Shopping spree: Accessories (belts, shoes, bags) and makeup galore!

You can’t shop fashion unless you’ve got the right accessories and makeup to go with your clothes! Here are my top accessory picks from the shopping I did on my Spanish holiday:

Shoes: Studded sandals and brogues

Studded sandals from Shana Brogues

Jewellery: Leaf necklace

(Note to self: Gold polish still rules the accessories world.)

Leaf necklace from Bershka

Belts for all occasions:

Super wide to slim…

Belts: white, purple, lace, black


The floral summer tote and Blanco clutch define cute-n-casual chic.

Bags for summer

Makeup haul: Lips, eyes, face, nails… it’s all there!

 Makeup haul from Spain

Note the brands we’re missing here in India: Bobbi Brown, NARS and Sephora. I wasn’t going to let some of the world’s best makeup pass me by! BTW, the Bobbi Brown foundation is flawless and invisible, like second skin. No kidding.

Smashbox lip gloss set: I L.O.V.E [heart] lip glosses, and I got this Smashbox set for just Rs 1000 (approx).

Smahbox lip gloss set

NARS Blush: Makes me blush! 😉 Also bought orange-red lip colour in pencil form.

NARS Blush in Gina

Happy weekend shopping, ladies!

Related Post:

Shopping spree: What I raided from Mango, Zara

Chic makeup: Lakme Fantasy Collection Review (Part 3)

In part 2 of our Lakme Fantasy Collection Review, we wrote about the face products. In the third and final part, we give a roundup of the collection.

Lakme Enrich Satin Lip Colour

Colours: Mostly pinks, peaches and light purples

Price: Rs 225 each (available in 8 shades)

Lakme LIPSTICK No 131 Fantasy Collection Lakme LIPSTICK SHIMMER No 137 Fantasy Collection


We tried three shades from the collection, and our favourite was No 131 (pictured above on left) which was a nude pink. I’d recommend this shade as a must-have for ALL Indian women. The lipsticks are what you expect from Lakme—last long but when they start to fade, you need to quickly touch up. All shades work well with our skin.

Verdict: 4/5

Lakme Eye Color Quartet

Colours in the quad: Dewy green, petal pink, gold pastels.

Price: Rs 425

Lakme Fantasy Collection eye colour quarter


While the green in this eye shadow palette is lovely, I don’t think so highly of the other shades. The pink reminded me a bit of last season’s purple eye shadow shade. Also, while the shadows are rich in pigment, they could go easier on the shimmer. After all, we we wouldn’t want the nudish shadow to shimmer too much at work. 🙂 Another issue I have faced with Lakme eye shadow quads: the colour “powder square” breaks after a while on its own. But if you intend to use the palette only till the next season, it won’t be a problem for you. On the upside, shadows stay in place for hours and are great for summer parties.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Lakme True Wear Nail Colour

Colours: Pinks, lilac, mauve (six shades available)

Price: Rs 90 each


I won’t write anything in this review—just show you pictures of their lovely shades. Gorgeous!

LAKME Fantasy Collection true wear nail colour LAKME Fantasy Collection true wear nail colour LAKME Fantasy Collection true wear nail colour

Verdict: 4.5/5

Lasting impressions of Lakme Fantasy Collection:

Lakme’s Fantasy Collection gives Indian women the versatility to try a variety of looks over the next few months, and all at an affordable price. I’m glad that Lakme has experimented with new products like the bronzer and multi-purpose eye pencils. Fortunately, most of the products in the collection deliver what they promise. Our two wishes? We would have liked to see orange in their range, as it is a hot colour this summer AND can work with Indian skin tones. Also, after last season’s Gypsy collection, we’ve seen plenty of shimmer and shine, so maybe some matte products would be good too.

Our final words: Good collection with some winning products.



Related Posts:

Chic makeup: Lakme Fantasy Collection Review (Part 2)

Chic makeup: Lakme Fantasy Collection Review (Part 1)

Chic makeup: Lakme Fantasy Collection Review (Part 2)

In the first part of our Lakme Fantasy Collection Review, we wrote about the collection’s eye products. In part 2 of the review, we cover the face products: Cheek Artist and Gold dust shimmer bronzer.

Cheek Artist

This is a creamy blush in roll-up stick form that can give a natural blush to all skin tones.

Price: Rs 395 each (available in two shades: Kiss of a Rose and Peach Blush)

Lakme Fantasy collection Cheek Artist peach blush Review:

An embarrassing confession: I’ve never used cream blush before, and I’ve never used a peach blush either. So before I used the peach shade, I was a bit sceptical about the colour and application. But my fears were unfounded. I used my fingers to dab a bit of the blush on my cheek and then blended it well. Did it look natural? Yes, and gorgeous! The blush did fade away over 3-4 hours, though not completely. Some women may need to get this right by trial and error.

