School is keeping me away from you, my lovelies

I will update on Saturday with a whole bunch of stuff, but until then please wish me life. Life, because I am slowly dying to the cause of school. Actually, I seem to dying pretty rapidly. I have one test and one research paper due tomorrow.

I PSA-eth: Get Thee to a Victoia's Secret and Grab Some Scott Barnes Make-up for Thyself (currently 75% off)

Yes, I will actually call this a public service announcement. Once in a while you try something that you feel you cannot keep to yourself. It would be immoral to do so. And let me tell you, immoral I am not. Victoria's Secret is having their semi-annual sale and their beauty items are 75% off, meaning so is Scott Barnes' line. I just adore everything I have tried so far from this line, and as I've stated before, I can almost feel the spirit of JLo when I use his make-up (she was his muse for many products). Here's some of the things I picked up.

Scott Barnes Lip Slick in Smokey Topaz
I'll be honest with you, I don't think this would look great on lighter skinner Desi women. In fact I was scared when I first saw it. It looks like this dark muddy goo. Hard to imagine as looking good on the lips right? Well, I don't think this is meant to be piled on thickly. Instead, used sheerly, this darkens the tone of my lips and somehow brings out a deep reddish brown tinge. The product itself has no detectable smell and is very moisturizing. Best of all, it's on sale and cost me less than L'oreal or Revlon. Who can resist something like that?

Scott Barnes Flossy Glossy in Kelly
Whenever I open this tube of gloss I feel like I can hear JLo singing "Waiting for Tonight" and "Jenny from the Block" alternatively. Although her singing prowess is debatable, this moisturizing lip gloss is the perfect JLO nude on me. The lip gloss looks like a dark fleshy pink in the tube and is very pigmented. On my lips, the colour is not the death warmed over me nude but a soft, sexy nude that would look great with dark eyes. The flash in this picture makes the colour seem a lot more pink than it is. In real, it's a true nude on my lips.

Scott Barnes Flossy Glossy in Pretty Penny
This is a deep bronzey brown with gold shimmer. Although it looks similar to Smokey Topaz in the picture, it's unique enough in that it's very sheer and has beautiful gold shimmer to it. This is a no-brainer gloss that I imagine would look quietly dramatic on fairer skinned ladies and would deepen the natural lip colour and add a bit of shimmer for darker skinned ladies.Even is you don't like the shade, I would recommend trying out these glosses because they have no undetectable scent and always seem to enhance lips subtly.

Scott Barnes Illumineye in Velvet
The texture of this matte eyeshadow is exactly that: like velvet. The colour looks like a basic, boring brown in the pan but on the lid it is a rich, deep, smoked dark brown with plum undertones. The shadow blends like a dream and is very flattering for brown eyes. I have a lot of brown eye shadows and this one is different enough for me to want. If you prefer a different colour, you should definitely try out the other shadows Scott Barnes has to offer in his line because the texture and pigmentation is worth it.


Scott Barnes Bronzer in Nonchalant
I don't know how to express my love for this bronzer. It's what I imagined bronzers from NARS, MAC, Revlon, The Body Shop, Guerlain, Milani, Estee Lauder would look like on me but didn't. Mind you I love all the previously mentioned ones, but I love this one so much more. This too looks slightly worrisome and reddish in the pan, but it transformed once it was on my cheeks. This bronzer is what made me realize what sun kissed means. It's texture is so smooth and it blends beautifully into my skin. I honestly feel like after trying this, I don't need to hunt for more bronzers. This is what the bronzer looks like on my bare skin (meaning no foundation and powder) and I layered Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Tawny at the top of my cheekbones to add a glow.

Dear Celina Jaitley, Fire your Make-up Artist Already

First off let me sat I have nothing against Celina Jaitley. She probably rescues kittens that have climbed too high up on trees right after she single-handedly replants forests and restores ecosystems to their forgotten glory. However, she is a repeat offender not only to good make-up but also to good taste. That is why I am nominating her for the "Lowlight of the Decade" award. Take a good look at the following picture.

