Despite the world becoming more and more tech-savvy with every passing minute, so much so that even toddlers have their own iPads these days, many of us are still wary of online shopping. Being suspicious of these websites is justified too, many of them are in fact fraudulent, and deliver products of poor quality or often do not deliver anything at all in return for your hard-earned money. For a person like me, however, online shopping is a blessing, because running from store to store is too time-consuming and tiring for me. Here are some of the websites that I fall back on every time I have the urge to spend some money, and they usually do not disappoint.
1. Ajio.com – My go-to online destination for all my fashion needs – from jeans to footwear and amazing ethnic wear too. Ajio’s own designs are some of the most unique I have seen on the internet and their curation of clothes from other brands is also top-notch. If you are tired of seeing the same designs on every online shopping portal then ajio.com is the breath of fresh air that you need. They deliver to my location within 2 days and have a very easy breezy return policy too.
2. Amazon Prime – If it is basic stuff that you need, be it household supplies or shampoo, Amazon is my pick for you. Go for an Amazon Prime membership if you are a frequent online shopper, the free shipping and the next day delivery is totally worth it. Stick to sellers with a high rating and try to opt only for the items from the prime category and you will be sorted.
3. Nykaa.com – While I have heard many people complain that Nykaa delivers expired or fake products and has horrible customer service, I have personally never faced any such issues with them. I love Nykaa because they have the hugest collection of makeup and skincare items on one website in India and exclusively sell many international brands. If you have been away from Nykaa due to all the negative reviews you have heard about them, give them one shot and then decide for yourself because my experience has been pretty good.
So these were my go-to websites for when I am feeling spendy. Do let me know what your favourite websites are for online shopping and also let me know what your experience has been with my favourites. Keeping it short because I am sure that you want to indulge in some retail therapy now 😛 Toodles!
P.S. – Special mention to Shein.in, which is my recent favourite for affordable western wear and cutesie night clothes.
In the country that I belong to, most women who have blown or are about to blow twenty-five candles are used to being called someone of “Marriageable” age by concerned aunts and even strangers. And if you are an Indian female who has crossed the age of thirty and is still unmarried, someone in your family is most likely offering special prayers to a deity to perform a miracle and find a groom for you. I am sure that similar phrases and concerned well-wishers exist in other parts of the world too. So what is the real meaning of “marriageable age” and does the term still make sense in the 21st century? Here are my 2 cents on the subject.
As far as I can tell, in the olden days, “marriageable age” largely coincided with the child-bearing age for a woman. This made sense in a conservative society, where one of the most significant purposes of marriage was keeping the family tree alive. However, as is the case with every societal concept, the concept of marriage too has evolved and taken several different shapes over the years. While having kids is still an essential part of marriage for most couples, it is no longer the primary objective for many. What with the changing spousal roles, career aspirations reaching new heights, and science making it feasible to conceive at an age that was unheard of a few decades ago, many individuals, both men and women, are choosing to take things slow, and are opting to tie the knot when they are mentally and financially ready for the changes that marriage brings with it. Additionally, a significant number of couples these days decide not to have kids at all or to adopt, which throws the entire logic of “marriageable age”, as perceived by the generations past, out the window.
Another interesting phenomenon that is largely observed in the cosmopolitan parts of the country/world is people shaming and criticising those who get married “too young”. These individuals are labelled as orthodox and are often referred to as people who have settled too early in life. But what is so wrong with leading a settled life? Doesn’t an unmarried individual too want a comfortable, stress-free, and peaceful life? Or am I wrong in assuming that there is no such turbulence or thrill (other than casual dating, having multiple partners etc.) in the life of a single person that marriage can eliminate? If a couple feels that they are ready to commit to each other, and are of the legal age to get married, then why shouldn’t they? Getting married early comes with its own sets of pros, even in a modern world, such as making the financial and living situation for the couple more practical, giving them more time to enjoy each other’s company before having kids, and making bolder career choices which the parents would gasp over if their son or daughter was unmarried.
