Monday, December 26, 2011

A Big Thank You and Awards

I was on a blogging break over the Christmas weekend and realised that I have had not one, not two but FOUR lovely ladies nominate me for an award! Also, I crossed 60 followers! I know ppl shout out at 50 or 100, but I am just weird that way :D

So, I got the Versatile Blogger Award this week and let me tell you about the fab four who gave it to me:

Deepika from Divassence
The first thing I loved about her was the stylish party goer at her banner. The second was the fact she made chocolates! Reading her posts, I love the clarity and simplicity of the content. Head over at Divassence for a host of product reviews and NOTDs

Jyoti from Everything That Matters
She is a gorgeous girl who writes from the heart. Her LOTDs are great and versatile. If you don't believe me, check out the One Look Two Ways post where she takes the same basic look and makes it work for Indian as well as a Western outfit! She is super talented, I tell you...

Sukanya from Few Unnecessary Stuff
Beautiful is the only word for her. Sukanya has an amazing porcelain skin and a great warm disposition. Her blog has tons of product reviews with the odd food recipe thrown in (Aloo Posto!) She does a lot of skincare reviews and if you are into that, her blog is the place to be

Parul from About Lipsticks and Blushes
New mommy Parul is a woman after my own heart. Reads fantasy fiction, Likes cosmetics and is passing on the love of all things pretty to her daughter. We are peas that sprung from the same pod girl! You'll find such variety at her blog its amazing... from the mid-range Bourjois to the economical Miss Claire... she has it all and loves them equally.

And now for the award....


Thank you lovelies....

Now this award is meant to spread love in blogsville and so I need to do a few things:
  1. Thanks the person who nominated me and give them a shout out (Hola!)
  2. Pass on the award to 15 bloggers
  3. State 7 Random facts about your self

Ok, lets start with the other two things. Shall we?


Random Facts

  1. I am a chocoholic. I love them chocolates, the bitter, the better... 
  2. I am a Mumbai girl who got married in Delhi and is now living in Kolkata. I'll just add Chennai to the mix somehow and be the Metro girl!
  3. I have been blogging since 2004! My alter ego blogs sporadically, but that blog has been my voice board for 7 years now. I fact, I started writing it in December 2004 so am approaching the seventh anniversary. Needless to say, I love to write.
  4.  I care too much about hurting others with what I say or do. So, I avoid confrontations to point of being recluse.
  5. I am a word game junkie! Text Twist, Scrabble, Jumle words, word search... I love them all...
  6. I love J.K. Rowling. Woman, you are my inspiration!
  7. I used to be a prissy miss goody two shoes till college. Then, I got off my high horse and became quite chilled out.
Hmm, that was fun... bet you guys said, "We didn't need to know that" at least once in these seven lines!

Now for the Nominations:
  1. Anuradha from Golden Sequins for her truly versatile blog that covers looks, products, skin care and bit of fashion!
  2. Namita from Vivacious Flair for her great pics and equally good product reviews
  3. Mehak from Peaches and Blush for her inspiring posts. I just love her passion for blogging! She is blogging on Temptalia now and yet remains so down to earth...
  4. Suma from I Simply Love Makeup for her awesome LOTDs. The way she does her eyes makes you wanna wish you had monolids!
  5. Kiran for being the EPIC ICON she is. I adore this woman for her spunk, independence, fashion and liberated views
  6. Anindita from Make u up for all her lipstick reviews
  7. Taps from Beauty Through My Eyes for her FB initiative of bringing bloggers together :)
  8. Eesha from Makeup by Eesha for her great LOTDs
  9. Radhika from My Weekend Ramblings for that humor. And those pics. And the Skincare Tips. And the Bags. And the Chanel. Oh you get the drift. Don't you?
  10. Ikya from Makeup Monologues for being one of the sweetest bloggers around
  11. Ankita from Corallista Makeup Blog for pulling me out of the neutral rut when I needed it most
  12. Kimi from Beauty Diaries for being the miss congeniality of blogsville
  13. Beeni from Beauty and Everything Else for her reviews, LOTDs and sweetness
  14. Nidhi from My Beauty World for her awesome eye makeup looks 
  15. Kejal from Nail Art and Things for the gorgeous awe inspiring nail art
I wish I had more than 15 to give out.... :)

Also a shout out to the super stars of Indian beauty blogging scene....Rati, Anamika, Rashmi, Cynthia, Deeptima... :) You guys are the best and have caused the beauty blogging scene to erupt... kudos!

Change

They say change is the only constant in life. I couldn't agree more... but if you are wondering where this thought popped into my head and more importantly, what is it doing on a beauty blog, hold your horses... there is a connection :)

Most of my school and college friends (who are connected to me on FB) posted pics over the last week. Some have just had babies (at least 4 of them.. the stork has been busy!), some have taken awesome vacations, others have been to great parties.. well, you know its that time of the year. So I looked at the pic of a girl who has not posted pics in ages and almost did a double take! I would not have recognised her if she was not tagged. (In the last decade, ppl would have said if she walked next to me on a street :p). She has gained some weight, chopped off her lovely long tresses, coloured them darker.. you get the drift. Right? She looks like a different person. Now, I am not commenting on her weight. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. But when a stick thin girl goes plump in two years or so... it is difficult to recognise her. With that thought stuck in my head, I looked at a few more pics. The geeky nerdy girl now looks chic and polished. The tomboy is one hot babe and the babe of the class looks like she belongs to another century. There are very few people who are the same when I knew them. Its been a decade since I saw my college friends and more so for the school ones. Changes were bound to have happened.

I am so happy for those who have changed for the better. Lets face it... in today's world, looks matter. And looks is not just your natural features. It is the whole package. What God gave you is ten percent, your grooming, carriage and self presentation is the rest. In the professional world, you have to smarten up and shed your grungy jeans an tees, messy hair and the general air of not caring for your appearance. But I am a tad disappointed for ones that let it slip. I hope none of them have serious body image issues. I would love to see them as the visually pleasing individuals they were...

