Monday, November 29, 2010

How to combat stress?

Stress is something which you can never avoid in your life. It is a part and parcel of life. The only thing is not to let it get you down. So, how to avoid stress and help deal with situations. I have already discussed some of the best ways to beat stress sometime ago. Today, we will talk about some more ways. Just to recount, stress can cause you to lose your appetite, sleep and smile, hair and even skin can become bad during stress. So, combating stress in a natural way is very important. A long term solution is better than a short term. 

Speaking of short term solutions, a short break, a journey, an outing, an indulgence, going for shopping, eating chocolate are all temporary solutions for stress.So, how to start on a long term solution in our hectic lives.
  • Certain changes in your daily life habits go a long way in making you strong enough to deal with situations and keep your mind calm. Changes in attitude is very important.
  • Right foods, regular exercise, good sleep and positive thoughts are a way to beat stress.
  • Let us get a little psychological here. Accept the situation how so ever bad it is and try to learn something from it. I know that it is not easy. But, that is the only way to deal with the situation. Being in denial does not help anyone. The next step can be how to improve the situation. 
  • Many a times we get stressed out without knowing it. We do not know what we want to do. And, that happens to the best of us. So, a little reflection on everything you have done in your life, what you love, what your priorities are is very important. Take time out and think of these things. Most of your solutions are hidden in these questions. 
  • If you are too stressed out to do anything, do something which makes you happy. This is where a hobby becomes important in life. Creativity focuses your mind and relieves it. Achieving something bolsters your confidence how so ever meager the work might be.
  • Crying is not an answer to any problems. It just increases the frustration and then you need to vent out your feelings. Keep a diary. Writing things which are bothering you helps a lot. If you have someone to talk to, of course, it is just the best but not everyone are so lucky. Many times it is just our fears and weaknesses that prevent us discussing our problems with our loved ones.
  • Many people are addicted to emotional eating. You can change this habit or modify this habit by eating stress busting foods.
  • A short walk can also calm you down.
Now, I have repeatedly talked about stress busting foods.
  • Water: helps you coo down when angry.
  • Fruits: Seasonal fruits can help your anxiety and fear levels.
  • Milk and Curd: Helps with insomnia due to stress.
  • Peanuts: Aids with stress during PMS.
  • Cheese: Can help you with stress.
  • Coffee and Cocoa (Chocolate): Calms you mind but only temporarily and anyways it is not good for skin so be moderate with it.
A balanced diet is what you need when you are dealing with stress. A lot of fruit juices an also help you. Proper food controls the stress hormones in the body. And, one very tried and tested method for stress is kissing, cuddling and the act of making love. The act is culmination of number of things including a sense of touch, intimacy and physical exertion which produces a stress busting hormone called oxytocin in the body. The production of oxytocin in the body decreases to a large extent when a person is under stress.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ponds Face Washes

I have used two major products from Ponds till date. One was good and one was bad. So, lets get on with the one which is bad. 

Ponds Flawless White Deep Whitening Facial Foam
The first thing which comes to my mind is this is a very expensive face wash. 175 INR for 100 gms. I bought it impulsively because I liked the packaging extremely. But, it is more of a hate now because the face wash is not getting over even after my using it daily. I have been using it since a really long time and I am bored now. An extremely small quantity is enough to cover the face and neck completely (it foams a lot and I mean really a lot !!) and the product goes a long way. But, it does nothing to my skin so I have no special reason to want it to stay forever. 

My first experience with the product was that wow, it really works. But, that was probably the only first reaction. Because, from the next day on, it really showed nothing. Instead, it really makes you wonder if the product is really worth it. It has extremely small beads which are supposed to be exfoliating but they are so small that you can not even feel them on your skin after application. It does make your skin extremely clean but then it is supposed to do at least that. It stings if it gets into the eyes. Frankly, I am disappointed with myself for buying it. I could have really got something which I wanted. So, it is like a big no no for me.

Ponds White Beauty Daily Spot-less Lightening Facial Foam
The company claims that the face wash would bring a pinkish glow on the face. I can safely say that it really does that. The product is really good for its price. I had bought it a long time back so I do not remember the price. But, the product is drying for people with dry skin so I guess it would be great for oily skin. Read the review of the same product by an oily skin person. It foams a lot so the product does go a long way. So, people looking for fair skin might want to try the product. Though, I would advise anyone to refrain from using whitening skin products as they have bleaching agents int hem which are harmful and drying for the skin in the long run. They do make your skin look aged when used for very long time.

Disclaimers: I have not been paid by anyone to do these reviews. These are my personal experiences.

My Blog Awards

This is a long due post of mine. Finally, I got time and recalled that I had to do it. So, here we go.

First of all, I would from the bottom of my heart like to thank to Bhumika from NewLove and BeautyDiva from BeautyDiva for honoring me with the blog awards and mentioning me on their blogs. They both have very interesting blogs.

