Book Review, Romance

Paradise by Judith Mcnaught

So I got into this genre of of books during my post graduation. Till then I was all about the fantasy books or mystery novels. I used to read the occasional Mills&Boon to satisfy my quota of romantic books. Non of them never really gripped my attention like the way this author has. Judith Mcnaught is a sensational author who knows how to express the emotion through words that grips the reader till the very last page. The first book I read of her’s was Something Wonderful that I will write a review on some day.

This is Paradise. Set in 1989 Chicago Illionis originally published in 1991 and re-released in 2003 by Pocket Books. The story revolves around a 18 year old young heiress Meredith Bancroft and 26 year old steel worker Matt Farrell. Introduced by pure coincidence at a country club and acting on a spark of chemistry unlike any the either have faced before.

Their brief ill-fated passionate marriage ends in heartbreak and tragedy which they blame each other for 11 years. When now successful Intercop owner Matt Farrell threatens to stall plans that Interim President Meredith Bancroft has for her company she is forced to confront Matt in an encounter that reveals the truth and lies that tore them apart over a decade back. Meredith must now face the heartbreaking prospect of having everything that her heart wants as opposed to her childhood dream of running the company she was meant to inherit.

This book for a contemporary romance is heart wrenching and heart warming in equal measure. Judith Mcnaught has penned the character of Matt Farrell as a dream man of every woman on the planet. The quiet strength, passion and determination of this dream character is portrayed in both decades during the book. Meredith is the sweet, loving and forgiving heroine who captures the heart of the hero on first sight. The book was published over 25 years ago, I would describe this book as an ever green book due to the story and writing style of this book.

The book is the first in the series of Second Opportunities. The following books are some what of a let down after the build up of this book. Another book I would definitely recommend is Every Breath You Take.


Beauty, Product Review

The Body Shop India: Almond Milk & Honey – New Release

The Body Shop India released a new range of skin care products – Almond Milk and Honey. Its meant for sensitive and dry skin providing 48 hour lightweight moisture. There are the usual range of products in the range: Body Butter, Body Scrub, Hand Cream, Bathing Bar Soap, Body Shower Cream and Body Lotion.

I purchased the Body Lotion and the Hand Cream. The scent is mildly pleasant and reminds me of the Almond hand cream variant that TBS sells.


The Hand Cream retails for ₹395 for 30mL. The has a shelf life of 12 months after opening so ensure you use it before it expires. The Hand Cream is mild and extremely silky. Its provides a lightweight moisture and absorbs into the skin quite fast. That’s a plus point when I’m driving in the car. At a red signal when I’ve got 120 seconds to find, apply and keep the tube back. I can vouch for the fast absorption of this product due to experience of applying hand cream while at a red light.


The Body Lotion retails for ₹950 for 200mL of product. It also has a shelf of 12 month after opening. The ingredients include Honey, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil and Palm Oil. There is also the ingredient PEG-100 Stearate which is a combination of two or more oils (palm or coconut) combined with Stearic Acid to form a water soluble ester. Products and formulas containing PEG 100 Stearate should not be used on broken or irritated skin. It is also indicated that the product should not be used on the face. The Body Lotion has the consistency of a cream that breaks down to a lotion upon product warming and application on the skin. Although the product is stated for dry and sensitive skin, I’ve been using it for a week at night. The product is lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves and mildly sweet comfortable scent on the skin. Although the product does not live up to its 48hr claim, the lotion provides the moisture I require throughout the night during the cold rainy season.

These new releases of The Body Shop provides a welcome change in their usual selection of products. The scent is mild and sweet with a comfortable feel after application. If you are looking for a new scent to try or a lightweight body cream or lotion try this out.


Beauty, Makeup Tutorial

Melt free Makeup


For someone who has lived her whole lived in the coast, I’ve grown accustomed to having my sunscreen slide off my face or my mascara run due to the sweat on my face. But there a few ways to help prevent this. Mind you, there is no way to make competely sweat free unless you are in an air conditioned environment. I also think it’s because I have over active sweat gland. (TMI, I know). So tips to make makeup sweat proof.

  1. Reduce products- Stick with products you absolutely need. Try not to pile on foundation, concealer and powder. With all the sweating going on, you could look like a hot mess. I stick to a concealer for my under eyes and powder the rest of my face. I’m genetically blessed that I don’t have problematic skin. But a pimple or two does arise (quick tip – use toothpaste to help sooth an angry looking pimple, that or eye drops). So try reducing the layers of your base. Primers with built in SPF or sunscreen that can double up as primer. It will help your skin breathe and your pores will thank you for it.
  2. Wax does hold- Wax isn’t just used in hair products, it is used in makeup too. A lot of eyeliners, mascaras and eyebrow products are wax based. Hence they are water resistant and last a lot longer. Remember (1) always curl those lashes to make them eyes appear wider. It really does make the biggest difference. (2) while filling in your brows, use a light hand. You don’t want to look like you painted them onto your face.
  3. Lipstick- This goes by one preference. You could always use a long lasting matte lipstick. But I tend to stick with tinted lip balms and lip butters during the day. If I’m dressing to impresses some one during the day, coat on a rosy pink lip gloss or lipstick and use a little of the products to add some color onto your cheeks. When I invest in a product I try to see the multi functional uses.

