May 30, 2014

Beauty Cravings

There is always a list ready!

The Spring here in Chicago is playing havoc with my skin. Some days it is super windy and cool, some days are humid and rainy while other days its plain Hot!

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish : I recently finished my huge jar of Body Scrub and now I have a new one to pick. I have been wanting to try this Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish since million years! I mean I have featured it on my Beauty Cravings before too, but never purchased!

Fresh Sugar Face Polish: I have used some really good face scrubs and exfoliators. CLINIQUE 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula and ORIGINS Modern Friction™ Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion are few of my favorites. The blogger in me is always curious to try new products. This time I want to try this Fresh Sugar Face Polish. 

FRESH Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask: Every Sephora store has this new product displayed at the entry itself, where all the latest products make their appearance. Anything that Brightens and helps with hyper-pigmentation cannot miss my eye. This product is on my priority list.

DR. DENNIS GROSS SKINCARE Clinical Concentrate Boosters™: This product too was displayed in those special glass case at Sephora last month. I wanted to buy it during the Sephora Sale itself, but I had to control myself and my budget. The products sound very interesting and the bottles are colorful too!

Dior 'Crème Abricot' Nail Cream: I want this... I want this... I want this!! There is no reason why I want this.I am currently trying and using some lovely products for my nails and cuticles, but I just want this since the day I tried it at my Nordstrom Dior counter. Maybe its the packaging or the brand name or the way the SA told everything ultra luxurious about this product.

What is on your Current wishlist? Any Beauty Cravings you would like to share?

Disclaimer: This post has Affiliate links.

May 27, 2014

CAUDALIE Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (Review)

This is my absolute Holy Grail. One of those products that I have purchased twice before too. I try many skin care products and some of them, though really don't become my Holy Grails. Only very few make it to 'my absolute must have' list.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is a product that excels pretty much in every single department except one (the price), but I still won't complain, because it has been delivering beautiful results

A highly concentrated, non-comedogenic, oil-free serum that improves the appearance of dark spots, promotes even skintone, and boosts radiance. Perfect for all skin types.

Highly concentrated with naturally powerful Viniferine, this satiny serum reduces the appearance of existing dark spots such as acne marks, scars, and damage revealing a brighter, more even complexion. 

Formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates 
- Phthalates 

Color: Creamy white

Texture and Consistency: Milky, light weight, translucent fluid.

Scent: Very mild

Application: I apply 4-5 drops, all over my clean face using fingers.

Usage:  Once daily PM ( Usually, I use it twice AM and PM when summer ends and fall starts)

Feel on Skin: It feels absolutely very soft and supple. The serum spreads quickly, easily and is absorbed by the skin almost immediately. There is absolutely no stickiness or dryness. No stretching  of skin like many serums. I don't even need any moisturizer or heavy cream.  As it spreads easily, very little amount is needed.

Effect on Skin: My face feels super soft, healthy and nourished when I wake up in the morning. Continuous usage in the past has improved both texture and tone of my skin. My face appears even toned and this reduces the hyper pigmented patches considerably. It brightens the face and makes it appear very radiant and healthy. By brightening, I don't mean that it gives the illusion of a bright skin like some illuminating products do, but it actually makes the face look radiant. This is one reason, I start using it twice when the summer is ending. This way it can take care of the extra aggravated patch that might develop during the summer months.

Packaging: It comes in a glass bottle, with a dropper. A very hygenic and fuss free packaging, but little heavy due to the glass.

Verdict: I have used tons of serums and products that claim to tackle hyper-pigmentation.  Some have show minor results, while others have been totally duds. This particular radiance serum has been working wonderfully for my kind of patches on dry skin. I don't know its effectivity for scars or melasma patches, but the kind of shadows that I have naturally around the chin and at the contours where one applies bronzer seems reduced. Not to mention the the improved facial texture I have achieved using this

A self confessed all time Beauty Oil lover, I find this product to be great for summer months when oils can be tad heavier and greasy. Also, I can wear it under my sunscreen and still not feel heavy, simply because the serum itself is absolutely light weight and moisturizing. A really well loved product that I will keep re-purchasing.

