Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Affordable Makeup Brushes I have been Loving Lately (M&S Autograph Brushes, Lola, Louise young, W7, Royal Brushes all under £11)

 I just realized that most of the brushes that I have been reaching for lately in my kit are somewhat affordable ( compared to some high end brands). So I though I'll do a little blog post on them.

First brush that I am loving is from Marks and Spencer's brand Autograph. To be honest before these brushes came out I didn't have great expectations from them as M&S Autograph (at that time) was not a big name in the makeup industry. But I have to say that Autograph has definitely surprised me and I think ever since I got my hands on Autograph brushes I have been using them almost on daily basis and they are a prominent feature in my makeup kit.

The Autograph brushes have synthetic bristles (cruelty free yayee!!) and are incredibly soft. In the picture below is the big powder brush from Autograph. I have compared it to the C309  Jumbo Chisel Powder Brush from EnKore (Crown Brush), although the C309 is slightly flater; I thought it'll give you an idea of size of the Auto brush. The Auto brush is round and dense, perfect for setting power or bronzer. The Autograph Powder Brush is £11.

In foundation brushes the ones thats I reach for the most are the W7 Flat foundation brush and the Autograh Foundation brush. I think the W7 one is my  most favorite, excellent quality, I have been using it for more than 4 years and I have never had any fall out plus it has the best size and desity for quick application without wasting any product. You can get the W7 brush in less than £5.00 and the Auto foundation brush is £8.50

For contouring I am loving the Autograph and the Limited Collection (M&S) angled blusher brushes both are equally good and very reasonable priced. In the picture below I have compared the Autograph Angled Blush brush with MAC 168 and EnKore C405 (Crown brush). The Auto Angled Brush is £7.50.


The Autograph Blusher brush is the conventional blush brush that you will always need to have in your kit. I love the size of it, its not too big or too small. Here I compare it with the MAC 109 brush. It is synthetic but still picks up the colour really well and is super soft like rest of the M&S brushes. It's around eight pounds.

Another great product is the flat eyeshadow brush by Autograph, its dense and sturdy and perfect to pack on the eyeshadow. A tiny bit bigger and fatter than the MAC 239 brush but that just means quicker application. It is sold as a part of the brush set at £19.50

M&S recently started stocking up LOLA cosmetics which have a great collection of brushes, out of which my favorite is the Flat eye shadow brush. The brush is really similar to the MAC 217 but just a tiny bit smaller. It would be perfect for packing on and blending darker eyeshadow at the outer corner of the eye or for someone who has smaller eyelids. It is sold at £10. In the pic below its compared to Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush and MAC 217.

Another one of my top favorites is the No.7 Smokey Eyeliner brush which is sold at £7.25 but I recently found the Royal Cosmetic Connections Smokey Eyeshadow Brush which I got from my local shop for only £1.99 which is a bargain and means that I can have a few of them, to keep in my kit. In the pic you can see the MAC 219 brush to compare sizes.

A good eyeliner brush is really important to me and after trying and testing many brushes my search has narrowed down to the Louise Young Fine Eyeliner brush LY24 £11.00 and Lola Pointed Eyeliner brush £10.00.
For people who dont like the thin pointed conventional eyeliner brushes I would recommend the Autograph Eyeliner brush which makes the application much easier and can also be used as a lip brush. It is sold at £5.00

That's all folks. I hope you liked the post. If anyone of you have used these brushes, I would love to hear your comments on them. Ta!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Which Is The Best Mascara

"Which is the best mascara?" is a question in every girls mind, but the answer to this question might be different for different people as they might be looking for different results.
So what do we want from a mascara? we want it to be lengthening, curling and volumizing. 

 Unfortunately not all the mascaras will give you all three effects in one. Usually a mascara will either be lengthening, lengthening and curling, lengthening and volumizing or curling and volumizing.

So to decide which one is the best for us we need to assess our eyelashes whether they are short, long, straight or naturally curled.

If someone who has naturally long and think eyelashes they would need a mascara that would give them a little curl and deeper color. If they go for a lengthening mascara it will only cause the mascara to transfer to their cheeks when they blink as the long lashes will be touching their cheeks when they close their eyes.

Anyone with really short and curled lashes should go for a lengthening mascara to make their eyelashes look longer.

And for someone who has thin straight lashes need to enhance them with a curling and volumizing mascara which will make them look fuller, longer and curled.

