January 30, 2016

Diorskin Nude Air Glowing Gardens Illuminating Powder (review)

Dior Glowing Nude Diorskin Nude Air Illuminating Powder - 002

An illuminating powder and mini kabuki brush to sculpt the face with a radiant glow. Drawing its inspiration from the technique of strobing, Diorskin Nude Air Glowing Gardens enhances your face with radiance.

This illuminating powder is one of those seasonal, highly in demand, 'limited Edition' release from the luxury brand DIOR. I am a little biased when it comes to Illuminators or highlighters and the beautiful, gorgeous embossing as well as packaging of these Limited Edition stuff.

As much as I fancy these, I am not a collector. Sometimes, I do get sucked in with all the hype that is created around a "Limited Edition" products.

For Spring, Dior came out with these stunning Illuminators in two colors. The 001 Glowing Pink is a pale pink, slightly white, cool toned Illuminator with metallic and frosted sheen. The 002 Glowing Nude is a more warm toned, peachy beige with luminous sheen.

I chose the Glowing Nude shade because I it would compliment my skin tone with yellow/golden undertones better.

Color: Warm toned, peachy beige with luminous sheen.

Texture and Consistency: It is one of the smoothest, softest highlighters I own. The product is finely milled and not at all powdery. It is very easy to blend and on blending there are absolutely no glitters or sparkles. This is not a wet looking highlighter. It is pretty similar to those

Application: I kept admiring the packaging and embossing for the first whole week and then finally I used it. The embossing does not gets ruined very easily. There is no over spary of any kind. I used it over my blush with a Charlotte Tilbury powder and sculpt brush. I also used this with MAC 165 brush. They applied pretty much similar on skin, though MAC brush picked a little more product. I also used it with a fan brush, but I didn't enjoy the result with this one. It was too subtle for my liking.

Feel and Effect on Skin: This blends beautifully and literally melts into the skin. It did not emphasize any pores on my cheeks. I have small pores, so that is a plus. Over blending did not result in chunky sparkles or glitters. The finish is not frosty, but it would look slightly metallic, if I over do it. The glow is phenomenal.

Packaging: It comes on a heavy duty compact with magnetic closure and a kabuki brush. I did not use the kabuki brush that came with this.

Verdict: This is a lovely highlighting powder with beautiful embossing and lovely finish. The formula is not new and is very reminiscent of illuminators like MAC Extra Dimension, Estee Lauder Gelee, the highlighter side of Make up For ever pro sculpting duo. Those are a bit more metallic and wet looking in my opinion. This one is a really good one from DIOR and perfect for my skin tone. The sheen and glow is just perfect for my liking. I also swatched Tom Ford Skin Illuminating powder duo when I was in the mall and did a little research on illuminators for fun. The Tom Ford one was pretty close in color but when I blended both, the Tom Ford one showed some sparkles while this one did not.
Unfortunately, online this one shows sold out now, but some stores have it and online too it pops up occasionally for a day or two. I don't understand why they have to make these in such limited quantities.

January 28, 2016

New in Beauty - Beauty Cravings

There are new releases everyday and if I plan to post all of them, I probably will have a new post every single day. I just tried to pick a few that I am most interested in. Well, as a skincare junkie, every new skincare product, especially for dry skin catches my fancy first, but as skincare products have a shelf life after opening it, I try not to hoard on many of them. I do have a long list though.

I have always liked STILA as a brand. I used to have many products from this brand, but then they discontinued my absolute favorite lipstick formula and I started branching out more. Just last year after really long time I picked the Stila Soul Palette. Now they have come out with a Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Palette. Now, this is not a new product. It has been around for many years. It is a bit sticky and thick in formula, but the colors are gorgeous and the product lasts forever on the cheeks. The very fact that they have come out with 2 palettes that hold 5 shades in each is such a wonderful way to get so many colors to try and use up at least half of it before the creams expire. I am delighted! These would be so great for summers.

