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!!

My current travel makeup bag !

Hello folks!

September was a really busy month with lots of work related stuff along with quite a bit of travel sprinkled in! October looks like another travel busy month for me and so I thought of sharing with you guys what makeup items I plan to carry with me for my trip next week 🙂

Travel makeup bag :)

Travel makeup bag 🙂

I really love my old ‘beginning to get tatty’ makeup bag! It is by this Thai brand called Jim Thompson whose products include bags and  silk textiles with lovely prints. I have had this bag for years and picked it up in Singapore. It is a sufficiently large bag which flattens really easily so you can slide it in between clothes in your suitcase to lessen any impact on your items as your suitcase is thrown in and out of planes 😉 Now lets take a look at what is in this bag!

  1. Ck One mascara

I recently reviewed this mascara on the blog. I did not like it initially, but it has really grown on me and I have been using it almost every time I wear make up these days…so it has to come with me on my travels!

2.  Milani Ultra Fine Liquid Eyeliner

This is an oldie but a goodie! I was introduced to this inexpensive but awesome liner by the Youtuber Emily Noel. I love how intense and dark the liner is! It is perfect for those days when you want to do nothing but liner and mascara for the eyes 🙂

3. NYX Dark Circle Concealer

I find this concealer to be quite under rated…not too many people talk about it ! It is awesome for correcting any darkness around your eyes since it has that perfect salmon peachy pink tone to neutralize any dark circles. It is available in multiple shades so you can chose one according to your skin tone. A dark circle concealer is always a good idea when travelling (which means change in time zones and limited sleep!)

4. MAC Limited edition Creamsheen in Mystical

I always like to travel with a nude/my lips but better shade since those are my go to low maintenance lip options everyday. This is one of my favorite my lips but better shade..It was part of the aquatics collection that came out in the summer of 2014 I think.

5.Tarina Tarentino conditioning lip sheen in Floriculture

This lipstick has one of the best formulas! It is comfortable and lasts well too. The shade Floriculture can be built up to get a dark lip or worn sheer for a pop of color on the lips. At one point, I used to carry a ton of lipsticks (you know ..to change things up!) while travelling and noticed I use 2 out of the zillion ones I bring along and the 2 are most of the time a neutral one and a more berry/red one. So nowadays, I just take 2 lipsticks in these 2 categories!

6. Laura Geller Balance-n- Brighten in Fair

If you have been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that this is my ultimate favorite powder foundation! I love the finish and find it hassle free to travel with!

7. Tarina Tarantino Jewel Shadow Palette in Dreamy

The formula of this small palette is buttery! There is no other way to describe it 🙂 The shades in the Dreamy palette are neutral (but shimmery) and can be used for everyday looks. I’ll review this beauty in detail sometime soon!!

8. Japonesque Velvet Touch blush in 04

The shade 04 is a pretty dark pink purple shade which is perfect for fall! As a blushoholic I do find it really hard to take just 1 blush with me 😉

9. The Balm Cindy Lou Manizer

This has become my go to highlighter! Ever since I got it I have almost stopped using the Mary Lou Manizer since this one looks more natural on my skin.

I carry my makeup brushes, cleansers and skincare stuff in other bags..this bag is usually just for makeup. I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my travel makeup bag! If you have any tips on how to travel light, choosing makeup for travel or any related tips do let me know in the comments section!

Until next time..ciao!!

Beauty haul from Turkey! Part 1

Hello everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, I just got back from Turkey which is not only fantastic for its culture and food but also shopping 🙂 Before I left for my trip I did do some research on the local brands and best places to buy makeup and skincare items. Today I will share with you a couple of items I picked up while on holiday there and hopefully this will help you plan your shopping if you happen to be travelling to Turkey soon!

Makeup from Turkey!

Makeup haul from Turkey!

First, I’ll talk about the makeup items! I picked up most of these items from a drugstore in Turkey called Gratis. Its very easy to spot in the main shopping street in Istanbul. When I went many of the items were out of stock unfortunately but I still managed to grab a few things!

1. Cindy Lou Manizer

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a Turkish brand but they were having a 40% off sale on the Balm products and I had to pick this up since the after sale price translated to 10 USD !! Score! 😀  I already have the Mary Lou Manizer and really enjoy it, but after using this one a couple of times I think I prefer this since it looks more natural on my skin tone. More on that in a review coming soon!!

2. Essence Lipliner in Satin Mauve

I have heard people talk so much about these and with good reason! They are super creamy and feel amazing on the lips. Again the price tag made me buy it 😉

3. Essence blush up in Heatwave

This is such a gorgeous orange peach-pink ombre blush! I have not seen these in the US so I picked it up. I have used it a couple of times and so far its been great!

