Tag: Beauty

A tranquil escape to Lake Tahoe

I was fortunate enough to make my way to Lake Tahoe last weekend. It was such a spontaneous trip that we didn’t even reserve any lodging until later in the afternoon on the day that we arrived ūüėÄ ! Being my first trip to Tahoe, I wasn’t even sure what to expect. All I knew was that pretty much everyone I had talked to who had been there had something amazing to say about how beautiful Tahoe was.

The drive to Tahoe was a little puzzling at first with snowy mountains on one side and dry parched hills on the other. I think this was mainly because of the time of the year when half of the place is defrosting. Soon the view shifts to clear open roads with nothing buy snow covered alpine meadows in view. You’ll find yourself glued to the windows looking at the trees and the sky and the white snow and just trying to peak ahead of every turn in anticipation of what’s next. If there is one thing I learnt during this part of the trip it was that it’s really hard to take pictures from a moving vehicle. Luckily, there were a lot of stop friendly places along the way with stunning views of the lake.

It felt so surreal and I found solace basking in the same view that inspired some of the greatest minds to come up with fine poetic works. Among many other poets and writers, Mark Twain described the beauty of Tahoe in one of his travel autobiographies Roughing it. And I used to think most of it was exaggerated poetry and such but Tahoe is one of those places that in no time will have you sitting on a rock pondering the meaning of life lost in the beauty of what is in front of you!

“Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor, and give him an appetite like an alligator.” – Mark Twain

“To obtain the air that angels breathe, you must go to Tahoe” – Mark Twain.

Further north we stopped at Sand Harbor which quite frankly was the highlight of my trip! There are a lot of water activities here. I saw people in canoes as well as a group of snorkelers.

I knew that there was going to be snow but there was a LOT more than just snow here – with clear turquoise water, sunshine and melting snow all at once – Tahoe really is a magical dream come true in Spring!

Sand Harbor  looked more like a beach with snow except that it was surrounded by these angelic alpine mountains all around! This portion of the lake was so clear it looked like glass. You could see right through the water. This was all so much more than I expected to see at Tahoe.


On our way back we decided to stop near Eagle falls. This is a MUST SEE stop and offers a stunning view of Emerald bay and Fannette island. By this time of the day, things were getting a lot darker.

I did my best with the camera but this picture doesn’t do much justice to the tranquil scenery.

Just behind me, the other side of this view had a small waterfall – I’m sure it wasn’t actually the “Eagle Falls” but was¬†a small creek formed from all of the snow melt.

In all, Lake Tahoe is a magical dream come true in March. It¬†really is nothing short of paradise ¬†– just perfectly paired shades of turquoise, cyan and green paired by nature. It’s a huge place with a whole lot more to do than just sight seeing. I only had about a day and a half to look around but I hope to make my way back here again to see more. My recommendation – Don’t miss out on Tahoe in the spring. I will vouch for this time of the year over any other time!

Play! By Sephora Feb’17 ‚Äď The Soft Side

This months Sephora PlayBox is all about making a radiant understatement with muted mellow shades and skin perfecting formulas. With a pop of lip color, some mascara and skincare, this box focuses on subtle makeup and achieving naturally perfect skin.

Too Faced – Lip Injection

Warning – This Too Faced Lip Injection¬†does not give you that slight tingly minty sensation that a Buxom gloss would. You start off with not feeling much but after about 20 seconds or so it begins to tingle and then slightly goes from that to a soft burn like you applied sriracha all over your lips. While it might work as a better alternative to getting lip injections for those cosmetically obsessed with having bigger lips, it’s not something I would use on a daily¬†basis – although¬†it is really hydrating!

 

Tarte- Rainforest Of the Sea Quench Lip Rescue

My box looked a little different from most of the boxes I was seeing around on Instagram- instead of the NARS lip glide that I was looking forward to, I ended up getting this Tarte lip balm that I never heard of before that quite pleasantly surprised me. This Tarte lip balm has the prettiest packaging ever! It smells and feels slightly minty and glides on really smooth. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, jaboba, pepermint and coconut oil Рit is really hydrating.

 

Sephora Collection – Lash Craft

Lash Craft is an amazing mascara for the price tag it carries! It works better than most mascaras I have tried and is easily removable at the end of the day.

 

Clinique Pep-Start Hydration

This¬†Clinique moisturizer – it¬†mattifies your skin for an overall uniform blurred down look and does give you all day hydration. It works great as a primer but I don’t think I would add it to my night time routine. As per the Play Box pamphlet, you can even apply this above your makeup for shine control and hydration.

 

Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream

Infused with coffee beans, ginseng and magnolia extract this under eye cream claims to de-puff and brighten the under eye area. It also claims to reduce dark eye circles. I have not used it enough to see many of the long term benefits but it is hydrating enough to instantly give your skin a boost.

 

Prada – Candy

This one was not my favorite but my mom loved it so I gave it to her. It’s another one of those musky more mature scents that older women would love.

