My favorite under eye concealer!

Brightening up the area under one’s eyes is one of the key steps to look fresh and bright (unless you are one of the rare individuals with no under eye discoloration).. Even if I am going for a natural look, this is a step that I don’t skip.. I personally feel that evening out the under eye area instantly lifts the face and makes it more youthful.. You can see the difference in the image below… I look more awake and alive!

stepwise pics

Over the years, I have tried many concealers from MAC, Collection 2000, Loreal, Revlon, etc.. But the one I absolutely love using is the pair from Bobbi brown.. I use the corrector in the shade ‘peach’ and the creamy concealer in the shade ‘honey’… I particularly love the corrector..

IMG_0994 copy

IMG_1001 copy

IMG_0997 copy

Peachy-orange toned correctors work great on tanned skin since it counteracts bluish-purplish undertones which we frequently get under our eyes.. The depth of orange in the corrector depends on the extent of dark circle one has.. In general, the deeper the bluish-purplish tone, the more orange tone one needs in the corrector to balance out the skin tone.. For individuals with darker under eye circles, I would highly recommend the MAC studio finish skin corrector in the shades ‘burnt coral’ or ‘pure orange’ (I will do a separate review on that) or deeper tones of correctors from Bobbi brown..

IMG_1256 copy IMG_1258 copy

The shade of under eye concealer can either be something that matches your skin tone or a fraction lighter.. The powder that comes with the bobbi brown kit is ok.. nothing fancy.. But I love setting the concealer with the Ben Nye Banana powder.. It somehow gives a brightening effect.. 🙂

IMG_1261 copy

Although I have pictured the products with brushes from bobbi brown and eco tools, feel free to swap them with other brushes of choice.. I use other brushes from Real Techniques and Sigma too and they work equally well or better..

Have a wonderful rest of the week.. 🙂

Ben Nye Banana powder – Review!

A setting powder is very important especially for oily and combination skin types.. It doesn’t matter if you use a BB cream or tinted moisturizer or a foundation or just concealer.. Almost everybody needs to set these products with a powder…

I recently purchased the Ben Nye Banana luxury powder after reading reviews and hearing people rave about it on YouTube.. In the USA, its relatively hard to find this product.. I purchased this on Amazon.com for USD $19.00 (1.5 oz of product).. The Ben Nye luxury powder comes in several shades to choose from – ranging from very fair to deep ebony skin… You will most likely find one for your skin tone..

The powder comes in a plastic container that’s easy to travel with.. It has a sifter at the top which enables you to get a small amount of product for use.. I would recommend to close the cap and then invert the container.. This will result in a small amount coming out of the container… and this is usually sufficient for me to set my under eye concealer.. If you need larger amounts, just be careful when you tilt the container since a lot of powder can come out at a time, especially when the container is full..

IMG_1107 copy IMG_1110 copy

The shade ‘Banana’ is a good yellow-based finely milled powder that leaves a matte finish on the skin.. It does not settle into fine lines and does not have any issues of white cast when using flash photography.. It helps brighten my NC40-NC42 skin without looking too light and is almost invisible on the skin.. (Note: Skin on my hands is a few shades darker than my face)..

IMG_1111 copy IMG_1114 copy IMG_1115 copy IMG_1117 copy

You can see in the images above that the powder blended in seamlessly without an ashy look.. Also, in the last image using flash, it does not have a white cast like most setting powders.. MUFE HD powder is notorious for that..

The amount of powder that comes in the container should last me atleast for a couple of years, if not more.. Overall, its a product I reach for on an almost daily basis.. A big thumbs UP from me.. 🙂

I would recommend trying it if you are running out of a setting powder and would like to try something new..

Contour product by MAC for NC40-42..

My friend Rachna (http://www.youtube.com/user/shamin771) asked me for a product recommendation for contouring.. So, here is a blog post dedicated to the contour product I love.. I am on the constant hunt for the best contour product, esp for my skin tone (NC40-NC42) since I don’t want to look too brown or muddy – that’s what most products tend to do anyways…. and hence, I think most people struggle to find a good contouring product on medium – tan skin tones..

Of all the products I have tried so far,  MAC Sculpting powder in ‘Shadowy’ has worked the best for me.. atleast until I find something better.. 😉

IMG_0457 copy

Image: MAC Sculpting powder in ‘Shadowy’…

It doesn’t look fancy and comes in a simple pan.. Costs USD $16.50 on the MAC website and contains 6gms of product.. Its available in 4 other colors for various skin tones ranging from pale to deep..