May 20, 2014

Benefit - Posietint (Review, Swatches)

Benefit Posietint - A poppy-tinted lip and cheek stain.

Benefit's Posietint is a petal-pink stain that plants a kiss of see-through tint on cheeks and lips. With hours of smudge-proof, just-picked perfection, you'll be the prettiest bloom in the bunch!

Nope, nothing new here! I have always had mini size samples of this product and finally picked it in full size some few months back. I absolutely adore the color! Such a vibrant, fresh, bright pink with hints of coral. Perfect  for spring!

Color:  Milky, bright Pink with hints of Coral or Poppy Pink as the box says.
Texture and Consistency:  Light weight, non-shimmery, non-glittery fluid. It is not very thin and watery like the Benetint nor thick like the MUFE blushes. It has some slip to it.
Application: Just dot and blend. Three or Four dots depending on the cheek size. I use either my fingers or a stippling brush like MAC 188 or MAC 130 for blending the harsh edges if any. Application technique is what makes this blush look natural on cheeks. The color is very blendable and buildable. This will dry fairly quickly, so it is better to do one cheek at a time to avoid blotchy and patchy appearance.

Feel on Skin and Color Pay off: It feels wonderful on cheeks. Enhances the natural color and makes the whole face bright and alive. It is not super matte or super dewy. The color is pretty enough to work on both warm and cool skintones. The color pay off is good and would easily show up on light to medium skintone. For medium to dark skintone, the tint will act as a base for powder blush. The tint would also not show up well, if topped with a heavy setting powder.

Effect on Skin: It gives a healthy and happy color on the cheeks and stays put for 3-4 hours on me. If I set it with another powder blush, then the cheeks have some color for around 6 hours (on me). This would work on all skin types, though I would suggest setting it with powder blush for oily skin and for increasing the staying power.

Packaging: The bottle is plastic and the applicator is like a nail polish applicator. The bottle needs to be closed tight, as the product can thicken up over a period of time, making it difficult to spread and blend.

Verdict: It is a fuss free, easy to use product. Even with heavy hand, one cannot go wrong. It just brightens the face and is absolutely awesome, especially for those 'all natural face' look or 'light makeup days'. Also it can be applied beneath any powder blush to increase the blush staying power during summer or hot, humid weather. The only problem is it would not show up well on darker skin tones.

Personally, I enjoy wearing this during spring/summer (majorly spring), when I just don't want heavy blush on cheeks, but still want to look good and fresh. I wished the staying power were a bit more on its own.

Do you enjoy tints? Which brand makes the best one? Any favorites?

This post contains Affiliate Links

May 16, 2014

Beauty Cravings

Yep!! My next craving list has a lot to do with summer and my summer needs. Well, not 'need' actually... I must say 'want'.

Laura Mercier Beauty Portfolio : This is such a fantastic and amazing beauty travel case. In fact, I have been craving this since I first saw it on Instagram. I love #hashtags!!! I traced it down and on Laura Mercier website it is called custom artist portfolio for home & away. I don't know the exact difference between the two, but the later one has extra empty Palettes. I have many travel cases, but the unique magnet concept of this one stole my heart and now I want it before I plan any new travel!

Tom Ford Brushes: I am very happy with my MAC Brushes and till date all of them have been performing very well. With few new blush addition in my makeup collection, I felt the 'need' to add few more new brushes. The beauty world has been raving about Hakuhodo brushes and as amazing as they sound, I just don't feel confident enough to buy brushes unseen. Tom Ford brushes have been raved a lot as well and Nordstrom carries this brand. I love their return policy and I feel more confident buying it from them. These brushes are on expensive side and so I narrowed down my wishlist to face brushes only. My top priority is Tom Ford Cheek Brush and Cream Foundation Brush. The Bronzer Brush is $115 and I will take my time to buy this one.

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Concealer Brush: I didn't knew at all about this brush, but all thanks to Lisa Eldridge (celebrity makeup artist) recommendation I need to have this unique brush! It is such a precise tool for spot concealing!

