Friday, February 28, 2014

Drugstore beauty: ELF Essential Liquid Eyeliner in Midnight

ELF Essential Liquid Eyeliner in Midnight is one of those non-fussy yet superb performer from Drugstore. For $1, this is a product that delivers everything it claims - astonishing is it not?

What ELF says about their Liquid Eyeliners [from website] : "No more tugging or pulling on your eyelids with this easy glide Liquid Eyeliner. The smudge-proof liner is rich in color, creating a long lasting defined look. The fine tip brush creates easy and precise definition for natural or dramatic eye effects."

My Experience:

I agree with everything the brand promises with this product. This is a slightly thick yet very smooth liquid liner that is superbly easy to apply. With one swipe you get enough color for a light lining; the intensity can easily be built upon.

The color is a beautiful indigo blue that would look especially amazing on green-hazel eyed beauties. I can easily get a cat-eye or a winged eyeliner look with this liner. The eyeliner tip is very fine, soft & flexible, that makes any kind of designing a piece of cake.

As ELF says, there is no tugging, no smudging once it sets and it lasts for an average of 5-6 hours and more if used above primer or concealer. This is not waterproof, but I actually prefer my eye makeup to be non-waterproof for daily wear usage so that is fine with me.

Overall: I love this eyeliner and would recommend it to everyone, especially to those who are just starting to play with winged eyeliners.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

WARNING!! Stay Away from Sally Hansen Insta Smooth Pods Creme Hair Remover, if you value your skin and looks!

I don't any pictures to show you here. I didn't take my pics during the time of my suffering because to be honest, I never want to see my face looking like that ever again.

2013 April: 

I had just joined for my makeup artist class and was superbly excited about it. I was busy planning my wardrobe and lipsticks, when my husband suggested that I clean up my upper lips as my 'moustache' was showing a bit. That day, when I visited a local drugstore, I noticed these Sally Hansen Insta Pods and bought it for the hair removal. I do all my hair removals at night as the skin is pretty sensitive and I didn't want to irritate it in sunlight.

Immediately after application, I noticed that my skin was hurting a lot; I couldn't take it after 2 mins so I removed it. My skin was an angry red and I immediately applied aloe vera to cool it down. I hoped by morning it will be all okay. The next day when I woke up, I took one look at my husband's horrified face and then rushed to check the mirror.

I almost wept - the area around my mouth, nose and chin was dotted with burn wounds. I remembered once seeing a lady who suffered from oil wounds on her face- my face looked pretty similar. The next day I was supposed to join my course and I almost signed off as I didn't want to look so bad when I am going to a makeup artist class!!

However I did go and I am happy I did because the course was great. Though none of my classmates said anything about my scary looks, I couldn't try any of the makeup tricks on my face and instead of all the glam looks I planned for my course, I looked recently hospitalized with all the band-aids over my face.

My skin is not sensitive. I have normal to oily skin and I use a variety of products. In fact, it is rare that I use the same products everyday for a week. I have used Veet's hair removal cream without any negative effects.

I can only imagine what would be the effect of this cream on a sensitive face. I dont know what kind of harsh chemicals went into this product that within 2 mins it clean burnt my face!

My advise is stay away from such cream products for face. Try either waxing or any other method of hair removal.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sunscreen for Sensitive skin: Lumixyl Moisture Lock Sunscreen SPF 30

I got this as part of a trial kit, while I was doing my makeup artist course at Canadian Beauty College. I was suffering from some chemical burns [Darn you, Sally Hansen Insta Pod Hair removal cream!] and my face looked scary. The worst part was I was traveling and I needed a sunscreen but couldn't use my regular ones as it irritated my wounds.

The lovely Jen at the CBC Mississauga office suggested using this cream and she gave me a trial kit free [thank you Jen!] along with my purchase of Lumixyl's Topical Brightening cream. I tried the sunscreen for a week and more; it was a good time to try as it was April-May here in Toronto when we get some nice summer sun.

About the product: Lumixyl is one of those Spa/Speciality-Retailer-Only kind of product that is not easily available in stores.  I read in their website that some of their products are developed through research at Stanford, which is impressive.

This product costs around $50 which is kinda high for a sunscreen. You can read more about what they have to say about this sunscreen here:

My Experience: I used this over my wounds during my travels and I must say - this is one of the very few products I could use on my face without any irritation. This is a white lotion that looks and feels like most other sunscreen lotions.  On massaging on to face, this initially leaves a white cast which then gets absorbed pretty fast. One thing I liked is that this didn't leave much oily sheen on face like many other sunscreens. Regarding whether it protected me effectively, I have no idea of measuring except by noticing that my skin didn't darken as it usually does if I don't apply sunscreen.

