Wednesday, November 28, 2018

2018 Makeup Favourites

Makeup wasn't on my mind for these eleven months. More or so, it has been a combination of "stuck in a rut" and "whatever" situation. A pretty colourless year for someone who loves the bling. I've discovered some gems; somethings worth repurchasing.

2018 Makeup Favourites, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Diffused, The ordinary serum foundation, Kryolan lip n cheek tint in dahlia


The Ordinary Serum Foundation

I was way too sceptical to get these (I am using the demonstrative pronoun "these" because I bought three shades). Most of them said it separates on them and does not provide much coverage. But boy! there is nothing I dislike about the formulation. When I added these to my cart, I shrugged assuming £18 won't hurt. One pump and it evens out the skin without looking like I'm wearing any makeup. It does not separate on me, irrespective of using primer or setting it with powder. What makes me consider this a great foundation? It does not settle in my laugh lines.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

At first, I didn't like it with all that dusty, fine powder particles on the mirror and rim. I believe that is the peculiar thing about baked powders. Considering it is so expensive, a little goes a long way. I barely touch the surface of the pan with a large fluffy brush and buff and sweep all over the face. I use this as finishing powder and swoon inside every time. And yes, I have been asked why I'm glowing. This is basically Instagram filter in a compact. There were days when I used this over the tinted sunscreen and that's that. I have used this almost every single day of 2018 and the dome has barely any dent on it. I am going to repurchase this all my life would be an understatement.

Bioderma Sebium Global

I have used this as a primer for redness. Though it soothed the redness, I could not figure out its texture. I have used this exclusively through summer and on most days on the cheeks and nose. Somedays it would work great but some it would make the skin dry leading to more sebum secretion. And the worst possible it did was draw an appearance of texture as if layers of foundation lived on the surface of my skin. Not flattering.

This controlled sebum but also dehydrated those areas.

LA Girl Pro conceal Green Corrector

Red pesky acne and the ever-deepening redness on my nose and cheeks are more troublesome than ever in winter. The redness is an unwanted side effect of adding acids to my skin care. This has been my rescue agent in all those red distress signal situations.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Golden 

My go-to mineral foundation for 2018. I like this even more than I like Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation. The formulation is light, buildable and meshes with the skin. It does not transfer unless you use too much, and the best part is skin looks like skin. This has a sheen to it, which accentuates the natural high-points. Though it evens out the skin, it cannot conceal nor it accentuates the dry flaky areas. I prefer using tea tree oil-based skincare under mineral foundations.
This is the kind of foundation you wear to the gym. *wink*

Wet n Wild Photofocus Pressed Powder in Neutral Beige

This one is almost invisible on the skin. It sets and does not leave a cast. It works great for flash photography! Though it does not have any coverage, it looks and turns out exactly like Mac Mineralize Skinfinish. If only it had coverage! But I think this is the best cruelty-free dupe for MAC Mineralize Skinfinish.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Concealer in Light/Medium Beige

The best undereye concealer ever! I bought the most loved Mac Prolongwear Concealer, and I did not like it, even a bit. For gloopy thick texture it had, it was impossible to spend time blending every day. And the texture thickened with time. MAC is a better choice to hide acne scars, but I prefer something light for under eyes, so this does the job. I like this better than Maybelline Fit Me.

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight swatches review is Kevyn Aucoin cruelty free?

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight

If I believed in love at first sight, this would ascend the list. I love everything about it: the colour, texture and longevity. This is a no-nonsense highlighter. It has warm reflect that is subtle and not sparkly or blinding. For lit from within look, this is so far the best highlighter. I like this even better than the Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer.

Natio Loose Crystals in Beige

Another mineral foundation. This is drier than the other ones I have tried and takes a lot of buffing and blending to look natural. The undertone is a lot more beige for neutral undertone, but the difference is not noticeable. And this one at times does oxidise after a while, especially on the T-zone.
Funnily, it looks patchy at times. I mix a drop of jojoba oil and tea tree oil in the moisturiser. I am not sure, if this is worth a repurchase.

Kryolan Lip n cheek tint in Petunia swatches, The body shop cheek and lip tint hibiscus


The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus

My love for cheek tint dates back to 2008. I prefer tint and creme finish to powder finish. The formula could have been better, I think. Three dots give the same blushed cheeks with 3 km run. Bad math, you got my point. I see this is going into "will always repurchase" list until I find something better.

Kryolan Cheek Tint in Petunia

This is already a repurchase. I called the store to check if they had the shade Rose in stock, it was. Two days later, I visited the store to pick it up; It was gone. Someone just took away my dream blush. Rose, a subtle mauve pink, flattering for Indian skin tones. I love how natural this looks with dewy no makeup makeup. I always end up purchasing orange coloured stuff from Kryolan. I don't know why.
Probably, I will repurchase this again in a different shade?


