Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Introducing Chic Mommy and Kohl's Girl's Favorite Beauty Products of 2007!!! While all of you have been thinking about the positives and negatives of your lives over the past twelve months, we have been doing that plus coming up with the list of the products that brightened up our year!!
Chic Mommy's Picks:
Foundation: Vasanti Cosmetics Face Base
Concealer: Stila Illuminating Concealer in Warm
Lipstick for Daytime: Vasanti Bahamas Lip Balm with Madeira Lip Pencil
Mascara: Maybelline Volume Express
Eyeshadow for Daytime: Vasanti Paris shadow
Eyeshadow for Nighttime: NARS Bellydance
Blush: MAC Breath of Plum
Facial Cleanser: Purpose soap which removes even the toughest eye makeup
Daytime Facial Moisturizer: Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisture Cream SPF 15
Body Lotion: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
Makeup Brushes: Sephora brand is a great value, especially when compared to MAC brushes
Kohl Girl's Finds:
Concealer: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat in No. 3
Eyeliner: MAC Powerpoint pencil in Prussian, a navy-purple that is absolutely gorgeous against dark brown eyes, either alone or as part of a smokey eye.
Lip Glosses: Peachy MAC Big Kiss as a warm toned gloss and the violet Chanel Summer Plum as a cool toned gloss.
Eyeshadow for Nighttime: MAC Flashtrack -- a shimmery navy that is great for a new take on the smokey eye. It goes great with MAC Prussian eye pencil.
Blush: MAC Blushbaby
Beauty Tool: Clarisonic Skin Brush
Body Lotion: Olay Quench Body Lotion
Ladies, we hope the above lists offer you some great suggestions for the rest of 2007 and the new year. Don't hesitate to email us your question about makeup how-to's and colors. We will be blogging about tons more products in 2008 so keep checking back!!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here's what Eclipse looks like on me (I lined the outside of my lips with Vasanti Madeira lip pencil).
And trust me, once you wear this out, you will have at least a few people come up to either compliment you or ask you what lipstick you're wearing. My husband never comments on my makeup, but when I wore this the other day to a kiddie birthday party (yup, I go over the top for those too) even he said, "Nice lipstick".
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
As beautiful as these desi models are, I'm just not feeling the ratty hair!!
Monday, December 10, 2007
- 6 times more makeup removal
- Leaves skin feeling and looking younger and smoother
- Cleanses so well that products absorb better
- Gentle enough for twice daily use
- Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
- Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Since I don't have problems with wrinkles or fine lines yet, I can't vouch for all of these claims but I can say that the brush does a great job of cleansing, exfoliating and increasing circulation in the face for a brighter appearance. I definitely have also had less breakouts since I started using it. It is a practical tool as it cleanses, exfoliates and massages the skin all at once...and if that's not enough positives for you, it was named one of Oprah's Favorite Things of 2007.
The brush comes with two brush heads (one for normal skin and one for sensitive skin -- I use the latter) and a 2 oz. Gentle Hydro Cleanser. I liked the cleanser as well but once I ran out, I used my regular cleanser and the brush worked equally well. The brush IS expensive, retailing on the Clarisonic website for $195 but there are online sites that sell the product at a discount or at least with free shipping.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The Lazy Girl Method for Tight Waves/Loose Curls: This method involves braiding your hair in sections at night and taking the braids out in the morning. Apply mousse or gel (see product recommendations below) to damp hair evenly from root to tip. Braid hair in sections with the width of the braid varying depending on how tight you want the curl. The smaller the braids, the tighter the curl. Apply smoothing serum at the end of the braid so the ends of the curl don't come out raggedy. In the morning, take out the rubber bands and shake out your hair with your fingers. DO NOT BRUSH under any circumstances or you will loosen the curl and end up with frizz. Smooth a little more gel or spray hairspray through hair to hold the curl.
This method is best for longer hair and those that want a loose curl versus a tight ringlet.
