Highlighters & Illuminators Collection - Part I

Dearies, I would like to thank you for the love and support you guys offer in the form of feedback, queries, and just a little makeup chit-chat. It serves as a consistent motivator to keep on doing this. I don't get the writer's block often, but I do feel that repetitive product reviews sometimes make me lose my steam. Here's to hoping that your cooperation lets me continue with the current posting momentum. I have GBs worth of pictures and swatches lying around in my hard-drive that need to be edited and reviewed. Certain edited images look and feel 'dated' as well. Especially since I have used point-and-shoot camera for those. I'm resolving to post ALL of those before taking newer photographs :-) How about that?

On that positive note, let me share the peek into a part of my highlighter & illuminator collection. It has been updated now since I let go of a bunch of these and acquired new ones. I would describe this part as being more of a drugstore version (with a couple of exceptions). So, who wants recommendations and reviews for the highlighter options out there. Read up here:

Elemis Pro-Collagen Super Serum Elixir

Hello, loyal readers and 'patrons' of the blog! I spot a couple of new folks too, hey to you guys. What might look like an abandoned blog to you is just a testimony of how I need to organize my life :-D Won't harp on about the how's, why's and what's right now, but I've had the first "major" wedding to attend after my own and our family's last - so it had been busy. After that hiatus, it took a while for me to recover from the plethora of things that had piled up - both at home and at work. 
The up side of this is that I got to use many products that had been lined up. I've gathered my thoughts on what I need to say about them. The first and foremost on my list has been something ANTI-AGEING. It is a topic that I am asked about quite often. Family members, friends, and blog readers want to know about different things like the best age to start anti-ageing, the best products, the best splurges, the drugstore alternatives, the natural products, and so forth. I am in no way an expert, so I won't pose like one. To be honest, it is difficult to give a definite answer to this, so I am on the quest to find better responses and trying on different products to gauge their impact on the skin. I am on that side of the fence where the ageing effects haven't quite kicked in for now. The products I tend to use are more of the 'preventive' sort for me in the early 20s. That being said, I include my Mother Dearest in such experiments because being the graceful 40+ lady, she can evaluate the practical effectiveness of the products in a better way. 
Elemis Pro-Collagen Super Serum happened to be one of the recent products that we tried. At a time, we only incorporate one anti-ageing product, keeping all other skincare routine the same, so it helps in experiencing the impact of the products a little better. It is one of the higher-end products. Let's find out if it worked the magic:

February Favorites

Hey, beautiful people! It is almost spring season and before the Basant touched base with Pakistan, the PSL fever is running strong. Did you find yourself completely caught up in the craze? I thought I will be harder to sway since I am not too keen on sports. ... but it had me. It totally had me! We should give due credit to the efforts to revive the cricket spirit in Pakistan.

Oh, and we have had an overdose of RED through the Valentine's Day. Did you guys celebrate? I had a quiet midnight detour to Subway for sandwiches - haha, and a surprise rose and balloon :D It was a surprise since we had exchanged the gifts prior to the V-Day and was primarily occupied with my Sister-in-Law's wedding events.

The #30DaysOfMakeup self-challenge was going strong and I will update you all on that in the next post, hopefully. Till then, let's have a look at which products made it to the February Favorites:

My Colourpop Collection - Review & Swatches

Buckle up, sweet-peas, we're in for one heck of a ride!
I had been meaning to do this for a long time. You would have seen me briefly discuss Colourpop products in my 2015 reviews. I also shared a few swatches over my social media - Facebook & Instagram - and that intensified the review requests from my lovely readers. This is the first 'overall' review of its type at The Beauty Finds, so I hope I am able to do justice with it.

Despite being the new kid on the block, Colourpop has created quite a lot of waves in the world of beauty. So much so, that the ripple effect reached right across the ocean (and land) to Pakistan. 

The first time Colourpop got my attention was through an Instagram hashtag. At that time, they had launched quite a few lip products in collaboration with famous beauty gurus. I noticed that the Colourpop had US-only presence through its exclusive webstore. Across their offerings, there was a $5-everything price-point. At that time, their product range was limited to eyeshadows, pressed pigments, lippie stix and lippie liners. It seemed like a niche brand with a variety of very bold and unconventional colours. It has garnered quite a lot of attention since then. I am difficult to sway when it comes to eyeshadow singles. I never bought eyeshadow singles before, but I made an exception for Super Shock eyeshadows. What do you know, soon after, 3 eyeshadows & 2 lippie stix made me a 'Colourpopper' :-D

<This place shall serve as a tombstone of a sad joke I inserted and then removed>

Moving ahead, I want everybody to know that I do love Colourpop. There is no suspense in that. The brand, as I said before, gets featured in my posts and favorites. Throughout this mega-review, I will try to list down the goods, the bads and the ugly as impartially as I can possibly be. Shall we take a look at the picture-heavy swatch-fest that is going to follow:

January Favorites

Hey, y'all! Who is still writing 2015 on official documents and then hysterically finding a blanco to make things write? *looks around* no one? oh... yea... me... neither :-/

So, here, I vow to be regular in posting the Favorites second year in a row. In addition to this, I did something a lot of you have been asking about. Sharing the makeup collection and how it is stored. I got around organizing my makeup on a week-day, yeah. lol. I had to hurry up and take pictures along the way. If you haven't already, look at my *almost* complete stash pictures in their raw form and not-too-fancy organization that I shared on my Facebook?
Also, I plan on sharing monthly/weekly/fortnightly bag of products that I am using to keep my collection items in rotation. Perhaps from February. Hoping that it goes well.