 Overall: I am okay with the results, but I wouldn't repurchase because:
1. My skin is normally not sensitive and even if sensitive, I have got my trusty Lotus Herbals sunscreen with SPF 70 :). So I don't the point of using this as it is just SPF 30.

2. It is expensive for a sun-screen.

3. Lumixyl sells in China and they must definitely be doing animal testing- so another reason to say Hi to Lotus Herbals Sunscreen.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Beauty @office- Easy to Do Skin care tips [espl for those in IT]

Everyday we spend around 7-8 hours at office - ever thought of using some of those break times for taking care of your skin? As a full time IT worker, my skin suffers greatly from the harsh a/c and long hours without any activity.

So last few months and more, I have been trying out different Do-At-Office Skin care tips that you can try out in the 5-10mins rest room break you take or at desk in your office.

1. Coffee & Sugar scrub

If you have coffee powder and sugar at your office kitchen, you have ingredients for a great exfoliant ready for you; if not, too bad- bring from home :)

Mix some coffee [any coffee] and some sugar crystals. Add milk or honey or even any cream you have right before you use, to make a thick mixture.

After a tiring morning, take this mix with you to the rest room before or after your lunch break. Wet your face and slowly massage this for 3-5mins. To avoid any spillovers to your dress, use a wet napkin to slowly remove the scrub.

Coffee refreshes your tired skin, sugar is a great exfoliant and milk/cream moisturizes your skin. You can even use this as a lip exfoliant if you are prepping for that office meeting.

2. Skin and Eye Refresher - Tea Bags

If you get tea bags at office, don't throw them away after use [if you use milk, then throw it]. After making your tea, keep the tea bag with you.

Whenever you feel your skin is looking extra tired, dip this tea bag in hot water till water becomes warm enough to wash your face with this lightly tea infused water.

Leave that tea bag in the office fridge; you can use this later when your eyes feel tired - just keep it on your eyelids and keep your eyes closed for 2-3mins.

3. Mini Face Packs for a quick facial

Moisturizing pack: Mix any of the following ingredients from the base and pack group-
Base - Milk or Water
Pack- Milk Powder, oats, cocoa or chocolate powder

Refreshing Face Pack: Mix any of the below ingredients from base and pack group - 
Base - Water, Tea water [see above], Milk [if you have dry skin]
Pack - Cocoa or Chocolate powder, Coffee powder

Apply this till it becomes semi dry and use a wet napkin to remove this.

If you can get any of the below cut fruits from your local deli, squash and mix with your pack for a bonus benefit:
1. Watermelon - Hydrating effect
2. Blueberry - antioxidant effect
3. Black berry - antioxidant effect
4. Kiwi - exfoliation

4. Essential oils for skin care
If you dont wish to remove your makeup, try the below steps:
  1. Bring a soft cotton or sponge. For eyes, use a Q-tip.
  2. Get your favorite essential or skin care oils. Mine is a mix of Rose Hip Seed oil [for anti aging] and Orange [for brightening]. Take 3-4 drops of the oil.
  3. Dip the cotton or sponge in the oil mix and slowly press the sponge against your face. Use a press-and-go motion, dont rub or massage. For eyes, use the q-tip for under eye skin.
  4. Once you cover the whole face, use your palms to slowly tap the face for better absorption and easier blood flow. Using your palms will avoid disturbing the makeup.
  5. Using oils gives a glow or slight shine to face which I like [ gives a more youthful look]. For a matte finish, reapply your powder.

Hope this helps you as it has helped me so far.. :)

Adding below the essential oils I use:
Rose hip:
Orange oil:

$10off 1st buy@iHerb :

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My night time cleanser: The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Cream

My interest in Korean cosmetics started with BB creams, CC creams and all the reviews in the Blog world that claimed the superiority of Korean makeup & beauty products compared to their Western counterparts.

I was not very sure of testing out the K-beauty products as, to be honest, I am a bit wary when I cannot read the ingredients [no knowledge of Korean]. So after deliberating for sometime I got some K-beauty products and I must say, I am impressed by the few I have used so far.

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Cream [hooo..the name is a mouthful!] caught my eye cos it was supposed to be a 'Naturally Brightening Solution with Rice Water'.  I have no idea what Rice Water is or what it is supposed to do. My grandma used to make a paste of rice flour with honey and used to apply it on my face for brightening effect; I am assuming this cream also has that kinda effect.

This cream retails for around $15 CAD for 200 ml of the product; you can buy this from Cosmetic Love website here

I am not a fan of the tub packaging for hygienic reasons; however this looks kinda pretty and the wide mouth of the tub makes it easy to scoop the product out. The cream is slightly thick, applies very smoothly and has a very old-world kinda scent which I like.