The crux of the matter is the freedom of choice. Whether someone wants to choose their own partner or wants to opt for an arranged marriage, whether they want to get married at 22 or 32, and whether or not they want to have kids should be the choice of the persons in question alone. While you can never prevent your friends or family members from questioning your choices, the stigma associated with “marriageable age” needs to go, because many are coerced into making a wrong decision simply based on the stigma, regardless of the reasoning behind it. It is high time that we decide what the right “marriageable age” is for us and stop letting a custom that has gone slightly stale decide it for us.
As you are reading this, it is probably the eve of Holi or the day of Holi, one of the largest festivals of India – a celebration of spring, a celebration of the colours of nature, a celebration of all things pure. Let me start off by wishing each one of you a happy and wonderful Holi. May you enjoy the day to the fullest with your family and loved ones. However, today, I also want to talk about the ugly side of the festival, and how beautiful traditions have been distorted into something vile by certain elements of the society.
Kindly bear in mind that my intention is not at all to malign the tradition of Holi, in fact, it is a festival that I have loved since I was a child, all I am speaking against is the misinterpretation and misuse of Holi by a few. For those of you who are unaware of the tradition of Holi, it is a festival in which we welcome spring by smearing colours on the faces of our loved ones and enjoying sweet treats with our friends and family. The more enthusiastic individuals also spray coloured water on each other with the help of spray guns and water balloons. However, I recently came across a terrifying post on Facebook where a girl talks about a water balloon filled with semen being flung at her in the guise of Holi celebrations. If you dig deeper and talk to a few people, you will hear about many incidents of strangers throwing water balloons at pedestrians who were just going about their daily life and of people inappropriately touching others while playing Holi. The phrase “Bura na maano Holi hai” (Do not mind it because it is Holi) has been misinterpreted beyond proportion by these people who indulge in physical and sexual abuse in the name of Holi.
While the phrase “Bura na maano Holi hai” was probably meant to encourage everyone to play with colours and not to be shy of indulging in the festivities, I am confident that our forefather who coined the term never intended for it to mean that physical or sexual violence should be ignored or forgiven on Holi. What is worse is that such behaviour often starts off at a very young age, when children are allowed to spray colours on strangers and fling water ballons at passers by on the day of Holi. As a parent or guardian, it is our responsibilty to teach our children that they should play Holi only with their acquaintances who are willing to participate in the festivities and should not be forcing someone to play Holi or be rough while applying colours on someone. They should be taught to be careful while celebrating the festival, to ensure their safety as well as the safety of others. What also needs to stop are the Holi song sequences in Bollywood where the guy unabashedly smears colours all over the woman who was not paying much attention to him till the previous day. Encouraging others to play with organic colours and to use powder colours to save water is also something that can make the festival safer for us and the environment. However, the most important step that we can take is to strongly discourage and admonish anyone, be it an adult or an child, for playing dangerous or disgusting pranks on anyone and for even splashing colours on an unwilling stranger or friend.
The next time someone tries to put colour on you forcefully, do refuse with an emphatic no. Holi is about much more than being the target of every water balloon or spray gun pointed at your face. It is a day to enjoy the warmer weather and some quality time with those you love. Let us try to put the phrase “Bura na maano Holi hai” into perspective and allow ourselves and others to enjoy the festival as we/they want to.
Acid peels do sound scary, but let me tell you, once you get hooked on acid exfoliation and see the results, you will be addicted for life! I started dabbling with mild acid peels and acid toners in 2017 and wanted to amp up my game in the new year, The Ordinary AHA+BHA Peeling Solution seemed like the best man for the job. This chemical peel has 30% AHA and 2% BHA that make it a pretty potent exfoliator, just what my skin needs at the moment.
