Thursday, January 27, 2011

Miss Malaysia Universe 2011 is Crowned!


The New Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 is Deborah Priya Henry. She is 26 years old, stands at 179cm and was crowned by Miss Malaysia Universe 2010 Nadine Ann Thomas, on the 27th of Jan. She was touted as a heavy favourite from the beginning by the fans from Official Facebook Fan Page - Miss Malaysia Universe Org due to her great reputation as one of the finalist Top 16 during Miss World 2007 held in Sanya, China.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Julia Morley Wants a Poor Miss World

Wanted: Barrio lass as Miss World
January 26, 2011, 6:59pm

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time, the Philippines will bid to host the Miss World beauty pageant in 2013, Cory Quirino, president of the Miss Philippines World franchise, said Wednesday.

Quirino also said that the Miss World Limited (MWL), headed by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julia Morley has vowed to help the Philippines through fund-raising events as she instructed her “to find a poor, barrio lass” who has the chance to become the next Miss World.

Asked about expectations under the “Cory administration,” “I will find her,” said Quirino, a tri-media personality and wellness expert. “I will also be hands-on in choosing our representative for the next Miss World contest later this year.”

Quirino issued the statement after Morley awarded her the exclusive licensee agreement of Miss World Philippines at a ceremony in Makati City last Tuesday.

Miss World is believed to be the longest-running international beauty pageant. But for 60 years, the country has not won the title. The highest rank the country has achieved was first runner-up won by Evangeline Pascual in 1973.

“I want to tell them that being poor is not a hindrance to success. That’s why we will encourage the poorest of the poor to join our pageant,” Quirino added.

Quirino also said that Morley and her party and Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim have discussed plans for the possible holding of the beauty pageant in Manila. Morley was also accompanied by Miss World Ltd. Events Director Stephen Douglas and Consultant to Miss World-Asia Paul Lee.

“It will be a big responsibility and we will need the help of the government and the private sector if plans will push through. Pero, ang balik naman nito sa atin ay malaki, lalo na para sa turismo ng ating bansa (But our goal is to boost tourism to the Philippines),” she said.

Morley, accompanied by 2010 Miss World Alexandria Mills of the USA and first runner-up Emma Wareus of Botswana, left the country Wednesday morning. But Quirino said that last Tuesday night, Morley promised to return to the country to help raise bigger funds for charity.

“Julia Morley will be back in August. She loves the Philippines, and she wants to help our country,” said Quirino, also chair of World-for-All Foundation.

Tuesday night, Quirino accompanied Morley and her party made special trips to the Ospital ng Makati in Makati City, Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on Taft Ave., Malate, Manila, and Tuloy Street Children’s Foundation in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

“Julia and her party cried at the Tuloy Street Children’s Foundation. Even Miss World cried. They were touched by the reception of the children,” Quirino said. She added that the MWL has “adopted” two heart patients at the Ospital ng Makati.

The organization is celebrating its 60th year of “Beauty with a Purpose” and has raised more than $400 million in support of children’s charities across the globe since its inception.

At the luncheon ceremony, Mrs. Morley recalled the pageant’s history. Founded by her husband Eric Morley in 1951, the first Miss World pageant was welcomed by an audience greater than those in other international events such as the World Cup and the Olympic Games. At its peak, the show claimed an audience of 27.5 million in Britain alone.

SOURCE: Manila Bulletin

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Republic Day!!

Wish you all a very Happy Republic Day. Jai Hind !!

Anti-Aging Serum Varnya {Product Review}

I know you people have not heard of this and it is not a brand. Now, of course, I have said this time and again that I love facial oils and do not mind trying some. So, do you remember my review of LashMantra? This product, Varnya, has been developed by the same lady, Leon. Before getting into discussing my experience with the product, this is the link to the website. Let me give you a brief introduction to the product. 

About Varnya
The name of the product itself is so wonderful that it makes you try it. Varnya is a Sanskrit word which means glowing complexion. This anti-aging serum provides 9 benefits to your skin - reduces fine lines and wrinkles, evens out skin tone, repairs damage caused by UV rays, repairs Acne, tightens sagging skin, fades age spots and blemishes, moisturizes and makes your skin soft and supple, tightens pores and brightens up a dull and sallow complexion. I know it sounds too good to be true but wait till you hear my experience. You can read about the ingredients here. It is a completely organic and natural preparation using botanical and cold-pressed oils.

