Makeup Disappointments 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Now that we have covered the makeup revelations for the year 2015 (here), we should cross over to the dark side. Like Ying and Yang, dud products balance the goodness in the makeup world. Today we are rounding up the big duds  for the year 2015, the ones that claimed to make me even prettier than princess Snow White, only to fall flat on the ground with its tall claims.

1. ABH Contour Kit in Light-Medium: I was sucked into the contour bandwagon last year, only to realise that strobing and the excess of shimmer is way easier to explain to people that the streaky brown line on my cheek. Now that I have gained weight, there is only so little contouring can do. This contour kit was part of my Sephora US haul. I had picked up Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection palette initially, and when the order was cancelled, I purchased this one. One or may be maximum two times, I must have had the patience to use this kit, any other given day, I would happily contour using my Sleek Contour Kit or NYC bronzer. The colors don't show up on my NC42 skin and the yellow powder or the so called dupe of Ben-Nye Banana powder looks ashy under my eye. So much for 30 dollars (INR 2100).

2. Sigma Angled Contour Brush (F40): As I was struggling to blend off the contour streak, I purchased the Sigma angled contour brush in the hope of an airbrushed contour only to be disappointed. I like my contour brush slightly dense and firm like my RT Sculpting brush. This brush has sparse bristles that are not firm enough for blending.

3. MAC Lip Pencil in Devrish: The black sheep of the family, this lip pencil is not creamy and easy to apply like Spice or Soar, instead it applied patchy and blotchy. After reading the not so glorious reviews online, I had asked my husband not to pick this up, but he did and we have the name "Devrish-Dud" etched in history.

4. MAC Eyeshow in Cranberry: MAC eyeshadows are known for their pigmentation and this muted cool-tone purple shadow is a "purple" mark to the whole MAC eyshadow community. The pigmentation is virtually non-existent. I use this to fill-in my eyebrows. Its easier to carry around, and also I can gradually build it up due to poor pigmentation. Apart from these two pros, there is nothing positive to say about this product.

5. MUFE Step 1 Mattifying Primer: Cochin humidity has me going nuts, especially during weddings, where I apply my all out glam makeup and the moment I step out, it melts, the sweat just displaces my makeup and makes my face look like a shiny disco ball. This was one of the items apart from UD 2 that I asked my husband to purchase from Sephora Singapore. I had high hopes, only to be shattered twice.
a. The tube is tiny, don't be fooled, this little one costed me $16 (.5 oz) b. It didn't work any better than my Colorbar or Maybelline Primer, I mean this did nothing to keep my T-Zone oil at bay. At the end of the day, I was as shiny as I was with/without primer.

These were the top 5 disappointing products for 2015. Do you have any disappointing products to share? Comment down below.

Happy New Year guys!

Makeup Favourites 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Another year comes to an end, feels like yesterday that I packed my bags and moved back to Cochin (10 months). Sure, the city is catching up on the beauty trends, but we Keralites don't have much access to foreign beauty brands (except for the Malayalis (90%) who have that uncle or aunt who works in Gulf/US). Personally, 2015 has been a mixed bag and as far as beauty buys go, TiS Season has been the best oye! 

With friends and family flying back from US frequently, I had easy access to all high end makeup. I shopped from the following websites this year: 
  • Sephora
  • Nordstrom
  • Bathandbodyworks
  • Beautyjoint
  • Beautybay
  • Colorpop
  • Lush UK
I thought, I would round up this year with my beauty favourites for 2015, 5 WOW products that I discovered this year.

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture Palette: Ever happen to you, that you love a shoe so much so that you go ahead and buy all available colours? Happened to me with this palette, I loved this palette so much so that I went ahead and bought ABH Self Made palette (newer release). I was heart broken that I couldn't get my hands on the ABH Tamanna palette (older version), I did grab ABH Shadow Couture palette when it was available on Beautybay. It's a limited edition palette which retails around $28 (₹2000). The shadows are buttery smooth, blends like a dream, and pigmentation is on par with the UD Naked palettes.

