Ah, a mega-edition of beauty product reviews! If you've ever read half a dozen reviews in one post this is the mother of them all and they are especially helpful to those like combination skin like mine.While scanning my earlier blog posts I've noticed how I haven't done a product review in ages which is mental because I think I'm in love with all the great deal of things I've gotten recently either as part of a haul or some awesome people in my life gifting them with reckless abandon, haha. You'll be delighted to know that none of these products are sponsored and my honest head-over-heels in love reviews. So let's start darling, shall we? ;)
Here's an overview of the products (in order of how they appear in the post) reviewed:
1.1 Base Makeup
-Mac Studio Fix Powder Foundation
-Maybelline Dream Satin Skin Powder Foundation
-Lakme CC Cream
-Mac Studio Finish Cream Concealer
1.2 Lip products
-Forever 21 Love&Beauty Lipstick
1.3 Eye Products
-Dior 5 Colors Eye Palette in 566 Versailles
-Barry M Eye Pencils in Bronze and Green
-Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eye Pencil
1.4 Makeup Palettes and Tools
-Forever 21 Makeup Brush Set
-Lancome Absolu Voyage Travel Palette
2.1 Bath and Body Works Moroccan orchid and Twilight Woods body mist
2.2 The Face Shop Real Nature Face Masks
2.3 The Face Shop Aloe Gel
2.4 Beesline Face Masks and Scrubs
MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation in NC25: This my spot-on summer shade. I've never actually found such a perfect match for my skintone before.. Brought it especially for summers and here's the lowdown.
Price: 170 AED
Texture: Finely milled powder but doesn't fly around a lot when I use it with a kabuki brush. I only use the sponge which comes along with it for quick touch-ups on the go.
Finish: Very natural. And this is after nagging lots of honest people if I looked "made-up".
Coverage: Medium on the heavier side but buildable.
Best for: Combination-Oily skinned girls.
Best used for: A very natural look provided you have the perfect shade match. Sometimes no one could guess I had base makeup on. For heavier courage, I prefer using this under my Lakme CC cream (reviewed below). Great for a flawless doll-faced look for special occasions over heavy foundations.
Recommendation: I love the shade match but I would probably reach out for this more in winters when I may go down to NC 20. In the 40-45 degrees Celsius summers here this doesn't stay long on my face although it does fade evenly. And I'm definitely not the kind of girl who fancies powdering every now and then to take away the shine on my T-zone.
Maybelline Dream Satin Finish Powder Foundation in Beige 01: I went for the lightest shade in this range and I'm glad to say this is another perfect match on my skin. It is not as warm as MAC NC25 and is more on the neutral side. Amazing for me because I have neutral undertones as well, not too warm and not too cool.
Price: 550 RS (roughly translated to 32 SAR/AED
Texture: Very finely milled powder. Again, doesn't fly around too much when used with a kabuki. Comes with a sponge which I plan never to use unless I'm stuck on an island without my trusted kabuki.
Finish: Satiny airburshed. i can't describe it except saying it's lovely!. It hides all my pores and is so easy to use and I get ready in a snap whenever I use this
Coverage: It's somewhere between medium-to full. On me, since I have very very clear skin and that means I barely have any spots so the coverage is more on the full-end for me. Works as good as a high-end compact if not better. I have mainly problems with discolorations where my forehead and nose are a lot more tanned than the rest of my face and this alone makes it look like I have perfect skin.
Longevity: Lasts ages on me even in really humid weather when used alone with a mattifying moisturizer. I rarely use primers. and why should I when this gem does the trick ;). The longest I have used this for is 8 hours and it had just begun to show the first signs of fading or patchiness. It is the kind of powder which looks better as time goes on as it settles into skin and a little bit of natural shine comes through.
Best for: Normal and combination skinned girls. Dry skinned beauties can have a go as well as long as they have a moisturizer underneath.
Best used as: It's amazing when used alone. It's unreal when used alongside with foundation. Great to use in the dayime since it has an SPF of 32. Compact size to brilliant to chuck even in a tiny purse alongside with some gloss. Great to set underyes too in case you were wondering and good to even out any discoloration on the eyelids as well.
Recommendation: This product is fairly new in the Indian Market and I'd heard fantastic reviews. I think I'll have to restock as soon as this gets over. Maybelline powders have always been such amazing budget buys for me. Their liquid foundations have been a dud though but I can always count on their powder formulas which never oxidize.Just be careful on the shade selection though. this has spf and can make you end up looking ashy instead of glowy.Alabaster pale skin will find this shade too warm for them. If you're NC20-25 in Mac, this particular shade is lovely.
