Blue Heaven Artisto Matte Lip Crayon – Cocoa Mania | Review and Swatches

As I mentioned in a previous post, I received the Blue Heaven Artisto Matte Lip Crayon in my August ZoBag Mini and was pretty pleased with its quality. I promised you a separate post with lip swatches because I felt that this product deserved a post of its own. So here we are. There is also an interesting story about this particular shade which I will be sharing with you today.

Blue Heaven Artisto Matte Lip Crayon - Cocoa Mania | Review and Swatches

When I first got to know that the ZoBag Mini contained a Blue Heaven Lip Crayon, I was a bit sceptical about it. After all, the MRP of this lip crayon is INR 150 – how good could it really be for that price? However, this product really impressed me. It has a velvet matte texture that lasts on the lips for 4-5 hours and the formula is actually quite creamy! The product is not transfer proof and isn’t super pigmented in one swipe but once you build it up, it provides an even and smooth finish on the lips. I honestly didn’t expect this from a lip crayon that is so affordable. This is truly one of those no fuss lip products that you can apply in a jiffy and be certain that it looks good. Moreover, it did not dry out my lips at all and they feel quite hydrated when I wear this product.

Blue Heaven Artisto Matte Lip Crayon - Cocoa Mania | Review and Swatches=

Now for the funny story about the shade. ZoBag was offering 4 different shades of this lip crayon and I had the choice to pick one. The rest of the shades were from the red, pink, orange family which I already have plenty of in my collection. The only option left was Cocoa Mania, which seemed like a brown from the packaging, but I couldn’t find a decent swatch online so was quite unsure about the actual color. I took the risk anyway and decided to try out a shade that I didn’t already own, and I am glad I did! Cocoa Mania is a warm, rusty brown that will suit all Indian skin tones, especially if you have yellowish undertones in your complexion. It is light enough for daily wear but dark enough to build a heavy makeup look around. A perfect color for me, I must say. And you know what the happy coincidence was? I have been looking for a lip product that matches the rust eye shadow from the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette and hadn’t found any option in India. Imagine my joy when I realized that this lip color is an almost exact match for the eyeshadow! I am a huge fan of monochromatic makeup so I promptly paired the lip color and the eye shadow to create this rust themed makeup look.

Blue Heaven Artisto Matte Lip Crayon - Cocoa Mania | Review and Swatches

I still can’t get over the fact that this lip crayon is so good despite being so affordable. At INR 150 you can’t really go wrong with any of the shades from this range (there are 12) but I will definitely vouch for Cocoa Mania. You can buy this product from the Blue Heaven website or can get this as a part of the August ZoBag Mini. I am super stoked about this wonderful discovery and will definitely be trying out more products from Blue Heaven Cosmetics soon and hopefully will be back with some more amazing recommendations!

Have you tried something from Blue Heaven Cosmetics? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. – If you enjoyed this blog post then please click this link and leave a comment on the nomination page to help me win the Indian Bloggers Award!

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Healthvit Activated Charcoal Purifying Peel Off Mask | Review

Do you feel an odd sense of satisfaction when a peel off mask sucks out all the gunk and whiteheads from your nose? Believe it or not, blackhead removal videos have a cult status of their own on YouTube because when a nose mask works well, its performance is a delight to watch, according to several people. Black peel off masks gained a lot of popularity due to these videos and what started off as a trend in Asia soon made its way to the rest of the world, with many swearing by the effectiveness of these masks at leaving the nose squeaky clean. However, there have also been some concerns raised by skin care specialists that these masks also suck out the good oils from the skin and leave the pores open and exposed to pollution and dirt. Furthermore, some cheap replicas of peel off masks have been called out for containing actual glue to make them more effective! This is why I have been dilly dallying about buying a charcoal peel off mask since a long time but the bumps on my nose finally made me give in and after much research, I purchased the Healthvit Activated Charcoal Purifying Peel Off Mask which I am going to review for you today.

Healthvit Activated Charcoal Purifying Peel Off Mask | Review

This product comes in a 50gm tube that is priced at INR 350. Its consistency is more liquidy and runny than I expected because for some reason I thought that it will be thicker. So all you need to do is spread an even layer of the product on your cleansed skin, wait for it to dry completely, which should take approximately 20 minutes, and then pull it off. While many reviewers on Amazon stated that you need to build a thick coating of the product on the skin for it to peel off easily, I was able to get away with one of mediocre thickness. In fact, if you layer up too much product then it will not dry up completely and you won’t be able to peel it off easily. I would recommend trying this out on a small patch first so that you know what works for you before you spread it on your whole nose. Once the product was fully dry, it did peel off quite easily for me and did not hurt much at all. However, it did not peel off as a single strip as shown in advertisements, but in the form of small sections (refer picture below). It did a decent job of removing my whiteheads while being gentle on the skin but it did pull out some facial hair as well, albeit painlessly. What I like about this product is that unlike the nose strips, this can get out the whiteheads from the curved areas of the nose and the chin as well. It will not leave your nose 100% blackhead free but will definitely remove a large percentage of them and will bring some to the surface so that you can scrub them off more easily. After a couple of uses of this product, my nose area is definitely much smoother, and to prevent the open pores from getting clogged, I use a toner such as rose water after using the mask.

