Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review and Swatches: Colorbar Velvet Matte lipstick in Smokey Rose AND How to Use Lipstick Testers

I have reviewed 2 Colorbar Velvet Matte Lipsticks here – Thrilling Pink and Creme cup .
So I am not going to review the product per se, this is more of a shade review.

Pinks in my opinion is a dangerous color… It lures us into thinking that a shade might suit us, but it can look horribly weird based on your skin tone and makeup.
Red is usually touted as a color to be used with caution but I say Pink is what we should be wary of.
The right pink shade can flatter your face but the wrong one can make your skin dull, teeth look yellow and show up all bad things about your skin & makeup.

This is one pink shade with which I’ve had love-hate relationship. Some days it looks great on my skin, some days it makes me look as if I borrowed lippy from a 13yr old. 

Colorbar’s Smoky Rose is a beautiful blue-toned pink shade that looks brighter on lips than on swatches.
I think this is a discontinued shade, but if you find similar shades my advice is to make sure you test it out on your lips as this color may not be for everyone.

Shade is worn as a stain here after multiple 'apply & blots'

On that note, here is what I suggest you do to test lippies when you go shopping and find that you don’t really care for the much used testers:

1.       Always keep a tester set with you when you go scouting. Kit should contain – set of paper napkins or wet wipes, cotton, cotton swab or buds or q-tips & a tea stirrer or any thin wooden stick
2.       If the lipstick bullet is not very short, use the napkin or wipe to clear the top layer of the product. Make sure you explain to any SA around that you are going to try on lips, so she doesn’t think you are crazy.
3.       If the lipstick bullet is very short, use the tea stirrer to slowly discard top 1-2 layers.
4.       Use the cotton swab, bud or q-tip to get the color from the fresher layer and apply on lips.
5.       Some tips – SAs can be pushy, but stand your ground and let them know you prefer applying yourself. Also smell the lipstick before application. If there is any damage to product, it usually comes of in the smell.  If possible try viewing the color in different lights, if you are trying this out at night.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Peachy Orange Blushes Anyone? Reviews and Swatches: Faces Canada Mineral Blush in Amber Rose & NYX powder blush in Cinnamon

I am reviewing 2 blushes here that would be awesome for Spring-Summer and especially beautiful for warmer skin tones. Cant wait for Winter to be over!!

I had this fixed notion in my head that blushes are always pinkish in color. So I used to stay away from any darker or warmer color shades. Then my friend send me 'Aruba' from Sleek Makeup which is a bright orange beautiful matte blush which I reviewed here. I loved it very much and it changed my perception of bright blushes. Now I am very comfortable with using even the darkest of reds:)

Coming back to these 2 blushes -

Faces Canada Mineral Blush in Amber Rose is a shimmery peachy reddish orangeish blush that looks so awesome on warm skin tones. You dont need a highlight with this blusher. The blusher is very pigmented and needs to be applied very carefully as this can go easily overboard.

Some blushes can be applied under face powder for a more subtle effect but blushes like these with shimmer in it are better applied over powder.

A nice way to use a blusher-highlighter, is to apply a layer 1st, spray a mist of water and pat it with a strong paper napkin [dont use wet wipes or cotton] and apply a thin layer again once its dry. This would give a very glossy effect to the face especially for a night event.

NYX Powder Blush in Cinnamon is bright matte orangey powder blush which is very similar to Sleek's Aruba but not as orangey as Aruba but more reddish-brownish tinted. The blush is very powdery and has a high fallout but is very silky to touch & apply.

This is again one of those blushes you have to be careful with application but it is not as scary to try as Aruba. Since it is matte, for a 1st time try, you can apply this over your liquid foundation once it is set and apply a layer of powder foundation till it looks comfortable.

One thing I love about this blush is it looks so good so easily - this is a must have blush for spring-summer. It has good lasting power especially if you build the intensity with layers. I suggest applying this over your liquid foundation, apply powder and then your pink or coral blush over it to get a perfect summer look. Apply a dewy spray or water mist to get a beautiful finish.

Both of these blushes are perfect for warm skin tones and shows up great, really brightens up face without looking clownish. I am only sad that Faces has discontinued Amber Rose but I hope to find a similar one soon.

NYX Cinnamon- Bright Matte Orange

Faces Amber Rose blended - note the highlighter effect

Faces Amber Rose Swatch

Review and Swatches: E.L.F Mineral foundation in shade Warm

You know when you see the expiry indicator [the one with the number and M sign next to the jar] and think "Yeah, well... how much can it harm if I just miss it by 3-4 months!" ? Well, the answer is - very !
And thanks to E.L.F's Mineral Foundation - the product which taught me this salutary lesson.

