January 29, 2014

Beauty Cravings

I have many Blushes, my favorite being NARS, Chanel and MAC blushes. I do love Dior too, but don't own many. Adding another one in my collection is like waste of money. I have not even hit pan on any single blush yet and most of the colors end up looking same on the cheeks, simply because I end up choosing peachy pink or pinky peach colors. There are few brands that I have never tried, and wish to try soon.

1. Dior Vibrant Color Powder Blush : The only Dior Blush I have is Coral Riviera, which is discontinued.

2. Laura Mercier 'Second Skin' Cheek Color: I have used Laura Mercier products, but never a cheek color.

3. Burberry 'Light Glow' Natural Blush: Another brand that I have always wanted to try. Just the price tag holded me back. Also, it is not available at Sephora, so a 20% VIB discount is not possible.

4. Benefit Cosmetic Lollitint: I love the brand, I love the tints and I love the name. Enough reasons to justify buying.

5. Tarte Cheek Stains: I have tried NARS Multiples (review), Clinique Cream Blush Stick (review), Josie Maran Argan Color Stick (review) and this looks pretty similar to that. Tarte Powder Blushes are beauty. I am sure this too won't disappoint.

6. Josie Maran Coconut water Cheek Gelee:  I use my MAC Just a Pinch Gel blush and I LOVE IT! The natural tint is just amazing. Josie Maran Argan Oil is my favorite and I am super excited about this product as well.

What are your current Beauty Cravings?

Disclaimer: Post contains Affiliate Links. More can be read in Policy section.

January 27, 2014

Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser (Review)

Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser

What it is:
A 99 percent natural, soap-free liquid cleanser that turns into a generous, airy foam for gentle, effective cleansing.

What it is formulated to do: This natural blend of grape extracts, sage, and chamomile effectively cleanses and removes makeup and impurities while soothing skin. The improved formula is now more natural, more effective, and gentler on the skin. From the first use, skin is cleansed, radiant, and refreshed. Instant Foaming Cleanser is suitable for all skin types and ideal for combination or sensitive skin.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates
This is a foam cleanser and probably the most lightest, airy foam I ever used on my face. The foam is so airy that by the time it is on my face, it feels like I am practically using plain water.

Color, Texture and Consistency: This is thin, transparent and watery in bottle. Once pumped out, it is light, white airy foam. Absolutely not dense at all.

Scent: It has a very, light faint and delicate fragrance. Not annoying at all.

Usage: I used it on damp face. It was just foam, so no water was needed to lather. I rinsed it with plain water.

Feel on skin: It was like using water on face. No soapy feel and no lather.

My thoughts: This did not work. Didn’t remove any trace of makeup. I understand that most of these cleansers are not successful in removing makeup completely, but I was wearing minimal makeup. Light dust of blush and some kohl liner. I felt as though this didn’t even remove any sebum or impurity and did not make my skin feel clean. I use serums and oils as a part of my night time skin care routine, but after using this cleanser the following morning, it dried out my skin terribly. It did not make the skin feel good and comfortable, in turn made it stretchy and dry.

Verdict: I do love Caudalie products, but this was a huge let down. Did not work at all for my dry skin. This might work for someone with combination skin. In my experience, Neutrogena and Cetaphil has some amazing cleansers, targeting all types of skin.

Packaging: I like the packaging. Easy to travel with and it has a pump making dispensing easy.

January 23, 2014

Dazzling Picks

I have always been a great fan of value sets. Especially Skincare and hair care. It is a great way of trying multiple products at a fraction of cost before committing on a full size one. But are these value sets actually value for money?
In the past I have purchased some sets, only to find that the set contained huge bottles of mediocre products and just a deluxe size of the ‘real’ product. I remember buying this set costing a whopping $99 plus, only to realize that the set contained full size face wash, Sunscreen and tiny sample of the actual serum that I was most interested in. I totally understand that face wash and sunscreens are equally important, but in my personal experience with skincare products, I find that drug stores carry equally good face wash and sunscreens. So paying a huge amount of money for brand name face wash is something I would not want.

