Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Too much makeup?: Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty Haul

"You have too much makeup. You could've bought a nice dress or a pair of shoes" True, mom, however when online stores have discounts, even if it's just 10% you go for it. It's called smart shopping a.k.a. emptying half of my savings. It's all worth it! I already have an excuse at hand-I have to write up some blog posts on these. 

I'm convinced that I have tunnel vision, when it comes to makeup sales and discounts. So of course when a subscriber mail popped up one morning, saying something along the lines of '50% off Summer Sale' on BeautyBay, I immediately opened up multiple tabs and started adding items to my (virtual) bag. As I'm writing this post, it just dawned on me that I haven't posted about BeautyBay before on my blog. It just happens to be one of my favorite stores online to purchase all things beauty-from makeup to skincare.

So back to the Summer Sale, I picked up 3 products, and you guessed it, all of them are lip products. They recently added Milani products into the website, so of course I picked up one of the lip products, Milani Colour Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick.
This item was not actually included in the sale and it was priced at $7.10. The shade I picked up is Matte Naked ( No. 61)




I love the packaging of Milani products, they look so luxurious. The shade itself is very beautiful, a pink toned nude which is perfect for everyday wear. I love matte lipsticks because they are often long-wearing and if this one is long drying and comfortable on the lips as it claims, I can see myself wearing this everyday.


The next product I picked up is  Illamasqua Lipstick in the shade Shard. The Illamsqua lipsticks are priced at $17 on BeautyBay and often more elsewhere but I got this one for $11.90. I love the packaging which is very sleek and modern. The shade is a berry purple color which I think is nice for Autumn makeup looks, but hey you can rock a purple lip anytime. 




This lippie comes with a story. I opened this last Friday and saw little specks on it which I assumed was drops of condensation. Later on as I was writing this post, I got a closer look at the product and I was convinced that it was mold. So frantically I contacted Illamasqua on Twitter who then sent me an e-mail which read:

"We are sorry for any disappointment caused by our products on this occasion.

Unfortunately, this is due to short term temperature changes during transit, the combination of waxes, oils and binders used in our lipsticks may rise to the surface temporarily."

I also contacted Beauty Bay via Instagram but haven't received a response. To be honest, I didn't really bother sending a barrage of messages, after I received the mail from the brand itself. Still, I'm not sure whether I'll actually use this lipstick. 



Finally I picked up Illamasqua Lip Lure in the shade Virtue. This too is priced at $17 but I managed to get them for $11.90. I love the packaging and the color which is a fuchsia-red. I will be bringing this out during Christmas as I feel that it is a twist on the traditional red lip. 


Until recently I was under the impression that Cult Beauty does not ship to Sri Lanka, so of course as soon as I found that they do, I placed an order. The connection was instantaneous and meant to be as they offered free shipping for the first order and had an offer on Lord & Berry products which I have been wanting to try out since last year. 




The first item I picked up was a Jumbo Sharpener. I've been looking for one of these since I saw this on ASOS, but never really bothered to pick one up. It really is a classic case of buying makeup products whilst forgetting to buy tools to use them. All I can say is my jumbo liners will be happy with this one, or sad since they are being sharpened. This was priced at 3.33 GBP.


Let's talk brows! Maybe it's the endless internet posts showing before and after shots of faces completely changed by the shape of brows or just the fact that I've never cared much about them; I really wanted to get my brow game on this season.



 So I picked up the Magic Brow eyebrow pencil in the shade Brunette. I think the selling point of this product is the fact that it has 3 colors mixed together to create a natural looking brow, which is of course what I am looking for. It also has a spoolie on one end which makes life that much easier. This was 8.33 GBP.




The last product I picked up from Cult Beauty is their Vogue Lipstick in the shade Smarten Nude. They really hit the nail on the head with their packaging which feels heavy and luxurious and minimal at the same time. The color itself screams autumn as a brown toned nude. I do think I can pull this off as an everyday shade though. This was 10.83 GBP.



With these Lord & Berry goodies, came more Lord & Berry goodies. Their offer included a free makeup bag. It is a transparent makeup bag, which is great because I can look at the products inside. It is quite small in size but it has just enough space to fit my dozen lipsticks and that one eyeliner I travel with on a regular day to day basis. 




