Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Davidoff Champion, Fragrance for Men: A True Champion!

What do you see in the picture? Did you say, "weights, dumbbell, workout?" Well no, it's a Davidoff Champion EDT bottle you're looking at.

Let me be a little honest here. There are some perfumes that I can't bear, but for the rest which are all bearable, it sometimes becomes a tough job to rate which one's more bearable than the other. I mean we all have our favorites but among the other nice ones, all seem equally nice to me when it comes to fragrances. And then, the look, the package makes a difference. This one certainly scores in both the look and the fragrance.

So if your man is someone who believes in working out and staying in shape, he is going to love it. And if he is the lazy one, it is a great way to inspire him to pick up some real dumbbells! So all men will love this! Read on to know more about the product and my review of the new Davidoff Champion fragrance.

About Davidoff Champion 
The fragrance Champion was launched last year. It intends to inspire men with its composition to gain power and new victories.

"Davidoff Champion is about the daily ritual of taking the time to build physical and mental strength. It puts verve into your step and triggers in you a desire to develop the latent potential within you to become a champion. Your fundamental instinct for victory and power – pushing forward boundaries, overcoming challenges."

About the Design (Designer: Alnoor)

I love the design! It is a a chunky dumbbell with stirring black-glass and head and tail have silver weights, makes it look very real!
Made of real metal with the contents boldly engraved on the cap, the bevelled-grip body gives a rough, masculine touch.
The sporty design makes it very attractive and intends to excite a will to win, a sense of resolution and iron-cast determination.

About the Fragrance

I have to say it has some complex ingredients. But I have tried to make it sound simple with wiki's help. This is the description from the Davidoff websites with my notes!

  • "Immediate refreshing impact of lemon and bergamot (a citrus fruit like lemon) create an invigorating start.
  • The heart note then gains ground with its energizing galbanum (an aromatic gum resin) essence and aromatic clary sage (an essential oil herb). 
  • Davidoff Champion is completed in its dry down by the masculine classic cedarwood all the while keeping a durable oak moss allure."
About the Range
The fragrance is available as 50 ml EDT, 90 ml EDT, 90 ml After Shave Splash, 100ml After Shave Balm, 200ml Hair and Body Shampoo and 70 grams deodorant stick.

Price and Availability: (EDT)
I could mostly find the 90ml bottle.
In US it is available for $ 97-$105 online. I also saw 50ml for $ 60 on a couple of sites.
In India, it is available for Rs 4800 in major retails like Shopper's Stop, Lifestyle etc.
It's a bit expensive and I am still hunting for the 50ml bottle.

What I like about Davidoff Champion

  • I love love love the design! It's innovative, it's inspiring and it's sporty and masculine!
  • Of course I love the fragrance too! It's very very refreshing.
  • It fades gradually fades but the freshness lingers for a long long time.
What I don't quite like about Davidoff Champion
90ml is a bit expensive, and 50ml is not available easily!

I think it makes a great gift! As I said earlier, your man will like it if he is a gym lover, and in case he isn't one, it would still inspire him! I think it's a hit with everyone and the design is great! Like me if you also think that $ 100 is a little too much, the 50ml EDT bottle is the perfect choice! Otherwise you could get him the after-shave!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Goodies from Clinique

'Gifts with Purchase' is a phrase that everyone loves! Sadly, though the Indian consumer does not get to experience this as much as those in the US/ UK. And in case you thought I was telling you about an ongoing GWP scheme, then I will unfortunately disappoint you.

This was during my trip to NYC last year. Yes, it's kind of stale news but one I wasn't a blogger back then, two till date I feel very excited about this offer, so just felt like sharing!! Waiting for such initiatives from the bigger brands on a bigger scale here..

The Scheme: It was very simple, just buy Clinique products (anything) worth $ 30 and you get these goodies!
The Goodies: 5 sample size Clinique products along with a Clinique hair-brush, all packed in a cute Cosmetics bag.

