Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Lip

Sephora recently came out with another favorites this month. It is a lip sampler with six lip products from different brands. The best thing is that it's only $30, which breaks down to $5 each. Also, the sizes are pretty generous except one. On the website the box looks pretty big, but I was surprised when I received it in the mail as it is barely the size of my hand, which is actually nice as it does not have useless bulky packaging. 

The packaging is really cute, it has a pink outer cover which slips off revealing a rose gold cardboard box inside. 

When you open the flip, it reveals all the lip products arranged in a row based on their height. 

L-R: Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment, Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Pink, Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly, Nars Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight, Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb, Tarte LipSurgence Lip Luster in Glitzy.

Natural Light - Same order as above
Indoor Lighting - Same order as above

 Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment: This is one product that I was most disappointed about, especially because of the size. If you guys remember, this was a part of Sephora birthday gift last year and it is super tiny. And because of its small size, the old one that I have got mangled while application. 

Left: From the Sephora birthday set last year 
The product is 0.08 oz as compared to the full sized product, which is 0.15 oz for $23. 

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Pink: It is a creamy pale peachy color rather than pink. It has a really nice sweet smell, which is not overpowering by any means. The consistency is very smooth and has a decent pigmentation, but it won't show up on dark pigmented lips. It is 0.1 oz while the full size is 0.15 oz for $26. 

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly: It is a mauvy plum shade with very finely milled iridescent multicolored shimmer. To me, it smells like winter holidays because the scent reminds me of holiday baking and those delicious coffee shop aromas. I know that is crazy, and I am definitely not an expert on smells but it just reminds me of that time. The pigmentation is quite nice, the glitter does not feel gritty and the color shows up well on pigmented lips. It is 0.07 oz, while the full size is 0.15 oz for $23. 

Nars Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight: This is one of the infamous lip glosses that I do not even need to talk about. But personally it is not my favorite because the color is so light and cool toned that it just does not work for my skin tone (NC 25) and my dark pigmented lips, even though it does have a decent color pigmentation. Also, it does not have any scent. It is 0.14 oz, while the full size is 0.28 oz for $29. 

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb: This is hands down my favorite out of all the six lip products. It is a plumy mauve jumbo twist up lip pencil. The consistency is amazing, it is super smooth and shiny with superb color pigmentation.  I would buy this whole package just for this one product. It is 0.05 oz, while the full size is 0.09 oz for $28. So it is a little over half the size of the regular product. 

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Luster in Glitzy: Now, this is full sized product i.e. 0.1 oz and retails for $29 alone. So basically, you are getting everything else for $1, which is amazing. Tarte lipsurgence's have a reputation of their own. Everything about this product is good,  whether it is the twist up packaging, consistency or pigmentation. Also, this color is very different from the regular lip colors that I own. It is a very shiny coppery shade, which is not very commonly found. However, since it leans towards brown so it is very wearable. 

Result: I am really happy with this purchase and recommend it to everyone. Since the Tarte Lipsurgence itself covers the price of the whole set, so it is worth a shot. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the Bite Beauty Pencil is also more than half the original size. The only disappointment is the Fresh tinted lip balm because of its size and difficulty to use, but other than that I absolutely love this set. This sampler set is a great way to try out different brands at an affordable price. 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you have a great day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

NOTD: Coral & Gold

Corals are everywhere in the summer, and this is one of my favorite coral nail combinations to wear. However, usually I put gold on the right finger, but I was feeling like doing it differently this time so I switched. For this look, both the nail polishes that are used are from Sally Hansen Xtreme wear line, which is one of my favorites as not only it is super inexpensive, but they have a wide color selection and amazing formula. 

As I said earlier, I usually wear the gold on my ring finger, and it looks really nice. I am actually planning to add pictures of that combination also in this same post whenever I wear it. 

The coral color that I have on my nails was released either last year or the year before, and there was a huge hype about it. However, I always felt that this color won`t look good on my skin tone, so I never picked it up until middle of this summer. And I absolutely fell in love with it the first time I wore it.

This coral shade is very different as it has pink undertones. Even the gold is really beautiful, it is not the traditional yellow gold but more of a deep bronzey gold which looks amazing with this coral. 

If you already have these colors in your collection then do try this combination because I am sure you will also fall in love with it. 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!

Friday, August 23, 2013

NOTD: A Corally Affair

Coral color is in trend every summer, and I love everything i.e. coral, whether it is blush, lipstick, nail polish or clothes. So I thought of doing a very subtle nail look using two different shades of coral. It is appropriate for those who want to experiment with accent nails but are not comfortable using contrasting colors. These two colors look a lot more different in the bottles than on nails. One leans towards red while the other is more of an orangy coral shade. Nonetheless, both shades complement each other and look amazing together. 

This time I used the same pattern on both hands. I used the orangy coral shade on middle two fingers while the reddish shade on other three. 

Both the nail polishes that I used are from Wet n Wild, which is a super inexpensive brand with amazing quality products. The applicator of these nail polishes is my one of my favorites. It is wide enough to cover the whole nail at once but small enough to not make a mess. Even the pigmentation and quality is superb, and comparable to some of the high end brands. 

Heatwave is the reddish shade while Club Havana is orangish. 

As usual I used my Revlon gel base and top coat, with two coats of the colored nail polish. Thank you for taking time to read this post. I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

NOTD: Orange Blorenge

I know today's nail color is more of a pumpkin orange rather than coral, which is kind of Halloween-y color. But beauty and fashion has no rules and you can wear any color at any time of the year. The color that I used today is OPI Call me Gwen-ever. I love how OPI names their nail polishes. It has rusty undertones to it, which makes it deeper than regular orange shades. It is an absolutely beautiful color that has the potential to look good on a variety of skin tones.

Fun fact: Other than Sporange (check oxford dictionary), Blorenge (a city in South-east Wales) is the only word that rhymes with orange. 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you have a great day! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

NOTD: Bluey Hues

I absolutely love blue nail polish for summer. It is like blue jeans that goes with everything. For today's manicure I have picked up two different shades of blue. I like these kind of manicures because they add a little extra to one colored nail looks but are very simple.

Left Hand

Right Hand

I just changed the sequence of colors on both hands to make it more fun and casual. I used both drugstore nail polishes. First one is Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, which is a cult favorite of the beauty community and is talked about a lot. It retails around $2.99 depending upon the store.

The second color is called Bikini by Pure Ice. Walmart Canada has recently started carrying this new brand of nail polish and it is retails for $1.99. I like the consistency, it is quite opaque but I used 3 coats for this manicure. I want to try more colors, but I didn't find any unique one as I already own most of the shades that they carry. 

As usual, I used the Revlon colorstay base and top coat. It gives a decent shine and makes my nail polish last a while, which actually is not a priority for me as I change my nail polish every other day. 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!

Reviva Labs Makeup Primer: For Acne Prone, Allergic and Sensitive Skin

Primers are way more talked about now than they ever were, and have almost become a necessity for makeup lovers. There are tons of primers in the market today addressing all different skin issues. However, finding a good, affordable primer with skin benefits is the real challenge. I have tried a lot of primers from high end to drugstore including Hourglass mineral veil primer, Benefit porefessional, Smashbox photo finish, Too faced primed and poreless skin, Tarte clean slate and many more. Obviously, I didn't like all the ones that I tried, but now the problem is that I am allergic to stearate so I am not left with a lot of options. Therefore, it is kind of difficult to find the one that I really like and does not contain stearate. Fortunately, I have found one, which is really affordable and has some skin benefits and it is Reviva Labs Makeup Primer.

I bought this primer from for around $12. It has very few ingredients which is always good (Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), olive oil, coenzyme Q10, squalane) and is cruelty free.

It claims to:

  • Fills in lines, conceals pores, controls excess oil.
  • Helps skin instantly look and feel smooth and silky.
  • Helps makeup foundation last longer, (safe under eye shadow, too).
  • And COQ10 adds protective antioxidant action.

As you can see from the ingredient list, there is dimethicone in it so  it is a silicone bases primer and goes on very smoothly like Smashbox photofinish primer. However, it has skin benefits unlike some other primers that are just meant to keep the makeup on for longer. Also, since eyelids are very sensitive and it is usually not recommended to put face products there due to the risk of them sliding into the eyes. But this primer can be used on the eyes suggesting how mild it is. 


  • Very few and recognizable ingredients (less is more for skin)
  • Affordable
  • Skin benefits
  • Keeps makeup on all day
  • Can also act as an eye primer
  • Has a pump
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free


  • Can only be found online unless stores near you carry Reviva Labs

RESULT: I absolutely love this primer and would recommend it to everyone, especially people who have sensitive skin and are looking for products with lesser ingredients.

Thank you for taking time to read this page. I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spadina House

Spadina House is a historic house museum in Toronto, Ontario. It was built in parts from 1866-1913 and is located next door to Casa Loma. For some reason, it is not as famous or talked about as Casa Loma is even though it is equally magnificent. One major difference between the two is that the Casa Loma is more of a big castle while Spadina house feels more cozy and regular house like with Victorian touch.  Also, at Spadina House there are timed tours that are provided in groups by a staff member.

Spadina House - Front View
Formal Sitting Area
A major part of the house is restored back to the era it belonged to, for example the wallpapers have been re installed because of the wear and tear. Also, most furniture supposedly belongs to the family who owned the house.
Indoor Garden

Indoor Garden 
This beautiful indoor garden was not a part of the original plan but was added later on by the house owner. Outside garden is also just as pretty as this indoor one. Apart from a large recreational area, there is an orchard with apple trees and decent sized vegetable garden. The little door at the floor of the indoor garden was specially built for the gardener as during those times gardeners, chauffeurs etc., were not allowed to enter the house from the front entrance.

Apple Orchard
The apartment that is visible right across the orchard in the above picture was specially made for the chauffeur. A tiny house was also built for the gardener but that is not exactly on the property. 

I highly recommend visiting Spadina House, it is very different from Casa Loma. The tour guide that lead the group was a very nice and patient lady. She explained everything with great detail and answered all the questions. It is open Tuesday - Sunday from 12 pm - 5 pm and have different timings for holidays, so please check there website for more information. 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Allergies and Acne

Acne is one of the most prominent issues that youngsters and individuals in mid-twenties have to deal with. I always had some acne since the beginning of my teenage years, however, it was never to the point that I needed a dermatologist. Now that I am done with my teens, I got the worst acne of my life. I tried everything to get rid of them but nothing helped. I even took prescription medicine and my skin got better for a while but as soon as I stopped, my skin went back to where it started. I even tried essential oils and everything was fine in the beginning but then my skin reacted very badly.
So when everything failed, it just struck me that maybe its the products that I am using and I was right. I started making a list of all the products that I felt may be the reason of my acne and then compared the ingredients. It took me a while to narrow down to a particular category but I found the culprit at the end, which is Stearate. I noticed that all the products that had any form of stearate whether it is glyceryl stearate, zinc stearate, magnesium stearate, PEG-100-stearate or even stearic acid resulted in acne.
After I was sure that it is the stearate i.e. causing all the problems I got rid of all the products that had those ingredients. It was sad because some of the products were quite expensive but clear skin is priceless. As soon as I started paying attention to the ingredients, I noticed a huge difference in my skin. Yes, it could be quite difficult to find products free of stearates, but they are definitely out there. I can do a whole blog post about that if anyone wants. However, a great source to check the ingredients while online shopping is It has a wide range of products and different columns displaying the levels of acne causing ingredients.
At the end, I would recommend going through this process if nothing else is helping your acne. All you need  is a rough idea if a product is causing allergic reaction and then just notice if you can see a pattern. I am not a dermatologist or a doctor, I am just sharing what worked for me. I just hope it does for you too.
Thank you and have a great day!

NOTD: Pink and Blue

I am a nail polish junkie and love changing it every other day. I really like doing bright color combinations in summer and was initially thinking about doing white and blue but then I ended up doing it with bright creamy pink. The pigmentation and color payoff for both of these nail polishes is amazing. Both are under $5, actually I think the essence one is $1.99. I used Revlon gel base and top coat (my favorite). 
Left Hand

Right Hand

I noticed that the blue on nails is showing up way deeper than it actually is. It is more true to color in the bottle, where it leans more towards teal. I highly recommend checking out essence polishes as they are super cheap and great quality. However, the color collection is very limited and that is the only downside. 

If you try this combination or any others, please leave a link to the pictures below as I would love to see them. Thank you for checking out this post, hope you have a great day!

Casa Loma

Casa Loma is a historic house museum in Toronto, which was built over a three year period from 1911-1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt as his residential house but was later established as a museum in 1937. I have a thing for historic places, especially houses so this was on my list for quite a while. I am so glad that I finally made the visit to this beautiful house. Not just the interiors but even the garden outside is gorgeous.

Front Entrance - Casa Loma

First thing that I noticed was the height at which it is established. Even the houses around it have tiny stairs going up to their backyards and main door. But the long stairs end up in the beautiful garden and the magnificent view of Casa Loma.
Back Staircase from the road to Casa Loma

It was a pretty hot day, but still there were lots and lots of people there, and mostly with young children. So it was really crowded, but I kind of liked that because I would not like to go to such a huge house all alone. The most surreal experience for me was to go into the Tunnel. It was cold (which was awesome for such a hot day), dark, wet and old. So it was one of a kind experience.
Since there are so many people, they don't provide personal tour guides to everyone, so they have audio guides which you can pick up from the gift shop and then return it back before leaving. I believe they have the audio guides in English, French and Mandarin. At least that is what they had that day. The audio guides are basically palm sized devices that have recorded information about history of all the rooms and the dwellers.  
Lady Pellat's Suite

 Lady Pellat's Sitting Area

There is also a cafeteria with reasonably priced items in the basement right next to the gift shop. Elevator service is available for people with special needs. So, overall it is a really nice place to visit with family and friends. It is open everyday from 9.30 am - 5 pm. 
This is my first blog post and I don't really have a hang of it so I am really sorry about this choppy post. I am not sure but for some reason it is not allowing me to add any more photos or information. I promise I'll work on it and please let me know if you have any suggestions.

I hope you guys do visit and have a great time!