I keep it in a UNII palette to keep it sanitary (you could also use a Z palette for storing this).. This shade in ‘Shadowy’ is the perfect blend of brown with grey (as shown in image below) for tanned, olive skin tones and is perfect for contouring.. Most products I have used prior to this were either not pigmented enough or more so often, not grey enough.. They end up looking too warm on the skin and do not provide a good contour effect – in the end, the skin looks more bronzed than sculpted..

IMG_0459 copy

This product can be used anywhere on the face since it has a matte finish – I typically use it in the hollows of my cheek (rather try to create them ;-)), on the sides of my nose, top of the forehead (since I have a wide forehead) and along my jaw line (to hide that nasty double/triple chin!)..

IMG_0462 copy

I use a Real Techniques contour brush for application around my face and use a small eyeshadow blending brush to contour my nose.. The product is well pigmented.. Just be careful with the amount you apply.. be light handed and blend well with the surrounding skin..

When used with a setting spray, it stays put all day on my combination-oily skin.. Nice product that holds up to its claim.. 🙂

Liebster Award Tag!!

I am so excited to share that I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Cheyenne.. Thank you once again Cheyenne for the tag.. You can read more from Cheyenne at http://confessionsofamixedbeauty.wordpress.com/

The Liebster award is not really an Award/Trophy but is more of a tag where a fellow blogger chooses 10 bloggers (with under 200 followers) who they think is worthy of more subscribers..

So, she tagged me as one such blogger.. In turn, I have to answer Cheyenne’s questions and choose 10 other bloggers with less than 200 followers who are worth reading and have them answer questions I come up with.. It’s basically like passing on the torch..  🙂

Here are the questions Cheyenne asked:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I basically needed an outlet for my madness for makeup & skin care but did not have people around who shared this passion to the same extent as mine.. Also, I found that there was a dearth of information for women of color, especially for olive-tanned skin tone.. Since there wasn’t much out there, I wanted to try and help others who have/had similar questions and share what I knew.. and so, I started blogging!

2.What has been the most difficult thing about blogging? the easiest?

The most difficult thing about blogging is finding your own style of writing and keeping it fresh for readers.. Also, the time one has to invest in blogging is way more than one anticipates! 😉

The easiest thing about blogging is that you are writing about what you love! That makes it easy and fun.. I am constantly learning new things..  🙂

3. Do you have a favorite beauty brand?

Quite a few actually.. depends on the category of product though.. Overall, I really like Make Up For Ever, MAC, NARS and Inglot..

4. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I would love to travel across Europe, especially to Denmark since people there are supposed to be the happiest on earth and also to Ireland – I fell in love with after watching P.S. I Love You!

5. What is your favorite store ?

For Cosmetics, Sephora since there are so many brands under one roof and I like their BI and VIB program..

6. What is the best beauty tip you have?

Instead of buying different colored eye liners, just buy a multi-color eyeshadow palette like the ones from BH cosmetics or ELF or coastal scents (anything cheap) and a soft black eyeliner.. Line your top lashline with the pencil and smudge it.. Apply the eyeshadow of choice over the black liner and voila, you’ll have a colored eye liner.. Or you could swap the black liner and get Duraline from Inglot and convert any eyeshadow into a liquid eyeliner that doesn’t budge!

7. What is your favorite beauty trick?

After applying foundation, wipe over your eyebrows with a cotton bud dipped in a bit of water.. It’ll remove the excess foundation stuck in your brows.. You’ll be amazed at how much better your brows look just by doing this! This works best on darker brows..

8. What is one product you couldn’t live without?

Concealer!

9. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

Living with my grandparents during holidays.. 🙂

10. If you had to eat the same thing every day for a year what would you choose?

Seafood! Anything with seafood! I love seafood! Did I mention Seafood?!! 😉

Another food I can live with eating every day would be an omelette! Yummy…

11. Where do you buy most of your beauty products?

Mostly online (for products out of my reach) and Sephora..

I really enjoyed answering these questions.. and now for the toughest part, finding 10 other bloggers with <200 followers!

I am tagging the following bloggers for the Liebster Award..

1. http://www.kofykat.com/

2. http://bugsbeautyblog.com/

3. http://perptualprogress.wordpress.com/

4. http://themakeupmanual.com/

5. http://zoegirlbeauty.wordpress.com/

6. http://indianbeautybox.wordpress.com/

7. http://planetfemmina.com/

8. http://gatorglamgirl.wordpress.com/

9. http://redlipstickandbeautyspots.wordpress.com/

10. http://scribblewithliner.wordpress.com/

and the Questions I am asking are: 

1. What is your style of makeup?

2. What is your favorite makeup product?

3. How often do you wash your makeup brushes?

4. What is your favorite skin care product?

5. Why did you start blogging?

6. What is your favorite season? and Why?

7. What inspires you (makeup related)?

8. What is your profession?

9. Amongst Bollywood/Hollywood actresses, whose makeup do you admire the most?

10. What do you love about makeup?

My favorite concealer (for the face) in the whole wide world..!!

