The Ordinary has become one of my favourite skincare brands. It’s affordable and has a range of cruelty free ingredient based cosmeceuticals. You can choose the products according to your concern. The formulations are super effective. I’ve provided a sample regimen guide sorted by skin concern.
I’m absolutely not proud to be born as a woman. Neither do I think that I am, in any manner, superior to men. Now, before you judge me, I want you to know that nothing encourages me to do something more than the thrill of being challenged to do it. I’m sure many of you will agree. We have faced many challenges growing up as girls and these little encounters have carved us into the best versions ourselves. So, ladies we deserve a pat on our backs. This blog post is my humble attempt to say “thank you” to all those who are making /have made my journey to #adorewomanhood more happening. If you are intrigued enough to know more, read on.
The (Extended) Family:This journey of gratitude begins with thanking my parents, grandparents, extended family, neighbours, and everyone else remotely connected or not connected to me for not bashing me or my mother for my birth. I owe my existence to them, quite literally. Brownie points for those who were happy for me being born as a girl, a dark skinned girl. My birth was a very special occasion for my family. They were delighted. But what delighted me were my birthdays.
The Guests: I remember, when my birthday parties were over I used to be very sad and wondered why I had to wait for one whole year for my next birthday to come. Because, birthdays = gifts.
Thanks to all of them who gifted me Barbie dolls and kitchen sets. I loved (and I still love) unwrapping presents and did not mind the dolls and tiny utensils popping out. Okay, just kidding! They were my prized possessions for the next few weeks. However, I think, I wouldn’t have objected to occasionally getting Lego bricks like my cousin brother did on his birthdays. Really? What moron buys a Lego set for a little girl? Oh come on…
There are more connections between the left and right hemispheres of a woman’s brain compared to a man’s brain. This, along with our hormones play a major role in how we think. And that is all. Men are not more intelligent than women. Neither are women pre-wired to like only certain activities. Our guests were not well informed I guess. I understand.
The Uncle on the Bus: I must have been a weird kid to have played with big cartons turned into cars. There was an air of indifference and independence around me. I thought, I could be anything, be anywhere. Cool! No, just the opposite happens in reality. One particular bus ride taught me what most parents shy away from discussing with their young daughters. It was considered indecent. But this stranger uncle just grabbed me by my waist and made me sit on his lap and did things that shook me. Thanks uncle stranger, for teaching me to be extra cautious every time I boarded an overcrowded public transport.
I knew that talking about being “touched” was not encouraged. We were taught to stay indoors after dusk. But I’m happy that now we are coming out of our cocoons. Schools are teaching young people to be vocal and report incidents of violation. The stranger uncle has taught me the greatest lesson of all: Although, my body is a temple and I need to care for its well-being, my soul is the sacred deity and will always remain untarnished.
The Next-door Auntie: She is multi-talented and multi-tasking Auntie. Her daughter (or son) always scored better marks, dressed and behaved more appropriately than me. Kudos for raising such a prodigy. Thank you keeping a check on my manners, grades, attires right from when I was a toddler. Thanks for being so vigilant about which gender I mingled with the most. Thank you for being extremely generous with your advices. I was impressed when you told me how issues of national or perhaps international importance could be resolved by slight modifications to women’s conduct and attire. For example, how sexual harassment can be single handedly battled if women chose to dress more conservatively or how ek chutki sindoor (a pinch of vermilion) on my forehead can prolong my husband’s life and bring marital bliss.
You are the reason why we celebrate women’s day and not men’s day or homo sapiens’ day for that matter.
Auntie, you deserve a break now. You have earned it!
The “People”: Have I already stated that this gratitude list is random? Had it not been random, I would have chosen to place “the people” on top of the list. Sorry, I have no idea who these people are but they seem to be everywhere, judging everyone. I’m not biased but I have a feeling that this tribe consists of females, mostly. They are jealous, judgemental, vindictive and love to corner people for trivial reasons. Honestly, I was scared of them till I realized that I don’t care. I’m grateful that we have parted ways.
