October Beauty Bliss

Sunday, October 27, 2013

This month's beauty feature includes several awesome things. Actually, they include all of my favorites. Bad hair day? I got the solution for that. Can't decide on a new eye-shadow? I got an answer for that as well. And so much more, so read on.

A shower gel or body scrub can make a huge difference to the way you and your skin feels. This month, I tried two amazing bath products. The first is a bath soak/body scrub known as Dermalogica Hydro Active Mineral Salts.

This product reinvigorates your senses the moment you open the lid. It has a spicy fragrance to it and at times it can get a little overwhelming. Infused with a number of benefiting ingredients such as cardamom, ginger, lavender, seaweed and dead sea salts, this product can be used in two ways.

If you've come home all tired after a long day at work, use this product to create a stress reducing bath soak. I use this as a body scrub and my God, does this make my skin super soft! The granules scrub off every piece of dead skin and leaves my skin like silk. My cousin did ask me to mix this with a little honey to pamper the skin- I have yet to try this.

If you are more of a shower gel girl, try Lush Cosmetics' Ponche.

Lush never fails to impress and Ponche packs a punch because it is a concoction of orange juice, plum and cinnamon. It has a wonderful fragrance and leaves skin feeling luxuriously smooth. Use it in the mornings to wake yourself up.This shower gel gets bonus points since it contains orange juice (my favorite!),

We've all had those days where our hair was more blah than glam, right? Davines' Hair Refresher is a dry shampoo that not only gets rid of that greasy look but also blasts your hair with enough root volume. I give it an A+.

It was actually a surprise to find a dry shampoo that lives up to its word. I've bought at least three dry shampoos from different brands previously, and I found myself changing from one brand to another because they weren't that great. The Hair Refresher is fragrance-free and amazing on the hair. Plus, it does not leave that pesky white residue (I've been told by a hair dresser that you need you hold the can at a decent distance and spray. Usually, people do just the opposite and end up with white residue). This is another product from Davines that has become a favorite. Read about my first Davines favorite here, which also happens to be a hair care product!

Does your eye-shadow palette look blah as well? Experiment with a new color, I say! Have you tried Une's Sfumato Eye Shadow range?

Designed to give you that intense color, these eye-shadows come in shades of earthy browns, vibrant blues, rich plum and subtle taupe. I use a gorgeous aubergine color known as S23.

The product is finely milled and goes on effortlessly. Dont' forget to use a primer for the true color of the shadow to show up. Une has a few other amazing products including a beautiful nail color and a golden BB cream. The latter is my favorite and I use it as a highlighter.

Bourjois is another brand that's making quite a lot of noise in the market. Their new shower gels and deodorants range have arrived in the region. How fab is that? I was just getting used to their previous launches that included a fab new foundation, eye shadows, mascara and all that jazz. From the 4 new deodorants, I tried Bourjois's Protection Extreme deodorant. It is antiperspirant and possesses the most fresh fragrance I have ever experienced from a deo.

A combination of green tea, green apple, rose, musk and amber create a wonderfully pleasant fragrance. Did you know that Bourjois started off as a perfumer? That's why every single product of their's possesses a distinct fragrance. The Protection Extreme deodorant is free of alcohol and parabens. Don't forget to check out the shower gels that come in 4 different fragrances.

And that wraps up this month's beauty favorites. Have you discovered something new that you recommend? Let me know in the comments section.

*The product(s) was sent by the brand for a review. All reviews are based on my personal experience & outcome thereby presenting an honest opinion to the readers.

Review: Davines Glorifying Hair Care Range

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You may not realize this but hair, just like skin requires UV protection. Surprise! Yep, sunscreen for hair exists. The sun has drying effects (or as I like to call it, moisture absorbing effects) not only on the skin but also on hair. This is where those wide brimmed hats come into use. The harsh summer weather has taught me that scarves or hats are not the only things that protect the hair. What you wash your hair with also plays a major role.