I am a concealer freak.. I said it! I have tried countless number of concealers from different brands… always had something missing in one versus the other..

Concealer was probably the first makeup product that I ever purchased! Even as a teenager, I would always wear a concealer on problem areas.. Even today, on days that I want to look absolutely natural, I stick to concealer and setting powder.. It is a must-have for me on a daily basis..

I have tried sooo many and I finally struck gold when I found the Make Up For Ever full cover concealer about 4 years ago.. They are on the pricier side ($32) but I have not run out of my first tube even 4 years down the line! The product is worth it and I feel that the price is completely justified given how long these last…

These come in 12 shades as of today and are very pigmented.. a small amount goes a looooooong way with these! I have three colors that I mix and match depending on my skin tone across different seasons.. I use them primarily to cover up acne scarring and fresh acne/zits.. I will not recommend these for under eye area as these can be quite drying and cakey for that purpose…

IMG_5369 copy

MUFE Full Cover concealers! I really enjoy the squeeze out tube packaging.. its great to take only the amount one needs.. The tip of the tube is extremely fine which enables me to take out the tiniest amount of concealer.. This prevents wastage and is a big bonus for me..

IMG_5370 copy

L to R: Shades 6, 7 and 8…

IMG_5372 copy

Top to Bottom: 8, 7 & 6..

IMG_5374 copy

L to R: Shades 6, 7 and 8…

These concealers are oil-free which is excellent for my combination-oily skin.. Its also waterproof which makes it great to wear year round and in various weather conditions.. It lasts all day on me with no touch-ups..

I hate it when concealers leave a shiny look to the face.. it almost completely defeats the purpose of concealing! The MUFE concealers give complete coverage and leave a matte finish on the skin.. I believe these can also cover Tattoos! Thats how pigmented these are.. 😉

Just be careful and try to work fast with this product because this does tend to dry up or set on the skin quite soon.. I usually squeeze out a tiny amount at a time on the back of my hand and work with it.. and add more if needed.. that way, the product doesn’t have enough time to dry out on the hand..

In conclusion, this is a must have for me and I will continue to repurchase this product…

 

Ooh la la.. NARS blush in Taj mahal.. ;-)

Hey guys, I am so excited to finally lay my hands on NARS blush in the color “Taj Mahal”.. YES! It’s literally called Taj Mahal which is originally the famous white marble monument in India which is breathtaking.. Although the blush is not white in color (and thank god for that!), its a gorgeous orange blush that I didn’t have in my collection.. well, not any more.. 🙂

This blush retails for $29.oo USD and is sold on the NARS website and online at Nordstrom & Saks fifth avenue .. It is not sold in stores carrying NARS cosmetics (Sephora, Nordstrom, Saks fifth avenue).. The NARS website describes this blush as a “Blazing burnt orange with golden shimmer” and they couldn’t be more right about this color..

The blush comes in typical NARS packaging with black velvet-like plastic container with a mirror inside.. There is a ton of product inside – 4.8g! – it’ll surely last me forever..

This shade is flattering on many skin tones, especially medium to dark skin tones..

IMG_0415 copy IMG_0419 copy

IMG_0423 copy

This picture does the best in terms of showing you the true color of the blush..

IMG_0425 copy IMG_0426 copy

Top: Heavy Swatch

Bottom: Blended out

Taj Mahal is a deep orange blush with a golden sheen to it.. You can notice this in the swatches above.. This sheen makes for a good natural highlight on the cheekbones when using this blush.. This highlight looks more like a golden sheen and you don’t see glitter on the face.. The orange tone in the blush makes it a very good summer blush..

IMG_0430 copy

IMG_1031 copy

Here’s me with a light touch of the blush.. It looks lovely especially when light hits and reflects off the finely milled golden shimmer in the blush.. Like all NARS blushes, Taj mahal is very pigmented and lighter skin gals would have to be light handed during application..

IMG_1033 copy IMG_1035 copy IMG_1036 copy

IMG_1039 copy IMG_1042 copy

More pictures demonstrating the orange hue and the golden sheen in the blush.. I hope you all are enjoying the summer..

P.S. Ignore my bare eyes..

Other products on face : NARS velvet lip pencil in Damned, MUFE concealer in #7, Brow powder, Bobbi brown corrector & concealer and setting powder..

