November 30, 2015

ALTERNA Haircare - Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist (Review)

Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist

A weightless, nutrient-rich oil mist that protects hair from heat styling tools, enhances shine, and boosts hair's health. 

This double-duty formula can be used as both a deeply nourishing treatment that helps to repair split ends and environmental damage, and as a color protecting style primer. Made with strengthening organic bamboo and smoothing organic kendi oil, it banishes frizz and imparts intense shine while providing vital nutrients. 

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

Alterna Haircare is a brand that has worked well for me. Their Caviar line is super hit with my hair. I love the CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Conditioner and Caviar CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction. I got to try this amazing brand all thanks to the 'try me' sets and kits that they carry. Currently this kit is for $10 only as a part of Black friday deal. Usually it is $25 here
I have also tried the ALTERNA Haircare Bamboo® Volume On-The-Go Travel Set (not so great), 'Bamboo Smooth' On-the-Go Kit (loved it), ALTERNA Haircare Bamboo Luminous Shine Mist (liked it, not my absolute favorite), Caviar Clinical Weekly Intensive Boosting Treatment (did not work), Caviar Clinical Daily Root & Scalp Stimulator (yet to see any visible results), Caviar Clinical Daily Detoxifying Shampoo (did not work). So  in short, the 'Caviar Clinical' Starter Kit, treatment for thinning hair did not work, but the others were good. 

My hair is very thin, fine and frizzy. Most of the hair care products like leave in conditioner, anti-frizz spray, gel, oil etc weigh it down and makes it super greasy and oily. This ALTERNA Haircare - Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist is one of the few dry oils that have managed to work well. It is my must have holy grail hair care product.

Color: Colorless, though in bottle it looks like it has some tint, but it is clear.

Texture and Consistency: Light weight, thin, not too greasy or slippery 

Application: I don't apply it anywhere near the roots of the hair. A couple of inches down from the scalp is where I use the product. The spray is nice and the mist is fine. It dispenses the product neatly, in a nice mist thus not concentrating the product at just one place like a blob or oily mess. I use 3-4 sprays depending on how dry or frizzy my hair feels. I use it on dry hair and sometimes on damp hair too. When I use on damp hair, I let it air dry and the end result is exceptionally good. 

Feel and Effect on hair: The hair absorbs this pretty quickly. It feels soft, frizz free and manageable. They look shiny, healthy and well maintained. The product does not makes my hair greasy or weighs them down making them look flat. It does not dries the hair down nor makes it 'crunchy'. It has also helped me with split ends. The product does contains nutrient rich ingredients, but I don't know how much it nourishes, as I don't apply it to the scalp. 

Scent: It smells amazing. It is obviously some perfume, but a very pleasant one. 

Packaging: It comes in a plastic bottle, with a spray. The nozzle of the spray is really good. It dispenses a fine mist. This is my second bottle of the product and I have yet to get any 'choking' or 'jamming' of the pump. I like the fact that the bottle is made of plastic and the cylindrical shape provides good grip while spraying. 

Verdict: This is one of the most light weight, non-sticky, amazingly good smelling hair care product I have ever used. There are other dry oils (spray kinds) like L`Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Multi-Restorative Dry Oil, OGX Renewing Argan Oil Of Morocco Weightless Healing Dry Oil, OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Weightless Healing Oil Mist from the drug store and I use them occasionally but I find they make my hair greasy by end of the day. Not with this one though. This is a winner!

Available at : Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom

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

November 21, 2015

Pixi Glow Tonic - Exfoliating Toner (review)

Pixi Glow Tonic
This exfoliating toner helps to brighten the complexion resulting in a healthy glow. Formulated with 5% glycolic acid, Glow Tonic exfoliates, brightens and smoothes the skintone and texture. Aloe vera, ginseng, and botanical extracts work together to nourish and treat your skin revealing an improved complexion. Alcohol-free and gentle on all skin types

This is one of those products that gives visible results and when I say visible results, I mean almost within 2-3 uses. The product delivers. 

Color: Pale Orange/Peach

Texture and Consistency: Thin, non sticky, watery

Scent: Floral and smells wonderful. I have no aversion to this pleasant smelling toner. It does not smell anywhere close to anything chemical.

