Lakme Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse 16Hr – Review and Swatches

What is this futuristic looking ball of gunmetal? This shiny object, my friends, is the Lakme Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse that claims to last on the skin for up to 16 hours. But does it really? Unfortunately, no. However, it does have some redeeming features, along with a few more cons, which I shall be discussing in today’s review. So, here we go.

Lakme Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse Review

Although my pack has cracked with age, the formula still has a whipped consistency that spreads on the skin like butter. It provides a sheer coverage and has a slightly matte finish. It is not very hydrating and may settle around blemishes or big pores, which is one of the major issues that I have with this product. However, it is very light weight and comfortable to wear and does provide a natural, my skin but better look, for daily wear. The longevity is not too great though, and the foundation does not last on my skin for more than 4 hours, at which point it already settles in my pores, exaggerating them in an unflattering manner.

Lakme Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse Swatches

I am the shade 03 Golden Medium in this range. The color may seem a bit too orange in the packaging but the coverage is so sheer that it provides the right yellowish peachy undertone on the skin once blended. The range has 6 different shades and Lakme has done a good job at including pink, yellow, peachy, and neutral undertones in the collection that will cater to a majority of Indian skin tones. The pigmentation is not as intense as it seems in the packaging and I would not recommend building up the coverage by layering the product because it may end up looking cakey. Also, those with an aversion to strong scents may not like the perfumy smell of this one that tends to linger on the face for some time.

Lakme Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse Swatches

The best way to describe this product is as a BB cream with a matte finish that has the consistency of a mousse, because neither the wear time nor the coverage of this product is similar to that of a foundation. If you have fairly good skin, to begin with, and just need a little something to mattify the face while creating a slightly blurred effect then this product will work for you. However, if you have blemished skin that needs more coverage then I will not recommend this product. Also, the packaging seems a bit gimmicky to me and unhygienic too because you need to dip your fingers in to scoop out the product. The price tag of INR 700 for 25gms of the product is also a little steep, which means that personally, I won’t be repurchasing this foundation any time soon.

I hope that this review was useful. You can buy the Lakme Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse here.

Does Hibiscus Really Help With Hair Fall? – My Experience

The powder of the hibiscus flower is claimed to be extremely potent at fighting hair fall. It is an ingredient of various traditional hair mask recipes and hundreds of Indian women swear by its efficacy. I too decided to test out hibiscus powder to help me with my hair fall issues and here is a brief account of my experience so far.

Indus Valley 100% Organic Hibiscus Powder Review

I was meaning to purchase the hibiscus powder from Banjaras because several bloggers that I trust recommended it, however, I wasn’t able to find it in stock on any website, which is why I settled for the Indus Valley 100% Organic Hibiscus Powder instead. This powder claims to be 100% natural and comes in a 100gm plastic pouch. I am not a huge fan of the packaging because you need to transfer the contents to an air tight jar once you open the packet. I like my products to be low-maintenance, which is why this extra step irks me 😛

Indus Valley 100% Organic Hibiscus Powder Review

This powder has a slightly grainy texture and is brown in color when dry. It does not have a strong scent, just a faint herbal smell. This means that the brand has not added any artificial chemicals to this product, which is always a huge plus. There are several hair mask recipes available online but I went for the simplest one i.e. hibiscus powder, coconut oil, and water.

Indus Valley 100% Organic Hibiscus Powder Review

On the addition of coconut oil, the powder turns reddish in color. I tried to add enough oil and water to get a smooth paste like consistency. Once the paste was ready, I applied it throughout the lengths of my hair, trying to massage it into my scalp as well. This process might get a bit messy, so take the necessary precautions.

Indus Valley 100% Organic Hibiscus Powder Review

I allowed my hair to absorb the nutrients for around half an hour and then proceeded to wash them with my regular shampoo and conditioner. I faced a little difficulty in rinsing off all the tiny grains of powder from my long strands (perhaps I need to look for a more finely milled powder?) but the results of all the efforts were clearly visible once my hair was dry. My hair felt softer than usual and also looked healthier and shinier. As for the hair loss, after using the mask 2-3 times, I noticed a very slight improvement in my hair fall. Perhaps using it regularly will help eliminate the breakage of hair completely, but as of now, I am happy with my healthy looking mane.

I plan to report back after a few more weeks with my full-fledged hair care routine. Hopefully, by then, I will be able to give you a more thorough review of all the products that I have been using recently. Until then, if you wish to try out the Indus Valley 100% Organic Hibiscus Powder, you can buy it by clicking on this link.

Which hair products are you loving at the moment? Let me know in the comments below!

Featured Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/hibiscus-red-bloom-blossom-bloom-2437681/

 

Is Blogging A Dying Art?

