Beauty

REVIEW ~ Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

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Image: Left – before it’s damp || Right – after it’s damp

Beauty blender and sponges have been in the market from a while but I never really cared about them. I thought they are just another way for the cosmetic companies to draw us in. I gave in around October because my curiosity wouldn’t let me be. I decided on Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and damn did I choose well.

Packaging

It’s made out of foam and has a flat surface on the top for the whole face and a pointed tip at the end for corner of eyes and nose.

So far it’s only available in orange color.

How to Prepare the Sponge

The best way to use it is by damping it. Just take it under the tap of running water. Let it soak the water and then squeeze it out a couple of time. You will notice the sponge gets bigger in size. Yes, that’s what it is supposed to do, don’t worry. Squeeze out all the excess water before using it.

It’s not necessary to be very gentle with squeezing the water out but I would suggest be gentle enough that you don’t end up tearing it apart or getting a mini heart attack thinking that you did.

You can use the sponge dry too but I have noticed that doesn’t give the best finish.

Application

The application is similar to the brush. Once it’s wet (or dry), you can take your foundation as you normally do with a brush; put it on your hand first to warm it, or dot it over the face or take it on the flat surface of the sponge. It doesn’t matter which method you go for. Then start to dab, stipple or rub in the foundation like you would do with a brush. Use the flat surface for flat areas and the tip to reach the corners.

I don’t prefer using the sponge dry but if you do, the method is the same though I would really suggest you not to take the foundation on the sponge and then apply it on the face.

Finish

Damp: It gives a well blended and flawless finish. I have used it with both liquid and cream foundation and also with a foundation that doesn’t give you more than two minutes before it sets in.

Dry: It gives a good finish but you might find some streaks if you don’t use the sponge right as paint brush motions. That’s why I prefer the damp method. It’s absolutely fuss free and you don’t even need to be careful with how you go about in on the face, lol. It does the job for you. #LazyGalAlert

After You’re Done Using It

This sponge takes time to dry after you’re done with your foundation. Keep it out to dry completely before storing it back.

Bonus

It can be used with pretty much any product making it a multi-tasker. It’s perfect with cream contouring, blush, highlighter, anything really. I have read a post where the blogger does her complete makeup with it and the final result was full blended and perfectly done face. I think it was a sponge challenge or something. I can’t seem to find the post now or I would have linked it up. Anyway, you can YouTube it and you will find a gazillion videos on it.

Shelf Life

It has a very short shelf life. It’s suggested to change it after every three to four months. I am pretty sure none of us will be listening to this suggestion.

Cons

I have noticed that it retains some of the water after you damp it and no matter how much you squeeze it, it doesn’t come out. I think it drinks up a little of the foundation too. Not too much but enough to stain its surface. I believe this will make us change our sponge after a while lol.

What I Don’t Know About

I really need to learn how to clean this sponge because as you can notice so far I am not able to take out the foundation stains and yes that’s driving me insane. Honestly, I didn’t get much to look around the internet on how to do it. If you have any easy methods please help a sister in need and leave them in the comments below.

~

I am absolutely in love with the Miracle Complexion Sponge. Before using the sponge I thought its okay if the foundation goes a little streaky on the face but after using it I know that’s not supposed to happen. I am highly recommending it to everyone. Give it a go and I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

PS. Thanks a ton to Makeup Medley Muscat for getting me the sponge. ❤

Until next time people,

Byeee xx

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Skincare

Skincare ~ Marks & Spencer Shower Products

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I feel like I haven’t spoken enough about the awesomeness of Marks & Spencer shower products that I bought a while back. Marks & Spencer has a nice little range of skincare products here. They have hand wash, moisturizers, shower foams and scrubs. I bought M&S Nature’s Extract Aloe Vera foam bath with added moisturizer on a whim and haven’t regretted the decision till date. I don’t really know the difference between a shower gel and a foam bath because I found them pretty much the same. Foam bath lathers a lot more I guess.

