Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Simple Micellar Water and Thoughts on Micellar Water

Simple Micellar Water was on my shopping list for a while and I finally took the plunge last week. As a first impression, I couldn't help but compare it to Garnier Micellar Water. I would rate both Garnier & Simple 4.5 out of 5. They are equally good and I will repurchase them without the shadow of a doubt.

The only major difference being price; Garnier comes at £4.19 for 400 ml and Simple is priced at £4.49 for 200 ml. 

I also did a post on Garnier Micellar Water recently which has been linked here if you are interested.

I am a big fan of all Simple products and I was very sure that this one will live up to  my expectations. And it did! But first lets talk a bit about the history of micellar water and the science behind it all.

European and Canadian markets are no strangers to micellar water but shockingly, US has been left behind. Simple launched their micellar water in the States earlier this year and have really cashed in on being the first ever drugstore micellar water there. I am surprised that such a huge market has still not been introduced to the Garnier, Nivea or L'oreal micellar variants.

For those of you who are still wondering what micellar water is and suddenly why is it everywhere, let me try and define it for you. Bioderma, the cult favourite from France is the main force that catapulted micellar water to fame. According to Marie Claire UK, the origin of micellar water can be traced back to 1990s to Paris where it was devised specially for Parisian women to gently cleanse while skipping rinsing their face with water altogether. (Water in France is supposedly really harsh) This comes as no surprise to me, the French are kind of obsessed with keeping their bodies far far away from water ;)

Micellar water is essentially purified water with micelle molecules made up of fatty acid esters that extract impurities (makeup, dirt, gunk, pollution you get the drift) from the surface of your skin. It is milder than soap and is suitable for dry & sensitive skin. Micellar water  does not contain soap or alcohol. After application, skin feels a bit tacky at first but then goes back to normal and definitely not tight or dry or dehydrated (which it does if you use soap based cleansers)

It feels as though you are wiping your face with cotton pads soaked in water. It is very similar to regular water in the way it looks and feels. The companies that manufacture micellar water claim that no extra rinsing with water is required after using their product.  

According to Simple, "Simple Micellar Cleanser Water is our most advanced yet gentle cleanser to date. It is made with skin-loving ingredients, including Vitamin B3 and C, and Triple Purified Water, our purest possible water to help remove contaminants known to irritate skin."

Simple Micellar Water is fragrance free which is a major plus for me. Another plus is that it does not sting the eye just in case you somehow manage to get it in the delicate area.

When I am wearing a full face of make up especially numerous coats of multiple mascaras, I can use up to 5 cotton pads soaked in the Simple Micellar Water to be fully satisfied with the end result. The good thing is that it's not harsh or it does not feel harsh at all and I think that is why I end up using so much product at once. And then there is something strangely satisfying looking at make up smeared cotton pad after cotton pad... 

On a side note, I don't think micellar water is strong enough to get rid of water proof make up especially mascara & eyeliner.

Even though Simple claim that no rinsing is required when you use their Micellar Water; after cleansing, I go in over the sink with my cream facial cleanser and then slap on a generous amount of cream as the final step .

My skin is dry (with a slightly oily t zone) and maybe that is why I feel the urge to go back in with my moisturiser but somebody who may have seriously oily skin might not want to or might not need to moisturise afterwards. 

If I am particularly lazy or tired or travelling, I might skip the rinsing bit. Micellar water makes a very convenient, travel friendly product. You will find that once you start using any kind of micellar water, you will totally skip the wipes.

Micellar water is a breakthrough beauty  technology that not only removes make up but also can be included as an essential cleansing step in a lazy/busy girl's skincare routine.

You could use this as the first skin care step, especially before working out in the morning or on days when you don't have to get ready and rush out of the door, first thing. Applying micellar water with a cotton pad all over your face first thing in the morning feels cool and relaxing and it efficiently cleans any makeup residue from the previous day.  This means you are reducing the number of times you clean your face over the sink, hence reducing the number of times your facial skin comes in contact with harsh water or cleansers.

Also while applying makeup, when you make silly mascara or eyeliner mistakes, a little bit of this micellar water on a cotton bud can be your best friend.

I am going on holiday soon and I think I will purchase Garnier Micellar Water in the small, travel friendly bottle. I don't think Nivea or Simple do small bottles. If they do, please let me know. 

The only drugstore micellar water that has bad reviews online is L'oreal. ( I can't say much as I haven't tried it yet) Next on my list is Nivea which is cheap as chips but has some sensational reviews as well.

I haven't ever tried Bioderma either but then many bloggers who I look up to have reported that both Garnier & Simple variants are as good. I trust these ladies and am always up for saving a buck! 

What are your thoughts on Micellar water? Share?


