Sunday, June 28, 2015

What's in My Bag

I had been wanting to do one of those blogger favorite What's in my bag posts for about a year now but I'm finally posting it today! I always carry a Lavie Bag, this one on a daily basis and the one below when I'm traveling. I'm a huge fan of their designs, durability and quality and their latest collection has many gorgeous bags. You might remember another Lavie bag of mine from this post.  I'm a very minimalistic person and my daily bag contains just my wallet, phone and a lipstick, so I thought I'll show you what my traveling essentials are -

The bag - This spacious and lightweight shopper from Lavie is great for traveling. Its large size makes it easy to acommodate all your essentials and much more.

The contents - 
Row wise from left to right -
  • Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA+++ Sunscreen - I swear by this one since I'm tanned as hell
  • Inglot Mattle Lipstick in 404 - So nude that it washes my face out and makes me look like a zombie. I love it!
  • Evian Facial Spray - This product is great to freshen you up and rehydrate your skin
  • Kindle - I'm very fond of reading so the kindle is an awesome gadget for bookworms
  • Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover and makeup removing pads- This one is great to remove gel eyeliner which I cannot live without
  • Perfume samples - Estee Lauder Pleasures, Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria, Calvin Klein Reveal & Paco Rabanne Lady Million
  • Mademoiselle Ricci bottle - Can't get enough of this delicious smell
  • Benefit Posie tint - Love the beautiful pink color and its fantastic staying power
  • Lighter - Trying to kick the butt but its not very easy
  • H&M raspberry sugar lip balm - Love this stuff. Great texture and smells divine. Cute packaging too!
  • YSL Rouge Volupté lipstck - Does not work for my lips at all but the color is cute
  • Bath & Body Works Amber Blush Body Cream - I love this cream as it is non greasy, fast absorbing and has a heavenly and long lasting fragrance
  • Forever New Wallet - Besides my cards and cash, I also stash my MAC Kinda Sexy Lipstick, Roses De Chloé Perfume and Nina L’Eau Perfume samples in my wallet
So those were the contents of my bag whenever I'm traveling. As you can see, there's not much of makeup but a lot of fragrances. I'm quite a perfume addict and I love having a variety of them no matter where I am. What are your travel essentials? Let me know in your comments below.

Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Envy Box - June 2015

When I recieved this month's My Envy Box a few days ago, I made sure I used each product a few times before I wrote this post so that I could share my experience with these products. And boy was I delighted! The June edition of My Envy Box came with two full sized products so it is a fantastic surprise for all subscribers. 

One of the full sized products is the Catrice Smokey Eyes Pencil. These eye pencils have an integrated brush applicator for one to reates effective smokey eyes. They're easy to apply and blend easily with the brush. I got a shimmery dark grey/green shade. Then there's the Natio Meditate Hand Cream in Pink Lotus, which is a great way to treat your hands and nails to an instant, luxurious pampering experience.  These moisture rich hand treatments infused with ancient Indian Attars soften hands and strengthen nails with extracts of Neem, Aloe, Sweet Almond, Sesame, Turmeric and Jojoba to nurture and revitalise. Pink Lotus is a sweet, calming Attar helping to awaken and calm your senses.

I always wanted to try the Kerastase Elixir Ultime Nourishing Oil but didn't want to invest in one as they're quite pricey. When it comes to hair products, you just never know if a product will suit yours so I'm glad the Envy Box got us two samples of this stuff. This lightweight oil has multiple uses and can be used pre and post styling to add softness, strength, and smoothness to hair. I use it as a finishing touch and work into the ends of the hair to control frizz, smooth and style. Its quite nice and non sticky or greasy on hair.

The second full sized product is the Hedonista Face Souffle, a decadent elixir of chocolate and rhassoul clay that cleanse your skin and provide nourishment. The brand Hedonista was founded by a friend so I know the amount of research and development that has gone into it so I was delighted to try the product and I must tell you its fantastic! The brand used handmade & all natural high-quality ingredients and organic oils for indulgent rituals. The products are all free from Palm oil, Artificial colourants or fragrance, Sulphates, Silicones, Parabens, Petroleum derivatives, Phthalates, Amines, PEGs, Formaldehyde

I love perfume samples as I always keep them stashed in my wallet so I was glad to see Estee Lauder Pleasures in the box. This is my best friend's favorite perfume so it instantly reminded me of her. This floral fragrance is a spirited blend of Lilies, White Peonies and Jasmine blended with the rare essence of exotic Baie Rose.

