Monday, March 31, 2014

Makeup Artist Brands & Products: Kryolan Lipstick Fashion in shade LF 198

Kryolan is a Germany-based professional makeup company founded in 1945; I know they have some outlets in India  and in Canada, I think it is available from Pro-Makeup stores like I got this lipstick from Kryolan store in Chennai - they have a great range of colors in different finishes.

I was on a coral kick at that time and I prefer a matte or glossy finish - so I picked up this shade 198 from their Fashion range.

Price: INR 250 for 4gms.

My Experience:

I know that most professional makeup products suck big time when it comes to package design - yet to see something that looks pretty from outside - but I feel that compared to the silvery greyish Super Dull casing of these lipsticks,the plain black casing would be infinitely preferable. The best you can say is, it is functional.

The lipstick is very creamy and superbly pigmented. The swatch I have added below is just one swipe of the product. It gives full coverage in 1-2 swipes even on my pigmented lips. There is no significant taste, no strong scent [a mild chemical one] and no irritation on lips.

LF 198 is a coral shade, that appears orange-y coral on a pure white surface and on my purplish pigmented lips, it comes off as a pinkish coral shade. This is a great shade for Spring -Summer and can easily be worn more sheerer to come off as a beautiful nude or MLBB shade.

I have not really tested the staying power of these lipsticks but the few times I have worn it, it has easily lasted for around 2-3 hours [ nothing can outlive Indian food so, I rarely get to test lip colors for more than 3-4 hours continuously]

Did you get a hint that there is a BUT on the way? Well, here it is .. the reason why I don't use this daily -  this lipstick feels heavy on lips even on a single swipe and the texture feels uncomfortable. I dont blame this lipstick;  all these lightweight lip-butters and lip crayons have affected me badly & made me intolerant of anything heavy on my lips.

If you, like me, prefer light weight lip colors and yet has found a superbly pigmented lip color like this one to wear, then here is my suggestion to get the color without the heaviness:

- Apply the lip color with a brush; this gives control over the amount of color you want on your lips. Use a concealer brush for better application, I have no patience with the tin lip brushes.

-Use the flat side of the brush to lightly tap on your lips to make it slightly plumper and get the tint better

- Blot the color with a napkin, till the amount left feels comfortable on your lips

- Apply the lip color again; keep repeating the above steps till you're happy with the color

Look at that coral shade - with just 1 swipe on the lips!

Overall: For the price, the pigmentation is awesome so this would a great PRO product; due to its heavy texture, I am not sure if this would be something you'd want for daily use- I know I wouldnt.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

3 Items & 3 steps: Get Ready for Party!

Purely based on experience - I'd to drop in at a party on the way back from work and this is what I did.

1. Transform my eyes: Eyes hold the magic, and is easily the best way to boost your looks.

A soft shimmer eyeshadow in taupe or nude peachy brown shade can not only give your eyes that party glow,   but can easily multitask as a highlighter.

I use my trusty shimmer eyeshadow from Essence Mono Eyeshadow collection in Sandy Says Hello, to add a layer of shimmer on my eyes and on my cheeks. To add more POWW to the color, apply a baked eyeshadow wet.

If you are darker in skin tone, you're lucky - you can get away with using an antique gold shade for your eyes and cheeks.

Check LoveShelbey's post to see the eyeshadow and swatches

2. Dark is mysterious...

Either use your mascara or an eyeliner/eye pencil to add depth to your eyes by layering on color.

Since mascaras give me a headache [I know, sad.. :(] I use my NYX slide on black eye pencil to add 2-3 thick heavy lines on my upper lid.

If you have small eyes or baggy eyes or tires eyes, dont draw color under the eyes - it will just draw more attention.

If you have darker skin tones, then black may not flatter your much - I suggest the warmer colors like copper and gold eye pencils  like Glitzy Gold from NYX Slide on range

See swatches on NYX slide on range in The Makeup Nurse's blog post here

See what Rebecca Brown considers as a great black eyeliner here

3. Toujours le rouge

What can beat a Red lipstick? Pick your shade of Red and get ready to rock!

