Dupes: How The Mighty Have Fallen!


I devour YouTube for all things Beauty & Skincare. zoorkitty-001

These ladies are amongst my fav on Youtube and whenever they recommended a High End product I went out and bought it. High End, even if they did mention cheaper options.

I was just not interested in the cheap(er) dupes. Caressing my Louboutin, Chanel, Bobbi Brown and Dior just made me feel better.

Fast forward 8 months to Jan 2017.

I now live in the US and my visa currently doesn’t allow me to work. Which means no income. And I am no fool to delve into my savings for makeup. A dream home, a BMW Mini, yes, but not on some baked eye shadow.

Seriously who does that ? If you do, then stop it, now!

It’s probably this practical attitude to cash that made my transition from Department store to Drugstore so easy. It surprised me that I didn’t struggle, I wasn’t sad. I had moved one.

From Harvey Nichols and Lane Crawford, Hong Kong I moved onto Walgreens, Target, Walmart….. and all things DUPES !

Rimmel, Wet and Wild, Maybelline & Loreal are my new friends.

I scour the internet for reviews on ELF, NYX , Hard Candy and the like. My fav YouTuber for this is EmilyNoel. She is an amazing lady and her recommendations work for me and my skin type!


Skincare….well that is a slightly different matter. While I am still NOT willing to give up on my favourite items from Kate Sommerville (thanks Hirons!) I have started to follow  Angie from  Hot & Flashy.ANGIE.png

She is  great on skincare, matured skin or not, and has some kick-ass suggestions for good quality anti-aging skincare (retinol, peptides, vitamin C  etc) which are  more affordable than Kate Sommerville or Skinceuticals!  She has some great recommendations on CeraVe and Olay Regenerist too!

Bye Bye Nordstrom, I do love you…….but now is the time to spend in Walgreens.





Oh Dior Oh Dior

IMGP2297I have struggled long over this post. Should I write it. Is it really definitive in the way I feel

I don’t want this to come across like I have tried every brand on earth OR even every Dior product and compared it with the rest. Often my makeup reviews are based on my mood for that day. Some days I am more forgiving to a product, others not.


Often it could merely be the fact I am applying my makeup with a normal mirror as opposed to a x5 maginified one.

Normal mirror hides flaws so  face and makeup seem more acceptable.

Sometimes it could just be I have made peace with a product and accepted it for what it is and how it applies.

So….anyway,…. Dior.

French brands are often hit and miss with Indian skintones so I am not mad on them.

But killing time in DutyFree at the airports, with what appears, at that time, to be ‘funny money’, is when my impulse makeup purchase happens.

That’s when Dior happens. And Dior has managed not to piss me off so far. You know I love and adore their glosses the best. Non sticky shimmer little sticks.


The latest was this little travel kit.

Long haul to LAX. Bored. So why not shop !

I didn’t open this pack up for ages. And when I finally did I must say I wasn’t disappointed.

It also gave me a good sampling of 2 Dior product lines I have not purchased before ie Mascara and Eye Shadow.

A nifty little kit for quick touch-ups or even a makeup pick-me-up. Good for a casual after-work-drink-thingy ?

The Dior Iconic mascara applies  natural, thick and no clumping. Dare I say it. DARE I SAY IT…. yes.  I prefer it to Chanel’s De Volume. The black eye liner doesn’t run. The shadows are gorgeous shimmers and subtle at the same time.

The lip plumper has a faint tingly sensation and the 2 gloss are a bit too subtle in the pigment department for me. They might be tinted lip balms come to think of it. Or maybe its my pigmented lips. Will give them another chance applied over my lip concealer and see if they show up more.

The Under eye concealer is NOT my colour I assure you. Its LIGHT beige but when applied under my eyes, under my concealer it gives a stunning brightness. It makes me want to look at myself in every reflective surface.

I have a party tonight so will definitely be using this under my eyes.