Application: I apply it at night on clean face, before applying any moisturizer or serums. Earlier I used to drench a cotton pad with this and spread it all over my face, but I realized that wasted lot of the product. Now, I take it on palms of my hand and apply it directly. The product is just like water in consistency, so this method can be little messy, but I still find this uses less product.

Feel and Effect on Skin: This is a very gentle exfoliating toner. It dries completely in 20 seconds or so. It is not at all sticky or tacky. It sinks in completely and does not just sits on top of the skin. There is no dryness or stretching of skin. I find it pretty comfortable.

Packaging: The product comes in a plastic bottle with no dispenser.

Verdict: I just love how this stuff works. I wake up with much clear, glowing skin. The skin appears more even in texture as well as skin tone. I have noticed some lightening with my pigmentation after using it continuously for a month. The toner contains 5% Glycolic Acid helps in mild exfoliation thus revealing a clear skin but making the skin more sensitive to sun. So it is advisable to use at night and then wear sunscreen the next morning. The Aloe Vera helps to moisturize the skin and ginseng helps in lightening pigmentation. 

In the past I have tried Clinique Clarifying Lotion. It is a toner, but I don't know why is it called lotion. It was a nice product, but I found it too drying. Maybe I chose the wrong one. The Lancome Tonique Radiance Clarifying Exfoliating Toner was an amazing one, but I don't have the bottle and so I have no pictures to support a review post. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is my newest pick and I am super excited to try that one. 

This Pixi Glow Tonic is an excellent product and one of the best exfoliating toners I have used. 

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

November 18, 2015

Dazzling Holiday Gifts - Skincare sets (Holiday Gift Guide)

This is that time of the year when we get to see amazing deals on basically every single gifting category. I personally love Skincare, Beauty, Home decors, Candles etc. So usually I stalk and stock from these categories.

There are many gift sets in multiple price range and every website makes it very easy to search for one. I consider this opportunity to buy some good stuff for myself. When I pick a gift set I look for few things. The product selection in the sets need to be good and there need to be at least one full size or close to full size product, especially if it is not marketed as Trial size set. Only time I consider buying some sets that have only deluxe size products is usually when the brand is insanely expensive or I don't have any counters of that particular brand around me to get some sample or try them in person. I rarely return a skincare product, so trial sizes are great.

Below are few sets and kits that caught my attention while browsing.

Kiehl's has amazing gift sets and though I would like to see some other treatment creams and serums in their sets, the current selection has great stuff to offer. I love their 'Creme de Corps' Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter, Super Multi-Corrective Cream (review), Ultra Facial CleanserHydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate and many more. Their packaging is phenomenal and the products are good in size as well as performance. 

Clinique is a brand that I have tried before and I love many of their products. 'Dramatically Different' Moisturizing Lotion, All About Eyes, 'Even Better' Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula are few of my absolute favorites. Most of the big stores have Clinique GWP all the time and these GWPs are really generous. 

Charlotte Tilbury is one brand that probably can sell any regular product by adorning their names with adjectives like 'Magical', 'Wonderglow', 'Miracle', 'Goddess' and what not. I personally have tried their two skincare products and I like it. The skincare gift set though too pricey is a good way to try other stuff as well. But then again the whole brand is a pricey one.

These are just few picks and I find them value for money paid. Again the selection is made to my personal liking and skin type. Pretty much every major department store has wonderful skincare gift sets and there is something for everyone.


Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate links.

November 17, 2015

tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer (review)

tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer

A skin-perfecting mattifying base and pore refiner.

This primer not only helps keep your makeup in place for up to 12 hours of perfect wear time, but also refines the appearance of pores and diffuses fine lines and imperfections while delivering natural fruit- and plant-derived extracts to deliver anti aging and skin-restorative benefits to your skin. It refines the appearance of pores and diffuses fine lines and masks imperfections. Just one application leaves skin looking instantly smoother, softer, and refined.

Formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

This is not a new product. This primer has been around for really long time. I have used it enough and here are my thoughts on the product.

Color: Colorless

Texture and Consistency: Thick, light weight, silky smooth, slippery and silicone'y' gel.

Scent: None detected.

Application: I apply this before applying makeup on moisturized skin. Very tiny amount is needed. I just use literally pea size amount and dot it all over the face and smooth it out with my fingers. I don't rub it in the skin. Sometimes, I don't apply it all over the face, but I limit its usage to area where I notice fine lines and pores. Luckily, I don't have too many large 'visible' pores, but areas around cheeks and forehead need some help.

