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Showing posts from August, 2009

My 5 Must Have Make-up Items

Just like those must have 5 wardrobe items lists, this is my quick must have list of 5 make-up items that will multi-task to help you achieve all kinds of looks: office to glam.

1. Mascara in black: A good water-proof volumising/lengthening mascara can help your look go from office to glam in a matter of seconds. I would suggest Maybelline or Bourjois Mascaras.

2. NiveaLip Balm in Strawberry: It combines the nourishment of a lip balm with the subtle tint & shine of gloss. A quick swipe and your lips look nourished & polished.

3. Bronze colored glitter powder: This multi-tasker is a life-saver when you have to rush from office to a party. This shade suits most Indian women. You can
Swipe some on the eyes as eye-shadow, rub a pinch on the cheeks for a sun-kissed bronze look, apply some on top of the Nivea lip balm to add glitter to the lipsTry Maybelline Dream Moussee Bronzer in Sun Kissed

4. Maybelline Whitestay UV Compact/Liquid foundation: A nice compact to instantly brighten du…

Biotique Wheat Germ Cream - a review

Biotique's Wheat Germ Cream is a thick emollient cream meant for

1. Night use
2. Winter Use
3. Dry skin as per the instructions on the pack.

However I have noticed that this also translates very well into uses when
4. You spend the entire day in Air-conditioned environments (very drying for the skin)
5. You don't like lotions because they seem too flimsy and light and seem to keep drying off, necessitating re-application
6. You are using some creams that contains AHAs or Tretinoin - both dry/irritate the skin
7. You just wanna pamper your skin
8. As a Massage cream post a facial.

The ingredients are
5% Ankruit Gehun (Wheat Germ Oil): rich in Vitamins A, D, and E, B1, B2, B3, B6, F, Essential Fatty Acids, protein, and minerals. Promotes skin cell formation, and is great for nourishing and rejuvenating dry, mature, dehydrated skin, and reducing scars, stretch marks, sunburns, and damaged skin. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects.

Specifically, Wheat Germ Oil has bee…

Make Up Trends for Winter 2009

Image via Wikipedia Just setting you up a little early here so that you can stock up & look your best.

1. Matt Lipsticks: Yea, they are back gobally. Although I don't think they ever went away in India completely. The younger crowd is very into gloss, and thanks to the forays made by Maybelline, we have diamond-shine lip colors as well, but the gloss totting generation could look at re-visiting these beauties.

Tip: Lakme Enrich Lip Color is available in a number of matt shades (Rs. 175/-)

2. Berry Red Intense Lips: The color berry red is excepected to be very hot this winter, thanks to the world wide hype surrounding Twilight. The female leads of the movie are sporting this shade throught the movie & have become quite popular with teens. (I am yet to read the book though - *sigh*). So stock up on pretty shades of red, berries & fuchsia.

Tip: Lakme Lip Color Pencil in Berry (Rs. 299/-)

3. Just one product look: Very popular on the ramps right now, I don't know if this…

Himalaya Gentle Facewash Gel - Review

Although this is a face wash for oily skin, it is gentle enough for use by those of us with dry or sensitive skin as well. I first tried this during my stay at a completely organic hotel. All the toiletries were from Himalaya Herbals. I loved this the best of the lot & even bought a bigger pack when I came back. The face wash is packaged in a clear tube, the gel itself is also clear & has tiny, mysterious blue beads in it.

The company literature reads:

Gentle Soap-free daily use face wash to cleanse and refresh your skin.
A gentle face wash that nourishes and cleanses your skin while removing excess oil. Unlike soaps, Gentle Face Wash Gel does not leave the skin dry and feeling stretched. Enriched with Citron that has cooling effect, and Honey that deep cleanses the skin, it leaves your skin refreshed, softer and firmer.

Directions for Use:Moisten the face, massage gel all over the face gently. Wash off and pat dry. Use twice daily. Follow up withHimalaya Herbals Face Mo…

Petroleum Jelly

Image by stevec77 via Flickr I have had quite a checkered history as far as petroleum jelly is concerned. From a one time avid user in winters, I stopped all contact with it when I got access to the internet.
The net is full of sites that list the "horrifying" side-effects of Petroleum Jelly. From being the spawn of the Devil himself to contaminated with carcinogens, comodogenic, leaching the body of vitamins, all such allegations have been thrust upon it. For many years, I believed all of this.
Mineral Oil did break me out into pimples, so by association I banned the jelly as well.This was 8-10 years ago. I was 15 then.
For a recent winter trip, I picked up a tiny tub of Vaseline on a hunch. Just felt like stocking up. That turned out to be good thinking, as the winter wind was very dehydrating, and one by one all my moisturisers lay defeated by the way side.
Apprehensively, I opened up the Vaseline tub and gingerly applied it to my face, expecting the worst.
The formula seemed …

The Cost of Beauty

You saw a beauty product. It seems like the solution to all your problems, then you look at the price tag. And you decide that living with that problem seems like a better alternative to buying the product.