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector (SPF 25+) : Summer glow and SPF protection. What a lovely combination!!! I am surprised why didn't I ever pick this??? I mean I have no reason to 'not' own this.

Edward Bess All over Seduction: A brand I always read on blogs that usually write about high end products. I thought it was time to give this well loved product a try. I am not sure about the color though, but I am leaning towards the shade Afterglow.

Chantecaille Liquid Lumière Highlighting Fluid: The ever lovely Best things in Beauty (such an apt name for the blog!!) swatched this very new product on her awesome blog. Needless to say, I am intrigued.

Edward Bess Compact Rouge: I love cream blushes and especially during summer. I just think they last longer and give a more natural look. There are many cream blushes available and some of them perform absolutely amazing! While browsing for the Edward Bess All over Seduction, I fell in love with the Compact Rouge in the color Island Rose. It just looked so bright and vibrant!! Online research showed lovely swatches. I knew I had to get it... very soon!

Becca Beach Tint: My Benefit Posietint and Lollitint have been going strong and I get good use out of them. As much as I love Posietint, the staying powder on me is a little poor. I was looking for something in similar color and Becca Beach tints have colors that 'look' similar. I have no way to check the colors myself, so a blind online order from Sephora is my only option. I appreciate all bloggers who swatch products!

What are your current Beauty Cravings? If there is anything you have used or owned from my craving list, please share your thoughts and suggestions?

Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate Links

May 11, 2014

Beauty Buys: Marc Jacobs, Hourglass, Tarte, Clinique

'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'..

Recently (in April), Sephora had their sale and I had posted my huge wishlist. I did manage to pick few products from that list but then the list got changed and I picked some other things as well.

My first pick was this lovely HOURGLASS Best of Hourglass Set. I wanted to try their Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss and Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara. This set was perfect because it had both of these along with their very popular Veil Mineral Primer and N° 28 Primer Serum. Wonderful set to try!

My next pick was this Marc Jacobs Nail Polish in Baby Jane. The formula of Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers are excellent (have tried one from my past purchase) and this is such a lovely, neutral color.

I wanted to buy a Marc Jacobs Lipstick, but I got so confused ordering online, that I just ended up ordering a MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Lip Lock Moisture Balm. The tube looked cute too!

I am such a sucker for cute bags and Skincare products. CLINIQUE Even Better Skin tone corrector used to be my absolute favorites many years back. Then I used other new products and totally forgot about it. I thought I would try this once again, but didn't get that same old bottle on the website. I noticed a similar product that says CLINIQUE Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20. I didn't buy that because I didn't wanted any SPF in it.

CLINIQUE Better, Brighter Skin Set came with

CLINIQUE 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula (an old favorite)
CLINIQUE Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20 (new to try)
CLINIQUE Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector (I hope this one works)

Tarte Maracuja Oil has been reviewed here and I like it. If you read my blog, you probably know my love for Beauty Oils. TARTE Maracuja C-Brighter™ Eye Treatment is one eye treatment I wanted to try since it was released. Usually, eye creams take long to finish and they are pretty expensive to just toss them half unused. This set has a small bottle of Maracuja Oil and Eye Cream. Perfect to try out the cream. A little goes a long way, so I will be able to test this out and see its effectivity, before committing on a full size one.

I don't see this set online anymore, but many Sephora stores still have it and it costs just $10 for two products!!

I will post the in-store Beauty Buys from the same sale in another post later. I have yet to click few pictures.

What were your picks from the sale? I will review these products in near future, once I have tried and tested them.

Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate Links.

May 9, 2014

BITE BEAUTY Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil

BITE BEAUTY Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil

A 99%-natural cinnamon and Resveratrol infused lip oil that naturally hydrates, shines, and plumps the appearance of lips in one spicy swipe.

Delicious enough to eat, this Plumping Lip Oil creates a soft cinnamon heat that delivers a natural flush minutes after application. Nourishing oils from cinnamon bark and pink pepper stimulate circulation for a natural plumping effect while peppermint oil provides a subtle warming sensation on lips. French olive oil, pure jojoba, castor seed oil, and argan oil hold five times their weight in moisture for long-lasting all-day hydration.

Formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

These kind of gimmicky products never attract me, especially if it related to lips. I have been blessed with decent plump lips, so I never felt the need to even try them, let alone buy. This particular BITE BEAUTY Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil was a part of the Beauty Oils kit that I picked during the Holidays. I thought I will give it a try it. It smelled good and tempting! In the past I remember I have tried one lip plumper. I had got it during some sale as well.

Color: It appears coppery Orange in tube, but the swatch is pretty much clear.

Texture and Consistency: Slightly thick, mildly sticky, No shimmer. No glitter liquid

Scent: Strong Spicy with hint of peppermint. Prominent smell of Cinnamon.

Application: I applied it on bare lips as well as over a lipstick. The application was pretty even on bare lips, but over a lipstick it was uneven and patchy.

Feel on Lips: On my bare lips, it tingled a lot. It did not sting or hurt, but it felt very uncomfortable. This tingling effect lasted for a fairly good time. I would say 30 minutes or so. It imparted a very glossy, high shine. Though thick in texture, it was not very heavy. It did feel sticky. As far as moisturizing is concerned, it was initially ok, but after an hour or so the lips felt dry.

Effect on Lips: It improved the natural color of my lips by imparting high shine. I did feel the tingling, but did not see any major difference in the plumping department. The lips felt tight for the initial few minutes. I would say 15 minutes or so.

Packaging: Sleek transparent tube with a doe foot applicator. The cap is black with matte finish.

Verdict: As a lip gloss it is good, because of the high shine it imparts. In fact it is very good as a lip gloss for bare lips. It just makes them appear fresh and healthy. Apart from that I am personally not a fan of the whole cinnamon tingle effect. It just makes my lips uncomfortable. As far as plumping effect goes, I didn't see much difference. Hydration too didn't last long. Re-application was needed. It is not a cure for dry or chapped lips.

I won't be purchasing it because I just don't like the tingling effect it imparts.

A product worth trying though if you enjoy the whole temporary plumping, tingling experience.

May 4, 2014

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intense Hand Cream

JOSIE MARAN Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream

An ultra hydrating, never-greasy hand cream infused with 100 percent pure argan oil and shea butter, and lightly scented with a natural vanilla apricot fragrance.
This rich, super hydrating cream keeps hands looking and feeling good. Josie's signature ingredient, argan oil, is spun into a creamy butter to revitalize skin and restore softness while improving skin's texture.

Formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

I like the performance of this cream. Very few Josie Maran Products fail to impress me.This is one of those products that worked wonderfully, but I won't be re-purchasing it again and I will let you know the reason as we proceed.

On to the review: Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intense Hand Cream

Color: White

Texture and Consistency: Soft, Smooth, light weight, non -greasy cream

Scent: Very obvious Vanilla scent mixed with something (I assume it is apricot, because that is what the cream says).

Application: Multiple times as needed.

Feel on Hands: This cream spreads and absorbs very very quickly. The non greasy cream took less than a minute to be completely absorbed by the hands.

Effect on hands: The hands felt soft, smooth and well hydrated. It could sustain 2-3 washes with plain water too. I didn't had to re-apply the cream after every wash. My hands didn't feel greasy as well. I was able to touch the computer as well as my hand bag and phone without leaving finger marks everywhere.

Packaging: Soft Squeeze tube with a fine opening like a nozzle. I like that this helps in dispensing not too much product. The cap is a regular twist cap.

Verdict: Like I mentioned I above, I am very impressed with the performance of this Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intense hand cream. It is at par with my absolute favorite Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream.

When buying a hand cream I always looks for two major things. Apart from the ingredients, I want the hand cream to be non greasy yet hydrating and this fits the bill to the T. The only that I hate and absolutely hate is the scent! I want my hands to smell lovely.