Now do not get me wrong- this is not a negative review of this product. In fact, I kind of loved it the 1st 2-3 times I applied it. It gave a beautiful finish ,medium coverage and I think this can be built upon. This product is only 5$ and though its a bit coarser than what I would ideally like, it blended out pretty well. Staying power was again average, around 2-3 hours in warm humid climate in day time and around 4-5 hours at night. Actually this is a great product for summer in India and any other warmer climate region, I should say.

The reason why I didnt use this much was the problem I have with all such jars - the floating effect of powders. It just makes me sneeze if I accidentally open it fast, I cannot use it in a hurry and I cant apply it with fingers like liquid ones. I wish there was an easier package design for such products but I havent seen any yet that doesnt give a messy result if applied in a hurry.

Anyways, I didnt use it much and after around 8-9 months after opening it, I applied it on my face and within 5-10mins my makeup looked greyish ashy color! I immediately cleaned it thinking that I accidentally mixed up my foundation with the black eyeshadow I was wearing. I got the same effect on re-applying and since I didnt suspect the foundation as yet, I put it down to the reaction caused by the hair removal cream I'd used an hour earlier.

When this repeated the next time I used this foundation, I took a good look at it and found that the powder had a slightly congealed look- like flour gone bad. I cannot really blame the product since I used it almost 3-4 months after the expiry date, so I guess you can take this as a message and check the expiry dates very diligently!

Anyways regarding the product, I give a thumbs up - this is a good mineral foundation to try, it has a nice brightening effect on face and doesn't look cakey like powder foundations - all for $5!! This can be applied wet if you mix it with a good moisturizer but I prefer to use my mineral foundations as they are. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Review and Swatches: Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in shade 55 Sienna

I got this lipstick from a blog sale by Corallista when I was in India. I never had any shades from this line of lipstick from Revlon so I thought I will give this a try even though Sienna didn't sound like a color I would really care for. I checked her blog review and thought that this is a pretty peachy brown shade.

Guess Revlon Colorburst lipsticks are not available now here in Canada [couldn't find them in many of my local stores]; I am not sure if they are still in stores in India. They cost around 550-600INR and are creamy non-shimmery solid colors. I like the packaging though I wish there was a way to see the bullet color but the top panel of the casing has the color matched on it.

The color applies beautifully, no complains on that. However I didn't like it as much as I like the Super Lustrous Creme formulas, I think SL creme ones stays longer and feels more comfortable on my lips. This lipstick gives full color in 1-2 swipes and can be applied better with the 'blot-apply-blot-apply-blot' formula for giving lips that stained matte look.

Sienna is a nice reddish brown with peachy tints. It is best suited for very fair to medium skin tones and IMO wouldn't be as flattering on darker skin tones. Remember Rachel from Friends Season 1-2?
Courtesy: telestrekoza.com
This could be your daily office wear lippy if you pair it with a peachy nude or brown lip liner to add more definition or pair it with a peachy golden or reddish gloss for a day outing.

I am not a fan of this lipstick because: 1. It demands a perfect office look - perfect hair, perfect eyes and face and usually doesn't well with any dress colors other than earthy tones like Black. 2. It makes me look older :(.
However this was a color I often wore in office as it is a safe color - you can dab it on the way in the elevator when you have a sudden meeting and you just had a good lunch. Now that its expired, I am in search for a good reddish brown, so I will miss this.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Reviews and Swatches: Faces Canada cosmetics Mineral Lip color in shade Cafe Date 05

This is a lip color which I have never used once before chucking it out after expiry date. The reason is simple - the color washed me out completely. I couldn't even get it to work even with blot-apply-blot-apply-blot-lipgloss technique which usually works with most unflattering shades of lippies.

This is from Faces Canada cosmetics mineral line, which is discontinued now. I forgot what was the original price, guess it was around INR 300 and I got it on sale, doesn't matter now that you can buy it any more.

It is not bad formula wise but I failed to see any difference between other creamy lipsticks from Faces line and this one. This was a tad bit matte-er and creamier than Moisture rich lippy but not as creamy as Satin Matte, some where in between. This applies straight matte, no shimmer no shine. It is a peachy nude color; I find pinky and peachy nudes the hardest colors to work especially for warm uneven skin tones.

