Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser

Ocean Salt is a detoxifying, exfoliating cleanser from LUSH that is made from a blend of sea salt, lime, avocado and vodka. In Lush's very own words - "The antibacterial effects of lime and the trace of alcohol in the product is ideal for blocked pores, blackheads or blemishes. The minerals in sea salt soften as the 
salt scrubs away dirt and blockages."
Ocean salt is supposed to be a face and body exfoliator. I find it a bit expensive to be used on the body though. Although this is a very strong cleanser with traces of alcohol, I still find that it does not totally strip my dry skin of moisture. But, I still follow up with a moisturizer, just in case.  I'm sure people with oily skin would love it as much. If you have breakout prone or very sensitive skin, you might want to use it with caution since the scrub does tingle quite a bit.
Whatever be your skin type, I wouldn't recommend using this more than twice a week. It polishes, cleanses very well and leaves my skin looking absolutely fresh. I usually follow up with any face mask or when I'm lazy, just moisturize. I'm not too sure if it has helped with my blackheads but, it does an excellent job of buffing away dead skin cells and softening skin to a nice extent! Make sure to wet your face really well before you start scrubbing as the coarse texture might be a little too much for facial skin.
Overall, I love this fresh smelling, amazing scrub especially in summer. It really detoxifies and adds a nice glow to an otherwise dull face. Unlike the fresh face masks, Ocean Salt has a shelf like of about a year.
Have you tried Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub? Do you like it? What are your favourite exfoliators?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eyeshadow Palette in Eye On Color - Review, Swatches & EOTD

The instructional eye shadaow palettes are a new release from Sonia Kashuk($19.99), part of the Spring 2011 collection. The eyeshadow palettes come in two different variants, Eye On Color - A mix of all shimmery, pastels and a few darker, metallic shades and Eye On Neutral - A mix of various browns and nudes.

The colors in this palette (Eye On Color) are mostly pastel shades of blues, greens and pinks along with a gorgeous blue, purple and a medium taupe that makes for a great smoky, evening look. I prefer the metallics over pastels shades as they seem to wash me out quite a bit. The 12 eye shadows are numbered and as the name suggests, the palette comes with a step-by-step instructional guide to achieving looks that range from 'just a wash of color' to high-drama.
First row shades top to bottom
Second row shades top to bottom
Third row shades top to bottom
What I like about this palette:
  • If you like shimmery shades, this palette is something you can play around with a lot. 
  • The shadows are well pigmented and very blendable.The metallic shades especially, pack a lot of color.
  • The step-by-step instructional guide is a great feature for beginners.
  • Easy to tote around.
The not so good things about this palette:
  • A couple of pastel shades, the top-most left color(white) and the light blue shade are a quite chalky.
  • Not really a con, but I wish there were a couple of matte crease shades included too!
I love the deeper hues in this palette as they complement my eyes more than the lighter ones. Here's a look I came up with using a few of them in this palette.

With this palette, I would suggest doing your eye make-up first and then moving on to the face routine since all shades do contain shimmer and a few flecks end up on the cheeks. I'm sure there are a variety of eye looks that can be achieved using this palette. If you like value sets and the concept of guided eyeshadow palettes or just eye shadow palettes in general with a mix of metallics and pastels, this is a great one to try!

Would you try the Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eyeshadow Palette? Do you like pastels or metallics? Share your thoughts.

Disclosure: The product in this article was provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Burt's Bees Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters Body Lotion

I've always had great luck with body moisturizers that contain Cocoa Butter as one of the key ingredients. That's the only thing that takes care of my flaky legs during winter. Sadly, body butters that contain coca butter can get really greasy during summer. Burt's Bees Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters Body Lotion is one of the newer additions to the brand's natural body moisturizers.

I expected it to be quite heavy since it is a blend of rich butters and oils. The lotion is very light and smells more like vanilla than cocoa butter itself. Since the consistency is in between that of a thick body butter and a thin, runny lotion, it spreads easily and absorbs very fast. Because of the weather my skin doesn't get so dry these days and this helps me maintain the perfect moisture balance. I just apply it once after a bath and don't have the need to re-apply for hours!
I love the squeeze tube packaging which in turn means less wastage of product. This body lotion totally lives up to the claims and delivers what's expected of it. If you want something that has a strong fragrance that lingers on for a while, this may not be for you. If you are looking for a non-greasy, not overly fragranced, daily body moisturizer, this may be something you would want to try. Burt's Bees Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters Body Lotion is 99% natural and not tested on animals.

Price : $8 for 6oz/170g.
Availability : All drugstores and online at burtsbees.com

Would you try the Burt's Bees Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters Body Lotion?