I also got two of their travel liners. They included Silhouette which is a neutral liner which is supposed to make visible lip liner a thing of the past. I've never used a neutral liner before so I'm excited to give this one a go.



 I also received a travel liner in the shade Nude. I love the color which is a pink toned brown, which is kind of my ideal nude color. I'll probably need a full sized version of this in the near future. 



To top it off I received a Matte Crayon Lipstick in the shade Intimacy. It is a beautiful rosy pink shade and I'm not usually one for pink lipsticks but I'm excited to try this. 



The offer is still on, if anyone is wondering. FREE Make Up Bag, Travel Liners & Lipstick when you spend £25 on Lord & Berry

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know if you have tried any of these products in a comment down below. 
Send me your suggestions:
Twitter: @sakuniamanda 



Thank you for reading,
Much love,

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Serenity




Hello everyone,
Hope you've been well! I am almost done with my research work so things are getting less hectic on my end. So I thought I will pop in here and give you a review of my Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Serenity. As you know I've been obsessing over the Gerard Cosmetics lipstick in 1995, it's still the best-est in my books, but this lippie is just as good! I got this on BeautyBay for just $11.70.

The shade I picked up was created in collaboration with MannyMUA on YouTube. If you haven't seen his videos, do check him out because he has got some serious eyeliner skills. He describes this lipstick as 

" a beautiful warm pink, with hints of brown, a very comfortable non-drying matte formula that feels as if there is nothing on your lips" 

With that in mind, let's get to the review!

Packaging: 




I've got to hand it over to Gerard Cosmetics for their packaging, I mean doesn't it just look so luxurious? It's got a gold cap and the tube has a frosted glass effect which is really beautiful. You can actually see the shade inside as well. It has a doe-foot applicator which makes the application process so much easier (If you've tried applying liquid lipsticks, you know the struggle). 



Wear:



The product has a light vanilla scent and the color according to Manny is a warm pink with hints of brown. However considering my skin tone, which is more tan, it is a hint more pink than brown. Still, it is quite wearable unlike other frosty pinks which I personally am not a fan of.



It applies easily and I didn't have to go over and over with it to get the color payoff. So it ticks all boxes in terms of ease of application and pigmentation. I love matte lips but often enough they end up being extremely drying and uncomfortable to wear unless I use a lip balm and moisturize beforehand. With this lipstick however I didn't have to use a lip balm beforehand because it wasn't overly drying and in fact was very comfortable to wear. Dare I say, it might even have been hydrating. It truly feels as if there is nothing on my lips because of its lightweight formula. Overall, I'm a big fan of this formula for a liquid lipstick.



Now for the most important question, how well does it last over time? On me this lipstick lasted past breakfast, well into afternoon tea which is around 6-7 hours. I even took a shower and a nap wearing this and there was no smearing or lipstick marks on my pillowcases.

Should you get it?
The answer is a quite obvious YES!  because this is one great lipstick. They have a great range of colors, especially some cool toned purples and greys for those of you who are more adventurous than myself.

Gerard Cosmetics website: 
https://www.gerardcosmetics.com/
Beauty Bay often has offers for Gerard Cosmetics so keep an eye out for them! 

Send me your suggestions:
Twitter: @sakuniamanda 


Thank you for reading,
Much love,

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mid-Year favorites

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Hello everyone,
Hope you're all doing well. I have been spending the past couple of weeks reading for my exams and doing my research work. With all of that happening I feel like my little space here has been neglected. I've missed a lot of monthly favorites posts so I thought I'll write this one to sum it all up. So these are basically all of my favorites so far in this year.


 So as you may know I attended the launch of The Body Shop at Colombo earlier this year ( Read more here: http://mandy-s-heart.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-body-shop-launch.html). I was gifted the Moringa Body Butter which I have been using ever since. It contains cold-pressed moringa seed oil which provides hydration for dry skin.  It has a really subtle scent which I personally love, although some of you may not like scented moisturizers. When I first heard of body butters I assumed they were going to feel thick and greasy on my skin, and the thought of it just made me take a left. However now that I've tried it I am absolutely in love with them. Their website claims that "It melts straight in to leave skin feeling soft and smooth" which is exactly how I would describe it. It is light and not greasy at all, in fact it absorbs easily without sitting on top of my skin. In my experience other moisturizers do not tend to absorb as fast (except for thST. Ives Daily hydrating body lotion with Vitamin E which I have probably put in one of my favorites posts at some point)


My skin has a schedule of its own and goes from dry to oily and it is difficult to find that one product that I can reach out to at all times. So I can safely say that I've found that with this one here. Besides my skin feels smooth and hydrated for a lot longer than my regular moisturizers. These are priced at Rs. 3150 which is somewhat on the pricier side but I have to say it's so well worth it. If you do not like Moringa, you can check out some others including the Almond Body Butter and the Vitamin E Body Butter which piqued my interest as I was browsing through their website. 

