Tuesday, January 31, 2012

6 shades of NYX soft matte lip creams swatched and reviewed.

Ok NYX is fast becoming one of my favourite brands, next to Inglot of course. And I loved these soft matte lip creams so much that I bought all colours that I thought would work on me. I now own 6 of these. Yes, six! In fact, I do this with everything. I see a dress I really like, I need to pick it up in at least 2 colours, if not more. Once, I bought this one particular shirt in all 5 available colours. Yep, I'm pretty mad that way. Oh but I digress. So I'll quickly swatch all the 6 shades and briefly review each. You can read a full review of these here.

Stockholm: A Peachy nude shade that is perfect for Indian tones esp around nc40 coz this is the perfect nude without giving you "concealer lips". The light peachy tones give this colour. This shade goes pretty opaque and would cover any pigmentation on lips too. Dries soft matte like all other shades.

Antwerp: A medium peachy pink shade that is perfect for the office with neutral eye makeup or even smokey eyes. Very versatile shade. One of my faves. Goes on slightly sheer but can be built up and dries to a nice matte finish.

San Paolo (I think they mean Sao Paolo): a bright coral pink shade that again is not too dark nor too light. I like pairing this with shimmery eyeshadow and a winged liner. Goes on fully opaque. But I'm not such a fan of this shade coz corals don't flatter my cool-undertoned complexion so much. Might work well on most Indian skin tones though. I'm a freak, yes. :/

Milan: A blue based light pink shade. But not milky light, you know what I mean? When the colour is lighter than your skin tone. I'm nc40 and this is a nice light pink on me. Works great when worn lightly as a stain with lip balm over it.

Addis ababa: This is a bright fuchsia (pink with strong blue undertones) that really works well against my NC40 skin without looking too loud. On someone fairer, it might look too bright. But the best part is that this can be worn as a stain or as a full on matte lip colour. This is probably the sheerest of all shades so it gives the effect of a stain rather than a full on matte lipstick which actually works pretty well for this shade. Love love.

Monte Carlo: This is a blue based red with pinkish undertones thats completely opaque and can be used as a stain (it'll look like a deep pink) or as a proper matte lip colour. Intense pigmentation and beautiful colour. Works well against my skin and I think it'd suit all skin tones. However, if you want a warmer orange-red, look at Amsterdam. I didn't buy it coz I already have a warm red matte lippie in my stash.

So these shades I think would work on most Indian skin tones. Which ones are you picking up?

Oh and a quick thanks to everyone who's following my blog. I'm gonna be hosting a giveaway very soon as a little token of appreciation. Would be including mostly NYX stuff. Eye stuff and some nail paints.. Just getting those things in so I can take photos n tempt everyone. :p

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vaadi Herbals Eye cream : OMG! It actually works!!

Ok I can't believe I'm actually writing this review for a Vaadi herbals product! That too a positive review! Only goes to show that you should not judge a book by its cover and an eye cream by its price or unattractive packaging. Hehe.
I'd received this eye cream free with a purchase from UrbanTouch loong back. Now Vaadi is a cheapie brand and not even in the "wow..how economical" sense that you'd probably say for brands like NYX or ELF or Himalaya herbals. This is actually a cheapie brand.. And it's fairly new so obviously people judge it by its pricing and packaging. I'd tossed this at the back of my wardrobe with disgust when I first received it. Then one day out of curiosity I opened it and smelt it. Didn't smell anything like a herbal product. Looked and smelt like any other cold cream. "Such a bogus" I thought.
I never had any dark circles earlier. I had some faint circles that would easily get covered up by foundation alone. (thanks to my genes..my mum at 50 has none!!). But since the birth of the lil dude I've developed greyish brown panda eyes! :( Comes with the territory of sleepless nights and having a baby I guess. Sigh~~~
Anyhow, I then decided to start using some eye cream at night coz my eye area needed some TLC for sure. But I didn't have any eye creams and then I remembered this Vaadi one. I thought ok I'm sure it won't do any harm even if it doesn't work. At least it'll moisturise the area. So I scooped up some of the cream and gingerly applied it under my eye and over the lids. Now it felt like any other cream. Not too heavy that it felt oily but also not light like a lotion that it got absorbed easily. Had to pat the cream in. In about 30-40 seconds the area under my eye felt slightly taut and stretchy. Not in the soapy, dry kinda way but n a nice, firm kinda way. Immediately my hands flew to my face and when I touched the under eye skin, expecting it to feel dry, I was surprised by how moisturised it felt! I was baffled that this cream brought this "hydrated yet taut" feel that mostly high end eye creams or anti wrinkle creams have! Wow! This was good stuff! And I'm happy and equally surprised to report that with continued usage for the past 2 months, my dark circles do seem lighter! Don't you just love happy endings? :)

Price : Rs.48 for 25 g

Yay for:

  • Smooth texture. Easy to pat in. Not too thick, nor too light.
  • Skin feels taut but hydrated after application.
  • Seems to reduce dark circles with regular use.
  • Very inexpensive
  • Comes in a small plastic pot. Easy to carry around.
  • No weird fragrance.
  • Would work for all skin types.
  • Can be worn at night or in daytime under makeup also since its not greasy.