Disclosure: The product in this article was provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Ultra Darling

MAC Sheen Supreme lipsticks($14.50) are super moisturizing, glossy lipsticks that are part of MAC's permanent line. What's not to love in a lipstick when it is pigmented, glossy & moisturizing? I got my first Sheen Supreme in 'Bare Again' the same day these lipsticks were launched. The weather was super cold and dry then so, when I tried them initially, I kinda felt they were sucking the moisture out of my lips just after a couple of hours of wear so, I returned it back within a day or two. I really wanted to give these lipsticks a second chance since the weather is getting a lot more warmer now and also because the concept of a glossy lipstick was just impossible to resist.
MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Ultra Darling
So this time, I picked up 'Ultra Darling' a mid-tone yellow pink that is rather bright. It does have teeny tiny golden shimmer and a beautiful cream finish. The texture of these lipsticks are very slick so, I wouldn't recommend using a lip balm underneath.The finish is super shiny and glossy and the lipstick itself feels very light. When the weather is slightly warm and I don't have a terrible case of dry lips, these lipsticks provide the right amount of moisture for me. They don't provide any extra, super dose of moisture and neither do they dry out my lips as much as they did earlier. If you have very dry lips, just make sure you prep them very well. They have the same amount of staying power the lipglasses have on me. That's about 2-3 hours of wear, which is fine. I don't expect much wear time out of glossy lipsticks.
MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Ultra Darling

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Ultra Darling
Overall, I really like them as much as I like the lustre lipsticks from MAC especially, during the hotter months. I love products that multi-task which is why I even tried this again and would totally try a shade or two more. Have you tried the MAC Sheen Supreme Lipsticks?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rimmel Glam Eyes Quad Eyeshadow

Rimmel London Glam' Eyes Quad Eyeshadows are part of the line's spring launches along with the single and trio eye shadows. These quads are customized according to different eye colors and come in 12 complementary shades.

'Smokey Brun' is an everyday, neutral palette with a mix of warm bronzy-brown shades that complement all eye colors. If I like a color, I would try it immaterial of what eye color it is meant for. All shades in this quad are very work appropriate.The dark brown makes an excellent crease color!
Smokey Brun

'Beauty Spells' is a combination of shimmery shades that look great for an evening look. This quad makes for a great dramatic look too. I would pair it with a nude lip color to complete the look.
Beauty Spells

'Smokey Blue', as the name suggests is a combination of greyish blues and a shimmery, white highlight. There is also a lighter shade of blue which is rather chalky. 
Smokey Blue
'Smokey Purple' is my next favourite quad since it contains a combination of shimmery purples and a matte dark purple that looks great as a crease color. The highlight color, which is a light pink does have quite a bit of fallout but the quad as such makes for a nice daytime look.
Smokey Purple

*All swatches over UDPP.

What I like about these quads:
  • The shades are smooth, quite pigmented and blend very well.
  • With a primer underneath, they remain crease-free for hours.
  • At just over five bucks, they are a great, affordable drugstore picks.
  • The shade selection is great. From everyday neutrals to dramatic smokey colors, there is a quad for everyone.
The not so good things about these quads:
  • Certain highlight/lighter shades seem quite chalky and have some fall out especially the ones in the Smokey Blue and Smokey Purple quads.
Overall, these are easy to work with, great pocket-friendly drugstore picks. Especially the 'Smokey Brun' quad which is a no brainer that will save you a lot of time.

Availability : All drugstores that carry Rimmel London cosmetics.
Price : $5.71

Have you tried Rimmel Glam' Eyes Quad Eyeshadows? Do you like them? What eyeshadows from the drugstore do you like? 

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Blissful

I've been wanting to review this blush for quite sometime now. I just wanted to take some time to test the staying power of these 12 hour blushes as claimed my Tarte and I must say, they've quickly become one of my favourite blushes. The color range is a beautiful mix of matte and shimmery shades. Since Tarte is a natural line, these blushes are formulated without any Parabens, Sulphates or Synthetic Fragrances. Read more on the range and formula here.

Tarte claims that these long-wearing, solar-baked blushes last upto 12 hours. They also claim that for oily skin types, Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place. Those with dry skin will benefit from the clay's nourishing and hydrating properties, which naturally restore skin's moisture. Combination skin types can rely on its ability to zero in on skin concerns and deliver benefits to restore complexion harmony.