I recently read an extremely thought provoking post by Mehak Sagar Shahani from Peaches And Blush that was titled “Whatever Happened To The Blogging Scene In India?“. The article talked about how social media marketing has become imperative for the success of any blog and how the old school model of blogging that focused on pure content is slowly degrading. With today’s post, I take the discussion one step further by talking about how I feel that the power of the written word has diminished over time and how the good old art of blogging is dying a slow death as a result of the same.

Be honest to yourself, how many times have you skipped reading an article or a blog post simply because it was too long and wordy? I must confess that I am guilty of this as well. We seldom pay much heed to the fact that the writer has dedicated additional efforts for creating something more substantial, and simply skip reading the article or skim through it, blaming it on the lack of time. It is also the lack of time that makes us gravitate towards videos and audio books, that we can devote a percentage of our attention to while performing more important tasks, as opposed to focussing all our attention on a blog post that requires actual reading. Not that I am against videos or audio books, in fact, I appreciate and respect the hard work that goes into creating them. But what about those who do not have the skill for creating such content but are extremely talented at writing? Is it fair for them to suffer if they are not comfortable with other mediums of expression?

Another reason for the reduced audience of a blog is the sheer abundance of bloggers in the world today. Although this may seem contradictory to the title of this post, it actually isn’t. I refer to the new generation of bloggers who do not consider blogging as an art but as a money making machinery. They do not rely on creating unique and useful content but on producing a random mish mash of keywords that will attract search engines. Although making a clever use of SEO techniques and social media marketing is not a crime, blindly relying on these without backing them up with talent is (in my humble opinion). What I am trying to say is that what used to be a task as basic as typing down your thoughts and pressing the publish button now comes with a rather intimidating and disorienting formula for success (as depicted in the image below). Many talented writers and bloggers are able to master this formula but others get swallowed by it.

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Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/seo-search-engine-optimization-1906465/

The art of blogging originated as a channel for the creative individuals to express themselves and to showcase their talents. Blogs soon became digital journals for some and online portfolios for others. Things escalated rapidly as bloggers discovered that they could actually generate some revenue with the help of advertisements and sponsored posts, but as YouTube and Instagram began to boom, the revenue generated by blogs started to dwindle. In fact, this problem is so deeply rooted in our habit to avoid reading as much as possible, that even the carefully worded descriptions beneath the Instagram images often go unnoticed.

That being said, I consider myself a writer before anything else, and will, therefore, continue to pen down my thoughts and send them floating in the sea of digital media. Those of you who miraculously survived till the end of this post (a BIG thank you to you), do comment below to let me know that there are still many who enjoy reading the written word!

Featured Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/workspace-place-of-work-work-766045/

Makeup And Beauty Anti Haul!!!

Hey guys, I am here today with something different, a makeup and beauty anti-haul! For those of you who are not aware of the concept of an anti-haul, it is the exact opposite of a haul, that is, it is a set of products that I would never purchase. Do bear in mind that I am not bashing any of these products and don’t even know whether they perform well or not, I won’t be buying them anytime soon simply because I either do not need them or they do not suit my budget. With that being said, here is a look at some of the products that do sound attractive but still won’t make it to my shopping cart.

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Image Source: https://www.lorealparis.co.in/skincare/brand/pure-clay/pure-clay-mask

1. Loreal Pure Clay Masks – The Loreal Pure Clay Masks have been receiving a lot of publicity recently. However, I won’t be purchasing these anytime soon because paying INR 850 for 48 gms of the product just doesn’t seem right to me. I would much rather go for a mask from Greenberry Organics that offers double the product at a lower price.

 

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Image Source: http://www.nykaa.com/beauty-blog/hot-new-launch-lakme-absolute-lip-pouts-matte-masaba-lip-color/?utm_source=nykaa&utm_medium=tiptile&utm_campaign=hot-new-launch-lakme-absolute-lip-pouts-matte-masaba-lip-color

2. Lakme Absolute Lip Pouts – Masaba Lip Colors – Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Masaba Gupta and LOVE the packaging of these lip colors but somehow the shades do not appeal to me. Also, they are priced at INR 750, which seems a little steep to me!

 

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Image Source: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dafni-DH1-0A-DAFNI-Straightening-Brush/dp/B015G0YY0A

3. Dafni Hair Straightening Brush – A straightening brush that will set me back by 15K? No, thank you! I wish I was rich enough to try out this straightening brush from Dafni and discover why it is so expensive, but unfortunately, I am not 😦

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Image Source: https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/make-up/foundations-concealers/fresh-nude-cushion-foundation/p/p002008

4. The Body Shop Fresh Nude Cushion Foundation – Although this product does seem intriguing, I do not think I will ever be willing to pay more than 2000 bucks for a foundation. Would love to receive this one as a gift though 😛

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Image Source: https://www.forestessentialsindia.com/facial-care/teenage-creams.html

5. Forest Essentials Teenage Creams – I know that I am not a teenager, but even if I was, I don’t think I would be able to afford (or be allowed to purchase) such expensive creams. However, these would make an excellent present for a teenager you know.

