Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Skin care essential: from the Dead Sea

In my last post on Scalp Care, I shared my winter weather damage and its quick remedy. Keeping the winter weather as a theme, I plan to share my absolute winter essentials. I am kind of OD’ing on beauty talks and skin care talks for the last few posts. Guess, the last quarter deserves some strategic focus on them. ;P. Festivals, change of weather and then the winter itself.
This post will have breaks and I am not talking about all the essentials in one consolidation. Strategic focus, I told ya!!
Let me start with this disclaimer, when (well) almost the whole country is rejoicing the single digit temperature, the Mumbai (ites) enjoy the pleasant nip. That being said, no matter how mild, winters are always a challenging time for skin. It feels dry, cracks up if not taken care off. Infuse it with some moisture, everyday!!
OstruckEssential #1
Butter for the body. Creamier the better, hotter and sexier. I am a huge fan of any body butter. As ,for me, I kind of use it throughout the year but during this time the quantity increases.  My skin needs more and it deserves more.
The body butter this season in my bathroom table top is Minus 417, Aromatic body butter in Lavender. Smells like heaven and it’s the strongest moisture booster to the skin. I like to apply it all over the body right after my shower, when the body is still damp. It’s easier to apply, and I feel the body absorbs the cream better.
This is a part of other Minus 417 lavender range, came to my lap as a thoughtful gift from a friend. It’s from the Dead Sea with all the nutrients & minerals that you can think off which helps in nourishment and skin regeneration!! As simple as that. What is the added value?

  • Its Natural skincare product
  • Has Natural active component from the dead sea – lowest point of the earth
  • Shields from UV radiation
  • Calms the skin down
What it doesn’t do:

  • Feel sticky
  • Strong lavender smell
So here it is. A small tiny tid bits on what I am currently using. If you are not already using some body butter, I strongly recommend that you start doing it. Go pick up your favorite from the nearest mall or online. Make the most by making this a habit for the supple skin throughout the pleasant weather.
Check out how the packaging looks and also the consistency of the product.

If you want to know more on what other body butter that can be picked, which is also easily available. Connect back, I will be happy to share my other personal favorites.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

#ScalpCare:Two out of the kitchen items to attack sensitive sore scalp

Make a promise today to make your own well-being sacred. Afterall, no one can rock the beautiful you, better than you.
Now that I have said that let me talk to you about the pleasant weather and the worries that come with it.
With chill in the air and the dry feel on your skin, we know that the next few months are going to be fun. Few days of cold (kind-off) weather not humid or hot, brings out fashionable make-believe winter attire in me. Every year!! Yes, I stay in Mumbai. We don’t have winters. The temperature doesn’t dip down below 12-13 degree Celsius. Do I miss the near zero weather?  May be or maybe not. I have forgotten how it feels to have a routine life when the cold bites. I have stayed in Delhi when I was a kid and the few things that I remember is the sweater weather, the winter sun which was not every day and   Mom and her friends churning out modern designs with knitting. Apart from that was the skin care regime to keep the skin from cracking up. As a kid I don’t think I bothered so much about the Charmis cream with some Vitamin E oil in it or body oil massage before the bath. But now, I hunt for the convenient, sustainable routine so that all the skin related winter woos are taken care off.
If you are following me on Instagram or on fb page, you will know that I recently posted and asked for an organic recipe to ease out my sensitive and itchy scalp. Wish Boroline was an answer to this too. Sometimes the roots of the hair follicles get painful and the scalp craves some cooling down. For me a go-to recipe is the gentle coconut oil massage and hot towel wrapped on the head. Which I did obviously and immediately.
Luxurious and satisfying to start with. It worked instant for me and the itchiness disappeared.The next day my hair felt and looked healthy, which was an added advantage.
Then I received some instant from-your-kitchen remedies for my blogger query on insta & fb. Isn’t it beautiful to be connected to so many of the same kind with similar issues. They are right there with help. All we have to do is ask!! Help started pouring in with love from all around. I am so glad that this platform helps me connect. Absolutely in gratitude.
Thank you, thank you my tribe for jumping in to share your instant cure tricks.  
Some quick ones I am listing down, that are tried and tested by me
Methi Seeds (Fenugreek):
  1. Take a handful,
  2. Soak it over night.
  3. Make a paste
  4. Apply on hair like a mask
I have done this in the past but for the reason to condition and shiny hair. This treats the sensitive scalp was an information. As an afterthought, Methi seeds are a rich reservoir of medicinal property.

