Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Best Tinted Lip Balms for Summers ft. Aroma Essential

Good news for the lovers of 'classic lipbalms'!! Now you may get one for yourself that will not only moisturise your lips but will give your lips lovely-looking slight coloration. Wondering what's special in that?

The lipbalms that I'm talking about are handmade with love by one of the well-known personal care brand Aroma Essentials. This range of lipbalms have emollients like Shea butter, Mango Butter Almond oil, Coriander oil and have got lipsafe colours in it.

A range of 5 flattering shades have been launched last month in Pink, Megenta, Red, Maroon and Caramel. I received two of these for consideration.
Since these lipbamls come in stick format, I really like it for the ease of use. It's more hygienic than a pot packaging where you have to put your finger inside and apply the product on lips. And I don't share my lipsticks and lipbalms with anyone, so I need not worry about feeling unhygienic.
The lipbalms are creamy-soft in texture and gives a dose of extra nourishment while hydrating your lips for many hours. If you are a true lipbalm addict, I'm sure you must have mastered the art of sneakily apply it even without a mirror while attending a lecture in college or a office meeting. So if your chapped lips need reapplication, just a quick swipe of this lip balm can enhanced your 'natural' beauty look. The USP of the product is that it boasts of additional care of Sun Protection Factor that will save your lips from darkening during harsh summers. Infact Coriander oil infused in the formula helps lightening lip pigmentation.

Speaking about the tint, the lipbalms give a pop of colour subtle enough to get away with your everyday look. I personally prefer swiping a little extra on my lips for the light sheen and plenty of softness.
I love the mild cooling sensation on my lips that I experience for a couple of minutes after applying the lipbalm.
These lipbalms are made in small batches and no preservatives, parabens, phthalates, or SLS are used in it. Just make sure to store them in refrigerator.

For a tinted lip balm that offers equal parts colour and hydration, Aroma Essential has this impressive bargain at Rs. 225 each that too has been cut off to Rs 200 as an Introductory Offer. 

Must try product from my best-loved brand... Go for it!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Care For Acne Prone Skin ft. Herboveda

Anyone whose skin is prone to breakouts feels bothersome because they need to be concious while picking right kind of skin care products formulated specifically to address the concern in hand.

Herboveda sent me their Anti Acne facewash and Acne Clear pack for review last month. But since I'm blessed with clear skin and didn't require any of those, I decided to gift it to my friend who happends to be my colleague as well so that her experience can be used as a tool to share an honest review of the said products. 
So this friend of mine is in her late 40s and her face usually gets acne all the year long. I specifically mentioned the age to let you be aware that acne and breakouts is not a concern confined to teenagers. 

Neem and Tea Tree face wash is best suited for oily skin. It not only helps to deeply cleanse the skin but also removes excess oils that cause acne and dullness. Neem is an age old remedy for acne & provides soothing and emollient effects making skin healthy and glowing. Rich Tea tree oil gives germicidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Her Experience: 
In the first glimpse, she liked the refreshing green colour of the facewash that is bottled in a see-through dispenser packaging & the shape of pumping nozzle which looks like the beak of a sparrow. Lolz.
The consistency of the product is runny as compared to usual facewashes. But the pump dispenses controlled quantity, so no worries of taking out extra. The product foams enough to clear away all the impurities and doesn't feel overly soapy. There is a mild cooling effect on skin for a few seconds. It's fragrance is really refreshing (I also had liked it personally). You won't just look cleansed off all the extra oil and dirt, but feel rejuvenated after washing your face due to its smell. The facewash that has Neem and Tea Tree as the main ingredients worked for her to control zits to some extent on her cheeks and forehead.
This spot correcting face pack treats pimples and helps control the bacteria that causes breakouts, redness and other skin irritations. It's astringent action dries out pimples and clear up post-acne scars.
Her Experience:
Lets begin with the fragrance of this product. The Derma Renew face mask from Herboveda is an excellent blend of Clove Oil and Numeg, the two popular spices found in every kitchen. The mask smells exactly as of authentic spices and it's like treating the pesky pimples using time-tested home remedies from our grannies treasure. This aroma might bother sensitive noses, but she liked it. The pack is very effective to dry out acne in 2-3 days when you apply it everyday.
My friend also applied the mask on the affected areas on her face ocassionally instead of full face and the mask did its job without causing her irritation.
The 80 ml bottle of facewash costs INR 150 and the face mask costs INR 235 for 50ml. The products can be ordered from brand's website but I don't think these will be available in the markets. In the opinion of my friend, two of these Herboveda products are worth a try and won't cause you any allergies or reactions. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

How 'Feet Up' Gives You Healthy & Happy Feet

Spring is already here and we're ready to wear open shoes, cute sandals and stylish thongs :) But are our feet ready for this show off? Not many people (men and women both) are successful to stick to their usual foot care regimen during cold winters. The reason may be just chilly weather or other issues like skin allergies arising due to low temperature. As a result, the feet tend to become dry-skinned, itchy bearing cracked heels. The most common foot care product in anybody's list would be a foot care cream, but make sure you start by exfoliating your feet.

