I've Been Tagged

Wendy and Leann Tagged me so I'm going to let you into my rather convoluted brain (remember the Egyptian princess thing? tip of the iceberg).

So here are six quirky things about me:

  1. I never read a book or watch a movie from the begging to the end. I always start at the beginning, read/watch the end to make sure it ends ok and my favourite characters are alive and thriving, and then read/watch the middle to catch up an get the entire story.
  2. I never open both eyes when I wake up. I always only open one eye and "extend" my sleep with one eye closed. Incidentally I might as well be a narcoleptic. I can sleep for longer than 30 hours without waking up and I can also somehow get a great power nap standing up.
  3. I am deathly terrified of snakes. I sometimes scare myself so much when thinking about how scared I am of snakes that I check every corner of my room before I sleep to make sure there are no snakes hiding there even though I know it's an impossibility.
  4. I look like someone everyone knows. Not really a quirk but just something weird. All my life people tell me I look "just like their cousin" or "just like their friend." I think it might be that I look stereotypically Indian but almost everyone I know has at some point said "you know you look like my... [fill in the blank]." It makes me feel very weird that I might possibly meet my doppelganger soon. Isn't there some foreboding saying about meeting your doppelganger and dying or something like that?
  5. I think the left side of my face is beyond fug in pictures. In real it looks fine and I think that pictures give me a "freshly beaten up" look.
  6. I'm terrified of losing my teeth. I obsess over them to no end and buy myself a little present every time the dentist ok's the health of my teeth.

The rules are as follows:
Link the person who tagged you. Mention the rules in your blog. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours. Tag six following bloggers by linking them. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

I tagged:
An Indian's make-up blog, I heart make-up, Some dances to remember some dances to forget, Make-up makes me happy, Eva diva's make-up bag, The anti-hair slave, Golden gluteus

Updates Later Today

Sorry for the late blogging but I will have new updates later this evening. I've been having a very difficult time. Sorry for not updating earlier.


Link to Her Blog Directory

Feroze Gujral's Make-up Picks

I found this rather blurry scan of Feroze Gujral spilling the beans on some of her make-up picks. After a lot of doctoring I was able to make out the make-up she listed as her favourite, but I can't seem to make out the rest. Do let me know if you know where I can find a better scan.

Feroze's picks:

  • Mac Pink Swoon blush
  • Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat
  • La Mer Creme de la Mer moisturizing cream
  • L'Oreal Paris True Match powder foundation
image source: www.thefashionspot.com

Lara Dutta's Style

I found a little blurb on indiafm where Lara Dutta talks about her style and decided to post it. I generally always like her make-up as she seems to know what looks good on her and what doesn't. The pic of Lara at the IIFA awards ceremony a while ago has nothing to do with the blurb but I just like the make-up and overall look there.

Party wear: “My dictum is - less is more. When in doubt, I always prefer under dressing. I stick to browns and blacks,” Lara reveals.

Style quotient: “I feel style is very personal, it is what suits you and keeps you comfortable. My style is totally classic - I go for smart cuts and fits,” she smiles.

Accessories: “As you can see, I subscribe to minimalism. My best accessory is a nice bag and a neat pair of shoes to match,” adds the style diva.

Cosmetics: “I favour the nude look when it comes to make-up. Of all the cosmetics, lip balm or a lip tint is a must-have for me. I won’t leave home without it,” declares Dutta.

Not Christmassy: “The biggest fashion faux paus for me is to dress up like a X’mas tree. You know, that grunge look with loads of rings, chains and bracelets! I am absolutely horrified by bling,” she admits.

source: www.indiafm.com

Shweta Salve: Who Needs Subtle Shimmer When You Can Bathe in Oil?

I'm obsessed with highlighters but Shweta Salve takes that love to a level where you question her present state of mind. You know when you look at pics of startlets at award ceremonies or in magazine shots and they have glowing bronze skin and sigh in envy. Well, Shweta Salva just made me sigh in sheer disbelief over the oil she was repeatedly drowned in for her Maxim photoshoot.

I saw this pic on rediff and they had captioned this picture with "Shweta Salve hots up bikini shoot." Now I'm not completely sure who she is but I have to commend her on her dedication to not only hot up the photoshoot, but douse herself in what appears to be three barrels of olive oil to really attract flames. It's like she's asking me to light her fire... literally.

