5 makeup favorites of 2021!

A weird but true thing is that I continued loving so many new and old makeup products in 2021, just like I did in 2020. Why weird you ask? Because really there are so less occasions for using makeup in this Covid life. Additionally, if you know me in real life, I put the maximum effort in dressing up for work which is now from home. I usually am bare face on vacations, sometimes even in parties. So, I really didn’t have that many chances of using makeup in pandemic. Yet, here we are. Seems like I made the most of all chances of wearing makeup because I had a lot of favorites! Read on:

  1. Sugar Ace of Face Foundation: It will sound like I am getting paid to say this but SUGAR Cosmetics is quickly becoming my favorite – its Indian, its cruelty free, have loved almost all the formulations I tried so far – what’s not to love? This foundation, though, was such a surprise discovery right before my wedding. I was looking for a foundation and I had never used a ‘proper’ one before. I wanted to be sure that I get the best base for my face as I wanted it to last me a while and be almost perfect so I can use it in special events. It will sound crazy but I roamed around malls with little swatches on my face to see how different brands’ foundations are reacting on my face – I tried soooo many – from basics like Maybelline to high end like Estee Lauder Double Duty – and in the end I liked only two for yellow toned Indian skins like me – Bobbi Brown & SUGAR. The texture was almost the same for both & this one was 1/4th the price! The brush attached is also pretty good for me, I mean makeup nerds may not like it but its good enough for basic users like me. The only word of caution (and a rather important one) – its full coverage & heavy, I have normal to dry skin so I like the heaviness and dewiness. Plus, I intended to buy a full coverage foundation only since I only use base makeup for special occasions.

2. Smashbox Driver’s Seat Liquid Lipstick: Truth be told, I prefer the regular lipsticks more over liquid lipsticks when it comes to ease of use. Reason? It looks more ‘natural’, I mean, go with the flow types and I also like reapplying. However, liquid lipsticks are way better for giving a polished look and the long staying helps in long functions etc. This one I particularly like because it suits my skin tone way too much while being a fairly neutral shade. If you have yellow, light wheatish, Indian skin tone like me, please try this and thank me later!

3. Swiss Beauty Liquid Pen Eyeliner: Do you love it when a local, cheap a*s makeup product turns out perfect? I tried their blue color and I don’t have words to tell just how good this is. First of all, the felt tip is absolutely convenient even for noobs. Secondly, the color pigmentation & payoff is super rich. Thirdly, it is not something that comes off quickly but also not stubborn to remove. Tell me, what’s not to love? I would have been sold on the first point itself.

4. Maybelline Caramel Collector Liquid Lipstick: I bought this only for the shade & its absolutely true to the name. It looks very caramel like. Its a little thicker formula than the Smashbox one and, therefore, I’ll not say that this is the best liquid lipstick formula out there. However, the shade is exactly what I wanted for which its easily one of my top favorite lipsticks. (I usually avoid brands that are not cruelty free but I just gave in due to the shade).

5. the balm Highlighter: During my wedding, I was pretty clear that I am not going to hoard makeup as it typically happens but I would only buy what I truly need and don’t have. Then came along the long due the balm purchase. Their cult highlighter – Mary Lou Manizer. Its fair to say that I am totally in its cult now and I am all there for its hype. The finely milled formula is too gorgeous and you need very little product to get your face all illuminated. Also, the end result is a very sophisticated illumination and you don’t end up looking like a glitter ball. A very non-important sort of con – if you are a beginner, go very easy on the product because too much of it can end up looking cakey and, well, too much.

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

My top 5 favorite Kajals | Blogmas 9

Kajal or Kohl, the quitessential South Asian makeup product, is so assimilated into daily culture that most don’t even consider it makeup. In some parts of India, people (women mostly) wear Kajal from a very young age, however, where I grew up, it wasn’t the case. In fact, it was very much considered makeup. The first time I wore Kajal after growing up was in class 9 when I started getting into dressing up from being tomboyish. It was quite a big change for me.

Cut to 2011, I was discussing with a friend in college how much we both love Kajals. Then, we started searching online about the best kajals in India and so on. This is when I got introduced to the world of blogging and hooked I was! The earliest of all the blogs I read were beauty blogs. Eventually I started writing my own blog in 2013. 🙂

Now that 10 years have passed, there is a lot that has changed with respect to my preferences and, therefore, this list will be reflective of my choices for best kajals in India.

