Saturday 31 October 2015

Himalaya Herbals Clear Complexion Whitening Face Scrub Review

Another scrub from the stable of Himalaya Herbals and yes,this one is 'whitening' but I still used it since it does not have horrible chemicals and will not bleach the skin :P Hmm, so one fine day I was browsing through Big Bazaar and saw this new variant of scrub and hey,I had to use it :D 

Bought it for Rs. 130 for 100 gms which is perfect value for money. It is also easily available at Flipkart & Amazon etc. ,like all Himalaya Herbals products :)

Claims include enhancing complexion by removing impurities, revealing fresh glowing skin and visibly brighten skin. See, this is what is meant by 'whitening' when it is not done by bleaching or using harmful chemicals :D Ingredients as usual are purely natural such as Apricot,Licorice,White Dammer. As we all know, Apricot is the exfoliator while Licorice (mulethi) is known to brighten the skin in Ayurvedic texts :) Packaging,like all Himalaya Herbals products is quite sturdy and functional. No miracles promised which is fine with me. Quantity is perfect for the price, perfect value for money.

Now my skin is so sensitive that it will immediately break out in 100 pimples in mutiny on using anything harsh, but this is not harsh at all. In fact, it is even gentler than the other gentle scrub I used-Himalaya Herbals Walnut :D It is thus perfect for very sensitive skin. For me, I just found it a liquidier version of the walnut scrub and could not discern much difference. It did not work on blackheads or whiteheads or clogged pores, it did not give that satisfaction of having used an 'exfoliator' :D BUT it did lead to faintly brighter skin. But it is still more like using a lotion on face and then rinsing it off. Well, my skin is weirder than more people so probably I did not see much of a difference, other people might :)

  • Very gentle, great for sensitive skin
  • Does lead to little brightening
  • Removes impurities
  • Will not lead to allergies or scratches or rashes under any case,not even on most sensitive skin
  • Moisturizes skin,no need to use any cream after this
  • Value for money
  • Easily available everywhere, buy it from Flipkart or Amazon :)
  • Did not work much on my weird skin :D Maybe it will work on normal skin in a much better way,since I know quite a few people who have seen visible difference in their skin texture!
  • For those who need that 'gritty' exfoliating feel, this is not for you.

RECOMMENDED-Maybe! I think really sensitive,normal or even dry skin people will like it. There are no miracles but this can definitely be tried once :) Rating would be 3/5 (I am keeping in mind really great reviews of close friends too :D)

Himalaya Herbals Gentle Exfoliating Walnut Scrub Review

This is turning into a scrub-fest :D Actually, I just delved into my long lost collection and this bunch is all about some amazing (and some not so amazing :P) scrubs I used :D This is one of the earliest ones I used, right after Everyuth (whose pictures I still have to dig up!)

Himalaya is one brand that even my parents have used, of course, at that time (when dinosaurs roamed the earth :P) it was only involved in Ayurvedic medicines but with Himalaya Herbals, they have brought the beauty of Ayurveda into our homes! This is actually one brand I haven't been disappointed with yet and have used for quite some time, on & off :)

We all need good scrubs to scrub off not only old dead skin cells but also all the pollution & dirt that enters our pores everyday (especially in a city like Mumbai where you cannot even see stars anymore thanks to pollution!)

Claims of this brilliant product are quite straight-forward,something I have noticed about almost all Himalaya Herbals products. There are no miracles promised. It claims to exfoliate dead skin, remove impurities & hydrate skin- just perfect :D Ingredients include walnut shell granules, wheatgerm oil and crab apple and they give a beautiful fragrance together :) Packaging is quite good & hygienic in this tube and over the years,I have travelled with them too, they are very sturdy and travel friendly. Quantity is perfect value for money as a little is needed and it lasts at least 3 weeks even on using twice a week. I have bought it from Big Bazaar or Flipkart or even Amazon for just about Rs. 115-120 for 100 gms.