The difference between highlighting the body done right and this pyromaniac-dream-come-true pic is the difference between having your glow be legendary a la JLo and Shweta Salve in this photoshoot.

When shimmer on the body is done right, it gives a soft, sensuous glow to the skin. This version of exploiting India's otherwise perfect for cooking oil to add shine her skin makes Shweta seem like my grandaunts. Their beauty rituals consisted of massaging themselves in oil from head to toe, walk around for four to five hours without touching the furniture or walls lest the oil transfer, and finally (mercifully for the rest of us) wash off the oil with a herbal mix that they claimed was the secret to their beauty. The only difference is that while my grandaunts eventually looked clean and refreshed, this oily highlighting endeavour makes me want to gift her a nice, fragrant soap.

image source: www.rediff.com

PSA: 30% off Urban Decay

I just got this wonderful code in my inbox for 30% off at the Urban Decay website. Enter the following code during checkout: FFA30. Enjoy!

The MAC Store in Mumbai Hates Me Now, but Here's Some of their Favourites

I'm not sure I can walk within a 50 km. radius of Mumbai after bugging the make-up artist I got on the phone when I called the MAC store in Mumbai. However, here's a brief look at some of the products customers seem to love at that location.

ME: What colour lipglosses do you sell often?
Make-up Artist Who Now Hates Me (shortened: MAWNHE): Revealing and Lust definitely.

ME: What colour lipsticks are very popular at your location?
MAWNHE: Umm, Hug Me, Taupe, Touch, and Double Shot.

ME: What colour blushes do people tend to favour?
MAWNHE: Well for fairer complexions it's something like Sincere and for darker complexions I'd say blushes like Coppertone.

Hope you enjoyed this and found it entertaining.

Another Great Find: Sephora Lip Gloss in Sugar 'n' Spice

I loved the colour of Sephora's lip gloss in Sugar 'n' Spice inside the tube but didn't expect it to really show up. I often come across scrumptious looking lip glosses that look like nothing on my lips and I might has well have applied a bit of clear vaseline. Lip glosses that are too sheer don't do the trick for me in case you haven't picked up on my innate bitterness regarding this subject. The Sephora lip gloss in Sugar 'n' Spice is such a great find that I had to post about it.

First thing's first. Exactly how much shortage of Kool-Aid is there because of the production of this lipgloss? It smells overpoweringly of Kool-Aid and it made me not want to finish the rest of my iced tea lest I really fuel the advent of the diabetes I am genetically prone to. I was pleasantly surprised when wearing the gloss didn't end in a migraine because of the smell as it waned very quickly in a few minutes.

What makes this gloss so exceptional is that for the price, you get a gloss with shine that is just right (not the liquid plastic look but not useless either) and the perfect amount of bronze colour flecked with gold shimmer to make it a great choice for summer. Above all that, what I love most about this gloss is how it feels on my lips. The formula feels very plush and moisturizing and I would compare it to Bobbi Brown's lip glosses in consistency, feel, and stickyness. For the price, the quality feels much more luxurious that you'd expect.

Blush Rave: Vasanti Sayan

When I read in magazines that a blush is universal I let out a mocking laugh full of "I know they paid you to write that, I just wonder how much." Or at the very least I have a private chuckle full of smugness. Sure a blush is universal. It is as likely to flatter every skin tone as an eye cream is going to magically make my under eye circles disappear. So I'm not going to proclaim a blush as universal but Vasanti's Sayan blush comes incredibly close to gaining that status.

The first thing I remarked when I received the blush was that the packaging is almost exactly like the packaging for Scott Barnes' eyeshadows. The only difference other than the name on it is the colour. Vasanti's blush comes in a silver case whereas Scott Barnes' is a goldish brown. The size of the blush is quite small, but they're much bigger than Besame's blushes and are around the same size as a Scott Barnes' eyeshadow. However, for the price it is not an outrageously small amount.

