Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Envy Box - May 2016

My birthday month's My Envy Box (Yes, I was born in May and not June!) is called the Tropical Beauty Edition and the gorgeous yellow box with tropical blooms and a toucan totally justifies the name. Keeping summer in mind, this month's box came with a lot of skin care goodies but was a bit disappointing because all four products were Indian brands and not what I would call premium.  


When I opened the box, I could smell a strong lemony fragrance because of the bottle of Roots & Above Lemon Essential Oil. I haven't used it yet but somehow I didn't like this product much because the fragrance is quite synthetic and the packaging too makes it look like a non premium product. 


This was followed by Gulnare Sea Flo face wash. This one is made of cucumber, wheatgerm and grape seed oil and claims to calm and soothe skin. I'm looking forward to using it when I travel next. Then there's the Votre Botanical Toning Mist which claims to maintain the skin’s natural PH balance and is made of a combination of botanical complexes and flower extracts that provides the skin its natural toning while leaving skin refreshed. The packaging is quite shabby and the even though the product is refreshing, I didn't like the smell at all.


The winner in the box is the Puerto Berry Blush Lip Moisturizer from a new Goa based brand called Island Kiss. Island Kiss is a Lip Care  Brand inspired by Tropical Beaches across the world, fragrant coasts, salty air and lush notes of fruit and flower.  This balm comes in a squeezable tube and is a bright reddish pink color. It moisturizes lips well and has a great color payoff along with a fruity fragrance and sweet taste. It can also be used on the cheeks. It's staying power is pretty good too as I could still see color on my lips after a hot and sweaty 90 minute Bikram Yoga session! 


I was very impressed by the packaging where it's evident that they have borrowed a leaf out of Benefit's book and gone for similar retro pin up girls on the boxes and on their website. It's also nice to know that their products are vegan, organic, non-toxic, edible, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free and shea free. Phew!


I've been getting these boxes for a while and totally recommend you to subscribe to My Envy Box now to receive beauty and makeup goodies every month! At a price of Rs 850 per box, you get way more than you pay for so it's totally worth it! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ellen Panda PM 12 Blue & PM 14 Violet Lenses Review | Klenspop.com

I never thought I'd be able to carry off violet or blue lenses without looking freaky but that was till I discovered the Ellen Panda range from Klenspop. Klenspop is a leading online circle lens store based in Korea that offers more than 300 different designs of circle lenses, accessories for contact lenses, cosmetics and beauty products at very affordable prices. Their service is really great and shipping is super fast too. Their packaging deserves a special mention as each pair of lenses comes in a super cute pop art inspired box with a free transparent lens case, tweezers to remove the lenses from the vials and a manual for those who are new to wearing circle lenses. Oh and by the way I've reviewed Bunny Color Brown lenses and Bunny 3 Color Gray lenses from Klenspop on my blog earlier!


Both lenses are very comfortable and I can wear them for long hours! I actually wear the purple ones to work pretty often because they're subtle and I feel like a superhero with purple eyes! And love the fact that I don't face any discomfort even though I'm in front of a computer screen for over 8 hours wearing these. 

Ellen Panda PM 12 Blue 

When blended with my super dark brown eyes, these lenses form a shade of dark blue which is not very striking yet pretty noticeable. These lenses are a blend of black and blue with  a thin black ring on the outer corner. I've taken pictures in both natural light and sunlight so you can see the effect of the color. 



SUMMARY

Diameter - 14mm
Water Content - 38%
Base Curve - 8.6mm
Life Span — 6 months
Power — All excpet -0.25 & -0.75
Origin — Korea

You can buy it here

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Ellen Panda PM Violet 14 

The first thing I thought when I saw the purple lenses is that I would look hilarious with purple eyes. But to my pleasant surprise they look pretty alright and I don't look like an alien or cosplayer. The color is not very visible at first, so it’s not made for people who expect a perceivable violet which makes it wearable for daily use. They look very natural in artificial light too.


SUMMARY

Diameter - 14mm
Water Content - 38%
Base Curve - 8.6mm
Life Span — 6 months
Power — All excpet -0.25 & -0.75
Origin — Korea

You can buy it here

Overall, I think both the lenses are great as they colors are pretty subtle and they're super comfortable. Make sure you check out Klenspop if you're looking for colored circle lenses!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Outfit - Parrot

I've always been super talkative and chirpy and a lot of people used to call me a parrot when I was a kid and this outfit's got me channeling one. I got these green pants from a brand called Naari, which combines Indian elements with contemporary styles and has a wide range of ethnic wear like kurtis, salwar kameezes, palazzos dupattas, bags and more. I love the fit and how comfortable the fabric is. I also got a shirt from them which also super comfortable and is perfect for work. Make sure you check out their store for great casual ethnic pieces at very reasonable prices. Since the pants are so bright, I decided to go all out and team with with a printed bustier, yellow bag and red lipstick to complete the parrot look!