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Super Banana Berry Smoothie

Its true! I am officially obsessed with bananas and berries. But I recently met a few people who absolutely hate bananas and I just don't understand why. I think they are missing out on one of nature's best gifts to mankind. That is besides the point though.

It is painfully easy to blend smoothies and is hugely rewarding when done the right way. Basically you consume a huge portion of good, nutritious foods in a quick glassful, which you might never think of eating individually during the course of a regular busy day. Smoothies also make excellent meal alternatives especially when you are on the go.

Banana is a rich source of potassium & fibre and is known help maintain normal blood pressure  and lower the risk of heart disease. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin A, B6, C and E which literally translates brilliant skincare. Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants that have anti ageing benefits. The list goes on and on but I need to stop for the sake of this post! My lovelies, are you convinced yet?

Lets get started with the preparation, shall we?


1 very ripe banana 
The reason why you need a ripe spotty dirty looking banana is because that will make your smoothie sweet & delicious. Also, non ripe bananas are the reason behind serious constipation. I know this is TMI but then I think it's an important issue that needs to be talked about)

A handful of frozen berries or a mix of fresh berries cause ain't nothing like fresh seasonal berries ;) 
I prefer fresh strawberries & blueberries (because right now they are in season). The frozen pack usually contains raspberries & currants in addition to strawberries & blueberries and is a good option as it also serves the purpose of ice! However, choosing between frozen or fresh berries is completely a matter of choice and I will leave this at your discretion. Alternately you could throw in both fresh and frozen berries and experience best of both worlds.

1 cup milk of choice 
Milk is a very personal choice, although I recommend almond milk, you could pretty much use whatever plant/animal based milk you like. Just stay away from the full fat ones ;)

A few drops of honey or agave syrup for that extra sweetness
This step is optional as well, it all depends on how sweet you like your smoothie to be.

Half a teaspoon of coffee to wake you up

Half a teaspoon of almond butter to make it rich & creamy 

Get your blender out, throw everything in and blitz. Your smoothie will be ready in under a minute. I use the NutriBullet and I absolutely love that mean machine. Have you tried the NutriBullet? If not, which blender/ extractor do you use? I am such a curious cat!

My super banana berry smoothie is ideal as a pre or post workout snack. It is packed with goodness from fruit and contains natural sugars which instantly energise the system. The subtle caffeine kick is absolutely on point or should I say on fleek?  It is exactly what you need to get your day started and it's not the overwhelming, sickening or dehydrating caffeine kick that you get from a cappuccino or latte. The sharp tarty berry taste in my opinion is the best wake up call. This smoothie tastes divine and is a good change from the usual banana chocolate smoothie that everyone has been drinking for a while now.

On a side note, I am also looking out for a juicer. Let me know if you have any good recommendations. 

Do you think that smoothies have revolutionised nutrition? Let me know your thoughts on smoothies.


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Juice Life

    Apple, carrot, celery, cucumber & spinach juice.

 Carrot, celery, cucumber, orange & pear juice. 
I placed strawberries on the plank for that pop of color ;) On second thoughts, I could have just chucked in a few strawberries. Hmmm.

Once a week when my fridge looks like it needs a serious clean, I try and use up leftover vegetables and fruits and juice them all. 

Not only is the juice healthy, delicious and nutritious but also a great way to utilise any leftover fruit and veg. I hate wasting food with a passion so for me this makes total sense.

For your juice to be really healthy make sure to include more vegetables than fruit. You are better off following the 80-20 ratio. If you juice only fruit, you end up removing all fibre from it & hence consuming concentrated sugar. Juicing vegetables on the other hand ensures that your body absorbs all the nutrients & goodness from veggies quickly & effectively. A hint of fruit in your vegetable juice is the way to achieve an optimum balance between taste & nutrition. 

My other point in this case is that you don't always need every single ingredient mentioned in a recipe. You just gotta work with what you can get easily at the local market & sometimes with whatever you have left in the fridge. Everything is replaceable and everything has an equally yummy alternate. 

Share your masterpiece juice recipe?


Friday, 12 June 2015

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Review

Left to right:  Personne ne rouge! and So Hap'Pink 

Left to right- Personne ne rouge and So Hap'pink 

Personne ne rouge!

So Hap' Pink

So I got my hands on Bourjois Rouge Edition Matte Velvet liquid lipsticks in the shade 01 Personne ne rouge and also 11 So Hap' pink.

I believe Bourjois originally launched 9 Rouge Edition shades in 2014 and 01 Personne ne rouge was a part of the initial collection. Bourjois then added 3 more shades to this line earlier in 2015 and 11 So Hap' pink is a part of the new collection! Please correct me if this information is in anyway incorrect.