As far as the staying power goes, I can easily get 8 hours of wear from this even after which it does not completely fade. As with any other blush, I need to re-touch every 2-3 hours unless layered on top of a cream base. I have dry skin, but from what I see, even oily skinned gals can get pretty good wear time from this formula. 'Blissful' is a warm, pinky peach with a matte finish. If you love bright shades, this is something you must try. I use a stippling blush to apply this since it is hella pigmented. I've tried applying it with a normal blush brush only to end up looking like a clown after which I needed to buff the excess out. A stippling brush does a far better job giving it that naturally flushed look! Unlike other blushes, I don't even need to set it with a dusting of translucent powder to make it last longer.Texture wise, they are buttery smooth and the best part is, there is no crazy fallout!
At $25 they are not exactly cheap but the quality makes it totally worth the price! Tarte did a great job with the color co-ordinated packaging too. The color inside the pan matches with the actual color of the blush which is super cute! I don't have anything bad to say about this blush. I just adore this blush and totally recommend it!
Available at Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com and Tartecosmetics.com

Have you tried Tarte Amazonian Clay 12h blush? Do you love it as much as I do? Do tell!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NOTD - Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Nail Color in Blazing Sunset

'Blazing Sunset' is best described as a pinky-coral with a tiny hint of silver shimmer. I don't see any visible difference in my nail growth due to this formula. I've never with any nail polish that claims to for that reason. Will report back if I do. This one makes for a great Spring/Summer shade. Not that I wouldn't wear it during other seasons. Although this is a very pretty shade, I don't reach for it that often. I've always felt that its not the most flattering shade for my skin tone.

Please excuse the stunted nail growth on my ring finger!
Sally Hansen nail polishes in general have a pretty decent resistance to chipping. With a good top coat on, they start chipping on the fourth day. Not bad, huh?! This one too has the flat, wide brush which I am not a big fan of. All Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle nail polishes are free of Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP.

Have you tried Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Growth polishes? Do you like Blazing Sunset? I'd love to know!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms are sheer, moisturizing lip balms that are made form natural ingredients and and come in six fun flavors. These lip balms are packaged inside a two-piece paper tube with recyclable content. They are the same size as the other Burt's Bees lip balms and very tote-friendly!

According to me both 'Tiger Lily' and 'Rose' have an identical smell and sweet flavor. They smell almost very fruity and not in a very overpowering way. They don't have the minty flavor unlike the original Burt's Bees Lip Balm. 'Tiger Lily' is a sheer peach that goes on almost transparent on my pigmented lips. 'Rose' looks very bright in the tube but goes on as a sheer, rosy pink on my lips. If you are looking for tinted lipbalms that pack a lot of color, these may not be for you. They leave a beautiful hint of color and a nice dose of moisture. The texture is not waxy or overly glossy which makes them a great base for most lipsticks. I usually refrain from using tinted lip balms as a base for lipsticks but, since these are very sheer, they serve as a great base without altering the shade of the lipstick.
L-R : Tiger Lily, Rose
If you like sheer, tinted lip balms that moisturize without the tackiness, these are for you. They provide just the right amount of tint for a lip balm, moisturize very well and are easy on the wallet too($6.99). All Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms are 100% natural, free of Phthalates, Parabens & Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and not tested on animals.

Available at all drugstores and online at burtsbees.com

Have you tried Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms? Do you like them as much as I do? What are your favourite flavors?

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Rose

'Soft Rose' is a beautiful, dark rosy-pink that looks absolutely gorgeous on any skin tone. The color is very flattering and the rosy shade adds some color and brightens my face. It looks more red in the tube but, sheers out quite a bit once applied. 
The packaging is very classy and the consistency of the lipstick is just right. Goes on very smooth and stays on for a good 2-3 hours. Soft Rose especially leaves a beautiful, rosy stain once it fades. Although it feels very creamy, I won't say there is an extra moisture boost or anything but it doesn't dry out my lips so much either. 

They are pricey for drugstore standards but, definitely one of the better quality lipsticks out there in my opinion. The color range is beautiful too! 

Have you tried Revlon Colorburst Lipstick? Do you like Soft Rose? What is your favourite shade?

Monday, May 9, 2011

MAC Woodwinked Eye Shadow

Like me, if you always gravitate towards golds, bronzes and neutral shades, Woodwinked is a great addition to your stash. Woodwinked is probably one of the best, most skin flattering shades of gold I've ever tried! It does have very slight duo chrome quality to it which is visible under certain indoor lights. Otherwise, it is definitely a warm, antique gold as perfectly described my MAC.

The finish is Veluxe Pearl so it has a beautiful metallic sheen and blends very well. I usually use it all over the lid with black eyeliner on the waterline and some mascara for a super natural, daytime look. This versatile shade can be paired with a variety of darker shades for a more dramatic or a festive look too.

It perks up a dull face, adds a lot of warmth and doesn't look overly foiled like a lot of gold shades do. If you love warm gold shadows, I highly recommend Woodwinked. Even otherwise, it's a gorgeous shade to own. You'll love it as much as I do!

