Makeup Geek – Product Review

I’ve been trying out these lovely three pans for the past few weeks and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you. Jaclyn Hill has made a shout out to these foiled eyeshadows a few times in her recent videos, and she tempted me into giving them a try.

Makeup Geek Makeup Geek Swatches

This is my first time trying out products from Makeup Geek, and I decided to go for two eyeshadows and a blush.

Foiled Eyeshadow: Flame Thrower (copper) & Houdini (navy blue) – $9.99

Packaging: I was surprised to see that these shadows arrived in their pan, and a compact envelope instead of a sealed eyeshadow compact. Now that I’m taking a closer look at the website, I realize that I could have ordered them in a compact, but that’s alright. I will work with what I’ve got, and keep them in their envelopes for now. I’m not bothered by the fact that they come in their pan. In fact, I think that this helps keep things affordable!

Formula: These are really smooth and highly pigmented shadows that go on well with the warmth of your fingers or a flat eyeshadow brush that you use to pack on the color. It almost feels oily between your fingers – it’s very finely milled. There is quite a bit of fallout if you use it on your lower lashes, so beware. As you can see from the swatch, this applies incredibly dense and pigmented. It does crease by the end of a long work day, but a bit of primer should help manage that.

Finish: The finish is a flat, dense shimmer that isn’t glittery, but more of a tightly packed foil finish (just like the name!).

Blush: Secret Admirer (purple/pink) – $9.99

Packaging: This came in its pan as well. Doesn’t bother me!

Formula: The blush formula was disappointing, and not at all as impressive as the eyeshadows. It’s chalky and you have to apply it with a light hand to keep the chalkiness at bay. Does that make sense? Swirling it over your cheeks helps smooth it over as opposed to patting it over your cheeks. 

Finish: If you swirl gently of your cheeks, it does leave a pretty pinkish- purple flush on your cheeks. It doesn’t last very long, so be ready to reapply throughout the day!

Overall, the foiled eyeshadows are definitely worth giving a try and adding to your collection. The blush is definitely not a must, and I think you could find better alternatives at the drugstore.

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Dance Like No One is Watching

I’ve been turning to a couple of songs lately for a quick and easy energy boost, and I would like to share these songs with you.

These two pop musicians are incredibly talented and well-known in their respective countries, and I thought I’d bring them together for you here. Go ahead and give it a listen. Bust a move!

Artist: Yemi Alade

Song: “Johnny”

Language: Nigerian English

Official YouTube Site: Yemi Alade VEVO

Artist: Stromae

Song: “Tous Les Memes”

Language: French

Official YouTube Site: Stromae VEVO

This Month’s Makeup Exam – Farah Dhukai

Welcome to This Month’s Makeup Exam. This is a new segment on my blog in which at the end of each month, I test/recreate a makeup look that a YouTuber has done using products that I have in my collection.

The goal of This Month’s Makeup Exam is to:

  • learn new techniques
  • experiment with different looks
  • discover new tips, tricks, products, & dupes
  • find bloggers who do excellent tutorials

I’ve chosen Farah Dhukai for my first Makeup Exam because I really value her tutorials, and I admire the fact that her main YouTube channel, farahdhukai has stayed true to beauty, and she hasn’t expanded to a million other things like most YouTubers eventually do. All of her videos are incredibly informative and she walks you through products and techniques step-by-step. She recently did a Blue Smokey Eye, and I knew I wanted to take a stab at recreating the look. Please click here if you would like to watch it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 6.02.14 PM

Please bear in mind that the lighting and angles can really affect how things are conveyed to you. Trust me, I’m trying to improve my tech game!

