Wednesday, 24 August 2016

My Current Skin Care Routine!

clean and clear lemon, atopia cream, vichy thermal spa water, plum face masks, plum aloe moisturizer, QV Body lotion, the face shop sheet mask, la shield suncreen gel, votre serum

I cannot stress enough upon how crazy important it is to have a skin care routine! I know 'cuz if I skip mine for more than a day, pesky acne pop up to remind me of my negligence.

You don't really need to have an elaborate regimen consisting of products that wreck your wallet. On the contrary, a lot of dermatologists believe that you must keep it as simple as possible for your face to breath. What's more important is that you be extremely regular about using them to yield your desired skin. 
Okay, so I don't use ALL the products in the picture punctually. I mean I try my best to, but more often than not my laziness gets the better of me. However, I make sure I at least cleanse, moisturize and spritz thermal water. For my night time routine, I just use a cleanser and moisturizer.

Here're the details of every product in my skin care routine in the order I use them:

Daily

1. Cleanser: Just Herbs Silksplash Neem-Orange Rehydrant Face Wash (OR) Clean & Clear Morning Energy Skin Brightening Daily Facial Wash with Lemon and Papaya Extracts
I use either of the two face washes depending on my mood. The former one is really gentle on my skin and it's great when I am going through a bad breakout. Clean & Clear is pretty effective in eliminating dullness after a long day out. However, it can be a little drying on the skin.

2. Serum: Votre Face Serum
I started using serums recently and it has considerably improved the texture of my skin. They're light and fast-absorbing, imbuing an innate sheen on your face. If you're above 20, I definitely recommend you incorporate a serum at least every other day.
I usually apply it on my damp skin and wait around 15 secs before moving on to the next step.

3. Moisturizer: Atopia Cream (OR) Plum Hello Aloe Caring Day Moisturizer
I use Plum Aloe during day time as it gives me a matte yet hydrated texture and Atopia Cream at night, waking up to a radiant and soft skin.

4. Spa Water: Vichy Eau Thermale Spa Water
Spraying spa water is essential to lock-in the goodness of everything you just applied. Vichy Thermal Water refreshes my skin and also calms down my redness!

5. Sunscreen: La Shield Sunscreen Gel SPF 40 (PA + + + Broad-Spectrum UVA/UVB)
This sunscreen is my life. I am not kidding. I could write poems on it and how it transformed my skin when it had horrible sunburns following a camp. La Shield is creamy in color so it does not leave a white cast on your face and it gets absorbed into your skin in a few secs. My dermatologist prescribed it to me and I cannot thank her enough for that. It's oil-free, non-comedogenic and water resistant. If you were to blindly take two skincare recommendations from me, it'd be La Shield Sunscreen Gel and Atopia Cream. My ultimate HG stuff!





6. Lip balm: Maybelline Baby Lips & Organic Harvest
I don't have a fixed lip balm which I use daily. In fact, I don't even remember how many I have at the moment as every time I go out, I have to purchase a new one #LipBalmAddict. These are the ones I managed to find on the top of my dresser.

7. Body Lotion: QV Skin Lotion
QV Lotion is manufactured by an Australian pharmaceutical company, EGO. The lotion is fragrance-free and of perfect consistency to replenish my dry skin. That being said, I am sure people of all skin types will also find it suitable to use on a daily basis. 


WEEKLY

1. Cleanser: Same as mentioned earlier

2. Scrub: For some reason, commercial scrubs NEVER suited me. I've attempted a myriad of them, however always ended up with flakiness. So I tried this DIY scrub a year ago and never looked back! It's simple and makes your skin glowing and baby soft in a matter of 30 secs. All you need are:
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1.5 tbsp Sugar
  • Half tbsp Olive/Coconut Oil
I gently scrub this paste on my face and lips for about 30-50 secs and wash off with lukewarm water. You cannot resist creepily touching your face for the next two days, I promise!

3. Face Mask: 

I love experimenting with face masks the most, so I keep changing them every once in a while. Aforementioned are the ones I currently enjoy using. I apply any one of the masks on my damp skin, extending to the neck, and keep it on for around 20 mins.

