Saturday, April 18, 2015

Top 4 Lakme Absolute Sculpt Studio High Definition Matte Lipstick Review and Swatches

Lakme Absolute Sculpt Studio High Definition Matte Lipstick
Lakme Absolute Sculpt Studio Matte Lipsticks are priced at 700/- and is available at Flipkart and Amazon India. I received an early notification about the launch of these at the Lakme event I attended earlier this year, and loved the shades Crimson Touch and Tangerine Lush, and bought Crimson Touch as soon as it hit the market. The beauty of these lipsticks lay with the fact that they were all very rich shades, with good pigmentation, and did not dry out my lips.

Lakme Absolute Sculpt Studio High Definition Matte Lipstick Crimson Touch, Pink Caress, Tangerine Lush, Plum Spell
What Lakme Says about the Lipsticks: “Lips are the most prominent part of the face and it is equally important to contour them for a well-defined, structured look. With Lakmé Absolute Sculpt Studio Matte Lipsticks we look forward to introduce hi-definition looks focused on bold lips. Sculpt is sure to become a cult, inspired by runway trends at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015.

The packaging is similar to that of the Lakme Gloss Addict Lipsticks, with a clear plastic top to see the color within easily. The four shades here, as you can see from the swatches below, are Plum Spell, Tangerine Lush, Pink Caress and Crimson Touch. Yes, Crimson Touch does look very similar to Plum Spell. Tangerine Lush is the perfect summer shade, because its reddish orange, and glossy. Pink Caress is a gorgeous coral pink, perfect for summer evenings, and is really versatile if you are looking for a nice shade to brighten up your face but not be in-your-face loud. Although this range is called matte, I don't see much matte-ness going on. However, as this season is all about bright shades, I am sure these will be a major hit!

L-R Swatches - Crimson Touch, Tangerine Lush, Pink Caress, Plum Spell
The four shades are creamy, without shimmers and glitters, and with medium to opaque coverage. I applied two swipes of each of the lipstick in the hand and lip swatches. I have to say, on my lips, Crimson Touch looked really maroon while plum spell looked much more pinker/purpler. I had to take the Crimson Touch shade's photo separately, since, somehow, in the photos, the difference in the shade wasn't showing up.

Lip Swatch - Pink Caress, Tangerine Lush, Plum Spell, Crimson Touch Lakme Absolute Sculpt Studio High Definition Matte Lipstick
Personally speaking, if asked to choose between the shades, I will probably lean towards Tangerine Lush a bit, because I love the pop of Mandarin Orange on my skin. On the other hand, Crimson Touch adds that lovely bit of drama to my face, and now I guess I am torn between the two. The lipsticks lasted for 5 hours on my lips without eating and drinking, and completely went away after a full meal, so I had to retouch. But, given the fact that the lipsticks did not dry out my lips at all, glided on my lips like a dream, could be applied with a light or a heavy hand easily to build up the color, and looked great either way, was what made me quite happy.


Poorna Banerjee Top Kolkata Blogger
I would say that these lipsticks are a great investment this summer, and are quite fun. If you have picked up shades from this range,  do let me know which one!

Disclaimer: Three of the lipsticks were sent to me by the brand. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Beauty that is an ASUS ZenFone 2

I have been tweaking around and looking at the best smartphones, and recently came across the gorgeous ASUS ZenFone 2 which immediately took my fancy. Of course, a good deal of snooping around made me realize that apart from the visual bit (The phone is GORGEOUS to look at!), there are a few things that totally sets it apart from the rest of the crowd.
1.     Upto 2.3GHz 64-bit Intel® Atom™ Z3580 processor. The processor is the latest in the market, and this means it is able to take up your heaviest apps, keep things running even when you are on the move, and make sure everything is done in a flash, without the fear of the phone crashing all the time.
2.     Dual Sim. It never hurts to have two connections in one phone, and it is such a joy to see it on a great phone. The ZenFone 2 has the capability of switching back and forth between the two SIMs with ease! That is called great service!
3.      The option of having 2GB or 4GB RAM. For a gamer this phone is a total dream come true, especially if you face the fear which every other gamer in this planet faces – LAG. This phone makes sure that your gaming needs are fulfilled and I loved the idea of giving the user the option to pick the RAM of his/her choice. Stream the videos you love, get as many songs on your playlist, AND play your favorite games – this phone can take it unlike the rest.
4.     13MP PixelMaster camera with f/2.0-aperture lens. This phone makes a camera lover happy. Admit it. Who has the time to pack a camera everywhere? But with this camera, you can now have a camera which not just takes great photos, but also takes photos which can be up to 400% brighter, especially in the night. Now that is surely one of the most important things for someone who loves partying hard and hate clicking photos which come out blurry and terrible!
5.      The 18W Boostmaster adapter to ensure your 2.3GHz/4GB ZenFone 2 model camera charges super quick. Nowadays, we want everything done in a flash, including charging the phone. How many times have you felt that your phone was taking too much time to charge? Well, get rid of the problem once in for all, and grab this model.