Oh, and I have changed tons too. But I am still the nerdy one :p


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Query: Mascara with Specs

Girls, do you wear specs? No? Great... you can rock any eye makeup! Yes? Hmm, do you wear mascara with  specs? I don't. Should I?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Colorbar Triple Act Compact

Being the proverbial lazy gal, I like products that do more than one role for me :) A foundation, concealer and compact rolled into one sounds heavenly. Does it not? I'd tried Lakme 9 to 5 triple compact and was reasonably happy with it. So, I decided to give this Colorbar one a shot. Was I happy? Was I disappointed? Read on to find out...

What Colorbar Says
This 3 in 1 concealer, foundation and compact is a one-step makeup. The Triple Act Compact Powder reduces spots and blemishes, gives a glowing complexion and a smooth and oil-free finish. Containing sunscreen, it protects the skin and gives it a fresh look. Triple Act Compact Powder is available seven shades – Neutral, Sand, Dusk, Marble, Fawn, Bisque and Walnut

What I Think
This is an extremely drying product. So much so that even on my combination skin, dry patches are visible! Everything else works in its favor but the drying nullifies this all. The shade I got is 005 Fawn. This is what it looks like



I think the packaging is quite nice. The lock snaps well, the sponge goes in the top compartment and the product is in the bottom compartment. The sponge is of really poor quality and combined with the dry product, it was a disaster. 

I applied this with a foundation brush, dry sponge, fingers and a wet sponge! Wet sponge gave me the best results. To combat the extreme dryness, i applied liberal amounts of moisturizer or water over my face, picked the product with a wet sponge and then blended it in. That is the only way I got this to work. However, the shade is too light for me :( Here is me wearing this... (this pic was taken almost a year ago!)


This is a medium to heavy coverage product and works well to hide blemishes. If you are oily skinned or can work around the dryness, this is a really a very good product. It lasts for the whole day on me and covers blemishes like a charm. I use it as a concealer these days.

The Good
  1. Good Coverage and works as a foundation cum concealer.
  2. Mattifying. You don't need a powder as it sets to powder finish
  3. Sturdy Packaging
  4. Long Lasting
The Bad
  1. Leaves a whitish cast in flash photographs. Quite a whitish cast. I must add!
  2. The sponge is pathetic
  3. This is not good for your five minute touch-ups. You need to have a moist face and apply it with a wet sponge
The Ugly
Extremely Extremely drying (in case it wasn't clear earlier on) which makes it a very difficult product to use. My Lakme triple compact was much better than this.


Final Rating
5/10

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DIY: Lipbalm makeover


Hi ladies, I purchased a jovees lipbalm sometime last year and while I liked its hydration, I hated the smell and the fact that it was not tinted. You can read the detailed review here

This one was relegated to a dark dark corner of my almirah and did not see the light of the day till I came across an article on Anamika’s blog  about how to make a lip balm at home. She has used petroleum jelly as her base. I thought why not improvise? I have a useless balm that will most likely be thrown away. Why not see if it can be salvaged? I whipped out my balm and added a spoonful of cocoa powder and a spoonful of honey to it and mixed well. Unlike Ananmika, I have not microwaved or heated it.

Wanna see the transformation???

Before:

After: 

So Now I have a lovely smelling chocolatey sweet honey flavoured balm that I have to struggle not to lick!!! I love applying this and reach out for it as soon as I have washed my face in the morning or anytime of the day for that matter! I use it at night and wake up to soft smooth lips!!!! 

Adding honey to the balm results in such a shiny glossy finish that I can easily use this as a lipgloss too! I have worn it under lipsticks for great moisturizing effect and over lipstick for a glossy sheen. It works well both ways. It also works well as a lip prep balm. I applied it for 15 mins before wiping it and wearing lipstick. It did a good job then too.


Do you do any makeup makeovers?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lifestyle Deal Experience

Hello girls… all of you must have seen the snapdeal ads on TV unless you’ve been living in oblivion. The 60%, 70% and 80% off on things like restaurants, spas, gyms are pretty tempting na? I got tempted too and me and hubs being the net junkies that we are, we searched for more of such sites and came across Koovs.com in addition to snapdeal.com and bought a multitude of deals. My experience has been mixed and there are a few learnings too. Let me start off with my experience at the Magnolia Spa, Gurgaon


Img Source: Koovs.com
You can see that the deal is quite tempting. And I snagged it up even though this salon was quite far from my place. Kuhu fell ill the weekend I was supposed to go and the coupon was due to expire. So I called the owner and she agreed to stretch it for me. 

When I finally reached there, my first impression was UNKEMPT! I figured this place to be at least a decade old and later on when I chatted with the owner, she told me she has been running the place for sixteen years now! So, the place could do with an overhaul…. There was seepage on the walls, the paint was peeling and the place did have a general air of disintegration. When this place would have been new, it might have looked quite posh. There were stylish cut mirrors, wood paneled booths and a separate area for haircuts and separate for wax/facials etc. But the years had taken their toll.

Coming to the service, I have mixed feelings. The staff was courteous and polite and checked up on me twice or thrice if things were going well. There was an attention to detail like putting cotton in my ears before the shampoo so that water does not seep in, a foot and leg massage post waxing and so on. At the same time, another girl just lifted the magazine I was reading from the arm of my chair and handed it to another customer. She did not even bother to ask me!! How utterly rude is that????
When I reached the place, the owner was not there and I found the girls slacking off a bit. There were four ladies on the chairs to be serviced and all of them were waiting for something or the other. Two of them were even complaining! My attendant took an hour to wax my arms and legs… An hour!!! Even with the massage thrown in, that was way too much…

