Saturday, March 31, 2012

TV Soaps and Snobs


Ok, so I used to be a Tele-soap snob till a while back and you won't believe that I sincerely run the Star live tv now on my laptop whenever I am alone. Of course, the worst part of that is that you watch a single episode probably 3-4 times or more in a day (those are the words of a snob!!!). Yes, the television has really not got anything to air except for its shows from 6 - 11:30 PM which is extremely pathetic.

Anyways, speaking of my favorite soaps, I am a huge love stories fan so you can guess the one top-most on my mind - 'Is pyar ko kya naam doon?'. Well, its almost like 'Kutumb' which used to air almost 10 years back. I love the chemistry of the couple and also the protagonist's sister. She is very pretty and looks really sweet which is something I rarely say about people :D Oh, yes, I am a huge cynic. My friends have always called me critical and my parents are literally frustrated with me for my cynical attitude with life.

Ok, waving aside my pretensions, I do enjoy comedies. I don't know how many of you have watched 'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' but I love that series and I really wish they had come up with a second season. As you might have guessed by now, I am not really big on English drama/comedies but I used to love 'Full House' and there was this hindi dubbing of 'Small Wonder' which used to air on Star plus at 5:30 in the evening. I used to love it. I do miss those shows and wonder if I can get them on download ;D

Are you a serial-fanatic or love any soap??

Friday, March 30, 2012

Can aloevera be used as sunscreen? {Sunscreen}

[Source:infobarrel.com]
I was checking out my analytics page and saw this in the query section. And, then, I remembered many people had asked me this particular question earlier. So, I thought I would make a post of this.

Aloevera and Sun Protection
Aloevera, in itself, doesn't provide any sun protection of its own. It, in fact, cures the damages caused by sun's rays.So, you can call it more a after-sun treatment than calling it a sunscreen. Aloevera is a very versatile plant which can treat sunburns as easily as it can slow down the aging of the skin. The gel has healing properties instead of protection properties. 

Sunscreen
There is a reason for the existence of wide variety of sunscreens in the market. And, I have time and again asserted their importance in skin care. As a personal opinion, I would always assert that it is better to rely on products available in the market for such a product than trying out your own remedies without proper research.

My personal favourites are Zinc Oxide sunscreens but a stable chemical sunscreen also does a good job. Choose one according to your budget and be regular and diligent in its application, specially, in the summers.

Free Eyeliner Brush with Sigma Purchase


Get a free eyeliner brush with a purchase of 30$ and above at Sigma. Click on the image or here to get your own now.

PS: The image has affiliate links. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do you ever get conscious? {Your Opinion}

[Source:totalbeauty.com]
Today I had applied Neutrogena sunscreen instead of the regular MVO Moisturising face screen or Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint, both of which have zinc oxide and are physical sunscreens which I personally prefer. But, both of them are tinted and go on the skin like a foundation. Whenever I apply any tinted moisturiser, I always feel conscious of it. I don't know why but it happens with me even when I use a tinted lip balm. So, basically, you can say color makes me conscious which I didn't feel when I applied the Neutrogena sunscreen today. 

Do you feel conscious if you make a slight change in your everyday look, it might be a different hair style or a tinted moisturiser. I have tried out side braids this past week and loved them. On the first day, I did feel weird but then, I got used to it and carried it off. I do want to do simple hair style tutorials. But, what can I say, call me camera shy :D But, I am working on it and hopefully, something should materialise.
Do you get conscious of any change? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Summer Skin Care Essentials {Skin Care}

[Source:skinbeautyreview.com]
So, summers have started burning my skin here :( And, yes, I hate summers, a lot. I feel so hot and I don't really like AC's. I am more of a cooler gal!! Anyways, let us go through some summer skin care tips. And, I had meant to put up this post long long back but somehow laziness wore me down :S
  • Sunscreen: Must, Must and Very Essential!!!
  • Hats/Scarves/Umbrella (a light colored one): Accessories to protect yourself from direct sun rays. 
  • Don't go out after 10 and before 5. Rays are very strong. 
  • Tanning happens very easily in summers so protect your skin. 
  • Drink, Drink and Drink a lot and by drink, I mean water and herbal teas and fruit juices. 
  • Shades/Goggles: Get trendy with wrap-around shades which match your face. They not only add a style statement but also protect your delicate eye area from the sun rays and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
Day - time Routine
  • Cleansing: Don't over-cleanse your face in the heat. I know sometimes the face feels a lot itchy and prickly and the immediate impulse is to wash it off which you should when you have just come back from prolonged exposure to the sun. But, not if your skin just feels the heat. Cleansing the face twice to at most thrice a day is enough. And, get a cleanser which helps control oil.
  • Toning: Very very important in summers as skin goes less on the hydration. Make sure you use face mists at regular intervals and apply it just before putting on the moisturiser to trap in the hydration.   
  • Moisturiser: Heat is building up so you really don't want a moisturiser which makes you look like an oil pan. Go light and easy on your body lotions and face moisturiser. Go for the oily moisturisers unless your skin too dry. They help control oil and keep the face shine-free.
    Check out some of my other posts under the heading of Summer Skin Care.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Foundation / Tinted Mositurizer - Blending Basics {Skin Care}

    [Source:theknot.ninemsn.com.au]
    I have been using tinted moisturisers (TM's) since last September and as a result, I have gone through various stages of difficulties in blending them into the skin. So, I thought I would put down certain things important to take care while blending. This is from an amateur perspective and I use just fingers to blend in. 

    Smooth Skin
    Smooth skin is very essential to begin with before doing the blending. Flaky skin is the worst thing which can happen to you so always make sure you exfoliate your face, neck and decolletege regularly to make sure that your tinted cream goes on smoothly and blends in your skin without leaving any patches and the whole of the exposed skin is in same shade. 