Feel and Effect on Skin: The product does not balls or bunches up. It spreads easily and does not feel heavy or greasy. Initially it is slightly tacky but sets within 30 seconds. It does not sinks in the skin but just floats over creating a smooth silky even base. It evens out any dry patches but is not very effective in filling or evening out fine lines or pores. It does not makes my face look super matte. For mattifying, I love the CARGO HD Picture Perfect High Definition Mattifier. The stuff is good. I have seen it online as well as in Kohl's. 
The product is colorless, so I don;t see any white or ashy cast. The foundation applies smooth and as the day progresses, I don't see any patchiness. The face does not feels greasy. I have dry skin, so it really takes multiple layers of products to make my face greasy. The product didn't break me out.

Longevity: I didn't notice any extra staying power in my makeup. My makeup did not slide too. The primer did not oxidize my foundation. The face didn't become patchy by end of the day and didn't look weird in photographs.

Packaging: It comes in a soft squeeze tube. Pretty simple and sanitary. 

Verdict: The product contains antioxidant rich nutrients and vitamins that have been known to deliver refining, anti-aging, and skin-restorative benefits with each application. I don't know how helpful this is for the skin, but at least it sounds safe. It is a good product for dry skin in providing a silky smooth base for application of other products. It is not very effective in mattifying or filling in lines or pores. It is not my absolute favorite as a pore filler. I like the Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer. Overall tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer is a good base for sure. 

Currently, I am enjoying the Silicone free primers. Too Faced Hangover Face Primer is a good one (review). These are more like moisturizers. tarte Clean Slate Flawless 12-Hr Brightening Primer is something I have a sample of and I have yet to start using it. Any thoughts on that? In the past Urban decay Brightening primer was a disaster because it left a white cast on my face, So I have stayed away from these kinds for quite some time. 
Disclaimer: The product is purchased by me. The post contains Affiliate Links

November 13, 2015

Beauty Buys - Sephora VIB sale Haul - 2015 (Part 2)

'BEAUTY BUYS' is just another term coined for the infamous 'HAUL'. It is 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'..

Josie Maran Whimsical Wonder Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Trio was on my list since the day I saw it on Sephora. It has 3 wonderful highlighters and all in generous deluxe sizes. Every single product is permanent. 

The best thing is the packaging. It is exact replica of the full size products and looks very chic. Not to mention the price. One of the best sets for gifting.

Becca cosmetics are masters when it comes to highlighters and I love their Becca Shimmering skin perfector. I had never tried their pressed highlighters, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Opal Glow On The Go is a tiny set great to try. 

This set contains: 

This too would make a great, affordable stocking stuffer.

I had heard lot of good things about the MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer
I chose the Radiant Primer Peach - For Medium to Tan Skin. The product sounds promising but it is too expensive for the tiny tube.
A good makeup needs fantastic base and Becca Backlight Priming filter is a product that I wanted to try. I must say these primers are very expensive. As expensive as high end Foundation. I hope this one works. 
Smashbox was the first high end brand of primer I had ever tried. Primer water is a product that is totally new for me and I wanted to try that. The Try it kit - Primer Authority has 4 primers.

This set contains: 

I personally am interested in trying the primer water and under eye primer. Anything that helps with smooth concealer application, Yes please!

Everyone is sculpting their face with contouring and highlighting. I never contour, but I wanted to give this whole thing a try. There are many sculpting palettes available, but i chose the KEVYN AUCOIN The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II
I have been eyeing this palette since the day I saw it on Sephora's Instagram page. The palette is an excellent way to try both cream and powder contours and highlight. 

This set contains: 
- 4 x 0.04 oz Eye shadow in Eye shadow in Brighten (luminous pearl), Starlight (luminous light peach/pink), Cool Tan (light brown), Ruddy Earth (rust) 
- How-to guide  

I invested a little money in buying some tools. Good makeup needs good tools. I picked the very loved SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Airbrush #55, the original pink Beauty Blender and Tweezerman Tweezers. I also picked a tarte Swirl Power Contour & Bronzer Brush because I don't have anything in this shape in my collection.

Along with these came the freebies and point perks. I picked the Caudalie 500 point perk.

The set contains four skincare items.

Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (.33oz), which I have used 3 bottles to date and is much loved.

All of the goodies feature their signature grape-based antioxidant and brightening ingredients and come in generously sized tubes.

