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Best & Worst Beauty Products 2013

We bid goodbye to 2013 tomorrow. Tomorrow! I wish I could extend it another month. Just 30 days. But nobody's listening to me. So I sit for hours making collages of things I'll take along with me to 2014, and things I've already let go of.

It was hard to pick out only some products, so I did my best to exclude a lot of the products from previous monthly favorites & disappointing beauty products posts. Let's say this list is very sorted out.

BEST Beauty Products 2013

1. Maybelline Color Show India ~ Exclusively the Indian versions, because of both the price and quality factors. They are different from UK versions. All the Indian ones are better than one UK shade I'm wearing right now. Swatches here & here.
2.  MAC Cream Soda Blush from Archie's Girls Collection ~ Blush of the year! I love it SO MUCH. Swatches here

3. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer ~ Probably the best drugstore undereye concealer. I regret not trying it sooner. Now I want to try the powder too!

4. Pond's White Beauty BB Cream ~ A pocket-friendly BB Cream that can put a lot of hi-fi ones to shame. It also works as an eyeshadow primer. Review here

5. Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick #11 Fraise Remix ~ Drugstore lippie, high-end color. Pics here

6. Real Techniques Expert Face Brush ~ I practically lived on this brush this year because it blends everything in a jiffy, it's easy to clean and dries quickly.

7. Babyliss Volume Waves Tong ~ It's like my magic wand. The only tool that can give my hair shape now that it's very long and badly needs a cut. Used here

8. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain Sweetheart ~ Most-used lip crayon. Swatches here.

9. YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick ~ Madly in love with these! Hopefully, one day next year, I'll have all the shades. Swatches of #19 Fuchsia In Rage here

10. Sleek Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette ~ This is one drugstore palette to own! It's like a summary of all the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. Swatches here

11. Max Factor 2000 Calorie Curved Brush Mascara ~ My most favorite mascara this year. I strayed from it, and realized it's unbeatable. Length, Volume, No clumps. I gotta repurchase. Shown here.

12. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent/Clarifying Lotion & Effaclar Duo ~ Life-changing twosome . Holy Grail. Pimply skin saviors. Blemish-free skin.

*More Best Beauty Products here


Christmas Day Makeup, Hair, Outfit

Merry Christmas, Everyone! Hope you are having a lovely day with all your loved ones. We are here in Glasgow, loving the city but hating the weather. Rain on top of freezing cold! Went out today, but almost everything was closed. After walking a bit, we found a Chinese Buffet Restaurant, and we had lunch there. Nothing special for dinner. Hotel life....missing home, actually.
I managed to click some awkward mirror pics while I was getting ready (and while Mr. CZ was taking a catnap.) 
Before hair & rest of makeup. Crazy Eyes =D
 Curled hair with Babyliss Volume Waves Curling Tong. I curled it inwards holding the tong horizontally. Can you believe I forgot to pack my comb/hairbrush? And I forgot to buy one yesterday, so I'm living without any atm.



Urban Decay NAKED 3 Palette. Finally!

"GET DOWN, EVERYONE!" I raised my voice and held up my deadly weapon* like a bank robber. "I said get down! You there! Get down! Yes, on the floor! Put your hands behind your head.", then I took giant steps towards the Urban Decay drawers and opened them one by one. I know it's there in one of them. Right bottom drawer. That's where I saw about 10 Naked 3 Palettes stacked on top of each other. I turned, and gave a dirty look to the SA, who's staring at me with big confused eyes, her left cheek pressed on the marble floor, both hands behind her head, and her blonde side-parted bob fell like a limp leaf over her right eye. I took out one of the palettes and bagged it. I stood up, pulled up my slouched tights, and took out two £20 bills from my wallet. I placed them on the counter next to a small notepad. "Keep the change.", I said, and ran out of the store.
Okay, so that's what I imagined doing when the Urban Decay SA told me they had Naked 3 but were to be sold only to people who have already paid for it in advance. Remember I told you the story about me going to Debenhams and the SA saying it'll be launched the following Saturday? (Post here.) Well, I went that Saturday evening. It was dark, freezing cold and pouring down rain. Of course I dragged Mr.CZ along with me. We reached Debenhams and a different SA told me only pre-orders were there. Meaning if I'd ordered online and chose 'deliver to store' option. This was the 3rd time I went looking for it, mind you. I was very upset & angry. My new boots got wet & my eyeliner had smudged all around my undereyes. I thought about the Pepper Spray* in my handbag & Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond The Pines, and my imagination went psycho.
It is beautiful! The rose gold packaging looks better than I thought.The palette comes with a double-ended shadow/blending brush & an Eyeshadow Primer Potion sampler with resealable samples of all four formulas (Original, Sin, Eden and Anti-Aging). Each sample holds about a week’s worth of Primer. I have yet to swatch and wear the palette, coz I want to christen it on Christmas Day...hehe. So I will post swathes after some time.
Price of Naked 3 ~ £37 | Rs.3749. I went home and ordered it online from
Pics below were taken with and without flash, so you can see how the colors look in different lighting.