M&S foam bath comes in a 500ml transparent plastic bottle with a silver cap. The product is colored gel. It lathers well. It has added moisture that leaves the skin feeling soft, extremely silky and smooth. The amount is huge so it will last you a long while even if you use it every day. All the fragrances are very pleasant and lasts a while on the body.

After I bought the Aloe Vera foam bath, I went to M&S again and spotted another foam bath in Water Lily. It’s pink and has the sweetest fragrance ever. It’s my absolute favorite. Ever since I bought this I used the Aloe Vera one rarely.

The next I bought was Nature’s Extract Coconut cream bath with added moisturizer. This is similar to the foam bath too. It’s just creamy in texture and there is more moisture. I am not a fan of coconut fragrance but this one is way too pleasant and makes me want to get a coconut body mist. *this was a hint – more to come in the coming days* 😉

If you’re looking for a high quality, good amount of product and quarter the price of The Body Shop shower gels, I would highly recommend a visit to Marks & Spencer. Their range is fabulous. BTW, I am not against The Body Shop. I love their products but in my opinion their shower gels are a complete waste as their scent doesn’t last at all and they are unreasonably expensive for the amount you get.

Price: RO 2.000 (1.500 in sale)

Cya~

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Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare / Sarah Rees Brennan / Maureen Johnson

*no spoilers included*

After reading The Mortal Instruments and getting madly obsessed with Magnus Bane I knew I would be looking for all the short stories Cassandra Clare has written about him but I was too lazy to look them up right away. I read The Infernal Devices just a bit back and the moment I closed the last book I knew I could wait no longer now. Luckily Cassie came up with The Bane Chronicles at the exact time and my local Borders stocked on it. *squealing* *happy dance*

Now I read TMI before I read TID so I knew a lot about Magnus but TID really got me curious about him. I actually expected The Bane Chronicles to be an in-depth study of his character and it did stand right in some parts.

TBC is more like snippets from Magnus’ life in all different eras. You get to know some of his best friends, his living style, his habits and most of all his love life. What really hit me about Magnus was how he was always looking for love. Someone he could hold on to, someone who could be his anchor. There is one story about this guy (who I really wanted to kill) that showed how he broke Magnus’ heart. It left me really sad because Magnus’ reaction was just so heart breaking. He pretended to be cool with it but his thoughts… they really shook me. I am being too sentimental here I know but there weren’t many chapters that showed such emotions and were based on adventure. Most of the chapter compromised of some of the characters we know from the Shadow Hunter world like Raphael Santiago, Camille, Maureen, the queen of Fair folk and our favorite Alec Lightwood.

I wouldn’t say The Bane Chronicles was everything I expected or wanted. Some chapters were really good and then there were some that lacked excitement. However, I wouldn’t say it was a bad read. The illustration was really fun especially the ones in Alec’s chapters. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I would take anything in blue. Then we have a really good looking guy on the cover who reminds of Godfrey Gao. What else do we need?

I would say get this book if you’re a diehard fan of the Shadow World or if you have read TMI and TID because com’n you’ve read all nine; complete the series; read this one as well.

Rating: 8/10

Related Links:

Book Review ~ The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

Review ~ The Mortal Instruments series (Books)

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Movies

Bored @ Home? Hit The Cinema for Vacation~

*no spoiler included*

Are you have a boring weekend or can’t really make up your mind what to do? I got a suggestion for you – hit the cinemas and watch Vacation (if it’s still playing).

Vacation Movie

As you might have read countless times, I am very picky about my movies. A friend of mind decided that we need to catch up and watch a movie together. She chose Vacation and got the tickets before I could say anything. I saw the trailer and was pretty sure it will be a waste of time. Turns out it wasn’t. It was so damn hilarious from the starting till the very end. It’s not your every day cliché comedy movie. It’s an unexpected one. I enjoyed it thoroughly (esp. because they had our mighty Thor aka Chris Hemsworth – now who wouldn’t like that?).

