Friday, November 28, 2014

LIFESTYLE | Shopping at Chumbak

Currently I'm into all things Indian. Be it beauty brands or any other lifestyle brand, as long as its purely to-the-core desi, I want to explore it. Chumbak has been on my lust list for a while now but I never really got to try it until recently. I was in dire need of a wallet, my much-loved Iconic wallet had seen better days and I wanted something similar which will give me months of tedious use without falling apart too soon (as is the case when you buy one for INR 150 from the roadside hawkers at Crawford Market, say). 

With that being said, I wasn't going for a Chumbak wallet initially. Mainly I was just doing my everyday bit of online screen-shopping when my eyes read "Tech wallet" on the Chumbak website. I had no idea what a tech wallet was so me being my usual curious self, hit open the link to see what it was. And I immediately wanted it. It had a money compartment, zip-up coin purse, enough card slots and also an outside compartment for mobile. It seemed compact and to the point, and it was Indian! Sooo why not? Moral of the post - I got a reason to do more shopping, yay! 





Now frankly, I have always liked (and admired) the funky, waaacky prints that Chumbak uses on all of their products. I am not an animal-print person so I was debating between the 'lock and key' print and 'pencil ikat' print. Pencil Ikat won because it was extremely bright with lime green pencil-eraser details and neon yellow zip and detachable wrist strap. The inside too is a shocking pink color.

Also while I was picking out my fancy wallet, I couldn't help but admire their cute, aw so cute charms which can be easily attached to a necklace, charm bracelet, clutches, key-chains and what not. I picked a gorgeous mini-est camera charm which had a sparkling crystal on it. And before I could go on a full on shopping spree, I placed my order eagerly. Delivery took an exact 5 days, I got appropriate SMSs and emails giving me updates about my order. So that's a two thumbs-up for their online site and service!

Coming to the wallet itself, it is made of printed fabric, looks gorgeous and is sturdy. I am already using it and it seems I'll probably get along with it for a decent while. My one disappointment is, I couldn't fit my Samsung S5 in the mobile pouch, sob! If I push it in too hard, it fits but it's a very snug one. Sucks when you get a call and you are struggling to remove your phone out. And I was really looking forward to keeping my entire everyday essentials in one place but no hope for my mobile here. The wallet itself is a bit pricey (INR 895) but if you are looking to invest for long-term use, it is a good deal.




Finally to my camera charm (INR 295), just how cute is it? Haven't I said 'cute' way too many times already? But I can't help it. It is exactly how I imagined it and I keep changing its location from my wrist to my wallet and also hang it to my key ring. 

Overall, I am much impressed with the brand already, and am looking forward to exploring more handy items! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

BEAUTY | Bourjois Java Rice Powder



A favorite among beauty enthusiasts, Bourjois Java Rice Powder is an ideal highlighter and acts as a great setting powder too. I got one myself after many months of self-persuasion but never got around to reviewing it here.  

Java Rice Powder is a pale pink powder with minute silver shimmer. This powder was first introduced by Bourjois 150+ years ago and was relaunched with vintage packaging on their anniversary last year. Before I describe the powder itself, let's all gush about its packaging. It is beyond gorgeous, nothing fancy or funky, with an old world charm to it. The entire text and design is so pleasing to the eyes, I could gaze at it forever (okay, mild exaggeration).

About the powder, it has the most finely milled rice powder with a delicate rose fragrance. It is so velvety in texture, like talc, and blends like a dream. Although the shimmer in the powder is decent, I strongly recommend using a light hand. My first few uses ended up with a shiny face so... ahem. Once you know the trick to using it appropriately, it serves a variety of purposes. An all-over face dusting ensures dewy glow on the skin which looks natural and fresh. A little powder over blush and along the temples and brow bone bring out the high points of the face. It can also be used to dust it lightly over the body for glowing skin. 



A standard pot contains 3.5 mg product which is quite a lot once you master the trick to using it. I can find no particular con, everything about it is just amazing. Priced at KWD 5.500 in Kuwait and INR 1050 and usually at discounts, I feel it is worth its price tag. I totally adore this product and would definitely repurchase. How do you find the Java Rice Powder? What are your other Bourjois favorites? 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BEAUTY | Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liner (Electrics) - Lazer Green


"I found my favorite green liner!". There! I just had to say it. Maybelline India recently released their Hyper Glossy Electrics range which features five glossy electrical hues, to suit everyone's tastes. Mine could anyway be nothing but green and the shade Lazer Green (aptly named) was bang on target! 

