Friday, June 22, 2012

Finally, a post!! Current skincare faves!

I'm not even going to try and list all the reasons why I have been MIA for the past few weeks, but let me just say that life has been very hectic. I haven't forgotten about you or the blog, in fact, everyday in the shower I keep thinking of post ideas, but then I never seem to find the time to actually write the posts. I will try and make the time because I have missed interacting with you.

I mentioned in my Europe travel post that I was using The Body Shop Natrulift Firming Serum. I just finished my first bottle and I will definitely repurchase. This serum is very lightweight and absorbs quickly, which has been a must for me lately because the weather has been so hot and I just don't have tons of time to spend on my beauty routine. This was moisturizing, thought I still used a moisturizer on top, and did even out my skin tone. I can't vouch for the anti-aging benefits but I didn't get any adverse reactions so this is a keeper in my books.

I am also currently loving The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Hand and Body Lotion. This is a great summer alternative to the body butters because it is thinner and absorbs super quickly. It is non-sticky yet still moisturizing. The scent is subtle and doesn't interfere with any perfume that may be worn afterwards.

I finished the Origins Ginger bath products I raved about recently, and decided to use up this deluxe sample of Laura Mercier Creme de Pistachio Scrub. This is quite possible the best body scrub I have ever used! The scrubbing granules are the perfect size....not large and harsh, but not so tiny that you can't feel them. After using this my skin is super soft...kind of like that soft feeling you get when you shave or wax your legs and then wear pants afterwards. I never used this before because I am not the biggest fan of pistachio (shocking for an Indian gal), but surprisingly the scent was very pleasant, not too sweet and not too pistachio-y. If this wasn't so darn pricey ($46 for 12oz) I might actually consider purchasing this. Maybe they will have a gift set during the holidays? I hope so because I'd like to try the  creme brulee scent.

That's all for now. Have you tried any of these products? Thoughts?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Benefit They're Real Mascara Review

I might be one of the last people in the beauty blogging world to try this out, but I finally did it! I tried out the not-so-new Benefit They're Real Mascara:

I can talk on and on about the claims that Benefit makes, but basically this mascara is supposed to give you such glam lashes that they are supposed to look as good as false lashes. 

Bare Lashes

Lashes with 1 coat of They're Real on top and bottom lashes

So, while this might not look exactly like false lashes, I think this mascara still looks pretty good! My lashes look longer and more voluminous. Benefit They're Real also does a great job of holding the curl in my lashes when I do use a curler, but it also adds a bit of curl on its own. There is no flaking or smudging either. The only thing I didn't get with this mascara is thickening. The mascara wand coats each lash to make it darker and look longer, but it didn't make my lashes thicker. Overall, this is a great formula with a unique want, but I am not sure if it is $22 great. 

Have you tried Benefit They're Real? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Origins Ginger Skincare Review

I have had the Origins Ginger bath products for awhile but just recently started using them....and I am in LOVE!

The Origins Ginger Burst Savory Body Wash is so delicious and fresh smelling! It has a ginger scent but it is not overpowering. It does not smell like the ginger you cook with or like candied ginger. It smells like ginger mixed with a clean, crisp, fresh scent...yeah I know that sounds confusing but it's hard to describe! This lathers extremely well and leaves my skin feeling silky soft. The ginger fragrance lingers slightly, but does not interfere with any other fragrance you layer on afterwards.

The Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream is also very luxurious. The scent is a lot stronger and longer-lasting than the body wash, so if you aren't keen on the smell this isn't for you. The texture is a bit thick and very moisturizing, which is why I haven't used nearly as much as I have of the body wash. This is better suited for the winter when I need a thicker moisturizer.

Overall, I love both but am most excited about the body wash. I know it is pricier than drugstore body washes but  it feels so good when I use it that I feel it is worth the splurge.

Have you tried either of these ginger products?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kiko Cosmetics

While I was in Europe I discovered a European cosmetic store/brand called Kiko Cosmetics. I went in a couple of them and each time the store was packed. Like how a MAC store in the US is on the weekends. Kiko Cosmetics has  HUGE line of products, from moisturizer and face masks to mineral shadows and eye primer. The products are also very decently priced...about half the price of MAC but a little more than a drugstore. Since I didn't know too much about the brand and was hesitant to spend a lot of what could be potentially horrible makeup, I only picked up one thing:

This is the Glamorous Eye Pencil in shade 402. I swatched a ton of products, especially the eye liners, and this shade is one that I don't already have in my collections. Yes, I have bronze liners but this one has more red/terracotta tones than anything else I have. 

This eyeliner is super pigmented and very smooth and creamy in texture. The formula is just like the Urban Decay 24/7 liners. It lasts about 2 hours on the water line and all day on the upper and lower lash lines. Overall, I really like this liner and now I wish I had purchased more products.

Have you every heard of or tried Kiko Cosmetics?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vacation Must Haves

Since I travel a lot I have learned what beauty items I need to pack and what I probably won't use. On my Europe trip I stuck to the same makeup bag that I usually use and packed it with a lot of neutrals and products I know always work for me. I'm not showing you everything I took but here are the products I used just about everyday:

My makeup case is a discontinue black MAC case that one of my best friends gifted to me many years ago. I love it because I have used it a LOT and it is in amazing condition. It does get a bit dirty after a few trips so I clean it with a makeup wipe and then its as good as new. 

