Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lakme | Complexion Care (CC) Cream

Lakme CC Cream - Beige
Ever since their reinvention a few years back, Lakme has brought in some amazing products in their collection. I hauled back on some goodies but never got around to reviewing them so here goes. Presenting Lakme's answer to quick, easy daily makeup: their very own Complexion Care cream providing sheer coverage.

Complexion Care cream claims to moisturize and refresh while giving a unified glow to the skin. From instant brightening, diffusion of dark spots, blending uneven skin tone to an SPF of 20, this one has it all. The texture is creamy, easy to blend and does not streak. 

The only problem? Only 2 shades!

I picked the shade Beige, the lighter one, and although I'm generally in a light-medium skin tone category, I still feel I want more pink/yellow undertones in this. Just any undertone, please! It blends out evenly onto my skin but sucks in all of my natural color; kind of makes me look bland and just "white n bright". Whereas in comparison, the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream (which I love to bits!) is like second skin to me. This does not mean Lakme loses the battle. I want more shades, currently they only offer 2. Though the idea of a CC cream is to blend imperfections and make skin glow rather than be a full coverage foundation, there still needs some variety in terms of available colors as not every skin tone will match within their limited 2 shade range. Just my opinion!

Priced at a reasonable INR 265, this is a great pick for every day use provided it matches to your skin tone. For me it was a dud only because of the blah-ness of the shade, otherwise it is a near-perfect example of an "everyday skin stylist"!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Avene | Cleanance Gel

Avene Cleanance Gel
I'm mightily impressed with my fave Avene Thermal Spring Water for refreshing and hydrating my skin, so I like browsing through the Avene shelves knowing that it is the main ingredient in all of their other products. The Avene India team recommended me to try their Cleanance Gel when I asked them for suggestions and I immediately picked this up as I have acne-prone/sensitive skin. 

Cleanance Gel is a soap-free cleanser and has Glyceryl Laurate to combat acne. A mint colored gel, it lathers very well and has a clean scent, nothing too overpowering. The packaging is simple with a hole in the twist cap that dispenses the gel. A pea sized amount is all you need, thus a single bottle lasts for ages. Like seriously, AGES. 

Avene Cleanance Gel

Avene Cleanance Gel 
Coming back to the product itself, although it says its suitable for oily/blemish prone skin, my skin feels a little tight once I rinse off. When I first started using Cleanance gel, I was suffering from an intense acne breakout with red rashes all over my face. A huge plus is that using this cleanser never broke me out which was a relief as you tend to doubt every product initially. It also dries the active acne/pimples to a point where the redness does not itch or burn. 

I don't know if this alone helped to reduce my acne as I used a lot of acne products/remedies simultaneously but it certainly fared well with my entire acne-skin CTM routine at that time. I must admit it does a great job of everyday cleansing. It is very mild and gentle so you're definitely not stressing out your already hyper skin, I have to give it that. 

Priced at KWD 9.300 / INR 1100, this one is a keeper!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Maybelline | Golds - Color Show Nail Colors

Today's post is a little different, I am showcasing my 3 gorgeous golden nail paint shades, all by Maybelline and its Color Show collection but from different ranges. Golden hues are heavily seen during the wedding season and are a staple in every day life as well. Shiny, glittery gold nails amp up any normal look and is an easy way out to glam up an otherwise boring outfit.
Maybelline Color Show - Bold Gold
To start with, here's the shade 008 Bold Gold from Maybelline's original Color Show range. It is a shiny metallic gold with no chunky glitter at all. It gives a sleek and sophisticated look which can be worn for formal events as well. It is quite opaque in a single coat but a second coat helps for good measure. 

Maybelline Color Show Bright Sparks - Burnished Gold
Next up is my favorite copper gold with an extra dash of shimmer in its already metallic finish. It is 707 Burnished Gold from the Bright Sparks range which was launched exclusively for Diwali. I am assuming most MNY counters still carry this range. This color is the perfect shade for those coppery-golden (oxidized look kinda) traditional wear that we see nowadays. I love pairing it with many of my Indian Anarkali outfits because it matches these earthy tones so well. 