It has a nice texture that is neither too thick nor too runny, just moisten the face and apply it all over. The granules are not very hard and even on my sensitive skin,they have never scratched or left behind red rashes! That's very rare & important for me. It does remove impurities, freshens face, the amazing fragrance lingers on for some time. But it does not do anything for blackheads or whiteheads and does no miracles, which is okay since it does not claim any miracles either! It is actually a perfect scrub, gentle enough for sensitive skin too, I have in fact used it almost everyday back when I went to college since there was too much pollution that used to dull my skin everyday and this really kept me fresh and I never had any breakouts or allergies

  • Value for money, lasts a long time!
  • Does everything it claims :)
  • Exfoliates without irritating even ultra-sensitive skin like mine
  • Removes impurities, does not leave skin dry, moisturizes and smoothens
  • Pleasing fragrance
  • Trusted name, pure Ayurvedic product
  • Easily available offline as well as online on Flipkart, Amazon etc.
  • Not much effect on blackheads/whiteheads, so for people with very problematic skin, they should use something else-and anyway, such problematic skin gets worse with scrubs anyway :D
  • Nothing else, it is just all around great scrub :)

RECOMMENDED- YES. One of the best, value for money, great all-around scrubs that does what it says! Rating is 4.25/5 :)

Bio Papaya Revitalizing Tan-Removal Scrub

Well, you know how I love the words 'tan removal' :D I spent the first 20 years of my life completely devoid of any kind of sunscreen while spending at least 5 hours a day under direct sunlight, so yeah do the math please :D

Needless to say,anything saying 'tan removal', 'whitening', 'brightening' is always on my radar :D

Also, Biotique is one of the first pure natural brands I started using, and I have used almost every product, so here is one of those products I have used more than once and quite liked!

Bought it first from Big Bazaar, but in past 2 years or so,only bought from Flipkart for around 200 for 75 grams, which lasts a long time,so it is not as expensive as it sounds :D


Claims to dissolve dead skin surface cells, unclog the pores, smoothen the skin,make it supple, exfoliate naturally and uncover skin's natural brightness to give younger-looking skin :D Ingredients include papaya extracts, aam beej, khajoor, methi, yasad bhasm, ban haldi, himalayan water and so on. Pure natural and botanical extracts mixed together in an Ayurvedic recipe,like all Biotique products :) Packaging is sturdy,travel friendly and very little is needed in each use,so Quantity is enough to last almost 2 months on using twice a week.

This is actually very hard scrub and needs to be diluted before applying or it will scratch your skin, if it is as sensitive as mine! It definitely works perfectly in sloughing off dead skin and even work against blackheads to a certain extent but I would tell sensitive skinned people to use it like a face mask more than a scrub. Put it on for 5 minutes and then gently rinse it off because I have found some red rashes on my cheek when I have scrubbed too hard with this. Since it has papaya as main ingredient, its claims are mostly true and it really gives a nice radiant glow immediately which lasts for 2-3 days. Papaya has an enzyme that immediately dissolves dead skin, exfoliates and that makes using a sunscreen very important as the fresh new skin underneath can tan very easily on exposure to sun (or even radiation from our computer screens :P) I have actually not seen a lot of tan removal per se but I have noticed brightening and that is good enough for me :D

  • Purely natural, organic, Ayurvedic, no side effects due to ingredients even on my ultra-sensitive skin
  • Smoothens skin, makes it glow immediately
  • Takes care of blackheads to a good extent on regular use
  • A little is needed, so very value for money
  • Skin does not feel dry after using it, but moisturized :)
  • Easily available on FlipkartAmazon 

  • Hard texture, can lead to scratches on sensitive skin if scrubbed too hard
  • No magical tan removal, which I do not think is a very big deal, but its name is 'tan removal',so :D

RECOMMENDED- YES to those with normal, dry or even oily skin, but sensitive skin people be forewarned! Rating would be 3.75/5 :)

Biotique Bio Nut Detoxifying Body Scrub Review

By now, it must be evident how much I am in love with scrubs :D Even though my facial skin is too sensitive to love any kind of scrub, my body needs it regularly to buff off all the dead,dry,rough skin :)

Biotique Bio Nut Detoxifying Body Scrub is one of the first one I used years ago,while still in college and quite liked it. Eventually,I have used it now & then and liked it every single time :)

I have always purchased it from Flipkart  For around Rs. 500 for 175 grams which lasts easily for 1 & a half months on using twice or even thrice a week. I would say it is value for money and not very expensive considering how premium product Biotique is!

