Archive for the ‘Essentials’ Category

Saturday Splurge vs. Steal

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It’s all in the eyes, truly! A person’s eyes can tell you more about what they are thinking than their body language or mouth (sometimes smart mouth, ha!). So, I always make sure that I have my eyeliner on (cat eyes of course!!) and gorg gorg lashes! Today’s splurge vs. steal is for all my make up mavens who are obsessed with long, thick and dark lashes and their best friend – MASCARA!

I am comparing steal vs. steal (drugstore brands), then splurge vs. splurge (department store brands) and the final duel will be between the winners of each category and then I will announce one glorious champion. Let the bat-bat-battle of the lashes begin!

Drugstore:

a

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Criteria
General Info
My Opinion
Price About $8 Price is great
Where to Buy Can be purchased at any drugstore Always in stock for purchase
Waterproof? Waterproof option available Waterproof option is good, easily removable with soap
Makes Lashes Thicker? Claims to make lashes 5X thicker Didn’t make my lashes that much thicker
Makes Lashes Darker? Claims to make lashes look darker Didn’t make my lashes that much darker
Makes Lashes Longer? Makes no such claim Didn’t see any noticeable changes in the length
Other: N/A After a while, it clumped

b

Didn’t make lashes that much thicker and clumped

 

VS.

 

c

Maybelline Colossal Mascara

Criteria
General Info
My Opinion
Price $7 Price is great
Where To Buy Can be purchased at any drugstore Always in stock for purchase
Waterproof? Waterproof option available Waterproof is like a tattoo – hard to remove even with make up remover
Makes Lashes Thicker? Claims to make lashes 9X thicker Yes!!! Amazingly thick lashes, someone asked me if I was wearing falsies
Makes Lashes Darker? Makes no such claim Didn’t see any change in color of my lashes
Makes Lashes Longer? Makes no such claim Though it doesn’t claim to lengthen the lashes, it did look longer, brownie point!
Other: N/A N/A

It gave my lashes major thickness and length without any clumping

 

Department store:

e

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara

Criteria
General Info
My Opinion
Price $18 Price is high for the small tube
Where To Buy at Sephora, Ulta and department stores that carry this brand In stock most of the time
Waterproof? Waterproof option not available N/A
Makes Lashes Thicker? Claims to make lashes 600% plumper after 2 coats No, not 600%, but it did make them thicker
Makes Lashes Darker? Makes no such claim I used black, but it didn’t darken my lashes
Makes Lashes Longer? Makes no such claim Didn’t see any noticeable changes in the length
Other: Black and brown color availableClaims to be clump and smuge proof

Parabens free

Was clump and smudge proof

f

Did make my lashes look thicker and didn’t clump or smudge

 

VS.

 

Benefit Badgal Mascara

Criteria
General Info
My Opinion
Price $19 Price is high for the small tube
Where To Buy at Sephora, Ulta and department stores that carry this brand Sometimes it’s out of stock in Sephora, so I check Macy’s
Waterproof? Waterproof option available (black color only) N/A
Makes Lashes Thicker? Claims lashes will thick like a set of falsies It did make my lashes look thicker
Makes Lashes Darker? Makes no such claim I used black but it didn’t darken my lashes
Makes Lashes Longer? Makes no such claim Didn’t see any noticeable changes in the length
Other: Black, brown and plum color available Didn’t clump my lashes but did smudge a bit

g

Did make my lashes thicker w/out clumping but smudged  

 

 Final Duel:

c

Maybelline Colossal Mascara

Criteria
General Info
My Opinion
Price $7 Price is great
Where To Buy Can be purchased at any drugstore Always in stock for purchase
Waterproof? Waterproof option available Waterproof is like a tattoo – hard to remove even with make up remover
Makes Lashes Thicker? Claims to make lashes 9X thicker Yes!!! Amazingly thick lashes, someone asked me if I was wearing falsies
Makes Lashes Darker? Makes no such claim Didn’t see any change in color of my lashes
Makes Lashes Longer? Makes no such claim Though it doesn’t claim to lengthen the lashes, it did look longer, brownie point!
Other: N/A N/A

h

It gave my lashes major thickness and length without any clumping

VS.

e

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara

Criteria
General Info
My Opinion
Price $18 Price is high for the small tube
Where To Buy at Sephora, Ulta and department stores that carry this brand In stock most of the time
Waterproof? Waterproof option not available N/A
Makes Lashes Thicker? Claims to make lashes 600% plumper after 2 coats No, not 600%, but it did make them thicker
Makes Lashes Darker? Makes no such claim I used black, but it didn’t darken my lashes
Makes Lashes Longer? Makes no such claim Didn’t see any noticeable changes in the length
Other: Black and brown color availableClaims to be clump and smuge proofParabens free Was clump and smudge proof

g

Price is too high and it didn’t lengthen

The Winner is:

c

Maybelline Colossal Mascara

So, now that you have my recommendation (and it’s a steal!), go get a tube for major lashes and bat away. Also, try Maybelline’s Full ‘n Soft; it’s a great everyday mascara. Let me know what you think about the colossal.

