Saturday, 20 August 2016

ZzzQuill!!

Hey all! Today I am gonna talk a little about sleeplessness.


I was a girl who could fall asleep in a few minutes and sleep through the night like a baby. But as years passed, I developed sensitivity to sound and light. I would wake up at the faintest noise or light. But that was still ok, because all I had to do was make my room super dark and have something that puts out some white noise. But then a few more years later, I started having trouble sleeping because if stress, exam tension, assignments, other life issues.... I never realized that I became a poor sleeper in a matter of a few years. I am trying to figure out what prevents me from having a good sleep and working in it. During this journey, I found that listening to soothing music helps a lot. Also if I was nervous about some big event, I found that visualizing positive outcome of the event helped tremendously. Another supplement that really helped was #zzzquill. I have never taken medication to sleep well, and so was a little skeptical to try it out. But I am glad I did, and thanks to @influenster for I producing me to this product. #zzzquill helped me sleep in about half an hour and I really slept well on the nights I used to this.
I am happy to say that I will have #zzzquillas a backup option in my night stand, just in case!


I got to try out ZzzQuill for free in exchange for my honest reviews.


Do any of you have issues sleeping at night? Do share your experiences and remedies!!


All reviews are my own honest ones!!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Summer skincare routine!!

Hey everyone!
Summer has begun and so has the heat, sweat, tan, oily skin...etc. I often get caught saying that I can tolerate any amount of heat when compared to the snow and cold weather. But come summer and I am here complaining about the heat and sweat! Its a love-hate relationship between me and summer!
A lot of things change in the lifestyle of a person during summer months. The food we eat, fruits we get, we tend to gorge up on cherries, mangoes, plums and all the other summer seasonal fruits. Our attire changes as well to a much light colored, loose fitting, airy and short ones.
While I was aware of all these changes, what I was unaware of, until recently, was that our skin care regime has to change during summer as well!
I have only recently (over the last 4 years) started paying attention to my skincare products/routine. And all these years, I used to use the same products all year round. Just a few months back, I realized (thanks to YouTube gurus!) that I am supposed to switch up my skincare.
So today's post is dedicated to my summer skin care routine. I am by no means an expert in skincare, (Still researching and trying new products, though I will get there one day ;) but I still want to share my routine and the products that i use during summer months!!
Hope you enjoy this post!

First things first, cleansing the skin is very important, as it is essential to remove all the sweat, dead skin, dirt, products like sunscreen, makeup accumulated during the course of the day. I have been enjoying the benefits of double cleansing of late. Double cleansing is, using an oil based cleanser, like a cleansing oil or cleansing butter and massaging it all over the face. This process loosens the dirt and makeup on the face and also the massage increases the blood circulation on the face. After massaging the butter/oil for about a minute or two, yes A MINUTE OR TWO is important to really cleanse the skin well, I use wash cloth soaked in hot water (as hot as your face could take) and wipe away the oil, repeating the hot wash cloth wipe 3 to 4 times to get rid of all the oil. This process really relaxes me and preps me for a good night's sleep.
And then I usually use a foaming cleanser (not sure if using a synthetic foaming cleanser after an all natural oil cleanse is a good idea, I am researching this aspect at the moment and will update you guys) as a second cleanse, to remove the oil that remains, if at all any (I get paranoid because, I dont want to leave any excuse for the pesky acne causing bacteria to thrive on my face - Gross)!
Products I use for cleansing:

First cleanse:
1. The body shop camomile cleansing butter
2. Lush cosmetics ultrabland - trying a sample of  this one out currently, and I seem to be liking it
3. Burt's bees cleansing oil with coconut and argan oils - testing this one out too.

Second cleanase:
1. Clean and clear essentials foaming facial cleanser
2. CeraVe foaming facial cleanser (Not pictured, sorry :(


At times, if I feel the need to physically exfoliate, I substitute a facial scrub in place of the second cleanse foaming face wash and get my skin exfoliated.

Exfoliating cleanser:
1. Forest essentials narangi and nagkesar ubtan
2. Tatcha polished deep rice enzyme powder

About twice a week, I like using a mask. Two masks that I am currently using are:
1. Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 mask
2. Boscia luminous black peel-off mask.


