Sunday, July 19, 2015

Maybelline The Nudes Palette is here!

I have been coveting a nude / neutral palette for a long time. It has been *the* eyeshadow rage abroad ever since Urban Decay launched their Naked Palette. It is available in India in the grey market but the price is so prohibitive that I didn't think it was worth it.

Drugstore companies of course responded with their own versions - but that too were not available or launched in India. Our local companies like Lakme & Colorbar always seem to be a on trend trip of their own - and like eyebrows - felt this was a trend not worth responding to. And with Maybelline's history of late to never launches, The Nudes palette was something I put down on my - To Buy from Trip abroad list. I could have just gone to MAC or Inglot and got it custom made, but I'm one of those lazy girls who just wants a ready made palette.

Yesterday I stopped by the Maybelline counter to check out their new Colorshow lipstick launch. The counter had not yet recieved the full 32 shades and had like a very boring selection of 10 shades - most of them brown & purple.

I was about to walk away when the counter girl opened - what looked like a secret drawer at the bottom of the display - and there sat the tester for Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette. I just stopped and stared for a minute unsure of what I was looking at. How is this here, and there hasn't been a peep from their PR on this? Did I miss it? Was I living under a rock? How did I not know this was here!

I quickly got rid of those thoughts, and did what any beauty blogger would do. I bought it instantly!!

Priced at Rs. 899/- for 12 eyeshadows - it was just hard to resist. (I got it at 10% off - just made the deal sweeter!)

And then of course I instagrammed about it:

I have had it for less than 24 hours, so I don't really have an holistic view of the product yet. I did use it last evening - I used the top row first shade as lid color, and the one to the right of it as crease - without any primer and it lasted okay for four to five hours.

I did realise that some of the colors they are not as smooth or uber pigmented as MAC or Inglot would be. But then I feel for the price - it is a good deal. The middle quad of shades are very pigmented & the colors are gorgeous.

There are tons of reviews online on the product already, so while I'm making up my mind about this, you can read those. I personal favourite is this one that has good swatches & a side by side comparison to UD Naked.

Now if I found out Maybelline has also launched the Blushed Nudes Palette, I'm gonna forgive them for all those 5 year late launches they have been subjecting us for the last few years!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Calling all Game of Thrones Fans - lets talk about their makeup!

**Spoiler Alert**: the post references material from the ASOIAF books, online tin-foil theories, and the show GOT. 

How many of you look forward to Monday mornings? Not me, until two weeks ago.

Coz Season 5 of Game of Thrones  has begun on HBO Defined! It airs at an ungodly 6:30 am on Monday morning, but I make sure to always watch it!

It has been a long wait since Season 4, and I've been spending time between the two seasons revisiting the earlier episodes and also reading the books. I just started Book 4 - A Feast For Crows in the saga called "A Song of Ice & Fire" and spending all my free time reading up various theories online. R+L = J is so popular that now it is taken for granted to be true. Just two days ago I came across another theory D=E that I'm almost convinced about. And while we are talking about Daario, I think they should bring back the earlier actor. I have read that they replaced him because he wasn't a good actor, but I  still would vote to bring him back! In a show populated with such superior acting I don't mind some bad acting from eye-candy. Hey, he could be the Katrina Kaif of the show! (Sorry Katrina fans, but I don't like her acting)
Daario 1 v/s Daario 2
I can't remember looking forward & yet at the same time dreading a show so much. Traumatic as the Red Wedding was, Oberon's last scene terrified me so much I could not sleep for half the night! It scares me, yet I can't stop watching the show or reading the books!

In the books and on the show there is a lot of reference to the physical features of the each of the House members. Baratheons have dark hair, Tully have blue eyes & auburn hair, Lannisters sport green eyes & blond hair, and of course the Targaryens have silver pale hair & lilac or purple eyes (Don't ask why. Even on the show they haven't been able to replicate the actual lilac / purple eyes so vividly described in the books). Even the Dornish people have three distinct tribes with three distinct builds.

Set in medieval times (supposed Europe) when there was no MAC, the makeup, hair and costumes on the show are a major departure from the current movies and shows on air.

You will not see red or fuchsia lips, any obvious cat liner. But everything is softly blended and very, very natural looking. Even the hair, is in elaborate braids or buns. No poker straight hair.

While almost all the major women characters in the show wear very similar makeup, it is Dany who is the most adored and you will find a ton of tutorials for her look. The look is pretty simple to executive and is truly a no-makeup makeup look. From the videos I saw online & various forums, these are points I observed:

1. The skin on all of the female characters is prepped very well. You will not see any powdery foundation or dryness. So start off with well moisturised face.

2. There is use of concealer in great detail to mask all imperfections. With not much on the face and eyes to distract, the skin needs to look great!

3. I've read online that to keep it natural, they keeps powder in check. Instead they take away any shine in the T-zone with blotting papers, but leave some sheen on the cheek bones to highlight the bone structure. 

4. There is a bit of contouring if needed. I've seen this being used mostly for Cersei. They avoid this on Dany (I think) to emphasise her young age. Also sometimes they wear a dusty tawny pink cream blush, blended in right on the cheeks

5. Use a terracotta or taupe eyeshadow on the lid and just a light sweep under the lower lash line. 

6. A white eyeshadow under the brows, followed by filling in of brows. Since the face is so bare, the brows are quite pronounced and filled in

7. There is no eyeliner used for any of the women characters

8. Mascara is applied very sparingly to get literally no build-up on the lashes. I think Lakme eyeconic is perfect for this, provided it is applied with a single coat. 

