Thursday, April 23, 2015

Himalaya Herbals Aloe Vera Face Wash - A Review



As you can see in the pic, the tube is more than half empty. I've been using it so much and I totally love it. It claims that it cools and soften dry skin, but being a combination, super sensitive skin, my skin too seems to love this facewash.
Its a light, pista green colored creme consistency. I comes in a transparent tube with a flip cap. It has Aloe Vera & Cucumber with natural Vitamin E. When I apply it, it instantly gives a cooling effect like - reason, presence of Menthol!!! 
Guess what, if you've been following me on my facebook page for My Travelogue, other blog, you might know, I recently rode Pondy to Chennai. With pillion, this was the first time, and yeah, wearing half sleeves. I did apply a 50 SPF sunscreen, inspite of it, over few hours, skin does get affected. That too the summer here, is in its hottest time now. By the time, I reached home, my skin was almost burning. Guess what, I used this facewash, not only on face, but also forearms & feet. The cooling effect that it has is really good. Its almost menthol-ish!!!
It almost does not lather at all. But I don't complain. Its really good on my skin. I feel the dirt off the skin, though there's no lather!!!

P.S: The product was gifted by the company for reviewing purpose, however the opinions are of my own experience and are this post does not to advertise the product. 
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

On a Casual Date - Style 35



My last post was on the tee that my SIL gifted, and this is the OOTD on the cardigan! This was knitted one in a gorgeous bright yellow! I wore it with the racer back top and blue jean.

Since it was a very bright color, I opted to keep the rest of the outfit straight forward, simple & basic, with no more colors (yeah, that's a blue jean, but do we consider blue as a color when it comes to jeans, anymore?!!!).

White Racer Back Top: YuN Fashion Addict
Cardigan: H&T
Jeans: Jealous 21
Shoes: Thrifted from a Flea Market in Chennai 

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

To the Office - Style 62



Remember my earlier post about the culture of gifting clothing and I was telling you about my SIL, who has a good sense in finding clothes that suit my taste?!!!! Well, this time, when she came over to meet us, she got me this cute full sleeved tee in off white. I love it! The material is cotton, so very suitable for the climatic conditions I live in, the color is off white that reflects sun light, and that teenie-weenie pocket - isn't it too cute???!!!!!!
Btw, summer has officially started here. It hottest (that's poor grammar, but my way of saying that its much beyond just hot or hotter)!!! Since I continuing to roam around, I've getting more and more tanned. My skin has almost gone 2 shades darker. 
The evening I decided to do this shoot, it was 5:30 and the sun hadn't set. Anyways, I went ahead and I actually loved the way the sunlight fell on my face.
Top: Hangten
Jeans: Jealous 21
Pendant: Handmade by the artisans of Kerala
Shoes: Thrifted from a flea market in Chennai
So, how is the pendant? Isn't it gorgeous? Its depicting HariHara, a form of Hindu God where Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are half and half. Its hand painted on wood and decorated with wooden beads on either sides. The painting style is the typical Mural painting style of Kerala, done in temples. This piece was done by one such Mural artist!!!

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Summer Special with Himalaya Herbals!

Remember my earlier post on being a 'Travelling Diva'?!!! As I already said there, even after roaming about everywhere all day, and getting tanned all over and looking distressed after biking, while heading to a wedding or party, you have to look your best and perfect!!!!! Here are some tips & tricks to beat the heat!!!
Over to Chandrika Mahendra, Principal Scientist, R&D of The Himalaya Drug Company:

While you enjoy summer sun and your vacation, how do you keep your skin glowing and healthy? Though the sun may bring warmth, over exposure can harm your skin and hair in the long run.
Don’t worry, here’s the list of summer must-do’s that shall keep your skin and hair woes at bay:
Get sun-protected: A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 is well-suited for all Indian skin types. However, ensure that your sunscreen provides you with a balance of both UVA and UVB protection. Apply every 2-3 hours for effective results, especially after excessive sweating and exposure to water. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize your face before retiring for the day.
Stay hydrated: Drink a lot of water, tender coconut, buttermilk and fresh juices to stay hydrated. Not all fluids help in keeping you hydrated, try and avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and coke tend to cause dehydration. 
Avoid makeup meltdown: Exfoliate your skin before applying makeup, this helps remove dead cells and allows the makeup to stay longer, as exfoliation makes your skin surface smooth. Try light makeup base to avoid sweating. Check out the Walnut Scrub of Himalaya Herbals, it would be gentle on your skin. 
Hair Cleansing: In summers, due to heat, sweat and dust your hair needs frequent cleansing. Ensure you use herbal shampoo and conditioner, as they are mild on your scalp and hair. Make sure your hair also maintains its oil balance by using a mild hair oil, else, hair might get dried out! 
Summer must-have: Make sure you have sunglasses, a stylish bag big enough to carry a waterbottle, umbrella, sunscreen etc, broad-rimmed hat and a pack of blotting paper in your travel bag to face summer heat with style!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

