2018 Holiday Gift guide: Body Oils from Elizabeth W

Hello Folks!

As promised a while back, here I am with a gift guide series featuring small brands that have amazing products which would make unique gifts for loved ones. Today the brand I am excited to talk about is Elizabeth W, a unique small batch apothecary based in San Francisco.

When I was looking around for interesting brands to feature in this series, Elizabeth W caught my eye for their elegant and simple packaging.ย  I am a big fan of aesthetically packaged products, even if it is just a bar of soap ๐Ÿ˜€ There is nothing more delightful than gifting (and of course receiving ) beautifully packaged products!

Elizabeth W started off as a perfumery and now they have incorporated their fragrances into a range of bath and body products, candles, room diffusers, beautiful silk sachets, sleep masks and more. Their website (HERE) is an absolute delight to explore!

I decided to feature their body oils in their 3 signature fragrances : Magnolia, Vetiver and Te for this series. As I mentioned before, they come in simple yet sophisticated packaging as you can see for yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

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Body Oils from Elizabeth W

Moving on from the packaging, lets talk about the body oils. These oils can be used on damp skin just before towel drying or they can be added to your bath water for a luxury bath. I mainly used the oil on my damp skin and loved it! My skin is super dry and the oil left my skin feeling soft and supple. The oils are winter must haves according to me!

The Magnolia fragrance is described on their website as follows: White magnolia petals deepened with saffron and sandalwood mingle with Riviera mimosa and gardenia. I could definitely get a whiff of the sandalwood when I used Magnolia and I think it is a very warm comforting fragrance. It somehow reminds me of my childhood and carefreeย  simpler times and thus is my favorite one ๐Ÿ™‚

Vetiver is described on their website as follows: An original creation of heavy vetiver, balanced with light citrus tones and green tints of bergamot from the peels of nearly ripe fruit. I loved this scent too and I think it is a unisex scent. If you like strong woody scents, this is for you!

Te is described as follows: Gracious, spirited, elegant. An enticing marriage of oriental black teas, juicy fresh Amalfi lemons, and the sweetness of almond honey. I find Te to be a crisp fresh scent which means I’ll be reaching for this in the spring summer time.

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Elizabeth W body oils are housed in pretty glass dropper bottles

I love how distinct and unique each of these body oils are! There is something for everyone. They do have the body oils in other fragrances too so if you get a chance to visit their store in San Francisco do go smell them all ๐Ÿ˜€

The ingredient list is also simple and elegant, very much reflective of the brand as a whole.

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Ingredient List

Overall, I am loving the body oils and would love to explore their other products. I think the 3 signature fragrances from Elizabeth W are unique and interesting in their own way. A DIY gift bundle such as this is a great gift for any one who loves trying out different scented bath and body products. So, if you have someone on your holiday list who loves perfumes and scented products, check out Elizabeth W.

Until next time, ciao!!!

*PR Sample. Opinions expressed here are my own. (no affiliate links)

 

 

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Smashbox on the Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe Palette

Hey guys!

Hope your holiday shopping is coming along great! This is the best time of the year to get some high end and even drug store makeup products at awesome prices. I usually go through a lot of confusion on what to get for myself during the holiday madness since there are usually a ton of value for money makeup gift sets floating around. Since I currently have an overflowing makeup drawer I decided to pick up only one item from this years holiday makeup collection and so it was even harder than usual ๐Ÿ˜€ I knew I wanted eyeshadows and I was torn between getting the Sephora exclusive Everything nice palette from Too Faced and the Smashbox on the rocks Luxe Palette. I found the face products in the Everything nice kit a bit too shimmery for my taste and since I heard really good reviews on the Smashbox palette I picked it up as my gift for myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

Smashbox on the Rocks Luxe Palette
Smashbox on the Rocks Luxe Palette

I really love the holographic design on the packaging! The palette is housed in a cardboard box with some foam cushioning on the top making it quite sturdy. The palette also comes with a nice big mirror along with 28 lovely eyeshadows!

