Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Envy Box - April 2015

I was pleasantly surprised to receive this month's My Envy Box because of its wonderful contents. For those of you who don't know, My Envy Box is a luxury product sampling service that gives you five sample sized beauty products from some of the best brands in the world at Rs 850 per box. If you like what you've got, you can buy the full sized product from their website. Fantastic concept, isn't it? This month's box is a pale orange box and came with a single card bearing all the information about all samples in the box. I'm glad they did away with multiple cards as this change saves paper.

This month's box had one full sized makeup product, Catrice Long Lasting Lip Pencil. I got a beautiful shade 030 Berryson Ford. Cute name for the shade!

I had just smelled Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs a few days before I got the box so I'm glad to have a sample of this. This is a delightful floral fruity fragrance and I might just purchase it very soon.

Another sample I loved was the Avene SPF 50+ Dry Touch Emulsion. I already have the full sized product and reviewed it here so this sample is perfect for my bag as I drive long distances in the sun every day.  

There are two cute lip balm sized tubs of Kama Ayurveda Rejuvenating & Brightening Ayurvedic Night cream. I'm saving this one for when my skin needs some extra pampering.  The winner of the box was the ZA True White Exfoliating Clay which came in a generous 30 gram tube. I've used the face wash and day cream from the True White range and this clay has the same baby powder like fragrance (which I loved) as the other two. I've used it once and my face looked and felt much cleaner after use. My skin felt really smooth too!

Overall, I think this is one of the best boxes I've got in the past couple of months and look forward to what comes next month. My Envy Box is a fantastic concept at a really good price and I recommend it to everybody. Subscribe now!! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lakmé School Of Style

Lakmé School of Style is India's first fashion-beauty video magazine. This unique show brings you the latest fashion news, views and events from all over the world through new videos that are released daily. This fashion brigade is led by Editor-in-Chief, Karan Johar - a filmmaker who is known for his glamorous and stylish movies.  The channel is hosted across the #fame network which is available on all leading digital and social platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion, WeChat, and leading content publishers. #fame is not just a business and a brand, it is a talent led digital entertainment network that allows individuals to join and share what they love the most with the world in the form of videos. Video is the new text and talent is the most powerful currency in this digital age. So, with #fame, one can launch an idea, grow their skills, build a community, find an audience and prosper. From the most imaginative chefs to awe-inspiring musicians, from comics who find humor in almost everything to fashionistas who are on the top of trends, from celebrities to the kid next door, #fame is home to everyone. If you’ve got it, #fame can help you flaunt it. Fame has videos covering a variety of topics like fashion, food, music, comedy and more. 

Lakmé is one of the pioneers in the beauty industry in India.  Inspired by backstage fashion, Indian beauty expert Lakmé continuously innovates to offer a wide range of high performance and world-class colour cosmetics, skincare products, and beauty salons. They also sponsor India's oldest fashion week which is known as the Lakmé Fashion Week.  As things keep changing in the fashion and beauty industry all around the world, Lakmé is striving to bring these trends to the Indian masses via its Lakmé School Of Style.

There are a lot of useful videos available in #LakmeSchoolOfStyle.  These short and sweet videos feature bloggers and vloggers who share interesting fashion, make up, beauty and lifestyle ideas. I particularly liked this video as it is helpful for all bloggers and social media enthusiasts. It has some great tips on how to manage your online presence and get the most out of your social media channels. All these tips are given to you by the popular celebrity blogger Miss Malini and I learned some great fun facts and tips and tricks after watching it. For example, did you know that twitter now allows video and allows one to put up 4 photos in a post? Well, I didn't! Another interesting story I came to know about through this video was a friendly twitter exchange between Oreo and Kitkat when chocolate-lover Laura Ellen tweeted that she was following both on Twitter. This lead to the chocolate-bar getting a little bit competitive, and challenging the cookie to a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. But while Oreo could have just played along, it reacted in a pretty amazing way - by complimenting how great Kit Kats taste, via one of its signature images. Watch the video and then google it! Check it out below -

For much more on fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more, make sure you subscribe to #lakméschoolofstyle

Monday, April 20, 2015

An Aperitivo Evening By Peroni Nastro Azzurro

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to an exclusive Aperitivo evening by the stylish beer brand from Italy, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, at Olive Bistro Pune. The evening saw Peroni bring the age old Italian culture of Aperitivo to Pune. Aperitivo is an authentic Italian tradition, a popular occasion that brings friends together to relax and socialize after a busy day. Started in the 19th century, the Aperitivo was first introduced in the fashionable cafés of Italy for people to socialize over, enjoy their drink with and to enhance the whole experience of going out. Numerous bars all over Italy host an apertivo  typically from 6 pm to 9 pm, where they serve a wide variety of complimentary bite-sized snacks along with a drinks. Every bar that serves a respectable aperitivo will feature several different varieties of snacks to its patrons. And as usual, Olive Bistro did it with style. 

