Monday, December 12, 2016

My Beauty Essentials for Travel | Easy day to night makeup tips...

My husband and I are planning a few getaways for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays as well as our birthdays next month.  We recently moved to the West Coast so this year we’re exploring places around the “Wild Wild West” – starting off with Vegas Baby for tis’ the season to be jolly, then the Bay Area to ring in the New Year with friends, maybe Maui/Hawaii in the near future to have some cake and eat it too, and then off to India to visit relatives.  The Hubby has a severe case of Wanderlust at the moment!

I don’t really fuss much over what I am going to wear whilst on vacation.  My fashion sense is driven by comfort and weather rather than trends and occasions.  If it is cold, you’ll find me in a thick sweater, leggings, and boots. If it is warm, you’ll find me in a button down, leggings, and gladiator sandals. Basic. Boring. I know.  On the other hand, packing my skincare and makeup bits is what causes me the greatest deal of stress – yes more than remembering to take my phone charger.  

I recently created a checklist of my current beauty favorites that are travel–friendly and thought to share it with y’all.  I have sensitive, mildly acne-prone, combination skin and don’t like to experiment with anything new before and while traveling. 

Before I talk about the products shown in the picture below, I want to mention a couple items that are not shown in the picture below (image 1).  However, I have used these products in the second and third picture below (images 2 and 3).  First up, brows!  For brows I recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade and MAC Cosmetics Brow Set.  In my experience, both of these brow products have excellent staying power.  The Dip Brow Pomade does seem like it would be a bit of a hassle to carry the brow brush as well as the little tub of the DBP, but it is worth it.  Personally, I think well-groomed brows and generous sunscreen application are the two absolutes any day. 

The other items I forgot to include in the picture below (image 1) are makeup wipes (gentle enough to use on the face, eyes, and lips) and soothing sheet masks. Makeup wipes are a quick fix product. Sheet masks help to replenish, soothe, hydrate, and calm your facial skin after it has been through extensive sun exposure, pollution, temperature change, etc. while traveling.

Travel sized or deluxe sample sized beauty products, cream-based products, palettes with multi-purpose options, multi-tasking products, and liquid lipsticks are product categories that are best for traveling.  This way you can keep your toiletries/beauty bag light and in compliance with airline baggage restrictions.  I once missed a flight because the security personnel at the airport decided that my little plastic zip-lock bag was bursting at the seams. 

Now, I want to share what I usually use during the day while on vacation.  Hubby and I plan to visit Vegas for only a couple of days. In case you're also thinking about taking a trip to Las Vegas, here is a helpful website. During the day we want to take a tour of the Grand Canyon and then at night we hope to see a show and visit Casinos (not for gambling, but mainly to see the architecture and lights). 

As you can see in the picture below, I have not used a lot of products.  My focus here are well groomed brows and pure sunscreen (preferably SPF 30 or higher).  I am not using anything heavy like foundation, concealer, etc.  I have used a bit of cream blush on the cheeks to add some color and natural flush to the face.  I recommend using the Bite Beauty Multi-stick in Brioche (pictured above in image 1) for a pop of natural color on the cheeks and even on the lips if you would like.  On the lips, I have used the Jack Black Lip Balm with SPF 25 (pictured above in image 1). 

Lastly, you want to make sure that you can quickly cleanse and refresh yourself after a full day of recreational activities and before you head out for the night.  "Double-cleansing" (i.e., makeup removal plus normal cleansing) twice a day can be too abrasive for some skin-types, leading to dehydration and acne breakouts.  