My Makeup Transformations & 10 Things I Learnt

Hello, from all of us! =)
I thought I'd post something different today. Transformations & a few things that I learnt from all the times I spent applying makeup. Those are some of the looks that I'd done. Some old, some recent. I've never seen them all together before, so it's quite weird to see myself looking like that...and that...and that, and I realized I don't ever want to leave this la-la land of constant change.

10 Things I Learnt:
10. Never ignore the eyebrows. Shape, define, brush.

9. Bad hair ruins a look, just like bad shoes ruin an outfit.

8. Always Q-tip the tear ducts after doing eye makeup. Gunk is always unsightly.

7. The darker the eye makeup, the more you need undereye concealer.

6. Contouring powder or matte bronzer really does make a difference. Large forehead,  big nose, hooded lids, double can fix them all. Believe my giant forehead & pointy nose.

5. BB Creams will never supersede Foundations. However, they have superseded my  foundation primers.

4. I could live with just 2 Makeup Brushes: A synthetic flat/angled kabuki foundation brush (think Sigma Flat Top Kabuki, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush) & an eyeshadow blending brush (MAC 217, Sigma E25)

3. Always remind self to stop frowning. Those deep lines are hard to hide (refer to 4th pic with red lipstick)

2. When it comes to powdering oily skin, 3 time's the charm. Once after base, once  after everything else, once more on just the T-zone.
1. Makeup mistakes are inevitable. Sometimes They.Just.Happen.

All looks with links to original posts can be found HERE,  and if I haven't updated the page and you can't find all of them there, browse HERE. If you can't find, ask in comments, and I'll put the links! =) 

Hope you liked this little impromptu post, everyone.

Enjoy your Friday, I'll talk to you again tomorrow! =)


Etude House XOXO Minnie Collection Photos

Finally I took Etude House XOXO Minnie Collection out of the box! Although I look at them almost everyday since they arrived. Mr.CZ complained several times about the box always being on the dining table, and I gave the same reply: "Because I have to click!" I think he had been waiting for this post....hehe.

I have not used most of the products, except for two of them. I can't bring myself to using the other 5, coz I like them looking all new and shiny. I'll play the "collector" card again this time. No swatches, but hope you'll also like just looking at them =D


Rimmel Colour Rush Balm Give Me A Cuddle Photos, Swatches

"You had me at 'Cuddle'.", she thought, when she held it again weeks later.

Do you like to be cuddled? I know some people who don't like to be hugged & cuddled at all. I don't know how they can be so....what's the word.... detached? Because I'm a big time cuddle-needer. I have to be cuddled at least once a day, and if they lift me up, even better. I don't know, I just like to hang on people like a monkey.
Speaking of Rimmel Colour Rush Balm, it is the newest lip crayon on my vanity. Out of 7 shades that were introduced, I picked Give Me A Cuddle #100, a tea rose pink. I adored the color the moment I laid eyes on it, so it wasn't just about the cuddle.

How To Apply False Lashes ~ Step-by-Step Tutorial

I've had quite a few requests for this tutorial, so I wanted to to get it in before this year ends. It's the right time too, I guess, with all the parties coming up. Maybe those of you have never ever worn false lashes can practice now, and be ready to glam up your eyes even more on New Year's Eve!

Step-By-Step Tutorial:
[You can click to enlarge pic]

Step 1: Apply black liquid or gel liner. I'm using Bourjois Liner Feutre Felt Tip Eyeliner.

Step 2: Curl your natural lashes, so they don't fall limp when you layer the false ones on top of them. I'm using Shu Uemura Gold Eyelash Curler.

Step 3: Most times, falsies can be to straight and stiff, so curve the lashes inwards so they mimic the shape of your lash line. This will prevent the ends from sticking out of your lash line. I can't remember which lashes these are exactly, but I think they are Eylure Katy Perry Oh,Honey! which came with the glue. Shown here

Step 4: Glue a dot on both ends of lashes. The ends are most likely to come off, so I like to make sure they're glued properly.

Step 5: Apply glue on the whole band or vein. Try not to smudge it too much on the lashes or they'll stick to your natural lashes. Wait about 20 seconds for the glue to get tacky.