4. Vichy Eau Thermale Spa Water: I spray the spa water on my face after washing off the mask to enhance their benefits.


So that was my daily & weekly skin care routine! Lemme know yours!



Saturday, 20 August 2016

5 New T.V Series You Must Binge-Watch This Year!

penny, meme, funny, t.v series, best shows, five top, the big bang theory

2016 has already proven to be mighty eventful for T.V lovers. While shows like Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory have redeemed themselves for rather lackluster seasons they disgorged the previous year, we were treated to a sweep of series that either premiered recently or strongly marched on to season 2! Each of the series manifests a blend of path-breaking yet somewhere tangible attributes that set them apart from the past T.V norms. 

Among the welter of shows I've watched this year, these are the 5 best you must absolutely be binge-watching now! They are sassy and content-driven, with strong women lead and some run by people close to home. Watch them now, thank me later.

5. UnReal

unreal, lifetime, best series 2016, binge-watch, feminist, women lead, reality t.v
Image Courtesy: Lifetime
If there's one thing the millennial generation will forever be known for, it'd be the swarming reality shows invading our sense of privacy and intelligence. But have you ever wondered what happens behind-the-camera of such shows? When Ranvijay isn't spewing forced profanity or Sunny slipping out of her facade of "true love" and "connections"?

Well, UnReal is the answer for you! It dishes out all the dirt and scandals that transpire when the camera goes off and the lengths producers can go to boost their T.V ratings. The series revolves around a troubled producer, Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Abbleby) and her boss Quinn King (Constance Zimmer), chronicling how they transgress integrity and conscience for the sake of their dating reality show, Everlasting.

You are gonna LOVE Zimmer as the calculating showrunner and the complicated friendship she shares with Rachel. Co-starring: Craig Bierko, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Josh Kelly.

UnReal has just completed its season 2, which is about the first black suitor in the history of Everlasting. It also touches issues like racism, child rape and sexuality.

Watch the trailer HERE

4. Permanent Roommates

tvf play, permanent roommates, best series 2016, season 2, tankesh, webseries
Image Courtesy: TVF Play
Everyone who lives in India and has an access to Youtube would definitely know about TVF's The Permanent Roommates! They've redefined the Indian viewership with its story about a regular couple, Tanya and Mikesh (Nidhi Singh and Sumeet Vyas), who despite being poles apart from each other, are trying to make their live-in relationship work out. This is a huge deal as pre-marital relationships are still considered a taboo in our society.

After the viral success of their first season, "Tankesh" (Tanya+Mikesh) are back and ready to take their roller coaster ride to another level. There's a lot of laughter and even more crying involved as choices are made and hopes, shattered.


We meet the parents and learn their eccentricities, which might have influenced the way Tanya and Mikesh are right now. Look out for some of the finest guest appearances by Asrani, Divyendu Sharma (Pyaar ka Punchnama), Pradhuman Singh (Tere Bin Laden) and Manu Rishi.

Watch the trailer HERE





3. Jessica Jones

jessica jones, netflix, best series, 5, t.v shows, women lead
Image Courtesy: Netflix
Jessica Jones is one of the most bad-ass characters I've watched! I am normally not into superhero-comic-kinda stuff, but this series is super intriguing and has proportionate elements of violence, thrill and emotions. Be wary though, it's pretty dark.

The show follows the life of a former superhero(-ine?) turned black hooded personal investigator, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), who is struggling to experience normalcy after a tragic past unleashed by a mind-controller villain, Kilgrave (David Tennant). We get to see how being a superhero isn't exactly a "gift" and that more often than not the lives of people we love are also sabotaged on the path to justice.

I love the brilliant noir tone of this series, which further facilitates in creating tension and keeping us at the edge of our seats. Considering the acclaim Jessica Jones received, Netflix is producing a brand new show with one of the lead characters, Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who also happens to be Jones' love interest.

