Friday, December 18, 2009

Don't Forget the Sunscreen, Folks!

Every beauty expert or dermatologist you ever meet will tell you that you need to apply sun protection everyday of your life, no matter what the season and no matter what your skin tone is. I preach this to everyone I know, but a lot of my friends complain that they hate the greasiness of sunscreen. I try to also use products with sunscreen in them, i.e. moisturizer, lip balm, foundation, etc. But, the best thing really is to use SPF separately from your daily moisturizer.

If you have the same predicament, here's a few non-greasy and moisturizing sun protection products that I recommend for using year-round.

Tip: In a warmer climate, you should really be using SPF 30 and higher!

Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Lotion

This is my personal favorite. The lotion is very light and there's 100% no-grease factor! In the summer, I use this on its own without moisturizer (since my skin gets super oily in the summer) and in the winter I pair it with a light moisturizer and eye cream. It also contains eight different vitamins and has no fragrance so it's great for sensitive skin.

Kiehl's UV Protective Everyday Facial Moisturizing Cream SPF 15

This is another non-greasy option that's awesome. The only drawback is that it's only SPF 15, but it's still really great for winter-time coverage and if you have SPF in your other products such as moisturizer, foundation, etc. then this is a great addition. Completely fragrance-free with a very light formula, this is a great option for SPF-shy gals.

Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25

This was my best friend until I found Lancome Bienfait. Again, it's super light and non-greasy so it won't clog your pores. It's less pricier than the other two as well ($17.50) and the tube packaging is easy to carry around. And it really does make your makeup stay on longer!

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion, SPF 60+
Neutrogena has such a wide rang of sun protection products that it's really hard to pick out the right one. But, since we're talking about non-greasy, lighter options, this one is your best bet. It's oil-free and won't weigh your face down. The SPF 60+ is a definite plus point as well as it's formula for sensitive skin. I've found this one hard to find in local drugstores--it either sells out fast or they keep a minimum stock, so shop around or order from sites such as or

Philosophy Shelter Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Philosophy products are usually a God-send and this one is no different. It creates a matte finish while giving you great sun protection at SPF 30. I've also discovered that a little bit goes a long way with this product!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Gifts for the Flashy

I haven't done a review on here in so long but as soon as I saw the Urban Decay holiday collection, I knew I had to post! I look forward to UD's holiday sets every year because they have amazing deals and the zaniest packaging for their products. Their eyeshadows, 24/7 eyeliners and nail polishes are awesome as is, but when the UD people put them in cute packaging, it's hard not to get sucked in.

The Show Pony Shadow Box ($30)

This L.A.-cultur inspired eyeshadow box designed by Kime Buzelli (a L.A. artist) is really adorable. It comes with Urban Decay essentials such as the 24/7 pencil in zero and Urban Decay Primer Potion, a mirror and six eyeshadows that you can wear to the office (smog, toasted--love smog!) or to go out (painkiller, flash).

Apocalyptic Nail Kit

Switch up your nail color on a daily basis with this mini set of Urban Decay's nail enamels. UD's Nail Kit has everything from a classic red (Fmbomb), to a trendy black-purple (Apocalypse) to an 80's-inspired shimmery hot pink (Big Bang).

Personally, I'll be rocking Big Bang!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Falling off the beauty bandwagon

Updating this blog used to be my most favorite activity. Everywhere I went, I thought, 'how can I write about this on my blog?'. But the last year has been a whirlwind of not-so-great activities for me. One of which is my health. I've talked about having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome on here before, but I don't think I've delved into just how much it's affected my life. To look good is to feel good for sure and I haven't been involved in any of the former in quite a while.

Well, it's time to revive my spirits, my self-confidence and this blog. Here's a list of things I try to do to boost up my self-lovin';
  • Wear my favorite colors.
  • Go on a Bollywood movie/song rampage.
  • Try on all the outfits I know I look good in.
  • Pamper myself with a mani-pedi, facial, haircut, new haircolor, etc!
  • Engage in my favorite physical activity (no, not s-e-x; dancing!).
What do the rest of you to feel good?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Trend: Neon Nails

I have to admit that I was a little wary of neon nail polish when I first saw it, but now I'm a fan! My fall nail palette usually changes to warmer colors such as plums, bronzes, dark pinks, blues, etc. but this fall I'm going to be rocking my neon brights! Shades of grey are huge this fall and neon polish is a cute way to throw some color in.