Although the formula sounds a bit intimidating, I wasn’t very afraid of using the product because The Ordinary is one of the most trusted skincare brands in the world. Also, the colour of the formula is a deep beetroot red, but look beyond the scary shade and your skin will thank you later. The product comes in the form of a semi-viscous liquid which is meant to be used as a face mask for no longer than 10 minutes. Within these ten minutes, it provides deep exfoliation and leaves the skin looking glowy and smooth. While I have a bunch of products in my skincare stash that provide instant brightening, this one stands out because it also improves the texture of my skin, and managed to reduce the tiny bumps that I tend to get on my chin and nose with just one use. It makes my skin look more youthful, healthy, and well rested, something that every woman on the wrong side of 25 needs in her life 😛
I also love the apothecary style bottle that comes with a dropper that makes the product so easy to use. It makes me feel as if I am running a quirky science experiment on my own skin, which is kind of fun. A few words of caution though – if you are someone who has never tried acid exfoliation till date then this is probably not the best product to begin with because it is too strong. You may want to try out a milder acid based product first. Secondly, ALWAYS do a patch test on your elbow before you put something new on your face, especially if it is such a strong formula. Thirdly, acid exfoliation leaves the skin way more sensitive to the sun than usual, therefore, using a strong sunscreen every day is an absolute must once you start using acid based products. Lastly, I wouldn’t recommend this product to those with sensitive skin, because although it does not burn or irritate the skin, it does tingle a little bit. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, it is best to use this product only once or twice a month.
While this product is one I would definitely recommend, The Ordinary products are not so easy to get your hands on in India and their website charges insane amounts for shipping. I got mine from an Instagram store called imported_makeup that sells original products and I got the bottle for INR 1200, which seems like a good price for the product. So if you are in the mood for brighter, clearer, smoother skin this year then do give this baby a shot!
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that the Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water is now available in India, with the bubbly Alia Bhatt swiping off a full face of makeup with a single cotton pad in the television adverts. What this means is that the years of hunting for Instagram sellers that stock this product, begging your NRI friends to lug it back for you each Diwali, and of hoping that the guys at Customs go easy on you when you purchase it from an Internation website are finally over. Also, priced at INR 349 for a huge 400ml bottle, this product comes as a relief for all those who have been splurging on the expensive but tiny Bioderma bottles. Now I am someone who found her perfect makeup remover in Bioderma, particularly because it does not sting my sensitive eyes at all, therefore I was a little wary of trying out something new, but the excellent price point got to me. So here are my thoughts on how this product fares.
This micellar water looks exactly like clear water, similar to Bioderma, and lucky for me, it is extremely gentle on the skin and the eyes. It does not sting my eyes at all while removing my mascara. I feel that in the makeup removal department, it is a tiny bit behind Bioderma, as I have to work a little bit more with this product to get rid of all my makeup. Also, Bioderma works way better on waterproof mascara and liquid lipsticks than this variant, so you may want to pick the Argan Oil variant of this product if you wear waterproof makeup on a regular basis. However, for your standard foundations and kajals, as well as for non-waterproof lipsticks and mascaras, it does a pretty good job, with only slightly more gentle rubbing needed than with Bioderma.
Overall, I would say that this product or its argan oil cousin can be an affordable alternative for Bioderma but make sure to choose the right variant based on your skin type and the kind of makeup you use. Also, although most micellar waters claim that they don’t need to be washed off, I would still recommend using a cleanser after going in with a cotton pad soaked in the product. Trust me, you can never clean your skin enough, but this is definitely a great first step to achieving clear skin!
In the cold weather, my skin literally becomes thirsty for moisture. I can feel the dryness and stretchiness if I do not pamper my face a little bit extra with hydrating creams and face masks. I recently received the Medicos-V Aqua Blue Water Bank Essential Mask from Skin18.com as a part of their blogger collaboration program and this provided a much-needed drink of moisture to my skin.
This cellulose mask is a sheet mask that fits really well on the face and provides some much needed hydration to the skin. One of the primary ingredients of the serum that the mask is drenched in is Hyaluronic Acid, which is famous for providing suppleness and hydration to the skin, making it plump and more youthful. It also contains Adenosine that helps with firming the skin and preventing wrinkles.