Play! By Sephora September 2016 Subscription Box

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I’m super excited to use my version of the moisturizer for this months box themed “The Unbasic Basics”. Though the subscription only costed $10, the value of products added up to $37.64. Let’s dive into the breakdown:

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1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel ($ 6.68  Value)

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Brow Gel is so ideal if you have full brows that need some taming but not much added pigmentation – one of those products I would never think of picking up off the shelf but thanks to this subscription I got to try it out.

2. SEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Shine Lipstick ($ 3.36 Value)

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What I like about this lipstick is that it’s moisturizing and the shade flatters most skin tones but it tends to settle in the creases if you try and layer it. It is best used as a sheer lipstick.

3. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($ 7.00 Value)

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This eyeliner is perfect! – everything from the felt -tip applicator to the formula to the packaging is worth it.

4.¬†Living Proof Perfect Hair Day¬ģ Night Cap Overnight Perfector¬†($ 7.00 Value)

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What’s so un-basic about this hair mask is that it leaves your hair hydrated for almost 5 days after use. It’s one of those products that would go well with your routine if you have really long hair and trouble getting natural oils from your roots to the ends.

5. Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer ($ 10.9 Value)

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Light weight, easily absorbed – great for oily/ combination skin especially if you prefer long wearing foundations. This one behaves well under foundation.

6. Tory Burch Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte ($ 2.7 Value)

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Another floral scented fragrance sample. This one smelled pretty strong though.

PLAY! BY SEPHORA NOVEMBER 2016 SUBSCRIPTION BOX

This months playbox has a collection of goodies to help you achieve a glowy finish from skincare to lip and face products.

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GLAMGLOWSUPERMUD¬ģ Clearing Treatment ($ 17.25 Value)

This is one magical mask that clears all that gunk out of your pores. I have to warn you all though… this clay mask will crack like dried mud¬†and shamelessly reveal every single pore on your face as it dries up but I’m not complaining. This mask is a god sent! ūüėÄ

 

COVER FXIlluminating Primer ($ 6.08 Value)

This primer reminds me of the Becca Illuminating face primer from one of the earlier sephora playboxes. It leaves behind a very beautiful dewy glow to your skin.

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Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($ 17.4 Value)

This Laura Mercier Caviar stick is super creamy. The packaging and the texture of the product allows for a smooth crease free application on the eyelid directly from the stick. The rose gold shade tends to looks a lot closer to a champagne shade for olive skinned complexion – the perfect eye shadow shade for a glowy finish.

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SEPHORA COLLECTION Ultra Shine Lip Gel ($ 10.90 Value)

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The Estée Edit Dissolve the Drama 2-in-1 Makeup Remover + Cleanser ($ 2.39 Value)

Unlike most makeup remover oils, this one is not at all greasy yet it manages to dissolve and remove all traces of foundation. It’s non greasy finish leaves it ideal for oily and combination skin.

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Triumph over faded lipstick this Valentines Day

With valentines day around the corner, a lot of you are probably looking around for the best lipstick to last all day. Let’s be real… no one wants to go through the taboo of being left with a darker outer ring of lipstick after a hearty dinner while sitting across from your date or even worse- leaving behind red lipstick stains on cups and glasses … specially on v-day. So I went out on a haul and picked a couple of lipsticks to test out which of these are worth the hype. Hope this helps some of you to pick out a shade.

Here are my top 5 picks in 3 popular valentines day shades РRaspberry  Pink, True Red and Burgundy. I swatched all 5 of the shades on my arm at approximately the same time.  All of these look gorgeous on Medium to tan skin.

  1. Urban Decay Vice liquid ipsticks- Blackmail
    A gorgeous deep burgundy wine shade and the darkest one you can purchase at Sephora with the UD Vice matte lipsticks. This is the perfect shade to unleash your inner bad ass and can be perfectly paired with a subtle eyeliner and a neutral eye. Urban Decays Blackmail is a shade that will literally go with any skin tone and is one of the best dark berry lip shades out there right now besides the Kat Von D line.
  2. Urban Decay Vice liquid lipstick – Crimson
    Crimson is a slightly toned down red that gives out very passionate and confident vibes. It has excellent pigmentation and staying power. This one tends to look slightly different on each person based on their skintone. If you are on the tan side like me, this shade will look a little lighter on you.
  3. Sephora Cream lip stain- Always Red
    This bright energetic shade can transform you by projecting the more confident side of yourself. True red is all about making a bold statement and of all the shades of matte red in this review, true red stands out to the most – not just because of the beautiful bright hue but because of how well it compares to lipsticks¬†waay out of it’s price range. I first got this shade in one of my sephora playboxes – back then for some reason it didn’t really impress me as much but after a while it started to grow on me. I have most definitely changed my mind about it after seeing how it compared with the others.
  4. Chanel – Choquant
    In terms of color, Choquant is another really beautiful red shade. This formula claims to set with a velvet like finish without drying out the lips. While it does have a velvety matte finish and is hydrating, don’t expect it to set like your trusty Kat Von D liquid lipstick. It tends to take forever to dry – which is the downside to the added hydration. The only way this one will last on your lips all day is if you don’t eat.
  5. Kat Von D – Bauhau5
    This review on long lasting matte lipsticks would not be over without reviewing a Kat Von D shade. Bauhau5 is the most unique deep raspberry shade from her collection that goes well with tan skin. In terms of lasting power, this one trumps over all the other lipsticks I have tried including the vice liquid lipsticks.