Monster In-laws: Mine are fine. I’m grateful to have made the acquaintance of such kind people. They are so rare…in India. There are multiple reasons to thank them: for not demanding the “cash and car“, for letting me work, blah blah blah… But more than anything else I want to thank them for acknowledging and respecting the fact that I’m am individual who has grown up with a set of values different from their own but chosen to follow some of theirs.
The Squad: If you liked reading this post and are ready for more, please check out the next post in this blogathon by Shruti.
I admit, being a girl is challenging as well as adventurous. Men and women are biologically different for reasons known best to science. Hence, a battle of the sexes is futile. This Women’s Day and for the following 364 days, let all of us promise to be supportive and encourage the women around us. Remember,
First things first. If you are in a hurry, skip to the “What’s Hot, What’s Not” section.
What comes to your mind when you hear about the brand Lush? A great smelling shop in a big shopping mall with an array of beautifully crafted bath bombs and soaps, tubs of exotic blends and colorful pick-me-ups perched on well decorated shelves. Most of us, including me, have believed that Lush is a chemical-free brand of high-end skin care. Well, in reality, it is not. Neither does the brand claim to be so. Lush is a completely vegan, cruelty free brand and most of the products are handmade. They have chemicals like SLS (sodium laureth sulphate) and synthetic fragrances in some of their products. However, the brand is very transparent about the ingredients they use. You can find the list of ingredients on the packaging of your product or if the product comes “naked” or unpacked, you can ask for a booklet that lists the ingredients used in each product. The brand uses very minimal packaging. There are a few products like soaps and bath bombs that do not come with any packaging while others come in glass bottles or recycled plastic tubs. Lush’s USP is the environment friendly factor. According to the company website and other trusted sources, the brand is striving towards making the products preservatives free. In fact, some of these products are self-preserving. These environment friendly measures and vegan products make Lush one of my favorite skin care brands.
My Experience at Lush, Garden Mall, Jupiter, Florida:
Honestly, I love shopping at Lush. I completely agree that the products are more expensive than many other vegan brands. Some may also complain that the shop assistants at the Lush stores are bothersome and mean. To be honest, I did feel a little overwhelmed when two SAs came to my side asking what I was looking for and asking me about my skin type and specific needs. I love to shop independently. But if you are new to Lush, you would need assistance because it is difficult to understand how they categorize the products. Trust me, it seems quite haphazard at first glance. But the SAs were quite nice. Mean and bothersome, no. Overfriendly, yes.
I think I have said enough about the store and the brand. Let me now focus on the product.
Aqua Marina Face and Body Cleanser: A Review
Quite frankly, I love this product for a number of reasons:
- It’s a very gentle cleanser and can be a used on the face as well as the body.
- It does not have SLS.
- It’s good for all skin types because it does not leave an oily residue post rinsing.
- It makes the skin dewy.
- I love the fragrance.
- I love products with sea weeds and sea salt. These ingredients are believed be rich in minerals that are good for the skin.
- The brand does not make hefty promises
However, there are a few things that may be a concern for some:
- The fragrance is a little pungent but you get used to it.
- You might be allergic to one or more of the ingredients.
- Shelf life is three months.
Let’s now take a quick look at the label.
What’s Hot, What’s Not:
- From natural sources are labelled in green
Glycerine, Calamine powder, Kaolin, Irish Moss gel (chondrus crispus), Organic Aloe Vera gel (aloe barbadensis), Fine Sea Salt, Nori Seaweed (algae), Sweet Wild Orange oil (citrus sinensis), Patchouli oil (pogostemon cablin), Carrageenan Extract (chondrus crispus)
- From safe, synthetic sources are labelled in black
Butyl phenyl methylpropional, Hexyl cinnamal, Fragrance
How to use:
Take a small amount of the product and add a little water to make a paste. Rinse after massaging gently. Can be used all over the body and face.
Other Relevant Info:
It comes in a black recycled plastic tub. If you return five such clean containers, you will get a free face mask. It is vegan and self preserving.
Pocket Pinch and Availability:
A 100 g (3.5 oz) is priced at $12.50
Available at the Lush stores and on the Lush website. You can also call 1 (888) 733-5874 to place an order.
Have you tried this product? How has it worked out for you? Please let me know.