Boo for:
  • Won't work on puffy eyes or under-eye bags.
  • Full ingredient list not mentioned!
  • No cooling sensation as claimed

Overall, I think this product is pretty great inspire of the low price. Works well for fine lines and dark circles and I'd recommend others to try it.

You can buy this online at UrbanTouch here

Rating : ***1/2

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oriflame Very Me lip stain in Red : Swatches and Review

I looooove cheek stains. Why? Coz they give a subtle flush to the cheeks, last all day and don't rub off or melt in the humid Chennai heat. Sure, they can be a pain to apply but once you get the hang of it, you could even do it in your sleep. I used to looooove the Lakme just kissed Lip and Cheek stain but they discontinued it. Grrrrrr... Next I tried the bourjois rouge hi-tech lip tints as cheek stains and they worked pretty well too but are slightly sheerer. Then I tried Body Shop's lip and cheek tint and ugh! It's a stupid product! It might work well on lips but on cheeks it's a dud. Too sheer and glycerine-y. No go.

The latest one I've hit upon is Oriflame's Very Me Lip stain in Red. It also comes in another colour- raspberry. Now this is a very teeny meeny tube with a screw on cap and a sponge-tipped wand applicator like any lipgloss. This transparent tube contains 3.5mL of product and costs Rs. 159.
This is a slightly thin tinted liquid which has a sugary taste and smell. You can dot it on your cheek and just blend with your fingers to spread it. But be warned, it might settle into open pores or fine lines. So, it's ideal to use a primer underneath it.
I generally apply cheek tints over my foundation but you could use it under your foundation or tinted moisturisers as well. It gives a nice natural flush to your cheeks.
The colour is slightly orangy- red when swatched but on my cheeks it looks like a peachy-pink. Quite natural.
It lasts about 5 hours before fading. Not too great for a tint. Hmpf!

As a lip tint this product performs pretty well. You just need to run the applicator over your lips, wait for it to dry and apply some balm on top for a nice glossy look. It doesn't dry your lips out or anything. Very weightless, won't feel like you're wearing anything. But it's very sweet tasting- like sugary water and you might wanna keep licking your lips. :p
This lasts about 3 hours on the Lips. Pretty decent.

As a Cheek Tint:
Yay for:

  • Easy to apply. Dries relatively slowly so you can blend it properly
  • Imparts natural flush to face.
  • Pretty sheer so colour is buildable.
  • Tastes and smells sweet
  • Tiny tube, easy to carry.
  • Pretty inexpensive

Boo for:
  • Doesn't last all day, like cheek stains normally should.
  • Availability.
  • May settle into open pores or fine lines if used on bare skin.

You can buy this from SnapItToday.com here or from your local Oriflame agent.

Overall, I think it's an okay product that performs decently both as a lip stain and a cheek tint.
Rating: ***

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Maxfactor Kohl Pencil in Cobalt Blue : Review and Swatches

My love for blue eyeliner is no secret. I've got brown eyes and blues really flatter them well. I've been on the lookout for a blue kohl forever, something that I could wear on my waterline. I've got blue pencil liners form Maybelline, Faces and Colorbar but none of them are waterline safe. How do I know? I tried them on my waterline and my eyes immediately started burning and watering and I had swollen eyes the next morning. So kids, don't try that at home!
Caution: you can only use products that say kajal or kohl on your waterline.

So imagine my happiness when I saw this product listed on MedPlusBeauty.com. This retails for Rs.220 for but I bought it for Rs.187 online.
There are also other shades available: grey, black, taupe and brown. Wish there was a teal or green though.

It's just what the name says : cobalt blue. Pretty bright and completely matte.

It's not too creamy like the faces or Colorbar I-glide ones but not hard too. Pretty easy to get enough colour without tugging the eye. But since this is a kohl, it's not smudge proof or water proof. You rub it, it'll be gone.
Comes in a regular sharpen-able wooden pencil form. Fits in any regular sharpener. Easy to sharpen without breaking the tip.