The finished effect that you will get from a mascara totally depends on the wand. So either you ask a beauty adviser for help when buying a mascara ( as they should know which shape of brush will give what kind of effect ) or just test and try and with time you would start noticing the difference in results from different wands. Most of the mascaras will mention what they will do for you but sometime I feel that they can be misleading as not always I have found that the mascara does what it says.

 Usually narrow brushes like shown in the picture below lengthen the eyelashes.

Lengthening Mascaras

For lengthening and curling the plastic brush wands are best as they lengthen and separate each lash and give curl.

Lengthening and Curling

Length and Volume you can get from wands that are narrow and have tiny bristles like shown in the pic below.

Lengthening and Volumizing Mascaras
And last but not the least, my favorite kind, the curling and volumizing mascaras. Usually they come with big fat wands for that amazing curl and give you that sexy looking volume.

Curling and Volumizing Mascaras

So hopefully now you girls can find that one perfect mascara that suits you best.

Monday, 28 May 2012

How I Store My Makeup Brushes. Revolving Makeup Brush Holder (Tool Turn About) Reviews


When you have so many brushes it does become difficult to store them. The first idea that comes into mind is a cup or a pencil holder to store the brushes. But as my brush collection increased I found it hard to store them as most of the space on my vanity table was taken up by different cups and holder for my brushes.

But finally I have found the most perfect and feasible way to store my brushes. Its the Revolving Makeup Brush Holder (tool turn about). What could have been better than this? It has different sized section/wells which is great for storing different sized brushes.

The section in the middle is best for the brushes with very long handles.  Its diameter is also the exact size for the MAC brush cleaner bottle. So if you want to keep your brush cleaner close and handy you can place it in the middle.

The sections on the outer most part are a bit shallow then the rest so it make it easy for me to store my smaller sized brushes.

I loved this tool turn about for my makeup brushes so much that I got another one of these just for my larger face brushes. There is enough space that the bristles of the brushes are not squeezed together and the brushes retain their shape.

You can get these from Vogue n Diva Shop They have really fast shipping and are a UK based shop.

Over all I love this product as all my brushes are now sorted according to their type and size and they are easily accessible. There is a lot less mess on my vanity. I can just place these in one corner and as they revolve around I can access all of my brushes. Now I know which compartment has which type of brushes so I don't need to fuss around looking for the brush I need. 

If I am not wrong this product was initially meant for kitchen tools, but I think it works remarkably well as a makeup brush holder. It is a very useful device and can be used to store makeup pencils, lipgloss, stationary, paint brushes and kitchen tools etc. The diameter of this holder is 23cm and the extended base spins freely and can hold up to 4.5 kg of tools. I think I might even get one for my kitchen to tidy it up a little. Overall I will give this product 10/10. Worth every penny.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Rose Water & Its Miracles ( Uses & Benefits)

Rose water is a miracle product brought to us by nature. It has lots of naturally good things like the Vitamin A and C and it has antioxidants that help in reviving tired skin and giving it a glowing complexion.  Rose is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as being excellent for hydrating and rejuvenating the skin.

1. Use It As A Setting Spray ( Kick Out MAC Fix Plus ;) ):
  Rose water works amazingly as a makeup setting spray. These days you can get rose water in a spray bottle. Keep it on your vanity table and spritz a little bit after you have finished doing your makeup and it will set it into place. It is the best thing to use if you feel that your foundation is a bit powdery or too matte, it will give you a very nice healthy and dewy finish.

2. Use it to remove your makeup:
  Pour a littel on a a cotton ball and gently rub in a circular motion on the face and around the eyes yo remove makeup.

3. Use As A Cleanser: 
It can be used as a gentle facial cleanser.  Make your own by mixing one cup of rose water, 2 teaspoons of glycerin and 10 drops of rose essential oil.  The essential oil will add to the cleansing properties of this rose water cleanser as well as help preserve it.

4.  Use As A Toner:
It can be used as a natural facial toner because rose water helps to absorb excess oil from the skin without leaving a drying effect.  Make your own by combining 1 1/4 cups of rose water, eight drops of glycerin and 3/4 cup of witch hazel in a dark glass bottle (this is important because you do not want light to affect the mixture).  Shake the bottle well before use, and apply daily with cotton balls or swabs.  Rose water toner is perfect to combat acne.