9. Finally either use plain old vaseline or a touch of brown - pink shade on the lips. But no visible lines. 

It is not a look I'd like to sport everyday. Frankly I would get bored with the lack of color. But Nude Face makeup is being touted as the New Spring 2015 trend. You can read more about this trend here.

And on a lighter note, here's another quick GOT tutorial:

Have a happy weekend! And here's to Episode 3 on Monday. May your favourite character have a long life!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ATB BB Series: Things I don't miss anymore

I don't miss being invisible

I don't miss dreading shopping sessions at malls coz nothing that Zara or Forever 21 had would fit me

I don't miss having to make do with matronly style western wear from ALL - my single source of Western Wear.

I don't miss wearing a uniform of kurta-churidar all the time to office, which I hate.

I don't miss the anxiety before attending social events or meeting new people, because I knew they would judge negatively even before I said a word to them

I don't miss not being able to wear more than an inch of heel because my feet could not take my weight

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Could your green tea be causing weight gain?

A lot of women chug down cups of plain, unsweetened green & black teas in the hope that it will

magically boost our metabolism and help in weight reduction. The fact that it looks so innocent, devoid of fattening milk & sugar definitely adds to its allure. It is just flavoured hot water after all. Advertisers have played a huge role in this perception by touting it as the "Zero Calorie" beverage.

If I had a rupee for the number of times I've been asked I drank green tea for my weight loss, I could have easily bought myself a dozen MAC lipsticks. And the answer is no, I didn't!

I've never liked green tea. I don't like the metallic taste it has. I occasionally drink black lemon tea.

Imagine my surprise today when I came across a bunch of articles & scientific studies online that claim that drinking tea (especially green tea) may actually make hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) worse. One of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is rapid weight gain, and lowered metabolic rate.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Using Lipstick as Blush: MAC shows how!

For some reason I received the Day 2, 3, 4 & 5 (Finale) face charts for MAC after the fashion week, unlike Day 1. I was planning to do a day wise break-down initially, but it turns out getting all the face-charts together turned out to be a good thing as it helped me analyse for trends across the week.

Today I'm mixing up Day 2 & Day 3 looks to show you how MAC put into practice the age old tip of using lipstick as blush.

This is a tip that almost all bloggers and makeup artists share in their posts and videos, but it was a real learning point for me to see how MAC used lipsticks not only as blush but also to contour! If you look at the final finish - the blush is barely discernable, it is just a hint of color, and a look that I like. I am not fond of the very obvious blush look.

The first lipstick I want to talk about is Half & Half from MAC. This neutral nude lipstick can be used on Indian skin tones as an excellent contour cream. I feel that it's Amplified Creme finish must make it easy to blend on the skin. I don't own this lipstick as I'm not fond of Amplified Creme finish, but I feel that you can use any nude-to-you lipstick for this trick.

This is the look with Half & Half, and the makeup breakdown below it. It reminds me of a very wearable version of Kim Kardarshian's look.

MAC Half n Half as Blush

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Summer 2015 Trend: Red Lips in Summer?

Fashion shows not only set trends in styles, but also can be a good indicator to predict the styles of makeup that will be in vogue over the season.

If one goes by the Amazon India Fashion Week day 1 look it seems to indicate that red lips are going to be the flavour of the season.

  • Eyes are fuss-free with minimal definition but lots of lashes. 
  • Eyebrows continue to be thick & strong. 
  • The skin is very dewy and well moisturised and contouring of the cheekbones continues. However the contouring on the model above is a lot harsher than I liked. I feel it needs to be bit more subtle. 

If there is one thing I learnt from these looks, it would be the amount of moisturising and prepping the skin is subjected to before applying foundation.

However overall the makeup is not what I expected, to be honest. I'm expecting fashion - wise a revival of the 70s and more specifically the grunge - boho look. I tend to associate messy, smudgy eyeliner with this look a lot more than red lipstick. (And for this reason I loved the Catty frames at Rajesh Pratap's show! so 70s!)

MAC was kind enough to share the face-charts & a step by step breakdown of the makeup for those of you who want to recreate it. I personally find these face-charts with product names very useful, as one can see what the shades look like on Indian skintones & eyes.

Also those of you who wear glasses must scroll down and take a look at the makeup at Rajesh Pratap's show. The models all wore thick-rimmed glasses and the makeup is perfect for when you have such an attention grabbing accessory sitting on your face! Also the clothes on the models are monochromatic in shades of black & white - those of you looking for tips on what makeup to wear with your monochrome outfits - this is look is a good option.

Friday, January 30, 2015

My current skin routine

Fathima of Babble Queen Diaries has been running a section called "Girl Talk" where she features bloggers / friends and talks about some aspect of Beauty.

For her latest post, she honoured me by contacting me for my current skincare routine. You can read about my entire current routine here.

My routine has simplified over the years. Maybe because I don't have the time anymore to apply and wait for layers of products to absorb, maybe because I use more gentler products now so my skin doesn't need as much TLC.

Anyways, scoot over to Fathima's blog to read more!


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