Crème de la Crème: 2013

Instead of a monthly favourites post, I decided to share some of makeup and skincare finds and favourites of 2013 with you all!

Makeup favourites

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Laura Mercier secret brightening powder – I’m still on the lookout for the perfect concealer but I know I’ll never be without this powder. It is perfect for setting concealer and brightening the under eye area!

Liquid liners – I was always a gel liner fan but liquid liner is so much quicker! My favourite is Illamasqua’s Havoc but I also love Makeup Forever’s sparkly black one.

Nars lipsticks – Last year I think I was very MAC obsessed, but this was the year I discovered Nars and fell head over heels in love with their lipsticks. I’ve tried almost all of their finishes now – semi matte, velvet matte and pure matte and they are all equally amazing. My favourite shades are Schiap for an almost neon pink lip and Mascate for a deep red pout.

Mascara – Yes, I started wearing mascara only in 2013! I’d never found one I liked in the past but I currently have two great ones in rotation. Check out my favourites in this post.

Cream shadows – 2013 has been the year of quick and easy eye makeup so I added lots of cream eyeshadows to my stash. I love Benefit’s Skinny Jeans the most – a grey with hints of khaki but Maybelline’s Color Tattoos are a close second.

Overall, the makeup brand of the year has to be Maybelline. They really upped their game this year and came out with some amazing makeup including the Vivids lipsticks and Color tattoo eyeshadows. Plus their gel liner, falsies mascara and dream matte powder are permanent fixtures in my makeup collection!

Skincare favourites

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Bioderma sunscreen – I always avoided using sunscreen until I found this one because they tend to leave a greasy, white cast behind. This one has a lovely matte finish, a high SPF and doesn’t break me out despite daily use. Amazing!

Nuxe reve de miel lip balm – This is a recent discovery and one that has saved my lips from getting as dry and chapped as they usually do in winter.

Hand cream – I bought my first hand cream this year when repeated hand washing left my knuckles dry and rough. Now I’ve tried 3-4 more and I wonder how I ever lived without them! The L’Occitane shea butter one is my favourite but I like my Soap and Glory Hand Food too.

Soap and Glory heel genius foot cream – This is what I would refer to as ‘holy grail’. It has kept my feet as soft as a baby’s bottom even weeks after a pedicure!

As far as skincare goes, Soap and Glory are my favourite brand this year. My bathroom cabinet is full of their stuff including body wash, scrubs, shower gels and body butter. I like everything I’ve tried so far but I absolutely adore their hand and foot creams and their Sugar Crush body scrub is incredible!

My beauty resolutions for 2014 include focussing more on skincare, spending less on makeup (especially lipsticks) and taking the time to find the perfect everyday foundation (or tinted moisturiser) and concealer.

To end this post, I have some big news! *drumroll*

As you guys may know, 2014 is a big year for me personally. I will need to find the balance between being a mom and a blogger, something I’m very nervous about. I’ve actually written a ton of backup posts, but I wasn’t sure how to get them up once baby gets here. To help with this, my husband has given me an amazing gift – our very own website! It will be much easier for me to schedule and post from there and for him to help me.

So this is my last post here and from January 1st, 2014 you can find my blog HERE. I hope you will all join me there!

Wishing you all a very happy 2014! May your new year be full of love, luck and happiness! :)

C’est fini: Empties Part 1

I love seeing the ‘empties’ posts on others’ blogs, because I’m always amazed that they manage to use up skincare or makeup items. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t think I’ve ever really used up anything, especially back in my crazy hoarding days. Now that I’m limiting my purchases and collection, I’m hoping to start putting up plenty of my own ‘empties’ posts!

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The first thing I’ve used up is L’Occitane’s Shea butter hand cream. I bought this a couple of months back when my hands were in terrible shape, with dry, chapped patches on my knuckles. Not only did this hand cream help heal them, but it’s also kept them away. One caveat – I prefer using this at night, because it can feel slightly heavy/greasy for daytime. A definite repurchase.

The second item that I’ve emptied is the Phyto Phytopanama shampoo. I’ve already repurchased this, because it keeps my hair from being oily and limp. Detailed review coming up soon!