Now, an interesting thing about this product is that you can get it custom made too. Well, Leon will send you a questionnaire in which you can discuss the type of your skin, allergies you might have, any skin diseases or disorders, your pregnancy conditions or nursing issues and make the product for you based on your answers. Now, why are such questions important. The serum contains some essential oils which are not preferred when you are pregnant or might interact in a negative way if you suffer from hormonal imbalances or have some allergies. So, I would say this is the best service any customer can get directly from the creator. Also, Leon has been testing this product on herself since a year so this is not a just-made product for earning money.

My Experience with Varnya
Now, I would love to discuss my experience with the product. I received Varnya a month ago around the same dates.So, I have been using this product without fail since a month except 2-3 days in between. So, let us start with how much does it fulfill its claims.

  • Claim 1: Reduces fine lines and wrinkles: I would not vouch for its reducing fine lines under my eyes but I would definitely say that my neck line is visibly less prominent and the change is marked not just-so-subtle. Regarding the fine lines under the eyes, I would say that I have not been sleeping properly so can't blame the serum for not doing the job.
  • Claim 2: Evens out skin tone: Yes, it evens out skin tone really well. My forehead was much more darker in shade than my cheeks and chin which was always a problem for me. I did try a lot of things but nothing worked. Now, my forehead and cheeks are more or less of the same shade.
  • Claim 3: Repairs damage caused by UV rays: I have a skin which is very much vulnerable to sun exposure. The minute I step out int he sun, my skin literally changes color. I have had sun allergy since I was a kid. My face was horribly tanned and even more so my neck. When seen as a unit attached to my shoulders, my neck looked horribly dark. Well, as you guessed, my skin has turned its own color. And, of course, I have been told that I have become fair which means my tan is all gone.
  • Claim 4: Repairs Acne: A very funny thing happened when I was writing this review. My skin is not acne-prone or break-out prone but yes, sometimes, even I do get pimples and stuff. So, lately after November Acne attack (an experience which I have yet to share with you all), I did not get breakouts. So, I could not test this serum for how well it deals on that claim. But, by the end of the evening, I find a very angry red full of pus breakout on my neck. So, I decided to let this review rest for two-three days and test out Varnya on the breakout. I apply Varnya on my face and neck at night and go to sleep. And, voila!! In the morning, I found that the breakout had reduced to almost an extent of 60% and appears to be healing. So, another plus for Varnya !! Another credit I would give to Varnya was that it healed the acne scar on my forehead to a large extent.
Update about the breakout: It is completely gone without leaving a scar or anything by the end of the day.
    • Claim 5: Tightens sagging skin: My skin is not sagging or loose. It is still in its prime and looks great. But, still, I could see a difference Varnya made to the elasticity of my skin. After applying Varnya, you can notice that the skin is noticeably tighter and firmer. 
    • Claim 6: Fades age spots and blemishes: Yes, it does fade blemishes. I do not have age spots but I have some patches of dark skin (kind of blemishes) on my neck which have reduced to a great extent. 
    • Claim 7: Moisturizes and makes your skin soft and supple: Yes, it does moisturize my skin. In the winters (I am talking about Hyderabad winters), the moisturizing was not up to the level in December but now that the weather has turned warm, the moisturizing is good enough and next morning, your skin feels supple as if it is hydrated from within. This look lasts all day long.
    • Claim 8: Tightens pores: I am kind of double-minded on this claim. In the starting days I was using it, I felt that it did really tighten my pores but now I am feeling it is not. So, I am not able to decide on this one. My blackheads have reduced to a certain extent though after I have started using Varnya.
    • Claim 9: Brightens up a dull and sallow complexion: Absolutely true. It brings an undeniable glow to the face and keeps it like that for the whole day even if you go into sun and pollution and dust.
     Now, after I have analyzed the claims, I want to summarize my own experience in a few words. 
    • Since I have started using Varnya, I have noticed that whatever product I use on my face in the morning gets absorbed effectively without making my skin oily and dull which used to happen earlier. Even my sunscreen settled on my skin well which never happened with me till date. I do not apply makeup so can't say how it blends under makeup.
    • My skin is extremely vulnerable to sun so the moment I step out into sun, it used to turn dark and dull and tired. Since I have been using Varnya, that has stopped.
    • In simple words, Varnya protects the skin from external harms and repairs the skin well. 
    • A single bottle of Varnya would last long if you use it in conjunction with some other facial oil or serum as I did. In a month, I ended up using only 1/5th of the bottle. 
    • Now, comes the biggest downside of Varnya. It costs 72$ for 6 month supply. That's really costly. But, there is an upside. An offer of Buy1, Get 1 free is going on the site so if you are interested, go and order one right now before the offer closes.  
    • Before, I wrap up, I would include this that do not think this serum is only for dry and mature skin. Leon can whip up a serum for you depending on your skin type and condition so if you have an oily or combination skin, do not be afraid of trying this for your skin.
    How did I use Varnya? 
    I did not use only Varnya because it was less on moisturizing in December and early January as I mentioned above. So, I used to mix 3 drops of Varnya with Rogan Badam. But, for treating the breakout, I used only Varnya - 10 drops. 