The Davines Glorifying Hair Care line seems like a breath of fresh air. Designed specifically to protect and sustain the intensity of colored locks, the range of products are power packed with anti-aging ingredients and UV protection.

I tried the products for about 4 weeks and here's my verdict:

The Glorifying Shimmering Shampoo is meant to soften and hydrate the hair. Whilst it is called a shampoo, it does not lather like your standard shampoos.

When I used it first, I thought my hair wasn't wet enough and hence no lather. This seems more like a smooth-it-on-your-hair-and-wash-off product. The shampoo is liquid in nature and not the usual creamy/ gel like version we are all used to. Post using this a total of three times in different weeks, while I didn't notice a huge difference, my hair did seem to be a little more calm in the frizz department. Although the name of the product states 'Shimmer', it does not contain any shimmer/glittery particles.

The Glorifying Pak is a hair mask that has a thick consistency. I applied this from root to tip and waited for a full 15 minutes before washing it off even though it says 5 mins is sufficient.

The best part is that it does not drip and once applied, it has an extremely faint (bearable and pleasant) fragrance. I used this mask religiously and the results were visible. Improved hair condition i.e. softer hair. I still use this mask from time to time especially when my hair requires a little pampering.

The Glorifying Treatment Color Protective is a leave-in conditioner in liquid form. I depend on leave-in-conditioners. They are one of the best inventions for hair. This product is my favorite out of the bunch.

It smells divine and imparts shine like no other. It comes in a spray bottle hence wastage is not going to be a problem. Even if I don't use the shampoo or hair mask, I use the leave-in conditioner after every wash. Did I mention it softens my hair? Impressive product. Love it! I wish it came in a slightly bigger bottle.

The Glorifying Serum takes second place after the leave-in conditioner. This silk like and completely light-weight oil contains the famous Omega-6 and is ideal to use after styling the hair. It's more like a hair serum that gives hair the red-carpet ready polished look. As a bonus, it does not weigh the hair down.

About two to three drops goes a long way. Do not use more than that, else your hair tends to stick in bunches (yes, it happened to me in the first try when I pumped quite a bit). This is similar to the other hair serums I use on and off- Kerastase Elixir Ultime and Redken's All Soft Argan-6 Oil. The Davines serum, however is lighter in consistency as opposed to the slightly thicker version noticed in Kerastase and Redken.

Overall, I love this hair pampering range. Previously, I blogged about my favorite Davines shampoo that has similar properties in terms of hydrating the hair. While that is great and helps, if you want double the protection try the Glorifying range. It won't disappoint.

What are the hair care products you swear by?

Davines is available at selected stockists in the UAE. Call Davines on 04-447 7636 to make a purchase.

*The product was sent by the brand/ its reps for a review. All reviews are based on my personal experience & outcome thereby presenting an honest opinion to the readers.

Koton Autumn Winter 2013 Collection Launch In Dubai

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Koton launched their beautiful Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection in Dubai a few weeks ago. The collection that caters to men, women, teens and kids has some eye catching  pieces. Staying true to what we've witnessed on the catwalks of Paris and the likes, Koton brings prints, leather, floral and tweed among others back in style.

The women's collection features bold pieces cushioned with feminine prints and vibrant colors. Think leather jackets with the floral print or a pitch black quilted jacket paired with a bejewelled top and a turquoise midi skirt.

Pastels make a comeback in the form of lady-like chic dresses, tops, fitted trousers and jackets. I absolutely loved the pastel pink top with the beads detailing- simplicity at its best.

Shiny textures and bold colors with statement stones/accessories made the entire collection a delight to view.

How cute is this top with the miniature hearts print? I'm going to snap this piece up when I visit Koton next!

I immediately spotted leopard (my favorite print in the world) not only on clothing but also accessories that were washed in studs, spikes and faux fur.

