Okay, so I’ve always been quite obsessed with nail polish but now the obsession has escalated to a higher level so that it includes nail art. Having watched a lot of the makeup gurus on youtube, it came upon me to do some research on eBay about the different kinds of nail art polish pens. I decided to go ahead and purchase some off of ebay and I bought a set of 24 “2-Way Varnish Nail Art Polish Pens” for a pretty decent price. The nice thing about these nail art pens is that you can hold them like actual pens and draw the designs you want on your nails which makes them pretty convenient and practical. Actually, the only thing I didn’t like about these pens is the chemical smell they give off in the beginning when you first apply them on top of the nail polish but it does go away after a while (and who knows, the smell may actually may differ from batch to batch.) The nail art designs painted on my nails lasted in an intact manner for a good amount of time (for almost a week.)
(For those of you that are not familiar with the abbreviation: UDPP = Urban Decay Primer Potion.)
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation
To many of us beauty junkies, there is nothing more heavenly than a foundation that glides onto your skin so smoothly, blends in so effortlessly, camouflages and covers up skin flaws so brilliantly that it leaves you with a finish so flawless and natural that it looks as though you’re not wearing any foundation at all. You know that when you find a foundation that does that for your skin, your search for the ultimate one has come to an end. Nevertheless, no two people will benefit from the same product in exactly the same way so if the one I’m going to rave about in a moment doesn’t work for you, fear not and have faith, because the holy grail of foundations for you is still out there. You just need to keep searching.
I have found my (current) holy grain of foundations and I am reveling in the discovery of it because it is working marvelously for my skin type. The Studio Sculpt Foundation by MAC has been a dear, dear friend to me for quite some time now. I admit that I purchased the product quite a while back but I never came around to using it until a few weeks ago because I am not a big fan on using foundation during the summer heat (and if you live in the UAE, you know what I am talking about.) I am also not a big fan of creamy foundation but this one has such a nice gel-based consistency to it that it doesn’t leave my skin feeling like it’s under an inch of makeup. The product claims to provide medium buildable to high coverage which is, indeed, true. While I don’t suffer from acne or break-outs (thank goodness those years are behind me!), I do sometimes develop patches of slight redness on my cheeks and around my mouth (due to the summer heat or over-using my face wash/face lotion) and this foundation does a reallllly good job of camouflaging them and evening out my skin tone. It also provides a really smooth and soft matte finish (a “natural satin finish”, according to the product’s description.)
I have oily skin and even though this product claims to be “hydrating” – which means it may contain moisturizing ingredients – it doesn’t leave my skin feeling or looking oily or shiny, whatsoever. As most of you must know, foundations that claim to be hydrating are a big no-no for people with oily skin types because they tend to leave us with that shiny-face look before the end of the day but since MAC’s Studio Sculpt Foundation is officially oil-free, I give it the thumbs up for people with oily skin (and all other skin types, too.) However, I would recommend that people with dry and sensitive skin use adequate moisturizer before applying the foundation – just to be on the safe side and ensure that it doesn’t dry up or irritate your skin.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden
For those of you that suffer from eyelids that tend to get oily and/or crease your eyeshadow almost immediately, this may be the product you need. I actually found this version of Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion to be the best for my eyelids due to its uber mattifying effect. It prevents my eyelids from getting oily and keeps my eyeshadow crease-free and intact for a good long time throughout the day (about 6 to 7 hours) without having to do any touch-ups. I find this eyeshadow primer to be especially useful for special evening events or occasions that include a lot of picture-taking and dancing because it really enhances the colors of my eye makeup and provides it with really good staying power.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Consider trying the UDPP in Eden at your local SEPHORA store (or any other beauty stores that sell Urban Decay cosmetics) and let me know what you think 😉
Hello fellow beauty junkies!
Not only is the texture and consistency of the lipsticks brilliantly thick and rich, their colors are so pigmented. Good for photoshoots.
Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer:
It does conceal undereye darkness to a certain extent and blends in nicely. It didn’t get cakey and had decent staying power. Since the concealer is somewhat thick in consistency, it can also be used on other areas on the face.