    Packaging of Varnya
    The bottle comes with a dropper to ensure you do not apply more than necessary. It has a very subtle smell. To smell it, you have to peek into the bottle otherwise it does not linger around. I would say it smells funky but I do not mind the smells, especially, if a product delivers. 

    My Recommendation
    You hardly need to ask it, right? It is an amazing product. Finally, a product which does what it says. So, I would definitely say that you should give it a try. It does not matter what your age is because it is not an anti-aging specific product but it is a skin repair and protection product which should be used everyday to get problem-free skin.

    Disclaimers: I received the product from Leon for reviewing purposes. I have not been paid or influenced to write this review and I am not an affiliate of this product. This is my personal experience with the product.

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Ayurvedic Tips

    Ok, guys!! So, today morning I was going through my regular list of e-mails and other blog feeds and I came across an amazing article on "Ayurvedic Beauty Regimen" posted in IMBB. You gotta check it out. Its very informative and opens a vista of lifestyle habits which are extremely healthy and will keep your beautiful and happy. Among those things, I have already talked about head massage and body massage and their benefits for the body. I would also try to inculcate the other things and would share my experiences with you.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    An easy way to look young

    The easiest way to look young might be the most heart breaking way too for you. Chop off your locks and go for a shoulder length hair. It is very important that you do not go short in case you are not able to pull it off. Having long hair makes you look older than your age. A hair style change once in a blue moon is not at all a bad idea if you are not averse to the idea of cutting your locks. The main advantage you can gain from this is a better quality hair. Longer hair is generally dry from ears down and is prone to splits and breakages because the hair follicle is not able to pass the nutrition to the ends. 

    Now, before you go for a complete hair makeover, settle for a hair stylist you can trust. Do not go for a new one and get a completely different hair style because it might result in a complete disaster. So, experiment with trims and simple and safe cuts among a variety of hair stylist and settle for one you love the best. Go repeatedly for 3-5 times before you are absolutely sure and then you can trust  her/him with your hair. Otherwise, you might end up looking like an ostrich or a goose and growing your hair from a bad hair style takes a little time which you might not wanna wait for.

    This advice is strictly for those who can not maintain a longer hair length and have hair which constantly gives them trouble even though they might love long hair.

    Miss Malaysia Universe Revamp

    Miss Universe Malaysia changes format to ensure that Malaysian Representative is better placed to win in years to come; Sets new five year goal of seeing Malaysia in the Top 5…

    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — December 08, 2010:In January this year Andrea Fonseka, National Director of the Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (“MUMO”) shared her vision to breathe new life into the Miss Universe Malaysia pageant. Having successfully introduced it’s “HIP, URBAN, RELEVANT, REAL” revamp, Fonseka intends to improve the pageant further by introducing a new format in 2011, enabling Malaysia
    to compete on equal grounds with countries such as Mexico and Venezuela — noted heavyweights among leading beauty pageants.

    “We are going to crown our Miss Universe Malaysia winners one year in advance.” revealed Andrea.

    This equates to more time for grooming and training, the most essential skills of a Miss Universe contender. Latin American nations famous for producing Miss Universe winners typically have between 8 to 12 months to
    train and prepare before competing. Malaysia has had to compress this complex process into a period of 3 to 4 months in previous years.

    MUMO intends to overcome this disadvantage by crowning both 2011 and 2012 Miss Universe Malaysia winners next year — the first time there have been two Miss Universe Malaysia pageants and winners in the same year!

    The Evolution

    For this transition, Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 would be identified and selected by September 2011. This in turn means that the Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 candidate will be crowned by February 2011 to compete at
    the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant.

    “We are embarking on a nomination and voting process starting immediately to select our Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 winner,” explained Fonseka.

    This is being done through the pageant’s Facebook page, website and through letters that could be sent to the pageant’s offices. The public nomination and voting results would then be combined with the views of a hand picked panel of world-class judges to help select the country’s next representative to the Miss Universe 2011 pageant.

    Big Changes for Miss Universe Malaysia: 2012 onwards

    “The search for the 2012 candidate will begin in February of 2011 through a national road show, a reality television program and casting calls that will be held nationwide.” Fonseka said, refusing to elaborate more at this time as “things are still very P&C. We have loads of exciting developments coming and we really do not want to spoil the
    surprises we have in store for everyone!”

