Ruby Woo… the one red lipstick to own

wpid-20150103_171824-1.jpgI’m not a big fan of lipsticks, let alone red. But when a friend convinced me to at least try it out, I found myself looking at the rows of reds in the MAC store. The SA was really helpful and took out all the reds they had for me to try out, ranging from light to deep, with different undertones. I was sceptical about Ruby Woo because the reviews said that it’s really dry and I have dry lips already.

After trying out all the other shades, I tried out the Ruby Woo and it looked simply fantastic. No other colour even came close. MAC calls it a “retro matte”, and I think it is this dry matte effect that adds to the charm. It’s a really bright red, so if it had been even slightly glossy, I don’t think it would have looked as good. Yes, it’s really sticky and matte but for some reason, once you put it on, it’s not really that dry. I didn’t feel like my lips were tight or cracking, as I’ve experiences with a number of other matte lipsticks.

I was so surprised that red could look good on me. But I think if it can look good on me, this colour will suit anyone. Ruby Woo is definitely the way to go.

wpid-20150103_171949-1.jpg

Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream

Ok the full name of this product is long….
heaven By Deborah Mitchell – Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream.

Vanilla Pod Front Face

As winter approaches my skin is becoming drier and flakier so my the ladies at my salon recommended I try this for my hands and legs. (I know it says hand cream, still). Costing AED 216.00 (roughly US$60), I was hesitant. I don’t mind spending money on facial products, Lord knows I have spent so much already! But that much for a hand cream? I changed my mind when I say the jar was huge… with 200ml of product in it. So I thought, ok let’s give it a go. And wow, did I make the right choice!

I love the product. I hear the brand is a favourite of Victoria Beckham and Princess Kate. It is a UK based company.

The Creamheaven - Vanilla Pod - The Cream

The consistency is thick, but not so much that it doesn’t go on well. It sort of melts into your skin. I hear it’s supposed to be fairly water proof (I don’t know what that means), but it doesn’t disappear after a while. My skin actually remains well moisturised till morning. I love it on my hands too because it doesn’t give me a greasy feel like I haven’t washed my hands after cooking. I also feel that my nails are stronger and smoother or may be that’s psychological. But it does work well on the skin.

 

The Smell

As the name suggests…. vanilla. It’s a bit strong at first, but mellows down as it goes on. The fragrance lingers on and on, just the like the effects of the cream. It’s more like vanilla cake than ice cream. But hey, who doesn’t like the smell of vanilla.

The Ingredients

Vanilla Pod IngredientsHere are the ingredients. No idea what these mean. But no Parabens, which is supposedly a very good thing. To my surprise, it contains Tea Tree oil. I always thought Tea Tree oil dries out the skin more. But I guess the healing properties have been infused into this. (I love Tea Tree oil, it’s an amazing solution to almost any skin problem, except dry skin).

 

The Packaging

Extremely heavy glass jar with steel lid. I like the wide jar though because it’s easier to get product when you use both hands. It has a plastic protectant inside so you can carry it (although mine is really too heavy to travel).

Vanilla PodVanilla Pod

All in all I seriously lucked out with the product and I definitely will buy it again.

How and why I gave up my iPad

Let me preface this by saying that the iPad is a great functional device with countless uses and applications. I bear no ill will toward the device itself. But it just wasn’t working out for me.

Just like most people, I gave into the craze of the iPad and went out and bought one. I could use it for everything, calendar, email, blogging, reading, video chat. The possibilities were endless. I could carry it around and always be connected.

I soon realised though, that I missed the feel of paper. I really couldn’t bear not have my filofax or paper planner with me. So that was added to my bag. As time rolled on,  found out that typing on the iPad isn’t all that easy, so I got a keyboard extension. More extra weight. Then came the charger cable.

And just like that, the charm started to wear off.

I didn’t use the calendar that much, because I almost always used the filofax or my phone. I didn’t blog on it that much either, because I just wasn’t that comfortable typing on it. And finally, I found out that my eyes would hurt from reading on it for too long. So I went back to using my kindle (without a backlight) or just paper books. To top it all off, I got a Macbook Air which weighs only slightly more than my iPad and is a fully functional computer which I can travel with. So, I didn’t really need to carry around this extra weight because that’s what everyone is into.

I’m sure there are a great many people out there who cannot bear to live without an iPad, just like I cannot bear to live without a paper planner. But my bag definitely weighs less and I feel free, until I really have use for an iPad in my life again.

A hint of colour with DiorSkin Nude Tan Light

I went to the make up shop yesterday looking for a bronzer. I’ve been researching make up tips online and almost every blog or vlog mentions a bronzer and highlighter for sculpting your face and bringing out your cheekbones.

I ended up at the Dior counter and the SA tried out DiorSkin Nude Tan on me. Now this comes in 3 versions – Light, matte and Regular. The Light is a shaded disc with iridiscent properties and the Regular & Matte versions are solid pigmented colours. The regular version comes in 6 shades while the Light comes in only 4 shades and the matte in 2.

Given that my skin is dark and I didn’t want something too sparkly I chose the matte. This is part of DiorSkin’s Healthy Glow make up collection and has become quite a popular product.

