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Mascara

Disappointing And Revised Products

October 31, 2014

Ever had second thoughts? Or thought that a product was spectacular but turned out to be rubbish? So it turns out I’m not always right. There, I said it.

To everyone who thought “Yes, this is it!”, this one is for you.

There is something about sharing negative product reviews that makes bloggers feel bad. It’s like betraying our beloved makeup brands or not committing to the relationship we have built together ever since the start of our beauty addiction. The struggle is real, people.

Now that I think of it, not everything gets to be sugar coated for free. A few products have been overrated and it would only be fair to the good or excellent products to associate the mediocre ones with their genuine rate. Shall we?

Starting with the most irritating duo: Benefit’s They’re Real. I honestly started by loving the Push Up liner as much as I used to love the mascara. After using the eyeliner for a while, it became hard to work with. It dried too quickly, always gave a thick line and turned into a mess during removal. Not very convenient for one with little patience. And the mascara.. Well.. No. It’s not working for me. Its finish is too sticky, plastic and fake. Also, it adds a lot of weight to the lashes which tires me instead of making me look awake. How ironic.

Sticking with mascaras, MaxFactor’s Lash Extension Effect sounds like you’re going to end up with Burj Khalifa for eyelashes. I was more than just bummed when my lashes barely “grew”. The mascara was hardly good enough to define them with a descent coat of black for a natural look but it stops at that. Use it for two weeks and then toss it out.

Who doesn’t love a good blush? Believe it or not, blushes are my weakest point. I would buy a whole rack of them if Bill Gates was my father. What I also love is Jane Iredale. This lady does the best cosmetics! Now what’s not to love about her blush in Cotton Candy? Silver glitter. It breaks by heart into little pieces when a formula is so darn good but silver or gold glitter sits right there on your cheek. I think it brings the whole product down. Unfortunately, not recommended.

Fact: my eyebrows are a mess. Filling or shaping them is mission impossible. In moments like these I pray for Lisa Eldridge to appear in my life. I also pray to find a good brow product that is easy to use. Revlon’s Brow Fantasy failed to do so. Why? a) I picked up a lighter shade which made my brows look like a 70 year old’s brows. My bad.. b) the pencil is not creamy and pigmented enough to actually fill in the blank spots. I would repurchase just because the brow gel is fantastic. I’ll make sure it’s the right shade this time.

What are your “revised” products? Have you ever tried these? Thoughts? 

– Zein xx

FOTD : Return Of The Eyeliner

September 14, 2014

With good eyeliners I find myself wanting to line my eyes everyday. I don’t usually go for the perfectly winged out or dramatic look. Simple is what I like most. You know me. This is how it goes down when simple and eyeliner meet.

BASE 
No foundation is required here. I’ve been having a good skin week so far *knocks on wood*. Maybelline’s Instant Anti-Age concealer was applied to the under eye area and around the nose. 
CHEEKS 
I can’t get enough of the Clarins bronzer. I’m probably annoying you with that by now. Sorry not sorry. I used this lightly to warm up the face with the classic “3 shape” technique. It’s all about giving life to your complexion, people! Click here for more about Clarins bronzer. 
After mentioning it in my last post, I remembered how amazing this stuff is: Tom Ford’s blush in Love Lust was blended on the apples of the cheeks and brought up to the cheekbones. 
EYES 
UD Naked Basics palette served me well: Foxy on the lid, Naked 2 and Faint in the crease, Crave in the outer-corner, and Venus on the brow bone and inner-corner. I’ve been using this really often. What makes this palette amazing is that it’s exactly what you need and it works for every occasion. Pure genius!
Then a not-so-thin and not-so-thick line using MUFE’s Artist Liner happened. This was featured in My top 5 eyeliners post. It’s very creamy and black. What makes this one special is that you can smudge it to create a smoky effect without eyeshadow. The intensity of the product can be played with. 
I’ve been really loving the first step “Extreme Volume” of the MaxFactor Excess Volume double-ended mascara. It actually looks a lot like their normal mascaras that they already have. The second step which is called “Dark Lacquer” is to avoid. It’s complete rubbish. 
LIPS 
Another favourite that has been featured here and here is Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in Satisfaction. It’s the perfect nude version of my lips but better. 
EYEBROWS 
Au naturel. In other words: couldn’t be bothered.  
What do you have on your face today? Tried any of these products? 
– Zein xx

The Daily Makeup Routine – The Essentials

August 18, 2014

A busy summer wasn’t what I had in mind. I imagined long days at the beach, hanging out with friends until late hours, eating all the food in the world, etc. Starting from mid-July none of that really happened (except for the food part – that’s mandatory). Instead, I ran around Beirut finishing paperwork for university. Makeup-wise, I didn’t even bother. Only two looks were worn this summer 1) very little makeup look and 2) no makeup at all. Here’s how it went down when I happened to wear makeup .. 

