Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boots No7 High Lights Illuminating Lotion - A $12.99 Benefit High Beam Dupe!

I cannot express how happy I was when I discovered this fantastic dupe. I'm pretty sure everyone who loves makeup would have Benefit's High Beam on their wishlist. I always felt that gold, peachy highlighters were more flattering against my skin tone than the pink based ones. But, when I tried it on, I kinda like the way these high-lighters look against my skin tone and was even happier when I found an affordable alternative!
Boots No7 High Lights Illuminating Lotion comes in a glass bottle with a pump that dispenses the perfect amount of product without any kind of wastage. It has the same texture and feel of High Beam and blends seamlessly without looking too shimmery. I love how it adds a beautiful glow without looking OTT. For $12.99, you get 30 ml of product that will last you a very, very long time. Use it alone or by mixing it with a tinted moisturizer or foundation for a soft, pearlescent, dewy glow! The only gripe I would say is the glass bottle that feels a little bulky to travel with.

In case you are wondering how the two shades compare, here is a swatch of both these side by side.

Left : Benefit High Beam, Right : Boots No7 High Lights

See any difference? I don't and if you don't want to commit to a full size($26) of High Beam or even a travel size (which is just a couple of bucks cheaper than High Lights), give this a try. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!

Available at all Target stores and online at

What do you think of Boots No7 High Lights Illuminating Lotion?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

China Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals - Review, Photos & Swatches

If plain crackle polishes are not your thing, China Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals might be something that will interest you. I've never been a huge fan of crackle or shatter polishes but the metallic shades are something that got me interested.
L-R: Oxidized Aqua, Tarnished Gold
"Oxidized Aqua" is a metallic, shimmery bluish green, leaning more towards blue that will look amazing over golds, silvers and any darker creme shades. "Tarnished Gold" is an antique, foiled gold that looks great over reds, maroons, black and greens.

I've layered "Tarnished Gold" over a dark blackened red from Zoya called "Blair". I like the overall effect but, it definitely needs a good top coat to maintain the foiled look. This gold shatter on top of any black nail polish would fit very well into the accent nail trend!

I've layered "Oxidized Aqua" over a shimmery rose gold color from Sally Hansen called "24 Karat". I LOVE the way this combo turned out. The "crackle effect" is not as much as the previous polish but, the subtle effect is what lends it that chic, beautiful look!

Available now through salons and professional beauty supply stores nationwide. 
Have you tried the China Glaze Crackle Metals? Love it or leave it? Do tell! 

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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Burt's Bees Mango & Orange Body Butter

Burt's Bees Mango & Orange Body Butter($13) is a super-moisturizing, 99% natural, body moisturizer that smells as good as it performs. Burt's Bees describes this perfectly as " A Smooth Tango With Mango". I tend to stay away from body butters during the summer but, this one was hard to resist especially since it smells like a fruit smoothie. I wouldn't classify the smell as strong, rather more fruity with a strong citrusy punch. 

Unlike most body butters, this one is not too thick which makes it easy to spread and absorb real quick which is why I don't mind using it during summer. When I slather it on after a shower, the scent lingers on for a good 3 hours which is something I love my body moisturizers to do. Plus, it leaves my skin conditioned without feeling greasy for a good 5-6 hours. Although it does contain Mango Butter and Sweet Orange Oil as the key ingredients, it does not leave an oily film. The only gripe is the tub packaging which makes this product difficult to travel with. Since it is a natural product, it tends to separate making the oils collect along the sides of the lid which looks quite messy.

That said, I still love this amazing smelling body butter for the great job it does in moisturizing my body making it suitable to be used throughout the year!

Burt's Bees Mango & Orange range is now available at all drugstores and online at

Have you tried Burt's Bees Mango & Orange Body Butter?

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.