I grabbed two of the Glamglow Flashmud Brightening treatment tubes too. 

These were all the stuff I picked from Sephora VIB Rouge sale. I did manage to renew my VIB Rouge status for next year and they gave me a Red Marc Jacobs Lipstick. I don't even wear red lipsticks often, but it is a cute color. 

So far I am liking pretty much everything I picked, except for the tarte brush. I think it is a little too big for my small face. Sephora has good return policy. So if it does not work, this is one thing I might have to return,

What were your picks from the Sephora sale? I hope these haul posts might give you some ideas while making your next shopping list.

Read Part one of the Sephora VIB haul/beauty Buys here.

Disclaimer: All products purchased by me. The post contains Affiliate links.

Beauty Buys - Sephora VIB sale Haul - 2015 (Part 1)

'BEAUTY BUYS' is just another term coined for the infamous 'HAUL'. It is 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'..

The only time when you can find best deals on high end makeup, skincare, fragrance and beauty tools is the Sephora year end sales. Usually Beauty insiders, VIB and VIB Rouge members get 20% off every single thing with no exclusions. The sale kicks off during November, right before the holidays. There are amazing value sets and gift sets covering all price range. 

I find it a great time to stock up on essentials, try various skincare sets and beauty kits as well as buy those really expensive products that I don't 'need' but just 'want'. Basically it is a good time to save some money on beauty products is what I mean to say. 

I am going to break this Beauty Buy post into two parts. The first part will include the skincare value and trial sets and bath and body products. The second part will include makeup along with some Beauty tools like brushes etc

Sunday Riley is a one brand that everyone is talking about when it comes to skincare. Skincare is my favorite topic to talk, write and research. A pretty expensive line of Skincare, I wanted to try the Luna Sleeping Night Oil, Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face oil and Good Genes. Luckily, a beautiful two product kit Power Couple was released at Sephora and I picked it. I had to go to a store because by the time I placed my order online, it was sold out. It sadly is sold out now as well, but it is expected to be back in stock. So register yourself for an e-mail notification if interested. I am super excited to try Good Genes, I did manage to get a sample of Luna and I am already using the sample. It is too early to comment on Luna oil though. 

Nude Skincare is a brand I like. Though I didn't enjoy the NUDE Skincare Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil much, I totally adore the NUDE Skincare ProGenius™ Treatment Oil. I love love that stuff. It is a wonderful oil. They came out with another oil NUDE Skincare Progenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil and I knew I had to try it. When I saw that it came in a tiny set, I thought it was a great way to try the product. A whole 30 ml bottle costs $68 and this was just cheaper way to try as well as to stock. I mean the whole trial set costs $22 and with 20% off, it gets cheaper. Each pack has 10 ml oil. So 3 packs of 10 ml oil is waay cheaper than $68 and you still get the same amount! Got the math??? The set also contains a tube of NUDE Skincare ProGenius Omega Treatment Milk. So i get to try that as well.

I have used probably 3 generous sample products till date from this brand called REN and I thought it was time to try something substantial from them, so that I can know more about the brand and the products. I picked the REN Pure Glow trio set as it came with three of their best selling products. 

Origins as a brand has always been hit or miss for me. I love some of their products, while others are just no-no. I picked the Origins Good Day Good Night set because it has both, a day cream, GinZing™ Energy-Boosting Moisturizer and a night cream, High Potency Night-A-Mins™ Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream. I thought the quantity is generous enough to try and the price is just right!
I did pick a bottle of Josie Maran Argan Oil for a friend. It is one of the safest, effective oils I have tried and I know for sure it works. So I am confident of suggesting her the product without worrying about any breakouts etc. 

This last Sephora Favorites set SoKo to Tokyo is something I picked before the VIB Rouge sale started. It has some great Asian Beauty and skincare stuff that is a hot trend now. It came with SK-II Facial treatment essence. that everyone raves about. Also I use the Amore pacific Treatment enzyme peel and I love it to death. It is one of  my holy grail skincare product. I picked the set only for these 2 products. Also I am very excited to try the new Erborian Creme scrub beautifying exfoliating pearls and Skin inc Pure deep sea hydrating mask. It is pointless writing about it now, because the set is not available anymore, but every single product is a permanent one and is available.