How do you feel? Do you need to sit down, allow your soul to reenter you body because it was sucked out by the coloured contacts Celina wears to heighten her pulchritude? I felt just as empty when I looked at this picture of her for the first time. While you recover, let me rant about her make-up for just one tiny minute.

When did the make-up artist who is employed Dracula's drag-queen vampire nephew also become Celina's make-up artist? That is the only way to explain caked on the foundation that is twenty to thirty shades lighter than the rest of her body, and, rumour has it, is also seven shades lighter than the foundation Dracula's nephew wears.

Celina's face is also heavily contoured (just look at the stripes of darker colour placed on the sides of her nose without blending) and is suffering from the reverse raccoon effect. What do I mean by that? Her bronzer is so dark/obvious/unblended that it makes her under-eyes look extra pale.

How on earth could Celina's make-up artist let her leave her house looking like this? Sometimes I wonder if I should pretend to be an obsessive fan, tranquillize her, and then redo her make-up. Or do you think Dracula's nephew's make-up artist is also a vampire and would bite me? Either way I think the risk is worth it.

image taken from: http://www.celinajaitley.org

Nail Polish Obsession of the Moment: Espresso Your Style!

Espressing My Love!

Not only do I have an obsession bordering on the unhealthy with make-up, but I also am deeply enamoured by nail polish. Deeply. Enamoured. So I decided to post about my favourite polishes too.

I don't really follow the whole summer colours shouldn't be dark philosophy. My moods always gear me to my nail colours. So here is the one I can't stop wearing. Well, I mean the polish I won't change after a maximum of two days.


This is OPI Espresso Your Style! A gorgeous deep brown with gold shimmer. I love it so much I won't change my polish until Saturday evening.

Neutral Cat-Eye

This is a dramatic cat-eye look but I used neutrals, well except black liner, to achieve this. It's not very intimidating but it does require a bit of shading at the outer "v," so you can refer to my diagram if needed. I do apologise for the pictures as I have the world's worst camera. I hope my next tutorial is a bit nicer picture wise.

What you need:

  • A neutral, medium taupe brown for all-over colour on the eyelid. I used Bobbi Brown Sable.
  • A soft buttery-vanilla coloured eyeshadow for highlight. I used Bobbi Brown Vanilla
  • A neutral, dark brown eyeshadow to use for shading. I used Bobbi Brown Chocolate.
  • A liquid, cake, or gel liner. I used MAC Blacktrack fluidline.
  • A mascara. I used Revlon Fabulash.
  • Optional but recommended: a primer. I used MAC paint in Cotton Candy very sheerly.
Step 1:
I already had cotton candy paint tapped very, very lightly over my eyelid to function as a primer. I then put Bobbi Brown Vanilla eyeshadow from lashline to brow bone to even out the area.







Step 2:
I applied Bobbi Brown Sable from lashline to crease.











Step 3:
Here comes the shading part. To apply Bobbi Brown Chocolate eyeshadow on the outer "v", I used a blending brush (MAC 217). Alternatively, you can use a crease brush. I use MAC 217 and the crease brush made by Essence of Beauty for shading the outer "v" equally. I blended the edges of the shadows so there are no harsh lines, but I still left it slightly dramatic.



Step 4:
I applied Blacktrack very closely to the lashline at the inner corner and made the line thicker as I reached the outer corner. At the outer corner, I extended the line past the edge of my eye. I just made a little "flick" at the outer corner.





Step 6:

Here, I applied Blacktrack from the middle of my lower lashline and made the line slightly thicker as I reached the outer corner. I then connected the lines on the top and bottom of the outer corner and then added some thickness to the extended liner.




Step 7:
To finish this look, I applied two coats of Revlon Fabulash. For a more dramatic effect, you can always curl your lashes or add a few clumps of false lashes at the outer edges.

