Top 10 Skincare Products from 2017

No, 2017 did not just slide away for me. Had a lot going on professionally and personally. But the only time that slid away was Dec'17. It was not particularly an amazing year but quite a lot happened.

Coming back to this post, I found some amazing products this year. Some even HG material. May/May not be new. Nonetheless these are stuff I'm definitely dragging along to 2018. And hoping to god these won't get discontinued.

To start off this series with Skincare, these are some products that stood out and really worked for and on my troubled oily/sensitive skin. Starting of 2017 I started getting these random acne quite frequently and by July, it was a full blast on both my cheeks. I discovered (read online and little inquisition), there's usually a hormonal change in early 30s in both men and women. Some go through mental change (like depression for instance) and for others like me, it is very visually apparent.

A tip: If you are facing sudden acne when there has been no change in your lifestyle or eating habits. And if acne or pimples appear in clusters mostly on the lower half of your face, namely- cheeks, chin, it's most likely hormonal.

Now the problem with hormonal acne is that since it happens due to hormonal disbalance, it will completely cure only when the hormones chill out and get back to their normal self. Always visit a dematologist to get a correct opinion. The docs do prescribe some meds which can get your hormones back to normal.

If you are like me, and don't want to take any meds (especially with the wierd side effects) then it's hard way out and that is to wait it out...
I know that does not sound like a solution but trust me it is. It's better not to irk it even more. But what we can do is try to soothe it and speed it's process.

So here's a list of products after tons of trial and error (God knows the horror!) that have worked for me and shown some immediate positive results.   

1. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam (Rs.650/- for 150ml) - To be honest, I have used a 20ml deluxe sample of this, which lasted me for over 15 days. You only a teeny amount of this. And it's perfect. Lathers into a creamy foam. Does not dry the skin and yet cleans it well. This does not claim to work on acne but somehow I do see a difference after using this. Unlike other face cleansers (namely La Roche Posay and Kaya) this did seem to soothe my active acne. I plan to buy the full size tube immediately.
2. Biotique Bio Cucumber Pore Tightening Toner (Rs.175/- for 120ml) - Already on my 3rd bottle... Period. #HolyGrail
Ohh I prefer this over The Body Shop Aloe Toner and Kaya Purifying Toner.

3. Biotique Bio Myristica Spot Correcting Anti Acne Face Pack for Oily and Acne prone skin    (Rs.199/- for 20 gms) -  Review coming up soon. #HolyGrail

4. Kama Ayurveda Nimrah Anti-Acne Face pack (Rs.1098/- for 40gms) - A product that definitely works. I need to use it more regularly. Out of sheer laziness and forgetfulness, I don't use it religiously. I like to use this with The Kama Ayurveda Vetiver water. I apply the paste on the affected area. After it is dry, apply some water on it and scrub using very soft pressure and then rinse it off. The skin instantly feels softer and smoother and more glowy. I'll recommend this for all those who have oily skin with or without acne. 

5. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (Rs.3950/- for 30ml) - It's been a saviour this winter for my acne filled face! The problem with anti-acne products is that it dries up your face. Then again most winter based products (which are typically heavy creams) don't work on a face filled with active acne. This light oil has helped my skin keep in the moisture intact and work along with all the drying anti-acne products I used on my skin. Definitely reviewing it separately.

6. Kiehl's Breakout Control Acne Treatment Facial Lotion (Rs.4250/- for 60ml) - Completely burnt a hole in my pocket but I have to say it works.

7. Lacto Calamine for Normal to Oily Skin - An oldie but a goldie. A must have for everyone.

8. The Face Shop Jeju Aloe Fresh Soothing Gel in tube (Rs.390/- for 300ml) - A pure Aloe gel. I generally use this in place of a serum. During summers, this acts as my moisturizer too. Works well to soothe my rashes or irritated skin and balance the Ph of my skin. A huge ass tube which lasts forever. Is also available in a tub form but a tube is much more hygeinic and travel friendly. Although it'll be a pain to get out the entire product when it's about to finish. Has very easily replaced The Body Shop Aloe gel. Triple the quantity in half the price. Works the same. Go figure!

9. The Body Shop Lip Butter in Shea Butter (Rs.250/- for 8.9gm) - The only thing that works on my dead chapped lips. This and TBS Vitamin E Lip balm!

10. Dear Packer Sheet Masks (Rs.100/- per mask) - Loved using these! The Lavender+Argan Oil, Coconut and Anti Acne ones are my personal faves. My skin feels really smooth and nourished the next day. (I usually put on a mask before sleeping for 15 mins). A win since The face Shop sheet masks were such a fail for me.




