Friday, September 9, 2016

Blog Giveaway - 2

It is Giveaway time again! This year I complete 3 years of blogging in this little space of mine and I am super happy about managing to blog, albeit occasionally, for another 365 days. And while I am glad about my own determination, I'm also extremely grateful to every one of you who reads what I've got to say. Every single view means a lot to me and if I manage to help out even one person with any of my reviews, that knowledge makes my day.


So here is this little gift I have prepared for you. 

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick - Carina
2. Clarins HydraQuench Creme-Mask
3. Maybelline White SuperFresh Compact Powder - Pearl
4. Bling Nail Appliques 
5. Makeup Revolution Powder Blush - Sugar

Unlike last year, I have chosen these particular shades of makeup items on my own and I hope you approve. These will suit almost all skin tones.

Now onto the giveaway details. I have added this Gleam.io giveaway app below which will enter you into the draw. Last year, I had kept it on all of my social medias, and it was sooooo exhausting to go through all the entries manually. This year everything is auto-magic! LOL.

Fayhalicious 3rd Blog Birthday

Your only mandatory entry will be to enter your email address where I can contact you if you win. The others are all completely optional, and will only give you an extra entry each. 

Please note:
  • There will be one winner only.
  • The winner will be contacted within 1 week from the date on which the giveaway ends.
  • The giveaway ends three (3) weeks from today. That's September 30, 2016.
  • The giveaway is international so everyone has a fair chance of winning. However, please note that if the courier refuses to ship any of these items to your country due to any restrictions, I will have to draw another winner unfortunately. 
  • I'm only responsible for the shipping from my side. Once the gift is shipped, the winner will have to bear any customs/taxes on their end.
Any spam/giveaway accounts will not be allowed to enter. While I have kept this giveaway in an automatic giveaway bot, I will still be ensuring genuine entries are validated. Also, following for the sake of the giveaway and then unfollowing when it ends is not cool. I do have a list of people who had immediately unfollowed me as soon as the winner was announced last year. So if you are of them, beware. And don't blame me. LOL. I understand your unfollowing me if you do not like my content and such but do I need "giveaway loyalists", really? Nope.

Anyhoooo, thanks so much for being a part of my life, and I appreciate every one of you. Sending you cyber hugs! xoxo

Thursday, September 8, 2016

SoulTree | Anti-Dandruff Hair Care Duo Review

When I see products labelled Ayurveda, Herbal, Natural, Organic or Pure - I immediately zoom into every syllable to make sure that it really is what it claims to be. I love trying out products that are not only good for me but also for the environment. Thus, the brand SoulTree had been on my radar for a few months before I decided to get a few products to try. And so I did.

Today, I am reviewing two of their products together and not separately, because they are obviously a shampoo and conditioner duo which I have used one after the other every time I showered. It was easily the best way to document my experience for both in one single post rather than have two individual reviews. 




First, we have this Neem & Aloe With Cleansing Lemon Peel Shampoo. This is an 'anti-dandruff' shampoo and has a list of amazing ingredients that are natural and in their purest forms. It is also free from SLS/SLES, parabens and any animal-derived ingredients making it an all round vegan-friendly product. It has a sweet, herbal-ish scent that is pleasant without being overpowering. It also has these tiny little particles in it which I'm guessing is the lemon peel. The product comes in a sturdy plastic bottle with no fancy packaging and has a gel consistency. But does it deliver as good as it sounds?

Sadly no. And yes, I am really and truly sad to say this. Not only am I a proud supporter of Indian brands, I also love using as many natural products as I can. So you understand my high hopes regarding SoulTree despite never having tried it before. For the product itself, what I really dislike about it is the way it makes my hair extremely dry and brittle. It is so stiff and rough that I hate having to touch it even accidentally. This shampoo does not foam much either, but that is something I easily overlook. It is the SLS that makes products foam, so any formulation without it will not yield any good frothy base. I usually oil my hair prior to shampooing, and it doesn't completely remove the oil off the hair either. 




Moving on to the Hibiscus Hair Conditioner, this comes in an extremely nice plastic jar which I'm totally recycling. The scent is nice, pleasant and has all the good stuff like shikakai, henna, coconut oil, and of course hibiscus. No extra additives, silicones, parabens etc. But dang, this is another disappointment. Conditioners are supposed to soften the hair, moisturize the strands to reduce breakage, detangle the hair and what not. And this does nothing. Okay I may be lying, to be completely honest. But the maximum percentage of benefit it might have given me would be a mere 20%. Which is bad. Especially if you, the conditioner itself, claims to "nourish, strengthen and provide lustre" to the hair and don't live up to your own words. You suck.

What's more? This whole hair care duo was supposed to be "anti-dandruff" and it does nothing to get rid of that condition either. I have mild dandruff due to my hormonal imbalances and no matter what I do, it doesn't go away completely. I can only try different stuff to ensure that the condition is at its minimum and have tried effective homemade remedies to combat it overtime. However, a good rinse greatly helps to keep the scalp free of any stray flaky dandruff. And nope, this duo didn't do that either.

