Happy Birthday Beautylashes19.. :-)

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(Image from http://www.anulaskitchen.com/2009/10/first-birthday.html)

Yes, Beautylashes is one year old… Can’t believe it’s been one whole year since Beautylashes19 started! It’s been such an amazing journey.. I can’t believe I’ve been chit-chatting / blogging for one whole year! Wow.. It’s so much fun when one writes about what one enjoys.. I love reviewing products for you and creating new makeup looks.. I haven’t found much time this past year with makeup looks since it has been my last year in University as a student and it has been extremely busy.. However, I am sure the upcoming year will be more than fruitful.. 🙂

I hope beautylashes19 has many more birthdays and grows each year.. I want to thank each one of you for supporting me throughout this initial phase of me trying to learn the ways of blogging.. As a thank you, I will plan to do a small giveaway for my blog followers – probably sometime in June/July.. Watch out for that..

THANK YOU once again.. I am truly grateful.. 🙂

Much love,

Sneha (Did you know my name meant love) 😉

All about my skin care routine (combination-oily skin)…

Image from http://thestylerundown.com/10-steps-for-spring-ready-skin/

I’ve had my mind on this post for a while now and I finally get around to writing it! It’s a post about my skin type and how I combat the problems I come across.. But first some basics on skin! Don’t worry.. its not a long, boring lecture.. I want us to understand the basic principles of skin before we treat it…

Our skin is the largest organ in our body that protects us from external agents.. So, its of utmost importance that we take good care of it.. Of the many things on our skin, its the sebaceous glands that produce a substance called sebum, skin’s natural lubricant.. It acts as a film on our skin and is important in retaining moisture.. However, uncontrolled sebum production can lead to skin problems such as blackheads, clogged pores, pimples, visible pores and rough skin which are all commonly associated with combination – oily skin type..

A lot of us folks with combination to oily skin often try to combat oil production or appearance of oil on our skin and hope that all other problems associated will disappear.. Majority of the people take the harsher way out – they literally strip the natural oils/sebum from the skin by using harsh products on their skin.. This in turn, leads to more oil production and flaky, dry skin patches.. which is not a pretty sight..

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Picture from http://www.lucilleroberts.com/blog/beauty/tips-for-younger-looking-skin

I have some solutions that have worked for me.. These may or may not work for you since each person’s skin reacts differently to various products.. My approach is simple… I prefer to treat my skin with mild, gentle products and provide moisture (even if doesn’t seem to make sense for oily skin)…

Step 1: Take off all your makeup! Even if it’s late at night and you are all tired… This step is very important and should not be skipped.. I love using Purity by philosophy or Shiseido balancing cleansing oil to take off all my makeup.. If you really are super exhausted, the least you could do is take a makeup removing wipe and get rid of as much makeup as possible..

Step 2: Use a toner appropriate for your skin type.. I vary my toner depending on the seasons.. In dry winters, I don’t use a toner or use a very mild one.. I really like refreshing, spray on toners… Some good ones are Murad Essential-C toner and Lush breath of fresh air skin toner.. In the warmer months, I switch to more minty, eucalyptus kinda clean scent toners.. One such toner I enjoy is the Murad clarifying toner.. But, I really keep a watch on my skin and use one vs the other…

Step 3: Add serum and moisturizer... I use serum for lightening my acne scars that are left behind from hormonal breakouts.. I love using Embryolisse Anti-Dark Spot Lightening serum or Origins Mega bright skin tone correcting serum.. I let that sink into my skin for a few minutes and then top it off with a moisturizer.. I love the Embryolisse line of moisturizers.. I use the Embryolisse lait creme concentre in colder months and switch to using the Embryolisse hydra mat during warmer months.. Some days, all I need is serum and I’m good to go to the next step!

Step 4: Add an eye cream… I switch them up but currently I am trying out the Origins plantscription anti-ageing eye treatment… One I loved in the past is Origins GinZing eye cream…

Step 5: Add a lip conditioner/balm.. I absolutely love and swear by Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream skin protectant! I couldn’t be without this product…

Step 6 (night time only): Add anti-blemish products on your troublesome areas.. I use the Origins out of trouble mask and Glamglow supermud clearing treatment as overnight spot treatment and these work decently..