Holiday Nails | Pinky Nude Glitter

One of my favorite go to nails throughout the year... Pinky nude glitter.

Goes with everything and will even glam up any basic look.

Products used:
  • Maybelline Super Stay 7 Days Gel Nails in the shade Rouse Poudre
  • Maybelline ColorShow Glitter Mania in the shade Pink Champagne
  • Johara Pro Shine Nail Color in the shade Glitter

Application : Just one coat of Rose Poudre is enough to get an opaque finish. But I personally like 2 coats for a nice perfect glossy finish. The best thing about this range is that it dries in a minute! By the time I finish my second hand, the nails on my first hand is dry. Amazing for lazy and super fidgety girls like me who hate waiting.
 Not to mention, that colour!! I have been wanting that shade for over a year now but I controlled myself 'coz I already had other nude polishes and I did not want to binge buy. Probably one of the last people to finally get this in my kitty but soooo worth it! The shade is a bomb! And if you are fair to medium skin tone, this is the perfect delicate oh-so-pretty pinky nude shade. It'll show more pink on dark skin but will not wash 'em out as it has neutral tones.

A layer of Pink Glitter only on the outer 1/3rd of the nails. I was quite messy with it. Just one layer doesnot make it gritty.

Finally a top coat of the Johara Glitter all over the nails. Has chunky silver glitter and also acts as a top coat.
And the final result... tada...

The polish started cracking from Day 3, that too visible only if seen closely. Otherwise the polish stayed all week. It stayed put on the tips (which never happens with me) coz of the glitter polish and the top coat over it. I took it off after 10 days only 'coz I wanted to put something new.


Do you like it?



Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme | Loved & SweetHeart

I have a problem. I need to get myself clinically treated for being a crazy shopaholic. I cannot afford to spend any more on lipsticks that I really don't need.

But a momentary lapse is all I need to go crazy and buy everything on my wishlist that I'd been resisting myself for months. And I'm not kidding when I say crazy. 
Lets see- 4 Mac lipsticks, 2 colorbar, 2 Milani, 3 Sugar Cosmetics, 2 Essence And these are just the lippies that I bought. I need help!!

Anyhoo taking advantage of my momentary lapse of control and ignoring the fact that I'm literally broke at the start of holiday season.. lets talk about Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme!

These are the first and only products I own from Milani. I've heard about these since forever though. I remember international blogger/ youtubers talk about these few years back. Especially about their foundation and blushes. 

I somehow fixed on these 2 shades I knew I'd wear. 

 I love the packaging! it looks so sleek and good quality. I especially love the wand. It hugs the lips beautifully and the application is very easy with this one. Just one dip is enough for an entire lip application.

Loved:  A beautiful nude with just the right mix of brown and pink undertones. These are the best kinds of nude for Indian skintone.

Sweetheart: A bright poppy barbie pink. Is more brighter in person than in the pic. Has slight neon undertones. Difficult to carry if you're not into super bright pigmented statement lips.

The texture is light and very pigmented from the first application. the above swatches you see is just 1 layer. Smells of cupcakes! It's not one of the most comfortable texture to wear honestly.

Transfer proof and lasts for more than 6 hours provided you avoid super oily food. 
Like most of the ultra matte liquid lipsticks, reapplying is a pain. It's better to remove the whole thing and then re-aplly or else it'll crumble and be patchy.

I've never been a fan of ultra matte liquid lipsticks because of their drying nature since I already have dying lips. So for me this is a pass but if you are still looking for liquid lipstick which is super pigmented and will stay forever and don't mind it being a little dry... go for it.

The pigmentation definitely impressed me. Also it does not emphasize the cracks on lips tooo much. please don't judge by my lipswatch since my lips are extremely dry and chapped.

Price: Rs.1050-1100/- Find it here.




SUGAR Cosmetics | Eye Shadow Quad in ESCAPADE

Sugar Cosmetics has grown fast and popular in no time at all.. and for all the right reasons!
They boast about being free from parabens, D5, oil, mineral oil and nano-ingredients; with best quality possible.

I am a complete fan of the brand and make it a point to try atleast a product (if not more) from every range they come up with.
The lipsticks have to be one of the best formula out there (including the high end brands) and the price and the colour range they have, it's simply ah-mazing!

The indian market sadly does not have good matte eyeshadows. PAC has come up with singles recently. Or else other brands offer entire palette, which have a mix of textures.