The Men's Collection projected smart casual and business wear. From chinos and tweed jackets to classic denims and check shirts, this collection gives men a variety of smart options. Keep an eye out for those funky looking skinny ties.

The kids and teens wear showcased prints (hello again, leopard print) and rich reds along with accessories.

The Autumn/Winter Collection is now available in Koton stores across the UAE but hurry, they're flying off the shelves like crazy!

Review: Jane Iredale PureMoist Lipstick

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A red lipstick with cat eye-liner reminds me of old Hollywood. It also reminds me of Marilyn Monroe. In my quest to find the perfect blue-based red lipstick, I've tried several and have yet to find that one red lip color that checks all the boxes. I have always been a fan of matte lipsticks and when this little gem from Jane Iredale arrived on my desk, I was over the moon. Why? Because it is matte AND red!

Jane Iredale's PureMoist Lipstick in Margi is a brilliant deep red (still trying to figure out if it is a blue-red as it looks like it) that has a matte finish.

Due to its creamy formulation, it glides on ever so smoothly.The matte finish in this particular lipstick does not dry out the lips; it contains avocado and sunflower seed oil as two of the several benefit laden ingredients.

The first swipe give you a beautiful just-about-right color deposit on the lips. The second swipe seals the deal giving you a pigmented red pout that says, "Don't mess with me".

How well did it stand the eating and drinking test? The color did fade a bit (as it would any other lipstick) however, you are left with a decent lip stain that doesn't scream 'weird'.

Confident, daring, bold...these are words that describe the color. Did I mention a blend of pomegranate and blackberry makes the lipstick smell so delicious?

Jane Iredale has another pretty gem specifically designed to support breast cancer awareness for the month of October. Read about the latest launch here (it's pink and cute).

Do you have a favorite red lipstick that you swear by? I'd love to hear about it!

Jane Iredale's PureMoist Lipstick is available in 24 shades. Connect with them on their Facebook page for updates.

*The product was sent by the brand/ its reps for a review. All reviews are based on my personal experience & outcome thereby presenting an honest opinion to the readers.

Review: Benefit Cosmetics Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dubai's climate is unbearable during the summer season. You can't walk for 5 mins in the outdoors without having your hair frizz up (hello there, bird's nest) or running to your car, starting the engine and immediately hitting the air con. I know a lot of my friends and others complain about 'make-up melting off' their faces. Fortunately, I've never had such melting make-up problem.

I have normal-to-dry skin and fortunately, don't have as many problems as girls with oily or combination skin do. I do, however deal with dry patches of skin on my face from time to time. 

Of late, one of my favorite make-up brands Benefit Cosmetics launched the Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer. This product goes together with the Hello Flawless range of foundation and powder. I was quite impressed with the foundation (review here), so was expecting the same from the new primer.

Known as a make-up magnet, the Stay Flawless primer claims to lock in foundation and the rest of your make-up thereby eliminating the need for touch-ups or that melting make-up look. Although the primer is light beige in color, it is colorless once you apply it.

After moisturizing my skin, I used the primer in one stroke on my cheeks, forehead and chin area. I smoothed it out. There was no tackiness. I applied foundation immediately followed by my favorite Benetint (review here). I wore this on a work day which means 8 to 9 hours or so.

The primer truly worked its magic because by the end of the day, my make-up looked like I had just put it on; it looked fresh and I was so happy that it did. Not once, throughout the day did I feel the need to touch-up or apply pressed powder. Usually, when I get home after a long day and look at my face, I go "Whatever" because let's face it, I'm tired and my make-up doesn't look that grand as it did when I applied it in the morning.

The next day, after the usual routine I applied this on my eyelids to lock in the eye shadow. The intensity of the eye-shadow shone through and the color looked so pretty. I had zero creasing so this primer doubles up as an eye make-up primer too. You just need a little bit on your face and eyes, and you are set for the day (and evening)!

