Friday, 30 May 2014

Makeup For Beginners

So, meet Avantika, my sister (okay, cousin) and dummy for the day. She's 20 and studying History at St. Stephens in Delhi. Impressive, right?
She maybe 20, but the girl is a makeup noob. So we decided it was time for her to slowly make her way into the world of makeup.

The Base
See, the girl has pretty good skin - okay, flawless skin, so she doesn't need anything heavy coverage or even concealer for that matter. We went with the Bourjois CC Cream in 33, it has an SPF 15, its easy to use, does not need a brush, and evens out her skintone perfectly while making it look pretty darn glowly. Can you see? Avantika has normal skin, with a tendency to sweat, so we didn't powder it to keep it natural and skin like.

The Eyes
This is my favorite part usually, because most Indian girls just have the most beautiful eyes, and this one is no exception. We started out with the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, because its easy to apply and blend with your finger. The colour is perfect on her skin tone, bringing you just that bit of eyelid shimmer without looking OTT. Next, we used the Lakme Eyeconic Kohl in Brown just to tightline and add a bit of dimension to her eyes. "I always thought black was a staple regarding kajal, and I bought the brown by accident, but after using it, I realized that it suited my skin and eye colour better". A few coats of Maybelline HyperCurl Waterproof Mascara - "Because I sweat a lot and I laugh so much I cry", and we were done with the eyes!

The Lips
Now, I gave her two options for this, a tinted lip balm like the Maybelline Baby Lips, or a crayon lipstick hybrid like Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in Sultry - "The chubby stick thing is so easy to apply and I'm not particularly artistic, so its good for someone like me, and I'd choose that over the lip balm because it actually gives me some colour".

Would you wear this out?
"Yep, but not everyday, on the days I want to look a little dressed up, on a normal day, I wouldn't bother with any of this"

So this was my Makeup Noob/Starter Kit post featuring my baby cousin. Let me know what you thought?

P.S. Don't you think she's gorgeous? :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

MAC Must Have's - Eyes

Going to a store like MAC can be really over whelming. Since its easily accessible in a place like India, and I've tried loads of their products over the last few years, I thought I would narrow down my favorite eye products for you. I did a similar post for base products, which you can find here.

Eyeshadow Quad
If I were starting out all over again, I probably wouldn't jump right in and start with the larger palettes, I'd say start small and work your way up. A quad should have everything you need for your eye makeup, in my opinion, so that would include an eyebrow/eyeliner shade, a crease/transition colour and 2 lid colours or 1 highlight and 1 lid colour (which is how most premade quads work). For Indian skin, I find Brown Down to be a really good eyebrow shade as it's pretty neutral toned. Its a veluxe matte finish, which makes it really easy to work with. If you're a fan of subtle eyeliners, this works really well for that purpose as well.
Texture (Peachy brown with shimmer) is a Velvet formula. Though the description says it has shimmer, which is noticeable in the pan, it doesn't translate on the eye, no matter what your skintone, this one makes an excellent crease colour which you can blend out your lid shade with.
When it comes to the other two its a personal choice really, I'd say everybody needs to own Woodwinked (Warm Antique Gold), veluxe pearl finish. It brightens your eye like no other, and compliments just about every skintone I've used it on. If you're more on the tan side of the spectrum, it also works great as an inner corner highlight.
For the last one, you could get yourself a brow bone highlight - which I'm personally not a huge fan off, but something like Ricepaper or Shroom is perfect for that. But I'd just choose a slightly darker lid shade, like Bronze (Gold-Brown with Golden Bronze Shimmer) which is a nice frosty shade. It works great on the outer half of the lid with Woodwinked, or even on its own with some smudgey liner and tons of mascara.

Pro Longwear Paintpot
If you're someone who needs a good stickey base, I'd say, BUY A PAINTPOT. I use Groundwork on myself, but Soft Ochre/Painterly works better if you have lighter skin. For tan skins, I find that Groundwork works best, even though its pretty cool toned. They make very good bases, but also work really well on their own. Another favorite of mine is Indianwood, which is just the most beautiful flattering shade of bronze/gold. I've been meaning to get Constructivist too, because y'all know how much I love my red-browns.

I'll be the first to say that MAC Brushes are a bit on the scratchey side of the spectrum. But you just cannot beat the shapes. And as much as I love synthetic brushes for both price point and the insanely soft bristles, you have to give real hair brushes props for lasting ability. My older 217 is over 3-4 years old and still works and looks like it did when I bought it. As far as eyebrushes go, I'd say skin the 239, the Sigma version is just as good. But get the 217, because no matter what your eyeshape, it just works. Another brush which is newer to my MAC Brush Lineup is the 224, which is a fluffier bigger brush. I use this to mainly soften harsh lines. Now, I would normally have added the 219 too, but your fingers do a better job, if you ask me.

