Sisterhood of the world bloggers award.. :-)

I am excited that I have been nominated by the very sweet Natasha from blondebeauty13 for the Sisterhood of the world bloggers award.. I am grateful that fellow bloggers recognize me as one of them.. It means a lot to me.. Thank you Natasha!

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For those not familiar with these kind of blog awards, basically I answer questions set forth by the host (blondebeauty13 in my case).. and then I get to nominate 10 fellow bloggers and get them to answer my questions.. It helps to get to know the bloggers a little better each time.. 🙂 and then the chain continues..

Here are the questions:

1. What’s your favourite makeup brush brand?
Aghhh.. It is really tough for me to choose one brand because the brands vary in quality and pricing! So, I’ll cheat on this one and pick three so I can address various budgets.. 😉 My high end pick are brushes by Wayne Goss, my relatively affordable pick is Sigma and my affordable brush brands are Real Techniques and Elf! I am amazed at how good quality their brushes are for the price..
2. What is your favourite highstreet clothes store?
I am not a very brand conscious person.. My style is quite casual and I like anything that’s comfortable.. The store I like in the US is JC Penny.. I think their clothes are well worth the price.. Other stores I like are Forever21, Macys and Kohls..
3. Favourite highstreet makeup brand?
Hmmm…. hmmmm…. Probably Revlon.. Since many of my drugstore products are from that brand.. I also enjoy products by Loreal..
4. What is on your top 3 high-end makeup wish list?
Lol.. I have such a loooooooong list of high-end makeup wish list!! Top 3 would be Tom Ford eye shadow quad in orchid haze or cocoa mirage or cognac sable, Paula Dorf sheer crease brush (I can never seem to find this brush!) and Chanel blushes!
5. If you could only choose two items of makeup for the rest of your life, which would it be?
I would say Concealer since it can double up as a foundation.. I can always sheer it out if the need be.. The second product is a tie between a setting powder and a lip stain! I need both! lol..
6. Matte or glossy lipstick?
I prefer Matte and creamy lipsticks.. not glossy..
7. Favourite colour lipstick/gloss?
I absolutely love Tarte lipsurgence in Envy! I have finished two tubes of that and am onto my third tube.. It’s my go-to product for any look.. It looks quite natural on my skin tone..
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
hmm… Its tough.. I am torn between two cities.. Mumbai and San francisco! Mumbai because that’s where I was born and was raised for the most part and my family lives there.. San Francisco for its sheer beauty! Both cities are special to me..
9. If you were to be one of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S characters, which would you be?
I don’t watch much of F.R.I.E.N.D.S on my own.. Hubby, on the other hand is a huge fan! So, I do end up watching some episodes here and there.. I am assuming I have to choose a female character.. I would probably be a hybrid of Monica and Rachel..
10. Lastly, what’s your signature scent?
None. I am not a perfume gal. I do have some.. most of them are gifts or samples.. I use them infrequently.. But, I am fond of Jasmine scented products if that counts!…
I haven’t checked if the following bloggers have done this before but here’s my list of bloggers that I nominate for this award..
1. http://www.missbeautyadikt.co.uk/
2. http://allrosie.wordpress.com/
3. http://yaniquesgillana.blogspot.com/
4. http://littlebitsoph.com/
5. http://kissablecomplexions.com/
6. http://www.everydaymakeupblog.com/
7. http://makeupbyshanamassy.wordpress.com/
8. http://makeupbyeesha.blogspot.com/
9. http://sayhellotogorgeous.wordpress.com/
10. http://goldbeautymua-mevish.blogspot.com/
I’ll just keep it to 5 questions.. 😉 Here we go:
1. What is your favorite skincare product?
2. What made you start blogging?
3. What is your favorite concealer for acne scars or other discolorations?
4. What hair products do you use between one wash to the next, including styling?
5. What is your favorite family of color?
Thank you folks for taking time and making it through this long post.. I hope you had fun reading.. 🙂