The Diffuser Method: Diffusers are a circular attachment that you attach to the end of your hairdryer. Diffusers are great for wavy/curly hair as they evenly distribute air (no blowing hair around so no frizz) and coax out the curly. You can purchase a relatively cheap diffuser at any drugstore.
Apply a heat protectant such as to damp hair. As above, apply gel or mousse to the hair next. Flip hair over so your head is hanging upside down and hold the hairdryer vertically so the diffuser's face is cupping the ends of your hair. Dry hair by GENTLY SCRUNCHING the hair while moving the diffuser through different sections of your hair. I like hanging my head upside down because you can get to all sections of the hair but it works the same way right side up as well. Flip head over and again, only arrange hair with hands, no brush. As above, apply a little more gel or hairspray for extra hold.
This method is great for any length of hair and for a more natural curl. The results will depend on your hair type. If you have fine, wavy hair, you are more likely to get a loose curl. If you have thick, wavy hair (like myself), you are more likely to get tighter curls with this method.
Applying a heat protectant to hair is a MUST for this method as you are applying heat directly on to the hair. Next, apply gel or mousse to damp hair as above but must be almost complete dry before using either a curling iron or hot rollers. Use either a curling iron or hot rollers. The size of either depends on how tight you want the curls. Use a smaller iron or roller for tights curls and go bigger for larger curls. Once finished curling, do not brush. Arrange hair with your fingers and finish with a bit of hairspray.
Monday, December 3, 2007
To get the look:
Eyes: Use a light, shimmery silver shadow, such as MAC Shadow in Electra, as a wash all over the eyelid from lashes to brows, concentrating the color on the lids. Line the top and bottom of the eyes with black khol pencil, such as MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder. Be sure to line the lower rims of the eyes, as Riya has here.
Cheeks: Lightly dust a peachy blush on the cheeks. NARS Torrid works well on darker skin tones.
Lips: Apply a peachy bronze lipstick or gloss, such as MAC Plushglass in Big Kiss.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Have you ever started out with the intent of doing really subtle, thin lines around your eyes and then all of a sudden, OMG! realizing that you've drawn thick lines that can be seen a mile away? And they're only getting thicker as you try to even them out?
Friday, November 23, 2007
I had heard that salt scrubs are better at sloughing away dead skin than sugar scrubs so I picked up the H20+ Sea Salt Skin Smoother at a H20+ store. From the first time I used it in the shower, I could immediately see and feel a difference in my skin texture, especially stubborn areas such as my elbows and knees. The scrub comes in a gigantic tub and a little goes a long way so the tub will last a while.
The H20+ salt scrub contains "marine extracts of sea lettuce, sea fennel, algae and wakame" as well as "natural oils, canola and safflower." As there are oils in the scrub, once the scrub is washed off, I could still feel a little oil on my skin. I consider this a plus in the winter months though, as the oils act as an extra barrier of hydration for the skin.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The look is easy to copy, with a minimalistic but stunning effect.
For eyes, lips and cheeks, use Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Milk Chocolate (for light to medium tanned skin) or Chocolate Cherry (for medium to dark tanned skin). Apply with fingers, patting the color onto eyelids, cheeks and lips. Gradually build the color rather than smearing on the product all at once. Decide whether you want to focus the color on lips (as the models above have) or cheeks or eyes and build more color onto that feature.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
At the Meera and Muzzaffar Ali show, the models looked stunning with black and gold smoky eyes, bronzed cheeks and pink lips. This was my favorite makeup look of the fall-winter India Fashion Week!! To get this look:
Cheeks: Cargo Bronzer in Light, Medium or Dark depending on your skin tone. Apply on the apples of cheeks as the model has here.