When Sugar came up with eyeshadows, it was a no brainer that I had to grab Escapade! All mattes and it looked perfect and totally my type.
For those like me, who aren't into experimenting much with eyeshadows and rely on matte neutral shadows, this one is a dream come true.

Sugar Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad - Escapade
Sugar Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad - Escapade
Sugar Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad - Escapade
Sugar Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad - Escapade | Swatches
Sugar Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad - Escapade | Swatches
Price : Rs.699/-

 Firstly the shades! All 4 shades are definitely wearable and more importantly suits indian skintone.

Texture - Buttery soft and quite powdery. The colours show up great on the lids and is buildable as required which is great. Coz for me personally I just like a light wash of colour on my lids for office. And hence I always prefer the buildable ones. Even though these are extreme soft, I haven't faced fall out with the 3 lighter shades I've used. I haven't used the deepest shade on the Bottom Right. So I shall probably update on that later. 
I use myfingers mostly since I only go with one all over colour. But it works just as fine with brushes too.

Top Left - A neutral taupe with slight mauve undertone. A beautiful transition shade. I use this just to neutralise my lids and bring some dimension to my eyes. This shade is very close to my favourite "Brady" from colourpop, with the same slight mauve undertone, only a shade lighter and in powder form. LOVE!
Bottom Left - A coral peach shade. The shade is not as bright on the lips one first application (as compared to the hand swatch) but can be built up, which is a good thing. I love it more as a blush really! (I know you thought of it too!)

Top Right - A pretty plum shade. Quite pigmented. Just a slight soft touch and it gives beautiful pigmentation. But the shade is so that if not applied properly looks like you've been punched!

Bottom Right - An almost black but actually a deep deep plum shade. Haven't tried this shade on the lids yet. Seems like a nice change from the stark black.

To top it off the packaging is smart, sleek, compact, neat and the best part ultra light. A breeze to carry along... even your jeans back pocket if required! This has definitely become my go to travel pallete. The hard plastic ones are really a pain to carry when you already have more than necessary makeup to carry ;)  

I think it's a must buy and another hit from Sugar!

What's your go to look these days?



Innisfree Water Fit Cushion Foundation | Shade N23

Cushion Case - Rs.600/-
Water Fit Cushion Foundation (Shade N23) - Rs. 900/-
Free Innisfree Beauty Tool Air Magic Puff- Rs. 150/- (I got it free in an offer)

It has been quite a while that Cushion foundations have been a craze. Most commonly used in Korea, the concept was a brainchild of STILA in 2002. It was however brought into mainstream by Laneige.

In case you're wondering, what a cushion product is? It's basically a compact with a sponge soaked in the product. You can apply the product with a sponge or a brush by dabbing the product off the sponge. The sponge tends to soak up most of the product hence you only get a little amount on your applicator, which helps to give a a very natural lightweight finish. Cushion Foundations could be a replacement to BB/CC creams.

Easy to carry along or travel with. Gives a light natural finish. Easy to touch up. These are the basic expectations out of a cushion product.
Innisfree has taken it a notch higher by making such cute and pretty packaging. The best part is the actual product is detachable and the outer packaging can be changed.
So the outer cover, the applicator and the foundation itself can be customized as per your like.

There are quite many colours and patterns to choose from, everyone of which looks gorgeous. But I HAD to choose the the yellow with white polka dots. Just looking at it lifts my mood!
The foundation comes in 2 variety- Water Fit and Longwear Cover Cushion.

I usually have Oily skin type but something too drying accentuates certain areas like around my nose, laugh lines and under eye area. So, I opted for the Water Fit version 'coz I'd prefer a dewy finish, which I usually have within 3 hours.

I got the shade N23. On first applying this, the shade looks quite light and the undertone seems greyish on me. But after 10 minutes of settling in, it completely adapts to the skintone. 
I'd say it has a light to medium coverage. Almost as much as my Ponds BB cream. But I need to put on 2 layers to get that coverage.

The texture being light and airy, I can hardly feel it on my face. Since the product is being dabbed on an applicator from the sponge, there are 2 layers of filter hence a minimum amount of product gets picked up. 
I first used the cushion applicator with this but somehow I prefer using my brush to apply the foundation. Gives a better finish.

Frankly, I think it's quite pricey just for the cute packaging and hardly any cover. But if you are some one who can't seem to find your shade of BB/CC cream,and don't want a full on foundation, could surely invest in this one.