Maybelline Color Show Glitter Mania - All That Glitters
And now here's the glitterball of this tiny gold lot, the shade 601 All that Glitters from Glitter Mania range. A pale gold with silver and golden chunky glitter, this one is a gorgeous pairing to any rock-chic outfits and for daily casual use. The finish & texture is mildly gritty like beach sand. The only downside is that it takes forever to remove due to the heavy glitter content. 

What are your favorite finishes when it comes to nail polishes? Do you prefer sand, faux fur or plain and smooth textures?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bourjois | Aqua Laque Lipstick

Bourjois Aqua Laque Lipstick - Appechissant , Babe Idole

Bourjois Aqua Laque Lipstick - Appechissant, Babe Idole

When the Aqua Laque lipsticks were first announced, I didn't think they'd take over my love for Velvets but now I have to admit, they have made a permanent place in my beauty stash. I must give credit to the Bourjois team for coming up with amazing products in the past few years, I haven't found any that I have really disliked to be honest.

Coming back to these lipsticks, the shades that are introduced here in the Middle East are 01 to 08 ranging from peachy nudes to bright bold reds. I realized recently that I have way too many reds and I hardly wear a bold red lip anyway so I steered clear of the brighter shades. However I picked a couple of gorgeous day-wear shades that are bound to appeal to everyone.
Bourjois Aqua Laque Lipstick - Appechissant, Babe Idole

Bourjois Aqua Laque Lipstick - Appechissant, Babe Idole

First up is 01 Appechissant, a beautiful peachy nude color with the mildest pink hints. This would be more or less an MLBB shade for many. This is perfect for office wear. Next, and possibly my favorite pink ever (and I don't like pinks usually) is 08 Babe idole that is a sweetheart baby-pink shade. It is great to pair on beach picnics and anything informal as such. 

Both shades have medium opacity and the only downside is that they aren't as pigmented as Velvets but then its unfair to compare them as they are both so very different. The packaging is alike for both though, but these have glossy matching caps. The formula of these colors is cool to the touch and gel-like. Also, it takes time to evenly distribute the color on the lips. They are extremely hydrating but the glossy finish wears off after a while leaving behind a soft tint. The colors I have picked are subtle so they are easy to use during the day without the need of a mirror. 

I love these already and would probably snap up the rosy shade 02 Rose on the rocks soon, that's gotten my fancy. These lipsticks are available across all Boots and Lifestyle stores in Kuwait, priced at KWD 6.000 each. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Clarisonic | Deep Pore Decongesting Solutions (Mia2)

Clarisonic Deep Pore Decongesting Solutions
I had the fortune to win a Clarisonic from the lovely people of Clarisonic Middle East team. They were kind enough to gift me a Deep Pore Decongesting Solutions package (KWD 66.5, Sephora Kuwait). It comes with a white Mia2 device including a Deep Pore brush head, a Deep Pore Daily Cleanser and a Decongesting Clay Mask which has to be used twice weekly. 

Having acne-prone sensitive skin, a deep pore brush head would not have been my first choice, so instead I bought a sensitive brush head (suitable for all skin types) to use. Since I got it, I used it once daily for three days straight. However, due to my skin sensitivity, I noticed my skin feeling tight. Then I used it every alternate day to see if it reduced that taut feeling. And what a difference I saw in my skin! For starters, my skin feels smoother in texture and much softer. They really mean it when they say that it is much more effective than hand cleansing. 
Clarisonic Deep Pore

Clarisonic Deep Pore brush head

When using the device, it does not feel like you are putting any pressure on your skin at all. I was scared the deep pore brush would be harsh for my skin but I tried it and found it to be surprisingly gentle. I now use the deep pore brush every two weeks or so, whilst using the sensitive brush head every alternate day. 