The color is a shiny metallic sea green which also looks like a deep teal and sometimes leans slightly towards blue, all depending on the lighting. It also has a hint of the most minuscule gold shimmer which imparts a lovely sheen to it. This has to be one of the most daring colors I have tried in terms of a liquid liner. I am a strictly "black liner only" person and trying out different colors isn't my usual thing. This pretty thing has got me changing my mind!



The texture is smooth and application is easyyy. I can draw a moderately thick line with a single stroke. Note that it takes a fair bit of time to dry so no blinking too soon please. But once it dries, it doesn't budge. Nope. Not at all. It is smudge-free and long lasting. The only thing that can get that thing off is makeup remover - as and when you want it. Until then you can enjoy the day/night away without worry. The pricing is decent, at INR 275 it is a fair deal. Maybelline India has upped their game by launching new products that are affordable and stylishly chic. These eye liners are going to be a hit among the younger lot. 



Above are the other shades that I tried at the MNY kiosk. Purple (Violet Volt) is my next favorite in this lot! Which one do you like?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

BEAUTY | NYX Eye Shadow Base - Skin Tone

Wearing an eye shadow base certainly has its benefits. The colors appear more vibrant, do not crease, last longer and altogether make sure you are pulling off an amazing eye look throughout the day/night. While hunting down some primers and bases specifically for eyes, I realized I hadn't tried the infamous NYX base ever. And there were modest reviews about all the three variants. The white base gave a boost to make the eye shadows look more vibrant, the pearly base gave off a satin sheen to the eye shadows and the skin tone basically neutralized any dark patch or veining.

I immediately zeroed in on the Skin Tone base because I have very visible veining on my eyelid and anything that hid it was a hit with me. Coming to its texture, it is mildly creamy but needs to be blended out fast otherwise it settles and may look patchy in some places. It hides the imperfections very well so you have a clean flawless base to work upon. Although, if you're one of the paler lot, this will look orangey on you.



The eye shadows are beautifully blended out and look naturally bright. All this within the first one or two hours only because after that, there is creasing. A lot of creasing. And for those who have oily and mobile eyelids (me, sigh!), this is a big no-go. So, even though I am satisfied with the way it brings out my eye shadow colors, it is practically of no use if the whole look is messed up within a few hours.

I am so disappointed that this isn't working out for me. I have tried many methods to make the base last longer. I have powdered the base and then applied eye shadows over it, I have even layered the base (silly of me!) but that made it worse! So if you're one who has normal or dry skin, you can easily come to love the product. It definitely works great and is an overall good product. 

Prices vary from store to store and it is usually available on discount.

Friday, October 3, 2014

BEAUTY | Maybelline Color Sensational Shine Gloss - Pink Shock



Such a long, long while since I last posted. I missed blogging terribly so. There were so many hits and misses these past couple of months and I have a long list of products that deserve reviewing. Today I want to get back on track with a simple review of a much loved product of mine: Maybelline's Color Sensational Shine Gloss in Pink Shock. 

It is a vibrant barbie pink color with absolutely no shimmer or glitter. Just pure pink pleasure. If it was a lipstick, it would be a hard color to pull of, especially by warmer skin tones. But since it is a gloss, the pigmentation is light and it coats lips with a glossy light pink color. Nothing overpowering at all. Apply a single swipe and you're good to go for a casual day out with bare minimum makeup. It also doesn't last that long on the lips; a mere hour or so until the balmy texture fades away to leave behind a barely visible tint. Point to note: The color might not show up well if you have pigmented lips. 



Thankfully, it is not at all sticky in texture; the one thing that really puts me off when choosing lip glosses! I mean, who would want their pout sticky like glue, right?! The entire Shine range of glosses have a good color variety with some shimmery shades as well so as to suit everyone's choices. One Shine Day is a lovely alternative for Pink Shock; a warmer pink shade with silver shimmer.

It is available for INR 350 in India and KWD 3.500. Easily available online and in stores.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

BEAUTY | Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream - Rose Beige



There's no denying that Bourjois pumps out awesome products every single year (Rouge Velvets!). And they are bang on about this amazing thing too. I recently picked up the CC cream from their 123 Perfect range. This CC cream was launched along with a liquid pen-type concealer and this duo has been a favorite all over the world since their launch. Why, you say? 

Well, for starters its the 3 color deal. It claims to have 3 different color pigments namely green, apricot and white which combat redness, paleness/fatigue and dark spots respectively. This itself sounds too good to be true, right? Who wouldn't want a miracle product erasing all signs of dullness and spots to give a flawless finish? So does it deliver its promise?