Sephora usually has amazing value sets and especially awesome ones during the holidays.
The dazzling picks are my personal picks currently available at Sephora. I find these sets have great variety of products to try and are great value for money.

1. Sephora Beauty Essential Oil set: This is my absolute favorite set and it has 12 amazing products for skin, hair, Face and lips all in decent sizes.

2. Sephora Favorites Skin Blender Vol 1: This set has 10 deluxe sized products and is targeted towards skin nourishment. A close look at the product and I see this working more for combination and dry skin beauties. This is a better value for money set in comparison to the vol 2 which is next on my list.

3. Sephora Favorites Skin Cleanse Vol 2: This set has 9 deluxe sized products and is targeted towards skin cleansing. Most of the products are specially designed for oily skin and combination skin. I would have preferred if the sets had cleansing products for dry skin as well. Nevertheless, an amazing value for money set.

4. Ole Henriksen The works kit: This particular set has products from only one brand, unlike the above three that has product mix of multiple brands. Ole Henriksen is a good brand and the kit has a cleanser, a serum, an oil and 2 other decent sized products. The Ole Henriksen brand has many kits depending on one’s skin conditions and preference, but this one has best sellers and decent sized ones.

5. Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Wrinkle Brightening kit: This is a popular and expensive brand. Most of the products in this kit are best sellers and of great size. A great value for money!

There are many value sets at Sephora and these are my top picks and personal favorites. They would make good gifts too.

January 21, 2014

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream

What it is:
An innovative 99%-natural creamy oil with an infinite number of uses such as hydrating skin, conditioning lips, and illuminating complexion.

What it does:
One creamy oil, infinite possibilities. This delivers all the moisturizing benefits of argan oil in a portable, nongreasy, creamy oil form. The innovative formula starts as a cream and melts into an oil, making your complexion more luminous while tightening facial contours and preventing inflammation. Use it to hydrate and gently soothe undereyes, smooth flyaways, keep eyebrows in place, and condition lips. Mix it with powder blush or eye shadow to instantly transform it into a cream.

Suggested Usage:
 Use Argan Infinity Cream to:

-Deeply moisturize dry areas of the face.
-Soothe irritated skin caused by rosacea, wind, or sunburn.
-Soften elbows, heels, and other rough patches.
-Keep stray eyebrows in place.
-Smooth flyaways.
-Moisturize at night.
-Prevent razor burn and irritation.
-Prevent skin dehydration during airline travel.
-Apply as a lip conditioner before lipstick.
-Apply over lip stain for a silky finish.
-Lightly dab on eyelids before applying eye shadow.
-Apply before or after using cheek stain to improve blendability.
-Transform powder eye shadow or pigment into a cream by mixing with Infinity Cream.
-Mix with a powder luminizer to create a light, shimmery lip balm.
-Use as a subtle face highlighter to illuminate cheekbones, lips, and brow bones.
-Mix with a powder blush to create a silky cream blush or colored lip balm.
-Hydrate and plump dry, swollen undereyes.
-Apply to fingertips and toes to hydrate and soften cuticles.
-Quench skin post-sunburn.

I directly copy-pasted this whole, amazingly promising usage list from Sephora Website. Even though I didn't use it on my eyebrow to keep it in place or transforming powder eye shadow, I found this product works wonderfully on many skin conditions.

Color: Creamy pale yellowish white

Texture and Consistency: Thick, Heavy, Dense and Creamy. Slightly sticky and very greasy

Scent: Mild citrusy scent with hint of Vanilla. (I am not a huge fan of the vanilla notes)

How I use it: I use it strictly on my hands, feet, lips, elbows and dry patches on face. I never use it on my hair or the entire face. This is very thick and highly emollient. A little goes a long way.

My thoughts on this product:
This is very greasy and thick. It spreads easily, but takes time to absorb and sink in. I find it too heavy to be used all over the face under makeup, but it helps to soften the dry patches. I did try using it all over the face at night. It did not break me out nor clogged my pores, but I just didn't enjoy the whole feel on my face. It just felt heavy. I think there are many beauty oils in market that would do a great job on the face. It did wonders for my kid's super dry hands and feet. Since the day I discovered this working on him, it has become a must have thing for him (he hates it, but I make sure I apply this while he goes to bed)
This has a great potential to stain clothes or anything that comes in contact for first few minutes after application. I won't use this as go to hand cream, but it is a lovely overnight hand and feet treatment. I like to use it on my cuticles too, but I use a soft glove after application.