Eyes: MAC eyeshadows in Carbon and Amber Lights. Apply Amber Lights all over the lid. Apply Carbon in the crease and the outercorners of the eye and use it to line the eyes with a wet liner brush.
photo via telegraph.co.uk
Monday, November 19, 2007
"In cosmetics I use a lot of moisturizers, mascara and kohl pencil. Other make-up is minimal; I believe that one should highlight the attractive aspects of one's face. I have high cheekbones so I highlight these with a blusher, to achieve a sun-kissed, flushed, healthy look. I use cosmetics by Body Shop or MAC because these shades suit the Indian skin." - Malaika Arora
Dewy skin, smoldering eyes, and a to-die-for dress make Malaika Arora one smoking hot mama in this picture. I honestly don't think she needs an ounce of makeup to look beautiful, she is just perfection from head to toe. But let's see how we can steal her glowing look here.
I doubt Malaika's wearing much foundation here. She reportedly drinks water like a fish to keep her skin clear and free of toxins, in addition to using cleansers, oil-free moisturizers, and masks. The one product she does mention by name, however, is Margo soap. Infused with neem oil, it's great for people with oily or acne prone skin. I've never tried Margo soap, but it must be working for her because her skin is flawless.
For those of us who need to fake good skin like this, I recommend covering up blemishes with a good concealor and using a light foundation like Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Even Finish Foundation. Then brush on Victoria's Secret Mosaic Blush in In Lust on the apples of the cheeks, or any blush that gives you a natural, sun-kissed look.
MAC Amber Lights eyeshadow on the lids, MAC Vanilla eyeshadow to highlight under the brows, and MAC Kohl eyepencil in Smolder to line all around the lashline, including the inner rims. Top it off with lots of MAC Plush Lash Mascara in Plushblack.
The only reason I know how to get the color Malaika is wearing is because I haphazardly mixed it at home while experimenting with what I had in my makeup drawer. You can get lips like this by slicking Clinique Plump and Shine Lipgloss in Braisin over your lips and then lining and filling your lips in with MAC Plum lipliner (if this liner isn't already a staple in your makeup bag, you have to add it, it's a must for women of color. It makes nearly every lipstick or gloss look good on you.)
P.S. There's a little secret I discovered about the Clinique Plump and Shine lipgloss after using it nearly everyday. It exfoliates the dead skin on your lips while you wear it, so at night when you wash your face, your lips are completely smooth. Bonus!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
To cut to the chase, I asked her one question. Out of all the products in the entire store, which one does she recommend, and more importantly, which one does she use to keep her skin so clear? Her answer to both questions, was the surprisingly affordable exfoliator from Garnier's new skin care line, the Nutripure Microbead Cream Scrub, only $5.99 for a 5 oz tube.
She said even though the product says to use it once a week, the key to getting rid of the whiteheads is to use it at least 3 or 4 times a week, or even once daily. So I bought it, tried it, and now, it's the best new addition to my skincare routine. After the first use alone, I noticed a significant reduction in the overall oily appearance of my skin. The dead flakiness was gone almost instantly, and the bumps started disappearing after about two weeks. I found with any product, it works best if you use it regularly. If you forget to use it for a week or two, the little whiteheads show up to party again, so I have made this part of my shower routine to make sure I remember to use it consistently. It's easier to use there anyway, because I tend to make a mess rinsing scrubs off over the sink.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The set includes a double-ended pencil: one side a light, shimmery pink highlighter and the other side a darker rose-brown shaper. The highlighter is meant to be applied at the top curve of the lip, or the "cupid's bow" and the center of the bottom lip. The shaper is meant to be applied at the bottom curve of the lip to make the lower lip look fuller. The set also includes a double-ended brush and sponge for blending the highlighter and shaper into the lips.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Apply a jewel colored shadow to the lids, extending from the lashline to just above the crease. The key is to use a sheer wash for bright shadows such as Haunting eye shadow (a bright blue) from the McQueen for MAC collection and a more opaque application for muted shadows such as Swimming eye shadow (a shimmery light green) or Parfait Amour eye shadow (a shimmery purple), also from MAC. Then take a black eyeliner such as MAC Engraved Powerpoint liner and line the top eyelid and the inner rims of the lower eyelid. Use a black liquid eyeliner such as Shu Uemura liquid eyeliner and follow the line already drawn on the top eyelid. At the outer edges of the eyes, extend the liquid liner out in a straight line (versus a curved wing). Finish the eyes with mascara and be sure to fill in sparse brows to balance the eyes.