After you have cleansed your face and had a refreshing shower, you can relax and get glam for your night out.  Makeup details for the picture below (used for image 3, also pictured in image 1): Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (moisturizer), Cane + Austin Mattifying Primer with SPF 50 (primer + sunscreen), Hourglass Vanish Foundation - Warm Beige (base), Nars Creamy Concealer - Ginger (base)(not pictured in image 1), Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Matte Sculpting Palette (bronzing and contour), Colour Pop Highlighter - WISP (brow bone and cheek bone), Urban Decay Eye Shadow - Riff (eye crease), Touch in SOL Metallist Liquid Foil and Glitter Shadow Duo - Eldora (eye-lid), It Cosmetics Super Hero (mascara), MAC Cosmetics Nutcracker Sweet Copper Face Compact (highlighter and blush), Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade - Chocolate, MAC Cosmetics Brow Set - Quite Brunette, Pixi Beauty Makeup Setting Spray, and Dose of Colors Liquid Lipstick in Black Rose (would not recommend this particular shade as it is messy and high-maintenance, instead see options in image 1 above).

Liquid lipsticks options (pictured in image 1): Give Me Glow Cosmetics - Glampire for vampy lips, Cryptic Cosmetics - Rose Burial for a unique rosy red for the Holidays, or Lorac Pro - Sienna for a trendy 90s cinnamon brown lip.

Other than my fingers, which I used for moisturizer and highlighter, I only needed four applicators to complete this glam makeup look: beauty blender, a fluffy crease brush, and two angled blush brushes (unless you are savvy and able to use the same one for contour, bronzer, and blush). 

I hope y'all found this post helpful! 

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 Yours Truly,
The Lipsticks-Ninja

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dose of Colors Liquid Lipsticks (latest shades, perfect for Fall) | ChaiTimewithMeesha

Demo & Swatches


Availability and Price
The Dose of Color liquid lipsticks are primarily available and sold on the brands website.  Other online retailers, such as Naimie’s and Ricky’s NYC, do carry the Dose of Colors brand, but might not necessarily carry the entire Dose liquid lipsticks line.  Given that Dose of Colors is an indie-brand, its products are in stock periodically and go out of stock quite easily due to popular demand and limited stock.  Following the brand via a social media platform or signing up for an e-newsletter is the best way to keep a check on new releases and re-stocks.  The Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks cost $18 (USD).  I would advise not to purchase this brand via websites such as Ebay or “unauthorized sellers” because I have heard that such popular, in-demand, yet small-scale brands’ products are easily copied and sold as fakes.  Dose of Colors runs promotions (free shipping or 20% off) once in a while, on certain national US holidays, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Memorial Day. 

The Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks shades – Mood, Cork, Desert Suede, and Chocolate Wasted – are richly pigmented, applying fully opaque in a single swipe.  With the exception of the shade Cork, I did not feel the need to layer a second layer.  Cork required a little layering/building up, but only in the center portion of the bottom lip. I’m not sure why, but Cork was slightly sheer (unnoticeable really), despite layering, in the inner center portion of the bottom lip.  I think this was only noticeable because I was testing it out and observing it close up.  I was impressed that Desert Suede, despite being a light neutral greige-taupe shade, showed up fully opaque in one swipe, single layer.  I was also pleased with Mood and Chocolate Wasted, despite being such deep, bold, vampy shades, applied opaque in one coat. 

Application, Texture, & Comfort
The Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks have a lightweight, non-tacky, creamy consistency. The formula is not runny or thick and sets within a couple seconds, but setting time is “unnoticeably” slower if you layer a lip balm underneath. As you might have already assumed after reading my thoughts on pigmentation, these shades apply like a dream.  Usually light shades and dark shades are difficult to apply because they might need (1) layering to avoid patchy-ness, streakiness, and to achieve a polished evened out look and (2) precision.  Neither was an issue here! As I already mentioned above, a single swipe gave rich, opaque color payoff. The design of the applicator is fantastic – one of my favorite aspects of this brand of liquid lipsticks. It is a doe-foot applicator that is angled such that it cups the curvature of your lips. The only shade that lagged in application, that too only very slightly, like negligibly, is Cork. Its pigment didn’t adhere well to the inner center portion of the lips.  