You're probably wondering why I love this blush so much. Well, it is a great blush every girl should own. Vasanti describes it as a beautiful sheer peach but I'd add that it also has a fair bit of brown to make it a no-brainer blush. It's pigmented enough to show up on much darker skintones than mine and the colour is soft enough to not be difficult to apply even on much fairer skintones. Of course, I'd recommend not applying it with a trowel, but the blush doesn't require a lot of finesse in application.

Vasanti Sayan doesn't contain any shimmer and blends into my skintone and doesn't look chalky or artificial. It goes on smoothly and rivals quite a few high end brands, stays on all day, and most importantly, looks fabulous on desi skintones. I've tried this on so many people after getting it and both I and my victim have loved it each time. If I were to suggest a great blush for someone who had never worn blush before, I'd recommend this one. For those who have tons of blushes, I'd say this is a great staple that you can dress up or down with different make-up looks. I'm very impressed with this blush and I would call it as close to universally flattering as a blush can get.

Great Make-up: Deepika Padukone

I know this is a bit late with the look but here it is. I actually did this look on a friend and she really liked it. I hope you like it too.

Since everything is understated you want the skin to really make the look. Apply a medium coverage foundation in thin layers until you get a flawless finish. Building up coverage allows you to use the right amount of foundation necessary to make your skin look perfect. Conceal problem areas if necessary with a creamy concealor that matches your skintone. Apply translucent powder to set the make-up.

To keep the eyeshadows from creasing and disappearing, apply primer on the lids.

Recommendation: Urban Decay Primer Potion

Deepika's brows are fairly thick, defined, and neat. So pluck away any stray hairs and emphasize eyebrows with a deep brown eyebrow pencil. I don't recommend using a black eyebrow pencil because I find that too harsh. Brush brow gel through your brows to keep them in place.

Recommendation: MAC Stud, Ardell Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator

Apply a shimmery peachy gold from lash line to crease.

Recommendation: MAC All That Glitters

You want to use a soft crease colour that's not too jarring and stark compared to the lid colour. Apply a medium brown shadow with gold shimmer in the crease and blend into the lid colour and towards the brow bone.

Recommendation: MAC Mulch

Apply a shimmery champagne on the brow bone and blend into the crease colour.

Recommendation: MAC Ricepaper

Keep your hand steady when applying liner as the entire top and bottom lash lines are lined but it is very thin. With a black cream or gel liner and starting at the inner corner of the eye, make a thin line and progress to the outer corner. Do this on the top and bottom lashes and connect the eyeliner at the outer corner of the eye.

Recommendation: L'Oreal Hip cream liner in Black

Mascara and False Lashes:
Deepika is wearing a full strip of false lashes. If you don't want to use false lashes, apply a primer and a volumizing mascara to give length and volume to the lashes. Comb out any clumps with a lash comb. For added drama, apply a full strip of false eyelashes.

Recommendation: L'Oreal Voluminous, Clinique Lash Building Primer

The blush for this look is very delicate and soft so be very light handed when applying blush. Dip your blush brush into a soft peachy pink blush with light gold shimmer, tap the brush gently to get rid of the excess blush, and apply to the apple of your cheek and blend towards the temple. Remember, you can always build intensity so use a light hand.

Recommendation: NARS Deep Throat

Apply a neutral, medium pinky nude lipstick and top it off with a soft apricot lip gloss.

Recommendation: for fairer skin tones I really recommend using MAC Hug Me (which I'm willing to bet my life was used on Deepika). If you're darker like me and get a bit too washed out if there isn't enough warm tones to a lipstick, I recommend using Prescriptives Bare Cream. Either way you get a very accurate interpretation of Deepika's lipstick when you use the gloss over it. MAC Love Nectar lusterglass.

I Haven't Forgotton about the Breakdowns, I Promise

I will have the breakdowns you ladies requested of Deepika (a long time ago, sorry I'm such a scatterbrained person), Kajol and Rani. So Sorry it's taking so long, it's just been a hectic time with school and all. My finals are around the corner and I constantly forget things.

Interview With celebrity Make-up Artist Lippi Lal

I recently emailed celebrity make-up artist Lippi Lal with some questions and she was kind enough to answer them for me. Instead of me thinking of a witty and clever introduction riddled with my horrifically lame sense of humour, I'll just let her official profile and photo do the talking. After that read on for the interview (by the way, I love her sense of humour in all of it).