    The Reality Television format in particular is a key part of the changes being done as it lends itself perfectly to the pageant, placing the girls under extreme pressure similar to that at the international Miss Universe pageant.

    MUMO plans to air the episodes before the pageant finals, allowing Malaysians to have an insight into what has previously been a closed event until the day of crowning.

    “Miss Universe Malaysia is the country’s ambassador!” said Fonseka. “We aim to see Malaysians getting involved in selecting her, watching her train and grow, and finally cheering her on as she takes our country’s name to a global stage with pride!”

    “Whilst the format has changed, we are still looking for the same thing — a Malaysian girl who is smart, fresh and down to earth, has leadership skills, and a great sense of humour. With just basic makings of a star — we can make her SHINE.”

    For more information on the Miss Universe Malaysia Organization please visit

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Are you searching for a hair dresser in Hyderabad?

    So, this is a kinda different post and before I proceed on with it, I am not endorsing or criticizing any of the brands or places I will be talking about. No one is paying me to write this. I am writing everything based on my personal experience and yours might differ from it so please bear with me.

    So, apart from my disclaimers, I wanna say this that this post is for people who are in search of good hair stylist or hair dressers in Hyderabad. If you already have one, you are lucky but if you think you need someone better, go ahead and read the post. So, I have been thinking of a good hair cut since quite a long time and since it is my friend's engagement in a week, I direly needed to go today. I have been having regular hair style changes for only a couple of times till now and I have tried a couple of salons like Naturals, Lakme and La Belle. To sum up my experience, I was not very satisfied any where. So, this time, I asked one of my friends for any recommendation and it was a HE. I know sounds kinda lame but his mom has been visiting the same parlor for past 26 years and he advised me to go there. It turns out that this said parlor is owned by a Chinese lady. Now, if you do not know about this fact, Chinese people are particularly good at beauty. Another of my friend also recommended another Chinese parlor to me she is a fan of and a regular at.

    Now, let me make one thing clear. This parlor is not like the high-end salons which have become so famous these days but the similar to the concept of beauty parlors in the last decade. At home, employing some girls and not so into using high-end equipments. If you are a kind of person who loves high-end salon, this is definitely not for you. Since I did not like any high-end ones and needed some one, I decided to place my trust in my friends and went to the parlor. Of course, I was skeptical and was full of mind to beat up my friend in case I was any less satisfied.

    So, I go to this parlor and ask for a hair cut. An old Chinese lady who is apparently the same owner I talked about came out. I ask her how much time would a hair cut take and she said 20 minutes. Ok, I did wash my hair at home because I am not very sure of the hygiene levels at the parlors and salons and also to save my pocket. So, I sit there to get my hair cut and as soon as I sit, the lady starts cutting my hair. I told her that I wanted something different from my hair and wanted a lot of layers at the back. So, I have naturally wavy to curly hair with a very less volume but a lot of fluff and have a huge forehead. So, my hair cut starts and in 15 minutes, she was done with chopping off and styling my hair. I kept my eyes shut coz I was afraid of what I might see. And, lo behold, when I open my eyes, I was like is it me?? I got a completely different look which I never thought would suit me. And, trust me, the hair cut is amazing. It makes my hair look voluminous and  full and covers my forehead well. I am looking younger, my hair is looking a wow which it never did till today. I can't stop smiling looking at myself since the moment I walked out of there. It costed me 350 bucks which was fine.

    So, I wanted to share this experience of mine and recommend the parlor to anyone who is looking for a good hair dresser. This is only for people staying in Hyderabad. The name of the parlor is Blue Heaven. It has two branches - one at Banjara Hills (just opposite to Ohri's Banjara) and another somewhere in Secunderabad. Now, there is a catch in this whole thing. You need to get hold of the owner to do the hair cut. I was lucky that I landed with her. She is generally not available or does not provide the services on her own. So, in case you plan to go, do make an appointment asking for the owner. The phone number of the Banjara branch is 040-23370455. So, guys, once again, I am not endorsing but just recommending something which I loved. 

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Miss America 2011 is Miss Nebraska

    A 17-year-old Nebraskan too young to cast a ballot has captured enough votes to win the Miss America crown, kickstarting her hopes of going to law school and eventually becoming a politician.

    "I want to be there making sure that I stand up for what's right, stand up for integrity and honesty," Teresa Scanlan told The Associated Press on Saturday night after becoming the first Miss America from the Cornhusker State.