Alright, I’ll wrap it up for now. Have fun exploring new products.
If you are, then read on. And welcome to the league.
The story of my life can be summed up in four little words: “I’ll do it later.” I am such a chronic procrastinator that I wished that my wedding be postponed by a month on the eve of my wedding ceremony! (Now you get me, right?) Do you often feel that you are not ‘ready’ to do something ‘now’ even when you were doing practically nothing all day? I have felt this way all my life ever since I left school. I felt that I have all the time in the world to do important things. So, I’ve been on and off the track after I graduated from college. Some of the things that came with a strict deadline had to be dealt with. But there were other ‘less important commitments’ like doing yoga every other day or helping a friend with her DIY projects which always got pushed off to be done on the following weekend. Unfortunately, those weekends never came. To cut to the chase, any work that did not come with a deadline never saw the light of the day. So, I discovered that when I procrastinate, I follow a pattern. I only put those tasks off which I’m not very interested in and those that are not catastrophic in short-term including maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
So, I came up with a simple plan to change things by bits and pieces. Here’s a list of three things that has helped me deal with the my procrastination issues:
1. Target “do-able” goals: We are often tempted to take more on our plates than we can eat. For instance, when I had to choose the level of intensity for a training program on a fitness app, I opted for the most difficult one. After two days of intensive cardio, my brain automatically signalled me to take the rest of the week off and that one week became a month. And instead of working out, I spent more time playing Candy Crush. So, I have learnt the hard way that I need to have realistic goals in order to be motivated to make them a reality.
2. Take baby steps: It’s very important to break a complicated piece of work into segments that can be targeted one at a time. Sometimes the enormity of a task can scare us into not doing it at all. Remember the saying ‘Rome was not built in a day’? So, it’s a good idea to break down something grand into achievable bits and taking steps to complete them. And yes, do not forget to reward yourself after you successfully complete each step. The Candy Crush game can come in handy now.
3. Be consistent: A change that is permanent is the result of consistency. According to the principle of Kaizen (I learnt it in college but started using it only recently), if you perform a task for a few minutes every day without fail, it will become a habit and change your life for the better. That makes sense to me. Had I chosen a moderate intensity workout every single day, I would have achieved my overall health goals by now.
All said and done, the one thing that is most important is to get started. Get set go! I wish you success in your fight with the procrastination monster.
Have you ever wondered if marriage gives you a new identity? Or, how about if your current job role or your educational background defines who you are? Well, I wouldn’t have been inclined to ponder these if I were not faced with the situation I was in.
A few months back, I got married to a very bright guy who I was dating over the past few years. He is a scientist working as a postdoctoral research fellow at a prestigious United States university. I too am an accountant in a reputed company in my hometown. We had plans to settle in the United States after the wedding. So, we moved in together. One fine day, hubby darling got a call from a university in the Bahamas to fill in the position of an associate professor. Now, the rule in the Bahamas is: they would not recruit an accountant with a different nationality. (The islands are populated by less than eighty-five thousand people and they have a lot of accountants on the islands, it seems!) I was completely devastated and was in a state of denial for the rest the day when I came to know this. What am I without my job? My over-active frontal lobe (the part of the brain that makes you think critically) took the question to a whole new level. I began to hatch plans to go back to my hometown to the comfort of my paternal home and start working as an accountant once again. I would take a detour from here before going on with my story because I want to draw an important comparison.
Many of us are faced with similar situations; from people like me and you to mighty nations: being “stuck or bound” and not being able to bounce back even though we have the ability to. India, for example, had the resources to overthrow the British yoke sooner than she did only if the all the visionaries executed a better coordination in understanding the former greatness of our nation and believed in our indigenous resourcefulness.
Similarly, I was considering my own limited options very carefully. I had a few to consider: a. going back to my hometown; b. ask my husband not to take up the job; c. staying on the island with my husband doing household chores (yes, this one too). All of them were frustratingly difficult for me. But for my husband, nothing is and ever will be too bothersome. From time to time he kept on pestering me with “Hey, why don’t you blog full time?” or “Hey, why don’t you complete your psychology course? You know I have your back, don’t you?” He was very sure that I was talented enough to flip my life 180 degrees for the better. But I was neither in the state to listen to him nor could I come up with a solution. I was quite literally “stuck”.