    Amount of product
    This point is very important. You should know how much is enough for your skin otherwise you can end up looking like a ghost. To make sure you don't overuse, dot your face with the tinted moisturiser and blend in. Add the moisturiser as and when needed. This way you don't generally end up over-using. 

    Uneven Complexion
    My forehead is almost a shade darker than my face and it always gets darker if I don't eat properly so whenever I apply TM's, I have to make sure, it has blended well with the darker shade of my skin otherwise it looks ghostly on that area. And, getting different shades for different parts of your skin is not exactly a viable option. So, take care to use less of the TM on the darker area and blend well.

    Apply moisturiser
    It moisturises your skin and provides a base for the foundation / TM to go on smoothly. So, it is always a good idea to apply a moisturiser and wait for 5-10 minutes before applying a TM to allow the moisturiser to dry up.  And, it also gives a dewy finish leaving your skin looking hydrated and radiant.

    Use fingers deftly
    If you use fingers to blend in, make sure they are clean first. Use your middle finger to do the blending. It always helps to dot the face with the TM. And, instead of rubbing the product, patting it works better. Doing the patting motion quickly helps in giving a smooth finish and avoids the pulling of the skin which happens when you tend to rub in the product.

    Make sure you have time
    I have always noticed that when I am pressed for time, I am never able to blend well. Either I over-use the product or don't use the fingers quickly enough to give a smooth finish. And, patting always takes more time than rubbing in.

    So, hope this is helpful to you all. Do drop in your comments :)

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Omved Intense Moisturizing Cream {Product Review}

    Price: Rs 440 for 40 gms

    Ingredients
    DM water, extract of harida, baheda, glycerin, aloe vera juice, carbopol ultrez 21, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, green tea extract, oils of lavender, chamomile, vertiver, sodium hydroxide.

    Pros
    - gets absorbed into the skin very quickly
    - moisturises instantly
    - moisturising stays for long time 
    - doesn't really get washed off with water
    - keeps the nails and cuticles moisturised too
    - awesome ingredients

    Cons
    - very expensive
    - doesn't help extremely dry skin

    My Experience
    Let me start by saying it smells really weird. But, once you get used to it, you will actually like it and sniff your hands for it. I used this small sample only to moisturise my hands. When I had received this in February, my hands were extra dry and I was hoping to improve their state with this.
    The sample is not as big that I can actually review it but I can give a decent verdict on the product because of its concentrated use on one part. It is a thick cream which I used to apply after washing my hands and it moisturised my hands pretty well and instantly. It spreads easily and gets absorbed quickly without leaving any greasiness behind.

    But, I also noticed that it didn't really help my extremely dry skin which was a con but gradually, my hands came back to the normal state so I am hoping that a continuous use of the product does show effects. This is an all-purpose cream which can be used on any part of the body. And, I definitely like the smell now :)

    Availability
    Online - NaturalMantra.com (10% discount valid till 31st March)

    PS: Product sent by brand. 
    PS 2: I have taken the images from Corallista.com owned by Ankita and I am really thankful to her for allowing me to use the images. Do check out her review on the same too.

    Parachute Advansed Body Lotion TVC

    Parachute has now come up with a new summer variant to refresh the ‘magical romance moments this summer’. 
    With skin so refreshed and rejuvenated, refresh the magical romance moments this Summer! With Parachute Advansed Summer Fresh - beat the heat, feel refreshingly cool with its tingling mint extracts and enliven your senses with a burst of magical fragrance. With skin and you so fresh again, refresh those moments ever so close to your heart!
    PS: PR Info

    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    Don't try any new product before your wedding {Bridal Files}

    This is something which came to my mind after reading Tanveer's post. In her words
    I once used a oxy-bleach, just a week before my wedding. It was the first time I used a bleach and the last. It caused my face to turn red like I was sun burnt and I spent the next two days just calming my skin back to being normal. 
    So, just a simple advise -  never try something which you haven't tried out yet. You never know how your skin might react. If you do want to try out something, make sure you have adequate time before so that you can counteract the harmful effects, if any!!!

    This applies to all kinds of treatments including facial, hair and body. If you really want to indulge in something luxurious, 'ubtan' is the best bet and has been, traditionally, a part of bridal skin care since centuries.

    How to prepare customized Ubtan?
    [Source: anindiansmakeupmusings.blogspot.in]
    A simple recipe with available ingredients at home: 
    • Besan (Chana flour)
    • Turmeric 
    • Yogurt
    Mix everything in proportion. You can add turmeric up to a table spoon and don't worry about the staining because chana flour takes care of that. Try to make the paste brighter yellow in color. Apply it every night before you go to sleep on the face and neck or you can also go for an entire body application on a day when you are free. 
    Yogurt removes tan and turmeric helps with blemishes. It does take time to work. Do not add lemon juice as it is quite acidic and may cause skin dryness. You can go for tomato juice, if you wish. Its more gentle. And, essential oils and rose petals add a exotic feel to the mask. So, you might want to get some for your own use. 

    Hope this helps :)

    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    What I did this week?

    Well, my Monday was work at home coz I was too lazy to get up and go :D Anyways, I did manage to do some work which gives me some credit. Life is getting hectic!!! Have a deadline in April so I am not able to give attention to the blog and other articles I am supposed to write. 

    And, then, I watched 'Chillar Party' yesterday live on lappie. Did you know about the live streaming from Star TV which is a good TP for me. And, I got my new cooler also yest and its all sooooooo cool in the room but of course, humidity issues!!!