Have you tried Woodwinked? Do you like gold eye shadows? What is your favourite shade?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pacifica Body Butter - Indian Coconut Nectar & Hawaiian Ruby Guava

I love the array of delicious scents Pacifica has to offer. They have the right mix of fruity, floral & exotic fragrances. All Pacifica Body Butters are 100% vegan, not animal tested and are formulated without Parabens, Sulphates & Petrochemicals. Read more on the range here

I love anything that smells like coconut which is why I picked up Indian Coconut Nectar. The scent is very authentic and smells of creamy coconut with a hint of vanilla. More like a coconut cookie. Very sweet and strong at the same time. If you do not like strong scents, then none of the body butters in the Pacifica Range are for you. I don't mind the strong scent except on days when I am having a bad headache. They don't linger on for more than a couple of hours on me.

They have one of the cutest packaging ever especially, Indian Coconut Nectar. These body butters in general are very moisturizing and buttery. They absorb pretty fast and don't leave a film. So, I can totally use this even during the summer.Hawaiian Ruby Guava on the other hand, is very fruity. In fact, some might feel it is a little overpowering because of the strong guava scent.

Indian Coconut Nectar smells very exotic and Hawaiian Ruby is more of a fruity, girly, sweet scent. These body butters even double up as a great hand cream! If you like juicy, fruity citrus based scents check out Tuscan Blood Orange from this range which has been my all time favourite! I love it more than any other scent. Probably even on days when I'm having a bad headache! It is THAT good!

Price : $5 for 3oz, $18 for 8oz
Availability : Available at all Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com

Have you tried Pacifica Body Butters? Do you love them? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Milani Baked Blush - Review, Photos & Swatches

Milani Baked Blushes are one of the hottest, new launches from Milani that will be a part of their permanent collection. All blushes in the baked range are highly pigmented and shimmery. They come in nine beautiful shades. Check out the entire shade range here.
L-R : Red Vino, Bellissimo Bronze
L-R : Red Vino, Bellissimo Bronze

I'll be reviewing Red Vino and Bellissimo Bronze. Red Vino is a deep berry that has gold veins running through it. It would look best on medium-dark skin tones. If you are fair skinned, this might be a little too bright for you so, just a light sweep along the cheeks would do the trick. The colors in Red Vino mix beautifully to create a bright pop of color. Belissimo Bronze on the other hand is pretty universal. It's a shimmery, peachy-bronze shade that would make a great summer pick! The shimmer in these blushes are not tacky but there is quite a bit of it.
Swatches L-R  : Bellissimo Bronze, Red Vino
When it comes to these blushes, a stippling brush is your best friend. The colors are packed with a lot of pigment so I would like to apply these with a very light hand which is why I think a stippling brush is the perfect way to go. Since this is also a bit shimmery, using a normal blush brush emphasizes my pores a little too much. They are super blendable and stay put for a good 5-6 hours. Red Vino leaves a gorgeous flush when it fades.
The blushes come with a mirror and a brush applicator which makes the packaging a little bulky. I like the idea of a mirror but the brush applicator is not something I'd use to apply these.
Wearing Red Vino
Overall, these are great blushes with amazing color payoff at an affordable price tag. Love them! I would totally try a shade or two more. Highly Recommended!

Price : $7.99 for 3.5g
Availability : CVS, Target and online at milanicosmetics.com

Have you tried the Milani Baked Blushes? Do you like the idea of a Baked Blush? Share your thoughts!

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

LUSH Tiny Hands Solid Hand Moisturizer

Tiny Hands($5.95) is Lush's newest addition to the solid treatments family. I've used the serum bars which come in solid form and although they are a quite difficult to maintain and use, they are loaded with essential oils and are very effective for tired, dull skin. 'Tiny Hands' contains Argan Oil as one of its top ingredients along with a blend of shea & cocoa butters and marigold oil. Lush did a great job here with the packaging and the price point. It's uber cute and fits so perfectly into my palm :)

Fragrance is one of the most important factors for me in a hand product. Even before I test it out, I take a whiff of the scent! This one smells a lot like vanilla with a hint of citrus to me. The smell is quite strong initially but quickly settles down to a pleasant, not very overpowering scent. I just rub the solid bar between my hands to melt the product a bit and use the oils from it to massage it in. As a solid serum , I expected it to be very greasy and heavy. It's super moisturizing, non-greasy and absorbs really fast for a product that contains oils. I totally love this and would recommend this to anyone with dry hands and cuticles like me. I don't restrict it to just my hands, I use it to moisturize other dry spots like elbows and knees too! I prefer storing all solid treatments, including this one in a tin since it makes things so much easier once the product starts melting with usage.
Available at all LUSH stores and online at lushusa.com
Have you tried LUSH tiny hands? How do you like the idea of your hand cream in a solid form? Do tell!

Disclosure: The product in this article was provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.