In the midst of this mental chaos, my husband suggested that I start painting to keep myself from going into a depression (I had bouts of clinical depression in the past). I have loved everything artsy from as early in my childhood as I can remember. So, I began by collecting seashells and turning them into cute stuff- stuff that you would like to get someone as gifts. I continued this for about six months and until I had a beautiful collection.
It so happened, one day, that, I got invited to attend the Governor’s luncheon. I had packed a few of my painted seashells in a nice and presentable casing for the governor’s wife as a token of my gratitude. Little did I know that my life would take a different turn, a small but a significant one. Over the lunch, the Governor and his wife very casually suggested that they could use my art to raise funds.
Well, I don’t make millions off what I do- I barely make a few thousands. But, I am happy because my earnings contribute to the greater cause of nation-building maybe in a very small way.
From my situation, I have learned an important lesson: to be free from the limitations that are placed on us by what we think and to break free of them to be a truly independent person. In this age, nobody is limited by their background, level of education or anything for that matter. We just have to figure the way forward and save ourselves and our dear ones from the mental agonies that our own limiting beliefs create.
This blog post is a part of #LetsDiscussFreedom Blogathon. I would like to thank Snehalata from https://blogsikka.com for introducing me. I would now like to introduce Nayantara from http://mommyingbabyt.com and recommend you to read her views on the prompt, ‘What Does Freedom Mean To You’.
There’s only one way look your best- being in your own skin. It took me almost three decades to figure this out. I never thought that there is a fine line between looking good and looking your best. I only realized this when I went through a phase of drastic transformation. I went from skinny and dull to lean and beautiful. One fine morning, I decided to let what people think about me take the backseat and develop a perspective of my own to determine what I look like to myself. I’m in no way summarizing that this is the entire story of my transformation. Nevertheless, this dawn of wisdom was the stepping stone and the most crucial step in the complete process. I think I would like to describe each and every step of the journey for you, my precious angel: that’s my endeavor through this blog. So, let me start from the very beginning.
It’s absolutely essential that you start with an empty canvas. And by an empty canvas, I mean a mind free of any limiting notions about yourself. Believe it or not, these false premises are the biggest hindrances to your successful take off. The first thing that I did was to let go of all the prejudices. That was the first time I realized how good it feels to be in my own skin. It’s almost like taking off that constricting bra.
There are powerful devices in your arsenal that will significantly and positively aid in taking this vital step. Youtube videos of Abraham Hicks were my personal favorites. I don’t intend to spark up any religion/faith related controversy here in this forum. You can find inspiration in any form and mode of your choice. You can determine this with ease.
The next step is to purge your mind of any negativity that you might be feeling at this point in time. It can be directed to yourself or at anyone else. But remember that any hostility towards anybody is actually self-disgust in disguise. Get rid of it. Totally.
The third step is to cleanse your system. Get rid of physical (in the literal sense, in case you were wondering) pollutants from within your body and around yourself. Do detox diets, eat lean and clean, meditate, clean the vicinity of your being. One activity that has totally lost momentum now in India is the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, an initiative by the Hon’ble Prime Minister to clean our streets. We can control what we feed ourselves and what where we stay. Small things done collectively can bring about changes that we desire.
The fourth and final step is to stay happy. The importance of keeping yourself happy cannot be emphasized enough. One simple trick is to look for something funny in the most portentous of situations though it might seem impossible at first glance. Take yourself on long walks (all by yourself or with someone who makes you feel valued), feed yourself something yummy, make yourself do more of what you like. The most important component to being in your skin is to make yourself comfortable in it.
Once you being to feel happy in your skin is when the transformation game begins. Hope you get here real fast. Then we can take this journey forward by making the most of the other resource available to us. They say, charity begins at home, and your story of transformation begins with you being in your skin.
Hope to see you soon. I’m curious to know your story too. Do pitch in.