So, this was a list of some of the products that I won’t purchase because of their prices, even though each one of them does sound very appealing and is created by a great brand. What are some of the products that you will never buy? Let me know about your anti-haul items in the comments below!

Disclaimer – None of the images are owned by me. Image sources are cited below each image.

 

SnackExperts – Traditional Snacking With A Modern and Healthy Twist!

In India, a cup of tea is usually incomplete without something to munch on. Whether you are enjoying your cuppa at home or are visiting someone, you will be presented with an array of snacks such as biscuits and namkeens, to go with the beverage. Indeed, snacking is a part of our culture and whenever someone arrives at our doorstep at an odd hour, we rely on our trusty containers of goodies to entertain them. Unfortunately though, most of these snacks, be it cookies, or dalmoth, or aloo bhujiya, are quite high in terms of fat content and the sweet treats are extremely sugary. This is why, around every festival, we see our waistlines expanding while we gorge on yet another samosa or Jalebi at tea-time. There are healthier snacks available in the market these days, but they are pretty hard to find and suffer from the lack of flavors that satisfy the Indian palate. This is why the snack boxes offered by SnackExperts are a welcome sight.

SnackExperts is a new venture that aims to make nutritious yet delicious snacks readily available to the entire country. Their snack boxes come with a selection of 5 snacks, which you can handpick from their vast collection, and are delivered right to your doorstep. Although these snacks resemble the traditional Indian snacks in terms of taste and texture, they use better ingredients and lesser sugar and oil. Also, they come in individual zip-lock packets that you can carry along with you to work or to wherever your adventures take you. Now you have no excuse not to eat healthily!

The team at SnackExperts kindly sent me a few of their snacks to sample some days back and here are my thoughts on these delicious goodies.

SnackExperts Triberry Medley Review

 1. Triberry Medley – The Triberry Medley is a yummy trio of black currants, dried strawberries and dried cranberries that helps boost the energy with the help of natural sugars while satisfying the sweet tooth. A handful of these delicious berries can be added to cereal or yogurt for a yummy breakfast or snack. You can also have these on their own as a mid-meal snack to stay energized throughout the day.

SnackExperts Barnyard Crispies Review

2. Barnyard Crispies – Every household in India loves Sev, a crunchy deep fried snack made using Bengal Gram Flour or Besan. The Barnyard Crispies from SnackExperts are a healthy take on the traditional Sev because they are made using a combination of pulse flours and rice flour. Also, you can rest assured that the oil used for the preparation is fresh and hygienic, something that is always doubtful with the local brands.

SnackExperts Old Fashioned Nut Mix Review

3. Old Fashioned Nut Mix – Nuts do not need dollops of ghee and salt to taste delicious, they are yummy in their natural form. The Old Fashioned Nut Mix celebrates the natural flavors of almonds, walnuts, and peanuts along with a hint of spice added in the form of peppery cashew nuts. An excellent accompaniment with any beverage, this mix provides the goodness of vitamins and healthy fats that the nuts contain.

SnackExperts Original Seeds Flapjacks Review

4. Original Seeds Flapjack – The classic Ghajak gets a modern avatar in the form of the Original Seeds Flapjack from SnackExperts. Oozing with the goodness of Jaggery, oats, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, these flapjacks have a caramelly taste and are the perfect dessert to end any meal with. A healthier alternative to brownies or Indian sweet meats, these flapjacks are a delightful fusion of taste and health.

SnackExperts Honey Roasted Cashew Review

5. Honey Roasted Cashew – I love the rich flavors of cashew nuts and SnackExperts further enhances them with a hint of honey, chilli flakes, and yellow mustard seeds, with their honey roasted cashews. This is a delectable sweet and salty snack that will keep you full until your next meal. The fact that the cashews are roasted and not deep fried makes this bowl of goodness all the more appealing!

It must be obvious to you by now that I am head over heels in love with each of the scrumptious snacks sent to me by SnackExperts. If you are struggling to keep your diet in check due to unhealthy and tempting snacks or do not have the time to prepare or hunt for healthier variants then do order your customized snack box from Snackexperts.com today for guilt-free snacking that satisfies the taste buds too!

