Maybelline x Gigi Hadid Lipstick in Khair Review

Maybelline x Gigi Hadid Lipstick in Khair Review

Long time, no lipstick review. Even though there's heaps of lipstick blog posts waiting for some daylight in my drafts folder, I'm totally going to ignore them and proceed with this fairly new release- Maybelline x Gigi Hadid Collaboration in the shade 'Khair'. There was so much interest in it when I posted about it on my Instagram Stories.
I got gifted this one by my dearest Shayoni (from Sweet & Bitter Blog), who definitely went out of her way (literally!) to come see me off at Delhi Airport when I left India in January this year. She chose such beautiful keepsakes for me but it is her smile (which for some reason I can't get out of my head) and her genuine love and kindness that I'll remember for life. Meeting and getting to call such an amazing humans my friends & my tribe is the highlight of my blogging journey.

Maybelline x Gigi Hadid Lipstick in Khair

Maybelline x Gigi Hadid Lipstick in Khair swatch

Maybelline launched this collection collab with the supermodel and ever so stunning Gigi Hadid, sometime late last year. The products have been flying off the shelves ever since. I do not own any other product from this collection except this lipstick so I can't comment on their quality & finish. The collection features three categories of products that represent Gigi's roots and lifestyle- East Coast Glam, West Coast Glow and  the Jetsetter Travel Makeup Palette.


Antipodes Halo Skin-Brightening Facial Mud Mask Review

Antipodes Halo Skin-Brightening Facial Mud Mask Review

I'd be real honest, as much as I pretend to know about skincare, I keep my skincare fuss free. There are no daily masks or DIY's involved, there are no super expensive high end creams, there are no unnecessary extraaaa steps in my night time routine. Cleanse, tone, serum, moisturize is my mantra and it works for me. I truly believe beauty is skin deep. What we eat and how we conduct our life in general has a lot of effect on our skin. A happy face makes all flaws disappear..isn't it?

Antipodes Brightening Facial Mud Mask Review

So when I receive a mask that claims brightening and demands to be used twice a week, it feels like a chore. I oblige like all bloggers do. You've gotta test a product as per manufacturer's recommendations. Well I use it the same day it arrives as I have a pesky pimple on my chin. It looks rather cute but I don't like its pus-filled look and it hurts too..ouch!

Half an hour with this mask on (probably more time that the brand recommends!) and some scrubbing to take it off , I notice my pimple is gone. Like wow! Is masking really magic? I try it again  few days later on some milia like whiteheads on my forehead. Works a charm! I'm convinced, this guy is definitely onto something here.


Shesha Naturals Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Review

How amazing is it when your friends have their own brand and it is actually an amazing one! My dearest friend Renji (Makeupholic World) and probably my first blogging buddy from years ago now has a brand to her name. I have nothing but respect and admiration for this girl for her work and personal ethics. Her brand Shesha Naturals is born in Kerala and is proudly guided by Ayurvedic recipes. The collection is sold on various websites online, Nykaa.com being the most prominent one for me.
She kindly sent me 3 of her products to try out when I was on holiday in India- Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Deva Thali Shampoo and Deva Thali Leaf Soap. I'm reviewing the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil today. I'll talk about the other two some other day.
I've taken my good sweet time testing out her products and even made my family use them while I was in India. They got thumbs up.

Shesha Naturals Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I'm a Coconut Oil fan from ages ago and I often buy my Extra Virgin Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil from USA via iHerb.com. I'm so glad that this oil is similar or even better quality, way cheaper and easily available in India. I might have to stock it up next time I go to India. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has a melting point of 24°C/76°F, so in winters the oil will solidify. In summers, the oil is transparent and colorless, almost looks like water.

If you'd like to know the various ways I use Virgin Coconut Oil, pretty please check out this post. I've listed about 25 ways I use coconut oil. Yep! Its so versatile.