Top - Bangkok
Pants - Naari
Bag - Mango
Shoes - Forever 21

Photography - Yogesh Patil

This was the first time I worked with Yogesh, a talented photographer from Pune who owns a studio called Sepia Studioz. Stay tuned for more of our work together in my next few posts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

North Goa Travel Guide

Goa is India's little slice of hippie paradise and I go there a lot! Goa is India's smallest state and happens to be surrounded by numerous lovely beaches. In spite of the fact that I have been going there about a decade, I've never done a post about it so here goes! Goa can be divided into North and South and since I always hang around in North Goa, this post is all about it! North Goa is the popular side of Goa which is evident by its crowded beaches, delicious seafood, crazy nightlife, hippie markets and yoga retreats. If you love laid-back beaches, love dancing, practice yoga, shop and eat well, Goa is the place for you!

WHEN TO VISIT - 

Visit
Mid October to Mid March is the best time to go to Goa as the weather is nice and it's the main 'season' time so all beach shacks, restaurants and shops are open and there are lot of good parties to go to! 

Avoid
The month of December is extremely crowded with people from all over the world (and India) there and prices of hotels are hiked up too, so I avoid December. From mid March to end of May it's extremely hot and humid. I was just there this March and April and it was hot as hell. From June to September, it's the rainy season and most shacks, restaurants, hotels and shops are closed. It rains heavily and for a long duration so it's kind of a bummer if you're there at that time. Another downside is you definitely cannot chill by the beach or go for a swim at that time either. However, everything is green and really beautiful at the same time too. I had once gone during the rains and it was quite pretty to say the least. There was so much of greenery that I couldn't recognize half the roads I was otherwise familiar with.

WHERE TO STAY - 

I recommend staying right on the beach or as close as you can to it. Almost every beach has accommodation and shacks are typically non A/C as you don’t need it most of the year. You also have pricey and fancy beach huts if you want to live in luxury. As you move inland away from the beach, there are lots of hotels and resorts in a wide range of budgets. Check out an extensive list of goa hotels to decide where you would like to stay.

If you want to relax and primarily spend time on the beaches with quiet dinners, I recommend you to stay way up in Morjim/Ashwem or Arambol. 

If you're the party person and enjoy the mayhem like I do, stay in Anjuna/Vagator. 
I personally prefer staying here because of the restaurants and parties and I travel to Morjim/Ashwem/Mandrem/Arambol to spend the day on these beaches.


WHAT TO DO -

Visit 
Laze, swim, chill, drink, party, shop, water sports, yoga - the options are endless on the beaches! There are lots of beautiful beaches in North Goa. In the far north, Arambol is a popular paragliding spot and has lots of cheap accommodation. It also has a lovely beach and numerous shacks on the beach that serve amazing food along with an adorable sweet water lake which has fun parties by the lakeside. Just a bit ahead of it are the laid-back beaches of Morjim, Aswem and Mandrem are low-key. These beaches are really beautiful too and amazing to swim in. Then there is Anjuna, one of the most famous beaches of North Goa. It's the party center of Goa with lots of beach parties but the beach itself is kinda rocky and the waves are really strong so it's not so great for swimming. Almost adjacent to Anjuna is Vagator which comprises of three beaches. It has lots of amazing restaurants and party places too along with lots of fancy places to stay. 

Avoid
There are many more famous beaches like Baga, Calangute, Candolim which are super commercialized and insanely crowded with crappy tourists and weird people so I suggest you to steer clear from these.


Eat

There are restaurants everywhere serving cuisines from all around the world and food is Goa is amazing! Check out https://www.zomato.com/goa for an extensive list of restaurants along with reviews, menus, addresses and types of cuisine. I usually eat at beach shacks because the food is really delicious and the menus are extensive with lots of options of different kinds of cuisines. I primarily just eat Calamari and Prawn 24/7 when I'm in Goa.

