Looks featuring the Balm Jovi Palette


So this is like a part 2 since  yesterday I posted a review on the Balm Jovi Palette from the Balm which you can read all about HERE if you haven’t already!! I thought it would be fun to put up snaps of some of the eye looks you can create using this palette. I do have to put out a disclaimer though..I am not a pro in any way when it comes to eyeshadow application 😀 So if you find these laughable I am happy to have made you laugh 😀 These are very simple looks, the kinds that I would do in the mornings in a rush ( Aint got no time for 5 shadows and shadow base et al)

  • Look 1



First off, excuse my bad brows :). This is a very simple look featuring the shade Rem all over the lid, The stroke in the outer corner and metal-ica on the browbone as a highlight. Here I have not applied too much of the shade Stroke so that its still wearable during daytime. You can always amp up the look by packing in more of the stroke on the outer corner to make this a night time look.

  • Look 2


Okay, so this look features the shade Blink 1982 all over the lid followed by Lead Zeppelin in the outer V. I used the shade Iron Maid-en to blend Blink 1982 and Lead Zeppelin  and also used it to highlight the brow bone area. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Lead Zeppelin does not look as pretty as it is in the pan when you apply it on your lids.

  • Look 3


This look features my favorite shade  Alice Copper 🙂 which you can see on the outer corner of the lid. I have used Iron Maid-in all over the lid and used the matte shade Adiago in the brow bone area. As you may have noticed by now, I rarely use a transition crease shade since I have deep set eyes. In case you need to define your eye socket, allegro is a nice brown shade which is perfect in the crease.

  • Look 4


Another favorite shade of mine is Moderato, a deep plum shade. Here its packed on in the outer corner of the eye lid. Third Eye Blind is all over the lid and the brow bone highlight is Iron Maid-in.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! I tried my best to capture these looks using my simple point and shoot camera 😛 If you already own this palette tell what is your favorite combination of shades on the lid!

Until next time..ciao!!

The Balm: Balm Jovi Rockstar Face Palette Review

Hello folks!

I have been meaning to write about this bad boy for a while now! Ever since I got this way back in Feb I have used it regularly (and I haven’t made a dent in it) and love it to bits! It is the best multi use palette I own since it not only comes with 12 amazing eyeshadows, but also a highlighter, a blush and 2 lip products all enclosed in a cute cardboard palette that is super sleek 🙂

The Balm Jovi palette
The Balm Jovi palette
  • I love travel and do travel a fair bit! and if your like me, I think you have found your new travel companion 😉 The palette is really sleek, doesn’t bother the TSA and you have  12 eyeshadows to chose from even for a short 2 day trip.
  • The balm has flash sales once in a while and they are featured on hautelook often..so if you can get your hands on this palette at a discounted price its excellent value for money! for 18 to 19 $ your getting an array of buttery smooth eyeshadows, blush , highlighter and 2 lip products as shown below. I love the mirror too!!


  • The cream products have a separate flap to protect them from any powder fallout from the shadows and face products..which is a nice thing done by the Balm.
  • I feel that the eyeshadow shades in this palette can compliment any eye color and skin tone. They are quite versatile and wearable! As with all the products from The Balm, the eyeshadows all have fun band names reflecting the theme of the palette 🙂 The shades have been classified as Heavy Metal, Classical and Alternative Rock. All the Classical shades are matte. Now lets take a look at them closely!
Swatches: Heavy Metal
Swatches: Heavy Metal
  • The heavy metal shadows consist of Metal-ica: shimmery silver shade, Iron Maid-in: soft gold shade, Lead Zeppelin: Green shade with chunky gold glitter and Alice Copper: Burnt plum shimmer shade. All of these have a smooth and creamy texture with the exception of  Lead Zeppelin. In fact, this is the only shade that really disappointed me in this palette! It looks really pretty in the pan but it has terrible fall out and has a gritty texture too.
Swatches: Classical
Swatches: Classical
  • Like I mentioned before, this set of shadows is matte in texture but they still have a lovely creamy texture. Adagio: cream shade, Allegro: a nice matte transition brown shade, Moderato: Lovely deep purple and Presto: neutral deep brown. All of these apply really well and blend seamlessly.
Swatches: Alternative Rock
Swatches: Alternative Rock
  • These have a satin finish to them in my opinion with the exception of Blink 1982 which is a nude shade with glitter. The stroke looks like a deep dark midnight blue in the pan but swatches almost like black. I really like the shade Rem which is a lavender shade with gold undertones. Unfortunately, my swatch doesn’t do this shade any justice! Third eye blinded is a nice peach champagne shade. Lets now move on to the other goodies in this palette!
Face and lip products
Face and lip product swatches
  • The first swatch is the lovely highlighter called disco diso. This is pretty much the same thing as their famous Mary Lou minizer. It is very pigmented and not glittery and when used with a light hand gives a lovely natural sheen  🙂 The blush is amazing! I love this blush like crazy 😛 its the perfect natural blush in my opinion! It is labelled as Don’t you want me in this palette but its essentially the Frat boy blush from their blush line. Lastly we have the lip products Milly and Vanilly (love the names!) which have a reasonable lasting power. They have a balm like texture and I don’t find them to be drying which is another plus.

