The Coming Of Age Of A Beauty Blogger

I started this blog almost a year ago but my love for makeup goes way beyond that. I was the kid who secretly retouched her lipstick after a school performance was over and the bride who silently missed her falsies once the wedding festivities gave way to the daily grind. Between the two phases, I was the teenager with blemished skin, whose peers were as prejudiced as you would expect kids that age to be at recognising the beauty that lies beneath the temporary curtain of pimples. This is how I was introduced to the world of foundations and concealers when I started attending college.

For the longest time, I believed that most skincare products were either ineffective or way beyond my budget. This skewed perception was perhaps caused by poor experiences with certain anti-acne drugstore products as a young kid who didn’t know her salicylic acid from her benzoyl peroxide, and also by the impatience I developed over the years that caused me to reject a lot of products if they didn’t show visible results within a week or so.

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When I started blogging, it was primarily to share what I had learnt about makeup and skincare over the years with whoever cared to listen, but in the process, I also stumbled upon great bloggers who offered amazing product recommendations and some lesser known skincare brands who were just starting out but their products were way more effective than the big names in the industry. Thus began a tryst with skincare that made me fall in love with the lotions and potions, the exfoliating acids and soothing gels that actually started to improve the texture of my skin with time. After around 6 months or so, I reached a point where I was completely comfortable stepping out of the house sans makeup, a first for me in my adult life.

It was not just the efficacy of these new skincare products that I discovered but also the newfound patience that came with age, and the fact that I actually starting enjoying my 5 step skincare routine that enabled me to step out of the house without a drop of foundation on my face. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my makeup, but it is now more of a choice and a creative outlet than a daily chore or a self-imposed obligation.

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I am extremely grateful for the messages I receive on Instagram asking for product recommendations. Some of these kind followers are brides to be while others are those in their late 20’s who are looking for ways to fight those fine lines. Most of the inquiries that I get are for skincare products, not for that perfect lipstick shade or the best foundation. This means that at the end of the day, almost everybody wants to enhance and celebrate their natural beauty. Makeup does add a special touch for certain occasions by providing a hint of sparkle and a dash of colour but will never look as good if you do not take care of your skin. This is the biggest lesson I have learnt in my one year as a beauty blogger and this is the message that I wish to propagate among all the girls who are struggling to meet the so-called “standards of beauty”.

At the end of the day, I know that I may never get rid of those dark circles completely or may never have perfectly flawless skin, but what the lovely women of substance I follow on WordPress and Instagram have taught me is that I am still beautiful, with or without makeup, and so are you!

All images are taken from Pixabay.

 

 

Ponds All in One BB+ Cream | Review, Swatches, and a Mini Rant

I know that a lot of my friends love the Ponds All in One BB+ Cream, and with good reason. The product is excellent for daily use and provides hydration, sun protection, as well as a light coverage. However, every time I look at the packaging of the product, I cringe a little. In this day and age when people all around the globe are fighting for the eradication of stereotypes associated with skin color, Ponds continues to market its BB cream as a fairness cream. When a popular brand like Ponds still feels that a product that is otherwise excellent in terms of performance will probably not sell as much if it is not advertised as a fairness cream, it saddens me a little. In fact, it saddens me a lot. I do not claim to be an activist, nor am I perfect; I am guilty of purchasing products that claim to provide fairness but I never purchase them because of the claim but because they perform well in other departments, and this cream is one such example.

Ponds All in One BB+ Cream Review Swatches

Another thing that annoys me about this product is the fact that it comes in only one shade, which definitely will not suit all skin tones. I feel that the shade will work well only for light to medium skin tones, which is a shame because the formula is actually pretty good. Moving on from my rant and focussing on my job, which is to review this product for you, this BB cream claims to moisturize and provide a natural coverage to the skin and also contains SPF 30. This makes it perfect for the Monsoon months if you do not have any stubborn blemishes that you want to cover.

Ponds All in One BB+ Cream Review Swatches

The product comes in a sleek tube with a pump that dispenses the perfect amount of product for covering the face. The formula has a mild, fresh fragrance that helps me feel more awake in the morning. The texture of the BB cream is slightly thick, but it blends beautifully on the skin. It has a yellowish/peachy undertone that helps to brighten up the face. However, perhaps due to the presence of SPF, it does leave a slight white cast on the skin which may not be noticeable in real life but tends to show up in photos.

Ponds All in One BB+ Cream Review Swatches Below is a picture of the product blended on my arm. As you can see, it provides light to medium coverage based on how much product you use but I will not recommend building up the coverage due to the white cast issue. In fact, the whole concept of using a BB cream is to go for a more natural finish which allows the skin to breathe a little and this product does just that. The product does not provide a dewy finish but is not too matte either, so if you are going to be wearing it in heat and humidity then I would recommend powdering the face to make it sweatproof.

Ponds All in One BB+ Cream Review Swatches

If you enjoy affordable tinted moisturizers and BB creams and the shade of this product suits you, then the Ponds All in One BB+ Cream might become your new favorite. I wish, however, that the brand brings out more shades and drops the words “fairness cream” from the packaging of the product. This blog is just a baby and I am by no means a famous beauty influencer, but if any beauty brands out there stumble upon this blog post, I would urge them to stop selling products as fairness creams and instead focus on creating something that celebrates the natural skin tone and beauty of a woman.