Disclaimer – PR samples sent by the brand but all opinions are my own.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind – Dark Circle Eraser | Review

I have been very hesitant in writing this review since a long time. The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser is something that a majority of the beauty community raves about, but it took me a long time to fall in love with this product. While my initial thoughts about the concealer were not very positive, over time, this has become my favorite under eye concealer. So here is the story of what I did not like about the product in the beginning and what changed my mind about it after a few months of use.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer Review

The first thing that I did not like about the product was its packaging, I never get along with twist up packaging because it is very difficult to gauge how many twists are required to get the right amount of product on the sponge. Also, the sponge applicator looks cute but I do have to blend the product in with my fingers or a makeup brush anyway, so it seemed a little gimmicky to me. Furthermore, I purchased the shade Medium which seemed a little too light for my skin tone, which is why I placed the product in my box of concealers and forgot about it. However, when I kept on reading great reviews all over the Internet, I decided to give it one more shot.

Once I looked beyond the mess caused by the twist up packaging, I realized that this concealer has the perfect consistency for the under eye area. It is thinner than most of the concealers I own and therefore tends to settle much less in the fine lines beneath the eyes. As for the shade, while it was still too light for my liking, applying this concealer before foundation did the trick because the layer of foundation on top helped to darken the color but the brightness provided by the concealer was still able to counteract my dark circles. The first time I had tried this product, I belonged to the “concealer on top of foundation” school of thought but the second time around, reversing the steps made this product work like a dream for me. I had never felt that I needed two different concealers for my eyes and face but after using the Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser, I came to know that a thinner concealer for the under eye area looks way more flattering than a creamy one.

Here is a picture of me without any makeup-

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer Review

And here is one after applying only the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser (I applied some on my lids as well) –

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer Review

As you can probably tell, the concealer instantly brightens up the under eye area and does not exaggerate my fine lines in an ugly manner. The shade medium definitely has some hints of yellow undertones that make it ideal for light – medium Indian skin tones. The only problem is that Maybelline has not released this product in India yet (Why, Maybelline, why? We Indian women have dark circles too!) and so you can purchase it only from sites like Amazon where it is priced at more than a 1000 bucks. I would say that it is still worth the buy because the product lasts a long time, but knowing that it is available in other countries at drugstore prices does make me wish that it was cheaper. So if you are willing to pay so much or are traveling to another country where this concealer is more affordable then do buy it to get a brighter under eye area in a jiffy! Here’s hoping that Maybelline releases this concealer in India soon!

I hope that this review was helpful. You can buy the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser – Treatment Concealer here.

My Experience Shopping On Ajio.com

The first time I shopped on Ajio.com, the delivery was delayed by a couple of days, and they sent me a gorgeous pair of earrings to make up for it! This is when I began trusting the website and have made several purchases ever since, each of which has been delivered within 1-2 days of placing the order, lightning fast I must say! What sets Ajio.com apart from the rest of the online shopping websites in India is that most of their collection is very unique and tasteful, and you will not find the same kurta that everyone and their mothers have been flaunting lately. The people who curate the collection really deserve some brownie points for selecting items that are so on trend yet not run of the mill. As for Ajio’s own fashion range, their fusion and ethnic wear designs are particularly fabulous, with prints, cuts, and fabrics that are hard to find anywhere else at such affordable prices. On top of this, they almost always have some great offers running on the website and their return policy is pretty hassle free too.

Okay, enough with the blabbering. Here are some of my recent purchases from the website that I am head over heels in love with –

This drool-worthy pair of brown block heels that have become my favorite shoes because they are comfy despite being so high! (Here is the link, but these are out of stock at the moment!)

Brown Chunky Block Heels Ajio High Heeled Strappy Shoes

This summer-appropriate kurti that has beautiful embroidery and a spectacular brush stroke print. (This too is out of stock but the site has equally gorgeous kurtis in stock.)

Printed and Embroidered Summery Kurti Ajio

This flowy, oversized tunic that can be cinched at the waist to make a pretty dress. (Click to view, this too is out of stock at the moment 😦 )

Oversized Flowy Printed Tunic Brown Ajio

These cute little shorts that fit like a dream but will, unfortunately, have to gather dust in my closet until my next beach vacation (sigh!). (Click to buy.)

Light Blue Distressed Denim Short Ajio For Petite Women

If you are into Indo-western outfits, then the collection at Ajio is definitely worth exploring while the website has great affordable picks in Western and Indian fashion too. They also have an amazing footwear selection in both flats and heels that will blow your mind. The quality of all the items is up to the mark and the customer service is impeccable. So, if you are planning on indulging in some retail therapy, head over to Ajio.com now!!!!

P.S. – Although I sound like a crazy fanatic, this post is NOT sponsored and I really do love the website so much 🙂