The storyline is very basic. A man is trying to spend some quality time with his wife and two sons and because he can’t afford much he decides to take them to a theme park he went to as a kid. We see the journey, the relationship between them four and get to know them as individuals too. The acting and dialogues were spot on. Fair warning – some scenes are way too hilarious and the whole crowd would be laughing their butt off so if you don’t like that better to watch it at home. Also, it’s 18+. We got to see the censored version and that’s fine by me. I would recommend it if you have nothing else to do with your life or are feeling low. This movie will ‘shake things up’ for you. 😉 Oh, and my favorite character was Kevin, the youngest son. 🙂

Have fun!! 😀

~F x

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Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

*no spoiler included*

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After biting everyone’s ears off by talking nonstop about it and having a huge argument with my own self over buying it due to the price tag, I finally gave in and purchased The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton from Borders Oman – and I regret nothing.

~

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…”
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshiped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?  Source: Goodreads

~

I read the synopsis once and immediately added it to my to-read list on Goodreads because it was very intriguing. Though this book turned out to be the exact opposite of everything I expected from it. I thought it would be about a doll house that works according to its owner’s wishes. Well, that wasn’t the case, ha. However, it was very interesting to find out about the whole plot. I don’t want to give away any spoilers or even hints because this book deserves to be read.

It was written in a simple manner aka the author wasn’t try to get on my nerves by adding half of the dictionary in it. The story had an amazing flow, every scene was so fitting and things were quite unexpected. The characters were remarkable. Their transformation was superb. I personally loved Johannes, his dogs and Marin. I think their dark family was spectacular and their servants were equally entertaining.

There is also this thing that The Miniaturist did to me – it made me want to pack my bags and just go to Amsterdam right away. The way Jessie has written about the scenery, weather detail, the neighborhood, people and their ways – it has made me long for a little wanderlust.

While I was reading it and I was 40% through with it, I thought this book wouldn’t have much of an impact on me, but then I found so many parts where my heart was lurching out for the characters and I was happy when they were happy, sad when they were sad and I would see hope when they would. This book won’t hit you right away but when it does – it will hit really hard. Jessie Burton, what have you done to my tiny heart?!

I would recommend it to everyone. If you want to read something different from all the usual books or are going through a book reading funk – this book is for you. It has such nice dialogues and details you will end up loving it. As a bonus the book cover is way beautiful. You would want to display it on your bookshelf as a frame.

Have you read The Miniaturist? How did you like it? Lemme know in the comments below! 🙂

Love,

~F x

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Beauty

Review ~ Maybelline Fit Me Foundation – The Best One Out There

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This took me quite some time but I can say I am finally into foundations. I want to try every kind, write detailed reviews on them and compare them to each other. Let me know in the comments below if you would be interested in something of that sort.

I am a fan of weightless, natural and medium but buildable coverage foundations and that’s exactly what I was looking for while trying different foundation in Centerpoint aisles. I had my eyes on Maybelline Fit Me Foundation for a while now but never got around to purchasing it until recently.

I purchased Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Foundation in shade 115 Ivory. It comes in a thick rectangular transparent glass bottle with the same size black top. The packaging is so sturdy, it slipped on the tiles in my room and I almost scream out because I was sure it was going to break into pieces but it did not. It just got a little dent on the side. I was so happy. It has a pump to extract the lose consistency foundation which is another thing I love about it. Pumps just make life so much easier.

I personally love Maybelline Fit Me foundation and find it incredible. It is extremely light on the face and very blendable. I use about one and a half or two pumps of it. It is quite liquidy so it gives you about two to three minutes to set it before it settles. I mostly apply it with my fingers in a stippling motion and that gives it a flawless velvety finish. As we all know, matte looks is so 2014 and velvety finish is what’s in these days, so I believe this is one of the best foundations out there. I have also tried applying it with my Sigma 3DHD Kabuki brush and that has been good too. I however prefer the latter method more.