Nothing much to add as it is no longer available; however if you have this color and couldn't get it to work for you, here are 2 ways to use it:
1. Use it as a creamy blush
2. In a mixing plate, cut a small piece of the lip color. Add any shade of matte or creamy lip color at least 2-3 tones brighter. Use a spatula to blend and mix well. Warm it in microwave oven for 15secs. Mix again and keep it for 2-3mins to set. Apply with a brush.
For a herbal tint, instead of lip color add 3-4 drops of filtered beet juice or pomegranate juice.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review: Ipsy Glam Bag Decemeber 2013 'Celebration'

I am so excited about my new Ipsy bag. This is a really good beauty box and I am soooo sad I missed the November one. This is my 1st beauty box subscription and the 1st one I got as well.

The package looks very festive in a hot pink shiny plastic cover. Inside there was a note from Ipsy and a lovely black purse that can very useful in stashing travel makeup. I wont be using it as a regular purse though as it looks like a makeup bag.
Look at that bright pink!!!

There were 5 full size products inside and I was so happy to get this for $10 plus shipping!!! Such a joy for my makeup-loving heart!

 The one I loved best was this J Cat Beauty Big Lip Pencil in shade Red Rose. This is a chubby lip pencil that Ipsy says can be used as a lipstick and lip liner. I feel that I would be using it more for lip color than lip lining. I will post a detailed review later but I just swatched it around 4hours back and went for some washing & cooking and it is still there! I have not used a makeup remover but I used dish-washing liquid, hand soap and it just faded very slightly but retains the full color. Very impressed and if it performs as well on my lips, I have a winner in my Red Lippy category cos this is a very bright and beautiful Xmas Red shade.

The other product I am excited about is the Be A Bombshell The One Stick in shade SunSet. This looks like something I would buy as I like blushes in stick form better than the powder or creamy pan version; I find it easier to apply and blend. I like the shade as well as it looks like a color that would suit my warm skin tones better. So keeping my fingers crossed.

The ones I am okay about are the Nicka K New York Nail Color in Classic Taupe and Ardell Natural Lashes. I like a good nail polish and I love the design & packaging but the color is a bit bland for me; I would have so preferred the Red Apple one as it looks gorgeous. This one could be a nice office wear though. Also I am not much of a false eyelash person as I am very nervous around makeup over my eyes. But I may give this a try soon though.

The one I am least excited about is the POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio in Naturally Bare. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the brand or the product per Se as I have never used it but I have so many nude eye shadows that I am overstocked in that dept. I would have preferred some nice jewel tones for the festive season like some good cranberry shades but then I can understand why they would wanna play safe with colors that suits the most the best. Cant complain for just $10, but still Meh!!!

Overall I am very excited about the January Edition :) I will be posting some reviews and some new hauls soon so watch out!

Review and Swatches: Avon Anew Retroactive Eye Repair Serum

Avon is a company for which I have very mixed feelings. I like some of their products, some are Meh, and then there are some that make you think, 'What the heck were you thinking?".
Overall, considering I have to go and find a consultant and then get it from them after a waiting period, I am not sure about the attractiveness of the brand.

Anyways this is not a brand review; I am very careful when it comes to skin care product review cos things are so different for me and you. I would prefer to review products I absolutely hate rather than something I love cos with hate you get reasons that may be much more common than for a 'loved' product.

Avon Anew Retroactive Repair Serum - INR 500 approx[Discontinued]

And as you may have guessed this is a hate! I don't want to waste time retelling my hard journey with this product for last many months, so adding the reasons below; I have normal-oily skin and I am in my early thirties:
  • This does nothing, no brightening, no De-puffing, no moisturizing - absolutely no effect on my eyes.
  • On application it gives a slightly soothing feel but after a min, it just sits there like I have put some heavy paste on my eyes and that is something none wants I am sure. It takes around 3-4 min and some massaging in for this to be absorbed into skin and I want my eye products to seep in faster

Notice the weird shimmer in the liquid?

  •  On the rare occasion that it got into my eye, it hurt like hell for a long time. I cant understand why anyone would make an eye product that hurts it so much. I don't have any allergies or very sensitive skin, so cant even imagine how it will affect a person with sensitive skin.
  • This has a weird shimmer in it that doesn't show up on skin. Wonder what that is!

I noticed so many positive reviews in Avon website and was wondering if mine may be an isolated case when I noticed that the bottle looks different and there is some Chinese wording on it, so it may be that the product formulation may have been different in the ones that we got in India.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review and Swatches: The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer in Shade 01

Have you ever bought a product thinking it works in one way and then later found out that it works in a completely different way?
That was my experience with The Body Shop’s Tinted Glow Enhancer in shade 01.
For anyone wondering why an Indian lady with seriously warm yellow skin tones, would go and buy Shade 01 of a face product, that too from a foreign brand, read the story below.
For those who are here to know if the product is good or bad, skip straight to the review section.