We all know, through experince, that the price of a product has little or no relevance to the efficiency of the product. Sometimes Lakme's simple lotions do the job better than Forest Essential's pricy lotions.

Image by roberto_berna via Flickr So exactly as a consumer do you pay for? Just the cream? No.. Most of you are knowledgeble enough & will know that we also pay for branding & packaging. But that is not all.
Digging into my learnings during my MBA here is a list of some of the common things you pay for:

1. The Marketing, Advertising & Branding: Like the fancy sounding name? You better, coz you have paid in part the fees to the professional who came up with it. The hoarding, the adverstisement, the models, the branding, the website - you have paid for all of …

Lakme Just Kissed Cheek & Lip Tint - Review

This is by far the best blush I have used. 

Correction:(24th August 09) This is by far the most natural looking blush I have used. This is certainly not the best as it requires skilled and extremely quick application. Further you need to either naturally porcelain clear skin with no acne blemishes (not me) or else a thick layer of foundation. So this is not easy to incorporate into a daily quick 5 minute routine. The blush is more of a stain and more often than not I ended up looking splotchy rather than glowing. The tint settled into my acne scars & made them more redder and even more prominent. Not exactly the effect i was looking for. I realised this after struggling for over a month with this tint. It worked marvellously when I had some concealer & foundation on my skin. But it requires a lot of deft practice &; quick strokes. 

Will I buy this again: No, I don't think so, since I don't use a foundation daily.

Review: (posted earlier) This is a liquid gel like blu…

Frugal Beauty Tips

Image by 0range County Girl via Flickr As a, well in respectable terms, a make-up junkie, I have managed to accumulate a lot of products that look nice & snazzy in the bottle, but fail to live up to their claims on the skin.

Sometimes you outgrow the need for them.

Some of these can be re-used in other ways.


1. Use as body lotion (I try not to buy body lotions, because I know that in my beauty travels, I will end up with moisturisers that are either comodogenic or well, just not good enough. But my arms & feet are always willing consumers for these things)

2. Use as make-up remover: Most moisturisers double up beautifully as cleansers

3. Use as cuticle conditioner: Rub it into your finger nails every night

4. Exfoliator: add a spoonful of sugar to equal quantity of moisturiser and use immediately as a gentle body scrub.

5. Thick creams like Nivea are very good substitutes for oil during body massages.

Exfoliating Scrub

1. Body scrub: too harsh for your face? use it…

The importance of preservatives in skin care

You will have come across a lot of sites on the net that talk about the dangers of preservatives in skin care and lotions in horrifying terms. Mutagenic, Carinogenic, abrasive, corrosive are some of the terms used freely to describe them.

Preservatives are dangerous. But only in large quanitites. Like gallons. Not in the minute quantities that our creams contain.

In fact if creams were formulated without them, the resulting microbial contamination would be far more toxic to our skin & health than these preservatives can ever be.

Would you like to see what our creams would be like without preservatives? Watch the video below.

Vitamin K - Update

Those of you read my Post on Vitamin K & dark circles will remember the very disappointing news at the end that Vitamin K eye products are still not avaialble in India. Guess what! Now they are. I was just staring around at the the chemist (while my hubby was picking up some meds) the other day when I spotted this cream for under eye dark circles by Vichy. (Vichy Laboratories is a part of the Loreal Group & is the No. 1 skincare brand in European pharmacies.)

It is called Bi-White Advanced Anti-Dark Circles whitening corrective eyecare (that is quite a mouthful) and the pack said it was formulated with Vitamin K & that it had proven results on Asian Skin.

I was really excited to see it, however I was soon deflated when I saw the price Rs. 1750/- for 15 ml, and meekly returned it back to counter and kept looking at it with longing eyes.

For those of who you have a need strong enough, now there is a solution.

Have any of you readers tried this product? Share your reviews..

DIY Ginger in Skin Care

The spotlight today shines on Ginger. Ginger is an underground tuber that is widely used in Indian & Chinese cooking for its wonderful sweet & tangy taste. It delivers a wonderful punch to food when added along with Garlic and can be found in all Indian kitchens. Ginger is the most widely used and available herbal remedy on the planet, with billions of people using it every day as both food and medicine.

Image via Wikipedia

But enough about its culinary use, lets get down to what makes it rock in skin care.

1. Potent Anti-oxidant
Ginger has a potent antioxidant gingerol, which means it inhibits harmful free radicals that cause skin damage and aging. It also contains essential fatty acids / omega-3 fatty acids (α-Linolenic acid)

2. Acne
Ginger is anti-bacterial and can prevent pimples from sprouting. It is rich in Zinc which aids in tissue healing, helps prevent scarring, regulates the activity of the immune system, and helps heal wounds.
Essential fatty acids found in ginger as …

Cleansers - Garnier Gentle Cleansing Milk

The third in the series, today I look at Garnier Cleansing Milk.

