SEPTEMBER FAVORITES

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Can you believe September is already over! Its time to bring out the boots, scarves, cute colorful socks, and hot chocolate. I am so excited about October, but first I have a few products to rave about that I really enjoyed using in the month of September. First up is NARS Lip Gloss in Salamanca ($26) which practically lived in my handbag and used it as if I didn’t own any other lip product. The color salamanca is a gorgeous coral pinky red that is really flattering on the lips. The formula is semi-opaque and lasts about 3-4 hours on me. It is also very moisturizing, non sticky, and comfortable to wear. I just can’t deal with sticky lip glosses! In all, its perfect for an everyday look.

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For my eyes, I have been crazy about the LAURA MERCIER Caviar Stick Eye Color in Cocoa ($28). It is a beautiful cream shadow stick with a gorgeous sheen (not glitter). The sticks are very versatile to wear, long-lasting and do not crease. They can also be worn as base color or as a liner. I mostly wore it as a thick liner, smudge/smoke it with the finger for a smoky liner effect. A lil dab on the lower lash line and lashings of mascara for an easy and simple look. It is very smooth to apply and can be worn all day, and at the same time not a pain in the backside to remove at the end of the day. Highly recommend!

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HOURGLASS Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($58) This is a fresh launch and I know this palette will be in my next months favorites also. Although its cheating a lil bit as I got hold of this palette in the last week of September, but I have been wearing it ever since and I had to include it in my favorites. It’s so gorgeous that it’s almost a piece of collectible makeup. I recently reviewed this product in detail on the blog and if you are interested in reading the post, you can go here! I can’t say enough about this palette – it’s a beautiful holiday launch of this year.

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For skincare, PAULA’s CHOICE Resist BHA 9 ($40) was a hero product this month. Although September was a good skin month (kinda) for me, I still had a few stubborn blackheads, and breakouts that needed some attention. I had heard gossmakeupartist  talk about this product a few times, so I decided to splurge. I only use it at night as a spot treatment as my last step in my skincare routine. It is really good at unclogging the pores and clearing up stubborn blemishes. I had this one whitehead or milia (not sure) on my nose for at least past 3-4 months errrr. I tried everything and nothing seemed to work on it. I had given up on the whitehead, and would spot treat my congested areas with BHA 9 like usual and would apply the left over product on the whitehead. I don’t know when it got rid of this ‘stubborn’ whitehead. Sometimes we just need experiences like these to believe in a product. I really swear by Resist BHA9 and would try more of Paula’s Choice.

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And finally in the nails department, its time for me to say that NAILS INC NailKale – Superfood Base Coat ($15) is the best base coat out there in my opinion. Now this is another product I’ve reviewed in the past (here). This is the only base coat I wore this entire past month. My nails did not split and felt much healthier and stronger. I also wore this without any polish on top of it simply for its hydrating and repairing formula. I highly recommend Nailkale base coat for dry or brittle nail gurls!

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What have you been loving this past month?


REVIEW: HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING BLUSH PALETTE

SOOOOO EXCITED!

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When I first bought the Hourglass ambient lighting blush earlier this year, I had anticipated they would release a holiday blush palette just like they did their ambient lighting powder palette (which BTW I still LOVE!). So here it is, the gorgeous – HOURGLASS Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($58).

The palette contains three blush shades – two of them are from their permanent line and can be bought as single compacts, while the third is a brand new limited edition shade.

Luminous Flush – a champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder to evoke a candlelit glimmer and the only blush I already own (what are the chances?) and love.

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Mood Exposure – a soft plum blush fused with Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder to brighten the complexion.

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Incandescent Electra – an exclusive and limited edition shade is a cool peach blush blended with Incandescent Light Ambient Lighting Powder. I am most excited about this color. 

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The palette is about the same size as the Ambient Lighting Powder Palette ($58). The blushes have a lightweight velvety smooth texture, the color is build-able and in my opinion you can get away without wearing a highlighter since the blush has subtle, light-reflective properties/particles that give the complexion radiance and soft color to the cheeks.

