Thursday, 26 May 2016

Mini makeup haul - Naheed Supermarket

Hello lovelies! So I went to Naheed Supermarket in Bahadurabad today and this is what I picked up:
My mini Naheed Suoermarket haul!

I saw a brand new display of Garnier just as I got out of the lift on Naheed's first floor. The first thing that caught my eye were these bottles of Micellar water. I had been wanting to try Micellar water for removing makeup for a while now and had planned to order it from Amazon. It was listed for $7 on Amazon and would have cost me around Rs. 1200 total had I ordered it online. But at Naheed, I got the same 400 ml bottle for Rs. 499. It says that it was manufactured in Poland probably for Middle East as helpline numbers are given for KSA, Lebanon, etc. 

I did try the Micellar water with both cotton balls and cotton pads for removing my make-up. I was wearing some concealer, face powder, water-proof liquid eye-liner and a fuchsia lipstick. I think it worked well enough, removing all my make-up without requiring any vigorous rubbing of the face. I also felt a cooling effect on my skin while I was using it. However, I reserve my judgement until I try it with heavy eye and face makeup when I dress up for a party next.    

Also, there was a packet of Garnier Micellar Extra-Gentle Cleansing Wipes next to the bottle of Micellar water. Tell me in the comments below if you want me to review the makeup wipes next.
2- Pigeon Cotton Balls (100 balls for Rs. 225/-)

Now I don't usually use cotton balls for skin care/ makeup removal. I usually keep a roll of cotton pads in my washroom cabinet for using cleanser or makeup remover on my face. But somehow I thought that cotton balls should be used with Micellar water and picked this up. Stupidly enough, when I got home I saw that the directions on Garnier's bottle recommended the Micellar water to be used with a cotton pad!  

As I google the name of this product, I find that this is a Singaporean brand that's also sold in India. The packet claims that it is extremely soft and gentle on skin. I used it today to try the Micellar water and the cottons balls were indeed quite soft and gentle on the skin. They were also quite absorbent, as further claimed on the packet.

All in all, I was happy with this purchase. If I don't use it for Micellar water, I can always use these with my nail polish remover.

3- Sweet Touch Twin Cake (15g/ 0.5 oz for Rs. 850/-)

The third product is a backup and one that I'm on the fence about since some time now. I vaguely remembered some beauty consultant recommending this face powder as one that works with both dry and wet application; hence the name Twin Cake. Some months ago, I asked the beauty assistant on Sweet Touch counter at Naheed to match me up to my shade. I found that FS-38 (if you are wondering why this shade seems familiar, this is the same numbering scheme that Kryolan uses) matched well with my skin tone. The assistant asked if I would prefer a shade lighter, but I insisted that I would take FS-38. 

I had been using The Body Shop's All-In-One Face Base shade no. 4 during the winter and absolutely loving it. But somehow I thought the shade was a bit too "white" for me as the days began to get hotter and sunnier. I found that the Sweet Touch pressed powder was a perfect match for my skin and much cheaper than The Body Shop. I use the powder everyday while getting ready for office and for quick touch-ups on my t-zone at lunch time. I have used up one compact completely and am currently halfway through my second. The matte-finish powder gives a smooth feel to my skin without requiring any primer. I have also used it to set my concealer, liquid foundation and BB cream; and it has worked admirably well for all products. 

Now the reason for my discomfort is there seems to be little information about the brand online; and many stories seem to contradict each other.  The packaging suggest that it is "Made in Italy" and the official website claims that it is based in UK. There was another blog that suggested that it is a German product that is being distributed in Pakistan by the name of Sweet Touch England. So unless my confusion clears up and when I find a better pressed powder for summers, I might stop using face products from this brand. Note that I have and still love the low-priced and huge color range of Sweet Touch nail polishes for years. It is just the products that I put on my face that I'm more cautious about. 

If you have any comments and suggestions, leave them below. Subscribe to my blog to read my next haul post!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Ipsy bag Review - August 2015

Hello friends! First of all, I know that it's way too late to review my August 2015 ipsy bag in May 2016. But this was the first beauty subscription that I ever ordered and in a way I'm in a better position to offer my opinion on each sample as I have used each over a period of time. Whereas if I were to do a review of my April 2016 ipsy bag, that would be more like a first impressions post. Do note that I ordered two more ipsy bags after this one and I do plan on posting a review on them next. Anyhow, so let's read this post before my next ipsy bag is here!

For the un-initiated, ipsy is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription service in USA. For $10, they send you a cute make-up full of at least 5 full size or deluxe size products. I think it's a great way to be introduced to new and some higher-end makeup products especially for a nerd like me who is just finding her way in the world of make-up. As ipsy doesn't deliver internationally to Pakistan, I got mine for about Rs. 1800 from a Karachi based Facebook page called Amor. 

My ipsy bag products - August 2016
As you can see above, I got 5 products in my ipsy bag:

1. Trust Fund Beauty Nail polish in Elegantly Wasted  (FULL size - 17 ml, Value $15)
This was the first time I heard of this brand and from what I read online at that time, this actually is a relatively newer brand. As you can see from the price, this is a really high-end nail polish. I don't believe in buying expensive nail polishes so I doubt that I'd have bought it on my own ever.