Step 6: Hold them pointing the band downwards and try to place on the center of lash line first. Do it carefully, so the glued ends don't touch your lid.

Step 7: With tweezers or an eyelash applicator, stick the outer end. Do it carefully, so the glued band doesn't touch your lid. I'm using Tweezerman Tweezers.

Step 8: Check if inner end aligns with the starting point of your natural lashes. If it looks too long, pull from outer end. This is easily done when you do it quickly while glue hasn't dried completely.

Step 9: Stick the inner end. See the end point? It won't poke the tear duct.

Step 10: Use the end of your tweezers to press the band down. Make sure there are no gaps.

Step 11: With a finger, lift both your natural and false lashes, and press down to make sure the false lash is sitting close to your natural lash line. Also pinch them both together so the false lashes don't point up too much.

Step 12: The glue usually dries clear, but sometimes you still see white spots. Use black liner to darken the spots.

Step 13: Apply black mascara to blend the false and real lashes together. Coat the base of your natural lashes well. This will stiffen your natural lashes and help them hold up the false ones. I prefer to use an old-ish mascara that's dried up a bit for this.



Whimsical Present For A Beauty Blogger/Addict

Pretty Real Flowers ~  They die. I sad.
Pretty Wrapping Paper ~ They tear. I sad.
Both sad situations. Both I try to avoid. Right now, I have a bunch of red roses (shown in my Maybelline Color Show post here) that have dried up, and this feeling I get because I have to throw them out not nice. Give me fake flowers and gift bags/boxes (no tape, please.) any day. Speaking of gift bags and boxes, maybe we take our heads out of them, and plonk them into pretty whimsical carry cases.....
I saw this carry case in Woodland Adventure Carry Case at Paperchase (a fun stationery store in UK) many weeks ago, and instantly fell in love with it! But I was skeptical about buying it, because of travelling issues and all. A couple weeks later, I thought: Whatever, I must have it. I went there and saw it's not in the same place it was the last time. I looked and looked around the store, and I found it hiding at the back of one table. Only one of its kind (there were about 5 last time), and I didn't feel good about it. Don't we all like to pick the best piece and usually assume the last one is probably defective? I asked the store assistant if they had another one.
She: "You want to buy 2 of them?"
Me: "No. Actually, there's a scratch on this one. Look.", I pointed to an almost undetectable silver hairline scratch on the box. Yes, it was quite a moo point, and I would've bought it if I had no other choice.
She: "Okay, I'll go check in the back for you, but we may be out of them."

She came back in 5 mins with the only one left in stock. It was wrapped nicely in transparent plastic bag which was twisted into a ruffle at the end (like a sack) and tied with a golden plastic ribbon. Brand new, unopened, untouched. I had to stop myself from jumping and clapping, and delightfully squealing "Ooh, me likey!"


Bourjois Goodies + FREE Gold Leaf Top Coat

I ran to the end of the mall where Debenhams is to get the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. It wasn't launched yet, even though I heard it's been seen in counters. SA said she hoped it'll be in by this Saturday, she crossed her fingers. She also blissfully closed her eyes to show me she's wearing it, said she got it as a gift from the brand. This was the second time I left there feeling super disappointed, and this time I wished I was a UD SA.
I also ran to 2 H&M stores to get a much-needed warm black coat, which is also the only coat I like (length & shape fit for petites). Not available in 1st store, only one Size 14 available in 2nd store (which is next to Debenhams).
Then I ran to Superdrug to see if the Mascara with a bow  & Revlon Matte Balm Stains have been launched. They weren't. I stood there for a while. I could either walk another 20 mins home empty-handed, or.....


NEW! Bow-tiful Bourjois Volume Seduction Mascara

Oh my Bowjois! I never thought I'd see the day!

12 Lip Crayons

When you were a kid/teen, you:
A. Used only the crayon you needed at a time. You like to keep them looking brand new.
B. Used only the bright colors. You probably colored leaves yellow or orange.
C. Used all of them at once. You loved coloring flowers and kites.
I pick C.  I used all the crayons in my box as soon as I get them. I would just scribble rubbish with each and every color. I probably doodled  CYNTHIA   LEONARDO. Yes, Dicaprio was my life back then. My life!
That's why even now, I want to try ALL the lip crayons. I think I've swatched everyone of them in drugstores. But I don't have all (yet), I have only the ones shown below:
Topshop Lip Stick Clueless ~ Worn here
Lakmé Absolute Lip Tint Berry Pink ~ Swatches here
Revlon Balm Stain Rendezvous, Sweetheart, Honey ~ Swatches here
L'Oreal Glam Shine Balmy Gloss Die For Guava ~ Swatch here
Bourjois Color Boost Peach On The Beach + Red Sunrise (below) ~ Swatches here
Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Balm Give Me A Cuddle ~ Swatches to be posted.