Do you have recommendation for better mascara? Please let me know on the comments below.

Thursday Treat

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Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

Today’s treat is about breakfast smoothies that are fast, delicious and healthy. If you are not an egg person, you can still have a quick and healthy breakfast while getting your daily dosage of fruits, yay! But let’s talk about fruits first.

Fruits are made of water, fiber, vitamins, minerals and sugar. Most of the fiber in fruits is actually on their skin and seed, so increase your intake of these types of fruits, like apples, peaches, pears (skin) or strawberries, kiwis & raspberries (seed). Citrus fruits like, oranges, grapefruits and clementines are also high in fiber (though, they don’t have edible skin or seed) and are loaded with Vitamin C. These are great fruits to snack on or put in smoothies because fiber helps you stay full and keeps your blood sugar in check. You won’t feel hungry in between meals and these will also satisfy your sweet tooth. Then there are some fruits that you should reduce eating; they are not bad for you (because there are no bad fruits), but they are high in calories and sugar, and low in fiber, like bananas, pineapples and mangoes. Not surprisingly, these are my three most favorite fruits =(.

Below are four delicious smoothies for breakfast or anytime you feel like having something sweet.

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

What you need:

  • 4 oz fat-free strawberry yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (partially thawed)
  • 1 peeled kiwi
  • 1 cup crushed ice (or 5 to 8 ice cubes).

Make it:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Girl – redbookmag.com

 

Oatmeal smoothie

What you need:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup coconut water (or other liquid, such as juice)

Make it:

Place ice and raspberries in the bottom of blender, and all other ingredients on top. Whir until completely smooth. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of marthastewart.com

;

Glowing Green Smoothie

This recipe is super simple. All you need is a blender and the following ingredients:

  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • a couple handfuls of spinach
  • water

Add just enough water to blend and enjoy, that’s it! Try any combo you like, all you need is a base of bananas, fruit of your choice and a couple handfuls of your favorite green. You may think it tastes gross because of the spinach, but you won’t even taste it. Spinach has a really mild flavor and blends well. This smoothie is great for the digestive and immune systems. Also, spinach is high in Vitamin A, which helps skin retain moisture and prevents acne and wrinkles.

Recipe courtesy of lindawagner.net

;

Peach Lassi Smoothie

What you need:

  • Peaches (frozen slices or chunks)
  • Nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Fresh raspberries

Make it:

Pulse first four ingredients in a blender. Stir in berries and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of people.com

Nutrition info courtesy of people.com & healthdiaries.com

 

Nutrition source: people.com & healthdiaries.com

What-To-Do Wednesday – Coconut Oil

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What oil is good for your hair?

If you are a woman of the 21st century, then I am sure at some point in your life you have abused your hair with some heat styling, coloring or even worse – perming!!! Well, while you can’t bring the health of your hair back to its ‘virgin’ days, you can do a bit of damage control with hair oil, specifically coconut oil.

I am sure if you grew up in a Desi home, you know that hair oil is a must for all girls and a staple on every woman’s vanity; all the women in my family swear by it. There are tons of different oils out there and while they are all good, I still find myself coming back to coconut oil over and over.

Benefits of coconut oil are that it prevents hair loss, has Vitamin E to keep your scalp healthy, has high moisture retention capability so it prevents breakage, the various fatty acid in the oil acts as anti-dandruff and from my personal experience, it reduces split ends and is the reason why my hair was so dark black (I colored it, guilty, but it’s still dark) and glossy.

It can be very oily so only take a teaspoon and to put it on your ends and then wash thoroughly. Please do not put it on your scalp; it will make your hair very greasy. I usually heat it up in the microwave and then put on my hair and wait for about 10 to 20 minutes before washing it off. You can buy organic coconut oil in condensed form at any health store or condensed and liquid form in any Indian/Bangladeshi store. It’s very cheap and since you only have to use little at a time, it lasts for a while.

So, if you can’t afford a deep conditioning treatment at Oscar Blandi or Frederic Fekkai every two weeks, then try out this cheaper option. I know you will love, see, and feel the benefits in no time.

Info: organicfacts.net

Sunday Recap: OOTW

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Sunday will be reserved for recaps.  In the morning, you will see a recap of all the outfit I wore during the week aka OOTW.  In the afternoon, you will get my recap on the newest fashion and celebrity gossip.  So, give your overworked brain (mind) a little break with brunch, bubbly and some GlamBrownie, enjoy!