Check out The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter here: 
http://www.thebodyshop.lk/products/home-bath--body-body-moisturisers/core---moringa/moringa-body-butter/pid-9860268.aspx



Another product by The Body Shop that I've been loving is the Satsuma body polish. I'm not someone who can manage with a scrub every single day but since this is very gentle, it is perfect for everyday use. The scent is very citrus-y which I did not like at first but really started to enjoy and I feel like this is a summer essential. I really love products with cooling properties for when the sun's out but this has been right next to a lime body wash and to be honest I've been reaching out for this a lot more than the lime one. It leaves my skin smooth and really soft and it has been the perfect accompaniment to my night showers. The price of this is Rs. 1900. 

Check out The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish here:
 http://www.thebodyshop.lk/products/home-body-care-bc---scrubs/core---satsuma/satsuma-body-polish/pid-10945458.aspx


As you know from my previous post, this is the product I've enjoyed most out of The Regimen Kit by Mario Badescu. I've been traveling more often than not for the past couple of months which means a lot more dirt and oils accumulating on the skin surface. Needless to say this is what brings out the nasty spots on the face. I've been using this as a cleanser every two days or so and it has left my skin clean and dry. As I mentioned on my post I really like how mild this is compared to some other cleansers available on the market which are too harsh to be used daily. On the days I feel worst about the condition of my skin, I make sure that I pair this with the Cucumber cleansing lotion which is a great toner as well.  The 8 oz bottle is $14.90 on BeautyBay.

Get the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel here:
 http://www.beautybay.com/skincare/mariobadescu/enzymecleansinggel/
https://www.mariobadescu.com/enzyme-cleansing-gel



Moving on to makeup bits, I have two lip products which are my absolute favorites. I feel like I go through existential issues going through Beauty Bay and ASOS. As you may know already by my countless Instagram posts, I've been loving the Gerard Cosmetics lipstick in 1995. This lipstick is perfection in a tube. I mean from the packaging to the pigmentation, it is created in such a way that it would be an instant hit among many (and it is, judging from all the social media posts raving about it). This has become my 'Feel Good' lipstick. *SpongeBob voice* "I love it! I love it!"

You can read my full review here: 
http://mandy-s-heart.blogspot.com/2016/05/review-gerard-cosmetics-lipstick-in-1995.html

Get the Gerard Cosmetics lipstick in 1995 here: 

As you know I love a red lip as much as the next girl. I also happen to adore Rimmel products as I've stated here on my blog. For one thing, their products are so affordable and so well-made. Their lipsticks are among my favorites so I had to include one from them I have been wearing to office recently. Since the Gerard cosmetics is my 'feel good' lippie I have to call this my 'feel fierce' lippie. It is called one-of-a-kind from their new The Only One lipstick collection. It has that fruity berry smell, which again is not for everyone but it satisfies my inner child.


It is a gloriously dark red/ burgundy shade. I'm on the fence about the packaging of this one but everything else about it I love. I'm usually a matte girl because of the lasting power but I was so surprised how well this stayed on despite being a satin finish lipstick. I find that the formulation is significantly better than the Rimmel Nudes by Kate Moss I have which also has a satin finish. It is comfortable on the lips and dries to a beautiful satin finish without leaving my lips feeling like a desert. These retail for GBP 6.99.

Check out the Rimmel London The Only One Lipstick in One of a Kind on the Rimmel website: 
https://uk.rimmellondon.com/products/lips/the-only-1

or on ASOS: 
http://www.asos.com/rimmel-london/rimmel-london-the-only-one-lipstick/prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=6097925&clr=Itsakeeper200&SearchQuery=rimmel+the+only+one&SearchRedirect=true


Another favorite has been my Rimmel sculpting palette. This palette comes with three shades, one to be used as a highlighter and one a a contour and another as a blush color. I particularly am obsessed with the blush color which is a beautiful coral shade with gold running through it. I love using these shades because to me it is both a blush and a highlighter in one. Translation: I am lazy and I like products which are multi purpose. I find that this shade is particularly beautiful on olive/ tan-skin tones, although in all honesty, there aren't any rules with makeup and any shade can be worn by anyone with confidence. This was $7.91.


