SEPTEMBER FAVORITES

image

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.

image

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!

image

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.

image

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.

image

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!

image

What have you been loving this past month?


Advertisements

CLEANSING BALM |EMPTIES…#2|

image

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.

image

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!   

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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!

image

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.


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…


AUGUST FAVORITES

August Favorites

Wahoo! Is it the end of August already? Although weather wise, Sep-Nov is my favorite time of the year, this was the best August in my four years in Dallas. And since we are talking favorites, lets take a quick look at everything I loved in the month of August in ‘AUGUST FAVORITES’.

Clinique chubby stick 01

First up, CLINIQUE Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm: ($17) – I purchased this beautiful nude lip crayon from Sephora when they were having their VIB Rouge event in August and I’ve been wearing this ever since. It’s such an easy to wear moisturizing lip color balm – I love the amount of pigmentation in it; most nude lipsticks out there turn mauve or kinda purple on me (not a pretty look) but not this guy. Its a perfect, easy to wear everyday color.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind

MAYBELLINE Instant Age Rewind: ($8.99) is my current go to under-eye concealer. I use my fingers to blend it when in a hurry, but it gets the most flawless undetectable finish when blended with my favorite tool – the damp BEAUTY BLENDER ($28.95) which is also my next August Favorite. It is the best, most important tool for a perfect makeup application in my opinion. I use it to apply my foundation, my concealer, touch up/blend the blush. It doesn’t give you brush strokes that you might get with a foundation brush, doesn’t deposit too much product and hence does not lead to a ‘cake face’. It’s just brilliant and a must have for every makeup junkie like myself! I am hooked. I bought mine from Sephora online in a pack of two since it’s a lil cheaper than buying two separately. 

 Hourglass primer

Next up is HOURGLASS Veil Mineral Primer: ($52) – This is my absolute holy grail primer for all year round! I really believe a primer doesn’t get any better than this; especially, living in a hot dry climate, my makeup without this primer would melt down  in a maximum of 3 hours. With this super lightweight silicone veil under my foundation, the application goes much smoother and is budge proof. Its water-resistant, controls shine, and has an SPF of 15. A big thumbs up on that! I do think its a lil expensive but a lil goes a long way – seriously can’t do without it. ‘In love’!

image

TARTE  Lights, Camera, Lashes: ($20)  is a 4-in-1 mascara. Its supposed to lengthen, curl, volumize & condition your lashes. Now I’m not sure about the conditioning part but it’s doing the rest on my lashes. I see why this product has so many good reviews and is loved by many. This was pretty much the only mascara I used in the entire month of August. I rocked thicker, longer and dramatic lashes all month, and will be trying their new golden tube statement mascara soon.

image

One of my favorite eyeshadow of all time – CHANEL Illusion D’ombre Long-wear Luminous eyeshadow in Mirage 95: ($36) I admit that I really suck at eye makeup (working on it) but this eyeshadow makes everything so darn easy. All I do is take some on the ring finger and dab it on the eyelid, curl my lashes, put some mascara, and boom, my eyes are done! These are so shimmery and long-lasting on the eyes. The texture is really beautiful, soft and cushiony. I think these types of pot shadows are made for people who are not pro/skilled at doing their owneye makeup (like myself). I am in awww of these eyeshadow. I will definitely be adding more Chanel to my collection. Tip: I have been also wearing it as an eyeliner and it looks really glamorous.

 image

I am a total skincare addict and usually spend more on skincare than makeup. OLE HENRIKSEN Lemon Strip Flash peel: ($48) is an acid peel/mask that has a gel like texture. It comes with a brush (rather coarse, scratchy) for an even application. It tingles a bit at first, which also makes me feel that it is doing something good (much-needed exfoliation) to my skin. I use a wash cloth to remove it after 10-15 minutes while rinsing the excess off with lukewarm water, and voila – I am left with a much softer, smoother, brighter even toned skin. This stuff is potent! Its gentle on the skin and super effective. I have a normal to combination skin type that is blemish prone. I used it twice a week last month, and my skin has been feeling very happy.

 image

Lastly, I love me a good bargain, which leads us to my next favorite, J.CREW Retro Frame Sunglasses: ($24.50). I have been asked about these sunnies so many times – by all my friends. I have literally worn these all summer, and they are a perfect dupe to Ray-bans Clubmasters, see here. These are obviously not your best quality sunglasses, but more like a fashion accessory on a budget. I enjoy wearing these over my other designer glasses, and given their price, I am happy to wear them out.

Can’t wait to see what September has in store. Thank you for being a part of this blog with me! xo.

What product/s have you been loving this month?