Category: Happiness

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’.

Pep Talk: Braving it Like You Do

Pep Talk: Braving it Like You Do

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.

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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