By that time, I was irked by the service. I had made the decision to not get my facial done and had told the lady in charge right away. Despite that, at least three different girls came and asked me if I was getting my facial done. My attendant told me that haircuts were done by the owner and she may or may not come. Now, I was pissed. I had called the previous evening to take the appointment and called the owner asking for directions as well. She should have told me she wasn’t gonna be available. But then, I was told that her son was not well and she had rushed out to attend him. When I called her, she told me that she would be there in an hour. She made it in an hour and a half and even though I had to wait a few minutes for her, I am glad I did! She set to work as soon as she came in, asking me what cut I wanted. I asked her to trim and get them into shape without sacrificing the length. She snipped and snapped and her experience at handling hair was evident. She casually chatted up with me while she cut them and advised me to do something abt the premature graying. I told her I use henna in summer. She said it wud spoil the texture of my hair and if I did want to use it, I should add lots of eggs to it! Now almost all stylists who have cut my hair have told me not to use henna, but no one told me about the eggs. Most get me to sell me the colouring services. This one told me I could even colour at home. It’s no big deal! I liked that she was not trying to sell me too many services. And then, when she was doing the blow dry, she asked me whether I wanted it curled in or out. She gave me a nice spirally sort of blow dry. I liked the end and I might say that the haircut was the saving grace of this deal.  I still have to see how it behaves when I have just shampooed it and left to air dry but I do have a good feeling about it. Not the best experience but not one to give me nightmares either.


And now, my wisdom from the various deals -
  1. When buying the coupon, look for deals close to your home, workplace or someplace you visit often. If the deal is disappointing, you wouldn’t feel about the time and effort spent in getting there 
  2. Always read the fine print carefully before you buy the deal. There could be some exclusions or conditions that the merchant will not relax
  3. If possible, check out the place beforehand. If not, at least read some reviews on sites like mouthshut.com. Reviews give against the deal could be written by the merchant or their close ones and are generally glorious ones
  4. Even if the place does not meet your expectations, give them a chance (unless you feel it’s a shady place). They just might surprise you
  5. Always take an appointment before you land. This is especially true when the Merchant has two or more outlets and the deal maybe valid for only one of them. This happened to me with another deal. While taking the appointment, declare that you have a coupon and carry the coupon with you to the outlet
  6. When you buy a restaurant coupon, taxes may not be included. Understand beforehand how the calculation works. A club we went to, added taxes to our food and beverage, applied discount on this total and calculated what we need to pay. Then they levied tax on the amount again! We had to pay tax twice!


All in all, these sites are great for finding lifestyle deals if you are willing to put an effort into it. You get to explore new places and can come up with real gems around you. Don't let one bad experience deter you!


 Disclaimer: I wrote this post a while back and it has been in my drafts for ages. While I am not trying to comment on the vendor or her services here, I am relating my experience and what I have learnt using the lifestyle deals for over a year now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beauty Tip - Reusing Unflattering Lipsticks

All you lipstick lovers out there, how many unflattering shades do you have? What do you do with them unflattering tubes of colour? Do you work at that relationship or just move on? I try some of these:

  • Lipstain: Sometimes, the full on colour can be a bit too much. Specially so if the colour is bold and bright. Moisturise your lips with a balm, dab it lightly across lips and rub with your index finger. You could leave it at that or top with a clear gloss
  • Layering Colours: I use this trick all the time. You'd be surprised how two unflattering colours together make a colour that you will love. Two negatives make a positive. No? Or use the unflattering colour beneath others to warm up, cool out, tone down and brighten other lipsticks
  • Eyeshadow Base: Before you go screaming about it creasing, it won't crease if you use a primer. A soft wash of lip colour will work as a cream shadow!
  • Blush Blush Blush: My all time favourite method! Lipsticks make the most perfect blush ever. The frosty ones make highlighters and matte ones make blushes and bronzers. 
What are your tricks? How do you make them work??


Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Oriflame Pure Colours Lipstick in Vintage Rose


Back when I was on the lookout for the perfect nude lipstick, I came across this little beauty. And little it is! Oriflame Pure Colours is available in a smaller size (2.5 gm) for trial and I picked the two nude shades that the catalogue showed. One is Vintage Nude and the other is Vintage Rose. Today, let's talk about Vintage Rose

See how small it is compared to a standard lipbalm?



What Oriflame Claims
There is no product info on the site

What I Think
Without Flash
With Flash
The colour in tube comes across a soft pink and upon swatching you realise it is a warm, pink toned nude shade. It is quite sheer and glossy. You can see the swatches which are built up post 3 swipes.

The packaging is ok. Does not look cheap but not very elegant either. I wish the shade was easier to detect though. I have to squint my eyes and read the shade name on the small tube.

It has a pleasant sweet smell that lasts for a while post application. Nothing offensive, but not everyone likes their lippies to smell.

The lasting power could have been better. A lot better. This lasts for about two hours and vanishes without a trace :( It is non drying but not moisturising. If you wear a balm underneath, the pigmentation goes for a toss!

This was my goto lipstick when I first got this. Great for office wear and will match any outfit and look. My Mahogany has usurped it from crown position but I still love to get it out. It is excellent for air travel. Fits into the smallest of pockets and small enough to do a discreet touch up on your seat!

What It Costs
The 4 gm version costs INR 179 and the 2.5 gm one costs INR 99. But they are on offer very often and I picked mine for INR 59 only. These are good enough without the offer as well, but becomes a steal deal with discounts

The Good

  1. The shade. It is an amazing warm nude shade that will suit just about everyone
  2. You don't need a gloss with this
  3. Quite economical

The Bad

  1. It should have been more long lasting
  2. Shade selection from catalogue is tricky. It looked nothing like this in the printed swatch

The Ugly
Availability is a big issue. It is available only thru Oriflame reps. Let's not count ebay here. I am not sure if they sell genuine or fake stuff! And even if you have a rep close by, the product may not feature in every month's catalogue.

Final Rating
7/10

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Query: MAC Recommendations

The birthday is approaching and I plan on getting me some MAC. Those of you who know me, I am more of a lipstick person. I don't do eyes that much. Flawless base, some liner and kajal and lipstick suffices. What do you recommend I buy. I already have Studio Fix powder foundation, Fix+, Cosmo, Twig and Siahi.... what next?