Check out the Rimmel London Sculpting Palette on the Rimmel website: 
https://uk.rimmellondon.com/products/face/kate-sculpting-palette

or on ASOS: 

I haven't been wearing a lot of eye makeup recently because my right eye has started tearing whenever I do. I am starting to think it is because of my eye lash curler which I've had for what seems like an eternity. Tip: Always throw away expired makeup and makeup applicators. So this is why I only have one eye product I've been using over the last couple of months. It is my Bourjois clubbing eyeliner which has great pigmentation and is so creamy and easy to apply. Since I haven't been wearing mascara, I've been trying smoky eye looks for which this is perfect since it blends very easily to create the gradation needed for the perfect smoky eye. I find that it smudges easy if worn on its own, so I always set it with some black eye shadow.  The pricing of this one was $5.65.



Also how exciting is it that Cosmo is now in Sri Lanka. I have never been someone to buy fashion magazines as they release. I have stacks of old and worn out magazines from the 90's which I use for inspiration after hunting them down in the old bookstores in Maradana. However I have been a big fan of the magazine since its launch and I find their beauty and career features to be so inspiring. I love the advice columns and seeing the latest trends on the bold and bright pages. I find that Cosmo has got everything covered in terms of fashion/ beauty/ life and it's for anyone and everyone. The pricing which is Rs. 200 is very reasonable as well.

The magazines are available at Sarasavi Bookshop, Kelly Felder and Keells stores and you can also check it out on their website: 
http://cosmomag.lk/

That's all my favorites for now!

Send me your suggestions:
Twitter: @sakuniamanda 


Thank you for reading,
Much love,

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Facial Care- Mario Badescu The Regimen Kit - Review



Hello everyone,

Hope you're all doing well and enjoying your week so far. Today I will be reviewing the Regimen Kit by Mario Badescu for Oily/ Combination skin. Over the past few months I've realized that the most important beauty regimen is a facial care regimen. The beauty products I have been trying out, coupled with the weather conditions and the dust and what not had taken its toll on my skin. So in January I promptly placed my order for this kit on Beauty Bay. While doing a bit of research on whether to pick this kit or the one by Grown Alchemist I noticed how few the amount of reviews on skin care were in comparison to makeup. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to review this kit.

I'm not a skin care guru nor am I completely knowledgeable on all things skin care which is why I'm simply sharing with you my personal experience with the product. I've gone back and forth about doing this review because some of the products included in the kit haven't worked for me in a way that I would have liked them to. As a disclaimer, I just would like to point out that skin care products work differently on different skin conditions; so what might work on me  might not necessarily work on you, and vice versa.

Mario Badescu is a skin care range first introduced in New York in 1967. The founder of this brand, Mario Badescu, is a chemist and a cosmetologist. This particular kit by Mario Badescu is specifically for oily/ combination skin. The price of this was $33.90 on BeautyBay when I bought it but the price has been further reduced to $31.70.



The contents of the kit include:

*Enzyme Cleansing Gel-2 oz
*Cucumber Cleansing Lotion- 2 oz
*Aloe Moisturizer- 1 oz
*Flower and Tonic Mask- 1/2 oz
*Seaweed Night Cream- sample




Enzyme Cleansing Gel- This is one product from this kit I really enjoyed using. It can be used for all skin types and has papaya and grapefruit extracts. It claims to 'wash away makeup and surface debris leaving skin clean and residue free, rejuvenate dull skin with Alpha Hydroxy Acid by breaking down the build up of dead skin cells that cause blackheads and pimples.' Although it is recommended to use twice daily, I used it once every two days. This really helped in removing my makeup. I had a mishap with one of my liquid lipsticks and this was my savior. I accidentally brushed off some red liquid lipstick as it was drying and it got all over my chin (don't even ask!) and I tried using makeup wipes, remover, etc. but it was difficult to take it off and that's when I remembered I had this. So if not for this product I would have had to walk around with red lipstick all over my chin, so I'm thankful for this. Not only is it effective in erasing makeup blunders but it is also true to its purpose in that, it provides gentle cleansing to remove dirt and debris on the skin surface. I particularly like how mild it is compared to some other cleansing products available on the market today. The big question is, would I repurchase? Absolutely.
*It does contain methylparaben for anyone who is concerned.