Step 7 (mornings only): Apply sunscreen! I cannot emphasize the importance of using sunscreen enough.. Your skin will thank you when its older.. 🙂 Trust me on that.. I love using Shiseido Ultra skin protection lotion.. It does NOT make your skin oily unlike most sunscreens! Also, using a sunscreen will prevent uneven pigmentation and deep acne scarring..

Once a week, I try to indulge in some form of face mask treatment.. I try to be regular with this but kinda don’t find time every week for it.. I use any of the Origins or Glamglow masks or even drugstore masks with clay in it during warmer months.. In winter, I prefer using enzyme masks such as the one by Philosophy (one minute purifying enzyme peel)… An all-time favorite face mask is the Dr. Jart+ pore purifying mask! I highly recommend this one.. I use it for special occasions..

Also, 1-2 times a week, I use a face scrub or Clarisonic (with purity by philosophy) to take away the dead skin cells.. The scrub I am enjoying using is MAC volcanic ash exfoliater.. Origins modern friction is a milder scrub for individuals with sensitive skin..

Few product I love to use after my makeup for controlling oil production throughout the day are the Skindinavia no more shine makeup finish setting spray (http://beautylashes19.com/2013/10/16/favorite-makeup-setting-spray/) and MAC skin refined zone (Full review will follow later)..

Also, every time I am in India, I make sure I get as much facials as possible.. When I lived back in Mumbai, I would have the luxury of getting facials at home every month! It really helps flushing the skin of toxins and giving it a youthful glow.. I can’t wait for one of my favorite Youtubers Lisa Eldridge (http://www.lisaeldridge.com/) to make a video on her facial massage routine! I could then incorporate it into my skin care routine!

and finally, be hydrated! Drink atleast 2-3 litres of water.. It helps in cleansing your body and flushes out toxins.. A well hydrated skin has a natural glow to it..

I hope this article was helpful in some way! Cheers.. Have a great rest of the week…

P.S. Having oily skin has its benefits too.. You are more likely to have younger looking skin at a later age compared to your dry or normal skin pals.. 🙂 So, stop hating it and embrace what you have/are born with.. 🙂

Hush hush.. I am attending the Sephora VIB rouge special event this Sunday at my local Sephora! Excited…

Empties – Face and Body products..

Here’s what I have been hoarding up in my Apt!! Had to get these out soon before my hubby goes crazy.. 😉

So, here’s presenting my empties for body and face products.. I have used up quite a few products and I am really happy about some of them and not so happy about some.. Let’s see which of these made it to my re-purchasing list.. Shall we?

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L to R: Back row – St Ives Oatmeal and Shea butter body wash, De-luxe Aloe Vera and Glycerin body wash, Avon soft and sensual body lotion, Bliss body butter in lemon and sage, Hand sanitizer & Avon hand cream (Christmas edition from 2012??!)

Of all these body products, I really enjoyed the St Ives Oatmeal and Shea butter body wash in Fall & winter.. Its quite hydrating for my skin.. De-luxe Aloe Vera and Glycerin body wash was quite refreshing with a minty scent (which I love) but did not fare well in the dry months.. It works fine for summer.. I really enjoyed the Avon soft and sensual body lotion.. it has a great scent and I would always get asked what I had on when I used it.. 😉

Of these, I plan to repurchase St Ives Oatmeal and Shea butter body wash and Avon soft and sensual body lotion some time in the future once I run out of all the lotions and body washes I own already!

I redeemed my Sephora points for Bliss body butter in lemon and sage.. It was ok and although I liked the fresh lemon-ey scent, I don’t get the big deal about it.. The sanitizer worked fine and the Avon hand cream was a gift from my dear friend.. It worked well on my hands.. 🙂

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L to R: Purity by Philosophy, Body shop Tea tree toner, Origins Zero oil toner, Murad Essential C-toner & Murad Clarifying toner..

I have gone through many bottles of Purity by Philosophy and will continue to purchase it.. It’s a staple in my skincare.. The Body shop Tea tree toner & Origins Zero oil toner were ok.. nothing exceptional.. The ‘Zero oil’ toner kinda made certain areas of my face dry.. I will not be repurchasing these..

Murad toners are great! I use the Essential C-toner predominantly in the cooler months.. The mist is sooo refreshing.. The clarifying toner works well in warmer months.. I still have a few bottles of these to go through.. So, I’ll not need to purchase any toner for quite a while now..