Sunlight is a lot less forgiving when it comes to appearance of blemish free skin. The more makeup you pile on your face the more the makeup appears cake like. Since I know I’m going to be sweating, I always carry either wet wipes or a small packet of tissues. After wiping my face i re-apply the powder over my T zone. Remember to carry a small deodorant or a travel size perfume. Smelling fresh can go a long way into feeling good.

Enjoy the summer. It’s the best time for road trip and beach visits.

Good Luck XO


Scrub away Cellulite : Steps to help reduce Cellulite


Cellulite. That one word. Everyone has it.

What is cellulite? When the fat stored by your body starts to push upwards towards the skin, the skin appears dimpled and somewhat curdled. Some lucky people can see their cellulite only if the skin is push against it. Fact is a 9 out of 10 persons have cellulite (Guys too!). So your not alone and it’s definitely not something to be ashamed about. It’s your body’s natural process.

Cellulite makes a some of us think twice before donning our favorite bikini or even a nice short dress. I never really faced the problem when I was in my teens or early twenties because I was naturally pretty slender. But bad diet and virtually no exercise lead to formation of cellulite around the thighs and buttocks.

So while there are no methods to naturally remove 100% of the cellulite, there are methods to prevent and REDUCE their appearance.

  1. Good Diet: You ingest fat, you store it (unless your metabolism is very high). I’m no expert. But the simple rule : Input = Output + Accumulation. So if your output is not high, chances are that your accumulation will be. So try to eat right and healthy. I do not mean to reduce food intake or addition of supplements. Reduce junk food and stress eating. Try incorporating lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy carbohydrates into your diet. One tip I try to live by is actually something supermodel Miranda Kerr states which is ‘80% healthy and 20% indulgent’. It’s a challenge, but try to maintain that ratio.
  2. Exercise: This is more important point, which I have not read in a lot of blogs. It has been the fastest method for me. When the blood starts to circulate in the body’s tissues and muscles it helps to prevent more fat from storing. So get out and get active. Walking, jogging, sports and even indoor activities like household chores, yoga or Pilates help burning the fat from the body. After the initial week of muscular pain, you will feel and look much better.

There are a few home remedies that you can try. They definitely help in cellulite appearance but require frequent and dedication over the course of a few months.

  1. Dry Brushing: Take 5 minutes out of your morning shower to dry brush your body with brush with Natural Bristles atleast 3-4 times a week. Dry brushing is the method of brushing your body in the absence of water or oil. Be gentle! Do not scrub away your skin. I use the Body Shop one but there a LOT of options in the market today. So pick one, brush your body in the regions where you are plaguesd with cellulite. If you have been tenacious about it, you will see results in 3-4 weeks.
  2. Coffee to the rescue: The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee are moderately effective to mitigate the appearance of cellulite in the short term. The caffeine also helps by dilating the blood vessels, which temporarily tones and tightens the tissue. Plus it increases blood circulation and reduces water retention, both of which may also help smooth the rumpled look of cellulite. The antioxidants in coffee may help to release toxins, which is not only helpful for cellulite, but for healthy skin in general. Before showering and post dry brushing, exfoliate your skin using a coffee scrub you can using items in your kitchen.

Coffee Scrub: There is no textbook method of making this scrub. The quantities of the ingredients vary according to a person’s skin and their reaction to the ingredients. Since you only need it in the places where cellulite exists you do not really need a lot.

Ingredients – 2 tablespoons or filter coffee, 2-3 tablespoons of coconut/olive oil.

Mix them up adding more oil if necessary to make a paste. If you have oily skin, try using baby oil. GENTLY scrub your skin. You aims is to stimulate blood flow and let the caffeine soak into your skin. You are not a cooking vessel due for a good scrub. While showering you will notice that your skin is much smoother and softer. Be persistent. The results will show up I promise you.

For those of you who want instant gratification, a doctor’s visit is what you need. Your plastic surgeon will be able to determine the best possible method for you to reduce the cellulite. But do remember, it is only a temporary solution as cellulite obstinate. It will return. So after you remove it surgically, maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet to ensure that it will not return with a vengeance.

In the end remember that you are BEAUTIFUL. There is nothing you need to change unless you want to. The decision and power is in your hand. Use it wisely.

Good Luck