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Makeup for a professional Photograph

I needed to get a formal professional photograph clicked a while ago. Before I became the makeup junkie that I am now, I would just brush my hair and get a pic clicked. But now, I couldn't do that. It would be a makeup crime. Right? I had no idea how to do makeup for a professional photo and so I read around a bit. Here are the points that stuck home the most:

  1. Do not use products with SPF on your face. The flash would make it look lighter. How many times have you read this? Ten thousand three hundred and fifty nine? Unfortunately, all my foundations and powders had SPF in them and I was not going to buy something for a one time use only. Then it hit me that the flash has to hit you in the face directly for the whitish cast. In a studio, there is sufficient lighting to take a flashless pic. If your photographer does not do it, you can request that. Mine did not use the flash and I do not think I looked like I was trying to celebrate Halloween in the middle of summer.
  2. Carry a comb and compact for last minute touch up. I second this. Totally. Specially when you have to wait in the studio and are sweating buckets. A compact and comb will help.
  3. Use Matt makeup! I picked this from Michelle Phan. Don't know who that is? Google her! You don't want any glitter or shimmer for a professional pic now. Do you?
  4. Keep it Au Naturale. I always find red lipstick or overdone blush distracting in an official environment. Even if you can carry it off brilliantly, your application form is not the place for it. You need to look groomed. Not made up.
  5. Pay attention to your brows. If it is just your face being photographed, brown will enjoy a prominent position. They can just make or break your look. They need to be well groomed and not overly filled. Strong brows may be in now, but do you need to sport them here? Think about that.
  6. Dress for a white background. Now this is my own observation. A lot of official pics for i-cards, visa etc will demand a white background. It make sense to get them clicked and use everywhere instead of getting different ones. Btw, White and Blue are the most commonly mandated background colours. You could get them both clicked and printed at the same time and use whenever needed. So, coming back to the outfit colour. Very light and pastel shades will wash out when you pose in front of a white background. Chances are the photographer will edit and change the colour to 'Super White' (sounds like a detergent tagline) So, your outfit needs to be able to hold its own. Black, Navy, Blue are good options for White. If you are going for a double colour background, Maroon can be worn. Alternatively, you can carry a grey blazer and wear over balck / blue shirt when switching from white to blue. It does not have to match your trousers. Who is gonna see them?
And finally, after all that gyaan, here is what I looked like after my pic was taken...


I have used sunblock, foundation, compact, mascara, kajal, lipstick and blush. And yes, I did touch up just before the shot was taken.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Swatches: Colorbar Velvet Matte Sultry Pink

Hiya girls,

Zara had asked me for swatches of Colorbar Velvet Touch Sultry Pink lippie that I mentioned about. I have not had the time to do a full blown review so here are the swatches:

From Top: One Swipe, Centre: Three Swipes, Bottom: Lipstain



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DIY: Homemade Sugar Scrub

Actually, this post should be titled Hotelmade Scrub! This is a real handy trick when you forget your exfoliator on a trip and don't have a kitchen to your disposal. Most hotels provide you tea / coffee sachets in the room. What  accompanies that is sugar and milk powder. Get the trick? No? Read On...

Sugar and Olive Oil is a wonderful scrub. We know that. But once I was stuck without any oil and in desperation used milk powder. I got a wonderful results out of this. So, when I got back home I improvised and decided to make this again.

What you Need
  1. One Tablespoon Sugar Crystals 
  2. One Sachet / Tablespoon Milk Powder
  3. One Teaspoon Oil (Olive / Almond / Coconut)


The oil is optional. It does not improve the efficacy of the scrub. It does make application easier. When you mix the dry sugar and powder, you need to add a little water to it and make a thick paste. The milkpowder gives a creamy texture to it. Now if you are not careful here, the powder ends up balling and it becomes difficult to apply. Oil just helps keep the mixture together. If you are oily skinned (and not klutzy like me) you can happily skip this step.

I apply this paste on damp skin and massage till sugar dissolves. If the crystals are large, you can stop after a minute or so. Best do this in the shower. It gets messy! Also make sure you don't add too much water. The milk becomes runny and the sugar does not have enough lubrication. You will hurt your skin this way.

The scrub works very well to remove the grime and leave your skin soft. It is not the best one (Coffee Scrub is my favority DIY) but does a decent job when you don't have anything else to fall back on. If you don't like its results, well... just hop to the market and buy a branded scrub!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY: Cream Blush

Hi girls, I mentioned wearing a homemade cream blush on Corallista's FB pic today and a couple of you were curious. Hence, this post....

My DIY obsession started with a lipcolour. You can read the story here....

To get a cream blush, I used essentially the same technique. I mixed vaseline, Lakme Rose powder and a few old lipsticks and eyeshadows. I did not add almond oil or vanilla essence to it. The final product looks like this...


This gives a nice dewy finish and lasts upto 3-4 hours... I wear it around the house on dull skinned days :)

Did you girls like this? Have you done any DIY in makeup?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sporting Statement Necklaces

Hiya lovelies, I was into junk jewellery in my college days. Post marriage, I stopped wearing it altogether. The statement necklace trend caught my eye and I gave it a shot but did not like I much. I was enamored by the celebs who sported them with such finesse. I heart Kirron Kher's with elegant sarees.

Photo Credit: http://www.bharatstudent.com
She was the one who enticed me the most to try this trend one more time. So, I read around a bit and this is what I learnt:

Photo Credit: http://www.forever21.com 

  1. Statement neckpieces must be worn with plain, light self prints or textured tops only. If there is a lot going on in your top, the two will clash and kill each other! Battle of attention here :)
  2. If you are experimenting and not sure of what to do, start with smaller pieces and work your way up. The owl necklace from Forever 21 is an excellent start. There any many dupes inspired pieces available easily in local markets
  3. Weave your personal style with it. While I was straying out of my comfort zone with the accessories, I decided to stay in my comfort zone as far as the outfit was concerned. This way, I was more confident about wearing it
  4. Select a piece based on your body type. There are very few designs that are universally flattering. A statement necklace is a great way to draw attention away from where you don't want it to go. If you are large busted, a heavy chunky piece that rests on your bosom will look odd. Your necklace needs to fall between your neckline and bosom in this case. A large pendant on a chain can be worn to fall below your bust. This works the other way round for those who are not well endowed. 
Okk, enough gyan... now tell me how you liked this...