Lippi has over 14 years of experience in the luxury brands business specializing in prestige fragrances, skincare and makeup. During this time she has worked with some of the leading brands in the business such as Nina Ricci, Shiseido, Versace, Escada, Burberry and several others.

As a trainer for these brands she has their trained frontline staff across the country and conducted scores of Fragrance appreciation and Beauty workshops for the media and customers. Her workshops have been written about in leading publications like the Bombay times,Midday and several others.

She has also appeared on prime time television as a presenter for beauty workshops. Currently she is working as a consultant within the industry, conducting Training Programmes for leading luxury brands Max Factor,Azzaro,Thierry Mugler,and Cartier and using her makeup skills to create magical looks for brides,models and beautiful women across India.


Me: Are there any products that always feature in your kit?

Lippi Lal: Yes. I always have to have my Max Factor mascaras as they are the best, especially Masterpiece which is a work of genius. It is a defining mascara that creates a natural false eyelash effect. My Shiseido Corrector Pencil which is another fabulous invention that I can use to “mop up” make-up mistakes without wrecking the while look. My MAC pigment in Silver which I can use as highlighter and eyeshadow is also an absolute must.

ME: What brands do you rely on for foundation? Which brands do you prefer for darker skin tones and which would you prefer for lighter skin tones?

Lippi Lal: Depending on the texture I want MAC, Max Factor, and Shiseido are my hot favourites. Age Renew from Max Factor gives the skin a candlelit glow but I sometimes have difficulty finding darker shades in the brand. Shiseido's stick foundation gives the most natural finish and actually contains natural shading powder which naturally contours the face. I use it for a variety of skin tones (they have a special technology that has red pigment in the darker shades and green pigment in the lighter shades, therefore making it suitable for a range of skintones). MAC Hyper Real is also a favourite; I love the sculpting effect it has on the face.

Note: I believe the Shiseido foundation she is talking about is the Shiseido Foundation Control Color.

ME: I read that you specialize in corrective make-up. What are some things women do to minimize flaws but end up accentuating them instead and what would you recommend doing instead? Do you have any favourite products that you feel help minimize flaws.

Lippi Lal: Ah! My favourite topic! I think the worst thing is watching women deliberately choosing a lighter foundation to look “fairer.” Yuck! They look more like they have fallen into a flour bin or a la Michael Jackson. Even if your natural colour is midnight blue, you have to choose a foundation to match that. Trying to change your skin colour makes you look dated, older, and, worst of all, scary. So have mercy on your fellow beings and pick a suitable shade.

Another trick I have seen a lot of make-up artists do in India is contouring the nose to make it appear slimmer. It actually does the opposite and brings attention to it saying “Hi there! It’s me, your bulging nose.” A better way is to take attention away by enhancing a more desirable feature like the eyes or mouth.

I do have personal favourites for corrective make-up. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat for sure and also Lash Lift mascara from Max Factor which makes nonexistent straight lashes magically reappear. I also love a good eyebrow pencil and lip definer to enhance the shape of the eyebrows and lips. Both are very important elements of corrective make-up.

ME: Do you have any favourite blush shades from specific brand that you like using on indian skin?

Lippi Lal: Indian skin has a variety of tones ranging from light to very dark and undertones could vary from red to yellow depending on the region the person comes from. For instance, Punjabis who have lighter skin will have a red undertone but Bengalis with lighter skin may have a yellow undertone. Some North Indians with darker skin may still have red undertones. Keeping this in mind, I love Max Factor Flawless Perfection bushes. They have a variety of shades that work beautifully on Indian skintones.

ME: I love the following look you did on the model. Can you name any of the products you used to recreate the look?

Lippi Lal: Yes. Thanks! The look was created using Mac Hyper Real foundation, MAC pigment in Silver as highlighter, Elizabeth Arden eyeliners (I love Arden liners), and Chambor Moisture Lipstick in Maroon Plus.

Hope that answers all your questions.

How to Get a Good Makeover

This post has been long in the making. A lot of people come to me and ask me for a makeover and have a vague idea of what they want. Vague, especially in a world where acid green can subjectively be called a neutral, is really of no use to you or the make-up artist.

