Monthly Empties - December 2014 Edition!

Another month... another set of empties! Don't be alarmed by the amount of products I finish each month. Its just that I have this weird habit of leaving 2 uses worth product in a bottle before I move onto a next one! So there's always heaps of products that I can finish, if I want to that is!

And talk about the month it has been! NZ, Australia, India! Holidays are always exhilarating! Ahhh...Bliss.

OK..lets just jump into this month's empties, shall we?

1. Santé body butter in 'Rose Geranium' ($23 for 100ml)  - Reviewed already on the blog here!
If you have any doubts about my love for roses, just enter the word in search bar on your right. Anything with roses, I'll buy it.

This Sante body butter, had a best before date of August, 2014 and I finished it last month, perfect till its last breath - both smell & texture. If you're in search of a heavy duty natural body butter, this one should do! Handmade right here in NZ, 100% natural and nasties free. Best suited for normal to dry skin. I'll buy one again in a beat!

2. The Body Shop body butter Duo in 'Macademia' - I know butter butters are TBS's bestsellers but for some reason I've not quite gotten on board with them. Maybe coz I can't afford them? I mean I need to moisturize daily, like without fail, so a $36 body butter won't go very far for me! They're good value for money on specials though.


EOS Lip Balm Review! featuring Pomegrenate Raspberry, Honeysuckle Honeydew & Strawberry Sorbet ♥

If there's one collection that's never ending at my place, its the lip balms. I genuinely believe you can never have too many! There's one in each bag I own (just in case you know!), in the car, at work and quite a  few in every bathroom around the house. Does that say a thing or two about my lip balm addiction?

EOS- For moist, soft, sensationally smooth lips!
To add to the collection, I've added three EOS lip balms! Yes... Finally!!!
 Made famous by Kim Kardashian, these uber cute eggs from Evolution of Smooth are all that a girl can want from a humble lip balm!

There's so much hoohah about these balms, I just had to get one for myself and then was gobsmacked at how good they were and went on to buy two more!

I seriously couldn't find any fault in these. It does sound like I'm totally smitten but you have to believe me ok?

I have these in 3 variants out of the very many they make - Pomegranate Raspberry, Strawberry Sorbet & Honeysuckle Honeydew. On my wishlist - Coconut milk (coz I'm a coconut addict).

What I like about these balms?


Owl Nail Art! Featuring Revlon Parfumerie in 'Italian leather' & 'Orange Blossom'

If there's one habit of mine that can be touted as a full blown obsession, its the OWLS. I'm crazy about everything owls. My whole family knows about it. Sunshine is quick to tag me in anything owl like in any store we go to! I have owl pen stand, candles, t-shirt, wall hanging, soap dispenser, tooth brush holder & what not! As we speak, there's a custom phone cover in owl design doing rounds in my head.

So, naturally, this nail art has been on my mind since months. I mean look at it... Isn't it cuteness personified? It's like the owl's talking to me! (I always say that!!)

With my current  fitness phase... that includes swimming 3 times a week, my nails are a hot mess. So please excuse the unkempt look. I can't help it! Does swimming give you nail splinters too?

Anyways, moving on! The nail paints used in the nail art are:


iHerb Haul- Nov 2014

If you haven't discovered iherb.com yet, you're seriously missing out on a gem of online shopping world. With everything from cosmetics to health supplements to exotic clays, this website has all that you could possibly want. Ships from US and you can get your stuff in NZ for a mere $4 (International Airmail, No tracking, takes 1-4 weeks) or $8 for super quick shipping (DHL Express, Track n Trace, delivery within 2-4 working days).

I've shopped from them before & again did last month - A combined order with my flatmate so we shared the shipping costs + $10 off that newbies get as it was her first order (Enter my Rewards code- PGF661 for $$ off).
I've included my flatmate's items as well in the post to show you the vast range of products they stock.

Here's what we ordered with their prices (All prices in USD)-

1. Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set ($18.00)- This is the 3rd core set I've ordered off iHerb. One for myself last year, then in January for my sister while in India & now for my flatmate who's just starting on makeup (Can I call myself an inspiration?). Its a great starter set at a great price. Brushes never shed, always soft & blend a dream.


Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ Review!

Sick of dry skin? & Oil laden thick products? Enter Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing lotion (DDML), now with a plus sign!

Must add + as its the new reformulated version of the classic 1968 born DDML. Basically they just added more skin-soothing agents, a bit of Hyaluronic acid and made the consistency a tad thinner.

I've been using this moisturizer for years & its the only one that never disappoints! Can I call it my HG (Holy Grail) moisturizer?

- DDML+ is a lightweight & effective daily facial moisturizer. It's a pale yellow lotion with thin consistency.


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in 'Amsterdam' Review + Swatches + FOTD ♥

If you've read any lipstick post on this blog... You know I love mattes & reds are made for me. NYX's Amsterdam is both & so I adore it. But please take that awful smell away, will you NYX??

These soft matte lip creams have a cult following. Antwerp is my absolute favorite peachy pink ( I recently ordered 3 pieces of it off Cherryculture.com (Haul post here). Need I say more? They have recently released more shades & I've been digging the dark vampy burgundy that's out (Copenhagen?).

'Amsterdam' is a blue based true red, housed in a matching tube packaging that is both beautiful and practical. Here's the low down on this shade-


KIRI Organics Natural Tanning Cream Review!

Now Fake-Tanning to me is like learning German. I don't need that knowledge so why bother right? Being an Indian and already blessed with brown skin, this is one less thing on my beauty regimen chart!
Well don't even get me started on the one's we have to endure (Hair everywhere!!).

So when I was sent this KIRI Organics Gradual Tan by their PR company, the not-so-proactive me got back to them the very minute the product came in my mail box.
"Sorry I'd not be able to review something I can't use myself!"
Fair enough they said!

And then it occurred to me..how about passing it on to a super pale girlfriend? My Inspiration, the ever so kind, the gym junkie/trainer, the Serbian beauty.. Irena!
Honestly, I couldn't believe someone took me seriously when she sent through this review the other day.

So here's her unedited version that I'm posting today. I think she did a fab job!

I feel enlightened to know the art of a self-tanner application. Hope you do too!




MUA Haul + Swatches!

Wohoo! Another haul post! Do you like them? I love looking at a drool-worthy haul.

Remember I posted about MUA (Makeup Academy) £1 shipping code on our Instagram and Facebook pages about a month ago? This is that order. It arrived about 2 weeks ago, all bubble wrapped, nice and secure. The shipping took 2.5 weeks. MUA website is super easy to navigate and everything on it is so cheap that you'd definitely end up spending more than you intend to.

I've bought from them before, here's my last year's MUA Haul

Here's what all I ordered this time around:


ARTDECO Colour Booster Lip Balm Review!

Look at this silver bullet! Isn't it luxury? For a tinted lip balm? Hell Yeah!

Imagine pulling this out of your bag to slap some on! How exotic?

This new release from ARTDECO is actually pretty unique in other ways too. I've been using it from last three weeks & I think I quite like it!

A lip balm addict knows one lip balm well from another. Here's my experience with ARTDECO's Color Booster Lip Balm **


October 2014 Empties!

Here's what all I managed to throw off my shelves this month. Pretty fancy eh?

And here's a mini review & my experience of them -

1. The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo: To be honest I'm a bit undecided about this one. At one point I hated it and then started using it again last month and kinda liked it. It used to make my hair greasy (Olive oil complex!!) but made them all nice and shiny last month. Either way, it smells, tastes (not literally) & behaves the same way as my Ecostore normal shampoo, which is less than half the price, so this is definitely in 'Do not repurchase' category.

2. The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Conditioner: It works good with the Rainforest shampoo, isn't overly thick, spreads nicely and leaves hair softer. But if the shampoo isn't a repurchase, this ain't either.


MAC Prep + Prime

Ankita from Corallista got married in December 2013. I was getting married in February 2014. This was one product she included in her wedding makeup kit and so did I! As soon as I hit India, this and Ruby Woo Lipstick were the very first buys.

MAC Prep + Prime is a primer for lips. Is it worth the moolah? Here's my experience!


The Body Shop Blueberry Body Scrub-Gelee Review!

Perks of being a beauty blogger? Friends know what to gift you. Its a narrow window - Skincare or Makeup?
MAC 'All Fired Up' lipstick was a wedding present & so is this. A basket of TBS goodies from a dear friend Sofia (Thank you ). Isn't it cute? Such a good selection of products. I have wanted that Wild Rose hand cream since last century :p

What caught my attention was this blueberry body scrub. I'm crazy for anything with berries (Our blog name... duhh!) so this was a love at first sight.

The Body Shop Blueberry Scrub is dark purple gel with blueberry extracts in it. You have to have a whiff of it! So irresistible. No wonder it has a 'Do Not Eat' sign on it. TBS says each product from this range has extract of 500 blueberries. Yummm!

My Experience:


Diwali Outfit & Makeup!

Some of you expressed interest in seeing my Diwali look so here it is! Thank you for taking out the time to leave a line on the post. Comments keep me going!

So, I'm usually always rushing before any event. A forgotten Mascara or highlighter is quite a norm! But this Diwali thanks to friends who didn't bother to get dressed on time, I actually had a bit of time to click my makeup pics. Blessing in disguise!

As I say, I'm makeup novice so both praise and critique is well appreciated!

For dress up, I chose this dual toned blue outfit with silver stone and embroidery work on it. The dupatta/veil is pretty heavy so I got a very simple Kameej (fitted tunic) and Patiala Salwar (puffed pants) made when I went to India this year.

My fittings have changed drastically since then as I'm at the heaviest I've been all my life (Thank you random cooking phase) so I had to loosen up the tunic a night before. And so I was able to breathe in it!


The Week Gone By! 6

I missed my Friday post. Sorry :( You know Diwali n all. I focused all my energy on celebrating it, writing had to wait. Its the best month of the year I reckon. There's festivity & joy in the air. Though nothing like India but still so much fun.

Diwali is all about shopping and gifts. This year I gifted myself a makeup desk. Did you catch all the live action on our Facebook page when me and Sunshine were trying to assemble it? It was a mission. Took us a whole evening that thing. Anyways, it's ready now. There's still lots I want to do on it but for now this is how it looks- My Ikea Micke desk. I'd love to add more jars, pretty decor and some drawer organizing stuff from Daiso. It's a work in progress!


Cherryculture.com Haul- 2

Hands up if you're an online shopping addict too? Its like a present to myself from myself. Last month I went a bit overboard with online shopping & the orders have finally started trickling in.

First up! Check out this Cherryculture.com haul. I've shopped from them before. They ship worldwide & stock irresistible products at shocking prices (especially for us in NZ). If not for the exorbitant shipping charges ($18 minimum), I'd be ordering from them every month. God bless StrawberryNet for free shipping. Amen!

Cherryculture.com had a '40% off everything' promotion last month & 3 of us made a combined order. This is my tiny share of the load.

- 3 x NYX soft matte lip cream in 'Antwerp' ($6 USD, $3.60 on special) : This is my absolute fav lippy. I just can't survive without it. Hence ordered 3. Damn you flatmate for claiming one :(

- NYX Studio liquid liner in SLL101 'Extreme blue' ($4.50 USD, $2.70 on special): I've been obsessed with colored liners lately. Since Lime Crime Lazuli is so expensive, I've started looking for alternatives. Definitely reviewing this soon. Its super bright by the way, beats Lazuli too! Hoping stays that long as well.


Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid lipstick in 'Shocking Coral' ! A MAC Impassioned dupe? Review + Swatches!

This has to be the quickest blogpost I've ever done! Impromptu is the word! I always have a blog schedule thing going on for coming 2 weeks - which post would go live when (just schedule, no content... haha!) and this lipstick wasn't even on the list. How did it make it? Endorphin's... Confused much?

I had mood swings the other day. PMS! Mine's pretty crap. I cry for no reason & throw tantrums. Blame it all on stupid hormones. Anyways slip slap slop sunscreen & I drag myself out for a run with Sunshine- A glorious spring day in Auckland. Had a good half hour run. All charged up with Endorphin's, my mood is at its peak best, music's on. I open my lipstick drawer (God knows why!) & look for one I've never worn before (there are many!!). The neon packaging catches my eye.
Hello Mirror... One coat... Whoaa!! 2 coats... almost slapped myself for ignoring this lipstick for over an year. Totally shocked!! How & why is it so beautiful?

No makeup, piles of sunscreen, complimentary white cast face, chapped lips, bushy brows & a neon coral lipstick. #lemmetakeaselfiefirst.

Few selfies later- A blog post!


The Week Gone By! 5

Did anyone notice my absence on the blog this week? I bet none :p I was away in Auckland for 3 days for a work training. Yup! I already live in Auckland. Just drove to a different workplace this week which was directly proportional to no internet + no spare time. The best thing about it- lavish corporate lunches. The Felafel burgers, the red velvet cupcakes...mmm..yum! I'd certainly miss that.

Who doesn't love the feeling of not knowing what treat's in at lunch? I'm practically broke so can't afford to eat out. Leftovers from yesterday's dinner cannot be erased from memory. So basically cherished the surprises I experienced at lunch hour this week.
I didn't take any pictures of food. a. No one knows I blog b. Wouldn't that be weird? Surrounded by practically your future bosses!

I was honestly youngest & least experienced of them all but it felt good so never mind. We shall all get there one day! Isn't it?

That aside! Did you check out the crazy Diwali festival video I posted on our Facebook page? I did take a couple of videos from my phone as well... via Instagram & magically lost them. Arrghh...Technology!

The shopping ban vow that I took just last week went down the drain when I stumped into Daiso in the city during Diwali festival. It's basically a chain of Japanese knick knack stores selling stuff for $3.50 each. That's my haul up there ^^ Sunshine pouch (I mean how could I not buy that?), two silicone heat-resistant mats for the kitchen (that'll be groceries right?), a cute pair of scissors, beautiful lace tape (DIY brush holder?) and some nail art stuff. All up $20. How cool is that?


Pastel Mint Nails

I'm going to talk less today. Pictures will do the job.

I came across this mani in my Instagram feed. Don't even remember which page was it!
It is just so chic & easy. Try it..you'll be surprised. I can think of so many other color combos. Going to try hot pink and cream next!


Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Flawless Finish Foundation Review!

Talk about timing! My Foundation supply was dwindling when this baby came my way... all the way from Facebook. Not literally but I won it off Maybelline NZ's Facebook page, when they gave away about 500 of them. And talk about being lucky when the shade I chose in a jiffy- '032 Golden' was a perfect match! What sorcery is this?

This is Maybelline's newest offering and my first encounter with their foundations. I quite like their BB creams though.

What Maybelline says about it?


The Week Gone By! 4

And before you know it, its Friday again. Not that I'm complaining about it!

- On the blog this week, we made a yummy DIY lip scrub & slathered on the celeb favorite power oil- Trilogy's Rosehip Oil. We also had a bit of giggle at my wedding nail fiasco. Please feel free to laugh out loud (LOL) at my expense!


What would a beauty blogger have on her nails....at her own wedding?

Take a guess? A hot red? Or perhaps a gold? The Classic Indian wedding shades!
Or maybe a full blown nail art
Or NOTHING??  What!!!

Get married & you’ll know how crazy the day is. Crazy isn't even the right word. Chaos might be it.

We reached India more than a month before wedding day. So many preps…yet a nail paint fiasco! I never saw this coming.

I did hire one of the best MUA's available then. I think we had an understanding about what needed to be taken care of that dreaded morning! Yet there was no nail paint, my fake eyelash kept coming off & my dupatta (the heavy veil) just wouldn't behave. I don't like to name & shame publicly but it was a major disappointment!

When do I realize my bare nails? In the car...on the way to our religious ceremony venue, about 4 minutes away!
I’m like oh f**k it! I'll do without it & then the whole ‘You’ll remember this day for life’ ‘Your future grandchildren will look at these pics’ thought process kicked in. Adding salt to the wound 'the photographers will take those obligatory shots when he holds my hand or when I move that strand of hair off my face". Sounds familiar? You bet… clichéd bridal pictures!


Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil Review!

The winner of countless beauty awards & a hot favorite of celebrities...even the ones beyond our shores...'Trilogy Rosehip Oil' is finally on the blog!

Remember I mentioned visiting Auckland Botanical Gardens to collect Rosehips? It was for this particular post.

This is a sample bottle.
I once had a full bottle of it... late last year. Figured it'll be a perfect companion to my Indian holiday cum wedding.

Day 1- New years eve 2013
New year = New skin!
Bamm!! I drop the bottle... and my heart just sank. I posted the wreckage on Instagram.

Been back to NZ since ages and forgot all about buying another one. Until last month when Trilogy did a massive #Sharethemagic campaign. They gave away 10 mini samples to share with family & friends. Cute 2.5 ml bottles! Now I did share a few around (I swear!) but kept some of these adorable mini dropper bottles for myself too. I've been using this Rosehip Oil religiously every night since then & have noticed a difference.

Here's my Experience with this much acclaimed oil -


DIY Lip Scrub Recipe!

I've mentioned lip exfoliation in so many lipstick posts, it’s time I post this trusted 2 minute lip scrub recipe that I use.
If you are a fan of matte lipsticks… you know how important exfoliating your lips is. Nothing worse than lipstick clinging to dry patches and the peeling off dead skin. Just the thought of it makes me cringe!

My lipstick routine is as follows-

Scrub lips (Usually at night, be super gentle) 
→ lip balm/ Lip Primer → wipe excess lip balm → lip liner (same or lighter shade) → lipstick/stain with brush or straight from tube → Blot (about 2 times) → Re-apply Lipstick  Done!
It does seem quite a chore isn't it? This is my fool proof routine for matte lipsticks, like the unforgiving Lime Crime Velvetines. For the friendly forgiving ones, it's usually a bit of lip primer and lipstick straight from the tube. I'll be reviewing my favorite Lip Primers in coming weeks. 
The Lip Scrub Recipe:
You need – Caster sugar, 100% Pure Jojoba oil (or any preferred oil, the purer the better)

That’s it! To make it fancy I've added a drop of Rose Essential Oil. It gives a beautiful floral twist to it. Can totally do without it though!

It's the first time I've made a big batch of this to test storage. It's been two weeks today and the lip scrub tastes and smells the same, even while lying on my bathroom shelf. I'd recommend storing it in fridge during warmer months. 


The Week Gone By! 3

Can you believe its October already!! Just two more months to 2015... Its quite surreal &  for the life of me I can't accept that we've been married for 8 months today! Time's cruel.

Originally started to boost a personal connection between blog & readers, I've actually appreciated these posts a lot more. I notice moments, people & things that can be turned into blog content so its been better for my soul. An awakening!
You are always welcome to share this journey with me... every Friday.

For the weekend we had plans for a long walk at Hunua Falls again , this time with friends but it got cancelled, abruptly. We got up early so ended up going to 'Auckland Botanic Gardens' instead.
Hidden Agenda: I wanted Rosehip buds for my Trilogy Rosehip Oil review, which will be up coming week. But the day had so much in store for us, little did we know.


Monthly Empties- September Edition!

This has been done before. Ages ago! Hoping to continue this time around. I've never hit pan on a makeup item but skincare stuff runs out like crazy, which is good- old stuff out = new stuff in.

Here's what I finished off in September:

1. Maybelline Eye & Lip Makeup Remover ($7 for 70 ml)

Reviewed on blog last month. My favorite no frills makeup remover- cheap, efficient, doesn't itch my overly sensitive eyes. Already repurchased.

2. Skinfood Mud Masque ($13.00 for 100 ml)

Reviewed here. A firm favorite in our house. It's a volcanic clay mud masque that has moisturizing nutrients! Probably the only one that doesn't dry out my parched skin. Will be in the shopping trolley this weekend.

3. Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo* ($19.90 for 190 ml, Available online)


Lime Crime Eyeliner in 'Lazuli' - Review + Swatches +FOTD!

What’s Lazuli you ask? A unique word... Isn't it? I didn't bother researching about it till last week. Hooray to blogging I get to learn such varied topics.

Last month I bought this Lime Crime eyeliner in ‘Lazuli’ that the website says is ‘an electric blue inspired by Lapis Lazuli & would enhance brown eyes'. As much as I wanted to buy citreuse, the neon-citrus yellow, I decided to play safe and go with this deep blue shade that claims to suit brown eyes. BROWN EYES!! Yesss.. This had my name written all over it. However, after testing the formula…. I wouldn't mind that neon yellow or heck even the purple one!

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