Sunny eyes.. ;-)

IMG_1321 copy

Here’s a look that’s quite summery.. wont you say? 😉

It uses colors inspired by the season around us – Summer! I have used yellow and different tones and textures of orange.. Also, a hint of brown to achieve this look.. So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Prime your eyelids.. I used NARS eye primer all over my eyelid- you can replace this with any other primer that works for you or no primer if you are lucky to have dry eyelids.. I had already filled in my brows and added concealer to my under eye area at this stage..

IMG_1269 copy

Step 2: I added Maybelline color tattoo in fierce & Tangy to the lid area using my ring finger.. I took care about not taking the color into the crease..

IMG_1271 copy IMG_1272 copy IMG_1273 copy

Step 3: Next, I added Bamm! shade (Yellow) from Sleek palette Ultra matts V1 on top of the orange that you added in Step 2.. I used a flat shader brush by Sigma (E55 )..

IMG_1274 copy

IMG_1276 copy

Step 4: I then added Strike (orange) shade from Sleek palette Ultra matts V1 to outer corner and into the crease using the same E55 brush by Sigma..

IMG_1277 copy

IMG_1278 copy

Blend the orange color above the crease till there are no harsh edges – I used Sigma E25 brush.. Blend, blend, blend.. 🙂

IMG_1281 copy IMG_1286 copy

Step 5: Add MAC eyeshadow in Saffron into the crease for added depth.. I used Sephora Pro Precision Crease Brush #17 to add color and Sephora Pro Crease Brush #10 to blend..

IMG_1289 copy IMG_1290 copy

Step 6: Add the brown shade (#4) from Avon palette in Sandy corals to add Depth to the crease.. I used the Sephora Pro Crease Brush #10 to blend..

IMG_1294 copy IMG_1295 copy

Step 7: Add the cream shade (#1) from Avon palette in Sandy corals to the brow bone as brow highlight..

IMG_1296 copy IMG_1297 copy

Step 8: Add Bamm! to inner corner and first half of  lower lashline..

Step 9: Add Strike to outer portions of  lower lashline..

IMG_1300 copy

Step 10: Add Urban Decay ‘Perversion’ eye pencil to both top and bottom waterline..

IMG_1301 copy

IMG_1304 copy

Step 11: I added Clinique gel liner in ‘true black’ to my top lash line and extended it ever so slightly..

IMG_1307 copy   IMG_1308 copy IMG_1309 copy

Step 12: I then curled my lashes using Shu Uemura eye lash curler and added Loreal voluminous million lashes mascara to top and bottom lashes..

IMG_1311 copy IMG_1312 copy IMG_1313 copy

IMG_1314 copy

IMG_1315 copy

Voila.. you are done! You can always make this look more glamorous by adding some false lashes..

Here are some pictures of the completed look..

IMG_1327 copy IMG_1328 copy

  • Indoor lights

IMG_1319 copy IMG_1316 copy

  • In Natural light..

Note: You can replace the eyeshadows with any similar color you may have.. You do not need to use the exact same colors to achieve a similar look..

How to create a defined eye without an eyeliner..

Here’s a secret to make your eyes look more put-together without a pile of makeup on.. Nobody will notice you have any liner on!

I always use this method to make my eyes look defined, yet without looking too made up… esp when I am in a rush with no time for eye makeup… The secret is to tight line the upper lash line.. which basically translates to lining the upper lash line usually with kohl or powder..

Here, I am showing a pictorial on how to define your eyes using a black eyeshadow and a flat definer / liner brush (Sigma E15)…

Here’s what you’ll need..

IMG_1006 copy

A black eyeshadow (Eyeshadow I used is Inglot #  80.. You can use any black/dark brown eyeshadow..) Black gives the best results since it gives volume to your lashes..

IMG_1007 copy

and… a definer / flat shadow brush

Before picture.. with under eye concealer..

IMG_1005 copy

After:

IMG_1008 copy IMG_1010 copy

Here’s the finished effect.. You can see that the lash line immediately looks much more fuller and there is no noticeable line above your lashline.. All I did was dip the edge of the brush in the eyeshadow and wiggle it between my lashes from the bottom of the lashline – you are trying to fill in the spaces between the lashes..  {Try not to poke yourself in the eye when doing it the first few times.. ;-)}

This is also a great trick to make lashes look thicker for beginners who find a hard time with brushes and gel/liquid liners..

You can add a coat of mascara (I haven’t added any since I didn’t want to take away from the effect of tight lining alone) and you’re all set to go.. 😉

I hope this was helpful.. Have a great day!