Yes it does! Overall my skin has been behaving a lot nicely so I haven't got much to report on acne or redness. But boy does it give a clean and flawless look! The cream itself is quite runny and the first time was messy because I couldn't figure out how much I would require and so pumped out more product than needed. Overtime I realized that very little is needed for full-face application and it blends seamlessly without much fuss. It doesn't dry out quickly so there is enough time to work it into the skin. There is no sign of dullness or spots anywhere on the face and it gives a fresh glowing look instantly. The finish is matte yet dewy and won't look too bad even if you have oily skin. However I must inform that this gives light to medium coverage and it won't be suited for those who require heavier coverage.

Lasting power is fantastic, I have crossed an entire 8 hour mark without my makeup fading and I'm quite impressed. Although such long lasting claim needs testifying in the intense summer heat too so I hope it works equally well now that summer's started. It fared fairly well till now with 4 hours of coverage after which I needed to dab some finishing powder on my T-zone. At the moment I have the shade 33 - Rose Beige which is a tad bit darker than my actual skin tone but I picked this up as you should always go a shade darker in summer. It's barely noticeable anyway but I'll probably go for shade 32 - Beige Clair during winter. A definite repurchase for me.

With the bout of BB/CC creams lately, it is hard to decide which one to go for. Two thumbs up on this one if you are looking for a mild coverage everyday cream! You will love the difference, or rather the enhancement it brings to your skin. 

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC cream retails at KWD 4.500 at all Bourjois counters in Lifestyle, Boots, and VaVaVoom stores. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Avanti Palace Restaurant - Hawally


There's nothing better than having lunch with your family on a weekend! And to be having it in one of Kuwait's best Indian joints is the icing on the cake. Avanti Palace Restaurant recently opened its second branch in Hawally (Tunis St., Hisham Center) and they are one of the best places for some delicious food from Indian, Arabic, Continental and Chinese cuisines. They also offer Outdoor Catering and Live Cooking services.

The ambiance of the restaurant is very pleasing to the eyes with delicate hues of orange. The entire floor is skillfully organized into a Party Hall which can head up to 125 persons at a time, 11 Private Cabins, a Conference Room and beautifully arranged seating otherwise. 

We asked to be seated in one of the private cabins which is spacious enough for 6 persons (we were 6!). The lighting/seating was comfortable yet practical. 

Here are some pictures of the delicious food we tried!


Fattoush

Moutabbal

Tabbouleh

Veg Sizzler

Avanti Special Tandoor Platter

Chicken Maratha

Veg Kolhapuri

Veg Singaporean Rice

Gulab Jamun


Falooda

It was a truly satisfying experience! And I rate the service and food 10/10 !!! Do try Avanti Palace in Hawally or Salmiya (Faize Commercial Complex) when you want to give your taste buds some delectable treats!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

SKINCARE | The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask


Today is yet another day when I am reviewing a TBS gem that I discovered a few months back. The name TBS Vitamin E Sink-in Moisture Mask is quite a mouthful and so is its deliverance. This is a "sink-in" mask as the name suggests and is to be applied so that it sinks into the skin to hydrate it from deep within. Call it what you may but this is some seriously yummy food for skin that's dehydrated and needs extra care. The mask comes in a standard twist-lid tub and has a pretty light pink color. To me, it smells of my Grandma. And also like the original moisturizer by Nivea. The scent is nothing new and I feel like I have smelt it a hundred times before. The texture, however is a cross between a cream and jelly, and applies like a dream.

Apply a generous layer over your face & neck, and then relax back to watch some TV while the mask does its work. It gives a cool sensation for a few minutes and you can actually feel the skin drinking up the cream. During the few initial uses that I had this on, I used to think the longer I kept it, the softer and more moisturized my skin will be. But somehow I used to feel a little warm (warning signal?) all over my skin after a while. It never reacted badly with my skin though. The mask doesn't dry but stays as it is like a cream, and so I wash off after a while although it is your choice - you can blend it into the skin or just wipe it with tissue after you are done.

I have come across some negative reviews about the mask, some saying that it made their skin red and inflamed. That's surprising because it has never broken me out nor made my skin red/itchy whatsoever. In fact, I am mightily pleased with the way it makes my skin amazingly soft and supple. It looks healthy and intensely hydrated. Whenever I use this mask, I don't feel the need for moisturizer for an entire day, my skin is that good on its own. I would highly recommend this to those who complain of dry skin or those with parched, dehydrated skin that needs a good dose of intense moisture.