Sephora Smoothing & Brightening Concealer:
For those of you that would like to add a little extra glow under your eyes without it seeming too obvious or somewhat fake, using a “brightening” or “color-correcting” concealer can really help. Sephora’s range of Smoothing & Brightening Concealers do a great job of concealing and brightening the under-eye area. According to the general makeup guidelines, light pink or lavender concealers are used for color-correcting or brightening under-eye areas on people of warm skin tones to counteract yellow or sallow skin. Warm pink (or peachy-pink) is more suitable for doing the same job on people of cool skin tones as it would be more effective in counteracting blue-ish or purple-ish under-eye dark circles. After the pink concealer is applied, a yellow one is added on top and blended in accordingly.
Not sure what skin tone you are? This link may help: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/267071/am_i_warm_or_cool_a_guide_to_determining.html?cat=69
Every summer, my makeup style changes to include colors that are more flashy, vibrant and fun. Summer is the season of sunny weather, outdoorsy fun and beach parties (at least, in most parts of the world) and what better way is there to express your summer personality than through your makeup? (Rhetorical question!)
Where the sun shines, so does your skin…from all that grease and oiliness. So, unless you have extremely dry skin, you want to make sure you use foundation that is oil-free and has a matte-finish…and, just in case, seal everything with powder. In fact, during the summer, I try to use only face powder as a “foundation” because it helps absorb any oiliness and keeps the shiny-face look at bay! (I recommend MAC’s Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. For a cheaper alternative, I recommend Maybelline’s Pure Stay Powder Foundation.) You still need to moisturize first, though, so don’t skip the moisturizer just ’cause you think your skin won’t need it in the summer. Trust me, summer is when your skin needs moisturizer the most. People with normal to oily skin should opt for a matte-effect, oil-free moisturizer.
I love the refreshing blusher colors one can experiment with in the summer. Coral and peachy colors are in this season. If you want that orange-peachy color flattering your cheeks, you might want to try MAC’s Peaches (Pure Peach Sheertone) blusher. If you’re looking for a pinkish-peach shade, check out Revlon’s Perfectly Peach Matte Powder Blush. Other nice blushers with similar shades are: CORALista by Benefit (a warm coral pink), ELF Studio Blush in Peachy Keen and Candid Coral, L’Oreal True Match Blush in Barely Blushing and NYX Powder Blush in Peach.
Baby pink pouts, peachy smiles and coral lips will give you that ultimate summer-siren look. Revlon’s Mattle Lipsticks in Sky Pink and Smoked Peach will compliment your summer tan. MAC’s Satin-finish Lipstick in Peachstock will give your lips a warm peachy color and its Cremesheen-finish Lipstick in Ravishing will create a coral-peachy look. NYX’s Round Lipstick in Harmonica will have your lips glowing bright baby pink! Other lipsticks in nice summer shades are: Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Pink Sugar and Baby Pink, MAC’s Cremesheen-finish Lipstick in Shy Girl, NYX’s Round Lipstick in Summer Love, Sunflower and Watermelon and Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipcolors in Coral Crush and Peachy Scene.
To compliment the bright summer shades being used on the cheeks and lips, barely-there eyeshadow looks are usually the best. In fact, it’s the eyelashes that you really want to focus on right now. For eyeshadow, it would be wise to stick to neutral to sheer-light colors – any shade that brightens the eye area in a subtle way – because you’re going to be packing on the mascara for a fresh-eyed summer look. Some eyeshadow summer shades to consider: MAC’s Matte eyeshadow in Gesso, its Velvet eyeshadows in Vanilla and Vapour, its Satin eyeshadows in Brule and Shroom, its Frost eyeshadows in Nylon and Ricepaper and NYX’s eyeshadows in Highlight, Barely There and Hot Crystal. Now, when I say mascara, I am not referring to the intense black kind that gives you that false-lash effect. In fact, in the summer, you should try sticking to mascara in shades of brown – the kind that will define your lashes to just the right degree. You could also opt for a mascara in a different color, such as blue or purple, that will make your lashes pop out in a colorful way. So, if you don’t have a mascara in brown (or any other non-black color), then go out there and find the one you like. Maybelline, Rimmel and Max Factor are just a few brands that sell mascaras in different colors.