I have another bottle of shampoo, and a jar of conditioner to go through and I'm dreading using it. Literally. I might give SoulTree the benefit of doubt, and maybe get a different shampoo to try. I think they have a couple more in their range. But to be very honest, I'm really skeptical about them already. Besides, they only have this single conditioner in their range and I'm never getting it again in my life. It is utter useless. While I'm all for natural, chemical-free products, it is equally important for brands to actually deliver positive results and this hair care duo has done me no good. Would it be too early to write off SoulTree from my list? I don't know. Yet. 

If you have fine dandruff-prone hair that is dull and breaks easily, I do NOT recommend this shampoo and conditioner. 

The Neem & Aloe with Cleansing Lemon Peel shampoo retails at INR 295 (120ml), and the Hibiscus Hair Conditioner retails at INR 295 (100gms). Available at Purplle.com, Nykaa.com 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Brand Banter: Essence Cosmetics

This is the first post on my new series "Brand Banter" where I talk about one particular brand in depth. Why I chose that brand, what have I used from the brand - their mini reviews, general pricing, availability and such. 


Today, I've a brand that's loved by a lot of people I know. It is Essence Cosmeticsa German drugstore brand which has an extensive and trendy collection of color cosmetics & fragrances. Some of its products are much raved about by everyone in the blogosphere and I've been wanting to try the brand for the longest time. Unfortunately for me, I had no idea that it was being sold in some select supermarkets in Kuwait, so when I chanced upon its counter in one of my rare trips to UTC Kuwait sometime last year, I immediately got a couple of products to try. 

When I first tried them, I was super impressed with their quality and wanted more. Obviously. In the following months, I found MSMBox sold it in India as well, at an even cheaper price which prompted me to stock up on more products.

So let's talk lipliners first. My first purchase was their Long Lasting Lip Liner in Lovely Frappuccino (KWD 1.5, UTC/Carrefour) and let me get this out there. It is my favorite nude lip liner ever since I bought it last year. I reach for this most often when I want to wear a nude lip. It is the perfect mix of dusty-pink, brown, beige with warm undertones. What's more appealing is it is creamy and applies very smoothly. ABSOLUTELY NO TUGGING. And to be very honest, I really didn't expect much from it when I first bought it. This is definitely a repurchase.



From my MSM order, I picked 2 more lip liners. These are from their 'regular' range I guess as they have different packaging from the Long Lasting ones. Also they are in wooden pencil form which you'll need to sharpen obvs, while the Long Lasting range comes in twist up style. The colors I have are In The Nude and Satin Mauve. In The Nude is a beautiful peach brown and extremely warm in tone. It is the great base for any nude lip look. This is best suited for pale to medium skin tones. Satin Mauve is a mid-tone mauve shade that looks amazing in swatches but I hate how it looks on my lips. Don't get me wrong, the color is great and it happens to be one of their popular shades, but I can't like it. Maybe it has something to do with my own lip pigmentation which clashes with it and somehow the end result does not appeal to me. As you can see from the swatches, it is very similar to Lovely Frappuccino, (and even to Barely There lipstick) however Satin Mauve is a lot cooler in person. 



Moving on to eyes, I only have one Long Lasting eye pencil in shade C'est La Vie!. A shimmery silver. I got it because it has been a while since I had a silver eyeliner. This eyeliner is nicely pigmented (a bit patchy though) and once you apply it, it does not budge for the most part. The glitter does move around a bit here and there but the overall line doesn't fade. Works on waterline too. Me likes. 



Next we have something for my Ball Face. This Silky Touch blush in Adorable (KWD 1.5, UTC/Carrefour) is a light pink color and has a satin finish. The (shimmer?) is so, so fine that it gives a seriously adorable glow to the cheeks. Besides the color is light so it makes cheeks look natural. However, I have to admit the product is super pigmented and buttery soft BUT does fall out a bit when you swipe your brush across the pan which is a shame.




Finally I have two lipsticks from their Long Lasting range in shades Barely There and Natural Beauty. Barely There (KWD 1.750/INR 299, UTC/Carrefour/MSMBox) is a deeper, browny nude which looks nice but not a color I'd reach for blindly. I like having a bit of pink or peach in my nudes. A
nd funnily enough, this shade also looks slightly mauve on me but guess what? It looks pretty good. Natural Beauty is a pinky nude and swatches opaque in one swipe. The color is still subdued which makes it perfect for grocery shopping when you don't wanna look too made-up but still wanna look decent enough to be out and about. LOL. Out of the two, Natural Beauty wins for me hands down.


So there you have it, my current Essence collection. I do have another Long Lasting lip liner somewhere in the house, but I couldn't find it duh. As of now, I am extremely happy with my current stash, except Satin Mauve, and their quality and packaging is good too. All of the products are nicely pigmented. There is one con though, I don't think the lipsticks are that "long lasting" and they do transfer. Overall, Essence Cosmetics is cruelty free, and affordable and it gets a big thumbs up from me*. 

Have you tried any of these products and which did you like the most? I'd love to know what are your Essence favorites so I may check them out next time. 

Love, 
Fayha
xoxo

*based on products I currently own.