Healthvit Activated Charcoal Purifying Peel Off Mask | Review

Coming to the ingredients, the product contains PVA and Acrypol-1, both of which are polymers that are commonly used in cosmetic products. It also contains charcoal powder which is known for its adsorption properties and Disodium EDTA which is a preservative. The next ingredient, Triethanolamine is considered dangerous in large amounts but is allowed by the FDA in small quantities in beauty products. And lastly, this product also contains fragrance. If there is any ingredients expert or chemist reading this post then please enlighten us more about the pros and cons of these ingredients but as far as I can tell, the ingredients are not extremely toxic to cause any damage if used once in a while. The scent of the product is very chemically though and may turn off a lot of people. I would highly recommend doing a patch test before you use it on your face to make sure that your skin does not react badly to any ingredient.

Healthvit Activated Charcoal Purifying Peel Off Mask | Review

To sum up, this product is definitely not one for those who like natural ingredients but it does fulfill what it claims to do. Personally, I would not be comfortable using it more frequently than once a month because of the chemicals. The good thing is that it does not hurt the skin when being pulled off and does not cause any stinging. Also, it is cheaper compared to getting a similar product shipped from Korea or Japan. The final call is yours, if you are willing to experiment with these ingredients then go ahead but if they make you uncomfortable then stick with the old school steaming and scrubbing methods for getting the blackheads out. If you do want to buy this product then you can purchase it from Amazon by clicking this link.

I hope that this review was helpful. Let me know in the comments below if there is a black peel off mask that you have tried and loved.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this blog post then please click this link and leave a comment on the nomination page to help me win the Indian Bloggers Award!

August ZoBag Mini – Unboxing and Review

If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen my posts about the products offered by the August edition of ZoBag Mini. I have finally tested out all the items enough to provide you a detailed review. Before we proceed with the review, let me tell you that the ZoBag Mini is priced at INR 350 and contains 5 full-sized products with a total value of INR 1000. The price of ZoBag has unfortunately increased this month due to GST, but it still continues to be one of the most affordable beauty bags in India that offers some great products. The theme of this month’s ZoBag is Monsoon Care, so let us see what ZoBag offers to keep you glowing and beautiful this rainy season.

Fuschia Crystal Rose Foot Soak Review Zobag

1. Fuschia Crystal Rose Foot Soak – One of the most abused parts of our body during the monsoon months are our feet that are exposed to the murk and moisture of the streets. The Fuschia Crystal Rose Foot Soak offers a pampering session for the feet with the goodness of rose petals and rose oil that reduces any irritation or itchiness and soothes the skin. It also contains sea salt that reduces water retention. I love the heavenly scent of roses that this pink powder emanates. It dissolves easily in the water to create a foot soak that leaves the feet looking smoother and softer. This foot soak softened the dead skin of my feet which I could then easily scrub off. It is a perfect product for an at-home pedicure. Price – INR 250

Fuschia Peppermint Pedicure Nourishing Foot Cream Review Zobag

2. Fuschia Peppermint Pedicure Nourishing Foot Cream – Continuing with the theme of pampering the feet, the bag also contains the Fuschia Peppermint Pedicure Nourishing Foot Cream. This cream has a soothing scent and gets absorbed by the skin really quickly. It is hydrating without being greasy and creates a slight cooling sensation on the skin. It contains shea butter that softens the feet and heals the cracks and dry patches. A perfect ending to a wonderful pedicure indeed! Price – INR 250

Mond'sub Bio-Gold Collagen Eye Mask Review Zobag

3. Mond’sub Bio-Gold Collagen Eye Mask – Rainy weather or not, our sleep deprived eyes can always do with some pampering. The Mond’sub Bio-Gold Collagen Eye Mask offers some much-needed nourishment to the under eye area as well as the eyelids. Its cooling action is a boon for tired eyes and the serum that it is drenched in instantly tightens the delicate skin around the eyes. I also love that the mask fits really well around the eyes and stays in place for the 15 minutes that you are supposed to keep it on. Although I have used this only once, I am sure that with regular usage, this eye mask will help reduce wrinkles too. A must have in my opinion! Price – INR 100