How to depot MAC and other brand eyeshadows for your custom Z Palette? Step by Step tutorial.

how to make your custom Z palette

Do you travel with your makeup? Isn't it annoying when you have to carry a million single eyeshadows? Your favorite ones, that you can't do your makeup without. You can't find a similar shade in any of your eyeshadow palette so have to lug them from one place to another.. forever trying to locate them in your seemingly bottomless makeup bag. I do! and this year I've decided to tackle this problem. I bought a Z palette dupe from Wish App for about $15 NZD coz you know how expensive those real Z palettes are. A large Z palette is $32 USD and ABH Modern Renaissance palette is $42 USD, on Beautylish so go figure! I'd rather buy a full new eyeshadow palette with that kinda money. My Z palette dupe is a beauty nevertheless. Its thick n sturdy, has a magnetic sheet inside it, is see through from top and has a beautiful chrome mermaid scales look. Nothing I can complain about. I just wish it was a little bigger because I have a lot more single eyeshadows I want to put in there. As per my guesstimate, my palette could take 18+ single eyeshadows depending on their size, which is actually more than most eyeshadow palettes of today's time.
Use can use my code 'jrqdxvg' for 50% off your first order with Wish. Click here to see the palette I bought.

As soon as it arrived, I shifted all my Anastasia Beverly Single Eyeshadows in there. I'm sure the pans were equally delighted because they graduated from a makeshift CD case storage (which I'm still quite proud of to be honest, served me for more than an year at no cost) to a very flash looking actual palette looking palette.
Then I started the task of depotting some of my favorite eyeshadows- A few from MAC (from various collections over the years), a shimmery pink NYX one which is my go to for Indian weddings and a neutral matte from Wet n Wild that is my most sought after for layering over primer before I start any eye look.

This exercise has made me appreciate the value of single eyeshadow pans and I vowed to only ever buy eyeshadows in pans and not their fancy packaging. It's so hassle-free and satisfying to stuck them into your custom palette instantly.

Here's an easy step by step tutorial on how I depotted my MAC eyeshadows. Exact same procedure was followed for NYX and Wet n Wild eyeshadows.

How to depot MAC eyeshadows for Z palette

Things you'll need- Eyeshadows to depot, Z palette or likes, butter knife (I used my honey wax spatula), a pair of tweezers, a hair straightener, piece of baking paper to coat straightener so you don't damage that expensive appliance for the sake of some eyeshadow depotting. That won't be an economically viable undertaking. Isn't it?


Wet n Wild Proline Brushes- Review, Pricing and all the details you need to know

Wet n Wild Proline Brushes Review

Wet n Wild Proline Brushes

Oh Makeup Brushes! You know the tools that make or break your makeup look. They have the power to give you a well blended eyeshadow or a blob/smudge in its name. It's what gives your foundation a flawless finish or streaky messy affair. It took me a good few cheap purchases to realize that investing in tools of the trade is not a cost but an investment, so in last years, I've phased out all my eBay bought brushes and focused solely on quality brushes. Real Techniques work for me and so does MAC ones, which are by the way totally out of my budget but I've been lucky to be sent a few with PR releases in last few years. They are worth the price as they last so long, but it still takes some serious saving to purchase some MAC's.

Enter Wet n Wild, you know that brand that has always impressed me with their affordable yet amazing quality products, be it their foundation (review to come), lipsticks, highlighters or makeup brushes. Their latest Limited Edition Collection is the Proline Brush Collection, which I admit got lots of oohs and aahs from me on my Instagram Stories. You have to see their beauty to believe them. Electroplated pink brushes with beautiful sleek design, cruelty free and vegan. Beauty aside, I've been using them for a good few weeks now and I can confirm they are great for the price range and quality you get.


Top 5 Product Finds of 2017

Are you back to the working mode yet? Well I am..sort of. It's a bit forced but holidays can't go on forever so here I am back to the grind, with my first post of 2018. February is here so I'm trusting that you guys are almost over the new year, new me BS and are back to being your former true self. If you're still tracking well on your new year resolutions, well, good on you. You've got some serious determination. Send some my way!