Watch the trailer HERE


2. Master of None

master of none, best series, binge-watch, indian, netflix and chill
Image Courtesy: Netflix
Netflix is going all out to give its audience a sterling array of shows and exposing them to various (non-white) cultures. Master of None is one such example. It stars Aziz Ansari as Dev Shah, a struggling actor who has a strong panache for choosing his present on the basis of fantasizing his future. He feels like he's stuck in a place with nothing to offer while his other friends seem to be progressing in their lives. Another underlying theme is the gross (mis)representation of Indians in American mainstream media.

The relationship between Dev Shah and his girlfriend Rachel (Noel Wells) is the highlight of the series. It's awkward and super-relatable! From deciding who should clean up the mess to who should be dominant in bed, all their scenes will make you go aww at them.

Master of None also stars a hilarious ensemble cast of Eric Wareheim, Kelvin Yu and Lena Waithe. Aziz's real life parents also play his adorable on-screen mom and dad.

Watch the trailer HERE

1. Stranger Things 

netflix, stranger things, best series, t.v show, retro, adorable hug, group hug, sci-fi
Image Courtesy: Netflix

I was absolutely certain that no T.V show would excite me, or even come close, as Game of Thrones does. But, well, Netflix's Stranger Things proved me wrong! It's an exquisite fusion of nostalgia, horror, comedy and ze feels. 

The series is about a fictitious town of Hawkins in Indiana. People there are really jolly and everybody knows everybody. That is, till kids start mysteriously disappearing and the mantle of solving these cases is given to the charming Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour). A lot of human atrocities conducted in Hawkins Laboratory is unveiled during this process and a young girl with psychokinetic abilities escapes from there. She is called 011 or El (Millie Brown) and has a limited vocabulary. A group of kids (named Mike, Dustin and Lucas) in search of their missing friend, Will, chance upon her and they all become friends. That's your story.

Not really, though. There's so much more that can be experienced only by watching this crazy, crazy good of a show! Seriously, 10/10. You won't regret binge-watching Stranger Things and weeping afterwards once it gets over.

Watch the trailer HERE


That's my list of new T.V shows I love! Let me know yours in the comments below!


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Indian Drugstore Mascaras: My Top 3!

mascaras, mascara, top 3, top three, indian, drugstore, maybelline, l'oreal

I learned applying mascara the last out of all cosmetics. I'd either poke the wand into my eye or accidentally slather the mascara across my nose. And the weary task of removing it without looking like a raccoon got me even more meh...

mascara, funny, meme, beauty, love, raccoon
Image Courtesy: Know Your Meme
However, I earnestly began watching crazy amounts of mascara tutorials on my quest to look a lil more feminine (ahem) around 2 years ago and, holy moly, never looked back. The right technique transformed my appearance in a matter of few strokes and accentuated my eyes like no body's business. I don't even need to put anything else now (except, perhaps a lip balm), to look presentable around people. Getting it off the lashes is also much simpler courtesy, Micellar water!

I loouve u, mascaras. Sorry for neglecting you all my life, bae.

To celebrate my love for them, I've compiled a list of the three best drugstore mascaras I simply cannot do without! Here are they:

  • Maybelline Hypercurl Volum' Express Mascara
maybelline hypercurl volum' express mascara, swatch, waterproof

This rings immense nostalgia as Maybelline Hypercurl Volum' Express was the first mascara I ever purchased. I remember awkwardly confessing to the SA that I knew nothing about makeup on being asked which type of mascara I was looking for. On requesting her to suggest me something no-fuss and easy to apply, she handed out this adorable thing. 





Hypercurl Volum' Express is pretty affordable and perfect for beginners/daily use. My eyelashes look really nice and curled up after applying about 2 coats. It stays on for a decent time (say, 4 hours?) after which your lashes start to droop. The major drawback is that it could lead to a few clumps if you aren't careful.

Price: Rs. 325 ($5)

  • The Falsies Volum' Express Mascara 
maybelline the falsies volum' express mascara, top three indian drugstore, sensitive eyes

I get really dark and full lashes after applying this mascara! Can't say much about the falsies claim, but it's still really, really good! It lasts for good 9 to 5 on me without irritating my eyes, so a great choice for sensitive eyes too. The only deterrent factor is the wand: it's sorta wobbly, consequently lending a less-than-neat finish during a rush. Apart from that, I think you should definitely give The Falsies Volum' Express Mascara a try!