I hope that my lovely readers will understand the conflicted emotions of this post that are due to an excellent product being marketed incorrectly. Let us make the comments section a place for a healthy discussion!

XoXo,

Mrinalini

Is Vanity A Bad Thing?

Hey everyone, today I have a different kind of a post for you. It is not a review but a ramble pertaining to some thoughts that cross my mind from time to time. To summarize the gist of the post, I will be sharing my opinion on the negative stereotypes that exist around makeup. I am sure most of you must have heard pedantic suggestions to “embrace your natural beauty” and to stop using makeup on a daily basis. The trouble is that these naysayers seldom realize that a majority of women use makeup to simply enhance their natural looks and not to create an entirely different face.

The misconception that makeup is synonymous with being fake is one that has persisted over the years and hence many are quick to pass a judgement regarding the character of a woman based on whether or not she is wearing lipstick. The sad part is that these very people put actresses and models on a pedestal for their beauty, turning a blind eye towards the fact that that not only do the magazines show images of women heavily decked up in makeup, most publications also favour photographs that are airbrushed to make these women look slimmer and flawless. It is highly ironic that women like you and me are expected to be comfortable with our blemishes and wrinkles when we are being told that these images are what define beauty.

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If you Google the definition of vanity, the first one that pops up is “Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.”. Clearly, the meaning has a negative connotation. I wonder what the word is for wanting to be the best version of oneself with the help of grooming? It probably does not exist because people still find it hard to believe that the most common use of makeup is to make women feel more confident in their own skin. I was born with perfect skin but it got battered and bruised over time due to hormonal breakouts. No matter what I try, I cannot eliminate my acne completely. If a tiny dab of concealer can make me feel more comfortable walking out of my house then is it really such a crime to use it? If it is socially acceptable for women with good morals to match their shoes to the color of their dress then why is wearing a red lipstick frowned upon by many?

The bottom line is that the people who conform to the beauty standards established by media should not feel entitled to discourage the women around them from wearing makeup. I do not have a solution to this particular problem but there is a general solution to most problems in the world, to live and let live. Whether I chose to wear or skip makeup on a particular day should be my decision, I know that I am beautiful with or without it, and so are you!

Related Post: 5 Pressurizing Standards of Beauty That Need To Go

5 Pressurizing Standards of Beauty

As a person who writes about beauty products on a regular basis, I feel that it is my responsibility to speak about the darker aspects of this world as well. Beauty standards all around the globe are becoming more and more unforgiving by the minute, making it painfully hard for women to feel confident in their own skin. Of course, in an ideal world, everyone should be brave enough to embrace their “flaws” but constant scrutiny at a microscopic level can make the strongest succumb to the pressure. Here are 5 beauty standards that I would banish from the face of the planet if I had supernatural powers (until then, this blog will have to suffice).

1. Greasy roots – So many women feel obliged to wash their hair more often than they want, just to avoid showing up at work with those darned greasy roots. This makes for an arduous chore if you have long, fine hair and live in one of the hot and humid parts of the world. Shampooing the hair is an activity that should help maintain personal hygiene, and greasy hair doesn’t necessarily mean dirty hair. This obsession with super clean, fluffy hair has to go.

2. Hairy Body- Waxing, shaving, plucking and pulling, the pains that women have to endure to ensure that someone doesn’t die at the sight of their hairy armpits! One day when (Wo)man has evolved enough, there will no longer be any hair on the human body. Until then, it would be great if people could learn not to collapse if a few strands of hair poke through the stockings or the eyebrows are not perfect arches.

3. Blemished Skin – Only a small minority is blessed with flawless skin that is as perfect as porcelain. The rest of us do have acne, scars, and redness, and covering them up with layers of makeup does not work wonders for the skin. Of course, we like applying makeup when we want to conceal our blemishes, but do let us be if our skin needs to breathe. Most of us are well aware of our imperfect skin, so concerned comments about the bumps and pores do not really serve any purpose.

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4. Chipped Polish – Let us face it, chipped polish is and will always be a reality. Nobody carries a bottle of nail paint around for a quick touch up every time they need to use their hands for ripping open packages or scrubbing utensils. It is hard to defy the laws of wear and tear, so let us stop considering chipped polish as a cardinal sin. Who knows, it might be the next hot trend after clumped mascara and messy lipstick.

5. Muffin Tops – It is obvious that nobody would refuse picture perfect abs if they were offered on a platter, however, they are not. Muffin tops are not necessarily the result of a sedentary lifestyle and could be caused due to a lot of factors ranging from hormonal fluctuations to genetics. Starving, Spanx, or an incredible ability to hold your breath should not be mandatory for looking fabulous.

These are some of the beauty standards that I refuse to abide by on most occasions. It will eliminate a lot of stress if you stop giving importance to these rules each time you get ready. How you want to dress up and how much makeup you want to apply should always be governed by your choice (that may fluctuate each day). So relax and be yourself 🙂

All images are taken from Pixabay.