The mask is extremely cooling on the skin and provides immediate relief to dehydrated or irritated skin. I left it on my face for around 15 minutes and it felt like I had immersed my face in a pool of soothing water. Upon removing the mask, quite a lot of the serum was left behind on my face which I massaged into my skin. My face looked visibly rejuvenated, and my skin felt baby soft and plump, something that is hard for me to achieve in winter.
This sheet mask is priced at $2.50 but is currently available at $1.80 on skin18.com. If sheet masks are your thing then this sheet mask is a must-have for the colder months for you. Do give it a shot and I promise you that your skin will stay healthy and bouncy all through the chilly season.
Happy Navami! Today’s colour is purple, so here is my purple makeup look for the day. This look may not be very wearable but during the festival season, the brighter the better! So here are some pictures, I hope you like them!
With this, I end my series on the colours of Navratri. I hope that you liked these looks and got some makeup inspiration for the ongoing festive season. Hope you have a fabulous Navami today and an amazing Dussehra tomorrow! I will be back soon with more makeup looks and product reviews 🙂
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen my Independence Day Makeup look, but in case you haven’t, here is a flashback just for you! Although the Indian Independence Day is celebrated on 15th August, we must be patriotic each day and celebrate our freedom throughout the year right? So here are a few pictures of my Independence Day look which is inspired by the three colors of the Indian flag – Saffron, White, and Green.
Have you ever created a makeup look inspired by the flag of your country? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂
This post may not be useful for a majority of the readers but I thought that my non-Indian friends can read it to learn more about the Indian culture! Today I will talk about the Coloressence Aqua Sindoor – for those of you who are not aware, sindoor is a red colored pigment that some married women in India wear on their forehead as shown in the picture below.
Traditionally, sindoor is a red colored powder made using a combination of herbs, but in the modern times, most women prefer a liquid version because it is more convenient to use and easier to travel with. There are several brands of liquid sindoor available in the market but the only one I trust completely is the Coloressence Aqua Sindoor. This product comes in two shades, Red and Maroon, but I feel that the vibrant red goes better with my skin tone.
What I love about this product is that it does not dry up over time. My last bottle performed as well after a year as it did when I had freshly purchased it. I also love the doe foot applicator that helps with precise application and of course, the super opaque, bright red pigment. The packaging states that the product contains turmeric and sandalwood which are supposed to cool the skin and I do feel a slight cooling sensation when I apply it on my forehead.
This product has excellent longevity and does not budge all day long unless exposed to water. It is perfect for the working women who need a fuss free and long lasting liquid sindoor. Also, it is priced at INR 105 for 6ml of product which will last you for 6 months at the very least. This product comes highly recommended from my end and I would encourage all new brides who are not aware of sindoor brands to give Coloressence a chance!
I hope that this review was helpful. You can buy the Coloressence Aqua Sindoor in the shade Red from this link.
I feel that at the rate at which I use up my skincare products, I will have tried all the mattifying moisturizers that exist in the world soon enough. Although this may seem like a huge exaggeration, I am a fan of switching up my skincare and rarely ever buy the same product twice in a row. This is why when I exhausted my supply of The Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion and Lacto Calamine, I purchased the Plum Green Tea Mattifying Moisturizer. This product is paraben-free, SLS-free, phthalates-free and contains green tea extracts and glycolic acid, which are excellent ingredients for oily, acne-prone skin. Lately, I have been using this product on a daily basis, and here are my thoughts on its performance.