Besides the fact that you get to try premium products from world renowed brands at a reasonable Rs 850 per month, another notable fact is that the total value of the products in the box is always way more than the price it is being sold, so its a great deal for all of us. If you love luxury beauty products, make sure you try out My Envy Box. A lot of my friends have got it after I suggested them to try it and they were all very pleased with the box.

Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

Monday, June 22, 2015

Outfit - Birthday Dress

Thanks to my name, a lot of people assume that I was born in June. But I wasn't! It was my birthday last month but I was so caught up with three days of celebrations that I didn't get the time to do a post about it. Since I'm always wearing black, white or a combination of both, I made sure my birthday dress was a colorful and unique one. I'm bored of flowy maxi and bodycon mini dresses so this gorgeous assymetrical one from Romwe was just perfect for me. I don't have any white shoes (and I'd rather not, since I'm really good at destroying shoes) so I teamed this one with an old pair of killer purple heels. 

These photos were taken by my friend Akshat who did a fabulous job once again! Check out his work here.  How do you like this look? 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bar Review - The Beer Cafe

I love Beer so I knew I was bound to visit this place some day or another and this finally happened when I decided to brighten up my Monday night at The Beer Café. This is India's largest beer chain and is the only café in India with a range of 50 different varieties of beer from 17 countries in the world. So. Much. Beer. Yay!

Difficult decisions await you at The Beer Cafe
The first thing I noticed the moment I entered The Beer Café in Koregaon Park is its light and cheerful setting. The place is much larger than it looks from outside and also has a open air outer seating at the back side which is where most of the people choose to sit and you can see frequent beer pitchers coming in full and going back empty! This is the neighborhood place for those who love their beer, and more than that, love great conversations over beer. The menu gives you an extensive list of beers along with trivia about them. I was in the mood to experiment so I tried many different beers from many countries along with lots of delicious appetizers. Some come follow my beer exploration journey!

I started with a Spanish beer called the 1906 Special Reserve. Prepared from a careful selection of toasted malts and hops of the "Perle Hallertau" and "Nugget" varieties that give an aroma, a dark amber colour and a distinct flavour to the malts. The head is abundant and creamy, which keeps throughout the drink. Aftertaste is long and pleasant.

The Corn Bhel was mouthwateringly good and went perfectly with beer. This sweet and 
spicy preparation consists of corn kernels, onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves and sev (a crisp lentil based savoury) drizzled with tamarind and coriander chuntey which give it a tangy flavor. This was the first time I had Corn Bhel in my life and I fell in love!

This was followed by an Erdinger Weissbier - a German beer which is brewed using fine yeast according to a traditional recipe and in strict accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law. It takes three to four weeks for Erdinger Weissbier 'with fine yeast' to mature. The nose is really quite clean, crisp and citrussy, with a hint of yeast. On the palate the texture is creamy and dense

The Koliwada Fried Chicken came highly recommended so we were oblighed to try it. This crispy hot preparation was served Mumbai style and seems like the perfect match for beer. The curry leaves add a kick of flavor to it which made it very similar to my beloved dish Chicken 65 so I'm definitely ordering this every time I come here. Loved it!

Next up was the Paulaner Original - an aromatic German beer from with a fresh taste; initially acidulous, in the mouth a malty taste develops, with a hoppy aftertaste. A distinctive harmonic taste of hops and the delicate bitter Pils aroma

Another starter which was highly recommended is the Tirchi Topiwale which is a cute name for a mushroom dish stuffed with cheese. This one's great for all the cheese lovers out there. Gooey cheese that melts in your mouth the moment you bite into it! 

Oranjeboom is a delicious, easy-drinking Dutch drop with hay-like hue and a fruity fragrance. Citrus notes on the palate and a hint of caramel sweetness and a gentle, drifting finish

The fish fingers are a great accompaniment to your beer. They are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. These disappeared from the table in no time!

With special blend of high quality hops, Birra Moretti is an Italian beer that has a unique taste and fragrance, enhancing its perfectly balanced bitter taste. It is the result of a production process that has remained almost unchanged since 1859. 

One of the best dishes here is the Butter Garlic Prawns which have the perfect burst of flavor in every bite. Highly recommended!!