So far, I’ve talked about several types of beauty products but I have yet to mention anything about eyeshadow. In this post, I’m going to list my favorite brands of eyeshadow (in no particular order) and I’ll let you in on why I like ’em so much!
1) Urban Decay:
Other than the fact that this brand has some really funky-looking eyeshadow palettes, its eyeshadow pigmentation is superb. Every color of eyeshadow that I have tried from Urban Decay has proved to be so richly pigmented that just one or two dabs of the eyeshadow is enough for me to use on my whole eyelid (remember, blending is key.) Yes, Urban Decay products are on the pricey side but if you want quality eyeshadow, you won’t be sorry you turned to this brand.
This brand boasts a huge variety of eyeshadow colors with several different finishes and they are all very decently pigmented. The nice thing about this brand is that they have something called “The Freedom System” whereby you are allowed to select your own palette and fill it up with your own choice of eyeshadows (or lip glosses, face powders, blushers, etc…) The palettes come in different sizes and shapes, with 2 or more eyeshadow slots to fill, and the eyeshadow slots are available in circle or square shapes. The cool thing about these palettes is that they have magnetic covers that are easy to open by sliding them across. Very convenient for taking with you on outings or trips. Inglot is actually quite decently priced in the US or the UK (and probably the cheapest in Poland, where the brand originates from) but in the UAE, you’ll find the palettes being sold at double the prices. So, if you are looking to buy one of the big eyeshadow palettes, I would recommend asking a friend that frequently travels to the US or the UK to buy you one. If you want to try out one of the small eyeshadow palettes, then you could always go to one of the Inglot stores present in the UAE. (You can find Inglot in all the major malls within Dubai.)
Do I really have to go into detail about this brand’s eyeshadow? I’m sure you’re all aware of it so I will just move on to the next one.
4) Makeup Forever:
Same as above.
Admittedly, this is a very expensive makeup brand but trust me when I say that its eyeshadows’ quality is way, way, wayyy top-notch. I mean, I can confidently say that Illamasqua’s eyeshadow pigmentation is better than MAC’s and Makeup Forever’s…and that’s saying a lot. (And their blushers….are to die for.) But we’re talking about eyeshadow now…and let me tell you, if you’re a true beauty junkie, just one swipe of an Illamasqua eyeshadow will have you seeing “the light” and hearing heaven’s choir singing down to you. Yeah, they’re that good. They are a heaven-sent for hardcore makeup lovers and makeup artists. Of course, Illamasqua’s pricing is a lot more expensive in Dubai than it is in the US or the UK so don’t say I didn’t warn you! I am only aware of the brand being available in Dubai Mall’s Bloomingdales but it could also be present elsewhere within the UAE. I’ll let you know if I find out.
For a drugstore brand, NYX has very good eyeshadows! Their pigmentation is pretty decent and they come in a nice variety of colors. I’ve never been sorry for purchasing NYX eyeshadows and my wallet doesn’t hate me for it! Good eyeshadows for good prices.
Another awesome drugstore brand, L’Oreal has been a dependable go-to brand to me for years. I have been a faithful user of L’Oreal eyeshadows for as long as I can remember and they have never let me down. With good pigmentation and lovely colors, you can’t go wrong with buying one of these babies. Also, they’re decently priced and are gentle on the bank accounts 😉
For all of you makeup lovers out there that like to shop with a budget, these lipsticks may just be one of the biggest makeup treats for you, yet! Now, before I get all of you extremely excited, I would like to point out that (according to what I am aware of) ELF makeup is only available in stores within the US and is only available to order online for people residing in the US, UK, Canada and a few other countries (please see link at the end of this post.) So, if you actually want to buy ELF products and you are not a resident of the US or any of the countries that ELF ships online orders to, you would have to ask a (very kind and helpful) friend of yours that is visiting the US to buy some of these goodies for you. Your other option is to ask a friend of yours that resides in one of the other countries (that ELF ships to) to order them for you online and ship them to you. Of course, you would have to pay the shipping cost so the former method would be the better (and cheaper) choice.
