Saturday 28 July 2018

Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Activated Charcoal Face Pack Review | Beauty Bag Detox Essential | Indian Beauty Lifestyle Blogger

After using Mamaearth C3 Face Mask and Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mousse Mask, I have really gotten in the habit of using mild exfoliants like these that deep cleanse and draw out impurities rather than using harsh scrub particles on my face. The next must-have beauty product for me in this regard is Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Activated Charcoal Face Pack.

Having used a bunch of Aroma Magic products and loved them really, I was ready to try out this charcoal face pack, and was not disappointed at all. Bought from Amazon for Rs. 450 for 100 grams.

Packaging of Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Activated Charcoal Face Pack is very simple, sleek in a tube, convenient to travel and hygienic to use.

Ingredients list is filled with amazing ingredients including Bamboo Charcoal Powder, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Aloe Vera Extract, Vitamin E, more essential oils. There are no toxic elements (such as parabens, fragrances etc.)

Claims include 6-in-one action of Deep Cleansing, Nourishing, Protecting, Smoothing, Tightening and Brightening thanks to the presence of Himalayan Clay, minerals, vitamins and essential oils. 

Availability is quite common. It is available on Flipkart, Amazon and other online e-commerce sites. It is also available in offline stores.

Quantity is very good, lasts for 3 months even when used on face and neck twice a week. Extremely value for money, like all other Aroma Magic products.

Usage - At first, it feels weird to use any charcoal based product because it is black and gives a ghost-like film on face :P But the results are worth it. Simply apply a thin layer (or thick layer,like I do) on face and let it be absorbed in skin for 20-25 minutes. The texture of the pack is neither too runny nor too thick. It does not dry completely, unlike most other clay-based packs. Rather it feels cool and moisturizing on skin.

Effect - Like every Aroma Magic product, this charcoal face pack is also based on aromatherapy and has a unique fragrance. It is not very strong or irritating (maybe for extremely sensitive noses, but not for me). From first usage itself, it feels soft, cool and soothing on skin. On washing it off, it really deep cleans face and all impurities are washed off. Skin is left soft, smooth, bright

It also draws out blackheads to the surface of my nose and all I need to do is scrub them lightly using a soft towel to uproot them. The moisturizing effect (due to essential oils) is enough that my oily-combination skin does not need a moisturizer after washing it off! Any active acne or pimple is soothed instantly, slowly it works on acne marks too (very slowly but surely). Also, I have seen my pores (on nose and cheeks) getting smaller so yes, the tightening effect is also there. The results keep getting better with each usage. It is one of the best face packs to be used before a special occasion or party.

  • Fulfills all the claims perfectly
  • Full of wonderful ingredients excellent for skin
  • Calms active pimples and acne,soothes skin
  • Does not irritate my ultra sensitive skin
  • Brightens skin, visibly clearer with each usage
  • Makes skin soft, smooth, very glowing
  • Does not dry out skin, unlike most clay packs
  • Helps in eradicating blackheads and shrinking pores too
  • Can be used by anyone, age/skin type/ gender no bar
  • Lasts long time as small amount is needed 
  • Made in India brand
  • Value for money considering its quantity and efficacy
  • Easily available, I bought it from Amazon

  • Nothing really, one of the best face packs ever 
Recommended -YESBlossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Activated Charcoal Face Pack should be a must-have in every beauty bag :) Rating is 5/5

Wednesday 25 July 2018

#ChaayosMonsoon At Chaayos Powai | Chai Chocolate Snacks And More | Food Review | Food Photography

Hello Friends, Chai Pi Lo!

While the rest of the world goes ga-ga over coffee and freak shakes, we Indians are so madly in love in with our Chai that nobody can top the feeling of garma-garam chai, especially in evenings, especially with a side of pakodas, especially during monsoon, right? So it was a no-brainer that I would saunter here with family for a review session of #ChaayosMonsoon for spending some time with chai, gup-shup and more!

Extremely helpful and happy staff, fast service and a menu with something for everyone. Prices are on par with quality and quantity. Chaayos has made Chai trendy, the ambiance is hip and along with classic tea, there is coffee,shakes, salads, sandwiches, chocolate cake on the menu too. #ChaayosMonsoon brings along a whole range of chaats that make this a must-visit foodie destination right now. 

In beverages, we tried and loved-

KULHAD CHAI -My mom's absolute favorite, this one is served in Kulhad, real earthy flavor and saffron strands in there, even the aroma is fantastic. She gives this one 10 on 5 stars :)

MASALA CHAI -Another one my mom tried and loved. I am not a chai person myself so completely surrendering to her judgement. She was happy so I am happy :)

PAHADI CHAI -First time in my life I tried this and it was S-P-I-C-Y. Well, this is a twist on Kashmiri Kahwa and is quite different from anything I expected. Completely cleared my sinuses instantly :D Very peppery and also gives warmth to the body..which I guess is what we should aim for in chilly mountain areas!

HONEY GINGER LEMON- My FAV. 5 Stars instantly. The classic remedy for cold. Golden warmth of honey, ginger and lemon soothing the throat. LOVE.

DRINKING CHOCOLATE- For those not at all into chai (like me) but want a hot beverage anyway (like me!), go blindly for this. Real good. I order this everytime I am here.

CAKE SHAKE- My sister's FAV. She likes her beverages cold. This one is a step up from normal chocolate shake, as it is denser, creamier, has a nutty aftertaste. Must-Have :)

For snacks and more, we tried and loved-

BAARISH WAALE PAKODE- It is right there in the name! Monsoon is empty without these pakode. Another one of my family's favorites here. Delicious platter of pakodas (paneer is the best) with spicy chutney alongside. Nothing else defines monsoon in India.

SAMOSA MATAR CHAAT - Little pieces of samosas with mildly spicy matar, veggies such as onions and tomatoes, sprinkling of chaat masala and tangy tamarind chutney, overall good. Felt like it was leaning more towards sour taste but liked it overall. Great for rainy evenings and justifies the monsoon menu tag.

PALAK PATTA CRISPIES- Delightful. MUST-HAVE here without fail. Individual palak leaves deep fried (listen to that crunch) and served with delicious Imli chutney, jalapenos, sev garnish. Could have this everyday. 

PANEER LOADED OPEN PARATHA- Indian twist on pizza. This is like naan with paneer makhani :D Again, a bit leaning towards sour-tangy taste, my mom really liked it. Paratha with soft paneer and tangy gravy. Can have 2 of these for a filling lunch :D

GARDEN FRESH SANDWICH - I LOVE sandwiches at Chaayos. Their SPINACH-CORN and NAPOLI sandwiches are already among my family's favorites. Tried this one and was not disappointed. Simple but delicious. Veggies such as cucumber, onions, tomatoes along with good amount of mayo. Classic.

CHOCOLATE FACTORY CAKE - For dense chocolate lovers, this is MUST-HAVE. Thick chocolate cake, soft, moist, a bit nutty. Need 2 people to finish it.

MOIST CHOCOLATE CAKE- For those who want a chocolate brownie and cupcake hybrid, This.Is.It! Try it to know what I am talking about. You won't feel like sharing it (my sister didn't and she doesn't even like desserts!) = MUST-HAVE. 

So once again, I leave you with -Hello Friends, (Chaayos Aao Aur) Chai Pi Loooooo :D Happy #ChaayosMonsoon.

Friday 20 July 2018

Mamearth C3 Face Mask Review | Charcoal, Clay, Coffee and Fruit Extracts | Beauty Review | Indian Lifestyle Blogger

Charcoal, charcoal, charcoal.

For quite some months now, all I could hear about was charcoal. Charcoal based face mask, charcoal shampoo, charcoal face wash and so on. It is the most trendy beauty ingredient nowadays, it seems. After all, with claims of deep cleansing, easy exfoliation and leaving behind baby soft smooth skin, why won't it become an integral part of every beauty addict's arsenal :) And so, finally I took the plunge with 2 charcoal based products. The first one of these is Mamaearth C3 Face Mask with Charcoal, Coffee, Clay and Fruit Extracts

Packaging of Mamaearth C3 Face Mask is simple and spill-free in a bulky little tub container. I was happy to see it was quite nicely filled to the brim with the product. Might not be very travel friendly.

Ingredients list is choc-a-bloc with loads of beneficial ingredients such as Kokum Butter, Apricot Oil, Kaolin Clay, Niacinamide, Mulberry Extract, Cucumber Extract, Papaya Extract, Basil Oil, Peppermint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Caffeine, Activated Charcoal Powder...Phew, that is a lot of brightening and exfoliating ingredients! 

Best Part- There are no Parabens, Phtalates, SLES, Mineral Oil, Dyes and Fragrances. 

Claims are it helps to reduce melanin, remove toxins, lessen pimples, give a naturally glowing skin, improve skin elasticity and minimize appearance of pores. 

Availability is not very common, I have not seen it in stores like Big Bazaar, but it is available online at Amazon for Rs. 537 for 100 ml

Quantity is very good, lasts for 3 months even when used in a thick layer on face and neck twice a week. Very Value for money!

Usage - Feels cool on applying. I apply a thick layer on my face and neck and just let it soak in my skin for 20-25 minutes. Unlike most other clay masks, Mamaearth C3 Face Mask does not dry up and stretch the skin. Rather, it feels moisturizing till the very end. It takes a little effort to wash it off and is messy, as is expected from any clay based mask. But surprisingly, the face feels so cool and light after washing it off, completely unexpected from a clay mask.

Effect - I have not been expecting any kind of miracle. But this mask made me so happy, I am going to recommend it to everyone. Clay, Charcoal, Coffee being the main ingredients and a ton of other wonderful ingredients make it a superbly brightening and moisturizing face mask. My weird, sensitive, combination, acne-prone skin simply loves it and I am sure it will be wonderful even on oily as well as dry skin types. It deeply cleans skin instantly and also mildly exfoliates (which is best for my sensitive skin as I can no longer use harsh scrub particles on my face).

Even after washing it off, I do not need to put on any moisturizer. My skin feels cool, calm, there is no redness and there is a visible instant glow. The regular occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads on my nose has drastically reduced.  My old acne scars feel like they are fading, though that could also be a result of some other products I am using nowadays.  Baby soft and glowing skin, minimizing of pores, brightening of skin, I can see all these results after using this mask for over 2 months now. Overall, YES, Mamaearth C3 Face Mask is true to all its claims :)

  • True to all its claims
  • Is full of so many wonderful ingredients good for our skin
  • Does not irritate my ultra sensitive skin
  • Deeply cleans and Mildly exfoliates
  • Makes skin soft, smooth, glowing
  • Minimizes pore appearance
  • Works nicely to minimize blackheads and whiteheads
  • Does not dry out and moisturizes skin, unlike other clay masks
  • Feels cool on skin 
  • Best for all skin types, from dry to oily and sensitive, combination, acne-prone too!
  • Does not contain parabens, fragrances, dyes and such bad ingredients
  • Lasts long time as small amount is needed 
  • Value for money considering its quantity and efficacy
  • Made in India brand, so much better than imported beauty brands with ton of chemicals!

  • Not easily available, I buy it from Amazon

Recommended -YES! Mamaearth C3 Face Mask is one product that is a must-have for everyone, age and gender no bar :) Rating is 5/5.

Tuesday 17 July 2018

SanDoitchi Powai Mumbai Review | Vegetarian Sandwiches Salad Dessert Delight & More | Food Review | Restaurant Review

OCCASION- Another depressing rainy evening in Mumbai (I know rains are supposed to be romantic and all but I am a true blue Mumbaikar and monsoon is anything but romantic for us!) so was here for a review session, hoping that some delicious food will drive the weather blues away.

LOCATION - Amidst the lush greenery of Powai area, situated very close to the imposing Hiranandani high-rises, is this cute and invitingly warm SanDoitchi outlet spread over 2 floors, with flat screen TVs to show LIVE matches and a menu with something for everyone. 

FIRST IMPRESSION - Walked in to bright ambiance with a cheerful vibe. Staff is smiling, polite, very helpful and good with suggesting best items from the menu as per individual preferences. Seating is designed in such a way that couples, friends, families - everyone feels at ease. There are comfy chairs and couches as well as high chairs. Menu has Vegetarian choices from doitchi i.e. sandwiches, shakes, tea/ coffee, fries, dessert, noodles section and they make their own sauces as well as bread on the premises (the aroma of freshly baked bread is so enticing!). They are also regularly introducing new items on the menu as well as coming up with offers (such as- on 22nd of every month, a free dessert on ordering 1 sandwiches). Basically, a happy place :)

FOOD- Coming to the main thing, food-we tried a lot from the menu and had a great time. Prices might feel high but actually they are reasonable since portions are very good and quality of each dish is superlative. Especially recommend their sandwiches, shakes and desserts. Pure bliss. Absolutely LOVED-

--- PANEER MELT Signature Doitchi - Loads of fresh vegetables, in-house mildly spicy sauce, loads of molten cheese and big juicy slab of soft paneer, all tucked inside fresh soft bread.

--- MAX MEX Signature Doitchi - Even more fresh vegetables, mayo, in-house mildly spicy sauce, delicious patty made of beans, all inside delicious bread. Very filling.

Both Doitchi (sandwiches) were among the best we had, mainly because of the softness of the bread and freshness of the veggies + paneer/bean patties. The crunch of the veggies, the juiciness of the patties, the tanginess + spiciness of the sauce, all mixed together to provide utter happiness. Honestly, much better than any other 'famous fast food sandwich' brand where vegetables are mostly cold and bread is stale!

-- In SALAD, Tried PANEER PEANUT PLEASURE- Paneer popcorns, Iceberg, Cucumber, Onions, Tomatoes, Crushed Peanuts. This was decent, nothing extraordinary. Quite filling and healthy. The dressing was mildly creamy, the amount of paneer and peanuts can be increased a bit as iceberg seems to overwhelm after a while. 


--- LOADED NACHOS - Nacho chips with loads of salsa, beans, chopped veggies, cheese, basically just the perfect starter one wants when one goes out with friends. Especially we were here on the FIFA Finale day. So it was perfect to have this while our eyes were glued at the unexpected match. It was tangy and spicy and cheesy, what more could one want. I personally am not a big nacho fan but for those who are, this will make them happy. 

--- PANEER POPS - Being a huge Paneer fan, had to try these. They were really good. Softest paneer coated in batter and deep fried, pop them in and be happy like I was. 

Their SHAKES section is FABULOUS, we recommend everything!

--- EVOCADO- Avocados, Vanilla, Butterscotch, this was DREAMY GOOD to say the least,
--- HEZPRESSO- Double shot Espresso blended with Hazelnut and Vanilla, STRONG and must-have for coffee lovers,  
--- HOLY OREO- Oreo Cookies, Chocolate-Vanilla, Banana, never thought oreo + bananas combo would be SO SO GOOD,
--- HOT CHOCOLATE better than the version at most places, this one was A-level, MUST-HAVE,
--- MASALA CHAI was loved by mom, she is the final authority on its taste and she liked it.

Finally, for DESSERT, we tried

--- HOT MOLTEN LAVA - One of the most popular desserts of our time, really fantastic. Even my sister who is not big on chocolate based desserts LOVED this. HELLLLLOOOOO Oozing molten chocolate, bye bye monsoon blues :D

---  INDIE CHEESECAKE- This was decent. Heaviest dessert of the lot. Very dense, it was cheesecake with a gulab jamun twist hidden inside (hence Indie). Need at least 3 people to finish it. 

---- RED VELVET CHEESECAKE - Another brilliant rendition,not as dense and heavy as the Indie one. Classic taste. If you love red velvet, you love red velvet, that's it :D

There are so many other items on the menu I want to try that I will definitely revisit soon, and this time, in a bigger group with friends so we can try everything!

Conclusion - SanDoitchi is awesome. Hulk Foodie Happy. Bon Appetit :)

Saturday 7 July 2018

ORBANGO Juices Mumbai | No Preservatives No Chemicals Juices | Food Review

A cool part of the latest sensation, cold pressed juices without any added preservatives or chemicals. Orbango sent over some juices for me to sample and I really liked them. Flavors are good, prices seem a bit on higher side but this is actually the case with literally every cold pressed juice brand out there. 

I saw sugar in the list of ingredients too but I did not think any flavor was too sugary, it must be minimal. Still, I guess some people will not like that. Delivery was before time, excellent. Packaging is good, very travel friendly and colorful. The flavors I tried were-

POWER SHOT- Banana, Honey, Dates, Almonds, Milk. Absolutely MUST-HAVE. For anyone who has ever had a cool banana milkshake, this is perfect. Healthier version of that, can be used to get instant energy after a workout. Delicious.

BLISS- Apple, Pineapple, Grapes. Apple was the dominant flavor here with mild aftertaste of pineapple, not too sour, refreshing enough.

RED ALERT- Strawberry, Watermelon, Mint. Both strawberry and watermelon were dominant flavors here, making it sourest of the 3 flavors I tried, strawberry seeds also included here, nice enough.

I would certainly like to try other flavors from here soon :) 

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Pot Pourri Sunday Breakfast Buffet | Brunch It Up In Healthy Way | Food Review | Restaurant Review | Food Photography

Sunday mornings are supposed to be spent sleeping..unless one is awakened by the thought of some delicious breakfast buffet, which is exactly what happened to us this sunday as we visited Pot Pourri. From 8 to 11 AM on sundays, it's raining breakfast items here, hallelujah :D

First impression- funky, young, happy vibe. Spacious, the kind we don't see much in Mumbai. Nice separate sections for huge groups, comfy couches, high chairs, families and so on. LIVE matches are screened and theme nights (such as ladies' special) are regularly held. Bustling kitchen, very courteous and prompt staff, menu choc-a-bloc with salads, pizzas, pastas and the like. We were here for sunday breakfast buffet that has a rotating menu with Indian, continental, south Indian delicacies along with fruit juices, bread, pastries, tea, coffee, waffles, pancakes live counter etc. Very value for money considering the huge spread that is bound to have something for everyone.

An overview of what we tried-

JUICES- My FAVORITE hands down. Combinations available were - Strawberry+ Guava, Watermelon+ Mint, Pineapple+ Spinach, Cold Coffee. Distinct flavors, refreshing, strong, healthy, full of nutrients and what a kick start to the day!

Alongside juices were different flavors of INFUSED WATER, good for detox, which I guess we need on sunday mornings after late night partying on friday and saturday :D

Then there was a separate counter for varieties of TEA, HOT COFFEE, HOT CHOCOLATE. I tried hot chocolate and it was really good.

CEREAL section had the popular choco-flakes along with option of hot or cold milk, for those like my sister who like no fuss breakfast.

INDIAN items included-
MINI IDLI, Sambhar and Coconut Chutney, all of them perfectly wholesome,


KOTHIMBIR WADI, personally I am not a big fan but taste-wise no complaints, authentic, if you like this dish, you will like it here too.

CONTINENTAL items included-
SAVOURY MILLET & BARLEY PORRIDGE - Again, not a big fan of millet, found this a bit too dry, but maybe those who like this kind of porridge would like it. Very healthy and down to earth option for sure.

HASH BROWNS, BAKED BEANS, GRILLED TOMATO - Nothing much to add here, same as anywhere else, simple and I guess satisfying for those who like these. I personally am not big on these dishes.

PIZZA - Simple mix of cheese and minimal veggies as toppings, tasted good, crunchy, not heavy on stomach at all, loved how fresh it was, they kept making it and it kept getting over :D

BREADS section had brown bread, white bread and the accompanying condiments were mind blowing. HERB BUTTER, CHILLI BUTTER, GUAVA JAM, PAPAYA JAM, literally each one of these was extraordinarily good.

VEG MAYO SANDWICH- My second FAVORITE after the juices section, it was a simple creamy cheesy sandwich but I think I must have gulped down 6 or 7 of these. Simple, superb.

FRESH FRUITS- Watermelons, Papaya, Pineapple, Muskmelon, take your pick. We tried all, they felt fresh.

DOUGHNUTS, BANANA LOAF, CROISSANT, MINI MUFFINS rounded up the sweet part of our breakfast. Out of these, croissants were a disappointment. They are supposed to be buttery and soft but were really hard. Same thing with brown bread, the sides were too hard. 

WAFFLES Live counter, we tried CHOCOLATE and STRAWBERRY, fragrant and fresh, really good.

Apart from these, the non vegetarians also had bacon, live eggs counter and non veg pizzas. The chef was also happy to make something special on request so that's good :)

We really liked the spread and except for occasional thumbs down (hard croissants, dry porridge) everything else was really good. Loads of healthy options, flavors were strong, excellent service and cool ambiance, we shall certainly be back soon.