As the eyes are so strong, keep the rest of the face muted. Since cool, jeweled colored shadows in blues, greens and purples are best for this look, I recommend using a cool, light pink for cheeks and lips (I recommend MAC Little Vi Lustreglass for this look).
photo via style.com
Monday, November 5, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
The products that will initially be sold at Target.com are the Sanctuary Spa Essentials (including Salt Scrub, Body Scrub, Foaming Bath Soak, and Creme Souffle) and the the Mande Lular line that I can't seem stop blabbing about. Happy online shopping!!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Cons: It dries and grabs color so quickly, that if you're planning to smudge your eyeliner, work fast, otherwise you'll have trouble smudging the lines.
Eyeshadow Primer Potion is available at Sephora, $15.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I am incredibly excited about The Sanctuary's arrival, which means of course, that I will be wasting more time in the morning and arriving even later than usual to work!!
The first product I tried was the Oscar Blandi Luce Sheer Gloss treatment. The product, which is "a rinse-out gloss...exclusively designed to lock in pigment added to restore shine," did pretty much nada to add shine to my hair, even after I used it a few times.
The next product I tried was Redken's All Soft Gold Glimmer perfecting shine treatment. I reasoned that I would have better luck with this one as, duh, it is a leave-in treatment -- hence, meant to leave in shine. As applied to my hair when curly, Gold Glimmer simply weighed it down and made it greasy without adding any extra shine. As applied to straight hair, the result was somewhat better but I still didn't love the heavy, greasy feeling. I definitely would not apply the product close to my roots for fear of having to wash my hair all over again.
It is possible that my hair simply sucks up light like a black hole, but my next course of action is going to be a professional glossing treatment instead of trying other glossing products. My appointment is next Saturday - wish me luck!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
If you've got:
Use an eyeliner in brown or espresso. Although I absolutely love black liner on blue eyes, the look can be too harsh for everyday wear. Try Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Espresso to line your eyes (using an angled brush like MAC 266), or her Creamy Eye Pencil in Dark Brown.
If you've got green eyes, consider yourself blessed. So many colors complement eyes of this color, everything from charcoal gray to brown. But my favorite color to enhance green eyes is a plum color. Jewel is known to be a huge fan of Prescriptives Softlining Pencil in Fig. Another great color to try is MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Raven, a reddish black that looks amazing against green eyes.
Women with brown eyes can wear any color other than brown to bring attention to their eyes. Although brown liner is by no means forbidden for brown eyes, (I wear it myself nearly everyday for a natural makeup look) brown does very little to add "zing" to brown eyes. The key to making eyes "pop" is to line in a contrasting color, and my personal favorite color to line brown eyes is blue, especially navy blue. Take a look at Alicia Keys' eye makeup, the blue liner and shadow around her eyes is accentuating her brown eyes so much better than if she had stuck to a basic black or brown liner. Try duplicating the look using MAC Eye Kohl in Blooz, Elizabeth Arden Smokey Eyes Powder Pencil in Midnight, or NARS Eyeshadow in Night Flight. For a more subtle daytime look, try navy liner with a pearly rose eyeshadow on your lids: try Laura Mercier Shimmer Eye Shadow in Rose on the lids, and her Matte Eyeshadow in Twilight Grey in the crease for a great day-to-night eye look with navy liner.