Unfortunately, I didn’t check what the SA gave me in the bag and when I went home, I discovered that she had given me the DiorSkin Nude Tan Light. At least, the shade was close to what I wanted (Sunset) so I decided to try it out.

I was pleasantly surprised. The iridescent properties are not too sparkly and it gives a perfect hint of colour. Because the powder is fine milled, it goes on smooth and evenly on the skin. It is not very pigmented, so anyone looking for more colour should definitely try out the other one – DiorSkin Nude Tan. I may get that once I’m done with this.

I use this as a bronzer, under my cheekbones. But the colour is also perfect to use it as blush on occasion with a light hand. I don’t think that could be done with the regular one as the colour may be too dark for a blush.

It isn’t cheap but the disc is quite big with a lot of product. It comes with a nice pouch. It also comes with a lovely little kabuki brush that I am using.

DiorSkin Nude Tan Light Case
DiorSkin Nude Tan Light Case

DiorSkin Nude Tan Light -004 Sunset with Kabuki Brush
DiorSkin Nude Tan Light -004 Sunset with Kabuki Brush

 

4 Tips for trying out new facial moisturisers

I have weird skin. I think my skin type is combination but I can never be sure as it keeps changing.  I have tried many different facial products from high-end to herbal to drugstore brands. Here’s what I’ve learned from my experience:

 

1. Swatch tests don’t always work

I know people say to always try a bit on the back of your hand or your wrist to check for allergic reactions. But this doens’t always work because the skin is significantly different on your face. If you must test a product, it should be behind your earlobe which is as sensitive as your face, if not more.

 

2. Reaction times vary 

Some products can give you an immediate allergic reaction. However, with most products the reaction is not immediate. If you are testing a sample, either behind your ear or on your face, it can take anywhere from 4 to 7 days to have a bad reaction. It’s also the same for a product start working, i.e, showing it’s benefits.

 

3. Stop Immediately if you have a bad reaction

If you do break out after using a product, stop immediately. I can’t stress this enough. I have seen a number of blogs and spoke to many sales people who say that it can get worse before it gets better. Something about how the skin is purging impurities. I have found that this is almost never true. I think if you break out or have a reaction, you should always just quit the product. See a doctor if need be or go back to using something that always worked. I once used olive oil to calm my skin after using a product with too much salicylic acid. Needless to say, it’s never gotten better for me once I’ve had a bad reaction.

 

4. Try one at a time  

I often go on a buying binge with skin care products. So I will buy a face wash, serum and a cream all in one day. But I have realised now that you can never know what is causing a reaction or what is helping your skin. It’s always best to charge or try one product at a time, even if they are all of the same brand / line. That way your know which one to keep and which to cut out.

 

Bonus Tip: Shampoo

This is an odd one for me. But shampoos often give me a bad reaction. I break out on my forehead or cheeks and even my neck. I’ve never compared products to see what chemical actually causes the problem. I just stop using the product. So, the next time you have a bad skin reaction on your face, check your shampoo before you throw out your face cream.

 

I hope this helped. Happy shopping…..

Kenneth Cole Grab Bag Satchel

Any one who knows me, knows that I love bags that have some structure to them. I am not a hobo or satchel carrying type. But I walked into Kenneth Cole and found this great satchel on sale. It’s called the Grab Bag satchel. The leather is so unbelievably soft that despite it being a satchel, I wanted to buy it. When I looked at the price, it was just a no brainer for me. The bag was marked down to the equivalent of US$160.

I bought the one in Black with Gold hardware, but it also comes in a range of other colours. Unfortunately, because it’s a last season bag, they are mostly sold out online. Now that I’m using it, I can see why. It comes with short handles and a long strap. It’s a lovely bag to carry around on the weekends for me. It has one zip pocket on the outside and one on the inside. Two open pockets on the inside for your phone and quick storage. It has a very polished casual look. And did I mention, I just love how soft the leather is.

Here’s a link to it on Nordstrom.

And here’s a picture of the version I got….courtesy of Lyst.com

From Lyst.com
From http://www.Lyst.com

I’m taking the DreamTone challenge

I decided to visit Sephora in search of yet another facial moisturizer. Over the past few months notjing seems to be suiting me anymore. I used to use DiorSnow but I think they may have changed the formula for the cream and it’s not working on me anymore. Again, I have tried everything from drugstore brands to semi-highend brands. Nothing seems to work. Lately, I have even been breaking out. So when the SA suggested I try Lancome’s DreamTone,  I thought, why not?

It’s not a moisturizer,  it’s a serum and it’s supposed to be used twice a day. It comes in a pump bottle which is convenient but the bottle is not transparent so you can’t really see how much is left. The contitution of thw serum itself is really nice. It has faint rosy smell and it goes on like silk. It sinks into the skin really well without an greasy feeling. It also has luminescent particles which gives the skin a very subtle sheer.

I am using No.3 which is for tanned/dark skin. It promises to even out skin tone and get rid of dark spots. I have a slight shadow around my mouth and chin, so I am hoping it will even that out. It’s also supposed to have a small amount of salicylic acid to clear up break outs.

It’s day two and so far I am happy with the constitution and the fact that my break out has cleared up somewhat.  The challenge lasts 4 weeks after which my skin should look so good I can “dare to bare”, I.e. not use any makeup at all. Let’s see what this $100+ bottle of miracle can deliver.