Saturday, November 15, 2014

More about hair oils... Kalonji and Amla and Mustard...

I've been losing a LOT of hair lately. Although the hair is longer now, the number of hair per square cm./density is very low. I hate it! I have been using Kesh King hair oil from India for the past 3 months and I don't think it has done anything to help stop it.

I've used Navratna Red Hair Oil from India as well to stimulate and tingle the scalp. When applied, it does tingle for 10 mins. or so but I don't really know if it has done anything either. Though I do have a lot of fly-away/baby hairs now visible.

Kalonji (Black Seed) Oil is supposed to be miraculous for new hair growth, so I will try that next. Also Amla is supposed to help, so I have bought Khadi Pure Amla Oil (pure meaning, no fillers like mineral oil etc. in it) to try as well. In the next month or so I will prolly do a half and half concoction of these two oils and apply weekly(will also look into adding mustard seed oil, why not make the most potent concoction?). Then I will try it for 3 months to check for reduction of hair fall as well as for new hair growth.

I know that reduction on hair fall is a more plausible possibility than creation of new hair, but you never know. The hair that fell, hopefully their roots will still be alive and get rejuvenated with my nurturing which will lead to sprouting of new hair ;) (one can dream, can't I?).

I'll keep the blog updated with progress though.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Small L'oreal Haul

I purchased the following 4 L'oreal Infallible eye shadows from the Ulta 40% sale: 759 Burst Into Bloom, 557 Glistening Garnet, 333 Golden Sage, 335 Golden Emerald 



These colors are stunning in real life and the pictures above were taken in natural daylight and are kind of making the colors appear washed out. Do check these out in person when you get a chance. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Eyelash growth enhancers: Products and Reviews

Mascaras have been around since 4000 B.C. and hence are one of the oldest cosmetics known to mankind. Long lashes are a universal sign of beauty and femininity. From an evolution point of view, I'm guessing it is tied to attractiveness: long fluttery lashes --> flirty --> mating and procreating; and that's all evolution is about, maximizing your chances of mating and procreating ( leaving procreation aside, not much has changed ;) )

Here are 3 products that I have personally used and can vouch for from my personal experience.

1) L'oreal Lash Serum: 3rd one in the picture below, available for $12 to $15 in the US. It is a plain and simple conditioner for your lashes. Pop it on each night before you sleep and I guarantee you will see a difference in 3-4 weeks with daily application. I have noticed however that the difference is fairly small and goes away as soon as you discontinue the application. All in all, this is a great no hassle product and I highly recommend it.

2) Smartlash Eyelash Enhancer (does not contain prostaglandin): 2nd one in the picture below, available for $25 to $35 in the US. It is a bit better in terms of lashes. It has a thin brush for applying it to the base of lashes but apply too much and you get it in your eyes and it burns! So be careful. Avoid the product if you have sensitive eyes. I definitely see results from applying this one in 3 weeks or so as well. However, after a while, the results plateau. It is still not as extreme in terms of results like Latisse (contains prostaglandin) or some higher grade products. All in all a great product, if you know the risks associated and don't want to spend a bucket load on eyelash treatment.

3) Mix of Castor oil and Avocado oil (placed in a l'oreal lash serum vial for ease of application): The most natural one on the list and is the 1st from left in the picture below. Castor oil is a very popular 


I have always had average lashes but with the use of the above mentioned products, they're getting better. Below, 1st pic shows my bare lashes with only the oil applied to them, 2nd pic shows my lashes with one coat of the L'oreal Butterfly Lashes Mascara (sorry for the freaky looking, poor quality pic). 
I bet if I was more regular with the application of these products, I would see a bigger improvement.




Sunday, April 27, 2014

New Face Mask

It's not new but a modification of the Tumeric one I had posted a few weeks ago. This one uses an organic Tumeric & Sandalwood powder in place of the besan and includes raw organic honey as well. Being of Indian-birth, I LOVE the scent of Sandalwood. Besides, if you Google about sandalwood, you will see a ton of healthy skin benefits. Here's what it looks like (I bought this on eBay from seller Amber's Organic)


MASK INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp. Amber's Organic' powder shown above
  • Additional Organic Turmeric (you can never have too much turmeric)
  • 1 spoon Raw Organic Honey (I could've also used Manuka Honey, like the turmeric mask)
  • [Whole Milk] or [Organic Yogurt + Freshly squeezed Lime juice] ... (don't use lime juice and milk together since lime will turn/spoil the milk)
  • Since this can be kind of drying and pulling on the skin, I could have also added some almond oil
Here's a beautiful pic of me with the mask on:


All in all I loved this mask. I will try to keep it up.

MAC Playland Collection




1st Row: Toying Around, Happy Go Lucky, Red Balloon (MAC Amplified Creme Lipsticks)
2nd Row: Process Magenta, Black Black (MAC Chromographic Pencils)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lip Swatches

This page is to maintain lip swatches of the tons of lip products I have

NARS Joyous Red Lipstick (fluorescent office lights)

NARS Joyous Red Lipstick in natural day light

bareMinerals pretty amazing lipcolor in Courage (fluorescent office lights)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Aniika Jewelry

There's a web site called Aniika (http://www.aniika.com/shop/) and I bought a pair of earrings from them. They sell a lot of items but their jewelry sucks me in every time. I follow the store on Facebook as well (https://www.facebook.com/aniikadotcom).

They post some of the most stunning pictures of beautiful, heavy, Indian jewelry. And I was sucked in deep by one and finally decided to roll dice. The items in general are heavily over-priced and they charge a ton for shipping. But to try out just once, I ordered anyway.

I ordered a pair of extremely ornate earrings for US$31(prce)+$5(shipping). They arrived in a box like this:


So pretty, right? Then I opened the box to find each of the earrings individually wrapped in bubble wrap.


Gorgeous, right? I turned it to try on and look what happened:


I don't like super-gluing brand new earrings together when I have paid so heavily for them. Also the plastic bead that fell out was very cheap looking plastic and not some gorgeous glass bit I imagined it would be. The metal used in the earring for the post and post back closure is also cheap looking with poor finish. This is not the quality I expect when I pay $36 for a product. But let's look at it as a price paid for a lesson learned.

Thankfully the crystals are pretty and I did this video to catch the glimmer:

video

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Coming Soon: Maybelline Eye Studio Quads



Can you tell that I'm in so much trouble if I fall in love with these? These aren't exactly cheap at US $8+taxes for each palette. And they have so many such palettes with so many gorgeous shades...Look out for swatches and review coming soon.

REVIEW: Garnier Clean Nourishing Cleansing Oil


I had mentioned in my DHC Cleansing Oil Review that I would like to try the new Garnier Cleansing Oil to see if it works comparably well so that I may spend a little less. Here are the results.

 While the product is called "Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin", I do not believe the usage of this should be restricted to dry skin only. I personally have oily skin and have enjoyed using this oil for makeup removal a few times in the recent past. It is fairly thin in viscosity (not as thin as water but thinner than the DHC cleansing oil). I cannot point out the smell exactly but it is very  heavily fragranced. This might be a problem for skin types which get irritated by fragrance in products. It does a great job of dissolving my heavy sunscreen and foundation. I still stick to using a separate eye makeup remover but the 2 times I tried using just this, the eye makeup (mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, the works...) came off easily. When I wash it with warm water, it does emulsify beautifully and gets rid of all the makeup. I do always follow-up with a face wash, though it is not needed.

It retails for US $7.99+taxes for 4.2 oz. (around $1.6/oz.) which makes it much cheaper than the $4.17/oz. of DHC cleansing oil. But when I use the Garnier one, I feel like I am using a lot more product in one use so I will probably end up using it faster. Does that make sense? Maybe the thin-ness of Garnier makes me think I need more to remove the same amount of makeup that DHC removes in lesser amount. I will use the Garnier cleansing oil every once in a while, but I recent stocked up on my DHC and will always keep the DHC one as my stable product of use.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SALE: DHC Cleansing Oil

Once a year DHC Cleansing Oil goes on sale. That time is NOW!!!
Instead of US$28 it is being sold for $23.50.
This is also my birth month, so I received a $10 off $30 purchase coupon from DHC (I <3 DHC).
So all in all I have hauled a few of these and stocked up for the year.
You can see here how much I LOVE these babies!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Garnier New Hair Products

Really Garnier? Won't you even bother changing the title? Oh well, I guess the word "Damage" isn't owned by L'oreal...so go ahead and use on...
(in all honesty I would love to see how these compare to the L'oreal ones)




Hair Color


Would you be interested in how I achieved this color on my dark black hair?

Coming Soon: Urban Decay Electric Palette


Excited yet? I know I am!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DHC Cleansing Oil Review

My staple over the past 6 years or more for removing hardcore makeup and sunblock is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. No other makeup remover even comes close. I remove my eye makeup with an eye makeup remover (although you can also use DHC oil itself for removing eye makeup too, I just like to use a remove made only for eyes for removing tough eye makeup) like the one from Clean and Clear or Neutrogena. Then I follow up massaging my face with 2 pumps of the DHC cleansing oil. When you rinse with warm water, the oil emulsifies and turns milky white, and all the oiliness disappears. And though a face wash with a cleanser after this is optional, I always do wash with whatever facewash I am using at the time. This process is absolutely compulsory for me. The sunblocks I use are hardcore and cling on like 2nd skin. I want to ensure that everything is taken off my face at the end of the day and no other makeup remover has helped me like the DHC cleansing oil.

I have tried using different oils and they do work well but I love the emulsification I get when I wash the DHC oil. I think jojoba oil should work just as well, but again no emulsification and it breaks me out.

I highly recommend this liquid gold to everyone for makeup removal.
It retails for US $28 for 6.7 ounces. ($4.17/oz.)


An Aside: Although the price isn't too bad, over the years it can get expensive. I am eager to try the Garnier Cleansing Oil that has been recently introduced in the market, to see if I can save a few bucks.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

INSTITUT ESTHEDERM E. V. E Serum Source

E. V. E stands for Essential Vital Elements. Check the product on it's website here.

This is a much touted miracle serum and it is French (we all know of the craze around French skincare, don't we?). Well I just HAD to try it.It retails in the USD $120 to USD $140 price range. Which makes this product hideously expensive. Among it's many claims, this product also regenerates skin. As a previous cystic acne sufferer, I have a lot of pores and scarring on my skin and I will try anything to help decrease that. I am using this once a day (at night after washing my face) as opposed to twice. I will report it's progress in a few weeks. It promises results in 3 weeks if used twice a day, but since I'm using it just once a day, I will check back in 6 weeks.




Monday, January 27, 2014

FINAL UPDATE: Gia Nasim's Red Hair Oil

This will be my final update on the Gia Nasim Red Hair Oil. I have been using it for almost 2 months now. At least weekly, if not more. It's a nice ritual and a good habit to have. Check out some of my earlier posts about this oil here and here.

Hair oiling has been around in Asian countries since forever. In India, traditionally coconut oil is used; but now there are hundreds (if not thousands) of varieties of hair oils available. Oiling ensures that your scalp is moisturized as well as stimulated to promote healthy hair growth (diet, etc. is important too).

I have seen positive effects from using Gia's red hair oil. My hair has grown an inch in the past 2 months, which is normal rate of hair growth but for my hair it is great considering how slowly it grows generally. However, I do not think it deserves to be priced at US $65. It was not a miracle oil but a good mix of oils nonetheless. I highly recommend other oils. Refer this post for that information. There are other treatments that I believe are also helping me such as the LUSH Roots treatment and L'oreal's damage erasing hair balm that I have written about earlier.

Banana Hair Mask

I tried this hair mask this weekend since my hair was feeling pretty dried out and straw-like.

1 Ripe Banana + 1 heaping tablespoon of Organic Coconut Oil + 1/4th cup Coconut Milk (I used the full-fat canned type) = Grind this all to a smooth paste and apply all over hair. It will be greasy as eff. Leave on for half an hour and then wash your hair. Moisturized, flowy, healthy hair, Voila!

I personally hate the smell of bananas but I  decided to tough it out and bear it. It was worth it of course. Highly recommended.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty

Yesterday I went to Sephora to return a few things. And then of course I had to haul if I am there :-)
I've always ogled at Marc Jacobs display there. The swatches are buttery smooth, crazy pigmented and an eye shadow lovers' dream. Here are some of the pics of the things I got. I also got "Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter" which just smells heavenly. 




These are without a doubt the best eye shadows on the market today. I got them in "The Starlet 204" and "The Vamp 208". These cost US $59+taxes. So yes on the pricey side but so worth it if you're on the lookout for a quality product.

The lipstick is actually called a lip gel, but to me feels like an extremely pigmented and moisturizing lipstick. I got it in shade "Understudy" (does that remind anyone of Seinfeld? Or am I the only Seinfeld fanatic here?). The shade is supposed to be a terracotta pink. I kinda find it like a muted coral. And the thing stains like nobody's business. Which is a quality I appreciate in a lipstick since I want it to last as long as possible. It retails for $30+taxes. I haven't test driven this yet. Will update once I do.

And using a cliche, I was saving the best for the last. The Marc Jacobs Highliner - Gel Crayon in shade Blacquer. It is a shiny black pigmented pencil eyeliner in phenomenal packaging with a twist-up tip. It lasted on my waterline for around 6-9 hours, which is phenomenal, considering the fact that most last about 10 mins on my waterline. And I didn't try it on the lashline, but I'm pretty sure the wear there will be twice as good. It is the best high-end eyeliner and so totally worth the US $25 price tag.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

LUSH Sandy Santa

LUSH recently had a BOGO sale on their website for a few items and I hauled big time. One of the items I got was Sandy Santa body butter. LUSH UK says the following about it: "With murumuru butter and shea butter, Sandy Santa is both a body butter and a sugar scrub. We’ve packed him full of butters this year to give a wonderful moisturising affect, and we’ve also included sugar and sand to smooth and polish your skin." I can't get get over the fact that they said "affect" instead of "effect". WOW!

Back to the topic at hand. Here is how you use Sandy Santa (and other body butters for that matter) After you are done with your shower, while you're still in the shower and wet, rub him all over (dirty!LOL!) You will be left with wonderful smelling sugar particles and moisturizing oils all over (especially his hat, when it melts it's like a yummy jam/jelly. Try to not eat it). Now scrub/exfoliate. Be gentle. Wash off with warm water. You will be left moisturized, soft and smelling wonderful. Most people don't moisturize after this, however I feel after you towel dry yourself, you do need to moisturize (especially in this dry winter). I love this scrub. It makes showers fun. But try not to use it too frequently. It is a fun treat but not a must-have product in my opinion (especially when you can do a DIY body scrub for the shower using sugar, lemon, EVOO and essential oils just as easily).  

Sandy Santa is generally available only during the holidays. But other body butters, such as Buffy, are available year round. 




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Hair Products

I swear to you this is not just a hair blog. But I really wanted to share 2 new treatments I am incorporating in my hair routine. 

The first product I want to talk about is the LUSH hair treatment called ROOTS (the link will take you to the LUSH product page where you can find further details and reviews). I have only used this once so I cannot review it but I would like to just capture the experience of using it. I wet my hair roots by spraying a rosemary+water spray that I make. Then I applied the treatment to my roots like I apply oil, that is, in sections and massaging it in just at the roots. It feels cold and tingly (because it contains 3 types of mint oils in it). And of course, I decided to do it on the coldest day in the history of US, because I was home and bored working all day. Since it's fairly expensive for my middle-class pockets, I applied it only to the roots mainly for the tingle. Along the hair lengths I just rubbed in some sesame and almond oil. I massaged my scalp for a minute or so. Massaging too much makes my hair fall, so I am careful with it, using just the pads of my finger tips. I loved the feeling of this product. I will use it more frequently. I am hoping to get rid of the winter flakiness that my scalp is experiencing. Expect a full report on this in 2 months. I cannot wait to use it in summer months for a wondering cooling feeling on my migraine-prone head.






The second product I wish to mention is L'oreal Damage-Erasing Balm from their TOTAL REPAIR 5 line. That line as a whole is excellent, the shampoo and conditioner are pretty good too. But this balm is out of the world. I use it once in a while (maybe once a week) in place of the conditioner. Since I have a very oil scalp, I apply it only to the ends of my hair and mid-shaft. Very little is needed. On washing it off, I love the way my hair feels. It's crazy smooth and soft. After drying hair, I notice a lot of movement in my hair till the next day. I have big, thick hair and so movement is generally very limited. So I love the flowy, smooth feeling this gives my hair. It is however full of cones and things that all you natural people like to avoid. I personally don't care as I use this infrequently and just on the hair ends. All I know is it works and works really well. I highly recommend this product. If you have used it or do use it in the future, I would love to know what you thought.





Monday, January 6, 2014

Hair Update

I take vitamins+fish oil, eat lots of protein and drink tons of water. I rarely use heat on my hair. In spite of that, my hair growth is uber slow. The standard hair growth is half an inch per month. Mine is slower. It slowed down since Feb. 2012 when I donated 12 inches to "Locks Of Love" charity. No idea why!

The past month I have used the Gia Nasim Red Hair Oil as mentioned in my prior posts such as this or this. I did not measure my hair before that (I cannot find the tape measure) and I really wish I did. However, last I colored my hair was just before that and so my hair growth is visible in terms of my visible root color (dark brown). It has grown half an inch. And though it is standard growth, I am pleased :-) (only 6 more inches)

However, I feel if I was just as diligent in using another oil, I would get the same results. The oil mixture I use sometimes is as follows: Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Biotique Bhringraj Oil and drops of peppermint or rosemary organic essential oil (as a stimulant). To this mixture, I plan to add Sesame Oil and Avocado Oil and then use the concoction on my hair. I have a feeling that will give better results. But then I will have to stick to using only that oil. Should I try a month of this mixture? What do you think? I was thinking of using up Gia's oil just to get done with it. Let's see. Wait for the next update.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Best Mascaras Ever (Drugstore)

The mascaras listed (in no particular order) are: Rimmel Lash Accelerator, Jordana Best Lash Extreme, Covergirl Lashblast, Kardashian Beauty The Quickie, Maybelline The Falsies Volume Express and Rimmel Extra POP Lash (blue color) for the fun factor.