The 28 eyeshadows in the Smashbox on the Rocks Luxe palette
The 28 eyeshadows in the Smashbox on the Rocks Luxe palette

This is my first Smashbox eye shadow palette and boy am I impressed! These have a lovely silky texture. They are not as soft and crumbly as the LORAC Pro shadows but have the same silkiness. I am also extremely happy with the pigmentation of these shadows especially since a little goes a long way. Here are more pictures of the palette:

The Neutral side of the palette
The Neutral side of the palette
The colorful section with some bling!
The colorful section with some bling!
The Smokey side of the palette
The Smokey side of the palette

As you can see, the palette is quite versatile, color wise and texture wise. It has neutrals, brighter but wearable shades, smokey shades, mattes, shimmers and also a glitter shade. This is quite awesome to gift to someone who is just starting out and wants to try a hand with a variety of shades and finishes and just about anyone who wants more than a neutral palette!

I got my hands on this palette a couple of weeks ago and although I have not been able to use all the shadows on my eyelids, I did swatch every shade at Ulta before I bought it and they were beautiful! The only shade I am not totally digging is the shade moonlight which is a chunky glitter shade in between the pink and peach shade in the smokey side of the palette. This shade is probably meant to be used as a topper for your eyeshadow look since it has little to no color payoff on its own. ย The rest of the shades swatch well and the few I have applied on my lids performed exceptionally well. I did not notice any fading or creasing with them and they blend really well too.

Now lets get to the price tag shall we..this is where things get even better! I got my palette for 42$ which I think is a steal for 28 shadows (1.25g each) however I notice that the prices have been slashed recently! This palette is now available at Ulta and the Smashbox website for 29$ which is fantastic! ๐Ÿ™‚

The only con I can think of is the packaging. The smaller on the rocks eyeshadow palette is packaged in a much more sleek fashion and I would have loved it if they did the same with this one too. It can be a little heavy and bulky to travel with but since it is a sturdy case I might try travelling with it when I go home for Christmas next week ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry for the lack of swatches (long story) but do check out the review of this palette by Bailey B on youtube where she shows the swatches up close. It was her swatches that convinced me to check this palette out!

Here is the link:ย https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl6_9tC7MLs

Hope your all having a great week! Until next time…ciao!!

Around the world via beauty products; Kissed by Maui lipsticks from Hawaii!

Hey there everyone!

I have been running this series on the blog for a while now and I am excited to bring you a brand which is from the home country ๐Ÿ™‚ I have not been to Hawaii, but hope to visit at some point..but for the time being I am absolutely enjoying some lipsticks made by hand in Hawaii by the cruelty free brand Kissed by Maui.

Kissed by Maui lipsticks
Kissed by Maui lipsticks

First off, lets take a moment to admire the packaging! I love the sturdy bamboo tube with the brand name and logo engraved on the wood. They come with a pink ribbon around the lid along with the list of ingredients (which is an awesome ingredient list in my opinion..jojoba oil and shea butter are my favorite moisturizing agents). The 2 shades that I got are Paradise Pink and Haleakala Nights.

Paradise Pink is your everyday blue toned pink lipstick which I feel might be one of their popular colors. It is the perfect shade for spring and summer!

Kissed by Maui lipstick in Paradise Pink
Kissed by Maui lipstick in Paradise Pink

The second shade is not your average lipstick shade ๐Ÿ˜€ Take a look at Haleakala Nights!