    She won a $50,000 scholarship and a year's reign in one of the most visible positions any young woman could seek.

    Scanlan captured the hearts of seven judges after a night of playing the piano, walking across a Las Vegas stage in a white gown and black bikini, and saying security trumps the public's right to knowledge when it comes to government leaks.

    She said she'll register to vote as an independent after turning 18 next month, and work toward her goals by going to law school and perhaps becoming a prosecutor, then judge.

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Banjara's Kasturi Turmeric Herbal Powder

    I had written about Kasturi Turmeric long back and in my quest for finding Kasturi Tumeric, I came across Banjara's Herbals brand. Consequently, I bought the Kasturi Turmeric Herbal Powder they were offering. So, here is my review of the product.

    My experience with the product

    I had used it long back so I do not have pics but it looks similar to the regular haldi we use at home. But, when I used it, it left my face so yellow that I had to wash my face twice with a face wash after using the mask. And, the products stings as opposed to the tingling sensations felt when using herbal products. And, then after washing off, it leaves my face completely raw.

    My efforts to better the product
    To avoid the yellow coloration of my face after using this herbal powder, I mixed a little of it with my regular homemade besan ubtan. Guess what, it turned the complete ubtan into yellow and still managed to make my face discolored.
    I even tried mixing it with sandalwood and multani mitti and then applying on the face but that also did not work.
    After so many efforts went fluke, I compared it with the regular turmeric and I somehow have a sneaking suspicion that this herbal powder is not exactly herbal but probably has a yellow color mixed in some powder. So, right now, I have mixed the powder with sandalwood powder and multani mitti and am using it as a scrub instead of a face pack.

    My Opinion
    My strong suggestion is that do not buy this product. It is just 35-40 INR. Not at all costly but completely useless product. In case you come across this product, just give it a go.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Body Shop Promotions and Offers

    Ok, guys!! I was cribbing about Body Shop offers a few days back. If you have not read it, read it here. But, it seems I was wrong about their sales offers. Some really great offers are going on at Body Shop. Some are for members and some for non-members so overall, it is a win-win situation.

    Deals for Non-Members 

    Deals for Members

    Valid upto: 28th January, 2011
    One more thing is that certain shop to shop offers are also running so do make sure you are aware of all the deals you can get. 

    Agreed not much for non-members so I have decided to become a member :) So, hoping you are all rushing to the stores. Happy Shopping !!

    Happy Pongal and Makar Sankranti !!

    Wish you all a very Happy Pongal and Makar Sankranti. Hope you had fun with Lohri and Bogi and hoping this festive season would bring prosperity to you and your families. Fly kites, eat amazing food and have a relaxing weekend !!

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Happy Lohri and Bogi!

    Hey All!! 
    Wish you all a very happy festive season :) Today is Lohri for everyone in India. And, for Andhrites, its Bogi too when small gifts are distributed among neighborhood kids. So, enjoy the gifts and bonfires !! 

    Beware of where you are eating!

    Hopefully, you have seen Blood Brothers which I had posted a few days back. If you missed it, watch it here. Now, I was talking that I was having a discussion with my friend about HIV-AIDS. Durign the convo, he narrated an incident which happened almost a decade back in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

    The incident went something like this. There was a panipuri guy who used to serve really good panipuris in Banjara Hills. One day he got a cut in his hand which he did not bother to cover or treat and obviously he could not stop serving panipuris coz of a cut so he continued with an open wound. And, a month later some person was detected positive for HIV. So, ultimately a trace was run on how he got the disease and it was found that the panipuri wala was the cause. That day around 80-85 people who ever had panipuri at that guy's stall were detected positive for HIV. This incident garnered a lot of media attention though I could not find any details on the net. If you do or know anything about the incident (even if I am wrong), please do share the news.

    This incident whether true or not had raised a lot of questions in my mind. I am a person who loves to eat junk and all the road side crap (even if I stop you from dong so). I try to curb my junk food cravings but chat and panipuri are my loves and I can't leave them totally. Now, I donno how many of you would agree with me on this but I always found roadside items to be more tasty than the same items available at a posh restaurant. Well, that might be psychological too. But, whatever the case be, I wanted to warn everyone including myself from eating too much outside because the food can be unhygienic. Even the cutlery is enough to transmit the viruses and bacteria from one person to another.