Friday, July 22, 2011

MAC Lustre Lipstick in Hug Me

I've never liked the idea of totally 'nude' lips that make me look sick, pale and corpse-y. I like my nudes to a add a bit of warmth to my face which is why I always tend to choose my nudes with a slight pink undertone and 'Hug Me' totally fits the bill.
 MAC Hug Me Lipstick
MAC describes Hug Me as a Flesh Pink which is perfect. It looks quite brown in the tube but turns up to be a light, pinky brown on my pigmented lips. The shine in the Lustre finish keeps it from looking too flat and blah. This is one of those lipsticks that would work well on all skin tones. It's one of the most natural looking, nude lipsticks I've ever tried that does not wash me out or erase my lips completely. This would be my top pick to pair with a killer smokey eye and I consider this as work-safe too!
 MAC Hug Me Lipstick Swatch

Have you tried Hug Me? What are your favorite nude lipsticks? Do share!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New from OPI : Pink Shatter For Breast Cancer Awareness

Let’s Shatter Breast Cancer!

OPI launches the limited edition Pink Shatter: Pink of Hearts Nail Lacquer to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in its promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever.  The 2011 Pink of Hearts edition will follow in the footsteps of its namesake 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Nail Lacquers in raising awareness of breast cancer for the fifth year in a row, during the months of September and October (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month).  Unlike previous shade incarnations, this year’s Pink of Hearts Nail Lacquer marks the debut of fan-favorite Shatter coat in OPI’s first pink shade.  

 “We are continuing to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the hopes of increasing breast cancer awareness, while inspiring and empowering women.  The organization’s dedication to this cause is unwavering,” remarks Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  OPI is proud to join with Susan G. Komen for the fifth consecutive year to offer Pink Shatter: Pink of Hearts.  By launching our first-ever Pink Shatter coat, we hope this exciting new textured hue will generate lots of awareness for this cause.”

Each bottle of Pink Shatter: Pink of Hearts has a special pink-ribbon tag and pink cap wrap to call attention to breast cancer awareness.  OPI will also be making its annual donation of $25,000 to Komen for the Cure. Pink Shatter coat contains no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and it also features OPI’s exclusive ProWide Brush for the ultimate in application.

The limited edition Pink Shatter: Pink of Hearts will be available throughout the months of September and October 2011 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $8.50 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each Nail Lacquer.  

Official Press Release provided by PR. Please link back if you happen to use images/content.   

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

L'Oreal Color Riche Le Gloss in Nude Touch - Review, Photos & Swatches

L'Oreal Color Riche Le Glosses($7.95) are the newest launch from the brand that claim to add shine and moisturize with Argan Oil as one of its main ingredients. They come in 16 colors and the gold packaging makes it classy looking as well.  'Nude Touch', is a nude, light pink with quite a bit of shimmer. These glosses come in shimmery, cream and sheer finishes so if shimmery glosses are not your thing, there's always the juicy non-shimmery finishes that you can choose from!

I usually have a problem with a lot of lip products from L'Oreal for the fact that they all have a strong scent. I've never found any of their lipsticks or glosses to be drying but, the scent would put me off most of the times. I was pleasantly surprised to see these don't have the same cloying smell. In fact, they have a slight vanilla scent which I kinda like. Texture wise, the gloss is slightly sticky but goes on super smooth. They leave a high-shine finish that looks absolutely glossy and stunning. My lips do look a little plumped up, but there's no irritating tingle and neither does L'Oreal claim they are plumping glosses. I think it's just the finish that gives the illusion of a nice pout. I did not expect a lot of staying power from these but, they do stay on for a good 3 hours and don't dry out my lips at the slightest. These may be one of the most moisturizing glosses from L'Oreal that I've ever tried so far and also the most comfortable to wear! Totally love them and they're priced really well for the job they do!

Have you tried the L'Oreal Color Riche Le Glosses? Love them or leave them? Do Share!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product($9 for 2oz, $16 for 4oz, $33 for 10oz) claims to protect, enhance and improve the overall health of all hair types. I got the smallest size as a gift with purchase at Ulta during a new store opening and I'm quite impressed with the way this leave in product performs. The texture is similar to that of a light, slightly thick lotion that spreads very well. I usually spray on a good amount all over towel-dried hair and comb through with a wide tooth comb and let my hair air dry letting the waves form naturally or, style it as desired. When I decide to style my hair, I use a little more of this product since it acts as a great heat protectant too!