It applies a bit white initially for NC40 tone, but blend well. I also use it as a lovely non shimmery highlighter on my cheeks and under brow bone. It’s a matte finish but without the DRYING MATTE look, if you know what I mean.

I will see how I go with this travel kit and might even  buy a full size of this AntiCernes Beige Clair if it continues to give me this effect.

It also has foundation powder. Probably good for that skintone I dont know. Also I am not the powder matte finish girl so I haven’t tried it. It has a lovely texture though. Nice buttery powder.

It has a nice brown brow pencil but I haven’t used it as yet because I don’t do my brows.

What I dislike in this kit and as a Dior product, is the blush.

I know this kit is not for my skin-tone but how subtle does a Blush need to be ??? I can NOT see it.

Maybe it gives a subtle glow, a subtle shimmer? I can see shimmer specks so there must be some shimmer, somewhere….but….where ? I am tempted to put this down to poor pigmentation as opposed to not working for my skin tone. I honestly doubt that.

This kit comes with a few brushes and a sponge. Take the blush brush and the eye-shadow applicator sponge and throw them both in the BIN. Or use it to scrub your pots and pans.

The sponge might be handy but I haven’t used it.

Like I said this kit gave me a chance to sample some more Dior and the mascara and eye-shadows have impressed me.

I already prefer my Dior perfumes over my Chanel No 5.

I already prefer Dior’s lipstick over my Chanel, and I now prefer Dior’s eye pencil over the Chanel Khol

I am not ready as yet to knock Chanel off the numero uno mascara position so lets wait and see.

Brands that make me kiss myself.

I have days when a certain product or application really makes me love my face. Modest I know !

I keep looking at myself on every shiny surface and will often say, out loud, “Oh <name of product> I love you”

We all have skincare that we are brand loyal to. Skincare is personal and one should ideally stick to the brand that works for your skin.

But in beauty we tend to be fickle. We pick up lip plumping formulas, hoping from brand to brand. We dabble in numerous mascaras. Lipsticks and nail polish brands ? dont even get me started !

2013-08-17 16.34.25 Makeup stores stocked like a confectionery’s,  force us to sample and graze through brands.

All lit up, with nail polishes and mini perfumes gift wrapped like individual petit fours. Hubby calls it candy shop for grown women. Atleast for me. I gravitate towards this lovely Pink Shiny Twinkling store where I can spend hours browsing, even if I don’t buy a thing.

I have seen men in here, lost for what looks like days, with glazed eyes, silently crying for help.

Inspite of their hypnotic effect I manage to stay brand loving ( I wouldn’t use the word Loyal because I in all fairness I probably am not ).

Basically If I want to buy something these are the brands I go to first. I am more willing to take product risks with them than with anyone else. I am more willing to make excuses for their duds and think its me rather than its them.

My beauty booty call cheat sheet :

  1. MAC
  2. Bobbi Brown
  3. Benefit
  4. Chanel
  5. Dior

MAC:  The James Dean of makeup.  The rockstar with its groupies. The one you excuse even when they come out with Duds. As an Indian woman MAC gets my respect right off the bat. Just for the simple fact that amongst  the  mainstream brands they catered to our skintones and darker. There are shades, and then some.

The Mac products that make me want to kiss myself: STROBE CREAM (Angels playing harps), the (discontinued?) tinted lip balm, Pro Conceal and Corrector Palette, Face and Body foundation.

Bobbi Brown: aaah Bobbi. The Grande dame of makeup. Her persona makes me feel like I can trust her. She is my friend, philosopher and guide in the makeup world. She stands for all things woman. Phenomenal Woman (Maya Angelou)

I don’t know own many Bobbis and have on occasion wanted to fling a BB product out the window but her BB cream is really good and her under Eye brightener makes me feel happy. Once I am out of concealer I will buy Bobbi’s concealer-corrector set, ofcourse ! I am more open to taking a risk with her than say Giorgio Armani

Benefit: often more hype than substance. They want to be too cool for school but sometimes fail to deliver. But they are on my on my booty call beauty cheat sheet for some of their hits: Benetint Cheek Stain, PoreFessional, Hello Flawless in Beige ( this really makes me want to kiss myself ).