How I use: I use a coffee stirrer to scoop out enough product and massage them lightly all over my face. I find that it cleans better after I wash my face with warm water. On massaging, the cream turns a bit oily, which I think helps with any makeup removal.

I could notice the slight brightening effect; what made me love this cleanser is that it removed makeup very effectively without drying out my face. After cleansing, my skin felt moisturized and very soft. Once I removed my makeup at night, even if I forget to apply my nightly serum, my face doesn't dry out -which is pretty neat considering the harsh winter here.

What I wouldn't suggest: Using this to remove eye makeup. I tried and it did remove makeup, but it hurt a bit when some product accidentally touched my cornea; I think it is the effect of the oil content in this product.

Overall: Loved this product but I may not repurchase the exact product if I find something better :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ipsy Glam bag for February 2014: Look of Love

I got my February Glam bag 2days ago and to be honest, I didn't get much time to review the products. So this is just to show what I got and I will review the products soon [hopefully].

As usual love the pink cover, but really wish they had a nice design on the pink Ipsy bag as well. I got 5 products and its a nice mix of Face, Eye, Lip and nail products.

Ipsy has done a nice job in balancing the products; I have updated my profile as I want more skin care products.

POP Beauty Plump Pout Mini 

I got the shade in Peony Petal. This looks like a nice safe shade. 

City Color Be Matte Blush

I got Fresh Melon, a good one for summer.

Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base In One

I got the shade Ambrosia; this is the one product I am not very happy about as its a very common shade and I am not an eyeshadow fan.

Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Butter

I always wanted to try Pacifica products, so here is my chance.

Zoya Nail Polish in Odette

I am very happy with this shade as it looks like a nice one for winter. This is from their Naturel collection.

Ipsy bags are a great way to try some new products without burning a hole in your wallet. If you wish to join, check my referral code here:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Skin Care update: A New favorite daily moisturizer with Vit C from

This is my current favorite face lotion- Aroma Naturals Amazing C, A & E Vitamin Lotion. I got this from iHerb [adding link below]

iHerb says about the product that "This antioxidant Vitamin C Lotion delivers long-lasting moisture and helps to support new collagen production, skin tone rebalancing and less noticeable fine lines. Fortified with Coconut Water, Aloe Vera Gel and Green Tea for rapid Hydration, and synergistic Vitamins A & E with Alpha Lipoic Acid. Our patent pending Omegas 3, 6, 7, & 9 complex is high in Essential Fatty Acids, helping to restore elasticity and resilience. Organic Cocoa Butter and Organic Shea Butter rapidly smoothes and soothes your skin, and are great for helping scars and stretch marks be less noticeable."

My experience [ normal to dry skin, Early 30s]

This is a good moisturizer - tested in the Winter here in Canada, so this is good. I apply this in the morning and at night; it  kept my face hydrated for the whole day except for some very dry patches around the mouth [I use my clear lip balm in those areas]

Regarding the fine lines and scar reduction, I cannot say much cos I have neither. But I couldnt see any special effect on the pigmentation on my face. This gave a slight brightening effect on application and I found that this worked well as a primer too.

For me, this met my expectations of a light weight soothing non irritant easily absorbed moisturizer, that I could use with my sunscreen and apply under makeup. And at $4.00CAD approx, this is a good buy for me!

Monday, February 17, 2014

NYC City Duet 2 in 1 Lipcolor in shade Café Cuties 429

Hello Everyone,
Hope February is treating you nicely and you’re having loads of fun shopping. Myself, I have been indulging in bits-n-bytes of shopping – both in-store & online. This is from a recent Walmart haul [though buying a single lipstick cannot be counted as a haul]- they were having a sales & I thought – why not!

NYC City Duet shades retail for around $2.99 CAD. The packaging is pretty flimsy and boring- but serves the purpose as the transparent casing helps in selecting shades easily. Also the label is printed in the dual shades so even though there were no testers, we can guesstimate if it works on not.

I was hunting for a regular work-wear lip color – somehow I associate brown and dark reds with office; probably a leftover from watching FRIENDS early seasons. NYC has come up with an interesting concept here – 2 shades that kinds matches. I don’t know if they were thinking of aOMBRE finish for lips but this can be used if you are interesting in that style.

Café Cuties has 2 shades of peachy brown colors- 1 darker caramel kinda color and a lighter butterscotch color. I tried both shades separately and used the tip to get a combined color [a medium caramel shade].  I prefer the combination better than the individual colors as it’s a very mellow peachy nude shade.

What I like about this shade is, it can even be used without a lip balm as it does not dry me out [not in winter though]. The lighter shade has some shimmers, but not very visible, which makes it a great daily wear.

