Over the years I have used different exfoliating toners, Clarins, Kate Sommerville, Nuxe etc. I am also a face pack/face mask enthusiast. Turmeric and yogurt (love it), besan (Bengal gram flour) and one of my favourites, Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate face mask. Read post here.
The last toner I used was the Pixi Glow tonic and after two bottles of that I decided nah! Not re-purchasing that one. The Pixi Glow was a yawn fest for my skin.
Thanks to Renee from Gothamista and Stephanie Nicole, I discovered this toner by Tarte. A combination of Salicylic and Lactic acid. And this is one of the BEST exfoliating toners I have ever used.
It tingles (stings) especially when you first start to use it but its effective AF. I use it once a week and my skin is soft and smooth….overnight. Incredible.
Ofcourse it tingles/stings less and less as your skin gets used to it, but the sting is always there. I now notice it around certain areas of my face and not at all on others.
What I love about this toner is how effective it is with blackheads and sunspots.
Nothing annoys me more than the blackheads on my nose. Biore strips and Philosophy’s salicyclic white clay mask are effective but it comes back! With this toner they stay away a whole lot longer.
And the sun spots, those just make me sad. I can ‘see’ where the sun’s UVA/UVB rays have literally burn’t ‘holes’ in my skin.
Retinol and exfoliation makes the skin photo-sensitive and I am vigilant about SPF. I go SPF40++++ and always make sure its the recommended 1/4 tsp for the face. Sunny, cloudy or rainy doesn’t matter. I also wait the recommended 15-30 mins but my problem is re-application. Frankly impossible over makeup.
This toner has managed to lighten these spots which is something I hadn’t expected at all.
I use it at night and never apply my usual vitamin C serum or my retinol serum over it.
Once dry, as Tarte instructs, I pat on a hydrating serum. I use the Hada Labo hyaluronic acid serum. Feels soothing and hydrating after the sting of the toner. I end with a facial oil.
Product Details: A vegan toner. Helps resurface skin and balance its pH. Knockout Tingling Treatment transforms your skin while you sleep with a 10 percent acid complex. It helps minimize appearance of pores and control oil with salicylic and lactic acids, while working to clarify, soothe, and hydrate with sulfur, niacinamide, and glycerin.
This palette annoys and frustrates me on so many levels.
Pet Peeve: This palette ruined English. It’s Dusky Rose not Dusty Rose. As in the light at dusk on colours ? Thank you Pat Mcgrath for correctly naming your shade Rose Dusk, but then you ARE British.
The hype around ABH is deafening in BeauTube-sphere. I hankered for at least one ABH palette. Subculture and Prism are more my jam but both were ‘out of stock’. And Modern Renaissance is super boring. Soft Glam is a bee-on-tiful palette that is perfectly named.
It adds sophisticated oomph without going OTT. ‘Soft-glam’.
It has voluptuously pigmented shades that show up on my NC40 eyelids and easy to blend. Except for Cyprus Umber, the dark brown.It is an easy palette that doesn’t need much thought, great for travel and can take you from day to a ‘soft glam’ night.
Perfect? Almost. The bloody problem is the formula. It will NOT stay on my lids.
With or without primer (UD Anti Aging), with or without concealer, set or not, dry or wet, summer, winter, sweat no sweat makes no difference. It disappears especially in the area around my inner lid. It is such an issue for me I am embarrassed to wear it when I am going out. Who likes patchy eyeshadow?
I own palettes from Urban Decay, Wet and Wild, Covergirl, BH Cosmetics, Viseart, Pat McGrath and NYX. All sit happily on my lids till I take it off.
I have oily eyelids but I am obviously doing something right when I work with the other palettes, but this problem child defeats me.
The worst are the shimmers and I can only assume it might be the high silicone in those shades and my eyelid. But what about the mattes ? They disappear too, not as quick though.
So now its just me and the grocery store check out clerk who gets to see my in all my soft glam glory.
Fun Fact: Know what are the best performing shadows on my lids? Wet and Wild and Mother Pat. Both sides of the tracks right there ! My lids aren’t snobs.