    And, I am desperately waiting for some of my packages and also for my camera :( I don't know when I'll get it but I really feel handicapped without it. I think the following week will be a hectic one so I shall try my level best to get to you quality content. Till then, take care :)

    Friday, March 23, 2012

    Moisturizer with or without spf? {Your Opinion}

    [Source:static.liveclicker.net]
    For me, I always try to stay away from moisturisers which claim to have sun protection. Or, I always follow with a high factor sunscreen to keep my skin protected. What I have observed till day is that all the moisturisers which come with spf claims do not have the sun protection ingredients mentioned in the ingredient list which discourages me a lot. 

    Moisturisers with spf give same protection as sunscreen?
    Actually, I have observed this that moisturisers don't give enough sun protection when compared to sunscreen. I always get tanned I don't apply sunscreen whether its a physical or chemical one.

    Every product has a specific function. So, if you think your moisturiser can protect your skin against sun, you should probably re-evaluate the sun protection  ability of your moisturiser. What do you think?

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Happy Ugadi!!!

    Ugadi Subhakankshalu
    Today is Ugadi, the New Year for all Andhrites :) Wish you all a very Happy Ugadi and hope this year is prosperous and fun-filled for you and all your loved ones.And, enjoy the sweet and sour and bitter taste of Ugadi pacchadi (special chutney made on Ugadi) and life. 

    Today's special dish is Ugadi pacchadi. It is a special chutney which has I don't know how many ingredients and it embodies all the tastes - sweet, sour, bitter, salty, hot and some more which I am not completely sure of. The significance of this pacchadi is that it symbolizes the tastes of life which comes in all forms at various stages - sometimes it is happy, sometimes sad, sometimes challenging, sometimes hopeful and sometimes drastic like there is no tomorrow. As we enjoy the taste of this pacchadi, we should learn to enjoy all the flavors of life and live in the today. So, have a great year ahead!!!

    Vedic Line Apple Green Toner {Product Review}

    Price: Rs 190 for 200ml

    Ingredients
    Pros
    - gets absorbed very very quickly
    - if used after a face wash with a cotton pad, it removes the residual dirt entirely
    - lovely packaging

    My Experience
    I love the brilliant blue color of the toner. It comes in a spray bottle and thankfully, the quality of the spray pump is really good. The toner gets absorbed very quickly and it improves hydration to a limit. It does feel a little sticky when applied but that gets solved as soon as it gets absorbed. 

    I used the toner after washing my face and I could still see the dirt when I wiped it off with the toner. So, it is extremely effective in that. And, it has no alcohol too so that's a plus. I does smell a little strong for me but the smell doesn't linger around so that's fine. Overall, its a good toner.

    Have you tried anything from this brand?
    PS: Product sent by the brand.

    Other reviews from Vedic Line:

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Last Call for NYX FACE Awards

    Of course, you all know NYX and lot many times better than me. NYX is conducting the FACE (Fine Artistry of Cosmetic Elites) Awards and conducting a contest for all the Vloggers to select the 30 best You Tube guru and they will award her/him as the National Beauty Vlogger of the Year on Youtube along with monetary value of 25,000$ and a year long supply of cosmetics. Above all this, all you makeup enthusiasts can get an opportunity to start your dream career. The contest ends on Friday and this is basically a last call. I am so sorry but I received the mail just now. Do check out the rules of the contest here. And, I am putting up the video of the contest announcement.

    Conditioner making your hair straight? {Hair Care}

    PS:This post is for curly and wavy haired gals!!!
    [Source:your-hairstyles.com]
    A little while back I had read some post or probably it was a product review of a conditioner saying that it made the blogger's hair straight. That got me thinking a little about the conditioner. Well, that can be a good thing if you are looking for hair straightening but let me clear it out for you that your conditioner is weighing your hair down.

    What does a conditioner do?
    A conditioner is supposed to undo the harsh effects of the shampoo over the hair. It helps to hydrate, condition and moisturize the hair and keep it soft and shiny. Read more about how conditioner helps avoid split ends.

    Conditioner straightens the Hair?
    No, a conditioner can never straighten the hair. If you are looking to straighten your hair naturally, you can try using henna or fuller's earth (multani mitti). Or, you can also go for rebonding or permanent hair straightening which actually damages the hair in a lot of cases.

    Anyways, speaking about the conditioner, it can be either of two things:
    • you are using excess of conditioner
    • you are using the wrong type of conditioner
    Excess of Conditioner?
    Next time you are in the shower, try reducing the amount of conditioner you are using. Actually, it is true that we tend to over-use the products which can lead to product build-up too.

    Are you using the right Conditioner?
    Sometimes, we tend to pick up products based on whims instead of finding out if they are really suitable for our hair type. For example, you may pick up a protein based conditioner thinking your hair is dry but your hair needs nothing more than hydration. Such wrong choices can also lead to conditioner not functioning properly or as desired. That's why it is very essential to find out about your hair type and texture before you go to buy products.

    And, also, if you are using the right products for your hair, be sure that they will define your curls and make them stand out. What do you say?

    Importance of Oral Care

    PS: PR Info

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Sunsilk Keratinology Dual Treatment Shots {Product Review}

    PS: This is a requested review and I tried to find the one who requested it on facebook but seems like she has deleted her profile. So, if you are reading this review, hope you find the review satisfactory.
    [Source:stylecraze.com]
    Price: Rs 300 for 1 pack which includes a 15ml Conditioner and 5 ml leave-in serum

    Pros
    - leaves the hair well-conditioned 
    - defines the curls and waves well

    Cons
    - no ingredients mentioned
    - packaging is very unfriendly
    - expensive for the quantity
    - not sure if it really works

    My Experience
    Keratinology range from sunsilk definitely has created waves. And, I was very attracted to the product so I bought it. Now, whether it still attracts me or not is the question. Let me start with saying it is expensive. A 15ml conditioner and a 5ml leave-in serum for 300 bucks is way too expensive for me. I hate the packaging too.