Acclaimed Chef Riccardo had created a range of exclusive scrumptious Italian dishes to accompany and compliment Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Peroni, crafted with typical Italian care and designed with the Italian and Mediterranean palette in mind, is crisp and refreshing making it a wonderful accompaniment to Italian food. There were lots of delectable vegetarian and non vegetarian appetizers but since I'm a carnivore, I skipped all the veggie options. I'm kinda crazy about smoked salmon so I loved the Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon rolls. Tender slices of Norwegian smoked salmon paired beautifully with sour Mascarpone cheese. Another outstanding dish was the Parma Ham wrapped Figs which was served with an onion marmalade. This was probably the first time I ate figs in my life and I loved the amalgamation of its unusual flavor with Parma ham. I also had the grilled shrimp with Romesco sauche which consisted to charcoal grilled prawns swerved on a bed of smoke coarse Romanesco and chives. Besides Peroni, the bar was also serving an iced beer cocktail that was pretty intersting. Ending the event on a sweet note was the traditional Italian dessert Tiramisu which was once again heavenly. 

I had a wonderful time at the event and look forward to more Aperitivo evenings in the city over great food and Peroni, of course! Have you tried Peroni? Its a refreshing and crisp beer! If you're not a beer drinker, what's your poison? Let me know in your comments below!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Outfit - Festival Fever

I just realized that I haven't done an outfit post like in forever! With week two of Coachella starting in less that an hour from now, I am in a festive mood and decided to show you another outfit featuring the festival style staple kimono! My love for all white/beige outfits is not going anywhere and you can see it in this look. I teamed a white bustier with crochet lace shorts and threw over a lace paneled kimono. If you don't want to look like every second girl at a music festival, skip the flower crown and go for a simple headband like the one I wore. 

Kimono - Blackfive
Bustier - From China 
Shorts - Banggood

These photos were taken by my friend Akhil who does a fantastic job every time. Check out his work here. How do you like my festival inspired look? Let me know in your comments below!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Restaurant Review - Nawab Asia

Nawab Asia is a renowned restaurant in Pune which serves North Indian cuisine. Their menu offers a wide range of vegetarian and non vegetarian kebabs that leave you spoilt for choice. Of course, that's not all, they have an equally wide range of main courses so trust me, going through the menu and deciding what to eat can be one helluva long task. My mom loves Indian food so she and I decided to visit Nawab yesterday where we enjoyed a lavish lunch. The restaurant is very dimly lit with chairs and cushions for a cozy feel. They also have a beautiful outdoor balcony seating with lots of greenery all around but sadly, that section was closed when we went. 

My mom is a hardcore Bengali who was born and raised in Calcutta so she always places seafood above chicken and lamb unlike me. So for starters we chose a prawn dish and a fish dish of course. We had the Jheenga E Jaitooni which had char grilled prawns that were marinated with olives and other spices. This is a beautiful combination. The olive marinade is really mild in flavor so it blends wonderfully with the taste of prawns.  

Jhinga E Jaitooni at Nawab Asia
We also had the Fish Peeli Mirch Tikka which consisted of chunks of fish marinated with yogurt, spices and peeli mirch (yellow chilli) from Lucknow grilled in a tandoor. In spite of the use of yellow chilli, the fish was not spicy at all but was delicious.

Fish Peeli Mirch Tikka
Moving on to main course, being the meat lover, I ordered the Balti meat which had tender pieces of mutton cooked in a spicy gravy served in a balti (bucket) and to go with it, I chose Jeera chawal, a mix of basmati rice, onions and cumin seeds. This dish was a slight disappointment to me I didn't really like the gravy much either though my mom did. I guess I should have chosen other specialties from the menu instead.  

Jeera Chawal and Balti Gosht
Even quantity wise, I felt there was too much gravy and too little meat. The portion of rice too felt a bit small. 

Since Nawab is famous for its Biryani, we also decided to try the Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani, which is a preparation in which raw meat and rice are cooked together with aromatic spices so that their flavors blend in perfectly. Thankfully this dish made up what the previous dish did not deliver. The Biryani was really nice. Not too spicy, not too bland and had a decent amount of meat. 

My mom loves selfies so here's one we took between courses! After our superb meal we went shopping after together after ages and had a blast so it was a really fun day. 

Click to add a blog post for Nawab Asia on ZomatoWe had a great experience at Nawab and for the number of dishes we tried, their pricing is not too steep. I used my handy CouponDunia app again to get a discount at Nawab. So make sure you download it to find offers and discounts in top restaurants in your city.