Issue with the product:
This gets separated in the tube occasionally. So sometimes more oil comes out followed by the cream. Just a gentle squeeze and massage on the tube does the trick of mixing it well. Not a major problem. Just something I noticed.

Shelf life: Like any other oil based product this comes with a shelf life. I picked this product back in March I believe, but didn't use it much because the weather got warmer. It smelled much fresh and pleasant back then. Now, I notice a slight change in the freshness of the scent. It has not turned rancid to toss off, but it did change a bit. No change in the color, texture or creaminess.

Packaging: Comes in a convenient, soft squeeze tube. Easy to travel with.

Verdict: A very good multi-purpose creamy product, that is safe and easy to use. Good to travel with. I am really enjoying this, especially because it worked great for my kid. I equally enjoy the Josie Maran Argan Balm, but in harsh Chicago winters, it hardens up a bit and becomes difficult to apply. You can read review here.

Good product to give a try if suffering from dry skin and conditions related to it.

January 14, 2014

Beauty Cravings

1. Bobbi Brown 'Brightening' Finishing Powder
2. Bobbi Brown 'Nude Glow' Nail Polish
3. Caudalie Divine Oil
4. Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil
5. Marc Jacobs Nail Polish in 'Baby Jane'
6. Deborah Lippmann 'Fast Track Manicure Set'

A bunch of cool stuff that I am currently craving. Infact, I am having dreams about Marc Jacobs Nail polish in Baby Jane. It is such a wonderful color!! I am intrigued by the tip of Hourglass Lip Oil Treatment. The oil itself is a blend of multiple essential oils. I have to try this. A pricey product indeed.

What is on your craving list currently?

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January 10, 2014

Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

What it is: A deep cleaning face cleanser for superior texture. 

What it is formulated to do: Using exfoliating microparticles for deep cleansing that will leave your skin pure and silky smooth, this face cleanser will provide deep-down skin renewal and refined texture. The menthol provides an ultra-fresh effect, while the grape pulp deeply moisturizes and soothes. The ‘whipped cream’ texture offers a little luxury to your skin care regimen, with fresh and fruity notes of grapefruit and white peach for an uplifting and satisfying aroma. 

What it is formulated WITHOUT: 
- Parabens 
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs 
- Triclosan

Review and my thoughts on this product based on my personal experience.

Caudalie  Deep Cleansing Exfoliator
This product reminds me of Neutrogena Microdermabrasion system I once had. It came with sponge disc s and a machine like Clarisonic.
The Caudalie exfoliator itself is white and creamy with absolutely micro fine gritty particles in them. The cream is soft and holds these well blended micro fine particles. I apply this on slightly wet face. Then I gently rub my face in circular motion. Too much pressure while scrubbing is  not a very  good idea.Using  it too hard will give extra dry and raw feel on skin.   It cleans the skin well and gives a slight minty tingle later. This tingling effect is not very harsh, but enough to give that fresh and clean feel. It did not break me out nor leave any redness or blotchiness. The skin felt good and there were no dry patches later. Over all a good product but not a ground breaking, unique, must have kind of thing.  A sample from Sephora should help in deciding whether to commit on a full size tube. One good thing is this did not sting the eye like the Origins Modern Friction™ Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion scrub. It still happens to be my absolute favorite.  The sting part sucks though!

This one is slightly more abrasive than a normal scrub. Not as rough as sand paper and less abrasive than Lush Scrub (review here). So it is a good idea to use it weekly or may be bi-weekly but not daily.  Like any other scrub or exfoliant this too is not to be used with Clarisonic or similar machines. Another thing to remember is never open your eyes during the rinsing process. The gritty stuff gets into the eye. Its annoying and equally hard to get rid off! So better to keep  the eyes shut till the scrub is completely off the face. It is an obvious thing, but I learnt it the hard way!