First rule: no foundation. I’ve put a big cross on that for the past two months. Blame my good friend humidity. I though that I was smart enough by running away from it in Dubai. Well think again Zein, Beirut’s humidity makes errrthang go cray. But thank you humidity, I always wanted to look like the Lion King.

Rather than starting with a heavy base, I go for Benefit’s Fake Up concealer. I’m trying to finish up a sample that I got. This is actually the lightest shade in the range but it works quite well for highlighting the under eye area and for emphasizing that gorgeous summer tan (not that mine is gorgeous in any way). If you have zero tan at the moment, don’t worry just follow the next step. I got you covered. 
Ah, the Clarins bronzer. L.O.V.E -ing it! That’s where the party’s at. This goes wherever the sun naturally hits the face using the Glambox kabuki brush. NARS’s illuminator in Hot Sand is then applied to cheekbones all the way to brow bones. This stuff is so beautiful, I can’t even! Finally, Rimmel’s cream blush in Apricot Glow provides that extra healthy glow and colour on the apples of the cheeks. 
Believe it or not but that is it. For defining my eyes, I sometimes use MaxFactor’s Lash Extension Effect by coating my lashes. Honestly, I don’t love that stuff. Not volumizing and barely lengthening. But I guess it works well for a “no makeup” makeup look. 
What makeup look have you been sporting this summer? Leave a comment by listing the products 🙂 
– Zein xx 

Major Beauty Haul

July 27, 2014

I totally bought a crap load of makeup.

So I didn’t buy all the products in this photo. I received a few “souvenirs” that you’ll know more of later in the post. I posted on twitter that I was travelling to Lebanon for a few weeks and made a short long pit stop at the duty free’s beauty department that had 20 per cent off on all products. Yes, 20 freakin’ por ciento. Crazy is what my mother and I were in front of the counters.

Now not all the products are mine. I’m sharing them with the big sister and the mother. But showing you the whole haul was necessary.

First at the duty free was the Chanel counter. My mum needed a mascara and a foundation pretty badly. After reading and seeing so many good reviews, I ended up picking up for her the Vitalumiere Aqua compact foundation and the Volume de Chanel mascara.

Another Chanel eye candy is the Rouge Coco Shine in Satisfaction. I saw this in Tanya Burr’s haul and knew that I needed this right away. Now that I have it, I can finally die in peace. I have a feeling that I’m really going to like this one. I can feel it in my bones!

Then the YSL counter happened. Heart melts. The YSL packaging kills me. It’s so luxurious and heavy making you feel like a thousand dollars just by looking at it. Of course, price tag inspired to faint. All products picked up from this brand are due to peer pressure (damn you bloggers and youtubers!). The Baby Doll Kiss & Blush are in shade 3, 9 and 12. The big sis is taking 3, mum is taking 12 and I’m taking the shade 9.

Next is this gloss in the shade Golden 19. The perfect pink nude. In reality it’s a tad bit lighter. And oh em gee it’s so pretty and not sticky. Yves does it best.

Finally are these Kiko products. My aunt went to Italy recently and she knows how big my love for makeup is. She got these palettes and lipsticks for mother and I that I just can’t wait to try out! The colours are so pretty in reality that the pictures don’t do them justice.

Bottom to top 220; 288; 241 and 295; 243; 401

Shade 04 and 03 (orangier) 

That is all for the haul! Sadly I don’t own this entire set of goodies. Nevertheless, I am going to try them all and hopefully report back. Have a great Sunday and Eid Mubarak for those of you who are celebrating!

Have you tried any of these? What have you bought lately? Leave a comment, would love to know! 

– Zein xx 

The battle of the mascaras

June 22, 2014

Most of my beauty dilemmas consist of choosing which mascara I’m going for on that day. I know, I know, I have a tough life. No need to remind me. Lately, I’ve been juggling between two mascaras : the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde mascara and the UNE 3 in 1 Ultra Black mascara. 

I’ve been quite liking these two gems. They both give good results in different ways. But they still come along with pros and cons. 
Bourjois mascara
Despite a fluttery and voluminous lash look, this mascara promises immediate coating, 16 hour hold and easy removal. Also, it has the most unusual brush. It comes with small balls between the bristles as you can see in the picture below. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well it is. 

Pros
  1. It gives the volume promised 
  2. Very lengthening 
  3. Curls lashes pretty nicely 
  4. Formula is not too wet, no too dry – just right
  5. Final result : full lashes that lift the eye look

Cons

  1. Not black enough 
  2. More than a second is needed to perfect the lash look desired 
  3. Too much product gets onto the brush


UNE mascara


This one promises what most 3 in 1 mascaras promise: curling, length and volume. However, it also says that the formula contains deep black pigments. So there is an “over pigmentation” that brings density to the eyes.  