The Sunrise Splendor palette (cool colors)
The Sunset Serenade palette  (warm colors) 

Stila also has come up with a stila Aqua Glow™ Serum Foundation. As far as my knowledge about foundation goes, serum foundations are very light weight as they are water based. They give a flawless, non - cakey look. All you need is a good color match!

NUDESTIX have very cute, portable and unique packaging. I had swatched their Lip + Cheek Pencils in the past at Sephora and always found them too shimmery and frosty and not at all flattering on my skintone. The new NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil are MATTE (happy dance) and with the color selection, I am sure at least something would work for me. Super cool!

Lastly we have the Yves Saint Laurent TOUCHE ECLAT Neutralizers, yeah the same brand that has the most beautiful golden packaging! Honestly, Neutralizers are very tricky! These 'one color fits all needs' kind of products are hit or miss for me. The Yves Saint Laurent TOUCHE ECLAT Neutralizers come in 3 shades.

Green: Corrects blemishes, conceals redness for an even skintone. 
Bisque: Corrects dark circles and dark spots. Illuminate. 
Violet: Corrects yellow dull skin for a healthy glow

I tried the Bisque at store and in those lovely yellow lights, it did make me look good. I would wait for some good perks to come at Sephora for VIBs before buying one of these.

Are there any new Beauty Products you are eyeing or most interested in? Share your picks in the comments below. 

Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate Links

January 25, 2016

Beauty Buys/Beauty Haul - Dior, Hourglass, Pixi, Kate Somerville

'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'..

A bunch of products that I picked during the last week of December and in January. I decided to post a few Gifts that I got during the Holidays as well, because some are still available in stores and some online. I have already shared most of these on Instagram ( @dazzlensparkle)

Kate Somerville came out with ExfoliKate® Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash and the ingredient list contains Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Pineapple, Pumpkin, and Papaya Enzymes! Every single thing that has been working for me excellently recently. I still say no need to spend too much on a cleanser, a product that barely stays on face for less than a minute, but ingredients so good, I had to try.

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish is my holy grail face exfoliator (traditional style scrubby scrub) and I am almost done using whatever I had, so I thought why not give something else a try. This Botanics Age Defense Microdermabrasion Polish sounded pretty similar and promising. I picked this and have used it too. Will review this once I have used it enough. It is good, but not as good as my Laura Mercier one.

Pixi glow tonic was one product in my Best of Skincare 2015 post and when I saw this Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser at Target, I knew I had to try it. There are few new masks from Pixi as well, but I am on NO MASK buy for this month. Will grab those in months to follow.

Dior, Chanel, Tom Ford, Burberry are few of my absolute favorite luxury brands, but I look forward to seasonal releases from Chanel and Dior the most. The packaging is to die for. I keep staring these for few months before actually using them. The patterns are just too hard to ruin. This year too I had to choose between the Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon Blush from LA Sunrise collection and the Dior Diorskin Nude Air Glowing Gardens Illuminating powder. I chose the 002. It is a limited edition shade and even though it shows sold out online, some stores still have it.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit palette is probably the best travel palette for blush, bronzer, highlight and setting powder, if Hourglass products work for you. This was a Holiday 2015 release and every color in it a permanent one, though one shade is palette exclusive. It is a strobe highlighter kind of thing and I believe this shade is released as individual in the latest Hourglass Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder. I am not sure if these two are same though. The palette though small in size is still available in many Sephora Stores and at Nordstrom website.

Caudalie Mask Trio set too was Holiday exclusive set, but all the masks are permanent and some not so popular Sephora store (not is busy area) still have it. I have already tried these and so far I am loving it.

I also though I would share in the Holiday gifts that I got (related to beauty/skincare) in this post. The Sephora Favorites Mask set is the one that was exclusive to JCPenny. At $30, this mask set had a better selection and better price in comparison to the one that was Sephora Exclusive. Many Sephora stores still have the Mask set at reduced price. All the masks are permanent.