Yay for:

  • Beautiful, bright blue colour. Flatters brown or black eyes well. Bright but not garishly so.
  • Waterline safe
  • Quite soft. Can apply without tugging eye area.
  • Not too soft that tip breaks when sharpening
  • Pretty inexpensive

Boo for:
  • Not smudge proof or water resistant
  • Lasts for about 3-4 hours and then fades away.

You can buy this online at MedPlusBeauty here or from any Maxfactor counter.

Overall, I think it's a neat product for the price and I love wearing this on my waterline with a wash of shimmery nude shade all over the lid. The blue is subtle enough to be worn during daytime too.

Rating : ****

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The perfect nude/smokey palette : Inglot

Ok, so it's no secret that I've been obsessing over nude palettes and the UD Naked2 actually comes pretty darn close but not quite. I'd like a matt dark brown too in it so I can use it to create soft brown smokey eyes for daytime office wear too.
So what's the solution? Create your own palette doll! I'm planning to get a 20 shade square palette from inglot and fill it up with all nude shades and complementary lip shades too. Maybe throw in a concealer and a brow powder and ta da! The best palette ever! All that you'll ever need. :)

So here's a list of shades that I personally think would make the perfect smokey eye palette and would also be very versatile in creating various daytime or more glam looks. I've put together some collages for quick reference. Again, the pics are from the www and if anyone objects, I can take them down.

Okay...so the basic shades that I think ought to be in a nude/smokey palette are:
matte black. : 391M
Matte beige. : 350M
Pearl white. : 453P
Gold. : 430P
Champagne highlighter. : 08S
Matte medium taupe brown. : 342M
Matte dark brown. : 378M
Medium copper. : 21S
Silver. : 454P
Matte grey. : 348M

Now onto some unusual, pretty shades to add a bit of colour and depth.
Matte beige with sparkles. : 463 DS
Gunmetal. : 434P
Olive blackened gold. : 419P
Lime-y gold. : 412P
Shimmery orange. : 15S
Shimmery dark plum purple. : 446P
Satin black with gold sparkles. : 64AMC
iridescent blue. : 428P
Iridescent green. : 418P
Iridescenct purple. : 439P
Sparkly teal. : 504 DS

I've also added some smokey eye looks that you can create with this palette.

Doesn't this seem great? Love inglot shadows! They're so buttery and super easy to blend, even the matte ones and great pigmentation too. You can buy these online at ShopAtMajorBrands.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Inglot dupes for Urban Decay Naked 2 palette

I've been smitten with the Nude palette. Seriously..I see one, I start salivating. And there are soo many options out there. But easily one of the best is the Urban Decay Naked palette and now they've launched the Naked 2 which I think is a whole lot better than the first edition.
So, what if you can't get your hands on one and wanna make your own one? Fret not, fair maiden (s).. I'm your knight in shining armour. I'm gonna give you dupes from Inglot which match the UD palette in quality and colour, of course. Seriously, inglot shadows are grrrreat. You can buy these from shopatmajorbrands.com and now they have a flat 20% sale on.

Ok so here's the Dupe list with a handy (slightly shabby) collage I put together for quick reference. :) Pics have been borrowed from the interweb and if anyone says anything, I shall take them down. :)
Foxy : 328M (matte light peachy yellow beige)
Half baked : 404M (shimmery bronze-y gold)
Booty call : 395P (shimmery beige)
Chopper : 405P (shimmery copper gold)
Tease : 342M (matte taupe medium brown)
Snakebite : 409P (shimmery dark brownish bronze)
Suspect : 402P (shimmery light brownish gold)
Pistol : 420P (shimmery taupe greyish brown)
Verve : 393P (pale shimmery pinkish gold)
YDK : 42S (medium reddish copper)
Busted : 423P (shimmery dark burgundy brown)
Blackout : 391M (dark matte black)

Some shades might not be exact match but work well nevertheless. :)
You could even pick and choose and make your own Naked palette.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How the iPad works for me.

Guys! I know I've been slacking for a while but it's coz so much has been happening.. I've been away. Went to Kerala for a friend's wedding and was soo nervous about travelling with the lil dude but in the end it all worked out well. He was quite ok during the flights thankfully and the trip was quite fun. The whole gang was there and everyone got sooo wasted at the after party. For the first time ever I got to witness all this sober- very entertaining indeed. ;D
This wedding coincided with my birthday and so it was doubly special.. And just as I predicted I got an iPad 2 from the husband. And I've been playing around with it since to see if it can replace my laptop. And I'm quite happy with it so far.