Pros
  1. Curls the lashes 
  2. Very black 
  3. Dry formula (a personal preference) 
  4. Provides enough volume 

Cons

  1. Not lengthening enough 
  2. There isn’t as much volume as the Bourjois one 
Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde ; UNE 3 in 1 Ultra Black
After writing this post, I actually think I prefer the Bourjois one. Who knew that blogging could solve your beauty dilemmas? Anyway, above is a comparison between the two mascaras on my lashes. I couldn’t get my camera to focus on both of my eyes. So it just did on the UNE mascara which is why it appears more performing than the Bourjois one. 
Even if it doesn’t show that well on the picture above, the Bourjois wins the battle. It gives a more lifted and voluminous look. 
Anything else I forgot to mention? I finally finished my exams. Woohoo! (Bring it on university!) And since my summer officially started, I raced to the nearest beach to get my tan on which is why my face looks kind of red in that picture. Have a lovely day! 
Which mascara(s) are you using lately? Tried any of these?  
– Zein xx

May’s Glambox

May 10, 2014

In three days, a new revolutionary product will be introduced to the public. I can’t talk about it just yet. So today, not only I have a sneak peek of this mysterious product, but I also have this month’s Glambox that you’ll be getting by the end of May.

Glambox has collaborated in the past with Benefit, and this May they are introducing to us other products that haven’t been featured or that have launched since their last collaboration together. I’ve already tried all of the products in the box – including the missing mysterious product, so I’ll be able to review them quickly. 

1. Big Easy BB cream – this is latest launch from Benefit. It’s a cream to powder BB cream that I’ve been quite enjoying at the moment. I speed reviewed it here
2. Porefessional primer – amazing stuff. Really. It’s so smooth and it minimizes pores beautifully so that you don’t end up looking like the moon (you know, because the moon has holes – not sure how you call them). I naturally tend to look like the moon sometimes and, I must say, it’s not a pleasant look at all. 
3. Fakeup concealer – a very hydrating creaseless concealer that instantly makes you look awake. It has saved me so many times after long nights of studying for exams. This works best during winter time when the skin gets dryer. It has a natural/dewy finish. 
4. They’re Real mascara – ah! The famous They’re Real. I probably have 50 samples and a full sized product of this. Here’s the thing about this mascara: I’ve used it for a long long long time now that I stopped liking it. Why? Oh, for no reason at all really. I’m probably bored of the way my lashes look. This doesn’t make it a bad mascara. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing mascara. Although I do prefer its results after one or two months of usage. Note that not everyone is fond of They’re Real as it gives a real falsies/plastic-y effect at first.
I lied. 
I’m not sneak peeking you the missing item today. Only thing I can say is that it’s from Benefit (obviously) and it’s included in this month’s Glamox (duh). You’ll have to wait until May 13th to know about it – so stay tuned, and until July to get your hands on it. If I were you, I’d subscribe to Glambox asap. A lot of Benefit must haves are in there! 
Other than that – the concealer and BB cream are lighter than my complexion right now. I’m a bit bummed I thought they would be great as travel samples in my bag. Whatever, I’m probably going to end up giving them to my sister.
Have you tried any of the products here? Would love to know your thought about them in the comments below.  
– Zein xx
 

Oldies but goodies

May 7, 2014

I dug up last night all the makeup that I haven’t been using a lot lately and that has been well loved in the past (past as in probably a fews months ago, just so we’re clear). Now, as my birthday is in about a month and I’m finally graduating from high school soon, I gave myself the permission of going wild at all Sephora stores to celebrate after these events. My mother doesn’t know about that yet though.. So I’m really trying to use up the makeup that has been forgotten for a while to replace it with new goodies. Newer is always better, right? 