Products Mentioned: YSL Glossy Stain, Lakme India Aquashine, Primark (UK) Gloss Metal, Colorpop Disney Princess Collection, LA Colors HighShine, Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb.
I know it’s not the end of the year but I am just too excited about my stash and could not wait to gush about these babies.
For years I owned just 2 lip glosses. The YSL glossy lip stain. A beautiful light gel that is long lasting, comfortable on the lips and non-sticky. Sadly YSL is not cruelty free so I wont be re-purchasing, but this is a fantastic product.
And other one I had was by an Indian brand called Lakme. Lakme Aquashine Lip Gloss in Wildberry. It has a beautiful shine, feels like a balm and not sticky. It is well pigmented and I love, love. love the sponge applicator. Most doe foot applicators pick up too much product for me. Not this one. You twist up to how much, or how little, you want and then spread it on your lips. I love it. Sadly this gloss is discontinued. Why Lakme ???
So I was focussed on project panning these two and then closing the Lip Gloss door, for what I thought, was forever.
But then in September we were in the UK out doing touristy things when I realised I left my lip balm back at the hotel.
So I thought I would nip into the nearest store and pick up a gloss. Moisturise my lips, yes, but also add a nice shine especially when we were out for drinks later that evening. Caj-glam, you know.
I popped into Primark and picked up what I thought was a rose gold lip gloss for $2.
It’s not. It’s a metal gloss. I have never bought anything from Primark, never makeup and over all that, nothing metal. But this one impressed me .
The gloss is thick and oddly not sticky. The doe foot is a big and picks up a lot of product so I have to put a few dots on my lips and then spread that around with a lip brush. It is not patchy, settles well on the lips and lasts really well for a gloss!
With the lip swatches it has been impossible to capture the color or reflect of this product. By itself it is pretty ‘disco’ on my lips, because IRL it reflects more yellow than rose.
I put down a matte dark brown or pink and then apply the gloss over it. This makes it more wearable while still retaining the interesting metallic aspect of this gloss.
I am surprised to discover that I dont have a problem with ‘lip lines being emphasised with metals‘. I am having great fun with this one and am glad to enter this world of the ‘metallic’ lip.
Then in October I bought the Colorpop Ultra Glossy Lip in Bibidi . This was part of the Disney Princess collection so I HAD to.
It feels like a gloss on the lips i.e. a bit sticky but not uncomfortably so. I like the size of the doe foot applicator because it is small and doesn’t pick up too much product.
However it failed to deliver on the promise of ultra-gloss or glitter so sadly I won’t be buying more glosses from Colorpop. I mean it’s not special enough to go through all that trouble of ordering online. I rather walk into a Walgreens and buy a Jordana gloss.
Then early November I was loafing around in Daiso, the Japanese dollar store in downtown Seattle when I saw the LA Colors display. I had been so impressed by the LA Colors lipliners that I had to try out this $2 LA Colors High Shine lipgloss.
It’s a pinkish-nude and has a lovely shine. While it’s a wet formula it is not overtly sticky, however I do fear the hair-stuck-to-lip thing. It has a sweet caramely smell and I am not a fan of sweet scented makeup. Thankfully the scent does not linger.
This gloss has enough shiny promise that, with the right lip liner it can be glammed up. Alas I am still to master that skill. I am currently trying various combinations of these 8 lip liners I bought from LA Colors and hope to hit upon a winning combo soon :).
And now for left the BEST of the lot. The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Shimmering Rose Nude. It IS the bomb.com. Nude lips at their glam best.
It’s a thick balmy gloss with very fine micro shimmers that plays with the light to add dimension and juicyness to the lips. It has a pleasant scent that luckily for me, doesn’t linger. The angled doe foot applicator, is big but doesn’t pick up loads of product. The angled edge is nicely ergonomic on the lips.
If you like the look of gloss then go out and buy it.
As for me, I went from not caring much for gloss and to a legit card carrying member of the Lip Gloss Brigade.