ELF (an abbreviation for Eyes Lips Face) is another drugstore brand that I have come to have faith in for my beauty fixes. At first, I was extremely skeptical about buying and trying anything from this brand because of its products’ extremely low prices. I mean, surely it couldn’t be possible that a company would actually produce makeup of decent quality and sell them at such budget-friendly prices. Well, I was wrong. A lot of ELF’s products are of very decent quality and at such low and affordable prices, I have become very grateful for the brand’s existence.
One of my favorite lines of makeup from ELF is its Mineral makeup line, and some of my favorite products from the Mineral makeup line are the ELF Mineral Lipsticks! At only 5 US Dollars a piece, these lipsticks are nicely pigmented and last on my lips longer than some of my more expensive lipsticks do. When I say nicely pigmented, though, I don’t mean they’re very strongly pigmented (that is the norm with mineral makeup), but their colors do clearly show with one sweep. They glide on smoothly and they’re very moisturizing which is great for me because I have lips that tend to get dry very easily. They don’t have an awkward smell or taste to them like some lipsticks do…I won’t name any brands but they’re out there. Last, but not least, they are available in a variety of neutral, warm and nude shades. My favorite ELF Mineral lipstick colors are Natural Nymph, Runaway Pink and Nicely Nude.
To learn more about ELF and which countries it currently ships to, please visit: www.eyeslipsface.com
I have mixed feelings about this mascara because while its wand is formulated in a way that makes it easy for me to reach those stubborn lashes at the corners of my eyes, I don’t feel I have enough control over how I apply the mascara. The wand makes it difficult for me to control how much mascara I apply on to my lashes and I often end up applying too little or too much, sometimes giving my lashes that dreaded clumpy look we all try to avoid. I have been wanting to buy the Telescopic Explosion Mascara by L’Oreal for quite some time but I kept putting the matter off because I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it. Well, in my recent travel to Prague, I found the mascara at a beauty store for 50 % off so I thought…why not? If I don’t like it, I won’t be that sorry I bought it. In all honesty, I wouldn’t buy it again and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else but everyone’s different and everyone’s eyelashes are different so what doesn’t work for me might work for someone else.
Have any of you tried this mascara? What are your thoughts on it?
Hello again my fellow beauty junkies.
So, for this post, I have decided to share with you my most preferred brands of makeup when it comes to lipstick. Every beauty junkie needs to get a little lippy from time to time – in a good way, of course. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the brands I turn to when I want to get lippy:
Ever since I started wearing makeup, I’ve been using Maybelline lipsticks. My favorite line of Maybelline lipsticks are the Moisture Extreme lipsticks by Maybelline New York. There’s just something about the way these lipsticks glide on (so smoothly) that make them some of my all time favorites when it comes to getting lippy. I also love that subtle sheen to the colors that makes lips look that much more luscious and juicy. Also, they are available in a wide variety of colors and their moisturizing properties are great for people who suffer from constantly dry lips (like me.) Last, but certainly not least, they are totally wallet and budget-friendly!
Well, of course I was going to mention Revlon in this post at some point. How can I not? I’m obsessed with this makeup brand. My favorite lines of Revlon lipsticks are the Revlon Matte lipsticks, Revlon Colorburst lipsticks and the Revlon Colorstay Soft & Smooth Lipcolor lipsticks. The Revlon Matte lipsticks are great for those that like lipsticks with a matte finish…need I say more? They apply very nicely, are decently pigmented and can last on the lips for hours if there is not a lot of eating or drinking involved. The Revlon Colorburst lipsticks are very similar to the Revlon Matte lipsticks in texture but they have a slightly creamy finish and are a little more pigmented. The Revlon Colorstay Soft & Smooth possess all the qualities of the two former types of lipsticks and they last a little longer on the lips – so that’s a great plus. Again, this is a brand of makeup that is also wallet-friendly and convenient for budget-shoppers.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for drugstore brands. Rimmel has also been one of those makeup brands that I started off with in my teenage years of trying to beautify myself. It has been there for me through thick and thin. My favorite line of Rimmel London lipsticks is the Lasting Finish Intense Wear Lipsticks and lemme tell ya, these lipsticks do exactly what their title says: they go on intensely and last for hours. Very well pigmented with a nice semi-matte finish, these are great lipsticks for nightlife lovers that like to party a lot without having their lipstick disappear within the first hour.