Blue Smokey Eye 2

Blue Smokey Eye 3

Blue smokey Eye Products

 *All products have been linked to their own pages for more product information.*

SKIN

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Light Beige 53 – This is the only foundation I’m wearing on my skin in the photo. Light Beige is a good match for me and I like the coverage and finish it gives. Two pumps give me medium to full coverage, and the formula is great for dry skin. It doesn’t cling to any dry patches, and if anything, it adds a healthy dose of moisture back into my skin. The Bourjois Foundations & Serums carry a light floral scent this isn’t overbearing. I like the dewy finish it gives and I it’s a nice drugstore foundation for everyday.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 – I had heard loads about this concealer and that a few beauty bloggers liked this more than the NARS creamy concealer. Though I haven’t tried the NARS concealer, I don’t feel like there is much of a need because this product does a great job concealing and highlighting under my eyes.

CHEEKS

Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette in Light 373 – This palette includes a matte bronzer, a champaign highlighter, and a pink blush with gold shimmer running through it. I really like that the bronzer is matte and that it has an ashy undertone for a more natural finish. I used the bronzer lightly along my cheekbones and hairline.

EYES

Clinique Eye Liner in Intense Ebony – Love this stuff! I used this as an eyeshadow and eyeliner. First, I applied this all over my eyelid, then tight lined my upper lid and lower lash line.

Stila Eye Shadow in Ocean – This is a deep navy blue with blue simmer running through it. This eyeshadow formula has a lot of fall out, so please beware to press down instead of smudging,

Stila Eye Shadow in Light Apricot – This is a pinkish-mauve color that is very pigmented. I applied this in my crease.

Victoria Secret Eye Shadow in Gold School [discontinued] – This is a very pretty gold pigment that I added to the inner corner of my eye.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Mascara in Smoky Extravagant – This is a late comer to my collection, but my goodness, how did I ever live without this stuff?! It’s the most black and volumizing mascara that I’ve found and the cone shaped applicator lets me get down to the roots.

LIPS

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Precious, 050 – I added this to just the center of my lips to add a bit of dimension and to mute out the pink in my lips.

“No Makeup, Makeup Look” Serious Drugstore Edition

Hello and happy Sunday! Out of all of the beauty blogs and YouTube videos out there, I find myself drawn to the “No Makeup, Makeup Look.” This look is appropriate for many occasions – from work, to the coffee shop, to a date.

Many women who do the “No Makeup, Makeup Look” still look like they have tons of makeup on, and I’ve tried to minimize the number of products I have used, and seriously create a “No Makeup, Makeup Look.” All of the products below are from the drugstore, and as a side note, this is also a perfect starter kit for those of you who are just getting into makeup. I hope you like it, and please do share any personal tips you have!

No Makeup Makeup Look 1

 *All products have been linked to their own pages for more product information.*

No makeup makeup 3

This is the “After” Shot. Check out my Twitter feed for the “Before” Shot!

SKIN

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Light Beige 53 – This is the only foundation I’m wearing on my skin in the photo. Light Beige is a perfect match for me and I like the coverage and finish it gives. Two pumps give me medium to full coverage, and the formula is great for dry skin. It doesn’t cling to any dry patches, and if anything, it adds a healthy dose of moisture back into my skin. The Bourjois Foundations & Serums carry a light floral scent this isn’t overbearing. I’ve been wearing this for about two weeks now, and I like the dewy finish it gives and I it’s a nice drugstore foundation for everyday.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 – I had heard loads about this concealer and that a few beauty bloggers liked this more than the NARS creamy concealer. Though I haven’t tried the NARS concealer, I don’t feel like there is much of a need because this product does a great job concealing and highlighting under my eyes.

EYES

NYX Blush in Terra Cotta – This is marketed as a blush, but a wonderful way to add a natural shadow is to use your bronzer/blush. I use this in my crease and along my lower lashes to add subtle depth and dimension.

L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner in Carbon Black – This is a handy liner to have from the drugstore. I like the sturdy twist up applicator, and there’s a sharpener that comes along with this as well. I use this to tight-line my upper lid to add depth and to give the illusion of thicker lashes.

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black/Brown – The formula of this mascara includes small fibers which add a healthy amount of volume and length. I really like the consistency of the product – it’s wet, adds volume & length, and doesn’t clump! For a less severe look, I like to use brown mascara.

Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Drama in Transparent – I’ve been pretty lucky with my brows. They are dark and dense, and all I have to do is pluck them once a week to maintain a strong shape. I’ve noticed that the shape of my brown changes throughout the day, so I picked up this brow gel to keep the stray hairs from having a field day. I really like the shape of the wand. It’s bulbous at the tip, and tapers out into a standard mascara wand towards the end. For a natural look, I’ve gone with the transparent formula and swept up and away from the center of my face. The formula is nice – not crispy or heavy.

CHEEKS

NYX Blush in Terra Cotta – This was the first purchase of many that I made after getting hooked onto Essie Button’s beauty blog and YouTube Channel. If you haven’t heard of her, check her out. She’s great! This is a subtle shimmery bronzer with peach undertones. I use this along my temples and under my cheek bones. It subtly adds definition back into my face.

LIPS

Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in Rose Mauve, 712 – I prepped my lips by rubbing Aquaphor into them, and topped it off with this liner from Kiko. For me, THIS is definitely a ‘my lips but better color.’ This lip pencil is highly pigmented and goes on smooth. I used my fingers to blend them out for a stained look.

A Californian’s British Beauty Haul

I recently had a layover in Heathrow Airport, and I was so excited to use whatever dollars I had left in Boots, a UK-based drugstore. I’ve done a quick makeup look to demonstrate the products I purchased. Product reviews below!

Like my necklace? Please click here if you are interested in learning how I made it! 

UK Haul 1UK HAUL

*All products have been linked to their own pages for more product information.*

SKIN

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Light Beige 53 – This is the only foundation I’m wearing on my skin in the photo. Light Beige is a perfect match for me and I like the coverage and finish it gives. Two pumps give me medium to full coverage, and the formula is great for dry skin. It doesn’t cling to any dry patches, and if anything, it adds a healthy dose of moisture back into my skin. The Bourjois Foundations & Serums carry a light floral scent this isn’t overbearing. I’ve been wearing this for about two weeks now, and I like the dewy finish it gives and I it’s a nice drugstore foundation for everyday.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Beige 54 – This foundation is a bit light for me, and I haven’t had a chance to wear it very often. It’s similar to the serum, but it’s not as moisturizing and dries a bit more matte than the serum. I will try to use it more often and will give you a full review.

CHEEKS

Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette in Light 373 – This palette includes a matte bronzer, a champaign highlighter, and a pink blush with gold shimmer running through it. Let’s talk about the packaging for a second. The only word I can use to describe the packaging is sleek. The product comes in a thin, firm, black, matte casing that includes a large mirror. It’s functional and it helps that all three shades are on point. I really like that the bronzer is matte and that it has an ashy undertone for a more natural finish. The blush is a sophisticated golden-pink that reminds be a lot of the NARS blush in Orgasm. I don’t use highlighters very often, but this is a nice one that doesn’t leave a glittery finish, but rather a “lit from within” glow.

EYES

Sleek’s Eau La La Liner in Pumpkin – This is Sleek’s duo pencil that is both an eyeliner and lip liner. I’ve been wanting to experiment with more pops of color on my eyes, so I went bold and got an orange liner. As you can see, I’ve added this to the inner corners of my eyes and lower lash line for an unexpected pop of color. The formula is highly pigmented, though beware, it is a waxy pencil that is difficult to blend.

LIPS

Sleek’s Matte Me in Fandango Purple – This is the color I’m wearing in the photo. It’s a liquid matte lipstick that is a rich fluorescent purple. I love this color and I think it would suit all skin tones. Since it is a liquid lipstick that dries matte, it is no surprise that your lips get dry and the product begins to build up after about 2 hours of wear. This is a nice color for a short meeting or an evening show, but I wouldn’t recommend it if a lot of eating and talking is involved. Let me take a moment to say that the wand is straight, long, and without any shape to it, so precise application takes quite some time.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-ist – Don’t let the name fool you. This is definitely a mauve with berry undertones, not a nude. This is another liquid lipstick that sets with a velvet sheen. I purchased this product because Vivianna from Vivianna Does Makeup raved about this formula in one of her videos, but what she failed to mention is the horrid smell of these formulas. It smells like burning plastic, and it really leaves much to be desired. I was unimpressed by the formula and this particular color as well. Though it looks mauve in the tube, it comes on a bit orange on me. The packaging is quite nice, and I do like the doe-foot applicator. I couldn’t stand the smell of it, so I haven’t kept it on long enough to honestly test the formula.