2. LA Girl PRO.conceal: With the humidity in Cochin, a full face of makeup is nearly impossible. I always wanted a lighter shade concealer to brighten my under eyes, and in comes this miracle product that I have reviewed here. I have nothing more to say, hands down my favourite base for this year

3. theBalm Betty Lou Manizer: 2015 was the year of strobing, baking, and clown contouring. For tan skin ladies, it is a pain to find a highlighter that looks flattering, without screaming, "Hey you, look at me, I am fake JLo in the making". This year introduced me to my GLOW-BFF Betty Lou Manizer. Though this lady, is marketed as the bronzy goddess among her trio of friends ( Mary Lou, Cindy Lou, Betty Lou), it works as a beautiful highlighter for darker skin tone.

Note: ABH and Becca have some good highlighters for tan skin.

4. Mac Lip Pencils in Soar and Chicory: So, how do you like your lip-pencil turned into lipsticks? Didn't understand? Well, let me break it down for you. I was first introduced to MAC lip pencil Spice, by a friend who handed me down her unused lip pencil. I was blown by the longitivtiy and creaminess of the pencil, so much so that I started using this as a lip stick with a clear lip balm (to turn the ultra matte finish of lip pencil to creamy formulation) and then Kylie Jenner happened and the whole world was hunting down Soar and Whirl. I started using Soar lip pencil and it is as creamy as Spice, it's a muted browny-rose colour which pulls either to brown or pink spectrum based on your skin tone. Chicory is a latest addition; its an burnt orangish-nudish shade. Beware of black sheeps like Dervish in the family that have drier consistency, and poor pigmentation. 

5. Elf Concealer Brush: This should have been there mentioned right after the LA Girl PROconceal. This ELF brush is to LA Girl PROconceal how Robin is to Batman, an eternal side kick. This $3 brush blends the concealer like a dream. Swish, swash and boom, dark circles disappear. I was contemplating whether to add this in my list, but Ironman would not be complete without J.A.R.V.I.S right????

So these were my top 5 favourites for the year 2015...What are yours? 

Merry Christmas guys. Have a safe and amazing one with your friends and family.

Birthday Wish List

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Errrrr....well technically, my birthday is 1 month and 4 days away, but that doesn't stop me from compiling my birthday wish list for 2016.

1. Fossil 'Riley' Crystal Bezel Leather Strap Watch: I am looking for this specific Fossil watch which I saw in Femina magazine. I have searched high and low for this specific leather-metal combination, but no luck yet :(

I did find one on Nordstrom website at 25% off ($101 or INR 7000). 

2. LancĂ´me'La Vie est Belle' Eau de Parfum: I love sweet-floral scents and I recently gave away one of my perfumes (Burberry Weekend) to my mom. I was torn between this and Thierry Mugler Angel, well finally I decided on this one. Price: 1.7 oz (50 ml) for $72 (INR 5000)

Top Notes: Pear, Blackberry
Middle Notes: Pallida Iris concrete, Orange Blossom and Jasmine Sambac absolutes
Base Notes: Heart of Patchouli essence

3. Olay ProX Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System: Cheaper cousin of the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush and Clarisonic Mia, I would really love to get my hands on this. My skin definitely needs some X-tra TLC!

You can buy this here for $50 (INR 3000).

4. A new hair cut and color: I usually color my hair twice a year, and currently I have brown ombre color to my hair ends and dark black hair around the crown.

I want to switch it up a little and want either one of the below colors and technique.

5. Leg warmer: I am so susceptible to cold and would really love a leg warmer as birthday gift. The below one is from Forever 21.

6. Bath and Body Works Candles: I am a sucker for BBW candles, I have ordered a ton during the Black Friday sale and need more in my life.

Face-off: Maybelline Color Tattoo VS MAC Prolongwear Paint Pot

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Paint pots can be best described as lazy girl’s eye shadow. When you are not in a mood to try that cut crease technique, you learned from YouTube, but still wants to look presentable, paint pots come to your rescue. Swirl, apply, blend, blend, and viola, eye shadow-on-point in a matter of 3 minutes. 

