Gosh Velvet Touch Lip liner in 010 Smoothie – review and swatches 

Gosh Velvet Touch Lip liner in smoothie review and swatches

Thanks to the popularity of the Kylie Lip Kits and the Huda Beauty Lip Contour pencils, lip liners have gained a new lease of life.  Once considered old fashioned, they have become so trendy that people are willing to spend ridiculous amounts of money on them  (Huda Beauty Lip Contour pencils retail for $24 !).

So, why should you use a lip liner ?  Well, they are a great way to add a bit of extra definition to lips.  And when worn underneath lipstick or lip gloss lip liner adds depth and increases the wearing power.

There are some great quality drugstore lip liners in the market and out of the ones I’ve tried Gosh Velvet Touch Lip liner is one of the best  (and most long lasting ).

The texture of this is quite similar to the Huda Beauty lip pencils and has smooth , slightly waxy feel.  The colour pay-off is excellent and even on my dry lips it went on smoothly  without dragging.

I got the shade Smoothie  (no 10), a dusty pink/ mauve shade that can be worn with quite a lot of colours .

Gosh Velvet Touch Lip liner in smoothie review and swatches

This has excellent lasting power and will slightly stain your lips.  So even after my lipstick fades, the stain will remain .   And when it fades, it fades evenly (unless you eat something really oily).

These lip liner’s are priced at AED 60 so it falls midway between the Huda Beauty Lip Contour’s and the other drugstore offerings such as NYX and Rimmel . 

What are your favourite lip liner’s ?  Do you think a lip liner is necessary ?

Rimmel Kate 15 Anniversary collection Lasting Finish Lipstick – Boho Nude review and swatches 

Rimmel Boho Nude Lasting Finish Lipstick review and swatches
Kate Moss epitomises evertything the British beauty brand Rimmel is known for, rock chic cool.  Her Lasting Finish Lipsticks have achieved cult status and has some of the most flattering reds in the market.
Recently, Rimmel launched a  special  collection of Lasting Finish Lipsticks to celebrate their 15 year old partnership with Kate Moss.  The shades are said to be a collection of Kate’s favourite nudes and reds.  There are 2 nude shades – #56 Boho Nude / #55 My Nude and two reds – #51 Muse Red / #53 Retro Red.

These comes packaged in a beautiful metallic rose gold tube with Kate’s signature on top.  I think these are one of the prettiest drugstore lipsticks I’ve seen on the market recently. 

The formula of these are a little different from the original Lasting Finish Lipsticks.   These are more creamier with a balm like texture and with a satin finish.  On the lips, the formula feels quite hydrating and kept my dry lips moist and flake free for quite a while.  The lasting power is around 3 to 4 hours.

Rimmel Boho Nude Lasting Finish Lipstick review and swatches

I got the shade Boho Nude- a beautiful caramel beige that looks like a “my lips but better” shade on my medium skin tone. I love adding a coat of “Oh my Gloss ” in “My Eternity ” on top to add more depth and shine to my lips.

I actually prefer the formula of these new lipsticks to the original Lasting Finish ones and I am planning on buying the two reds from the collection. 

Have you tried  any of the lipsticks from this new collection?  What are your thoughts?
**The Rimmel Kate Anniversary collection is now available in the UAE at all Rimmel counters..
 

The Browgal by Tonya Crooks – A brand introduction

The browgal by Tonya Crooks - review

If you have ever lusted after the perfect brows of Megan Fox or Julia Roberts, you are admiring the masterwork of Tonya Crooks!  A classically trained makeup artist, she earned an reputation as the go to “browgal” for celebrities and the beauty industry.  Other than the stars mentioned above, she has worked her magic on a host of A list beauties including Eva Mendes,  Jenna Dewan Tatum and Gweneth Paltrow.

While working on her clients,  Tonya found out that eyebrow pencils in the market didn’t have a wide shade range and that their texture was too creamy.  So she set out to develop her own range of brow products.  The collection includes brow pencils (in 5 shades to suit all skin and hair colours), two highlighter pencils,  a clear brow gel, a tweezer and brow scissors.  There’s also a pack of files to sharpen the tweezers and the scissors.

The browgal by Tonya Crooks - review

 

Eyebrow Pencil in 01

The browgal Eyebrow Pencil review and swatches

I am not a fan of thick painted on caterpillar brows (also known as the Instagram brow 😄) and to me this eyebrow pencil is perfect. The texture is a little dry but very easy to apply (use light feathery strokes).  The end result is soft and very natural.  Use the Eyebrow Gel to seal in the pigment so that it will be water and sweat resistant.

