Friday, September 30, 2016

September Favorites




It's that time of the year when you realize how quickly time passes you by. I can't believe September has come to an end and we've got only 2 more months 'til Christmas. I feel like a five year old counting days, but then again who can possibly not be excited by the thought of Christmas. This is my favorite time of the year. The weather is slightly more chilly, although this year the rain has been more of a drizzle, than a proper downpour. It's also that time for long hot baths, steaming mugs of coffee and good books to read while listening to some old vinyl. 



Speaking of long hot baths, I have been loving the Olive Cream Body scrub by The Body Shop. I've mentioned their Satsuma Body Polish in my mid-year favorites which is more of an everyday scrub. This however is a more heavy duty, deep cleansing one. I do not use this everyday (nor do I recommend for daily use) but twice or thrice per week, I love pampering myself with a generous dollop of this scrub. The smell is subtle and earthy, obviously it smells of olives which makes me feel like I'm in a yard of olive trees in Italy. The scrub is quite thick and creamy in comparison to the body polish and has granules of ground olives for exfoliation. It leaves my skin feeling extra clean and smooth. All I can say is that "Olive this scrub". If you didn't already know, I live for puns. This is priced at Rs. 3150.

Last month I posted my Cult Beauty Haul which included a couple of items from Lord & Berry and there are two products that I instantly knew I was going to love. The first is the Magic Brow which I got in the shade Brunette. My brows have finally received proper treatment and I feel like I can finally use the hashtag #BrowsonFleek thanks to this product. It makes use of three colors to create a perfect natural shade that compliments my natural hair color.



The brunette pencil has a combination of black, chocolate brown and dirty blonde. The pencil is more towards the creamy side which makes it very easy to use. It has a fairly good lasting power as well. On one end is the product and on the other there is a spoolie which makes it the perfect travel companion. I got this for the price of 8.33 GBP. 



I take my lipsticks very seriously, so it is quite a big deal for me to say that this lipstick is up there on the list of my favorites among the Gerard Cosmetics 1995 and Rimmel The Only One Lipstick in One-of-a-kind. It is the Vogue Lipstick in the shade Smarten Nude. It is a semi-matte lipstick which is comfortable albeit a little drying on the lips. I don't mind that personally because it wears well throughout the day. In terms of color, it is a terracotta/ nude-brown shade that is perfect for autumn and for my skin tone, it works all year round. I had to dig it up from my handbag because it's practically been living there for the past month. This was 10.83 GBP (discounted price). 


When it comes to makeup, I clearly have no problem emptying my wallet, which is exactly what happened with my next favorite. A couple of weeks after I published my haul post, I received my Becca Cosmetics order which I excitedly showed off on my Instagram (Side note: I am obsessed with Instagram Stories). I desperately wanted to try something from Becca, and decided I should go for the Opal Glow on the Go Collection which allowed me to try both their pressed and liquid shimmering skin perfectors. The entire collection was priced at 20 GBP.

Out of both, I am infatuated with the liquid shimmering skin perfector because it gives me the most natural looking finish that makes for a dewy skin look. Only the tiniest amount of product is necessary to get the glow you need in your life. The shade Opal is a golden pearl with hints of champagne and is flattering on my tan skin tone. Let me tell you that finding the right shade of highlighter, is just as important as finding the right shade of foundation. I say this because some highlighters make it seem like I'm wearing a frosty white streak on my face. Basically when it comes to this highlighter my feelings are as intense as its pigmentation!



As most of you may know, I am currently writing fashion/ beauty articles for the YOUth magazine by Sunday Island. So needless to say one of my favorite ways to spend my leisure the past month, was writing those articles and exerting my best effort to create informative and enjoyable content. In my second article I wrote about the latest trend that has been sweeping up on social media-the off shoulder trend. I particularly have been loving this off shoulder top in light blue with white stripes that I purchased from Odel. The sleeves can be rolled up and buttoned which adds to the details on the top. I've love pairing this with high-waisted jeans and sandals for a casual and laid back look.


Despite being nearly 22, I'll admit to loving young-adult novels, particularly those by John Green. Ever since I read The Fault in Our Stars I've been fanatically reading his books. Maybe it's because he grasps the complexities of young-adults so well or because he portrays the characters in the most unique, quirky and slightly eccentric ways that they no longer feel fictional. 
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” This quote by him perfectly sums up how I feel about his books. 