The last one on my empties list is a mini of Lancome’s BiFacil eye makeup remover. This was featured in my November favourites too so you can read a bit more about it there. I’m not repurchasing because I have a few more of these travel sizes to use up!

Okay so my list isn’t very long. But it’s a start, right?! What products have you used up lately? Or do you struggle with finishing up products like me?

The birthday haul: online (and long distance)!

I’ve not had a lot of energy to hit the shops this year, nor is there a lot of stuff that I want available in India. So most of the birthday shopping I’ve done for myself this year has been online or has been done for me by my loving husband in France!

The first two things that I ordered, as soon as the clock struck midnight, were the Ren skincare kit and Liz Earle toner that I mentioned in my ‘birthday wishlist’ post. Shipping to India was exorbitant though, so I had to send them home to Lyon.

As if this wasn’t enough, my husband took a trip to the mall and got me some amazing stuff – some Christmas-y goodies from The Body Shop and Lush  plus the Nuxe huile prodigieuse dry oil that I’ve been lusting after for ages. And look, they gave a free mini of the shimmery body oil too!

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Isn’t the the best husband ever?! I’ll have to wait a couple of months till he actually brings me this stuff, but it’ll totally be worth the wait! :-D

Something that I did order to India are two whipped soaps from Haus of Gloi – Wintervale from their Yule collection and Hot Cocoa from their Reverie collection. I’ll review these once I’ve used them for a bit, but they smell lovely and I’m so excited to try them!

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And that’s the end of my birthday haul! I hope you guys didn’t get bored or think I was showing off in my haul posts- I just wanted to share everything I got/bought! I promise I won’t talk about my birthday anymore. Until next year, of course!

The birthday haul: gifts!

For the first time in three whole years, I spent my birthday at my parents house and that meant a lot of unexpected gifts and pampering!

I already told you guys in my last post that my parents got me a cake and treated me to dinner for my birthday. And as if that wasn’t enough, they bought me a lovely necklace and earrings from the mall! My grandmother also gave me jewellery – adorable star shaped earrings with red stones. This is one of my favourite presents because I had a pair like this when I was a little girl and lost one. This time around, I’m really going to cherish them!

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My aunt gave me another amazing gift – Hydraluron!!! This moisturising serum/treatment has been on my wishlist forever but it is only available in the UK and I still can’t believe she actually made someone buy it and bring it just for me!

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My husband sent me the one book I’ve been wanting to read ever since it came out – the new Percy Jackson novel. I know 24 seems a tad old to be reading this series, but I really love it and I’m so excited to start reading this book!

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I got all this (along with some chocolates I may or may not have eaten already) on my actual birthday. But the next day, my friends came over bearing more gifts! I got a beautiful wallet and the Body Shop Moringa body spray, not to mention the lovely gift of getting to spend time with two old friends after years!

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And that’s it – all the presents I received for my 24th birthday! I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family!

If you aren’t sick of my birthday already, watch out for my next post that will feature all the shopping I did for myself. :-D

C’est ma vie: Birthday week

As much as I like reading beauty and fashion blogs, I’ve always loved it when bloggers do vlogs or ‘my week in photos’ type posts that give us a sneak peek into their lives. My life isn’t too interesting, but I thought it would be nice if I could include my readers and friends in some of the fun aspects of my life. So here goes my first attempt!

So, my birthday was two days ago on the 13th of December, but the celebrations began a week earlier on the 6th, with my baby shower! It was a traditional bangle ceremony where all the women closest to me (family and friends) came and blessed me and the baby by putting bangles on my wrists.

 
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It was a lovely morning and I loved being pampered by friends and family alike!
 
This was followed by another major occasion – my 3rd wedding anniversary on the 12th. It was the first one that my husband and I have spent apart which sucked, but my parents and brother did their best to keep any sadness at bay. Right from a card at midnight to flowers as soon as I woke up to a delicious Thai dinner, they really pulled out all the stops!

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We got home from dinner and settled in to watch a movie, so that everyone would stay awake to usher in my birthday at midnight. And you know what else midnight brought with it? A cake!!! I am seriously super lucky to be part of such a loving family!

