Sunday, 22 April 2018

How to Overcome Language Barrier When Planning to Study Overseas?

Having an experience in the profession of Career Counselling for few years, I realised that most of my clientele sought for expert advice for overseas studies more than anything else and the challenge for me was not only to find and guide them towards the right educational path, but also to bring on surface their thoughts of feeling deterred by the challenges of studying abroad and then satisfy them with solid solution to conquer that bumpy road.

Why should you opt to study overseas?
Living and studying in a different country is absolutely not a long holiday, if you think so. At the first place, it's your readiness to adapt outside your comfort zone and gain independence to immerse in newer cultures. It opens your mind to new ways to learning and steers up your future career.  

Hurdles That Might Faze You
The major concerns of the students before making up their mind to migrate to new environment of a different country include funds management, climate change, accommodation, language difference and of course homesickness. 

One of the huge fears of Indian students in the course of choosing overseas studies is their inability to master English as qualifying language despite knowing the main grammar and vocabulary during their schooling. Even if you consider your English proficiency adequate; matching the unique dialects, slang, pace, accent can still be an issue in parts of the world at times.
Overcoming the Language Barrier
There are standard examinations that a student has to clear before getting admission in a foreign university and an English Language Test is a crucial one. To ease off the task of English language proficiency test for the aspirants of studying abroad, PTE Academic has introduced #DefinitelyPTE which is a fair and flexible computer based test that lets a student prepare for English-speaking environment.

The process of appearing in a PTE Academic test is quite simple. The test-taker needs to book his exam a day prior in advance via phone call or online. He may also refer to free preparation material before taking the exam. The test is conducted at over 200 centres around the world 5 days a week. The marking is done without any partiality and with high accuracy by the computer and the scores are provided within 5 working days. The best part is that the student can forward his scores to unlimited number of institutions without any additional fees.

The test admin thoroughly validates the identity of the candidates on the day of test using his identity proofs plus forensic scans and assists the candidate during in having a satisfactory experience. Watch this clip to understand what to expect at the exam centre- 
PTE Academic is accepted for study applications by thousands of institutions globally, including Australian, New Zealand, UK, USA, Canadian and Irish universities. It is approved by the Australian and New Zealand Governments for all student visa and migration applications as well. 

Summing up, I would say that exploring the world independently as a student may give you nightmares; but these fears may propel you to vast opportunities, if exposed to appropriate guided resources like #DefinitelyPTE. The benefits of obtaining an overseas degree definitely outweigh most of the issues you encounter in your journey to success. So kick start your preparation, widen your horizon and get some experience you never had!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Tempted to Try Oriflame Silk Beauty Range?

By now you might have noticed my fixation for Oriflame products. Infact many people (readers and otherwise too) have thought me of as their brand consultant who is engaged in selling these products (but I don't) ;) Yes! I confess my fondness for Oriflame and a number of reviews on my blog certainly give this impression. 

Without much ado, I've reveal today's product line under the name of Silk Beauty.
All Silk Beauty products contain softening Silk Proteins and Orchid Flower extracts that offer hydrating formulations in pleasurable textures to gently cleanse, deodorise and soften your skin while offering an alluring and sensuous fragrance.

Under the Silk Beauty range, you get 5 products that range from bathing essentials like a soap bar and a body wash, plus a moisturizing body lotion, a deodrizing roll-on and a hand cream.
So what appealed me the most in this line is that when you lay your hands on the complete range, you can easily avoid 'mixing up' which is often taken lightly (even I'm guilty of it many a times). By mixing up the products with varied active ingredients, we may run the risk of skin issues like allergy, rashes, patches, breakouts etc. due to clashing ingredients. So whenever possible, it's recommended to use products formulated with same or similar active ingredients to enable those deliver ultimate benefit while working in sync together.