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the Holy Grail of lipstick brands, I just didn’t want to start with the obvious. I mean, one of the first brands that people refer to when it comes to makeup is MAC – and for good reason – but I also wanted to share my thoughts with you on the other brands out there. Other than the blushers and eyeshadows, the lipsticks are my favorite products from MAC. Their consistency, their texture and their application is just….sublime. Even though my lips tend to get dry easily, my favorite line of MAC lipsticks are those with the Matte Finish because they are so richly pigmented that one gentle swipe of them on the lips is usually enough to get lippy in a really obvious way. While MAC lipsticks may not be your wallet’s best friend if you are on a budget, buying one or two of them once in a while won’t create such a huge dent.
I am not sure if this brand of makeup is available in the United Arab Emirates because I purchased some of its lipsticks on the internet. I know the brand is available in the US and the UK but that’s about it. If it is available anywhere else, please do let me know! My favorite line of lipsticks from Michael Todd is its Creme Lipsticks – they’re long-lasting, they apply very nicely and smoothly and they’re richly pigmented. Their pricing is just a bit more expensive than that of MAC’s lipsticks but with quality that is good enough to be a worthy rival, if you’re the kind of gal that doesn’t mind splurging on her makeup purchases, you won’t be sorry you put your bucks on Michael Todd’s Creme Lipsticks.
One of my favorite drugstore makeup brands, NYX has been faithful to me for a long time and is purely awesome in so many ways. My favorite lines of NYX lipsticks are the Round Lipsticks and the Matte Lipsticks. The NYX Round lipsticks are wonderfully pigmented with just the right amount of moisture and creaminess to them (not too creamy, not too dry) and deliver a very nice, smooth and half matte/half velvety finish…if that even makes sense. I find them to be great for both daily casual and occasional evening wear. The NYX Matte lipsticks apply smoothly with a finish that is just as they are described. Very richly and intensely pigmented, these lipsticks are for you gals that like to be flashy when they wanna get lippy. Go ahead and add some vibrant color to your lippiness with these babies.
So, what are your favorite brands and types of lipsticks? Feel free to let me in on how you like to get lippy, I’d love to hear from you 😉
This is a mini review on the different brands of eyeshadow primers I have purchased and used over the last few years. I’m not going to go into detail because there are quite a few primers I’m going to talk about, I’ll just be discussing the key points concerning the pros or cons of each product. Finally, I will be reviewing each item in no particular order!
1) Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion:
I’ve actually purchased and used this primer in its original version and the “Sin” version. They both feel and work the same way, in my opinion, with the only difference being the color of the primer. The UDPP in Sin has a sheer and shimmery pinkish-copper color to it and can also be used on the eyelid alone if you want a barely there frosty eyeshadow look. While I think this eyeshadow primer does help eyeshadow stay on longer than average, I don’t find it to be the “best” primer for me because my eyeshadow does still end up creasing after a few hours. The space on my eyelides seem almost non-existent when my eyes are open so eyeshadow tends to crease easily if I’m not wearing a good eyelid primer under it. I would recommend this primer for people who have wide spaced eyelids because it definitely does make the color of eyeshadows look more vibrant and last longer. I give this primer an 8/10.
This has got to be one of my favorite eyeshadow primers, ever. It’s definitely in my top 3 list of eyeshadow primers, that’s for sure. I love that it makes my eyeshadow last for ages without having to do any touch-ups. I love that it actually does prevent my eyeshadow from creasing and that it makes it look so much more pigmented. The cost of this product is ridiculously overpriced in Dubai because I buy it in London for half the price. Nevertheless, a little of the primer goes a long way so if you want to invest in something that’s top-notch in quality, you won’t be sorry with this baby. For me, it was an investment worth making. 10/10.
3) NYX Eyeshadow Base:
For a budget-friendly eyeshadow primer from a brand that’s considered to be “drugstore”, this product turned out to be a lot better than I expected. Very reasonably priced and very easy to apply. The product comes in a little jar so you can apply the primer with an eyeshadow brush or your fingers. Its soft and light-weight texture blends in so smoothly and easily that it feels like you never applied anything on your eyelid in the first place. It does a good job at making eyeshadow colors pop out and last long enough throughout the day. For me, I didn’t find it to be that effective at preventing eyeshadow from creasing but considering its price, I would purchase this item again. I like that it’s available in 3 colors: White, White Pearl and Skin Tone. I give this product an 8/10.