The entire outfit is a product of flea market bargain hunting :)


Ignore the unruly brows. I am trying to grow out an over plucking misshap

Mehak's Style Craze Giveaway

Hi girls,

Mehak, over at Peaches & Blush is hosting a giveaway with Stylecraze.com. Check it out here to win Bourjois Blush or Orly Nailpaint!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review: Biotique Walnut Bark Shampoo

I have used a lot of Biotique products when I was younger. Morning Nectar Lotion, Green Apple Shampoo, Apricot Body Wash (My first ever bodywash!) and Orange Peel Soap are few that I vividly recollect. For me, they were a hit and miss. I loved the Apricot wash and Orange soap but the shampoo was too drying on my air and morning nectar too heavy for my combination oily skin. But, the apple shampoo worked wonders on my mom's hair and she loved the nectar. She hated the body wash because it was too sticky and not easy to get off. Since beauty blogs (or even blogs in general) were non existent in those days, I had no one to compare notes with. I would put Biotique as a Hit and Miss. What works for you, does wonders. What does not, is a complete disaster. And so, I ventured away from this range.

Last year, my mum tried some of these again and I happened to be there when she got the Walnut Bark Shampoo. Curious Cat that I am, I gave it a try.


What Biotique Claims
This rich, body-building formula is a blend of pure walnut bark, musk root, amla, soap nut and black malya flowers, to thoroughly cleanse, and revive hair for a fuller, thicker, lifted look.

What I Think
First of all, this is not rich at all. It is a rather runny consistency. Now if they meant rich in terms of ingredients, I am not sure.... they seem pretty standard except for the waltnut bark. Check out the consistency

That said, it cleanses very well. You get that squeaky clean feeling after every wash. So much so that it strips the oils off them leaving them more and more dry everytime :(

It does not fall flat on the fuller thicker claim but is not a superstar in that department either. It gives a decent bounce and volume.

What it Costs
It costs INR 159 for a 210ml bottle. The quantity needed for a single was is much lesses than your regular drugstore shampoos like Pantene and Dove. See the pic above? That was enough for my just below the shoulder hair. I'd need double of that for Dove that I use currently. So, this bottle will last quite a while. I'd peg it down as an economical product.

The Good 
  1. It cleanses very well. If you spend a lot of time outdoors and are feeling all yucky, this is the product to reach for
  2. A little goes a long way
  3. Gives a good volume to the hair
The Bad
  1. Entire product list is missing
  2. Contains SLS
  3. Provides absolutely no conditioning. You need a separate conditioner

The Ugly
  1. It is too drying and can not be used as a regular cleanser
Final Rating
6/10 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Office Party Looks

Hi guys, December is the time for office parties Galore! While party is the time for fun, office parties need us to observe unspoken decorum. Albeit that depends on the environment of the party. I for one always feel that office parties are not the place to adorn your best club wear. But, I don't want to be the frumpy granny either. So, my unspoken party attire and look consists of:


  1. Simple Dark wash jeans or formal trousers based on the casual or formal nature of the party
  2. A chic top. Now this is where I prefer to add a bit of jazz. Nothing cleavage revealing or too body hugging. But slightly blingy, shiny stuff is good :)
  3. One eye catching accessory. My favorite is a nice bag. Be it a quilted leather evening bag or studded clutch, it stands out well. Next on my list is a statement necklace. This is specially good if you have a casual party. You can add a chunky bold necklace to your regular office outfit if you don't have time to change and viola, new look! I avoid large earrings because they hurt like crazy and get tangled in my hair while dancing. But if they are your forte, go for it
  4. Heels! The quirkier, the better! I swap my office pumps / sandals for some killer heels... 
  5. Finally, I like simple makeup. I don't do eye shadow much so the only thing I prefer is a plain wash of neutral shadow and maybe some eyeliner. I have gone bare eyed to one of the events too... :) I mattify my skin because be certain you'll sweat at a party. The booze, the dancing.... it will take its toll :) And top it off with a slight blush and lipstick or gloss. That's all!
  6. Hairstyle. If I have a haircut due, I time it a day before the party. That ways, I have salon hair ;) Else, I tame them using a blow dry or curl twist them myself. Anything to just differentiate from an everyday office look...
Look 1: I am wearing a pale gold Qi Pao (yes, it is from China) and plain dark wash jeans. Sorry about the weird outfit pic. It is the only pic from that night where my entire attire is visible. I paired this with Gold stilettos and a wooden cuff. Since my top was blingy, I wore no other accessories and very light makeup. Oh and I got my hair cut and styled the morning on my way to work ;) You can see that I am bare eyed here. Just wore my Lakme Triple Compact as a foundation and Lakme 9 to 5 lipstick in Brick. No other makeup.




Look 2: I am wearing a silk embroidered top with a matching sheer jacket here. This one is again from China (hubby spoiled me during his travels) I paired it with Black dress trousers, maroon leather booties and a purple quilted clutch from Rocky S. Maekup consisted of Colorbar creme foundation, i-glide in blackout of upper lashline and Lakme 9 to 5 lippie in Mauve Latte topped by Revlon Lipgloss in Bright Pink (don't remember the shade now)


So, what are your office party looks?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Lotus Herbals Pure Color Lipstick in Mod Mauve

I am a major lipstick fan. I can go without anything but a lipcolour on my face. And since I favour lipsticks to glosses, I do collect them like crazy.

Lotus was always a skincare brand for me. I did not even know they were into makeup till I read some of the awesome reviews on beauty blogs. I had to give these a shot. I picked Mod Mauve from the Pure Colors range.



What Lotus Herbals Claims
Lotus Herbals website calls this Moisturising Lip Color.

What I Think
I differ on the moisture claim. I would call this a non drying lip colour. This is definitely not moisturizing. I do need a balm under this. That apart, I have no complaints with this little beauty. I am in love with this nudish mauve colour. What you see on the swatch is a single swipe. It can be build to a darker mauve with 2-3 swipes. It has a sheen that eliminates need for a gloss and can lasts for a good four hours on me. It fades evenly, without a tint.