    Moreover, the tubes are probably supposed to be a one time use. The tubes do not have screw-on caps but a cap which has to be broken off. So, if you can't use all at once (which you never will unless you have a knee-length hair), you have to store it at your hazard. I had to keep the tubes vertically positioned in the bathroom. 

    Conditioner - Also, when your hands are wet, the contioner tube keeps slipping from your hands because the surface is slippery and also the size doesn't help. So, squeezing the conditioner is a challenge. The conditioner is white in color and smells good. Its just like any other conditioner as Dove or Pantene and I didn't really feel any difference. 

    It has to be kept for 1 minute on the hair. Its a Keratin treatment and I don't know how much of the treatment really gets absorbed in a minute. Anyways, I used to keep it for 2-5 minutes. The tube lasted me for four washes.  

    Serum - This is a follow-up treatment for shine and smoothness. Its a leave-in serum and does add shine to the hair. And, it gives a good definition to my curls and waves which I particularly like. But, it doesn't add any smoothness to my hair. I use 10 drops of serum after every wash and it is still left so I have preserved the tube. 

    The product has not really done anything different to my hair which might have impressed me. Moreover the effects seem to wear off the next day. I don't know if its worth trying or not. If you feel like, you can give it a try. And, who knows, it might suit your hair. Its an average product for me but I do wish the packaging gets improved. 
    Have you tried this? What do you think?

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Sigma Beauty: Get Perfectly Posh for Spring

    The Sigma Beauty FLARE palette contains a beautiful combination of greens and purples, combined with browns and beiges that are perfect to create fun and colorful looks! This palette includes beautiful iridescent undertones, which offer a must have selection of bright, yet sophisticated hues. FLARE is perfect for those days when you want to highlight your eyes with fun and flirty colors!
    Includes Sigma Beauty's best-selling E55 and E40 in a practical dual-ended brush. Contains matte and satin formulations.
    Brushes in this palette:
    Eye Shading - E55 - Soft and dense with a rounded finish. Can be used to apply pressed or loose eye shadows and pigments. Ideal to build intense color on the eyelid. Natural bristles.
    Tapered Blending - E40 - Rounded and tapered top. Specially designed to apply and blend color on the crease. Natural bristles.
     
    Also, check out the video on how to create the Spring Look with the FLARE Palette.

    To buy the Sigma Beauty FLARE Palette, click on the image above or this link here: Sigma Beauty FLARE Pallete.

    PS: The post contains affiliate links. 

    Rustic Art Aloevera Gel

    Price: Rs 150ml for 100gms

    Ingredients
    Aloevera Gel, Lemon Extracts (lemon extract acts as a preservative)

    Pros
    - perfect for oily or combination skin or even normal skin, especially in summers
    - firms up the skin
    - gives a glow
    - increases the skin's hydration levels
    - dries up and gets absorbed very quickly into the skin
    - products lasts really long
    - can be used as a night treatment

    Cons
    - doesn't do anything for pores size but then it doesn't really claim that!!!
    - its not organic :(
    - don't know if it really removes tanning

    My Experience
    The gel is colorless and comes in a sturdy plastic jar from which you can scoop out the gel. It smells of nothing, just a faint aloe vera smell. The texture is just like a dehydrated aloe gel. It goes a little (very little) sticky in the end just like the actual aloe gel does which can be simply washed off. The product will last you two-three months which is pretty good.

    I really like it. The gel feels cool on the skin but that doesn't last more than 10 seconds. It gets dried up and absorbed very very quickly so you have to apply it as quickly as possible otherwise it will dry up on your palm. The pros really say everything about what I experienced after using the product for the past one month. And, I have already recommended it to many people!!!

    Dry skin people should also use it and since I was facing dry skin in the past month, I used to follow this with oil. And, gradually, I noticed that my dryness reduced and my skin became more supple and hydrated even though I was taking less of water. And, there is a glow on my skin which I completely love. I can also see that it has firmed up my skin really well, not that my skin was loose but I can see the difference.

    Ok, so, the product is not organic which had disappointed me and I would love it if they get an organic variant too. And, I don't think that it did anything for my tanning but I am not really sure on this point. If I do see a difference in the future, I will definitely report back. I also tried using it as a leave-in conditioner in my hair but it didn't really work out. I shall try that again, though!!

    Availability

    PS: Product provided by brand. Images taken from Rustic Art Picasa Web Albums.

    Other Rustic Art products:

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Auravedic Pomegranate Grapeseed Face Polish {Product Review}

    Price: Rs 300 for 100gms

    Ingredients
    Hope you are able to read the ingredients list and I am loving it :)
    Pros
    - moisturizes and firms up the skin well
    - leaves the skin dewy and glowing
    - unabrasive on the skin
    - polish is very creamy and feels really good on the face

    Cons
    - exfoliating granules are too less, but probably this is not a con either!!!
    - don't know if the anti-aging results are permanent

    My Experience
    Its been a long time since I have used a good scrub for my face. I am too lazy and my closet is too full :D So, when I received it, I was too excited to wait and used it almost right away. And, may I start by saying that it has a really weird smell but I love the pink color of the polish. It comes in a sturdy plastic jar packaging which I find very convenient.
    The polish is very creamy instead of bring granular. It has very less density of granules so I never really felt it as a polisher. Instead, it was more of a luxurious indulgence and pure bliss for me. I love the way the polish feels, the way it spreads on my face and neck and the way it feels. But, if I have to about exfoliation, it doesn't do much of a job there.