January 7, 2014

Caudalie - Creme Gourmande - Hand and Nail Cream

What it is:
An antioxidant, moisturizing hand and nail cream that provides silky hands and lasting comfort. 

What it is formulated to do: 
Concentrated with moisturizing active ingredients plus antioxidant grape polyphenols and reparative organic fair trade shea butter, this Hand and Nail Cream leaves skin soft and nourished. Its delicately perfumed rich texture is instantly absorbed into skin. 

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens 
- Sulfates 
- Phthalates 

What else you need to know: 
This product does not contain animal ingredients and is not tested on animals (LOVE THIS!!)

This currently comes in a very different packaging. Mine was a part of kit and hence it looks different. The Sephora sales associate told me that the product is same though.
Hand creams are essential for me pretty much all round the year, but more in winter for obvious reasons. I like to try a different brands all the time. It is just fun to try new hand creams. I have never had any major reaction on hands. So its OK. Last year, I enjoyed using L’Occitane (review)

Here I review the Caudalie hand cream.

This is a light, white cream, not ubber dense or thick. It is not gel either. This absorbs very quickly and moisturizes well. It is non greasy and non shiny, which is a good thing, because you can go back to work without staining the bag, paper, computer or whatever. I didn’t find the hydration lasted for really long time. After an hour or so, I felt the dryness and the need to re-apply. I would use this hand cream as go-to cream and carry it around in my purse but not rely completely for any kind of deep hydration and moisturizing therapy.
I didn’t notice much difference in my nails or cuticle. The cuticles just looked soft. The hands looked silky and smelled OK. It has a mild scent, but not over powering or very artificial. I had no issues with the scent.

The packaging of my cream is a soft squeeze tube with regular cap. It is not flip top cap. I have no idea how full size, new packaging is. It definitely has a different picture on it though.

It is a good product, with all the good ingredients. Grape seed oil being the key one. It is not something very unique or special that I can go on and on raving. The USP of the cream would be non- greasy and quick absorption.
A decent buy, which I don’t regret. A drug store alternative can be Neutrogena Fast Absorbing Hand Creme, the one in red and white packaging. I have used that before and I find that to be tad more moisturizing than this one. (reviewed here)

January 4, 2014

Beauty Buys: Skincare sets, Beauty oils and Serums

 '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 have not been buying much in terms of Makeup. I think I have loads already. This too was one major reason for not updating the blog much. Skincare and products related to that attract me more. Reviewing a skincare product requires using it and testing it for at least 3 weeks.

My recent purchases have been during the Sephora Friends and Family sale. Everything is 20% off. Good Skincare products are expensive and it is always advisable to ask for a sample just to check whether it is safe and does not cause any major breakout, redness or reaction. Whether a product works or not is another story. I find sets or kits a great way to try out some of these high end expensive products at a good price for a considerable good amount of time. Later you can commit to a full size product and enjoy it.

Beauty Oils have been my weakness. Infact, I love love using any type of skin oil. If you have been following Dazzle 'n' Sparkle, you probably know my extra love for these oils.
Sephora came up with a beautiful kit that has amazing bouquet of oils for Cleansing, Body, Face and Hair. It has oil based makeup remover, body oil, beauty oil and oils to nourish hair. What a treat!!!!

'Fresh' came up with a lovely kit as well. I am not a fan of Fresh Soy Cleanser at all. It never worked for me. You can read my review here. But the Rose Face mask is awesome. I had once got a sample of it from my local store and it smelled divine. The price tag was hefty, so I never purchased it. The kit was a great purchase, because it gave me a jar of face mask and also a huge bottle of Seaberry oil to try. Win Win here! I hope you can sense my excitement!!! The set also comes with the most famous and loved lip product Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum has reached the Holy Grail status in my book. This is my third bottle. This needs to be reviewed ASAP. The kit also contains Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream and Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid.

I cannot wait to start using these and express my view and opinions about them. Few of these products are tried and tested. Few of them are totally new for me. I will keep updating as and when I feel these have been used enough to review.

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