I turn to my Du Wop Private Red lipstick for that creamy glossy red look.. whats your Red?

If you use a black pencil for eyes, use that to lightly contour your lips before applying your red lip color to add that depth of color and may be a slightly gothic look.. :)  

Read my review on the Du Wop Private Red lipstick here

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Zzzzz-ing with Sleeping Mask - The Face Shop Lovely me:ex Waterful Grapefruit Mask

I am very lazy -let me put that out there very clearly. I like nothing better than curling up on the sofa reading a nice romance novel and sipping juice/chocolate. So for skin care, if I find stuff that I can do while cooking, while doing housework, at office and even during sleep, I grab it.

I got introduced to the whole concept of Sleeping Masks from a sample I got from The Face Shop - check my review here on the Raspberry Roots mask.

The idea that my sleep time can be used for applying face mask to do my skin a bit of good really appealed to me. I was checking out some masks at my local Face Shop store, when I saw this and I went - 'thats soo cuteeeee'. I must say, Korean companies really knows how to package - the coral pink color and nice price tag is enough temptation to buy without much deliberation.

This is priced around $6-8 CAD, not sure as I got this on some sale.

My Experience:

The product comes in a nice tub with wide mouth so its easy to scoop out. The consistency reminded me of a cream pudding. It kinda smell fruity too.It is pretty easy to apply as it spreads without much effort. It doesn't remain as a layer on the skin, so its easy to apply and go to sleep after 5-10 mins. I remove this in the morning, with a wet wipe soaked in warm water. Remember to apply a moisturizer or cream like any other masks.

I have been using it for past 2-3 months and here is what I recommend:

Do you have combination to oily skin? Are you looking for long lasting effects? Are you more concerned about the product quality than packaging?

If you answered Yes to 2 of 3 questions, then this product is not for you. What this does is:

1. Look pretty on your shelf- it does..

2. Gives a nice hydrated soft look for your face the next day; effects lasts for that day
3. Works well on dry to normal skin and for me [normal skin] it worked pretty well this winter

 So, don't buy this expecting any wonder.

This is more like a 'pick-me-up' product after a tiring night. If you have oily skin, it may cause break-out. It didn't for me, but the texture is such that it feels quite capable of that.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Essence Stay All Day 16h Long-lasting Concealer [or highlighter?] in Natural Beige

Essence Stay All Day 16hr [reallly,essence?]  long lasting concealer is one of those products that kinda sucks at what they claim to do but works better in some other ways - ever had such experience? Tell me about it in the comments below.

About the product, what Essence says:
put an end to tired eyes! the long-lasting concealer with light-reflecting pigments is a true magician that makes dark circles under your eyes as well as redness and shadows disappear to give you a fresh, radiant look! thanks to the creamy, soft texture, it is easy to apply evenly – giving you a smooth complexion that lasts for up to 16 hours. 

 Essence concealer

Price: $3-4 CAD
My experience
I am not a big fan of under-eye concealers as I feel that it is usually a tricky product to apply - if it cakes or if your skin is dry, it can so easily age you. What I usually do for dark eyes is - apply a corrector. 
Read my article on my thoughts for correctors and concealers here

So when I got this product [more out of curiosity than anything], my idea was to use it as an under-eye brightener - I was interested in the whole 'Kardashian' look after seeing Gossmakeupartist's video in Youtube. I couldn't find many shades of this product- just 2- and both appeared to be very light shades. This was a random pick as they didn't have testers. 

I don't use this product unless I am doing a medium to full coverage as it is too light to give a natural finish if used with a light coverage foundation. Natural Beige is a very light color- closed to a pure ivory-ish cream shade, that would exactly match only very light skinned ladies.

I apply this under my eyes in the V shape recommended by Gossmakeupartist, a dab under the ends of my nose, above the cupids bow of my lips, above my eye brows and just underneath it. 

The only time I use this on its own is as a highlighter on my cheekbones and forehead, before I apply my foundation. In that case, I make sure I sheer it out, to avoid look like a clown.