Price: Rs. 500 ($8)

  • L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes
loreal million lashes mascara, swatch indian drugstore top 3

I actually got asked by people if I was wearing falsies with this one! Seriously one of the best lengthening mascaras I've tried. It beautifully imbues individual volume and darkness to my lashes. The packaging is classy and the wand is sturdy and easy to work with. I really have no complaints with it except that a few people might find an issue with it not being waterproof. Can totally live with that hitch. L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes is on a higher side of the drugstore range, but it's worth it. "You're worth it". B-)

Price: Rs. 895 ($14)

Tell me your favorite drugstore mascaras in the comments below!



Monday, 8 August 2016

Review: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

garnier micellar water, all skin types, sensitive, gentle





Micellar waters have revolutionized the skincare game ever since the goddess of makeup, aka, Lisa Eldrige featured Bioderma Sensibio H2O in one of her favorite videos. She found it extremely convenient and satisfactory to remove her makeup with them and that sort of triggered almost every brand to launch their own version of this magical cleansing water.

Let's see why micellar water is such a big deal in the first place!

Micellar water is basically made up of "micelles", which are tiny globules of cleansing oil molecules suspended in soft water. They draw out impurities without disturbing the natural oil balance on the facial skin. This makes them really great for all skin types finding an alternative to conventional hard water to wash their face with. 

micellar water, brands, best, top micellar water, bioderma, garnier, la roche posay, nivea, simple
Image Courtesy: Cosmopolitan UK


Here's my review on Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for All Skin Types!

Claims: "This all-in-1 cleanser is surprisingly powerful yet gentle to skin. It effectively removes makeup, cleanses skin and refreshes. A multi-purpose cleanser that contains Micellar technology. Like a magnet, micelles capture and lift away dirt, oil and makeup without harsh rubbing, leaving skin perfectly clean, hydrated and refreshed without over-drying."

Price: SAR 27 (approx. 485 INR)

Quantity: 400 ml (200 uses)

Packaging: Plastic bottle with a pink cap (eerily similar to the Bioderma one)

micellar water, garnier micellar cleansing water, packaging, sturdy, price, bioderma

My Experience:
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water removed my facial makeup in two swipes and the mascara in roughly three. I've used the Bioderma Sensibio Water earlier and it takes just three swipes to remove the whole makeup. So yes, you need a lil more quantity with Garnier. But it does its job pretty well in effectively cleansing your face without any irritation or dryness and leaves a calming sensation post-usage. The bottle is huge and sturdy! It'll last me really long as I don't wear makeup on a regular basis.
swatch, garnier micellar cleansing water, lipstick, top micellar water
Took roughly two swipes to erase the swatches.
I've used it in place of my regular face wash once and I can safely say it thoroughly detoxes your facial skin in an extremely gentle manner. 
I think this is the closest you can get to the original Bioderma water without shelling out too much money.

Pros:
  • Sturdy Packaging
  • Removes makeup effectively
  • Gentle on skin
  • Alcohol free
  • Leaves skin soft and moisturized
  • Did not break me out
  • Great quantity
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • The size of the bottle makes it inconvenient to travel with 
Ratings: 4.8/5

Final Verdict: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is a great budget-friendly pick. It cleanses your skin and removes makeup without any hassle. Totally recommended to everyone; from acne-prone and oily skin to dry and sensitive. 






Thursday, 4 August 2016

Review: The Face Shop Real Nature Mask in Red Ginseng

the face shop real nature in red ginseng

Wednesday's my skin pamper day! So today I tried out the first mask from The Face Shop Real Nature in Red Ginseng out of the five I got earlier. Why ginseng you ask? 'cuz they are widely venerated for healing rough, tired and inflamed skin!

To commence my pampering session, I grab a cup of green tea and put on the sheet mask while watching Master of None. Read on to find how this Real Nature mask fared for me.

the face shop red ginseng, real nature, sheet mask, green tea

Claims: "A highly nourishing & energizing mask sheet containing extract of Korean red ginseng rich in saponin, a supplement to take care for tired skin."