    The granules are very less in density and they don't really hurt the skin when being used which is good thing but I don't know if they really remove the dead skin cells either. So, I always use it more as a mask or a nourishing cream. I apply it in the morning shower after washing my face and leave it until I finish my shower. And, then, wash it off with cold water.
     
    Results? It leaves my face glowing, firmed up (comparatively), glowing and dewy and supple. I really like the way my skin feels afterward. I have used it at least twice a week and still, I have managed to only finish a very little product so I would say that this will last for a long time. It definitely suits the dry and mature skin but I am not sure how well it will suit the oily skin because of its richness in oils and butters if you are breakout-prone.

    PS: Product sent by the brand. 

    Other products from Auravedic:

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    My Product Review Guidelines

    I have been reviewing products since long but I had never talked about how I review my products. So, I just wanted to do a small recap of what all things I take into consideration while reviewing different products in general.
    • I always make sure I use any product for minimum of 4 weeks before I review it. It gives me time to see if the product is actually making any difference and also to see if I get any reaction from the product and also judge the product better. 
    • I try to go for natural or organic products but I don't mind something which comes my way and catches my eye.
    • I always try to recommend a tried and tested product only. 
    • When I am talking about a product, I look for the basic functionality first. 
      • When I am talking about face wash, I never in general expect the face wash to be able to remove makeup. Many don't and very few do it properly. Always go for a makeup remover to even remove the sunscreen. 
      • When I am talking about scrubs, I expect them to do nothing except exfoliate. I don't expect it to make my skin glowing or bright or fair. I just expect it to remove my skin's dead cells without causing my skin any harm.
      • A face pack should obviously be able to stand on all its claims and more, if possible. 
      • Similarly, a foundation or sunscreen are judged by ingredients and their stay-time. Yes, I do tend to use them for a month too. Also, I do judge many products by the ease of usage and application. 
      • All the accessories like hair comb, dry brush or body shop gloves are reviewed after a really prolonged usage, sometimes going up to 6 months.
    • My reviews are always honest and true as per my experience and that's something which I don't like to assert in every post. I expect my readers to assume that implicitly [Yes, I do expect my reader's to respect me, sorry for the high-handed way but I do hope I deserve your trust :)]. 
    • I do make a disclaimer if the product has been sent by the brand.
    • Ingredients list is always in consideration but sometimes I try to skip it in some unavoidable circumstances like I am not able to take a pic of the list (which is happening as of now as my camera ditched me). Yes, I am too lazy to put it down in writing. But, I always mention the important, arguable, controversial or any such notice-worthy ingredient in the list. 
    • I have not done any sponsored reviews till date. If I do them in future (Read: the monetary compensation is too tempting), I shall make a disclaimer of the fact and would be honest as always. 
    • One more point - yes, I do have second thoughts about a product after I have used the entire bottle. It has happened once till now (its tending to the negative). So, I guess, I should simply write an updated review on the product. What do you say?  
    So, those are my rules of product reviews and yes, I do mention this to the PR persons.

      10% Discount for Perfect Skin Care for you's fans @ NaturalMantra.com

      Hey Everyone!!
      [Source:blog.flowers.com.ua]
      Hows your weekend going??? Btw, did you read my review on Rustic Art soaps earlier?If you missed it, check it out here. And, I have got a great news for everyone. I asked Nishant for some discount coupon for my readers and he has generously given me a 10% discount voucher on all product on NaturalMantra.com. The coupon is valid till 31st March. So, get shopping guys!!! And, I have more reviews coming your way so be sure to see if you like the products or not :) And, do check out my review of the website here.

      So, here is the code for your voucher - PERFECTSKINCARE10

      Ok, there is a glitch here. In case you are shopping for more than Rs 5000, make sure to do it in double batches. The coupon would not be valid on orders more than Rs 5000. This is done to prevent fraud. Happy Shopping :)

      Friday, March 16, 2012

      Rustic Art Spa and Lotus Organic Bathing Soaps {Product Review}

      Rustic Art is a USDA certified Organic Brand. So, that thing got me excited and so, here comes my reviews of the two soaps. Btw, these are also real soaps. I had talked about difference between soap and beauty bars long ago. If you missed it, check it out here.

      Price: Rs 155 for 100gms (both)

      Ingredients
      Spa Soap: Organic corn oil, Organic coconut oil, Organic castor oil, Organic neem oil, Olive oil, Caustic Lye, De-mineralized water, Oil extracts of wheat germ, Shea butter, Rice bran oil, Natural fragrances
      Lotus Soap: Corn oil, Coconut oil, Castor oil, De-mineralized water, Caustic Lye, Pungama oil, Aloe vera, Essential oil of Lotus, fine fragrances of Lotus and Water flowers

      Note: The cover says key ingredients instead of ingredients. And, also notice how one of the ingredient list includes organic word and the other misses it out. Btw, I got my confusion clarified and the key ingredients list is the entire list of ingredients.

      Pros
      - Spa smells really strong and Lotus is milder. 
      - Spa is very moisturizing and melts very very fast. The soap lasted me just 15 days!!!
      - Lotus is also moisturizing but it doesn't really melt as fast as Spa soap.
      - My skin doesn't feel stretched or dry after having bath but yes, a little moisturizer doesn't go amiss but one can always skip it. Even I do except for on weekends.
      - The soaps do feel relaxing. I think its the smell :)
      - I really like the cloth packaging.

      Cons
      - they melt too fast :(
      - they are expensive too!!! But, to be frank, not as costly as Lush so that's fine!!