Claims to leave skin spotless, refreshed, take care of dryness & pigmentation, giving soft & supple skinIngredients are pure natural and potent such as walnut oil,neem, red sandalwood, mint which together smell really nice too :D Packaging is very sturdy, this big tub that has no false bottom or anything and it is quite travel friendly too


Lovely texture that is thick and moisturizing for my skin! My skin does not feel stretchy or dry after using it and for that alone,I love it a lot. In fact,I usually let it sit on my skin for 3-4 minutes and then gently exfoliate my skin by dampening it with water and it completely rinses out all the dirt and impurities. It has loads of gritty granules,perfect for very rough areas like elbows and knees/ ankles especially :) Skin is left soft,supple,radiant immediately :)

  • Gritty granules,perfect for body scrubbing
  • Very moisturizing especially for dry skin
  • Buffs away all dirt and dead skin without making skin dry at all
  • Soft,supple skin immediately
  • Softens rough areas like elbows and knees that are difficult to soften :)
  • Quantity is good enough as little is needed,since it is so thick in texture,only a little is needed every time :)
  • Quite pleasant fragrance,lingers on for some time!
  • Easily available at Flipkart, Amazon and so on.
  • I cannot think of a single bad point :D

RECOMMENDED -  YES! One of the best body scrubs,hands down :) Rating is 4.75/5

Biotique Bio Coconut Whitening & Brightening Cream Review

Okay, so once in a while I do use products with labeling of 'whitening' and 'fairness'. First,because YES nothing would make me happier than have Kareena Kapoor or Katrina Kaif's complexion and I am hoping some product would do that (it is NOT easy being Dusky + Short + Fat girl in India,have mercy :P) But more importantly, the thing is Indian companies often use 'whitening' and 'fairness' to lure customers in, when in reality they want to rid our skin of tanning/ pollution/ give radiance/ brighten it :) So I keep away from products with dangerous chemicals (Confession-I used Fair and Lovely-for a week,10 years ago :P) and only use the ones I think would not bleach my skin,rather brighten it :) This is supposed to be one of those products!

I bought it from Flipkart for Rs. 455 for 175 grams and that is reasonable enough as Biotique is high-quality, purely Ayurvedic and natural. Ingredients include pure virgin coconut, dandelion and Manjishtha which Claims to lighten the skin by fading the blemishes and spots and making skin smooth and supple. Quantity is enough to last more than 3 months if you apply it on face and more than a month on applying on hands & legs (as I did :D)

See,the thing is,my skin is weird. It is sensitive and gets red easily and dry but at the same time,little oily too, and gets pimples if I use anything too rich but feels rough if I don't put on anything :P So I have to be very careful of what I put on my face. My body skin on the other hand is rough and very dry and loves oily stuff. And that is what this cream is. IT IS OILY! I mean, REALLY OILY! Not like Parachute oil, but just two notches below that, got that? So I opened the pack and I knew that I would get an attack of 100 pimples within a day if I put it on my face and I will never risk that (who will? :P) 

Needless to say, my hands and feet love this cream. LOVE IT! It is paradise for dry,rough hands and feet. And if you have really dry facial skin, please try it. But not if you have oily/ combination skin! It says 'For all skin types' but I implore those with oily skin to stay away! Dry skinned beauties can lap it up. It moisturizes wonderfully and gives a brightening glow immediately. I won't say it 'whitens' but it definitely makes skin smooth and supple and the moisturizing effect lasts a good 7-8 hours. No dryness at all. I have used so many creams and body lotions but never met anything as good a moisturizer as this :)

  • Great Moisturizer, perfect for dry skin
  • Natural, Ayurvedic
  • Gives smooth, supple, healthy looking (and feeling skin)
  • Little is needed at a time, so lasts a good long time
  • Gives immediate radiance for sure :)
  • Available easily on Flipkart, Amazon etc. :)
  • No whitening at all
  • Absolutely not recommended to oily/combination skin, it will invite pimples!
  • Tub packing is unhygienic (but it is thick so I don't think it can come in a pump bottle like other lotions,I did not mind taking it out of the tub everyday, but some other people would!)
  • A little weird smell :D I have ultra-sensitive nose and I did not find the smell bad in any way,it was just not fragrance-y like other creams or lotions. Maybe it is a good thing because they did not add any artificial fragrance!

