O3+ Agelock Booster Serum Vitamin C review

Quite some of you lovelies have been asking me to do a review of a skincare product. Honestly, I don’t really use anything very fancy on myself, I only invest in basic good oil free moisturiser, a toner for when my skin is very oily and flares up and a high spf sunscreen. I don’t even use a high end face wash or cleanser, just whatever my sister picks up from the supermarket fares quite well.

I am a believer of having clear, healthy, glowing skin and using makeup to make it look even better. A few months back (2 to be precise) my face was having these really tiny bumps, like rashes but not very severe. It was because of drastic change of weather each day. It was scorching hot during the day and cold at night. I constantly asked my mother if the rashes were very visible and she said no, they weren’t. But I just had this nagging feeling that my skin was looking bad because it was feeling bad. I generally have smooth, supple skin and it really annoys me if while washing my face or applying moisturiser I feel bumps on it. So, I did a little reading online and zeroed it on Vitamin C, it is an anti oxidant and encourages new and faster cell growth of the skin, in time, fading any marks and renewing skin texture. It also helps soothe rashes and calms any spots or acne. 20150722_120532 I tried doing a DIY vitamin C serum, and it kind of did work, I woke up with brighter skin, but that lasted only about 2 or 3 days because I started to get rashes around my eyebrow area, in between them and a little on my right cheek. It wasn’t very severe, thankfully, and went away in the next two days when I stopped using it. The recipe that I used needed L-ascorbic acid in powder or tablet form to be put in concoction with distilled water and glycerin. I have very sensitive skin and I think the dosage was too high for me or maybe my skin cannot take L ascorbic acid in its purest form as it is too harsh against sensitive skin.

I dropped the idea until I saw the the O3+ Vitamin C serum on Flipkart and immediately decided to buy it. Now, Flipkart has been in controversy regarding the pricing of its products, it escalates the price irrationally and cuts it down to a little bit less than the original calling it a discount. Maybe the products are imported or whatever, I have no idea. So the price written then was INR 1130 and it was about INR 780 after the discount and the delivery was free. There weren’t many reviews on this particular product, only one actually. I decided to go with my gut feeling and bought it. I’m so glad I did. Now, the name of this product is misleading, reading “Agelock” you’d think its for aging skin or older people. But its not. The consistency of the serum is slightly thicker than water but absorbs faster than water! Yes, super fast! I really need to speed up and massage it really quick onto my face or neck, because once it absorbs, you can’t make out which areas you haven’t covered since the serum is also clear and colorless. So, you need ninja skill AND an alert mind. Just kidding (or not!) 20150722_120642 I wouldn’t say that it makes pimples disappear overnight but yes, they do away away very quick, in a matter of 2 or 3 days without leaving marks. Now, the thing you need to remember is, everybody has different skin and some skin types repair damage quicker than other. Yes, that’s a thing! So, if your marks fade faster, your skin heals faster. Thankfully my skin is kind to me and it takes a little product to accelerate the process of healing and fading marks. After about two weeks my face was clear with no spots but I did get the occasional hormonal breakout. Which, the serum also took care of. Also, I had a very annoying big pimple between my eyebrows and it just wouldn’t go away! I had it for about a week before I got the serum. The day the serum was delivered, I applied it at night, and by the next morning it’s size had gone down significantly. The pimpled zapped and disappeared on the third morning! I was amazed! Having said that, it doesn’t work the same on all breakouts. It will take a little more time with occasional ones and treat the rash ones real quick. But you do see results, that one thing is guaranteed. I do wake up to clearer, more even toned skin everyday. But don’t expect it to just take off all your marks or tan over night. Give it a week or two and see how it works for you.

The most important point, lest I forget, you only use the tiniest amount to cover your whole face! Don’t get greedy and use a lot, it caused me a little rash on my cheek, nothing bad, you know, like the occasional microscopic white spot you get. Remember, LESS IS MORE! I’ve been using this serum for about 2 months I guess and the bottle is still half full, which means you get what you pay for.