My first impression was that I don't wear such cool-toned colors and browsing their website, I thought that I'd have preferred to receive the shades called Insta-famous or Publicist on speed-dial. However, this shade looked great on me when I applied it. I did two coats and once it dried, it did not chip on me and lasted for at least a week. The shade has grown on me over time and I guess it is a very popular shade nowadays as I see almost every youtube beauty guru wearing a similar shade in their recent vidoes.

Good to know is that the nail polish is vegan (hence halal) and cruelty-free, which means it has not been tested on animals. Also, it's 5-free which means it does not contain toxins like toluene, formaldehyde, etc. Also, don't you love how innovatively they have named their shades? Browse through the whole shade list on their website if you want to amuse yourself :)

2. Starlooks PRO Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen (FULL size, Value $19)

This was the one item that I was most excited about. I tried it on while getting ready on the second day of Eid and my expectations were fulfilled beyond my imagination. It applies very easily and require only a single stroke to build a very black line. More importantly for me, it was the first time that I was able to apply a perfect winged eye-liner with its firm tip. I hadn't used a marker line like this before and I never drew wings on my eyes as I thought I didn't look good. But boy did this liner changed my life! The tip is quite firm and not thin and flexible like the stila stay-all day liquid liner pen, but it'll be really hard for me if you asked me to choose a favorite between the two.

You can see my eyes with a simple winged liner above, I created this look with a single stroke of the liner. Like most liquid liners, this too is longwear/ waterproof and dries quickly after application. I think I have applied it almost daily since then before going to work in the morning. If I don't wear a primer, the wings part extending beyond the eye do vanish by lunch time; but the rest of the liner stays even after I get back home after 6. It has lasted for almost six months and only started to dry-up now.

Friendly note to people who haven't used felt-tip marker type liners before, you are supposed to store them tip-side down. I learned this hard way when I opened this liner to apply for the third time and found it dry. At first I was angry that such an expensive product had lasted barely a week. But then I read online that liquid marker eyeliners should be stored tip-down and put this tip-down for the night. Sure enough when I opened it the next morning, it was as good as new.

3. Hikari Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Merlot (FULL size, Value $13)

There was a time when Loreal's Glam 6 Shine lip gloss was all that I ever used on my lips, I think that was in my teens. But I have grown out of lip glosses since then. I only use them to apply over my lipstick to give a glossy look to my lips. This gloss is quite pigmented as you can see in the swatches below. It applied evenly over my lips to give a nice color, but I absolutely hated its texture. It made my lips feel sticky and frankly, quite gross. This is one item from the bag that is still lying completely full on my dresser shelf, .  

4. LATHER ultra mild face wash (Sample size - 1 fl oz, Value $3.16; full size is 6 fl oz for $19)

I didn't use this product as I tend to be a bit allergic to aloe and this product lists aloe as one of its ingredients. I did try this out on my face for about 10 seconds and I was absolutely fine. I do agree with the "ultra mild" description of its name. It is a very dilute white liquid with no scent.

5. Briogeo BLOSSOM & BLOOM ginseng + biotin volumizing spray (Sample size - 1 fl oz, Value $3.53; full size was $18 for 5.1 fl oz, but listed for $20 on both Sephora and Briogeo websites!)
The blow dry spray is paraben and phthalate free. I used it on my damp roots before blow drying and I did feel that it gave more volume to my hair. The scent is a bit strong but pleasant enough and does not linger throughout the day. I don't blow dry much but I've still used up about half the bottle. I may buy the full size version once I run out for days that I want to blow dry my hair.

6. The August 2015 makeup bag

The makeup bag was very pretty and matched well with the month's theme, prep school. A pink cloth lining was sewed inside the bag for durability. I put this bag in my handbag and have been using it for the past year to take my lipstick shade of the day to the office for mid-day touch-ups. It easily fits my powder compact, a travel-size mirror, a lip liner, a lipstick and a mascara.

So the total value of the items, excluding the very good quality make-up bag, comes to be around $54 or say Rs. 5500. This bag included three full size products and two samples. As you can, while getting a $10 bag for $18 may seem expensive; I got items worth more than double the price I paid for it. So it was a win-win situation for me as I was introduced to some great products through ipsy.

P.S. Ignoring what I say in the first paragraph, this review is basically an extension of my review of the products that I wrote down in my diary in August 2015. What can I say? I'm full of contradictions!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Introduction Post

Before I write an actual makeup or beauty related post, I thought of posting the customary greetings post. 

To all those who are interested to know, I'm an engineer by profession who discovered the magic world of make-up only last year. Before 2015, my make-up staples only included lipstick/ lip-gloss and a black eye-liner, only if I was in the mood for it. However, in the past year, I have come a long long way. 

I'm still pretty novice at makeup, but I'll like to share my experience with you all. Now I have no immediate plans of posting beauty tutorials as I'm still learning a lot about makeup techniques. Mostly, I plan on posting hauls and product reviews to this page. As a teaser, here is a photograph of one of my recent hauls. To know what I got in my ipsy bag, continue to visit my blog.