Without further ado, let's go ahead and reveal what worked for me in January 2016:

Makeup Revolution RADIANCE Radiant Lights Palette

Hey, buds! We're all smitten by highlighted cheeks, right? From subtle glow to a 1000-watt bulb, we have our preferences somewhere on the spectrum. I started off by liking in-your-face type of highlighter effect. I was not to be blamed - who wouldn't get mesmerized by those ethereal brides that Natasha's Salon shared on social media? I was awe-struck. 

However, as I matured into making wiser choices, I kept bold highlighting for semi-to-formal events only. In other days, I was on the hunt for finding something as subtle as an illuminator, but in the form of a powder. One recommendation was the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette - since the price of that one would burn a volcanic-crater-sized hole in my wallet - I was intrigued by what Makeup Revolution had to offer in its Radiant Lights Palette. The VIVID Baked Highlighters had been used by me previously, so the bar of expectations was set real high. Let's see if this newly launched palette by Makeup Revolution lived up to the hype:

2015 Product Disappointments

Hey! It's a little too "late" to do a "2015" series because we're officially edging towards the end of January. In my defense, I didn't plan on doing a product regrets / disappointment / fail post this year. Why? Well, there were several products that didn't work out the way that they should. Some of them had issues with their performances, others were simply not suiting me. Instead of waiting a whole year, I am thinking to make this more of a quarterly feature. Let's see how that pans out!

Okay, a little clarification on what I am about to show you now. These are not 'bad' products per se, but failed to deliver well as per their claims and my expectations. Some of these get rave reviews from bloggers & vloggers. This is not meant to be a brand-bashing post either. You are welcome to try these out for yourself, if you wish so :-) Just read the following words of caution before you invest in any of these:

My Birthday Haul

Hey, beautiful people!

In a year, I have transitioned from a compulsive shopper to a compulsive shopper undergoing recovery. I have shopped almost everything from my ever-growing wishlist, Alhamdulilah. One positive step that I pat myself on the back for is - decluttering my makeup drawers CONSIDERABLY. It is not all sorted, but I have narrowed it down to things I use or will use in foreseeable future. A lot of the hoarding happens as I attempt to try and review everything for the blog (or my own comparative knowledge). Beyond that, many things remain untouched in the back of my stash and new ones pour in. To top it off, I have a weakness for in-stock items. That is when I do the impulse purchases. Otherwise, I am very very methodological in selecting pre-order items. I wish I could ever show you the utmost madness I go through while short-listing the items to buy. There are recommendations, research, swatches, excel sheets (LOL), price analysis, comparison with existing collection, sales analysis and so much more. Consequently, the products that come in are fairly dear to me and of good use. I have come to realize that you can only apply limited number of things on your face/body. Frequently switching skin care doesn't happen to me either. Even though I am a "beauty" blogger, I am pretty much low maintenance - meaning, you will not see me in makeup often. Taking everything in regard, hoarding too many products does not only cost me my hard-earned money (lol, yeah, husband's too while I am at it :P), but the stuff remains unused in the confines of my wooden drawers. That is why, I held few major blog sales to declutter and screen my closet. It will continue for a while till I have sorted my ... stuff together :-) Here's to becoming more ORGANIZED in 2016!

All right! Coming onto the items that I am about to show you, I did shop in small bundles all year round before going on a spending ban for 4 months. There is always so much going on that I skip on sharing it all in a proper blog post. They do, however, get showcased on my social media. If you don't want to miss it, do follow these updates on my Facebook and Instagram. Without further ado, let's see the haulin' that I did! Don't forget to say Masha'Allah :-D

2015 Beauty Favorites - Lips

Hey, dearies! I am overwhelmed by your love and response on the 2015 Favorites post. Thank you for your continuous support. Motivates me to be the nice girl who posts often :-D As you all know, my love for lip products knows no bounds. If given a choice to keep one makeup item for life, it would be a lipstick. There is something about it that's an immediate mood-booster for me, even if the rest of my look resembles that of an asylum runaway. 

Without further ago, let me share the run down of all the products that I have discovered and loved through 2015. To the other lipsticks in the stash, I did not mean to discriminate against you:

2015 Beauty Favorites

Hey, peeps! There has been a lot of social media debate about whether or not to wish New Year. It is a calendar change which is cathartic in certain ways. Here's to wishing that you make good of 2016 and may the fate be ever-so-kind towards all of you!

