Category: Fashion

Review: The Ordinary

Review: The Ordinary

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.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Lush Aqua Marina Face and Body Cleanser Review

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Lush Aqua Marina Face and Body Cleanser Review

Lush Aqua Marina Face and Body Cleanser

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
Cream cleanser with the goodness of sea weeds

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.
  • Overpriced

Let’s now take a quick look at the label.

What’s Hot, What’s Not:

Ingredients:

  • 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

List of ingredients

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.

How to use

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.

SP stands for self preserving and V is for vegan

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.

Xoxo,

RitzilyYours

Are You a Chronic Procrastinator?

Are You a Chronic Procrastinator?

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.

Courtesy someecards.com

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.

Freedom to be Who I am

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’.

MMOTW: Glamego Box (July 2017)

MMOTW: Glamego Box (July 2017)

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.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: My Envy Box (May 2017)

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: My Envy Box (May 2017)

Hi My Happy Bunnies,
Hope you are doing great. I just couldn’t wait to tell you how much I missed you since my last post. Today, I’ll review my first ever My Envy Box for you. Yay!!
My Envy Box is a beauty subscription service in India for those of you who aren’t familiar with the name. It’s one of the most popular ones, I must tell you. It retails for INR 850/- per month.
They pack in 4-5 samples, deluxe samples along with some full-sized products from luxury brands in a cute box ( with a magnetic strip lid) every month for us. How cool is that! I mean the magnetic lid thing (grow up, Ritz).
They don’t disclose what products they’ve curated for you until you get your hands on the box. That’s a part of the fun. (That is if those Facebook ads don’t count as spoilers). You can get yours here.  You can choose the term of the subscription and I highly recommend reading the FAQs before placing an order. The whole process of ordering and getting the box delivered is as smooth as it gets. I’m sure will be delighted with the experience.
Okay, enough said, let’s dive right in.
I received three full-infused products and five samples worth over INR 2000/-
The  contents are:
The Nature’s Co. Mango Creme Body Wash (175 ml for INR 695/-)
This body wash smells exactly like mango shake sans the overpowering fruitiness. So, if you love mangoes, like I do, I’m sure you are gonna love this one too. It’s for people with normal to combination skin type but it worked well on my skin too. I have dry skin, by the way.
Next up is…
Cheryl’s Dermashade Sunblock SPF 30 (50g for INR 550/-)
Cheryl’s is a professional brand available in the salons. I remember getting a treatment done at a salon from this brand and I loved the results. However, this time I’m a little disappointed. 😔 Oh Cheryl’s, why does the cream look curdled? But then, the list of the ingredients puts that smile back on my face. 😊
Next up is…
Grecobe Green Coffee (5 Sachets for INR 70/-)
Green coffee is loaded with anti oxidants that help fight free radicals in our bodies thus delaying the ageing process. It also aids in improving metabolism. I’m looking forward to try this one.
Next up is…
Fuschia Herbal Fusion Shampoo (100ml for INR 450)
This is a mild shampoo with a nice fragrance. It’s handmade and natural. I used this one today and the first impression is good. Honestly, 450 bucks for a 100ml pack raises the bar of expectations. I would like to use it for some more time and write a detailed review.
Up next is…
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, L’Occitane Reine Blanche Illuminating Cream &  L’Occitane Reine Blanche Illuminating Serum (single use samples)
L’Occitane is a coveted French luxury beauty brand. I have used their Cherry Blossom Hand Cream and Aromacologie range for hair and liked them. Even this hand cream is really good: very similar to the Body Shop one. The Reine Blanche cream and serum is aimed at bringing back the radiance for a flawless complexion. I don’t know if does what it claims and honestly, one cannot determine whether to use a product or not by using it just once.
The last one…
Omofree Mellow Drizzle Skin Toner (4ml sample)
Smells like lavender. Is that why it’s called “mellow”? I find the smell of lavenders very soothing. Like baby powder. Omofree is a brand that collaborates with some of the best spas and resorts across India. So, I’m looking forward to using the samples before I decide to buy.
That’s all for now. I hope you liked what you just read. Do let me know. Also, if you have received your My Envy Box, let me know which is your favorite product. Let’s catch up. Stay beautiful!
Pep Talk: You are Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Pep Talk: You are Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Yes, you are.
Beauty is no longer confined to a specific body shape or tint of your skin. It delves deeper than the spirals that make up your genes that give your face symmetrical features or make your nose look “crooked” or your jawline “droopy”. More importantly, it’s not what others see you as. So, please stop fretting over things like “I-am-paper-thin” or “my-glasses-make-me-look-nerdy”. And if you have already done so, take a step ahead and tell yourself that you are the queen of hearts and your are loved, no matter what. Also, nerdy is the new sexy.
Love yourself. You deserve it.
You might have heard things like- it’s all about how you carry yourself. Well, true that! There are a few secret (rather, not so secret) ingredients to “carrying” yourself really well. And they are…

  • Feeling confident all the time: No matter what you do, wear confidence like your second skin. Add confidence to anything and that alone is transformational to say the least.
  • Feeling beautiful inside out: They say beauty is skin deep. That, I think, is rather superficial. Yeah, anatomically as well (giggle). Beauty is at the core of your being and that’s the only thing you need to feel every single moment.
Embrace your uniqueness.
  • Happiness: This one is an absolute no-brainer. Being happy gives you that glow which is unparalleled. It’s been scientifically proven. Your smile is magical (literally). Wear it always.

    Feel happy, feel pretty.
  • Acknowledging the fact that you are unique: We’re snowflakes. No two of us are exactly alike. So is our perception of beauty. So, don’t try to fit in. Celebrate your uniqueness.
You are your own kind of beautiful. Don’t shy away from breaking the stereotype. You were meant to stand out and stand tall. I don’t mean to talk you into believing this with words made of cotton candy. You already are a masterpiece. All you need to do is to believe in who you truly are.

That’s all for now. Tell us if you liked what you just read. We have more such pep talks in store for you. Do share your feedback. Also, don’t forget to participate in the giveaway. All you really need to do is share this post and tag a few friends.

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