The company literature reads

Is Garnier Gentle Cleansing Milk right for me?Yes, if you want a product that cleanses and tones – in one step. Formulated for all skin types, it removes all face, lip and eye make-up.How does it work?Its creamy formula blends a gentle cleansing agent with selected ingredients: Mango extract to nourish and soften your skin.
Vitamin e to protect your skin.
Your skin feels soft, supple and fresh – without any oily film.
High Claims right? Let's see if it lives up to them
1. Cleansing: This is very, very good at taking off even the most water proof & toughest make-up. Water-proof mascara comes off without raccoon eyes, in a single step. It also seems to deep clean more effectively as compared to other cleansers. A lot of grime seems to come off my skin. This thing knows its job & does it well. I give it a 10/10 here.
2. Effect on skin: They come through on another promise: No oily film. Un…

Cleansers - Himalaya Deep Cleansing Milk - A Review

To continue this series on cleansers we today look at Himalaya Deep Cleansing Milk. The company website says: Himalaya Herbals Deep Cleansing Milk is a gentle cleanser that effectively deep cleanses by dissolving dirt, oil and make-up and leaves your skin refreshingly clean. Cucumber soothes and keeps your facial skin soft. Soapnut penetrates deep into pores and effectively cleans excess oily secretions. Regular use makes your skin refreshingly clean, healthy and radiant.
Cucumbur (Cucumis Sativus) (100mg) Shikimate dehydrogenase is extracted from cucumber pulp. It helps to keep the facial skin soft, has healing and soothing effect on the damaged skin and exerts a natural sunscreen. It acts as a toner and lightens the facial skin.

Soapnut (Sapindus Mukorossi) (20 mg) Contains Saponins. It cleanses the skin of oily secretion and is even used as a cleanser for washing hair and a hair tonic, and forms a rich, natural lather.Onto my 3 pronged test:

1. Cleansing: I admit, I was very floored…

Cleansers: Lakme Deep Pore Cleanser - Review

A reader Zwala, had requested for a review of Lakme Deep Pore Cleanser. As I sat down to write this I went over the various cleansers I have used over the last two years & thought it would be nice to do a comparative review.

I start off with Lakme. All cleansers will be reviewed on similar parameters on the following parameters

1. Cleansing power: is it able to take off the most water-proof resistant mascara without giving me raccoon eyes

2. Effect on skin: Is it drying to the skin, softness and smoothness of skin after use.

3. Ease of use: is it a simple apply and wipe off. Or longer.

Let's start with Lakme. I use a lot of make-up from their 9 to 5 range, which is a little difficult to take-off with just soap & water. So I bought their "deep-pore" cleanser. It is formulated with Vitamin E extracts that nourish while cleansing. The picture above is a little old. I could not find a newer photo, the bottle color has been changed to a peachy-pink. I don't know i…

Aroma Magic Fairy Lotion - How to Use

A reader Litchi, posted a question asking me a method for applying the Aroma Magic Fairy lotion.

For those of you who have not used it, it is watery liquid that helps clarify & brighten skin tone. I will be reviewing that shortly, but first to answer Litchi's question.

The lotion is very runny, very watery making it a little difficult to use. The bottle says that one ought to apply it to the face. (not very helpful)

Here is what I do:
1. I have transferred the contents into a spray mist bottle. I first lightly mist my entire face & neck with the solution. Even if you don't have a mister, don't fret. Just take half-a-spoonful of the solution and pat all over face.
2. Very quickly take a pea-sized amount of moisturizer, (when the face is still wet with the lotion) and rub all over face, mixing the Fairy lotion well into the moisturizer. Continue until it is absorbed. (The lotion gets trapped in the oils of the moisturizer, thereby ensuring longer & greater contac…

DIY Coffee for Skin Care

First it was Tea, now Coffee is the newest 'IT' thing these days in cosmetics & skin care products. From under-eye creams to anti-wrinkle creams, all are racing to add this latest wonder product

What makes it so great?
Coffee can keep your skin healthy in a lot of different ways. Other than preventing skin cancer and melanoma-related diseases, coffee has anti-oxidant ingredients that can help:Image via WikipediaYour skin be free of different radicals that can cause inflammation & aging
Improve the flow of blood in your skinBreak up fatty deposits which cause those ugly cellulitesClear up your skin of acne and other blemishesAct as sunblock and prevent sunburn and wrinkles (not proven through)
Absorb and neutralize strong odors such as fish and other smellsHelps lighten & tighten skinIs a pore-cleanser
Personally I am not sure it is as great as it is being made out to be, but it smells lovely & I think a pinch added to weird smelling home made packs won't hurt.