A word about my preferences – I no longer give a flying f*ck about smudginess, I think smudged Kajal looks good on me and as long as its not a lot, I am fine. I don’t want “super staying” Kajals. I also don’t want a precise line, I go for slightly thicker lines. All I truly want is a super dark, jet black color in my regular Kajal. So, that’s what this list is about.

{Disclaimer: The images below are affiliate links. If you are thinking to purchase any of these, please click on the image to purchase so that I earn a comission too}.

Now onto the best Kajals in India based on my preferences starting from least preferred to most –

  1. Biotique Kajal: Most people won’t like it because it is super smudgy & anyway people are moving away from lipstick shaped Kajals as the pencil shaped feel more comfortable. I love this one to bits though simply because of the color pay off. If a dark, rich black color is what matters to you, this is the one. And its super cheap!

2. Faces Longwear Eye Pencil Solid Black: This would have easily been my most favorite had it not been for one major issue. This one stings. I thought its only me, but I have read reviews of the same online too. Its my favorite color & finish – rich, jet black & matte. It doesn’t smudge even a little bit. Its not cheap for a Kajal but considering it stings & doesn’t budge, it seems it has a lot of chemicals, so I would only recommend it for special occasions.

3. Lakme Eyeconic Kajal: Another favorite largely because of the same reason. Love the color, super rich, jet black. One brownie point – it is kind of a matte finish, not too much though. So, if shiny black lines are not your thing, you will love it. Oh, also, this one doesn’t smudge. 🙂 For the quality, it is extremely cheap! In fact, I have used Lakme Absolute as well, which is their premium range, but that one is not going to make it to this list. 🙂

4. Faces Magnet Eyes Kajal: I may not have put this on the list because there is nothing unique about this, except its very similar to the one above & cheaper too. The only reason I consider it second to the one above is because it doesn’t have that matte finish. If you would rather have a smudge free, jet black, pencil shaped kajal that doesn’t settle into a matte finish, this is the one! I should also mention that #2 and #3 both stay very well on the waterline without getting removed.

5. MAC Technakohl Graph Black: I don’t have a proper affiliate link for the one I loved using the most. If you want to buy it off Amazon, you can do so by clicking on the image below, but I would suggest buying it from an authorized seller. The one I see on Amazon I am not sure of. I recently got this and I had never expected it to be so good. Not only the color pay off is what I love – rich, dark black & matte, but it also glides so smoothly on the waterline, a very buttery finish, which is what sets it apart. I understand its expensive for a Kajal but I am yet to come across a Kajal I loved as much as this. I am on forever the lookout & will update this post then.

To summarize, I usually repurchase the Lakme one and I would definitely consider repurchasing the MAC one as well. Although, I am always experimenting with new Kajal brands ranging everything from Maybelline to Givenchy!

Bonus: Some more recommendations that I like, but I won’t count them as best kajals in India for me. The reason I am mentioning these is because people prefer different things. So, read to know if you would rather buy these:

Plum NaturStudio Kajal: Its color pay off is very similar to the ones I mentioned above as my favorites. The difference is that it needs sharpening. I know some people prefer that as they consider it more hygienic, so if that’s your thing, you will love it! Bonus points for the fact that this is cruelty free!

Lakme Absolute Kajal: I told you already that this doesn’t make it to best Kajals in India for me. A very simple reason for that – I hate sharpening, its too much effort for me when in hurry. However, in one way its even better than the Lakme Eyeconic I mentioned above, it is somewhat buttery, not as buttery smooth as the MAC one I mentioned but smoother than all others.

This is it for today and if you read it till the end, I am so, so grateful. 🙂 Do leave your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

Makeup Revolution Velvet Lip Lacquer in ‘You Took My Love’ | Dupe for Lime Crime Velvetines?

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I have two things that I want to start this post with and I am confused about which one to go for because I am itching to say both of them equally. Tough decisions.

Anyway, beginning with one of them, I am super surprised that these gorgeous, gorgeous lip lacquers by Makeup Revolution haven’t taken the beauty blog world by storm. I have hardly seen 2-3 posts by Indian bloggers about them and, in fact, when I actually bought them, there were barely any.

