Romance

Book Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Hey,

After my long love for Judith Mcnaught and Lisa Kleypas, I have re-fallen in love with Tessa Dare’s story telling. The author certainly has a way with words. Humorous and Heart warming, her story telling may not always be accurate historically but the story as such is something new and honestly refreshing.

Most authors have a similarity in their novels which you can observe if you have read enough of their book. Judith Mcnaught stories are often very emotional, with some huge misunderstanding between the lead pair that causes an estrangement which later resolves out. Similarity in the physicality of the of the hero and heroine to the love-making scene stand out after reading a few of Judith Mcnaught’s books.

Lisa Kleypas’s books bring out more humor with her similarity lying in the fact that either protagonist falls ill as is nursed back to health by the other leading to dramatic change in emotion which causes ‘passionate love’ as quoted from her books. Both books rely of both leading members to be physically attractive in each other and everyone else’s eyes. That is where Tessa Dare is different.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare”

Product Review

Forest Essential: Hair Vitalizer Bhringraj

Hey,

Hair fall is something that everyone has. In fact a certain amount of hair fall is normal and needed. The older dead hair falls away leaving room for a new hair in its place. Hence losing about 50 strands of hair everyday is normal. But there is normal hair fall and then is hair fall. The hair fall that makes you feel like you will be bald soon could be due to a variety of reason.

Unless the problem is genetic, hair fall problems can be solved. Maintaining a good diet with high protein intake, with omega 3 & omega 6 will help in overall hair growth. If maintaining a diet is proving to be difficult, the alternative is to provide a supplement for the hair growth. The supplement that has worked for me is the Hair Vitalizer from Forest Essential.

The sales assistant recommended that I spray the product onto freshly washed – dried hair, massaged into the scalp and then comb through with a wide toothed comb. The price that on the product was so hefty that I felt cheated for the amount of product you get. I used it everyday in the morning before styling my hair for work. But the one month that the bottle lasted, yielded such amazing results that I did not hesitate in re-purchasing it every time I finish a bottle. I am on my 5th bottle by the way. The product not only aids in hair growth but has also helped in dandruff and dry damaged hair.

This product is what drew me to Forest Essentials as a brand and certainly recommend the product to anyone who asks me what I do for my hair to grow. I would recommend it to anyone who has hair products pertaining to hair loss, dandruff & dryness.

If you are planning to try a product from this brand, go for this one. And please use it diligently every day. The effect shows over time. Your hair will grow and one day you will notice all the problems have either reduced or vanished altogether. I guess ayurvedic recipes give results over the course of time. The results are long lasting too. If you want to follow the regimen that I follow check it out: Bhringadi for Hair. Try it out and let me know 🙂

Rating: 5/5

Beauty guide, Skincare

Organic skin care: For better or worse

Hey,

Skincare is not something I have had to deal with until very recently because I have fairly fuss free skin. Combination skin type with (lucky me) a high tolerance to most skincare and makeup products. But as I crossed my 24th birthday, I noticed the tiny lines around my eyes loss in overall natural glow of my skin. So as any worried 24 year old would be I set out to try out all the skin care products I could afford. What I kept in mind was that is something Michelle Phan said once, “if it’s going onto your skin directly, invest in good quality product”. I tried every drugstore skincare regime you can imagine. (buy the smallest size available if you are trying the product for the first time. Its economical and effective). Drugstore brands do give result, but they are more time oriented and the fact that most drugstore brands test on animals I decided to try the good ol’ organic route.

