October 30, 2015

Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask (Review)

A hydrating treatment that immediately reveals softer, firmer, healthier-looking skin. 

Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask with advanced antioxidants is a hydrating treatment that immediately reveals softer, firmer, healthier-looking skin. The innovative formula’s velvety whipped texture has an immediate cooling effect to refresh the skin and the senses. Black tea ferment, also known as Kombucha, is an advanced antioxidant that helps to defend against wrinkle-causing free radicals while softening, smoothing, and enhancing luster. The formula is further enriched with lychee seed extract, known to support natural collagen, firming polysaccharides that help to smooth the skin, and jicima root juice, notable for its hydrating and nourishing properties. 

This is a lovely, refreshing product. I have been using it for quite some time and it has been working good so far. It has a special place in my Face masks/packs collection. I love it as much as I love the Fresh Rose Mask (review) and Fresh Sugar Face Polish (review)

Color: Pale Cream

Texture and Consistency: Thick, Soft, Smooth, Creamy, non Greasy

Scent: It smells pretty good, faint scent of cucumber I guess. I hated that scent in the Soy face Cleanser. The scent has grown on me over a period of time.

Application: I apply it on clean face with my fingers. I just apply it as in one single swipe and avoid rubbing or massaging it in. Doing so makes the product ball up on face. The mask never dries completely. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash of with plain water.

Feel and Effect on Skin: On application, there is a cool, tingling sensation. It is not a harsh tingle that is uncomfortable like those burning sensation of enzyme peel masks. The tingle is more like minty cool. It is very soothing and relaxing. The cool and tingly sensation lingers after mask is washed off, but not for very long. This is a very refreshing mask. The skin looks and feels hydrated. Other than that there is no visible instant result. Over a period of time with regular use, the skin does starts looking more healthy and nourished. I have dry skin and I find using hydrating products regularly helps me with even skin texture minus the dry patches.

Packaging: This comes in a paque white glass tub. Very heavy weight. The consistency is pretty thick, so a tube packaging can work as well. The tub is surely unhygienic way to store a skincare cream product, but I use my products on myself only and take care that I never dip wet fingers. So this is not much of a bothering issue for me. You can always use a spatula.

Verdict: This a good refreshing product. It provides hydration and freshness. The combination of cooling sensation and hydrating cream is what makes it unique. The experience on skin is pure joy. Usually a cooling sensation is always associated with a gel like product or something that is meant for oily skin. As far a result is concerned, similar hydration can be achieved by using some other cheaper products as well. A little goes a long way, so a tub would last for a good amount of time. I usually try to avoid including "its worth every penny" kind of line in any reviews. I think cost is a very subjective thing. I can only say that the product is on the pricey side of the spectrum.
Fresh comes up with many skincare kits during holidays and these kits are great way to try multiple products from a single brand.

Availability: Sephora, Nordstrom

Disclaimer: The product is purchased by me. The post contains Affiliate Links.

October 26, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury 'Multi-Miracle Glow' Cleanser, Mask & Balm (Review)

Multi-Miracle Glow is a cream-to-oil cleanser, mask and remedy balm enriched with vitamins and floral extracts for glowing, baby-soft skin.

The transforming 3-in-1 skin remedy deeply cleanses and regenerates skin to combat signs of aging, dullness and dryness. Antioxidant sea buckthorn seed oil and cranberry seed oil moisturize skin and stimulate circulation. Frangipani flower soothes and helps purify skin of dirt and makeup. Rose hip and camellia oils regenerate skin to delay aging and vitamins A, C and E smooth wrinkles.

A product packaging and product name can be two major enablers while buying a product. Of course, tall claims and brand name are important as well. 

Now with THAT name and claim, I can buy any crap! Charlotte Tilbury products have these amazing names. 'Filmstar Bronze & Glow' Face Sculpt & Highlight (love it!!), 'Charlotte's Magic Cream' Treat & Transform Moisturizer, 'Wonderglow' Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash and so on. 

So tempting and lucrative! Right?

These are pretty expensive skincare stuff and Nordstrom or Beautylish (I forgot) was having a GWP promotion and the gift was a generous deluxe size sample of their Magic cream and a mini KISSING lipstick. With no samples to try, I took this opportunity and hauled a few products.

I must admit, the Magic cream is awesomely magical. It is a boon for dry skin like mine. But that is a review for some other day. Today we talk about this miracle mask and cleanser.

Color: Pale Pink

Texture and Consistency: Thick, Sticky, gel like consistency but heavy. 

Scent: It smells floral and I love it. It is very pleasant and not perfume like. If you are sensitive to scents, this might be an issue. The scent is obviously detectable.