    I know that this post of mine would have an impact for at max a week. It is not easy to leave the habit of eating outside. So, I would just list down certain tips which can help you maintain a decent level of hygiene.
    • Avoid using cutlery in places where you can. Going to road side stalls, sweet shops, small local restaurants and dhabas are places where you can avoid cutlery easily. 
    • When the plates are put in front of you, wipe them with a tissue once on your own.
    • Where you are doubtful about the quality of water, order a mineral water bottle or better yet, carry your own bottle of water. 
    • Check the seal of mineral water bottle and always order bottles of cokes and other drinks. 
    • Do not worry about the quality of water used in cooking coz temperature destroys many bacteria.
    • Always wash your hands before you eat. Prefer to carry a small tube of hand wash or a cheap face wash will also do the job. Anti-bacterials are not as effective as soaps.
    • Try to choose a hygienic place where self-service is allowed. 
    • Avoid anything given in newpaper wraps (road side chats and other things).
    • If you are really interested in eating them, carry your own tiffin box and ask him to put the item in your box. Newpapers have a lot of germs. 
    • Similarly, do not ever put your hand in your mouth after handling cash. Cash notes change a lot of hands so always avoid handling cash before eating. 
    • You can wear gloves to keep your hands clean when using public transports.
    These are certain precautions which can be taken to avoid unnecessary diseases. And, I am not just talking about AIDS, Hepatitis and TB but also simple cold and coughs and other unnecessary complications.

    Also Read:

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    My experience with Body Shop and Lush

    To bring down the serious tone of my previous posts, I am sharing with you a hilarious tragedy which quite often happens with me. So, I hate The Body Shop (TBS) and Lush both. Well, I know there are ardent lovers of them among you all. But, seriously, have you ever been in their shop repeatedly and got so confused that every time you returned empty-handed???? I have been to TBS like may be 7-8 times since it opened here and always came out with out buying because there are so many amazing products which I wanna try but then I always end up getting confused and miser. Obviously, TBS is very heavy on the pockets.

    So, this December, I went with my dad to make it easy on my pockets :) And, again, the tragedy !! I came out empty handed :( I wish now that I should have bought at least one product. I applied all the testers there and I ended up getting a greasy skin :) You know I am so embarrassed now that I am always sitting and thinking what would I buy when I enter TBS next so that I end up buying something and not make a complete fool of myself. I guess I wanna start with Moroccan Rose or something range. It seemed most fascinating to me. So, hopefully, next time, I would be a proud owner of TBS products. I really wanna check out their body and facial oils. I read a review of some facial oil a few days back but the cost was whopping. Guess, how much??? Some 945 bucks for 15 ml. I mean come on???? They should at least give 50 ml in that money even if they are using the most exotic ingredients of the world !! One other thing I hate about TBS is their lack of sale offers. Most of the time I check that the sales are for members only and it seems that there is an extra 500 bucks for becoming a member though I really donno if you can redeem those 500 in your next visit or what. Would love it if you could explain about this thing. And, then, even on the New Year, they had just 2 day sale and I missed it and even the sale was bad - you had to buy 4 products to get a 20% discount !! I do not even consider it to be a sale frankly but yes, something is better than nothing. I have heard people saying they got products at 50% so would be keeping an eagle eye for that one but please it should be for everyone not only members.

    Oh, so now its the turn of Lush. Frankly, I did not know about it. So, where it started? I went to Hypercity in Hyderabad for the first time soon after it opened and found a really amazing store with all kinds of colorful bath products and soaps and body butters. I did not check out the shop name at that time but loved the shop coz it smells so heavenly. You gotta go to experience it, seriously (if you have already not been there !!). I was very sure that I'll buy something from there like shea butter or stuff. But, then it became a forgotten story coz I went to Hypercity some time later and could not find the store. May be it was closed or I did not check out on the right floor. I thought that it might not be selling enough so it closed down. I took to reading reviews of products very recently like 6 months back. So, I found Lush mentioned at very few places and the prices were even pricier than TBS. Consequently, I did not pay much attention to them. But, when I went to Hypercity, I checked out the name of the heavenly store I mentioned and then I knew that Lush was in Hyderabad too !! So, since then, I have been aching to lay my hands on Lush products. Please can any one inform me about the sales in Lush coz I never paid attention to it prior.

    I wish I had an unlimited supply of money and I could spend it where ever I wanted. Anyway, my first love would be Marie Veronique in that case. Do not forget to inform me about the sales, please!! Guess what, even I became a sales freak now :)

    Also Read:
    Lakme Vital Indulgence: Review
    LashMantra Natural EyeLash Growth Serum: Review
    24 Letter Mantra Products by Sresta Natural Bio Product Limited
    Parachute Head Massager Review
    Always have a bottle of calamine lotion
    Get a bottle of Rogan Badam Shirin
    Winter Skin Care Lotions
    My tryst with Himalaya
    Ponds Face Washes 

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Have you watched "Blood Brothers"?