Kissed by Maui lipstick in Haleakala Nights
Kissed by Maui lipstick in Haleakala Nights

In the tube, this shade looks like a mix of brown,black and red with some blue-green duo chrome action going on. I was quite surprised with the swatch since I did not expect the shade to turn out so …mild looking :D! I was expecting vampy goth red black! Although it looks brown in the swatch and on my lips, this is actually a nice complex shade with the light picking up the blue green sheen very subtly. My lips are naturally quite pigmented so this might come off looking really dark on paler lips. I am currently loving this shade, its a nude dark shade which can work as your fall time nude lip ๐Ÿ™‚

I really can’t think of any cons about these lipsticks. They apply beautifully and last 5 -6 hours with light eating and drinking. They have a creamy finish with a sheen (neither glossy nor matte) and do not dry my lips. In fact, I did wear Haleakala Lights without a lip balm underneath a couple of times and it was very comfortable!ย The date of manufacture is also listed underneath the tube of lipstick and I feel that is helpful when you want to keep a check on the expiry of your lip products (esp when you have plenty!!).

If your one of those who love to support small local business this holiday season, I think these lipsticks make fabulous stocking stuffers! I am thinking of picking some up for friends since they are packaged well and the product is fantastic too! I believe they are currently available only through their website : www.kissedbymaui.com

Hope your having a great day! Until next time ciao!!

 

*PR Sample. Opinions expressed here are my own (no affiliate links)

Holiday gift ideas for the One direction fan in your life!


Hello everyone!

It’s December! Tis the season for family,shopping, gifts and food! I was sent these 3 holiday gift sets by Markwins which I think are the perfect stocking stuffers for the friend or family member who loves all things One Direction.

Limited edition makeup kits by One Direction
Limited edition makeup kits by One Direction

The 3 kits that were sent to me were the Electroglam mascara kit, the Liquilights Glow gloss kit and the Rock me Nail kit. Lets take a look at them one at a time now shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

The Electroglam mascara kit

The kit comes with 3 tubes of colored mascara which can be either used on the lashes or on small sections of hair. I was far more interested to see how they looked when applied to my hair than lashes so I do not have any pics of them on my lashes. The 3 shades that come in this kit are as follows:

Why donโ€™t we go there- Shock of blue
Does he know?- Pinkest hot pink
Story of my life- Amped canary yellow

I liked how the blue shade looked on my hair! The wand is a typical mascara wand and after stroking this onto your hair try to gently separate your hair strands with your fingers. This will help distribute the color more evenly than by simply applying with the wand.

Electroglam Mascara
Electroglam Mascara

This of course in no way compares to actually dying your hair blue but as far as temporary hair color goes , this looks decent. These come off really easy with a single shampoo wash so it is a nice way to add some color accents to your hair for an evening out.

The Liquilights Glow gloss kit

The gloss set comes with 3 lip glosses in the following shades:

Through the Dark- Electric glitter poppy lip gloss that glows to neon red-orange under UV light
Kiss You- Orange glitter rush lip gloss that glows to neon yellow under UV light
Taken – Powerhouse glitter pink lip gloss that glows to neon orange under UV light

I like the formula of these glosses. They are non drying, non sticky and have no offense smells. The only thing I don’t like about them is the glitter! That is mostly since I am personally not a fan of glitter in lipglosses. The glitter also makes the gloss feel a tad bit gritty on the lips.

Liquilights  Glow gloss
Liquilights Glow gloss

These glosses are supposed to change color under UV black light. Unfortunately, I do not have access to black light and so couldn’t test that out. Do let me know if anyone of you guys tested these out under black light ๐Ÿ™‚

Rock Me Nail kit

This kit comprises of 3 nail varnishes and 3 pots of loose glitter. They suggest you sprinkle the glitter over wet polish. I tried this out and suggest that you apply an additional top coat post the glitter sprinkling step unless you like textured nails which get caught on every possible fabric!