      Overall Verdict
      I really liked the soaps in spite of the cost and they have really different kind of soap ranges and I would really like to try the Algae soap. And, I am definitely curious about the brand and let me tell you a little about their aloevera gel. Its fantastic :) Detailed review coming soon!!

      Availability

      PS:Products sent by the brand. And, I didn't include the My Experience part as these are soaps and they don't really need to be explained on the usage part or anything and I think Pros and Cons really cover it all!!! 
      Image Courtesy:Rustic Art Images

      Thursday, March 15, 2012

      Fitness Tips for Brides {Bridal Files}

      Simple routine changes in daily lifestyle can impact out fitness levels to a lot of extent. And, then, you really have to look fit and glowing on your D-Day. So, a little effort wouldn't go amiss.

      [Source:prettymomguide.com]
      Sleep at 10 and wake up at 6
      This is probably the best tip I can ever use on myself and give to someone. Why? Early Birds have benefits of controlled weight and higher energy levels and the skin also glows in better health.

      I myself have seen difference in my skin when I used to sleep at 10. It revitalizes better if you sleep early. And, you don't even have the danger of over-sleep because your daily need of sleep gets fulfilled by the time it is 6 or 7 in the morning. And, then, the early morning sun rays are really good for skin, hair and body overall.

      Eat small and regular meals
      Eating four times a day really helps your body's metabolism and the better your body digests the food, the better it can extract nutrition from it and feed you from the inside. Make sure you take a lot of fiber and liquids as it is summers now. And, starch also doesn't come amiss in this season so include rice in your diet. And, always chew your food properly before swallowing.

      Breathe Deeply
      It helps better intake of oxygen and improves the oxygen levels in the body which in turn helps in better functioning of the organs and better blood circulation. Also, it helps your brain function faster. Read more about how deep breathing helps the body here.

      Hope these tips help you :) Pin It

      Wednesday, March 14, 2012

      Yardley London English Lavender Refreshing Facial Cleanser {Product Review}

      Price: Rs 70 for 50gms

      Ingredients
      It has SLS and Avocado Oil. I couldn't get a clear pic of the ingredients.

      Pros
      - Look and smells is good and appeals to the eye
      - Doesn't dry the face or make it feel stretched after usage
      Cons
      - Would appreciate if it was made without SLS

      My Experience 
      I have been using this for a month and its almost getting finished so I can say that the face wash lasts a month or a month and half, if used judicially. I always like the transparent packaging because I can see the product level and it adds color to the product too. I am particularly liking its lavender-ish color and its fragrance is very pleasant. Btw, the packaging with which the face wash came was very very cute. I couldn't take the pics coz mom was with me during that time!!

      The product is supposed to have Avocado oil but I am disappointed that its almost the last ingredient on the list and it has SLS which I am trying to avoid. Despite that, the face wash really doesn't foam like crazy which is something I particularly appreciate. And, my face has never felt stretchy or stripped off after using the face wash which is again a positive thing. Very little of the products is required at a time.

      And, I am lucky that I got the dry skin type coz in February (when I started using it), my skin was going through an extremely dry spell. Btw, the product didn't really help my skin at that time. But, gradually, my skin settled down to the new face wash and accepted it very gracefully. A little moisturizer is handy after the face wash but not really necessary so that's also a good thing. I really liked the face wash overall.

      PS: Product sent by the brand. 

      Tuesday, March 13, 2012

      Hair Care for Brides {Hair Care}

      Ok, so after covering a general post on the overall skin care the brides can follow to look glowing altogether, we come to how to care for the hair.
      [Source:vii.in]
      Hair Cut and Style
      The primary concern during a wedding is hair style. It should be simple enough to handle and it should look stylish enough. So, if you are going to fix on a hair style, start browsing the magazines and websites as soon as possible. And, always go to a trusted salon. Good Hair Stylists are few and far and difficult to come by. Get a trial cut of your chosen hair style if you have more than 1 month to your D-day otherwise consult the hair stylist as to how to go about. 

      If your D-day is within a month, it is good to get a hair cut 15-20 days before the wedding. That gives you ample of time to judge the cut and also get it fixed in case you don't end up liking it. And, in the meantime, your hair would grow enough to give more definition to the hair cut too. Also, make sure to practice the style you are thinking of even if you are engaging a stylist for yourself on the D-day.

      Hair Treatments
      After you have fixed on your hair style, you definitely want your hair to look in glowing health. A good diet is always the prerequisite but timely hair treatments also help a lot. Go for a hair spa treatment weekly or you can also follow with some home remedies of your choice. At this time, if you are not averse to indulgence, get salon-range products for entire hair care depending on your hair type.

      Protein treatments are amazing for rough and damaged hair or if you had them colored and it didn't turn out right. Otherwise, go for hydrating and deep conditioning treatments. The frequency of the treatments depends on the condition of your hair. And, a very simple way to make your hair look glamorous is to go for gloss and shine treatments. Simple shine gloss treatments or even colored gloss treatments are available. They provide immense shine to the hair. 

      Hair Color
      Are you thinking of changing your hair color? If yes, do a try run well before the time. And, take good advise before settling down on the hair color. And, always get your hair colored at the salon and follow up with proper products to preserve the color or keep your hair healthy. 

      Hope these tips are helpful :) And, all the best in your preparations!!

      Monday, March 12, 2012

      MVO Moisturizing Face Screen {Product Review}

      I had long back talked about my experience with MVO Everyday Sheer Coverage (ESC) and I mentioned about Moisturizing Face Screen (MFS) there. So, I am now ready to review this awesome product.


      Price: 40$ (Rs 2000 approx) for 60ml (and with rupee declining, its far more expensive!!!)

