Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Staying Updated With My Blog

So with Google removing Google Friend Connect for all non-blogger sites, my blog's updates may not be reflected for those of you whose blogs run on wordpress and use GFC to follow my blog. Here are some other ways you can still follow my blog & stay updated.

If you are on Blogger and follow my blog, I think new posts and updates will still pop up on your dashboard. Otherwise you could...

Follow Me on Twitter

Subsribe to E-mail updates or subscribe to RSS feeds.

Like My Blog's Facebook Page

Follow Me on Bloglovin and Hellocotton

I'm yet to create a Google+ page for the blog. But once I do, I will be sure to update everyone!

Make Up For Ever HD Complexion Starter Kit

The HD Complexion Starter Kit($79) features four of Make Up For Ever's best selling products to create a smooth, flawless finish with a soft-focus effect to your face. The kit comes with a full size HD Invisible Cover Foundation of your choice that can be added to the kit, HD Microperfecting primer, HD Microfinish powder and a Kabuki brush to complete the look.

HD Micro-perfecting Primer - An oil-free silicone-based primer, this helps shrink pores and fill in fine lines. It comes in a gel-cream form and does not feel too slick which I like. I only use it on my cheeks and anywhere else I need to even out skin tone. It does have a scent that is quite strong though. I quite like the way it feels on my skin without being too heavy. It's a great pick for people with oily skin since it is oil-free.

HD Invisible Cover Foundation - I chose mine in the shade #128. It's a great match for skin tones NC37-40 in MAC. The texture of this foundation is a little runny and very creamy. I use a flat foundation brush and apply a very thin layer of this. My skin is no where near perfect but, I'm not very fond of heavy coverage foundations. So, a thin layer of the HD foundation actually works really well covering blemishes and perfecting pores. Since it dries to a semi-matte finish, I like to mix in a drop of highlighter for a little bit of glow. Coverage is buildable but, be sure to moisturize really well since it has a tendency to enhance dry spots and settle into fine lines without prep work. It works really well when layered over the HD primer. The primer made the foundation stay on for more than 8 hours without rubbing off.

HD MicrofinishPowder & Kabuki - The HD Micro-perfecting Powder is a translucent finishing powder that works really well when used with the super soft Kabuki brush to create an air brushed look. Since I have dry skin, I only use it very sparingly over the HD foundation since the foundation already dries to a semi-matte finish. But, I love to use this powder over any tinted moisturizer to set the look and perfect pores for a flawless finish. The kabuki is a nice little addition to the kit that works great with any kind of pressed powders too.

The kit is a great value when compared to buying the products individually and a nice way to start trying a few MUFE products. The flexibility of choosing the foundation shade is a great option and the kabuki brush is a great choice for loose and pressed powders.

Wearing Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting primer, HD Invisible Cover Foundation in #128 and HD Microfinish powder

What are your thoughts on the Make Up For Ever HD Complexion Starter Kit?

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, February 28, 2012

MAC Sweetie Lipstick - Review, Photos & Swatches

Sweetie($14.50), described by MAC as an ulta-sweet pink is a girly, slightly mauvy pink with silver shimmer. The lustre finish adds a little more sheen to this already shimmery pink. Sweetie looks great on medium skin tones and does not wash me out either. It has the right amount of pink and a very slight mauve undertone, making it a very wearable shade. I like how it is shimmery without being too frosty.

MAC Sweetie Lipstick

MAC Sweetie Lipstick Review

Like most MAC lipsticks, I get about 3 hours of wear time from this one. The formula is alright, not very  moisturizing. The color is quite sheer on the first swipe, which I like. Since it is quite pink and shimmery, I like to pair it with a neutral eye look. If you are looking for a wearable, medium pink without being too bright or something that does not lean towards the hot pink territory, Sweetie is worth looking into.

MAC Sweetie Lustre Lipstick

MAC Sweetie Lipstick Swatch
MAC Sweetie Swatch, single swipe

Have you tried MAC Lustre Lipstick in Sweetie?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Essence Stay All Day Long-Lasting Eye Shadow

Essence has finally jumped into the cream eye shadow bandwagon too. It's a good thing since they make some fabulous inexpensive products. The Essence Stay All Day Long-Lasting Eye Shadows($2.99) are long-wearing, cream eye shadows with a silky texture that can be worn alone or under any eye shadow to extend its wear.