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I ordered mine from Sephora in an early access for VIB Rouge members. The palette will be available on the HOURGLASS website and in SEPHORA starting October. It would be a perfect addition to your makeup collection if you already do not own one! Also it would make a perfect Christmas gift for your makeup lover friends or family.

I love Hourglass and I can already tell this is going to be one of my new obsession!

Happy shopping y’all!  XO


 

CLEANSING BALM |EMPTIES…#2|

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Last week, two of my balm cleansers ran out at the same time. Weird, right?. Good thing I had back up (always do – I am organized like that). This brings me to my second empties blog post. I was introduced to ‘balm cleansers’ by “Caroline Hirons“, the skincare goddess. I am such a skincare addict and I one hundred percent blame her for it! She is a great resource on skincare advice, and I try to keep myself updated through her blog and now, her YouTube channel (thank god!). If you haven’t already checked it out, you should! (Here). She is  incredibly knowledgable about all things skincare, and to top it, has a great sense of humor.

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And now about the products – EMMA HARDIE Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm ($63) (that’s quite a mouthful) was the first balm cleanser I ever used, and it was this product that made me love the process (and results) of taking the time, especially in my night-time skincare routine, to cleanse properly. I use this product as my second cleanser on ‘make-up’ days (after having removed all of my make-up). I directly apply the balm on my dry face (it quickly dissolves into a light slippery oil), massage it in concentrating on the congested areas, and then remove it with a damp hot wash cloth. I have a habit of rinsing my face after to make sure there’s no residue left. The texture of the balm is luxe – really soft and smooth. It melts on the skin and breaks down all traces of makeup leaving the face really clean and bright, without drying out the skin of its natural oils. It smells divine – very SPA like! and is suitable for all skin types. It’s pleasantly nice to use and perhaps the most popular cleansing balm in the world… However, one thing I don’t like about this product is the packaging. The lid cracked on both of my jars, and the warmer weather melted the balm separating the oil, which leaked making it impossible to travel with! Despite that, Emma Hardie has become quite a staple in my cleanser stash, even if it means ordering it from UK. It’s definitely a pricier cleanser but I don’t regret the splurge. I order mine from feelunique.com with free worldwide delivery. I would highly recommend this balm cleanser to anyone!   

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Second cleanser that died on me this week is the ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY Purify & Soothe Facial Cleansing Balm ($52.50). This is another English brand. I like quite a few products from this line but unfortunately, this cleanser didn’t agree with my skin. It’s a very thick balm cleanser that is hard to squeeze out of the tube. Elemental Herbology claims that it dissolves impurities and melts every trace of make-up. However, it does not feel as smooth/slippery on the skin as the Emma Hardie one. And it’s a lil bit difficult to remove from the skin, even with a damp hot washcloth. It’s designed for dry or mature skin, and may be that’s why it felt a lil too heavy for my combination skin. I finished this tube but I don’t have any plans to repurchase it. Not a Hero product for me.

I am a total convert to using cleansing balms. My skin feels so nourished and not stripped after cleansing. As I use a wash cloth to remove the cleanser, I get daily mild exfoliation as a bonus.

Have you tried any of these cleansers? I would love to hear your thoughts…

There’s a cleansing balm for every face – Have you found yours?


 

CLARIFYING & DETOXIFYING FACE MASKS

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Face masks are my second favorite skincare product after serums. Although they’re such a Sunday thing, my skin can’t be left unattended (it’s high maintenance), so I try to do a few masks a week to target different skin conditions. Face Masks deliver instant results. Today I am going to share my top three clarifying & detoxifying masks for spotty skin days. Whenever my skin gets a little congested or spotty, these are the ones I reach for and they seem to work for me.

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The first of my favorites is – GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment ($69, which will cost you at least  six lunches. Having said that, it’s also a very potent skin clearing treatment and really really works on the skin. I use it mostly as a spot treatment, more than as a face-mask (its pricey!). Sometimes, I leave it on overnight (just on spots) for the really stubborn under the skin nasties, and surprisingly Glamglow brings the gunk to the surface for me to squeeze it out (oh, so much pleasure!). We all know it’s wise to not pick on zits, but I have become an expert on which ones are ready to be squeezed, and which ones need to be waited on,  and this process seems to be working fine for me (PS: it can scar the skin – you shouldn’t do it too often). The mud mask is slightly cooling with a bit of tingle, dries very quickly, and works really well on blackheads and/or congested areas. Although I hate the fact that it comes in a hefty – $$ – fancy box packaging for a small 1.2 oz jar, I  bloody love this face mask! My skin feels clearer and radiant after every use.