The user interface is a dream to work with, and the design and new features, including the ZenMotion, SnapView, and Trend Micro™ Security makes your phone much more secure, and extremely cool! Apart from that, you can easily pimp up your Asus ZenFone 2 within a short period of time with the amazing accessories that come with the model. So, what do you think? I really #CantWait4Zenfone2 now! Can you?

Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Dress in Semi-Formal Clothes

Photo Courtesy: Askmebazaar.com
Someone once told me to dress semi-formally. I was slightly stunned, being the young thing I was. I had never really thought of clothes much before that, and a quick online search brought me to a few pages which explained to me, in simple terms, what semi-formal clothing meant.
Essentially, it is to dress which will be midway between formal and casual. Which means, you can be more lax with your formal dress sense, but not go too far on the deep end and dress as a bohemian chick either. So, the idea is to have a good balance between the two. Often enough, men do not understand the difference between formal, casual, and semi-formal. Here are a list of things that one can keep in mind when dressing semi-formally.
  1. Get that button-down shirt and wear it! They are the most acceptable semi-formal thing to wear, and you can play with design – you can go for a simple, plain color, or you can have small patterns, which would look neutral but shall still stand out.
  2. Accepted Colors – all muted, neutral shades and vivid, matte shades as well. For example, wine reds, dark greens, all shades of blue. Neon or electric shades are not advised, however.
  3. Accessories are great for this look! Get yourself a lovely striped tie and match it with a neutral shirt. White goes with virtually everything, and you can finish the look with a set of cufflinks, which look really amazing too.
  4. Wear light, informal jackets. This look is not about formal tuxedos and those heavy jackets. Rather, wear a light jacket, maybe in a shade of beige or brown, especially if you are teaming it up with matching pants and a nice linen shirt. You can forego the tie, and keep the top button of your shirt open.  
  5. A nice pair of lace-up shoes, or a pair of Oxfords, go perfectly with your clothes. Get them in black or dark brown. Never wear open-toed shoes or sneakers, and always wear socks!
  6. Try avoiding that pair of jeans. This form of dressing does not support wearing jeans or khakis. However, if you are really desperate, wear a pair which will be of a really dark shade, and be absolutely plain, without any stone wash or fading. The key is to look smart and simple at the same time.
There are many stores online, where you can get great semi-formal clothing for a very good price. Also, when you are getting ready, know that dressing up more formally is always a safer bet than dressing up too informally, so make sure you follow that protocol.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Enjoy the Month of April at The Park: Poila Boishakh Activities, 2015

Poila Boishakh Spread at The Park
The summer heat caught me first as I walked towards The Park. The humidity in the weather makes you feel sluggish, and so, entering the cool dark lobby was a relief. Saffron at The Park is hosting a double celebration for both Baisakhi and Poila Boishakh, by serving a special set of items from Bengal and Punjab. The menu, therefore, boasts of a wide array of items.

Dahi Bhalla at Saffron, the Park
Of course, I would appreciate nothing more than some perfectly made dahi bhalla which really helped tone down the heat outside for me. It was the perfect way to start my meal.

Assorted fried stuff
An assortment of fried goodies, with a thick, mint chutney came next. The vegetable chops were coated with a thin layer of biscuit crumbs and deep fried, but the beauty lay in the crisp crust which wasn't oily at all! On the other hand, the Amritsari machhi was delightfully tasty morsels of fresh fish fried in a spicy batter. Very addictive.

Cutlets and fried stuff at The Park
At this point, my attention was completely on the begun bhaja which was on my plate, served with some fragrant ghee bhat and well, it stayed riveted, until it got replaced by the beauty that was the Mahi Tikka Lababdar, with a tangy tomato gravy.

Begun Bhaja and Aloor Dom
But naturally, the fact that there was some light posto murgi made me happy - this is a dish which I have had before at the buffet at The Bridge, and they make an excellent version. I love the clean flavors, which went perfectly with  my rice. Ah well, I am a Bengali, after all!

Posto Murgi
They also served masala kulchas which were nice, but I was, at this point, anticipating dessert, so the malpua with a dollop of thick rabdi on top really hit the spot, the sweetness of the malpua complimenting the decadent, thick rabdi perfectly. I also liked the Baked Mango Chhena, which combined little bits of ripe mango with chhena, sweetened just enough, but not overtly, to ensure a balance between sweet and sour. We ended our meal with plenty of fresh lime soda and chatted for a while before heading out.

