MAC Shiny Pretty Things Face Compact

Hello everyone!! A few weeks back I received a nice little coupon from Ulta in the mail and so I decided to do some makeup shopping although I don’t really need anything πŸ˜› Most of the holiday releases this year from the big brands were kind of meh to me. This face palette from the MAC 2018 holiday collection caught my eye since I have never tried their extra dimension formula. The palette also had some good reviews on Ulta so I decided to pick this guy up.

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Mac Shiny Pretty Things Face Compact

The face palette comes in 2 shades: Fair and Medium Deep. I was kind of torn on which one to get. The highlighter in the Fair compact looked lovely but I heard that the bronzer does not pick up well with a brush. The bronzer in the Medium deep looked scary but I eventually bought the medium deep because the blush in this one is totally my jam! The fair compact comes in a silver compact and the medium deep comes in a pink compact. Frankly, I hate the packaging! The cloth like material makes it look tacky especially in combination with the hot pink :\

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MAC Shiny Pretty Things Face Compact in Medium Deep

The inside of the palette looks much better! The highlighter looks very golden in the pan but I was able to make it work on my medium skintone without it looking like gold stripes on the top of my cheek bones πŸ˜€ However, this is my least favorite item in this palette. When I apply this on my skin I do detect tiny glitter particles. This is not a very smooth formula compared to the blush and bronzer. You can see what I am talking about in my brush swatches coming up below.

Next up, the blush! This was what drew me in..I love peachy pinky blushes and this fits the bill. It look lovely on the skin. The formula is amazing! It becomes one with your skin and gives your cheeks a natural looking radiant glow.

The bronzer looks scary dark in the pan and I was quite intimidated by it! However, I found that when applied lightly it works very well for my skintone. It is quite pigmented but I still don’t think it is dark enough for very deep skintones. The bronzer reminds me of chocolate whenever I look at it.. πŸ˜‰

All 3 products require a stiff brush to pick up the powders. There is minimal powder kickup if any actually!

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Brush swatches of the highlighter (Soul Glow), Blush (Carolers) and the Bronzer in medium deep

As you can see from the brush swatches of the 3 pans, the highlighter swatch doesn’t look as smooth as the blush and bronzer. However, it is still a workable product and if you like the blush and bronzer, I think it is worth buying especially at the current sale price πŸ™‚

Did you pick up anything from the Shiny Pretty Things collection from MAC ?

Until next time, ciao!!

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2018 Holiday Gift Guide : Fine Salt Scrubs from The Cottage Greenhouse

Hello folks!

In our third installment of the Indie brand Gift guide series I am giddy with excitement to talk about The Cottage Greenhouse. I don’t remember how I found the brand..maybe I saw them in an Indie beauty brand list but I do remember getting super excited when I visited their website! They have the most beautifully and aesthetically done packaging :).Β  I also had an ah ha moment because guess what, this brand is part of the Margot Elena group of brands. I have always had a girl crush on Margot Elena because of how beautifully she presents her products and the attention to details, which makes the perfectionist side of me really happy. Her brands like Tokyo Milk, Library of Flowers and Lollia all have products perfect for gifting. In fact, my next installment in the gift guide series is also going to be a Margot Elena brand πŸ˜‰ Stay tuned for that one too!

The Cottage Greenhouse has a lovely range of lotions, body butters and scrubs which are perfect for pampering yourself or a favorite person in your gift list πŸ˜€ I picked up 2 of their fine salt body scrubs to feature in this gift guide series.

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Fine Salt scrubs from the Cottage Greenhouse

The Carrot and Neroli fine salt scrub is listed as one of Oprah’s favorites πŸ™‚ The scent of this body scrub is fresh and crisp. This is a bit of a summer scent to me so I’ll probably dig into this scrub in the summer time! The scent of the Wild Ginger and Agave scrub actually surprised me. I was expecting a very spicy woody scent but instead it is best described as being warm and sweet. It feels very invigorating and cozy at the same time to use this in the shower. It is the perfect companion for a nice warm winter bath.

As I mentioned a million times already, I love the packaging! It is so elegant and the plastic square tubs have a good weight to them and feel expensive. I also like the little details in the illustrations and the details around the tub. Unfortunately, I do not have the beautiful exterior packaging these scrub came in…I have a toddler in the house who sometimes runs off with stuff which you might then never see again πŸ˜€

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Love the attention to details when it comes to packaging!

These are fine salt scrubs so they are not going to feel ‘crunchy’ or rough when you rub them over your damp skin. They are creamy to the touch and have enough exfoliating power to leave your skin feeling smooth.

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Creamy and rich in texture!

They also have moisturizing ingredients like shea butter in them so your skin does not feel totally stripped after exfoliating. The ingredient list for both the scrubs is slightly different (obviously). Check out the full list of ingredients on their website. (HERE)

Overall, I am very impressed with the salt scrubs. I would love to try their body butters next! Have you tried any products from the cottage greenhouse?