If you have marks that need fading or brighter, more even toned skin and are willing to wait a week for results, this is for you!

Until next time, lovelies, stay beautiful! :*

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Flat ironing Rules

Sleek, straight hair makes you look polished and well groomed; and lets admit, we love getting rid of those kinks and random outward turns that our layered hair take. Just one slide of the flat iron and you become your hair’s master! It obeys you and disciplines itself into strings of silk. Exaggeration? I think not!

There are definitely a lot of temptations that lure us into ironing our hair, and more often than not, we give in. But there are some uncompromising rules that are very important for you to follow so you don’t end up frying your precious locks.

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RULE NO. 1 : INVEST IN A GOOD QUALITY FLAT IRON

Duh! The golden rule of not having fried hair after straightening is to invest in a high quality flat iron. You know when you browse through Flipkart or Amazon and they try to lure you into buying extremely cheap flat irons? Steer clear! Even though it might say on the label of the product that it has ceramic plates and ionic moisturising particles and stuff like that, say NO! Because you know for a fact that a flat iron costing INR 450 will never be equal to its expensive counterparts. EVER. Sad truth.

What you need to look for in a flat iron are : a. What kind of plates it has b. Whether it has heat adjustment and lastly c. Does it have negative ions to provide your hair with shine

Ceramic plates that are of a higher quality will also increase the cost of the flat iron. But again, don’t be fooled by a very high price and just blindly grab it. Take a little time and read up some reviews and also if it has any cheap alternatives. The heat setting should not be any higher than 430 degrees I guess because any higher and it just burns your hair off. Most irons don’t go that far and have only 230 degrees or less. Check for digital temperature control because it tells you exactly how much heat is being used, and also, FANCY! ๐Ÿ˜€ Negative ions are very important because they help in maintaining shine in your hair.

The best brands for flat irons are Babyliss, Corioliss, NuMe, Remington, Toni and Guy (for the few I know)

RULE NO. 2 : DON’T EVER FLAT IRON WET OR DAMP HAIR

It is disastrous to iron hair that is wet or even damp. Speaking from personal experience, it fries and tangles your hair so bad, the only way you can save your hair is by chopping lots of precious inches off.

Putting iron on wet hair causes a lot of damage even with heat protectant on! If you hear even the slightest frizzle while going over a piece of hair. STOP. Dry it with a hairdryer first or let it air dry. And when you are sure that there is no moisture from water left in your hair, then proceed with a heat protectant and straighten it.

RULE NO. 3 : USE A GOOD QUALITY HEAT PROTECTANTย 

For obvious reasons, of course! I had a friend who would spritz some water on her hair and just flat iron it. JUST LIKE THAT! I was really horrified of that story and she had to chop off her hair and now sports a Pixie, waiting for her hair to grow out. DON’T BE THAT GIRL!

RULE NO. 4 NO PRODUCTS WITH ALCOHOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

Alcohol dries out your hair like there is no tomorrow! Don’t ever use a flat ironing spray which has alcohol in it. I used to use the FX Flat ironing spray on my hair and it dried out my hair so bad it looked like a hay stack. Also, it reeked of alcohol like I was drunk!

My advice is to please, please check all ingredients of the product before you buy it. Also, Cetyl alcohol is a your friend because it has fatty acids, so don’t run away from it. All other kind, dump!

The best flat creams or sprays in my opinion are the L’oreal tecni art flat iron cream, TiGi S Factor flat iron spray, Kerastase ciment thermique and any L’oreal thermo active cream.

RULE NO. 5 : USE A DEEP MOISTURISING HAIR MASK

This rule is more like an after care for ironed hair because even when you use a good cream and spray, you do know that you are doing some damage to your hair by exposing it to so much heat. Use a hair mask once a week, preferably the one that says “repairing” or “deep moisturising” to put back the much needed moisture in your locks!

My recommendations are L’oreal’s Absolut Repair and Force Vector masks or if you want to do high end Kerastase is the best!