5. Use As An Anti-Wrinkle Agent:
  Apply rose water to your face to tighten pores and prevent wrinkles.  Acting as an astringent with anti-inflammatory agents, the rose water will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

6. Use For Irritated Eyes:
Using makeup and eyeshadows regularly can make your eyes feel dry and irritated. Rose water is very effective for irritation, redness and inflammation of eye. Put 2-3 drops in the eye 2-3 times a day.

7. Get Rid Of Excessively Dry or Oily Skin:
  Rose water helps to balance the pH of the skin, helping to control both dry and oily skin and can soothe many types of dermatitis.

8. Get rid of Acne & Black Heades:
Rose water is also used to treat pimples and to get rid of blackheads. The rose petals have antibacaterial properties and are soothing to the skin. Mix rose water with lemon juice and applying to the skin twice a week . Another way to use rose water is to boil petals in water and steam the face for ten minutes.

9. Get Rid Of Itchy Scalp & Induce Hair Growth:
As  rose water is anti-inflammatory and reduces dryness it it really good for dry itchy scalp. Rinse your head with rosewater mixed in water. It also nourishes the hair and induces hair growth by increasing the blood flow.

10. Use To Relieve Headaches:
  Use a little bit of rose water on a cotton ball and apply around the eyes, forehead and temples to soothe headaches.

There are many other uses for rose water as it in rich in vitamin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to treat sun-bruns, inflammed gums...can also be used as a hair conditioner etc. So all in all we can say that rose water is a magic ingredient which can be used for so many different things. And it is always good to have a bottle of rose water in your cupboard.

Disclaimer: Some tips were researched over the internet.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Sleek Makeup New Blush By 3 Blush Palettes Pumpkin, Pink Sprint, Flame & Sugar

As everyone knows that Sleek Makeup blushes are my all time favourite drug store blushes but I was more than excited when I found out about the latest products to be released from Sleek Makeup and these are their two new blush palettes called "Pink Sprint" and "Pumpkin". These have not yet been released. But hopefully will see them in the market soon.
If I could, I would be doing cartwheels because I am so excited. These palettes are absolutely gorgeous. Each palette has 3 blushes in it. The size of the blush pans is slightly smaller than the usual Sleek blushes but they have the same great quality and have extremely high pigmentation.
These palettes have been formulated with intense pigment, yet the shades can be layered, in ordered to achieve the required intensity.

The "PINK SPRINT" palette consists of 3 fully pigmented matte blushers called "Pink Parfait" , "Pink Ice" & "Pinkini"

 The "Pinkini" shade is deep plumy pink shade. "Pink Ice" is a brighter pink very similar to the "Santorini" Blush which was limited edition with the Monaco Eyeshadow Palette but its a little lighter. "Pink Parfait" is deep mauve pink which I thought would be similar to "Flushed" blush by Sleek but it turns out its a completly different colour. In the picture below are the shades of Sleek blushes which I though would be similar which include Flushed, Santorini, Pomegranate. I was excited to know that all the shades are different.

The "PUMPKIN" palette consists of shimmer, satin and matte blushers called "P Pie (Shimmer)" , "Squash (Satin)" & "Lantern (Matte)"

"P Pie" is a golden orange blush with fine gold shimmer. "Squash" is a beautiful honeysuckle shade perfect for summer and high in trend. "Lantern" is a vibrant orange shade which is quite similar to the "Aruba" Blush which was a limited edition blush with the Sleek Curacao Eyeshadow Palette.
In the picture below I placed the sleek blushes that I thought would be the most similar which include the Limited edition Blush Pan Tao (Peach Collection), Life's a Peach, Aruba and Rose Gold.

I love these shades as they are a vibrant and bright addition to my Sleek blush collection. The packaging is great and the pigmentation is brilliant as always.

There are two more Sleek Makeup Blush By 3 blush palettes in "SUGAR"(Rust Brown Tones) and "FLAME" (Red tones)

 These palettes have matte and shimmer finish blushes.

I know for sure that those of you who are obsessed with makeup will go crazy after these just like me. Hopefully they will be released soon.
To get these palettes before they release in shops check them out on this VOGUE-n-DIVA Shop

Friday, 20 January 2012

Asian Pakistani Bridal Eye Makeup Made Easy In 10 Simple Steps

There is a difference in Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and Arabic bridal makeup. So today I am going to talk about the most common style of bridal makeup in Pakistan. And will simplify the eye makeup into 10 steps.