Application: This is a multi use product. 

As a cleanser, I massage a dime size product all over my face. It spreads easily, but quickly dries out and becomes tacky and sticky, making it difficult to spread anymore. I leave it for few minutes and then using water I wash it of.

As a mask, I use it for just an hour or so. 30 minutes is enough too. The product is not absorbed into the skin. It just sits on top and never dries. It feels tacky, greasy and sticky. I wash it off with regular water, using the wet fingers to massage the skin. The water provides enough slip needed for massaging motions.

As a Balm, I just use it on my elbows and knees just an hour before I go to shower. This is something I do rarely though. I prefer body oils.

Feel and Effect on Skin: As a cleanser, it is not very effective in removing heavy makeup. I find it very difficult to use around the eyes to remove eye make up. This is best used as a  second cleanse after removing makeup with Bioderma or any Micellar water. This being cream to oil formulation, it does not strips the skin of its natural oils and the skin does not feels dry and stretchy after washing. The skin feels super soft, smooth, hydrated and nourished.

As a mask I like to use it during the day. I find it to be too heavy and uncomfortable in general for over night use. The tacky and sticky feeling is not a pleasant one and as it never absorbed completely, it leaves stains on the pillow case. The after effect and end result of this mask is lovely though. The skin feels soft, smooth, plump, hydrated and nourished. It is a good one for dry skin. 

I think it can be used for oily skin too, if the duration of usage is reduced.

Packaging: Hefty packaging, but absolutely beautiful to look at. It is an acrylic tub, that is heavy, with screw top lid. The lid is rose gold, mirror like. It attracts finger prints like crazy. The tub is a little unhygienic, but looks pretty on the vanity.

Verdict: This is a nice, luxurious product. A product that can take basic cleansing task to a whole new level like a pamper ritual at the spa. The scent is absolutely divine. It is not very effective in removing makeup. It makes a wonderful hydrating mask, though there are much better and comfortable over night masks out there. It is a massive tub and little goes a long way. 

If I have to choose between this Multi-Miracle Glow Cleanser and the Magic cream, I would choose Magic cream. These two are totally different products, but if I have to spend insane amount on a single fancy Charlotte Tilbury skin care product, I would choose the Magic cream, because I find it more magical than this miracle.

Disclaimer: This product is purchased by me. The post contains Affiliate links.

October 23, 2015

tarte Amazonian Clay BB Illuminating Moisturizer - Review

This illuminating tinted moisturizer goes above and beyond what an illuminator can do. It visibly brightens and hydrates skin as it delivers a sheer veil of illumination with subtle coverage, in a universal tint, to diffuse small imperfections.

I had a small size of this tarte Amazonian Clay BB Illuminating Moisturizer that came with a value set/kit. I used up this product during early spring and as I was making my list for upcoming holiday seasonal sales and deals, I found this product not available on either Sephora or Ulta. I don't know why. Maybe it is discontinued. It is still available on Tarte cosmetics website. 

I had liked this product and I thought I would share my thoughts on this one as it is still in the market.

Color: Champagne Beige, with slight shimmery particles suspended. These are not chunky bits.

Texture and Consistency: Slightly thick lotion, non sticky, non slippery. Not too thin fluid. 

Application: I apply it before my makeup as a moisturizer. The product is prone to mild separation. I shake the tube well before applying. I prefer my fingers over any brush or beauty blender. The product is slightly thicker than a lotion, so it does not spread easily or go on smoothly. It has to be worked in. Fingers work the best. Reminds me of using a sunscreen with tint.

Feel and Effect on the skin: It does not feel tacky on the skin and sets pretty well. There was no greasiness at all. As far as coverage is concerned, it is very light. The skin feels hydrated and even though there are mild shimmers left on the finger tips, none of that is detected on the face. It leaves a healthy looking skin and nothing more, nothing less. I didn't notice any glow or radiance.

Longevity: There was some initial, noticeable brightness on application, but that didn't last for very long. Few minutes into it and it was gone. I didn't notice any additional longevity in my makeup too. 

Packaging: This comes in a soft squeeze tube, with a screw top. No dispenser or pump. 

Verdict: This is not a very unique or phenomenal product. It is just another tinted moisturizer. In fact, some drug store illuminating moisturizers have more illumination than this. I liked it for two reasons though. Personally, I have dry skin and early springs are always weird. They make my skin more dry. This product hydrated well, without feeling greasy. Secondly, it had no obvious illumination, but still left the skin looking healthy in some way. It did its job without being too obvious. It also has SPF. The coverage is very subtle. It does not even out skin tone. The color is pretty light and it can leave white cast on darker skin tones. I used it in spring, so it worked for me. It would have left my face looking ashy, had I used it in summer on tan skin.