Clinique Rinse-Off Make up Solvent (2 Oz.)
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion  (1 Oz.)
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief ( (0.5 Oz.)
Clinique High Impact Mascara  (0.14 Oz.)
Clinique Lip Color & Gloss Duo
Clinique Hair Brush
Cosmetics Bag

I was absolutely thrilled about the offer and picked up 2 lipsticks and collected my goodies bag. I will briefly talk about each of these products. In case you're interested in a detailed review, do let me know..I will be glad to do that! Here's what I bought.

Clinique High Impact Lipstick 'Go Fig', reviewed here.
Clinque Different Lipstick 'Shy', to be reviewed soon.

Let's start with the hair brush and the cosmetics bag. There's actually nothing to review here. All I can say is that this brush-cum-mirror has become one of my can't-do-without belongings..I carry it everywhere. And the cosmetics bag is the perfect size for travel!

GWP samples are the best way to test a product on you before you pay a hefty price and then realize it does not even suit you! It works for the company as well when they want to popularize a new product!

Brief Review: Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Make up Solvent
I will do a detailed review sometime. This was a great product for me since I do a little bit of eye makeup everyday (read eye-liners).
I love the fact that it is oil-free. So no stickiness, no eye irritation either.
It does a good job, but it's very expensive (Rs 1025 for 125ml) for a make-up remover if you actually want to buy one! Glad that I got it as a GWP!
Plus it is not able to remove the color of my stubborn lakme eye pencil!
Will I buy it: No because of the cost!

Brief Review: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
It absorbs very well into the skin and is not heavy.
It does make the skin soft.
Has a very very mild but slightly synthetic smell.
Will I buy it: I am not the kind to spend a fortune on lotions really, so not unless it's inexpensive.

Brief Review: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
This claims to keep the skin moisturised for 12 hours! I liked it for the fact that it was very very light and was still able to keep the skin hydrated. You just wouldn't feel you put anything on your face.
Will I buy it: May be yes...

Brief Review: Clinique High Impact Mascara
I love this one, haven't found out the price, but it does have a good impact. Will show some demo also someday.
Will I buy it: May be yes...

Brief Review: Clinique Lip Color & Gloss Duo

Now, I have not actually used this and planning to give it away when I have 200 followers! But I have used Clinique lipstick and it is by far the best I have liked!
The duo consists of

  • Long Last gloss wear SPF 15 (Fireberry)
  • Different Lipstick (Raspberry Glace)

From what I can tell from the swatches, it's a very very pretty color and the gloss is a bit sticky which gives me an asurance that it will stay for quite sometime. The SPF 15 is an added advantage. Though, the different lipstick does not stay on for very long, I think the combination of fireberry and raspberry will be quite firy and stay on reasonably long!
Will I buy it: Yes, I will never say no to Clinique lip products...

Here are the technical details, not very legible though.

Have you got such a nicely packaged GWP yet? How was the exerience?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Red Pasta Weekend and Monday Formal Outfit!

I am back with another of my headless, silly pictures :). But let's first talk about the weekend. This weekend was amazing with the surprise storms and rains in Delhi! Could have never imagined a comfortable day without making the AC work in the month of May in the city of Delhi! But it did happen..

And if the weather's nice I feel like cooking. So what to cook in this pleasant weather, I opened my fridge and saw the pizza pasta sauce bottle hidden behind the often used chocolate sauce bottle. I checked the expiry date and there were just about a month left! So menu decided, not because I felt like cooking/ having pasta, but because I was feeling guilty about the soon-to-be-expired pizza pasta sauce, which while buying I had thought would be put to good use.

Now where to get the recipe from, had always made the white one till now. I googled it, and guess what I couldn't find a pasta with red sauce recipe! Of course my google skill sucks. But all the recipes showed how to make red sauce, none talked how to use the ready-made ones, whether to dilute it, add something or directly use it! Called a few friends and they had the same answer. Finally took a closer look at the bottle, and the instructions were right there! Why didn't I see that earlier!! Because again, my search skill sucks! (So rest assured I write all original :)

So the pasta turned out to be pretty okay. All I had to do was add quesl amount of water to the red sauce!
This had absolutely nothing to do with fashion/make-up, just felt like sharing.