We first have the MAC Studio finish concealer. We’ve all tried it. We’ve all loved it. But it’s time to say goodbye. I can’t see it in front my face every time I open my makeup drawer anymore. I’ve had this for so long and it won’t finish. I’m serious. Look at how much product I’ve used up and there is still a lot more in the pan! 
Staying in the base section, we have the Rimmel Stay Matte powder. This has saved my life many times. Now that it’s getting humid sticky and icky in Dubai, popping this out couldn’t be more appropriate. This is actually my second round of Stay Matte and I have to say I’m a bit bored of it. Because setting powders are so interesting *inserts emotionless emoji* Yes they are actually. 
On this list I have three eye products that haven’t been getting enough attention. First one is the Sigma cream eye shadow base in Provoke. I didn’t stop wearing this back in November or December (or January? Can’t seem to remember..). The pink in it is great for spring. Next one is MAC’s Brule eyeshadow. I used this all the time last year as a one colour eyeshadow on the lid. It helped contour the crease a lot without using dark eyeshadow in that area. Contour the crease, is that even sayable? And then there is the Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill mascara. This is the best mascara that has had physical contact with my lashes. Since it’s a pretty pricey one, I want to use it and abuse it. 
Last but not least is the Revlon lip butter in Peach Parfait. Ah! Lip butters. Who remembers them? This shade is really flattering on me and it’s almost done. However I’m so bored of it that I really want to finish this peach tube.
This is like a shopping my stash/project 10 pan or whatever bloggers call it kind of post. 
Btw I had this crazy idea of converting to Google+ – crazy, I know – and I have no idea on how to use it or manage it. Please help! 
What are the products that you want to use up lately? 
– Zein xx

FOTD : The daily face

January 19, 2014

Even though it’s a new year, some things never change. For example, waking up on time in the morning. Alarms become useless the moment I shut them off and go back to bed for another fifteen or twenty minutes. Obviously, this consumes the time I use for doing my makeup properly. Hence, a new go-to look has been created for people who take time like me *waves hand innocently*.

When I go to school, I prefer using products that suit me instead of trying a new foundation or blush that make me look like an oompa loompa. We all have those days… So most of the products mentioned are old favourites that I’ve been rediscovering, at the momento.

My skin has gone back to being really pale. Surprisingly, not as pale as last year. So I popped out Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturiser, a last year’s winter favorite. Whoa! I forgot how great it looks on the skin. It goes on so smoothly and blends perfectly with your skin. I believe I have fallen back in love with this treasure. And to cover up dark circles, blemishes and whatever sleep deprivation does to your face, I use my beloved, old and boring MAC studio finish concealer. Surprise, surprise..

Another old treasure that I’ve been using is MAC’s gingerly blush. I’m so surprised by how much I’ve been enjoying this lately. I’m almost sure that it’s the only flattering blush in my collection now. When I bought it at first, I thought it would look good as a bronzer, but it’s actually a melange of both, bronzer and blush. Talk about best of both worlds, eh?

As for eyes, it’s really the standard Zein look: Sigma cream base in Provoke and a good coat of Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. This mascara is the only one that seems to give me, both, volume and length at the same time. Where are them other good mascaras at??

As you may have noticed, I’m sticking to the products that I know best. But this will get pretty boring after a week or two. I’m open to new products suggestions. Concealer? Mascara? Blush? Anything! It gives me another excuse to go shopping 😀

What are your “keeping it safe” products? 

– Zein xx

November’s Glambox

November 22, 2013

This month’s Glambox landed on my desk a couple of days ago. If you haven’t heard of Glambox before, it’s a subscription service of beauty boxes which are delivered at your door by the end of every month in the UAE. Each box includes four or five deluxe samples. So basically it’s like christmas all over again!

This November, Glambox collaborated with the beauty brand Isadora. Here’s what’s inside: 

1. BB cream All in One Make-up which is a 6 in 1 multitasking foundation: base, colour, care, coverage, hydration and protection. A lightweight natural looking foundation that has SPF 12. My shade is 03 Medium. I hope it blends well with my skin tone. And it is my very first BB cream. Crazy, I know. Hashtag bad beauty blogger
2. Perfect Moisture Lipstick – a moisturising, creamy and pigmented lipstick. I got the shade Vivid Pink. Not a huge fan of blue toned pinks and fuchsias that have a shimmery/glazed finish. This colour reminds me of the lipsticks I used to get with my toys when I was younger. You can have a closer look at it in the picture below. However, I’ve tried it on my lips. Oh em gee. It’s so creamy, so moisturising. Amazing for dry lips. 
3. Build Up Mascara Extra Volume which is a smudge proof mascara that gives volume, fullness and definition to the lashes. 
4. Wonder Nail Polish in the shade Summer Red. A gorgeous orange toned red that really reminds me of summer. 
5. Dynamic Lash Growth Serum/Mascara which increases the lash length by 20% after 30 days of application. I’m quite happy that I got this as my lashes are being rebellious lately. They’re a mess.. 
Isadora is a brand that I’ve never heard of before. This subscription is the perfect opportunity to get to know a new brand and trying out new products that you would’ve never picked up. And what is really interesting is that Isadora products are a mix of makeup and skincare. I’m definitely going to check out more of these lipsticks. 
Isadora is available at Boots. 

Don’t forget to enter the Benefit giveaway here!
Have you ever tried this brand? Thoughts?
– Zein xx