Now, scents/fragrance/perfume these are very subjective and unfortunately I just could't stand the smell of this. In the past I have enjoyed a fragrance free hand cream like Neutrogena Fast Absorbing Hand cream (awesome drug store product) and then I had these L'OCCITANE Hand creams that come in plethora of scents.
L'OCCITANE is one brand that I love a lot. Their hand creams are awesome, but now that I have used Caudalie and Josie Maran as well, I feel these to be tad better than the L'OCCITANE one. Those are slightly more greasy. L'OCCITANE has some hand creams in gel form, but I have yet to try those.

Over all a nice, daily hand cream, but not something miraculous.For severely dry hands or as a night time treatment, I would always prefer a much thick and greasy hand cream or balm like Burt's Bee Hand Salve or Josie Maran Argan Balm or L'OCCITANE 100% Pure Shea Butter (just to name a few that I have tried). The scent did not work for me at all. For this reason alone, I won't be re-purchasing the cream, but performance wise, it is wonderful.

Any favorite hand creams you have? Next On my radar are the Tocca Beauty Hand Creams and First Aid Beauty brand products to try.

Disclaimer: This post contains Affiliate Links.

May 1, 2014

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil

I am a huge Josie Maran Argan Oil fan (the original one), yet to try their 'Light' version. I just love the way it works beautifully for my skin. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about this Josie Maran Cleansing Oil. It just did not impress me as much as I was hoping. It is a good product, but not Awesome!

Josie Maran Cleansing Oil:

A gentle, all-natural cleanser with nourishing argan oil.

This multitasking cleanser removes makeup and skin impurities while providing deep hydration. Almond, safflower seed, and grape seed oils cleanse the skin's surface and renew the complexion, leaving it healthy-looking and refreshed. The non-greasy texture leaves skin feeling moisturized, never tight or dry.

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

The impressive part:
This product is ideal for all skin types. An effective natural cleanser, argan oil restores the skin's natural moisture and pH balance. Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, this organically grown ingredient is known to prevent skin dehydration, inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and excess production of sebum.

Color: Yellow

Texture and Consistency: Thick, Heavy and Greasy

Usage: I used this in two ways.
One like any other makeup remover. I slathered about 8-10 drops of the product all over my face. Rubbed my face very lightly in circular motion, waited for 2-3 minutes and then wiped the face with Shiseido Facial Cotton pads.
The second way I used this was as suggested by the website.
-Rub three to four pumps into dry hands and apply evenly over dry face.
-Wet the face and massage into a rich milk.
-Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel.

Feel on skin: When I used it the regular way, I found the oil to be very thick and difficult to spread. In fact, after waiting for few minutes, so that the oil could break down my make up, I found the oil had dried considerably and using a dry cotton pad was not doing the job. Next I tried with wet and moist cotton pad. Then it was easy.

The second way of using the oil was totally new and different for me. Earlier I had used MAC Cleanse Off Oil, but I used it as makeup remover. I liked this concept. Emulsifying the oil with water and then cleaning the face after massaging was cool. It reminded me of cleansing milk, that I used to use when I was a teenager. This did not tug or pulled the skin. It was very comfortable.

Effect on Skin: This method did not leave my skin dry after rinsing, though it did not remove every trace of makeup. I don't wear heavy foundation or pile on layers of makeup, but I still found that the oil performed poorly on the makeup removing department. I also had hard time removing the eye makeup. My eye makeup is simple. Urban Decay 24/7 eye liner was one of the product that left its traces.
My face did not feel heavy or loaded with oil after rinsing, but I did have this urge to wash my face with a regular cleanser.

Scent: I so hated the scent. It smelled like vanilla mixed with artificial citrus scent. Very weird. Also it tasted horrible. I didn't taste it, but it accidently went in my mouth while rinsing and it was so bitter!

Packaging: A regular plastic bottle. Nothing very fancy. Mine came in a kit, so there is no pump. I am not sure, if the full size bottle comes with a pump or not.

Verdict: It is an OK cleanser for dry skin and especially in winter months. As a makeup remover, I don't think it was great. It did leave traces of makeup and I had to clean my face again to get rid of makeup. The oil didn't break me out nor left any bumps, but I have read that many people had this issue.

Not my absolute favorite from Josie Maran.


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