Someone with really good skin can get away using this alone, but many of us will need mild concealer or some form of coverage. I don't love the product, but it is one of those weird products that I like with no specific reason and has made its way in my beauty wishlist. 
Strange!!!! Even I wonder why?? as I type this.

Disclaimer: I purchased this product. The post has Affiliate links. 

October 16, 2015

AVEDA 'damage remedy™' Daily Hair Repair

A daily leave-in treatment instantly repairs damaged hair by 26%, helps protect from heat styling and detangles to help prevent further damage.

Features and benefits:
- Certified organically derived quinoa protein penetrates hair to instantly repair damage and strengthen from the inside out.
- Wheat protein helps protect from heat styling such as blow-drying and ironing.
- Soy-derived oil detangles to help prevent further damage and breakage.
- Certified organic essential oils including bergamot, Mandarin and ylang ylang provide an uplifting aroma.

Color: Milky white

Texture and Consistency: Light weight, non sticky, lotion like fluid. Not too thick like cream nor too runny like water.

Scent: Subtle, pleasant, not over powering. I am not a fan of this scent, but I am glad it is not stinky like some hair products I have tried in the past.

Application: I apply it as directed. After shampoo and conditioner on damp hair. My choice of shampoo - conditioner is the ALTERNA® 'Caviar Anti-Aging' Replenishing Moisture Shampoo and ALTERNA® 'Caviar Anti-Aging' Replenishing Moisture Conditioner. I use a comb to distribute the product. Occasionally I use it on dry hair also when I find it getting too fizzy. I don't apply it very close to the roots. As it is a leave - in product, no rinsing is needed.

Feel and Effect on Hair: I have super fine, fragile and dry hair and very few leave in products work for me. Most of the products weigh my hair down and make them appear flat and limp. This product feels absolute divine on my hair. It feels light and makes my hair soft, smooth and silky. It makes them appear shiny, rich, healthy and well nourished. I have noticed lesser split ends and the product makes combing hair a breeze. Less entangled, knotty hair.
This also makes hair less crunchy and straw like after using a hair dryer. Sometimes I just skip the heat protectant (which is a very bad practice)

Packaging: I have a travel size one and it comes in a soft squeeze tube, with screw top cap. Very basic packaging. Ignore the ring on above picture. I wiped it later.

Verdict: I like the product. It is simple, fuss free to use. Makes hair look healthy, nourished and hydrated. Not to mention soft, shiny and smooth. My personal favorite though is the ALTERNA® Caviar Anti-Aging CC Cream for few additional reasons, but that I will review in future. For now this AVEDA 'damage remedy™' Daily Hair Repair is a good one. Thumbs up!

Disclaimer: Product purchased by me. The post has Affiliate links.

October 12, 2015

MARIO BADESCU - Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb and Rosewater

MARIO BADESCU - Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb and Rosewater

A refreshing, hydrating mist to use anywhere anytime. Simply formulated with fragrant herbal extracts and rosewater for a pleasant, pick me up for dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin. Spray your day and night creams for a boost of hydration or use it to set make-up or spray on dry hair throughout the day. Safe for all skin types. Gentle, non-irritating

A product that is 'not needed' but is missed when not available. I always used plain old rose water in travel size spray bottle to spray and refresh my face during summers. I remember using so much of these during my beach vacations. 

My first 'real, fancy' facial spray was the Evian Mineral water spray. I loved how beautiful and fine the mist was. Then came along the real expensive Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I was totally convinced that similar effect can be achieved by using rose water sprays and even though it is true to some extent, I miss the Elixir. The addition of herbs and aloe and other good stuff in rose water makes it all the more pleasant to use.

Color: Pale Pink 

Texture & Consistency: Just like water! Non sticky, thin and light weight.

Scent: Rose mixed with herbs, but rose is the dominant scent.

Application: I just spray it any time, especially after make up. Also this works excellent when cold. Few sprays on a hot tired day is bliss!

Feel and Effect on Skin: This is just like water. It is non sticky, does not stings or irritates the skin. It is very soothing and refreshing. It did not help much as a setting spray, but it did help me get rid of the powdery and cakey look that I get after using powder foundation. The best part is this spray does not irritates the eyes!

Packaging: This comes in a simple plastic spray bottle. The spray is not a very fine mist and occasionally the nozzle spritz uneven amount of product. Not the best packaging in my opinion.

Verdict: The Mario Badescu facial spray is a nice spray that refreshes tired face and gives some hydration to the dehydrated skin. It smells pleasant and is extremely refreshing and soothing. It is a great pick me up on a hot summer day. I like it cold! This is not the most amazing one in the market, because the mist is not very fine. 