I got this Sephora Favorites perfume set and I have yet to decide which full size one I want to pick. I am leaning towards Elizabeth and James Nirvana White. This set is still available.

Lastly I was surprised to get this beautiful Tarte Holidaze Bling It On Blush palette. This has beautiful 5 blushes and it makes no sense sharing it now, simply because it is not available anymore. I just wanted to thank my friend for gifting this to me and make her happy by posting it here.

These are some of the newer products that I plan to review in the following months.

Shop the products mentioned in post:
Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate Links

January 23, 2016

Fresh Soy Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover (review)

A breakthrough formula that gently and effectively removes all traces of makeup, including waterproof, while treating the lashes and moisturizing the skin around the eye area.

Soy proteins are rich in amino acids that help maintain elasticity and healthy-looking skin, while mallow extract is notable for its soothing properties. The formula is further enriched with cornflower extract, which helps to tone and enhance suppleness; cucumber extract, which helps to soothe and hydrate; ginseng root extract, which aids in nourishing, invigorating, and revitalizing the skin; and vitamins C and E, which offer antioxidant protection.

Formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

(as per website)

I hardly review a product just after using it twice or thrice. I give skincare products good amount of testing time before drafting a review on them. Even simple cleansers are tested for more than 2 weeks. This Fresh Soy Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover is a product that does its job very well, but with a minor flaw, which unfortunately is a major one for me.

This was a deluxe sample from Sephora and I was very excited to try this.

Color: White

Texture and Consistency: Soft, creamy, light weight, non sticky, not too thick or runny

Scent: It has a pleasant scent with hint of cucumber, very much like the Soy cleanser. I didn't liked the scent of the Soy Cleanser earlier, because the one I got was dud or from bad batch. The newer ones that I tried later were pleasant and not bothering my nose at all.

Application: I used it like any other eye makeup remover. I mean how creative can you get while using an eye makeup remover. Just a little more than pea size product is needed for removing the eye makeup. Massage lightly over and around the eyes (lids close). Let it sit for few 30-45 seconds and then wipe it off with damp cotton pad.

Feel and Effect on the eye: This feels soft and nice and everything when the eyes are closed. But tiniest amount of it INSIDE the eye and the eyes are on fire!! I kid you not, this thing burns the hell out of my eye. As far as removing makeup is concerned, it gets rid of every single trace of makeup and does not leave any greasy residue. It did not dry the delicate eye area too. Also, water proof mascara was gone in one use. The key is to let it stay there on the eye after application for few seconds, so as to loosen up the makeup.

Packaging: Mine was a deluxe sample size. So it came in a decent pump. The pump dispenses needed amount of product. The full size too comes in a neat pump. 

Verdict: The product removes the eye makeup really easily and effectively, without leaving a residue. My only issue is the terrible burning of my eyes. It is very difficult to wipe off eye makeup without letting the product go in. No matter how tight I close the eyes, the product manages to seep in. Now, this might be an issue with my eyes only, but it does not means that the product is bad. It did its job of removing eye makeup wonderfully. 

Do give this product a try (get a sample). It is such a bummer that this didn't work for me.

January 20, 2016

E.L.F. Studio Lip Exfoliator (review)

Gently exfoliate lips to remove dry, chapped skin with our Lip Exfoliator! A sweet sugar and smoothing sensation, infused with Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Avocado, Grape and Jojoba Oils to nourish and protect. This Lip Exfoliator treats and smooths lips for a conditioned and revitalized feel.

Chicago winters are brutal and nightmare for dry lips like mine. They chap, they peel, they flake and they occasionally bleed too. Along with moisturizing and hydrating the lips with lip balms and lip oils, I find lip scrubbing very helpful. If done correctly and not very frequently it can result in much smoother and softer lips.
Sometimes, I get lip sores in winter. In those time Abreva is my drug of choice. I do not disturb my lip sores by scrubbing. It can lead to spreading of infection, causing more harm than good. 