Angelina pic via, Alicia Keys pic via, Jennifer Aniston photo via, Jewel photo via Yahoo! photos
Sunday, October 14, 2007
From the severe scrutinization of Hillary Clinton since Bill's days in the White House, to catty comments on Hillary's cleavage on the Senate floor, to talk about John Edwards' $400 haircut, to the school-girl crush of Obama Girl on Barack Obama, it appears that U.S. Presidential Election 2008 is going to be at least partly based on our candidates' hairstyles and clothing choices...unfortunately.
The focus on politicians' appearance isn't confined to the U.S., but at least in other nations, it takes on a more positive twist. A recent New York Times article focused on the famous braid worn by Ukrainian parliamentary candidate Yulia V. Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko's braid, or "The Braid" as it is known in the Ukraine, is as much part of her campaign as her political agenda. According to the article, The Braid "echoes the halos found in representations of Orthodox Christian icons." The Braid plus her clothing, which is often an all-white ensemble, gives her an almost ethereal, angelic look...a stark contrast to the aggressive look ofTymoshenko's male counterparts that some constituents regard as "gangsters."
It is interesting to see that in nations besides the U.S., women aren't afraid to display their feminine side in politics and that femininity might actually bolster constituent support. Perhaps not as stylish as Tymoshenko (and honestly, where would they find the time?), Sonia Gandhi (current President of the Indian National Congress), Benazir Bhutto (former Prime Minister of Pakistan), Khaleda Zia (former Prime Minister of Bangladesh) and Sheikh Hasina Wazed (another former Prime Minister of Bangladesh) have all retained their femininity without ridiculous comments from the media.
Learning how to apply both products is key for getting a pretty, and not clowny, look. For the gel blush, I put one pump of the product on the back of my hand and dabbed the color on my cheeks a little at a time with my middle and ring fingers, building the color slowly. I actually found the blush to be somewhat easier to apply than my all-time favorite stain, Benefit Benetint, as the gel formula does not dry as quickly and is easier to blend.
The lip stain is a bit trickier to apply. My lips were super chapped when I applied the stain directly to my lips, so I ended up getting uneven splotches of color on my lips. I ended up wiping the stain off and brushing my lips with a toothbrush to smooth them out first. Then, I applied the lip stain and topped it with a bit of clear gloss (lip balm would work as well) for a bit of shine. Pretty cheeks and lips without a lot of effort -- Muah!
photos via Revlon.com
Saturday, October 6, 2007
- Sheer Blush in 11, a soft, muted pink
- Eye Mania Palette 10 consisting of peachy pink, pale pink, mauve brown and dark purple eyeshadows.
- Designer shaping cream foundation, SPF 20
- Maestro eyeliner
- ArmaniSilk lipsticks in 55, a nude, and 56, a burgundy
- Lip Shimmer gloss in 40, a shimmery purply-pink
I wasn't as sold on the other products in the collection. The blush was too light and would not show up on darker skin tones. I didn't love all the colors in the Eye Mania palette either. The dark purple was nice but the other colors were too light. As for the foundation, I think its great that it has an SPF 20 in it as a sun protectant, but the Designer "Shaping" Foundation seems a little gimmicky to me. The burgundy color of ArmaniSilk lipstick in56 looks absolutely stunning on the model (see above) but I didn't love the little sparkles in it. It seems slightly drying for the lips.
In all, the the collection features a few beautiful, wearable colors...especially for work or on the weekends when you need a little bit of color to brighten up your face.
photos via giorgioarmanibeauty.com
Monday, October 1, 2007
When my local pharmacy was sold out of my usual weapon to fight facial fuzz, Sally Hansen's Wax Strips for the Face, I decided to pick up a box of their microwaveable wax instead. I normally prefer ready-made wax strips because they require no heating and are as easy to use as scotch tape, but in the interest of vanity, I was willing to try this different kind of wax to see how it works.
Now, before I go on, let me just say that "stripless waxes" are not really my thing. I've had some nightmarish experiences in the past with products like Zip where the wax dried onto the skin so fast I couldn't remove it without scraping it off with my fingernails, or using tons of baby oil. I even got burned once from the wax being too hot. Thank goodness there were no scars.