The ubiquitous "do whatever you think will look good on me" is not going to cut it. No matter what, you take a huge risk asking the make-up artists to "do whatever." Your version of smokey eyes might be the artist's version of drag queen with a hangover or vice versa. So here are a few useful things you can do to help the make-up artist tailor your make-up to your liking:

  • Determine what kind of a look you want. It really helps the make-up artist to know which colours are a no-no, what you definitely want incorporated, whether you want it tailored towards a daytime or a nighttime look, etc. Seemingly small specifics can really help out the artist.
  • Pick out the colours that attract you together with the artist. I've found that it really helps women feel more in control of their makeover and happier with the direction it is going if they can approve beforehand the colours the artist will use on them.
  • Let the artist know whether you have any specific concerns and need help with them. I have had a few women come in and they, in their own words, have no idea what to do with make-up after they buy it. So you don't want the artist to work their magic, buy the product, and be clueless when you get home. Ask the artist to explain application and they (really ought to be) should be willing to oblige.
  • Check the progress every so often to see whether everything is going according to plan. By this I don't mean check whether the artist has applied every stroke properly. For example, check whether you like the shadow combination on your lids, whether the completed eye make-up is what you wanted, or whether the blush is too bright. When you point out things you want changed early enough they are easier and quicker to correct.
  • Remember that what looks good on others might not necessarily look good on you. It's not just a question of skin tone, hair colour, eye colour, etc. but it is also about the comfort level of the person wearing the make-up. If you really like something you see used on someone else, ask the make-up artist how to incorporate it into your look.
  • Don't jump from look to look during the makeover. Changing the direction of the look from a natural look to a green smokey eye to winged eyeliner with red lips every ten minutes will not only make the artist want to kill you but it might also end up in an amalgam of things. It's ok to change the direction of the look, just don't do it more frequently than you blink
I will add more such posts as I go along so you can really get the maximum out of your makeovers and consultations.

Some Gorgeous Dresses Worn by Kangana Ranaut in Femina Magazine

I found some scans of Kangana Ranaut wearing some very pretty dresses in a Femina issue that appeared a while back. Here they are with my commentary (I really can't shut up it seems).

Dress 1:

I am ambivalent about this Moschino dress she is wearing. Maybe it's the styling or maybe it's the pose but it looks a bit prom-ish too me.

Dress 2:

I know I ranted about the Gauri and Nainika dress Bipasha wore during LIFW but this creation of theirs is gorgeous. The colour and the flow of the dress are so flattering and flirty. Oh my, did I just compliment someone?

Dress 3:

This Nalanda Bhandari creation is pretty enough but it doesn't really stand out to me. Blame it on the red riding hood theme of the pic if you will, but it doesn't do any favours for the dress.

Dress 4:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this BombayElectic dress does nothing for Kangana's figure. She's a very tiny girl and this dress does unflattering and widening things to her hips.

Dress 5:

This is another Gauri and Nainika creation which does not come close to rivaling the yellow dress. It's not bad, it's just not earth shattering.

image source: www.kanganaranaut.com

A Great Spring Shade: Maybelline Extreme lipstick in Plum Wine

For Spring, I like a fresh, watermelon hue that reminds me that while it is raining outside, I will not loose my cool and shout at the rain gods with anger/murder in my voice. See how powerful a bright, cheery but still easy to wear shade of lipstick is?

I have been having a torrid affair with Maybelline's Moisture Extreme lipstick in Plum Wine for the past couple of months. Before I talk about how much I love the texture, let me first tell you how much I love the colour. Finding a decent but fairly bright watermelon colour is very rare for me. I always run the risk of looking like a one-hit-wonder from the 80s desperately trying to hang on to my fame by sticking to my signature fuchsia lips. This is why I always look for lipsticks with some plum in them to help make the colour more wearable. Plum Wine is a combination of wine, pink, and plum tones that is surprisingly easy to wear.

The texture of the lipstick lives up to the name and I find it very moisturizing. Not only that, it has no detectable scent I can discern. This is a huge plus for me because I don't need any strong smell literally under my nose. Plum wine doesn't last as long as a traditional cream formula because it is fairly sheer but it fades off evenly. However, it is a great choice when I don't necessarily want a heavy look.