Benefit Gimme Brow Tint (sample sized) and NYX Micro Brow Pencil: these two products sorted my life. I have almost finished the NYX brow pencil. Is it Anastasia Beverly Hill's dupe?
Not exactly, the texture is quite dry compared to Anastasia's. Even in terms of pigmentation, NYX is nowhere near. I have been going low on the brows. Nothing too striking. Most days, it is just setting them in place with a brow gel.


Essence I love Extreme Volume Mascara, Maybelline Falsies Push up Drama Mascara

Essence I love Extreme has to be my favourite. I used the combination of volumising and lengthening mascaras.and lots of curling! Other mascaras that I used were Essence Multi-action and Tarte Tarteist Mascara. Tarte is better and I have one more tube to really form an opinion.


NYX Soft matte lip cream in Cannes swatches, Tarte Tarteist Lip paint in TBT, NYX Suede Matte lip liner in whipped caviar review, The body shop lip and cheek tint in pink hibiscus, forest essential rose lip balm
The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Dahlia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes
Natural light
From L <-> R: The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Petunia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes
The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Dahlia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes swatches
With Flash
From L <->R: The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus, Kryolan Cheek Tint in Petunia, NYX suede liner in Whipped Caviar, Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt, NYX SMLC Cannes

Neutral Pink-Brown/Mauve dominated my 2018. These are the ones that I have used throughout with a little variation, of course. A little mixing, experimenting and creating new colours. In the first half of 2018, rose pinks dominated, and the rest half, a subdued brown with a hint of pink. I have fallen in love with TBT's colour, texture and finish. I like Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint Tbt better than NYX Lip cream. I love that mint kick too!
These appear exactly the same with a slight undertone difference. Tarte's TBT has cool undertone while NYX's Cannes is warm.

NYX suede liner in whipped caviar is definitely a MLLB. Everything that goes on it looks good.
Forest essential sugared rose petals lip balm is a repurchase. I have been kind of missing it lately; I thought it was not worth repurchasing, but I changed my mind. Shelling out money for a lip balm that costs as an average lipstick was something I didnot reconsider. I loved it and will repurchase, because I cannot have too many lip balms, can I? 😏

I have a makeup/skincare hate hitlist that my contemplative state of mind would not approve.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Making Green Choices

Making Green lifestyle choices for zero waste lifestyle, Eco-spirituality

It all began on that September morning of 2013, when we (T and I) visited a beach polluted with plastic bags. We could not wait there for more than five minutes, so to speak. That was not alarming enough.

On a lighter note, I found a movie ticket from 2011 in my old bag, the one I saved with a purpose. All the printed letters have disappeared, it is blank. Trash.

I cannot exactly put my finger on the date it had begun, initially, it was a phase, or so I believed.
I had to sort out my academic stuff, after I finished college. My life needed spring cleaning in the midst of fall. The first step in action was to give up everything I was holding onto. Half-filled journals, pretty boxes saved to store things, newspaper-magazine cutouts and things that are nothing more than a graveyard of pleasant-unpleasant memories. In a way, clutter-free, minimalistic living was what I wanted. As I sat in front of all these things, it just hit me hard with a thought that I am not the only one, who gathers things. In that brief moment, my imagination multiplied it to 10, 1000, million times. It was like growing up in a second. But I see that all my struggles, efforts have failed. I shredded all of it from an analytical perspective before I could even sum up my courage to put this in writing. I wanted this to go live on the Earth's Day, which coincidentally happens to be my birthday but honestly what I was trying to put up? failure?

My initial action towards a minimal and ecological lifestyle included all these measures:


1) I gave up face scrubs way back, I almost forgot how they must feel against my skin. The beads can block gills and kill fishes.

2) Recycling jars and containers to store DIY stuff.

3) I stopped using cotton pads, and I bought few microfiber cloths for makeup removal to replace them. For toners, I am thinking of getting the reusable cotton pads. But for now, I am following the serum technique—pat, pat, pat.

4) I gave up Shampoo. I did the math: shampoo and body washes' empty bottles, 6 each for 12 months on an average. I imagined my disturbing lifetime bottle trash. Hence, I switched to shampoo bars, and I am even considering making them on my own. I havenot yet figured out the body washes' alternatives yet. I cannot imagine me and bar soap together. eek!

5) Am I the only one who hates paperboard and full plastic sealed packaging?

6) I do not like sheet face masks. I tried them twice. But logically, it is a serum infused sheet. Just spray-soak your face with a serum/ampoule, you'll save a sheet!