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ORIGINS Clear Improvement ($25) is a charcoal mask that is designed to clear pores. I have repurchased this mask multiple times, and always have it on hand since it’s not too expensive, no fuss, and is a does-the-job-well kinda mask! It gives the complexion a much needed detox, when in need. This is a staple in my facial routines to help clear clogged pores or fix excessive oily-skin-days leaving the skin refreshed and smooth. I can’t recommend it enough – it will save your skin and your pocket!

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The next 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask from SANCTUARY is special to me since it was sent all the way from across the pond – UK – by THE lovely Jigna Lathia in a ‘box-swap’, who BTW also has a similar skincare&beauty BUG! She has a lovely blog that I really enjoy reading. This product is a warming charcoal treatment that literally warms your skin the second you apply it, which freaked me out the first time, but at the same time makes you feels that it’s drawing the toxins out of the skin. I leave it on for 15 mins (directions suggests rinsing after 5) and it really worked on my clogged pores, leaving the face deep cleansed. I could not locate it in the US (what a bummer!) but it is easily available in UK.

I try to use these detoxifying and clarifying masks at least twice a week to maintain a healthy skin.  And as a quick FYI, my skin is combination type, and extremely blemish prone. I almost always follow up with a hydrating mask as these grey gooey mud/charcoal face-masks can be dehydrating, and can result in more breakouts.

These masks on rotation in conjunction with my skin care routine has really helped decongest my skin letting it breathe – I love this stuff!. These products have definitely found a place in my skincare regime.

I would love to know how you DETOX?

Sharing Is Caring! xo.


NEW BOOTS – #NSALE HAUL

Born bootiesSay hello to my new boots! I scored these babies during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale (#NSALE) for an awesome price. They are made by ‘BORN‘, which makes really comfortable yet stylish footwear. Although these are my first BORN pair, I certainly see myself investing in more of their boots this season.

Born bootiesBorn bootiesI am really not someone who would wear uncomfortable shoes (my sister calls me a grandma when it comes to shoe shopping). I will not just purchase an uncomfortable pair of shoe because it is affordable, on sale, or just plain pretty. I have made many mistakes over the years, and certainly cribbed and wasted a lot of $$, while wearing the wrong type [read uncomfortable].

These booties provide really nice arch support (the best part!), which can be difficult to find, making them comfortable to wear all-day long. They also have a perfectly sized heel (1.5″), which means these can be worn in both dressier and casual settings. The crisscrossing straps add a bit of detailing in the front and the insole is really cushioned and soft.

Born bootiesCan’t wait for the cooler weather to wear them, and I see myself getting a lot of wear out of these with jeans, dresses, and leggings. Oh, and they also have them in black.

NAILKALE – SUPERFOOD FOR NAILS

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In one of my random visits to SEPHORA, I spotted Nails Inc’s new(ish) launch – Nail Kale! The collection consists of a superfood base coat, an illuminator, four permanent colors, and five limited edition colors at Sephora. Now, I try to incorporate “super foods” – blueberry, salmon, kale – in my diet as much as I can but when I saw a nail polish range infused with antioxidants from kale (“the queen of greens”) extract, I was quite intrigued. I reached for the NAILS INC Superfood Base Coat ($15) and a deep cherry red (definitely my new favorite fall color) – Victoria Nail Kale polish ($14) to transition, rather elegantly, to the cozy sweater weather.