2014 Beauty Favorites with Vani!

Vani & Manali

*Wearing our 2014 beauty favorites*

2014 has come to an end, and this is by far the most experimental year I’ve had with makeup. I thought I would take a look at my collection and pick out my most well-loved items of 2014 and share them with you.

Let me take a moment to say that this post is extra special, because I’ve asked my really good childhood friend, Vani, to collaborate with me on this post. She’s a beauty fanatic as well, and if there is one person’s recommendations I take seriously, it is hers. Vani has picked out her favorite items from 2014 as well, and we’ve both respectively written about the products that we’ve brought to the table.

Please keep reading for a list of high-end and low-end beauty products that we’ve adored in 2014.

What’s been your one “can’t live without” beauty product of 2014?

Vani’s List

Vani Beauty Faves 2014 1

Vani Beauty Faves 2014 3

Vani 2014 Beauty Faves 2

SKIN

Moisturizer 

Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer Regardless of whether I plan to wear makeup or not, I like to moisturize my face with Aveeno’s Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. This product keeps my skin incredibly hydrated and moisturized throughout the day. It also has a refreshing and non-overbearing scent, which I am obsessed with. I have been using this product for a few years now and definitely plan to keep using it.

Face Primer 

Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion – I  recently bought this face primer, and let me tell you, I am obsessed. I am in love with the formula and am amazed at how well my foundation stays put when I use this, and it really minimizes the look of pores and fine lines. The velvety formula is to die for, and upon application, turns to a soft-matte finish that allows your skin to become the perfect canvas for foundation.

Foundation 

Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation (Medium #54) – My skin does not need a lot of coverage, but when I do my makeup, I prefer to have a flawless matte finish, and this foundation does exactly that. My girl, Kat Von D, has created a thick formula for girls who need & love a high-coverage, matte foundation. My foundation routine includes a pump of this and a pump of Make Up For Ever’s Mat Velvet foundation.

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet +(No. 45 in Soft Beige)I bought this foundation before I bought KVD’s Lock-it Tattoo Foundation, and was very impressed with the formula. It  evens out your skin tone and creates a matte finish that you can build on. When I would like a more natural finish, I gravitate towards this foundation.

Corrector 

Bobbi Brown Corrector (Peach) (Not Pictured)This peach/pink based concealer is designed to neutralize dark under eye circles. The formula is extremely thick so it creases quickly, however, I have not found or used anything that rivals the longevity of this product on skin.

Concealer

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit (Warm Natural with Pale Yellow Powder) – After I apply the corrector, I move on to this creamy concealer duo as this concealer blends easily to instantly cover and brighten my dark circles. After applying both the corrector and concealer, I use the Pale Yellow Pressed Powder and apply it underneath my eyes to set the concealer for long-lasting wear.

CHEEKS

Bronzer

Smashbox Bronze Lights (Suntan Matte) – This is hands down one of the best bronzers I have ever used in my life. I am obsessed with how soft it is and I love bronzers with a matte finish. At the time, I did not want something too dark so this was perfect. However, now that I have gotten more interested in contouring and highlighting, I am in search for another bronzer with similar qualities to this product’s formula, but just a bit darker. Any suggestions?

Blush

Lorac Pro Powder Cheek Stain (Plum Passion) – Sometime back, Manali and I made a trip to ULTA. I was in search of a plum colored blush and was directed to the Lorac Pro Blushes. I fell in love with this color. In the pan, it’s a deep plum, but upon application, it is more of a rich fuchsia. It is incredibly pigmented, so beware, and use a light hand!