Decently priced for a brand that’s considered to be mid to high-end. It comes in a little jar and is very easy to apply with fingers or an eyeshadow brush. Even though its color (in the jar) appears to be medium-dark beige, it applies as a very light nude beige that merges with your skin tone as you blend it in. It does a very good job at making eyeshadow last longer and preventing its creasing. I would recommend this product for people who have eyelids that tend to get oily as it has a very smooth and matte finish. I give it a 9/10.
5) Benefit Lemon Aid Color Correcting Eyelid Primer:
The first thing I’d like to say about this product is that it is NOT for people whose eyelids tend to get oily or suffer from eyeshadow creasing. My eyelids only get oily-ish in really warm climates and since I do not have wide-spaced eyelids, eyeshadows crease easily with me. I did not find this product to be very beneficial for me as an eyeshadow primer that I would use regularly. However, during cold climates, this eyeshadow does work well enough for me. Still, I wouldn’t buy it again unless I decided to move to a cold country…which won’t be happening any time soon. For the sake of being objective, though, I would give this product a 9/10 for people who suffer from dry or dry/sensitive skin. For people who have combination or oily skin…I’d give it a 6.5/10.
6) NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils:
Okay, I know what some of you may be thinking….that NYX’s jumbo eye pencils are not eyeshadow primers. Okay, they’re not labeled as eyeshadow primers but that doesn’t mean we can’t use them as eyeshadow primers! If any of you have actually tried to use one of these babies as an eyeshadow primer, then you already know what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, go to the makeup store and buy at least ONE of them in a color that would work under most eyeshadows, like Milk or Cottage Cheese, and then go home and give it a try. (Or perhaps try it at the store, at least!) You might just be surprised. It really does create a good eyelid base for that eyeshadow color to stick to. Also, since it’s in a pencil-form, it makes applying it a breeze! For their pricing and effectiveness, I give those jumbo eye pencils a 9/10.
Here’s a little post about my favorite LUSH products.
Lemslip – I find this soap to be really good for oily skin. I use it on body during the hotter days of the year because that’s when my skin tends to get kinda greasy. I can really feel the difference after using it in the shower because it leaves my skin feeling extra clean, non-greasy and smooth, plus it smells pretty darn good. Kinda like lemon, coconut and honey mixed all together.
Honey I Washed The Kids – The smell of this soap is divine. I like using it as a handsoap but it can be used on the body as well. Smells as good as honey 😉
Rock Star – This soap reminds me of vanilla and cotton candy…because that’s what it kinda smells like to me. I love using it as a handsoap.
Godmother – Smells like bubble gum! Yum! I use it as a handsoap. Must constantly remind myself not to eat it whenever I smell it…
A Ring of Roses – This soap is really good for people with dry and/or sensitive skin, in my opinion, because it’s very moisturizing and gentle on the skin. I use this soap on my body during autumn and winter because that’s when my body’s skin tends to get dry, and since it is already quite sensitive, this soap is a great option for me during cooler climates. Plus, it smells great…
Herbalism – This is a face cleanser for oily skin. I love this stuff and when my skin tends to get oilier than usual or starts to break out, I add Herbalism to my daily face-cleansing routine. I only use it once a day, though, because using it too often makes my skin a little dry and irritable.
Brazened Honey – This is a face mask that (I think) can be used for any skin type. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for people with dry and sensitive skin. I have oily/sensitive skin but the oiliness makes it less sensitive than skin that’s dry and sensitive. I like this face mask because it leaves my skin feeling cleansed, refreshed and very smooth. I use it 2 to 3 times a week.
You can find these products in Dubai’s LUSH stores in Mercato Mall and Deira City Centre. I’m not sure if there is a LUSH store anywhere else in Dubai. However, I’d like to add that I did buy some of these products from LUSH stores in London so not all of them may be available in Dubai’s LUSH stores but I hope they are! You can get more info about them at: www.lush.co.uk
Have any of you tried any LUSH products? What are your favorites? Feel free to let me know in a comment below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