India is were ayurveda was born. Most people have rave reviews of the effects of ayurveda be it medicinal or not. The brand Kama Ayurveda claims to inculcate the knowledge of ayurveda directly into the products. So the products are 100% organic, cruelty free, paraben free, limited shelf life and truth be told a tab bit expensive. The company is very similar to Forest Essentials. Kama Ayurveda would be one price bracket below Forest Essentials in my opinion. I already gave a review of two products in my hair care blog Bhringadi for Hair

So my current skin care routine is mostly their products and I must say, they do show amazing results. If you can afford to splurge a little make sure its skin care and its this brand. ( Sensitive skin types can try out their cute little testers)

  1. Face-wash: This is the only only non Kama Ayurveda brand but a organic one none the less. The Body Shop Aloe Calming Foaming Facewash. This particular face wash is for sensitive skin (which I do not have). I use this one because it is least drying of all their face washes. It also leaves my skin really squeaky clean. But it is a pinch on the pocket but lasts forever. Seriously! I am into my second month with this bottle I am only half way through the bottle!
  2. Face-Scrub: This was what drew me to their skin care. The ‘Kumkumadi Brightening Ayurvedic Face Scrub’ has amazing reviews online as well as on nykaa. One time use of this face scrub does not yield any spectacular results but with diligent use, my skin has a lit from within glow. I only need a small amount. I scrub my nose and my forehead (oily T-zone) and wash off with warm water. I use this once every two -three days. Unless I have had an extra dusty day while traveling and need a little deeper cleaning.
  3. Serum: Seeing the results of the scrub, i purchases the ‘Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid’. This is an ayurvedic night serum. The oil is termed as dry oil. Meaning the oil needs an hydrated surface to help spread more evenly. The sales assistant recommended I use the face mist. The process is to the mist the face and then spread 2-3 drops of the fluid over the skin. The fluid does have an ayurvedic scent. I personally do not find the scent overwhelming although I have read other blogs stating that the smell is overwhelming to them. Depends on personal preference. Even if the scent is overbearing, the benefits of this fluid is really worth a one hour of an uncomfortable scent.
  4. Face-oil: Depending on how tired my skin looks and feels, I might layer another product. Until recently I was using the Olay Total Effects Day cream at night because the product is heavily moisturizing for my combination skin. Off lately I have started to use the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formulae Skin Therapy Face Oil. I purchased it online after reading some goof reviews on the product. I apply the oil at night over the Kumkumadi night fluid. I personally do not have any major wrinkles, although I do feel like my skin is extremely hydrated and supple the next day.  The product does have retinol and the product does warn not to use the product prior to stepping out into the sun as retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Hence I use it at night for an overnight treatment.

Depending on how my skin feels, I also might treat myself to a face mask (sheet mask or otherwise). If it is a sheet mask, the product does advice to rub the residue into the skin. But the treatment in the sheet masks tend to feel overly tacky on my skin. I wipe it off with a wash cloth and proceed with the Kama Ayurveda Night Serum.

The whole process (minus the sheet mask) takes about 10-15 mins. Well worth my time for the benefits I get. If any of you have had an allergic reaction to any product I’ve mentioned do leave a message. The information would be most welcome

XOXO

Romance

Book Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Hey,

I remember reading ‘Devil in Spring’ with such adoration that I could not wait for the next in the Ravenels Series. I was disappointed when the release date for ‘Hello Stranger’ was February 25th of 2018. So I locked my excitement in a box and tucked it away in the corner of my mind. When the book released, I bought the kindly version and started reading it pronto. So beware spoilers will be there in my review.

Continue reading “Book Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas”

Uncategorized

Bhringadi for Hair

Hey guys,

Hair loss is something all of us deal with. Its a struggle. Like weight loss, you need dedication to power through a routine that can help reduce hairfall. Lets be real, we all can not always maintain a healthy diet and with contraints of water quality, sun exposure and dust, our hair takes a real beating. I’m also among that section of people for whom the ‘antifall’ hair shampoos fail. Every single time. So what did I do?

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Skincare

2 in 1 Body Scrub

Hey guys,

When I was in my early teens, I purchased this book (which I have since lost), which was a book for teenagers about skincare, hair and makeup. Most teens do not require a lot of products unless you suffer from skin related problems. So that book was ideal for someone like me. It had a recipe for a home mode body scrub which provided exfoliation and moisturization which I use to this day. It’s very simple and you have all the ingredients in your kitchen.