Guide to Simple Shading

Simple Guide

The next eye-look I am doing requires some shading. To make sure there are no confusions about what the outer "v" is etc. I figured a guide for this was in order. I just realized how small the image is, I will update this soon.

I Don't Want To Do This, But I Have To. Bipasha Basu's Bad Make-Up Choices

This little clip shows Bipasha Basu arriving at the "green carpet" at the IIFA 2007 awards. Let's get out of the way that I think she's gorgeous and has a great figure. Against my better nature (I do have one I promise), I am going to have to speak out against her make-up. Let's leave the dress aside that looks like someone ripped a hole in the middle and Bipasha's stylist had all of 3 minutes to repair the gaping hole, look at the make-up.

Cat eyes are great, sexy, flattering and whatnot. I usually love how Bipasha can carry it off. However, maybe she feels bad that her make-up choices are usually good or maybe her make-up artist secretly hates her, but her make-up for the event is pretty horrific. The eyeliner is winged way too much both at the inner and outer corners. But here's my question, if she really wanted such a look why couldn't she stick to one colour of eyeliner so that the look is less garish? Why black an violet together in this exaggerated way? This look would be great for a cosmetics campaign or even a magazine cover.

I would usually have written a post about wanting to know what make-up she was wearing, but she has taken that away from me now. I only feel half human because of this.

A Few Red Lippies

Red Lips: Not for the Faint Hearted
So after my ranting and shouting about someone copying my stuff, and because I can't sleep, I bring you three red lippies that I absolutely adore. I have a few other red lippies that I highly recommend but my lips are so huge that they don't look good one me. Very few red lipsticks actually suit me, and here are some that I feel are great finds.

Clinique Red Drama
Trying not to be cheesy, but this makes me do a little dance and say "yowza" and "va-va-va-voom" in front of the mirror every time I wear it. I am not a vampy woman, rather I am a clumsy oaf, but somehow this moisturizing neutral, rich red that I will admit is not for the faint hearted brings out the sophisticated siren in me that I thought that had died a horrible death long ago. This lipstick is not subtle, so it definitely calls attention to the mouth, but it is so sophisticated that all red lipstcik loving desi aficionados (and even non-desi women) should check it out. Maybe you'll say cheesier things than me when you look into the mirror.

NARS Diablo
This lacquer comes in a pot, which I love, and is therefore very transport friendly. You can apply a thin layer to look like you just ate a popsicle or you deepen the colour to get a cool blue-red without the warmth of Clinique's Red Drama. The formula itself is in between a gel and lip gloss and is so incredibly moisturizing that it makes my chapped lips to very soft. While I agree that it might be a bit expensive, I have still not finished mine which I use quite often and have had over a year. In the picture I patted the lacquer on as sheer as possible

L'Oreal Colour Juice in Candy Apple
This is one gorgeous, sheer red gloss that is perfect for those who do not want full-on red lips but a sheer tint. The shine is lovely without any large glitter and is great paired with nude eyes. The name says it all and the colour is a true apple red that would suit most skin tones.





image taken from: www.drugstore.com

FYI

Just to let you know the situation on the breakdowns. These are formulated by me. I sometimes find out exactly what products were used from sites or Saniya send me some information, but the actual breakdown, the steps on what to put where are all my interpretation. I just want to let you know this because someone has been copying my post word for word and posting it on another site. It made me so mad because a) I put in the effort b) it makes it look like I got it from somewhere, which I did not. Also, all information I get from another site is also credited to that site. I just hope that in the future that certain individual will not look at my blog for updates on their site.

Tutorial: Green Smokey Eye

In my opinion, esteemed or not, no brown-eyed girl should be without a good green product for the eyes. So I decided to do a murky dark green-grey-brown smokey eye tutorial. MAC Club is a very complex shade and very dimensional. The technique is pretty basic and easy to accomplish. I have very sensitive eyes, so the flash was difficult to bear, which is why my eyes are straining to stay open in some of the pictures. Also, the flash made my highlight into a huge hot spot, while in real life it was soft and subtle. So please excuse!