The Paksitani bridal makeup colours are selected according to the colours in the bridal dress. The eye makeup could consist of 3 or more colours but mainly there are:
  • The main eyeshadow colour which we will call "X"
  • The contrasting contouring eyeshadow colour which we will call "Y"
  • The highlight eyeshadow colour which we will call "Z"
  • The "Black" eyeshadow to intensify the look.

The eyes are very simple to create if you get the gist of the look. When you fill in your eyebrows, is just up to you but I prefer to fill them before I start applying eye-makeup as they act as a guideline for mapping out the shape of the eyeshadow. The 10 easy step for the eye-makeup are as following:

  1. Apply the main colour "X" on to the center of the lid. Apply few good layers to get the desired colour payoff.
  2. Apply contrasting colour "Y" in the crease. The colour could be darker or lighter than "X" but according to the colours present in the dress. Blend well. Leave space under the brow for Highlighter "Z"
  3. Apply highlighting shade "Z" in the inner corner of the eyes and under the brow. Blend well.
  4. Apply black eyeshadow on the outer 3rd part of the eye to intensify the outer corner. Take little product at a time. Blend well.
  5. On lower lashline apply "X" in the inner corner close to the lash line.
  6. The a little bit of contrasting shade "Y" in the middle of the lower lashline.
  7. Intensify the outer corner with the black eyeshadow and join lower lash line with upper lash line.
  8. Apply black khol pencil in water-line.
  9. Apply gel/cake eyeliner on the upper lash line; creating a fine point in the inner corner and a small flick on the outer corner.
  10. Apply mascara and thick false lashes.
And you are done with the eye-makeup. Apply your blusher, highlighter, and lipstick and you are ready to go!

This is just the most common style of Pakistani makeup. There might be more sophisticated and more creative looks aswell. It is not compulsory to use only 3-4 colours, once you know what you are doing you can play around with colours and incoorporate more shades.


Sunday, 8 January 2012

How To Get Rid of Dull, Sensitive, Ance Prone Skin And Get A Clear Glowing Skin.

This is the most regularly asked questions and thought that I will give my opinions on it one more time.When you resort to medicines and ointments the skin gets more weak and sensitive as ointments have strong steroids in them which can seriously damage the skin cells and hamper the regeneration process. So it is better to avoid excessive use of steroids or medicines.

There is no such magic that could fix a sensitive acne prone dull skin in a flash. For healthy skin you have to be very consistant on certain things and avoid unnatural things.

  • Eat healthy, drink atleast 8-10 glasses of water to get rid of excess oils and impurities on the skin. Exercise also help in clearing the skin as it regulates the blood supply and the sweat cleans out the pores from impurities and sebum (oil).
  • A long brisk walk is really healthy in many ways but believe it or not it also helps in clear  regulates the blood circulation, which means fresh blood pumping through out the body. Cells get fresh blood which means more oxygen, which mean faster chemical reactions, faster regeneration of cell, which leads to new and clean skin cells. Simplzz! :)
  • Cleanse your face with a mild cleansing facewash every night before bed. Keep the skin moisturized as too oily skin can cause acne as well as too dry skin as it can get irritated and also bacteria can get stuck in flaky skin.
  • If you are sensitive to cleansers then wash your face with Chicpea powder paste as it acts as a natural scrub plus toner. It will scrubs away dead skin and also controll oil.
  • Avoid too much chocolate and nuts....anything which has a very warm effect will cause acne and spots.
  • Last but not the least take a multivitamin tablet + Cod liver oil Capsule every morning with your breakfast and believe me you will see the difference soon not only wth your skin but also your hair.

After every few days I have been asked this question by some one "I have have sensitive, acne prone dull skin. How do I get rid of it??"  The only thing I have to tell is that there is no magic wand which can immediately repair your skin. You need to be patient and very consistant. If you need a clean, clear glowing skin then you have to follow all these step religiously everyday for atleast 3 months and soon you will see the difference. If you need a clear skin so badly, then you will stick to the plan and give time to your skin cells to cleanse themselves and start regenerating healhty cells. Slow and steady wins the race, so be patient but be steady in your regime. 

And STOP putting chemicals on you face!!! Let it breath!