Vitamin E Sink-in Mask retails at KWD 3.000 at all TBS Stores. 
Price in India: INR 1195

Thursday, May 15, 2014

BEAUTY | YSL Rouge Volupte Shine - 14 Corail in Touch



How could I deny myself the absolute luxury? There had to come a time when I would give in and lay my eager hands on a YSL lippie and so it did. It was initially a perfume spree that I was on but my over-excited eyes popped looking at the testers on the YSL counter in Debenhams. I just had to swatch some. And when you start on the swatching, you end up buying at least one product for sure! The shade I couldn't resist was #14 Corail in Touch. Springtime and no coral? Hah, impossible. It was the perfect moment and the perfect shade. 

Corail in Touch is from the Rouge Volupte Shine range which lends an aqua effect - meaning it looks glossy and has a wet look when applied. It is a lovely orangey coral in the tube but is quite sheer when applied; a peachy-coral with barely there hints of pink and absolutely no shimmer/glitter. It builds up to medium opacity and has great texture. Its silk, I tell you, its SILK. You can hardly feel you have put something on. Besides being ultra-moisturizing, it applies sheer and those who are afraid to pack on a high intensity color can heave a sigh of relief. This gives the perfect amount of gloss and color to the lips without being overdone. It smells peachy, like seriously a plump juicy peach!

I may have tried many lip colors over the years but I officially announce this shade to be my best ever. Not because its YSL, no. It is the color that I am digging. It is my shade, the color that I am most comfortable to wear any day. And I dunno how long I'll take to finish this tube, but this shade is one that I am going to restock all my life. I do hope YSL never decides to discontinue it, never ever. 

About its longevity, I'd say its better not to expect a lot from it since its only giving you light coverage. I'll give it up to 3 hours of wear as I have tried it on many different days. No application has lasted me over 3 hours. I have had to reapply but I can hardly complain. Who wouldn't want to show off a YSL lippie with such stunning packaging again and again? The glossy effect wears off after a while though but it leaves behind a pretty stain. No doubt one of my best purchases ever.

Rouge Volupte Shine retails at KWD 14.500 in YSL counters in Debenhams and Harvey Nichols. 
Price in India: INR 1900 (although availability is sometimes an issue).

Saturday, May 3, 2014

FRAGRANCE | The Body Shop - Indian Night Jasmine Fragrance Mist





While I was on a TBS spree a few weeks ago, I picked up the Indian Night Jasmine mist. It is one of the EDTs launched a couple of years ago under the "Scents of the World" range. I had never tried this one before, it smelled decent when I tested it in stores but I never got around to actually purchasing it. This time I wanted to deviate from my usual musks and Love etc so this pretty purchase happened. And boy am I glad! 

This is such a light floral scent with hints of sandalwood which makes it oriental and exotic at the same time. On spraying, you get a clear whiff of orange blossoms and jasmine but it isn't heady or overly obtrusive (as jasmines usually are) but is more of a gentler and lush version of it. There is a great dose of sandalwood and neroli in it which might be bothersome to those who were looking for a stronger jasmine scent. It has the right amount of sweetness and is a lovely floral altogether.

I'd say this lasts around 4-5 hours on me after which it dries down to a very mild creamy scent, barely noticeable yet still lingering. All in all, its a great offering - perfect notes, appropriate sillage and great price.

Ideal for all seasons, I highly recommend anybody wanting a mild and lovely scent. This one usually reminds me of daytime strolls and sun warming your back while you carry your shopping bags in one hand and a cool drink in another. With summer approaching fast enough, this is the perfect time for a delicate & pretty bottle of Indian Night Jasmine. You won't regret it!

Indian Night Jasmine retails at KWD 5.500 (100ml) at all The Body Shop stores across Kuwait.
Price in India: INR 995 (100ml)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

SKINCARE | LUSH Fresh Face Mask - Cosmetic Warrior




For someone like me, waking up to find a shiny bumpy zit on the face every single day is nothing new. In fact, the wonder (or rather disgust) has totally worn off. It has now become something to just sigh and accept. I may have tried countless acne-fighting products from such a vast variety that's available hoping I would find an HG product which would take away all my acne-related problems. Alas, no such luck. 

But there are a few products in my stash that really help in keeping my acne under control. One such is LUSH's Cosmetic Warrior face mask. It has the goodness of raw garlic and tea tree oil which are proven acne fighting ingredients. Add in an all-rounder like honey and you are good to go. Fortunately all these ingredients suit my sensitive skin. 

Its texture is slightly gooey yet spreads easily and it has small pieces of garlic in it that cling to the skin when applied. Me being me, I purposely stick any straying pieces to specific zits hoping it will be more effective. Although I have to warn you of its smell. It is very strong and stings the nose. For those who can't stand strong tea-tree/medicinal type scents, you'll have to skip this. I tend to tolerate anything as long as it benefits me in any way be it for hair or skin so I'm fine with it.