I also use paint pots as a base for my eye shadow to prevent shadow creasing, or use a similar base shade paint pot to let the eye shadow pop. Don't be fooled by the little pot, this one is so versatile.

So, for today's big face-off, we have two competitors:

  • Contender 1:  Poor man’s favorite, Maybelline Color Tattoo

           Bad to Bronze: A bronze shade

  • Contender 2:  The fancy schmanzy MAC Prolongwear Paint Pot

           Indianwood: A bronzy-golden shade

Left: MAC Paint Pot in Indianwood; Right: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to Bronze


Verdict: The poor kid, Maybelline Color Tattoo wins this edition of the face-off!



Maybelline Top 5 + An Announcement

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

 Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline!

From a small, family-owned business to the number one cosmetics company in America, Maybelline New York takes trends from the catwalk to the sidewalk, empowering women to make a statement, explore new looks, and flaunt their own creativity and individuality. Inspired by confident, accomplished women, Maybelline gives you scientifically-advanced formulas, revolutionary textures and up-to-the-minute, trendsetting shades effortlessly, affordably, beautifully. 
- Maybelline India Website

1. Baby Lips: Pucker up beauties! Maybeline Baby Lips is one of the best lip balms available in the market. It is so good that I am on my third tube now, and that too in a span of few months. "Pink Lolitha" is my favorite and a staple in my handbag.
Cost: INR 130 ($2)
Competitor: Nivea, Lakme

2. Color Show Nail Polish: With the beauty market upping the price game every month, Maybelline comes to the rescue once again, after all, us girls love our perfectly manicured nails. They have the best and the most affordable nail paints in the market, especially their duo-chromes (Buried Treasure) are to die for. The duo-chromes looks fancy and expensive. Similar shades in other brands do cost a bomb. 
Cost: INR 100 ($1.5)
Competitor: Chambor, Lakme, Elle18

3. Baby Skin Skin Instant Pore Eraser: This is a staple in my beauty diet. Minimizes my pores, and let's my makeup wear longer. Availability is a big issue, as only few amazon vendors stock this.
Cost: ($7)
Competitor: Colorbar, Loreal

4. Colossal Kajal: No list is complete without the mention of the magic in a harmless yellow pencil. This one changed the game for Maybelline and is an integral part of any vanity loving girl/woman.
Cost: INR 200 ($3)
Competitor: Lakme, Loreal 

5. FashionBrow Duo Eyebrow Pencil: Another product that is currently on a home run. Eyebrow grooming products are not something that most Indian beauty brands touch base on. Maybelline knocked it out of the park with the new Black/Brown eyebrow pencil-cum-brow powder. Lasts long, applies smooth and gives you brows-on-fleek-everyday kinda feeling. 
Cost: INR 245 ($3.5)
Competitor: None

Honorable Mentions

The N*des Eyeshadow Palette: I don't own one, but this is definitely one of the full-on neutral palette for the beauty junkie who wants to save some moolah. A close dupe for Urban Decay N*ked 1 palette, this shadow performs reasonably well, according to my sources.
Cost: INR 990 ($ 15)


Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte Plus Poreless Foundation: I have heard so much about this foundation and how its oily girl's best friend. They have a wide variety of shades suitable for fair-medium-tan skintone.
Cost: ($8)

Falsies Mascara: An affordable mascara, tends to be slightly clumpy on second coat, gives my lashes length, but not lift.
Cost: INR 450 ($6.5)


 So, I am Beauty Insider at Sephora (US), and this mail just landed in my inbox this morning. I am not intending to shop from Sephora within 13th, as I recently placed a ginormous Bath and Body Works order. If you want to order anything from their website, this is the time. Posting my $15 dollar off on $50 coupon here, so that any of you beauty junkies who would want to make use of the coupon can do so. How to use the coupon is provided in the screenshot. Happy Shopping!

What are your favorites from Maybelline?

PS: Not a sponsored post :p

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