Overall, I love this palette. I find myself packing this palette whenever I leave town and also reach for it otherwise 🙂 Many a times when companies combine multiple stuff into one palette there will be many misses..but here I like 99% of the stuff in the palette (thats a first!). Do you own the Balm Jovi Palette? What are your thoughts? 🙂

Tomorrow I will do a post featuring 4 eye looks using this palette so stay tuned!!

Until next time..ciao!!!


Ingredient Wise: The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders

Hi everyone!

This is another installment to the series called Ingredient Wise, that I started on my blog a while back. Here we take a look at the ingredients in a product and see if the marketing claims are backed up by the stuff listed in the ingredient list. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders catch my fancy every time I step into Sephora..there is something about its texture and claims that attracts me to it :). I usually like to splurge on eyeshadows and blushes ( I can never have enough of them!) but something stops me from spending 45$ on what is essentially a finishing powder! So, I decided I should take a look at the ingredients of this product and see for myself why this product is pretty unique in the market at this point of time.

Lighting Powder

(image source: Hourglass website)

The Claims (from www.hourglasscosmetics.com)

A wardrobe of six universal finishing powders that recreate the most exquisitely flattering light—from ethereal moonlight to luminous candlelight. Each powder captures, diffuses and softens surrounding light with groundbreaking photoluminescent technology. Choose one or more and step into your perfect light.

• Powders capture, diffuse and soften the way light is reflected on skin, brighten the appearance, and conceal skin imperfections, pores and wrinkles.

•Infused with technologically advanced soft-focus particles that help make skin appear younger, even-toned and radiant

• Unlike traditional powders that use opaque pigments, Ambient utilizes “photoluminescent technology” – micron-size spherical particles that refract light and create transparent coverage

• Universal powders make them suitable for every skin tone, while each can be worn for day and night

• Free of parabens, talc, fragrance, nano-particles and gluten

 The Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Olymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Olyacrylamide, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Potassium Sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain : Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride),Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide),Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide),Ci 75470 (Carmine).

 So do the claims work?

If you cut through all the eloquent talk about these powders their main function is to manipulate light falling on the skin to give a soft focus that blurs out skin imperfections. If you look at the ingredient list there are quite a few ingredients that play with light… lets take a look at each of them individually!

 1. Mica: We all know what Mica does in cosmetics 🙂 Its responsible for the sheen or sparkle in makeup products. Finely milled mica is one of the main ingredients in mineral makeup and here too its the top ingredient listed.

2.Synthetic Fluorphlogopite: If you check your cosmetic ingredient lists you will see that this is a common ingredient in many metallic or pearlescent  eyeshadows and blushes…so what is this exactly? Its basically synthetic mica (has similar light reflecting properties) and is a translucent powder that can be coated with pigments.

3.Boron Nitride: It is used as a talc substitute in many cosmetic formulations. It is responsible for the silky smooth texture these powders have. Additionally, it has fantastic light reflecting properties and depending on the particle size used it can blur out fine lines and give the skin a natural sheen.

4. Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer along with Silica: This is also an ingredient that can imaprt a silky smooth consistency to the product. It can also scatter light to diminish the look of fine lines on the skin, while letting enough light through so the look of the skin is natural.

5. Polymethyl Methacrylate: It has light reflective properties especially in the UV region of the spectrum. It also has the same glide on  and fine line filling properties as silicones.

6. Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Olymethylsilsesquioxane:  Now isn’t that name a mouthful! From technical literature available from one of the companies that supplies this ingredient, I think this is one of the star ingredients here! These particles manipulate light by converting invisible UV light to blue light (photoluminescence) and selectively scattering favorable blue and green light. The particles settle in wrinkle and fine lines and the scattered blue and green light emanates  a blue glow that decreases the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration.

