Monday 30 November 2015

Patanjali Aloevera Gel Review

Yes, it is Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Aloevera Gel!
Yes, Yes, Yes!
Am I a Baba Ramdev follower? Am I trying to influence you to become his follower too?
No, No, No!

Had to get that out of the way,because somehow,anything seems to offend some people nowadays and some people are always politicizing every issue. This is just a review of a beauty product that happens to belong to Patanjali brand, which by the way, has quite a few great products that I personally know to have benefited a lot of people, but again, let us not get into any kind of politics here :)

So, we all know how awesome Aloe Vera is,right? It has been called nectar for being so useful internally as well as externally. We can drink Aloe Vera juice and it has plethora of benefits for our digestive system while Aloe Vera gel when applied on our skin or head scalp gives us glowing skin, heals cuts and blemishes, fight with pigmentation, acne, dandruff and so on and so forth :) I think Patanjali Aloevera Gel was the first one that I started using and in fact, Patanajali was instrumental in raising masses' awareness to its benefits (as far as I remember). So one fine day,my dad brought me this tube of goodness and I started using it.

As everyone knows by now, my skin is completely weird. Dry and acne prone and dehydrated and sensitive and blah blah. So it takes a lot for me to take that leap of faith and use anything new. But Patanjali Aloevera Gel really made me happy and has become one of my staples now. It is quite easily available in any Patanjali store, I think they are now even distributing through Big Bazaar stores,plus can be easily bought online from Amazon or Flipkart :) It costs a very reasonable around Rs. 75 for 150 ml.

Claims to increase beauty,enhance complexion and fight blemishes/spots/pigmentation. Ingredients is natural aloevera gel with some added color,fragrance and preservative (very small quantity). Packaging is excellent, I have traveled with this tube and it shuts absolutely sturdily,no spillage at all :) Quantity is great for the price as it easily lasts a month even on applying on face twice a day!

The first time I used it,I had no idea how much to use. So I lathered on a lot and it became a sort of face mask,very gooey at the beginning and then sticky after a while,so I washed it out and then my skin turned all soft yet very dry. With regular usage,I have understood that it can be used in many ways. I have used it as a cleanser - on days when I am at home only,not exposed to too much pollutants and just want to freshen up, this is perfect to give an instant freshness :) Then, as a face mask it is great provided that I immediately follow it up with a moisturizer,as the softness it provides is retained for a longer time :) And,finally,just a tiny layer of this gel applied at night half hour before sleeping works wonderfully as a night moisturizer and I wake up with fresh,soft,glowing skin :) I also used it on my sister's face and she has ultra oily skin, this gel completely soaked up all the oil and also soothed her pimples. There are no miracles BUT there are visible results within a week of using it. My sister had a lot of acne marks on her hands & back and I regularly applied this gel half hour before bedtime for 15 days and those marks reduced by 30%. I consider this nothing short of a miracle :) There have been NO outbreaks/rashes on my sensitive skin which makes me happy that the majority of this product is natural and even the preservatives are okay. The best part is the instant cooling sensation that one gets on using it. I would only ask all the dry skinned people to mix and use it with a moisturizer since it is better for oily & combination skin. Otherwise,I would say that this is one of the best products to be used not for cosmetic purpose but for general upkeep and healing of skin. That is why I always have a tube lying around at home :)

  • Complete value for money
  • Easily available,buy it from Flipkart or Amazon 
  • Natural Ayurvedic goodness, no adverse reaction on my ultra sensitive skin
  • Perfect for combination and oily skins, not bad for dry skin either
  • Truly works on pigmentation, acne spots, blemishes, does everything it promises
  • Regular use gives glowing,soft skin
  • Works beautifully as a night moisturizer, is truly multi-purpose
  • That cooling sensation is brilliant,especially on eyes, after a hard day's work :)
  • Absolutely miraculous on old acne spots,with regular usage :)
  • Dry skinned people need to follow up with a moisturizer
  • Some preservatives and color is added, not 100% natural (though I find it perfectly safe to use)
  • Some people have an allergy to the name of 'Baba Ramdev' and 'Patanjali' which frankly is just ridiculous! It is a great product which must be used by everyone :)

RECOMMENDED-YES! It is not another cosmetic product but a truly multi-purpose skincare tool. I would rate it 4.75/5 :)

Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion Review

Taking forward review of products in my Clarins gift box I got from a friend some months ago, this is my favorite from the lot. Perfect for dry & dehydrated skin without making it sticky, I am glad to have used this.

I got a nice 30 ml tube which was perfect for applying on my ultra dry-as-Sahara-desert hands and feet for 4 days straight and it was enough to make me fall in love with it :) If you want to buy it,check out Amazon where it is available for Rs. 3760 for 200 ml which should be enough to last 1 month. It is such a good product that I don't even mind that it is so expensive, and yes,after all it is Clarins :)

Claims to 'Nourish, Smoothen, Moisturize, Improve skin tone'. Ingredients is mainly Shea Butter (and a boatload of chemicals that I cannot be bothered to remember :P). Packaging is good enough and travel friendly

I have used other Clarins products but this one seems to be the best of the lot. My hands and feet are always in need of dire moisturization as they feel like Sahara desert most of the time. But either most of the lotions or creams are moisturizing only for 1-2 hours and then I have to reapply them (which I am horrible at) or they are too greasy and icky and still that dehydrated, stretchy feeling stays unchanged underneath the greasy layer! This one however is truly moisture-rich, without being greasy. It takes a little massage to seep in the skin, then it gives a beautiful glow, a warm feeling, a nice fragrance that lingers for some time, and the moisture envelope lasts for 6-7 hours easily. It makes my skin feel healthy -as we all know, moisturized skin automatically feels young and smooth-and yes, Clarins moisture-rich body lotion gives that smooth glow :) It is one of those very few products that have completely done justice to their promise.


  • Does what it promises
  • Moisturizes perfectly without being greasy for 6-7 years,even extremely dry skin feels healed
  • Extremely pleasant fragrance
  • Improves skin tone,makes it feel young and smooth
  • Truly luxury beauty brand and product
  • Expensive,but quality is so good,I do not mind it one bit :)
  • Not easily available, check out Amazon

RECOMMENDED-YES! If you have been as troubled as I am with extremely dry,dehydrated skin, this is a savior! Rating is 4.5/5 :)

Clarins White Plus Smoothing Brightening Night Cream Review

This was a part of the brilliant Clarins Gift Box I received a few months ago with some sample size products of the iconic beauty brand. My quest for the best moisturizer continues and this product did make a mark on me in some ways :)

In recent years,almost everyone has woken up to the importance of having a night cream in the daily beauty regimen, whereas I grew up in an atmosphere where putting some basic facial oils (almond, apricot and even baby oil!) was the most I saw my mother & grandmother do as their daily bedtime ritual! I guess, with all the pollutants and stress related factors in the external environment that we are daily exposed to, a night time regimen sounds proactive enough for skin care nowadays. So I was pretty excited to use Clarins Night Cream, add to that the tag of Smoothing & Brightening and you have got me in the net :D 

I got a cute little tube of 15 ml which lasted me a cool 6 days and I was generous with applying it every night. For those interested in buying it,do check out Amazon where it is available for Rs. 6402 for 50 ml! Yup, it is an iconic luxury brand all right!

Claims to be 'a rich brightening and hydrating night cream,even out complexion, slow down melanin production, leading to clearer,smoother,more radiant skin'. Ingredients include very impressive list of Raspberry, Vitamin C (Lemon Extract), Hyaluronic Acid along with several chemicals (do not ask me to pronounce them :P). Packaging is sturdy and travel friendly. Quantity is-well, you don't ask this question when it comes to luxury brands :D Their quality ought to speak for itself :) Though if you are insistent, 50 ml should last a month at least even if your skin is as dry as mine,as only a little is needed each time.

It is moisturizing indeed. My skin did not feel dry or stretched out at all which it usually does,no matter what I put on :( And I am afraid of putting on anything extra oily since it leads to pimples *headbang* Oh yes,my marvelously confused skin which simply cannot decide if it wants to be dry or oily. But hey,this one moisturized nicely without leading to acne or clogged pores on my face, which is a plus point. Woohoo :D It also gives nice little glow that makes looking in the mirror first thing in the morning a nice experience as opposed to 'Holy Crow,is THAT how I look in the morning' scare :D I did not see any 'decrease in melanin production' in 6 days but I am pretty rigid with using heavy duty sunblock every single day. I do not encourage hoping for miracles with any beauty product and this is no exception, what I do know is it is a good moisturizer. And the fragrance is divine! But,the final question is, does this warrant the hefty price tag? I got this for free,so no regrets,but will I pay this much for a simple moisturizer? Umm, maybe not :) But I know many people out there will pay a lot for a brand name,and if so,then this is a good product to bet on. In the long run,on using it for a month or longer, it might even lead to more evened out complexion too. Overall, a good product.


  • Divine fragrance
  • Iconic brand
  • Rich texture of the cream,perfect for dry and dehydrated skin
  • Gives soft,supple skin in the morning
  • A nice,dewy glow is imparted
  • No breakouts/pimples on my sensitive skin 
  • Did I tell you about the fragrance that is simply out of this world? :D
  • Good moisturizer but way too expensive!
  • Not easily available, check out Amazon :)

RECOMMENDED- Yes for those who want to experience a luxury brand, No for those who will expect miracles after spending so heavily. Rating would be 3/5 :)

Iraya Hibiscus Balsam Review

Oh,my search for that elusive best conditioner for my dry,dehydrated hair, when will it end?
Probably never :P
But till then, I am happy to come across some really good & effective conditioners that keep my hair looking normal, even if just for 2 days :D

Meet Iraya Hibiscus Balsam, a great natural conditioner for really dry hair, or hair in need of some simple TLC :) I had heard about quite a few Iraya products but never really used any, this is the first Iraya product I have used and it is fantastic!

Bought it from Amazon for almost Rs. 550 (150 was delivery charges!) for 150 ml and looking at the quality of the product,I do not think it is very expensive per se, though I would like the quantity to be at least 200 ml :)

It Claims to 'Nourish,condition the hair, restore its vitality'. Ingredients include Hibiscus, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vegetable Glycerine, Jatamansi, all natural formulation this is and 100% Vegetarian too,no testing on animals, yay :) Packaging is sturdy, but the pump dispenser could get stuck sometimes and the product itself is too thick so sometimes it is a tussle to get it out :D No big deal though. As I said, Quantity seems a bit less for the price, this lasted me 3 weeks when I used it twice or thrice a week and if it was 200 ml,it would last me a month, I would have liked that. Also,I use quite a lot of conditioner as my hair is abnormally dry and frizzy, but for someone with normal hair,this will easily last more than a month,so that way it will be value for money. 

However, it really is a wonderful conditioner. It is called 'balsam', I think, because it is more than a conditioner. It really made my hair soft but without that chemical-y feeling that usually accompanies using those drugstore conditioners which are full of silicones and other chemicals. This balsam helped me detangle my hair very easily and the softness stayed for at least 2 days afterwards which is great. Especially because I used it after using my brilliant Khadi Neem Shampoo which takes care of my itchy scalp & dandruff but really dries out the scalp and also makes hair dry, but this helps me after that. I am always in search of a conditioner because my scalp is so sensitive and scratchy,I need special shampoos to deep clean it but at the same time my hair is so dry it simply has no ability to retain moisture. So this conundrum continues. If I use a heavy duty shampoo, my hair feels like straw and if I use a mild shampoo, my scalp feels irritated! So a deep conditioner is always on my wish list and this one really fits the bill. I did not experience any hairfall or itching after using it either which makes it a good fit for me as anything having even remotely harmful chemicals make my scalp go itch-itch :D I used it for only 5 minutes after shampoo and even then results were great, I wish I had the patience to keep it on for 15-20 minutes which I am sure would give even better results :) Remember,there are no miracles!


  • Natural formulation
  • Does everything it promises
  • Beautiful fragrance that lingers for some time, does not feel artificial
  • Also,Beautiful light pink color,like cotton candy :D
  • Does not give artificial shine to hair, but gives a healthy shine & natural softness

  • I just wish the quantity was more for the price
  • Not very easily available, I think it is because Iraya makes natural products,so it must be making in batches which get over quickly and then we have to wait for another fresh batch :) Buy it from Amazon!

RECOMMENDED- YES! I would say this is a great conditioner for dry hair and even normal hair would benefit from it. Rating is 4/5

Khadi Herbal Shampoo Neem Sat Review

Scratchy, Itchy, Flaky, Irritating.

These are the words I use on most days to describe my hair and scalp. While I am not a chronic victim of any disease, my skin & hair drive me nuts enough to feel like a 24/7 patient. Sometimes too dry, Always so sensitive, Sometimes so scratchy, Always so irritating. That is why I keep going through a roster of products searching for the Holy Grails. And very rarely,I do come across something that really works :)

Khadi Herbal Shampoo Neem Sat is one such product! It has given me a huge relief from the scratchy, little dandruff-y, little flaky, very sensitive scalp condition that I suffer from :)

I had used one another Khadi Herbal shampoo a long time ago and it did not suit my hair one little bit. It turned my hair even dry-er than before, it literally felt like straw and I had to deep condition it for weeks before it turned normal (which is anyway dry like straw :P) so I was apprehensive of using this one. But I got really good reviews of this from some friends and I was absolutely fed up of using so many shampoos which did nothing for my itchy scalp, so I just took a leap of faith and used it. So glad I did!

I got it from Flipkart for Rs. 100 only, it is quite easily available online. Khadi products have an illustrious history and are rooted in the soil of our country,so bonus points for feeling good about buying it :D

Claims include 'an excellent remedy for itchy,irritated scalp and dandruff,it deep cleanses hair and keeps scalp healthy,fights off infections'. Ingredients include Neem, Brahmi, Tulsi, Reetha which we all know to be very beneficial Ayurvedic ingredients but there is no specific percentages of their composition given,which I would have appreciated. I am sure there are some chemicals involved and some artificial coloring too but that must be very little ( I hope!). Packaging looks sturdy and while there was no spillage while the product was shipped, as you can see in the image, the cap simply broke off and hinged after 1 use only! I did not have to travel anywhere so this was fine with me, but if one has to travel, this cannot be trusted. Quantity is awesome, this lasted me more than 2 months even on using twice a week, just a little is enough :)

The trick to using it is,dilute a little with water and then use all over scalp, leave it for 5 minutes and then rinse it off. I usually oil my hair before using this,otherwise it leaves hair very dry (Neem does that) and then I use a little conditioner,so my hair remains soft while my scalp is very clean and refreshed. I do not feel as if I used a boatload of chemicals on my scalp, it feels clean, I do not scratch it as often as I used to, it smells nice too, overall this is just an amazing product that does everything it promises and it is a must buy for me :) 

  • Does everything it promises
  • Takes care of scalp infections, scratchiness, dandruff too!
  • Nice, refreshing smell that is not overpowering at all
  • Keeps scalp clean for 2 days at least 
  • Natural ingredients that really work
  • Lasts a long time, really value for money
  • Legacy of Khadi, matter of pride for India :)
  • Easily available at Flipkart, Amazon etc.

  • Neem dries out hair, a conditioner is a must after shampoo OR oil your hair heavily before shampoo (like I do :D)
  • Cap gets unhinged,problematic if want to travel with this bottle!
  • No complete ingredients list makes me a little uneasy, that's it :)

RECOMMENDED-YES! If you have suffered from a problematic scalp like mine (which is made worse by the pollution & stress we have to face everyday), then THIS is a great remedy. A must buy again and again :) Rating is 4.75/5

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Bombay Salad Co., Fresh Salads, Bandra, Mumbai

It was a sultry,extremely sunny afternoon 2 weeks ago. It was my sister's extended birthday celebration (she celebrates it for 1 week flat :D) and being a new entrant on the 'health nut' scene (don't ask!) she wanted to check out something really healthy AND tasty! Now everyone knows that health & taste are not perceived to mix well. There are only so many ways you can pretend to like Quinoa or Oats or boiled Broccoli before you go misty eyed at the mere mention of those scrumptious pasta or pizza or sizzlers in barbecue sauce *drool* -or this is what everyone thinks :D

Well, I searched around a bit and landed right here in Bandra, at Bombay Salad Co. I was assured that this was one of THE places to be if you are searching for good, healthy food that will fill your tummy, satisfy your tastebuds and not make a big dent in your pocket either. Well, well, well, it fits the bill on all these counts AND some more :D

Go straight on Linking Road, keeping National College on your right, take a left from KFC, take the 4th left there, get inside a small-ish lane-ish street, and there it is, a really small place with a really small signboard that you might miss if you are not looking for it :D There is a little outdoor sitting which is not a good idea on sunny days (or maybe you wanna get tanned,personal preference here) and an equally little indoor sitting where an overpowering smell of all the salad combinations and sauces and juices might be a bit too strong. It didn't bother us much :) Walk in and see this huge counter filled with all veggies, nuts, fruits that go in the making of the beautiful salads here. And YES, there is popcorn as a topping too :D


So there are salads, sandwiches, wraps, juices on the menu. But I bet once you see the salads here, you won't have enough space in the tummy to order to anything else. Make your own salad by choosing your own veggies, fruits, sauces OR go for one of the pre-made selections all of which are simply fantastic. AND if you are not a heavy eater, do not go for the big bowl, since it is REALLY BIG :D We ordered 3 salads (1 big bowl and 2 small ones) and we were starving, still we couldn't finish it all! And we normally eat like elephants, so, make your choice accordingly. Order the juices too since they are pure 100% fresh fruit juice, nothing added unless you ask for it specifically


We ordered for The Hipster, The Samurai and Paneer Tikka & Parmesan salads, all of which were delicious to say the least. Fresh, colorful, an exotic mix of flavors that is not easily found in salads at least, very healthy, we just couldn't stop eating it all. The star of the mix was The Samurai, a salad that can be had warm too. If only we had more space in our tummy,we might have ordered another bowl of it :D 

If you thought that Kale & Quinoa cannot be tasty, you HAVE to taste The Hipster. A little bit on the sweeter side, it is perfect for those who like a mild burst of citrusy flavor in their food (I do :D)

So you thought that Tofu cannot be delicious enough to want more? Welcome The Samurai, the exotic mix of Tofu, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Lettuce, Soba Noodles. Ask for it warm, it simply enveloped us in a healthy embrace. I can have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day!

Paneer Tikka & Parmesan actually worked like a palate cleanser of sorts for us after Hipster and Samurai's strong flavors. Very light and fresh along with a kick of Paneer Tikka (very mildly spicy), we actually had to get this one packed as we were so full already :D

It is not surprising to see the place completely full and constant orders coming in for delivery to nearby homes & offices. This is where every health conscious person in Bandra seems to converge and now they have got 2 more wannabe regulars to their clientele, cannot wait to go back and taste everything else on the menu :) Now only if the place was a little bit bigger...

Oh well, we can't get everything we wish for :) ♥♥♥

Bombay Salad Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday 15 November 2015

High Street Phoenix Mills & Palladium, Perfect Chill-Out Destinations

Working in Lower Parel area comes with the perfect trade-off, I get to spend maximum time in nearby High Street Phoenix where some of my most favorite places reside :) Mad Over Donuts, Cream Centre, PVR, Palladium, Foodhall, Big Bazaar, Subway, Gelato Italiano, Forest Essentials, The Bombay Store, Lifetsyle, Pantaloons and so on and on :D The best part is that it is not just about shopping or eating or watching movies at High Street Phoenix but just being here is nothing less than a celebration most of the days. Every festival is celebrated here with exemplary decorations and events. There are contests, competitions, role plays, clown shows, kids' activities, music shows, fashion shows, matches being shown on big screen and so on, you get the drift! No matter what day or what time it is, spending a couple of hours merrily is something nobody can find impossible here :)

I was just browsing through my photographs archive and dug up some special events & decorations I have enjoyed here in past year alone! Starting from 2014 Christmas celebrations which started right from my birthday :)

 Yes, Palladium glitters like anything, wrapped like a big Christmas gift for us all :)

 Perfectly reasonable to lose oneself into these marvellous decorations, wouldn't you agree? :)

This was a beautiful #Ungender campaign by Elle, something different that did capture a lot of attention. I spent almost half an hour gazing at these just opposite PVR theatre :) I love that High Street Phoenix supports and encourages a lot of campaigns to make us think and change.

 Oh,this is my absolute favorite part :) I LOVE PVR Cinemas, my whole family does, and I come to PVR High Street Phoenix a few minutes early just to admire this beautiful elevator :D Choc-a-bloc with the most amazing movies of all time, I wish I could have a wall like this in my home :D

May the force be with us all :D Star Wars will release this December (Yay, my birthday gift) and this installation at PVR theatre a couple of months ago was simply mesmerizing :)

An installation just opposite PVR Theatre to celebrate the launch of Star Movies Select channel :) Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the most delightful movies I have ever seen and this just brought the wonderful spirit out in full force!

The piece de resistance of this entire show! This installation by Swarovski during the Diwali festive celebration simply stole everyone's hearts :) So much of beauty, delicacy, elegance and creativity! Where else indeed!

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Lotus Herbals Safe Sun 3-in-1 Matte Look Daily Sunblock SPF 40

Oh God, why is it so hot?!!!!

This year, the summer refuses to go away! And we all know the most important thing to do when it is hot and sunny (well,actually it is everyday,but especially on sunny days :D)- Use a Sunscreen!

Now finding a good sunscreen is tough, especially for someone with such a weird skin as mine :P So in this department at least,I have not experimented much and pretty much stuck to 2-3 brands for past decade :D

And THE product that I have used most, that actually I started using first is -Lotus Herbals Safe Sun 3-in-1 sunblock :D Now, on my skin, most of the sunscreens melt away fast and I do not have the patience to reapply them every hour (or time to do so!). Also, some brands have given me dirty pimples :( And some have made my skin ultra dry! Lotus Herbals has kept me happy through the past decade without any of these tantrums :D It is another brand just like Biotique and Himalaya Herbals that is intensely trusted by millions and almost all their products are instant mass blockbusters, and of course pure,herbal,natural :)

I first bought it from Big Bazaar, but in past couple of years, either buy it from Flipkart or Amazon for around Rs. 300-350 for 100 gms.

Now the 3 main claims are Sun protection, Skin Lightening & Mattifying through the ingredients that soothe,refine pores, work as astringent and rejuvenate the skin. Ingredients include Birch Extract, Mallow Extract, Hops  Extract. Packaging is sturdy, but while traveling, there is little danger of spillage (personal experience), so keep a nice little pouch to contain it in or a plastic bag or something :D Quantity could be more for the price since it is not like a scrub where only a little is needed and I finish 1 tube within 3 weeks when used everyday :D But I have no complaints because of the great quality of the product :)

It gives a matte look, no oily residue at all, which would probably not be great for very dry skin, but I have weird dry-yet-little-oily-combination skin and it works perfectly for me! It actually gives a foundation like coverage and hides many imperfections (like, little pimples and red spots). The only thing is-it has to be melded in quite vigorously like a makeup champion or otherwise it leaves a white cast behind which looks artificial :D But once that is done, it does not melt off, it really stays on even when it is really hot outside and I am standing even directly under the sun. I never feel the harsh sun rays burning my skin, no redness, no rashes, nothing for as long as 3-4 hours after applying it! As far as lightening claim goes, I don't think it actively lightens the skin BUT since it does such a good job protecting it from any sun damage,skin retains its even tone and original color tone and does not tan. THAT IS AS GOOD AS LIGHTENING in my book :D Also, after regular usage, I feel my skin has become healthier and retains a youthful look :)

  • Best weapon against sun damage for most weird, sensitive, problematic skin too!
  • Does not get washed away by sweat,gives long lasting protection (Effective even 3-4 hours after applying it!)
  • Perfectly made for Indian weather, even works in humid areas
  • Light on skin, feels like air once completely absorbed
  • Regular usage leads me to believe it retains healthy look & suppleness of skin
  • Gives coverage to little imperfections (pimples etc.) and works like a foundation. Perfect base for makeup too!
  • Helps protect against tanning 100% even in harshest summer days!
  • Dry skin people might need to apply a moisturizer or serum beneath,as the matte look might make their skin feel stretchy. 
  • There is some 2-3 minutes of wait involved to merge it and let it absorb which would be difficult for lazy bums or it will leave a whitish cast :P Nothing else :D

RECOMMENDED- YES,YES,A 1000 TIMES YES :D I think it is the bestseller in India when it comes to sunscreen category and that is not without reason. Use it to know that! Rating is 5/5 :)