Among all the Lotus lipsticks, I like the packaging of these the most. The pale gold tube with the lotus motif is quite nice in my opinion.

It has a sweet almond smell that I don't mind but others might. Think Rogan Badam Shirin! The smell lasts for quite a while after application.

What It Costs
These are available at counters for INR 245 a pop. Lotus counters are slowly making appearances in Big Bazaars, Pantaloons, Spencers etc. You can also checkout the local beauty stores. A few of them carry Lotus colours. If you can't find them close to your place, turn to the internet. Lotus is available on Healthkart, VioletBag, GoodLife etc. More often than not, there are discounts and vouchers available on these sites.

The Good

  1. Pretty nude mauve colour that will suit a lot of skin tones from fair to dusky
  2. Non drying
  3. Decent lasting power of 4 hours
  4. At INR 245, it is amongst the least cost lipsticks

The Bad

  1. Not moisturizing
  2. Not creamy and tends to harden a bit in cooler weathers
  3. The packaging does not indicate the colour. You have to read the tiny label at the bottom if you have a few of them
The Ugly
Non of its cons make it to Ugly. Availability was one, before they were not so easily available on the internet

Final Rating
8/10

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Simple Day Party Makeup

I had a small get together for my daughter's birthday back in September. We had a crazy time coz we were moving to a new city within two weeks. So my look, like the party was quite simple:

The blush is overdone on purpose for this picture! As always, this pic was taken after all the festivities were done :) A close up of the eye makeup. Klutzy old me is particularly proud of the fine straight line here :)


Face:
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation in NC41
  • MAC Fix+ (I sprayed this on a powder brush and swirled it all over the powder foundation. The effect is similar to a liquid foundation)
  • Faces Mineral Blush in Pink Topaz
  • Maybelline Blush in Apricot Flush (my goto blush. Am so thankful to Mehak who recommended this on her blog)
Eyes:
  • Avon Glimmersticks in Jade Green on upper lashline and outer corner of lowerlashline
  • Lakme Black Satin kajal
  • Oriflame Visions Mascara
Lips:
  • MAC Cosmo (It got its first wear here!)
 I was quite happy with my makeup that day. I think it was the birthday happiness that rubbed off on me...!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FOTD with Hooked on Pink

I wanted to sport a festive yet simple look when we went Pandal hopping in Kolkata during Durga Puja. A bright lip was the best route to go. I had just bought Maybelline Coloursensational in Hooken on Pink and this seemed the perfect excuse to wear it and sport a goofy happy expression!

Face:
  • Lotus 3 in 1 sunblock (at night, yes! Not because I thought the light would have UV radiation, but because it is quite mattifying. The pic was taken after three hours of walking around in sultry Kolkata weather. I would be an oil slick without a mattifier)
  • Oriflame pressed powder
  • Lakme Rose Blush (Discountinued, i think. It is a lovely shade but the formula calls for a lot of improvement)
Eyes:
  • Colorbar I-Glide in Blackout
  • Elle 18 Kajal (This is one of the blackest Kajals I have worn and lasts almost as long as my Lotus one)
Lips:
  • Maybelline Colorsensational in Hooked On Pink (I now know why so many beauty bloggers love it)
Sunblock, compact, blush, liner, kajal and lipstick is my general routine. On special occasions, I add foundation, concealor, highlighter and eye shadow. What's your daily makeup like?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shimmery Evening Look

A couple of months back I visited Singapore. It was Singapore National Day and I had a house party to attend. Decided to sport red clothes and a shimmery evening makeup.



I went overboard with the shimmer because the flash made my face look like a disco ball... lol...Trust me, that was not the effect I was going after.

Face:
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation in NC 41
  • MAC Fix +
  • Colorbar Radiant Glow Highlighter Pen
  • Maybelline Powder Blush in Apricot Flush
Eyes:
  • Colorbar I-Glide pencil in Cocobar
  • Lotus Herbals Kajal
  • Maybelline Colossal Volume Mascara
  • Maybelline Chai Latte quad's dark brown e/s to fill the brows
  • Vega Lash Curler
Lips:
  • MAC lip liner in Spice
  • ULTA Lipgloss (Nameless, Numberless)
What do you think?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why does my lipstick leave a white line?

I have observed that many drugstore lipsticks and lipbalms leave a line of yucky white stuff on prolonged wear. Any idea what can I do to prevent it?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coffee Body Scrub - Thank you Rads

Now we all agree that fabulous skincare secrets lurk on our kitchen shelves, it takes some God-sent soul to remind us and then some motivation to haul our lazy asses to kitchen and use them. One such God-sent soul is Rads from My Weekend Ramblings. If you haven't been to her blog, just head over there and see her awesome photography right now! She has a great sense of humor, loves all things Chanel and has some great skincare posts on her blog. One such post is about the divine Coffee Scrub (she makes that look like chocolate ice cream and mine looks like... well, never mind that)

Whenever I have used this scrub, my skin has felt luxuriously soft. I feel like wearing flirty feminine clothes and floating about like a pampered queen! You get the drift. Right? It is the best body scrub ever. Try it!



Friday, November 4, 2011

Casual Dinner Look

Hello girls, how often have you been caught in a situation where you have almost no makeup on you and you need to head out? This happened to me on a recent business trip to Bangalore. I was carrying the basic compact, kajal and a few neutral lippies for day wear. Turned out bro had other plans. He took me out thrice and each time, I kicked myself for not packing in extra stuff. Since I had to make do with whatever was available, here is what I did on day 1

Face:
  • Lotus 3 in 1 Sunblock
  • Oriflame pressed powder
Eyes:
  • Lotus Kajal applied on upper lashline, lower lashline (smudged) and waterline
Lips:
  • Oriflame Visions lipstick in Almond Brown
This was an almost no makeup look that can be easily worn in the day time as well. I'd replace the kajal with Colorbar I-Glide in blackout. I went heavy on the kajal and smudged it on the lower lashline because I wanted some makeup to show. What do you think of this effort?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beauty Tip - Using Scrubs

Hiya ladies, this is a fantastic tip I picked up blog hopping long time back. I have shared it with a lot of ppl and all have loved it. So trying to spread some love on the blog too...