The second step in my summer skin care routine is toner. The toners I will be referring to are acid toners, which are not the conventional toners, but are exfoliating liquids like AHA - Alpha Hydroxy Acid and BHA - Beta Hydroxy Acids. These liquids chemically exfoliate the dead skin cells and helps make skin smoother and brighter. As someone with combination oily and dehydrated skin, I use both AHA and BHA acids as toner:

1. Paul's choice 2% salicylic acid exfoliating liquid.
2. Pixi glow tonic with 5% glycolic acid.
I am planning to do a separate post about acid toners, so have a look out for that.



The next step is a serum. A serum is a product with a thinner consistency than a moisturizer and is best when used after toner and before moisturizer, that is either a treatment or just rich in anti-oxidants. You can use the toner as a treatment like a retinol booster or vitamin c booster or hyaluronic acid or just a serum with a bunch of anti oxidants to help prevent the signs if aging.

The serum I use are:
1. Keihl's midnight recovery serum concentrate.
2. Paula's choice 1% clinical retinol treatment.
3. I also like to apply an oil as a serum for extra hydration. I am loving using Marula oil at the moment.




The next step in my skin care routine is moisturizer. This step helps seal the goodness of all the previous steps into the skin and keeps the skin hydrated.
During day time, I like to use a moisturizer with SPF, so I dont need to pile products up on my face. A few moisturizers with SPF that I am enjoying are:
1. Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense with SPF 30. This one is an physical sunscreen.
2. Neutrogena Ultra sheer dry touch broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 55. This I use when I know I am going to be spending time outside for long.
3. Earth Recipies waterful sun gel SPF 50+ PA+++. This is a chemical sunblock and really moisturizing!!


At night, before bed my favourite moisturizer is:
1. CeraVe pm moisturizing lotion at night.
I also like to apply almond/coconut oil on my face, just for a change!
After completing all the steps, I like to spray some deionized water on my face. I have used facial mists in the past, but have never really felt any difference.

I am still working on improving my skin care routine. Will definitely do another updated skincare routine post soon!

Also summer = short dress, shorts! So it is very essential to shave regularly, to have a smooth skin and flaunt it. Initially I started off with the drugstore disposable razors, but that turned out to be pretty expensive. Then i heard about Dollar Shave Club, which is a monthly subscription box which contains a handle and a razor cartridge (which has 4 razor blades). You can adjust the frequency of your box. You get the razor cartridge and the handle in your first box, and then after, you get the cartridge alone. Also, I feel that the blades are far sharper than the drugstore feminine razors and I get a smooth shave. I really love these Dollar Shave Club razors and am thinking about order a box for myself. During the process of finding the perfect razor for my husband from the DSC, we ended up ordering a couple extra handles and so I have been using one of the extra handles.

If you guys would like to check out the DSC page, here is the link : https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/blades


Hope you enjoyed my summer skincare routine! What does your routine consist of? Let me know in the comments section. I would love to know yours!

Have a great day!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Sephora Play April 2016

Hey everyone!!

Today's post is about my first sephora play box.

For those who are new to the beauty world, sephora play box is a monthly beauty box containing 5 samples of luxury beauty for $10 per month. You get to try a few luxury skin care and makeup product samples, the full sizes of which, are available at sephora. They also include a perfume sample in all the boxes.

This is the 8th sephora play box, ever since they started this service September last year.

Ok let's jump to the pictures from the April play box by sephora.


I am really interested in trying the clinique prep start eye cream and Sunday Riley good genes lactic acid treatment. I already have the NARS satin lip pencil in rikugien and I really liked the shade on me. It is a great everyday shade!




This box contains:
1. Sunday Riley good genes lactic acid treatment - 10 ml
2. NARS satin lip pencil in rikugien - Delux sample size - 1.7 g
3. Sephora collection colorful cheek ink gel in Peony - 10 g
4. DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY 2am kiss perfume sample size (probably 1ml)
5. Clinique prep start eye cream - 3 ml
6. Milk makeup sunshine oil - 3 ml

Overall, I am not extremely excited about this month's play by sephora. Nevertheless I will give this box another shot next month and then decide about continuing or cancelling it.

Here are the full prices of the products.


By the way, this is my first ever beauty box!! Yay!!!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I will let you all know my thoughts about each of the products after giving them a fair chance!!

Take care y'all.

Have a wonderful day!

Review: CereVe AM facial moisturizing lotion


Hey everyone!!

I am back with another skin care review.