Lets see if it does all that it claims:

Repairs Dry Damaged Hair - Not sure of this. It does moisturize to a very nice extent though.
Adds Shine - Hell Yeah! A lot of it in fact.
Smooths and Controls Frizz - Very well! If you have super frizzy hair like mine, you just need a little more than the usual amount of product. It does feel quite light and doesn't weigh down hair like a lot of serums do.
Flat Iron & Thermal Protector - It protects hair really well but it does not reduce your drying/styling time like most products do.
Detangles - I usually rely on my conditioner for this so, I can't really comment on this.
Stops Hair Breakage - Not sure of this but while blow-drying/ironing, I don't see much breakage. I 'll report back if I see any changes in the hair texture in the long run.
Creates Silkiness - Yes, totally! It gives a lovely finish when used with a flat iron.
Enhances Natural Body - Yes, adds a lot of bounce and movement. I was quite surprised by the way my hair looked naturally after letting it to air dry.
Prevent Split Ends - I'm yet to come across any product that does this!

Overall, it's a really nice product worth a try especially because it makes your hair look so much more healthier that it actually is! I won't say it's a "miracle" product, but definitely a no-brainer, multi-tasking product that I can use with so much ease. The cute, travel-friendly packaging is an added bonus. The same product now comes in a keratin-infused form so, I'll be purchasing that next before coming back to this one!

Have you tried It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product? Do you like it? Share your thoughts!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Milani Haute Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Lip Gloss - Review, Photos & Swatches

Milani Haute Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Lip Gloss($6.99) is a Limited Edition, high shine lip gloss from Milani that will be available only in the month of July at select CVS stores. These glosses come in four, very shimmery, flashy shades that look perfect for an evening or a night out. All of them pack a ton of color and go on very smooth. The shimmer is not chunky and the gloss itself has the right consistency and the right amount of stickiness to make it last for a good 2-3 hours. I would suggest touching up immediately since it does leave quite a bit of shimmer behind.

They come in four super bright, summery shades. Hot Flash - A deep red with red and pink shimmer, Star Flash -  A light pinky lilac with a ton of blue shimmer, In a Flash - A deep wine with purple & blue shimmer and Flashy - A bright fuchsia with hot pink shimmer. The glosses do have a nice, sponge applicator that deposits color evenly and a mild, sweet candy smell that is not cloying.
L-R : Hot Flash, Star Flash, In A Flash,  Flashy
If you like bright, fun colors for summer, pick these up ASAP since they are Limited Edition and will not be available come end of July! If bright, flashy lips are your thing, these are a must-have!

What do you think of the Milani Haute Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Lip Gloss? Love it or leave it? Do tell!

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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips - Review, Photos & Swatches

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips are made from real nail polish and make the whole manicure process easy and fast. They come in a variety of solid colors, prints ranging from floral to animal prints and a few glittery shades. Each set contains 16 nail polish strips, a nail buffer & a cuticle stick. If you have small nail beds like mine, the strips are going to be way to big so, I would suggest cutting them in half horizontally and using them for another nail! That way, you can also save a few strips.
L-R : Cry Baby, Kitty Kitty, Glitz Blitz
These strips work only on a clean nail base. So, prior to using them make sure you swipe a cotton pad with remover on your nails even if you don't have any polish on. That helps clean the nail surface, prepping it for the nail polish strips to adhere better.
The nail polish strips have a strong smell once opened that fades after a while. Application is easy peasy. Just peel the strips out of the stickers, stick on to nails and file away the excess. It took me less than 10 minutes to do both my hands and the best part is the no-drying time. Although, I would suggest waiting for about 5 minutes before doing the dishes or anything else that involves washing your hands.
L-R : Kitty Kitty, Glitz Blitz, Cry Baby
The printed and glitter nail polish strips are the easiest to peel, stick and file. They are very forgiving to mistakes too. "Kitty Kitty", a cute, animal print will look great against all skin tones and "Glitz Blitz", my favorite of the three, is a fun, festive super-sparkly gold that will look great against medium-dark skin tones. The solid shades however, do seem a bit difficult to file and emphasize every nail flaw. You can see from the swatches that "Cry Baby", a bright neon pink, does not look as perfect as the other shades do!