So, these were the rules I feel you should follow if you flat iron your hair and I hope you liked the post and found it informative!

Until next time, lovelies, stay beautiful! :*

Image courtesy : WikiHowย 

MAC Retro Matte Relentlessly Red Lipstick review

You know how each of us has that one savior product that rescues us EVERY TIME on a bad skin day? Mine is a nice bright lippy! A lipstick that is bright enough and not over the top or in-your-face does take the attention away from under eye bags or spots or those horrific pimple scars (everybody gets them, don’t even pretend)

The packaging is classic MAC, with an elongated dome cap. All right but not amazing like the Guerlain or YSL ones. I’m not complaining since they do cost a bomb and I’m too broke to afford them for their drool worthy packaging anyway!

The texture is a no nonsense matte. Simple and really long lasting. And by really, I mean REALLY! It survives through a big, greasy Indian dinner and DOES NOT BUDGE! It’s not like the Stila liquid lipstick ones, for example that do not smudge transfer or bleed AT ALL, but it does stay very long and smudges very very little.

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I would like to mention that I have kind of a heavy hand while applying lipstick because I get carried away as I follow the shape of my lips that are not wide enough for how much they are plump. Not majorly pout-like but just a little, to make it look like I’m pursing them together sometimes. So, the bullet does not break under pressure like some lipsticks that just dislocate! I’m looking at you L’oreal Moist Matte! It dislocated on me the very first day! I can’t even! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜€

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The colour is a beautiful carrot pink-red. It looks very bright on me but that does not mean it looks stark on darker skin tones. It looks just as fabulous on my cousin whose skin is probably 4 or 5 shades darker than my own. Which is quite a surprise since it is a blue based pink that might have a strong contrast against the yellow tones that us Indians usually have.

The lipstick is not very smooth to apply since it is a true matte. You do need a balm underneath if you’re more of a balmy person ๐Ÿ˜› I personally apply my lip balm, do my base makeup, then wipe off the lip balm and apply the lipstick. This way, my lips feel adequately hydrated and I don’t have to deal with glossy lips! I do not like glossy lips on myself one bit, I’m a very matte girl! That being said, the lipstick does not totally dry off your lips or leave them parched like some lipsticks do.

And before I forget the scent! It has the signature MAC vanilla fragrance which is more like freshly sliced cake fragrance, are we on the same page? ๐Ÿ˜€ Do you understand my references? ๐Ÿ˜€

Below is a picture of me that is a few weeks old wearing MAC Relentlessly Red because I’m having trouble photographing my face a little lately. Just, don’t ask, okay? ๐Ÿ˜€ I was down with a cold then and looking a little like I was on anesthesia or something, but I was just sick. The lipstick did give some life to my face though. Be the judge!

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Price : INR 1450/-

Available at MAC outlets or at their online store.

Until next time, lovelies, stay beautiful! :*

Repairing Damaged Hair : Oiling

A few years back, our news feeds and Youtube was bombarded with ravings about the benefits of oil for your hair and we as Indians were not very impressed. We have been oiling our hair for centuries! In fact, our grandmothers and great grand mothers had only coconut oil and shampoo as hair products. So when I saw an American beauty guru on youtube professing her love for coconut and olive oil, I was reassured that my hair would always be healthy because I’ve been oiling my hair since school. I washed my hair on a Sunday, oiled it Monday morning and only washed it off on Sunday again. I felt oiling along with shampooing and conditioning were enough to keep my hair in the best shape that its texture allowed, until, I realized I was oiling my hair wrong.

Apparently, dunking your hair and scalp in oil is just not how you roll! Learnt it the hard way, when my hairdresser was brushing my hair before a hair cut. He casually asked me if I used conditioner. I clenched my fists and said yes, I did while my mind went “I use the most expensive one there is! How can he ask me that!?”

“Your hair looks VERY dry” He said, still brushing it

I thought hard for a befitting reply and recalled that we had hard water at our previous house. “We have hard water where we stay. Maybe its because of that?”

“Do you oil your hair?” He questioned, trying to un-knot a tangle.