This light-weight moisturizer comes in a sleek white bottle with a handy pump. The texture of the formula is quite liquidy and the scent is incredibly refreshing, something that helps with waking me up in the morning. You only need a few drops of this product to cover the entire face and neck and the product literally sinks into the skin instantly. It mattifies my face without any tingling sensation or stretchy feeling on my skin. The formula is very gentle and is perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Although the product does a great job at mattifying my skin, my T-zone does end up producing more oil after a couple of hours. While the rest of my face remains non-shiny, my nose does look a little greasy on close inspection. Bear in mind that my face is literally as oily as a frying pan during the Monsoon season, so if you do not have extremely oily skin, the matte effect may last much longer on your face. I do love that this moisturizer is gentle and light weight but for the humid weather, I feel that the tea tree lotion from The Body Shop is more effective.
A 50ml bottle of this product is priced at INR 450, which is much cheaper than the variant from The Body Shop and the reason why I will definitely recommend this product to those who have fairly oily skin but nothing too extreme. Personally, I would whip this one out during fall/winter, when my skin does not produce oil like crazy and needs a bit more hydration. This is a great product for the price and will certainly help those who want a relatively gentle mattifying action.
I hope that this review was helpful. You can buy the Plum Green Tea Mattifying Moisturizer here.
For a makeup lover, very few things in life come close to the joy of hitting pan on a product, and when the momentous occasion arrives, you have to blog about it! I hit pan on my Rimmel Match Perfection Cream Compact Foundation in the shade 303 True Nude several months ago, but it still continues to be one of my favorite foundations for my travel makeup bag. When you are traveling, you want a foundation with a leakproof and compact packaging that also provides a good coverage and some sun protection. This gem of a foundation from Rimmel checks all the boxes and, therefore, is a handbag essential for me.
I am not a huge fan of powder compacts because they tend to make my skin look extremely cakey, which is why I was on the hunt for a cream based compact when I stumbled upon the Rimmel Match Perfection Cream Compact Foundation. This foundation is incredibly creamy and blendable and provides light to medium coverage depending on how much you build it up. The shade True Nude is the darkest of the three shades available in India and has a warm, peachy beige undertone. Unfortunately, if you are more than 2 shades darker than me, you will not be able to find a good match for your complexion in India although the brand has released different shades in some other countries.
The foundation comes with a square shaped sponge applicator which does an average job at blending the product on the skin but personally, I prefer using my fingers for getting the job done. The formula is light weight despite providing decent coverage but because it is not a matte finish, it lasts on the face for a maximum of 4-5 hours after which it starts creasing and fading. Reapplication, however, is very easy with this product because it almost has the consistency of a solid concealer, and can, therefore, be applied only to the patches where the foundation has begun to wear off. To assist with the touch ups, the compact contains a mirror that is of excellent quality and is perfect for checking your makeup throughout the day. To top it all, the formula also contains SPF15, which provides light sun protection in case you forget to apply sunscreen.
This product is priced at INR 765 for 7gms of foundation but trust me, it will last you for a really long time. Qualitywise, I feel that Rimmel foundations perform as well as the ones from Loreal that are priced at around twice the amount of money. If you find carrying liquid foundations or concealers in your bag a messy hassle or simply do not like liquid face products then I am sure that you will love the Rimmel Match Perfect Cream Compact Foundation. If only I could find darker shades of this product, I would use them for contouring too! I feel that this foundation is one of the less raved about products on social media although it deserves tons of praise. Hopefully, this blog post will correct the situation to a certain extent.
I hope that this review was helpful. You can buy the Rimmel Match Perfection Cream Compact Foundation here.
P.S. – Do you like the new theme of the blog? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi guys! I am here today to add some positivity to a gloomy Monday with the much-awaited review of the June ZoBag. I know that it is already the second week of July but I received this bag towards the end of last month and wanted to thoroughly test the products before writing my verdict. For those of you who are not aware of ZoBag, it is a monthly subscription bag that provides 5 full-sized beauty/skincare products at an extremely affordable price of INR 499. The theme of the June ZoBag is Summer Retreat, and true to its name, it carries 5 skincare products that help reverse the signs of sun damage and offer a glowing, healthy skin in the harsh summer months. So without much ado, here is the detailed overview of the contents of the bag.