I'm currently using Feet Up Deep Exfoliating Cream and Feet Up Overnight Moisturizing Cream from Oriflame that help me keep an eye on my feet's health.
Exfoliating your body skin is a good skin care practice and your feet are no exception. 
Scrub away rough, dry skin with Feet Up Deep Exfoliating Foot CreamThis high performance, rich, creamy rinse-off foot scrub with natural origin Pumice beads, Mineral 4E Blend and nourishing Shea Butter effectively exfoliates, purifies and conditions hard, rough skin to leave your feet soft and buffed to perfection.
Feet Up Exfoliating cream is a soft-smelling, white-colored cream that has micro Pumice beads in it. I start by soaking my feet in plain lukewarm water and smoothen the sole of my feet using pumice stone. Once the skin feels little softer, I massage the exfoliating cream focussing on the drier areas like heels, toes and balls of my feet. Wash the cream off after the product does its job through a light massage.
The exfoliator cream is a blend of four minerals Copper, Zinc, Iron and Magnesium that have ultimate benefits for skin repair, softening and smoothening. This cream not just takes dead skin off instantly but helps avoid building tough calluses and clogging of pores. I could see my feet untanned and healthier-looking right after the first use which is worth all the applauds.
A nourishing massage after the exfoliation is always a must, be it your face, body or feet. 
Wrap your feet up in the creamy richness of this intensely moisturising overnight cream. Infused with natural extracts of Avocado & Aloe Vera, Feet Up Overnight Moisturizing Foot Cream will soften even the toughest skin and help to soothe tired feet while you sleep. Massage into feet at night and wake up the next morning to find them improved. 
Feet Up Overnight Moisturizing Cream is advised to be applied before bedtime and to be left overnight on your feet. But I don't mind availing its benefits after a scrbbing on my feet. It's a mildly fragranced, white-coloured cream that is ultra-hydrating on my dry skin. Though I apply only little amount of the cream, it makes my feet super soft to touch and I'm totally loving that feeling.
The power-packed protective antioxidants and fatty acids, Avocado oil has outstanding regenerative properties that helps to heal cracked heels when used on everyday basis. Due to it's deep penetrating capability, it carries the hydration into deeper layer of rougher foot skin and gives result as we want without feeling greasy.
This combo of Feet Up products is an ideal pick for those who care for their feet equally as they do for their body. When used on a weekend, it's a perfect pampering for my tired feet after a long hard week at work. It also helps me relieve the pain and inflammation I usually have on my feet. And the bonus points for making my feet smell nice. 
Both the Exfoliation and Moisturizing Foot Creams are priced at Rs. 375 each for 75ml.
I recommend the result-oriented Oriflame Feet Up product range to ease your aching feet coz healthy feet are happy feet! 

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Brew Perfect French Press Coffee ft. InstaCuppa

Who doesn't love the rich taste in a cuppa? Espresso, Mocha, Cappuccino or French Press; whatever is your favourite style, but coffee brewed to perfection is liquid wisdom ;)

I'm more of a tea-person, but if I have coffee that has to be deliciously strong. Frankly speaking, I never considered myself too good to prepare coffee as good as we enjoy in parties and that probably stopped me be a coffee-lover. But over the past few months, what changed the entire scenario at my home is InstaCuppa French Press Coffee Maker.
This french press coffee maker features an extra tough and heat-resistant, cylindrical pot made of borosilicate glass that doesn’t break as easily as the others and lasts for years.  Look at the grace it has. :)
The pot's outer holder made with highly polished stainless steel accents a classy look to the appliance. The spout on the pot helps to pour the beverage without spilling. 
You would find a plunger piston and built-in mesh filter screen that presses hot water through the ground coffee. Both the components that is plunger and filter are made of high grade 18/8 stainless steel that keep rust at bay. The pot handle is heat-resistant and causes zero heat-transfer.  
Now here is the secret to utilize the coffee maker to optimal use. It's an open secret that a good cup of coffee starts with the beans. The freshly roasted and ground beans immediately before brewing do magic to bring aroma your flavourful drink. Make a point to grind the beans to medium size with uniformity and consistency throughout, because coarsely ground beans may clog the filter, while very fine grinds may pass through the filter.

Coming to the not-so-tough task of brewing, start by cleaning the pot thoroughly since you last used it and pour ground coffee into the pot. 
Now pour hot water (or probably milk, if you like it) into the pot and gently stir with a long spoon.
Wait for a while to let the hot water help release aroma from the grinds. Then firmly hold the handle of the pot, insert the lid back into the pot and press the plunger all the way down to filter the grounds from the coffee. (check out our Instagram Stories for a hint of how we used it)
As seen in the image below, the mesh filter generally does a decent job to hold back the grounds; but if a small quantity of fine grounds gets mixed in your beverage, it would barely affect the taste.
This InstaCuppa coffee maker can hold an ample quantity of 600ml that eases your effort to serve almost 5-6 cups in a single press. Looking at the awesome features of this durable appliance, a price of INR 1499/- is a steal deal giving you an off on MRP 2000/-. Available to order from brand website or from Amazon. 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Whip-up Lip-Smacking Recipes at Home This Month of Love

Historically, St. Valentine is known to only spread love amongst humans. Nevertheless, what if this was extended to one’s love for food? Cupid might as well strike a juicy burger or a sumptuous brownie! The opportunities are endless. Prepare to fall in love forever as you celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a lot of love and some beautiful flavours. Chef Gaurav Chadha, in-house Chef Dr. Oetker India, Chef Nader Shaikh, Executive Chef at Sheraton Grand Pune Bund Garden Hotel and Chef Shreyas Gharat, Sous Chef, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort and Spa will help you make your Valentine’s Day special at home.

Chocolate Cake with Raspberries: (Recipe courtesy: Chef Gaurav Chadha)
Servings: 2
Level: Beginner
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Baking Time: 30 Minutes

250g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Eggless Bake Mix 11 Cakes
100g Butter, melted
75ml Full Cream Milk
100ml Water
30 g (2 tbsp) Powdered Sugar
30g (2 tbsp) Cocoa Powder
200 gm Whipped Cream
100 g Raspberries, frozen


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  • Mix bake mix, butter, milk, water, sugar & cocoa powder until batter is smooth.
  • Grease and flour heart shape-baking pan & pour batter in. 
  • Bake for 30mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes and then cut it from center, into two parts.
  • Take one piece of cake and spread half of the cream in the center, place another piece of cake on top and spread rest of the cream. Decorate the cake with berries and serve.

  • Ginger Berry Passion: (Recipe courtesy: Chef Shreyas Gharat)
    Servings: 2
    Level: Intermediate
    Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
    Baking Time: 4 hours

    50g Fresh Strawberries
    50g Fresh Raspberries
    50g Fresh Red Currants
    50g Sugar
    150g Cream Cheese
    50g Milk Maid
    50g Whipped Cream
    2g Agar-Agar
    50ml Passion Fruit Puree
    100g Heavy Cream
    2g Agar-Agar
    20g Soften Butter
    50g Ginger Cookies

    • Wash and clean all berries and cook with sugar for 10-15 min on slow flame add agar-agar.
    • Using hand whisker combine cream cheese, milkmaid & whipped cream.
    • Add puree and mix well.
    • Line heart shape mould with ginger cookies.
    • Pour mixture in mould set it in refrigerator for 2 hours.
    • Boiled passion fruit puree & agar-agar.
    • When coming at room temperature add heavy cream, soften butter, and blend it nicely.
    • Pour it the mixture in half hemisphere mould and freeze it for 2 hours.

    Red Velvet Cheese Cake: (Recipe courtesy: Chef Nader Shaikh)
    Servings: 2
    Level: Advanced
    Baking Time: 8 hours

    1 1/2 cups vanilla biscuit crumbs
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    300g packages cream cheese, softened
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    4 large eggs, lightly beaten
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    1-cup sour cream
    1/2 cup whole buttermilk
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
    2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
    1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1-teaspoon vanilla extract
    Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

    • Stir together vanilla biscuit crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.
    • Beat 220g packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
    • Bake at 160°C for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 145°C, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
    • Beat 80g package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of spring form pan. Garnish, if desired.

    Friday, 16 February 2018

    Herboveda Hair Care Products Review

    Switching shampoos after a few weeks is recommended for everyone by many beauty enthusiasts and I definitely follow this recommendation. Be informed that it doesn't cause hair fall or any other issues, just make sure you choose products that lead to healthier hair and scalp.

    Today, I'm sharing my views on Herboveda's Anti-Hairfall Hair Oil and Shampoo that my family is using for past few weeks.
    Anti-Hairfall Oil With Olive And Rosemary Oil
    This premium hair oil contains essential oils which are proven to prevent hair fall and stimulate hair growth. Rich in Almond and Olive oil, it provides full protection from UV rays & harmful radiations of the sun. It contains orange, lavender, rosemary and chamomile blended with the goodness of palmarosa oil that gives longer hair full of life. With no added perfume or paraffin this hair oil is a herbal cure for all your hair problems.
    This oil is an infusion of plenty of essential oils, all added to provide nourishment to your hair. Rosemary oil benefits your hair by trating dandruff and relieves common hair care issues like flaky scalp. Lavender Oil is used to soothe the scalp and stimulates growth. Almond oil is well known for containing healthy ingredients for hair like Omega-3 fatty acids that strengthens hair and has also got conditioning properties.
    The oil is not thick in consistency and gets absorbed properly when massaged onto hair. It's recommended to keep the oil overnight and wash it off the next morning. The fragrance of the oil is certainly not-so-mild and may be overpowering for some, but for me it's stress-buster and like a natural remedy to cure a bad headache after a hectic day at work. The positive results of the oil might be noticed after a continuous use of atleast two consective months.
    The 100ml bottle of this oil is priced at Rs. 399 which is bit expensive, but worth the price if suits your hair and brings results.

    Hairfall Control Shampoo with Bhringraj And Jatamansai 
    This is a formula fortified with  Bhringraj And Jatamansai herbal extracts that help in strngthening the hair from roots. It also contains D-panthenol with Hydrolyzed Keratin. It treats hair that have been damaged due to perming, chemical straightening, bleaching or environmental stress. Finally it makes the hair stronger and prevents hair fall.
    The shampoo is of golden yellow color and has medium consistency. A dime sized shampoo lathers well and does it work to cleanse your hair off all the dirt, oilyness and pollutants. But if you use it on oiled hair, it would require shampooing your hair twice for effectively taking out the oil. The shampoo doesn't dry my hair, but the frizz is somewhat not controlled.   
    The shampoo has herbal fragrance that is not bothersome and doesn't last for long after a headbath. Once my hair dry, it looks lusturous and is easily manageable. I'm neutral to the claims of the shampoo to reduce hair fall as it has neither increased nor reduced the issue. The ingredients list on the shampoo bottle mentions SLES, Paraben Sodium which disappointed me to certain extent as I prefer using SLS-free products. Despite having many herb extracts like, Amla fruit, Jatamansi, Brahmi, Reetha, Aloe Vera etc, I probably won't be recommending this product :(
    The shampoo is yet to be placed on the brand website. I'll be updating the Buying Link as soon as it's available. 

    Sunday, 11 February 2018

    Denim Midi Dress for Valentine Outfit Inspo + Contest ft. Triveni Ethnics

    Are you one of those women who advocate a no-fuss look over everything in hot pinks and ravishing reds even on the day of love and romance?? Are you the one who wonder why to paint the town red and not any other colour? Are you the one who would please herself more by looking 'uniquely dressed' in a crowd of rosy reds?

    Well! As long as you feel this matter requires resolution, we've got you covered. Go for a denim midi dress for something a little bit more unique this season.

    Practically, I'm obsessed with denim and my obsession is not only confined to denim jeans, skirts and jackets; the one-piece denim dresses are my absolute favourite. My closet probably have a few already, still I couldn't resist owning one more from Triveni's Blue Trunk Collection:)

    How about checking out how I portaryed my classic favourite in an approachable, easy-to-carry way!!
    Wearability is certainly the factor that attracts me the most in a comfy denim dress. And this cotton dress is all about the chic button-front details that beautifully pops against the light wash tone of the fabric. I usually tend to wear tones of true blue when it comes to denim in my outfits and even in shoes. Other shades somehow don't dictate denim culture to me (may not be true for you though).
    I'm styling the dress with on-trend heels for Valentine party season, but of many ways that denim dresses let you be more flexible with your style, you may pair it up with high-top canvas sneakers, pointed pumps, ankle boots or quirky flats for more of masterful dressing.
    I'm probably sold on the fact that pocketed dresses are my best picks ever. And the denim dresses with pockets are big this season and look so extra trendy. While I liked a few more options from the Blue Trunk collection, the adorable waistline pockets pulled my heart <3

    A front slit on this dress shakes up the modest style that particularly brings in that missing sex appeal to the complete look specially when you aim to be someone's cupid ;) 

    To conclude the curation, minimal makeup and luxe accessories helped me keeping this denim outfit actually on the casual side of things. So I ditched gold toned accessories without having people thinking I'm overdone rather opted for a pendant and a swipe of lipstick to keep the understated dress effortlessly chic. 

    Click for an exciting Valentine Contest happening on our Facebook page for a chance to win a saree.