The pencil also comes with a built-in sharpener and a spoolie brush.

The browgal Eyebrow Pencil review and swatches
Eyebrow Pencil in shade 01

 

Eyebrow Gel

The Browgal Eyebrow Gel by Tonya Crooks review

This is a clear brow gel that can be used alone or on top of brow pencils or powders to make them sweat and waterproof.  Thanks to this my brows stayed put even with the extreme heat and humidity in Dubai.

Highlighter Pencil in 01

The Browgal Highlighter Pencil by Tonya Crooks review

 

This double ended pencil has a matte shade in one end and a shimmery shade on the other.  The shimmer side can be used to highlight your brow area and your face.  The cream matte colour also does double duty as a regular concealer.   And you use it to disguise small brow hairs between tweezing.

The Highlighter pencils are available in two shades.  No 1 a shimmery pink(champagne) and a creamy pink (cherub) and No 2 a shimmery gold and a creamy yellow shade.

The Browgal by Tonya Crooks - swatches of the Eyebrow Pencil in 01 and Highlighter Pencil in 01
Swatches from top to bottom – The Highlighter Pencil in cherub,  champagne and the Eyebrow Pencil in 01

 

Tweezers,  Scissors and the Sharpner

The Browgal by Tonya Crooks at Harvey Nicholas - A review

These tweezers are custom-made using stainless steel by an Italian knife company specially for Tonya Crooks and has a precision slanted tip that can pluck out the smallest hairs. I tried using mine a couple of times and I found them much more easy to use than my regular tweezers.

These scissors are designed to trim excess brow hairs.  Just like the tweezers,  these are made from stainless steel and was custom designed by Tonya.  I found that they fitted in to my hands easily and the tiny blade was great at snipping off even the smallest rouge hairs.

Both tools are available in a black matte shade that looks cool but functional (so that even men folk can use them).  And since they are made from stainless steel,  you don’t have to worry about the blades rusting.

As tweezer blades dull over time,  you can use a sharpening file to bring them back to life.

The Browgal also sells a double barreled pencil sharper that you can use for the eyebrow pencil and the highlighter pencil.

Second Chance Brow Enhancement Serum 

The Browgal Second Chance Eyebrow Enhancement Serum by Tonya Crooks

This serum contains a patent pending green” Restoplex technology along and promises to give visible results (full and healthy brows) in 4 weeks.   It comes with a unique 3 speed vibrating brush that helps increase circulation and deliver the serum deep in to the roots of the brows.

The serum is very watery so always keep the tube upright when taking out the wand or it might spill.  Though I have very thick brows, I have a small bald patch and I hope this will help grow it back (so fingers crossed!).

My browgal experience at the Beauty Bar at Harvey Nicholas Dubai 

 

 

The Browgal counter at Harvey Nicholas Dubai

Harvey Nicholas is the exclusive retailer for the browgal in Dubai.  So while you are shopping,  you can stop by for a quick brow shaping session with one of their experts (it takes around 15 minutes).  You can choose to have your session either at their funky beauty bar or in the privacy of one of their chic treatment rooms!

I met the gorgeous Rebecca,  the brand’s regional specialist for a very special brow grooming session.  One look at her gorgeous brows and I knew I was in good hands!   My  brows were quite bushy and she deftly twezzed and trimmed them in to shape.  Afterwards,  she chose the Eyebrow Pencil in shade 01 and the Highlighter Pencil in shade no 01 to fill in my brows and added a touch of highlighter to the arch of my eyebrows.    A quick brush through with the Brow gel and I was done.  My brows were full and defined but still looked natural.   The brow colour was so soft and subtle that it looked like I wasn’t wearing any makeup!  Needless to say I left my session grinning happily 🙂 

The browgal at Harvey Nicholas review
Before (bottom)  and after (top)

I loved my brow session and the products used and the end result.   So do stop by the Browgal counter at Harvey Nicholas if your brows are in need of a rescue or just for a brow clean-up.  The full collection of Browgal products are available there and the brow tech will teach you how best to use the products!

  

Related information –

Harvey Nicholas is located at the Mall of Emirates and the Browgal counter is located on the ground floor (beauty floor).

Follow The Browgal ( click here) and Harvey Nicholas Dubai  (click here) to follow them on Instagram.

For more information about the products, please click here

 

The browgal at the Harvey Nicholas Dubai

All done!  With the stunning Rebecca Dutton of The Browgal

 

The Harvey Nicholas Dubai Beauty Bar
The Beauty Bar at Harvey Nicholas Dubai (image courtesy of Harvey Nicholas Dubai Instagram)

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Kozma and Kozma – the happy place for curly girls!