Did you guys make any beauty resolutions?
More so, what are the results of your last year's beauty resolutions.

One of my 2015 resolutions was to share my favorites every month. I did. Even if I was submitting September Favorites in December ;) You can check 11 months of Favorites on my Facebook. The last three months did not have corresponding posts because I was short on time due to frequent travel plans and work/family commitments. Another resolution was to declutter my makeup drawers and that I effectively did for the most part. I did rediscover some of the old favorites and hauled my beauty wishlist - courtesy of my dearest husband who agreed to it... begrudgingly :-P

I am back to a spending ban and have lots of creative aspirations for 2016. Hoping that they pan out well. I will cut my random blabber and take you right to my beauty picks!

Don't mind if it seems a little rushed. There are almost 60 products that cannot be elaborated upon in one post. For any queries, you may comments, email or reach out on Facebook and I shall make sure that I give a timely response <3

Let's have a quick look at my 2015 winners in both high-end and drugstore categories. I should, however, inform you all that I tried offering a pricey option and an affordable counterpart for the categories, where applicable. I will specify which I liked more between the two choices, so that you can draw your shopping wishlists and try them on, if you haven't done already!

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer VS. Cindy-Lou Manizer

I remember browsing through something which bloggers raved about - "highlighter" - and all the highlighters I knew about at that time would come from Staedtler in NEON colors. It was a novel idea at that time and I was most fascinated by it. The first ever highlighter/illuminator I had were Benefit High Beam, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl, and ELF Facial Whip in Lilac Petal. I loved Girl Meets Pearl as it was easiest to sport without any base, while the other two were too frosty shimmery for my linking.

Then came along the highlighter that sparked my ever-growing interest in highlighted cheeks <3 The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer. It had its thumbs-up and thumbs-down, but *spoiler alert* I love how it complements my skin. While I was recovering from my obsession, there it was - the CINDY-LOU. While the promised sunshine and warm embrace of highlighters may be blinding ;-) You do need to make sensible makeup choices.

To get or to not get.... both. That is the question.

Here I am... possibly making the choice easier ;-) - Clickity Click:

Nutrilov Granola Bars

Hello and welcome to some very loyal old readers and hopefully some new ones! The Beauty Finds is back after the hiatus. Enjoyed Eid holidays, had my parents return safely from Hajj-e-Mubarak, Alhamdulilah! Had an important family function - Sister-in-Law's Nikah <3 Congrats, Em! :-* Partially celebrated "Meet-aversary" with my dearly beloved! And the latest, had my foot ligaments ruptured :-\ Yeah, that's the odd one out. So, roamed around for a week, unaware of the severity DESPITE a visit to the GP. Ended up in a plaster for few weeks. All in all, been busy! I missed blogging, but I have dabbled in other things creative and will share them all here. 

As the comeback post, let me share my thoughts on something sweet and healthy. Granola bars have become the pinnacle for health and fitness enthusiasts. What do I think about that? Find out ahead:

11 Things You Did Not Know About Me

The Beauty Finds just got nominated by the lovely Gul of Gul-e-Zehra's Blog to complete a tag with 11 questions that will cover 11 facts you may not know about me. I share tidbits of my life on social media, but these questions will definitely offer more insight into the author of this blog... me in Just a click! ;)

August Favorites

I can start this post off by a tonne of excuses as to why have I not been blogging that frequency, but I will not give you any bull. Just the fact that the work-life-blog balance is going a little haywire as yours truly have ventured into more hardcore cooking on the top of a 12-hour work day and little DIY projects here and there. Blogging has given me enough motivation to follow up with my creative instincts. I grabbed a cone of Henna after a decade or so to make an intricate design on my palms. I just recently completed a hand-painted shirt for Independence Day (yay! Happy Birthday, Pakistan!) and now, I'm onto amateur portrait sketching and canvas painting (soon, Insha'Allah). You don't even need paid classroom learning, if you can't manage / afford one. The online blogs, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest tutorials are enough to nudge you in the right direction. It's empowering, Alhamdulilah and I would genuinely urge you all to explore your talents - learn whatever you wish to, practice, practice, practice... and if you can, monetize on it! If anything, this has helped me spend less on makeup :-P
.....and made me splurge outrageously on other things ;-)

In my struggle to keep at least ONE thing constant on my blog - here are the monthly favorites that I have enjoyed in the month of August and would love to share with my readers:

July Favorites

A big hello to all the lovely ladies - (and perhaps a gentleman) - and thank you for bearing with me through the delayed posts. I still commend myself for being able to post FAVORITES each month since January 2015 <3 There are MANY blog posts pending in different stages of photography, swatching, using, and writing! Some are in the "hoarding" phase as well - since I LOVE the comparison posts :) Highlighters, concealers, foundations, blushes... and so much more :-) Hopefully, will be able to launch them soon. I have been dedicating most of my time to not just finish up the blogs, but also a little DIY or home decor project here and there :) Wish me luck!

So, without further ado, here are my favorites for the month of July:

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