You will need

1 cup of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of milk (almond milk for vegans)

2 tablespoons of oil (olive oil/coconut oil/vegetable oil/)

Add the milk and sugar to make a very think paste and then add the oil. You should obtain a slightly watery cream. If the scrub is too watery add more sugar.

Use:- Make sure you are in the shower. Start by rubbing the mixture in all the dry places first and then use the mixture on the rest of your body. Do not use on the face.

Once you are done just wash it all off with luke warm water. It will wash off like a breeze and the small amount of oil remaining will provide the moisturize room you need. If its too oily, wash off with soap and moisturize with your favorite lotion or body butter.

This is an amazing body scrub. Do try and let me know how it works for you.

Good Luck!

Product Review

Colourpop: Product Review

Hey,

This is a company that has made a name for itself by promising and delivering quality products at an unbeatable price. Their products are cruelty free and vegan! Although there is no Colourpop store in India, they do ship their products to India. If you are wondering how the process goes, I may be able to help you out. Check out my blog on international shipping from Colourpop.

All the goodies I got were from their Super Shock range. Their formula for these products are unlike anything in the Indian Market currently. They have a mousse (almost wet) like texture but on application it feels like a powder. Super smooth and super blend able. Synthetic brushes are advised as opposed to natural fiber brushes. I just use my fingers. It does state on the external packaging that the product needs to be tightly closed to preserve the formula and prevent drying.

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Life, Orders and Purchases

Colourpop: International Payment and Shipping

Hey,

I know I’m a little late to the party when it comes to this brand of makeup. Colourpop is now famous for provided luxury type of quality in drugstore range of price, sometimes even for economical.

Since I don’t have a credit card to make online purchases for post International websites that offer international shipping I was pleased to know that Colourpop does accept Paypal which I fortunately activated for my SB account for payment for an exam. The process to activate Paypal is extremely easy. It only requires you to activate your account by making a $12 payment. The amount is debited from your account and is remitted back into your account within 30 days. This option of Paypal enables me to make online purchases from international websites without the necessity of having a credit card. I wanted from Em Cosmetics but it currently does not ship to India. Though some companies accept Paypal not all of them do. This is an option for you guys who do not have a credit card.

When it comes to using Paypal for purchasing from Colourpop, you do not even have to enter address details because of the details provided by Paypal during successful payment. Continue reading “Colourpop: International Payment and Shipping”

Beauty, Beauty guide

Makeup Brush: A Beginner’s Guide

Hey,

A decade back the only worth while makeup brush available in India was the professional version of Vega (Indian Brand) which was a shade better than their normal counterparts, and that is not saying much. During my initial journey of makeup, there was not much information available in the internet as to which makeup brushes to use for application of creams and powders. Things are very different today. Many blogs and videos I’ve read show a great number of brushes required but I believe I can shorten the list even more for people just dabbing into makeup. This set can be used for those who are travelling and want to carry the bare minimum requirements.

There are two most basic categories. 1. Face and 2. Eyes

Face: One good foundation sponge is all you really require. Flat foundation brushes or dense buffer brushes tend to give a heavier coverage.The sponge will consume the excess product and ensure that you have an even natural layer of foundation.  If you are going for minimum foundation application, this sponge will be ideal. This sponge can also be used for application of concealer and blending cream blushes. Just apply the brush with your fingers and blend with the sponge It is really getting good use out of your sponge. Colourbar foundation sponge (Buy here) is a good option for people on a tighter budget. If you have a bit more spending capacity, ditch the beauty blender and go for the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (Buy from amazon Here)

Powdering your face is key so that your makeup does not slip and slide. Instead of going for the larger brush, go for one that is smaller in size. You could also make do with a blush brush. The reason being the smaller size will have you deposit powder in more precise location such as under the eyes and chin. This brush could also be doubled for a blush brush. Your powder brush could be further used to highlight and contour your face. (Just ensure you clean the brush on a ply of tissue after each use.