Mond'sub Pure Rejuvenating & Renewing Beauty Facial Mask Review Zobag

4. Mond’sub Pure Rejuvenating & Renewing Beauty Facial Mask – If you have dry or dehydrated skin then the Mond’sub Pure Rejuvenating & Renewing Mask will provide a refreshing drink to your face. This sheet mask comes soaked in a cooling serum that moisturizes the skin and softens it at the same time. After 20 minutes of keeping on this mask, the skin becomes supple and more radiant. I feel that this particular sheet mask is best suited for dry skinned people but it is not too heavy for oily skin as well. Price – INR 250

 Blue Heaven Artisto Velvet Matte Lip Crayon Cocoa Mania Review Zobag

5. Blue Heaven Artisto Velvet Matte Lip Crayon Cocoa Mania –  The ZoBag Mini also contains a Blue Heaven Artisto Velvet Matte Lip Crayon and they give you a choice to select one out of four shades. I went with the shade Cocoa Mania, which is a warm, rusty brown that will suit most Indian skin tones. I was pleasantly surprised by the formula of this lip crayon. The pigmentation is not too intense but 2-3 swipes give an opaque finish. The formula is not transfer-proof but does stay on the lips for 4-5 hours unless you eat something, and is quite comfortable and velvety. For a super affordable price of INR 150, this matte lip crayon definitely exceeds expectations and I am totally in love with this color (will post the lip swatches in a separate post).  Price – INR 150

Overall, the August ZoBag Mini contains a great collection of products and the inclusion of a makeup item made me love the bag even more. None of the products disappointed me and each item is something that I will actually use. The bag also looks bright and colorful but its quality could be a little better, however, for INR 350 I am not complaining at all! If you are looking for a beauty subscription bag that is excellent value for money then I will highly recommend ZoBag Mini. Grab yours now by clicking on this link while the stocks last!

P.S. – If you enjoyed this blog post then please click this link and leave a comment on the nomination page to help me win the Indian Bloggers Award!

Seer Secrets Lemon Cypress Japanese Mint Deodorant Cream | Review

In the recent years, there has been a lot of uproar against deodorants that contain Aluminum because of the health hazards associated with the metal. Today I will be talking about a unique deodorant that comes in the form of a cream and is Aluminum Compound Free. This product is the Seer Secrets Lemon Cypress Japanese Mint Deodorant Cream which contains active Silver ions and claims to be a much better alternative to regular deodorant.

Seer Secrets Lemon Cypress Japanese Mint Active Silver Ion Deodorant Cream Review

First of all, full marks to Seer Secrets for the packaging. The actual jar of the cream comes inside a long, cylindrical can, both of which have a cool yellow and silver design on the label. I am definitely going to reuse the outer can for storage. As for the actual cream, it is white in color and has a refreshingly sweet scent that is reminiscent of crushed lemon candy. This pleasant scent lasts in the underarm area for 2-3 hours and keeps mild body odor at bay. However, if you suffer from really bad body odor then this cream won’t be able to mask it completely. Moving on to sweat absorption, I have noticed that the cream continues to absorb sweat for a good 4-5 hours, but this time can be extended if you apply a larger amount of product to begin with. These properties make it a perfect daily deodorant for those who do not want something super strong and are going to stay in a relatively cool environment all day. If you are planning on hitting the gym or are heading outdoors on a sunny day then I would recommend something stronger.

Seer Secrets Lemon Cypress Japanese Mint Active Silver Ion Deodorant Cream Review

Another thing that I love about this deodorant cream is its wonderful cooling action on the skin that lasts for at least an hour. This, along with its hydrating nature, makes it the perfect treat for the underarm area, which is often one of the most neglected parts of the body. I have already begun to notice improvements in the skin of the region after a few days of use. It has become softer and slightly brighter than usual. This product also claims to have a mild whitening action with regular use, which may be useful for those who suffer from darker underarms caused by aerosol sprays. What I appreciate about the brand is that they have provided the detailed benefits of each of the ingredients, which makes me trust the product even more. The cream contains Zinc and Silver Ions that act as anti-bacterial agents and are embedded in Kaolin clay which helps to absorb dirt. The lemon and cypress essence helps to reduce the wetness and the body odor while the Japanese Mint cools the skin and prevents itchiness and irritation. In fact, the brand states that the product can also be used to treat mild fungal infections and rashes on other parts of the body such as the neck and the toes. This is an added bonus for those who are fans of multi-tasking products.