I know this list doesn't contain a lot of cult products like their Eye Kohls (Rimmel ScandalEyes are better/cheaper) or the very coveted Blacktrack Fluidline (Maybelline Gel Liner is better, cheaper and doesn't dry out as fast) but that's because the alternatives are waay better.

What do you guys think? Agree? What would you add?

Monday, 26 May 2014


Another day, and another FOTD coming your way. It was one of my more - full on makeup days. When I wanted to use eyeshadow, a bold lip and perfect that base.
My choice for the perfect, flawless base (my skin looks photoshoped for crying out loud! And I assure you, its not) is the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 7.5. Since it eliminates the need for concealer - even under the eyes, I proceeded to fill in the tail end of my brows with my Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Ebony, because I tweezed away the arch of one eyebrow and I perpetually look half surprised now - and we can't have that in public now, can we?
For the eyes I have a new eyeshadow love, MAC's Sable the most gorgeous frostly plumy colour which has the uncanny ability to brighten my face up. For Liner, I used Makeup Geek's Corrupt with lots of lashings of the Max Factor Lash Extension Effect Mascara (dabomb).
The rest of my face was graced with the presence of my Bobbi Brown Bronzer in Dark and a bit of Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre around the t-zone area.
For lips, I used my NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paolo. Can you see that I'm obsessed with these?

Do you like?

Friday, 23 May 2014

THAT Foundation

As you read this, I'll be in Delhi, hopefully shopping till I drop - and hopefully present me will remember to pack this with me so future me won't reread this when its published and regret not having it. Pffft. Confusing, non?
You know that foundation that everyone claims is perfect - which seems inconceivable, because nothing could really do it all. Cover everything, rids you the need for concealer, doesn't leave your face too matte that it looks like a flat surface, but doesn't make it too glowey (is there such a thing?) that you feel the need to powder? This is THAT Foundation.
Incase you haven't gathered from the picture yet, I'm talking about the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 7.5. Before I get into anything else, let me say that the colour match that this provides is unparalleled. Yellow based, but not too yellow, not too light or dark, doesn't oxidize - its just the perfect colour. While we're talking shade range, this has something like 22 shades, which in insane. .5's being a bit more yellow and whole numbers being more neutral.
In terms of longevity, this lasts ages and ages on me, even without a primer underneath. Close to 10 hours on last count. It faded a little bit at the 9 hour mark.
As far as dealing with various textures goes, it has this uncanny ability to glide over dry patches and blemishes almost as if it had a gel like texture. One pump is more than enough to cover the face and the neck. I'm not going to tell you how awesome and sleek the packaging is, because you can see that for yourself.
It doesn't have SPF which is a good thing in my opinion, and going by the price, it most definitely is an evening or "special event" base. So really, you don't want that SPF induced white cast, do you?
I would consider this medium to full coverage - just the perfect balance between enough coverage but not mask like.
It truly is THAT Foundation - its too perfect to be true, but hey ho, it is.

Do you own this? If not, you must.

P.S. Next post will show you this foundation in action. Keep your eyes peeled. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Battle of the Bronzers

If you're used to this blog by now, you know how much I love and rely on a good bronzer to make me feel alive and cheekboney. So here you go, the low down on the three that I've used.

Chanel Soliel De Tan De Chanel in 62 Terre Epice
If I'm not mistake, in the 1930's Coco Chanel introduced the world to the idea of a bronzer, and the brand has always had lots of hype surrounding their bronzers, more recently, the bronzing cream.
As much as I love Chanel Beauty in general, this bronzer just does not do it for me. It has specks of glitter in it - not shimmer, glitter which is pretty visible on your face. And the colour just doesn't seem to work on me. I'm pretty warm toned as it is, but this just makes me look orange. Not a good look. If I could, I would skin buying this. But oh well, we live and learn.

Bobbi Brown Matte Bronzer in Dark
This bronzer is on almost everyones top products from the brand, and naturally, I had to see for myself if it was worth the hype. The Verdict - amazeballs. It has strong red-brown undertones, which is the shade I tan naturally, so when I place this on the outer perimeter of my face, it slims the face without giving it that "I just dusted 4 layers of bronzer on face" look. I could have gone with a shade lighter, perhaps, but that doesn't change the fact that this is pretty perfect.

NARS Bronzer in Casino
The mother of all bronzers. This ones Laguna counterpart is majorly famous. Overly so. It adds warmth to my face for sure, but somehow Casino stole my heart. Its warm without being orange, and cool enough to contour with. It does have a slight shimmer running through it, but the kind that makes you look healthy - but never shimmery. Ah, this is the perfect product. The one you see pictured is actually my second one, and I'm putting off using it too much because I'm afraid to use it up. It's that good.

What are your favorites?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Skincare Additions

So, as was pointed out, I should start with this.. I was lucky enough to be features in the Hindu's Metro Plus today, the article can be found here. Let me know what you think :)

So my skin seems to be going through another rough patch which is just.. frustrating to say the least. I honestly don't know what seems to be wrong with it. It seems to be trying to mimic the surface of the moon, and nothing I use seems to help - not that I have a problem with the moon, just don't want my face to resemble it, y'know?
So in an effort to figure out what the problem is, I've cut back on the skincare products.. using only the bare minimum, 'cause sometimes too much can cause more trouble. A double cleanse, a bit of toner and a good moisturizer. For a while now I've been using the SebaMed Foaming Cleanser, which I thought was really helping my skin, but it also really dries it out, leaving me looking almost scaley *shudder*. I've also been using a fair amount of Salicylic Acid based products which once again seems to be drying my skin more than helping.. so I've cut back from the harsh-drying products and I'm trying to use more gentle products that hopefully will help calm down this horrid reaction my skin seems to be having. To what? Your guess is as good as mine.
Two things that have helped immensely already are The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, which seems to be everybodys new favorite cleanser. It gets most of your makeup off in just about one pump and it smells are feels really amazing. I follow this up with my Clinique Cleansing Balm.
For Toner, a new one which seems to have helped my skin *touchwood* is the La Roche Posay Serozinc, which is a zinc sulphate mist that really helps calm down any major breakouts. Though I haven't had it for very long, I do have a crazy set of breakouts on one side of my face (two face anyone? If you meet me in person, I keep switching to the non breakout side, resulting in a minor creek in the neck) which this seems to be helping. Its terribly hard to find, so I have to thank Ki for this really exciting late birthday present.
I've also just purchased the Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel to replace my SebaMed cleanser, we'll see how that goes.

Have you tried either of these products?

Friday, 16 May 2014

Summer Staples

So, its full on in-your-face summer. Its so hot, I can barely leave my room. But on the rare occasion I venture out these days.. I end up using some/most of these products.
For my face, since my skin is super dry due to all the spot treatments I've been using, I need a good heavy duty moisturizer. The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + is a real savior. It manages to soothe me dry patches and prevent patchy application. Since it is Summer and the Chennai sun is blazing, I cannot/will not leave the house without a sunscreen - this is where the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 50 Sunscreen comes in handy. Base wise, I would usually just use concealer, but offlate I've been finding it sticking to my dry patches too much, so I've been using my Bourjois Happy Light Foundation in the places I need it, such as my cheeks and jawline. It looks so natural, you can hardly tell I have anything on.
This step is optional, but it is summer, and I do like to bronze up the edges of my face with my Bobbi Brown Matte Bronzer in Dark. 
For the rest of my makeup, I use the Maybelline Gel Liner to on the upper water line or even as winged liner, keeping things really simple.
As for lips, my new favorite thing is bright lips, so its between my NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams or my MAC Mineralize Lipstick in Lady at Play, both are easy to wear and really long lasting.

I need more bright lip options, suggestions, ladies?
Also, what are your Summer Staples? 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Easy Everyday Makeup

Okay, so simple, barely even 2 minute makeup coming your way.
Its super simple, starting with Chanel Vita Lumier Aqua which covers everything that needs covering, as I've mentioned over and over again, I know you're sick of me saying it, I don't want to bore you, but really, its true. Since this eliminated my need for concealer, I've just been going with it.
Instead of powdering, I've just been bronzing my face ever so slightly with my NARS Casino Bronzer, which is making an appearance in my routine after a long time. For the eyes, wing liner courtesy of the Maybelline Gel Liner - focusing on the outer corners mostly. And for some added oomph, Max Factor Lash Extension Effect Mascara along the eyelashes and the eyebrows to keep 'em in place.
Now, my favorite part - the lips. It usually changes from day to day, but on this particular day it was the MAC Lady at Play Mineralize Lipstick.

I just realized that this only consisted of 5 products. Hah, so another 5 product face thrown at you too!
What is your go to quick and easy makeup? 

Monday, 12 May 2014

MAC Must Have's - Face.

Firstly, I'd like to apologize for the delay in todays post. I seem to have lost track of time and royally killed my schedule. But atleast I'm able to rectify this error now.
Secondly, this is sort of a series I'm starting, and this post is just to test out the waters. Let me know what you think.
When you think about a brand like MAC, with its overwhelming array of choices, a first timer can't help but think "uh oh". This was infact my first thought when I went into the shop. I had no idea where to start, and hence ended up picking up (over the years) so many things that just did not work. Somehow though, I've managed to find a few products that work for various skin tones, textures and types - something freelancing has taught me. So here you have it, my three "base" picks from MAC's extensive offering.

MAC Face and Body Foundation
I think its clear how much I love this stuff, but let me just tell you once more. Its water based, making it light, it feels like you have nothing on, the coverage is very sheer - but can be built up to medium/full if you take your time. It lasts all day long, if you know how to use it. Now, Face and Body is not a foundation you just throw on with a brush, in my opinion. I've realized that you need to use your fingers with this and really work it into your skin, it forms an almost past like consistency, which once it sets, does. not. budge.
Its also surprisingly forgiving when it comes to dry patches (probably the water base) and the dewy finish it gives in unparalleled. If you're a matte skin person, hold your breath till product 3. For more coverage..

MAC Prolongwear Concealer
See, now, I've talked about this before too (full review here). But once again, the important features - medium/full coverage which deals with everything from acne scars to terrible undereye circles. Its refreshingly light and does not emphasis my many very apparent dry patches. Of ALL the MAC concealers (yes, I've tried all except the mineralize one) I'd pick this.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation
I've tried the loose powders, which as you might know by now I'm partial too, but it isn't as good as the Chanel offering. As far as powders go, this is my favorite MAC powder. Yes, its meant to be a foundation, but this over Face and Body, and you've got yourself a winner. You could use a fluffy brush to really sheer this out, or you could use a buffing brush and add this over a bit of Strobe Cream there by eliminating the need for concealer. Its a really good product. And the coverage is just.. amazeballs.
If you're looking for a good powder/compact before you invest in foundation and concealer and all that fun stuff, I'd say without a doubt, pick this.

So there you have it. What are your thoughts? :)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Weekend Treat - The Best Pancakes, EVER.

Bit of a new one for me - but I feel the need to add a few more personal cooking/lifestyle posts.
These pancakes are a staple at my place. Once a month, when we're feeling particularly sinful, we make these. The recipe is simple enough, but the result is to die for - soft, spongey and tasty.
What you need -
3 eggs
1 cup of flour (all purpose)
1 cup of milk
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of powdered/caster sugar

The only complicated thing here is separating the eggs and beating the egg whites until stiff - a food processor will do the trick in a few short minutes. You mix the other ingredients (Flour, egg yolks, milk, salt and sugar) together, fold in the eggs - and you're good to go. This makes about 8 thinner pancakes and 6 slightly thicker ones. Really try this.
I served this with bacon/vegetarian bacon (made of cheese), caramelized apples and pancake syrup. SO GOOD. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Night Out #5

I realized I hadn't done one of these in a long time, so here goes.
I've really been into more complex eye looks off late - y'know the ones that require 8 different colours? Yeah, those.
The eyes are really the focus here, because I used Makeup Geek Creme Brule (transition shade), Makeup Geek Coco Bear (To deepen the socket), MAC Brown Down (to deepen it even further), Nars Cordura (outer half of eyelid), MAC All that Glitters (Inner half of eyelid) and then MAC Texture to lightly blend them all out. Lined my upper lashline with the Maybelline Gel Liner and used a generous coat of Max Factor False Lash Extension Mascara.
For my face, I only used a but of the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC42 mixed in with the MAC Strobe Cream on scars and whatnot, and powdered lightly using my Chanel Loose Powder.
The outer perimeter of my face, I used my Bobbi Brown Bronzer in Dark to add a bit of dimension, and used the Inglot 357 Matte eyeshadow to contour the cheekbones. I left my lips bare - with a bit of lipbalm as they've been horribly chapped offlate.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

NEW IN - MAC Stuff + 100th Post!

Let me just start off by saying this - 100 posts? That is ridiculous! I started this blog just under a year ago as a makeup dairy of sorts. I intended to record my favorite makeup looks, products I've been loving - and more importantly to see how I can grow, be it in my writing, my makeup and even my photography. During the course of this blog, I switched careers, have been working as a freelance makeup artist and stylist, and I'll be soon moving countries to formally learn Special Effects Makeup. Its so remarkable how one year can change so much.
As for my blog, I am nowhere near where I thought I would be, one year from when I started. I thought I'd have gained atleast 50-75 followers etc, but you know what? It doesn't matter at all. I've made a couple of really good friends I feel, and since I don't believe in publicizing my blog on social media (my friends on Facebook really don't care about my newest foundation love) and more in organic growing, this is doing pretty decent, I think.
What I mean to say is - thank you guys, for commenting and discussing makeup with me and helping along my addiction. It means the world to me that I can be a (small) part of this community :)

I thought it was only fitting that my 100th post is related to the Brand that got me interested in Makeup in the first place. Ah, MAC.
I think I've mentioned before that I wanted to recreate my 15 palette, so I've begun again. However, this time around, every shadow bought will have a use, and it won't be just 14 shimmery bronzey golds and 1 matte. Its going to be well thought out - with Crease colours, transition colours and a vast range of lid colours. Since I don't ever buy premade palettes, this is going to be my do-it-all palette.
I got my dad to buy me the Pro Palette Large, and the 15 Eyeshadow Insert from Amsterdam. Its cheaper there. I also got my dad to get me the MAC 224 Brush from the duty free. Once again, slightly cheaper there than here. I've been eyeing (hah) this brush for a while now, because one can never have too many blending brushes, oui? Also added to the palette recently are MAC Texture (a gorgeous muted orangey brown - great transition colour) MAC Brown Down (Perfect for eyebrows and the outer V) and MAC Antiqued which I've been wanting for literally years.

Any suggestions?

Monday, 5 May 2014

Photoshop in a Jar

The Guerlain Meteorites Pearls Illuminating Powder in Teint Beige is exactly what the title of this post claims it is. Simply put, it is Photoshop in a jar. A very fancy looking jar with the most beautiful lid you will ever see.
It illuminates your skin with both visible and invisible shimmer. It blurs over your pores, acne scares, pigmentation - any skin defect, basically. The one I have, Teint Beige, has pink, lilac, pale gold, bronze and white pearls. Incase you didn't know this, you have to swirl your brush and you pick up the product and lightly dust it on your face.
I wouldn't say its a game changer for me, because it really is the ultimate luxury product, but if you have textured skin and blemishes galore - this if for you. Despite adding shimmer on troublesome skin being a big no no - this somehow makes them appear less, prominent.
If you're in the market for just an illuminating powder, this works as that too - but a few specks of visible shimmer may be off putting for some. But if I'm being really honest here - there are too many brands that do faarrr better highlighters/illuminating powders or liquids for this the price of this product to be justifiable.
Also, let me just take a second and talk about how good this smells. Now, I know sensitive skins hate fragrance, but I love when my products smell good - adds to the luxurious feel that one should get from a brand like Guerlain.

At INR 3500 for 30 grams (enough to last you a lifetime, unless you're inhaling it) of product, I would NEVER say you need this. But I'd give this product one thing - it makes me feel like a princess.
The Verdict? So if you fancy feeling special and covering some imperfections while you're at it, this is the powder for you.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Forever Repurchased #1

You know the drill - you find products you know you cannot live without, and you will purchase them over and over and over till the end of time.
The first product that made this list was the NARS Casino Bronzer. I used it every single day once I got it, but never thought it was anything spectacular. Cut to when I finished it and started trying out different bronzers, I just could not stop comparing them to this, and everything fell short. I needed it in my life so badly that I practically cried until my friend got it for me. Dramatic I know. Worth it? Totally.
Next up, the Chanel Vita Lumier Aqua Foundation, with all the hype surrounding this, I was very skeptical, but alas, it is probably my favorite foundation till date. Speaking of which, I need to buy a new one, ugh, the price. *weeps in a corner*
MAC Strobe Cream is a more recent purchase (been about 3 months?) but it has made it to this list. It was actually my review of wonderful product that spurred me on to write this post. Head here if you haven't seen it yet.
I never thought I'd ever have a lipstick on a list like this, because you know me, not the biggest lipstick person. But there is just something about MAC Rebel that I can quite put my finger on... is it the formula that sits on the lips so beautifully, or the colour that when blotted out looks oh so natural and lovely, perking up even the dullest of faces, or downright sexy when its full on opaque and wonderful. No matter what season or time of year, this rebellious lipstick just works. (See what I did there?)
And finally, another product I have not stopped talking about in the past few months/weeks.. Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre. The powder that doesn't look like powder on.. that just makes you glow while keeping the oils at bay... but more about this here.

What are your forever repurchased products?