Colourpop Haul | Blush | EyeShadow

I have subscribed everywhere possible to keep my eyes and ears wide open for whenever Colorpop has free shipping. Fortunately or unfortunately, it only happens twice or so in a year. Fortunately because otherwise, I’d be broke. Unfortunately because it should be available in India at their original prices!!
Anyhoo, needless to say, I love the brand. Such good quality in such affordable prices.
I had promised myself not to get more lippies after my last order (haul and swatches here and here). I did cheat though. Got 1 Liquid Lipstick in satin finish.

So here's the first look...

The texture is almost mousse like which when applied has a light powder finish. It’s a love child of a cream and powder blush. Which is perfect for all weathers. Powder blush don’t last long during summers ‘coz of sweat and excessive wiping of the face. Hence a creamy texture tends to last longer. In winters, the skin is already dry, a cream blush gives a beautiful finish without looking chalky or too dry.

Colourpop Super Shock Cheek - Left: Birthday Suit (Satin) and Right: Holiday (Matte)
Colourpop Super Shock Cheek in 'Birthday Suit' in Satin Finish
Colourpop Super Shock Cheek in 'Holiday' in Matte Finish
Birthday Suit: Satin finish. Had been eyeing this forever! It is THE most natural blush for my skin tone. When I’m out in the hot sun or too cold, I naturally flush to this shade. The shade is so damn natural and blends like a dream. I have always loved using a blush, but for everyday use, I don’t like it to be visible. This one gives a perfect flush to the cheeks which immediately brightens the face and gives a “from within” kinda life to the cheeks.

Holiday: Aptly named. A bright coral shade. Perfect for holidays where you’d want a bright flushed face. This needs to be used with a tender hand. However it blends beautifully.

The texture is again a cross between cream and powder. It spreads and blends beautifully. The colour doesnot appear patchy. It’s just plain beautiful.
Colourpop EyeShadow in 'Brady'
Colourpop Eye Shadow in 'Sequin'

Brady: For everyday office wear, I love using this all over my eye lids. It is a lovely subtle shade just by itself or as a base. Blends beautifully. Stays almost 9-10 hours on me!

Sequin: This one's perfect for night outs and weddings. Has beautiful glitters which are not too chunky. However this does not blend as easily as Brady. Need to work quick with this, coz if it sets it's difficult to blend it. Nonetheless, the shade is gorgeous!
Other than these I also got another liquid lipstick in satin finish in 'Chandelier', a brow pencil in 'brunette' and a free Eye Shadow brush!! Could not click pictures since I didn't have them at the time...




The Body Shop Haul | Amazing SALE!


The Body Shop Smoky 2 in 1 Gel Liner : The Brown one's on 50% Off. Never used this before. Shall be put on test. 

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation : I bought the shade-Fiji Sand. Thankfully it's a perfect match! Have only tried this once. Shall be put on test. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash : A rebuy. Already finished 3 bottles of this. Got this for the husband really.

The Body Shop Foaming Facial Wash : Again a rebuy. I prefer the gel facial wash more. but it's ok!


The Body Shop Body Polisher :  I struggle with back acne and a Body Polisher/Exfoliater is something I've been meaning to purchase since a very long time.Although I've successfully gotten rid off my back acne to a large extent (shall dedicate a separate post on the 'hows'), it's good to maintain the same.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Eyes Cube : I haven't seen or heard any reviews on this before. This could be a limited edition, 'coz it's not even listed on The Body Shop India website. But it looked and (the tester) felt quite interesting. The product itself feels very cooling against the skin. I'm hoping it'll work for my under eye bags and provide basic hydration to the eye area. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil : Finally got this. The Sales Rep at the South City Store gave me 1ml sample and I HAD to buy the full size product. Got this at 30% OFF (25% + 5 % member)

The Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion : I'm all for mattifying lotions in this humid kolkata weather. The tester seemed great. Let's see how this turns out. I kind of have good vibes about this one. Got this at 30% OFF (25% + 5 % member)

The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid : Finally they're mine!! Bought the shades - Goa Magnolia, Sydney Amaryllis and Mauritius Dahlia.  Swatches and review coming soon.
Got this at 30% OFF (25% + 5 % member)

The sale will last till June'17 end. The website already has the offer going on. This time around I could see many bestsellers on 50% Discount which is amazing. A fair share of skincare, haircare,  bath, makeup, fragrances and accessories. Quite impressed with the variety and an amazing chance to restock or try out the products. 

P.S. This could be an amazing gifting option. Mix and match products to gift friends and family. The expiry dates are nowhere near on these products. So grab them before they're all gone.
Do pick your favorites till they last, coz they're definitely selling off like hot cakes!