Pricing on Mario Badescu website: 8 oz-$14
16 oz- $24




Cucumber Cleansing Lotion- This would be the follow-up to the cleansing gel. I enjoyed using this product as well. This is recommended for oily/ combination skin although the back label suggests it could be used for normal skin as well. It contains cucumber extract. Mario Badescu describes this product as 'a  cooling, cleansing astringent for normal to oily skin which disinfects and removes residue, oil and bacteria from skin's surface to prevent breakouts'. I really like how it cleans the entire face and has a cooling effect owing to the cucumber extract. I have loved using the cleansing gel and following up with this lotion especially at night for more thorough cleansing. It has dried some of the more oily areas of my face prone to breakouts. I think it works well as a mild toner and I wouldn't mind repurchasing this either.

Pricing on Mario Badescu website: 8 oz-$15
16 oz- $26



Aloe Moisturizer- This moisturizer is recommended after using the cleansing gel and lotion.  It has SPF 15 and can be used for combination/ oily and sensitive skin types. It is paraben free and it claims to be a 'lightweight and oil free, formulated with aloe to soother and calm skin and hydrate sensitive skin while providing broad spectrum UVA/ UVB protection'. This product is one of the reasons why I went back and forth with writing this review. When it did not work for me initially I wanted to wait for some time and try it again to see if there was a change because I assumed I used it wrong or applied it on a more sensitive area of my face. I've tried to make it work especially since it works as an oil free moisturizer as well as a sunscreen (love when a product is multipurpose). Sadly, it just hasn't worked for me. I find that this product sits on my skin and isn't absorbed over time. So when it sits on the skin, particularly on the more oily regions it results in breakouts. I tried it on the dry areas and I found that my skin was somewhat sensitive to this product that when I applied it, it caused itching. Basically it was not my cup of tea.

Pricing on Mario Badescu website: 2 oz-$24



Flower and Tonic Mask- This is a mask which contains Gardenia extract and Kaolin Clay. It claims that it will give a healthier, smoother skin in 20 minutes and is recommended to be used 2 to 3 times a week. It can be used for oily/ combination and sensitive skin types. It claims that it 'purifies congested oily skin and reduces uneven texture and Kaolin clay absorbs dirt and oil from pores to cleanse and tighten without over drying which makes it suitable for even dry skin types'. This is yet another product that my sensitive skin did not react to so well. I did find that it tightened my pores and it did start drying and working its magic quite fast, so I think that this product will work well for those of you who do not have sensitive skin. I can't completely attest to how well it works as I did not have the mask for more than 15 minutes because of the skin sensitivity.

Pricing on Mario Badescu website: 2 oz-$18




Seaweed Night Cream- This is recommended for combination/ oily and sensitive skin types. It claims to be a 'non-greasy, oil-free night cream enriched with Seaweed, Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid to soften, hydrate and nourish the skin without clogging pores, which leaves the skin feeling soft and silky'It smells so great and it feels quite thick and heavy-duty. The problem with reviewing a product which is essentially the size of a two-rupee coin is that there is not enough product to properly experience how good/ bad it is over time. What I've tried, I liked because it did leave my skin feeling soft and silky.

Pricing on Mario Badescu website: 1 oz-$22



Final Thoughts: I really love the enzyme cleansing gel and the cucumber cleansing lotion which are both very mild but effective skin care products. I don't particularly fancy the other three as they haven't given the results that I expected. If you do want to try out some other products by Mario Badescu check out their drying lotion for acne treatment or the facial spray with aloe herbs and rose water which are among the favorites of many bloggers and celebs including Kylie Jenner.

Overall Rating of the Mario Badescu- The Regimen Kit-



Mario Badescu website: https://www.mariobadescu.com/

To purchase the kit on Beauty Bay: 

There is an offer for Mario Badescu Products on BeautyBay- Get the drying lotion, Acne Facial Cleanser and Special Cucumber Lotion for 30 GBP:

Thank you for reading,
Much love as always,