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

The best part about Spain was of course the food and drinks πŸ˜‰

Churros and Chocolate anyone? :)
Churros and Chocolate anyone? πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜€

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. Β 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!

Quick trip to Delhi, India !

Hello folks!

Apologies for the lack of posts! It has been a very busy 2 weeks with travelling home, battling flu situations in the house and then a quick trip to Delhi! I was in Delhi, India for 4 days total..which is a shame since the place has so much to see, do and of course eat! I had accompanied the husband on a business trip and because he was so caught up with what he was in Delhi for, we barely saw anything 😦 Plus he was still recovering from the flu and he was tired after work related activities everyday so we did not explore areas too far way from where we stayed.

I tried to make the best use of my time there and did manage to go shopping πŸ˜‰ and explore the local food scene. We stayed at a really nice part of the city at a guest house/hotel at The India Habitat Centre. The Lodhi Gardens which is a public park was walking distance from where we stayed and so I did spend a good amount of time there. The park houses the tombs of the Lodhi dynasty kings who ruled much before the Mughals.

The structures which house the tombs are quite impressive and the place was teeming with couples taking wedding photo shoots! The first structure that greets you upon entering the gardens is the Bara Gumbad.

The Bara Gumbad

The Bara Gumbad pictured above is a mosque and not a tomb. The facade inside the dome has largely worn off however some regions of the structure notably the area to the left with the smaller domes still has intricate inscriptions.

Inside the Mosque (Bara Gumbad)

Walking further into the gardens , there is a water canal with an ancient bridge build by Akbar the great (a Mughal ruler). The tomb of one of the Lodhi kings overlooks this water body. The structure housing his tomb was decorated with intricate tile work, traces of which you can still see.

Other places I saw include the India Gate and the city in general while commuting from one point to another. I did manage to do a teeny tiny bit of shopping at this place called Khan Market where I was thrilled to see an Innisfree shop! I will post my mini haul soon πŸ™‚ Stay tuned for that!!

Overall, I enjoyed my really short stay in Delhi..hopefully the next time I travel to the city I will have more time to explore the older parts of the city!

Until next time, ciao!!

 

 

Back after an awesome vacation in Turkey ! :D

Hello everyone!

I know it has been ages since I last posted on my blog (2 -3 weeks I guess) and that was because I was having an awesome time in Turkey with le husband! It was a much deserved break for both of us after a lot of ups and downs during the first half of this year.

Turkey is such an amazing country and in the 8 days we were there I guess we saw and experienced maybe 10% of what it has to offer. We loved the food, people and culture so much I can see us visiting the country again real soon! We spend our time in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Ephesus.

Lets talk about Istanbul! It is one of the most vibrant cities I have ever visited! It is a charming city with the modern world existing with the remnants of a glorious past. It is huge and I loved every bit of the the small part of it that I was exposed to. We stayed in the European side where your surrounded by history wherever you go. Both of us are history and museum junkies and therefore we loved exploring the Blue mosque, the Ottoman Topkapi palace, the Hagia Sofia, the Basilica Cistern, the Chora church and the museums around these historic sites.

The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque

We also explored the modern parts of the city and had a ball of a time at Taskim Square where you have a huge shopping street and lots of small eateries tucked away in small side lanes! In Istanbul we also went to a Hamami for a traditional turkish bath and that was quite an experience πŸ˜€ If your planning to go to Turkey do try it out!

Cappadocia was our second stop in Turkey. The place is known for its rock formations which were formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. Here we both had our first hot air balloon ride which was spectacular! The ride took off shortly after sunrise and the view of the unique terrain of Cappadocia from up top was fantastic! If you love photography you might land up with a ton of snaps in the 1 hour that your up in the air πŸ˜‰

Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia
Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia

Our 3rd stop in Turkey was Pamukkale which is famous for its hot springs and unique rock deposits. The water and mud here have been used for therapeutic purposes since Greek times and infact the area around the site is home to the ruins of the city of Hierapolis (built by the Greeks and later taken over by the Romans). We had a nice tour of the ruins and later took a dip in the pools of Pamukkale. As you can see from the picture below, the rock deposits look like snow! Pamukkale means cotton castle in Turkish and you can see why!

Pamukkale
Pamukkale

Our last stop in Turkey was Ephesus. Being history junkies we were in history heaven when we visited the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus! The ancient city is so large that our guide said huge portions have yet to be excavated! The most imposing ruins in the city are that of the Celsius Library (pictured below). Being a Mediterranean town, I wasn’t surprised to see farmers markets where they were selling juicy peaches, oranges and the most fresh looking veggies I’ve ever seen!

The Celsius Library
The Celsius Library

Overall we had a fantastic time! In fact there is so much to write about I found it hard to just give you guys the highlights of my trip! I can go on and on about what all we saw, learnt and ate! πŸ˜‰

Tune in later this week to see a mini beauty haul from Turkey!! I found some really interesting local brands and products while in Turkey and can’t wait to share them with you’ll πŸ˜€

Until next time…ciao!!

 

 

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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜‰

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. Β 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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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:Β https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl6_9tC7MLs

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