I thought it'll be good to do a recap of 2017 by doing a 5 best product finds from last year. An easy way for you and me to get on the beauty blog train again. Can't believe I did this kind of post last in Jan 2015! What was I doing in Jan 2016 & 2017!!!
OK so here's my list of must check out products that weren't essentially new product releases in 2017 but that is when I discovered and loved them so I shall keep it that way.

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette
This eyeshadow palette is love! It has amazed me every single time I've used it and to be honest, I still regret not buying it sooner. I pondered for yonks and finally bit the bullet last year. Worth Every Penny. You can create endless eye looks with it, mostly warm. This is only palette I carried with me on my recent trip to India and I hardly ever reached for the many ABH single eyeshadows I own. The quality of eyeshadows is amazing- pigmented, buttery and smooth. I've reviewed it in full here.

Price- NZD $60/ USD $42 from Beautylish.com


5/5 Indulge in best luxury Skincare that NZ has to offer- Savar Skincare, Living Nature, O Cosmedics, Ultraceuticals

best luxury natural Skincare in new zealand nz

I'm ending my Christmas gift guide series for 2017 with a post on the most indulgent stuff- Skincare. If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm a skincare addict. I like to use products that have proven science behind it. Stuff that works. I also don't like to spend a fortune on skincare, none of that La Prairie stuff.
Here are my top 4 picks for skincare gift sets-

1. Savar Deluxe Brightening Skincare Pack- $271 NZD from www.savaronline.com

Ahhh..the love of my life! I adore everything that Savar makes. A brand born and bred in NZ, Savar is proud of its NZ roots and has the best of pristine NZ in their luxurious products. Many of their products are a staple in my skincare routine and continue to be repurchased year after year, specially their Multi Boost Toner (best thing ever for dry skin) & their Rosehip Ultra Brightening Serum.

If you check out their website, you'll be spoiled for choice. They do the best combo deals and skincare sets. All your skincare needs neatly tucked into elegant cosmetic bags. It's truly a luxury skincare.

savar skincare review

This year they've come out with their biggest and best skincare sets. Like honestly look at this beauty! A beautiful black (& sturdy!) cosmetic case that has all the skincare you'll need + more.

Savar deluxe brightening pack review


4/5 All things Nails- Faby & Jamberry

Jamberry nail wraps review

Jamberry mini heater review

Nails have to be my go-to way of feeling posh. I don't get to do it often so I actually invest in good quality nail paints and nail gadgets. I admit I've accumulated my fair share of cheap nail paint finds over the years but I've slowly and steadily gotten rid of anything I don't reach for or fancy anymore. My makeup collection follows the same rule. Quality over quantity any day!

For my Christmas Gift Guide 4/5, I have the best of nails-

1. Faby Nail Lacquers- I'm Faby Spring/Summer 2017 Collection- Mini set $30 NZD

There's reason it's best to avoid nail paint fumes when you are pregnant or have just conceived. Nail paints are actually a concoction of chemicals. Don't let the bright colors fool you. No matter how good the marketing is, these things should be used sparingly. I treat them as a luxury. When I have somewhere to go or there's a certain look that I'm envisaging, I'll put on a nail paint to complete my look. Otherwise, bare nails it is.

In saying that, I'm so glad there's companies like Faby that are making a conscious effort to bring out clean and nasties-free nail paints. Faby is an Italian brand that makes 100% vegan and cruelty free nail lacquers. They are '10-free' meaning formulated without Formaldehyde, Toulene, Dibutyle Pthalate (DBP), Camphor, Formaldehyde Resin, Ethyl Tosylamide, TPHP, Acetone, Parabens and Lead.
Did I lose you in all that chemistry? Whoops!
Just know that these are better for you as compared to the traditional nail paints with those obnoxious acetone fumes. My husband always gets annoyed if I put on a nail paint in our bedroom, specially at night. He's clearly not a fan of their strong scent.


3/5 Christmas Gift Guide- The Best of Remington's Personal Gadgets

Remington Straightener curler dryer trimmer review

For day 3/5 of Christmas Gift guide, I'm talking about my personal favorite gadgets. Gadgets are always my preferred category of gifts because they last so much longer than skincare and makeup. Years n years! I always think of the person that gifted me something when I'm using the appliance/product. Isn't it an amazing feeling to be remembered every-time a person uses their straightener or hair dryer?

Last Christmas, me and husband gifted each other the gadgets we really needed. His Grooming kit was long due so I got him a Wahl set from Shavers Shop. He got me a Waterpik Water Flosser, which I've used every night since that day. It's been my best gift till date. You can check them out in last year's gift guide (Click here). I'd highly recommend checking out the Shavers Shop stores in Auckland and online. They do some pretty sweet deals and are very competitively priced. I found them to be the cheapest in NZ for the two above mentioned products.

This Christmas, I have a list of my favorite beauty gadgets. All of them from Remington. It's my favorite and most trusted brand. Their products last so long. I've never had any that's broken on me or gone faulty. I've reviewed a lot of their products on the blog too.
All the products listed below are available from Harvey Norman and other electronic retailers NZ wide. The price differences between stores are huge, so I highly recommend doing your research online before you go buy them. For instance, the Remington Curler is available for $65 on Harvey Norman today as part of a 1 day deal (Dec 6, 2017) and the same set on Farmers NZ website is for $130 NZD. How insane is that?

My favorite gift sets for this Christmas season are-

1. Remington Radiance Ionic Straightener Pack- $129.99 NZD
Just look at this! I mean look at this beauty. This is a special Christmas edition Straightener set from Remington. The matte red and black is just so gorgeous. Radiance Ionic straightener releases millions of negative ions, which allow you to create sleek frizz-free styles in minutes. The max temperature setting is 230 degrees and it even remembers the last setting you used on it. The heating time is only 15 seconds so you'll be on your way pretty quick with this one.
The set comes with a gorgeous sturdy comb and a PU leather pouch to carry it out elegantly. The inside of clutch has a heat resistant layer. Perfect gift!

Remington Radiance Ionic Straightener review


2/5 Christmas Gift Guide- Best Natural Lipstick Gift Sets by Karen Murrell

Karen Murrell Natural lipsticks review

Karen Murrell Natural lipstick gift sets

Karen Murrell True red lipstick review

I have an undying love for lipsticks. So lipstick sets are probably the best gift for someone like me who adores makeup but also loves naturally derived products. What better lipsticks than New Zealand's top export to the world, Karen Murrell. I've mentioned them a lot of times on the blog. You just have to put them on once and you'll know why! The delicious scent and even better ingredients, these natural lipsticks are going to please your lovely ladies for sure. Who doesn't like the sound of avocado & evening primrose oil, cinnamon & sweet orange. Its a dream combo. No wonder they got a mention in my last year's gift guide too. Don't worry I'm talking different sets this time :) I like to keep some variety.

Karen Murrell's lipstick quality is ace. They are very moisturizing. You can almost do them without a lip balm. The darker shades have near opaque coverage. The lighter shades need a couple of coats. Do note that these lipsticks do not have any synthetic dyes or colors. They are completely naturally derived. They don't have the insect derived ingredient Carmine (which is in most lipsticks) so they are completely Vegan & Cruelty Free too. Because of absence of these key lipstick ingredients they are a little different from your usual Revlon's and MAC's in terms of coverage, but once you get used to their feel & taste, there's no looking back. The cinnamon in them plumps up the lips a little too. They even last long, surviving food and all. Specially if you have a matching lip liner underneath.

For my second gift guide (2/5), here's my top 3 lipstick gift sets from Karen Murrell.

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