Shop
Anjuna hosts the world famous flea market every Wednesday (during season time only) where you get everything from clothes, jewelry, music, spices, home stuff to smoking paraphernalia from all around India and the world. Then there's the Saturday Night Market in Arpora which is a bigger version and has a lot more to offer along with lots of restaurant stalls, bars and parties too. I suggest you to check out both as they have their own charm. Besides these two, there are lots of boutiques and stores selling resort wear, boho clothing and exotic jewelry all over Goa but many of them have stalls in the two markets I mentioned before so you don't need to go hunting for them.



Explore

You can rent a bike or a car for a relatively cheap price in Goa. If it's a long distance, you can take a taxi. I prefer traveling by bike but if you have to go long distances, then it's better to have a car. I drove down in my car last year from Pune to Goa so it was pretty convenient for me to travel all over.

If you want to get touristy, you could visit old Goa and check out the beautiful churches and cathedrals all over. 
If you love nature and wildlife you can check out the butterfly conservatory, and also go crocodile/ dolphin/turtle watching/
There are river cruises, houseboat tours and yacht cruises too. 

Party
If you love dancing, Goa is the place to be! Goa is probably the only place in India with a proper psy scene. Popular places that host psy parties are Curlies, Shiva Valley, Nyex, Hilltop, UV Bar and more. Note that there are lots of impromptu parties that happen in open air locations and there are posters/flyers all over Goa notifying you their location and details a few days before each party.

If you prefer more of techno there's Teso, Chronicle, Waters, Katzensuppe, and Bubble Brunch to name a few. 

I hate commercial music which usually plays in the clubs (and I never go to clubs in Goa) so I can't help you with those. However, I'm 100% sure that if commercial music is your thing, you'll definitely love Baga and find that kind of music there. 

So this was my guide to things to do in Goa. If you're ever planning to come to India, make sure you come to Goa! It's just so much fun!! Feel free to hit me up if you're a reader and have Goa plans! You might just bump into me over there :) 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My Favorite Spring 2016 Trends

As much as I say that one must not be a fashion slave and succumb to trends, it's hard to resist when your favorite styles are trending. Of course the fun challenge here is to style a trend in your own unique way and wear it differently. 

Here are my favorite spring 2016 trends and how I wore them - 

Fringe
I've been in love with fringe forever and have it in many forms. I bought my first fringe piece (a top) about seven years ago when it wasn't even trending. When it comes to my collection, I own a fringe top, kimono, skirt, jacket and two fringe bags. Enough said! This trend is playful and I'll probably be wearing it for many years to come because I don't see myself growing out of it. 

Suede
Another timeless trend here, suede is an effortlessly cool material which looks great on both clothing and accessories and I loved the rugged look it has. My collection includes multiple suede bags and shoes and I'm wearing two of them here. And look, its a fringed suede bag!!  

Off shoulder
Cold shoulder and off shoulder tops are big this spring and I love them because they're cute and boho and so comfortable in the summer. 

Headbands

I love hairbands and headbands and think they are a fun and unique accessory to show off your style. Though there isn't a headband for every outfit and they're not easily available but there are many fun and cute ones available in online shopping sites.

Chokers
I'm not much of a jewelry wearer but I love chokers. This Nineties style staple made its catwalk comeback for spring 2016 and my favorite style happens to be the tattoo choker! Even if you can't find them in your local stores, you can find many types of chokers and other jewellery online.

So these were some of my favorite trends and how I've worn them. What's your favorite spring trend?

Sunday, May 08, 2016

What Would You Do If You Won The Lottery?

Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery? When I was in college and would be broke, I used to pass by a lottery center daily on the way to some classes and would actually consider buying a ticket. I don't clearly remember if I ever did, but obviously I never won. However, it's fun thinking of all the things we would do if we did win the lottery. Here's a bunch of things I would do if I ever won the lottery -

Buy a beach house
Though I'm a city girl and have lived in forested areas and mountainous places, I've always been a beach babe at heart. All my vacations are focused on beaches and even now whenever I get a weekend free, I head to the closest beach. So naturally, the first thing I would do is buy a beach house and live there!

With an infinity pool
Hey, I just won the lottery so lets get an infinity pool in the beach house for times when I feel lazy and don't want the salt water experience! 

Open A Boutique
Fashion has always been my passion and I intend to open up a boutique in the future for sure. So if I hit the jackpot, I would definitely open a boutique and sell one of a kind and unique pieces from all around the world along with pieces I will design. 

With a restaurant
I've always loved the idea of a fashion cafe and being the foodie and avid cook that I am, I would love to own a restaurant and share my love for cooking and good food with the rest of the world. 

