate my skin.

Effect on Skin:  The cleanser did not dry out my skin completely by ripping off the natural oils. The face didn’t feel dehydrated. It left a residue, something like a thin film of moisturizer.  As a result the face didn’t feel squeaky clean. There was no tight, stretchy feel afterwards, though I did feel the need to apply something moisturizing after few minutes.

As far as removing make up is concerned, it did not do the job completely. I don’t apply heavy foundation as base and my makeup usually is very light. I do apply kohl and liner on my eyes and there were traces left behind. I have yet to see any cleanser doing a great job in removing eye makeup. So this one is pretty much same like others.

Thoughts: My SA told me that this can be used to remove makeup and a as a cleanser without using water. This means I can wipe it off with a cotton pad after application and not rinse it with water. The same effect can be achieved with Cetaphil Cleanser which too is very gentle, non-irritating, non- fragrant product.  Cetaphil is a dermatologist approved cleanser. (My dermatologist suggested this for me)

Concern and Issues: This SOY cleanser, though has SOY and many good ingredients, is unfortunately loaded with multiple parabens, some of which are believed to be carcinogenic. I did not know this until I came to know about EWG. Out of curiosity I went ahead and compared few of the cleansers I have used in the past. This one had REALLY BAD rating. It had a High Hazard rate of 8!!

Agreed, Cetaphil has SLS and parabens, but it still has a decent safe rating on EWG. It was rated 3 which is moderate hazard and pretty OK.

You can read more about cosmetic ratings and stuff on www.ewg.org

There is nothing special about this cleanser and I think my Cetaphil works just perfect!! Also EWG ratings scared me. Lets face it there is something about the word Cancer, that just freaks everyone out.  There are many products that are believed to cause cancer or are carcinogenic and we cannot avoid them altogether from our life, but if I have the option to choose between bad and real bad, I would still choose Bad…
 

April 3, 2013

Simple Joys

J.Crew feather earrings. Love how beautifully and delicately this piece is crafted!


I saw this book first at Anthropologie. The title was interesting and so were the 2-3 pages that I flipped and read. Obviously. didn't buy it at the store, simply because Amazon sells books for cheap and Anthropologie is not going to sponsor me. So I ordered this hard copy instead of Kindle version. These 'feel good' books make a good bedside 'decor' and calm. peaceful read. So far I am liking what I am reading.


Yep, we are still feasting on these high caloric eggs!

I love how these pastel easter eggs look on my table. No one is eating them. They just sit there... Pretty!!!


After months, Chicago had beautiful, bright days with absolute clear, blue sky. But it is still COLD...

April 1, 2013

Josie Maran - Argan Balm (Review)

A multitasking balm that acts as a natural solution for dry or dehydrated skin.

Infused with Argan Oil, this deeply moisturizing balm creates a barrier on the skin to seal in hydration, provide protection, and offer nourishment. The fragrance-free, petroleum-free formula leaves the skin soft and supple. Shea Butter and essential oils provide additional moisture. Apply this balm liberally over the body to instantly send relief to rough patches, dry lips, and even frizzy hair.

 Formulated WITHOUT: - Parabens - Sulfates - Synthetic Fragrances - Synthetic Dyes - Petrochemicals - Phthalates - GMOs - Triclosan

My son has super dry skin and even drier lips. Other day the poor kid over peeled his dry lips causing them to bleed. I usually catch hold of him and apply some Rose Bud Salve, but he just wipes them off. I even tried applying L’Occitane 100% Shea Butter, (review) but it is pretty thick and I had hard time to spread it evenly on his lips.

So what next? Search a new product, that would be safe as well as effective for kid.

I always wanted to try the Josie Maran Argan Balm and as an ardent fan of their Argan oil, I was pretty confident that this would not disappoint and it didn’t. I just was not sure if I wanted to commit on a huge, full size tin available at Sephora, because the tester balms just smelled old and rancid to me. I got this mini tin from QVC in a 3 pack set (sharing the other 2 with my friends)



Color: Very Pale yellow which turns colorless when applied (basically the color doesn’t matters)

Texture: Light weight, Non- Greasy and Creamy

Consistency: Buttery Soft Balm

Fragrance: It has no scent (pleasant surprise, because the store testers just smell so gross!)

Application: I apply it on dry spots (elbows, cuticles, chapped lips, heels) with my fingers. The quantity depends on the area and dryness. The heat from the fingers is enough to melt the product. It spreads easily and sinks into the skin fairly quickly, though not instantly. A little goes a long way. I have never tried it on my hair or all over on my face. I use it on my son’s severely chapped lips too, which was the main reason for me purchasing this.

Feel on Skin: The skin feels soft and well moisturized. It does not feels oily or greasy. The balm creates a barrier between the skin and harsh, dry and cold weather.

Effect on Skin: The dryness was gone. Chapped lips healed so beautifully! There was no peeling and even though my son like always wiped of the balm from his lips, it still did its job of healing.

Packaging: This comes in a small tin, with twist lid. Mine is miniature version of the full size one. Easy to open and close.

Thoughts: This winter I tried numerous skincare stuff, especially hand creams, Balms and Lotions. In short,  products that basically moisturize, protect, prevent and heal (thanks to numerous kits and sets I had picked). There were few hits and few misses. This sure is a hit. I liked how it is so easy to spread, unlike L’Occitane Shea Butter, which is a good product but difficult to spread due to its consistency. With so many natural oils and formulated without many chemicals I could confidently use it on my kid and it did its job well.

Thumbs Up product!!

Anyone tried this product? Your experience with it? 

 

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