I am now eyeing a Jordana one. It is clear with a bluey-iridescent shift. oooh fun!
Image Homage: Chief Seattle (Si’ahl) of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes.
Finally I feel like I have got a grip on life here. Enough to make generalised statements and voice a few gripes !
Rules of the Road:
I now know that XING painted on roadways is not named after a very rich Mr Xing or after a big Asian restaurant, it means Crossing. Doh uh!
Salmon/Fish Xing is not a joke the state is making at motorists, it really IS a thing.
This is a personal thing but I think American Traffic Lights, Lanes & Intersections have been designed to evoke an inner conversation that the driver must have in a matter of seconds.
Is it a Green Arrow or a Green Light ? Should I yield or should I not ? Is this Red light for me, like really really really for me or can I ignore it and turn Right ? Ha!
Who arrived at the intersection first, the chicken or the car ? Should we split seconds so we know who yields to whom?
And that pesky middle lane with arrows in both directions. Yes I know what it means I have read the State Driver’s Manual thank you very much…but it magically appears right in the middle of your car when you are turning and trying to KEEP to your lane.
I am a simple person. Give me 3 ROUND lights. Red Amber and Green. I don’t want arrows, stars, pentagons and lanes that go both directions. And No free right turns and (some) left turns. I don’t want free will.
Drivers here are geniuses! I am surprised there aren’t more traffic ‘situations’ with inner conversations going wrong.
PS: I still need to take my driving test, hence the irrational anxiety.
I like order and this makes me the happiest. Most things are standardised and that makes life easy.
Windows, doors, shelves size and depth, table heights and stools. Wash basins, shower stalls and toilets. This means whatever accessory I buy for common home items it will fit that particular object.
It doesn’t matter which Sephora or Ulta I enter it will be laid out the same and I know where Too Faced is.
But best of all, standardised clothing sizes across shops and across BRANDS ! Makes shopping for clothes stress-free.
I have been a 2 in Armani Exchange, a Small in Nike, a MEDIUM in Levis, a Large in Indie brand boutiques and a 10 in Marks and Spencer. All in the same country in the SAME shopping spree!
Just the thought of trying multiple sizes in the next shop was exhausting.
I have been in Washington State for 2 years and I have already seen 3 snakes crossing path my path. 2 garter/gardener (?) and one rattlesnake (Eastern Washington).
I don’t mean hiking trails, off-road and under growth. I mean proper concrete paths. Paths with people, roller bladers, runners and cyclists stomping by all the time.
One of the best things about leaving Asia and moving to a mostly cold Alpine climate was that fact I would not encounter snakes willy nilly. I could go walking and hiking, fearlessly.
Apparently not. Now I am constantly worried about all rubber tubings and ropes on the ground exactly like I did when I lived in Hong Kong.
Anyone living in India and Hong Kong should really stop saying “you live in Seattle, it rains there a lot right (snooty sniff)?”
Rain there comes at you, horizontally. It’s a scientific fact, you can check it. Nothing can protect you from the walloping that kind of rain gives you.
Here the rain falls vertically, like you know, rain should. And it is polite. It doesn’t smack you in the face. A raincoat or an umbrella and I am fine.
This sadly remains an un-solved mystery. (read previous post here ) I still don’t know why the most common form of ‘litter’ a black hair tie ? Is it a Kirkland thing ? Is it a Eastside thing? Do we see it in Seattle ?
I don’t know, but after 2 years it feels like I see hair ties on the ground everywhere I go in WA. It’s a thing.
Previous Posts about living in America are here and here
Me: Indian, MAC NC 40-42. Normal skin that is now veering towards dry as the years march on. I do not have sensitive, problematic or acne prone skin.
The answer is already there, just that we (I) choose to ignore it. Use the palettes for eyes, face and hair! Yes I know I said hair. I will explain more below.
NB:facial powders, especially newer formulations have hydrating ingredients in them, from blush to setting powders and eyeshadows are usually dryer formulations. (read my skin type disclaimer above)
Eyeshadow palettes are like shoes. We collect them in multiples. But for some reason un-used eyeshadow palettes seem to cause me more anxiety than the shoes I don’t wear.