What do I use it for?
Blogging, editing photos (just the lighting) and making collages for my blog, watching tv shows and movies, sketching, browsing and playing the occasional game.
So after extensive research I downloaded these apps that make doing these activities a whole lot easier.

On but before all this I think I must mention the case I got for this. While the original case looks sleek and beautiful, it won't work for me coz err..I sometimes tend to drop stuff. Yup, I'm quite the clumsy one. So wanted a case with more protection. And I found this rotating swivel type case that lets u rest the iPad in 2 positions each in either landscape or portrait mode. I really wanted the hot pink or purple variant but it wasn't available in India and of those available I thought the red looked hot so got that instead. It's really cool though. Also has that built in magnet that puts the iPad to sleep and wakes it up when u shut/close the case.

Moving on to the apps...
For Blogging:

Blogger Plus
Price: $2.99

This supports Wordpress and blogspot and is v v simple to use. You can even add pictures and format text or add links or tags. Very easy to use. In fact this post has been composed and posted via this app.

For sketching:
I like to sketch some designs sometimes. For clothes, mainly.

Draw for iPad
Price: free

This is a basic sketching/ note taking app that only has some basic coloured pencils as drawing tools. But what puts taxable other such drawing apps is the ability to undo last move and also has some preset templates for playing tic tac toe, dots game and some word game. You can even save the image to your photo library.

Sketchbook express
Price: Free

I'm sure anyone who's ever wanted to own a sketching app has heard of this app by autodesk. It's got a huge range of tools and brushes and you can mirror, fill in or even add images from library. This is the lite version and has fewer brushes and tools but it's all I'll ever need, perhaps more so I'm not buying the full version.

Finger sketch paint for iPad
Price : Free

This again is a cool app for quick sketching. This is the free version and in this you cannot export images to your library but no problem coz you can always take a screen shot.
How to take a screenshot?
Simple, just press the home and power buttons simultaneously and the screen will flash white and the screenshot will be saved in your photo library.
Anyhoodles, this app is cool and has some in built shading options that make sketching easy. No fancy brushes though.

For editing lighting in photos and to make collages for the blog:
I also have the ipad camera connector kit that enables the iPad to read an SD card directly so you can click pics on your camera, take out the memory card and transfer images onto the iPad for editing and uploading directly. Boom!

Photo Toaster
Price: Free

I have the free version which is called photo toaster jr and has some basic presets as well as customisable adjustments for brightness, contrast, white balance and vignette apart from usual suspects of monochrome, sepia etc. You can even crop or rotate your photo in this. This is all I use to edit the lighting in my photos that I upload on my blog to bring out true colours coz sometimes the camera fails to capture that. Decent app, no frills or complicated stuff. Works well for me. You could save the edited photo to your library or post on social networking sites.

Photo ripper finger design
Price: free

This is an extremely simple app that you can use to cut images freehand to make collages. V handy for me to again put together images to upload on my blog.

Price: Free, $9.99

What I have is the free version which works well for me. With this app you can create a moodboard for your design projects. You could add images and texts and move them around, add arrow marks or tack pins to present it well. The best part- this saves everything as layers so it becomes easier to edit them. Very useful app.

For watching TV shows/movies:

CineX Player
Price: $3.99

This app will play all your avi files and even add subtitles if the srt file is available. But this doesn't play mkv files. So why did I get his? For one awesomely cool feature- it can covert any video into a 3D video that you can watch with 3D glasses. Cool or what? This is available for an additional $0.99 but totally worth it. So much fun, you guys!

AV Player HD
Price: $2.99

Good app, plays all formats including mkv, supports subtitles. I picked this app over some others coz this allows you to receive files from your laptop wirelessly, all you gotta do is key in the ip address. Pretty neat, no?

So yup, that's about all the apps you'll need if your requirements are the same as mine. :)
Plus you an carry an iPad in your bag and can blog from anywhere. You just need your camera, the connector and your iPad. Oh and a wifi connection or a 3G sim. Simple. So beauty bloggers, skip your next haul n pick this up instead. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

NYX Round Lipgloss in "Pinky Natural": Swatches and Review

This was a part of my first BeautyJoint haul. This is one of the best products from NYX. Now that I've already given away my verdict, you may choose to stop reading the review and just look at the photos or read on to know why these top my list. :)
NYX round lip glosses are available for $1.75 (Rs.100) from BeautyJoint and are available in a total of some 36 shades I think of which only about 5 are non shimmer, non frost- Pinky Natural, Natural, Real Nude, Pink and Mauve of which I bought Pinky Natural coz it looked like a very pretty pink. And it is! This shade is a medium pink with mauve undertones and looks very pretty when worn on it's own or topped over other lipsticks. It has no shimmer or frost and is decently pigmented and goes almost completely opaque. The consistency of these glosses is neither runny nor too thick but I'd say these are on the thinner side, which I like coz they are non sticky. The pigmentation of these isn't the same across all shades and the ones with shimmer are generally less pigmented than the pure colour ones.
These come in a clear round tube with a black shiny cap and have a bent doe foot applicator with a sponge tip. Pics below are clickable.