Products Used


Primer
MAC Paint in Cotton Candy

Eyeshadow
MAC Club
NARS Night Clubbing
NARS All About Eve

Liner
Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black

Mascara
Revlon Fabulash Mascara in Black

Step 1
I tapped on the Cotton Candy paint evenly all over my eyelid to my brow bone. I really like this paint as my primer because it makes my shadow last all day and it allows me to blend like a dream. Another plus is that the blush and lip gloss I pair this look with is in the same family (distant cousins twice removed, but still...) as the Paint.

Step 2

I applied a sheer layer of MAC Club from lash line to just above the crease.

Step 3
With a more densely packed eyeshadow brush, I applied more colour at the lash line and gradate towards the crease.







Step 4
With a crease brush, I applied NARS Night Clubbing along my lash line and gradated the colour as I moved away from the lash line. I stopped at about halfway from the lash line to the crease.




Step 5
I used a clean eyeshadow brush to blend the NARS Night Clubbing and MAC Club, especially at the "line or demarcation." Now I have no harsh lines between the two colours.



Step 6

I like the liner to be very smudgy for this look so I applied the Revlon Colorstay on the upper and lower lash line fairly thickly.





Step 7
With a q-tip, sponge applicator, or brush, smudge the pencil liner on both the top and bottom lash line. I used a q-tip for this. In this picture, you can get a sense of the eyeshadow. The brown in the top outer edge is brown, some of the shadow looks grey, and some looks blush-green. Club is a gorgeously complicated colour.

Step 8

As a highlight, I used the shimmery eyeshadow in the All About Eve duo under my brow bone (the flash made the picture look a little too shiny and filled with hot spots). I then applied about 2 coats of Revlon Fabulash. I recommend curling your lashes for extra drama or even adding a few clumps of false lashes at the outer edges. However, I'm feeling a bit lazy, so I just finished with mascara.

Gorgeous Hair. What Did They Use On Her?

Another clip, this time desi. Now that we've established that we're all highly intellectual rocket scientists who have a penchant for finding the perfect lip gloss, hair texturizer, or eye cream. Here's a clip at the Lakme India Fashion Week featuring a hair model. I am green with envy over her hair. Now that I've washed off my make-up you could probably see my face going green. I am having another wtf moment over the side ponytail. I hope this style doesn't catch on or I will hold Lakme responsible.

Beauty-Obsessed Does Not Mean Brainless

If you ever encounter anyone saying that being a beauty junkie means being brain dead, just remember that such an incident has never happened to you. I know the following clip is unusual for a beauty blog, but it is beauty related.

Lipstick and Lipgloss Picks

These Lip Products Will Be My Heirlooms
I usually have the worst time finding lipsticks even though I'm such an addict (I should probably see someone for this problem). The colours are either too light, too dark,or make my upper lip a dark ashy gray and my lower lip a bright fuchsia. I also have a horrible problem of colours just blending into my natural lip colours, yes it's plural since I have two-toned lips, and looking like every other colour I try. So I present you my favourite picks that I absolutely love.

Bobbi Brown Chocolate
This is a warm brown shade which is infused with red so that it doesn't look like you've smeared mud on your lips. Let me warn you, this colour is very deep and adds a lot of drama. I have fairly dark skin and this offsets my warm/olive undertones and provides a soft satin sheen. You can add a coat of gloss over it if you want more shine, but for me this is a staple I don't have to worry about after I put it on. On my dark skin it looks very dramatic and is my favourite "black tie" colour. The lipstick did not exaggerate my two toned lips and is opaque and pigmented enough to create a fairly even look.