OOTW 7/9/12-7/13/12

   Monday – green lace top Asos (old), black tank top Express (old), black linen pants H & M (old), earrings Aldo (old), bracelet Baublebar (in stock), black peep toe wedge Payless (still available)
  Tuesday – black dress Asos (old), earrings & necklace Baublebar (in stock), bracelet Baublebar (silver in stock), black slingbacks Payless (old)
  Wednesday – nude tank top Forever21 (in stock), floral skirt (old), earrings Afaze (in stock), necklace Aldo (in stock select stores only), bangles Aldo (old),  neutral flats  H & M (old)
  Thursday – I was sick this week and took some cold meds on Wednesday night hoping to feel better.  I did feel better, in fact, so much better that within an hour of taking the meds, I passed out without taking out my outfit for Thursday, lol.  Woke up so late had to rush out and couldn’t put together proper accessories =(.  Mustard top H & M (old), loose black pants H & M (available in select stores), earrings Baublebar (in stock), black patent flats Steve Madden (has similar style in stock).
  Friday – printed dress H & M (old), anchor earrings (so cute!) & necklace ( love geometric pattern) Baublebar (earrings out of stock necklace not available),  bangles from a local Indian clothing store, neutral wedge Call It Spring (in stock).

Saturday Splurge vs. Steal

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This post will be about comparing similar items with different price with my review and opinion on what I think is the best.  Starting off the first splurge vs. steal with facial cleanser which is one of the most important things we can put on our face.  My skin is acne prone so I have to be very careful about what I use.  Over the years, I have tried both drugstore and department store cleansers and below are my recommendations and opinions.

 

Let’s start with the acne clearing face wash:

  Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit – for about $8 at any drugstore, you can buy this face wash.  I must admit that the smell of this cleanser is amazing but that’s about all the good it has.  I found that, for me, it did nothing like it promised.  It didn’t clear/prevent acne or blackheads and didn’t eliminate oil.  After using it for a month or so, I saw no change in my skin.  I still got pimples, had blackheads, and my t-zone was shiny.  It also promises to get rid of dirt which it did but I had to use a lot of it, especially when I wore make up; so, it ran out faster.   I don’t recommend this product even if it’s only $8, not worth it.
VS
  Olay Acne Control Face Wash – also about $8 and can be found at any drugstore but it’s much better than Neutrogena.  I liked the light smell of this wash and it somewhat did what it promised.  It did prevent some future breakouts, but I still got a few here and there.  It didn’t, however, fight blemishes; I still had the old acne marks and got new ones from the few that I got, had blackheads, and my t-zone was still oily.  But a little of it went a long way so it lasted longer.  A great buy for a recessionista!  
VS
  DDF Blemish Foaming Cleanser – $38 for one bottle and you can purchase at any Sephora or department stores that carries this line.  The best acne cleanser I used so far and it actually did prevent breakouts and somewhat lightened the old acne scars I had.  Only one pump is enough to thoroughly clean (two if I was wearing make up) and it lasted for months.   But I couldn’t use it to clean my eye area, had to get a separate cleanser for that, and I noticed that my face still got oily and had blackheads.  Since my concern was mainly acne prevention and it did just that, I was very pleased.  I recommend this if you are willing to splurge a little.  

Now, let’s talk about regular cleansers:

  Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser + Scrub – a little over $8 and can be purchased at any drugstore.  I liked the light smell of this cleanser and it did clean thoroughly.  But the scrub part did nothing and I didn’t see a significant reduction in my pore sizes.  I had to buy a separate facial scrub to use with this cleanser.  I was disappointed in this product because it didn’t quite deliver on its promise about minimizing pores and the scrub was useless.  I don’t recommend it.
VS
  Biore Steam Activated Cleanser – again a little over $8 you can get this at any drugstore.  I liked this cleanser much more than Olay.  You can really feel it working in the shower (its feels a little warm) and it does what it promised, cleanses thoroughly.  Again, a great buy for recessionistas.  
VS
  Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Cleansing Foam – $28 and can be purchased at any Sephora, Bliss, or department stores that carries this line.  I am currently using this and LOVING it!!!  A little goes a long way; cleans thoroughly and makes my skin looks bright.  The smell is awesome and wakes me up in the morning (great for a non-morning person like me)!  Its not meant to fight acne but ever since I have started using this, I have seen reduction in breakouts.  I love how I can use it all over my face, unlike DDF for which I had to get separate milder cleanser for my eyes, so it saves me money.  I have nothing bad to say about this cleanser; it’s the best out of ALL the ones I used so far and has my highest recommendation.  It’s worth the $28; go get it if you can/want to splurge.  
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