The contents in this set:

Amore pacific Treatment enzyme peel 
belif The true cream aqua bomb 
Boscia Exfoliating peel gel 
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin cream 
Dr. Jart+ Premium beauty balm spf 45 in medium/dark 
Erborian Creme scrub beautifying exfoliating pearls 
SK-II Facial treatment essence 
Skin inc Pure deep sea hydrating mask 

A little luxury in bath is always welcome and every year I am sucked into buying some bath and body products from L'Occitane all thanks to their cute packaging. The Sephora 'aisle of doom' has multiple small under $25 sets and travel minis that are too good to pass. They add up to final bill like crazy!

This L'Occitane Almond Delights set contains:

L'Occitane Cleansing And Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil
Almond Milk Concentrate
Almond Delicious Hands

There were many other skincare stuff that I wanted to pick, but then I had to stick to a budget. I will be reviewing these once I have used them enough to form an opinion. I really don't like to rave or rant about a skincare or hair care product just after one use. I mean I need to use it for a good period of time before judging and passing a verdict.

Check out Beauty Buys - Sephora VIB sale Haul - 2015 (Part 2)

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

November 11, 2015

KIEHL'S Super Multi-Corrective Cream (Review)

Multi-targeted advanced anti-aging moisturizer

Multi-targeted anti-aging moisturizer that corrects the most visible signs of aging
Lifts, smoothes, sculpts, re-texturizes, and moisturizes skin
Clinically proven to significantly improve skin
Paraben Free, Fragrance Free, Safe for sensitive skin

KIEHL'S Super Multi-Corrective Cream is a wonderful product for dry skin. I picked this while looking for a multi-tasking product that was more than a moisturizer, but not loaded with anything that would make my skin more sensitive to sun. Like no Retinols, vit C etc. After using some samples I saw how amazingly this hydrated my skin. This is my second tub if the cream and I am addicted.

Color: White

Consistency and Texture: Thick, light weight, silky smooth, not too dense but rich a cream.

Scent: This has a distinct scent and I don't think I will be able to describe this scent correctly, so I won't even try. All I can say that it is not  a sweet and perfume like. This smells very herbal but in a pleasant way. The scent lingers on for initial 15-20 minutes and then it disappears. The scent is very fresh and not at all annoying. The cream is not fragrance free. 

Application: I apply it during the day. After my shower, I use a little less than dime size of the product. I dot it all over the face and then slightly massage till it sinks in. (like any other cream basically)

Feel and Effect on Skin: This is a thick cream and on application it absorbs completely after a minute or so. I have dry skin and occasionally get dry patches if I don't use face oils. This cream does not sits on top, but it sinks in leaving the skin feeling soft, supple, moisturized, hydrated and plump. The face looks slightly greasy initially but just for an hour or so. After that I don't notice any visible oiliness. 

Now I have dry skin, live in Chicago and have heaters running almost 6 months a year. Also I am used to slathering oils on my face. This mild oiliness does not bothers me at all, but I know of few friends who find this a little too heavy for them. The product didn't break me out. Also it helps with reducing dry patches too. I cannot completely credit this product for reduction of dry patches though, as I also use facial oils at night. 

Packaging: Purple colored heavy duty plastic jar, that looks like glass with a plastic screw top cap. I love the color of the jar. The jar may not be ideal container for storing a skin cream for hygienic reasons, but I am fine with it. You can always use a small spatula to pick the product. 

Verdict: I love the cream. This comes in another version as well that has SPF. I have not tried the other one. I am happy that this one does not contains SPF. I just needed a good moisturizing cream. This one has a good blend of beech tree extract that helps increase collagen and elastin, jasmine that helps with  repair and tissue regeneration and hyaluronic acids that improves skin texture, diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps with brightening and moisturizing the skin making it appear plump, supple and smooth. I don't have any visible fine lines or  major aging issues of skin as of now, so it is difficult for me to comment on that aspect of the cream, but it sure does retexturize the skin. I noticed difference in just a week. The skin looks plump, fresh, hydrated and absolutely healthy. A good pick for someone with dry and normal skin. Oily and combination skin people might want to try a sample before. Very pleased with the product. 

The cream comes as part of Holiday sets too and these sets are great way to try multiple products from the brand. 

Available at Kiehls, Nordstrom

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


DAZZLE-n-SPARKLE | COPYRIGHT © 2008-2017 DAZZLE 'n' SPARKLE | All rights reserved | Designed by Resham