These liquid lipsticks do set down to a full matte finish. However, fortunately these shades are not ultra dry matte in texture, such as Anastasia Beverly Hills or Colour Pop’s Ultra Mattes.  I prefer liquid lipsticks these days to any other lipstick formulation because they set to a velvety matte finish, but I don’t care for the ones that dry down to such an extent that my lips look very wrinkly and de-hydrated as if I’m recovering from flu and soar chapped lips due to cold soars or frostbite.  It is a fine line though!  I find this the toughest aspect of a liquid lipstick review because I want to make sure I describe the texture just right.  Although these set to a full matte finish, my lips do not feel uncomfortable, heavy, tight, or parched.  Additionally, my lips look matte, but not dry or wrinkled. In my experience, these shades fortunately do not abnormally exaggerate natural lip lines.  If you are prone to or suffering from chapped lips, I would advise you to prep your lips and wear lip balm underneath, but generally speaking I did not find these Dose of Colors shades to be drying.

Lastly, I want to make an observation, which you might be wondering about if you have seen my previous/first Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks review.  The first two shades I tried from Dose of Colors were Truffle and Stone.  My review of Truffle and Stone is contrast to my review of Mood, Cork, Desert Suede, and Chocolate Wasted.  If I wasn’t such a curious cat for lipsticks (to put things politely because I cannot admit that its an addiction) and it wasn’t around my birthday, I might not have taken the risk to purchase these four new shades when they released after the jaded experience I had with Truffle and Stone.  Also, a birdie on Instagram told me that it was rumored that Dose of Colors tweaked its formula with the latest shades – Mood, Cork, Desert Suede, and Chocolate Wasted. I can confirm that I felt a difference! At first I thought maybe the formula was not tweaked, maybe formula just varies with different types of colors. However, Desert Suede is a light shade, like Truffle and Stone, but I love and prefer Desert Suede’s formula version.  Now if Dose of Colors did improve its formula – as in it looks and feels less drying – I’m not sure if Truffle and Stone have been be re-formulated prior to their re-stock.  I imagine the formula gets upgraded across the board, but I don’t have first hand information regarding the manufacturing process here so I can’t comment.

Honestly, I don’t like to eat with lipstick on, especially if the colors are as bold and pigmented as Mood or Chocolate Wasted.  If I don’t eat, these shades stayed in place. Chocolate Wasted wears off a tad in the center of the lips just by talking. I’m experiencing this as well as feathering in the inner corners of my lips with very dark colors generally. Chocolate Wasted doesn’t feather though, which tends to happen more with the dark burgundy, wine, and plum shades I have tried (i.e., Kylie Cosmetics liquid lipstick in Kourt K). I have tried to concentrate a lip liner in the inner corners before applying a liquid lipstick on top, but it doesn’t make a difference for me personally. 

I have tested the staying power of Cork while eating Ramen and Chocolate Wasted while eating one breaded chickpea ball (kind of like mozzarella sticks, but with chickpeas as filling instead of cheese and not as greasy or deep-friend).  Obviously, the Ramen soup was liquid and a tad oily and I dabbed my lips with a napkin a few times so Cork completely wore off in the middle portion of my lips. I wiped Cork off completely (using a small oil-based eye makeup remover pad) and re-applied it; wiping it all off wasn’t really necessary before re-application, just more of my personal preference. Although the chickpea ball was not greasy, Chocolate Wasted wore down slightly in the center portion of my lips – it wore off enough that I’d feel like re-applying if I were going to a dinner with friends, but not if I was just stepping out for coffee with the Hubby. Keep in mind that if you layer a lip balm underneath, the liquid lipstick will not be transfer-proof and it will wear off quicker as it transfers onto stuff, like a teacup or straw.  In the video you will see that Desert Suede transferred onto my hand quite a bit and that happened before I had prepped my lips with lip balm before wearing that specific color.

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Yours Truly,
The Lipsticks-Ninja

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