Holla beauties! Weekends, especially the ones when it’s pouring all day, are the best the best days to sit back and pamper yourself. I have been neglecting my health of late (like not drinking enough water, not getting enough rest and so on ) and as a result, my skin was looking pretty dull. So, I wanted to treat my skin (and also the little kiddo in me) first thing this weekend. And what’s a better way to do so than sheet masking while listening to your favorite song on repeat mode? I tried the new Mond’Sub Pearl face and neck mask this weekend and boy, I was certainly impressed by the results.
As the name suggests, this is a revitalizing mask. It also claims to lighten, brighten, firm and lift. The pearl extracts which are a great source of deep sea minerals along with seaweed extracts, vitamins, amino acids and hyaluronic acid work wonders to hydrate the skin. Ascorbic acid and the other actives present in the lotion bring about a brightening, bleaching, anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle effect on the skin.
This mask is quite unique compared to the other sheet masks that I have used. They call it a 3D mask because it covers the entire face and neck along with the under-chin area and also has hanging ears. Also, this comes with a vitamin C essence that needs to be massaged into the skin after rinsing off the mask.
The mask weighs 35g and the lotion weighs 5g. It’s priced at INR 250. You can buy a pack of three at Amazon for a discounted price of INR 299.
I would encourage you to go through the list of ingredients before you go ahead and try the product because some of us might be allergic to certain ingredients like lactobacillus. They recommend doing a patch test using a bit of the slimy gel behind your ears to check if that irritates your skin. I have dry and non-sensitive skin and it worked just fine for me.
When I opened the pack and pulled the mask out, I got a lot of the gel onto my hands. It was quite easy to wear the sheet mask though my face was a little too small for the mask. The dimensions of this mask are good enough to suit a variety of face shapes and sizes. What impressed me the most were the flaps that would go under the chin and on the neck. It’s a pity that the masks we use, cater only to the skin on the face and the skin under the chin (it rhymes!) which is as delicate as the facial skin remains mostly neglected.
The gel is slimy and has a hint of fragrance. The gel gets easily absorbed by the skin once you rub it in gently and makes the skin feel hydrated instantly. It feels like one of those hydration boosting glacial/spring water creams. I loved how it felt on my hands.
After I smoothed the mask sheet on my face, I kept it on for almost twenty minutes. Then I gently rubbed in the excess gel into my skin. I think the mask did everything that it claims. After a few more minutes I washed off the gel with tepid water and patted my face dry. My face was already feeling plumped up with moisture. Then I squeezed out a few drops of the Vitamin C essence and applied it to my face and neck. It’s a transparent fluid with a runny kind of consistency. This too got absorbed in pretty quickly and the result was a way smoother and softer skin than the week before. I noted very significant changes in the appearance of my skin in terms of smoothness and hydration after the application of the mask. I cannot say about the anti-ageing benefits since I haven’t used this for long enough.
This morning I woke up with the softness intact. The Vitamin C essence is a wonderful addition to this mask. I bet you can count on Hyaluronic acid to keep your skin’s moisture balance well balanced.
Overall, it’s a total value-for-money product. I’m soon gonna restock.
Let’s quickly recapitulate the pros:
- Delivers what it promises
- Reasonably priced
- Readily available
Let’s look at the cons now:
- Might not suit everyone
All said and done, I’ll let you enjoy your masking time now. Do let me know your experience if you have used this product. If you haven’t, do give it a shot.
Hello Beauties, hope you all are enjoying the monsoon! I am so loving the weather. I just wish the rains were more consistent though. I’ve been very busy all this while because Durga Puja is round the corner. I’m sure you know what I mean if you are from West Bengal. Okay, you might think it’s too early to think about Durga Puja right in the beginning of July, however, I’m kinda obsessed with getting all the essentials ready well in advance. Well, I try to; like I’ve been trying to write this post from the very first day I got my hands on it. Trust me guys, this month’s Glamego Box is one of the most satisfying boxes in terms of the quality of the products.
Before we dig in, let me tell you a little about the Glamego Box. It’s a monthly beauty subscription available in India that retails for INR 299 a month and the box has four products including some deluxe sample-sized product and some full-sized ones. Gets yours here.