I have warm toned, bordering on neutral & pale Indian complexion and these shades work well for me.  I apply these in a muted & blotted layered way which is why there is a difference between how they look swatched and how they look on my lips. 

The first thing that struck me really odd was the smell. It is not pleasant. It is almost chemical bordering on plasticky. It fades away quickly though. At first I thought I bought products that were out of date. But then later discovered while reading reviews online that the smell is real! Strange. But smell aside, I am really impressed with the formula.

I really like the packaging, it is tiny enough to throw in your on-the-go makeup bag. The mobility factor of any product is a big tick for me.

It goes on wet & creamy but then after a few seconds goes dry, almost powdery on your lips. It won't dry out your lips and also sits very comfortably , however after a while it clings to  the dry patches on your lips. But that is bound to happen with any matte long lasting lip colour formula. 

They claim that the lipstick lasts for 24 hours! I hope no one ever has to wear lipstick for 24 hours. Anyway, I honestly don't think it will last 24 hours but it does last quite a while say 4-5 hours. In this time if you eat & drink then intensity of the colour will wear off. When you sip water or any other beverage out of a glass or a cup, the colour transfers a teeny tiny bit which is very little compared to some other lip products. So ultimately you are left with a matte stain on your lips which I don't mind. At this point some people might want a re touch! 

I am particularly hopeless when it comes to lipsticks, I eat lipstick like its nobody's business. So these can last on my lips is saying a lot.

I apply these without any lip liner and directly from the pointy applicator which I must mention is pretty precise. The application is easy breezy and I also love that when applied these are creamy, buttery, build able and blend able. Many people are not on board with this but I like the fact that it doesn't set immediately and gives you time to build it up or down. 

Matte lipsticks are generally drying and they are bound to cling to dry patches on your lips after a while. But whenever I reach that stage with Rouge Edition, I top it up with some balm and then reapply if I feel like it. Reapplying or touching up is easy and so is removing the product! I love such fuss free products.

The only other liquid lipstick that I have tried is from Rimmel and I am not a fan. Rimmel Provocalips have a weird thick consistency and are very difficult to work with. 

Quick tips- 
  • Make sure your lips are thoroughly moisturised before you start applying the product and also make sure you are not dehydrated. 
  • Build the colour up in layers and use your finger tips to blend the layers in. I feel that the finish is much better that way. 
£8.99 each

Will I repurchase this? 
Yes, why not? A different shade maybe!


Saturday, 6 June 2015

Booja Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate

Next time you crave pudding or dessert or ice cream, try and look out for other healthier alternatives available in the market. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Sugar is the biggest reason behind weight gain, obesity and being unhealthy in general. I  am not talking about sugar from natural resources but about processed and refined sugar.

In order to create a healthy nutrition balance, our body needs sugar, but from sources close to its original form i.e. the unrefined or non processed versions. And that's where options like honey, agave nectar & stevia etc come into play. And we also need to apply the principle of moderation to our consumption of sugar, even from natural resources. I am not going to dwell on that topic here because I specifically want to talk about why I love Booja Booja.

Booja Booja is a company from Norfolk, United Kingdom that produces chocolate truffles & healthy alternatives to ice creams. In this post, I am talking about their ice cream alternative in the flavour Hunky Punky Chocolate. They have other flavours available as well. (ginger, coconut, vanilla & maple pecan)

Hunky Punky Chocolate is made out of just four ingredients- water, cashews, agave nectar and cocoa powder. There is definitely no compromise on the taste; it is just as delicious, just as creamy and indulgent as any other chocolate ice-cream. If someone served this to you in a bowl without mentioning the ingredients or showing you the tub, you would probably not know the difference at all.

It is very difficult for our body to digest dairy and the fact that this is dairy free and also refined sugar free makes it a winner for me. 

My only problem is that it is priced at £5.99 which is a bit steep for ice cream. But I understand that there is a cost attached to producing organic, good quality food. And if you consume this in moderation, a 500 ml tub will last you a while. But then again who eats ice cream in moderation ;)

Have you tried Booja Booja yet? I am dying to try all other flavours! Have you tried any other flavour besides Hunky Punky Chocolate? Let me know, I would love to hear your views.


Friday, 5 June 2015

Banana Porridge with Berries

If I have to choose my favourite meal of the day, without a shadow of doubt it will be breakfast! I love my morning tea with something healthy ish , I cannot tell you how much of a difference this makes to the way my day pans out. It is an instant energiser and a sure shot way to lift your mood.

A big favourite in our household is banana porridge with berries on top. A lot of people believe that porridge oats is the most boring breakfast ever. But this is an exciting spin on the classic bland tasteless porridge.