Lip scrubs are very basic. A simple D.I.Y with olive oil or cold pressed sweet almond oil along with some granulated sugar works good to exfoliate any dry and chapped lips, but lazy souls (like me) in this world need easy solution. Often I find a clean tooth brush or wash cloth working fine for exfoliating dry lips, but then it can get harsh and there is no conditioning of lips with this method.

Lip scrubs usually come in pots. I was intrigued by the idea of lip scrub in form of a lipstick. E.L.F is a very affordable drugstore brand and for $3 for this product, it was not too expensive to try.

Color: Clear with brow bits of granules suspended in it. 

Texture and Consistency: Grainy, rough yet not scratchy, thick, waxy stick

Scent and Flavor: It has no flavor or taste, but I do smell some vanilla mixed with oils. It is not unpleasant at all, but not amazing either. 

Application: I use as suggested. Apply on clean, damp lips and massage in a circular motion to exfoliate. Then use a moistened cotton pad with water to gently wipe away scrub. Follow with a lip balm or gloss to condition. 
Initially I applied it directly on dry lips and it did not work at all. The product was too dry and stiff to even move. It tugged the lips bad. Scrapping the tip of the product did help a bit. Using it on damp lips is the perfect way to go.

Feel and Effect on the lips: It is not too scratchy to begin with. The granules are gentle yet potent enough to buff off the dead skin on the lips without hurting or irritating. There is not tingling at all. I believe there are other new minty flavors in this range. They might have that minty tingle. Not this one though. This leaves the lips velvety smooth, soft and gets rid of the flaky, dry patches and crusty gross dead skin if any. The whole exfoliating process helps with increased circulation of blood flow towards the lips, in turn making it appear more plump. This effect is short lived. It is not a lip plumper. I do find that the product is not moisturizing enough to my liking, considering the number of good oils it has. I need to apply a lip balm after exfoliating. 

Packaging: The packaging is the best part. For $3, it is pretty sturdy. Snaps shuts and looks chic as well. It is well made.

Verdict: This is not my absolute favorite Lip exfoliator, but it is the most convenient one to carry. It does the job of scrubbing pretty well, but I do find it a little drying afterwards. Also, over scrubbing can lead to raw lips, causing it to peel more in the longer run. It is an OK product. Worth giving it a try. The most affordable one in the market so far. 

Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate Links

January 18, 2016

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (swatches)

I am not a liquid lipstick person. I have tried only one till date. I don't find them comfortable and they bother my already dry lips. I was at Sephora and swatched few shades of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Ayesha, Mother, Double Dare, Lovesick, Beloved, L.U.V, Susperia

Check swatches of Lolita (chestnut rose) and Lolita II (terra cotta nude) here. These are just in-store swatches and not a review. I personally do not own these, nor do I know anything about the longevity. The product was very creamy, not at all sticky or thick when I swatched it. These are just single swipes. Photos clicked by Iphone 6. 

Swatch of Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Ayesha, Mother, Double Dare, Lovesick, Beloved, L.U.V, Susperia (in-store swatches, different lighting)

Hope you enjoy these.

Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate Links

January 17, 2016

New in Beauty/Skincare

A bunch of new products both in Beauty and Skincare department. There is no stopping to the number of new releases.

Bobbi Brown came with three new masks. The names itself are pretty self explanatory. A great way to try all three is the Mini Mask Trio.

Trio includes:

Radiance Boost Mask (0.24 oz.)
Instant Detox Mask (0.24 oz.)
Skin Nourish Mask (0.24 oz.)

Kiehl's too released a bunch of new masks. 'Turmeric & Cranberry Seed' Energizing Radiance Masque is the one I want to try. Another one is 'Cilantro & Orange Extract' Pollutant Defending Masque.  These are all Nordstrom exclusive.

KEVYN AUCOIN The Creamy Glow
I love cream blushes. Just the packaging of these new ones look so cute!