The second thing I wanted to share was that I was craving Lime Crime Velvetines for the longest time but I have nobody whom I can ask to bring it for me from the US without getting embarrassed. But are these Makeup Revolution ones the dupes for Lime Crime? Read on:

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These are matte liquid lipsticks that come in a variety of colors and Makeup Revolution is a European brand that is cruelty-free *does a happy dance in her head*. The best part is that the concept is quite similar to Lime Crime Velvetines, which are again matte liquid lipsticks which have been given love by a lot of people all over the world. Let’s have a point by point analysis of the ‘Makeup Revolution Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer’ in shade ‘You Took My Love’ [pheww! for the name!!].

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What I like:

1. Cruelty-free brand

2. Pigmentation is amazing, goes opaque in even one swipe

3. Bright pink/fuchsia color that is usually difficult to find in affordable brands

4. True matte that doesn’t feel rough or settles into fine lines on lips (it’s not moisturizing but not inconvenient either, you’ll have to use a lip balm before applying). Do note that the ‘velvet’ lip lacquers are matte while the ‘intense’ ones are glossy.

5. Sets in as soon as you apply it and stays for a good 3-4 hours, I guess

6. Wide range of colors in this range

7. Pretty much affordable (because it’s always on sale on Jabong)

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What I didn’t so much like:

1. This particular shade is very in-your-face and you need quite some guts to pull this off but it’s downright pretty anyway. 🙂 I have only worn it twice so far. Once, when I just received it, I wore it immediately and went off to run errands, got looked at like I was a funny creature. 😛 Second time I wore it to a friend’s wedding and, honestly, I just did not have the time to glance in the mirror once I got ready otherwise I probably would have removed it because I was scared. A girl walked up to me in the wedding to know where I bought this from. 😀 (yayayayyaya :D)

2. The point basically is that it is a blue-based pink/fuchsia. So, it doesn’t work very well for people with yellow undertones (like myself). It looked good in the wedding because we were mostly under lights which made it look less blue and my face less yellow (so much of explanation, much wow). I knew that it is blue-based even when I bought it but I loved the color way too much and I know that I’ll manage to pull it off somehow in dressy enough occasions. I am happy with it.

3. The color selection is mostly not in tune with Indian skin tones, I wish they come up with more colors, that would be amazing!

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I am wearing it here and it looks fine because of the lights, else it does look a little blue on my yellow undertone face.

Now the million dollar question of whether it’s a dupe for Lime Crime Velvetine or not. First of all, I have not used them. Secondly, from the swatches and everything, I have felt that the Lime Crime Velvetines are more deep, as in the pigments are deeper so they would probably look more sophisticated. I hope I am making sense here. But apart from all that, these are anyway really amazing to own and I whole-heartedly recommend.

Here’s the link where you can buy it on Jabong. I really wish to buy another shade. 😛

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Blue Heaven Fashion Eye Liner | Funny Name but oh, well.

My friend and I were strolling in the market when we decided to enter NewU (Dabur’s Cosmetic Chain) and started checking out glitter nail polishes. I wanted to buy NewU’s in-house glitter nail paints since a long time because I am off Maybelline as they aren’t cruelty-free (I know that Dabur isn’t either but I’ll explain my logic some other day 😛 ). So, my friend looked at the price for the NewU ones and said,”When they are priced exactly the same as Maybelline ones, why wouldn’t I buy Maybelline?” Since I was anyway off Maybelline and I could easily see that those two nail paints were almost the same, I decided to buy the NewU glitter nail paints. Once at home, I happened to examine another nail paint by Maybelline that I previously had and realized that both the Maybelline as well as the NewU one were manufactured by the same company in India. 🙂 Pheww! Why this lengthy story, you ask. Because we are so enticed by the marketing that the big giants are doing that we have completely shut our eyes to local brands! Honestly, if it wasn’t about going cruelty-free, my attention would also be grabbed by the L’oreals and the Maybellines of the world! I truly, truly crave their products and really hope that they stop selling in China so as to become cruelty free and I can finally buy them. :/

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Anyway, so I happened to come across this eye liner on Flipkart when searching for a cruelty-free black liquid eye liner. I was shocked to see that there’s no review for this eye liner on any of the makeup blogs, I mean how it is so, ummm, hidden. I bought it anyway because I was curious & for the lack of choices and here’s what I think in a nutshell:

What I like:

  1. Felt tip: Having experienced only two liquid eye liners in my life so far, this and the famous Lakme one, I prefer the felt tip of this one more than the brush and I think it’s easier to work with. However, many people prefer Lakme’s brush tip more than a felt tip, so take your call.
  2. Indian brand and cruelty free.
  3. Compact and travel-friendly packaging: Unlike most liquid eye liners, this doesn’t have a glass bottle and instead has a sturdy, compact plastic one.
  4. It’s neither super glossy nor super matte. It’s somewhere in between and therefore, good for everyday use.
  5. Economical
  6. Easily available on Flipkart and local cosmetic stores.