Directions: "Unfold the mask and carefully place it on your freshly cleansed face, avoiding the eye and mouth contours. Remove after 10-12 minutes and tap gently on skin until the serum is completely absorbed."


sheet mask, the face shop, red ginseng, brown sheet

All the infographics are in Korean hence I couldn't get a hang of them. The mask is pale brown, you know, the color of ginseng.

Price: 15 SAR (approx. 270 INR)

My Experience: First off, I'd like to point out that the size of this sheet mask is REALLY large! It overlapped my lips in a weird fashion and barely covered my nose. So you gotta do some adjusting there before you can comfortably sit and relax with your hot cup of tea.  

Moving on to the fragrance, it's kinda strong but in a refreshing way. I like it.
Your face instantly feels cool while the serum seeps into your skin. I like the fact that the mask is drenched in serum. I know many of you might not be fond of the overflowing liquid, but 'cuz of the crazy number of red ginseng benefits, I was like the more the better. I simply massage the left-over serum on my acne scars after taking off the mask.

It leaves a subtle glow on my face and the redness looks a lot less prominent. My dryness around the lips subsided too. However, the brown-ish color of the sheet leaves a light stain on your face. So you might wanna keep a wet wipe ready post usage. 

over flowing serum, red ginseng, face mask, sheet mask, red ginseng
Yes, that's how much is left even after thoroughly massaging the rest into my skin!


Pros
  • Lovely packaging
  • Affordable
  • Refreshing fragrance
  • Generous serum quantity
  • Heals dry patches
  • Leaves skin glowing
  • Diminishes redness
Cons
  • Size of the sheet mask!
  • Leaves a light stain
  • Contains parabens
Ratings: 3.9/5 

Final Verdict: The Face Shop Real Nature Mask in Red Ginseng stands true to its claims in nourishing and energizing your skin. Minus the bummer size, this sheet mask is definitely worth trying!

For some extra beauty G.K, here's some basic benefits of Ginseng:
red ginseng, benefits, beautyloveandotherstuff, najah sameen
Image Courtesy: Nutra Ingredients-USA

  • Evens out the skin tone
  • Contains anti-aging properties due to the presence of phytonutrients
  • Revitalizes tired skin
  • High anti-inflammatory features
  • Helps in collagen synthesis
  • Reduces hair loss
  • Aids in strengthening the immune system 





Monday, 1 August 2016

Mini-Haul: The Face Shop Real Nature Masks! (Olive, Mung Bean, Red Ginseng, Chia Seed and Green Tea)


So the other day I was kinda window shopping when I came across this South Korean brand called The Face Shop. And 'cuz we all know just how absolutely radiant and clear the skin of South Korean women are, I thought I should definitely try some of their products.

The first thing that caught my attention were the array of brightly packaged Real Nature Masks! You could literally name any super-food and have a mask derived from it there.

I honestly wanted to pick as many masks as my hands could accommodate, but 'cuz it was my first tryst with The Face Shop, I decided to buy the ones gleaned from stuff  for dry skin.

the face shop, real nature masks, Olive, Mung beans, green tea, chia seeds, red ginseng
  • Olive 
The Olive mask claims to be moisturizing and nourishing, helping smoothen dry and rough skin. This one should hopefully help me combat dryness!

  • Mung Bean
A clarifying mask which basically promises to purify pores and lend a smooth skin texture. I don't really have pore issues, but Mung Beans (Moong) is also known for its cooling and detox properties so I thought of giving it a try.





  • Red Ginseng
Red Ginseng is extremely popular for revitalizing dull and tired skin, so I am hoping this mask would come in handy on an exhausting day.

  • Chia Seed
This variant contains gel-type essence containing chia seed extract, which apparently has 10 times more moisture than any other element. It claims to "fill up your skin with water from the inside and transform it into moisturized skin".

  • Green Tea
The green tea mask is for those looking for hydrating and energizing their skin.


I am absolutely excited to try out these The Face Shop Real Nature masks! Watch out this space for full reviews if you are too!