On settling down, this gives a matte finish, which means that as an under-eye concealer it may not be the best product, especially if you have dry skin. Regarding the whole 16 hour claim - no idea, I have no plan to test it out from 8am to 12 midnight to see if it lasted 16 hours! But it did last around 6-8 hours; I apply my makeup usually around 8.30am and remove it once I reach home from office around 7pm. On days, I'd applied this product, I noticed that it didn't fade off very noticeably, so thumbs up for that.
Pls Excuse my dry skin

Now, about hiding redness etc, I have no idea. I don't use or plan to use this as a concealer, so I wouldn't recommend using it to conceal unless you have an oily skin. However, if you wish to use it as a high-lighter, this would be a nice product for the Kardashian style contouring.

Overall: For $4 CAD, this is a nice one to try and experiment; if you are very light in skin color, this could be a good concealer for you, so give it a try.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Inglot Freedom System Lip Color in shade 30 - Leftovers from a Coral Craze!

Once upon a time, there was a crazy gal who refreshed her shopping websites every 30mins to see if new coral lipsticks/glosses were added or not... And in her quest for that perfect coral shade, she found many gems , a few maggots and finally the truth - that she still loved her plum-pink lipsticks the best...
And so she lived happily ever after, buying plum-pink lipsticks every now and then....

But what happened to her coral lip colors? Even in her obsession with her new berry lipsticks, she didnt forget them...and here is the tale of one such color- a nice pretty coral shade that looks scary bright in pan, but is actually a soft sweetie on lips...

 What is in a name? So I am not naming this exact color shade [too hard for me]. This looks bright orangey coral in pan and on the swatch on white paper below, but on skin it shows up as a softer peachy coral shade.

One benefit of this creamy lip color is that its a perfect for using as a lip color and as a blush - in fact, I use this more as a creamy blush. Such a nice shade for summer!

You can apply it sheer or can build the intensity up - Inglot's lip colors are superb in their pigmentation and staying power.

Since I have already reviewed 2 shades from this line, I am not reviewing the entire product. But if you are on a coral quest and is afraid to try some of the bolder shades, you should definitely check this one out.

My review of shade 65
My review of shade 47

What not to buy: SPAResource Pro Series On the Go Face Essentials [A letter]

Dear SPAResource team,

As a recent user [a pretty disappointed one] of your brush-kit, here are my questions to you:

1. If you advertise a brush kit as PRO, then if its not exactly PRO quality, it should at least be something that even an amateur can use daily -right? Or did you mean that this should only be a Take-on-trips-use-if-you-have-nothing-else kit?

2. In your website, you have advertised that this brush kit is all a customer needs for contouring, concealing etc.. and you have also marketed this as a FACE essentials.. well, how come 3 out of 5 brushes are for eyes?

3. Which pro or for that matter an amateur would , in your opinion, like a powder brush that actually scratches the skin, a foundation brush that cannot apply even the lightest of foundation properly [couldn't even apply a moisturizer properly, i tried!]  and a set of eye brushes that really hurts the sensitive eye skin? If I want my face to look so scratched, I'd get a mean kitty, thank you - I don't expect that from my brush set!

This is my request - I appreciate that you have brought out a kit with 5 brushes for $10 and it kinda looks all pretty with nice handles and nice packaging - can you kindly focus of the quality of a brush set that is touted to be pro level instead of the packaging?

And finally this is my suggestion - for $10, give us something similar to the face brushes that E.L.F has for their studio line. Don't worry about quantity and focus -if you say FACE set, don't mix it with eye set.

Hope to see a better version in my local Walmart soon!

[Dear Readers, I didn't think it worthwhile to take individual brush pics as to be quite honest, they are soooooo useless that my only request to you is to use that $10 to buy something else]

Sunday, March 23, 2014

To Correct or conceal - Whats best [my thoughts] & A Super Mask! :)

A fortnight back, I met a blogger friend of mine and she was concerned about finding that perfect under-eye concealer. She had tried many high-end brands but she'd yet to find a concealer that gave her that 'faked-your-skin' effect.