Kat Von D Shade + Light Two Tone Blush. The shade and Light Contour palette by Kat Von D is the most popular contour palette and everyone loves the buttery, smooth formula of the powder. These two tone blushes look matte and if they are anything like her other popular powders, I would want to try.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash is a new addition to her line of ExfoliKates. The ingredient list is very impressive and I this is on my skincare wishlist.

Natasha Denona All Over Glow Face & Body Shimmer in Powder. Natasha Denona is a makeup artist and she has her line of makeup that everyone is raving about. I am curious to try her Hydrating Primer, though shimmer powder is very popular.

Then we have the Sephora Favorites.  

Sephora Favorites Quench Your Skin,  Sephora Favorites Cleansing Ritual To Go, Sephora Favorites
Hydration To Go, Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip. Out of all these the nude lip set is my absolute favorite. 

Anything catching your fancy?

Disclaimer: This post contains Affiliate Links

January 15, 2016

AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel (review)

A highly effective, botanical-based brightening exfoliator made without harsh ingredients. 

This highly effective, brightening exfoliator is activated by water to dissolve dead surface skin cells, eliminate toxins and even skin tone without harsh abrasiveness. It’s formulated to brighten and even skin tone while providing you with a soft, smooth complexion. Over time, it improves penetration of other treatment products due to the removal of dead cells which prevent the skin from absorbing.

 Formulated WITHOUT:
- Sulfates
- Petro-Chemicals
- Phthalates

This is one those awesome products that has reached Holy Grail status in my book. I had this product for the longest time, but I didn't give it a try simply because of the word 'enzyme peel'. I thought this would be some sort of harsh chemical exfoliating product. Peels usually makes skin photo sensitive, meaning more sensitive to sun and as I always struggle from hyper pigmentation, I just stayed away from them. 

This however has improved my skin to a very great extent. Sharing my two cents below.

Color: Pale yellow powder

Texture and Consistency: Soft, slightly grainy looking (but has no rough grains) powder

Scent: It has mild fresh scent. It is pleasant and not chemically. I read few reviews that mentioned this had no scent, but I could detect mild scent to it. Hypersensitive nose maybe. 

Application: I use this as a part of my night time skincare regime. I take a little more than 1/4th spoon of the product on wet palms. On rubbing the hands, the powder instantly suds up, creating a thin foamy lather. I massage it on my damp face for around 45 - 60 seconds. Then rinse it off with water.

Feel and Effect on skin: On application, the product itself feels super smooth, gentle and soft on the skin. There are no scrubbing beads, no harsh exfoliating grains nor any tingling or burning sensation. After washing off the product, the skin feels silky smooth and looks very fresh, glowy, radiant and bright. It does not dries the skin like crazy. I follow it with my choice of serum or oil.

Packaging: I have two sample size bottles. The regular size bottle is pretty much made of similar plastic that has a matte, rubberized feel to it. It has a different kind of dispenser that automatically dispenses the needed amount of product.

Verdict: This is not a harsh chemical peel. Don't be fooled by the name as I was. The product feels more like a foamy face cleanser. As this is to be massaged on skin for less than a minute, it is very time efficient and can be easily incorporated into any skincare regimen. It brightens the skin and I have been using it for quite sometime. It has helped me with my hyper pigmentation and I have seen considerable change in my skin tone as well as skin texture. My skin has become more even toned and does not appears patchy. The product contains papaya enzyme, papain. This natural enzyme exfoliates skin without irritation and removes the dead cells gently. The green tea and alantoin soothe the skin and protect against free radicals. 
I am super impressed with the product. It performs excellent!!

Another powder like micro exfoliant is from Dermalogica. It is a nice, gentle product, but this one is just way too good and the results are 'visible'.

Disclaimer: The post contains Affiliate Links

January 13, 2016

belif - The true cream - Aqua Bomb (review)

A gel-cream that 'floods' the skin with a rush of refreshing hydration and minimizes the appearance of pores for soft, smooth, supple skin for normal to combination skin types, including oily skin, and dry skin types looking for a lightweight moisturizer. 