A makeup artist from Lakme Studio used Kiss of a Rose for me a day later, and that looked great as well. However, she touched it up with a powder blush, saying it would help the cream one stay in place for longer (liked the tip!)

This is another of the handy products from this collection, and it’s definitely easier than carrying around something that requires a brush. However, I’m a  bit disappointed with the roll-and-twist mechanism as it stopped working properly after only a couple of times. Lakme can do better in the packaging department.

Verdict: 4/5

Gold Dust Shimmer Bronzer

This is a pressed bronzing powder that you can use on your face or body.

Price: Rs 450 (3 shades available in 1 compact)


Not too many Indian women have used bronzer as part of their routine or even special occasion makeup for a number of reasons (suitable products not available, aversion to “tanning”, Gold dust shimmer bronzer Lakme Fantasy collectionbronzer myths). I was a bronzer virgin as well, till the Lakme Gold Dust Shimmer Bronzer came along.

So I proceeded with caution—using it first as a blush. It looked great, stayed in place and added shimmer to my cheeks, which was just perfect for my Saturday night dinner with friends. Even after several hours, the bronzer/blush stayed in place.

The next day I looked up online tutorials on the correct way to use bronzer, and followed their advice: use a large brush and sweep across forehead, temples, cheeks, nose and chin. What I noticed first was the glitter in the product, then the pigment. I did not use too much of product as bronzers need to be used to the bare minimum. If I had used more, I might have ended up looking “streaked” or too shiny. Frankly, despite checking and re-checking myself in the mirror I wasn’t sure if I looked bronzed enough, though I know the look is supposed to be subtly sun-kissed. I think the problem is that many of us Indians are already a bit sun-kissed. 😉

The subtlety did look nice, though not wow. The effect lasted 3-4 hours, not more, though some shimmer was visible even after that.

Maybe going a bit lighter on the shimmer would have worked better for the Gold Dush Shimmer Bronzer. However, as one of the firsts among Indian cosmetic brands, I give a thumbs-up to the product.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Also read:

Chic makeup: Lakme Fantasy Collection Review (part 1)

Chic makeup: Lakme Fantasy Collection Review (Part 1)

Earlier this month, Lakme launched its new makeup range for summer 2011: the Fantasy Collection. Besides introducing new shades in existing product lines like Enrich Satin lip color (lipsticks), Eye Color quartet (eye shadow palette of four shades) and True Wear nail color (nail polish), there are plenty of new and exciting products: Lakme Fantasy Collection products

  • Cheek Artist (cream blush)
  • Gold dust shimmer bronzer
  • All over shimmer gloss
  • Shadow artist shimmer stick (cream-based eyeliner-cum-shadow)
  • Fairy dust eye shadow (like an eyeshadow in pen/ stick form)
  • Fantasy shimmer liner (sparkle eye liner)

The colour palette of this collection ranges from bright tones in green, pink and blue. Gloss and shine are key elements of this product range.

In part 1 of the Lakme Fantasy Collection review, we test some of the eye products.

Shadow Artist Shimmer Stick

Lakme Shadow Artist Shimmer Stick in GREEN - Lakme Fantasy Collection Lakme Shadow Artist Shimmer Stick in GREEN BLUE- Lakme Fantasy Collection

These are creamy pencils that you can use in a number of ways: as liner on upper or lower lashes, or you can apply and smudge/ blend, or simply use all over the lid as eye shadow. And as the name suggests, they’ve got glitter!

Price: Rs 350 each (available in four shades)


I found the pencils easy to use, and I was also able to easily blend the colour. I wore the Green to office and while my colleagues liked it, one of them wished that the green was a deeper shade. I agree with her, as it isn’t always practical to wear such a colour to work or formal events and the darker colour would go well with our skin tone.

Anyways, my thick liner stroke stayed in place from morning to evening and faded just a little. I also turned it into eye shadow, by applying a few solid lines across the lid and then blending with my ring finger. The resultant eye shadow was wonderful—just the right hint of pigment and good dose of shimmer. Of course you can add more layers of colour if you want more colour.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Fantasy Shimmer Liner

The product description claims that it gives you twinkling eyes, and you can line, layer and blend this product without smudging.

Price: Rs 275 each (available in 8 colours).

Lakme Fanstasy Shimmer Liner in Midnight Moon You know what? Every word in the above-mentioned product description is 100% true. Though the product is in liquid form, it’s got a quick dry formula. So apply it once, blink, and there—it’s in place. And yes, your eyes do seem to twinkle. 🙂

The shimmer liner brush was just right to apply the liner comfortably and I didn’t have a problem applying it even though my hand tends to shake.

I tried Midnight Moon (picture on left), Gold and Pink Crystal—and I loved ALL of them! The’yre great for parties, weddings, shopping and fun! This product has to be on your makeup kit this summer (or rather, this year).