Lakme CC Cream in Beige: Comes in two shades: beige and bronze. My cousin had once accidentally sent me bronze and it was a lot darker on me. I wish they'd add two more shades. One for very pale girls and one for girls between my tone and deeper tones just to cater to a more realistic skin diversity, haha.
Price: 250 Rs ( roughly translates to 14 SAR/AED)
Texture: Light and airy. Not too runny and not too thick. blends in like a dream. I always blend this in with my fingers. Blend beautiful even with a foundation or buffing brush.This has so far worked with every setting powder or powder foundation I've tried except my Avon primer that is, it flaked off on top of it and I could never make it work.
Finish and coverage: Natural with a subtle sheen. I can't vouch for covering spots but this evens out quite well. It is my everyday baby for university. Again, this hides my pores really well which is always a plus.
Longevity: Lasts the 8-4 university timings on me even in the heat WHEN set properly with powder. It does get shinier as time goes by but nothing that some blotting sheets or powder can't fix. I touch up only on the places that I get shiny which are my nose and maybe a bit on my forehead. I never feel the need to re-powder my cheeks because I like the natural flush of dewy cheeks. :D
Best for: Normal to Combination skin. Dry skinned girls might give it a go along with moisturizer. Oily skinned girls, skip this.
Best used as: Anything really. It is a touch cooler than my skintone but works very well because it a CC cream after all. You can mix it up with your sunscreen if you want sheerer coverage. Mix it up with thicker foundations to get gorgeous consistency. or even as a base underneath your foundation for parties. Whatever floats your boat.Don't expect this to hide heavy under-eye circles though or darker blemishes.
Recommendation: A big con is the availability of this product worldwide. I always ask my sister to send this over to me from India since Lakme is essentially a uber-popular Indian brand. Other than that, I've gotten compliments whenever I've worn this and I keep repurshasing. I think that makes everything nice and clear. ;)
MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC 30: This shade is very tricky for me. The SA handed me over an NC 20 but I insisted that since I have very heavy under-eye circles, I want to go darker instead of lighter so as to not get the reverse panda eye effect. She applied this on one eye with a wedge sponge and NW30 on my other eye. NW was too pink on me and NC30 too yellow. I settled on NC30 just because I wanted to give this a try. :)
Price: 130 AED
Texture: Very emollient and I mean very. You can make it work on you no matter how dry your under-eyes may be.
Finish: Dries matte on me. I pat it in and then blend the edges to blur the obviousness of concealing up.
Coverage: Very, VERY Opaque when I pat it on. However on even minor blending it sheers out a bit and becomes more of medium-high coverage. That makes it better for spot concealing than under eyes.The heat over here gave me a minor breakout on my jawline and this covered it up. It also covers pigmentation around the lips well which many Middle-Easters/Indians typically have.
Longevity: Because this is so emollient it does crease underneath my eyes even after setting with powder. I apply this on my eyelids as well and it creases there too. i wish I'd gotten MAC prolongwear instead of this but I'm glad I gave it a go. i do love it more and more every day as I keep getting the hang of it. If not set with powder this moves around a lot for me although other reviewers did say that it stays put on them for hours.
Best for: Dry,normal and combo skinned girls.
Best applied as: Spot cover-ups. Or heavy pigmentation IF you find a perfect color match. Since I was neutral undertoned, their shades were either too cool or too warm. At first this looked very weird on me and then I realized that it's because while this does blend in with my skintone, it makes the tan of my nose appear darker. I then started applying a light layer of this on my nose as well and now it seems to work better.
Recommendation: I love how opaque this is. That means my under eyes get covered in a jiffy and I don't have to go back and forth layering and blending. If I had to repurchase I would go for NW25 instead of NC30 since it's so good at covering up and salmon toned concealers are better for fairer skintones but I won't because this is definitely not an under eye suited concealer. I may try their other concealers next or go back to my buddies like NYX HD concealer or revlon colorstay concealer which are medium-high coverage but still match me and don't crease as much. If you have problems with blemishes rather than dark circles, man oh man is this the perfect concealer for you. You will LOVE this!
Forever 21 Love & Beauty Lipstick: I have this is in the shade berry. Why didn't anyone tell me Forever 21 makes such good lipsticks? The forever 21 where I live doesn't have a cosmetics section but my aunt who lives in Atlanta gave this to me and I was swept off my feet when I saw myself wearing this.