Methi Seeds

Organic Coconut Oil and the mixes:
  • Warm it up and apply
  • Warm it up with curry leaves, cool it down and apply
  • Warm it up, mix it with castor oil and apply
    • Castor oil is best for oily hair as it has some drying properties. It also helps in strengthening the hair follicle that breaks easily.
Don’t massage your scalp vigorously for sure, use your fingertips instead. Show some love and wrap it up with a hot towel. Put the wet towel in your microwave, timer set to 10-15 seconds. Its spa ready!!
Don’t be too generous with oil, you don’t want to be smelling coconut-ty the next day. 

Here I am assuming that my sensitive scalp and itchiness was because of dryness and not infection. I would urge you to visit a dermatologist incase if the sensitivity persists for long.
As for me, because it worked magic in just one day.. I am planning on a hot hair oil massage and hot towel every alternate day and Methi mask once every 10 days for next few weeks? Join me, any of you? Let’s make this a worth it experience!!
I would love to know what the experiences are. What are the other hair care recipes from around the world?
I will take about my winter essentials for some more self-care and pamper in my next posts. Stay on to know more 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Matte : Another find from a MAC lipstick subtle collection

I wear lipstick! Well, this is not my essential like how a Kajal is but I love the ones that make my face light up. All it takes is just 2 seconds!
The basic needs I have with my lipstick hunting, is that it should stay for long. What I put on in the morning needs to stay put from the beginning of my work day straight through dinner and drinks. Too much to ask for? Well, ok till about 6-7 hours
I like it if it is non-transferrable. I like them few but impactful. Especially, the ones that I wear to office.
This post is about how I found yet another beautiful piece in MAC. I cannot declare it my favorite brand (for Lipstick) yet but I am almost there. It may be a cliché but it seems like a fact for me that I love MAC lipsticks.
I don’t really like to spend too much on lipsticks but the tubes just keep increasing. I also think the amount of product which is there in that stick (any lipstick) for the shelf life mentioned is too much. But somewhere I mentally approve of the amount I spend on a MAC lipstick (face palm emoji).
So yeah, talking about the office wear MAC lipsticks, the days when I am not really power dressing with reds & bright pinks from makeup point of view, I love ‘Mehr’. I use it as everyday chapstick with some prettiness in it. I use it with no lip liner and it stays plump and nice. This is from the Matte range of lip colours with a creamy finish. The only pick which is getting over and I swear I am so enjoying it. This one wears a lot longer during the day.

I wanted a similar feel with another colour. The recent pick of Amplified- Vegas Volt is just that. Creamy, oh-so-coral, bright yet subtle, a sheen with no shimmer. I am no expert in telling you what’s good for the skin tone and lip shape. I say, try it and if you like it then pick it up. It will add just a dab of colour to your already beautiful self. Bring on the pretty pouts, yo!!

Check out how they look when kept together.

TIP: This post idea popped up specifically for the one make-up tip that I picked up. The importance of Primer+Prep. Matte or any other lipstick if applied on chapped lips look like a horror story. Instead of enhancing our best feature which is the smile, it focuses on the flaky, chapped lips which need hydration. So, always exfoliate and then use a primer. Primer preps the base and helps in holding the lipstick for long and also prevents the colour from bleeding. Try it, if not already.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Cult Orgasm: NARS

Let me take you through my journey of how I knew about the cult brand of NARS and the recent gift of high style make-up must haves, especially when travelling.
Some years back, I chanced upon a video on someone’s FB timeline, that’s how I knew the brand NARS and also it’s iconic ‘Orgasm’. It was not available in retail in India. Some online sites showed the limited edition once in a while but I was not sure, if I should just pick it up by looking at the video.

What interested me was its wild fan following of this specific hot collection ‘Orgasm. Looks like, it is ‘the’ favorite of almost all make-up artists. This particular blush made waves because of the bold name and what value it had to offer. It claims to be the exact same colour of the cheeks when a woman orgasms. Now, it is surely seductive. A thought came up and also stayed on with me is that it should suit every skin tone and every complexion. Well, I am yet to meet anyone who owns an Orgasm and has told me that it doesn’t suit her skin tone.  It is flattering! The golden shimmer creates the natural flush. Sweep and dab on your cheeks and know the magic.
I love it on my skin! The peachy golden textured powder is my all-time favorite. This was a pick from a duty-free shopping. Btw, it is my first blush ever. I didn’t know how to use one before I bought it and also I never acknowledged the importance of a blush in the make-up routine.