Coming back to my views on these products ;)
Silk Beauty White Glow Soap Bar is a classic bathing bar in white colour in the shape of a droplet. The shape and size of the soap bar makes it easy to hold in your grip. It lathers nice, creamy and rinses the skin clean. It's a beautifully scented soap that has mainly floral accords. The White Mulberry and Cherry Blossom Extracts add up to the moisturizing benefits while making you feel squeaky clean. But to be honest here, I can never give up on my body lotion however gentle my soap  bar is. So have to have a layer of moisturization in any case. Also the melting tendency of the soap isn't too much which is a plus. The soap bar weighs 100 gm and is priced at Rs. 109.
Silk Beauty White Glow Body Wash is for the fans of liquid bodywashes whose relationship with soap bars has come to an end ;) This is a white coloured product and has thin consistency. Make sure to tilt the bottle to certain angle else you may end up taking extra product out. It would have been better to have a pump dispenser pack for having more control. 
The bodywash makes washing a joy when your body smells great amidst the shower. The ideal way to use bodywash is to generate luxurious lather using a loofah instead of rubbing it on body with hands. This way you may clean your body tip to toe in just a dollop of liquid, so the 200ml pack surely would last for months. Price: 499/-
Silk Beauty White Glow Body Lotion is a light weight body lotion in white colour and has moderate consistency. It's a flip-open kind of bottle, so make sure to clean the area around the opening to avoid creating a mess. The product is quick to absorb, non-greasy yet well-hydrating formulation.
Though the Silk Body range is aimed for cleaning and nourishing dry skin, but this body lotion would be fine for normal skin as well. It doesn't sit on the top layer of the skin, so doesn't stain your clothes. For my extremely dry skin, I need to reapply the lotion more than once to maintain the smoothness of skin. The lotion leaves behind a lovely floral scent for some time that is soothing.
Price: Rs. 549 for 200 ml.
Silk Beauty White Glow Roll-On is an anti-perspirant deodoriser that neutralizes odor under your arms. It's smooth to apply by rubbing directlly on skin without causing any rashes or inflammation. It's scented sweet n floral and just like all other products in the range feels refreshing. But the scent doesn't bother even to most sensitive nose. The best part is that it has 0% alcohol. The price is pocket friendly too, just Rs. 175.

Silk Beauty White Glow Hand Cream is my most used product and it's already half quantity over. Reason being, I'm in a habit of washing my hands more frequently and then feel uncomfortable dryness. I always keep a hand cream handy in my car, in travel bag, in handbag, and even at my bedside. So you may imagine how addictive I'm to these hand creams. Silk Beauty hand cream, being a tube pack, is quite convenient and travel-friendly. It goes without saying that the sweet fragrance is also a reason for liking it. It has intense moisturizing feel that relieves me from itch. Price: 279 for 75ml.

Which is these product would you be intersted to explore this summer?

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Herboveda Anti-Pollution Face Wash & Derma E Moisturizer Review

Few days back, I shared a review on Herboveda products that target acne. Today I'll share my views on two of their products that are meant for normal to dry skin. The first product is Anti-Pollution Day-Protect Detoxifying Clear Facewash and the other is Derma E Cocoa Face & Body Moisturiser.
Anti Pollution Face Wash cleanses impurities without drying the skin, leaves skin fresh & hydrated. It prepares the skin against pollution & dirt throughout the day. The powerful anti-oxidants effectively neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals by deep cleansing & rehydrating facial skin. Orange oil & Algae extract are richest source of anti oxidants thus preventing premature wrinkles and skin pigmentation.
This facewash comes in a similar packaging like Herboveda Acne Facewash that I reviewed in a previous post. The colour of the product is nice and looks cool to look at inside the transparent pump bottle. It's a gentle cleanser that foams well. It removes all traces of oil and dirt from your skin. The fragrance is good but not anything close to scent of orange oil.
The cleanser is of thinner consistency as compared to other products in the line and I don't mind it considering it does its job pretty well. Also it's easy to rinse off with splashes of water and doesn't leave a soapy feel on skin. It suits all skin types and doesn't break me out. The Algae Extract in the formula vitalizes the skin and maintains skin natural oil balance. So I'm all good to continue it's use! It's priced at Rs. 150 for 80ml. Buy here. Shelf Life: 36 months.
It contains cocoa butter which prevents water loss and dehydration, provides flexibility to skin, gives a soft feel and even skin tone. Penetrates deep into the skin & makes it smooth by removing roughness. Moisturizer leaves skin supple. Mineral oil gives lubrication effect, glycerin prevents loss of water from skin preventing dryness; cocoa butter has property of emolliency & retains skin moisture.
My dry skin is real sucker of moisturizer, be it my face or body skin. Firstly this moisturizer has delicious fragrance. It's a creamy white coloured product that is light on skin and instantly gets drunk up by my skin. There is no sheen or stickyness on the top of skin that may make you feel uncomfortable.
The patchy and rough areas of the body do get smooth-to-touch feel post its application. Infact it's a relief from dryness and itchyness to my skin when I apply this moisturizer. To obtain maximum benefit from the product, massage it on your body immediately after taking a shower. It effectively helps to even skin's texture and leave skin soft and supple. Buy here at Rs. 155 for 100ml. Shelf Life: 36 months.