Aqua Bomb is an ultra-lightweight, mineral oil-free gel-cream that instantly cools and refreshes skin while providing intensive hydration. This formula contains a blend of apothecary herbs, including antioxidant-rich lady's mantle, which helps neutralize skin-damaging free radicals, improves skin elasticity, and minimizes the appearances of pores. This refreshing cream is formulated to 'burst' when applied, releasing a flood of weightless moisture onto skin, and then absorb completely for a healthy, smooth, supple appearance. 

Formulated WITHOUT: 
- Parabens 
- Sulfates 
- Phthalates 

(as per the website)

I got two of these in two separate Sephora Favorites sets 'Soko to Tokyo' (haul) .The set had a bunch of Asian skincare products all from Japan and Korea. belif is a Korean brand. I have tried a tiny sample of the belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb and then I have tried this The true cream - Aqua Bomb. Yes, there are two of these. The aqua bomb targets normal to combination and oily skin while the Moisturizing bomb targets normal to dry skin.

Hydration vs Moisturization

Dehydrated skin literally means lack of hydration aka water. So products that contain water or humectants that attract more moisture and holds water molecules are to be used to combat the dehydrated skin condition. Hydration makes skin plump and supple.

Dry skin lacks oil. So it needs to be moisturized. Products containing emollients like different types of oils are needed to take care of the dry skin condition. Moisturizing makes skin soft, smooth and free of dry flaky areas. 

Often both these conditions overlap each other and it is always advisable to both hydrate and moisturize the skin. People with oily skin too get dehydrated.

Color: Pale Blue tint

Texture and Consistency: Light weight, mildly dense, opaque, slightly sticky, gel cream

Scent: It smells fresh, herbal more like men's shaving product (at least to my nose)

Application: I apply is on clean face, after applying my SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. I dab 4-5 dots on my face and rub it gently all over.

Feel and Effect on Skin: The product feels cool on skin. It spreads easily and is initially tacky. After about a minute it is absorbed completely. The skin feels very refreshed, just like one feels after splashing face with cold water. It is very soothing. The skin feels hydrated and plump and moisturized too, but later after an hour plus, I noticed my skin felt a bit dry. As if the whole water was evaporated and some more hydration/water was needed. It felt a bit stretched. I felt the need to apply some of my regular moisturizer that is more emollient.

For experimenting, I also used this beneath my Kiehl's Super Multi- corrective cream (review) as an added step and then i didn't feel the need to re-apply. I cannot completely credit the benefits to aqua bomb, but if used in conjugation with a heavier cream, this performed much much better.

The product did not break me out.

Packaging: It comes in a plastic jar and the twist screw top cap looks like magicians hat.

Verdict: The true cream - Aqua Bomb is a good product for oily skin or even for dry skin during hot and humid months or if light hydration is needed. It does not works completely as a stand alone moisturizer for my dry skin. Also, I personally like face oils and creams. So the level of moisture I expect is a bit high. It is very light weight and I enjoyed the way it felt on the skin for first hour or so. The whole experience was very calming and soothing.

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

January 11, 2016

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Lolita 1 & 2) swatch

I am not a liquid lipstick girl. I have tried only one till date. I don't find them comfortable and they bother my already dry lips. Other day I was at Sephora and these two girls kept talking about the Kat Von D liquid lipstick and how awesome they were. So out of curiosity I just swatched the two very popular colors from the brand. 

It is actually Lolita, but I don't know why I thought it was Lolita I

These are just in-store swatches and not a review. I personally do not own these, nor do I know anything about the longevity. The product was very creamy, not at all sticky or thick when I swatched it. These are just single swipes. The Iphone 6 camera cliked such good pictures, that I couldn't resist posting them.

Hope you enjoy these.

Disclaimer: I do not own these products. These are in-store tester swatches. The post contains Affiliate Link


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