Price: 3.80 USD
Texture: It's so buttery and creamy and gives such a healthy, glossy sheen to my lips. Love!
Finish: I think it's one of those shades which would suit all skin tones.It's a deep rose shade, You know how some rare people have perfect rosy lips? This shade is about two shades darker than that with a touch of brown thrown in and it just lights up my complexion. Any complexion, I believe!
Coverage: I have veryyy pigmented upper lips and this covers them up in one swipe. :yay:
Longevity: Here's where it falls short. It lasts about 4 hours on me and would be gone in a pinch even if you snack. I wish it stayed on longer but then I wouldn't complain much because the packaging is gold you guys! I adoreee gold packaging on anything and taking that classy bullet out and just smoothing it on the lips feels like such a joy. (Forgive my grandiose description on applying lipsticks)
Best for: All kinds of lips? I mean, I you have terribly dry lips, you wouldn't need a lip balm. This is so buttery, it OWNS your barren lips, BUT a word of caution: it does dry down over time. Never settles in fine lines though.
Recommendation: A+ from me. I want five more of these, thank you, generous aunt from Atlanta who showers me with makeup products. On a more cautious note, a lot of reviewers found the packaging of these flimsy which ended up in many broken lipsticks.Weird, because mine isn't flimsy at all.
Dior 5 Colors Eye Palette in 566-Versailles: Gosh, this is like glamour for your eyes! I samples this on Dubai Airport's duty-free and I felt like I had the most luminous eyes on the globe. I know it is completely absurd how I get excited about these tiny things but I had to splurge because I almost never do. I adore neutrals and this is like the compact boss of them. (Urban Decay fans, spare me a moment!)
Price: 62 USD
Texture: Fine and buttery smooth. The center color is the most glamorous being a bold shimmery golden shade. I love how sparkly this is, it's like party for your eyes. The two shades on the top are like cool and warm toned champagne highlight shades. The silvery grey shade on the bottom left is a gorgeous iridescent shade; again, it is not as shimmery as the center shade but not as satiny as the other two top shades. The last shade is a chocolate brown. Perfect crease color and perfect as smoked out liner under the waterline;
Finish: So pigmented and beautiful. You can see from the swatches and decide for yourself how captivating these would look when used as a single wash over the lid or combined.
Longevity: I use these with a wet brush so that they adhere better instead of an eye primer and I must say they seem to last really long. The longest I've worn these for are 8 hours. The center shade though does fade out soon if you blend it too much. the best way to use this is to pat it on gently in the center of your eye to let it catch the light and glimmer on!
Best for: Everyone. Neutrals are neutrals because they suit everyone. You've got highlight shades, the crease shade and metallics. All ya need is an excuse to wear them.
Recommendation: I would love to recommend this but I know not everyone can splurge. Isn't it comforting though to know that what you'd pay the price tag for is well worth it? I was blown away by the shimmery gold shade folks.
Barry M Eyeshadow Pencils in Bronze and Green: Impulse buy on mom's side because she wanted to test them out. We got them from Boots on discount, so we got them for around 15 SAR/AED for two which is ridiculously affordable. Bronze is a gleaming wel,, bronze shade while Green is a pretty olive shade.
Price: The original price is 4.59£ (which is roughly 26SAR/AED) per pencil.
Texture: They glide on like butter. No questions asked. No primer required.
Coverage: Insanely pigmented!
Finish: Both shades I have have a luster to them so they are not matte but more in between satin and shimmery on the eyes. They are great even for more pigmented eyes because they are so opaque. They can be a bit harder to blend though so you need to be quick since they settle in so fast. They're waterproof as well and that means they don't move around even a tiny bit so you can just put them on and forget about them for the rest of the day.
Best for: Those eyes that don't have a lot of fine lines. They do tend to emphasize them a little bit after they dry down so on mature skin, I'll suggest putting on eye primer/ nourishing eye cream to fill in the lines and then apply.
Recommendation: YES! Go get them!
Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eye Pencil in Silver: Swatched this on at boots because I've recently found out that silver eyeliner suits my eyes like crazy. They had two other shades I was interested in, turquoise and emerald and I just thought this stood out the best.
Texture: Glides on so, so smooth without any tugging or pulling at all.
Finish: A beautiful silver sheen that catches the lights oh-so-nicely.
Coverage: Very-very-opaque! The other two colors I tried were very pigmented as well and delivered almost full color in one swipe -on my pigmented lids. :win:
Longevity: It's waterproof and it really really is. Doesn't come off at all until you use an eye makeup remover. It doesn't irritate sensitive eyes too.