Time to end this passive aggressive, guilt inducing tyranny of these palettes. Let’s put them to work.
Whilst in the UK I used a Wet n Wild Color Icon palette as eyeshadow, setting powder, blush, bronzer and highlight. (Read post here) I love the simplicity of this practice and been continuing on the single palette trick even back home.
It’s a real thrill trying to use one palette and see how far it will go !
Viseart Petit Pro 1Currently I am trying to hit pan in this and going whole hog.
I went to brunch and used this for eyes, contour and highlighter. The khaki and the reddish brown mixed together make for a nice contour for my face and the white shimmer (below the white) as highlighter.
I used a mix of the gold and bronze shimmer on my eyes. The black as a ‘kohl’ liner. White on the brow bone.
I have also worn the purple shimmer, lightly, as a glowy blush. Lightly being the operative word here.
In-fact across the board for eyeshadow palettes, use the shades LIGHTLY on the face and build it up. Even “lightly” pigmented shades on the eyes show up pretty bold on the face.
Viseart Paris Nudes I don’t own too many highlighters and definitely none from Mr and Mrs Popular (Jeffree Starr, Anastasia Beverly Hills) and every time I think ‘oh maybe I should get at-least one” I look at my Paris Nudes and think, ‘Nope. This is the best!’ This palette is my favourite ‘highlight and glowy blush’ palette.
Viseart shimmer shades receive a lot of flack for not being ‘shimmery’ enough. The lack of shimmer or glitter specks make for my kind of perfect ‘glow’. ( read review of the Paris Nudes here)
The other versatile palette is Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam.
For my skintone I have a choice of 3 shades, Sienna, Rustic and Cyprus Umber that add dimension to my face.
I layer or mix shades depending on what I am looking for on that day. Contour or bronzer?
On some days Sienna will do as both contour and blush. What I mean by that is it adds an interesting, yet natural colour and shape to my face.
I use a light dusting of Mulberry as a blush. It works for my skintone and more importantly, my undertone. But go LIGHT !!!
Dusty Rose also gives a nice soft flush to my cheeks.
Glistening and Rose Pink are my favourite highlighters from this palette. Glistening giving a ‘smoother’ finish.
Hair Eyeshadows make for amazing root touch up! Obviously for greys and light hair. Root touch ups in the market make my hair greasy and stiff at the same time. I can feel that ‘waxy’ layer on the strands. Not eyeshadow.
Also the shadows don’t ‘run’ or transfer as I thought they would.
I used Dark Umber from Soft Glam to remove the starkness of the grey roots along the sides on my face. The grey roots around my temples, especially when my hair is pulled back looks like I have bald patches along the sides. But not when I dust eyeshadow over them.
I have used purples and pinks too. Great fun!
The swatches done the back of my hands in this post look pretty scary, but on my face they translate very well. It just looks like “makeup”.
So have fun, use what you have. I have even used that awful shade from Naked 3, DUST as a full on glitter highlight. It was a “embrace the glitter” moment I was having…and….I L.I.K.E.D it!
This is the beauty of makeup. It’s art, it’s creating, it’s discovery and it’s FUN.
I never thought I would EVER like glittery highlighter. And the best outcome of all I don’t need to buy blush, contour or highlighter for atleast….a year !
I have a weakness for dolls. Some of my best memories was a trip was to the Kolkatta Dolls Museum (Nehru Children’s Museum) that my grandfather took me to when I was 8 years old.
Not Barbie and Industry ‘merch’, but dolls like my Raggedy Ann or this precious Victorian porcelain doll.
Next on my buy-list is a French regency doll and a female CLOWN doll. Just eff-y-eye clowns don’t scare me, I mean look at Raggedy Ann!!
So when dolls and makeup combine its a conspiracy, against me, obviously!
The story behind this Disney designer collection is interesting especially the ‘doll’ element of it.
Sadly the dolls look like generic toy store costume dolls which does nothing for me. I expected a more Fashion runway kind of an adaptation of that style.