What I don’t like –
- the scent is a bit stronger than what I would prefer but not to a turn-off level
- staying power is average [2-3 hours] ; fades off completely which is okay as it’s a nude shade
-packaging is a bit messy as the cap doesn’t stay that well

Overall, for around $2, this is a nice peachy brown shade and a fun lip product for your daily wear but nothing lip-tastic.

Review: ELF Studio Matte Lip color in Coral

Hello Everyone,
Hope you are all doing great and having fun. I have been suffering a bit from Winter Blues [its been pretty bad here in Toronto] so like a good makeup lover I went and got some lippies. ELF has always been a favourite of mine - mainly cos they don’t test on animals and they have such nice prices, but I don’t always find ELF products here [sad!]. So when I saw this lippie at a dollar store here, how could I skip it?

ELF Studio range is marketed the higher priced and better quality versions of their regular essential line. They have sleek black casing and is usually around $3-$6 USD. Matte Lip colors are a not-so-chubby lip colors with creamy matte finish. Not many shades in this range, in fact no dark colors except for a bright red shade.
I like the elegant black packaging and the pencil-like casing. This makes it easy to apply the shade around lip contours. There is no strong scent or taste; staying power is okay- I got around 4-5 hours without any food.

Coral is a peachy coral, not a pinkish coral which is more flattering to our Indian skin tones. This gives a very creamy finish and sets to a satin-matte finish. Not a true matte effect but you can mattify this & increase the staying power easily by blotting over 1-2 times.

I am not a fan of this color as it kind of washes me out; this type of pastel shades are more suited to a paler and fairer skin tones. Also if you have pigmented lips [like me] then the color doesn’t show up really nice unless you conceal the original lip color.

If you like such colors, my suggestion would be to try and perfect your makeup as pale shades can easily show any uneven skin finishes.

Overall, this is a nice lip product for all you nude-lip lovers; if you are looking for a perfect matte, this may be tad disappointing though.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A perfect waste of money.. Review and Swatches: Chambor White UV Protector

I wasted around 600INR for this dud of a product. As per the SA [may her lying soul not rest in peace], this was supposed to be a great tinted moisturizer that will brighten up skin in 5mins and had the added bonus of SPF 29..Why 29???? No rounding off??

This did nothing...absolutely nothing... no brightening, no moisturizing and when I went out in the hot April sun of Chennai, within an hour I turned 2-3 shades darker! Above all, it had a freakish whitish cast, so I couldn't even try to use it as a primer - did Chambor think that people wanted to dress up like cheap Dracula's bride?

And for a company that charges kinda high for their products, the packaging is weirdly cheap and has no information on the company, the ingredients or anything.

Nothing more to add - Just check the pics below.

Product of Japan -so whats the role of GENEVA ??????

Look at that whitish cast!!!!

Tips and Tricks: How to stop your nails from getting bitten!

This might be more of a post for kids or teens, but for me this is a real concern and if there are any other ladies out there who suffer from the same "I-cant-just-stop-biting-my-nails" malady, I hope this strikes a chord with you.

Okay, I am an adult, I like dressing up, I love nail polishes, I adore manicured polished nails and yet... I cant just stop biting the lil ones, when I am stressed :( I know there might be several psychological reasons, but hey, I am not here to talk about that but about how this naughty habit can be controlled. Since this is an article based on purely personal experience, you  can tell me if its nonsense or let me know if you like it :)

1. Keep your Friends and Family in the loop: Nothing works better than a friend who smacks your head when you start chewing on your nails or a husband who says "yewwww..stop that", so keep em in the loop and that sure controls the biting part a lot!

2. Keep your nails hidden: The idea is to keep your nails tucked away from the reach of those vicious teeth. I do it by wrapping my nails with an adhesive plastic or with a glove, removing both only if necessary.

3. Shame yourself and your nails: Here, you shame your bitten nails and yourself by applying a bold nail color over the misshapen bits of nails, walking around with it and getting stared at by people. Your beauty conscious self cringes at the sight of your half bitten nails and next time, your teeth goes near it, your inner beauty angel will kick hard!

4. Identify the bite timings: This requires effort, think and try to remember when you bite your nails. Is it when you think about seeing your cranky boss, or meeting your crazy mama-in-law? Once you identify, tag the memory and next time you start even remotely thinking about it, keep in your hands away from your face and in your pocket!

5. Un-taste your hands: Cover your hands with hand and nail creams so easily available, and soooo not tasty. Keep doing it especially when you are idle. The chemical taste is a sure turn off :)

6. Tempt Yourself: Buy some expensive and/or irresistible nail polishes which would tempt you enough to ring those warning bells when you start chewing your nails.

Note: All images are courtesy of 
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