What's your favorite primer? Do you have a favorite? 

Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer is available with Benefit Cosmetics stockists across UAE. 

*The product was sent by the brand/ its reps for a review. All reviews are based on my personal experience & outcome thereby presenting an honest opinion to the readers.

Lush's Limited Edition Winter Range

Monday, October 7, 2013

You can always expect the unexpected from Lush. They are one of my favorite skin and body care brands. If you haven't tried their face masks or body conditioners, go now!

To celebrate the launch of their limited edition Winter Collection, Lush hosted an interesting event exclusive to bloggers and press. The invitation I received was quite fun and unique.

When I arrived at the venue, the first thing I spotted was a cotton candy stand.

Almost every friend of mine knows that I am obsessed with cotton candy. It was my regular treat when I was a kid. I can still eat about 5 to 6 of them. Thank you Lush, can we have the same thing for the next event?

Ok, moving on...Lush put up a fun Christmas play to introduce the new collection. Think stars, snowmen, penguins, Santa, candy mountains and a host of other festive items.

The collection features new products for bath, body, skin and lips. Have you seen the silver bath melts that contain shea butter, cocoa and coconut oil for perfectly moisturized skin?

Or bubble baths made of mandarin oil, calming jasmine, fluffy white bubbles and vanilla?

There's the Melting Snowman (don't you love the way it looks?) that was creating by mixing cocoa butter, almond oil and cinnamon oil to moisturize the skin leaving it supple.

The Snow Fairy is a limited edition shower gel (I love Lush's shower gels) that smells like cotton candy(!). It also doubles up as a shampoo leaving hair smelling pleasant.

The Lush Pud is a bath ballistic that looks so pretty with the colorful polka dots. I feel like saving it as opposed to using it. It contains lavender and Lush suggests to use it right before bedtime. Goodbye, insomnia.

How amazing does this look? Known as Angel's Delight, this is a fruity soap made of mandarin and tangerine oil. It's a sure shot way of uplifting your senses.

There are so many products within the range and I'm sure you will find your favorite. I'll be reviewing a handful of them shortly (I already have my favorites!), so watch out for this space.

Lush's limited edition Winter Collection is now available at all Lush stores in UAE. Remember, they are limited- so hurry and get them while you can.

Competition: Sally Hansen Goodies

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Updated (Oct 20, 2013): The winner is Eram Rasool (Facebook: Eram Rasool; Twitter: eram81).

You will soon receive a message on how to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Come aboard the pretty nails express! This week's giveaway consists of two prizes and one reader will take it all:

1) A Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips. These are the easiest to apply. Get them out of the box, measure it against your nail and apply the strip. You also get a cuticle stick, a mini-nail file and a buffer along with 16 nail polish strips. 

2) A fabulous Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polish in 92 Ice Coffee.

Here's how to enter:

1) Like my Facebook page.
2) Follow on Twitter here and here.
3) Post your answer to this question in the comments section below: What's your best nail polish tip?   
4) Mention your Facebook and Twitter name along with your comment/answer
5) Tweet the following from your Twitter account: I entered @KeepingUpWithN's give-away to win Sally Hansen nail goodies www.keepingupwithN.blogspot.com 

You must follow all the steps to be eligible to win. The prize must be collected from Dubai.

Competition open to UAE residents only. Good luck!

Calvin Klein: Downtown Fragrance

Thursday, October 3, 2013

You know what my favorite fragrance from Calvin Klein is? Beauty. I discovered it while I was shopping at Galeries Lafayette in Dubai Mall when the sales associate handed me a scented paper strip. She told me it was "a new perfume from Calvin Klein". My first instinct was to get a whiff of it, nod my head, smile and walk away. But I actually fell in love with the fragrance.

I;ve always been a perfume maniac. I have a full drawer in my 5 chest of drawers that is dedicated to my perfume purchases. I spend more on perfume, sunglasses, watches, shoes and bags than on clothes. That's why none of my friends can gift me perfumes. Because I almost immediately buy them when launched.