I left these swatches on my arm for about 4 hours and then ran them under a stream of¬†water for about 15 seconds before smudging them. Here’s what they looked like after. As¬†you can see, the Chanel lipstick took the longest to dry and still managed to smudge after letting it set that long. I guess that speaks for the fact that you don’t always get what you pay for.

So what lipstick are you going with today?

Play! By Sephora July 2016 Subscription Box

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This months¬†bucket bag has a¬†cute pink pop sickle on it with the theme “Effortless Summer”! As usual there are 5 deluxe sized products and a perfume sample. This months box had two versions… I think one was for dry skin and the other was for combination/oily (the one I got). Here’s a peek of all the summer time goodies inside:July

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1. Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer ($ 6.8 Value)

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This bronzer smells so delicious that it’s hard to stop sniffing it (It contains REAL coca powder -Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Fruit Powder on the ingredient list). I got the shade ‘Chocolate’ which is a matte medium to deep brown with buildable coverage.

2.¬†Beautyblender Blotterazzi‚ĄĘ by beautyblender¬†($10 Value)

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This was one of my most awaited products in the box especially since it’s summer. The Blotterazzi is¬†reusable alternative to blotting paper … I have concerns about bacteria build up on this thing but I’ll still give it a try for at least a week.

3. Ouai Wave Spray ($8.84 Value)

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I had never heard of this product¬†before I got it in my box this month.¬†It’s a very non-sticky fragrant spray ideal for wavy hair especially to tame small strays¬†and “ondulate” waves. The fragrance tends to linger for quite some time¬†– another perfect product to use in the summer.

4. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser With Red Clay ($5.1 Value)

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For some reason I was expecting this cleanser to have a dense opaque consistency but I was surprised to find it more liquidy. It smells wonderful and does a great job getting rid of makeup and toxins at the end of the day.

5. Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing ($ 9.75 Value)

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The texture of this primer reminded me very much of the Benefit pore-fessional pore minimizing primer except that this was was twice as lightweight, humidity resistant and long lasting¬†as it’s Benefit counterpart.

6. NEST Citrine

I’m loving the citrusy playbox perfume theme this summer. This one has a perfect balance of citrus and floral notes.

Subscription Cost = $10

Total box value based on full sized prices = $40.49

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PLAY! By SEPHORA December 2016 Subscription Box

The December 2016 playbox features products for the enthusiastic party goer. There’s some dry shampoo for those of you that don’t have time to shower between parties and a bunch of makeup that claims to last longer than you should have makeup on your face. Without any further ado, lets get on with the review ūüôā

Lanc√īme HYPN√ĒSE DRAMA Instant Full Body Volume Mascara¬†($16.875 Value)

I quite liked this one. It goes on smooth and works wonders with increasing eyelash volume but it can get pretty clumpy if you are working with a full. I would recommend scraping down the brush at the rim of the tube to remove excess product before applying it on your lashes. As for the lasting power Рif you remove all the excess and layer it on evenly, it lasts about 6 -8 hours which is excellent for most mascaras but if it clumps together expect this to flake before the party is over.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Cream Lip Stain ($3.31 Value)

The thing I liked about this lipstain is that the coverage is build-able. You can wear it like a full coverage lipstick if you want to or you can keep things sheer with a very thin application. The shade Always Red from this box is gorgeous and flattering to all skin tones. Even tough this is a beautiful matte lipstick, I wouldn’t compare the lasting power to something as strong as Kat Von D. It does give you a good 3-4 hours depending on how carefully you eat.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer ($5.92 Value)

You can never have enough primer. I won’t rave about this one though because I didn’t notice any hydrating effect on my skin. It does do a decent job at mattifying.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($7.5 Value)


The idea of setting your face with some hairspray like concoction or inhaling any sticky mist is just not appealing to me. I am not a fan of makeup setting sprays but I won’t let that get in the way of this review… keeping that thought aside I think this product does a decent job of setting your makeup but it takes practice to get used to. It’s easy to apply excess and ruin an hours worth of makeup and best use is to keep it at arms length and slowly mist it on.

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo ($7.43 Value)

This was my 2nd time trying dry shampoo after¬†batiste¬†so I was hoping Drybar could change my mind.¬†Again… not a fan of anything that can possibly be inhaled. I also don’t like brushing out the white¬†flakes left behind. Still not a fan. I always prefer real shampoo but this product does do a decent job at boosting volume and cleaning 2nd day hair. It smells nice.

Overall this was another box with a couple of hits and misses.