Swatch Series-1

Hey guys,

Today I am starting a new series where I’ll be swatching various makeup products on a white paper.. I am calling it the ‘Swatch Series’.. Many a times we swatch products on our skin and invariably, it leads to an altered appearance based on individual skin tone.. Hence, I decided to use paper to avoid any influence of my undertone and/or pigmentation in my skin.. I’ll be posting swatches of foundations, blushes, lip products and everything related to makeup! This series will not have in-depth review of the product.. It is just a means for looking at the various color options I have for that particular product on a white background.. This may help individuals in making a more educated choice.. I hope this is helpful.. Feel free to join me in my series.. 

My first swatch series is dedicated to RCMA cream foundations.. I own the 5 part series favorites palette in the color family ‘Shinto’ and the VK palette 10.. Here are the swatches..

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SH series addresses yellow and green undertones.. KT series reflects natural suntan tones such as yellow tan.. KO series are meant as in-between shades of SH series.. However, I do not find them to be in between shades.. There’s quite a wide range there and some shades in this range are quite light.. MB series are a set of deeper shades.. 

Description from rcmamakeup.net:

SH-1 to SH-4 have ochre undertones, rising in very small increments of color depth .

SH-5 to Sh-8 increasingly deepening tan/yellow tones for men

KT-1: light yellow tan

KT-2: yellow tan

KO-1 to KO-4 : Increasing deepness of color for women

KO-5 to KO-8 : Increasing tones for men

MB1 – Light brown with orange undertones

MB2 – Medium with orange undertones

MB3 – Deep with orange undertones

MB4 – Dark with orange undertones

MB5 – Lighter with reddish undertones

MB6 – Brown with reddish undertones

MB7 – Brown with deep yellowish undertones

MB8 – Brown with blackish undertones

For reference, I am close to an NC40 in MAC foundations and I use Shinto shades 1, 2 & 3.. With or without a sunscreen, I use SH-1 predominantly and a bit of SH-2 on the darker parts of my face.. On days that I use a tinted moisturizer/foundation, I tend to use SH-2 predominantly and a bit of SH-3 on the darker parts of my face (corners of mouth)..

Note: All my tinted moisturizers and foundations are darker than the skin tone on my face since my neck is darker than my face and I like to match my neck.. 

I also use KT-1 and/or 2.. It is great for counteracting the darkness under the eyes due to the orange tones in it.. The MB series and SH-5 work great as contour products on my skin tone.. 🙂

Sephora VIB Rouge event..

Happy Sunday folks.. Hope you all are having a great weekend.. We celebrated hubby’s bday with close friends & managed to throw him a surprise party.. 🙂

Some weeks ago, Sephora had their VIB Rouge event that was only for VIB Rouge members.. Its a good time to meet fellow makeup obsessed individuals and also to meet some cosmetic company representatives.. So, I was at one such event at my local Sephora.. I met representatives from Benefit and MUFE and ended up buying random things.. Also, I made a quick stop at the MAC store since it’s in the same mall as Sephora.. Doesn’t hurt, right? 😉

Here’s what I ended up buying.. From Sephora, I purchased MUFE aqua matic eye shadow pencil, Too Faced better than sex mascara, Anastasia brow wiz in Ebony (back-up), Urban decay glide-on eye pencil in Whiskey (since I lost my dual ended eye liner in zero and whiskey that came along with the UD original Naked palette), Dry bar Detox dry shampoo and the Benefit 500-points Sephora reward.. I also received a Sephora makeup bag with mini goodies.. From MAC, I purchased two lipsticks (Retro and Spirit), Extended play gigablack lash mascara and lip liner in Half-red {since I lost my pouch carrying this staple 🙁 }

I have reviewed some of these products recently (Benefit They’re real push-up eye liner, MUFE aqua matic eye shadow pencil, MAC lip liner in Half red and Too Faced better than sex mascara).. More reviews shall follow once I get a feel for the other products..