4. Eklips natural fan brush

I think this is an in house brand of Gratis and its supposed to be a dupe for ecotools? It is eco friendly and cruelty free. It was around 1 USD and for that price it works amazingly well! I used it to apply highlighter on my cheek bones and it does a beautiful job. After trying this out, I really wanted to pick up some more brushes from the brand but sadly I didn’t have time to go back to Gratis 😦 If you plan on visiting Turkey do check out this line of brushes!

5. Golden Rose Velvet matte lipstick in number 19

Golden Rose is a Turkish brand and I went to their main store in Istanbul. Before I left for Turkey I checked out Instagram posts by Turkish beauty bloggers to get an idea of the local makeup scene 😉 (I know I know..I sound like I have a makeup addiction problem!) and this was one of the lipsticks that was constantly praised! This cost me around 6 USD and the texture of the lipstick is amazing! Its so creamy and comfortable on the lips..I’ll probably review it soon if your curious about swatches 🙂 The guy who helped me out in the store said that a lot of the shades are dupes for MAC lipsticks. I actually have only 1 limited edition MAC lipstick so I can’t vouch for it but I do like the shade I picked out!

6. Pastel nail polish in number 108? 

I saw tons of nail polish in Turkey for really cheap prices but eventually I picked up only this one since I don’t have this color in my collection. The shade has no name but I think its number 108..again not sure! I have used this once and the quality is really good..no chipping for more than a week 🙂 I think the brand Pastel and even Golden Rose is available in some European countries. The shade 108 looks perfect for summer, don’t you think!

7. Golden Rose matt top coat

I bought this on a whim and its actually quite cool to use! I can see myself using this for nail art! I tried it out once with one of my OPI nail polishes and it really converted the shade into a matt one when I used this as a top coat. It was really cheap and so I  thought it might be gimicky, but it works !

This post got so long I decided to split it into 2 parts! I will talk about some skincare items I got from Turkey in part 2. Hope you’ll enjoyed taking a peak into the makeup items I picked up! Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!

Until next time…ciao!!!

Summer time makeup !

Hello folks!!

Now that summer has officially rolled in ..it is time to change up your makeup game (if you like to change it according to the season!). I usually wear what I feel like wearing irrespective of the season but summer time I usually avoid liquid foundation and try to get a more glow y and dewy look. So here are a few picks from my makeup stash that I see myself using quite a bit this summer!

Summer time makeup

Summer time makeup

I just realized that I forgot to include sunscreen in the photograph above! oops!!  Don’t forget the sunscreen folks! Its the most important item for your summer time makeup and skincare 🙂

1. Laura Geller Balance and Brighten Foundation in Fair 

I love this foundation! I have the travel size from one of her kits and I plan to purchase a full size one after I run out of this.If you have no major acne scars or imperfections you can easily get away looking flawless due to its air brushing effect. It feels light on the skin and its perfect for the summer time  😉

2. Milani Baked blush in Rose d’oro

I am a blush junkie and this is one of my favorites! It gives you the perfect sun kissed looking cheeks. In case you want a closer look at this beauty, here is a pic with the compact open..

Closer look at my summer time loves!

Closer look at my summer time loves!

…lovely right 😉

3. Bobbi Brown shimmer brick compact in Bronze

This is one of the most amazing products I own and it will last me a lifetime! Its the perfect highlighter/bronzer. You can also use the strips as individual eyeshadows for bronzy lids too. I like to use the top 3 strips as a highlighter and the bottom 2 as a shimmery bronzer.

4. Face Stockholm cream shadow in Chintz *

This is a pretty lilac-pink metallic shade which is great as an easy all over the lid shade. I love the ease of use and the color!!

5. Cover Girl Lash Blast Length in Black

Now, people either hate this or love this mascara. This is one of my favorite mascaras from the drug store. I love long fluttery lashes and this does the job quite well.

6. Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Black *

The tip of this eyeliner is great for a precise wing or for the thinnest line for your lashline. I like to cut down on the heavy liner in the summer and this is perfect to get the job done!

7. The Balm lipstick in Foxxy Pout

I usually avoid frosty/ metallic looking lipsticks, and this is the only metallic lipstick I own. I don’t wear this quite often due to its frosty nature but I think I can pull it off in the summer! The shade Foxxy Pout is a shimmery, brownish pink shade with gold glitter.

 

What are your makeup picks for this summer?

Until next time…ciao!!

 

Products marked with * were sent as PR Samples. Opinions expressed here are my own.

Paul and Joe Cheek Color in Gigi (03)

Hello everyone!

I have an exciting review to share with you today! Those of you who are fashionistas might be aware of the fashion house Paul and Joe. They also have a fantastic beauty brand of the same name. I was a big fan of Paul and Joe cosmetics back when I lived in south east Asia. Their products have the most whimsical packaging and the quality of the stuff I have tried from the brand so far has been awesome. In the US, you can find their products on beauty.com and also the Paul and Joe US website.