Cha Cha tint would honestly be a contender for Angels playing Harps but the application is soooo damned hard !

Chanel & Dior: I tend to ignore French brands because they are SO damned late into the ‘women of colour’ makeup trend. Their pinkish/beige undertones make me stay clear off them. But in some departments these two rock my world

Chanel  Mascaras- that’s it. My last word, nothing more to be said.

People love their Chanel lipsticks but frankly I cant be bothered with lipsticks that dont last.The Chanel lipstick I received as a gift I use as a cream blush. lovely out-of-focus glow

Dior: I love their glosses. The best shiny non sticky gloss. Better than Bobbi. But something that has really made me stare at myself incessantly in the mirror is their surprise concealer !

I am NC 40 I am medium-deep in most makeup categories I am NOT by any stretch a Dior 01 Beige Clair ( Light beige  !). In my Dior Colour Design travel palette is the Anticerne Beige Clair concealer.


I used it for a lark thjis weekend. And my o my. It adds a luminosity under the eye that works beautifully. I HAVE to say it does apply Ashy/white initially but blend it well with your correct concealer and your under eye glows.

Don’t run out and buy it already it could just be me and my undertone. This morning I mixed it with my Benefit Boing concealer (ugh I really dont like this Boing atall) and it added a luminosity that makes my look awake. I even recd compliments.

Dab the Anticerne down a bit on your cheek bone and its works adds ‘lightness’ there too.

I am lovin’ it !

Worthy mentions before I end -Old faithful Maybelline and Estee Lauder


Glossy lips. Its the bane of our existence. Who doesnt want a glossy, wet pout ? And then starts the eternal quest for the perfect non sticky gloss.

Nobody wants this. 

It’s uncomfortable and messy. I have had my hair get stuck to my lips, then leave trails of sticky gloss across the side of my face. Try having a biscuit as the crumbs get stuck on your lips. Sometimes, I have even had dust, grit off the street, get stuck on my lips.

 Ofcourse, blot ! But then you blot and you lose the effect of that glorious wet pout.

The blogs are full of such miraculous products, high gloss without the sticky. My favourite, repeat purchase would be the Christian Dior ones.Beautiful gloss without the sticky !

 Afterall my purchases over the years, drugstore to Clinique to Bobbi Brown I have to say Dior is the winner.

  I personally prefer a  tube application because a wand demands a mirror, atleast for me. I am more adept with a tube. But every tube I have purchased is a bit goopy so I have this irrational fear of tubes ! Even Dior.

 I have this old Dior Kiss shimmer gloss

It has small flecks of glitter, it feels light weight on the lips but so damned sticky !  And severely goopy if  applied a bit heavy handed.

But now for part 2. Most important. Staying power.

 I really hate this ! Big sticky stains with every sip . You know your lips are losing the colour and the shine. Every morning I get to see this on my coffee lid. Annoying !

I haven’t found a long lasting yet glossy one as yet. I bought Maybelline’s 24 hr.gloss.

 RUBBISH.  Either I have awfully dry lips (which I do not) or this thing has a moisture-sucking-up chemical. My lips look dry, it flakes. The colour applies patchy

Check out the flaky skin around the inner lip area. If you apply the white gloss that comes with it,the flakes clump into even bigger clumps and the colour leaves your lips to only cloud around the flakes. Its…not pretty !

I also bought these 10 hr stain gloss from Maybelline. Nice texture, almost a liquidy-gel like texture. It sits on your lips like a velvet stain and not drying. Nice staying power too.

The applicator is a pain though. Its a bit too big for the dips and valleys of your lips. So I just apply it and then smooth it over with my Boobi Brown lip brush.

 Without a brush you always get leaky edges. See left side of my mouth.

 After a while the glossiness disappears but the velvety stain stays on.