When you use a cream based scrub for exfoliation, allow it to sit on your face like a mask. When the scrub is semi dry, wet your hands and massage your face. This will allow the creams to penetrate deeper and give you much better results.



Try it and let me know if it worked for you. Or share your own exfoliation tip.


Friday, October 28, 2011

My Diwali Outfit and Makeup

Hi peeps, how was your Diwali? Those of you who celebrated, I hope you had a blast. I sure did. There was last minute cleaning, a mini feast and a party to attend among the usual stuff. On top of that, I had to redo my sari twice. So, I had very little time for my makeup. Here is my Diwali outfit:


This is a burnt orange georgette sari with antique gold sequins in a honeycomb pattern all over. I kept rest of the bling minimal with a polki necklace and matching bangles. My FOTD was pretty simple as well.


Face:
  • Lotus Whiteglow Micro Emulsion
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation in NC 41
  • Maybelline powder blush in Apricot Flush
Eyes:
  • Glittery Copper colour from Maybelline Chai Latte quad all over the lid
  • Colorbar i-glide in Cocobar on the upper lash line
  • Lakme Black Satin kajal on lower lash line
Lips:
  • Lotus Herbals Pure Colours lipstick in Peach Creme as a base
  • MAC Twig lipstick
The last time I used Twig, camera flash brought out pink undertones very prominently. This time, I wanted it to retain the earthy colour in pictures as well. So, I added a coat of Peach Creme as base. Do you think it worked?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Karwa Chauth Look

So Karwa Chauth came and went.In north India, some women are more excited about the outfit, accessories and makeup than the actual fast :p And honestly, you can't blame them. The fast itself is not much to get excited about. Soooo, here is my look for this year.



This pic was taken in the evening after the pooja. So excuse the oiliness please (and the fake camera smile!!!)

Face: 
  • Crabtree & Evelyn moisturizer followed by Lotus 3 in 1 sunblock
  • MAC Studio Fix powder foundation in NC41
  • MAC Fix +
  • Garnier Light Anti Dark Circle Eye Roll on in Medium as under eye concealor
  • Faces Mineral Blush in Amber Rose
Eyes:
  • Colorbar Creme Foundation as primer
  • ULTA eyeshadows in Blue in the inner corner and Gold in the outer corner
  • MAC Siahi on upper lashline
  • Lakme Black Satin Kajal
  • Oriflame Visions Mascara 

Lips:
  • Lotus balm in Velvet Rose
  • MAC Twig Lipstick  


I wore this look even after the Pooja when I changed into a more comfortable pink cotton salwar kameez. The flash makes Twig appear a lot more pink. In reality is was more brown. The best part is that the pink became more apparent when I wore pink. 

So what do you think about this look?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Prunella ends the Purple woes

None of us are strangers to Colorbar I-Glide pencils....

From colorbarcosmetics.com

If an I-Glide popularity poll was to be conducted, Prunella would feature right at the top! Few pencil liners boast of a vibrant purple as prunella. It is a fantastic jewel toned purple that showed up beautifully on my dark lids. I first noticed this colour when Tanveer of ATB swatched it in her Purple liners comparison post. Have you read it? No, then please click on the post link above and have a dekko. She has some fabulous purples! The shade are all pretty but when I saw then Prunella stood out. N, it actually called out to me. Till that point, I had never even thought of a purple liner. I had black, brown, blue and a green that looked horrible on me. Thats all the colors I would need. Oh, the naivety of noviceness! Anyway, since then I have been to the colorbar counter often and it was always out of stock. I tried other purple liners but none seemed good enough. It had to be prunella.

Yesterday, I finally got it and my purple liner quest has come to an end. Now, to find another quest..... :)

My camera is out of action and hence no actual swatch of the product. But then, you've all seen it. Right? 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Random Ramblings and MACness

I am drawn to black these days. Black the colour. Specially when it comes to clothes. I realised that 4 of the 8 tops I took on a recent trip were black. And then I picked out a new black shirt. All without realizing it. Maybe I am going thru the fat girl syndrome. I just made that up. I am not aware of such a syndrome actually exists. So yes, I  acutely aware of all the unfitting clothes in my closet and dressing up every morning throws me into five minutes of depression. Just give minutes? Yeah, that's all I have time for. My day flies and every night I have the feeling of having spent hours and not achieved anything. There is so much I want to do, there is so little I manage. Can you believe the frustration? 


Anyway, on the plus side, I bought some gorgeous stuff! Mac studio fix powder foundation in NC41. I know now why it was called a must have on beauty blogs. It gives such a flawless finish!! My Singapore pics show such fresh skin when the bare skin was anything but. It was dull and patchy. Thanks to the lovely MUA Gayathri at Koramangla in Bangalore who picked this out for me. My only grouse is that it oxidised on me after about an hour in the sun. All foundations do that on me. I expected this one not to. And she sold me fix+. I am so glad she did. I love the dewiness it imparts. 


The other thing that was not on my agenda was a lip pencil. My fist mac eye product was Siahi. The first lip peoduct was going to be Cosmo. I had never in my wild dreams imagined I would pick a lip pencil. But makeup Gods had other plans for me. And I am so glad they did. I love love love the pencil in Spice. Near perfect match for my lips and can be worn under the sheerest of lippies without any worry. It's beautiful on it's own or topped with a gloss / balm. And so hydrating! 