NARS Niagara

A very sweet make-up artists suggested this to me, but I think she was very mistaken about the fact that it suited me. She kept telling me it was "so natural" while I kept wondering if the store provided her any benefits for her to have her eyesight checked. On me, it's a very peachy pink that is too light when applied directly. However, it looked great when patted on with a finger. The colour is diluted and fuses with my lip colour to form a lovely peachy pink, matte lip colour. If this lipstick is so much trouble, why am I recommending it you ask? On my dark skin, it was less than perfect but I tried this lipstick out on a desi friend who is quite fair and it looked fabulous on her. If you have olive or warm undertones and are on the fairer side, I definitely recommend this gorgeous matte shade of peachy pink to you. It adds a splash of colour that looks very natural and compliments lighter skinned desi ladies.

MAC Taupe
This lipstick is a warm medium brown with a bit of brick red mixed that, on me, looked like a neutral shade that I could pair with dramatic or nude eyes. It looks very brown and slightly orange in the tube but it looked stunning against my dark skin and didn't show up as orange at all. The formula itself is very matte and slightly drying so I recommend using a lip balm with this. However, the colour is lighter than the Bobbi Brown Chocolate lipstick I raved about but it is definitely darker than my skin tone and so didn't make me look washed out. I highly recommend trying this lipstick as a basic colour for the darker desi ladies.

Sally Hansen Diamond Lip Treatment
So this is technically not lipstick, but I cannot tell you how much I adore this range of glosses. They are tacky enough without making my lips stick together but it is not too watery feeling for a gloss. I love the delicious coconut scent and the range of colours is perfect for a nude look. The glosses are a lot sheerer than they seem in the tube but contain enough colour that they can be worn alone. This lip gloss is one of my favourite glosses and I always stock up on them.


Revlon Raisin Rage

This is a gorgeous rum-raisin colour that is also very moisturizing. I think this would suit the darker desi ladies very well as it is a fairly deep colour. I am a huge fan of raisin and wine coloured lipstick and this drenched my lips is a shiny, pigmented colour that became a staple for a long time.

Milani Rose Fetish
This is a pinky-mauve that did not suit me too well and was too light for my complexion. Exactly why am I shoving this down your throat you ask? Well, on my friends whose skin tones ranged from very fair to a medium olive brown, this colour looked fabulous. It is a gorgeous natural colour with a bit of oomph so it adds subtle drama without being over the top.




images taken from: www.sephora.com, www.strawberrynet.com, www.sallyhansen.com, www.milanicosmetics.com

Gentle, Non-Irritating Mineral Make-up

Alima Satin Matte Mineral Foundation
This line has been making quite a buzz and I know I'm not the first to rave about it. But it must be done as it is my moral duty (hence my blog's name, I'm quite the genius). I used to have very tough skin that I cold abuse to no end. Sadly, my skin now retaliates to anything harsh. I like to keep products at a minimum and keep my routine as simple as possible. This is the reason why I don't use foundation and because I feel like many of them make me look like I'm wearing a heavy mask.

I like mineral make-up but I have so much difficulty finding something with enough yellow undertones and doesn't cast a gray layer over my face. Another problem I have with mineral make-up is that some of them contain bismuth that makes me itch to no end. I end up throwing out the product because my face is red from my scratching it (I'm a bad make-up diva you see).

So why this long prelude? Well, I really love Satin Matte Foundation from Alima. Not only was there more than enough choice for me, but I think the range of colours for foundations would cover a vast range of desi skin tones. I hate ordering online because I am always nervous about what the colour looks exactly like in real and whether the product will irritate my skin or not. I am also very impatient and want to play with my purchase immediately. To their credit, Alima got me my order very fast and included a bunch of extras.

I absolutely love the foundation. It is as sheer as I like it to be but I can imagine you can build coverage if needed. Thankfully the formula is not glittery or overly shimmery and leaves my face slightly matte. By matte I don't mean the dreaded "I've been dead for the past few hours" matte, but matte enough that I still have a very slight, almost undetectable sheen. The formula itself is so light weight that I feel like I'm not wearing anything, which is such an important factor especially in the summer.