RECOMMENDED- Yes for Dry Skin, No for oily skin! I will use it again because I love the deep moisturization and healthy feel of my skin. Rating is 3.75/5 :)

Copper Chimney Lower Parel, Mumbai

My mama (from Delhi) is a big fan of Copper Chimney and he visits us here in Mumbai at least once a year and we usually end up going to various outlets of Copper Chimney or Moti Mahal :D He is a big fan of Mughlai/ North Indian food and is not a big experimenter in terms of cuisines,so I guess he likes sticking to his tried-and-tested, safe options. And as far as North Indian/ Mughlai/ Tandoori food goes,this place is pretty good :)

Stay braced,as the name itself is 'Copper Chimney', the ambiance is also extremely earthy, elegant, rooted in our soil :) It is comfortable and particularly good for going with families for casual dining or even celebrating a nice occasion.

Yes, this is one of those place where you want to take pictures of everything-the walls, the lamps, the bells, the mirrors, the panels. Told you, it is elegant :D

We have seen many large parties walk in, the place is spacious and thus frequented by large groups. So next time you have 10 hungry people rooting for good North Indian food and you are in the vicinity of High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, you know where to come :D This AND Cream Center are probably your best bets. Cream Center is pure veg while Copper Chimney caters to both veggies as well as non-veggies :) 

Oh yeah, there is the kitchen-see that foggy area? :D Always a great idea for foodies to see their delicious meal being prepared fresh & hot,right? :D

We have tasted quite a few dishes on the menu,and I would recommend Subz Handi, Kadhai Paneer, Dal Maharaja, Roomali Roti, Lachcha Paratha, Veg Biryani. My mama loves Chicken Tikka, Murgh Makhni and Mutton Biryani here. I am especially sold on that lovely chutney that accompanies the food. Yum :D Oh,and also you can try some drinks here, quite good all of them (especially if someone else is paying) :D

It is NOT easy on the pocket. A filling meal for 4 people would involve 2 starters, 2 curries, an Indian bread or biryani & maybe a dessert and it would come to a minimum of 2600-3200. So it is not a place that I would frequent on my own quite frequently, but once in a while is good enough :) Be aware of the rush that happens on the weekend though-a minimum waiting time of 15-20 minutes is expected after 8.30 PM and sometimes,it leads to food being delayed up to half hour-45 minutes too! It happened just once with us, on a particularly busy day, otherwise the staff is quite efficient and polite :) 

Do visit it once, I would surely recommend it!

Copper Chimney Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Relish-International Veg Cuisine, Churchgate, Mumbai

Are you a foodie?
Then, Relish at Churchgate, Mumbai has to be one of your favorite places.

Add to that being a Vegetarian or a Jain or a lover of cheese or a hater of diets.
Then, Relish at Churchgate, Mumbai is your heaven just like it is for me :D

I was introduced to this heaven when I was in college by another foodie friend who was a hardcore non-vegetarian and I have very few such people in my close friends' circle (it is just a co-incidence,I have nothing against non-vegetarians :P). What happened was we worked together on many projects and were almost attached at the hip for 2 years straight,so obviously, we spent a lot of time together and we were both foodies and she a non-veggie while me a veggie so we were always scouting the best places where we would both get something for our liking OR a great veggie place where she won't miss non-veg stuff :D Relish is what makes you fall in love with it and even hardcore non-vegetarians keep coming back for more!

I must have been here about 50 times over the past decade with my family and it is our ultimate go-to place! If we are in Churchgate or Fort area, we usually end up here. If we have any small occasion to celebrate (Eg-Yay, today is the 3rd week anniversary of me buying that grey trouser!) then we end up here :D You get the drift :P I love to explore new places but Relish is one place I end up having a hearty meal at,atleast 4 times a year :D

Now it says, International Veg Cuisine & the menu has Italian, Mexican, American, Lebanese dishes. But no need to do any heavy duty research on anything. Pick ANYTHING from the menu and it is going to be GREAT! Trust me. Also everything will be loaded in cheese/ gravy/ sauce/ a mix of all i.e. loaded in calories, so this is NOT the place to be if you have dieting in mind :P You CAN order a salad but honestly,coming here to have a salad??? I don't even know how to react to that :D But then again, I don't expect anyone other than a hardcore foodie is reading this :D So, start with Minestrone soup, it is going to be hot,a bit fiery, filling (if you are a light eater :D), flavorsome and yumm :D

Nachos, American Cheese Balls, Onion Rings are excellent choices for appetizer, as is the brilliant Paneer Chilli Fingers which I never want to share with anyone else :D Look at that Paneer, it is so soft *Drooling*

Oh,and when they say Chilli, they really mean Chilli :D It IS Fiery :D

If you are even 10% as much in love with pasta as I am, then you must be searching for the perfect lasagna, not easy to perfect. Now imagine having an Italian grandmother making it for you! Can you see her smothering you in layers of pasta sheets loaded with cheese and baked vegetables and it all melting into a medley of something so delicious that words falls short? Oh, here is that very same lasagna! Veg. Lasagna at Relish has spoiled me so much, I don't even order it anywhere else.