Now, doing the same honors, I have to pass on the award to other blogs which I like. So, here they go.
  • Vivawoman. This is one of my really favorite blogs and I have linked to it many times in my posts. One of the blogs which motivated me to start blogging on my own. So, if you are reading this, thank you so much, Sesame.
  • Beauty Secrets Revealed. This is again one of my very favorite blogs with great tips. One of my inspirations again. Thanks a lot, Leon.
  • Face Good. Love this blog and would recommend you all to go and visit it. Thanks, Lydia.
  • Skin Care Recipes and Remedies. Again one of my inspirations and has really interesting reads. Thanks, Biljana.
  • Toxic Beauty. Great blog, Robin. Love reading it.
  • Hildablue. Amazing blog, Hilda :) Enjoy it a lot.
  • For the Love of Fashion and Other Things. I came across this blog only a few days back but I really loved it. It is about fashion mostly but I love the way the author writes more than anything else. It is a relatively new blog so I wish her all the best. And, let me also mention this that the gal is really cute too :)
  • Smiling Green Mom. Let me introduce you to this very sweet and really interesting blog. I love your blog, Lynn.
  • Homemade Beauty with Victoria. A really amazing blog from a very sweet person. Victoria looks really cute and she has got a gorgeous skin. Btw, I do love your accent, Victoria :)
  • Addicted to Blush. Love the blog. One of the blog which prompted me to share my experiences with the miniscule number of products I have used. And, love your eyes, Tanveer :)
  • Wiseshe. I am not a makeup person at all. Instead, I have never applied it in my life but have read so many products on your site, Anamika. Want to buy them all. And, want to definitely prepare almost all the dishes you have posted :)
  • Soft, Sweet and Gentle. Really new site but great recipes. Would love to see more of them :)
  • My Future Starts Today. Loved your blog, Sharon :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Miss Venezuela is Reina Hispanoamericana 2010!

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Caroline Gabriela Medina Peschiutta (18) and Miss Earth Venezuela 2010,
won Reina Hispanoamericana 2010,
she was crowned by Adriana Vasini.
This is the 2nd back to back for Venezuela in this competition.

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Hair Care in Winters

Personally, Winter is my favorite season in all the year. I love the snow and snuggling inside the big thick blankets with the blowers switched on. (I do not like heaters because they dry the skin horribly !!) How I miss my childhood when I had to do nothing but sleep and read and eat :) I love being lazy but growing up is far from such luxuries. Only if I had realized that when I was young and naive. Huh, the irony!!

I have already talked about skin care in winters. So, let  let us continue with the topic of the day.  Hair in Winters. Winters is the most difficult time for hair. The growth slows down, winter dandruff comes up (in many people except lucky few), it always looks like we have had a 'centershock' :D and one is always struggling to keep it in place. Seriously, it is difficult. Moreover, I do not even feel like combing. It creates even more static. The woolens are so heavy on the body itself but they are even worse for hair. Splits increase in the hair, the dryness for dry hair increases by a notch, they look dull and lifeless and many people suffer from winter dandruff. Worst of all, the cold makes oiling of the hair also very difficult. Ok, so all these scenarios are for hills not plains. But, people in plains also suffer with same problems, only the intensity is a lot toned down according to the temperatures. Still, I love winter and I am glad it is back :) Can't believe a whole year has passed off so quickly. Time seems to fly away. In just a month, we will bid farewell to 2010 and welcome 2011. God, I do not know what has happened but you can get me started on this topic for hours together. So, I'll again come back on the track. So, how do we care for hair in winters. 

It is a difficult and time consuming task but not an impossible one. You need to devote time to your hair. So, let us start with oiling your hair. Regular oiling will keep the frizz away. Dryness in the hair is also controlled. Use warm oil to massage your hair nicely at night and then out a scarf on it and go to sleep. You can also do the hot oil treatment if you feel like. Do this for at least two times a week or whenever you shampoo your hair. Do not shampoo often. Shampoo hair when the need arises. Due to pollution, you might need to wash your hair twice or thrice a week. To reduce this need, use a silk scarf.

Shampooing your hair. Use a very mild shampoo. Either go for a herbal shampoo or use soap nuts. This prevent your hair from drying excessively due to the use of excess chemicals. Dry your hair gently. Keep a hand towel in the bathroom and after shampooing, squeeze all water from the hair. Wait for a few minutes and then apply conditioner on the hair. Wait for another 15-20 minutes (if you can), wash off the conditioner properly and come out. I would not advise you to go for a cold water rinse in case you might catch a chill and I do not want to be blamed for that :) Use baking soda in your shampoo once in every two weeks. Use only luke warm water. Hot water would be drying for your hair and skin both.