I must emphasize that using a Clarisonic device means giving your skin an exfoliating treatment daily. Meaning you do not need to scrub your skin separately; if you do, you'd be damaging the skin's structure. Since I have started using my Mia2, my daily scrub has taken a back seat and I have not used it even once! 

Coming to their Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, it is a minty gel-textured cleanser which foams up well and is quite effective at mattifying the skin with a squeaky clean feel. However, I feel that it dries my skin a bit too much so I use it maybe 3-4 times weekly. 
Clarisonic Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

Their Clay Mask, on the other hand, is a refreshing one. It applies smoothly and gives a tingling sensation. It dries to a powdery matte texture and once washed off, reveals brighter skin instantly. It also pushes out the odd whiteheads off my nose. I like to apply the mask first and then have a go with my Mia2 so that all the excess oil and debris that the mask has pushed out of my pores gets thoroughly cleansed.
Clarisonic Decongesting Clay Mask

My skincare routine is the best one I have had since I incorporated Mia2 into it. My acne hasn't flared up as well (thankfully!) since my pores aren't clogged anymore. I'll probably do an updated skincare routine soon. I highly recommend having your own cleansing device, it saves up a lot of your money in the long run. By giving yourself a daily facial, you'd be cutting back on many of those salon trips! Do you use any cleansing device? If so, which one?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Favorite Acne-Fighting Products

Having acne-prone skin, I'm always on the lookout for the best acne products in the market, new tips and home remedies - anything that will help me keep my acne in check. Over the years, I have tried countless OTC products and various home remedies. All I have learnt is that having acne is a lifetime liability and the only thing that can help is maybe a few tweaks here and there in your routine life. Nothing (NOTHING!) works like magic for your acne, it only helps to a certain degree.

Below are my favorite acne fighting products, that work amazingly when combined together. To start with, I highly recommend not using any SLS-based soap, face wash or cleanser for your acne (body acne included!). You can do so much better by skipping on some harsh chemicals. 

Soulflower Wheatgerm Oil, Aroma Treasures Tea Tree Oil, Soulflower Anti acne Neem Turmeric Soap
Soulflower is an aromatherapy-following brand with a vast range of oils, soaps and bath salts. Their idea is to treat everyday like a spa-day! Here is my favorite soap from the brand - especially to deal with acne prone skin. Anti acne Neem Turmeric soap, priced at INR 150 (90gms), is enriched with neem oil and turmeric - two of the best acne-fighting ingredients. It is made on a saponified base of various carrier oils like olive, coconut and castor. No bad stuff in there, see! I love that this soap lathers really well and also improves skin texture over time. 

The next warrior in my stash is Wheatgerm carrier oil, INR 350 (30ml) also from Soulflower, which is a great oil for maintaining skin's elasticity and healing minor burns. Also good for retaining hair's lustre. Basically you can use it for anything and need not worry about side effects. It is 100% goodness in a tiny bottle. I use this, mixed with a few essential oils, for a deep body massage once every week.

Finally, the most important product with acne-reducing properties has to be Tea tree essential oil (INR 237 for 10ml) by Aroma Treasures. Essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be diluted with a carrier oil such as wheatgerm^ or whichever you prefer.  Tea tree oil reduces inflammation and redness of the pimples making them less painful. I mix 10 drops of tea tree in 10 ml of wheatgerm oil and use it all over my face every night. If you're worried that skin might feel sticky, rest assured it massages into the skin pretty well leaving no sticky residue. 

I do not recommend applying essential oils directly to the acne or any skin problem as it might sting and burn the skin. Always remember to dilute it with a carrier oil before massaging onto the affected area. I am an ardent fan of aromatherapy and have an ever-growing collection of oils that I use for various purposes around the house. Pure oils, extracted right from the source, are a much better substitute for chemicals, isn't it?!