As you can see, the soft focus effect that these ambient lighting powders claim to provide is due to a complex inter play between these 6 ingredients which manipulate light in different ways! Overall, looking at the list of ingredients it is possible to that blurred candle light like soft effect on the skin. I think the method of application and also how much you apply can affect the outcome of the final look drastically. For example some of the ingredients like Boron Nitride if used in excess can come off looking oily and greasy on the skin instead of a dewy finish.

foto friday! 07/25/2014

Hello everyone!

I love getting all DIY and crafty once in a while especially after burning my eyeballs out after staring at Pinterest boards for hours 🙂 I first tried my hand at polymer clay last fall and loved it so much! that I then went on a crazy polymer clay jewelry making binge period ! 😀 I am now tempted to make more stuff, the only problem being that I dunno what to do with all the stuff I make!! I do give them to friends and family but beyond a point its crazy to keep giving people clay jewelry all the time!! I love the idea of selling handmade stuff but I am still learning and feel its too early for an etsy shop although my husband and friends think I should! What do you guys think?


Do you like polymer clay jewelry? Have you tried your hand at this really addictive hobby ? 🙂

Have a great weekend folks!! Until next time..ciao!

The Burt’s Bees Natural Lipgloss review

Hello everyone!

Happy midweek/hump day! How many of you guys are fans of Burt’s Bees? I for one love most of the stuff I’ve tried from their brand and so I didn’t think twice when I bought this lip gloss from my grocery store a while back. Unfortunately, for the first time I was disappointed with a Burt’s Bees purchase 😦 The lip gloss shade I picked up is called Rosy Dawn which is nice petal pink color with fine shimmer in the tube.

Burt's Bees Lip Gloss in Rosey Dawn
Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss in Rosy Dawn
  • As you can see, the color is really pretty and thats what made me buy this in the first place. However, when applied on the lips, its pretty sheer and the pinkiness of this gloss barely shows up..I was seeing more of my own lip color with this. So I tried to build up the color and that didn’t go well either! When you build it up you do see more of the color, but your lips will become heavy and goopy and messy!
  • This stuff is sticky! Like crazy! I think this is the stickiest lip gloss I have ever used and I am not a fan of sticky glosses!
  • The lip gloss comes with a sponge tip wand applicator which I am not a fan of..primarily because it barely picks up any product from the tube! When it does pick up some product (after you keep pulling it in and out of the tube for 4 to 5 times) you will find that the thick texture of the gloss prevents an even application on the lips.
the applicator
the applicator
  • So after all that trouble of putting it on your lips, how does it fare as a lip gloss? Well, it does provide some shine to the lips but I am afraid not for too long. I noticed that the shine disappears within 2 hours even if no eating or drinking is involved. Also, as the shine disappears the gloss starts to dry out my lips 😦
  • Another problem with lipgloss is the packaging..something is amiss since the product always oozes out from the sides of the cap after closing the bottle. This makes storage a real pain, since this basically oozes out sticky gloss everywhere !
Swatch of Rosy Dawn
Swatch of Rosy Dawn

Although, I really like the idea of an all natural lip gloss consisting of ingredients like sunflower oil, castor seed oil, beeswax, olive oil etc..the final product just failed in so many aspects for me 😦

Have you tried any of the Burt’s Bees Lip glosses? what do you think of them?

Until next time, ciao!!

Makeup by One Direction (The Looks Collection) & Giveaway!

Hello folks!

So, how many of you guys know the British boy band One Direction? I am from the Boyzone and Backstreet boys era 😛 (looks like you can guess how old I am now huh? ). Anyway, lets get to the point! If you are a die hard fan of One Direction, I’ve got good news for you! They are releasing, at least in the US initially, a  limited edition makeup collection called the Looks Collection.  The Looks collection comprises of 3 sets inspired by their albums: ‘Up all Night’ , ‘Take me home’ and ‘Midnight memories’ , all housed in collect able tins 🙂

This collection is a result of a collaboration between One Direction and Markwins International of wet n wild and Physicians Formula fame (So the quality of these sets should be good!). Each set consists of the following:

  • Liquid lights glow lipgloss
  • Eyeshadow Palette ( 4 shadows)
  • Glitter cream shadow base
  • Liner/Shadow Chubby pencil which can be used for body tattoos as well(stencils included) !
  • Volumizing Mascara
  • Nail Varnish
  • Cream Lipstick

Now for a sneak peak into what this collection looks like!