Travel
I've never been into designer bags or shoes so no Gucci, Prada or Louis Vuitton for me. I believe in experiencing and discovering things rather than collect objects so I'd travel as often as I can and visit friends all around the world and go to places with natural beauty.

Now in India, winning the lottery doesn't get you a bomb because thanks to our population, there are multiple winners so the prize money gets divided. However, if you check out Multilotto, you can play on a variety of the world’s biggest lotteries like the American super lotteries Powerball and Mega Millions as well as the European smash-hits Euromillions and Eurojackpot. No matter where in the world you're from you can buy lottery tickets online on multilotto.com and claim jackpots worth hundreds of millions of euros at any time. I recently discovered it and am so hooked onto it! I already told you my dream above, lets see if I hit the jackpot!

What would you do if you won the lottery? Let me know in your comments below!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Bausch & Lomb Lacelle Circle Lens Review

I've always been a fan of Bausch and Lomb lenses as I have been wearing them regularly for over a decade now. They recently introduced their Lacelle range in India which offers a wide range of colored lenses in many beautiful and unique variants. They have a wide range of designs and colors with unique lace patterns to enhance the natural beauty of your iris. Today I'm reviewing the Circle range of these lenses. As usual, I stuck to brown as it's my favorite color on myself and looks good on Indian skin tones. For those of you who don't know about circle lenses, they have a dark outer ring which makes eyes look bigger and give them a doll like effect

Here's my natural eye color -

And voila, here I am wearing Lacelle Circle Lenses in Brown (and it is super hot in India right now so I forgot to smile in the first two pics so deal with bitchface followed by wateverrrrr face) -
Outdoors in Sunlight
Outdoors in shade

Here's how they look up close - 

I love how gorgeous and natural these look! It's not a drastic change if you have dark eyes (like most Indians do) but they definitely make a difference! If you're considering buying colored contact lenses, check out Bausch and Lomb Lacelle for these and many other lovely options!

Photography - Moyo Marcus

Monday, May 02, 2016

ShopOlympics At Phoenix MarketCity Pune

Phoenix MarketCity is undoubtedly Pune's favorite shopping destination and rightly so because it's the largest mall in the city and has the perfect blend of shopping, entertainment and dining. I recently took part in the ShopOlympics 2016 with a bunch of other fashion bloggers where we had to create as many summer looks as possible in 60 minutes in a budget of Rs 5000 ($75 only)! Definitely a challenge haha! 

Madhumita, Me, Natasha & Riya - The 4 bloggers who participated in ShopOlympics 2016
We were four bloggers and got four different stores for the challenge. I got Pantaloons, a multi brand store which had a lot of options from their spring summer 2016 collection! I've always been a fast shopper so I found it relatively easy to create a bunch of looks. What surprised me the most is that I actually managed to create 4 looks within the budget and had enough time to goof around with mannequins too. The only downside is that I didn't carry my DSLR so my photos are kinda awful because they were clicked from my phone. Anyhoo, check out the looks I created - 

Look One - Corporate Chic
This one's dedicated to all you corporate slaves out there. Just because you have a 9 to 5 desk job, it doesn't mean you have to dress boring. A half sleeved shirt and a pencil skirt make a comfortable yet cute office outfit.  

Tried to copy the mannequin's pose but couldn't quite make it 
Look Two - College Canteen
College days are a time to experiment with fashion! I teamed simple white tee with this adorable skort and knotted it up to convert it into a cropped tee. I also touched a mannequin inappropriately. 

This time I decided to spank the mannequin
Look Three - Summer Soiree
I've always been a fan of all white outfits for summer and this tube top and palazzo pants combination is exactly what I would wear for a chic and sophisticated evening look!

 I look upset because I couldn't find a mannequin this time. Also, I look like I have a detachable tail!
 Look Four - Sunset By The Beach
Being a beach fanatic, I had to do a look dedicated to the ocean so I teamed this beautiful flowy aquamarine skirt with a crop top that's perfect for sunset on a beach resort.  


After we all successfully completed our 60 minute challenge, all of us caught up for lots of candid photos. Overall, it was a great evening and ShopOlympics was great fun! It was awesome to see how creative we all got with all our looks given that we had a really tight budget. If you're looking to update your summer wardrobe, go to Phoenix MarketCity and you'll be amazed at the vast range of fashionable and reasonable options you'll find! 

To stay updated with the latest news and offers, make sure you follow Phoenix MarketCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

How did you like the looks I created? Which one did you like the best? Let me know in your comments below!

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