One important thing about this mineral foundation is that although it contains very few ingredients and doesn't contain many irritants, I did notice a few tiny bumps forming. However, with a good cleansing routine I was able to sidestep any future bumps. I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference using a milky cleanser followed by a gentle foaming cleanser made. It helped me remove all residue and I was able to continue using the Satin Matte Foundation. To its credit, I must add that my ever so irritable skin has not even once become red or irritated.

I highly recommend this foundation and if you're wary about buying it for any reason, you can always order a sample for a very nominal price.

image source: www.alimacosmetics.com

Great Make-up: Bipasha Basu

This is one of my favourite looks on Bipasha Basu. So here's a go at her make-up.
Prep:
Although the make-up is very dramatic and smokey, good skin will complement this look perfectly. Use a moisturizer and eye-cream suitable for your skin needs and allow it to skin in.

Face:
Apply a creamy, matte, medium-coverage foundation evenly all over the face and blend into the neck. You don't need to apply powder just yet.

Eyes:
The eye-make-up is very dramatic in this look, and if like me you have the problem of shadow always being muted by the colour of your eyelids, I suggest using a good primer to set the stage for the make-up to come.

Eyelid:
Apply a smokey charcoal grey from lash line to crease. Dot the same eye-shadow along the entire lower lash-line.

Highlight:
Apply a shimmery taupey-nude from the brow bone to the crease and blend it with the charcoal grey at the crease. With the same eye-shadow, apply a a dot to highlight the inner corner of your eyes.

Eyeliner:
With a rick black liquid liner, make a thin line along the upper and lower lash line. If you find this tricky, just place tiny dots as close to each other. Then, once you're done, even out any empty spaces between the dots.

Mascara:
Bipasha has a full strip of false lashes here. If you are comfortable with false lashes, you can apply a full strip as close to the lash line as possible. Apply one coat of a lengthening mascara to mesh your own lashes to the false lashes. Be sure to also apply mascara to the lower lashes. If you are not using any false lashes, curl your lashes and then apply a volumizing mascara generously on both upper and lower lashes. You can comb through your lashes to get rid of clumps. For added drama, you can add a few clumps of false lashes to the outer corners.

Cheeks:
It's hard to tell what she's wearing because of lighting, but it looks Bipasha is wearing dusty cinnamon coloured blush. Using a fluffy blush brush, apply the blush slightly above the cheekbones starting at the apple of the cheeks and decreasing intensity towards the temples.

Lips:
Apply a creamy mauve lip liner and top it off with a matching satin lipstick. I would recommend a liner along the lines of Bobbi Brown lip liner in Rum and Clinique Buttershine lipstick in Rum Kiss.

Setting Make-up:
Apply tranlucent powder with a large powder brush all over your face.

I Love Lakme Too, but Having a WTF Moment Here

I promie to bring you some tutorials by Sunday. Am having a bit of a crisis here, so I plan to postpone my tutorials til Sunday and include not only one on threading but also post make-up looks I did on a couple of my friends (my photography by the way, I'm an amateur photographer). We will see how this goes.

Anyways, as for my wtf moment, here it is. Whenever I go to India, I gorge myself on Lakme. True, they have (un)succesfully segregated the wide range of desi skin tones in 4 categories. Let's not forget that their packaging is flimsy at times, but overall they have some great products. For example, their lipstick in Barely There is one of my all-time favourite no-brainer natural lipsticks. It's only natural that I'm hoping they would update their site with better swatches and allow customers to purchase their products online. Lo and behold, many years later i get one of my wishes granted. Lakme allows online orders. Time to bring out the low-fat, low-cal, low-carb, fully artificially flavoured cake right? Not really!

The prices on their website are outrageous. They charge 17 pounds for their Face Souffle. Translate that into American Dollars and it's, erm, a lot more than that. Who are they kidding? I mean, Sephora's on my speed dial. For that cost I'd rather get something from a department store. And depending on what brand it is, I'd probably have money to spare.