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What I think can be improved:

  1. It is not jet, dark black.
  2. It is not super long staying, as it does fade towards the end of a regular office day.

Overall, I think it is a great budget purchase and it is probably not a perfect choice but for the price, it is amazing! I think one can try this. 🙂

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My First……ermm….. Lipstick! (and an amazing makeup product at the end)

Firsts are special. I read this somewhere. Pretty darn true, haan? Be it a good special or a bad special, it is special nonetheless. All you hopelessly romantics out there, hold your horses already! 😀 So, yes, firsts are special and, therefore, I think my first lipstick deserved a post here. I have used lipsticks before but they were my mom’s (and I used to use them when I was a kid 😛 ).

While we are at it, I thought I would also introduce you to one of the most amazing lip glosses ever on the face of Earth, so continue reading (or scrolling, hey I am not judging!) till the end. 🙂

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Coming to my first lipstick, it’s the Elle 18 Color Pops in Coral Romance: 42. I bought it around an year ago simply because I ‘craved’ a lipstick. I thought it to be a perfect choice because I had loved the color on various beauty blogs that I read and I wanted to buy something super cheap. In those two departments, it does not disappoint. Am I going to buy it again? Here you go about that:

What I liked:

  • Beautiful color. Although it is meant for lighter skin tones and washes me out, it works great as a tint for me. Like, I just put it properly with it’s entire opaqueness and then dab away with a tissue to only leave a tint.
  • Very cheap. This thing retails for 100 Indian rupees (less than 2 dollars).
  •  Wide shade selection
  • Easily available in India
  • Pigmentation is just about good.

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What I did not like:

  • Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether I liked it or not because I won’t buy it again till Hindustan Unilever becomes cruelty-free, at least in cosmetics. Yes, Elle 18 is owned by Hindustan Unilever.
  • The smell puts me off. Now the thing is I have a weird sense of smell. I do have a sensitive nose but it generally likes smells that nobody else will. So, I am not sure whether what I hate in this department would be worth hating actually.
  • It transfers easily and doesn’t stay for long.

I think you can now decide pretty easily. 🙂

Coming to one of the most amazing lip glosses ever on Earth :D, well, this too is kind of my first lip gloss. I say kind of because as a kid, I have bought those toy-like lip glosses which retail in all the local stores. This, however, is more of a real lip gloss. 😛 Presenting Accessorize Fever Intense Colour Lip Gloss: Shade 3. 

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I bought it because I find Accessorize’s makeup line super pretty. Haha, yes, I love the packaging. I always wanted to own something from their makeup line and came across swatches of this one. I loved it and got this when it went on sale on Jabong. To say the least, I love it. The color pay off is amazing, it’s neither too watery nor too sticky. It’s a beautiful neutral pinkish coral color and I love the smell. I have shared my experience with this on Mily’s blog here. To sum up:

What I like:

  • Accessorize is cruelty-free.
  • The lip gloss is neither runny nor sticky. It’s texture is very much like liquid lipsticks, you know, opaque and thick enough to stay on lips but not gooey or sticky.
  • The color is a beautiful neutral pinkish coral (it might wash out duskier skin tones).
  • The packaging is BEAUTIFUL (although the prints on the cap wear off after a while 😛 but by then, you would have started loving this anyway).

What I didn’t like:

  • I wish their makeup was cheaper. This thing retails for 650 Indian rupees (although in the Jabong sale, I got it for 230 😀 ).

That’s all. Was it too much in one post? Let me know. 🙂

Current favourite make-up products: Collablog Diaries

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Remember Collablog Diaries? Yes, it is hard to remember since we do only one post a month in this series, and that too gets skipped sometimes. Anyway, the second post in this series is up on Mily’s blog right here. It is about the current favourite make-up products that each of us are using! I am not big time into make-up but I love the pretty packaging (lol!) and I enjoy playing around a little bit with it. So, go have a look (if you are into make-up, I mean 😛 as I know most of the readers here aren’t. 🙂 )

In case you want to check out the first post in the series, please go here. It was done on Rose’s blog and it was about DIY ideas (do it yourself) that we swear by.

Do let me know how you find the posts if you happen to check them out. 😀