Very recently I got to use the Kiehl's 'In-Flight' Refreshing Facial Mist and it is a wonderful product. I will review it in a later post. There are many new similar kind of refreshing mists and spray in the market and some of them are insanely expensive. I have not tried those super crazy expensive waters to comment whether they are worth the price tag or not, but for now these affordable ones are good option.

Disclaimer: The product is purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links

October 9, 2015

Buzz in Beauty - Face Oils

Luna Sleeping Night Oil • Sephora • $105
Progenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil • Sephora • $68
High-Potency Night-A-Mins Skin Refining Oil • $43
Clarins Lotus Face Oil • Clarins • $54
L'Occitane 'Divine Youth' Oil • L'Occitane • $106
CAUDALÍE 'Vinosource' Overnight Recovery Oil • CAUDALIE • $52
CAUDALÍE 'Polyphenol C15' Overnight Detox Oil • CAUDALIE • $52
Sunday Riley 'Artemis' Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil • $75
PlantscriptionTM Youth-Renewing Face Oil • $51
Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil/1 oz. • Bobbi Brown • $63
Pure Marula Facial Oil • $78
Chantecaille Rose de Mai Face Oil, 1.0 oz. • Chantecaille • $185
Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil/1 oz. • Laura Mercier • $62
Sisley-Paris Black Rose Precious Face Oil/0.84 oz. • Sisley Paris • $235
Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Precious Oil SPF 15, 1 oz • Peter Thomas Roth • $75
Lancome Absolue Precious Oil, 30 mL • Lancôme • $185

I am a self proclaimed oil junkie. If you have been reading this blog for while, you might know my love for facial oils. I absolutely love the feel of these oils on my dry skin, especially during the winters and the after effect that it leaves.

I find myself searching for the newest oils in market and every visit to Sephora is incomplete without spending 10 minutes staring at the oil display. Every brand has come up with their oil 'blends' and there is something for everyone. They try to target multiple skin concerns and all skin types.

I have tried probably 10 different types of oils from various brands if not less. Everything listed below are tried for very good amount of time and not just for a week or so.

Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil • $79
Tarte Maracuja Oil • Tarte • $48
ProGenius Omega Treatment Milk • $58
Tsubaki Beauty Oil • Sephora • $46
Kiehl's Since 1851 Midnight Recovery Concentrate, 1.7 fl. oz. • Kiehl's • $70
Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil • Jurlique • $50
Fresh® Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil • Fresh • $50
Josie Maran Argan Oil 1.7 oz • Josie • $48.95
Josie Maran 100 percent Pure Argan Oil Light, 1.7 oz • Josie • $30
Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil • Ole Henriksen • $45 

These are the ones I have tried, tested and loved. Josie Maran Argan Oil happens to be my absolute favorite and so is the Fresh Seaberry Oil. I find certain essential oils in oil blends don't agree well with my skin and I get occasional bumps, eruptions and redness. Jurlique Skin Balancing face Oil, Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate are few of such oils. I still use them on my neck area. Cannot afford to waste oils. 

From the newer oils (above collage) there are few oils like Sisley, L'Occitane and Chantecaille that I are insanely expensive, but luckily I got a chance to try deluxe samples of these expensive oils and I loved them. I have yet to make a final list of the oils that I will purchase this year, but on top of my list are the Sunday Riley, Caudalie and Clarins Oils.

In some other post I will share my philosophy regarding these oils, how I choose them and if they are any better than the organic pressed oils available at Whole Foods. As far as price tag is concerned, I think the topic is very subjective and sensitive. I do feel a little investment for skin care is a must both in terms of money and time.

Let me know what are your favorite beauty/face oils. Do you love them, hate them or are totally indifferent?
This post contains affiliate links.

October 6, 2015

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder - Review

A weightless, translucent powder for all skintones that creates a soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light. 

This setting powder enhances the look of foundation without a trace of color, extending makeup wear thanks to the NARS exclusive Light Reflecting Complex™, which optimizes light-reflection on the skin. Its silky powder is infused with Photochromic Technology, which diffuses light and adjusts to new sources of light throughout the day. Soft, silky and luxurious to the touch and undetectable on the skin, this weightless formula applies evenly and blends effortlessly. 
Fine lines, wrinkles, and pores optically fade as skin is visibly smoothed. 

Additionally, revolutionary microfine mineral powders are loaded with glycerin and antioxidant vitamin E to help guard against dryness and keep skin comfortable all day. Ideal for touch-ups, it helps regulate shine throughout the day and seamlessly sets foundation. 