IMG_8594 - Version 2Nails are made up of keratin, a hardened protein that is also in our skin and hair. The ‘Superfood Base Coat’, which preps & primes the nails nicely, is infused with keratin and is rich in vitamins A C & K that help stimulate nail growth. The hydrating formula prevents breakage and splitting of dry brittle nails promising stronger, healthier, glossy-looking nails.IMG_8663 - Version 2Overall, I really like the luxe-looking chic packaging with a big heavy metallic lid. I had to apply three coats as two weren’t 100% opaque, and there was some streaking too. I then finished with my favorite Seche Vite top coat and absolutely loved the finished look. The brush/applicator itself is nicely rounded and really wide that covers the entire nail in just one stroke making painting your nails that much easier! I’ll have to check out the other limited editions shades.

I’m impressed with the polish and I’d recommend trying it yourself! But I really hope that the NailKale Superfood Base Coat delivers to its promises (keeping my nails crossed :)) in repairing my nails. Victoria will definitely be one of my top five polishes for fall!

Have you tried any of the NaileKale’s?

xo


 

EMPTIES…#1

EMPTIES...#1

“A beauty product’s destiny is fulfilled when you buy it and use it up.” Hence, I write my first blog post of empties. I feel both sad and happy at the same time when I finish up a product. Sad because its gone and I will have to spend money to replenish my stock, and happy because it’s not sitting in the stash and actually got used. Let’s cut to the chase and get to my thoughts on my latest ’empties’.

PTR UN-WRINKLE PADS

PETER THOMAS ROTH Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads($45) These are exfoliating pads that contain both AHA’s & BHA’s. I enjoyed using these nicely saturated alcohol and fragrance free pads. I sometimes cut these in half and use half at a time. I mostly used these at night. The directions suggest rinsing after 60 seconds to 3 minutes window, but I leave it on for 5 sometimes even 10 minutes and it doesn’t seem to bother my skin; I wasn’t a fan of the rinsing part as it added another step to my regime. I’m currently battling post acne hyper-pigmentation and these peel pads did make a difference to how my skin feels today, which is much smoother and clearer. Quick tip: after I do my face with any exfoliating treatment, be it toner or these pads, I use the same pad on my neck, décolleté, top of my hands, elbows and even my feet. These are the areas we generally tend to forget & doing so really does make a difference!

ESTEE LAUDER ANR

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair: ($92) This is a well-loved cult classic for a reason. The serum lives up to its hype and is worth every single penny. It’s a do-it-all very hydrating night-time serum. I usually follow this up with a facial oil mixed in with my moisturizer and wake up with a healthier and brighter looking skin. I am a skincare addict, so will definitely go out and try more products but I see myself bringing this gold beauty back into my stash soon.

HOURGLASS VEIL MINERAL PRIMER

HOURGLASS Veil Mineral Primer($52) I won’t bore you with the details on this product as I recently mentioned it in my ‘August Favorites‘ post. I have given this guy the *crown* – this is seriously the mother of all primers. It is my holy grail & I have already repurchased it (full size this time), and if you fancy reading a lil more about it, you can go here.

MOROCCAN OIL HYDRATING CREAM

MOROCCAN OIL Hydrating Styling Cream: ($36.80) I have repurchased this styling product over and again. It’s a favorite in the house, and a well trusted hair product for me and my husband. I usually mix one pump of the styling cream with moroccan oil treatment in my hands and run through the length of my damp hair. Then, I either let my hair air-dry or style them using the blow dryer. The formula is lightweight and hydrating. Works really well for my hair.

PAI ROSEHIP OIL

PAI Rosehip BioRegenerate oil: ($34.80) This is my first ever facial oil product I used up and that means a lot as these last soooo long! I call it a genie in a bottle for the skin. I use this oil in many different ways – after my serum at night, or as a spot treatment for my post acne hyperpigmentation. Also, sometimes, I use this as a moisturizer/mask for a few hours before I hit the shower on lazy mornings. I drench those nasty under the skin bumps in it. It makes a great duo with my favorite Mario Badescu drying lotion. I hydrate any fresh blemishes/pimples with this oil for extra hydration before putting on a drying lotion. They work great as a team. This has really worked on my acne scars, uneven tone and has helped a great deal in clearing up my blemishes. I got my sister hooked to this product for her post delivery skin issues and her skin’s looking good!

Have you tried any of these products? Are you thinking about trying any? Please share your comments as I’d love to read them…