 

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All my life,  I’ve been dealing with my mop of frizzy curls and it has not been easy.   I am from Sri Lanka,  a country where smooth straight hair is considered beautiful and curly hair in thought of as untidy and unattractive.   “you would be so pretty if you have straight hair”  was a comment I heard a lot!

And getting my hair cut has always been an anxiety ridden nightmare.  All the stylists I’ve been to have cut my hair wet or after blow drying so I can never figure out how it will look afterwards.

So after a while I gave up going to salons and stated growing my hair and trimming it myself.   While it looked okay, the long length weighed down my curls, making them look quite droopy.

I would have gone on with my hippy hair had I not discovered Kozma and Kozma – a über chic salon that specialises in curly hair.  They have several options but if you are like me, I suggest the curly lesson + cut.   This way you get some valuable tips about how to care and style your curls.

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The lavish reception area
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Take your pick 😀

Kozma and Kozma Dubai

The salon is very luxurious with quirky touches here and there.  There’s a candy bar in the reception where you can sip a delicious mocktail (I choose a virgin Pina Colada) while waiting for your appointment.  The candy bar is pretty amazing with a mouth-watering array of candies from jelly beans to gummy bears. 

My stylist was Julia, the gorgeous curly hair specialist at Kozma and Kozma.   After a quick consultation,  she explained to me that curly hair should always be cut dry as it makes the curls more even.

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The requisite “before”  photo 🙂

She then led me to the most opulent shampoo chair I’ve ever seen (it was more like a lounge chair).  It was so comfy, I almost dozed off while she washed and conditioned my hair while teaching me the best way to apply conditioner /de-tangle.   And uunlike other stylists I’ve been to,  Julia was so gentle with my hair.  

Kozma and Kozma Dubai
My beautiful stylist Julia working her magic!

 

Kozma and Kozma Dubai
Waiting for my hair to dry

After applying a curl enhancing cream, Julia sectioned off my curls in mini clips (which are exclusive to the salon)  and left it to dry.  And then she snipped each individual curl so that by the time she was done, I was left with smooth, glossy,  separated curls.

Kozma and Kozma Dubai

Kozma and Kozma Dubai

It’s been two weeks since then and I’ve been following all the techniques Julia teached me and my hair has never looked better!   I’ve had so many strangers complimenting on my hair and asking me if I used a curling wand to get those even curls.   Which just goes to show what a whiz Julia is!  I would recommend her to anyone in a heartbeat (she does regular hair) and I will definitely go back for my next cut:)

Kozma and Kozma offers a vast range of hair care,  skincare and nail services including a rainbow coloured Unicorn pedicure and a Snowman mani.  The salon is located in Jumeirah on Al Wasal Road and can contact them on 971-565544534 / 0565544535 for any queries.  You can also follow them on their very colourful Instagram account.

Please do scroll below for more photos 🙂

Kozma and Kozma Dubai
The fabulous shampoo chair!
Kozma and Kozma Dubai
One of the treatment rooms

 

Kozma and Kozma Dubai

Kozma and Kozma Dubai

 

Kozma and Kozma Dubai

 

Kozma and Kozma Dubai
Curly hair essentials from Paul Mitchell (available for purchase)

 

 

 

KIKO Milano comes to Dubai !

 

KIKO Milano opens first store in Dubai
The KIKO Milano store in Deira City Centre (image courtesy of Kiko Milano Arabia Instagram)

KIKO Milano, the uber popular Italian makeup brand opened their very first store in Dubai last week.   The brand which was founded in 1997, features an extensive range of high quality makeup and skincare products which that rival some of the high end brands.

KIKO Milano opens first store in Dubai
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KIKO Milano opens first store in Dubai
I barely caught a glimpse of the KIKO’s skincare range!

The store,  located in Dubai’s Deira City Centre Mall was packed to the rafters when I went there!  The store was quite large and the range of products was immense.  There were quite a few products that I wanted to check out (that were recommended by my favourite bloggers) I did find some of them but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have some of the products like the cushion foundation and the Metallic Shine Eyes (which has some amazing reviews online).

KIKO Milano opens first store in Dubai
Rows and rows upon lipsticks!