This product is paraben- and fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.

I love setting sprays over setting powders because I have dry skin and setting sprays or facial mists give me that dewy finish. Also I am not much into liquid foundation, so most of the time a powder foundation or a powder with decent coverage is my choice of base. This gets little difficult for me because I live in a place that has real cold weather and have dry skin. 

This summer though I had some fun road trips planned to places with hotter climates and with tinted moisturizers, sunscreens and natural skin oils, a setting powder was the way to go. 

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder was my choice of pressed powder and as much as I wished it worked for me, it didn't. I am so sad it didn't work! This is not a new product, but I review whatever I own and use, be it new or be it old. 

Color: Stark white with very fine micro shimmers, The website says Translucent Crystal

Texture and Consistency: Super soft, smooth, satiny and velvety to touch. Non powdery or chalky, the product is very stiff and hard in the pan.

Fragrance/Scent: It has some scent, not odorless but very difficult to specify. Nothing offensive. On application non of this is detected.

Application: I used this to set my make up at the end. I tried using it with both the sponge/applicator and with few different powder brushes. I chose brushes with different shapes and different density of bristles. The most challenging part was getting the product on the brush. It was a nightmare! There was absolutely no product on the brush, though I could get some swatch on my fingers for the first 2-3 times. Later I could not even get the product on my finger tips.

Feel and Effect on Skin: I honestly don't know if any product touched my face or not. It did not itch my face nor made it dry, an issue that I usually face with setting powders. Also there was no blurring or any visible, noticeable change on my face. 

Packaging: The packing is lovely. It is the usual NARS matte black, rubberized case, with a pretty good size mirror. It comes with a sponge applicator and is nested in a black case. Very chic and easy to travel with. 

Verdict: In the store, I tried both the pressed and loose versions of these powders, but just for portability and ease of application I chose the pressed one. The NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder was pretty good. It did not leave my skin itchy or dry. I didn't use it much to comment on the effect of the loose powder. So I think the powder is too compactly pressed. It would had been absolutely OK if I didn't see it on my brush, had it shown any effect on my face, but it did NOTHING!

In the past MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Micro finish Powder had not worked for me. It made my skin itch bad and made it super dry. It left a white cast on my face. I must admit though at that time I didn't had the right powder brush too. Later I tried tarte Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder and with right tools I made it work but it was a messy affair. The loose powder flew every where!! It did not leave any white cast on my face nor made me look ashy. I need to try their tarte Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Pressed Finishing Powder now

I might try the NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder in future if they come up with a travel size but for now this NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder is a total dud! 

I have heard lot of good things about the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, a cult classic. It comes in a travel size too, so I might give that a try. I love Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder and have been using it since ages! 

What are your favorite setting powders? 

Disclaimer: The product is purchased by me. The post contains Affiliate links.

October 2, 2015

Beauty Cravings / Beauty Buys

TOM FORD Skin Illuminating Powder Duo- Moodlight Tom Ford $80
Tarte Swirl Power Contour & Bronzer Brush Tarte $34
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer Urban Decay $28
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette Urban Decay $54
HOURGLASS Cosmetics 'Ambient® Lighting' Palette (Limited Edition) Hourglass $80
Christian Louboutin Beauté Velvet Matte Lip Colour - Djalouzi Christian Louboutin $90

Beauty products just pop up every single day. With Holidays approaching just few months from now, the Beauty market is flooding with lovely gift sets and palettes. I was away from this Beauty world for barely 8 weeks and whole lot of stuff entered the market and made way in my wish list. The above products are just a few makeup goodies that caught my eye when they popped up in my Instagram feed.

HOURGLASS Cosmetics Hidden Corrective Concealer Hourglass $32
Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector® Pressed - Champagne Pop $38
Armani Eye Tint, Runway Collection Armani $42
Laura Mercier Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation Laura Mercier $48
HOURGLASS Cosmetics 'Illusion®' Hyaluronic Skin Tint Hourglass $55
Bobbi Brown Corrective Spot Treatment SPF 25 Bobbi Brown $38

Not everything above are new products. In fact many of these have been around for quite sometime. I usually make a list around Holidays because that is when the best deals and sales pop up. I have a huge list of new skincare to buy and I am most excited about those.

I did Haul/Buy some products during the summers. Tried and tested them and now I am ready to review. Sharing few pics that I clicked when those were new and fresh. (Typical blogger obsession)

I had all these products on my wish list before my vacations and I loved using all of these (except one). Becca Shimmering skin Perfector is my absolute favorite, Supergoop! Refresh setting Mist  was OK with some issues while the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder was a total DUD!  

Reviewing the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder in next post.


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