      Ingredients

      My Experience
      In a nutshell, this is the best sunscreen I have come across till date. It doesn't let me tan even a single bit. And, it is way too costly :( But, if I indulge myself in anything, it would be only this product ever because I have not found an equivalent of it yet which is inexpensive. So, let me talk about the product a bit.

      Its a tinted sunscreen because Zinc Oxide leaves a white patch behind. It comes in four tints which is less for the varying skin colors and sometimes, it might not really suit the skin tone. Since it is a Zinc Oxide based sunscreen, the texture is powdery (like Lactocalamine). And, yes, it is difficult to blend in the skin. Especially, when your skin is not at its best or not exfoliated properly.

      Well that was the bad and the good is that it goes very smoothly over oil or most of the moisturizers I have tried. Its supposed to blend in like a foundation only so a little patience is definitely required. Its a good makeup base and a little lip tint would look great. The finish of the product is matte and doesn't really make the face oily but yes, blotting papers would be useful if you are not going to sit in an AC.

      And, another good thing about the product is that it has amazing ingredients which nourish your skin at the same time. But, the best part of the product is that it stays for the whole day and you don't have to reapply unless you are all the time in the sun or you are sweating excessively when the Zinc Oxide may get washed off the skin.

      I have been using this since quite a time and almost every time I have loved the product except for when it gets difficult for me to blend it in and then, I come to know that I need to exfoliate  the my skin. Generally, exfoliation solves the blending problem so that makes my skin happy and glowing. Oh, something to remember is that double cleansing is very very necessary to remove the product. 

      PS: I am doing this review today because of Bridal Series going on. And, I wanted to share the secret of my glowing skin these days. And, if you can indulge in the expenditure, you should definitely give this a try. I don't know how I am going to get my next bottle. Btw, the 30ml bottle lasts for 2 months if used everyday so that's satisfactory at least (not inexpensive at all). Btw, MVO has free international delivery on or above 175$ so if anyone is interested, we can arrange a collective purchase. Drop me a mail :)

      Other products from MVO:
      Marie Veronique Organics After Sun Body Oil
      Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Sheer Coverage

      Sunday, March 11, 2012

      Skin Care for Brides {Bridal Files}

      As a second post in the series, nothing is more important than how to take care of the skin for the ultimate D-Day. And, I am not talking only about the face but also of the entire body. Surely, you wouldn't want your hands to look dry or feet to look cracked. So, this is a just a start up on that series. 

      [Source: medtips.in]
      Moisturize well
      Dry skin always gets dark and dull and its your special time so you can go any lengths to invest in products. Get a good moisturizer and moisturize yourself well day and night. Especially, now. The weather is changing and it takes toll on the skin.

      Dry Brush
      Another of amazing saviors. It helps me fight excess weight, fat accumulation, improves blood circulation and makes my entire body glow. I would definitely advise you to get the Catus Brush from TBS but yes, its expensive so you can choose some of the lesser priced ones too. But, let me tell you that the cactus (I don't know if its really cactus, though ;P) bristles are more likely to prove more useful than flat brushes. 

      Soaps and Scrubs and Masks and Other Treatments
      Ok, if it was my marriage, I would most definitely invest in the charcoal range of Lush. Its a dark desire :D Seriously, the range fascinates me with its face cleanser and body scrub. But, I am not too fond of Lush soaps to be honest. I have used one and didn't really like it. So, if I were to advise you, I would say Earthy Goods has good soaps at lesser prices and Rustic Art soaps are little expensive but equally good. 

      Regarding masks, no harm in trying out Lush coz I have never tried. The only issue is you should be able to finish them before they expire otherwise your money goes down the drain :( Or, you can try your favorite masks or facials at the salons or even the DIY's. Btw, if you are going for salon treatments, make sure you go to a good reputed salon and always get a trial beforehand to make sure the facial and the ambience of the place suits you.

      Body Massages
      Getting body massages is a good idea if you are not inhibited. I personally am so I do it on my own at home and follow it with a good scrubbing session. I really love spending on oils and I recently got the TBS Polynesian Monoi Oil which I had been coveting since long and which is definitely pretty expensive. But, its good for my skin. So, get a few body oils and some EO's can help you too. [I shall do a post on EO's separately]

      Other things for glowing skin
      The usual recital of water, sleep and food and even exercise follows. So, don't ignore them. Trust me they work wonders when synced with each other harmoniously.

      A little tip: Try to sleep by 10. I know its difficult but nothing relaxes body better than that and it helps with many things too. More in some other post.

      Saturday, March 10, 2012

      Tagged Again!!!

      So, as a continuation to my last post on tagging, I have been tagged this time by Pooja of Beauty, Brains and Brawns and also by Raaga of My Makeup Thoughts. I am not going to pass on the tag but I am only answering her questions.

      Questions by Pooja
      1. Why is blogging important to you?
      It makes me feel incomplete if I miss even a day of post. It has become such an incomprehensible part of life now :) And, I always like the mails and comments pouring in saying this helps them and that was amazing.
      2. What’s the good, bad and the ugliest thing you have seen in this blogging world?
      The Good: Lots of lovely people to share my thoughts with and finding out that I was able to help some of my readers.
      The Bad: A rat race of beauty bloggers.
      The Ugliest: One blog commenting on other and trying to degrade them.
      3. Given a choice, what would you like to be in the next life?
      Myself and hopefully be given a chance to undo my mistakes in this life.
      4. Your worst addiction?
      Picking on my skin :( Beware of the habit, gals!!!
      5. What is the best thing that has ever happened to/with you?
      Getting a job.
      6. You are guilty of which of the Seven deadly sins?
      All!!! I am a human :)
      7. Your favorite song and why it is your favorite?
      'Confession' by Josh Groban. It has beautiful lyrics and expresses love in a very different way.
      8. What is part/time of the day you enjoy the most?
      Anytime when I get with myself and my loved ones.
      9. What is the most difficult thing you had to do till now?
      Search for a job!!!
      10. Sweet/Salty/Sour/Bitter?
      What's life and food without all flavors :)
      11. What is the best compliment you ever got?
      "Your eyes speak."