NYX Round Lipgloss in Pinky Natural


Bent doe foot applicator

Swatch-Pinky Natural

Yay for:

  • Nice pigmentation. Goes almost fully opaque
  • These are non sticky and quite shiny
  • Last about 3 hours before starting to fade
  • Fades evenly, leaving behind a slight sheen on the lips
  • Not drying, not moisturizing either
  • Very very inexpensive
  • Can be worn alone or over lipsticks

Nay for:

  • These have a slight smell to them which fades in sometime but some may have a problem with it. I personally find the smell of Mega Shine glosses evil compared to these. These I find are tolerable.
  • Availability is an issue

Overall I quite like this range of glosses from NYX and they are great value for money. These are non sticky and pigmented and available in a whole range of colours. I definitely recommend these to everyone. I've already ordered for "Real Nude" in my next order from BeautyJoint.

You can buy these from BeautyJoint.

My rating: ****

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My birthday wish list

It's my favorite time of the year! I love the entire season from October right uptil January. Why? Multiple reasons- the winter starts setting in and I loooove winters (though in Chennai winters never really come but hey at least I'm not sweaty all the time. Sigh! I miss Delhi) and coz it's the festival season and there's something cheerful in the air that lifts your spirits and makes you wanna celebrate and hug everyone you meet. But most importantly I love these months coz I personally have a lot more to celebrate- my anniversary, the husbands birthday and MY BIRTHDAY!!
Yup! My birthdays coming up- it's on the 7th of January (gifts and cheques accepted ;)) and now it's legit to make lust lists. :)

So what all is on that list?

A nice gold watch.
Right now I wear a chunky chrome one but I've been bitten by the gold bug. It's everywhere. And it looks nice paired with dresses and jeans alike. My first choice is the absolutely drool worthy, highly coveted Bulgari Serpenti but with all the spending I've done over the last couple of months, I don't think the husband will take too well to me asking him for this. ;)
So like a good wife that I am, I've got another option- the Guess watch. Guess has a lot of options for chunky gold watches in the 10-12k range so I'll probably pick one of those. Wondering if I should get a gold face one (which doesn't have diamonds) or white or black face one(which has diamonds). I'm leaning towards the gold face but I also like bling. Uff! Such confusion.

A Tablet
Because I wanna read ebooks on the go and easily browse, check blogs and also upload my blog. I'm confused between samsung galaxy tab and iPad 2. Currently I'm hogging the husband's iPad but it's the original version and it's too heavy and doesn't fit in my bag easily. Need something that I can carry with me at all times.

Hair styler
I recently got my hair cut and shifted to a low maintenance style but it's growing and it'd be nice to curl my hair and change it up every once in a while. Again I'm wondering whether to get one which is like a blow drier with various attachments or the heat based one with attachments for curling, straightening etc.

A Grecian white dress
I've been wanting one for a long time but can't seem to find the perfect one. I spotted one that came real close to it at LightInTheBox but it's too expensive for something that claims to be a Chinese wholesale site. Hmpf! But the site does offer to customize the dress to your size and colour preference.

The Travalo perfume spray
I love perfumes and I sincerely believe smell is half seduction and always carry a 30mL bottle of perfume in my bag at all times. But I can't do so when I go for dinners or parties and only carry a small clutch with me. That's where this lil baby comes in handy. It's teeny and can be refilled easily with any perfume and looks cute too. But sadly it's not available in India and only have to order it from a US seller on eBay.

Leopard print heels
Been looking forever for the right one. Should have 3" heel, rounded toe and ankle straps. Still looking

Sequin clutch
Want one in gold and another in black. Zara and Mango both have great options but since both are unavailable in my city and don't have online stores, maybe I'll make one myself.

Plain chiffon saree
I picked up this dull gold fully sequined blouse from the Phoenix mall, Bombay recently and want a plain chiffon saree with a thin gold border to wear with it. I'm thinking perhaps a nice red one. Don't have a red saree yet.

Yup. Thats all. Just a simple girl with simple needs. :) Now to allocate one item each to all my bakras volunteers friends n family members to buy me these gifts... :)