Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to prepare henna paste

Henna has been used from ancient times to color hair. Henna is good for hair growth as well.
Here is my take on preparing the henna paste to apply on the head.

1. Henna powder - 2 cups
2. Coffee powder - 1 tsp
3. Dabur amla hair oil - 1/2 cup
4. Olive oil - 2 tbsp
5. Hibiscus flower powder - 1/4 cup (optional)
6. Black tea (strained and cooled)/plain water - as required to make the paste
7. Yoghurt - 1/4 cup (mix it before applying onto hair)
8. Egg - 1 (optional; mix before applying onto hair)
9. Iron vessel - to mix everything
10. Gloves and brush - for application
11. Shower cap/plastic cover/cling film

Always use an iron vessel to mix the henna.
Let it sit undisturbed overnight (store it outside; not in a fridge) and apply the next day on heavily oiled hair (you can use coconut oil or olive oil). 

See the dark color on the sides. An iron vessel is important if you are planning to color your hair using henna. 

In the above picture, I have mixed in the yoghurt, given the whole mixture a good stir and is ready to be applied onto the hair. Keep it on for 2 - 3 hours and wash off with a shampoo and apply conditioner. Or else if you want a deeper color, wash the henna off with plain water and apply conditioner and air dry it. And on the next day, wash your hair with a shampoo and conditioner.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Vitamin C rich cholesterol buster drink recipe

1. Gooseberry (amla) -2 (seeds removed)
2. Curry leaves - 2 sprig
3. Ginger - 1 tsp (chopped)
4. Laban/yoghurt - 1/4 cup
5. Water - 1 cup
6. Salt - a pinch

Blend everything together and drink it up as soon as you make it, first thing in the morning. 

This is healthy and cooling and great for the summer.

This is a detox drink as well.

A power packed apple smoothie recipe

This is a great post-workout drink or even can double up as a power packed breakfast.
You will be satiated for a long time.

1. Apple - 1 (red apple  with skin on)
2. Milk - 1/2 cup (full cream)
3. Dates - 2 (soaked in water for a couple of hours)
4. Oats - 1 tbsp
5. Flax seed - 1 tsp
6. Peanut - 2 tsp
7. Protein powder/whey powder - 1 tbsp (i used amul whey protein; you can use horlicks or boost or any powder of your choice)
8. Water- 1/2 cup

Clean the apple by immersing it in lukewarm water for a minute and use a scrubber to scrub off all the wax coating.
Blend all of the above ingredients and drink it up immediately.
A good recipe if you are hesitant to eat apples or use up some left over apples or drink milk.
Try it and let me know of your opinion.
Cheers :)

A foundation hack (DIY)

I viewed this video (link) and tried it and hey it works :) :)

Apply a moisturiser before applying your foundation so as to avoid dry and cakey patches. 
Then go and sit in an air conditioned environment for almost 8 hours and bam...what do you see...dry patches on the forehead and the corners of your mouth.Sigh...

And then came this 'foundation hack'!!!!

Add a drop of oil (almond, jojoba or grapeseed) to liquid or cream foundation and apply it on your face. The foundation glides smoothly and your face feels and looks moisturised the entire day. No more of those shabby lines on the corners of your mouth or dry patches on your skin. I tested this with normal foundation and long lasting foundation and the 'hack' worked on both.

P.S: I used almond oil and I did moisturise my face before applying foundation.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Max factor Elixir lipstick in Chili (no. 853)

This was one of those impulse buy products. I was recuperating from a bad bout of viral fever and was out shopping for my little one. I popped into boots for something and ended up buying this lippie. Shopping for makeup products can indeed lift up a girl's spirits ;) what say.

The lipstick bullet comes in a normal gold coloured attractive packaging. It has an expiry of 36 months (3 years) from the date of opening.This retails fro KD 5.750. I bought the lipstick number 853 or the shade 'chili'. The name is very apt for the color.

The lipstick bullet has an 'X' mark to show that this is the elixir range. The lipstick is really pigmented with shimmer in it, transfers less and bleeds little, very moisturising and great for Indian skin tone. 