The case is long and thin so it lays flat in my luggage. It has a zippered pouch on the inside and a open pocket on the other side, and best of all it easily fits the large MAC palettes. 

I did take some other skin care with me, but these were my absolute can't-live-withouts. 
  1. Philosophy Purity Made Simple - The best face wash ever! I have tried many and always come back to this. Even on lazy evenings this is good enough to remove my makeup and cleanse my skin.
  2. The Body Shop -Natrulift Firming Serum - I like that this serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly - important for hot weather and when you are in a rush. It helped moisturize my skin and gave it a nice even texture. I will do a full review soon.
  3. Philosophy Hope in a Jar for Dry Skin with SPF - I use the non-SPF one too, but it was nice having a all-in-one, especially since we were outdoors most of the day. 

Face Products - Yes, I know this looks like a MAC haul, but what can I say, MAC products are just so reliable and work for me!
  1. Fix+ - I am SO glad MAC came out with the mini version last year....I can't live without this product! I used it for setting my makeup everyday, but I also used it as a midday refresher when I was hot or tired, and I also used this in the plane every few hours when my skin felt dry due to plane air.
  2. MAC Face and Body Foundation - I decanted it into a small travel bottle because the actual F&B bottle is quite large. Also, I mix different shades and so it is easier to just take the mixed version with me. This is my HG foundation. 
  3. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder - Do I really have to talk about what I like this? It's amazing and everyone needs this powder.
  4. MAC Blushcreme in Uncommon - Another discontinued product that I wish would come back. This color especially is amazing on medium-dark skin and provides a very natural glow to the skin. It is also so easy to use and blend.

Makeup Products - I did take more makeup but these were the items I kept using over and over.

  1. Shu Uemera Eyelash Curler - Again, do I really need to talk about how amazing this is?
  2. MAC Zoom Fast Black Lash Mascara - This was a risky choice because I purchased it right before my trip since I needed a new mascara. Thankfully, this is a great mascara! It holds curl, adds volume, and is very black. I will do a full review on this though because there is a trick to using this so you don't get clumpy lashes.
  3. MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved - The color is dark, it lasts ALL day and glides on easily. What more do I need from an eyeliner?
  4. Nars Pro-Prime Eyeshadow Base - Although I didn't wear much shadow on the trip, I used this almost everyday because it helped to make my liner smudge-proof and long-lasting. 
  5. Stila Lip Glaze in Kitten - A great peachy-gold gloss that I could wear on its own. I tossed this in my handbag for midday touch-ups. I also used a MAC Tendertone quite a bit, but I forgot to photograph it.
What are your absolute beauty must-haves for vacation?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Back from...

Europe! Yes, the hubby and I took a some time off and traveled to Europe! We traveled to several cities in Italy, then made a few stops in Greece, Turkey, and Croatia. Italy has always been my dream location, I've wanted to go since I was young and it was just as beautiful as I imagined. I have thousands of photos that are still on my camera card, but here are a few snaps that I managed to transfer to the computer:

Me outside the Vatican

Me outside the Colosseum

Stopping to smell the roses

The Duomo in Florence - The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

View from Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence that crosses the Arno River

I hope you have been well during the past few weeks. I have lots to share with you about the trip as well as my makeup adventures. Stay tuned and I will keep you posted! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hey dolls! I just wanted to let you know that I will be traveling for the next two weeks and won't be blogging during that time. I tried really hard to do some scheduled posts, but I have been super busy with work and getting ready for my trip, that I just didn't get a chance to draft anything of quality. I hope you can understand!!

In any case, I will definitely let you know all about my travels when I return and hopefully share some of my travel tips and my travel beauty routine. Till then, arrivederci!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish vs. MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder

I really like the texture, feel, and finish of Bobbi Brown's Sheer Finish Pressed Powder as a setting powder and I like having it in my purse for touch ups. However, I hate the packaging. The square shape of the compact makes it larger than I would like and takes up a lot of space in my purse. So, I went to MAC and decided to try out the Select Sheer Powder to see if would be as good of a product as the BB powder, in better packaging.

As you can see, the BB compact is larger, pointier, and bulkier than the MAC compact. Also, the numbering of the BB powder is funky. I use the third darkest shade Soft Sand, or number 5. This throws me off because in the foundation range my number is 3.5, Warm Beige. The MAC powder uses the same numbering as the foundation and in both I am an NC25. 

Both compacts have a mirror and come with a powder puff. 

Both powders are very sheer and don't deposit a lot of color, which is what I wanted. Both powders are very silky, blend in to the skin, are great for setting my face makeup, and control my minimal shine. I really couldn't tell much difference between the two when worn on my face. Considering that I like the MAC packaging and numbering system better, I am now going to stick to the MAC Select Sheer powder. Oh, and the MAC powder costs $23 for 12g of product and the Bobbi Brown powder costs $34 for 11g of product, so clearly MAC wins this battle.


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