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That wasn’t all though! We went out again on 13th night! My parents bought me some jewellery and then we all went for an Indian dinner, which was the perfect end to the perfect day (and week!). I don’t have any pictures of us from dinner, because we were too busy eating, but I did take a quick snap of the food!

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And that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed this little window into my life. Stay tuned for the birthday haul/gift post(s) that are coming up soon! :-D

(P.S. I haven’t said this explicitly on this blog anywhere but I’m currently 8 months pregnant and staying at my parents place in India, waiting for the arrival of my little one. It sucks to be away from my home in Lyon, France and my husband but there was no way I could have managed the last few months of this pregnancy on my own!)

The autumnal lip

As promised in my autumnal eye post, here’s a rundown of my top three lipsticks for cooler weather.

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On the top of my list is Silk Naturals vegan lipstick in Sultry. It is a muted berry shade,shade perfect for everyday wear. The colour is fantastic but I also love the formula – creamy and pigmented, it lasts for hours and then leaves behind a flattering stain. Oh and it’s a $5 dupe for Mac’s lipstick in Brick o La! Pretty perfect, eh?

For a more amped up berry shade, I’ve been reaching for another Indie lipstick – Morgana Cryptoria’s lipstick in Speakeasy. This is a deep raspberry colour that looks amazing applied full on, although it can be sheered out for a stained look that is very pretty. I love wearing this one with thick black liner and loads of mascara for an almost goth-like look. My only issue with this is staying power – it lasts just a couple of hours and then seems to disappear completely. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Once again, I’ve saved the best for last – Mac’s Rebel lipstick. This is probably one of the lipsticks I’d take with me if I were running out of a burning building or the one I’d want if I were stuck on a deserted island or…you get the drift right? It’s a gorgeous purpley berry shade that looks amazing on me. And on everyone else I’ve seen it on. If you haven’t tried it yet, what on Earth are you waiting for?! Don’t let my description of it scare you off – it is a gorgeous shade with the perfect satin finish and good lasting power. A must have and one I’d repurchase till my dying day!

So it’s evident that I’m all about the berry shades in cooler weather.

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What are your autumn winter lipstick picks? Drop me a note in the comments!

Birthday wishlist!

My birthday is on the 13th of this month and I’ve been busy making a wishlist of the gifts I want! This year, my list is very skincare centric. Why? Well, I’m currently 8 months pregnant and instead of the ‘pregnancy glow’ everyone told me I’d have, I’m suffering from a lot of breakouts and hyper sensitive skin. After obsessively reading and rereading Caroline Hirons’ and A Model Recommends’ skincare posts, I’ve decided on the following stuff:

1. Ren kit for sensitive skin – This comes with a cleansing milk, moisturiser, mask and serum and I’m hoping these will work for my skin without irritating it.

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2. Ren Clarifying toner - Apparently chemical exfoliation is the norm now, rather than physical exfoliation with scrubs. It sounds a bit scary, but this toner seems to be the gentlest of the lot reviewed online so I’m ready to give it a try!

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3. Liz Earle skin boost tonic - I used this back when Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish was the most hyped product in the blogosphere. While I didn’t like the cleanser, I loved the toner and I’m not sure why I never repurchased. Better late than never, right?

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4. Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm - I’ve been dying to try a cleansing balm but the famed Emma Hardie one is a bit too expensive for me, not to mention hard to get here in India. But this Clinique balm cleanser has been approved both by Caroline Hirons and Ruth of a A Model Recommends and has some excellent reviews online. I’m really excited to give this one a try!

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That’s it for skincare. Here are the only two items on my makeup wishlist:

1. Mac Pro Longwear concealer - I have tried this concealer a few times now and even wanted to buy it last month, but they didn’t have my shade (NW35) in stock last month. Hopefully I can find it this month.

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2. Revlon balm stain in Crush - I haven’t tried these lip balm-lip stain hybrids yet and wasn’t really planning to until Crush, a lovely deep berry, caught my eye. I do have a lot of lippies, but I’m sure my birthday allows me to get just one more…right?!

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And that’s it! It isn’t a very long list and I’m hoping my family understood all the hints I’ve been dropping lately!!!