Simple Mascara Tutorial

Since there was a request for a mascara tutorial, I'm posting one. Do let me know if it was at all helpful or too basic.

Make-up used:

  • Scott Barnes volumizing mascara. All I have to say is that you can close your eyes and find a better mascara. Not a big fan of this one.
  • Revlon SkinLights Illuminating Wand in Medium Touch

Tools used:
  • Shiseido lash curler. This is optional but I like to curl my lashes for extra drama.
  • Sonia Kashuk Lash and Brow groomer. This is optional and I used it to brush my brows in place. I use it when my mascara gets clumpy but I didn't need to use it this time.
  • Q-tips
Step 1:
Start with clean lashes. If you already have mascara on that has dried, your lashes can get very clumpy if you apply a mascara over them.

Step 2:
Curl lashes if you're going to do so.

Step 3:
Roll the mascara on a clean sheet of paper or a sturdy tissue. I find that most mascaras apply too much mascara on the first swipe and I get clumps. I like to gently take off the excess so that my coat is even and I can avoid any blobs.

Step 4:
Make a zig-zag motion from the base of the lashes to the top. For full drama, get every lash from the outer to the inner corner.

Step 5:
Be sure to get the lashes on the outer and inner corner of the eyes. You can hold your brush vertically if you need to in order to get to the hard to reach/coat lashes. Reapply mascara while it is still wet. I prefer to wait a few seconds to let the mascara set and then coat the lashes again while the mascara is still wet. I would really recommend against applying mascara when your lashes are dry because I find that the lashes don't get coated properly to get any significant result.

Step 6:
Clean up any mascara on your lids with a concealor. I dipped a q-tip in my concealor to erase a few dots of mascara I had.

Final Result:
If you have any clumps, be sure to brush them out with a lash comb. Otherwise, you're done.

Nixie Natural Finish Foundation/Oil Free

I've been testing this foundation for a few weeks now. From the Nixie foundations I wanted to test drive, I ended up really liking this one a lot.

The consistency of the foundation lies more in the realm of a thinner formulation. To compare, it is thinner than MAC's Studio Fix Fluid. It's an easy to blend foundation and the shade I tried, Olive 2, had enough olive undertones so that it didn't purely bring out the yellow undertones of my skin. I'm not too familiar with the range of colours from Nixie but I would recommend contacting their customers service if you can't determine the shade that matches your skin tone from their swatches.

A few days ago, I tried on a mask that made my skin react violently and made my skin red and scaly. That evening, I had to go somewhere and look less like I'd been burned by sitting in a furnace and as human as possible. I was desperate and put on this foundation. I was very happy with how it worked.

The foundation has a satin finish and you can matte it out with some translucent powder easily. It covered up most of the redness nicely and toned down the angry burn marks I got from reacting to the face mask. Overall, I'd say it provides medium coverage on its own that you can sheer out for less coverage. You can also build up coverage but I don't think you can get truly full coverage. The foundation didn't irritate the sensitive areas of my skin (and I had a lot) and in the warm weather (around 80F/27C) didn't make me feel like I was wearing a heavy mask. Granted, I haven't tested it out in warmer weather but the foundation didn't itch due to the heat.

Another plus is that it held up throughout the day. I didn't wear a primer and the foundation covered well into the evening. The best thing in my opinion about this foundation is that it didn't make me break out. I test drove this foundation for a few weeks and it has fortunately enough not broken me out any time I've worn it.

What really convinced me to give rave reviews for this foundation is how my skin reacted after I forgot to take off my make-up and went for a jog. I know my skin and if make-up clogs my pores I wake up the next day with massive zits-in-progress. After my sweaty jog (I am very proud of the distance/how long I jogged by the way), I came back dreading my skin's reaction. However, while my skin is still recovering from my face-mask idiocy it hasn't become a clogged mess. I haven't broken out from this foundation days after the infamous jog. I realize that everyone's skin reacts differently but my experiences were very positive.

Taking off the foundation is simple enough. I used a make-up remover first and then washed it off with my regular cleanser. This seemed to wash off the foundation and since my skin hasn' reacted with angry pimples I'd say this was effective in taking off the foundation.

For reference, my skintone in MAC is NC45 and the Nixie Olive 2 was a match.