“Yes, before every wash! Scalp to tips!”

“You should only oil your scalp, the tips don’t need it. It just makes your hair dryer.” He said, matter of fact-ly.

I told him I’d follow what he said, got my hair cut and also the hell out of the salon. There’s something humiliating when a hairdresser says your hair looks bad when everyone else says it looks fabulous! Okay, not fabulous, but great! Or good. Whatever.

I went home and googled “Oiling your hair”. That’s when I read several articles by hair dressers and hair experts and other people who claimed that oil works wonders for your hair. And by hair, they meant scalp. Your hair are dead cells and how much ever you oil it, it will never be repaired. It can only moisturise it; but when you use a lot of shampoo to get that oil out of the hair, it only leads to excess stripping off of moisture from the shaft. That is the reason why your hair looks even more frizzy when you wash it after heavy oiling.ย That being said, oil is not all that bad for your hair if you put the moisture back by using a good deep conditioning treatment or mask.

The way I use oil presently is, I warm up some olive oil or the treatment oil I bought during my trip to Kerala in the microwave. I don’t let it get boiling hot, just warm enough. I use cotton wool to cover all of my scalp or dip my fingertips in and massage my head if I’m feeling lazy. Mostly, I feel lazy. ๐Ÿ˜›

I oil my scalp at night and wash it off in the morning and I think that it works best. One hour is more than enough though. Another point I’d like to add is that you should NEVER oil an unclean scalp. What most people usually do is they wash their hair, let it get greasy and dirty over a period of days and oil their hair before they’re going to shampoo. The dirt and those pesky little pollution particles (whatever their scientific names are) get stuck on your hair shaft. And when mixed with oil and the sebum of your scalp, tangle your hair horribly and also lead to unnecessary hairfall. You cannot obviously wash your hair one day and then oil it and then wash it off again, its a long, tedious, ain’t-nobody-got-time-for-that process. I suggest you only oil your hair once a week and for other washes just use shampoo and conditioner. Problem = Solved.

You can use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil or whichever oil you fancy (not the deep frying edible kind, of course). Personally I love using almond oil or olive oil. Almond oil is very rich in Vitamin E, makes your hair softer and straighter and is very easy to wash off. Takes only one wash with my TBS Rainforest Balance shampoo! Olive oil is a little controversial because it is said that it cannot penetrate the scalp as the particles of olive oil are bigger than the pores (?) on your scalp. Nevertheless, I feel it makes my hair soft so I don’t mind that. Coconut oil is advised by many because it penetrates deep into the scalp and nourishes your roots. I stay far far and far away from coconut oil because I just somehow started to break out suddenly near my hair line a few years back because of it. That doesn’t happen to my mother or sister or cousin, so I think its some sort of a curse! :/

Castor oil is great too but it is a little too thick for my liking and smells like a mix of nutty and chemically. Do you get those notes too? Or am I just paranoid? I don’t know! Also, Argan oil is GREAT if you’re that fancy and can afford it. It’s not called liquid gold for the hair because of nothing!

So this was the second post of the Repairing Damaged Hair series, there are some more posts to come! I hope you liked this post and found it helpful. Until next time, lovelies, stay beautiful! :*

A DIY hair treatment nightmare and how I fixed it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am not a big DIY person, nevertheless, sometimes I fancy putting some stuff on my hair. Most times, they work great. Sometimes, they don’t really do anything. But I’ve never had a nightmarish experience with any DIY treatment. BEFORE YESTERDAY.

I read an article about how good Indian gooseberry or Amla, as we know it, is for the hair. The article said it made the hair stronger and shinier and was an all organic, chemical free way to full, shiny, voluminous hair. Sounds pretty amazing, right? I was charmed. It suddenly occurred to me that we had a small brown packet of amla powder lying around the house. My mother purchased it from an organic store but it was forgotten about and lay in a corner of a bottom cabinet. So I decided, in a haste to try making a hair pack out of it. The article said you could use it with yogurt or just mix it with plain filtered water. I didn’t have any yogurt so I just made a paste with water.