WEDDING IDEAS: The Quintessential Tamil Bride



Tamil is one of the oldest languages in the world, and so is the Tamil culture. However most of the practices that are practiced today were popularized by the Vijayanagara / Nayak kingdoms that ruled this region, incl., the present way of draping the saree - Nivi style, certain rituals & practices and ofcourse the certains types of jewelry as well!
A quintessential Tamil bride is usually seen wearing a 6 yard saree draped in Nivi Style (ofcourse there are some differences depending on communities), and her hair is adorned with Jasmine (malli) and Firecracker flower (kanakambaram) and she is adorned with Temple Jewelry.
Temple Jewelry, as the name suggests, was originally for the Gods & Goddesses residing in temples. The designs were derived from temple motifs. Later on these jewelry were adapted by the temple dancers. Later on when Bharathanatyam became a more socially acceptable form of dance, general public too, took up their style of jewelry.
Originally Temple Jewelry was made of gold and was embedded with rubies and emeralds with pearls dangling all around. However later on when it became gold plated silver, with rubies, emerals & pearls. Of late, it has becomes golden colored metal with red and green stones with faux pearls to bring down the price and make it accessible to everyone.
The various pieces of temple jewelry include, Nethi Chutti, Surya Prabhai, Chandra Prabhai, Raakodi, Kunjalam, Mookuthi, Jhumki, Maatal, Necklace, Haaram, Vanki, Bangles, Rings, Ottiyanam, Anklets etc and when its adapted to wedding, it includes Toe rings and ofcourse Thaali Chain & Thitumangalyam.
The Nethi chutti is usually triple, i.e it comes in 3 parts, a vertical section that goes on the hair parting (maang tika) and a horizontal section that sits on the hairline on forehead (matha patti) and a pendant like portion that hangs in centre front. Surya Chandra Prabhai are placed on either sides of it. Raakodi is placed at the crown of the head or over the bun if there’s one, and the Kunjalam is at the end of the plait which is all the more adorned with flowers. The nose ring is traditionally in 2 parts, one worn in cartilage called Bulakku and another on a side. Jumkhi are earrings that have a little umbrella shape and the Maatal holds it around the ear lobe to distribute the weight.
The Vanki is worn on biceps. A special type of ring called the Neli Modhiram that’s curved is worn some times. Ottiyanam is the waist belt. Toe rings and Thaali chain are worn by the groom as a part of the wedding ritual.
There are several ceremonies that happen in a typical Tamil wedding like Maapilai azhaithal, Sumangali pooja, Reception, Kasi Yatra, Muhurtham, Nalangu etc. spread over 3 days. However off late with the increasing cost of weddings, it has all shrunken to 1 day with some ceremonies skipped. Anyways, Reception and Muhurtham are very necessary and most brides prefer to don a typical Tamil look for atleast one of these 2.
Sadly, with the pressure to look the best on the d-day and with the interference of all every family member, sometimes the brides end up overly done, looking like a Christmas tree!!!
The cue is to balance. At the end of the day you have to look like a bride and not a Bharathnatyam dancer!!! And you have to look and feel like yourself, or else you may not even identify with the bride later on when you look at your own wedding album!!!
If the saree is too heavy and too adorned its better to go simple with the jewelry. If the saree is relatively simpler, going heavy of jewelry is perfectly ok. Even then, the heaviness of individual pieces of jewelry must be balanced.
If a triple Nethi Chutti is worn, its better to keep it thin. If it has only the centre part then going heavy shouldn’t be a problem. If its triple and yet heavy as well, its better to avoid the Surya Chandra Prabhai, or the entire head would look too covered up. Also when going for this traditional look, drizzling stickers all over should be avoided.
If the triple Nethi Chutti is thin or if its thick but has only the centre part, then a wide jhumki should be perfect to pair, if required, with a very thin Maatal, or still better just skip it. Else a smaller one is preferable, and you could go a bit thicker on Maatal. Wearing 2 nose rings is just not ok for a bride, its ok only for a dancer! Just wear 1 on one side, auspiciously on the left.
Ottiyanam or Waist belt could be worn if the look is donned for wedding ceremony and not reception! Vanki is worn on both biceps, however is enough to wear it only on right, coz most probably, left is gonna be hidden by saree’s pallu! The stone studded bangles are inter mingled with glass bangles mostly of maroon & golden colors which are considered auspicious.
As the metal gold is considered equal to Goddess Lakshmi and wearing gold below waist is considered disrespecting Her! A typical Tamil bride wears heavy, broad anklets, coz when she lifts her saree a bit to expose her ankles for Ammi Midhithal ritual or while wearing toe rings, the ankles would look too plain!!! Its usually made of silver and has no color. However of late, minakari detailing is very much preferred! Toe rings are traditionally made of silver and are absolutely plain. Its worn 2 in the each 2nd toe. However again these days, broader toe rings with some pattern on them are worn, 1 in each 2nd toe!!!
Major care is to be taken if fake hair is used to add length. It must be secured well or it might fall off midst the ceremony. The joint mustn’t show too! Also the way in which the flowers are placed must be taken care of. Wrapping the entire length of hair with 2-3 strands of flowers is so passé. A few strands could be secured atop the plait with a couple of pins.
Another idea would be to opt for a bun with the Raakodi on top of it. For a Tamil wedding, a bride would feel more restful with just a bun, coz exchanging of garland happens several times during the ceremony and having a long plait with fake hair is not very comfortable!
Finally, last but the most important, the Thaali chain and Thirumangalyam. Actually each family has its own design of Thirumangalyam and the few more adornments that go with it. The number of attachments vary from just 2 to about 10. The shape varies according to community and the design within the shape varies within lineages / families!!! The Thaali chain obviously has to be sturdy enough to bear the weight of Thirumangalyam & its attachments.
Once again, the cue is to balance and not go overboard. At times, its ok not to try satisfy everyone and end up looking like a Christmas tree!!!!

P.S: Check out my posts on my WEDDING RECEPTION STYLE when I sported this look.

visit my online store at www.bhushavali.com
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