But considering that I've been waxing with ready-made strips (either by Nair or Sally Hansen) for what seems like eons now, I figured I was now more experienced with the technique and more confident to take on the challenge of the "stripless wax". Sally Hansen's Microwaveable Eyebrow, Face & Lip Wax is a "stripless wax" meant to be used like the homemade sugar waxes used in the Middle East. The package says the product is "mistake-proof", and they are right, but it's not exactly "mess-proof".
Heating it up to a safe temperature was no problem, it only took me a few minutes, and it comes with a heat-sensing applicator that changes color to let you know if the wax is too hot. (In which case, you wait for it to cool down before you apply.) But application was extremely messy, and I blame this entirely on the flimsy applicator. Remember the little white applicator that comes with the facial bleach creme kits? That's what they included for this kit, and it allowed the wax to dribble off onto my sink and countertop while I was trying to apply it to my face . Not good, especially if you're a novice at applying this kind of wax. I think a small wooden tongue-depressor would have been a more practical tool to include for application, I've seen the pros at the salons use those to apply wax and they work great. In fact, if you get this kit, only use the white applicator to test the temperature, because that's all it's good for. I suggest getting a few wooden popsicle sticks from the store and using those to apply the wax instead.
That being said, the wax product itself is amazing. Once I figured out how to apply and remove the wax (the instructions are detailed and included in the kit), I found this type of wax removes hair better than the cold-wax strips I've been using all these years. There's something about the warm wax bonding onto bare skin, it removes even the finest microscopic hairs. I normally have to spend a little time tweezing after I wax to pluck out the hairs that didn't make it, but this time, there was hardly anything left to remove. I'm actually looking forward to the time I can use this again, just so I can get another chance to practice the waxing technique.
There is a learning curve involved with using this kind of stripless wax, but once you get the hang of it, it works very well. I still won't give up the convenience of my dummy-proof strip waxes, but on those occasional days I've got a little more time on my hands, I'm going to turn to this microwaveable wax instead.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Like most women with curly hair, my crazy curly hair and I have a love-hate relationship (yes, hate rules on most days). I usually attempt to straighten my hair into submission or put it up into a ponytail or bun on bad weather days. Frankly, after seventeen years of fighting with my hair (I used to have stick straight hair when I was little), I am getting a little exhausted from the amount of time I spend loathing it each day.
Naturally, I was ecstatic when I learned about a revolutionary new hair straightening treatment called the Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) a few months ago. The treatment is somewhat similar to the japanese rebonding treatment that created a craze a few years back. Unlike rebonding, however, the BKT claims to use keratin (a type of protein already found in the hair) instead of chemicals to naturally smooth and straighten the hair. Plus, the BKT is supposed to be somewhat cheaper than rebonding and the New York Times even wrote an article on its amazing results. Despite my excitement, I decided to wait a while to see if the BKT was really up to its hype, and I am glad I did.
This morning, in the latest issue of Allure, I read that the BKT not only uses keratin to smooth the hair but also uses formaldehyde to straighten. Formaldeyde, however, is thought to be a carcinogen by a number of health and safety agencies both in the U.S. and overseas. Apparently, the use of it in the BKT releases noxious fumes that the customer inhales during the treatment.
Despite the fact that there are no conclusory studies as to the safety or danger of the BKT, I am not risking a treatment that may cause the inhalation or absorption of a potential carcinogen. It did make me wonder to what extent women who know about this risk are still willing to try the treatment because of the results it provides. The before and after pictures on the website are certainly tempting.
Now I am over my excitement of the BKT and have run back home to the curly hair. We are learning to love each other....
Friday, September 28, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
*Despite my head shaking and eye rolling, I am making every effort to get my hands on this issue...not only to write the editor a scathing letter but also to discover the makeup magic behind our desi cover girls.
photos via mediaguardian.co.uk and www.indiafm.com