I let the paste sit for about one hour after which I applied it section by section on my scalp and well combed out hair. I had washed my hair the day before and it had no excess product in it. I covered my hair with a shower cap and decided to browse about this hair pack that I had put on my hair. I always do that. Buy something and then read the reviews all over again. Just to feel a little bit more happy about the benefits I was going to receive. Yes, I’m weird that way.

So what I gathered from one hour of browsing was that people use amla with henna because they work in combination with each other. Henna adds an orange – red tint to hair along with coating the follicle and relaxing it, while amla defines waves and curls and also provides cooler tones to the hair. In short, it is a good toner to get rid of orange tones in hair. OKAY, I thought, so I’ve highlighted my hair so it would be good to have it toned a bit. I knew it wasn’t going to be like the salon blue enriched toners, so my expectations weren’t lofty. Also, I am a sucker for well defined waves, and my hair is straight to wavy, leaning more towards the straight end. So win win for me, I thought. I was prepared for a little initial roughness because anything that claims to tone your hair or strengthen it can often leave it a bit dry.

I washed off my hair after about an hour with my usual Force Vector shampoo and conditioned it with the Matrix repair inside. I saw more hair in the drain than usual but this generally does happen if I use a DIY mask. So it didn’t alarm me too much. I squeezed some water from my hair into the white basin of my bathroom just to make sure all of the amla was out. The reason being that if it hadn’t washed off properly, the water would appear slightly muddy. I didn’t use any serum or leave in treatment after, just let my hair air dry so I could actually see how well the mask worked.

I have thick hair that takes FOREVER to dry. Throughout the day however, my mother and sister told me that my hair looked full and shiny which reassured me that the mask had worked! Come evening, my hair was completely dry and I tried to finger comb it. I was shocked to learn that I couldn’t even comb through my bangs without having my fingers stuck in teeny tiny knots. I tried brushing with a wide tooth comb and I was left horrified at how tangled my hair was! It looked as if my hair was tossed and turned in the air for a long long time and then a lot of dust was blown into it, which caused them to bunch up, do you understand? Like all your hair is bundled up and knotty. To top it all, my worst nightmare just appeared in form of a big clump of hair on the floor. I have NEVER seen my hair shed THAT much in my entire life and I am not exaggerating. I was in tears and I thought because I’d put it on all of my hair, it would just all shed leading to small bald patches. A girl’s mind can go to dark places when she experiences such horror.

I calmed myself down after hours of hysteria and decided to use my two rescue products the next day because I didn’t want to risk washing my hair again and losing more of it. So, I washed my hair the following morning which is today with The Body Shop Rainforest Balance shampoo and followed it up with my most trusted Lo’real Absolut Repair mask. I left the mask for 30 minutes in my hair. Just praying in the shower that my hair be fixed and healthy and also promised to NEVER EVER put that stuff in my hair AGAIN! Thankfully and luckily, my prayers were answered because of these two miracle products and my hair felt silky smooth while washing off. I had to rush to college immediately so I dried my hair with a hair dryer after applying my L’oreal Liss unlimited thermo active cream. Much to my relief my hair looked healthy, smooth and shiny. A friend even complimented me on it when I was in college.

I know amla is very very good for the hair and it has numerous properties, but it just did not work for me, AND HOW! Maybe I should’ve mixed it with yogurt so it would compensate for the drying part and make my hair more ‘slippery’. Or the powder was too old. I really have no clue. The reason I wrote this article is that you know what I experienced and you don’t do it the way I did. Maybe you could use it in conjunction with henna or oil or what you suggest. But I have vowed to my hair to never put it through that torture again and in turn, it will stay on my scalp! ๐Ÿ˜›

That being said, if you are a fan of the amla hair pack, I’m so happy it has worked for you and you enjoy thick, healthy hair.

Until next time, lovelies, take good care of your hair and consider the benefits and drawbacks of the stuff that you put on it. And remember, to always stay beautiful! :*