Saturday, May 23, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

Skin care has been one of my hobbies for a very long time. How can skin-care possibly be a hobby? Well, if you spend hours on the net looking for information on skin care, watching youtube videos about how to make face-masks at home, and browsing through stores such as The Body Shop, Sephora or even the beauty aisles in drug-stores every week, then it does qualify as a hobby, I should think. 

Luckily for me, my office is situated in a location where Sephora, Body Shop and Bloomingdales are just steps away. After a long day or week at work, there's nothing I enjoy more than to pamper myself with a new product to try at these places. I don't spend too much on clothes, shoes or jewelry, but skin care products and cosmetics are my only indulgence. Those and tabloid magazines. But I'll do a dedicated post on how tabloids enrich our lives with news about Jen and Brad some other day ;)

As an Indian, I've often had trouble finding the right skin-care and cosmetics products for myself in America. Most products here are obviously geared towards white women and it takes some experimenting before you can find what is right for brown skin. Here are a few of my favorite products after 5 years of , should I say, intensive research? Most of these are not too expensive and can be easily found anywhere in the US. Skin-care for me also means finding good makeup. So I'll mention some of my fav makeup products as well.

1. Neutrogena Visibly Even Foaming Cleanser - It is about 8$ and is available in most drug stores. Having tried a number of other face-washes ranging from Olay, Loreal to more expensive ones from Body Shop, I find that this face wash is the least drying. Also, it has a very gentle exfoliator and it does seem to brighten complexion.

2. Aloe Soothing Day Cream from Body Shop - This is the BEST and most effective moisturizer that I've ever used in my life. My facial skin is hyper sensitive and tends to itch for most products. However this product never irritates my skin. A little goes a long way and just the texture of this product is soo good and smooth that your skin just drinks it up. I've been using this product for almost two years now, and I'm happy to have ended my quest for the perfect moisturizer.

3. Smashbox Foundation Primer (Macy's, Sephora) - Anybody who wears a foundation MUST use this product. It's simply brilliant. The texture is amazing and once applied to your face, even in the driest of winters, your foundation wont turn flaky and will just glide on smoothly all over your face. Apply moisturizer first, followed by the primer. Provides a perfect canvas for applying foundation.

4. Mac Fluidline in Black (Macy's, Bloomingdales) - Anybody who covets beautiful black Kim Kardashian-like eyes must buy this product. This is a "gel-liner" that comes in a tiny jar and lasts a really long time. Must be applied with a brush. It creates a rich, black contour and stays on all day without smudging one little bit. Most other eyeliners I've used fade by mid-day. One can get adventurous and try other colors in this line too. 

5. OLAY in-shower body lotion (drug-store) - If you live in a really cold place like I do, and are almost always late for work, this is perfect for you. This product must be applied after rinsing off your body wash while you're still in the shower. While one may argue that it should take about as much time to apply body lotion AFTER the shower, I beg to differ. For one thing, there's a little less inertia to reach out for a bottle of this product while you're still in the shower and are finding ways to stay in the warm water for just one more minute. Also, goes on a lot more easily than body lotion.

6. Good ol' Lakme Foundation (Indian stores) - Yes, who knew Lakme is really that good? I see brands like Maybelline and Loreal in most big departmental stores in India these days. But believe me, nobody knows India skin like the Lakme guys do. I have tried countless foundations in the USA and I'm disappointed to see that almost none are suited for brown skin. I now stock up on my Lakme foundation every time I visit India.

ALTERNATIVES - For those who don't have access to Lakme products, you can try giving Smashbox foundations a shot. Everyday Minerals may work for you too. Try the everyday minerals sample kit for free ($4 for shipping). They give you upto 6 samples that'll last you for months. Try their product in Olive intensive/medium/sandy if you have brown skin and see if you get lucky! (Everyday minerals are only available for purchase online)

7. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Sephora) - Have you ever wondered how some women manage to keep their eyeshadow on all day? I always thought they reapplied until I discovered this product. Apply a teeny bit of this on your eyelid before applying the eyeshadow and it'll stay on all day without fading. A must-have really.

There are a few other products I can think of, but then again, I'm sure I'll be doing at least a few other posts on beauty, so will save those for then. Youtube is a great resource for learning more about make up.


  1. Keep posting...reading blog from someone who has well researched these products suits the best for lazy person like me :)...although I think suitability varies by skin type, like I've very oily one...some of them would be surely useful for all...keep it up! :D
    - Mansi

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hey PP, really cool much easier to get the suggested products than to try all in the market...thanks for sharing :) keep blogging

    PS: Accidently put the message through ranjit's deleted it and posting again on my name...

  4. Thanks guys :). Mansi, you're right, definitely depends on your skin type. Although a few things like the primers and the in-shower body lotion should work for everyone, I hope :). Will keep posting more on this topic as I find new stuff!