Soon the weekend disappeared and it was Monday :(, office time..
So here's what I wore to work.
I'm already bored of these indoor pictures, but it's too funny to go out and set the camera on a timer!

Top: Stretchable Dark Brown High Neck (Random shopping in NYC)
Skirt: Beige Stretchable Pencil Skirt from Van Heusen (the babe in the picure is from the catalogue)

Nothing besides my favorite fossil brown watch and a pearl necklace from street shopping.

I'm not sure if this picture is doing justice to my 'stuff everything'
bag. I hated carrying d boring black laptop bags to work and got this from shopper's stop a couple of years ago. Yes it's been bearing d load for over 2 years now.
If I ever do a 'whats in my bag', it will remind you of d magician who keeps pulling out scarves, one after the other from his sleeve and it never seems to stop.. I keep my laptop, basic office stationary along with some can't do without make up stuff..plus, a fruit box. My maid's been constantly complaining to my husband that I don't eat fruits, hence I have stuffed that not so small fruit box also here..and not to forget my fat wallet, (fat with tenners, I ain't rich)

Brown Peeptoes from Tresmode.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Best and Worst Dressed Celebrities at Cannes 2011

I was waiting the Cannes 2011 Film Festival to end before coming up with my verdict on the best and worst dressed celebrities. However, there have been so many celebrities walking the red carpet, I may have missed a few anyway. So I decided to write the post, with 2 more days still to go! I was wondering how many I should pick, but then I just let it be spontaneous. This is what I have so far!

Who is Hot?

My Top Choice is Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace! 
She rocked the red carpet in this timeless brown strapless gown.

Bar Rafaeli in Roberto Cavalli
She looks stunning in the body hugging gown, nicely accentuating her curves.

Gwen Steffani in her own creation!
Hats off to her, not only for looking gorgeous but creating the gorgeous piece herself.

Uma Thurman in Versace
The actress carries of this strapless white gown in style. I just wish the hairdo was a little more neat!

Karolina Kurkova in Armani Prive
She is looking a little lifeless in this particular picture, but the off-shoulder gown is gorgeous!

Fan Bingbing in Versace
I really love this dress. Had never looked at Fan so closely, it's all because of the dress.
She looks graceful and chic in this satin strapless gown!

Who is Not so Hot?

Clotilde Hesme in Maison Martin Margiela
I neither know the actress, nor the designer, all I know is this is weird! 
What on earth is this? Should I call it a one-legged jumpsuit?
Everyone wants to look different, but this was much more serious than that! Yes, I experienced a shock of a 'different' level altogether when I saw this!

Elizabeth Olsen in the Row Dress!
First of all the dress doesn't seem to fit from anywhere. Secondly look at the flat chappals (sandals).
What, are we going shopping for groceries in the local market here? I guess we are at Cannes!

 Sara Jessica Parker in Elie Saab
This floral dress if knee length, may be nice for a casual get-together, but I don't like it for the red carpet! 

Freida Pinto in Lanvin
I don't know what she was thinking! This ultra-shiny short dress someone said looked like a bin-liner. 
I wouldn't be so harsh but this is repulsively shiny!!

Claudia Schiffer in Dolce & Gabbana 
The once-upon-a-time superhot model is wearing a lacy sheer gown which looks like a night dress!

Milla Jovovich in Prada
Where have the curves gone? And the red collar, that's not really stylish!

Diane Kruger in CK
There is nothing wrong with this dress but it's the fit on Diane that I don't like! 
The golden gown is hugging her a little too much, highlighting the bones and packs which does not look very pleasant!
All Pictures from Google Images (Various Sources), Collaged by Me!

I would have included Mallika Sherawat's spider dress too in this list, but I have already written about her here and didn't want to waste more blog-space on her!