My lips were very dry and chapped due to dehydration and I applied this lipstick without a lip balm underneath (I was lazy that day), but surprisingly it just glided on my lips and moisturised it and I didn't feel the need to apply a lip balm over it throughout the day. 

The glossiness fades after a couple of hours and the shimmer can settle into the fine lines of the lips, but just rub your lips together and you are good to go. The lipstick lasted a good 6 hours on my lip. I always use a lip liner , so that adds to the longevity of the lipstick on my lips.

I am so in love with the lipstick and the color that I have been wearing it every day since I bought it. I liked these shades also from the elixir range  - firefly, burnt caramel and mulberry.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The fault in our stars by John Green

I had picked up this book a couple of years ago and never read it ;(
My friend borrowed it and returned it and I kept it back on the book shelf. I had known that the movie had come out but what say, I prefer the actual book to a movie out of it for the simple reason that movies can never do justice to a book. A movie ends up being twisted to appeal to the masses (no arguing here; movie is a commercial product and is made to make money). A book can take you to places and a good author can actually make you feel that you are present in the place or is a part of the lives of the characters in the book.

Even before I had picked up this book, I knew it was a sad story. Maybe that was what had refrained me from reading it. The story is about cancer patients and the two stars in the story - Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters- are sadly cancer patients who has no chance of a complete cure. The story line revolves around how they meet in a support group, become friends and fall in love. Augustus has this wacky sense of humor which is what attracts Hazel (and me) in the first place. He uses his one last wish to take her to Amsterdam to meet her favourite author of her favourite book 'An imperial affliction', because she wants to know from the author himself what happens to the characters in the book since the book comes to an abrupt end. That is selfless love.

We keep thinking that Hazel might be in a bad condition, but Augustus might live till old age with his amputated leg, since his cancer seems to be in the category of 'not-so-bad-you-will-live' but alas, fate has other plans. Our hearts sink when Augustus puts it to Hazel ' I lit up like a Christmas tree Hazel Grace', the result of his scan. His cancer has recurred and has spread to other parts of his body. You would want to hug those two at that point in the book and reassure them that everything is going to be all right.

You just realize how lucky you are to be alive and healthy. How blessed we are to see each day, to wake up healthy, to have happy parents and can attend to day to day activities of life without fear. Life is so short. We  never know what is going to happen the next moment.

John Green knows the English language and how to twist and turn it to make an interesting book. There are quite a few number of words that you might want to refer to a dictionary to know the meaning  :).

I don't want to spill the entire story here and ruin your book-reading experience (and the wrath of the author) but do read it if you can lay your hands on it.

Himalaya herbals smoothing foot scrub

This was one of those 'I-saw-it-on-the-supermarket-shelf-and-I-just-bought-it' kind of product. Himalaya brand has been in the market for long and I have been using the purifying neem face wash as long as I can remember. 

We take a lot of effort to scrub and moisturise our face and body but the feet is always neglected.I have often seen ladies all dolled up till you see their feet - all dry and with cracked heels; and that just negates their whole dressing up.

The scrub comes in the classic Himalaya packaging - white plastic tube with a green plastic cap. It claims to give you soft and supple feet in 7 days. The expiry date is 12 months from the date of opening.

It has walnut and pineapple extracts that gently scrub off rough and dry skin; apple and lemon extracts gently remove dead skin; aloe vera and coconut extracts smooth the skin.

To use: massage onto wet feet in circular motion. Rinse well. Use daily as part of bath/shower routine.

The scrub is white in color and quite grainy. 
It has a pleasant smell. 
You need a coin size amount on each foot.
It is grainy -perfect for the foot. 
Once you rub and massage the scrub onto your foot (for a good two minutes on each foot), wash it all away and follow it up with a foot cream or moisturiser or glycerin and rose water. it definitely made the feet soft; the rough granules in the cream will slush away all the dead skin cells on the foot and make it supple. 
Definitely a thumps up product.

Athapookalams 2017

Onam was celebrated way back in September and there was a Pookalam competition also held then. My post is a bit late and but none the less ...