Sally Hansen claims that these last for a good 10 days. I wouldn't say they lasted that long on me. I started to see chipping after a week exactly. Not bad at all since most polishes chip after 3-4 days on me! The $10 price tag does sound a little expensive for something that is not even re-usable but, if you want to have the luxury of an easy, clean, mess-free manicure, it's worth a shot. Like any other nail polish, these strips can be removed with nail polish remover.

Have you tried Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips? Do you like it? I'd love to know!

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.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser - Worth the hype?

With all the hype surrounding this one-step facial cleanser, I was inclined to give it a try. So, I picked up the smallest size which is 3 fl.oz for $10. I love the packaging and the ease of use. This size is super travel-friendly and there's no product leakage either.

The cleanser is a milky white fluid that has a mild smell. This may sound weird but, the smell somehow reminds me of hair dye. The texture is quite runny and there's not much of a lather since it contains quite a bit of natural ingredients and quite a few oils. As a one step cleanser, Purity does not remove every last trace of makeup like I expected it to. I need to either double cleanse or use another cleanser prior to this. Even after all that, I don't somehow get the "clean" feeling but, my skin feels quite dry especially on the cheeks and around my mouth which is a huge deal-breaker for someone with dry/sensitive skin like me! I definately need to moisturize whenever I use this cleanser so, I'm not really sure if I'll categorize this as a gentle cleanser. If you have hardly any makeup on, or need something to tote around with, this works in a pinch. But, I don't see myself having a long-term relationship with this cleanser maily because I don't like the way my skin feels afterwards. For me, Purity is just meh and dare I say, not worth the hype! That being said, this is just my personal opinon and no offense to all the Purity lovers out there!

Have you tried Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser? Do you like it? Do tell!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

LUSH H'Suan Wen Hua Hair Moisturizer

H'Suan Wen Hua is a pre-shampoo treatment from Lush that helps restore strength and moisturize dry hair. Lush calls it "Salad Dressing For Hair". This ultra-rich mask is made from free range eggs, avocado & olive oil. The texture is quite thick and fluffy. Every time before using it, I make sure to mix it well since it does tend to separate quite a bit. I usually apply this once in two weeks, leave it on for about 30 minutes and wash off with shampoo, followed by conditioner although conditioning is optional.

My roots get greasy the next day I shampoo and since this is quite rich, I make sure to wash it off really, really well. If you have oily hair, this might be a little too heavy for you. It washes off well, does not leave a film and hair does feel smooth while washing. But, it somehow does not give me the "slip" Jasmin and Henna Fluff-Eaze does which is why I like to use a conditioner afterwards! It does leave hair really moisturized and nourished but, I don't see any added shine or frizz control.The mask smells a little too strong for my liking. I don't have a problem with strong smelling hair stuff but, this is not the kind of strong you would expect from a hair mask. It smells more like a "foot product" than a hair product. To top it off, the smell lingers on for about a week on my hair! So, if you plan to buy it, I suggest taking a whiff beforehand.

If you have extremely dry hair and need a nourishing mask, this is a good treat provided, you can put up with the strong smell which is why I recommend it just 1-2 times a month. I prefer the Jasmin and Henna Fluff-Eaze over this since, that one keeps my frizzy mane more controlled and adds loads of shine.

Have you tried LUSH H'Suan Wen Hua Hair Moisturizer? Love it or leave it? Do share!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Bronzer

Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Bronzer($9.99) is a multi-tasking product that delivers a golden glow controlling oil and shine at the same time. If you have a problem keeping the oilies at bay with most shimmery bronzers, this might be something that you may want to try. The packaging is just lovely with a shimmery light gold shade at the center surrounded by a bronzy shade. Both colors are super sheer so, they look great when swirled around and used alone on cheeks or even as a highlighter. It shows up really well on medium skin tones but, others can layer it on over any cheek product for a nice, warm glow.

During the summer months, I would suggest using this by itself even though it is quite sheer. It adds an extra something and definitely controls shine but, don't expect a matte finish. It does have a nice sheen, so apply it like you would with any other bronzer on areas where the sun naturally hits your face. If you have a problem of cream blush running all over the place or powder blush caking up, just a light sweep of this along the cheekbones helps set the product for a good 3-4 hours. There's a handy mirror for touch-ups and a brush that comes with the bronzer which I wouldn't really use. Since it is super lightweight, even oily skinned chicas would love it as much.