Rock me nail kit
Rock me nail kit

The shade names of the nail varnishes and glitter top coats are as follows:

Nail Varnish:
Happilyโ€“ UV iced blue glitter
Moments- UV neon pink
Diana- UV 3D holographic

Glitter Toppings:
Kicks- UV snow cone blue
Not afraid- UV electrified pink glitter
Star– UV holo glitter

Like the lip glosses these too supposedly transform under black light. I found that the blue and pink nail varnishes needed 3 coats to look opaque on my nails. The silver glittery nail varnish however was able to deposit sufficient amounts of glitter in 1 coat. The glitter toppings are messy! So make sure your layout before you begin your manicure allows you to clean up glitter. Although the glitter toppings are messy and feel gritty on the nails they do look nice once applied.

Overall, these are great little gifts for One direction fans. In case you do feel like grabbing these they are available at the following stores:

Macy’s
Dillards
Boscov’s
Stage Stores
Beauty Brands
Lord & Taylor

Have a great weekend! Until next time, ciao!!

 

*PR Sample. Opinions expressed here are my own.

The LORAC PRO 2 Palette

Hey everyone!

I got the Lorac Pro 2 palette a while back and have been playing around with it for 2 months now…aaaand I am finally ready to review it ๐Ÿ™‚ I was on the verge of getting the Pro 1 palette when this was released and when I ย got a chance to compared them both in store I was drawn more to the Pro 2 palette since it contained shades I did not have in my collection. The Pro 1 looked really basic to me and I might get that at some point when I run out of basic shades (I have a feeling the wait will be really long for that to happen!).

The LORAC PRO 2 Palette
The LORAC PRO 2 Palette

This is my first LORAC palette and I have to say I am blown away with the texture of these shadows! I know a lot of people don’t like the soft buttery texture which can crumble and get powdery if you man handle them with your brush, but to me they are perfect! Just make sure you don’t jab your brush into them! As you might be aware, the palette can be divided into the top row of mattes and the bottom row of shimmers/satin finishes. In terms of texture, all of these are excellent in my opinion. The mattes don’t feel chalky and the shimmers have little to no fall out since they don’t contain chunky glitter.

I have heard people complaining about the shadows getting muddy when blending. I personally don’t do many complicated looks (I use 3 shadows max at one time) on a daily basis, so I did not have any issues with blending. In fact , I thought these shadows blended quite seamlessly for daily wear looks!

I know you guys must have seen umpteen swatches of this palette online, one more set of swatches won’t hurt ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do apologize for the not so great swatches though, since lighting has become an issue these days (I rely heavily on sunlight ย and where I am we don’t get much of it right now) !

LORAC PRO 2 Palette swatches 1
LORAC PRO 2 Palette swatches 1

The palette can also be divided into the slightly neutral side and the smokey side. These swatches are just a slight touch of my finger to my arm, and despite that they come through with their color. These shades above are very versatile and can be used for really basic looks. My favorites are the shimmer/satin shades! Rose is a lovely rose champagne color and Mocha is quite the stellar all over lid shade too!

LORAC PRO 2 Palette swatches 2
LORAC PRO 2 Palette swatches 2

Navy was one of the shades that drew me to this palette! It is probably the only blue eye shadow I have which doesn’t apply like black on the lid. Plum is another really pretty matte shade, though it isn’t the best plum shade I own. I really love Chrome! Its a lovely satin taupe shade which would look great on anyone! The only true dud shade for me in this palette was Jade. It ย swatches pretty but on the lid I don’t see any of that pretty green color I see in the pan. I also found charcoal to be a bit on the chalkier side but it is still workable.

The packaging is sleek and storage friendly. However I am not sure if its sturdy enough to be popped into a bag with other random items and taken on the go especially since the shadows themselves are quite delicate.

When this palette came out everyone classified this as a cool toned palette. I however, feel at best this is more of a neutral leaning palette compared to the very warm LORAC PRO 1. I have yellow undertones and this palette was neither warm toned nor cool toned for my coloring (MAC NC 25-30). I am not sure how well some of these shades will perform on really dark skin tones but for the most part I think this palette can be used by a wide range of skin tones.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post if your looking forward to seeing this palette in action! I will be exclusively using this palette to create 4 easy to do looks ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time…ciao!!!