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The new Aqua Matic eye shadow pencils by MUFE..

I was at Sephora for the VIB rouge event and this new product by MUFE caught my eye.. It had many claims, most of all being waterproof, as the name suggests.. My concern as always with any cream eye products is – will you last on my oily eyelids without creasing, let alone be waterproof??!! I swatched it on my hands and it was pretty much smudge-proof.. So, I decided to try one out after speaking to the MUFE representative at Sephora, who claimed that the product is crease-proof..

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Sephora’s website claims:

What it is: A creamy, creaseless formula that provides nonstop color.
What it does: This eye shadow pencil glides on and stays put. The unbelievably blendable texture includes silica, so it applies effortlessly onto the eyelid and won’t transfer. This highly-pigmented, waterproof, smudge-free shadow delivers immediate, intense color payoff. A retractable twist-up mechanism allows for quick and mistake-free application, and a sharpener makes it convenient to take this product to go for touchups.”

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I purchased the brown shade called S-60 or satiny warm brown.. It’s a lovely shade of dark brown with gold shimmer particles in it.. The color looked like it would make a good base for a brown smokey eye or just on its own.. It costs $21 for 0.049 oz of product.. The price, I hoped might push against the odds of the product not working on my eyes.. So, I tried the product on my bare eyelids.. I applied it directly from the pencil along my top lash line and onto my lids.. and then blended it out with a real techniques brush.. It blended out without any difficulty.. However, within a couple of hours, the product seemed to disappear from my lids (except for at lash line) and collected in my crease (and this is just me sitting at home, not doing anything that would cause excessive oilyness/sweating)!! For a product at $21 and that claims to be waterproof, I would have expected this product to last a lot longer! I regret buying this product and will not be buying any more from this range..

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Some people may claim that I should have used an eye primer before using this product.. Firstly, the product claims to be creaseless, without the need for any additional product.. Also, if I had to use an eye primer, I would use any of the drugstore eye pencils on top.. Any of them would last with a good eye primer on.. This product gets a big Thumbs DOWN from me.. I would rate it 2/10, 2 just for the color range! I had better expectations from a MUFE product.. Disappointed…. 🙁

 

Yet another Haul – Ulta and Nordstrom.. :-)

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I have yet another Haul for you guys.. 🙂 

If you’ve followed my blog for a while now, you would know that I am a big fan of the Lorac Pro palette and used it on my wedding day.. So, when LORAC announced their Lorac Pro 2 palette, I had to get it! Also, I had run out of my Essie nail polish remover.. So, I repurchased it.. 

Recently I had lost my makeup pouch and amongst other important items, I also lost my Lancome lip liner in ‘Caramel’ and my lip brushes from Sigma and Real techniques.. So, I ended up replacing these from Ulta and Nordstrom.. I also purchased the Kiehl’s lip balm in the flavor ‘Mango’ for comparing it to the Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream..  

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My reflections on the Benefit they’re Real! push-up liner..

Hello everyone.. Today, lets talk about the Benefit they’re Real! push-up liner.. It’s a product for which Benefit claims to have spent 5 years of research on.. With that many years of research, I sure would expect the product to be exceptional.. I purchased the push-up liner from Sephora and it cost me $24 for 0.04 oz of product..

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Here are the claims from Sephora’s website.. “Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner is the first foolproof and budge-proof gel liner in a pen. This eyeliner’s soft AccuFlex™ tip is custom-angled to draw an easy line. Its flat, wide guard gently pushes lashes aside to get close to lash line. A gorgeous way to open up eyes, this matte black gel formula won’t dry out, and its cutting-edge tip ensures a precise line every time.This product is vegan-friendly, non-comedogenic, and does not contain latex. It is long-wearing and water-resistant; it should be removed before bedtime to prevent the blocking of pores.”

The fact that the gel product is encased within the pen sure makes it very travel-friendly (in comparison with a typical gel liner in a glass jar and an eye liner brush)..