I suggested mixing some oils to her concealer to avoid caking or drying out, but then her concern stuck in my head cos she is just 23-ish - dry under-eyes & concealers shouldn't be an issue for her. So here are my thoughts and suggestions on the subject; feel free to ridicule & pooh-pooh.. :)

Correctors - What the heck?
During my make-up artist course, I got introduced to the world of correctors. I am not here to teach you about what it is and which corrector to use - there are so many better websites & makeup gurus for that. Here is one from Beautylish . My purpose is to try and make sense on when to use what - based on age, skin condition etc.

When to use a concealer?
This is a very personal decision, but let me try to help you. Concealing is something you do for your imperfections like a scar or that unsightly pimple. This usually implies hiding a particular spot or a small area on your face, by covering with a foundation or concealer, to blend in with the skin.

The strength and type of concealer you use depends on how different in color is the problem spot from your skin color - the more different it is, the stronger the coverage of the concealer. Note that the concealer should match not your entire face, but the color of the skin next to the problem spot - especially if your face has an un-even skin tone.

Another aspect you have to consider is that if you are using a full-coverage concealer and you have many problem spots, then you have to use a medium-full coverage long stay foundation.One of my co-workers had a bad day when her foundation faded off by noontime but her concealer stayed - a funny sight, but not pretty!

Liquid Concealer - Usually low-to-medium coverage. Use this if you have dry skin, if you have low-to-medium dark spots and if you are using a liquid or cream foundation

Cream concealer - Most common type of concealer [stick form]. Depending on coverage, you can use it to cover spots. If you have very dry skin or if you have lot of wrinkles or lines, you may want to stay away from this. Use with any type of foundation, preferably liquid or cream.

Powder concealer -Usually provides light -medium coverage and is best suited for low-to-medium dark spots. Can easily look cakey so if you have lines or wrinkles or too dry skin, use with care.

One great thing about concealer is that if your skin is pretty nice, then you can usually get away with some concealer and very light makeup. Also sometimes, concealer can be your foundation - especially if you need a stronger coverage - just mix with your moisturizer for easy blending.

When to use a corrector?
If you understood from my notes on concealer that it is best suited for spot-treatment - Great! Now here is what I suggest for problem areas of your face - like under eye darkness, redness etc  - use a corrector. 

Correctors work by neutralizing the underlying color when you apply your foundation over the area - which means:
1. You need to apply foundation or else, it doesn't really work & will look weird
2. No coverage - so if you are trying to hide spots, it wont work

Once you identified your problem area and the corrector that best helps it [note that correctors are vary from very fair to darker skin tones] use it as follows:
1. If your corrector has strong pigmentation, use it after priming your skin. Make sure, your foundation covers the corrector.
2. If your corrector has medium-low pigmentation, use it after applying either foundation or concealer and then apply another coat of foundation.

To understand how to best correct your 'problems' you need to play around with the various shades. I suggest getting a color palette like Lise Watier's Portfolio Professional Corrector Wheel  or Ben Nye's Color wheels.

Long term.. solution is to address the problem areas through skin care - after all makeup can only do so much.
Mixing 1-2 drops of a good skin care oil like Carrot seed oil with your concealer or foundation can help address the underlying skin concern. Also, no concealer and corrector can replace a well-hydrated healthy skin -so load upon on H2O, vitamins and other skin healthy minerals.

If dullness or under-eye darkness is a problem - use this super mask at least an hour before sleep:

Grind some carrots, pumpkin [including the peel], oats, 2-3 slices of beets & pomegranate. Mix 3-4 drops of yoghurt, honey and lime juice into the mess. 
If you have very dry skin, add 2-3 drops of any good skin care oil. Leave on your face for at least 15 mins.
Don't use soap on your face for 2-3 hours after applying this mask.

Finally the best skin care tip of all - a good night's sleep - don't skip on it, no concealer can completely remove that tiredness from your face.

All Images in this post are Courtesy of

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring colors - Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in shade Provocateur 135

Hello everyone,

A very good day to you; may your lives be prosperous and your makeup stash be ever-growing. 