Fish Tikka Lababdar
For those who are interested, here is a brief guide of what Park is up to this April:

Saffron

10th to 19th April: Bengali New Year and Baisakhi Celebration for both Lunch and Dinner: A la carte with a special Celebration Thali

The Bridge 

15th April: Special lunch buffet for Poila Boisakh (INR 1495/- per person)

Banquets:

Buffet lunch at INR 1,195/- per person and INR 895/- per person  (This is exclusively available through Groupon)

Someplace Else

15th April from 9.30 p.m.: Live gig by Folk Foundation

Flurys

11th to 19th April: Special Poila Boisakh menu

Malpua with Rabdi and Baked Mango Chhena at Saffron, The Park
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee sampled the special Baisakhi/Poila Boishakh menu at The Park at the kind invitation of the management.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

AVON ANEW 360 degree White Timeless Cream Review and Swatches

Avon Anew 360 degree white timeless cream
Avon Anew 360 Degree White Timeless Cream (1399/- for 50 gm.) is available with Avon representatives.

A good night cream is hard to find for someone like me, and I am always on the lookout for something which would deliver a good bit of moisture without making my skin feel greasy. Avon Anew 360 Degree White Timeless Cream is supposed to

1. Visibly diminish fine lines in 1 week and skin feels firmer
2. Skin turns fairer, brighter, and makes you look five years younger in 4 weeks


Here is the ingredient list. As you can see, this does contain parabens, but for one, I have never been very worried about them - I have found it in most of the haircare and skincare products in the market, and used them considerably too.


The cream comes in a thick glass bottle package with a gold screw top lid. This makes it easy to carry around. I took it with me on my trips to Delhi and Lucknow, and it travelled without any leakage or issues. The package is slightly heavy, but I have dropped it a few times, and it hasn't broken yet, so yay! The cream itself is emollient, slightly oily, but absorbs like a dream. I was aware of my skin's issues when it travels to drier climate, and therefore, took this with me to my trips. It worked nicely as a night cream, did not break my skin out, and kept it hydrated.


Although it claims to reduce fine lines and makes me visibly fairer in 4 weeks of use, I have been using this for 4 weeks, and apart from a bit of evening of my skin tone, I do not see any dramatic change. I like the cream though - it is hydrating and works excellently as a night cream, and a little goes a long way. I also like the fact that it has a pleasant smell, and does not clog my pores.


If you ask me, the price of the product is on the higher side, but I have used similar products, in the same price range, and they have not worked out as well as this one has, and although I am still not totally happy with the effects, it does reduce tanning to some extent, which is a good thing. So, overall, I would recommend this to those who have normal to dry skin, with a tendency of tanning. But, oily skinned beauties should ideally stay away from it, because it will make your skin feel more oily, as it did to my sister.

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was sent this product to review. Her opinion is honest and unbiased. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

BEDHEAD by TIGI Product Demonstration by Ralf Boss

Ralf Boss at Someplace Else
Bedhead by TIGI fascinated me with its name and I ordered some of the items months ago, when it was first launched. So, when I was invited to a special preview to watch Ralf Boss, TIGI Creative Director Taiwan and Asia Pacific at Someplace Else, The Park, naturally, I was excited to see what he would be doing. With a huge range of products, TIGI has something for everyone, and Ralph showed us a few products which can definitely be incorporated to give your hair a brand new look.

Ralf used a couple of products on the model's hair to create a few looks. From straight hair, to curls, and adding volume to it, the best part about TIGI is the versatility, which was clearly seen. Ralf used a taming agent first - TIGI After Party, to relax the hair and ensure that it would not frizz up, before he started styling.

Before long, the model sported a very stylish look which was created within minutes. Ralf used a considerable amount of TIGI X-Factor Vivacious Hair Spray to make sure the hair was in perfect control. Within minutes the curls were perfectly draped around the girl's shoulder, quickly transformed from a wild mass of tangles. The best part is, the hold can be adjusted according to the amount of product you use on the hair - for a lighter hold, use sparingly.


Ralf added TIGI Bedhead Candy Fixation Sugar Dust to the model's hair roots, for absorbing the oil and giving the hair a lift. It added texture and volume to the hair, and increased the hair's bounce too.

The Model 
The products used from TIGI's Bedhead range were shown by Ralf, who explained the significance of certain products and what they were supposed to do. Personally, I have always loved the quirky packaging of TIGI products, and loved the look of each of them. Some of them are made in a way which make them look deliberately risqué, but that was the fun of it, admitted Ralf.

BEDHEAD by TIGI products
After the demonstration was over, we stayed back for some lovely food and drinks, and received a package of TIGI goodies, most of which I am yet to try out. But I have already tried the glaze haze sample pack, and it is superb for styling. You can check out more aboutTIGI at their Facebook Page.

Bedhead Products I received
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to the BEDHEAD by TIGI event by the brand.
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