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The pen comes with a twist-off cap on the top.. The packaging is unique with an  AccuFlex™ tip that helps draw an easy line.. The tip was covered with a tiny orange colored flexible plastic piece which ensured that air wouldn’t get in to dry out the product.. You need to take this off before using the product.. You can see a close-up of the AccuFlex tip in the image below.. It’s through that ‘hole’ that the gel product comes to the surface..

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The shape of the tip sure helps to get lashes out of the way (especially good if you have thick & curly lashes like me) and this make application really easy.. Also, it helps to not constantly go back into another container to load up the tip – this saves some time.. The bottom of the pen has a twist-up feature which allows a small amount of the gel product to come out at the other end.. Before using it the first time, I have to at least do 20 ‘twists’ on the pen before I could see any product come through.. For application, I typically have to do one or two clicks per eye depending on the thickness of the liner I am going for.. The formula inside is quite thick and dry.. You do not get a wet feel on the lash line unlike a typical liquid or gel liner..

I personally have two problems with this pen.. Firstly, even when I do just one click/twist-up, I see that part of the formula that comes out tends to get dry and forms a clump.. Secondly, I am not able to get a thin line because of the dry formula of the gel.. For some reason, while I am spreading the product across my lash line, the pen accidentally creates a bumpy or uneven line.. As a result, I have to go back to try and make it smooth and end up with a thicker line.. and because the formula is smudge-proof, I am unable to rub it off with a Q-tip to correct it (unlike traditional gel liners which give me time to correct before they set).. So, I always end up with thick eye liner even when I don’t want to.. That being said, I am however able to get a sharp cat-eye edge with this pen (due to the shape of the tip).. If a thick liner is what you prefer, this product might be a good option for you.. You can see in the images below what I am talking about..

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Image: Before any eyeliner

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Image: This is the thinnest line I can achieve with this pen! You can note that the edge of the liner is not smooth/crisp.. 

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Image: After adding a small wing to the liner and thickening up a bit.. Drawing on the wing was easy with this pen due to the shape of the tip.. 

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Image: This is the dried out clump and extra product that sticks onto the sides on the tip, getting wasted with each use! 

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Images: Showing the eyeliner from different angles.. Looks quite decent.. 

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Images: Extending the wing.. Easy with the tip on the pen.. Also, I added whatever was left on the tip onto my lower waterline (just for fun :-))… Again, note the bumpy edge of the liner (I know I am quite picky but I really don’t like a bumpy edge ;-)).. 

As you can see here, I am unable to get a smooth edge to the liner because of the dry formula.. Also, you end up pulling the skin taut quite a bit for a smoother application due to the dryness of the formula.. I am personally not a fan of that.. It leads to premature wrinkles and who needs that!?

When I spoke with the Benefit representative during the Sephora VIB Rouge event recently, she claimed that one pen should be enough for about 20 applications (for a liner with regular thickness).. This number would go down if you prefer a thicker line each time.. So, overall with respect to the cost of the liner, you would end up spending approximately $1.2 per application, which is quite steep in comparison to traditional gel liners! However, I have to admit that the formula is indeed matte black and is extremely waterproof and for the most part, smudge-proof.. I tested this out by really smudging my eyes pretty hard.. See images below..

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Image: You can appreciate that for the most part, the eyeliner stayed put! It doesn’t look like it was smudged much.. You can see tiny particles that came off onto the cheek bone.. That was it.. Very impressed with the smudge-proof and water-proof features.. 

If you find that your usual gel liner has issues concerning lasting power or smudging throughout the day, you may want to try this.. Personally, I don’t rub my eyes very often and do not have issues with traditional gel liners.. What I have noted is that on my very oily eyelids, the eyeliner does seem to transfer onto the top of my lid fold when I end up with a thicker liner..

