My Scheming Hot Spring Water Sheet Mask Review

Hello folks!

The weather here is so dry that my already dry skin looks even more parched than usual. My usual intense moisturizer from Caudalie was starting to give up on fighting the extreme dryness of my skin, so I thought its time to indulge in some masks and serums.

Korean beauty has taken the world by storm and I am currently enjoying dabbling in it. Sheet masks are a K beauty staple and I decided to try a few out. The My Scheming brand sheet mask isn’t technically K beauty since it is made in Taiwan but you can find it at some of the online retailers selling K beauty items. This mask was given to me by my sister in law who loves it so I am not sure where exactly she purchased it from.

My scheming hot spring water Sheet Mask

The sheet mask was totally soaked in the serum, in fact it was so saturated that it was dripping all over the place the moment I took it out of the packet. All that excess drippage eventually landed on my neck and decollete so I am not going to complain too much about that 😉 but do proceed with caution as you take the mask out and put it on your face.

The mask is made of a very thin material and the backing foil helps you to place it nicely on your face without tearing the actual mask. The essence or the serum of this mask is quite sticky so the dripping can be a bit annoying when you are trying to fit the mask properly on your face.

I liked the refreshing sensation that this mask instantly provides and a big plus for not stinging my skin..that was my number 1 concern about the mask since I do have sensitive skin. I had the mask on for about 30 minutes and my skin felt plumped up and hydrated once I was done! 🙂

Ingredient list

Now the ingredient list is not all that spectacular, but I am happy to see glycerin and niacinamide in the top half of the list. I was quite concerned about using this mask initially since butylene glycol is the 3rd ingredient. It can be irritating for some people with sensitive skin. Luckily I did not experience any negative skin reactions after using the mask.

I am guessing that the water mentioned in the ingredient list is actually spring water..since that was the whole USP of this mask!! But they do not specify that in the list which is interesting!!!

The only negative about this mask is the smell. It does have a slight chemical scent to it and the stickiness can be quite annoying to deal with too!!

Have you tried this mask? What is your favorite sheet mask?

Until next time…ciao!!

Camay Dynamique Aqua Shower gel in Pink Grapefruit

Hello everyone!

It has been a while since I last posted on the blog..almost 3 months! I took a break due to lots of stuff happening in my day to day life 🙂 It is good to be back and thank you all for sticking around!!

If you are a 90s kid then Camay soap might have been a staple at your household…atleast it was at my place! They were nice smelling bars of soap and ads talked of how they added real french perfume to the soaps. On a recent trip to the middle east I came across a Camay Shower gel display and was super excited and got all nostalgic seeing the name Camay.

They had it only in the Grapefruit Scent which would not have been my first choice had they had more options.

Camay Dynamique Aqua Shower Gel in Pink grapefruit

I have to admit that I picked this up purely for nostalgia..this also led me to have high expectations! Like I mentioned earlier, Camay soaps used to smell awesome! They would scent up the whole bathroom and it was a sophisticated smell…not a run off the mill soapy scent. Unfortunately, the shower gel didn’t really wow me in scent department.

As a shower gel, it was okay. It suds up nicely on a wet loofah and has a really mild scent.

I really wish the old Camay soaps would come back into the market..I miss the smell and of course it reminds me of my childhood, my house and bathroom growing up 😛

This post was all about Nostalgia! I’ll get down to the business of real reviews from my next post onwards!

Until next time…ciao!!!

Trip to Spain 2016!

Hello everyone!!

I have been MIA for a while in the blogging world since I was out on holiday 🙂 This year we headed over to Spain and spent 10 days travelling around the country. Spain has been on my to do list for a really long time and I was really happy to finally set foot there this November. We spent time in Madrid, Seville and Barcelona and did day trips to Cordoba and Toledo.

Out of all the places we visited, I think Madrid was my least favorite, primarily due to the weather. It was cold and wet which is not the best weather to be out and about exploring a city.We still managed to see the things we wanted like the royal palace, the mercat , the Prado museum, Retiro Park etc. We also managed to catch up with friends in Madrid which was so much fun 🙂

The best part about Spain was of course the food and drinks 😉

Churros and Chocolate anyone? :)

Churros and Chocolate anyone? 🙂

Seville was a charming city in the south of Spain with lovely weather. The sun was out and the temperature was just nice! We did go visit the Seville Cathedral which is huge ( it is the 2nd largest cathedral in the world) and quite frankly a bit overwhelming! The other star attraction we thoroughly enjoyed viewing was the Real Alcazar. Now, if you are a Game of Thrones fan, then you have pretty much stepped into the water gardens of Dorne 😀

A part of the Real Alcazar gardens

A part of the Real Alcazar gardens

We also spent a day and a night in Granada to visit the UNESCO world heritage site, the Alhambra Palace.  The architecture and the level of detail in the designs in the Nasrid Palace (inside the Alhambra) is quite something! I do recommend that you book your tickets online and a month or 2 in advance since they sell out real fast!