    Blood Brothers is a short film of about 15 minutes made by Vishal Bhardwaj for Bill Gates foundation. It stars Siddharth and Ayesha Takia. Its part of the awareness campaign for HIV-AIDS. And, it is a must watch. Do spare 15 minutes on the following videos posted.

    I had watched it long back and suddenly recalled this movie when a topic of AIDS came up in my discussion with my friend. I shall tomorrow recount the discussion which I hope would be illuminating for you all.

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    How much weight do you want to lose?

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    How much weight do you want to lose?

    Ok, so I came across a story of Isabelle Caro. I am not sure how many of you have read the story so I am recounting it for everyone. Isabelle Caro was a French model who died in November, 2010 due to anorexia. She was 28. Anorexia is an eating disorder caused by losing too much weight and not partaking proper nutrition to meet the daily dietary needs.

    Isabelle Caro was anorexic since the age of 13 due to her personal life. And, when she joined modeling, she was advised to lose 10 kilos to survive in the fashion world. She had been hospitalized at the age of 20 for the first time. In 2006, she had slipped into coma where it was predicted that she would not survive. At that time, she was weighing only 25 kilograms. Since she recovered, she has been trying to gain weight and was weighing 33 at the time of her death. The video is an interview of Isabelle Caro with Jessica Simpson for the documentary series "The Price of Beauty."

    The idea of telling you this story was not to discourage modeling or to show the fashion world as an unsightly profession. This thing of losing weight runs much deeper than that. First reason is to fit into that favorite dress which is only available for a size 2 or 4. Or, to equate yourself to some sexy gal who might be luring the guy you have your heart set on. We all want to become thin.

    Recently, my father went to Baba Ramdev's shivir. He told me an amusing incident which happened there. One of the girls present there asked him how to go about losing weight. He asked her what her weight and height were. They were proportional and the reply given to her was "What more do you want to lose?"

    I would not deny that even I was a part of this brigade until I joined my college. The girls in the school were athletically thin and I was not. So, people did make fun of me. I still had my baby fat. As a consequence, I did feel bad and tried to exercise but I am so irregular at that so I could never stick around with it. But, gradually, I lost my puppy fat and grew to be fine proportioned though still on the heavier side. But, as I reached college, I came to an equation with myself that I can never get thinner than what I was and my only vow at that time was to stay healthy and well-toned. I have always been healthy but even today I am struggling with the well-toned concept. But, definitely, I am a big foodie and have never given up on food. I have fasted a couple of Mondays in my life but they were never done with the viewpoint of losing weight. Instead, I always ended up eating more in the night. 

    Peer pressure and societal strictures dictate our outlook at life.Not only those, genes can dictate your body type whether you would be anorexic or elephantine. And, of course, there is always a psychological background to it all. Be happy with what you have. When ever you feel like throwing up the food for the sake of losing weight, think about the people who have no access to the luxuries you take for granted and thus, suffer and die of hunger.And, I mean this from the bottom of my heart without sounding preachy. So, the summary of the story is that there is no point starving yourself to lose weight. Follow a healthy routine and you would definitely remain in shape. On that note, I am leaving you with an extremely shocking ad. Check it out for yourself.

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    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Hand Creams, Foot Creams, Eye Creams...How many?

    Hey Guys!!! Ok, so I am not officially back but could not stay away any more so posting today. So, the topic is a little disturbing. I have always been suspicious about the various products being handed over by the companies to us. If I stretch my memory, I can remember face moisturizers and body lotions had always existed. Over the years, there have been a plethora of products developed and launched - face creams, face serums, eye creams, hand creams, foot creams, body lotions, body moisturizers, night creams, day creams. Have I left out any? Please feel free to add to the list. Now, I do not blame the companies for doing so. They are doing business and have to earn profits. They will simply cash in on the confusion of their customers. I always get overwhelmed when I see the huge range of only body lotions lying in the counters. I am not even going to talk about the other skin care ranges. That will make my head whirl. 

    I have a couple of questions - Do we really need all those things? Are we supposed to use these things because the companies are developing the products for us? Do they develop them because we use them? How many creams are we supposed to put on our bodies? Probably in the future we will also get arm creams and leg creams because apparently they are the driest part of our bodies. And, then special creams for elbows and knees because they are even more different. 