Address - 1st Floor, San Mahu Complex, Opposite Poona Club, Bund Garden Road, Pune

Monday, April 13, 2015

Unconventional Jewelry

Much to the dismay of my jewelry obsessed family, I'm not much of a jewelry person. I have a tiny collection you'd probably laugh at and I don't wear them very frequently either. In fact, you might have realized that by now if you've seen any of my outfit pics because I've never worn a necklace, earrings or even a ring in any of them. As much as I love and admire jewelry on others, I don't like wearing it myself. I've never liked earrings with my face so I stopped wearing them over a decade ago and one of my ear piercings has closed. So when I go to a traditional Indian family function or wedding, I actually just wear one earring! When it comes to the rest, a major contributor to me not wearing jewelry is the fact that I find it uncomfortable. I don't like bracelets dangling on my wrists, I hate the way long earrings feel, necklaces are tolerable to an extent, but I'll still take one off the moment I get into my car. The only things I can wear without a care is my belly ring because I can't feel it at all. So if I'm going on and on about not wearing jewelry, why am I doing a post on it? Because like I mentioned, I love one of a kind stuff! Give me unique jewelry like ear cuffs, body chains or anklets and I'll wear it all! Check out these fabulous pieces I found. Which one do you like the most?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lenskart Eye Popper Sale

Remember I recently told you about India's top eyewear site Lenskart's Sunglass Carnival? Well, the good folks out there are being very generous to us and are now having their Eye Popper Sale 11th to 14th of April! Yup, that's tomorrow! They have some fantastic deals on eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, prescription lens and powered sunglasses by various brands all across the world for men, women and children. 

Make sure you make use of these offers during this sale -

1. Flat 50% Off on Latest Eyeglasses (*On purchase of Rs 1500 & above)

2. Kodak Lenses worth Rs 2290 Free with Eyeglasses

3. Reading Eyeglasses at Rs 149 ONLY

3. FLAT 70%  Off on Complete Eyeglasses - With prescription lenses

4. Get Your First Frame Free (*Lens Package Start from Rs 799)

5. Flat 35% Off on Power Sunglasses (*T&C apply)

6. FLAT 25% Off on Premium Brands (*T&C apply)

So go ahead and take advantage of this sale. I ordered contact lenses from Lenskart a few days ago and they will be arriving today. But now that I know about this sale, maybe I'll get a new pair of glasses. What are you planning to get? 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Restaurant Review - Mad House Grill

You all know my love for good food so I'm starting a new section on the blog where I will review a different restaurant in Pune each week and share my dining experiences with you. There's only one Steakhouse in my city, and it's called Mad House Grill. I went there yesterday after many years and had a great time and a very satisfying meal. Situated in Koregaon Park, this is cozy restaurant is the perfect place to spend a lazy evening with good food. 

Credit - Tripadvisor
We were starving when we got there and the menu has a lot of options for appetizers, steaks and grills and everything sounded so delicious that we had a hard time choosing what to eat. Since, this is a steakhouse, its obvious that their steaks are fantastic but I wasn't in the mood for any. So, ironically I did not order steak and was surprised to discover that they are really good with seafood too!
We started our meal with Beef Chilly, a Chinese style appetizer which consists of wok tossed Beef strips with green chilly and capsicum. The beef strips were soft and tender and blended with the soya chilly sauce perfectly. Since we were really hungry, as the piping hot dish appeared, we wolfed it down like a pack of hounds till I remembered that I should take a picture so here's what I scraped up for you all to see.

Beef Chilly
Me and my bae are love seafood so for the second appetizer we ordered the Spiced Grilled Prawns from the Indian Grills section. These were literally made right in front of us as I saw the prawns being skewered for the grill. They were ready incredibly fast and tasted like Tandoori Prawns. What made it fantastic was that the prawns were fresh, juicy and tender. They came with a serving of house salad and a potato preparation we couldn't get enough of.  

Spiced Grilled Prawns
I have a huge weakness for mutton so, for main course, we ordered the Mushroom Lamb. This preparation consisted of sauteed onions and mushrooms topped with brown sauce served over a bed of herbed rice. Again in this case, the lamb was really soft and tender and went perfectly with the brown sauce and rice. The portion is huge though so even the two of us couldn't finish it.  The only downside is the fact that I love spicy lamb preparations so this was a bit too bland for my taste. 