Story behind this –
Let this be a moral to all those ladies who get charmed by the SA at a beauty counter and buy products thinking,  hey I wanna get her look so may be if I buy what she says ill glow like her’. SAs are not beauty goddesses, let’s keep in that in mind and may god grant me the strength to say No to the ladies at MAC and Sephora.
Here it is –Shopaholic Lady[SL] goes into beauty store - Gets blinded by the 1000W smile of the SA - Looks around to see what she can grab to make her look as good- SA demos anything that she feels didn’t sell much that month - SL gets dazzled by the promises of radiant beauty awaiting her with one touch of the product – SL buys it and the happy glow of a new purchase surrounds her till she goes home and tries it………….

Try and believe – I went in to buy a foundation for a daily wear and got bamboozled into buying a highlighter that is around 5 shades light for my skin tone…That's the wicked power of SAs!!! BEWARE!
And I actually liked it when I tried it in store… I remember thinking Wow, that will make me glow
To my credit, I did ask the SA if there was a darker shade but the Delilah assured me it suits me best..grrrr…

After finally accepting defeat that I cannot use this as a foundation [ unless I get a job as a disco dancer] I checked some reviews and found that this was actually a highlighter!!!!!!!
This was in 2011 and I was still not yet attuned to reading reviews before buying. 

Review of the product-

This is a very light colored pearl shine cream that doesn’t have any tint, though it says tinted [unless white is a tint!] On blending it starts as a pearly whitish cream and then blends into skin leaving some glitter [I think it is] and some shine.As I found out after a painful journey, this is actually a highlighter and not a tinted moisturizer that can be mixed with a foundation.

The SA told me to mix it with my foundation to make it ‘glow’ and I tried using this with my regular foundation [I think it was Lotus Herbals].I can’t explain how weird it looked, it didn’t look like I rubbed some glitter but neither did it look like glowing.The best I can say is I looked like I tried to dress up as Galadriel from LOTR and failed miserably.

My next plan was to use this as a highlighter and again, to be very honest I didn’t like it.
It didn’t do anything much. It is very light colored for Indian skin tones, I don’t know why they stocked this shade here.I have read good reviews of the tinted versions. This one leaves a very very subtle shimmer if used as a highlighter. And it doesn’t last long enough. I tried layering it with another matte blush, it didn’t work well.

That is the problem I face. If I use it over a foundation it looks too subtle unless I lay it very heavily.
If I use it with foundation, it made me dressed for a Halloween LOTR party.
If I use it on bare skin it just made it look very nice for 30mins or max 1 hour and then nothing- no tint, no glow, no moisture, nothing!

Blended into skin directly - it left a whitish cast over the skin for around 30-45mins and then faded

I can’t find this product anymore in Body Shop website, so I assume they finally got the message and took it off.May be I am doing it wrong, if this product worked for anyone, let me know, I am keeping it till it expires Mar 2014.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review and Swatches: FACES Canada Satin Matte Lipstick in shade Jazz Berry Jam

Faces is supposed to be a brand from Canada, and I saw that they have a store in Dufferin Mall [planning to check it out]. Their products are cruelty free and not tested on animals. I think they are more of a hit in India than in Canada. I have tried their Go chic lippies[ not a fav], Satin Matte [Luv Luv] and their moisture rich range [Luv luv] and on the whole I think the range is good. But I have not tried any of their newer products, so may be if I visit Dufferin Mall, I will get something.

About the lipstick – this is a very creamy lippie…    

This is a berry pink shade and to be very honest not very flattering for my skin tone, so I don’t use this much.
However if you have non-pigmented lips or if you have a fairer skin tone, this would be a very lovely lip shade. If you are darker skin toned, I would not suggest this for your pink lippy collection.
Don’t get me wrong – I love berry pinks, but only if they are in glossy format.
When in matte or creamy matte as in this case, they present a very demure muted look which doesn’t exactly brighten an uneven skin tone.

The best way in which I use this is by blotting it twice to give a good color to lips and then adding a bright peachy or red lip gloss to enhance the color. A clear gloss would also do the trick. This is again one of those lipsticks that are creamy enough to be used as a blush.

On the whole, I would recommend this color if you are fair skinned.
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