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L to R: Shiseido cotton pads (2), Sephora soft touch cotton pads, MAC brush cleanser, Loreal oil free eye makeup remover, Skindinavia No more shine setting spray, Lancome Bi-facil makeup remover, Loreal Skin genesis serum, Tarte lip surgence in Envy, Ren revitalizing night cream, Seche Vite dry fast top coat, Bobbi brown  hydrating eye cream, Origins GinZing eye cream & Clinique all about eyes eye cream…

I love my Shiseido and Sephora cotton pads and will continue to repurchase them.. The MAC brush cleanser was ok.. I find other replacements that may be marginally better, especially at taking off cream products from brushes.. 😉

The Loreal oil free eye makeup remover is quite gentle on my eyes and takes off most / all makeup off my face.. I used this before I switches to Bioderma! The Skindinavia No more shine setting spray is my favorite setting spray in Summer.. It is a must have for me.. The Lancome Bi-facil makeup remover was ok.. I used it on some days when I wore waterproof eye makeup and the Loreal eye makeup remover wouldn’t take it all off..

Loreal Skin genesis serum is something I did not enjoy at all.. It didn’t seem to do anything to my skin.. The Tarte lip surgence in Envy is my favorite and I will always have back-ups of it.. Ren revitalizing night cream was ok – I used it up by using it on my neck.. 🙂

Seche Vite dry fast top coat just dried up!! I couldn’t get complete use out of it.. I am looking for a replacement for this one.. So, do let me know if you have a recommendation for a good fast drying top coat.. The Bobbi brown  hydrating eye cream was quite good.. It worked well at hydrating the under eye area.. but I cannot justify the price.. Hence, I will not be repurchasing it..

Origins GinZing eye cream is fantastic! I love a multi-functional product and this is clearly one.. I love that it hydrates, takes care of dark circles and best of all, eliminates puffiness! It was a hit for me & I will be repurchasing this once I go through the many eye cream/samples I have..

Clinique all about eyes eye cream worked fine for hydrating under eye area but I did not notice any significant change in terms of  dark circles & puffiness.. This product was a miss for me..

All-time Favorite face moisturizer..

Just wanted to let you all know that I’ll be posting only about 2 articles per week since I am only a month away from submitting my dissertation for my PhD degree.. So, I am super busy with last minute experiments and trying to write and wrap things up.. So, please bear with me…

Let’s get on with today’s blog post on my favorite face moisturizer..

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It is with great love that I talk about my favorite moisturizer of all time… It’s the Embryolisse Lait-creme concentre! It is considered a nourishing moisturizer that suits all skin types.. It was first created in 1950 by a dermatologist in a hospital in Paris, France.. It was instantly taken up by the medical profession and today has millions of devotees..

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It is based on the philosphy of providing the skin with its essential requirements.. It is a great blend of natural ingredients (vitamins A,D,E,B, essential amino acids & fatty acids, shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera and soy proteins) and dermatologically active ingredients such as collagen and hyaluronic acid.. All these together act like a nourishing sap, saturating the skin with water and leaving it healthy, soft and toned.. It accelerates skin renewal and skin is visibly smoother and re-pulped.. It claims to make even the driest, most sensitive skin feel well and truly pampered.. !! It has been dermalogically tested to minimize the likelihood of allergy..

It truly sinks into the skin each time I use it.. I use only about a dime size for my entire face and neck.. I gently massage it in and wait 5-10mins for it to soak into my skin before I add sunscreen.. the texture is not thick.. It’s almost of a lotion consistency once it gets warmed up on your fingers.. It literally melts into your skin.. however, start with a small amount.. I see a lot of people use too much and complain that it gets greasy.. Trust me, if I can use it with my oily-combination skin, most people can! It’s just a matter of using a small amount at a time.. A tiny amount goes a long way… One tube lasted me for a little over a year (granted I don’t use it in the warmer months)!

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A tiny amount to my clean hands.. 

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Results in healthy, glowing skin… the product gets absorbed into the skin in a few mins.. 

I love it as a moisturizer for my normal-combination-oily skin! Yes, my skin changes quite a bit from spring to summer to Fall to winter.. In the Fall & winter, my skin is normal on my cheeks and dry around my mouth, tips of nose and sometimes, beginning of forehead.. I use this moisturizer every time my skin needed added moisture, which is every day in Fall and winter… As warmer weather approaches, I switch it for my Embryolisse Emulsion hydra-mat version which is more geared at controlling and absorbing excess oil..