 The Spanish name Amigos had me fooled but this pale lager is actually from the UK! Notes of South American limes and real Mexican tequila contribute to the beer's zesty and refreshing taste profile, making it an ideal accompaniment to many food dishes and a perfect beverage for the summer.

The Garden Fresh pizza is crispy and has a tasty base and sauce. I had a teeny bite of this one as I was pretty stuffed by the time we got to this!

Last and definitely not the least is the Chimay Red, a Classic Belgian trappist beer with light and fruity aromas of black pepper, prunes, apricot and malt. It balances a mellow sweetness with a restrained bitterness and is nice and strong. Loved it!

The place is tastefully done up with lots of funny beer quotes and posters. They even have board games for you and your friends to play. In fact, till I came here, I had no idea that there are so many different styles of Beer. There's lager, pale ale, stout and so much more!

Here's me and Peter from the Beer Cafe Koregaon Park who did a great job hosting us and made sure we had a wonderful time!

Click to add a blog post for The Beer Cafe on Zomato
If you love beer, you cannot miss this place! Lovely ambience, good food and an extremely impressive array of beers (and other alcohol too) await you at The Beer Cafe. I loved it and can't wait to go back! At present, there are three outlets in Pune. 

The address of the one I visited is -
Ground Floor, Kapila Matrix, North Main Road Annexe, Koregaon Park, Pune

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Outfit - Metallic Tattoos

Whether it’s gold or silver, metallic tattoos are trending around the world. They have become a beauty and fashion phenomenon as they look like decorative gold and silver body jewelry in the form of stenciled-on delicate chain bracelets, laurel necklaces, and festival-ready feathers that seem to float across the skin. I've never been a fan of wearing jewelry so these are perfect for me as they have the shine of jewelry and the trendy appeal of tattoos.  I have been fascinated by metallic tattoos from the moment I discovered their existence almost a year ago but hadn't got a chance to get my hands upon them till I discovered the site This site has a variety of curated designs that suit any occasion. Their shipping is fast and effective and the designs are really light on the pocket so you can mix and match designs that suit your style. All you need to apply these is water and they can be removed with baby oil easily. Here's how I wore my metallic tattoos -

As usual, these photos were shot by my friend Akshat. Check out his awesome work here.

Dress - Romwe
Tattoo - Metallic Tattoos
Body Chain - Forever 21
Bag - Promod
Shoes - Forever 21

I totally adore metallic tattoos! How do you like these? Aren't they amazing for beach holiday or a music festival?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Discount Coupons, Offers and Deals in Singapore

If you are a shopping lover, you must Singapore at least once in your life. Being one of the most vibrant shopping hubs in Asia with hundreds of shopping centres, Singapore is fashion paradise for millions of tourists, who come for not only sight seeing but also buying the latest fashion items. There’s practically something for every shopper in Singapore. From international brands to uniquely Singaporean products, stretches of world-class shopping malls and online stores offer a wide array of choices. And I have some great news for those of you who like shopping online! CouponzGuru has now started in Singapore! This coupons and deals website provides lucrative offers, attractive deals, easy-to-find codes and lots of savings every time you decide to shop online. 

These coupons are absolutely free and you can find coupon codes to purchase a wide range of categories of products ranging from Fashion & Accessories, Mobiles, Electronic goods, Books, Apparels, Shoes and Baby Products to Flights, Hotels and Restaurant Deals. 

They are affiliated with a large number of online portals in Singapore and have listed all their latest coupons, deals and offers. They have coupons for some of Singapore's top websites like Luxola (an amazing beauty products and makeup website where I have got products from in the past), Rakuten (online shopping mall with numerous departments), Zalora (Asian fashion store with lots of brands and designer wear), Redmart (online supermarket for all your daily essentials) and many more!  

So, if you're in Singapore and love shopping online, don't forget to check out CouponzGuru for the best deals! 

Monday, June 08, 2015

Restaurant Review - Prem's

Prem's is a restaurant that needs no introduction if you've been living in Pune for a while. This restaurant has been around since the mid 80s and I've been going there for almost a decade so its about time I told you why it is one of the best multi cuisine restaurants in the city. Prems has an extensive menu that offers a large variety of Indian, Chinese and Continental food. They also have a great breakfast menu along with many healthy juices and detox shots. For the ones who like their alcohol, they have a well stocked bar too. Besides its open air relaxed ambience and great food and drinks, another amazing thing about Prems is that it is pet friendly! Thanks to that, my mom and I were able to enjoy a meal there along with my dog after a trip to the vet.