Drying your hair. Try to air dry your hair in little of sun which will provide shine to your hair too. Or, if you are in extreme hurry or feeling too cold, blow your hair dry just to the point that it becomes damp. Keep the setting of the drier to warm and not hot to avoid extreme temperature variations. Use a hooded drier as it controls the air circulation properly and does not direct a stream of hair to just one place. Another very useful trick while blow drying is to keep the drier moving. Do not direct it to one place or the hair would become excess dry there. To reduce the time of blow drying, squeeze the water from your hair properly before starting the drier. End with a cold air setting on the temperature. Then, use a comb or a finger and remove all the tangles. Your hair will dry sooner that way. Do not blow dry your hair excessively or it makes your hair frizzy. Use a heat protection product or something of the like before blow drying your hair.

Use a leave-in conditioner. I would advise this for people with extreme dryness and frizz in their hair. People with manageable hair can definitely give a skip. No point applying products which will give no results, right? If it satisfies you, go ahead but honestly, no point wasting money if you do not really need that product.  You can even make your leave-in conditioner at home. A tip for people who keep on buying thins which they do not need: Think about how much money you could save by not buying these products and then you might get your favorite dress or camera or watch or something which might be really useful to you. I do use this tip now a days and it is definitely working :)

Do not use excess products on your hair. A conditioner then a leave-in then a mousse then a styling product then a mist or a hair spray then something else. If you do that, the barrage of the products would not end but the things piling on your hair would definitely increase which would make the hair even more drier by blocking the hair follicles. So, stick to a single product in the winters and apply any product on the hair except a shampoo starting from your ears down. And, use only an appropriate quantity. 

Hair Accessories. This is one of the most important things. You hair bands, rubber bands, hair clips, clutchers, etc., whatever you are using on your hair might cause frizzes and splits so be very careful about what you are using on your hair. No harm in spending a little money to buy a good product. I would mention one thing here: Buy whatever you feel like but just remember to check for the ends or any edges in the accessory. Any sharp edges or protrusions in the accessory makes it unworthy for your hair. Same goes with the hair bands. They have comb structure underneath them which snag at your hair every time you remove it. Look for cloth covered accessories. They are soft on hair and do not cause static. Look for good quality hair brushes and combs. For curly and wavy hairs, do not use brushes. This is very important as they snag at your hair. Brushes are great for straight hair but curly and wavy haired people should stay away from them.

Keep your hair covered. Leaving your hair loose is a sure shot way to get hair breakage so keep your hair covered at all times in the winters. Either use scarves or go for braiding your hair. Silk scarves add a lot of charm to your dressing and braiding can be done in lot chic ways these days. Avoid wearing hats and tight caps as they stop air and blood circulation in the scalp. When your are wearing your clothes specially woolens, put your hair up, wear your woolens, cover your shoulders with the scarf, pull the hair down, tie it or braid it and then, tie the scarf around. This way you can avoid static and splits in your hair due to woolens. Do not let your hair be in contact with your woolens. Not only that, scarves also keep your hair and scalp clean in the pollution so use them regularly whenever you go out. Go for a trim the moment you spot a split in your hair.

Winter Dandruff Control. This is one of the most difficult tasks. Dry scalp and dry hair contributes to dandruff but this does not mean that oiling your hair would make dandruff disappear. For this, you certainly have to use an anti-dandruff hair cream. I would recommend Himalaya Anti-Dandruff Hair cream. Besides that, you can mix lemon juice with your hair oil before applying it on your scalp. Use a good conditioner which can prevent dandruff. Using soap nuts to wash your hair will definitely cure this problem. So, go ahead and give it a try but otherwise you would have to depend on some hair cream only.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keep your skin moisturized this winter with Banana

This is a tried and tested trick in this season itself for over a week and the results were fabulous. But, this is only for people with dry skin or normal skin.

Blend banana really well but do not make it too watery. Keep the consistency to creamy and put appropriate amount of chickpea flour in the blended banana. Blend to get rid of lumps. The paste should enough to cover your entire body so 2-3 bananas may be needed. Now, take a really quick shower with luke warm water. Then, apply the banana chickpea flour paste on your entire body. Cover your face and neck too. Leave it on the skin for at least 10-15 minutes. Wash off without using any cleanser or body wash. You should not feel greasy but in case you do, then try to dilute the paste with rose water or simple water instead of taking a shower again. Now, immediately after washing the paste off your body, apply a thick moisturizing lotion on your skin to keep all the moisture inside. This gives best results when done at night as we have ample of time to allow the paste to stay on the body and the nutrients to get absorbed.

This is an extremely amazing remedy for people suffering with dry skin in winters and specially when none of the moisturizers are able to help you. You can substitute banana with milk cream too but it becomes very greasy for some people. I am repeating this again this remedy is for only people with normal or dry skin. Oily skin people can also use this treatment but not for face only for their bodies. The skin is smooth, supple and amazingly soft. Any blemishes and dark spots start to vanish within a week but do not expect too dramatic results.
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