Intricate ceiling inside the Nasrid Palace

Intricate ceiling inside the Nasrid Palace

Our final stop was Barcelona and I loved the vibe of the city! The weather was amazing and we had awesome fresh seafood during our entire stay. We generally enjoyed strolling around the gothic quarter, checking out the Gaudi buildings and checked out the famous La Boqueria. We did enjoy our self guided audio tour of the Sagrada Familia which is synonymous with Barcelona.

La Boqueria- so colorful !

La Boqueria- so colorful !

Overall, our trip was fantastic! I hope to go back to Spain again sometime to savor more of the Tapas and drink all the Sherry and Sangaria I can!!

I did do some damage to my wallet while in Spain, especially in Barcelona :D…so stay tuned for a haul post coming soon!!! Until next time…ciao!

Quick trip to Delhi, India !

Hello folks!

Apologies for the lack of posts! It has been a very busy 2 weeks with travelling home, battling flu situations in the house and then a quick trip to Delhi! I was in Delhi, India for 4 days total..which is a shame since the place has so much to see, do and of course eat! I had accompanied the husband on a business trip and because he was so caught up with what he was in Delhi for, we barely saw anything 😦 Plus he was still recovering from the flu and he was tired after work related activities everyday so we did not explore areas too far way from where we stayed.

I tried to make the best use of my time there and did manage to go shopping 😉 and explore the local food scene. We stayed at a really nice part of the city at a guest house/hotel at The India Habitat Centre. The Lodhi Gardens which is a public park was walking distance from where we stayed and so I did spend a good amount of time there. The park houses the tombs of the Lodhi dynasty kings who ruled much before the Mughals.

The structures which house the tombs are quite impressive and the place was teeming with couples taking wedding photo shoots! The first structure that greets you upon entering the gardens is the Bara Gumbad.

The Bara Gumbad

The Bara Gumbad pictured above is a mosque and not a tomb. The facade inside the dome has largely worn off however some regions of the structure notably the area to the left with the smaller domes still has intricate inscriptions.

Inside the Mosque (Bara Gumbad)

Walking further into the gardens , there is a water canal with an ancient bridge build by Akbar the great (a Mughal ruler). The tomb of one of the Lodhi kings overlooks this water body. The structure housing his tomb was decorated with intricate tile work, traces of which you can still see.

Other places I saw include the India Gate and the city in general while commuting from one point to another. I did manage to do a teeny tiny bit of shopping at this place called Khan Market where I was thrilled to see an Innisfree shop! I will post my mini haul soon 🙂 Stay tuned for that!!

Overall, I enjoyed my really short stay in Delhi..hopefully the next time I travel to the city I will have more time to explore the older parts of the city!

Until next time, ciao!!

 

 

The skincare ingredient must have : Ceramides

Hello folks!!

Sorting through all the anti ageing skincare products in the market, I am pretty sure you might have come across the term ceramides at some point. They are often touted as miracle workers for ageing and dehydrated skin. So what exactly are ceramides?

Imagine that the brick and mortar structure you see in the picture below is the outer later of your skin. If the bricks are to be your skin cells, then the ‘glue’ or mortar holding your skin cells together is ceramide.

File:Brick and mortar (5110740610).jpg

Brick and Mortar (image source: wikicommons)

To nerdyify things a bit.. the intercellular spaces between skin cells are occupied by lameller sheets. The major lipid component of these lamellar sheets is ceramides. In addition to ceramides, cholestrol and free fatty acids are also found in the lipid domain. Together, they play an important role in maintaining skin hydration by preventing water loss and holding on to moisture. Unfortunately, as we age our ability to produce ceramides decreases and hence our skin gets dry and dull. Ceramides also play an important role in keeping our skin firm and thus when the production declines with age, our skin starts to sag 😦

An important thing to note is that ceramides refer to a family of molecules, in other words there are many different types of ceramides occurring naturally in our skin. There are 9 different types found naturally in human skin: they are labelled ceramide 1 thru ceramide 9.

So how do we go about choosing the right moisturiser that helps us maintain firm healthy moisturized skin ?

Ideally, for ceramide creams to work optimally to restore skin balance and function , cholestrol and fatty acids should be present along with ceramides . As you may recall, these 3 components together form the majority of the intercellular spaces between the skin cells naturally.

Ceramides found in skin care products are usually synthetic or plant derived. When looking through the ingredient lists, you will  notice that ceramides are often labelled in the following fashion:

Ceramide 1 : Ceramide EOS
Ceramide 2 : Cermamide NS = N-stearoyl sphinganine
Ceramide 3 : Ceramide NP = N-stearoyl phytosphingosine
Ceramide 4 : Ceramide EOH
Ceramide 5 : Ceramide AS
Ceramide 6 : Ceramide AP = α-hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine
Ceramide 6 II : Caproyl sphingosine
Ceramide 7 : Ceramide AH
Ceramide 8 : Ceramide NH
Ceramide 9 : Ceramide EOP
Ceramide E : Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide and Hexadecanamide

If you are curious to know more about the different ceramide containing moisturizers in the market, I suggest checking out the following website : https://www.verywell.com/ceramide-moisturizers-1069550. The author has detailed 6 ceramide containing moisturizers.