Seer Secrets Lemon Cypress Japanese Mint Active Silver Ion Deodorant Cream Review

This delightful deodorant cream is priced at INR 324 for 100gms and is available on Amazon. Pricewise, I think it is quite affordable considering the price of regular deodorants and how little of this product you need each day. As for the performance of the cream, it does exactly what it claims to do and the natural ingredients speak for themselves. This is definitely a must buy in my opinion and has left me thoroughly impressed. I am surely going to check out more products from Seer Secrets soon and will hopefully have some more amazing recommendations for you guys! Until then, do try out this deodorant cream and let me know if you love it as much as I do 🙂

I hope that this review was helpful, you can buy the Seer Secrets Lemon Cypress Japanese Mint Active Silver Ion Deodorant Cream here.

Biotique Bio Saffron Dew Youthful Nourishing Day Cream | Review

I usually talk a lot about products that are suitable for oily skin because that is my skin type but today I will talk about a product that works really well for normal to dry skin. The product in question is the Biotique Bio Saffron Dew – Youthful Nourishing Day Cream. This product contains Saffron or Kesar and turmeric extracts that are known to provide a glow to the skin. It also contains almond and pistachio oils that are extremely nourishing and hydrating.

Biotique Bio Saffron Dew Review

Texturewise, it is slightly thick but melts on the skin and gets absorbed really quickly. It is pretty light weight despite containing nourishing oils and leaves just a thin film of oil on the skin, which feels smooth and rich, not greasy and shiny. The cream claims to be suitable for all skin types but I would not recommend it for oily skinned people because the almond oil may be a bit too heavy if you already secrete too much sebum. For those with dry or normal skin though, this cream works really well and leaves the skin super soft, supple, and youthful. As an added bonus, it has the pleasant scent of saffron and sandalwood that gives it a luxurious feel.

Biotique Bio Saffron Dew

If you are in the market for a day cream that is nourishing but not overly greasy then the Biotique Bio Saffron Dew might be the perfect product for you. A gigantic 175gm jar is priced at INR 480 which is quite affordable considering that the cream contains natural ingredients including saffron. With the cold weather slowly creeping nearer, this cream will provide the much-needed hydration and glow to your skin and will make it baby soft!

I hope that this review was helpful. You can buy the Biotique Bio Saffron Dew here.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this blog post then please click this link and leave a comment on the nomination page to help me win the Indian Bloggers Award!

Biotique Mountain Ebony Vitalizing Serum For Falling Hair | Review

While many major brands have hair products that make a huge dent in our bank accounts, there are a few under dogs that perform much better at an extremely affordable price. The Biotique Mountain Ebony Vitalizing Serum for Falling Hair is one such product that is not expensive at all yet manages to work wonders. Although the brand calls this product a serum, it is actually a watery liquid that you are supposed to massage into your dry scalp. What makes this product unique is the fact that it does not have any oily ingredients in it, which makes it perfect for those with greasy roots. This elixir contains the extracts of Mountain Ebony as well as some other herbs such as Neem and Mint, and claims to stimulate hair growth and reduce scalp irritation. I have been using this product on and off for quite some time now and am pleased to report that it does live up to its claims.

Biotique Mountain Ebony Vitalizing Serum Review

I usually massage this product on my dry scalp a day after I wash my hair. It instantly provides a cooling sensation that lasts for several minutes and eliminates any itchiness that is caused by dandruff or dryness. The pleasant aroma of herbs lingers on my hair until the next wash and I do notice a visible reduction in hair fall whenever I use this product regularly. My scalp feels so healthy after using this product that I am almost certain that it encourages new hair growth as well. A combination of these results helps in making my hair look more voluminous and luscious. The best thing about this serum is that it does not cause any sort of build up on my hair or scalp and gets absorbed into the skin without leaving behind any oily residue. All those with oily hair will understand why this light weight texture of the serum is so important.

Biotique Mountain Ebony Vitalizing Serum Review

This amazing product is priced at INR 185 for a 120ml bottle and I will recommend all those suffering from scalp issues and hair loss to buy a bottle asap. While the plastic packaging is a little weak and prone to breaking, the product itself is fantastic and gets full marks from me. If you have already tried expensive scalp treatments with no luck then do give this one a shot, you may end up being pleasantly surprised.

I hope that this review was helpful, you can buy the Biotique Mountain Ebony Vitalizing Serum here.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this blog post then please click this link and leave a comment on the nomination page to help me win the Indian Bloggers Award!

How Do Blogger Collaborations Really Work?