Monday, 26 March 2018

CTM Routine For Beautiful Skin

CTM - short for cleansing, toning, and moisturising sounds so prevalent amongst beauty enthusiasts. Despite knowing how significantly this 10 minute routine may affect your skin's health, many of us do not execute it religiously. Even when they do, the expected results aren't achieved due to wrong selection of products. So in today's post I'll stress upon picking the products that are formulated for specific skin type and do not imbalance your skin's condition. Because the comfort level and elasticity of the skin greatly relies upon the products which we use.

Broadly, we may classify skin types in following categories- Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination, Sensitive. There are barely any skincare products which will go well for all skin types, but yes they may fit your skin regimen during certain time of year.

I fall in the category of dry skin type that is characterized by roughness, itchiness, almost invisible pores and lesser elasticity. So it's a task for me to help my skin maintain moisture using mild products. My current favourite for everyday CTM routine is Oriflame Love Nature Oat range made for Dry Skin. Oats are believed to moisturize the dry skin cells and rejuvenate them due to healthy fats found in it. It has anti-inflammatory properties and also forms a protective layer on the skin to prevent loss of moisture. This range includes three products for essential CTM steps -
A cleanser shouldn't be aggressive for the skin that leaves the skin irritated, stretchy or overdry. 'Nourishing' cleansers seem to be great to prevent dry skin and don't interfere with skin's natural. moisture. The frequency of cleansing for dry skin is recommended for once a day preferrably before the bed time so that all traces of dirt, makeup, oilyness can be washed away.  
Love Nature Oat Milky Foam Cleanser is a mild cleanser that is something different from usual soapy facewashes. It resembles a shampoo like milky texture and generates light foam which efficiently clears away grime and impurities with no residue left and without being too stripping. It has light scent that can be felt while washing off your face and then disappears soon. The skin feels no stinging after its use.
Price: Rs. 379 for 150 ml.
Ingredients: (refer image below)
I would begin by asserting that toners are real skin refreshers. I truly love to use a toner after cleansing the surface of my skin. A toner is not to be taken carelessly by dry skinned people. Toner reduces enlarged pores and provides a suitable base layer for the skincare products that you may apply afterwards.
Love Nature Oat Face Toner is a gentle liquid that can be applied using a cotton ball or by patting directly on skin with your palms. I feel comfortable using cotton balls personally.
Ingredients: (refer image below)

The toner picks up any makeup or debris that are left behind after cleansing and further soothes my itchy skin so well. It's a well-formulated product that gives my tired skin a nice tightening effect.
Price: Rs. 379 for 150ml
Most people would like a light moisturizer during hot summer days to hydrate their facial skin. But I still choose to massage my parched skin with an easy-to-absorb cream.
Love Nature Nourishing Oat Face Cream is my companion these days. It is really light yet gives intense moisturization instantly. The small tub packaging is so easy to carry around so that I may reapply it as per requirement. It has faint fragrance that neither appeals me much, nor bothers me at all. 
It's has moderately thick consistency that won't feel greasy on application. The cream gives even toned and soft skin by reducing dullness. It's absolutely compatible to my skin type.
Price: Rs. 399 for 50gm.
Have you used any of these products? Which is your preferred product at this moment for an effective CTM? Do let us know in comments.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

बिन पानी सब सून

Since my school days, I loved reading poetry in my language textbooks. The rhythmic couplets by one of the finest Hindi poet and saint Rahim Ji have been most cherished gems for me that would always mesmerise me for holding enough wisdom for an entire lifetime. His poetry repleted with wisdom stands true to its deepest meaning in our lives even after centuries and continues inspiring me till date. 
When I came across this amusing Paani Bachao, Cutting Mangao! themed video that talks about curbing wastage of water by asking for only the quantity of water that you want to drink; the first thing that clicked my mind was Rahim Ji's doha 
'रहिमन पानी राखिये, बिन पानी सब सून, 
पानी गए न ऊबरे मोती मानुष चून।'
which means Water is most important. As without water, there is no Wealth, Life or Earth.
Well! Many of you might think that there is enough freshwater available on the planet for current population of the world, but the present scenario must be considered as a warning sign to indicate that the demand for water is set to outpace supply by a broad margin very soon. 
In the direction to spread awareness to save water, Livpure has come up with #CuttingPaani initiative that urges all of us to pitch in for a noble cause to cut back water usage.
I bet there might be plenty of reasons that have made most of us guilty of wasting water knowingly or unknowingly, however consider following some mindful ways to save water that may still conserve this finite commodity and preserve water for the generations to come...