7) I wish every brand start out recycling programs. I would very much prefer glass packaging for everything. Let us just forget the glass packaging as a con for once.

8) No skincare wipes; no blotting papers. I had to be strict with myself for these two things. No sanitising wipes, either, which makes me feel incomplete (or germ-ridden) at times. I think I have one of each for extreme emergencies. I had given up using facial tissues back in 2011; I switched to using cotton kerchiefs.

9) As insignificant as it may sound, but I have started opting for bulkier versions of bottles. So that I do not end up cluttering and adding to the landfill with 3 bottles for 3 months, when I can minimise it to one.


I hoard stationery. If I see anything fancy, I pick it up. I collect pens, needless to say I have as many as I can store. Notebooks, journals and diaries too. Currently, I have six blank, sealed ones that I do not know what I would use them for. Hoarding can get crazy at times, my life is a living proof? *sigh*

1) I reflected on the past, only to see how I have misused the mighty pen. I would go through one Pilot Hi-tech for approximately 6 essay answers. For the amount that we had to write, it is disturbing, because I disliked refilling them, as they would leak. I refill them now, and I don't care even if they leak and colour my fingers. I have started liking them, ink-stained fingers! I like to assume that it makes me feel like an artist, writer, to be precise.

2) I stopped scribbling or writing ideas on paper. I stopped journaling or making daily diary entries. I use private blogging, Evernote and Microsoft Word now.

3) I cannot decide between wooden pencils and mechanical pencils. FAIL!   

4) I do not opt for ATM receipts.

5) I have stopped using post-its for trivial things. I use reminders on the phone instead.

6) For all things related to writing, I cannot find easy alternatives. I simply write using pencil and erase and reuse the paper.

7) Ebook is such a heavy-heart choice for printed word lovers. I try my best, to  avoid "that" fancy  limited cover page edition.


1) Sanitary napkins, No, thank you! There are eco-friendly alternatives to suit every woman.

2) Water bottles. FAIL. Glass bottles/metal bottles turn out too heavy to carry (I only use glass bottles now).

3) I have killed my desire to get those PVC neon bags for the monsoon. No PVC anything.

4) For all that is perishable, compost for the plants.

5) I plant my own herbs.

6) Vegan ways for ecological balance.

7) No more food-coffee takeaways. Major FAIL!

Why did I fail?

1) I cannot stop my lazy self from buying things online to save time and effort, which has its own ecological disadvantages: packaging, airbags and plastic packaging.

2) Some days, I consciously contribute to non-ecofriendly ways like an old habit.

3) Some days minimalistic approaches do not seem to work. And there is so much more than I think I should be doing.

On the brightest side, I have turned into this secretly unapologetic eco-spiritual woman on a mission.
There are days, I drift away and seriously fail to adhere to any one mentioned thing. Takeaway coffee. I think I should give it up.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Sugar Matte as Hell Crayon Lipstick in Rose Dawson

Dusty Mauve: this colour has to be my current fixation!

Sugar Matte as Hell Crayon Lipstick in Rose Dawson

I think, I accidentally ordered Rose Dawson instead of Holly Golightly. Holly is one of my favourite literary characters. I don't even remember who I had on my mind, Holly or Rose. I have had this crayon for quite sometime now, but the colour was not my preference then. It turned out brighter than I anticipated. I like the fact that the undertone makes my grey contacts look blue. As funny as it may seem, it is summer and I always turn towards my brights. *wink*

Rose Pink Lipsticks in India

Rose Dawson Lipstick

I contacted Sugar Cosmetics for their official statement with regards to being Cruelty-free. Here's what they replied.

Thanks for mailing in and sharing your concern towards Cruelty free/Vegan beauty products.
None of our ingredients, formulation involve animal testing also none of the entities we are involved with practice animal testing and are certified cruelty free. 
Our products may contain Beeswax, but if you require detail of any individual product we have mentioned all the ingredients in the respective product page.
Please feel free to write back to us with any other concern and we would be more than happy to address it.
Hope you have a Super Day ahead.
- Team SUGAR.

Certified CF? I am unsure of how I feel about their stance.

Sugar Matte as Hell Crayon Lipstick in Rose Dawson Swatch

Sugar Matte as Hell Crayon Lipstick in Rose Dawson LOTD
captured in the afternoon light


Look at that bullet, it looks mauve-brown-pink, quite subdued and subtle. On swatching, it turned out quite bright. The undertone is neutral, and it does look warm outdoors and cool indoors. On my neutral undertone, it shifts with the light I am in. If the colour naming resembles Kate Winselet's Lipstick in Titanic, it is nowhere close to being a brown that leans orange, like her ginger hair.