Tell me what you think!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Perfect Sales Girl..Where is She?

Think about the last sales person who helped you ((or may be 'made you') buy something. It is highly likely that she would fall in one of these 3 groups.

1. The Stalkers
2. The Shockers
3. The No-Talkers  

Let's get into the details a bit.

The Stalkers: These are the people who start following you the moment you enter the store. They act as if they have the noble intention of helping you find what you want, but I think they have a hidden motive and it is highly irritating.

'Dude I am not a kleptomaniac, leave me alone.' is what I feel like saying! In fact I have actually said that on a couple of occasions! I just hate it!

The Shockers: You would mostly find them in stores selling multiple brands. They quietly hide somewhere and keep watching you! The moment you touch something that their brand also sells, they would suddenly appear out of nowhere to scare you and start convincing why should pick up their brand over the ones you've been using for ages.

They would try to oversell so much that you would most likely get pissed off and walk out of the store, not even picking up your favorite brand! Or may be you would end up buying the absolutely the wrong product. I hate this too.

The No-Talkers: Here comes the third category who hate their job (I know that's a common phenomenon in the human race), and don't care about the customers either. She would continue to play with her hair or keep smiling at the saucy sms she just received on her mobile while you keep hunting the store for what you want. In-fact a few of them give you the 'Do you think you can even afford it' look too!

Needless to say I don't like this category either, but may be they are probably more bearable than the first two. At least they let you be on your own.

When we spend our hard-earned money on expensive goods, all we expect are a warm welcome, some honesty and a little bit of service. A good sales person can completely transform the shopping experience and will make you come back! But the question is, where are those good sales people!

And this is not limited to shopping alone. Even in restaurants we often actually end up paying a paying a service charge for no service at all! Happened with me at Punjabi by Nature last evening.

There still are a few good people who do their job of selling with honesty and passion! Do share your experiences, good and bad. And what do you think makes a sales person good?

Biotique Bio Cucumber: Summer Savior

I had bought a few biotique products a couple of years ago just to experiment with some natural products. And I am glad that the experiment worked! I have not been able to leave them since then.

Product: Biotique Bio-Cucumber Pore Tightening Freshener
Price: Rs 149 for 120 ml
Shelf Life: 3 years from manufacturing

Product Description: "This refreshing pore tightening and purifying lotion brings the complexion to perfect pH balance and helps keep skin in its purest state."
Product Claims: Organically Pure & Preservative Free,
Dermatologically Tested, Non Acnegenic
Skin Type: Normal to Oily

How to Use: Apply on cotton pads and apply over cleansed face and neck

Ingredients: (It's a little technical, but still thought of putting it up)
Daruhaldi (Berberis aristata) 0.1%
Dhania (Coriandrum sativum) 2.0%
Majuphal ( Quercus infectoria) 2.0%
Pudina (Mentha arvensis) 0.85%
Kheera (Cucumis sativus) Q.S.

Benefits of Cucumber Water

We all know how cucumber water helps us getting rid of dark circles! Besides this, cucumber water is great for the skin. This is what I read.
  • As cucumber and the skin share the same level of hydrogen, cucumber can easily mask all the problem areas. 
  • It helps in soothing and softening your skin which can get you relaxed in no time.
  • Cucumber juice is great for improving complexion and health of skin, plus it is naturally hydrating.
  • It is great at restoring the overall pH towards nicer alkalinity. 
  • Cucumber juice helps you tighten pores naturally.
  • Due to its cooling effect, it is called the magic wand for the skin.
Here's my review of  Biotique Bio-Cucumber.

What I like about Biotique Bio-Cucumber
  • It is super-duper refreshing!! It cools your skin and helps you relax instantly. In the summers, I sometimes keep it in the fridge and use it after returning from work, (post cleansing) it feels so good!
  • It acts as a mild toner and improves the overall cleanliness of the skin by removing any residue, dirt, any excess oil and dead skin cells.
  • It does not dry the skin, neither does it cause any unpleasant sensation.
  • It has refreshing fragrance, won't exactly call it very mild but I like it.
  • It is 100% natural! This is what I love about Biotique.
What I don't quite like about Biotique Bio-Cucumber
There's nothing that I don't like about the product per say, just wish it had a spray nozzle so that I could directly sprinkle it on my face. This is what it looks like..