Notice how every brand is trying to come with lip crayons or jumbo lip pencils? Thank you Clinique, for starting the trend with their chubby lip pencils and thanks to Revlon for bringing it to drugstores with their Just Bitten Balm Stains. NYC and Rimmel are the latest to jump on this with their versions to hit drugstores soon [Expect reviews on them soon].  

I am not complaining; I love ‘em! They are quite handy for travel or for office use when you don’t want to goof up with applying lip colors. Also it reminds me of the crayons I used to play with as a kid; fun eh? 

Anyways, Revlon has added 2 new balm stain ranges to its repertoire - Colorburst Lacquer & Matte balms. They are very similar to Just Bitten Balm Stains; in fact, I really don’t know if there is any huge difference other than shinier packaging for the lacquer balms. They launched this last year around Halloween here, but I picked this beauty quite recently. It costs around $9.99 CAD but it differs from store to store and on sales.

What Revlon says:  “High Shine Lacquer. Moisture Rich Balm; A lacquer finish that’s beyond brilliant. Balm that’s beyond comforting. Our Triple Butter Complex of Shea, Coconut and Mango butters nourishes lips. In 10 collectible, craveable colours” Link:   

My experience:

I’d tried some of the shades when this launched, but at the time I was not impressed enough to buy this. I can't remember which shade I tried but it had some glitter in it and I didn't like it much. Then a month back, I found myself without a lip balm and in the harsh winter here in Toronto, my lips soon started cracking. So I darted into the nearest Rexall [a drugstore chain in Toronto], found that this range was on a half price sale & grabbed this shade as it was the only one remaining that was not broken into [Seriously, people should stop trying to break and use products!]

I was not very sure of the color, but my purpose mainly was to get a nice tinted lip balm. I applied around 3-4 layer of this to soothe my lips and it worked perfectly well. The balm effect remained for another 2-3hours and even though I didn’t reply till night, I felt like it did the job.

Regarding the color, I was very favorably impressed by the glossy finish and staying power. Provocateur is a blue-toned cherry red; it comes off as a very pink-coral-reddish shade on my lips. Actually on lips, it goes a shade deeper than on swatches. If I apply just one layer, it looks more coral pink than red [which actually doesn't suit me very well]. The color can be built upon but gives really good pigmentation on a single swatch.

This shade has no noticeable shimmer; there are other shades with shimmer, so I am glad I picked this as I am not a huge fan of the glittery lips. On applying, this has a minty scent and effect which I like; there is no taste and it does not feel heavy on lips at all.

Staying power depends on if you eat something heavy but on an average it wears around 3-4hours on my lips. Even after the glossiness goes away, it leaves a tint on lips. I don’t expect long wear from these kind of glossy-finish lippies, so I am okay.

The packaging of these lip crayons are nice and pretty and since the casing is the same as lip color, selecting your fave color is easy.

On my lips with 2-3 swipes of the color- note the glossy finish [no lip balm applied]

Overall: This is a great lip product especially if you like jumbo lip pencils and don’t mind the average staying power.

Will I buy again – I may not buy the same shade but I will definitely try a different one like Coy or Enticing. 

I wish Revlon would add some purple and berry shades... come on Revlon, you know not all gals are fair and can carry off all the pretty nude, pastel and coral shades!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Self Adjusting Lipsticks -Do they work? Testing it out with Du Wop's Private Lipstick in Private Red

When I saw this lipstick at Shoppers Drug Mart for sale, I thought - 'Hey, a nice Red lipstick, but how many can you buy, so nahhh'; then I saw the description - Self Adjusting lipstick. 
Well, like any normal shopaholic , I was lured by the promise of buying something new & may be getting that perfect Red Lips.
Aaaand here is the result...

What Du Wop says - They say a lot, so I am not copying it here.. check it out at their website here
There are 7 shades and it costs around $22 CAD.

Packaging: Totally appreciate the sleek greyish black packaging - Awesome!

My Experience:

I have read reviews where people didn't notice much color change, so I thought I will test it out on 3 surfaces -  a white paper, my hand and my lips.

On the white paper, it appears as a blue-toned coral red shade. I didn't honestly care much for this shade.