Is there proof that ceramide containing moisturizers work?

Now this is where things get a bit complicated. There are so many different types of ceramides and depending on the other ingredients present, the concentrations etc the story can change. Here is a sampling of different studies showing the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient:

There are of course, more studies outlining the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient. As I mentioned earlier, this is just a sampling of different types of studies done with ceramides which prove that they can be effective in fighting atopic dermatitis, wrinkles and also hyper pigmentation.

After reviewing quite a few research publications, I personally believe that ceramides can be a beneficial skincare ingredient. Have you tried any ceramide creams? If so what do you think of them?

References:

  1. Hashizume H. Skin aging and dry skin. J Dermatol. 2004 Aug;31(8):603-9.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12553851
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492545
  4. http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/cerami122014tent.pdf
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24656726/

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Nudist

Hello folks!!

I am not a big fan of matte liquid lipsticks because of how dry my lips are, and hence I jumped into the matte liquid lipstick bandwagon rather cautiously . I am so jealous of all those people who can rock a matte lip without their lips looking like dried prunes. After looking around a bit I decided I should venture into the world of matte liquid lippies with the Bourjois Rouge edition velvet liquid lipsticks.

The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick

The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in the shade Nudist

The Bourjois rouge edition lipsticks appealed to me primarily due to the great reviews I saw and also the word ‘velvet’ made it sound like these would be comfortable to wear. After using this guy for close to a year now, I can firmly say that I like the formula and would recommend it to anyone with dry lips 🙂

The shade Nudist, is a lovely everyday shade which has the right balance of pink and brown in my opinion. There are some really nice bright fun colors in the range in addition to 2 other nude like shades.

I always like to prime my lips with a lip balm before applying any lipstick and I did the same before applying this one. I love how smoothly the color glides onto your lips. I am able to achieve an opaque coverage in a single swipe! The applicator is the standard doe foot but it does a great job in spreading the lipstick without patches.

Standard doe foot applicator

Standard doe foot applicator

Once applied on the lips, these do take a little bit of time to completely dry down to a velvet matte finish. Once dry, my lips are very comfortable and it is lightweight on the lips. I have not tried to apply a second coat since I get full coverage in a single swipe and hence do not know if the formula clumps up with layering.

Swatch of the shade Nudist

Swatch of the shade Nudist

Bourjois claims that these can last 24 hours on the lips. Unfortunately, these don’t last long if you plan on eating and drinking a lot. I have found that the lipstick transfers slightly onto straws and the color fades significantly after a heavy meal. The fading occurs in a patchy way sometimes and that is my major pet peeve with this product.

Overall, I love the formula, the shade and the feel on the lips. I would give it a score of  4/5. If only the fading away of the liquid lipstick was more even! Also, I do think it is quite expensive (12~15$) for a drugstore product. Have you tried the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet matte liquid lipsticks? What do you think of the formula and staying power?

Until next time…ciao!!

 

H &M High Impact Eye color in Kobai Azalea

Hello folks!!

So the single eyeshadow in the shade Kobai Azalea is the second product I have tried so far from the H &M beauty section and I must say I am pretty impressed with the beauty line already. Currently the beauty world is quite obsessed with dark cranberry, red, magenta type eyeshadow shades and if you are on a budget and looking to try out a shade in this family range…let me introduce you to Kobai Azalea…..

H&M High impact Eye color in Kobai Azalea

H&M High impact Eye color in Kobai Azalea

The shade Kobai Azalea is a very scary intense pinky red shade in the pan. I picked this up initially thinking if I don’t like it as an eyeshadow I’ll try it out as a blush! Guess what..it works great as both an eyeshadow and a blush 😀

Look at that color! Kobai Azalea

Look at that color! Kobai Azalea

One of the most discussed palettes in the beauty world right now is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette. Now, I do not own this palette but to me this shade looks a lot like Venetian red /Love letter in the pan and swatched.

Kobai Azalea is matte and though the texture of the shadow is not very silky, it is not very chalky either. The shadow looks lovely in the crease and blends effortlessly. I feel that I was able to use this as a blush as well all because of how easily bendable this shadow is! I did not notice any fading after wearing this shadow for around 9 hours.

Single Swipe brush swatch of Kobai Azalea

Single Swipe brush swatch of Kobai Azalea

The shadow is very build able although I have not tried packing this color to its maximum intensity  on my lids..primarily since I am not a colorful eye shadow girl most of the time 🙂 For me this is a great crease shade and I can see myself reaching for this more in the coming fall months.

Overall, this is another great beauty product find for me from H&M. The eyeshadow has great staying power, is blendable and pigmented! The packaging is quite okay as well.

I plan to pick up more items H&M beauty soon! Tell me… what are your favorite items from the line?

Until next time, ciao!!