      Questions by Raaga
      1. Do u like men's cologne?? :P
      No. I don't like perfumes and colognes. I get a headache!!!
      2. Would u step out for a date without any makeup on??
      Yes.
      3. Which is ur staple makeup product :)
      I don't do makeup as a rule but I am using tinted sunscreen, if it counts!! And, I have tinted lip balms too.
      4. Which kind of music do u prefer:Soft numbers or the ones with beats and high energy??
      Depends on the mood. I like both but basically, I am not really a fan of music.
      5. Red lipstick or bright fuchsia lipstick??
      Neither. Don't really like lipsticks as a general rule.
      6. What was ur reaction when u came to know that ur crush is totally the opposite of what u thot of him :)
      Was no longer a crush :D
      7. Have u purchased makeup without the knowledge of ur hubby/parents???If yes how many times?? :P
      Not makeup but some Lushies and TBS products.
      8. Whom do u like: Spiderman/Superman/Batman?? :D
      Batman.
      9. U like cold coffee or hot coffee :)
      Hot coffee.
      10. What is ur best kept skin/hair secret?? :D
      No secrets. I try to share everything on the blog.
      11. What is currently playing on ur ipod?? :)
      Don't have an ipod :)

      And, I am leaving you all with the video of my fav song. Do check it out :)

      Friday, March 9, 2012

      Liz Earle Botanical Shine Treatment {Product Review}

      Price: 14 Pounds (around Rs 1200) for 150ml

      Ingredients
      It has a huge list and the pic was really not very clear.
      Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Cetearyl alcohol, Calodendrum capense (yangu) seed oil, Glyceryl stearate, Glycerin, Vitellaria paradoxa (shea butter), Rhus succedanea (sumac) fruit wax, Parfum (fragrance), Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fruit extract, Kappaphycus alvarezii (red algae) extract, Pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Crambe maritima (blue seakale) leaf extract, Gossypium herbaceum (cotton) flower extract, Behentrimonium methosulfate, Cetrimonium chloride, Panthenol, Butylene glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Linalool, Benzoic acid, Phytantriol, Maris aqua (sea water), Dehydroacetic acid, Sodium hydroxide, Fructose, Glucose, Inositol, Sucrose, Trehalose, Isomaltulose, Trehalulose, Citric acid, Sodium citrate. 
      My Experience
      The ingredient list is pretty impressive anyways. So, I was obviously very excited to try out the product and wanting it to really work. Btw, my hair is not very coarse or dry and this product is meant for very rough hair and my hair is in fact fine but yes, it is dry to an extent and I can definitely use some softening and shine.

      The product has to be applied like a conditioner and kept for minimum of 10 minutes after shampooing. And, for extra boost, 30 minutes is the stipulated time. To be frank, I am always in a hurry and staying patiently doing nothing for 10 minutes is a little difficult for me coz I do not proceed with my shower before washing off my conditioner.

      Anyways, keeping that aside, somehow I do manage to keep it for 10-15 minutes on my hair after shampooing. Results? My hair wash extremely soft and manageable. The frizziness was definitely tamed to an extent and I would say that the shine is very subtle and natural, not like the serum shine or anything. It didn't weigh my hair down too. Since I have not used their shampoo and conditioner, I have no idea how well it complements the botanical range.

      The texture of the is very light and gets easily applied on the hair. And, it also smells really wonderful but some might not like it. That's my gut instinct. The smell stays on the hair after the conditioner is washed off. But, it is very subtle and doesn't bother your head or nose. But, of course, it doesn't do anything to the split ends. And, you have to follow with a leave-in for better results.

      Availability
      PS: Product provided by the brand.

      Other reviews from Liz Earle: 
      Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask

      Thursday, March 8, 2012

      Top 5 DIY Ingredients for Brides {Bridal Files}

      [Source: Google Images]
      So, as I said that I would be doing some posts on bridal series, the first and foremost request is always how to brighten the complexion.I am listing down 5 of the ingredients which can help a bride achieve the most wanted glow.
      • Tomato: Rub a slice of tomato on your face and neck. Let the juice dry on the skin and wash off with cold water. Tomato is great for removing the skin tan and also suits all skin types a sit is comparatively less acidic than lemon. And, it also makes hair shiny.
      • Honey: A thick honey mask helps to keep the skin supple and moisturized always. It can be used every day too and helps with all skin types. Honey is also a great cleanser.
      • Almond Oil: As Punam commented on earlier post, dark circles and puffy eyes are a common occurrence when one spends their nights talking to the fiancĂ©es, almond oil comes to rescue. Apply almond oil on the eye area while going to bed. It helps with the dark circles and also with wrinkles which might be developing there.
      • Sugar: Sugar is the most amazing and cheapest scrub you can ever find and this is my most favorite DIY till date. Sugar has glycolic acid in some measure (depending on how much it has been been processed) and thus cleanses and exfoliates the skin thoroughly and makes it glow. And, you can add your favorite ingredients to it.
      • Spices: A mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves did wonders to my skin. It clears the skin and also helps deal with acne and pimples in the long run. It should be used on alternate days for best results.
      These are some of my favorite DIY's with outstanding results so hope you will enjoy them :) And, do remember to treat your neck as part of your face otherwise it can betray your age!!
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