This sets into powder-matte finish and is quite drying. Doubtlessly, this one goes well on well-prepped and hydrated lips. For desert dry lips, a heavy duty balm underneath will save them. For the kind of restless talker I am, this one moves quite a lot and then mysteriously disappears, where? I have no clue. Maybe, the heavy lip balm underneath eats it :D


Quite average. I have been wearing this to work, and I believe in keeping myself hydrated. It does transfer a lot on drinking. No wonder, the mouth of my water bottles have lipstick stains/residue. Like all other lipsticks, I blot this too and layer to prolong the longevity. To add, it does settle into the lines, which is only thing I dislike about powder mattes.

Sugar Matte as Hell Crayon Lipstick in Rose Dawson FOTD
Captured indoors. Blotted one million times!

I think I will stick to this combination till I have to switch back to clear contacts.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Red Lipsticks for Valentine's Day

There is something about the colour red...

and a red lipstick.

How instantly it brightens up the face!

I am in love!

The only way I can make red lipstick work for me is by bronzing and using a corrector to out the pink in my skin. Red is never an effortless colour for me. I love clean, minimal base, lots of mascara and red lipstick. Red lipsticks with blue undertone bring out the golden-brown hues in my eyes.

Here are three hues I have pulled out from my collection. All drugstore pricing; cruelty-free as well.

L.A.Colors Pout Lipgloss Matte in Lusty

I am in love with the texture and everything about this, and the fact that this is for $1. The staying power is amazing, and it does not come off in patches (unless you eat something fried). I bought all 11 shades from ShopMissA, boy! I'm glad. Lusty is true red with neutral undertone. I am wearing this in the GIF. Also, I was testing The Ordinary Coverage Foundation and all the new makeup I received. This one is my favourite of these three.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam

I adore the texture of soft matte lip creams. Amsterdam was a part of a set; the undertone is yellow, and the red leans more on the red-orange spectrum. I don't know how exactly I feel about this kind (warm undertone) of red. I wear reds with reds or whites exclusively. Nothing more nothing less sort of thing for me. This does bring out yellow in my skin tone.

Essence XXXL Longlasting Lipgloss Matt Effect in Silky Red

This is a warm red with orange undertone. The undertones of my face and body are different and hence the colour shows up differently on both. Check out the difference in swatches here, but I definitely don't like this one, for it just slips away. The only way to make this work is to blot and reapply!

This gif is made out of an accidental video. I accidentally turned on video mode and got occupied in clicking pictures on phone. Cropped out from whole seven minutes. I have more reds with more or less with orange undertones. I need a red with blue undertone. Ruby Woo is all I think of, but I need a cruelty-free option, Milani maybe. Ooooh! And that purchase will be celebrated. ;-)

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 Beauty Resolutions

I have been feeling a shift lately.

From metaphysics to astrophysics; I want to read non-fiction something that I never do, well except for theories.

Speaking of the shift, I don't feel like wearing makeup anymore. I received all my December makeup purchases from Cultbeauty in the first week of January. And ever since, I am working on finishing up all the half-filled skincare bottles. I want to keep what really works, and I am switching back to being a minimalist. I experimented with layering skincare in the second half of 2017, and I am concluding that it does not work for me. So I already switched back to my simple skincare routine this time although with acids.
I should be working on a current skincare routine post soon.

I am restricting buying makeup for now, but I deserve a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick for Valentine's! So many of my liquid lipsticks are still sealed, and none of my pan makeup even has a slight dent in it. To add to it,  I don't even feel like doing a full glam makeup anymore (this shifting lack of enthusiasm scares me).

Here are four things that I am resolute to work on:

Skincare: When I am focussing on the academics, I ignore everything else, I can't sleep nor eat. And this starts affecting the under eyes and hydration. I am hopefully going to adhere to a minimal skincare routine to keep dehydration and dryness at bay. Exfoliating with acids because scrubs break me out, sensitivity!

Long hair and bangs: I look at my pictures from college days and 2015; I want to ignore the consequences and get bangs. I am growing my hair long and I don't know.

Red lipstick: I can wear soft wing eyeliner and red lipstick all my life without being bored is an overstatement, but red lipstick washes me out, with *no amount of bronzer ever will paint the paleness* kind of paleness. And then my face, neck and chest turn out in three different colours. Well, I'll just admit I look like a clown. w.h.a.t.e.v.e.r.

Painting my nails: I always paint my nails either red or mint, and if I am in a mood for something bright, I settle down on neon pink. Changing nail colours every five days is what I have in my mind at the moment. I need to experiment with other colours! I mean.

I've never been a great blog post planner; I will let 2018 amaze me!