Will I repurchase it?
Already on my third bottle..So of course yes.

I like product because it is natural and refreshingly cool, perfect for summers. I don't think it has made any dramatic and visible impact to my skin as such, but then it does what it is supposed to do, refresh the skin!

Additional Recommendation on Biotique Bio-Cucumber
A friend of mine was going through a pretty bad pimple phase. She visited the dermatologist and this was something recommended to her! I was already using this, but the fact that the doctor recommended this made me believe even more in this product.

You can also read my review of Biotique Milk Protein Face Pack here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sheer Fashion at Cannes 2011

While sheer is something I don't quite like in lipsticks and nail-polishes, it is an interesting characteristic when it comes to clothing. We have seen quite a few sheer gowns at Cannes 2011 red carpet so far, some of them are nice, some not so nice and one of them is 'I would rather not see'. Let's take a look.

Here's Ms Mallika Sherawat. An embarrassment to probably even spiders!
I know I am being a little insensitive here to have put up that black spider. But then she too was not really sensitive to our aesthetic sense!

Rachel McAdams in Marchesa
She looks pretty in this sheer dress with bright red embellishment.
Overall I like it, but just think that the dress is not doing justice to her upper curves.

 Candice Boucher in Gavin Rajah
The South African model is hot, but did we really want to see so much details including that bum curve?
I don't like that look from the back. If you wanna show those curves then sport a bikini but not a red carpet gown!

Penelope Cruz in Marchesa
I think she looks pretty in this lilac. Who can say she had a baby this year? She can probably still lose a few more pounds but I still like it!
All Pictures sourced from Google Images, Collaged by me!

Tell me what your view are, even if they are different from mine!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lotus SPF 60 Sunblock: Review & Comparison with Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch (SPF 50)

I had actually gone to buy the lotus SPF 40 sunblock but that was not available and hence I ended up buying this.

Product Description
Extreme Sun Block Cream, SPF 60, UVA-INDEX 20*

This extreme sun block cream contains high concentrations of intense sun screens and sun filters to reflect, scatter and absorb all the UVA & UVB rays. 
Protects skin completely against skin ageing, tanning, skin cancer and all sorts of UVA rays associated damages.

*UVA Index 20: Most sun protective creams/ lotions offer protection against UVB only. Recent research shows that UVA rays are even more harmful. UVA Index 20 guarantees protection against UVA rays.

Price: Rs 375 for 60 gm

Direction for Use
Apply liberally and evenly on face and exposed parts of (body neck, arms, legs etc.) before exposure to sun.
Re-apply frequently. For sun-sensitive skin, apply every 2 hours.

Active Ingredients
Pure and researched herbal extracts of 
  • Oregano (anti-oxidant and anti-irritant)
  • Chamomile (Soothing & Calming)
  • Carrot (Anti-tanning)

For those interested in the full ingredients list, I have taken a close-up!

My Experience
 This is something that is mentioned inside the box. 'On application, the cream may leave a temporary whitening film which on further rubbing will disappear into the skin'.

It is indeed true that it disappears in the skin really quickly (rubbing after 5-10 seconds), but I don't like this initial white cast too much.

Left: Apply a little                                                   Right: Initial Rubbing

Absorbs completely within 5-10 seconds of more rubbing

Lotus SPF 60 Sunblock: My Likes and Dislikes and Comparison with Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock (SPF 50)

I don't currently own neutrogena ultra-sheer but have used it in the past. It is by far one of the best-selling sunblocks. Here's how I compare lotus vs neutrogena. I have attached a summary table too.