There are three shades currently launched as part of the spring collection of which I have two here. "Glammy Goes To", a shimmery antique bronze and "Stars & Stories", a frosty silver. The texture is very creamy and the shadows are nicely pigmented. They come packaged in a small plastic jar. The shadows seemed a little too dry to be picked up from the jar on the first use but, after a couple of swipes, they went on smooth. I find that they go on much better when I use my fingers as opposed to a brush. They stay on pretty well even without a primer on my lids and start fading after about 5 hours. With a primer, they stay crease-free for about 8 hours which is great. They also layer really well under powder eye shadows in co-coordinating shades. "Glammy Goes To" is an amazing shade that I like to wear under MAC's Woodwinked, which is one eye shadow I reach out to so often. For the price, I can't complain too much about the plastic packaging but, I think glass jars would keep the product from drying out too soon.

L-R : Stars & Stories, Glammy Goes To

Overall, these cream shadows are a great bargain and do what they are supposed to do without breaking the bank. The current shade selection seems too small. I wish there were more neutrals and darker, less frosty shades available too.

Have you tried the Essence Stay All Day Long-Lasting Eye Shadow?

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, February 24, 2012

Illamasqua Pure Pigment In Beguile

Illamasqua Pure Pigment In Beguile($24) was released as part of the Theatre Of The Nameless Collection. Beguile is a sparkly, silver with multi-colored glitter packed in a while base. Depending on the lighting, it reflects green, blue, purple and pink shimmer. It has a beautiful pearlescent sheen that is absolutely stunning.

Like most pigments, this one too can get a little messy to work with but, serves a lot of purpose. Also because it has a white base, it is quite convenient to be mixed with eye shadows, nail polishes without changing the color of the product or even when it needs to be layered on over a dark base for some eye catching shimmer.The texture is super finely milled and looks stunning when used on it's own too. The packaging looks really sleek and nice with just a small opening to prevent too much product spillage. But if you are clumsy like me, you may end up with shimmer just about everywhere. The small opening that lets you pick up pigment comes sealed with a tiny tape. Be sure not to discard it once you open it to prevent product wastage. If you want to jazz up any look or simply want to add a lot of sparkle and glam, Beguile is a nice little multi-tasker to have.

Have you tried  Illamasqua's Pure Pigment In Beguile?

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, February 23, 2012

My Top 5 Pink Nail Polish Picks

I have quite a few pink nail polishes in my stash but these are a few light pinks I wear quite often, apart from the berries and darker pinks. All these are wearable, soft pinks that will look great against most skin tones.

Zoya Mia($8) - A pretty, low-key nude pink with a creme finish. Perfect for work or whenever you want to keep it subtle.
China Glaze Thistle($6) - Shimmery, metallic light pink. The formula is great for a shimmery polish and is not overly foiled which I like
Zoya Flora($8) - Bright, but not very bubblegummy. Love this color for spring. The formula is a little difficult to work with though.

Zoya Meadow($8) -  A pink gold duo-chrome. The gold comes out only under sunlight or when using camera flash. A versatile shade that looks flattering against most skin tones and one of my absolute favourite pinks.
Revlon Starry Pink($4.59) - A milky, pale pink with silver glitter. The hexagonal glitter in it looks gorgeous when applied and is also a pain to remove but, totally worth it.
L-R : Zoya Mia, China Glaze Thistle, Zoya Flora, Zoya Meadow, Revlon Starry Pink

What are some of your favourite pink nail polishes?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint in Beach

I've had good experiences with Liz Earle's skin care in the past and was very excited to try the Sheer skin Tint(£21.00) which was also the brand's first step into color. I prefer tinted moisturizers and medium coverage foundations over heavy, full coverage foundations any day so, this was right up my alley. The sheer skin tint comes in three shades and I chose the darkest shade '03 Beach' which seemed like a good pick for medium to dark skin tones. If you are anything between an NC35 and 42 in mac, Beach is a good match.

What I like about Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint: 

  • Lightweight, creamy texture that goes on super smooth even without having any moisturizer on.
  • There's quite a bit of product in there, although the tube looks to be small in size.
  • The dewy, silky finish makes it a great choice for dry skin.
  • Coverage is medium but, so natural looking, I even skip applying powder on top.
  • Comes with SPF15.