And now the dish everyone wants to marry :D Yup, THE FAMOUS SIZZLERS! I know there are many places that do sizzlers and most of them do a good job, but the ones here are beyond comparison. For starters, they do not have that annoying burnt cabbage leaf at the bottom. Don't know about you, but it grates on my nerves. And every element here is perfectly baked. AND you can personalize it! You can ask for rice or noodles, American fries or baked potatoes, Mushroom sauce or BBQ Sauce and so on! My favorite combination is Grilled Cottage Cheese Steak or Corn Kabab with Mexican Rice, Mash potatoes, Buttered vegetables in BBQ sauce. It simply warms us up. For me,it is perfect definition of high-calorie comfort food :D 

There are umpteen choices of different pizzas, pastas and oh,the fondue to try here! I told you, pick any dish off the menu and you will never forget the taste :) I have been going for a decade and I have tried 80% of the menu :D Some dishes are so amazing,I could not even take a photo before finishing it off :D

 When it comes to the desserts, rest assured that you are getting Masterchef worthy dishes since they come from the same kitchen that makes cakes/ pastries/ chocolates etc. for the neighboring 210 degrees which demands another post of its own :D If you love chocolates (and come on, who doesn't :P) then go for Chocomania which gives you 7 chocolate suprises on a platter :D Ice cream, Brownie, Pastry, Mousse..Dig in, Thank me later!

*Heaven* *No words needed* *Drooling* *Wiping it off the keyboard* *Drooling again* 

So yeah, that was a good enough glimpse through the awesomeness of Relish, right? :D Remember, pick anything off the menu. One Nachos, One Sizzler and One Chocomania would fill up 2 hearty eaters to the brim :D So would One Fondue and One Pasta! And so on, the combinations are unlimited. Price would be around 1200-1600 for 2 people and I am talking real foodies here! I am off soon, join me there, won't you? :D

Relish - International Veg Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Francesco's Pizzeria, Lower Parel, Mumbai

A busy Saturday night, I am off to High Street Phoenix with mom & sister and we are famished. But we want to try something new and light, have been to every other place in the vicinity! Then I realize-Hey, I have been waiting to try out Francesco's for a long time & finally,here we are :) 

An elegant little place, the moment we stepped in, it was like being in a time machine, cozy and comfortable, like sitting in a quaint pizzeria in Italy :)

Long & elaborate menu with salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pasta, desserts, coffee and more. Options for everyone to enjoy as vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are equally well represented. Prices a bit on the higher side but given the excellent experience and service, well worth it I say :) 

Oh yes, there are mirrors on the walls and this brick wall inlay is simply mesmerizing :) Also, perfect place for photographers as well as selfie lovers :)

Oh, it is not at all dark as being portrayed in this picture :P I am still getting the hang of all 'instagram' filters and this one turned out a bit darker :P In reality, it is very well lit and perfectly warm ambiance-perfect for dates actually, or even gossiping with old friends for hours on end! It has this youthful energy that is amazing to tap into :)

We had brilliant Cheese-less Wellness Pizza as well as Verdure Pizza,both excellent! Thin crust,so different and authentic, not at all what we get served in many 'pizza' places :D Toppings could be a bit more generous but overall, yumm! I never thought a pizza without cheese could be so delicious  too-it is a treat for dieters :)

The star of the evening was this brilliant delish Avocado Pesto Pasta, creamy but not at all heavy, it was flavorsome and filling, just perfect! In fact, two 8" pizzas + one pasta was enough for the light dinner that the 3 of us had in mind :)

For such delicious gourmet Italian meal experience which was perfectly complimented with excellent, prompt service, we paid just about 1000 rupees, won't even call it damage to the wallet, it was simply a pleasure :)

Finally, what better way to end the meal than with a complimentary dessert :D We were pretty full and did not want to overdo our dinner,so we did not call for any dessert and were given these little cookies complimentary. Loved every bit! I now know why Francesco's is so popular and I am going back there soon!

Francesco's Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato