Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Turnabout Chapter in switching Cruelty-Free

And I french kissed Winnie Cooper under the bleachers of 4th of july fireworks.
Things were changing.

Remember Kevin's voice-over in Season 4 of first episode?
The Wonder Years has to be my favorite coming of age series apart from Heartbreak high (I watched when I was 11 and restricted) and Dawson's Creek.

The Course had really begun unconsciously; I always favored certain kind over the ones laced with fanciness.
The conclusion of turning cruelty-free was not and is still not really easy. I was unsure of the temptations I will have to over throw. Nobody’s forcing me nor am I trying to convert people into buying Cruelty-Free. Back in the day I actually followed the cult. But now I restrict buying Chinese products, fireworks and all those things that lay any Child's labors.
I had to take my stance and proceed with practicality.
Things were changing.
My primal fear lied in parting with certain products and slim pickings of Cruelty-Free Makeup. I was not strictly Cruelty-Free then but chose them over the others.

How did I make a change in turning Cruelty-Free?
I abstained myself from buying any new products and concentrating on using all that I already have.
I will be discarding them with time, making room for more cruelty-free products. And now certainly I am going for paraben free, vegan and cruelty-free options. I am trying to really narrow down the options to the best I can.

Why Paraben Free and Vegan?
I was reading about Parabens, researching rather while I came across a Research Thesis by Ragnhild L. Aarflot where he initiated an instance that hormonally related diseases like Breast, Prostrate and testicular cancer, diabetes, obesity and reproductive disorders can be caused by prolonged effect of Parabens happened orally, dermally or by inhalation. My skin is prone to pigmentation and this has been  recently noticed. And to add it is due to hormonal imbalance, I am trying to take measures to see the effects of ceasing dermal exposure to paraben. I have been noticing my moods and state of mind as well. I would like any inputs if anyone knows more about them as well.

Reorganizing and Planning
I have shortlisted the brands and the products I would try and substitute with the ones I wanted to try. I want to get few more YSL Rouge Volupte but I am trying to find substitutes for them as well.
Over the age, I have been more profound towards Life and everything else. I have been putting more thought into everything that I am a part of and moreover even with those things that hold less importance seem equally important now. I have accepted and adapted to the change as easily as I could.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Optimism, Gratitude, and Happiness: How everything is interconnected

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
                                                                          - Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

Being a logophile, I always look for the origin of words that appeal to me. That definitely comes from studying the origin of English. Likewise, Optimism comes from a Latin word, optimus which means "best".
I am sharing few of my bests to have an optimistic view towards life.

Smiling first thing in the morning.

Your day really depends on how you wake up, rather what you do when you first open your eyes. The first thing I do after my morning prayers (Hasta darshan; gratitude prayer for Mother Earth) is smiling.
Try smiling and being thankful that you woke up fine; sleeping is like being half dead.

Making someone's day

Smile at a stranger, buy flowers from street vendors, make someone laugh out loud, compliment someone, or share or give away your lunch to someone who really needs it.
There are so many things that one could do to make someone happy. I feel being kind ascends all these acts.

Gratitude and being humble

Humility is everything. Start a gratitude journal; write down all the things you are grateful for. If you cannot think of anything; honor the Sun, Mother Earth, Air (all five elements). You can express gratitude through various creative mediums. 

Books and plants make best companions

I surround myself with books. They make best companions and best time travelling mediums. Imagine if you touch old, vintage manuscript by some great writer; how much of their energy you would pick up! Likewise, surround yourself with flowering plants (vinca, hibiscus, butterfly pea) and foliage plants.

Using aromatherapy to radiate positivity

Forget perfumes, simple floral fragrance can instantly lift the mood. I have been using essential oils for ages now. Lavender for sleep, Narcissus to lift spirits and help overcome emotional setbacks. Light scented candles, add essential oils in diffuser, or even dab some on your pulse points as mood enhancer. 


Meditation is a great way to declutter your mind, making a way for positivity. If you cannot find time for meditation, listening to instrumental music (raag) can calm the mind, or simply concentrating on the rhythm of your breathing can do wonders. Take charge of your prana.

I would like to add a proverb we all grew up listening to: Charity begins at home. There is so much positivity and optimism if you really open your eyes. Today is never too late to start! :)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

How things work and an insight

My mind of times wanders to a state, where I am startled. I was planning out my schedule on how much time I should spend on blogs and etc. I often get swayed with the extremity of the behaviour, or of laze. So when I was busy organizing my life, I outlined how much of my time I should invest on the blog/s and watching Wayne Goss, Lisa Eldridge & Sineady Cady.

I am intrigued at how ideas come to me, I have a plan for month but then I get diverted to something ‘in vogue’. But I have to admit, I look for ideas in current Magazines. I keep a journal of what all I’m applying (skincare) the following week, beforehand. And I keep a track of how my skin reacts to everything and anything.
When I recurred to blogging, I had decided not to review Skincare. When I was reading Skincare product reviews before trying anything, nothing much was helping. But then, I wouldn’t mind if the product is exceptionally fine. Hence, I decided to put up pages from my Skin Journal.
Here are few things I would like to put forth on how I program updating the blog.

I plan and schedule
I am a firm believer in planning and organizing, I don’t just jump into things that deserves my time and attention. Hence I plan for the week or month before hand. I’ve decided not to rush for things that are in for long haul. You know what I mean here, I’m a snail.

Unused or Disliked Products
This happens most of the times, I buy something new and then I forget it. It just stays there unopened and brand new waiting to catch my attention. But then it disheartens me to throw away or discard something I’ve bought with much hope. So I have planned a limit of buying stuff, to control the wastage. For instance, I won’t exceed 2-3 opened mascaras on my vanity.
So that I do justice to what I spend for and keep check on how much I spend too. Keeping a track of stuff and their expiry or discard dates, I certainly like hand written documentations.
My real challenge and devotion lies in making a certain product/shade work.

Makeup & Makeup Looks
These come out of the blue for me. In the year 2013-2014, I made two folders in my laptop FOTDs & Makeup 2014 clicking all the little bits of makeup variations I tried during the ‘learning’ process. I did makeup back then everyday because I was learning and being practical at the same time. This is the only unforeseen element of the blog, sometimes.

How do I proceed

When I went back to the old posts and drafts, I found most of them were really fillers for the quality I was looking. So I got rid of them all and decided to keep only those fit the bill.
47 blog posts. 3 years. So I decided to blog twice a week, and more if I need frequent breaks from reading/studying. Makeup and Blogging have been my resort from everything else in my life that if not would be living under a rock. Not many know the relationship I have with makeup.

Blog postings
I draft them first using the pointers I jot down before sleeping sometimes memos in the phone works too. And moreover, T and I discuss a lot about how things work for her and for me. We exchange samples, we recently exchanged Makeup primers and Biotique lotions. (MAC sample jars come real handy)
I draft them in Word files and rewrite them before posting, twice. I find most of the times; I tend to write too many things at once. I make sure I keep my posts compact, and to the point. This has been so far a real challenge for me. I want to add as much information I could and have experience with certain Makeup product.
I decided to put all these plans into one post since I do not like to deviate from the origin of the post/review. I think in the coming months, I am going to trying laying ahead everything I’ve learn so far, and still in the process.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

My Current Hand creams

I sanitize and clean my hands a lot. I get a sloppy feeling when I can’t clean/wash my hands. I wash them quite often and sanitize when outdoors.
I have dry hands, extreme in winters and if comes in contact with detergent/harsh soap all I am left with is chapped hands. (Allergic to harsh soaps/detergents)
I am listing down my favorites and not-so favorite hand creams.

The Body Shop Festive Hand cream Trio, Ginger Sparkle, Cranberry Joy and Vanilla Bliss

The Body Shop Festive Hand Cream Trio (Cruelty-Free)
This was gifted by my Brother- in-law, I think a December 2013 edition . The Trio includes Cranberry Joy, Vanilla Bliss and Ginger Sparkle. I liked the idea of fragrance combination: Fruity, Woody and Spicy. I am floral lover, fruity-floral at the most.
These leave an oily residue, which I dislike but these make hands baby soft overnight. But the moisturization is not good enough for my extreme dry hands. I dislike using these during day time as well.

This one’s for chapped hands due to soap/detergent recommended by T. My sensitive skin reacts with harsh soaps/detergents. This has been so far a sigh of relief from chapped hands. No oily residue, it absorbs and leaves a soft veil, which disappears after sometime.
This is I guess the cheapest of the lot. I have noticed my nails grow faster when I use this cream.
I can't recall the price, I discarded the outer carton.

Neutrogena Hand cream
for INR 300

If you want to use hand cream and not feel like you have applied any. (You get what I’m saying)
I would call this an invisible hand cream; it provides instant relief. I adore this I am while reading; it does not stain my books and pages. This fairly works for my chapped hands too.
I suffer from palmar hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms), so if I use this outdoors it melts off with palm sweat. To keep it intact, I have to rub it in my palms. (Imagine rubbing back your sweat back on your skin. Eeeks!)

Etude House Mini Pet Handcreams in India

Etude Mini Pet Hand cream for $5.50 each
This is light hydration and results in instant soft hands. It does absorb quickly and does not leave a residue. I absolutely love the instant soft hands; I sometimes layer this with The body shop’s hand cream at night. My palms sweat a lot when I wear this outdoors, especially in warmer months.
I need to hydrate my hands after I sanitize or else, the skin feels extremely dry. I sometimes apply this to my elbows and knees, they turn incredibly soft.
I spotted same Sharpeners online on some Korean stationery site.

So If I had to narrow down to one, I am happy with Aquasoft but I am still looking out for a hand cream which does not leave an oily residue, break my palms into sweat and work for my chapped fingers.

I'm mentioning the Cruelty-Free brands till I post a consolidated list Post of C-F Brands with citations/ref list.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring Inspired: Pastel Coral Pink and Brown Eyemakeup

There is this thing about spring; everything is bright bathed in a golden hue. I dislike winter, I find a disparate solace in spring when there is a still winter’s chill in the air bracing the warmth of the spring.
A Transition...

Spring Inspired: Pastel Coral Pink and Brown Eyemakeup

What inspired my eye makeup?

Pastel Wash of Colour
Robustness of a Brown eye shadow
and the periphery of the Black wing eyeliner

I wore this look in the late afternoon when I went to the Lotus counter, and I paired this with a Coral Pink polished lips. The eye shadow and the lipstick complement each other and are somewhat similar. At first I assumed, it would look absurd, but it did not. I used 4 eyeshadows: Ribbon, Pamper, The Mail and Boxed from Sleek Oh so Special.

Spring Inspired: Pastel Coral Pink and Brown Eyemakeup

Here is how I did my Pastel Coral Pink eye makeup:

~ Created a base using NYX eye shadow base in white 
~ Applied and blended Pamper all over the lid for Ribbon as a base lid colour
~Packed Ribbon on the eye lid, use it wet if you find it difficult to apply.
~Blended Boxed into 3/4th of crease from the outer corner of the eye, you can create a ‘V’ if you like
~I blended it well, almost because I wanted the robustness of brown to peek through the colour & application technique.
~I blended the edge of Boxed with a mixture of The Mail and Pamper.
~ Finally I added Bow under the eyebrow.
~ Winged it out keeping the edges sharp as I intended.

Spring Inspired: Pastel Coral Pink and Brown Eyemakeup
Products used to create Pastel Coral Pink Eye makeup

I kept the Base for makeup, extremely light. A pump of MAC Match Master set with MAC Mineralize Natural Skin Finish. I added a soft Rose Pink Blush by NYX in Peach, skipped Bronzer & highlighter.
For the Lips, I applied Rimmel London Kate Moss Spring Collection #16, a soft Pink with a hint of coral topped with a clear gloss. This Pink Lipstick brings out the yellow in my skin which I like, I fancy the illusion.

Spring Inspired: Pastel Coral Pink and Brown Eyemakeup
inanely raised my brows for the Transition to be visible

Coming to Transition, I wanted to create a transition of colours and undertones on the eyes.
A Neutral Coral Pink Pastel ~ Warm Matte Brown ~ A mixture of Pamper and The Mail, both Cool and Neutral Undertone and A Cool White with a hint of Pink under the eyebrow.
All this and a wearable Day time Look, I have two more ideas I fancy to put into action.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “There are no facts, only interpretations.”
And I conclude, Makeup is an interpretation likewise. =)

P.S. I discovered a great tip to neutralize/cover the dark or pigmented eyelids without concealer or foundation. I have pigmentation on my eyelids, certainly not easy to make eye shadows work.