Water Saving Tips for Inside and Out:

At Bathroom/Toilet:
  • Now this may sound weird to you... how about a mid-shower pee habit?? Researches have proved that if your first pee of the day is while having your morning shower, it's the best tactic to save gallons of water that would be used to flush urine away.
  • Get the dual flush toilet cistern installed in toilets that are water-efficient. Choose between full-flush or half-flush to decide the amount of water released in each flush. 
  • Installing a flow-restrictor is yet another way, if replacing your old toilet pots is not possible.
  • Switch to showerheads or handshowers that control water flow to nearly 40 percent and make a big difference when it comes to saving water during shower.
  • Set your hot water system thermostat/ geysers at a temperature that suits your body. Adding cold water repeatedly to lower the temperature of extremely hot water wastes lot of water every morning in your bathroom.
At Laundry:
  • Don't use your washing machine every day if the full load is not ready, simply sort your clothing periodically and wash bigger loads more efficiently. 
  • The graywater drained out of any of your non-toilet domestic fixtures like bathtubs, showers, sinks,washing machine etc. can be reused in various ways like floor mopping. If you use no sodium detergent, it is also safe to spray on plants with little or no treatment.
  • Prefer washing with cold water whenever possible and adjust the correct mode/setting of your washing machine that best fits the type of laundry.
In Kitchen:
  • Use proper pans/pots for cooking depending on the size of meal you're cooking, it will need lesser water to cook and wash.
  • Designate one glass per person to drink water or other beverages for entire day and it would need you do fewer dishes.
  • Scrape leftover food debris into the trash from the dishes to avoid pre-rinsing.
  • Repurpose the water used in steaming or boiling your food for soups, stocks and gravy. It's quite nutritious too.
  • The water dripping out from RO water purifiers can be collected in big cans/buckets and it would easily survive for watering your lawn, washing your vehicles. 
Beyond all the necessary care taken, it's extremely important to know the location of emergency water shutoff valve of your home/office and also the understanding of how to operate it. I had personally experienced it at my newly shifted house that in the case of a leaking faucet, it took me so long to locate the valve in absence of my husband and I still feel sorry about the incident that I took so much time to shut the water off in that emergency situation. Make sure any kind of leakage must be fixed immediately.

I would also stress upon supporting water conservation education to instill a sense of conservation in your children because the future lies in their hands.

I've decided to change my old habits that are causing me costs because -
"Thousands have lived without Love, but no one without Water." 
If you feel for the cause, do sign the petition to make a positive imapct.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Oriflame Seductive Musk EDT- Fragrance for Sensual Women

Just two days to go and then it's the time of the year when we celebrate all wonderful smelling things in this world, especially perfumes. I'm talking about National Fragrance Day that is observed on March 21 every year in different parts of the world. The significance of this day is to recall and relive those precious emotional feelings that are associated with human sense of smell. I'm sure all of us have experienced that certain fragrances reel us back to the memories of days that we enjoyed/missed the most. Perhaps it was the scent of the baby powder on your newborn or the aroma of spices when mom cooked your fav curry.

This Fragrance Day, I've gifted myself Oriflame Seductive Musk EDT that is decidedly my favourite scent so far.  

Turn heads with the sensual appeal of Seductive Musk Eau de Toilette. Gorgeously feminine rose, sexy musk and soft cashmeran mingle beautifully for an unforgettable scent that will keep them coming back for more…
Oriflame Seductive Musk EDT comes in a sleek pink coloured cardboard box with rose flowers print.  
The glass bottle holding the perfume has a golden cap. The shape of the bottle looks elegant with similar purple rose flowers printed over it. Purple roses signify enchantment and love at first sight; and that may happen with you for this fragrance too ;)
This fragrance features main notes of Musk, Cashmeran and Rose that presents an unusual and distinctive scent to your senses. It's tricky to call the perfume floral or woody when worn on your skin. The lightly spicy notes blended well with less powdery composition please me with its velvety feel that lasts for many hours. Though the warmth of the perfume doesn't remain equally strong the whole day, but a long trail of moderately strong aroma can be smelled by a mild sensitiser like me. I'm not a big fan of pure rose fragrance, so Seductive Musk EDT scores great for me because it only invokes rosy side very gently.
The fragrance is not too aggressive to forbid being worn at work. You may only be a attention-grabber not an attention-spolier when it's worn. I often put it on while going out these days and I must say this scent made sure it doesn't go unnoticed.
Being inexpensive is another reason why one should own it. You may buy it from Oriflame consultants or from the website here at Rs. 1499 (50ml).

Happy Fragrance Day!

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.