PS: I’d love to try the White in this range. If it’s transparent, I’m buying it!

Verdict: 4.5/5

Coming soon: Lakme Fantasy Collection Review (Part 2)

Makeup Review: Body Shop Concealer

A concealer pencil? That was my first reaction to the Body Shop concealer when I saw it online. But the concealer was recommended by a friend, so I tried it out at the Body Shop store in a Mumbai mall.

Initially, I wasn’t sure if this cream-based concealer was doing its job well—hiding dark circles, redness and pigmentation. But the more I use it, the more I’m convinced that it works great when applied correctly. The coverage is adequate for a concealer, but not buildable.

Body Shop concealer Body Shop Concealer

I blend the concealer either using a concealer/lip brush or my ring finger. The latter is perfect for when I’m on the run; I apply the pencil directly on the problem area, and begin blending. While using the brush takes slightly longer, it blends better, though I usually do the final “round” of blending with my finger.

I follow the concealer with a dab of compact powder and carry it in my purse to touch up when needed. The makeup lasts long (it stayed in place from 1 pm to 10 pm, even as I ran from one part of the city to another).

The only thing I don’t like about the concealer is that it needs to be sharpened regularly. But luckily, one twist of the pencil is enough, so not much product wastage.

Speaking Chic verdict: I recommend the Body Shop concealer for busy women who have little time for makeup, are looking for a “lighter” option to foundation.

Speaking Chic rating: 4/5

Which concealer do you use?

Lancome’s story of beauty, makeup and science

Veronique Delvigne speaks about Genifique and Lancome As Veronique Delvigne explains genomics and proteomics in her clipped French accent, her passion for science, research and beauty shines through. As Scientific Director of Lancome Paris, you’d think it came with her job, but that only partially explains why she is beauty and brains rolled into one.

Veronique was in India recently to talk about the science behind two new products from the Lancome stable: Génifique Youth Activator and Teint Miracle Foundation.

Speaking Chic had a brief chat with with her about the present and future of skin care, makeup and the business of beauty.

What has changed recently to spur the growth of makeup products with skin care benefits?

We always knew that makeup can play with the deepest layer of skin, rather than just the surface. But today we have understood how we can actually play with the inner layer. For example, we know certain active substances can stimulate or provide a “boost” to specific gene activity. We have applied this concept while developing the product Génifique. Then we have a new generation of foundation that contain moisturisers, enhance transparency and provide sunscreen and UV protection.

The new approach to skin care is also leading to other changes. The European Union has adopted a new seal to indicate PPD (persistent pigment darkening) as a measurement of sun protection. Under this system, a product with UVA protection of at least 1/3 of the SPF (UVB protection)  will get the new seal.

You spoke extensively about proteomics and genes, and how they play an important role in dealing with the problem of ageing skin. In what other areas of skin care can this science be applied?

We are just starting out in this field of research, and are currently working on the problem of skin dryness—it’s a universal problem. We have identified genes that are linked to cosmetic dryness, along with a set of proteins that can address this problem.

Natural and organic are the new buzz words in skin care and the beauty industry. What are your views on such products?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the consumer is looking for safety in her products. We have demonstrated for specific active ingredients the need to use specific extracts of natural ingredients rather a complex or blend to create product efficacy. We need to create products that can deliver efficacy. For instance, rose extract is good for skin, but it’s not enough. Also, there are false concerns about preservatives. If you don’t use preservatives, the product’s oxidation takes place in just a few days and it starts smelling. So my advice is don’t believe in small brands, use something you trust.

What other factors play a role in getting good skin, besides diet and exercise?

Enjoy life! It’s very important to be positive. Being happy produces endorphins which are produced in the ectoderm, which is the same envelope as part that controls the skin. Hence there’s a direct connection between your state of mind and your skin. Your skin can convey your emotion. Besides, people older than 100 years are always very positive.

Chic Party Makeup: New Year 2011 guide (part 1)

Be the quintessential party animal on New Year’s Eve with makeup to usher in 2011 looking your chic-est. Speaking Chic illuminates some top makeup trends.

Smokey eyes
Classic look, but not an easy one to try at home. Too much eyeshadow and you look like a witch. Too little, and it doesn’t make an impact. Give your smokey eyes the 2011 twist by ditching the black eye shadow in favour of grey, silver, teal, taupe or dark blue. Add some sparkle or glitter on your eyelids or corners of your eyes to get the perfect party look. Smokin’ hot!

Speaking Chic tip: Get your smokey eyes right with the help of this video.

Dewy skin
MAC mineralize foundationIf you’ve got the confidence to carry off a clean makeup look, the dewy skin look is just right for  you. The best way to look nude yet glowing is to apply a foundation that gives your skin the right amount of sheen. I use MAC’s Mineralize Satin Finish Foundation for this.