1.Midnight memories kit (The rock n roll look)

 2. Take me home kit (The girl next door look)

3.Up all night kit (Fun Flirty and Girly look)

The collection will be releasing at the following stores in the US:

Macy’s – August 11th
Stage Stores – August 25th
Dillards – August 25th
Beauty Brands – August 25th
Lord and Taylor – August 25th

The International release dates have not been announced yet so keep an eye on their facebook page!

Now the exciting part! If you want to get your hands on one of these kits before they are released to the public enter the giveaway HERE !

Details about the Giveaway: To enter the giveaway you will be asked to enter your email, like the FB page, & post to Twitter. Additional entries can be earned by referring friends, pinning on pinterest, or liking the Twitter page. The more entries the higher the chance of winning. Up to 50 limited edition makeup sets will be given away. Winners will be picked at random and announced by August 5th.

*This post is powered by BrandBacker


foto friday! 07/18/2014

Hello everyone!

I’m all excited about my road trip this weekend to NY :). I’m meeting up with old friends who are still as awesome as they were when I first got to know them some 10 to 12 years ago!!  There is also a baby shower to attend since one of them is going to have her first kid real soon !!

So, I got back today a bit early from work and have been running errands and started packing…as usual I pack way more stuff (clothes and makeup) than I need! Its just a 2 day trip and so after much debating and screening here is the makeup stuff I am taking along ! 😀 (I am so sure I won’t be using half these things but its always good to have choices!)


So how good are you guys with packing for a trip? over packing/ under packing? whats your thing?

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Until next time…ciao!!

The L’oreal Color Riche eyeshadow in Skinny Jeans

Hello folks!!

Hope you guys are having a great day so far! Okay, so how many of you guys like blue eyeshadows? I have never worn blue eye shadow even in my student days! I decided to step out of my comfort zone and dabble a bit in blue..and I thought I’ll try out a drugstore eyeshadow since even if I use it only once,  I won’t die internally from the ‘buying stuff I am not using’ guilt which happens a lot when I buy high end stuff only to put it away in a drawer!

So I skipped over to the nearest drugstore and picked up the L’oreal Color Riche eyeshadow quad in skinny jeans. I had heard that these quads can be a hit or a miss so I took a chance with Skinny jeans and yup I have to report that this was a miss 😦

Skinny Jeans from L'oreal
Skinny Jeans from L’oreal

First off..the packaging..I basically broke off the hinge of this palette the very first time I opened it!! It was too flimsy and the plastic used is of atrocious quality I guess! So this guy is not travel friendly almost immediately after purchase..unless I want to use a rubber band to hold the lid back. sigh!

Lets focus on the shades in this quad now shall we.. at first glance it looks like a nice well thought out blue quad with a cute name like skinny jeans.

The colors
The colors

The first 2 shades at the top, the lightest blue and the white have a pearlescent finish where as the bottom 2 blue shades have a glittery matte finish. The texture of these shadows are not very bad nor are they spectacular..so that leaves us with average huh! So yeah, these are average in terms of texture..they are not chalky but not buttery or smooth either. Take a look at the swatches below to get a better idea on how they perform (looks like I have swatched the colors bottom to top, sorry!) ;


These were swatched without a primer underneath and now here are my thoughts on each shade:

1. The darkest blue : This is pretty decent in terms of pigmentation. I did not notice too much fall out. Unfortunately it looks more black than dark blue when applied on the eye and when swatched.

2. Second darkest blue: This is the shade I hate the most! It does not blend, has bad pigmentation, major fallout and  looks muddy when you try to blend it in the crease (which is what its meant for according to the directions behind)

3. The pearly white shade: I think this is the winner in this blue themed palette (oh!! the irony!)! It has a nice sheen, a little goes a long way and it has decent staying power with a primer.

4. The light blue shade : This has a nice pearly finish on the eye but has terrible fallout! It takes a lot to get some sort of decent pigmentation on the eyelid.

Now, here below I’ll share with you my attempts at using this quad. I have to say it was struggle working with these shadows and made me cherish other eyeshadows in my collection even more 😀

eye look
eye look

For this eye look, I have used a primer underneath and that does help to bring out a bit more intensity with these colors. I put the lightest blue all over the lid, followed by the white shade in the tear duct area and browbone. The outer corner of the eye and outer area of the crease  is a blend of both the darker blues in the quad.