IVC Picks Video Of The Year ~ Because Who Is Perfect? Get Closer.....

Just wanted to share what I personally think is The Best Video I've watched this year.

If it touched your heart, please share it to support the wonderful people who created it - Pro Infirmis, a Swiss Charity.

Have a blessed Sunday all.


Holiday Party LOTD & Accessories

My favorite season & month is here! I just can't believe another year is coming to an end. I clicked these pics mainly to show off my new quirky hairband and then one thing led to thing I knew, I was naming my blog post "Holiday Party LOTD" when I didn't really go to any party....haha!
*These pics were taken on a very cloudy day. So the pics turned out very dark & noisy. Here in Scotland, one minute it's bright and sunny, and I think "Ooh, let's take pictures!" Then when I'm done gathering the things or myself, it's suddenly gloomy, sometimes when it's only 3 in the afternoon!


MEOW! Avon Cat Manicure Set | Mega Effects Mascara, Etc.

Oh, so very MEOW! Doesn't she look fabulous?!
So, one Friday evening, when I reached home, I saw a Avon brochure outside our front door, leaning on the wall next to the doormat. It felt kind of surreal. In August, I'd made this post about the Mega Effects Mascara, and then I felt lazy about ordering it on Ebay. When I laid eyes on the brochure, the mascara was the only thing that popped in my head. I thought, 'Meant To Be'. Tucked in the brochure was a receipt/order form where I was supposed to write down what I wanted to order, and on it was also a note saying I just had to leave the brochure out again on Monday morning, so the Avon rep could come and collect it. Now that, ladies, is a super cool way to shop. Doorstep Shopping.
As I was flipping through the brochure, I saw something else that I ended up wanting more than the mascara. A pink heart-shaped Cat Manicure Set. In under 5 seconds, it stole the show - like an underdogcat.....
 It's made of some kind of leather. Plain pink at the back. I thought the pink bow would be a real pink ribbon. It's not, in case you're also delusional... hehe.

 It holds Scissors, Nail Cutter, Cuticle Cutter, Tweezers, Filer. LOVE that the heart print!


RIRI Hearts M.A.C Launched In India! Product Info, Prices

Have you girls in India been waiting for Rihanna's Fall Collection for M.A.C? Well, it's finally arrived!

Rihanna premieres her perfect palette of lavish fall colour – a range of decidedly daring yet classically gorgeous shades, finishes and tools, all encased in the metallic warmth of rose gold packaging. Lipstick in deep raisin, orange frost, creamy nude and the vivid red of RiRi Woo match gleaming Lipglass, while eyes in contrasting soft and smoky cocoas complement luminous skin highlighted with Diamonds Cream Colour Base and Powder Blush in Bad Girl Gone Good.    
Eye Shadow X 4 ( INR 2,900)


Photo Diary With Maybelline Color Show Nail Polishes ~ Day 05-01 [FINALE]

And this is the Finale of my Maybelline Color Show Photo Diary. If you missed the first part, you can go check it out here. Sorry I posted it this late, I got confused with the photos, as usual.
These are all the 10 shades that I picked out of 40 shades. My list of TOP 10 Color Show Nail Polishes might change after I try more (many more!) shades, but these are basically what I wanted to have first and foremost.
Downtown Red, Tangerine Treat, Porcelain Party, Pink Voltage, Shocking Seas, Fantasea Green, Bold Gold, Coral Craze, Blackcurrant Pop, Lavender Lies

The main colors that I didn't show in Part 1 will be featured here: Bold Gold, Tangerine Treat, Porcelain Party, Downtown Red + 2 of my favorite colors from Part 1.
Day 05: Porcelain Party #102
Porcelain white. A blank slate with many possibilities, where imagination is created. I stuck on Mickey Mouse nail stickers like-that-why-I-don't-know. That was my #1 imagination,,,haha!


Found THE Boots & 50% Off Shoes.....