Overall, the sun-kissed glow and lightweight formula definitely makes this a perfect summer product. There is quite a lot of product in there that would probably last you all through this summer and next!

Have you tried the Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Bronzer? Do you like it? 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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wet n Wild Color Icon Trio in I'm Getting Sunburned

Don't we just love inexpensive eye shadows that perform just as good as so many high-end ones? Well, Wet n Wild does just that! These eye shadows are definitely drugstore gems that are mighty pigmented and come in so many beautiful shades. They blend really well and also wear really well with a good primer underneath.

'I'm Getting Sunburned' is a gorgeous mix of a frosty, shimmery pink, a warm gold and a deep smokey brown with some gold shimmer that almost vanishes once blended. The brown is beautiful as crease shade and liner.A trace of the warm gold along the lower lash line & inner corners perks up tired eyes. I wouldn't apply the pink on my browbone as instructed in the palette but, it works great as lid color and pairs well with a lot of shades too. It does look more lilac on my eyes though. The only gripe I find is the little amount of fallout from the shadows. A few flecks end up on my cheeks so when I'm using these, I would do my face makeup at the end. The packaging especially, the lid seems a little flimsy but for $2.99, I ain't complaining at all. I'll definitely be trying out more shades and post swatches as n when I try them. I'll also do an EOTD with this trio soon! I'm sure you'll love these as much as I do.
Have you tried Wet n Wild Color Icon Trios? What do you think of I'm Getting Sunburned? Share your thoughts!

Fall & Holiday 2011 collections from Deborah Lippmann!

Fall 2011


Deborah Lippmann’s new shade, STORMY WEATHER, is a collaboration with fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez.
Stormy Weather
Usually Narciso requests a nude nail to complement his minimalist designs, but for fall 2011 around he wanted something bolder—a color with strength and edge to offset both his collection and the softness of the hair and makeup. For the perfect custom finish, I mixed (and mixed) a new shade by hand in just 24 hours. The final product: an edgy granite that emanated power and intensity. The models who walked the show (and who
rarely, if ever, comment on the nail color) gushed over the shade. And so STORMY WEATHER was born an edgy granite (crème) for a strong fall statement.


I have worked directly with some of the world’s top fashion designers on everything from ad campaigns to fashion shows. When I set out to select nail looks for the fall 2011 collections, I noticed a common theme among all of my collaborators: warmth. The clothes featured vivid, lush earth tones—think lush greens, rich reds and intense golds.
Billionaire: moody hunter green (creme)
Brick House: shimmering rust (shimmer)

Single Ladies: flirtatious red (creme)
I wanted to capture a similar heat and earthiness in the accompanying polishes, but with an added punch. BILLIONAIRE, a moody hunter green, BRICK HOUSE, a shimmering rust, and SINGLE LADIES, a flirtatious red, all have warm undertones, which give them a beautiful intensity, but also have a jewel-like quality so they really make nails pop.

Holiday 2011

Just in time for the holiday season, Deborah Lippmann Gets the Party started Nothing says ‘Party’ like the magnetic sparkle of glitter. So for the biggest party season of the year, I’ve created shades that truly dazzle. Get This Party Started, a set of three glitters, was inspired by the overwhelming demand for my best selling Happy Birthday, a glittery party in a bottle. The set includes Happy Birthday, along with two new variations of the sparkling shade: Forget You and Candy Shop. They’re both packed with the same unique hexagon-shaped glitter that gives Happy Birthday its magnificent glint, only Forget You has a sheer black base and Candy Shop a bubblegum pink.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: a party in a bottle (glitter)
FORGET YOU: party all night (glitter)
CANDY SHOP: bubblegum pink (glitter) 

I love how festive all three look and feel, whether wrapped a round a champagne glass or peeping out of a glamorous pump. But what I truly love the most: how a few coats of any shade instantly transform you into the life of the party.

I'm loving all these drool-worthy shades!

Official Press Release provided by PR. Please link back if you happen to use images/content.