A couple of months back I purchased the Paul and Joe cheek color in the number 03 from beauty.com and I have been hooked to it! I think there are some 6 shades to choose from and all of them were interesting colors. I picked the shade Gigi (03) which consists of a shimmery light pink and a bright matte almost neon hot pink 😀

Paul and Joe cheek color

Paul and Joe cheek color

A good thing about Paul and Joe products is that you can always buy the refill pans for their powder products if you don’t want to pay for the packaging. These pans come enclosed in a nice plastic casing (with their lovely chrysanthemum logo) which holds the product safely and so far I haven’t experienced any issues storing the blush in this plastic case. I purchased the refill pan for 18$. I f you wanted to buy the case it would cost another 10 bucks. At the time of purchase I didn’t find any compact design that I liked but just now I checked beauty.com and there is this cute cardboard one with kittens on it ..I might just add that to my cart! 😉

Paul and Joe blush in gigi (03)

Paul and Joe blush in gigi (03)

The blush pan looks almost new in the picture even though it has been used quite a lot in the last 5 months! Want to know why?..The blush is very pigmented and hence a little goes a long way for my medium complexion 🙂 As stated earlier, the pan consists of a very shimmery baby pink highlighter/blush and a matte intense looking pink. The matte pink can be layered really easily so you can go all the way from a sheer wash of color to intense hot pink cheeks! I use the shimmery pink one as blush topper /highlight. You can also swirl your brush in the pan to mix these 2 shades.

swatches of Gigi (03)

 Swatches of Paul and Joe Gigi (03)

From the swatches you can see that its not as scary as it looks in the pan. Both, the matte and shimmery pink powders are very finely milled and have a silky texture. I am impressed with how effortlessly they blend on the cheeks. These also pack a punch when it comes to staying power. They last a whole work day with no fading… yay to that!! Being a very build able blush, I feel this might work on a range of skin tones. Someone with very fair skin tone can get away with a gentle swipe on the cheeks with a duo fibre brush whereas someone with a tan complexion can work this blush with a more dense fluffy brush.

Overall, I am totally in love with this blush! I might pick up some other shades as well. Have you tried any Paul and Joe beauty products and what do you think of them?

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!!

IMG_1521_1

  • 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!!!

 

The Bobbi Brown Shimmer brick in bronze..a classic highlighter

Hey Everyone!!

Hope your having a great week ! I had a really awesome weekend and I am still snapping out of it! Myself and my man had a lovely movie and dinner date last Saturday. Have you guys seen the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel? Its got such a lovely old world charm and was quite entertaining. I’m planning to check out some of the other movies by Wes Anderson. Any suggestions?

As I was getting ready for our night out, I decided to stick my hand into  my vanity drawer and  use the first product that I pull out ( you can play such fun games once you’ve hoarded  makeup products like a squirrel hoarding nuts! ) Guess what I pulled out…

The Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact

The Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact

Since I’ve had this product for a while now and have been using this continuously for the past couple of days, I thought why not do a review post!

Lets take a look at the good stuff……

  • Okay, so the product is called a shimmer brick and is shimmery but when applied with a light hand ( thats the keyword; light hand!) it can take your blush to a whole new level, or when used on its own give a  lovely natural glow.  The shimmer brick I own is in the shade bronze which I feel is perfect for people with my skin tone (NC30), although I have seen this work equally well for slightly lighter and darker skin tones.
  • The product consists of bands of 5 shades which are very finely milled and have a creamy texture and feel upon touch !
warm toned copper bronze shades !

warm toned copper bronze shades !

  • In addition to being used as a highlighter for your blush or in place of a blush..you can use this as eyeshadow as well. I personally don’t use this as an eyeshadow that much primarily since I have eyeshadows which can give me the same effect..but hey its always good to have a multi tasking product!
The individual swatches, from the darkest to the lightest shades

The individual swatches, from the darkest to the lightest shades

When all the 5 shades are swirled together and swatched

When all the 5 shades are swirled together and swatched

If you’ve fallen for the product by now and jotting it down in your must buy list lets take a look at some of the issues I have with this guy.

The not so good stuff…

  • The price tag! These cost 42 US$ which is quite a bit but if you really see this as a multi tasker ( blush, bronzer, eyeshadow)  maybe its not so bad. Plus I use sooo little of it, this is probably going to last me a really long time, so in the long run 42 $ doesn’t look so bad does it? ( Arnt we all guilty of doing this kind of skewed math when justifying a purchase in our brains 😛 )
  • Now being an all in one product it would have been awesome if I could have traveled easily with it! I find the shimmer brick to be extremely delicate..my cousin once opened her hand bag and found her shimmer brick in a million pieces….its so fragile 😦
  • I mentioned that this a very finely milled product, the downside to that is the fallout..you can see the powder fly all over the place every time you swirl your brush over the compact.
  • If you have dry skin make sure you moisturize really well before using this product since it can cling on to dry patches. Also use a primer if you have very visible pores since this product can accentuate them because of its fine powdery texture.
  • Lastly, use a light hand or be labelled a disco ball by your co workers and your neighbors 🙂