Then, I went on this big trip and picked Twig and Cosmo at the airport duty free. I got them for 800 bucks! That's why I got two. Yipeedoo!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beauty Tip - Curling Eyelashes

You can use a hair dryer to heat your eyelash curler.  The warmth of the eyelash curler will help curl your lashes more efficiently :)

I read this on the net today and thought of blogging it. I will share more of these when I come across them

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

MAC Blogger's Obsession

Back in the day when I started blogging with the alter ego, (Dec 2004) blogging was just for fun. Over the years, bloggers have become a force to reckon with.... I would rather read a blog for some honest opinion than a newspaper! It came as no surprise then, that MAC has launched a new collection called Blogger's Obsession

Source: www.maccosmetics.com

What MAC says about the collection
No one <3's M∙A∙C more than a Beauty Blogger. To thank Amber Katz, Lesley Ellen Mirza, Lianne Farbes, Wendy Lam, Christine Mielke, Patrice Grell Yursik, Lily Nima, Karen Monterichard & Aileen De Los Angeles for their passionate devotion & always honest feedback, we invited them to our lab to custom create their own Eye Shadow or Lipglass. Exclusively online, just like the makeup-mad minds that invented them.


The collection has four eye shadows and five Lipglasses, all conceptualised by bloggers! With names like Sonoran Rain, Nitrolicious and Jealousy Wakes... the products are only available thru the website. A fitting tribute to the online world. I'd say :) Did I say are available? Scratch that. Three out of the nine products are already sold out. So, if you want to grab them... you better act soon...



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Lust List

Thanks to all the beauty bloggers around, I have a makeup lust list. I am a drugstore brand junkie and the luxury products are bought only at special occasions. So, I doubt I will ever reach the end of this one...

  1. MAC Cosmo Lipstick - Such a lovely colour. This will go well with all sorts of looks. I am pretty sure this will be my first MAC lipstick :)
  2. MAC Sunbasque Blush - I have been in love with this ever since I saw Farha rock this in the festive looks she wore for her BIL's wedding. You can see them here. Speaking of Farha, where has she disappeared?
  3. NARS Orgasm Blush - Do I need to give a reason why I want this? :) Absolutely gorgeous, cult favorite. Whats not to love?
  4. Sigma Make Me Blush Brush Kit - Sigma brushes are great... aren't they? And when they come in this super cute color, who wouldn't lust after them?
  5. Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner - I fell in love with gel liners when I used MAC Siahi. Bobbi Brown liners are supposedly better. And they come in 14 shades! Fourteen... our Indian marketeers think all we want is black!
  6. Colorbar i-glide in Prunella - Are you surprised to see a drugstore product amongst all luxury ones? Well, this one has been out of stock whenever I have visited a colorbar counter. Hence, it makes the list. I have yet to find my HG purple liner.
  7. Benefit High Beam - Rashmi deserves the credit for introducing me to this and making me read more about this. The more I read, the more I loved!
  8. Benefit Bella Bamba Blush - Its pink, its packaged like a disco ball and it brightens up every complexion... great buy?
This is just part one... watch out for part deux!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Luxebox in India?

How is that for an idea? Those of you who have not heard of luxe box, you can check out their website here.

I was wondering if such a service was available in India, what would it be like? I'd love for brands like Makari and Fabindia and Khadi to participate in it. Even Clinique, Lancome and Illamasqua that are not easily accessible to us in India ( I don't mean the metros here). But what if the Indian Luxe-box turns out to be full of Lakme, Lotus and Maybelline? Would we like it?

If the luxe-box was all Indian brands Vs a mish mash of the phoren ones, would the ladies be excited with it? Personally, I wouldn't mind either....The idea of a surprise pckage excites me, even if I have to pay a bit. The box costs 12 dollars a month including shipping. Thats approx 550 rupees. I don't think the beauty blogger junta would mind it. Not only does it allow us to test great products, it provides for so much discussion! And for a sample starved country like ours, this could be an instant hit... what do you think? Would you like a luxe box?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cali's Oriflame Giveaway



While on giveaways, don't forget to check out Cali's Oriflame one at Beauty Diaries



Ik's Sigma Giveaway

Hi girls, Ikku is holding a Sigma brushes giveaway... head over to Makeup Monologues and check it out...


ULTA Lip Gloss Swatches

Hey there... I revisited my old makeup stash and found these beauties....


These fabulous ULTA lipglosses are part of my huge makeup kit... i love the cute packaging and the longevity of these babies. They are very pigemented and stay on for ages. I wore Mischief to work today and toched up after 5 hours. That too because of a meal. It was absolutely fine before lunch!

Oh, sorry I forgot to introduce Mischief to you -

ULTA lipgloss in Mischief

And presenting its twin, Ribbon Red -
ULTA Lipgloss in Ribbon Red

The swatches

The first one is with flash and the second is without. Aren't they pretty? You can read my detailed review here.

I wish Sephora, Nyx and ULTA would come to India soon!!




Friday, June 3, 2011

Lip Balm Love

Hi girls, if you were to ask me about my favourite beauty products, I would have to say lip products. I am equally fond f lipsticks, glosses and balms and alternate between the 3 depending on my mood. Lipbalms are a more recent love so they deserve a little more attention than others. Don't you think?

Whatever anybody may tell you, there is NO such thing as lip balm addiction.

I have tried, vaseline, dermalogica, bvlgari, jovees and himalya before I found my HG balm. The Nivea Starshine series. Anyone who has used these will love them without arguement. They are non waxy, shiny, impart a lovely tint and have a yummy flavour. You don't need to use anything with them and they are my go to products in absolute tearing hurry (which is often!) The only drawback is that they can not be used as is it underneath a lipstick. The gloss and tint do not let the lipstick sit well or show its true colour. They may not moisturise as well as some other balms out there, but with something as cute as this, you don't mind reapplying every now and then. Do you?


Pictured above are the Pink Guava (l), Dragonfruit (r) and Pomegranate (bottom) variants. I also have the strawberry one. Pomegranate has the most vibrant colour but smells like something else altogether and I am not very fond of the maroonish tint. Dragonfruit is a gorgeous bright pink that is my absolute favourite. Pink Guava is a nude pink; the MLBB shade and Strawberry smells like real fresh strawberries. It is a light red that is very wearable.

Here are the swatches. Pomegranate (top), Pink Guava (l) and Dragonfruit (r) -




All in all, I love these and will collect all the shades they launch in future as well. The only lip balms I feel like trying now are eos (the egg balm) and burt's bees. The rest of lipbalm love goes to Nivea and Nivea alone...


What are your favorite balms?