Mushroom Lamb
Since the prawns were so good, we decided to go for them in main course too and ordered the Mustard Prawns. This dish was the undisputed winner of the meal. It consisted of juicy succulent prawns that were marinated in a delicious Mustard and Herb mix, grilled and topped with a cheese sauce served with house salad and potatoes.The mustard and cheese sauce was to die for and it was so good that we wiped the plate clean! Definitely try this when you go there. All their seafood preparations have an option of prawns or fish so you can try this is fish also.

Mustard Prawns
Click to add a blog post for Mad House Grill on ZomatoThough the food is priced slightly above affordable, Mad House Grill is totally worth it because of the quality they offer. Oh, and I totally forgot to mention that they serve alcohol too, so you can enjoy your meal along with a drink or two. I used the CouponDunia app that has lots of coupons for restaurants so I got a discount too! If you're planning to go to Mad House Grill, make sure you use one of these coupons to get a discount! I'm definitely going back real soon! 
Address- Pingle Corner, Lane No 6, North Main Road, Koregaon Park, Near Cosmos Bank, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

L’oreal Color Riche Moist Matte Lipstick Review

Even though I prefer owning very little makeup, I have a weakness for lipsticks. Since I'm an anti- hoarder and don't wear lipstick everyday, I only have 6 lippies - one red, two pink and three nude, all from different brands. Today, I'm reviewing L'oreal's Color Riche Moist Matte Lipstick. The shade I have is Spring Rosette which is a dusty rose pink with fuschia undertones. More than the color, I'd rather review the lipstick, as different colors look different on different skin tones and complexions. So even if I talk about how pretty the pink is, someone a few shades darker than me might find it garish on them.

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Moist Matte Lipstick’s formula contains jojoba oil for moisture and comfort along with matte gel technology that gives an intense matte look to give a deep color pay-off while maintaining ultimate moisture and comfort. Its chic and sophisticated packaging is worth a mention too. The golden case comes with a small colored part that corresponds to the shade of the lipstick. When it comes to texture, these lipsticks are powdery matte and velvet and glide over the lips smoothly with a lightweight finish. It has fantastic pigmentation with a very good color payoff. A swipe or two are more than enough to cover your lips. What won me over about this range is its staying power. After applying it, I went out with my mom to a cafe and pigged out a lot of fried oily snacks (there I go again) and drank coffee, and ended it with a huge chocolate cupcake. A few hours later when I got home and glanced across the mirror, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the color hadn't faded at all. The original creamy lipstick had gone off from my lips thanks to all the food and coffee, but it had left behind a very prominent stain so my lips were still nice and pink! Also, it doesn't bleed or transfer because I don't remember seeing lipstick stains on the coffee mug either!

They're priced at Rs 899 each and they have a bunch of shades. If you're a lipstick lover, make sure you check out this range of lipsticks. After all, you're worth it! *Sorry I just had to put in the L'Oreal tag line hahaha*

Have you tried this range of lipsticks? If yes what was your experience?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Favorite Party Places In Pune

Continuing with the series of posts about the city, today I'm writing about my favorite lounge bars in Pune. There are lots of options for clubs, bars and lounges in the city, but these are my favorites where I go pretty often!

 High Spirits

 Home to misguided youth, wannabe adults and golden oldies, High offers solace to one and all thanks to cheap alcohol, great food and its rejuvenating ambience. You don’t need to be formal/dressed up/dressed down/ or presumptuous, just chill and gravitate over to Da High to let your hair down, if you have any left. High Spirits takes its music seriously and features top bands and djs from across the country along with a vast array of international artists. Besides these they also host stand up comedy nights almost every week. They have the longest running Karaoke in the city and host the city’s craziest theme parties. I can be found here pretty regularly!

Mix @ 36 

Situated in the Westin Hotel, Mix is the is the best next stop to head to once you're done partying at high. When a bar has a pool table & a foosball table & outdoor seating overlooking a river, there is not much more you can ask for. If you're in the mood to dance, the inner section has a dance floor otherwise, you can chill in the open air area outside and enjoy the weather! The drinks never disappoint and staff is always helpful. They also show various live sport events on a projector outside so you can watch the match as you party.

Stone Water Grill

Besides the fantastic food they offer, Stone Water Grill is also one of the best best lounge bars in Pune because of the tasteful decor and lighting of this sprawling property. The alfresco seating is very lounge and relaxed, with generous spaces and comfortable couches laid around neatly. Its chic lighting  makes it even more comfortable for both a romantic outing or a dinner with friends over a hearty conversation. Besides all this, they also offer unique cocktails and lots of interesting flavors.

Atmosphere 6

I happened to go here thanks to its proximity to my workplace and was delighted with my experience here. This huge rooftop restaurant and lounge has a fantastic view and a huge menu with lots of food and drink options. I totally recommend everyone to check it out, especially during the evening.

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