Highlighter 

Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light (Nude) – For those of us who are not into the overtly shimmery look on your cheekbones, this highlighter/blush is definitely for you! Looking forward to trying this product in the color Mauve.

EYES 

Eye Cream

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream – You may not be able to realize under all this makeup, but one of the biggest skin concerns are under eye dark circles. To prep for concealing, I like to moisturize the skin around my eyes with this cream. After having used this product, I’ve noticed that my concealer creases less because the thin and sensitive skin around my eyes feel intensely hydrated. This formula is both hydrating and lightweight. A little goes a long way!

Eye Shadow

Urban Decay Vice 3 Eyeshadow Palette – Although I bought this Palette in December 2014, this is definitely the sexiest one I own. The palette includes 20 never before seen UD shades that are to die for. The shadows are velvety and buttery and each shadow has a different finish (metallic, shimmer, matte). Some of my favorite shades include: Truth, Undone, Downfall, DTF, Dragon, Lucky, Reign, Bobby Dazzle, Alchemy, Bondage, Sonic, & Last Sin.

Eye Liner (Liquid & Pencil) 

Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner (Carbon Black) – Anyone who knows me well, knows that my signature look includes a winged liner. For most of 2014, I have been forever faithful to Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (Intense Black). However, I recently came across several makeup gurus raving about the Eyeko Liquid Liner, so I had to get my hands on this baby! All I have to say is, “YES, I HAVE FOUND THE HOLY GRAIL OF ALL LIQUID EYELINERS!” This formula is exquisite. It is jet black and does not easily fade away like most liquid liners, and the applicator allows for great precision. This is definitely a product I plan to repurchase in 2015.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Perversion) – If you love black pencil eyeliner and you like it dark, then Perversion is definitely for you. This is the blackest eyeliner you will ever come across. The formula is velvety and soft which allows for easy smudging.

L’Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner (Highlight) – This pencil eyeliner is neither white nor nude, but more so a subtle highlight to apply on your lower waterline that allows for a really sultry glow.

Mascara 

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! MascaraAn excellent mascara that does everything you need a mascara to do. The mascara brush and wand shapes my lashes beautifully, and preps my lashes for coats of my two other favorite mascaras (listed below).

BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara (Intense Black) – I love the formula of this mascara. It volumizes, lengthens, thickens, and separates your lashes. The reigning quality of this mascara is its deep black color payoff!

Origins Ginzing Brightening Mascara to Lengthen & Lift (Black) – This mascara is amazing, but not for everyone. I am obsessed with how long this mascara makes my lashes look, but the application can be difficult because the applicator itself is large and very thick. Please note that this is a messy product – have cotton buds at hand!

LIPS

Lip Plumper

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme – My lips are not as full as I would like them to be, so I purchased this item, and I must say that this product does what it claims to do. You must be very careful using this, as too much can cause serious irritation and redness around the mouth. A little goes a long way!

Lip Liner 

MAC Lip Pencil (Whirl)I have always loved the Kardashians, but 2014 was the year I fell in love with the their little sister, Kylie Jenner. Now, I’m not going to start talking about how Kylie’s lips magically became larger overnight, but let me tell you this, she’s not just over lining her lips. Kylie’s selfie game is strong, but the color on her lips looked even stronger to me. After browsing through beauty blogs, I found out that Kylie’s staple lip color is MAC’s Lip Pencil in Whirl. If you asked me what my favorite beauty product from 2014 was, I’d tell you that it is this product right here. 

NAILS 

Nail Color 

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer (Better In Buff) – I do not wear nail polish often, but when I do, it’s ALWAYS this color. The most perfect nude/blush for my skin tone!

Manali’s List

2014 Beauty Faves 2 2014 Beauty Faves 1

SKIN

FOUNDATION

I have incredibly dry skin that stays consistently dry throughout the year, and there are very few foundations that seamlessly glide over my dry patches. I started out the first half of the year with pretty clear skin, and during that time, I would use NARS Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz, but in the past 6 months, the quality of my skin as declined, and in addition to breakouts, I’ve had a lot of scarring. This has called for a bit more coverage and the two products I love to use in conjunction with each other are NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Light Beige 53 – a pump of each and a beauty blender is all I need!

NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli – I’ve had great difficulty finding my perfect foundation match in other foundation lines simply because they don’t have enough of a yellow undertone in their medium color range. This is my perfect foundation match and I love the coverage it gives.

Bourjois Health Mix Serum in Light Beige 53 – A pump of this serum not only brightens up my skin, but it also injects that extra moisture into my skin that NARS Sheer Glow doesn’t provide on its own.

CONCEALER

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 – I had heard loads about this concealer and that a few beauty bloggers liked this more than the NARS creamy concealer. Though I haven’t tried the NARS concealer, I don’t feel like there is much of a need because this product does a great job concealing and highlighting under my eyes. I set it with a translucent powder and it stays put all day.

CHEEKS

BRONZER/BLUSHER/HIGHLIGHTER

2014 is the first year in which I really experimented with blushers and bronzer. I love using bronzers and every now and then, I enjoy softening up my look with a blush as well. Now, I must share that this palette that I am going to be talking about is a new addition to my collection, but since it has put all of my other cheek products to rest, I decided to include it in my 2014 favorites. I’m talking about the Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette in Light 373.

Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette in Light 373 – This palette includes a matte bronzer, a champaign highlighter, and a pink blush with gold shimmer running through it. Let’s talk about the packaging for a second. The only word I can use to describe the packaging is sleek. The product comes in a thin, firm, black, matte casing that includes a large mirror. It’s functional and it helps that all three shades are on point. I really like that the bronzer is matte and that it has an ashy undertone for a more natural finish. The blush is a sophisticated golden-pink that reminds be a lot of the NARS blush in Orgasm. I don’t use highlighters very often, but this is a nice one that doesn’t leave a glittery finish, but rather a “lit from within” glow.

EYES

EYE SHADOW

L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Amber Rush – Hands down my favorite formula and color of 2014 and beyond! I included this in my Bronze/Taupe Eyeshadow Collection post a while back. Out of my eye shadow collection, this one takes the cake. I LOVE this peachy-gold-copper metallic color and I wear this day or night. I pack this stuff on real good for an opaque copper shine on my lids for nights out and I sheer it out for the day time. It has received a lot of love in 2014!

EYE LINER

NYX Slide On in Golden Bronze – Holy Smokes. If you’re looking for an eyeliner that complements your bronze/taupe eyeshadow, you NEED to get this. I love this color to line my bottom rim. This is a creamy eyeliner that is a reddish-golden-bronze that finishes off a bronze/taupe look perfectly.

MASCARA

MAKE UP FOR EVER Mascara in Smoky Extravagant – This is a late comer to my collection, but my goodness, how did I ever live without this stuff?! It’s the most black and volumizing mascara that I’ve found and the cone shaped applicator lets me get down to the roots. It’s nice!

LIPS

LIP LINER

NYX Lip Liner in Currant/Raisin – This liner in addition to the Revlon lip color I talk about below has been a combination I’ve worn the most this year, and I kid you not, I get compliments every time I wear this look. The NYX liners are smooth and effective, and they help make your lipstick last longer.

LIP COLOR

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry – This lipstick is a deep black cherry and gives me that winter plum look during the colder months. I love that I can sheer out this lipstick for summer nights and layer up for those dark winter nights. A nice perk is that this color makes your teeth look a few shades brighter! The formula this line is so moisturizing and comfortable. Revlon does do well with their lip products.

NAILS

Nail Color

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in ‘Lust for Lilac’ –  This is a deep, bright pastel lavender that is perfect for spring, summer, or fall. It takes about three coats to get an opaque finish, but the formula is thin, so it doesn’t feel like you’ve added a gooey layer of paint. It’s takes about 8-10 minutes for three layers to completely dry. This formula lasts between 4-5 days before chipping. It’s really lovely and would look great on any skin tone!

BOOK

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil – A compelling tale about the opium trade in India, and the web of characters that lust for the narcotic. It is an addictive novel.