It costs $16 for 1 oz of product and $28 for 2.6 oz of product.. I don’t detect any particular scent to it.. It can be used on all ages and all skin types, on women, children, babies and on men post shaving! It is also meant to be used as a cleanser, a primer, makeup remover, as a beauty mask (in a thick layer) or as an after-sun care product..

Overall, a fantastic product and a staple in my skincare routine.. The only con I can think of is the packaging.. I dislike the metal tin tube which is difficult to squeeze as the product runs out.. Other than that, none! 🙂

Have you tried this product? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you.. 🙂

Disclaimer: Part of this information is from the product brochure..

One step cleanser to remove makeup and clean your skin..

Hey Guys, Happy Friday! Today, I am sharing with you all my thoughts on the highly rated Shu Uemura high performance balancing cleansing oil advanced formula..

Off of Shu Uemura’s website – “Evolved from the original shu uemura cleansing oil, “Classic” is reformulated with an advanced High Performance Cleansing Oil system for significantly improved removability of waterproof make-up.”

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I had purchased this cleanser a while back when I ordered the Shu Uemura eye lash curler and had kept it aside.. I just couldn’t get myself to try oil cleanser on my already oily-combination skin.. It did not make any sense to me, then.. 😉

However, I was in India for my wedding and thereafter for about 6 weeks and I came back to the US to witness the worst winter I’ve been through.. My regular skincare could only keep up so much.. I noticed dry patches on my skin and had the dry, dehydrated, stretchy feeling.. Concealer and powder would stick to these patches and look sooo uneven.. I absolutely hated it..

On accident, while I was cleaning up, my eyes laid upon the oil cleanser I had kept aside.. So, I tried it and fell in love with it! I replaced my favorite cleanser (Purity by Philosophy) and makeup remover (Bioderma) for this miracle oil.. Firstly, it eliminated one extra step – one step of oil cleansing not only takes off my makeup but also cleanses my skin! I absolutely love that.. Secondly, for some odd reason I don’t like putting water on my face on some (read most) evenings/nights… 😉 So, often I would just clean my face with the Bioderma makeup remover.. and go directly to moisturizer & serum and go to bed.. However, using this oil somehow makes me WANT to wash my face every single night in over 2.5 months (except 1 day when I was extremely tired).. and that’s a sure record.. It works probably because the first step is dry – in the sense that it doesn’t need water.. All you do is massage a small amount of the cleansing oil into your skin and see the makeup melt away.. The second step is to add water and remove all that makeup off your face – the oil now turns milky and comes off leaving behind clean skin..

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This is how liquid-ey the product is..

I love how my skin looks and feels.. Even in this harsh weather, it keeps my skin healthy and moisturized.. no more dry patches, especially in combination with the rest of my skin care! And surprisingly, the product is not at all greasy or sticky.. The feel is almost, dare I say, water-like.. very thin and light.. Another great feature of this product is that I do not need to use a toner after using this cleansing oil.. I, of course had to try it once and ended up with a clean cotton pad at the end… It doesn’t have any particular scent (at least not something I can detect).. This may be useful for individuals with sensitive skin..

The product costs $31 for 1 bottle of 150ml.. but I use such a small amount at a time that one bottle will last me for over 6 months.. You can see how little I have used up in the past 10 weeks – hence I feel the price is justified considering that it saves time and replaces two-three other expensive products.. In addition, the bottle comes with a pump! YAY..

I plan to continue using this cleansing oil into summer.. I will try and see if it makes my skin prone to producing more or less oil in summer.. Overall, this product is gonna be a stable in my skincare especially during the winter months.. I love it and give it a 5/5 rating.. 🙂

Here’s the product in action:

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Eyeliner scribbled on hand as a test model.. 🙂

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Rub some cleaning oil and massage into skin.. See how the black eyeliner is no longer visible.. It just looks like a grey-black lotion on hand.. This is true for any makeup in contact with the cleansing oil.. 🙂

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Add water to the hand.. the oil turns into a milky lotion..

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Wash off and pat dry.. Voila.. beautiful, clean skin.. 🙂

Mission De-potting and de-cluttering!

Hey guys,

I had mentioned last week how I had decided to de-pot a bunch of eyeshadows and blushes into the Z-palettes.. So, here’s what I did..