Monday, August 31, 2009

What you should know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Dark facial and body hair is a big-time problem for a lot of South Asian women. The obsession with 'threading' every part of our body is a testimony to how much we abhor it. It's especially a problem for the fairer-skinned since black hair or dark brown hair on an olive complexion stands out way too much.

But if you've been noticing that your hair has been growing back faster and thicker, there might a reason for it; polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a fairly common condition in which you have cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in your ovaries which can cause hormonal imbalance or you might simply have an excess of androgens which causes thick and dark unwanted facial and body hair.

What causes PCOS? Experts can't seem to agree but some say it's genetics--but it's still largely unexplained and what's more frustrating is that there doesn't seem to be a cause. PCOS's symptoms can cause emotional trauma because of it's link to adult acne, severe hair loss, unwanted facial and body hair and weight gain (especially around the middle). PCOS is also a leading cause of infertility and can lead to diabetes, ovarian cancer, high blood pressure, and other heart conditions.

Dealing with PCOS isn't easy; I would know, I was diagnosed with it last year. I've had thick hair my entire life and a very even complexion with no signs of acne until the last 2-3 years. I didn't understand why I was gaining weight rapidly, losing my hair, breaking out on my face and growing hair in weird places until I was diagnosed with PCOS.

Get checked out by a gynecologist who will probably refer you to an endocrinologist if you have one or more of the following symptoms;

- severely thinning hair
- adult acne
- hair growth in new places such as your chest, upper arms, back, stomach, etc.
- stubborn, dark facial hair that grows back thick
- trouble conceiving
- rapid weight gain, especially around the middle
- thich patches of skin around the neck or knee

There are many ways to regulate PCOS. Some major treatments experts suggest include;

- eating healthy and exercising to maintain your weight helps keep your hormones balanced and can help with the symptoms. Experts say that losing even 5% of your body weight can help.
- fertility treatments
- Laser hair removal
- birth control pills which can help regulate hormones
- prescription creams such as Vaniqua that help minimize hair growth
- hair-loss treatments

Keep reading my blog for more information on PCOS as I seek treatment and learn more about this frustrating medical condition.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yves Rocher: Botanical Beauty

It irks me how expensive 'all-natural' and 'organic' beauty products are. I'd rather slather on peaches or milk on my face raw than pay insane amounts of money for bottled versions! But, I changed my mind when I discovered Yves Rocher on a recent trip to Toronto.

Yves Rocher is a French beauty brand that is 100% botanical (plant-derived) that can be found in Canada and Europe. Unfortunately, the U.S. has no locations, but you can order from the website. Returns are free and 100% satisfaction is guaranteed.

My friend from Toronto has been ranting and raving about Yves Rocher's products and after using some of the products she had at home, I decided to check out some that suited my skin.I was delighted to see that they had a two for 1 deal on all products, so I scooped some up that were good for my oily/combination skin.

And now I wish I had picked up more! Here's what I got from the Sebo Specific line for oily/combination skin;

Ultra Matt Shine Reducing Moisturizer :
A good summertime moisturize is hard to find for chicks with oily skin, so I was ecstatic when I tried this. It's oil-free and mattifying and does a great job at controlling shine, while keeping skin soft and perfect. I've been using it for over a month now and love it. $19 orig. on sale for $10 right now!

Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser: The name says it all; it's gentle, exfoliates and cleanses! I use this on a daily basis and it helps clear away dull skin without being too harsh. $10.50 orig., on sale for $5.50 right now!

Mattifying Toner: I usually don't use toner because most are usually too harsh for my acne-prone skin, but this tone is really mild and easily clears away gunk and makeup residue. $10.50 orig., on sale for $5.50 right now!

All Yves Rocher products are plant-derived which makes it super, duper good for your skin (and the environment!). They're also decently priced, so paying for shipping isn't too painful. If you're in Canada or Europe and can easily get to a Yves Rocher, go try one of their facials--I hear very good things about them.