Because of its waterproof and smudge-proof properties, this product needs a waterproof makeup remover to get it off.. Bioderma Crealine cleaner was unable to remove this liner.. I had to use the Loreal waterproof eye makeup remover (dual layer one) to get this off.. I really think you’ll need a dual layer remover to get this product off.. It sure needs an oil to dissolve..

Overall, I much prefer traditional gel liners by companies such as Maybelline, Loreal, MAC, Bobbi brown or Illamasqua.. I can get a very precise line with these, in conjugation with an eyeliner brush and the products last me for a very long time (months to years)..

PROS: Nice, fine tip for a precise cat eye; water-proof & smudge-proof formula; you do not need to re-dip the tip to load up with gel; convenient for travel.

CONS: Not worth the price considering its only for about 20 uses; end up with thicker liner than desired; gel tends to dry up very quickly and I end up with dry clumps resulting in wastage of product.

Is the Too Faced better than sex mascara worth the hype??

Well.. we are here to find out.. 😉

I had used my Sephora points to get a sample size of the Too Faced better than sex mascara.. and here are my thoughts.. Let’s start with the packaging..

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The mascara is in a metallic pink tube.. and the original tube (big size) is quite heavy to hold compared to regular drugstore/high-end mascaras.. The wand is quite unique.. I do not own any other mascara with a wand similar to this one.. It’s almost the shape of a DNA strand (complete with major and minor grooves.. lol.. that’s my geeky side talking).. In layman’s terms, its almost an hourglass shape of arrangement of bristles..

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The formula inside is quite dry (which I personally enjoy).. Its not too liquid-ey or gloopy on the wand.. You can still see the separate bristles with the product on..

Now for the fun part.. Lets now move on to how it looks on the eyes..

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Without any mascara..

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One coat of the Too faced better than sex mascara on the Top lashes.. It really coats my lashes well and looks quite natural.. Quite impressed with the first coat with lash separation, length and kinda giving them a curl/lift..

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Two coats of the Too faced better than sex mascara.. Retains the traits of first coat but with more length and extra thickness at the base of the lashes..

NOTE: Between each coat of mascara, I do wait for a few seconds and comb my lashes out with the Real techniques lash groomer before applying the next coat..

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Three coats of the Too faced better than sex mascara.. Same as above with increased length..

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Four coats of the Too faced better than sex mascara.. Impressive with more length and thickness.. Still no clumps..

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Five coats of the Too faced better than sex mascara.. This is where I really see formation of clumps.. and I despise it.. Personally, I would stop with four coats of this mascara for a full lash effect..

Overall, this mascara is a good one and it really can be built to the level you desire.. I especially see this working beautifully on people with shorter lashes.. It stayed put all day on my watery eyes with no flaking.. This product get a big thumbs up from me.. Great formula indeed.. It sure is worth the hype.. 😉

PS. It comes off with most makeup removers..

Collective haul – Beautylish, Nordstrom, MAC and Sephora..

Hope you all are having a lovely week so far.. Sorry that I haven’t been posting recently.. Wait for exciting posts in the coming weeks.. I have a lot of plans for posts.. 🙂

Here are some of the products I have purchased recently and have been testing..

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Beautylish: After loving the 5-part favorites Shinto palette by RCMA, I wanted to add the RCMA VK palette # 10.. It contains shades 1-8 of the KO series, 1-2 of KT series and 1-8 of the MB series.. I have my eyes set on the VK # 11 palette next which will make my makeup kit complete that can cover varied skin tones..

Nordstrom: I purchased the Lancome Visionnaire LR2412 advanced skin corrector after reading rave reviews for evening out skin tone.. It has been doing well so far.. Will do a complete review in some weeks…

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MAC: I purchased the MAC extended play gigablack lash mascara and got a sample of the MAC Prep + Prime radiance base/primer to test..

Sephora: Despite having over 10 setting powders, I went ahead and bought the Laura Mercier loose setting powder.. I also received a sample of the NARS lip gloss in ‘Priscilla’ and I also used my points to get a sample of the Too faced ‘Better than sex’ mascara..