Best as: An eyeliner and also an all over lid color. I think in super-humid climates, it may be a little problematic on the waterline. Since the tip is so smooth, if it's very hot outside and this is in your pruse, it may be quite prone to melting. You know how that sometimes happens with lipsticks? You'll have to be carefully while applying this on though because it can very easily get on your lashes and that always bugs me with colored eyeliners.
Recommendation: Special recommendation for the silver one if you have brown eyes like mine; it makes them POP!
Face Palettes and ToolsForever 21 Makeup Brush Set:
Price: 39 AED
I'll review these as a whole because while some brushes are really good, others are average. And then there's the whole awesomeness of them being double ended which means they will fit in more compactly, right? Again, I understand that you wouldn't expect spctacular quality at this price but i got this mainly as a collector's item because I swooned over the packaging and those pristine white brushes. Keeping that in mind, all the eye makeup brushes work pretty well. I did my Eid look for these which was a nice subtle smokey eye and it turned out beautifully. I also love the foundation brush. I used it with the Lake CC cream and it makes it glide on real good with a non-streaky, even finish. I think the powder brush and blush/contour brush could have been better both in terms of bristles and density. The bristles feel odd against my skin and it gives a streaky job at applying powder but then it isn't very fluffy so I think that's where the problem comes. I also think these two brushes would shed the most when I give them a wash.
Recommedation: Overall, if you're a newbie and a girl on a budget who simultaneously gets delighted by the sheer sight of English roses, go get this!
Lancome Abolsu Voyage Complete Expert makeup palette:
Dad gifted me this cute travel palette on his return trip from Europe.
Price: I'm not sure my Dad remembers how much he got this for and online sites show discounted prices of anywhere from 50-60 USD.
Here's a list fo everything this has :
Lancome Absolu Voyage Complete Make-Up Palette's upper decker includes:
1 x Mini Virtuose Mascara: Oh my goodness. I'm not a mascara girl but I know the differenc e between a good and good mascara since I've tried quite a few but this one is my current favorite. I abhor mascaras which give volume and length but if you layer them once more they result in clumpy lashes. This is spectacular. It lengthens, volumizes and defines. And it looks completely natural, not OTT like you would have fake lashes on. I'm not a fan of fake lashes because they look way too obvious when people wear them though of course to each their own :* . Bu this, this is everything! The formula is so black, the wand is so easy to use and it seems to add a fanned out curl too!
6 x Ombre Absolue Eye Shadows: I love all of these. they are smooth and velvety. Apply so easily and the shades are so versatile. They last a decent time (I once wore these at an art gallery from 4-9pm and they hadn't faded at all) and are pigmented as well. There's no fallout, which is really good when you wear the darker shades. Eyes with more fine lines, these aren't going to cause you any trouble at all :)
2 x Concealers : They have a light and a medium shade. I tried on the medium shade and the texture is buttery. It glides on very smoothly but barely covers my dark circles. I would say this is for people who need touch-ups on the go for any unsightly marks peeking through concealer that's already there or people who don't have a major problem with dark circles. I used the lighter shade as a highlight for my nose and it seemed to work well that way.
1 x Powder Blush: I adore this shade. It's a neutral dusty pink that would suit fair-medium skin tones gorgeously and can be built up without looking cakey. It looks like such a natural flush and stays on for four hours before it begins to fade.The formula is very fine and goes on very smoothly.
1 x Compact Powder: I haven't used this a lot to be honest. Just a couple of times and I would say it mattifies my T-zone for two hours before the shine comes through again. It's so tiny that i don't see much use of it at all except like it originally states as a travel palette when I may need to set my undereyes or just do a once-over on my face to freshen up after blotting.
3 x L'Absolu Rouge Lip Color: These are creamy hybrids of glosses and lipsticks. They are decently pigmented which means if you don't have very pigmented lips they will work amazing. The colors are everyday shades, so beautiful for the girl-next-door look. They don't last long though. Best way for using though would be top off as a gloss on your lipstick.
Lancome Absolu Voyage Complete Make-Up Palette's lower decker includes:
1 x Crayon A Levres Lip Contour Pencil: I love the shade but the texture is somewhere between smooth and dry. it's not the best but it definitely works for travel. I've used this a lot for so many of my lipsticks which mainly range from pinks to reds as those suit me the most and it does a good job with all of them. Lasts a long time on me so that's a plus.