What I like about Lotus SPF 60
  • The high SPF and protection against both UVA and UVB. Of course this is why I bought it in the first place.
  • A tiny amount is required, so the tube will last for a really long time. This is true for neutrogena too.
  • It is water-proof and sweat proof.
  • It is not sticky and absorbs well in the skin within a few minutes of application. I won't say that I don't feel anything on the face at all, but it is light-weight.
  • Does not make the face look shiny (I have normal skin). Neutrogena leaves the face a little shiny in the beginning but that goes away soon.
  • It is water-proof and sweat-proof.
  • I totally love the fact that this product has natural ingredients.
  • Has a very mild fragrance, typical to lotus creams. It's very bearable.

What I don't quite like about Lotus SPF 60
  • Despite having a high SPF, it needs to be re-applied every 2 hours. Neutrogena on the other hand has to be re-applied only after swimming, towel drying or excessive perspiration/ sun-exposure only.
  • I don't like the white cast it forms initially, though it disappears within 5-10 more seconds of rubbing. This does not happen with Neutrogena.
  • Texture is thick, which makes it a little difficult to spread. You end up wondering if the whole face has been covered or not. Neutrogena also has a thick texture.
  • It is a bit expensive (Rs 375 for 60 gm vs Rs 150 for 30ml for Neutrogena). Also a trial size is not available.
Will I repurchase again?
I would actually buy a Neutrogena Ultra Sheer when I am over with this.

Overall Recommendation
I like lotus products because they are natural. This is also a good product in isolation but I prefer Neutrogena because it is giving the same protection for a lower price and need not to be re-applied very frequently.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

For Purple Smokey Eyes: L'oreal Studio Secrets Lavender Smokes (Swatches, Review)

This is a nice quad to have and serves multiple purposes (read looks). You can get sexy purple smokey eyes and also neutral shimmery eyes with this.

Product Details
  • Product Range: L'oreal Studio Secrets Professional Color Smokes Eye Shadow
  • Shade: # 536, Lavender Smokes
  • Price: I paid $ 8.39 for 4.8 gms, can get it within $5-$7 online/ drugstores
  • Other Shades: Cobal Smoke, Forest Smoke, Blackened Smokes
  • Availability in India: This is not available in any retail outlets here. I have seen it on ebay though (around Rs 800)

  • Product Description
  • L'Oreal Studio Secrets Color Smokes eye shadow quads offer professionally-coordinated smoky colors for intensity and drama.
  • Color-infused smokey palettes achieve a dramatic look
  • Super-blendable, long-wearing powder formula
  • Includes professional shade application guide

The Colors
1. Purple
2. Mauve
3. Beige (Closely resembles MAC All That Glitters)
4. Bronze (Closely resembles MAC Wood Winked)

All the colors have shimmer in them. 3 and 4 are more shimmery than 1 and 2 has the least shimmer, actually gives an almost matte finish on the eye. I wear the mauvish shade almost everyday to work.

The purple has a blackish tone.

Pigmentation and Swatches
The pigmentation is reasonably nice but not absolutely fantastic. But that works perfectly fine for me. If you want you can build it up well through multiple strokes. I am in love with the mauve and the bronze shades!

Again as you can see, the purple is more of a smokey purple rather than the perky purple. It has pink shimmer.

Shade Application Guide
 I really want to come up with an EOTD soon!

What I like about Lavender Smokes
  • Nice color collection that gives you both bright and neutral shades. They're very wearable to work. 
  • Stays on for fairly long without creasing. Blends easily.
  • Pigmentation is pretty nice (but again not fantabulous). Texture is good too, not powdery.
  • The applicator hasn't lost the sponge yet unlike some other quads.
What I don't like about Lavender Smokes
  • Wish the purple was perkier :). But considering they are intended to give you a smokey look, blackish tone is justifiable.
  • Not available in India in retail and ordering online makes it a little expensive. It comes very cheap in the US though and is available in most drugstores, and that's actually a plus!

Overall Rating: 3/5

Will I repurchase?
This will take long to finish. Wouldn't mind trying the other quads if I still get them under $7.