I had a really hard time checking out all the product ranges because of the crowd but they had every type of products imaginable from skincare,  foundations to lipsticks,  eyeshadow and  contouring /highlighting products.  There was also a range of limited edition range with beautiful gold packaging but I couldn’t try them out except for a lovely lip oil.  And the best thing was that all of them seemed to priced very reasonably which is very rare in Dubai as most drugstore products are marked up quite high compared to their original prices.  The most expensive item I saw was the Second Skin Foundation which was priced around AED120.

KIKO Milano opens first store in Dubai
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KIKO Milano opens first store in Dubai

KIKO Milano opens first store in Dubai
These lip oils were really good!

I like to shop for makeup at a leisurely pace so all that crowd made my mind go a little blank but I did managed to pick up two products – a pencil lip gloss (no 12 a pretty brown hued nude) and a Long Lasting Stick eyeshadow (no 38 a shimmery mink).

I love both products (specially the eye shadow stick) and I am definitely going back to the store.   I am just praying it won’t be crowded 🙂

What’s your favourite KIKO product?  Please let me know if you have any recommendations and thank you so much for reading!

 

Related information

Follow KIKO Milano Instagram page for the Middle East to stay updated (click here)

 

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Filorga Skin Absolute Day and Optimum Eye Contour review

Filorga Skin Absolute Day cream and Optimum Eye Contour review
Filorga Skin Absolute Day cream and Optimum Eye Contour

One of the things I love about being a beauty blogger is that I get the chance to explore new brands and products.  And Filorga is one such brand that I got to try a couple of months back and I fell in love with their products.

Filorga is a French skincare brand that was founded 38 years ago by Dr. Michel Tordjman.   He must have been quite ahead of the times as he developed a Hyaluronic acid based injectable products long before before Hyaluronic acid became a must have skincare ingredient. 

The brand has an extensive range of non surgical anti-ageing products (or Medi Cosmetiques as Filorga calls them). And I got to try two of their products – the Skin Absolute Day cream and the Optimum Eye Contour.  I have used both for around three months so that I can give an honest review about them.

Skin Absolute Day cream 

Filorga Skin Absolute Day cream and Optimum Eye Contour review
Filorga Skin Absolute Day cream

This cream has the most luxurious packaging I’ve ever seen. It’s packaged in a square glass jar with its own stand so that you can display it on your vanity. The white lid is stamped with the Filorga logo.  There’s also a tiny spatula so that you can scoop out the cream without using fingers.

Made for all skin types,  this cream contains ingredients such as white sapphire,  repairing enzymes and hyaluronic acid and NCTF (a patented blend of ingredients that’s unique to the brand).  And promises to address issues such as wrinkles,  lack of firmness,  rough skin tone and improve skin tone and radiance in 30 days.

The ingredient list sounds very high-tech and interested me the most  was that it contains something called Extremozymes. Which can transform UV and infrared rays in to energy which in turn can boost cellular activity.   Sounds very futuristic doesn’t it?

The cream is white and fluffy with a light gel like texture.  It has a light scent that reminds me of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea.  It gets absorbed very quickly and leaves behind a smooth matte finish which is great because I have very oily skin.   Plus it plumps my skin and adds a subtle glow.   This cream also works very well as a makeup primer.   I think maybe that’s because it contains Dimethiconol – A silicone based polymer ( most smoothing primers contain some form of silicon).

I wore this continuously for the past three months except for a couple of weeks when I went to Sri Lanka (the jar was too heavy and fragile to carry).  My skin can get a little dry and irritated because of Proactive and this helped moisturise my skin without breaking me out. It also makes my blemishes heal faster and helps fade my post acne pigmentation a little bit quicker (my marks takes around 6-7 months to fade).  Since I do not have any prominent wrinkles or sagging skin, i cannot comment if this will work on those issues.

As this day cream does not have a specific sunscreen protection factor I prefer to use a sunscreen on top of the cream (I wear Eucerin’s Sun Gel Creme for oily skin).

In a way I am kind of bummed that i like this cream so much because it is quite expensive – the 50ml jar costs AED 680 – ouch!  As a housewife, my beauty budget is somewhat limited but if I had cash to splash,  I would definitely be buying this again.  This also has a matching night cream with the same sleek packaging.   But the cream itself is a cool black colour 🙂

Optimum Eye Contour 

Filorga Skin Absolute Day cream and Optimum Eye Contour review
Filorga Optimum Eye Contour

Just like the day cream, this eye contour lotion contains a blend of high-tech ingredients including NCTF that’s supposed to minimise wrinkles,  puffiness and dark circles.

I love the packaging of this product !   It has a concealed twist up pump that delivers the perfect amount of product.  One pump is enough to cover both eyes.