When the Calvin Klein's latest, Downtown arrived on my desk, I was excited (thanks to the PR of Calvin Klein for this!). The perfume comes in a striking pink box and is a blend of floral and woody notes. Bergamot, pink peppercorn and velvet musks are a few ingredients that make up this fragrance.

It's a wonderful perfume and definitely one for the evenings. The initial spritz smells to a bit too sweet however, it eventually settles down and develops into a subtle floral fragrance that has dashes of musk to it.

If you like floral perfumes (this reminded me a little of Kylie Minogue's perfume Showtime ), you should definitely give this a go.

One thing though- I didn't like the shape or look of the bottle. Calvin Klein has some great designs when it comes to their bottles (think Beauty, CK One Summer, Euphoria) so I was expecting something along those lines with this. This is hardly a drawback, because what counts is the fragrance which isn't a disappointment.

Calvin Klein Downtown is available across stores in the UAE.

Review: Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Do you remember my review on Elemis' best-selling moisturizer, the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream? From the same anti-ageing range of products comes another excellent addition called the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. And this has become yet another favorite of mine (I don't think my love for Elemis will ever fade away).

The Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is more of a treat to the skin than just a cleanser. The balm is a fusion of aromatic relaxing oils and skin nourishing ingredients such as lavendar, eucalyptus, orange, starflower and elderberry oils to name a few. It also has the famous powerful anti-ageing ingredient called Padina Pavonica (included in the Marine Cream).

The moment I opened the jar, I was taken back to Cleopatra's Spa...actually, there's a distinct Elemis fragrance in the spa and that's exactly what the cleanser smelt like. It might be a little too overwhelming for sensitive noses, though.

Surprisingly, the balm's texture is not thick nor does it give you the waxy feel. It is quite a luxurious light-weight gel. I decided to use this cleanser on one of those days where I skipped the usual BB cream and chose foundation, blush and a light dusting of loose powder. Upon application, the balm turned into a smooth as satin oil. I treated this as I would any other cleanser i.e. I massaged it on my skin for about 60 seconds and washed it off with lukewarm water.

I still had to put this new cleanser through one more test. I took a cleansing wipe and wiped it over my skin to see if there was any make-up residue left. None. My skin felt soft and smooth for a few hours after cleansing.

Similar to the Marine Cream, a little goes a long way when it comes to this cleanser. It also helps prevent future breakouts by absorbing excess sebum. And as a bonus, you can use this cleanser as a nourishing face mask. Leave it on your skin for 10 minutes or so and wash it off.

This truly pampers the skin and can either be used individually or in conjunction with the Marine Cream for optimal results. The Cleansing Balm suits all skin types including oily skin.

Elemis is available across stores in the UAE.

*The product was sent by the brand/ its reps for a review. All reviews are based on my personal experience & outcome thereby presenting an honest opinion to the readers.

Support Breast Cancer Awareness With Jane Iredale

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The month of October pays homage to breast cancer awareness. As a side note, I'd like to tell all my female readers to go in for regular check-ups. It's better to find a solution now before it's too late.

Several brands launch their initiatives for this cause and one such brand is Jane Iredale.

The American make-up brand celebrates its partnership with an educational organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer, with the launch of a mini travel sized eye-shadow palette.

Called the Bright Future Eye Shadow Compact, the mirrored case features 5 eye-shadows and an applicator. It is packaged in a beautiful box and as a small bonus, you get a pink Swarovski Elements crystal embedded on the case. 

All profits made from the sale of the Bright Future palette (worth AED 145) will be donated to the Living Beyond Breast Cancer organization. UAE readers can call 04- 447 7636 to make a purchase.  

*The product(s) was sent by the brand for a review. All reviews are based on my personal experience & outcome thereby presenting an honest opinion to the readers.
Back To Top