Thanks to the fact that I stayed in Hyderabad for a few years before I moved to Pune, I've always had a huge weakness for Chicken 65 so I just had to order it. This spicy deep fried dish consists of chunks of chicken with curry leaves and green chillies and is mouthwateringly good!  

I have been craving for a nice Greek salad for a long time now but unfortunately, even though this one was really good, it wasn't very authentic. However, since it was a hot summer evening, it was light and refereshing. 

Mom's got a huge affinity for fish so we shared a Tandoori Pomfret which is a delicacy of skewered marinated pomfret cooked in a clay oven over charcoal. It was served with a spicy kachumber salad and we wolfed it down in no time. Prem's is really good with their Indian cuisine and I've tried many of their appetizers and main course dishes from this section of the meny and they've always been fantastic. 

Moving on to main course, I succumbed to my weakness for Italian food and ordered a Lamb Lasagna. The chefs here whip up some mean pasta dishes so its hard to choose a favorite. However, their Lasagna remains one of my standard orders because it is just so good! It has the perfect blend of cheese, herbs and a slightly sweet tomato sauce that I can't get enough of. 

Also worth mentioning is another variation of  this dish on the menu called the Prem's Special Meat Overload which consists of alternate layers of pasta sheets, stuffed with cheese, chicken juliennes, lamb, chicken sausages and ham topped with a special sauce, baked and served with garlic bread. I've had it a couple of times too and it is heaven for meat lovers like me. An indulgent and satisfying meal for sure. The sizzlers here are really good too! Here's what the Lamb Lasanga looks like once its deconstructed!

Mom had a craving for Chinese food so she went for the Chicken Pan Fried Noodles which is a cantonese style preparation with white sauce. Once again, I've had this many times for many years so I can vouch for how delicious it is. 

Click to add a blog post for Prem's on ZomatoYou can just imagine how stuffed we were in the end of this delicious meal. As you can see, we tried different dishes from different types of cuisines and all of them were really great so if no matter what kind of cusine you're in the mood for, it is a fantastic option for dining in Pune. Thanks to the extensive multi cuisine menu, there's something for everyone at Prem's and I totally recommend you to try this restaurant if you're in Pune.

Address -  Prems, North Main Rd, Ragvilas Society, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Thursday, June 04, 2015

My Envy Box - May 2015

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll would be knowing that I've been revewing My Envy Box for a long time now. This is a luxury sampling box that sends a bunch of beauty products from prestige brands every month and if you like what you used, you can buy the full sized product from their site. The May 2015 edition of My Envy Box is a is a Spa Special box and since all the products have Green Tea as a common ingredient, this edition is also known as the 'Deluxe BeauTEA' box .

 Contrary to all the previous boxes which have a mix of different brands, all 5 products in this edition are from the brand Vana Vidhi which is an Indian Luxury brand. The set contains 40ml bottles of product which makes it very convenient for travelling. I've used all of them a couple of times and they're all pretty nice.

The contents of the box are -

Vana Vidhi Strong Brew Green Tea Natural Face Wash and Aloe Vera & Green Tea Body Wash -  Both products provides a thick and luxurious gel lather, with natural sulphate-free lathers and so much goodness of Darjeeling Tea for this summer. Pamper your skin with Green Tea and Water.

Vana Vidhi Mild Brew Green Tea Shampoo - a sulphate-free shampoo that cleans the hair with the purity of hand-picked Green Tea. The mild brew works wonderfully on hair.

Vana Vidhi Mild Brew Green Tea Hair Conditioner - Vana’s Mild Brew Green Tea Conditioner works to condition, grow and strengthen the hair.

Vana Vidhi Mild Brew Green Tea Natural Moisturizing Body Lotion - This body lotion imparts freshness and pampering to your skin.

Darjeeling Forest Incense - Add a touch of meditation with Darjeeling Forest Incense which is uniquely stickless and hand rolled, adding harmony and solace to the body and soul.

The products are all pretty nice and the best part is that this box is worth a whopping Rs 2600 while subscribers only need to pay Rs 850 for the same. Great deal, isn't it? If you love pampering yourself with luxury beauty products, make sure you try My Envy Box as it is a wonderful way of discovering fabulous beauty products and fragrances.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Just Herbs Skincare Review

Just Herbs is a line of pure, bespoke, and Ayurvedic skincare made from certified organic and wild crafted ingredients collected from across India. They create blends from traditional precious herbs and fuse them with exotic essential oils used in Aromatherapy to create a luxurious experience without compromising on the exacting principles of Ayurveda. The brand stands for honesty (follows full ingredients disclosure) and purity (uses authentic Ayurvedic herbs without harsh cosmetic ingredients like  parabens, sulphates and mineral oil). Their products haven been designed to target specific skin concerns. I've been using a couple of their products for a while and am very pleased with them. So here are some individual reviews -

Silksplash Rehydrant Face Wash - Rs 245 for 100 ml

Just Herbs’ Silksplash Neem Orange Rehydrant Face Wash is a product that combines the skin benefits of bitter orange with the legendary Neem and Sandalwood extracts in harmony with several other Ayurvedic herbs to provide chemical free cleansing that is safe and indulgent at the same time. The first thing I noticed when I used it was its pleasant fragrance that made me feel like I was in a spa. This face wash gently removes oil and grime from your face while retaining inherent moisture of the skin. Thanks to Ayurvedic ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Honey and Orange peel, this facewash is brilliant for people with oily and sensitive skin. 

NoSun Moisturising Sun Protection Gel - Rs 350 for 100 ml

This multitasking sun protection gel is enriched with Jojoba, Wheatgerm and Grape-seed oil, Green tea extract and Aloe Vera. With its built in UV protection and age control micro-nutrients, it effectively replenishes skin’s lost moisture and forms a protective barrier to UV rays to prevent sun spots, freckles and sun induced wrinkles. Since its a gel and not a cream or a lotion, its non sticky, moisturizing and doesn't leave a white cast on your skin. My arms are very tanned due to prolonged sun exposure so I apply this as a base and then top it up with SPF50 sunblock and wear full sleeved shirts. Thanks to this regime, my tan is slowly reducing and my skin feels very soft to touch. Unfortunately SPF is not mentioned but definitely protects from tanning.

Petalsoft Antitan Rose Face Pack - Rs 295 for 150 gm

Since I've been tanned for a while, I'm always on the lookout for products that will help me get rid of it. I've been wanting to color my hair red so I need to be the palest I can be. This face pack has a lovely rose fragrance and takes you to the spa the moment you open the lid. It helps reducing skin darkening, protects from sun burn and other sun induced skin damage. It also helps with toning, texturing and rejuvenating the skin by maintaining its elasticity along with removing a tan. The Liquorice in it inhibits melanin synthesis and soothes chronic inflammations and redness while Holy Basil and Rose protect from the effects of photo ageing due to their radiation protective properties. The only negative aspect about this product is that it makes my skin burn for a few minutes when I apply it, so I
do not recommend this to anyone with sensitive skin.

Miniature kit for dry/normal skin - Rs 595

Just herbs also makes miniature kits curated according to skin type. Not only is this kit an ideal way to try products before investing in the full-sized of the kit but it also makes for a delightful gift with 30 ml sized products. I have the kit for normal skin and am saving this one for when I'll be traveling. This kit includes Just Herbs’ signature 6 step regime for normal/dry skin in miniature form. The Just Herbs products comprising this kit are expertly formulated using cold pressed oils, organic waxes and butters to maintain an overall glow and nourishment for normal to dry skin types. The regime covers all the necessary steps involving a typical beauty regime and uses a mix of Just Herbs basic and speciality products made with ECOCERT certified organic ingredients. 

It includes the following products

Step 1: Silksplash Neem Orange Rehydrant face wash (use daily) - already reviewed above

Step 2: Apricot Sparkle Invigorating Skin Radiance Scrub (use twice a week) - unused

Step3: Herbal Nourishing Massage Cream (use daily) - wonderful and moisturizing

Step 4 : Fairever Protein Fairness Pack (twice a week) - burns a lot upon application but leaves skin smooth and supple. Not advisable for sensitive skin.

Step 5: Sun’ Nil Jojoba Grapeseed Sun Protection Gel (daily) - similar to Nosun reviewed above

Step 6:  Af’fair Fumittory-Liquorice Skin Lightening Night Cream (daily at bed time) - great product yet again

Overall, the three full sized products I have used have been absolute winners for me so I totally recommend these to all my readers. The best part is that they ship worldwide too so you can get your hands on these luxurious and Ayurvedic organic products no matter where in the world you are. Check out Just Herbs now!

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