The not so good things about Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint:
  • Only three shades are currently available. Darker skin tones can still get away with beach but, it may not be the perfect match.
  • The product has a very weird smell. It does fade once applied onto skin but the smell is quite strong initially.
  • If you have oily skin, be sure to keep some blotting sheets in hand or top if off with powder since it is very dewy looking and might make t-zone oily.
  • I don't see the product being listed on the Liz Earle US website, only on the UK site.

If you have dry skin, the Liz Earle Sheer skin tint is a nice choice when you just need a little bit of coverage with a natural finish. Since it is sheer, most people can get away with one of the three shades the range has. But, I wish they'd add more colors in the future.

Have you tried the Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint? 

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, February 21, 2012

L’Oréal Paris EverCréme Sulfate-Free Cleansing Conditioner

"Cleansing Conditioner, a low lathering formula that acts as a shampoo and deep conditioner in one, so consumers can experience the latest prestige trend in achieving healthy and hydrated hair the natural way." I've been wanting to try Wen's version of the cleansing conditioner for a while now but, since I have oily roots with dry ends, I wasn't too sure if I wanted to splurge on something that may or may not work for me . So, when L'Oreal's affordable version came along, I had to try it.

L’Oréal Paris EverCréme Sulfate-Free cleansing conditioner($5.99) is a thick, rich cream product that acts as a shampoo and conditioner sans the foamy lather you get from traditional shampoos. The product has a strong, creamy vanilla scent that I absolutely love. The smell lingers on until the next wash! Although I love products packaged hygienically in a pump bottle, this one makes it so difficult to get product out of. One pump dispenses very little product so, it takes a while to get a sizable amount which is annoying while in the shower.  

How I use the L’Oréal Paris EverCréme Sulfate-Free Cleansing Conditioner:

I take quite a few pumps of product and apply it to hair, massaging it on my scalp. I apply a little more to the ends, leave the product on for a while and wash it off. Don't expect rich foamy lather from this product. There's just a little bit of soft, (almost no) lather. The creamy texture made my hair feel smooth and tangle-free while washing it off. I was a little worried if the creaminess of the product and the blend of oils may leave my scalp looking like an oil slick. Turns out, this cleansing conditioner works even better than how a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner duo would work. I skipped applying hair serum and let my hair air-dry. My hair felt a lot healthier, smoother, shinier, bouncy and most of all, clean. After a day, I noticed that it did not make my scalp any oilier than a normal shampoo would. The ends looked more nourished, just like it does when you have a trim!
That said, I would not recommend using this everyday. It does contain quite a few oils and has a tendency to weigh hair down with regular use. As someone with an oily scalp and dry ends, I use this about 2 times a week, when my hair needs a gentle cleanse, without stripping the natural oils and a moisture boost. I also use a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of any residue from this or other shampoos there may be. L’Oréal Paris EverCréme Sulfate-Free Cleansing Conditioner is a great drugstore find and an amazing budget buy when you want to treat your hair to some extra dose of moisture and keep it looking healthy in one step. A perfect pick for someone lazy like me.

Have you tried the L’Oréal Paris EverCréme Sulfate-Free Cleansing Conditioner?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Barielle Gem Stone Earth Collection - Review, Photos & Swatches

Barielle Gem Stone Earth Collection features five nail polishes, a mix of three shimmery metallics and two cremes. The cremes are quite easy to work with and have a nice consistency. The shimmery shades are quite thick and left a few brush strokes, still easy to work with. All shades were quite opaque in two coats.

Back To Nature - A perfect nude! Very creamy, no shimmer, goes on without being streaky.
Granite Glitter - A shimmery gunmetal. Looks great on toes. I had some application issues with this shade though.
Pink Quartz - A nice and soft girly pink, perfect for spring and summer.
Green Opal - Shimmery, olive green with a foil-like finish. The formula on this one was a little thick and left a few brush strokes.
Amber Sparkler - A beautiful shimmery bronzy-brown. I love this one too, it looks very flattering against my skin tone.

Top to Bottom : Back To Nature, Granite Glitter, Pink Quartz, Green Opal, Amber Sparkler
I painted my nails with Back To Nature last week and it started chipping after about 4 days. The brush size is perfect for my short nails and very convenient to work with. Overall, I really like the formula of these polishes and how fast they dry!

Barielle is free of DBP, toluene & formaldehyde.

Price : $8 individually, $25 for the Gem Stone Earth Collection 5-piece Kit.

What are your thoughts on the Barielle Gem Stone Earth Collection?