    I have always been cynical about these products in the market and have never succumbed to their lure though I have always felt I should. But, then my budget and pondering on the question of necessity stops me. Ok, so you might argue that every body part is different and needs a customized care. According to me, skin needs to be treated nicely and every part of your body needs the same moisturizing products. If you look at natural products we use - oils, shea, cocoa butters, beeswax - they all work for all parts of the body without overwhelming any part. So, why the distinction among creams. Ok, I accept that eye area is the most sensitive part of the body so why not use eye creams. Oh, there is a difference in the thickness of the lotions in various products. So, does that mean that our moms have not cared for their eye areas well. According to me, they have great skin and they do not even do much. My mom has survived on a single medicated cream for the past 15 years and she has a beautiful clear skin. Even she goes in the sun without sunscreen but her skin does not look older than what her age is. Why have we suddenly become so crazy about not going in the sun? Past 15 years have grown the cosmetic industry into a bigger giant than it was and the reason is that we are succumbing to whatever they give us. And, after applying these many layers of products on the skin, we cry out saying it is blocking my pores or is comedogenic (I hope I have got the spelling right !!) or that my skin is looking aged and tired and dull or it is breaking out. How much can the skin take?? Show some mercy to it too. Because, after a layer of these products comes the make up.

    Recently, I came across the review of two products in the blog "Chic and Green". The writer of the blog, Karley, had reviewed a night cream from Burt's Bees and a hand cream from Seed. Finally, the writer concluded by saying the hand cream worked as a better facial moisturizer than the night cream. Not that Karley was intending to use hand cream on her face, she had put it on her face when she had to rush out and had nothing on hand. So, what does that mean? Well, the efficacy of the product depends simply on what it contains not what it has been labeled for.

    The goal of the post is not to say that you should not spend unnecessarily. If you really want to splurge, you should definitely because you would not feel satisfied if you do not get the thing you want. But, for people who have limited resources, do not think that you are losing out on something. Stick to one product which works for you. Spending on these many creams does not really do anything. At the end of the day, you will look older and wiser or younger and foolish because of the life you have chosen for yourself not because of the beauty products you have used. You want to have younger looking skin - check out your diet. That is the key to a Beautiful You.

    Also read:
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    Do you check the expiry dates of your products?
    Should you use a body cream or a body lotion?

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Miss Earth 2010 Goes Home

    City girl is back in B'lore after winning the Miss Earth International 2010 title in Vietnam.

    Bangalore girl Nicole Faria, who brought home laurels when she won the Miss Earth 2010 crown in Vinpearl Land.




    Miss Earth 2010 Nicole Faria poses with her parents Ian and Anita Faria on her arrival at her hometown Bangalore amidst media frenzy on December 23, 2010.


    Monday, January 3, 2011

    How Miss Philippines Wins the Bride of the World 2010

    Our very own Luisa Beltran was crowned the first Bride of the World held in Singapore.

    Luisa bested more than 40 delegates from around the world to win the unique title.

    The runner-ups of the competition came from Bolivia, Ukraine, Russia, and Peru.

    The semi-finalists were from Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Denmark, Korea, Germany, Moldova, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania.

    During the question and answer portion, candidates from Latin speaking countries had a difficult time in expressing themselves because there was no Spanish interpreter around. It was Bruno Kettels, Mister International 2009 from Bolivia, who tried to help as an interpreter for the Spanish speaking candidates, however, he also had difficulty understanding the questions in English, or properly translate their answers.

    Miss Philippines, the only finalist who spoke English, eventually became the winner.

    It was pointed out that Luisa did not win only because of the her interview. Her beauty and elegance impressed everyone throughoutthe competition.

    Around 40 brides from around the world competed in national costumes, sportswear, wedding gowns and interview in the first ever Bride of the World pageant.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Miss Netherlands Wins Miss Tourism International 2010


    The last beauty pageant of 2010 took place on December 31st when Miss Netherlands, Nathalie den Dekker, was chosen Miss Tourism International 2010 during the annual gala held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 21-year old Nathalie is a student at Utrecht university and stands 1.68 m in height. She had also competed at Miss Supranational 2010 in Poland.

    The 1st and 2nd runner-ups were Misses Australia and Venezuela, while Philippines and Mongolia completed the Top 5.

    Congratulations to Miss Netherlands for winning Miss Tourism International 2010!

    Official Results -Miss Tourism International 2010: Netherlands, Nathalie den Dekker
    -1st runner-up: Australia
    -2nd runner-up: Venezuela
    -3rd runner-up: Philippines
    -4th runner-up: Mongolia

    -Top 10 Finalists:

    -Top 20 Semi Finalists:

    Best National Costume: Malaysia

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