Will Grayson Will Grayson is one of my favorite books that I've read this month. At the heart of it, the book is about friendship. It's about recognizing and admitting the love that's reserved in friendships. It's time we all started appreciating our friends, the ones who stayed with us despite all the turbulence and ups and downs in life. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: Jordana lip liner in No. 06- Spiced Rum



Hello everyone,
Hope you are all well! Today I thought I will share my review of the Jordana lip liner in No. 06- Spiced Rum. I posted a review of their quickliners in March last year and when I stumbled upon this one at Shrina Palace I knew I had to put it in my shopper's basket plastic bowl.  The price of this was Rs. 590 which is 40 bucks more than the Quickliners. Sadly drugstore products aren't all that affordable over here.


Packaging:


It has a classic drugstore lip liner packaging, by that I mean there's nothing fancy going on. It is in a non-retractable pencil form. The color of the product is indicated at the end and it is pretty accurate to the actual color of the product. It does not come with a sharpener, so you probably need one in hand if you are to regularly use these pencils.


Wear:

The color itself is beautiful and wearable on a daily basis. It is a more brown toned terracotta color. I have to say I am now more into brown toned lip colors, so this has been a staple for my everyday makeup for the past couple of months.



In terms of pigmentation and level of comfort when wearing it deserves an A+. It is very creamy, in fact the formula is creamier than the quickliners which makes it really easy to apply and line. I love not only lining but filling my lips entirely with this lipliner to kind of recreate the 90's look in a more subtle and wearable manner. It stays put on my lips even after my morning coffee and mid day snacks for an estimated total of 4-5 hours which is good for a liner.


The biggest con I find is that in sharpening these pencils there is a lot of product wastage. I mean I've sharpened it twice and it is already quite short. Since the product is creamy I have to take great care in sharpening so as to not break the product off.


Should you get it?:

If you are looking for this particular color, then yes but it is probably wiser to save up the money and spend it on a retractable liner or a more higher end liner to get the money's worth. Overall it is a great product, but is it worth the price? Maybe not.

Jordana Cosmetics Website: http://www.jordanacosmetics.com/Classic-Color-Lipliner.html

Send me your suggestions:
Twitter: @sakuniamanda 



Thank you for reading,
Much love,

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Let's talk! Body positivity

Image credit: Tumblr
'Too short' 'Too tall' 'Too thin' 'Too fat' are labels that are thrown about with an apparent disregard for their effect on others. It almost feels as if a person cannot be just right. More recently I've come to notice the trend of bashing others in an attempt to feel secure in one's own body. I've seen people promoting a curvy body whilst attacking those who are thin. One thing that is the hardest to learn but the most important, is to never compare oneself with others. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all embrace who we are and respect ourselves for the differences that make each of us unique?

I would be lying if I said that there was never a time when I didn't feel good in my own skin. Growing up I was a very thin kid, actually bony would define me. For the most part I felt just fine being thin. After all it wasn't something I could change since it is mostly due to genetics. However when people closest to me started asking me why I was thin and frail, or asked endless questions of whether I don't eat enough or whether I have some other illness, it started to hurt my feelings. To this day, I'm glad I shook off such comments and didn't engage in any unhealthy habits to change who I was. 

In having studied psychology, I've learnt the many different forms in which such insecurities can manifest. Whether it is in the form of a body dysmorphia or most commonly, eating disorders, the way a person looks at his or her body will change their life. I've heard stories of people undergoing surgeries to look different, seen girls eat a couple of biscuits as a 'diet' and celebrities on TV promoting products for weight loss, etc. We're in the year 2016, and some things still  haven't changed. While many people today are actively engaged in programs to promote body confidence and healthy living, there seems to be an equal amount of people trying to tear them down. 

Maybe the supermodels in the front covers of magazines aren't what you look like and when you look in the mirror you don't see yourself having the body of your favorite actor/ actress, but it need not change the way you see yourself. If you don't feel feel positive about your appearance, there is so much that can be done to change it. Take for example, a balanced diet, and by that I mean including a variety of organic vegetables and fruits to your meals, cutting off sugar when necessary, and minimize consumption of processed food. The key is balance, so you shouldn't have to feel guilty about enjoying a slice of pizza every once in a while. Exercise is another way to feel positive about your body and remain fit and healthy at the same time. It can not only tone your body but also can free your mind of unwanted stress. A good workout every week or every three days, depending on your physical capacity could be just the thing you need. Another way to feel more positive is to discuss the underlying feelings and needs pertaining to your body, perhaps with a close friend or a therapist. The truth is that there are more people feeling the same way as you do right now than you think. 

So the next time you spot someone with a thin appearance, do not assume the person has a disorder. Or if you see someone who is curvy do not tell them that they can't rock that two-piece. Try to make a note of it if you seem to project your own insecurities on to others. I hope we will be able to use internet as a platform to promote a more inclusive society irrespective of differences in gender, skin color or body shape.

At the end of the day, you do you!

Let me know your thoughts in a comment down below.

Much love,



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,