1 x Crayon Khol: The texture glides on smoother than the lip liner and the pigmentation is decent. i tightline with this often and it lasts around four hours before fading. I love that this doesn't bleed all over the place as that happens to me a lot with any kohl pencil.
1 x Blush Brush: I love this brush. I does a fairly good job at applying blush and I love how cute and teensy it is to hold. The bristles don't irritate and deliver product on nicely.
1 x Eyeshadow Brush: I haven't used this because I always prefer using my own separate tools but it's a handy addition to a travel kit
1 x Lipstick Brush: Ditto.
1 x Foundation Sponge: I've used the sponge for the sake of testing it out and although the quality is good it's far too small to use properly and give an even finish.
Recommendation: I'm surprised at how much I've been reaching for this palette recently.I took it to my Dubai trip and I often pop it in my purse to university because there's a special event or occasion I'm attending and this gives a very polished look without being too loud for formal functions.
Bath and Body Works Twilight Woods and Moroccan orchid Body Spray: I always loved BBW and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. They smell in a way, sophisticated.Twilight Woods (apricot nectar, mimosa petals and Tuscan cypress) has this beautiful silver shimmer in it and even though you spritz on all over, you'll still have to evenly distribute the shimmer. Moroccan orchid was from their limited edition and I got it on 75 percent discount. This is my all time favorite fragrance from Bath and Body Works because it seems a little richer (mainly orchid, fig, apricot and amber) than their other limited edition scents. If you have their Lavender and Honey scent then you can probably skip this. It's a floral oriental scent with a bit of sweetness. Did I mention I just love the combination of peacock blue and pink on the packaging? The only downside with both is that they last no longer than three hours on me which is odd because on others they last so much longer.
The Face Shop Real Nature Face Masks in Rice, Pomegranate and Aloe: I love the Real Nature sheet masks! They're a quick and easy pick me up but you do notice the actual glow the next day when you wake up in the morning so I usually use these before going to sleep. Korean sheet masks are soaked in a serum full of nutrients for your skin and are crazy popular. If you want to try the Face shop ones, I'd highly recommend the Aloe and Rice ones. My skin feels immediately nourished after using this. The glow lasts for two days at most after using these and at 5 AED each, they are the best candidates for evening parties and festivals.
The Face Shop Aloe Gel: This is a life-saver in the summer when your skin needs a doze of cooling moisture with none of that slick greasiness over time. Aloe gel nourishes my skin and mattifies it. The Face Shop one smells amazing it has 99 percent real aloe. I slather this on my face at night or day whenever my skin feels exhausted from the heat and it's such a treat. It retails at 45 AED but is well worth it since it doesn't have your usual nasty chemical mix-ins. Tip: If you've got burn scars of new acne blemishes, aloe helps them heal and fade a lot faster. The packaging is very bulky so definitely not travel-friendly and you'll have to use travel sized containers if you need this on-flight.
Beesline Face Masks and Scrubs: I'm so, so glad I discovered Beesline products. I'll be telling you here which masks to not buy and which ones to hoard because they're either a hit or a miss.
Go for their: Oxygen Scrub, Strawberry Sugar Scrub and Pearl Polish Scrub. They are amazing! The granules inside the scrub are chunky but not harsh. The smell isn't overpowering for sensitive noses. Their scrubs always give me a radiant complexion no matter how stressed out or dull my skin gets. For masks, don't miss their Blackhead mask specially for the T-zone with willow bark and peppermint. It gives an instant cooling sensation and cleans out the muck from your pores after you peel it off (which, lets all agree by the way is so much fun to do). The second mask to try is a sheet mask which is a new release (White Sapphire and Royal jelly) and oh my gosh, it is brilliant! The back of the packaging has very tall claims and I was really skeptical but it works! The mask is supposed to brighten up your skin to a whole new level and lift it up. I can't speak on behalf of a face-lift because I've just come out of my teens but this gives a lovely radiance and it lasts very very long.
They also have a 9 oils hair mask which makes hair oh-so-smooth and silky.
Products to skip are: their skin whitening mask which claimed on evening out skintone and blemishes. This didn't work at all on my uneven complexion although it does have a lovely texture.
Their eye-contour whitening mask: Again, this didn't do anything for my dark-circles even after repeated use. Such a pity.
Congratulations, you've made it to the end! I'm sorry for the awfully long post but I was all for assimilating my latest swoons in one cozy spot. Thank you for reading and if you haven't already, check out my other popular beauty diys and tricks below:
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