Glamego Box July 2017 came in a revamped packaging. Unlike the cardboard boxes that they used to send their products in previously, they have packed all the good stuff in a green cardboard box that looks more classy than their previous packaging. All the products inside are bubble wrapped. Honestly, I’ve never received any damaged product from them so far and it’s been more than six months now. ( I try to tell you about the products that I’ve tried and tested for some time. All my skin and hair care products go through a ten-days trial period before I even speak about them and my color cosmetics go through a similar 24-hours test… in case you wanted to know.) 🙂
Let’s dig in right away.
There are four products in the box.
- Manna Kadar Lip Locked Priming Lipstick – INR 1560
- Mondsub Pearl Revitalizing Face & Neck Mask – INR 250
- Neemli Naturals Green Tea Lip Scrub – INR 250
- Biobloom Lavender Hand & Body Lotion (30 ml sample)
Let’s look at each of them.
The first and the star product of this month is the paraben-free Manna Kadar Lip Locked Priming Lipstick.
I was given four choices and I chose the shade “Serenity”. It’s a muted pink kinda shade. I absolutely love the shade and the plumping effect. It’s a priming lipstick and makes my lips feel moisturized. However, the color payoff is too poor for a lipstick in this price range. The color looks patchy and un-uniform. That might be the case with this particular shade because I’ve seen the same thing happening with my Maybelline Bold Matte in the shade “MAT3”.
Moving on to the face mask, I’ve heard many good reviews about the Mondsub sheet masks. I haven’t tried any of the Mondsub masks yet. I have used the Innisfree and The Face Shop sheet masks. So, I’m looking forward to trying this one. This sheet mask is for the face as well as the neck and the ears! It also comes with a vitamin C lotion to be used after you are done with the masking.
The next and the last of all the full-sized products is the Neemli Naturals lip scrub. I so wanted a lip scrub and I’m happy now that I got one. Lip scrubs are essentially sugar scrubs meant for the lips. This lip scrub has all the good ingredients like beeswax and coconut oil and is infused with tea tree oil. This scrub moisturizes the lips while it gently exfoliates the delicate skin on the lips. It smells very natural; of beeswax. In my opinion, this tiny pot is filled with sheer goodness.
I’ll definitely do a detailed review of this product separately.
The last and the only sample-sized product that I’ve received is the Biobloom hand and body lotion. I love Biobloom products because they are natural-smelling and free from harmful chemicals. This hand lotion has a very subtle smell of lavenders and is perfect for summers. It’s non-greasy and water-based.
My impression of the Glamego Box for July 2017 is quite good. Give it a shot if you are new to subscription boxes. This might be a good start. Please let me know (by commenting on this post) which is favorite product this month if you have already subscribed to Glamego.
Stay happy, stay beautiful. Until next time…xoxo.
Have you ever been in situations when you felt a hard virtual wall against your back and then, all of a sudden, the fearful feelings dissolved into an almost tangible shield of bravery? Well, most of us have been. We all have this innate bravery. Perhaps, it’s still waiting to be unraveled at some point in your life. Till then, we could always remind ourselves that we have what it takes to brave the odds.
It’s difficult to respond positively to something devastating at most of the times. However, that is not all. We are wired to defend ourselves and that cocoon that you retreat into is nothing but a tool in your defense kitty. Being brave is not always about confronting the one who is at the other end of the argument. Sometimes it’s just coming to terms with your worst enemy, your fear. To own it up and stay calm is the most turbulent of the circumstances is bravery in the truest sense. You are never defeated until you begin to believe so.
Half the battle is own as soon as you muster enough courage to face the outcomes and remind yourself to take the ownership of what’s going on in your life. Do not be afraid to confront a boss or a colleague or a spouse or any other person in authority if you think you have the right reasons to do so. Go get it, girl!
In this tiny write up, I decided not to quote any examples and tried to generalize everything to the point of seeming superficial because I want you to ponder and discover for yourself, your instinctive bravery. Reiterating this fact would not do any good till we realize for ourselves that there are greater causes to serve than catering to your own inner demons. I leave you with this thought…until next time. Meanwhile, you can share with us your biggest fear and how you overcame it. Go on, spread the light.