Speaking Chic tip: Apply some loose powder after the foundation. This might take away some of your dewiness initially, but as your skin gets oilier during the party, the glow comes right back.

Which trend will you party with?

Makeup Review: Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation

My mom doesn’t like makeup. Her idea of makeup is lipstick and maybe a compact. She’s never applied foundation. So convincing her to try Lancome’s Teint Miracle Foundation was the tough part.

Lancome’s Teint Miracle Foundation is the latest from the stable of the brand’s scientific research-based products. The foundation uses Aura Inside Technology—a natural light creator—to recreate skin’s inner light. Teint Miracle Foundation uses the right combination of  new pink bioptic pigment and blue bioptic pigment to make your complexion appear lit-from-within.

The foundation’s main draws: it boosts radiance and you appear flawless.

Mom and I put these claims to test just before she headed out to lunch with her friends.

Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation makeup We were both impressed with the rich-feel product packaging. As I helped my mom apply the foundation, I discovered it blended quite easily. (The Lancome makeup artist had told me earlier that the foundation was light, so if you’re looking for heavy coverage, this is not the right product for you.)

I set the foundation with some loose powder and waited a few minutes to check the foundation’s magic. Five minutes later, her skin seemed to glow, like she’d just done an expensive facial. And while mom doesn’t have any blemishes or pigmentation, her skin tone and texture seemed even, and mom looked radiant! Really.

As she headed off for lunch, I was afraid the foundation would get smudged or wiped off, or that people would know she’d done something to her face. But when she returned, she was still glowing, and beaming from the compliments she’d got from her friends. 🙂

Other reasons why we liked the foundation: it’s non-comedogenic (my mom’s skin didn’t break out), has SPF 15, is oil-free and stays on for a long time.

One reason I didn’t like the foundation: When I tried the foundation on myself (in the correct shade), it didn’t seem to do the same wonders it did for my mom.

Verdict: My mom loved the foundation, and will use Lancome’s Teint Miracle for special occasions. That’s a big thumbs-up!

Rating: 4.5/5

Price: Rs 2700

Disclosure: Speaking Chic received this product for review from Lancome.

Lakme’s new launches: Perfect Radiance Compact and Fruit Blast face washes

In the recent past, Lakmé has launched several makeup products, such as the popular Gypsy makeup collection and Lakmé Day Perfect Lip Color.

This month, Lakmé launched two new products (technically one product and one product range): Lakmé Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact and Lakmé Fruit Blast face cleansers (or face washes).

Lakmé Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact

Lakme Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact Radiance is the new buzzword in makeup. Women today want makeup to give them a healthy glow rather than a matte look. And Lakmé’s Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact promises to give women just that. A recent addition to the Perfect Radiance range (which already includes foundation, cream and facewash), the compact is available in six shades. The shades have been especially developed for Indian skin tones by leading makeup expert Cory Walia.

The compact contains Vitamin B3 to lighten skin tone and reduce intensity of blemishes. What’s more, it has SPF 20 to protect skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Price: Rs 150

Lakmé Fruit Blast Face CleansersLakmé Fruit Blast Face Cleansers face washes

Strawberries, watermelons, mandarins, raspberries… yum! Much as I’d be tempted to eat these,  the new Lakmé face cleansers are not meant to be eaten, but applied, lathered, and washed away. The face washes contain anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids (found in berries) and AHAs (found in citrus fruits).

The face cleansers are for a range of purposes, based on their ingredients. So the  Lakmé Melon Melt Fruit Quench face wash with watermelon and muskmelon will deep cleanse, refresh and rehydrate your skin; while the Lakmé Berry Lush Fruit Energizing face wash with strawberries and raspberries will exfoliate and keep your skin soft  and smooth.

Price: Rs 70 onwards for 50 gm tubes.

Guide to chic Diwali makeup: Part 1

Makeup idea 1: Flicked liner, glossy lips

If you loved the 50s and 60s, you’ll love the flicked liner look. Give it a contemporary take with glossy lips. Check out Sophie Choudhary’s makeup in the pictures below. (Note the flicked-out liner in the second picture).

Sophie Choudhary makeup liner and glossy lips Sophie Choudhary makeup eyeliner

Speaking Chic tip: Pallavi Symons, Lakme Studio makeup expert, says: “Using the last lash as your guideline, create a fluid upward stroke with a light hand. Then continue the line inward toward the corner of your eye.”

Hair idea 1: Fun with accessories

Tie a loose or low pony, and use hair accessories to dress up your tresses. We recommend cute hair clips and pins, hair bands, or just a ribbon! Vidya Malavade has cleverly used a hair band to push back her bangs and has brought her long hair over the shoulder to resemble a side-pony.

Vidya Malavada hair band

Speaking Chic tip: Experiment with your hair and accessories before you decide on a style. So no last minute mess!

Coming soon: More makeup ideas for Diwali!