The Balm Cindy Lou Manizer

Hello everyone!!

As we are continuously being bombarded with new highlighter releases by companies almost on a daily basis, I thought I’d review an oldie but an awesome highlighter that has been in my makeup routine for atleast 2 years now! I’m talking about the Cindy Lou Manizer from the Balm, the peachy sister of the famous Mary Lou Manizer.

The Cindy Lou Manizer

First off, the packaging is cute as with most of the Balm’s packaging. The highlighter is housed in a nice sleek compact which has a big mirror too. The compact is the size of my palm and you get 8.5g of product! That is enough to last you forever in my opinion!

Cindy Lou Manizer looks dark peach in the pan

The Cindy Lou Manizer can be used as a blush topper, highlighter and even eyeshadow. I have primarily used it as a highlight and blush topper. If you already own the Mary Lou Manizer, you might find this to be more of a subtle and natural highlight with a light hand. I have yellow undertones and a medium skintone and I still find that this works well as a subtle daytime highlighter. It gives a lit from within glow especially when out in daylight.

I tend to use the tinniest amount when using this as a highlight and when using it as a blush topper I like to layer it a bit more so that the peachy tone comes through. Again, this is not a glittery highlight, it gives a lovely sheen and hence looks natural on the skin.

Swatch of the Cindy Lou Manizer

This is a very finely milled powder and very soft! You have to be careful when dipping your brush into the pan…if you try swirl your brush or stab the pan there will be a lot of powder kickup. The best way to pick up product is to gently tap your brush on the pan and voila you have picked up enough product!

Overall, I love the quality of this highlighter. I do not notice any fading throughout the day (I have dry skin) and the price point is great too (24$)! The Balm has sales quite often and if you have the patience to wait you can grab these for a steal! If you have extremely fair skin this will work more as a blush topper and if you are on the other end of the spectrum, this would be a great highlight.

Have you tried the Cindy Lou Manizer? What is your current favorite highlighter?

Until next time…ciao!!

The Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream in Medium No.2

Hello! I picked up the Burberry fresh glow BB cream on a whim last summer. I have a love hate relationship with this product and after using this for almost a year I think I am ready to give my thoughts on this BB Cream.

Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream

As with almost all products from Burberry, this one too is packaged beautifully. I picked up the shade Medium N0.2 ( I am in the NC25 to NC30 range ) which had enough yellow undertones to work out for me.  The tube comes with a pump which is really handy and overall the packaging is very travel friendly.

I bought this to use in the summer for light makeup but unlike most traditional BB creams this has zero coverage. It maybe evens out my skintone a little bit but other than that it does nothing. Applying more than 1 layer does nothing either.

It comes with a pump.

My biggest issue with this BB cream is the texture. It reminds me of sunscreen (It does have an SPF of 20). It feels greasy not creamy like most BB creams. On the skin, it drags and does not become one with your skin..rather it sits on top and you feel like your skin is dirty! The smell also reminds me of sunscreen.

I have dry skin and found that I looked like a greasy mess within 3 hours of wearing this! I tried this BB cream in combination with a powder foundation and it was better. The greasy feeling was still there but it felt less tacky on the skin. I was able to wear it a bit longer this time around, but I couldn’t wear this for a full work day even with the powder on top.

Things were better when I tried it this winter though! My skin had become even more dry and I thought I’ll bust this out and see how it works with my even drier skin. The greasy sunscreen feeling was still there but with powder foundation on top I was able to pull this through a full work day. It acted more as a dewy base so my skin did look nice and glowy.

However, for the price tag of 44$ I think this BB cream is way overpriced and Burberry should go back to the drawing board with this one! My L’oreal True Match Lumi foundation from the drugstore is far superior in terms of performance. It gives me the glow, feels like skin and has medium coverage.

Overall, I did not enjoy the Burberry BB cream and find that there are far better BB creams out there!

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!

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/

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!!

Tarina Tarantino Jewel Shadow Palette in Dreamy

Hello folks!

Tarina Tarantino is a famous jewelry designer who had a few years ago partnered with Sephora and bought out her own line of makeup. Sadly, they are no longer available at Sephora but on the bright side, they can be still purchased on her website and also on Hautelook.

Sometime last year I picked up the Jewel Shadow palette in Dreamy when her products were on Hautelook. I had also picked up her lipstick which I reviewed HERE a while back!  I will let the cat out of the bag right now itself..these shadows have one of the best formulas I have tried 🙂

Tarina Tarantino Jewel Shadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Jewel Shadow Palette

The packaging is very luxe. The gun metal compact has a nice weight to it and the design is so sleek and stylish, I would never think twice about whipping this out of my bag in public to touch up 😀 The brown hologram is also a nice touch. I really like the outer box of the compact too which is why I still have it with me!

Eyeshadow palette in Dreamy

Eyeshadow palette in Dreamy

The palette houses 5 beautiful shades. I would describe this palette as being a neutral palette with a pop of color. 4 out of the 5 shadows are satin shimmer shades, with the dark brown shadow at the bottom of the quad being more of a glitter shadow. If you are a lover of matte shadows, this quad sadly may not be for you. The standout shadow in this palette is of course the beautiful burnt orange copper shade!

Single swipe brush swatches

Single swipe brush swatches

The shadows are smooth and glide on the skin like butter! They are extremely pigmented too! Above are swatches of the 5 shadows in this palette obtained with just 1 swipe of a brush. The glitter shade has some fallout but not so much so that it is a deal breaker. I have used these shadows with and without a primer and they have excellent longevity. They look really fresh even at the end of a 12 hour day when used with a primer. I have used these shadows once without a primer and they did not fade even after 8 to 10 hours of wear!

Overall, I love everything about this palette – colors, the texture, the performance, pigmentation, packaging..everything!!

The only con/negative about this palette is that it is not very easily available. I like to wait till they come up on hautelook to get them at really great prices 🙂

Have you tried anything from the Tarina Tarantino line?

Until next time…ciao!!