Despite loving makeup, I one fine day, asked myself "What is the point in buying tonnes of makeup, when your skin is not in good condition?" When the skin has a lot of texture and imperfections (like small bumps, acne scars, spots and redness), I am of the opinion that even a thick layer of a makeup would not conceal them. After trying a lot of foundations, concealers and powders, I realized that I, at this point, did not prefer anything on my face other than moisturizer and sunscreen. Now don't get me wrong here, I DO LOVE MAKEUP! But I feel that makeup should be used as an enhancing tool.
So I decided to focus on improving my skin and after that, start using makeup. Not sure how many of you guys would agree with me.

Talking about moisturizers, one of my favorites at the moment is the CereVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. 


About the brand

CeraVe is a registered trademark of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.
Skin naturally contains ceramides. Over time, ceramides become depleted, leading to dry and irritated skin. CeraVe helps replenish the vital ceramides healthy skin needs. It's formulated with a unique combination of three ceramides (called 1, 3, and 6-II). Only CeraVe delivers ceramides through a patented, controlled-release technology that penetrates the skin's surface, to help rebuild the skin's protective barrier and lock in moisture all day. 
What the brand claims
CeraVe AM moisturizing lotion moisturizes and provides broad spectrum sun protection.
  • Light weight and oil free. Non-comedogenic and wont clog pores.
  • Contains Niacinamide, which calms skin.
  • InVisibleZinc Technology contains microfine zinc oxide that spreads easily and dries with a clear finish.
  • Contains vital ceramides which are beneficial to skin.

Active Ingredients
Homosalate, Meradimate, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Zinc Oxide
Inactive Ingredients
Water, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum


My skin 

My skin has always been acne prone and combination oily. But of late, my skin has become kinda normal and dehydrated. So I am reassessing my skin care routine and changing the products.

My thoughts

I was looking for a new moisturizer and found good reviews for this product and went for it. It comes with a pump dispenser which can be locked when not in use or while travelling, very convenient and love that feature! The consistency of the moisturizer is medium, neither too thick nor too watery. It spreads easily on skin, but of late I find it works really well when I spray a facial mist and then apply my moisturizer. It does have a slight white tint on application which disappears in about five to ten minutes of application. It does have a broad spectrum SPF of 30, meaning the zinc oxide protects against UVA in addition to UVB, so it protects from sun burn and aging, which is very good. The packaging claims that it is suited for normal to dry skin, but I have used this during summer and I was quite comfortable. It did not make my skin extra oily or clog my pores. It is also fragrance free. It contains niacinamide, a cell communicating agent, that helps skin repair damage from pollution and su damage and produce new cells.
Consistency of the moisturizer

It spreads easily

The packaging is travel friendly

The good:
1. Convenient and travel friendly packaging.
2. Has SPF 30.
3. Moisturizes the skin.
4. Contains a lot of skin friendly and beneficial ingredients.
5. Fragrance free.
6. Affordable.

The not so good:
1. NONE!!

I definitely recommend this moisturizer to all who have normal to dry skin. Honestly, I feel even the oily skin gals can use this.

Rating - 5/5.

Have a good day!

Monday, 18 April 2016

New skin care products!!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to share my newest skin care purchases with you. I bought these a few days back and I am excited to use them and review.
I am particularly excited to try the Drunk Elephant moisturizer and the Paula's Choice 1% clinical strength retinol treatment, as I have read great reviews about both products!



Stay tuned for reviews on all these products in a few days.

Happy Sunday!!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Review: Keurig K15 coffee machine.



Hey everyone!

Today I am going to slightly diverge from makeup and skin care and talk about yet another thing that I have started to love of late - COFFEE!
This happened only over the past few months and I have no clue as to when exactly I started developing a liking towards coffee.
Anyways, continuing on this note, I recently received a Keurig K15 from Influenster to try and give my opinion on. I would to cut to the chase and let you know that I am in love with this machine!



This is the carousel that came along with the K15.