1. Biotique Bio Papaya Revitalizing Tan Removal Scrub – The first product that I will talk about today is the Biotique Bio Papaya Tan Removal Scrub. This wonderful scrub has a delicious, fruity fragrance and a thick creamy consistency with rough granules that are perfect for the removal of dead skin. This scrub is on the grittier side of the spectrum and may not be suitable for extremely sensitive skin, however, it works wonders on my skin and leaves it looking much brighter and buttery soft! Regular usage of this product visibly improves the texture of the skin making it more vibrant and smooth. Therefore, this is the perfect scrub for those who prefer a strong exfoliating action.
2. MCaffeine Sea Fern Sunscreen – When it comes to a summer retreat, one product that always comes to mind is a sunscreen, and the MCaffeine Sea Fern Sunscreen is an interesting new sunscreen lotion on the block. It combines the antioxidant properties of caffeine with the soothing touch of calendula and the nourishment of argan oil, to create a sunscreen lotion that can double up as a moisturizer. This product gets soaked into the skin really quickly and leaves behind a fresh scent. It contains SPF 30 which is ideal for daily use in the summer months. The only downside of this sunscreen is that it is not waterproof and needs to be reapplied every 2 hours and it also leaves behind a slight white cast. An honorable mention goes to the pump based packaging with a plastic lock that is extremely handy for preventing leakage while throwing this product into a suitcase.
3. Votre After Sun Mist – Votre is a skincare brand that I have trusted for a long time and therefore I was overjoyed to receive the Votre After Sun Mist in the June ZoBag. Facial mists are excellent at refreshing sunburnt skin throughout the day and this particular product has an amazing cooling action. It contains the extracts of Honeysuckle, Noni Fruit, Grapeseed, and Amla that moisturize and heal the skin to repair the damage caused by sunlight. The size and packaging of this face mist are perfect for the handbag and this is one product I never step out of the house without these days. One word of caution is that it does spray out quite a large amount of product in one go, so use a gentle hand and spray the product from a distance for even coverage of the face.
4. Krishkare Skin Repair Gel – Everyone is aware of the cooling and hydrating properties of aloe vera, which make it an essential part of a summer skincare routine. The Krishkare Skin Repair Gel combines aloe vera gel with cucumber extracts to create the perfect concoction for summer. This gel has a sweet, herbal scent and needs to massaged on the skin post-cleansing for maximum benefits. You need to apply it in a circular motion to the face and massage it in so that the ingredients get absorbed into the skin, then rinse off the excess to achieve visibly brighter and supple skin. This product comes with antioxidant and antibacterial properties that reduce acne while cooling sun damaged skin. However, it contains parabens in the list of ingredients which may not be preferred by some.
5. Krishkare Hydrate Sheet Mask – Last but not the least is a product without which any skincare subscription bag would be incomplete – a sheet mask! The June ZoBag contains the Krishkare Hydrate Sheet Mask which is paraben-free (Yay!) and contains coconut jelly and natural cellulose that help to hydrate the skin while making it more supple. This sheet mask has an instant cooling effect on the skin and also claims to get rid of a tan. I did not have a tan when I used the product so I cannot really vouch for the tan removal properties but this sheet mask definitely relaxed my skin and left it feeling energized and refreshed. The perfect way to pamper yourself after a hectic day in the summer sun!
Believe it or not, the June ZoBag contains products worth INR 1600 and you can make them yours at an extremely affordable price of INR 499! Additionally, the bag in itself has a pretty floral design and enough room to pack in a ton of beauty products! I am thoroughly satisfied with what I received and I genuinely feel that ZoBag is one of the best beauty subscription bags in India at the moment because it provides excellent value for money. Not one product is a dud or a filler product, which is what makes ZoBag stand apart from the rest. I am eagerly looking forward to this month’s bag and ZoBag has definitely found a loyal customer in me!
P.S. – You can check out more details about the June ZoBag by clicking on this link.