Back to blogging!!

Hello world!

It has been a while since I last blogged. Well I am a new mom now 🙂 and the little man has kept me really busy the last 2 months! I hope to resume blogging regularly, now that little man has got some sort of schedule going with his feeds and naps 🙂

See you guys with a brand new post soon!!

Until then ciao!

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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 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!!

 

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!!

Marula Oil: Argan oil’s wonderful sister perhaps :)

Hello folks!

I have been MIA since I have been enjoying some wonderful downtime with family 🙂 Lets kick off September with a post on Marula oil which is one of the current darlings of the cosmetic industry. General curiosity had made me dig up scientific info on this oil and now I can’t wait to try it out on my skin 🙂

 

Marula02.jpg

Sclerocarya birrea or better known as Marula tree (Source: Wikimedia)

The Marula tree plays an important role in traditional African medicine and diet. The tree grows throughout Africa. It can be found in South Africa and all the way up north in Ethiopia and Sudan. The tree is also found in the western African nations like Gambia, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The fruit of the Marula tree is eaten fresh or fermented to make beer 😀 (Would love to try that out if I ever visit any African nation). Marula oil is obtained from the soft white edible kernels found inside the fruit and is considered a good source source of dietary protein and oil.

Marula01.jpg

Marula Fruit (Source: Wikimedia)

Traditional Uses
Local populations in southern Africa, have been using marula oil for years to protect against dry and cracking skin, as a base oil for soap and as a shampoo for dry, damaged and fragile hair. The oil is also used to massage babies and as body lotion massaged onto the skin of their face, feet and hands.

Properties of Marula Oil

Marula oil is a clear, pale, yellowish-brown colour and has a pleasant nutty aroma. The oil is classified as medium rich and is silky to the touch with an excellent ‘slip factor’ making it ideal as massage oil. The presence of high amounts of Oleic acid and Linolic acid both of which are beneficial for skin moisturization makes this a great skincare ingredient.

File:Marula Oil.jpg

Marula Oil (Source: Wikimedia)

Proven Benefits

Scientific evidence supporting some of the traditional uses of Marula oil exist. It has been shown that Marula oil can improve skin hydration and combat skin redness. The presence of large amounts of fatty acids , especially Oleic acid enables easy absorption into the skin. Marula oil has also demonstrated anti inflammatory properties which explains its ability to calm skin redness.  A study on the  irritancy potential of Marula oil not only concluded that it was non irritating, but also that the oil has moisture retention properties and has a moisturizing effect on the skin.

A lot of the Marula oil based products in the market claim to be anti ageing. However, I could not find any studies supporting those claims. Overall, I think Marula oil sounds fabulous to combat dry skin issues. Have you tried Marula oil in your skincare routine?

Until next time…ciao!!

References

  1. African seed oils of commercial importance —Cosmetic applications
  2. Sclerocarya birrea (Marula), An African Tree of Nutritional and Medicinal Uses: A Review
  3. Safety and efficacy of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst (Marula) oil: A clinical perspective