The Miss-India-Gate Controversy

I just posted about the Femina Miss India winners for 2008 and it turns out there's a Miss-India-Gate type controversy going on regarding Miss India Earth Harshita Saxena.

It seems to be a muddled mess. According to Mareen Wadia, the president of the Gladrags pageant:

"Harshita was in a two-year contract with us and as per the agreement she was not supposed to participate in any other contest without our permission. She now has won the Miss India Earth crown, which is a breach of contract,"

Well the plot thickens because Harshita places the blame on Gladrags:
"It was extremely unprofessional on the part of Gladrags to bring this up now as they have not given me any work in the past two years of my association. They did not give me a copy of the contract although they had promised to provide me the same. Since I had read the contract 2 years back I did not remember the exact dates. I tried getting in touch with the Gladrags officials to confirm the expiry date, however there was no response from them. Also I would have appreciated the fact if Gladrags would have approached me directly rather than me being informed via the media."

My take on it is that both Harshita and Gladrags are at fault. She signed a contract, so READ what it entailed. As for Gladrags, I do agree with Harshita, they could have handled it in a more professional manner and contacted her. After all, she's the one who signed the contract, not the rest of India.

What do you think:

sources: http://feminamissindia.indiatimes.com/, http://in.news.yahoo.com, www.msn.co.in

Femina Miss India Winners

In recent beauty news, the Femina Miss India came to an end a few days ago. I really liked last year's Miss India Puja Gupta, but it will be good to see what these three accomplish. Personally, I have nothing against pageants but I read an article a long time ago about the grooming processes involved in 'creating' Miss Indias that really put me off. I swear I'm not doing this just to be against Miss India, but I have a hard time supporting something that requires the contestants bleach their skin. In any case, here are the current Miss Indias, Simran Kaur-Mundi (l), Parvathy Omanakuttan (c), and Harshita Saxena (r).

image source: www.newkerala.com

Nixie Eyeshadows

I got a Nixie eyeshadow a while back and held off reviewing it until I was satisfied I had tested the product and I liked the results. I used the shadow in the Spring look and have been using it for a while. Here's my take on it.

The colour I got was called Nixie. I checked the website and Nixie Cosmetics is more original with its names for the other shadows. The most gorgeous thing about this shadow is its texture and feel. At first I thought I was in a daze of hallucinatory school stress but this shadow goes on so softly and smoothly. The website says that the shadows are "infused with Italian cashmere talc to provide a silky, luxurious feel," and while I have no idea what Italian cashmere talc is, the feel of the shadows has spoiled me somewhat.

The pigmentation of the eye shadow and its lasting abilities are also very good. With primer I find that it lasts throughout day. Take note, my lids are very oily and all shadows, even when layered with primer, will end up fading. This shadow faded evenly and I had a fair amount of colour at the end of the day. Without a primer, it lasted slightly longer than my MAC shadows (is it still a mystery why I'm the primer-nazi?). Again, this is probably eyelid-specific.

The packaging is practical with a plastic circle through which you can see the colour and the surrounding black plastic has a rubberized finish. I haven't figured out how to depot mine yet but I will let you know when I do. The size of the Nixie shadow pan is larger than the MAC and Urban Decay shadow pans. Nixie's shadows are 3.5 grams whereas MAC and Urban Decay are 1.5 grams. The Nixie shadows do cost $1 more than MAC but they make up for it in quantity.

All in all, I'm very happy with the eyeshadow. As for the exact description of the colour I have, Nixie (the shadow, not the entire brand. I'm so glad they have better names for their other products) is something in between MAC Aquadisiac and Zonk Bleu.

You can find Nixie eyeshadows on their website.

image source: www.nixiecosmetics.com

My Favourite Look with Red Lips

For me, red lips scream glamour. Not the over-the-top screaming from the rooftops kind, but the kind where it's effortless and lets the face shine. So here's one of my favourite looks I pair up with red lipstick. While the red is very bold, I purposely kept the rest of the face very nude.

I will do a separate review of the lipstick tomorrow. For now, it is such a creamy and moisturizing lipstick that wearing it is such a treat.