The base of my porridge is banana. Now the key to nailing this recipe is using a perfectly ripe, spotty banana. And you need a ripe banana because unripe bananas cause major constipation and are difficult to digest. Secondly, a ripe banana will make your porridge sweet enough and you won't need to add any extra sugar/honey/agave syrup to it.

For one portion of porridge you will need-
1 cup of porridge oats
Milk of choice (2 cups)
1 ripe banana
Pinch of cinnamon
Raisins (optional)
A handful of mixed fresh or frozen berries

So just throw in oats, banana slices, milk, cinnamon and raisins in a bowl and heat them in a microwave for a minute or 2 minutes depending on the performance of your microwave. Alternately you cook your porridge over a hob in a small sauce pan.

Once you have the desired consistency (neither too thick or thin), transfer it to a bowl and sprinkle a mix of frozen or fresh berries on top! Sweet & creamy hot porridge with tarty & sharp frozen berries is such an interesting contrast and is such a burst of flavour in your mouth. This will wake you up instantly. Promise :)

What is your favourite meal of the day and how do you like your porridge?


Thursday, 4 June 2015

Garnier Moisture Match Gel Dull Skin

So I am having a bit of a Garnier fan girl moment! After raving about their Micellar Water and Body  Repair Balm it's now time to talk about the Moisture Match Gel for Dull Skin.

I went through this product so quickly and was using it morning, noon and night just because it felt so good on my skin. My skin tends to get dry with an oily t-zone. So its safe to say that I have combination skin. This product is not really meant for dry skin and I often used it as an extra step in addition to a moisturiser in my skin care routine.

When I bought the Moisture Match Gel, I was not very happy with my existing moisturiser, I felt that it wasn't doing the trick, my skin felt dull, lacklustre and undernourished. I can't describe it properly but it seemed like my skin was missing something major.

I used this gel pretty much in every way. I used it first thing in the morning, before getting ready for the day because it felt so refreshing. I used it under my existing moisturiser and sometimes I also used it over the moisturiser and as a base layer before makeup.

I love the citrus fragrance and cooling effect that it has on your skin. The smell is not overwhelming, it feels really fresh and for a minute or so, it feels a bit strange on your face but then almost instantly gets absorbed leaving the skin feeling awesome.

Some people could find the smell a bit too much but for me it doesn't matter and I think this is a highly personal opinion and can differ massively.

Back in India, I never really bought Garnier products as I didn't think much of them. But here in the UK I am actually really amazed and very pleased with their quality and affordable price points. Moisture Match Gel comes in 5 different variants meant for different skin types and they are all priced at £3.99.

I will definitely repurchase this product but not immediately just because there are so many brilliant products out there that I am dying to try ;)

Have you tried the Moisture Match Gel? What do you think of this product?


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohl in Cocoa Bean

Ask any Indian girl and I am pretty sure she will say that a kohl/kajal eyeliner pencil is probably the most essential item in her makeup bag. It definitely has been mine ever since I discovered makeup.

Till the time I don't line my eyes with a kohl pencil (and by lining I mean both lower and upper water line), they just don't brighten up. In pictures you literally cannot see my eyes and they tend to look very dull without a kohl boost. And these days my goto kohl pencil is the Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohl Pencil in Cocoa Bean.

When I bought this pencil, I really didn't think much of it. But many weeks have passed since I purchased it and I just realised that I am completely & utterly in love with it because of the reasons mentioned below- 

  • Eyes are perhaps the most sensitive of organs and the fact that Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohl is enriched with vitamin E and jojoba oil is definitely a start in the right direction.
  • Some pencils have a rather hard texture and they tend to hurt, especially on the sensitive water line. But this one is soft and it doesn't poke you while filling your upper and lower water line (tight line). 
  • The shade Cocoa Bean is neither black nor brown but the perfect intense black-brown shade that will make your brown eyes pop! It is the darkest brown shade perfect for warm toned skin. Most  brown eyeliner pencils are light and tend to fade. On the other hand, black pencils can sometimes over-power eye makeup and look harsh or stark. Most Indian women have warm brown eyes and this kohl pencil does a kick ass job of highlighting brown eyes, making them glow & glisten.
  • Most eyeliner pencils that I used in the past didn't last and required a touch up several times during the day, however with this one I hardly ever need to touch up. 
  • Smoulder kohl is also waterproof which is perfect if you want to carry it to a pool party or take it with you to a beach holiday.
  • It comes attached with a sharpener on the lid and it actually works! Hence it is extremely convenient to carry in your bag or to travel with.
  • Priced at £5, this is a stellar kohl eyeliner pencil and I will definitely repurchase it. I don't think Superdrug sell Soap & Glory products but at Boots these are almost always available on 3 for 2  or some other offer.

Have you tried the Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohl yet? What do you think of it?

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