On my hands, it appears as an orangey red shade. Loved this effect - I am a fan of orange.

Finally on my bare lips [no lip balm, pigmented lips] with its naturally mauvish tone, this appeared to be a darker red with brown tones. It came out as a warmer shade and I feel that it suits my skin tone -so Muy Contento!

Regarding how it applies- it is very creamy and its red -so beware of feathering. I suggest using a lip liner. You can see in my lip swatches how it has feathered.

It stains my lips but because of its creaminess the staying power is not very high - around 3-4 hours at the max without food or drink.

The intensity can be built upon; I am wearing it with 2-3 swipes which is almost a semi-intense look.

I don't think I would have been so happy with this lipstick if I'd paid the full price, considering that it does bleed and it is not a very long wearing lipstick. Also, another issue I find is, it does some how highlight all the lines on my lips; not a deal breaker for me but I guess it would be for dry skinned ladies.

This lipstick does seem to change color so I agree with their claim. I have read a lot of reviews where people didn't find any difference; however, unless my eyes are deceiving me completely, I find some amount of difference in the color.

Of course, the difference is not that wonderful or that significant and I honestly don't think that this lipstick does any magic in turning to the perfect Red. Its a gamble I guess- the lipstick changes color a bit subtly; if it matches you well and good!

I love this lipstick, it applies like a dream, no scent, no irritation, no taste and I dont mind reapplying.

Now the million dollar question or in this case $22 CAD question is - will I buy again for $22CAD? be honest, I don't think so. It is not that special; I would consider buying Du Wop's Mini collection - check it here

Du Wop is a cruelty free company so here is a huge THUMBS UP!

Monday, March 17, 2014

A wearable blue eyeliner - Avon Glimmersticks Eye Liner in Starry Night Blue

I love seeing all those bold eye colors and shades - especially the bright blue, green shades that remind me of Spirits of Spring & Summer. But unfortunately, dressing for office, especially an IT job, can be pretty dreary - no bold eye, lip colors is usually taken for granted. So, a wearable dark blue shade like Avon's Starry Night Blue is such a welcome product for me.

Here is what Avon has to say [From their Canada website]: Smooth, glide-on color. Retractable, self-sharpening. Wears up to 12 hours. For eye definition, draw a bold line from the outer to the inner corner of the top lash line, then a finer line along bottom. 0.28 g .   Price: $7.99 [buy during sales for a cheaper price]

My Experience: I go by my preferred method of validating what company says against what my experience, and here we go:

1. Smooth Glide -on color: Make that not-soooo-smooth but acceptable glide on color. It didn't tug but it was not very smooth or creamy either. Its okay for my eyelid as I dont have any folds [yet! ] but for eyes with lines or folds, this may tug

2. Retractable, Self sharpening : Yep yep, though I don't really understand why companies stress on self-sharpening considering the product is retractable. Its given right?

3. Wears up to 12 hours: Hmm.. I didn't really test this, cos honestly wearing eye makeup that long is a no-no for me. But I noticed that if I apply at 8am, it usually stays till 1-2pm without any smudging or fading. By the time I reach home [around 6-7pm], it would have faded in some areas but the color is still there. Then again, I don't usually wear it with a primer, which might help increase the wear time.

What I really like: To be honest, I didn't care much for the feel or the staying power of this pencil. What I liked is that this is a very wearable blue eyeliner that I can apply without much fuss. This also smudges to create a nice smoky eye effect [use a black or brown eyeshadow with a light hand to avoid any creasing], which is pretty nice. I think this color would especially flatter those lucky green-hazel eyed ladies and should suit most skin & color tones.

What I don't like: I know Avon has a lot of reasons for not going Retail way, I honor that,I really do. But to be honest, I prefer if I can look and buy stuff from my local retailer. And it helps that I can just go and buy any time and I don't have to wait a lot. Unless the product is that WOW, I don't know if I would always try to find an Avon seller - this eyeliner aint that WOW-ing!

Overall: Well, Avon has some great sales, this is a nice eyeliner and if I plan to buy some Avon products in future I may include this- not because that eyeliner is that great, but because of the color.

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