Make-up used:

  • CoverGirl Smoothers in medium to dark
  • Besame translucent powder
  • Revlon SkinLights Illuminating Wand in medium touch
  • Revlon Colorstay liquid liner in black
  • Maybelline XXL mascara in black
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • MAC Sculpt and Shape in warm light/definitive
  • MAC Harmony
  • NARS Torrid
  • NARS Albatross. This is really optional as you can use the highlighting shade from the sculpt and shape duo. I wanted to add a bit or punch to the highlight so I added this.
  • Lancome Red Stiletto
Tools used:
  • My fingers to apply the tinted moisturizer
  • MAC 129 to apply the powder and blush
  • MAC 239 to apply the highlight on the lid and the brow bone
  • MAC 222 to apply the crease colour
  • Smashbox fan brush to apply the highlighter on my cheekbones
Step 1:
I applied the tinted moisturizer, CoverGirl smoothers, with my fingers and blended it into the sides of my face. I also concealed where needed (my under-eyes).

Step 2:
I followed with translucent powder with the MAC 129 brush. I really like the brush because I like to get a lot of use out of my brushes and this one does a great job of applying powder and blush.

Step 3:
For this look, the brows have to be very groomed. I just got my eyebrows done, but if yours are unruly, tweeze away the strays and enhance them for maximum effect.

Step 4:
I patted on Primer Potion to my entire eyelid. I like using a prime that doesn't have any colour for this because I want to use the colour of my eyelids.

Step 5:
I applied the highlighting shade from the sculpt and shape duo on the entire lid with the MAC 239 brush.

Step 6:
I gave subtle definition to my crease with the contouring shade from the sculpt and shape duo and using the MAC 222 brush. Be sure to blend out the contouring shade. Don't worry if it's not a very dark crease because the look is supposed to be very natural (but better of course).

Step 7:
I applied Albatross to my brow bone and blended into the crease with the MAC 222 brush.

Step 8:
With a steady hand, I applied the Colorstay liquid liner from the inner corner of my eye to the outer edge. At the inner corner, keep the liner very thin. As you get to the middle of the eye thicken the line slightly. At the outer corner, extend the liner as far as you are comfortable. Keep the extended part of the liner thin.

Step 9:
I applied mascara to the top lashes only.

Step 10:
I added a basic brown rose blush to my cheeks from the apple of my cheeks to the temple with the MAC 129 brush. I chose a nude blush because I didn't want to overwhelm the cheeks.

Step 11:
To add a very slight pop of colour, I dipped only the top of the MAC 129 brush in torrid, tapped off the excess, and very lightly applied it on the apple of my cheeks. Be careful to keep this very subtle as it's meant to add warmth and a hint of colour.

Step 12:
I used the Smashbox fan brush to apply Albatross to the top of my cheekbones.

Step 13:
For the final touch, I didn't want to use a lip liner or gloss. I applied Red Stiletto to my lips. You can use a lip brush for precision if you like but I was a bit too lazy for this.

Finally Figured Out This Tagged Thing.

Thanks, Ilovecheese. I sent out a desperate comment on your blog, did my rounds on the other blogs I love and it all dawned to me when I read Saniya's. So I'm supposed to answer all this and so here it is.

Things I’m passionate about
Writing stories (I can hear you doing a Brian from Family Guy impression as we speak)
Dreaming up stories (I'm not even kidding about this. I LOVE to dream up stories and get lost in them)

Books I’ve recently read
Ummm... do textbooks count? Really, being a graduate student kills all fun reading time.
A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors (the most scandalous/hilarious history book ever)

Songs I could listen to over and over
Def Leppard: Pour Some Sugar on Me (this has a special meaning to me)
Christina Aguilera: Still Dirrty
Sean Kingston: Take You There

Traits I’m attracted to in my best friends
A wicked sense of humour
Simplicity. I'm not one for gossip and politics and cannot/don't know how to deal with that.
The ability to laugh at themselves
Fans of either South Park, Family Guy, or Law and Order (all except CI, hate that one)

Things I say often
I'm not even kidding
Dear god no!

Things I’d like to do before I die
Learn 27 languages
Visit the birthplaces of some of my favourite historic figures
Publish books on (historical) fiction
Own the entire DVD collection of the Golden Girls and Frasier (no one tops the golden girls; NO ONE)
Have an exhibition of my art work
Have my own make-up line