Now that I have been using a blush for a while, I figured out that it’s not the one which will give you an intense colour on your cheek. For that you may have to try on a different shade, may be the ‘Super Orgasm’.
I am a fan girl of this cult orgasm – NARS and what a perfect gift to get from the husband. The exclusive travel edition. Compact and easy to carry NARS!
The Orgasm face set has: NARSissist #Jetsetter Orgasm Face Set

  • Orgasm Blush
  • Orgasm Lip Gloss
  • Mini Orgasm Illuminator
  • Mini Orgasm Multiple
My first feel after using the other products from the box is,

  • Orgasm Lip Gloss : better than the nude lip shade that I have.
  • Mini Orgasm Illuminator: Flawless look
  • Mini Orgasm Multiple: I used it as eyes shadow and loved the sheer effect.

It’s a high glow guaranteed package. High style put together in a box. Worth it!! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pastel Yellow: The Tant Magic!

The pretty colours of Bengal cotton or typically known as Tant is what my OOTD is.  
I am no expert in the knowledge of weaving techniques but I surely know that these artists weave out some exotics. Gorgeous designs, patterns and colours. The crisp fall of these saris also makes it stand out.
We stayed in Ghaziabad (North of India) in the early 80’s till ’92, these saris were not easily available there. So, every visit to Kolkata during summer vacations, my mother would bring home some pretty tants. I have seen her friends come home to chill together over endless talks appreciating these handloom weaves. Eventually, her friends started asking her to hand pick saris for them too. I always wanted to keep them all. I was a kid and did not wear a sari then.
I had visualized and thought for the longest time that the weavers sat the whole day creating such magic. Handmade, in real sense. That was actually the traditional way of doing it but the advanced machines have somewhere replaced craftsmanship. It is in my travel list to visit Fulia, where these saris are made.  
Well, even today the women of east go starry eyed for the new collection of cotton saris that are also apt for the weather conditions. The hot and humid climate of Bengal calls for breathable fabrics. Not just weather apt, they can be worn with elegance on almost every occasion.
East brings in addition to the cotton & silk industry and infuse some artistic value to it strongly. This is one of the most important reasons why saris of Bengal are appreciated and loved by all.
Btw, I still trust my mother (blindly) to get me almost all my saris. This yellow beauty with polka dotted zari pallu is also her pick.
Stop by to let me know your thoughts on the colour and its combination, for sure.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pencil Skirt - Timeless: #whywelove #howwewear #ootd

As they say, “Style is a way to say, who you are without having to speak”

Here is another formal wear story of my life. I realized today that I have a good number of skirts in my formal collection and most of them are pencil skirts. In plaid, in classic black, some variation on grey, various fabrics in neon pinks, I have one in pastel green. Looks like I cannot have enough of it. And why not!!  

There are some, which is all about fad and then there are some which will never go out of fashion. This one is a timeless piece. The pencil skirt is one of them.
Well, not that I am very particular about what is in fashion and what is not. I wear what I like and I know do a good job at it. J
What I realized after years of picking up pencil skirts in the name of formal wear, this can be teamed with almost anything.  Can be worn almost about anywhere (Just a bit of caution, if you plan to hit the beach )and looks the best if worn with pencil heels. I obviously wear it with different forms of heels and also flats

About the look:
If you are in Mumbai, you would know that the 4th day of Navratri is dedicated to the colour blue. It was not a coincidence that I picked this colour, if you have read my earlier post then you will know that everyone in my office is high on festive spirit and I join in the fun.

Plaid teamed with stripes is what I wore. What I love about the whole attire is the fit.

Skirt: An old one, from Forever21
Shirt: A recent takeaway from my bff’s wardrobe
Heels: A Korean nude pumps  

So, go all out, pick up that timeless piece from your wardrobe and flaunt it. As things of quality have no fear of time. A worth it, sustainable fashion!

What to Wear : Work Wear during Festivals

Festivals bring in high-spirit, new trends sprout up, some confusing and others easy to adapt. Some of us get creative with our look and play with bright colors and hues. Few things I have been doing when it came to Fashion and style inspirations.
I have been on a no-shopping-clothes mode recently. It takes a lot of self-control to practice this(Phew).I have so often queued up ecommerce carts and then deleted it. I have been planning a shopping detox since I de-cluttered my closet. Two cartons of stylish clothes given away.  I am happy, lighter and organized.
The thought behind the detox is that I have wardrobe full of clothes (Yes, even after de-cluttering) which are almost over flowing. There are more sustainable ways to maintain a stylish wardrobe than to just pick fast fashion. It’s time for some style inspirations in mix and match trends.
Going strong in the detox till now.
Now comes the most challenging and interesting tasks. Choosing work wear in this season. The festive season. I am typically the one who gets guided by clothes and not the other way around. This means, clothes call me. Here, I was standing in front of my closet wanting to wear western formals to work that day. But the enthusiastic team at work wanted (us- the whole office) to dress up in Indian ethnic attire for it was the start of Navratri. Like get dressed and show up mandate.The festive spirit is quite noticeable and we love it.
This is what I picked up. A bright red floral printed shirt top which I have previously worn with a sari, A beige fitted cotton pants and a Platform sandals to complete the look.