I had quite a few single eyeshadows/quads/trios/duos from brands such as MAC, NYX, Revlon, Wet and Wild, Loreal & Maybelline.. I also had three blushes from MAC that I wanted to de-pot.. All of these were occupying quite some space, especially considering their packaging.. It was getting difficult to remember what shades I had and hence I wasn’t using some of these products much.. So, I decided to de-pot these and store them in one place so its easier for me to see what I have and use them more frequently.. I also ended up rearranging my neutral eyeshadows from different brands like MAC and MUG and stored them in one Z-palette.. These are my most worn eyeshadows..

I was very pleased with what I ended up with..

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Can you imagine all these individual packs in my vanity area.. ???

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These have now been downsized to this.. 🙂

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My Neutral palette – Up close in a Z-palette pro..

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My de-potted drugstore eyeshadows + 1 inglot blush on the far right bottom..

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The MAC blushes were de-potted into the MAC blush palette..

Hope you all are having a great week.. Have you de-potted and down sized your vanity recently?

Dupe for MAC 217 brush..

Hello fellas,

Happy Friday! We’ve all heard the fuss over Mac 217 blending brush.. It’s known to be a great brush for not only applying color but also for blending out the eye shadows.. I personally adore this brush and is perfect in size and shape for its purpose.. The bristles are dense enough to pick up enough eye shadow to give good intensity and color payoff.. Also, the shape of the brush is great for blending out eye shadows.. However, it’s the price that doesn’t fit well with me..

Here, I am presenting a cheaper alternative to the MAC 217 brush.. It’s the E25 from Sigma… For price comparison, the Mac 217 costs $24 whereas the Sigma E25 costs only $12 – 50% less!

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Top to bottom: Sigma E25, MAC 217

The funny part is that I’ve had the E25 for a much longer time (3-4 years) compared to MAC 217 that I got last month! However, I couldn’t imagine them to be dupes because each time I would wash the E25 it would lose its original shape (which was identical to Mac 217 upon purchase) and become more splayed resulting in a larger surface area.. It still worked well for blending out colors over a larger area on the eye but not for applying crease color..

What changed my mind about the E25 is the brush guard which costs under $10.. It is probably the best $10 I have spent for a set of brush guards.. After washing, all you have to do is insert a brush guard onto the brush and it makes them go back to their original shape! So each time I wash the E25 and use a brush guard, it comes out looking like the Mac 217 and functioning like one.. Visually, the only difference I can see between the two brushes is that E25 is a bit slimmer at the base compared to MAC 217..

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L to R: MAC 217, Sigma E25

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L to R: MAC 217, Sigma E25 side view

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L to R: MAC 217, Sigma E25 Front view

EMPTIES – Hair products..

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L to R: Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo, Bumble and bumble thickening shampoo, Bumble and bumble thickening conditioner, Bumble and bumble thickening shampoo and Organix Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask..

The Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo is my life saver every winter! It helps me with dandruff that creeps up each time winter hits midwest! I will continue to re-purchase this product.. It costs $17-$18 for 7 fl oz..

I wanted to try the Bumble and bumble line of hair care for a while now.. These are highly over-priced products at $24 for 8 oz of shampoo and $26 for 8 oz of conditioner.. The shampoo is good and it really helps with adding volume to hair.. However, I cannot justify the cost.. The conditioner is ok and can be replaced with other cheaper ones.. I will not be buying any more of these and will use up the remaining ones I have..

Organix Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask was a good mask considering that it was only $8 for the tub of 8 oz.. I am not sure of any repairing properties but it sure made my hair soft and manageable and smelt good.. 🙂  I will consider repurchasing it in the future..

Beautylish Haul..

Happy Monday guys.. Over the past few weekend, I have been taking a long hard look at my vanity and realized that I can get some order in place if I de-potted some of my single eye shadows and eye shadow sets.. So, I ordered some stuff on Beautylish website – they are so prompt with shipping and have great customer care.. I recommend trying them out if you haven’t already!

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I love the cute, personalized messages Beautylish sends out each time I order something from them.. Just another step to make the customer feel special.. 🙂

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I purchased a Z-palette pro and some brush guard sets – one is a variety pack and the other is meant for eye shadow and eyeliner brushes..

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I’ll share what I de-potted next week!