Details about the machine.
The Keurig® K15 Coffee Maker is a compact personal coffee maker with 6, 8, and 10 oz. K-Cup® pod brew sizes. Portable and great for small spaces, the Keurig® K15 makes single cup brewing fast, convenient and simple. To operate, simply add fresh water into the single-use reservoir, choose your favorite K-Cup® pod, brew, and enjoy!
Key Features that I love about K15:

  • Brews coffee, tea, hot cocoa, specialty, and iced beverages
  • Brews in under two minutes - Ideal during the morning rush!
  • K-Cup® pod Brew Sizes: 6, 8, 10 oz. - Perfect for a single brew/cup of coffee.
  • Compact size - Does not occupy much space in my already tiny kitchen!
  • Removable Drip Tray - This feature helps in fitting all sizes of mugs!
  • Indicator lights help guide you through each brew - very useful for people (like me) who hates reading the manual!
  • Turns off automatically after 90 seconds of inactivity
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Cord storage feature helps with portability
  • Compatible with My K-Cup® Reusable Coffee Filter - I can use my existing coffee powders to make coffee!
Since I am the only one who drinks coffee in my house, it suits me to the T. It is quick, fuss free and easy to operate! 

Here is a video clipping of the entire process!

 
All in all, I would like to say that I love the K15.
Even if I had not received it for free, I was thinking about getting one soon!

I totally recommend this machine, if you are a coffee lover like me!!

I hope you enjoyed reading me gushing about this machine!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Review: Paula's Choice skin perfecting 2% BHA liquid



Hi everyone!

Hope you all are doing good! I took a rather loooong break from blogging and I kinda missed it. Anyways, I wanted to restart blogging and make a few changes on my blog, but that is gonna take a while. I would want to start writing regularly and then think about the rest. Enough rambling about me.




Today I will be reviewing a skin care product that is actually a best seller amongst the entire line. It is the Paula's Choice skin perfecting 2% BHA liquid. And, BuzzAgent was generous enough to send me a full size product along with a bunch of other stuff to try and share my thoughts.







About the brand
Paula Begoun is the founder and innovative force behind Paula’s Choice Skincare. She has helped millions of women go to the cosmetics counter with the confidence and knowledge to take the absolute best care of their skin. The Paula's Choice team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products and write beauty advice articles from an honest, balanced perspective.
What the brand claims
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant rapidly exfoliates both the skin's surface and inside the pore, unclogging pores and improving skin’s appearance. 
  • Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Redness, Wrinkles
  • For All Skin Types
  • 2% BHA unclogs & diminishes enlarged pores
  • Green tea extract calms redness
  • Dramatically improves skin’s texture for radiant, even-toned skin
  • Clinically proven to hydrate, brighten & smooth fine lines
Ingredients
Water (Aqua), Methylpropanediol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Polysorbate 20 (solubilizing agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent)

My skin 
My skin has always been acne prone and combination oily. But of late, my skin has become kinda normal and dehydrated. So I am reassessing my skin care routine and changing the products.

My thoughts
I came across this product while watching the skin care routine of another blogger. I immediately searched for reviews of the product and found more about BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) and how it is an exfoliant and other good stuff about it. BHA reduces skin texture a.k.a. the bumps on the skin, which are caused by clogged pores. My skin had a lot of texture and it always worried me, as I did not know the cause for it. Fast forward a few months, I was chosen to take part in the BuzzAgent campaign to test the very same 2% BHA liquid from Paula's Choice. After using it for over 4 to 5 weeks, here is my review.

First impression
The product has the consistency of water  My initial feeling was a very uncomfortable one, as the liquid felt slightly tacky after application. But the tackiness did go away after a few minutes. 

After consistent usage 
I noticed changes in my face in a week's time. My face was brighter, had lesser breakouts, felt less bumpier, very few breakouts (except the monthly hormonal ones). I have fewer blackheads (I still do have blackheads). As far as the pore and anti aging/wrinkle situation is concerned, I can't vouch for that, as I have just started having wrinkles around my eyes and I did not notice any drastic pore size reduction. My skin has some discoloration and scarring from the past breakouts, so this product did not do much about it. It does hydrate a little due to its tacky feeling, but not enough for my skin which is dehydrated right now. Nevertheless, it did smooth my skin and I can happily say that this product is one of my holy grails now - can't live without it anymore! 

Usage
I saturate a cotton round with the 2 % BHA liquid and swipe over my entire face morning and night.

Price: $28 for 4 oz/ 118 ml.

Final thoughts: Go for it! Absolutely recommend it.

Where to find: Paula's choice* website. There usually is some kind of a discount on their website, like this one: enter code PRBHA16 to get 20% off on your order plus free shipping!!



*Affiliate link. Clicking on the link will give you a $10 off on your first order and so will I.