There is festival fashion which is trending and then there is style outside of ‘in’ thing? In my opinion, both are interlinked. But the biggest opinion is, there is the person (in trend) in that fashion. Clothes are one thing, happiness, confidence & inner Shakti(power) is another and this is what one should be wearing this festival season and always.

….cos we are worth it! What say?
Red Shirt: Kapasika
Pants: Koton
Sandals: River Island 

Friday, September 16, 2016

High Heels On

Over 3 months or more, I have been doing everything else but writing on Ostruck. I tried keeping the insta page buzzing for sometime with some quick insta posts but that surely was no justice to my experiences in the last few months.

Been insanely busy and stuck. I have recently taken up on me to get involved in one of the transformational projects for a med-tech company.  I think I have taken it too personally (;p). It has been very experiential but at the same time has kept me on my toes with work. There is a need to take a month long break, visit some lovely locations, read thrilling books, write on some stories and do some Netflix-ing.

Tch tch.. coming back to reality, let me tell you about, what my favorite pair of shoes these days are and how comfortable they are when I am on my toes.

Most comfortable high heels throughout the day may be an oxymoron. But with this one, it is a miracle. I love it for the snug comfort of this pair. It feels like velvet on my feet. Very stylish and I plan to pair it up with almost everything. Like Sarees, skirts, ankle length pants.

They say Nine West shoes are made about comfort and then later about style. Or may be at par. The world of shoes is a different world in itself. For me, its all about the right size, comfort and ofcourse style. Gone are the days, when it was assumed that high heels are not comfortable. It is all about finding the perfect match for yourself. And, if you find one then pick it up in all colours, I say.

Set your step in future with high heels on!! Totally worth it!!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spick and Spa: Review Mudra Spa

I say, I think I am a cool back packer. Pat came the reply, “You are under-estimating yourself. Don't you hunt for a spa even in the dessert” Well, yes! It’s true. I love my doze of pamper once in a while and that once in a while is quite often.
My best friend was visiting the country and after her thorough research she found out that there is a day spa around her vicinity. She excitedly told me it has great reviews, while I was wrapping up my day’s work. We had enquired about options in the 5 star properties and its amenities. Well, with the 5 star tag comes a lot of expectations. And not always, those expectations are met. After a lot of to and fro we decided on a luxury day spa instead of Spa services of a 5 star hotel.  
Mudra indeed has good reviews. The 2 centers in Mumbai boasts about holistic therapies which includes spa therapies, Yoga & Reiki. Very novel and first in my opinion. Reiki massage is something that I will want to try later. But this time we were drawn to the package. Combination of massage and scrub at a neat deal of Rs 3500/-(approx.) Opted for a deep tissue and their signature scrub of Coconut & Green tea. Herbal steam sounded exotic and we added that to our therapy.
The Powai center has this royal entrance. The green color and those chairs welcomes one in a grand way. A place specifically made for washing the feet before the therapy starts looks pretty against a large mirror.


Our masseuse walked us to our therapy room. The feel and ambience itself was so relaxing. Dim light and a quite corridor with neatly done up therapy rooms.

In all I loved the ambience.
My therapy began, the only disappointment was the pressure. I was expecting that the pressure exerted on muscles would be deep and strong. Somewhere, I had to tell her that I can do with some more pressure. I was in dire need of it, my muscles ached from the previous day’s workout.
Rest of the experience, wrt generosity of oil, care, technique, time taken was brilliant.
Highlight of Mudra for me that day was the scrub. I felt the hydration in my skin till the next day. Brilliantly executed and scrubbed that each dry skin fell off me ;). My skin was left polished and glowing. Soft and supple. The aroma was heavenly too!
Coming to herbal steam, well that didn't work and the staff apologized for it. Deep down I missed on that experience. May be next time.
90 minutes of sheer bliss and happy glow-y faces, we came out. Warm lime shots in these cute little porcelain tea cups were served.

In all, a lovely time spent with my best friend and I realized it yet again that we must do more of what makes us happy.  

Mudra Spa website :