Anyway I still wanted to own a piece of this story. So on the 7th of October 2018 (” hey No Buy how you going?”) I hit SUBMIT on my order on colorpop.com
x1 Disney Princess eyeshadow palette and x1 Bibidi lip gloss.
I would have bought this lipstick too if it wasn’t sold out !
I love the palette because of the princesses on the cover. Without the princess artwork I wouldn’t have bought it. That’s the honest truth.
Chip: matte soft beige nude Juju: matte warm rosy pink Grumpy: matte dusty salmon Triton: sand with a golden sheen – I would call this a satin Abu: matte intense warm brown – applies better on the eye than what I swatched.
All 5 shades, top row, are great even for an NC 40 Indian skintone like my eyelids. Usually it’s not easy for colours like these to make a difference on my lids but these shades do show up very distinctly.
Most specifically Chip. It is great for all over the lid and on my brow bone. It doesn’t come off ashy.
And Juju I LOVE. It is a very beautiful pink and not chalky. It gives me a nice contour in the crease. It’s good Juju!
Triton has a sheen and applied all over the lid is flattering for a subtle look. But I have used it in the crease too.
All of them are soft, pigmented and blend well. But you knew that already because everyone, excepting me, already owns atleast 1 colourpop palette 🙂
The shades I don’t like atall are Prince Charming and Fairy Godmother. 2nd row 1st and 3rd shade.I don’t like the glitter and the glitter fall out. I applied both over the NYX glitter glue, with a dry flat synthetic brush, with wet flat synthetic brush and my fingers.
These are beautiful metals. They are almost foiled. One Kiss described as a coppery gold is more yellow gold and Enchanted Rose looks more coppery on my lid.
What I am most impressed with is the silver foiled shadow. Silver is often patchy on me, with my melanin coming through but the Thingamabob formula is nicely opaque. Smooth tin foil eye lids if you like silver metals 🙂
The other WOW! shade is Poison Apple.
Poison Apple: metallic pinky violet
A beautiful pink violet. I would call it a satin. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear it on my lids blended out with Juju or Grumpy. It has a nice brightness that doesn’t ‘close’ my eyes.
Magic Carpet: blackened plum – A satin finish
Beast: deep warm brown topped with gold glitter Midnight Curfew: black sprinkled with silver glitter
Magic Carpet is what I would call Eggplant. It has more of a satin finish without an overt sheen. It can be a bit difficult to blend, as this type of colour often is, so build it up slowly. I prefer it in the outer V because black is a bit much for me.
Beast and Midnight Curfew are easy to blend mattes even though they are pretty dark! Infact Beast, the dark brown seems to blend better than the dark brown in my ABH Soft Glam palette. Oh yes!
The glitter in these dark matte shades ? Who knows ? One of the great mysteries in eyeshadow palettes. They add nothing but the glitter doesn’t fall out either !
Oh wait the BLACK does have fall out so do your eye makeup first.
With regards to lasting power. I have difficulty giving an accurate account for this.
Example ABH Soft Glam doesn’t last well on me atall. I am at a point where I wonder what the big deal about ABH is ?
I wore these with the Urban Decay Anti Aging eye primer. I wore it for 4 hours and the lasting power along the inner eye crease was not too great. That is my trouble zone.
This could be two things 1. I think I might put too much primer on or 2. My notoriously oily lids.
All in all I like this palette and happy that this is my foray into Colorpop shadows!
Bibidi lip gloss. Now the ONLY product I like with glitter it seems, is lipgloss and/or lipstick! And that’s exactly what this lipgloss is. Clear with subtle particles of glitter. I like the look. It is definitely not too much glitter. Dare I say I would have preferred a little more glitter 🙂
It is sticky. Hair-will-stick-to-it sticky but not gloopy. I bought it because I wanted a clear gloss. I like the glitter and it’s part of the collection, so.
Guilty Secret: I am tempted to buy any MERCH of Elsa and Anna from Frozen. I don’t because, you know, I am an adult.
I stopped applying makeup on my pets’ faces a while back. They looked like ‘ladies of the night’ frankly.
Kidding obviously, because I have very high sanitary standards and would not contaminate my makeup with those furry beasts.
I started small. I have now been using body soap cakes for the past 15 years now, 9 out of 10 times apply toners with my palms or spray them on and rare-never use makeup wipes. I generally use rags a lot. (NB: You have to apply Tarte’s Tingling toner with a cotton ball or your fingers will burn off!)
Now for the animals. This is a very recent start for me. I know I had to at some point and that time is NOW.
I had to literally force myself to ‘see’ in my mind’s eye an animal in a testing lab in those cages. ( I still eat meat…so…)
While I am not a fan of how makeup can being returned in the US ( landfill ) I do love more and more US brands are marching towards the leaping bunny logo.
Check below links. The best thing is we already own and love most of these brands. Yaaay!
The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it. The Logo can be seen on packaging, advertising, and websites for cosmetics and household products around the world.
A lot of people are critical when a brand calls itself CF but the parent company is not (Loreal) OR ingredients that were acquired from 3rd party suppliers are not CF (say Unilever’s supply chain). It’s a minefield.
I apply the gym philosophy ‘start by trying to run atleast 2 miles without stopping while keeping the goal 5 miles’. Baby steps. Also I don’t over analyze because that usually stops me from starting a journey.
Example ‘go ALL CF or not atall’. ‘Go CF and vegetarian or not atall.’ I will fail with such hardline boundaries and I don’t want to fail.
I am not going Vegan. As an Indian Hindu woman ‘ghee’ and dairy were drilled into my psyche. More than that I am going to be lusting after oysters and sushi for a long while more and I can not resist a plate of cheese and nuts.
Anyway I am looking at my makeup first. That for me is an easier switch before I look at skincare and toiletries.
Some of my go-to brands are questionable. MAC, Urban Decay, Maybelline and Loreal.
Other than the MAC Fix+ <sob> and OMG the Urban Decay GrindHouse sharpener the others are easily swapped.
Actually I will give up the Fix+, with both hands, before I give that sharpener up. Sorry bunny.
And then there is high end. This where the struggle is real. I really like Shu Uemura, YSL and Dior. YSL fragrance and lips, Dior face and Shu Uemura cleansing oils and their makeup aesthetic. Oh over-priced Shu Uemura cleansing oil, how I love thee.
I will give up this cleansing oil before I give up my Urban Decay sharpener.
Sorry bunny, but not really.
So my CF makeup start is fairly easy.
I don’t have a vast collection so fewer traps.
I don’t have strong brand loyalty with most makeup companies 🙂
Most of the CF brands listed I already own and throughly enjoy.
Questionable products from MAC and Maybelline I am going to use up and not re-purchase.
Oh MAC! I am literally getting teary eyed here. It’s like giving up my makeup security blanket. When all fails MAC is always there for me with their easily identifiable shade range. NC 40 is all I know 😦
My $80 Viseart palette will be with me for a while. I LOVE Viseart, unhappy bunny and all. But when I say I set small goals I mean it.
While I will not repurchase Viseart I will not guilt myself all the time I am going to use the palette I already own. I like their mattes and REALLY love their shimmers. Subtle and muted and age appropriate for me.
My dream of buying the Viseart Dark Mattes has been put to rest because I aint buying it.
What about Pat McGrath* and Huda Beauty’s Desert Dusk ? The answer is sadly NO. I will sneak in a cheeky PmcG swatch in Sephora just so I know I have touched a PM palette and experienced its heavenly wonder.
Update: as per Pat McGrath website:
Are PAT McGRATH LABS products cruelty-free?
A: Pat McGrath Labs does not test our products or ingredients on animals.
What else ? I am trying to rack my brains to see if I have left something out. I know I am going to have to print the CF list out and paste it near my vanity. If not I know I will forget and get blinded by a Nars launch.
And oh, I don’t care how much of an activitist you are I AM going to re-purchase that Urban Decay Grind House sharpener.