New Look Grey Cross Over Double Ankle Strap Heels ~ In August, I almost bought these instead of the other pair I showed here. I wore each style on each foot ( I saying this correctly? Sorry, I can't think when in a rush!), and I asked 3 student girls which looked better, they unanimously said these. I went another day, and bought the other ones, of course. These were full price then. Now I got them for about 50% off  (56% to be precise) *grins*  Price ~ £22.99  £10.00 | Rs.1022.
New Look Black Buckle Wedge High Rise Boots ~ FINALLY! Got the wedge boots I've been saying I wanted for over a year. You know, the only comfy black boots I lived in last winter are all scuffed up from the front revealing the white cushion underneath and....and...the heels no longer has the rubbers, so you can see the silver metal. So much noise they made when I walked (on wooden floors, especially), it's embarrassing! Yup, they'll go in the...gawd, I can't even say it. Okay, bin. Price: £34.99 | Rs.3575 (Sadly, can't wait for sale with these, coz I need them NOW...hehe)
3 reasons these are ideal: Wedge heels, buckles are gunmetal (not gold or silver), there's a slit on the side so they won't feel so tight when I tuck in something thicker.


My Review In Cosmopolitan Magazine ~ Lakmé CC Cream

As I've mentioned here, I'm part of Cosmo Beauty Panel, a group of 17 people who'll be reviewing the newest products that hit shelves for Cosmopolitan India. One of my first set of reviews was featured in last month's (October) issue, and it's of India's first CC Cream - Lakmé CC Cream.
About  Lakmé CC Cream: A complexion care cream with SPF 20 that protects, moisturizes, brightens, evens tone, conceals & freshens.

Available in 2 shades- Beige & Bronze. I've been using Beige.
I said: "It evened out my skin tone, which has underlying hyperpigmentation (melasma), but wasn't thick enough to conceal spots. While it lasts all day, it requires a bit of powder in top so skin doesn't look oily."
Below are some swatches to complete my review.......


TOPSHOP Velvet Lips Swatches ~ Velveteen Ribbon, Plush

Have you ever wondered if there'll ever be a matte lipstick that would stay on your lips like wall paint? A lipstick that won't smear your coffee cup? A lipstick your long hair cannot stick to? A lipstick that won't land on your fingertips when you do flying kisses? {The last one when you pretend you won an Oscar, and the kisses are flying to James Cameron. Of course you won Best Actress in Titanic!}
Well, that lipstick is what I expected Topshop Velvet Lips to be....
 "Part of The Damned collection: a highly pigmented lip cream with a powdery soft, ultimate matte finish. Wear alone or with lip liner for a truly opaque, high colour finish." ~ Topshop.
These could be Lime Crime Velvetines, but not sure coz I have not tried those. 

Topshop Velvet Lips are available in 3 shades - the third being a black shades called Raven. Had I seen it when I first saw these, I probably would have picked it over the red.
Velveteen Ribbon ~ A true blue-based red. When layered, it looks darker on the edges and more vampy.
Plush ~ Purple with teeny tiny purpley shimmer mixed in. I failed to notice them the first few times I wore it, and when I did, I liked it a little bit more.


Photo Diary With Maybelline Color Show Nail Polishes ~ Day 10-06

Hello, Color Show! These were launched not so long ago in India, and everybody is going ga-ga over them, because:
  • Their price tag is as rare as a celebrity without botox. At Rs.75 | $1 | £0.73 a bottle, I think they are flying off the shelves.
  • They're available in 40 shades. I saw some ladies buying ALL 40 shades at once! I'm guessing they thought: 'When in doubt, buy both all.'
  • Price & variety aside, we can agree it all comes down to quality. For me personally, these feel no different from the ones that cost more. They are creamy & glossy, and can look opaque with just 1 thick coat. All swatches here are 2 coats. Drying time is minimal too. I'm sure of this because I a-l-w-a-y-s see small scratches on my nail polish (usually from my long hair, I don't know how), but I did not see any on these, surprisingly. 
  • They don't chip for 5-6 days on my left hand nails. Right hand nails, well, the same with every other nail polish, maybe 3 days tops. I think the main culprit is the steam from cooking.

I've got 10 shades with me, but to avoid crowding one blog post & skimping on photos, I thought it's better to split the post up into 2 parts. I'm putting up Photo Diary Day 10-06 now, and will be posting Day 05-01 shortly.
From front to back (R-L): Lavender Lies, Blackcurrant Pop, Coral Craze, Bold Gold Fantasea Green, Shocking Seas, Pink Voltage. They will also appear in the same order below.
Day 10:  Lavender Lies #217 & Blackcurrant Pop #402
These are like sisters, so I had to wear them together. Lavender Lies is a lavender color (duh!), while Blackcurrant Pop is lighter and looks like a faded version of Lavender Lies. Two shades that could create a perfect ombre effect when sponged over one another. Don't you love the name Lavender Lies? {"Lavender lies! Not white, lavender lies!", Lily yelled at Rose angrily.}