A number of new/aspiring bloggers often send me in queries regarding how to turn blogging into a profession. While I am not an expert, nor a super successful blogger, I have worked with a fair share of brands during my blogging journey and today I will use my experience to share some knowledge regarding blogger collaborations. Bear in mind that I primarily work with beauty and lifestyle brands in India, so this blog post will be most relevant for beauty bloggers in India who want to know more about working with brands.

Although for most beauty bloggers, makeup & skincare is a passion, it becomes impractical to buy and review new products all the time unless you have a steady source of income, either from another job or from your blog. This is where the concept of blogger collaboration comes in handy, particularly for full-time bloggers. Many of you who are just starting out in this field do not know how to go about such collaborations and there are others who feel that bloggers lead a privileged life where they get sent a bunch of products for free. Today, I will answer some of these questions and will bust the ridiculous myths about blogging that I have seen floating around the internet.

1. Sponsored Posts – Sponsored posts basically mean that a brand pays you for talking about their products on your blog/social media platforms. However, a brand will offer you money for promoting their products only if you have a HUGE number of followers on at least one platform. Only those who have put years of effort into their blog or YouTube channel or Instagram profile, get to the point where brands start offering them money for their posts. So basically, you have to be prepared to make no money from your posts for a long time before you begin to get noticed by brands.

2. Free Products? – So do bloggers really get products for free? Yes, sometimes they do. However, influencer marketing largely works on a barter system wherein a brand expects you to review/feature the “free” product on your blog and social media profiles. So basically, you don’t really get a product for free, you have to click some great pictures of the product and create a video/blog post about it in return, which is not as easy as it may seem to non-bloggers. I would say that instead of being paid in cash by the brand, this model allows us to get paid in the form of products for the labor that is needed to create the required content. Bear in mind that most ethical brands request bloggers for their honest reviews on products, so all that you read/hear about a “free” product is not a bunch of lies. However, there are a few brands that insist on biased, positive reviews and I would recommend all bloggers to stay away from these folks because such malpractice will tarnish your reputation as an honest reviewer with time and is totally uncool too!

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3. Discounted Products – Some of the more established brands may not be willing to offer free products but may provide some discount to a blogger based on the traffic the blog generates. Again, most brands expect you to share an “honest” review in return for the discount and these are the brands that I choose to work with. If your content about a brand gets a lot of views and positive responses, then chances are that the brand will approach you for more collaborations in the future and may also send you some free products if things work out. The key lies in creating the best possible, engaging content about each product that you feature on your blog.

4. Affiliate Links – Some brands may also provide bloggers with affiliate links that help the bloggers earn some commission each time someone uses their link to purchase a product. To be able to earn anything at all from these affiliate links you must have a large number of readers/followers in the first place, which brings me back to the main point of this post – no one can make anything from blogging without putting in a ton of effort. 

What should new bloggers do?

If you are a new blogger then I will encourage you to first work on creating great content that attracts a reasonable number of readers. You will need to buy your own products for a LONG time before any brand starts sending you samples, and even then you cannot just work on sponsored posts because then your blog will turn into a collection of advertisements for a handful of brands. In the beginning, no brand may approach you, you will have to contact them instead. When approaching a brand for a collaboration, make sure to let them know how you can feature their products in a unique manner and why you are wanting to work with them. This will increase your chances of grabbing their attention and earning a spot on their collaboration program.

What are the blogger’s responsibilities when creating a sponsored post/writing about a PR sample?

It is not only ethical but is also mandated by search engines and different social media platforms to mention when you are creating some sponsored content or writing about a PR sample. This can be in the form of a hashtag (#ad, #sponsored, #PRsample etc) or in the form of plain old text. Also, if a brand is paying you for linking to their website in your blog post then make sure to add a “nofollow” attribute to this link. Google penalizes the web pages that add paid links to their articles without this attribute because some brands use underhanded tricks to increase their digital footprint by paying the bloggers to link to their website. (You can find out more about this by googling about no follow links.)

If you have made it to the end of this post then you must have realized that blogging and working with brands is not as easy a task as it may appear to be. It is not a rosy, privileged life for most bloggers and in fact, is one that requires a lot of dedication behind the scenes. So if you are new to the world of blogging, do keep these points in mind to set the right expectations and to take the necessary steps towards becoming a successful blogger.

Remember, keep your content honest, unique, and useful for your readers. Blogging should be a passion first and a profession later.

Happy Blogging! 🙂

Note – All images are taken from Pixabay

P.S. – If you enjoyed this blog post then please click this link and leave a comment on the nomination page to help me win the Indian Bloggers Award!