Eyes: Unless you are blessed with Cara Delevingne brows, you are going to need to support those awesome eyebrows. If you are trying to limit your products pick a dark taupe eyeshadow (for us brown skin ladies) that you can also double up to contour you eyes, nose and cheeks. Application of the powder is done by an angled brush where the bristles are tightly packed. If you are using an brown eyeliner with you brow brush then you will need a spoolie to blend out your eyebrows.

When dealing with eye shadows, primarily you would require two but I often make do with just one. That is a blending brush. And I still use my Vega professional eye blending brush. Unless I’m going for a colored smokey eye, I can usually make up a night time eye look using my fingers and blending brush. My fingers are substitutes for a flat shader brush. Its usually because I’m very reluctant to wash my brushes after each use so I try to minimize the number of brushes I use. PAC makes amazing brushes at an economical price. Check out Nykaa.com or Amazon.in

No look can be completed without an eyelash curler. Replace the rubber strip regularly or wash the lash curler to keep it clean and hygienic. If you don’t own one use the tried and tested method of a spoon or crimping your lashes using your fingers.

Unless you are rocking a precise red lip, you can skip the lip brush for lipstick application. Use the lipstick bullet or wand of your favorite lip gloss or liquid lipstick to pull your look together.

Remember it will take time for you to get used to applying makeup with the brush. Just be patient, use a light hand and practice.

Good Luck

XO

Life

Teenager to Adult: How to tackle your early 20s

Hey

I know most people tend to write about the significance of your entire 20s, and it is very useful, but having crossed over into the post 25s, I’ve realized a LOT happens during the time you hit legal adulthood at 18.

At 17 you are still in high school, pressured by parents, teachers or even yourself to keep a good track record of grades and curricular activities to make application to graduate school more appealing. Once you get into college, its a whole other ball game. While there are some people who study close to home, there are many starry eyed youngsters venturing out into the world for the first by heading to hostels and dormitories. No amount of advice and prep talk can actually prepare you for how that kind of freedom feels like. I remember eagerly leaving home and living in hostel till graduation and I never felt home sick. I was excited. Looking back, I suppose a part of it was due to the fact that I was going to Manipal University. Whichever college you head to, there are a few headlights that you get hit by.

  1. The freedom you get is a trust that is placed in you by your folks to not screw up. They are setting you free but watch you from the corner of their eye. Don’t screw that up. Its natural to want to experiment a few things here and there in college. I would even advice you to try because it is the only way you know for sure what truly interests you. When to draw the line? Listen to your gut. Its there for a reason.
  2. One true friend is better than a hundred acquaintances.  Finding friends is not easy. You can sharpen your socializing skills here. Meet more people. When you do find them,  keep ’em close. You won’t get them in all walks of your life. Friends are the family you get to choose. So choose wisely.
  3. Unless you’ve done away with your virginity when you were in high school, Its very likely that this is the time period when you are going to be intimate with someone. Try not to fall to peer pressure. Having said that I also would advice on NOT waiting for perfection to walk up. If you have serious feelings for a person who you can be honest and connect with go for it. Having said that, Sex when you aren’t in the mood is a painful and awkward process. Be honest with your partner.
  4. Take your studies seriously. Its why you went there. Keep a decent GPA. The reason being is that most companies will have a minimum requirement of CGPA. One thing I did not consider, which I had, was the percentage conversion. CGPA to percentage could drastically reduce your overall mark which may cause a problem when trying to meet the required criteria.  So depending on your college and job opportunities, do your homework and find out the minimum requirement and trying keeping a few points above that to be safe. You will thank yourself for the extra hard work when you are job hunting.

College is going to open your eyes to whole load of new experiences and people. Try to keep an open mind and not judge. Circumstances and situation greatly change our course of action so be prepared for a few hurdles. Overall this early adulthood is the time when most people turn into the butterfly you are meant to be. This time is unique because you have almost all advantages of being an adult without the worries of adult life (bills, targets, etc). Try to forge your friendships and gather as many memories you can. Life goes by way too fast to not enjoy the moment.

Good Luck!