Overall, this is a below average product since 50% of the quad is dud and the packaging failed too. Have you come across any good quads from the color riche collection? I know there is a new collection which was launched recently, hopefully they have reworked the formula for those!

Until next time, ciao folks!!


Probiotics and glowing hair and skin? seems to work for lab mice atleast :)

Hey everyone!!

So today I thought I’d share some research that I came across a few days ago where in they found a link between a diet rich in probiotics and shiny hair and ‘youthful glow’….in aged lab mice 😀  Of course, they hope the same magic will work for us humans and I won’t complain if it did since I love yogurt 😀

Picture source: wikimeida commons

If you are interested in reading the full text of the research paper here is the link: Probiotic Bacteria Induce a ‘Glow of Health’

So the gist of this study is as follows:

They state that certain probiotic organisms dominate under natural conditions during infancy and fertility in many animal species. Taking that into consideration the scientists hypothesized that probiotics may play a role in effecting the ‘glow of health’ associated with youth and reproductive fitness. So they set about to feed aged lab mice with probiotic organisms to see if it  recapitulates these signs characteristic of youth within aged adult animals.

  1. The scientists noticed a change in the luster and density of coat hair in aged mice after feeding them a diet consisting of a probiotic rich yogurt. They found that these changes were more significant in female mice.
  2. They also noticed that the dermis (skin layer) was thicker in female and male mice on the probiotic rich diet compared to mice on a control regular diet. As you know with age our skin becomes thinner and hence more dull, so this result aims to hint at the fact a probiotic rich diet restores youthful glow in mice.

They found that these changes occur because the probiotic microbes impart some hormonal and immune system changes (w’ll not go into the details ..this is a beauty blog after all ). But all in all, don’t you think its really cool that such tiny microbes can affect our skin and hair when consumed!  There is also another paper out in case you want to read more into the data they provide for these claims : Probiotic ‘glow of health’: it’s more than skin deep.

I plan to enjoy my yogurt even if this is not applicable to humans! But it would be cool if it did..don’t you think so 😉

Until next time ..ciao!!


Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe texturizing shampoo and conditioner

Hello folks!!

So a couple of weeks back I was lucky to receive The Surfsup VoxBox from Influenster. One of the items in the box was the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe shampoo and conditioner which I thought I’d review on the blog today 🙂 so yes this was sent by Influenster for free for testing purposes.

The first thing I noticed upon opening the tubes was the overpowering smell of coconut! 😀 Well I can do coconut smells most of the time..like the Organix brazilian keratin therapy conditioner which smells very similar to this but is a little bit more subtle! The funny thing is , I found the coconut smell of the shampoo more pleasant than the conditioner. The coconut smell from the conditioner had very chemical undertones. In case your wondering why I am devoting so much time to how it smells …well when I got these in the mail I could smell the coconut scent before opening the box!!


  • The shampoo promises to give you tousled waves, hydrate and gently cleanse your hair. The Shampoo has a normal consistency and being sulfate free, does not lather. Hence, if like me you are used to lathering up your shampoo you might land up using quite a bit of the product initially to get that clean feel you get when you use normal shampoos.
  • The conditioner promises to detangle, hydrate and provide wavy volume.  I found the conditioner to be quite runny and therefore I had to apply quite a bit of it to feel like there is something coating my hair!
  • After drying my hair, I do notice nice waves and some volume so the shampoo and conditioner do deliver on those promises, which is good news!
  • But, I have to say that although both the shampoo and conditioner promise to provide hydration..my hair felt drier than usual! If you take a look at the ingredients of the conditioner you will see some good stuff like coconut oil, sweet almond oil, aloe vera which all have hydrating properties so I am guessing that the use of sodium olefin sulfonate (a harsh detergent) in the shampoo is causing all the drying out. The ingredient list on the travel size tubes I got is a bit tough to read, so you can check out the full list of ingredients on the ULTA website.

Overall, I am not a big fan since my hair is prone to dryness and the shampoo seems to suck out all the moisture and the conditioner is just not ‘strong’ enough to put back all that lost moisture. I like the volume and the waves this product gives my hair but I prefer healthy hydration over volume and waves. Maybe, this would be a good choice for someone with oily flat hair and wants some volume 🙂

Until next time, ciao!!