Filorga Skin Absolute Day cream and Optimum Eye Contour review

Unlike some eye creams, this has a very thin consistency and is quickly absorbed.  It feels very cooling and refreshing and has the same light green tea scent which I love.  As this is so light, I can wear my concealer on top of this lotion without worrying about creasing.

I usually get puffy eyes in the morning’s but continued use of this has helped immensely with that problem.   My eye area looks smoother and more hydrated.  Which is good because it costs a whopping AED 285 for 15ml!  I’ve used a lot of mediocre eye creams which didn’t give me any visible results but I am pretty happy with this!

In Dubai, there are so many luxury skincare brands available if you are willing to splurge.  Sometimes a high price tag does not guarantee results.  But I am pretty happy with the two products I tried from Filorga.   I’ve got a few more of their products in my wish list including their Sleep and Peel (which I’ve read some great reviews from fellow bloggers) , the Scrub Mask O2 Gel which is a scrub that transforms in to a bubble mask (which is very popular now) and the BB cream which has an amazing balm like feel and has a great skin like finish !

And unlike some luxury brands,  Filorga is easily available from most pharmacies in the Middle East including Boots and BinSina.  You can also purchase their products from Basharacare website.

Thank you so much for reading and hope you have a great weekend!

 

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Rimmel – All about eyes

Rimmel Magnif'eyes Double Liner / Volume Colourist Mascara / Colour Precise Eyeliner review
Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara / Colour Precise Eyeliner / Magnif’eyes Double Liner

Have you checked out the Rimmel counters recently?   They have some amazing new products and today’s post will feature 3 of their new eye products.

Magnif’eyes 2 in 1 Double Liner

Rimmel Magnif'eyes Double Liner review and swatches
Rimmel Magnif’eyes Double Liner in “Kissed by a Rose Gold”

I fell in love with these chunky eye crayons the first time I tried them!   These dual ended crayons have a chunky eyeshadow on one end and a kohl style eyeliner on the other end.  You can use them together or alone or you can mix and match with shades from the other crayons. The are some lovely shades in the range from a beautiful bronze brown to a bright summary blue.

Rimmel Magnif'eyes Double Liner review and swatches swatches
Rimmel Magnif’eyes Double Liner + shadow in “Kissed by a Rose Gold”

 

The shade/s above is called “Kissed by a Rose Gold”  and it’s a gorgeous rose gold eyeshadow paired with a bronze brown eyeliner.   They look amazing worn together and separately.  The colour pay-off is pretty good and I didn’t feel the need to use a primer for these.

These shadow + liner crayons go on very smooth and are very easy to blend.   But it’s better to blend it quickly because once it sets it won’t budge!   Rimmel says these waterproof shadows last 24 hours and after swatching them I have to agree. I have pretty oily eyelids and these lasted the whole day without creasing.

The only negative is that because the formula is so soft, the liner side could break if you apply too much pressure.   So be gentle when using the liner side of the crayon.

These double liners are available in 5 shades and is priced at AED 45 each.

 

Colour Precise Eyeliner 

Rimmel Colour Precise Eyeliner review and swatches
Rimmel Colour Precise Eyeliner in White

Rimmel makes one of my all time favourite liquid eyeliners – Exaggerate Liquid eyeliner.  So I was really happy when I came across these felt tip eyeliners.  They have a very thin tapered tip that’s quite easy to use.  I am no expert but this gives me enough control to draw a pretty okay cat eye.

Rimmel Colour Precise Eyeliner review and swatches
The eyeliner can be applied even more thinner than this

 

Rimmel Colour Precise Eyeliner review and swatches
I drew a thicker line just so that you can see the colour pay-off

 

I’ve tried the white liner which is a great shade to use during the summer.  The lasting power of these is are pretty amazing.  The above swatch in my arm lasted 2 days and even lasted through a Lush bath 🙂  It’s also sweat and waterproof which is great if you live in a hot country like Dubai.

The Colour Precise Eyeliner is available in 3 shades (black,  blue and white) and costs AED 39.

 

Wonder’full Volume Colourist Mascara 

Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara review
Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara

This new mascara from Rimmel is unlike any mascara I’ve ever seen.   It has a semi-permanent lash tint complex that darkens lashes with continued use.  I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks now but because my lashes are already dark I couldn’t see a visible difference.  However,  I love the formula of this mascara.  It adds volume and opens up my lashes without any heaviness.

It’s not waterproof so it can be removed easily with makeup remover.

The Volume Colourist Mascara costs 51 AED.

All of these are available now from all Rimmel counters in the UAE.