Whenever I have applied Cosmetic Warrior (I always apply it whenever there's a fresh wave of breakouts all over my face!), it has dramatically reduced the redness in just one application. Continuous application for three days straight and my face is clearer with no redness and scars. It dries up the oncoming acne/pimples effectively.

There is one side effect though, it does make the skin feel dry (which can be bad as it will accelerate the production of oil on the face) but I apply a light moisturizer immediately after washing off so that's taken care of. 


Cosmetic Warrior really is a knight (in matte black tub?) who helps us damsels in distress by waging a war against those acne baddies. It is one of my absolute skincare staples. One tub lasts me a little over a month as I alternate between a Warrior and other masks. The validity for each tub is 3 weeks and it is to be kept in the fridge at all times, but I've never had any issues even though I have gone over a month while using it. 

One 75gm tub retails at KWD 4.500 and is easily available at LUSH stores and online (www.lushkuwait.com).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BEAUTY | The Body Shop Bronzing Powder - Warm Glow



A few weeks ago when TBS held its 25% off on all products promotion, I picked up this shimmer bronzer with the hope that it gives me a healthy highlighted effect. It is a bronzing powder, yes, but it is such a light shade that it looks more like a highlighter to me. The shade I have is 02 - Warm Glow. It can best be described as a light brown color with champagne and pink veining. I tried to pick up its full effect but even then the picture doesn't do it full justice. Also, I forgot to capture it while it was still unused but me being me, I had to use it as soon as I got. Duh. Once swatched, it appears to be a subtle peachy shade.

To add a little woe, it is much more shimmery than I'd like it to be. With that being said, this has to be used with a very light hand. I really, truly mean that. The first time I used it, my face was a shining clown. Since the color itself is on the lighter side, it was difficult for me to grasp that I might be packing on much too much shimmer on my face. The result was an extra-shiny face on camera that had me embarassed, LOL.

The formula is pretty pigmented and soft with minor fallout. It has decent lasting power and very little is needed for a flush of warmth on your cheeks. This is apt for summer when you don't want to pack on a brighter cheek color but are only looking for a subtle warm glow. 


For fair skin, this will show up more prominently. Since I have light to medium skin tone, it gives me an overall healthy glow and blends well with my tone. Did this satisfy my highlighter hope? Not perfectly, I'm still on the lookout for a better version with lesser shimmer, but this is a very good alternative for those au naturale looks. 

I've only just started exploring TBS cosmetics & makeup range. I've been a great fan of their skin care and body care ranges for years and I'm mightily impressed with a fair few makeup products that I've picked up for trial.

Warm Glow bronzing powder retails at KWD 6.250 and can be found at all TBS stores.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

BEAUTY | Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipstick - Shocking Coral

You've no idea how desperate I am to rock neon bright lips every single day of my life, but unfortunately that's only the hidden part of me. I don't have enough guts to do that in real. But there comes a day now and then when I pluck up the courage and go neon full blast. That's one of my happy days! And that happy day is today. I have a very pretty neon coral lippie to review. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rimmel | Apocalips Lip Lacquer - Nova

It's the beginning of another Spring and just in time for it, I've a super pretty pink shade to rock on! Before I begin describing Nova, I have to declare - if you haven't tried Apocalips, you're definitely missing out! They are fantastic - a supreme lip product which gives excellent color payoff & last a long while without drying your lips!

Nova is a beautiful fuschia pink shade with no shimmer.  Since it is a liquid lip color, it comes with a sponge applicator with a little dent in it, to suck up more product I think. And you actually really need only one swipe to coat your lips with rich color rather than dipping the wand again and again into the tube for more. And with this color; the lighter your skin tone is, the brighter it will show up. It will turn out to be a brighter bubblegum pink on fair skin but a muted pink on dusky tones.
One thing I'm not sure is whether I like or hate the smell. They smell really weird, I haven't smelt anything like these before on a makeup product. To me they remind of fresh avocado juice. Like seriously! Sure, it isn't ugh but then it isn't very pleasant either. Fortunately it disappears within minutes of applying. I've just accepted it as it is but do wish Rimmel at least makes them smell like vanilla or something.

The lasting power is pretty amazing - upto 8 hours. By then the glossy texture isn't there anymore but the color stays quite strong. If you have dry, flaky lips it is extremely important to exfoliate them prior to applying these because they accentuate the flaky bits. Once the color wears off, it leaves behind a strong pink tint.

There isn't one shade of Apocalips that isn't drool-worthy. All of them are fab and worth every dime you pay. Which is your favorite color? Would you give Nova a try?
***
Price: KWD 4.200
Recommendation: All the shades of Apocalips range are worth trying!
Rating: 5/5