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, February 19, 2012

AVON Shine Attract Lipstick - Rose Bouquet & Nude Love

A brand new launch from Avon, the Shine Attract Lipsticks($9) are a very new concept where the lipstick pigment is surrounded by a transparent glossy layer of moisture. These lipsticks come in 15 shades that range from nude browns to glossy pinks. "Avon redefines lipstick with this one-of-a-kind fusion of luscious color and hydrating shine. A center core of color gel delivers vivid, vibrant pigment as an outer layer provides the perfect radiant sheen for smooth, glistening lips."

The colors when worn directly from the tube, go on a little sheer. I won't say they come with loads of shine but, they keep lips looking very moist and soft. For a more pigmented look, I like to dip a lip brush directly to the core where the color is concentrated. If you have extremely dry lips, applying some lip balm and blotting it off makes the color go on without enhancing dryness. Once on the lips, they are very moisturizing and feel very comfortable. "Nude Love" is a pinkish brown nude with subtle shimmer that adds a nice dimension to lips. It has a little hint of pink which keeps it from washing me out. "Rose Bouquet" is a pinky coral with a ton of silver shimmer. These lipsticks last for about 2 hours after which they completely fade. Rose Bouquet leaves quite a bit of shimmer behind which is something I don't like. It takes a while to get rid of the shimmer too.
L-R : Rose Bouquet, Nude Love
L-R : Rose Bouquet, Nude Love; Please ignore the lighting difference. I had to tweak the left photo a bit to bring the color of Rose Bouquet out

Overall, if you like sheer lipsticks with quite a bit of shine and a nice moisturizing feel, these lipsticks are worth a try.  They have a slight scent that is mild and not cloying. The packaging is alright but, the cap seems a little flimsy to tote around. Nude Love is a great everyday, safe shade that I recommend when you want to keep it simple and add some color at the same time. These lipsticks feel almost like a tinted lip balm, without being very heavy or waxy.

What do you think of the Avon Shine Attract Lipsticks?

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

Saturday, February 18, 2012

NOTD - Zoya Willow

Willow($8), best described as a creamy coral with a hint of fine silver shimmer, is one of Zoya's best coral polishes and a very pretty color for spring.
Zoya Nail Polish in Willow
The formula of this polish is very smooth and quite opaque. I needed 2 coats for opacity and it is quite glossy by itself but, I topped it off with Zoya's Armor Top coat. There was quite a bit of tip wear after about 2 days and the polish started chipping after 4 days.
Zoya Nail Polish in Willow Swatch
 Zoya Nail Polish in Willow Zoya Willow Review Swatch

If you are looking for a coral polish that isn't very bright and is subtle enough to be considered work-safe, Willow is a great choice. It is one of those polishes that looks equally amazing on fingers and toes.

All Zoya Nail Polishes are free of Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP and Camphor. 

What are your thoughts on Willow?

Friday, February 17, 2012

BUXOM Pen and Ink Long-Last Eyeliner - Review, Photos & Swatches

BUXOM Pen & Ink Long-Last Eyeliner($20) is a long lasting, waterproof, liquid eyeliner and a new launch from the brand for spring. The liner has a unique tip that helps achieve a thick or a thin line depending upon the way its held and applied. The intensity also varies depending upon which side of the tip you choose to apply it with.

The liner comes in two shades, brown(Ciao) and black(P.S). What I have here is P.S, a jet black color with a slight sheen. I've always liked liquid liners with a sheen and this one has just the right amount of it.The size is just perfect without being too thick or thin, giving me a good grip over the product. The first couple of times, the tip felt a little scratchy on my eye lids but, it was fine after the third use. Be sure to run it a couple of times at the back of your hand before using it on your eyes. I also love how it gives me great control when I want to wing my liner out. Like most liquid lines, I use it on my upper and lower lash line and fill in my waterline with a pencil liner. The color is very rich and deep so, I like to keep everything else minimal. As for it being waterproof, it doesn't rub off easily with water or when I rub my eyes. But, it does have a tendency to smear a little with soap. It smears in a good way though, without giving me raccoon eyes. The lasting power was about 6 hours after which it starts to flake just a little at the corners. I needed a good oil based remover to get everything off.

Getting used to the tip and using it both ways can take some time to get used to, initially. But once you get the hang of it, this is a nice little multi-use product. The color is very dark and intense and will look great on just about anyone.

Available at Sephora stores and online at

What do you think of the BUXOM Pen and Ink Long-Last Eyeliner?

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