It evens out in no time and blurs any acne marks or spots you’d like not to show. It has medium coverage but you can always build it on. I prefer keeping mine medium and more natural so I don’t often go the buildable way. On days when I don’t feel like doing the whole makeup routine I simply just put this on to even out my skin tone as my nose is darker than any other area. I also like to use Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 to brighten up my eye area.

Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Foundation comes in so many shades and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a really good quality drugstore foundation or if you are a newbie trying out makeup for the first time and don’t want to go all hardcore yet. I think this foundation is going to be a staple in my makeup stash from now on and I might repurchase it in two months time because I am already 25% through with this bottle, ha.

What is your favorite drugstore foundation? I would love to try some new ones. Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Love,

~Fx

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Book Review, Books

Light Reads ~ An Angel for Emily by Jude Deveraux

*no spoilers included*

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Emily Jane Todd has just found her guardian angel. Actually, the small-town librarian had just been stood up by her fiancé, when she ran into the errant angel with her car. And while he appears to be unscathed, “Michael” continues to insist that his pedigree is quite legitimate. Emily just hopes his brain hasn’t been scrambled in the accident; besides, she’s not inclined to believe that an angel could be so dangerously sexy.
Yet Michael quickly reveals the most astounding things about her, and makes her laugh in a way she never has before. What’s more, he declares that he’s been sent to save her. At this point, the only rescue Emily has in mind is her upcoming marriage, and she’s ready to bid her most attractive angel good-bye. But when he lets slip that he also looks at souls — and hers is a rare beauty — Emily’s ready to risk heaven in his arms. Their journey will break every angelic and earthly rule before it yields her one wish: a love divine. (Source: Goodreads)

~

This was one of the first books I marked as to-read when I joined Goodreads. I never found it in any bookstore nor could I find it online. This is quite a long time back and I had almost forgotten about this book. A few months back Annayah told me she was reading something in which the guy is an angel and stuff. I was intrigued and asked her to lend me it once she is done. When I read the title, I felt like I knew this book. It took me a while to remember but once I did I was so happy, ha.

An Angel for Emily was a short book and I read it in a night. Emily is a modern day plain Jane who is stuck up with an ass of a fiancé. She is a librarian and lives in a small town. She loves her simple life there but her fiancé is making her really miserable. Michael is her guardian angel sent to Earth to protect her from something terrible. You might think it is her wedding but that’s not the case. There is something far more sinister going on.

The book had its twists and turns which do not disappoint. Overall it is just a simple romance novel about sweet love and lovey dovey stuff with the perfect damsel in distress and knight in shining armor. Pick this up if you are looking to reading something cute and soft.

~F x

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Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

*no spoiler included*
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Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.
But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?
It’s true. Ask ANYBODY.
Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.
In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.
But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself. (Source: Goodreads)
~
The Truth about Alice tells us the story of a popular high school girl named Alice who is rumored to have slept with two guys in one party, one of them being Brandon, who spreads the ‘news’. This incident is almost forgotten until one night Brandon dies in a car crash and another rumor spreads that Alice was sexting him all the while.
Everyone is hell bent into shaming her without bothering to know her side of the story or if any of these rumors were even true.Her former best friend, Kelsie, who was nobody has betrayed her by exaggerating everything about Alice just to get into the cool gang. She has also dedicated a stall in female washroom that has everything crap written from everyone on its walls for Alice.
Alice becomes a nonexistent being in the school. She starts dressing up in hoodies than her usual skirts, just so she can be blurred in the background. But that’s hard to happen. She befriends a nerd, Kurt, who offers to help her with studies. They become great friends but there is something Kurt is hiding from her, something that can clear off her name. Something he won’t share because he is afraid to admit it.
Written in a simple manner and narrated by the girl who threw the infamous party – Elaine, car accident survivor – Josh, former best friend – Kelsie, and the nerd – Kurt, this book keeps you interested and gets you turning page after page just to know what really happened. It is one of my favorites. I read it in ebook but if I ever see it in paperback I am purchasing it immediately.
I would recommend it to every teenage girl, as it’s a very practical book and has some really good lessons for high school girls. A good reputation is an extremely hard thing to create, and it takes just one rumor to ruin it all. Your reputation lasts longer than you do so it is better to be careful with the choices you make, whether it’s about trusting someone with your secrets or trying to do anything and everything just to be popular. Think how it is going to affect you in the long run before you act.
~F x

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Skincare

REVIEW ~ The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask

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If you’ve been following me from a while you would know I am obsessed with The Body Shop at the moment and I shop from there quite a lot. In a recent mini haul from The Body Shop, I bought their Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask. It was on my wish list from a while and purchasing it was such a satisfying experience, haha. Now let’s get down to the deets.

The Body Shop Seaweed Iconic Clay Mask comes in a transparent tub of 100ml. I prefer products in tub more as it is easy to take the product out and experiment with the quantity without wasting it. The mask is grey in color. Some people say it has a pungent smell. I on the other hand love seaweed range’s smell. I guess that’s because I already own a toner from this range and am used to it but in all honesty I loved the smell from day one. The tester smelled crap but the packed piece smelled good, of course. The formula is quite thick and if you take too much of the product, the layer on your face will be quite solid. That’s alright though. I take medium amount and cover all my face and chin (read triple chin) avoiding the eye area.

As per The Body Shop, the mask ‘purifies, cleanses and controls excess oil’. As far as I have used it, and I have used it quite often, I find this mask really good. The first two times I used it, I didn’t see much difference but this time instead of getting impatient and abandoning the experiment, I used the mask regularly.

My skin type is combination (oily + dry) and I had read reviews saying this mask is very drying on every skin type but I didn’t experience any such thing. I guess I experienced dryness only the first time but it wasn’t like my skin was stripped of moisture. Just general dryness for a bit but then of course there is nothing a pump of moisturizer can’t fix. I actually like this mask a lot because it leaves my skin very clean and smooth. I didn’t notice any prominent reduction in oiliness. It’s only after I use the mask my skin is oil free but as the hours go by the oiliness is back. This mask is not a permanent fix.

However if you are as annoyed by blackheads as I am and get them frequently but hate the cleansing process at the salon or home, this mask will be your best friend. But there is a catch here too. You have to keep using it regularly. I was using it twice every week and would keep it on a little while longer after it dried off, approx 5 to 7 minutes more, not more than this, and I noticed far better results. By the time I used the mask the third time, my blackheads reduced considerably. My nose wasn’t squeaky clean but it was in a far presentable state.

A little fun fact about it though; it requires some effort to go off. It’s a clay mask so it generally requires more splashes of water to come off. Even after you’re done washing and think yes it’s all gone, it will be hiding in your eyebrows or under your chin. It really sucks if you find that fun part out when you have your serum in both your hands ready to be slapped on your face.

Conclusion: I absolutely love The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask and can’t wait to finish it so that I can buy more of it lol.

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Fashion, Nails

NOTD ~ Rimmel Salon Pro Lycra 713 Britpop

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If you’ve been following me from the very start you would know about my obsession with color Blue. I love Blue and all its shade. It is the most attractive color to me. I picked up Britpop assuming it was exactly like an unlabeled Tiffany Blue nail color I had. It was similar but not exactly alike.

Britpop is a neon tiffany blue. It is extremely bright and can put the spotlight right on your fingers the moment you apply it. It stands out really. I have worn it with neutral and monochrome clothes and it looks super. It doesn’t go with bright colors though as far as I have experimented.

Rimmel makes some of the best nail polishes I would say. Their Salon Pro Lycra range is of extremely high quality. The nail polish brush is broad enough to cover the whole finger in one sweep. The formula is thick requiring only one coat to make the nails opaque. What I love the most about Rimmel nail polishes is their color. If it’s a British blue; it is that color to a T and if it is Red – it is the proper red. I can’t wait to buy more colors from Rimmel. They are right up my street.

What is your favorite shade by Rimmel?

Love,

~F x

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