Vendor Review: UM Moolchand India Emporium, South Extension

A year down my big day and to be honest, I can’t believe it is going to be an year since I got married. As I remember the day and laugh at how I was soo worried that something might not go according to plan but to be honest, nothing else mattered as soon as I saw the smile on my husband’s face when I walked into the venue.

I had a very clear vision about my outfit as a bride. I love color and I wanted a beautiful contrast in my outfit but the issue was I was supposed to wear a sari and getting that designed turned out to be pain till I was introduced to UM Moolchand India Emporium in South Extension, New Delhi.

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This is a quant little shop near McDonalds but I soon discovered that it one of the oldest shops in the area and I met people who are the third generation in their family visiting the shop to get stuff made for their wedding and wedding trousseau. They are one of the most trusted names when it comes to wedding sarees, lehangas and suits offering one of a kind workmanship when it comes to embroidery, zardozi, stone work, sequence work and much more.

I love the attention to detail the people at Ushnak Mal have. I had an idea in mind and they gave me small ideas to enhance the design even further and the final result was amazing. I was soo happy with results that when we decided to have this last minute pooja and we had to look for outfits, without second thoughts we went straight to them and they did an outstanding job with that too.

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They are an expert when it comes to gotta patti work and even deliver some exquisite designs on a fabric like georgette  which is not an easy fabric to work with when it comes to a heavy hand work like zardozi or gotta patti. If you are not looking for an outfit but just some pretty fabric then they will spoil you with a huge amount of selection. Basically they have made themselves into a one stop shop of everything related to wedding wear.

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I have lost count of people I have recommended this vendor to and none of them have been disappointed. They are really professional, their  work is impeccable and they don’t just make your vision come to life but make it perfect as well. The best part, they have equally good designs and affordable options for the grooms and groomsmen as well. The only thing you need to be a little mindful about is that there are two more shops with the same name but this one is near the big McDonalds where you have this corner of multiple bhel puri vendors…I know its a very funny sounding direction but these are the legitimate landmarks :p

MAC Girl About Town: Review and Swatches

I was just talking about my love for pink and today’s post combines it with my love for It has been more than a month since I lasted talked about a lip product on the blog which is so weird considering my never ending love for lipsticks so today I am going to talk about my one of my favorite pink lipstick from MAC which is called Girl About Town

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Price: Rs 1200 for 3 gms.

Girl About Town comes in a regular MAC black bullet packaging with label on the base of the lipstick. I kid of don’t like the packaging for the simple reason that everything you want to look for a shade, you have to read the labels. The good thing about the packaging is that it is very sturdy so you don’t have to be worried about carrying it around.

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The texture of the lipstick is really soft and creamy so it glides on the lips like like butter. The lipstick has a glossy finish but the pigmentation and coverage is outstanding. I get a nice layer of color on my lips with just a single swipe and the pigmentation is so good that even when the lipstick fades, it leaves a nice tint behind. The formula is really hydrating and the product doesn’t feel heavy on the lips.

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Coming to the shade, Girl About Town is a bright blue-based fuchsia that instantly kicks up the glamour quotient of your look. Blue toned colors are tricky to work with on Indian skin tone but this shade doesn’t have the usual neon tinge so the shade looks really pretty on most skin tones.

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The staying power of this lipstick is around 5-6 hours. There was no bleeding or feathering the whole time I wore it but it does transfer a little. As I mentioned before, The lipstick fades of leaving behind a tint so you don’t have to worried about being bare-lipped if you have delayed a touch-up.

Overall, I really like the lipstick and the shade is one of my favorite options to go for when I am feeling like wearing something bright on the lips. MAC is becoming a tad expensive when it comes to lipstick but then again the quality they offer kind of justifies the price tag. Next time you are in the MAC store, do check out Girl About Town because I am pretty sure you will be unable to resist buying it once you try it.

Coloressence High Definition Loose Powder in Snow White: Review

I have this problem of getting obsessed with one type of product until I have tried almost all available options and decided on the best. For the past few months, I have been obsessed with loose powder and the latest one I tried was the Coloressence High Definition Powder in the shade Snow White.

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Price: Rs 350 for 10 gms.

The Coloressence High Definition Powder comes in  plastic jar packaging with a brush attached to it on the top. The brush is not to harsh but it is definitely not my favorite medium to apply the loose powder and I prefer opening up the top and using my own powder brush to apply the loose powder. The only issue with the packaging is that you have to be really careful while opening the top because there is usually a lot of product under the brush base so if you are not careful, you will end up spilling and wasting the powder.

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The shade Snow White, true to its name is a fine milled white powder. I was looking for a translucent powder to set my concealer and this product looked like a good option. As mentioned before, the powder has a pretty fine texture so blending it is a piece of cake. The powder blends into the skin and completely vanishes which works well if you are looking for a natural finish. The finish is smooth so my skin looks flawless and not cakey or powdery.

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As the shade I chose is supposed to be transparent, coverage is not something this powder offers. It does however mattifies my skin and keeps it oil-free for around 2-3 hours. The powder is not the best option out there but it does a decent job in setting my makeup and it is one of the few options you have in the Indian market when it comes translucent powders. Overall, a decent product to start with if you are looking for a loose powder that wouldn’t break your bank.

Maybelline Colorshow Lipstick in Red Rush: Review, Swatches and FOTD

It;s wedding season in the north India at the moment and like many other people I have a wedding in the family as well.  Even though I have been almost married for an year, I am still the “new” bride in the family and have been instructed to dress the part so I am busy sorting out outfits, makeup and other stuff. The first thing I obviously packed away was makeup and one makeup product I knew I wouldn’t be able to skip was a red lipstick. One red that I have been wearing a lot and I know that I would wear even in the upcoming days is the Maybelline Colorshow Lipstick in Red.

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Price: Rs. 299 for 3.9 gms.

The Maybelline Colorshow Lipsticks comes in a black lipstick casing with a colored band that indicates shade family of the lipstick. Standardized packaging doesn’t prove to be very helpful if you have more than one shade. The overall packaging however is quite simple and sturdy so I had no issues carrying it around.

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The shade Red Rush is a bright red shade with almost ignorable orange undertone. This is definitely one of the brightest reds I own and I absolutely love how it instantly adds a certain glamour to even the simplest of the looks. Definitely a typical bridal red and one of my go to reds during the festive and wedding season

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Pigmentation is really good and just one swipe is enough to give you a nice even coverage. The lipstick isn’t very heavy on the lips so you can easily layer it up to get nice opaque finish. Staying power is not the best but it does survive for a good 2-3 hours.

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All in all, I love this lipstick and it is definitely one of the best budget lipsticks I have tried. The shade is gorgeous and even though the staying power is a little on the lower side, the pigmentation and quality make up for it. Overall, I would definitely recommend it in case you are looking for a red to add to your kitty without burning a big whole in your pocket.

Truweight- Weight Loss & Nutrition: Review

With the festive season over and wedding season upon us, my relatively healthy diet went for a toss. My experience with healthy food has not been that great because it usually tasteless and I end up cheating on it more than I would have liked. I was kind of proved wrong after I tried a bunch of products from Truweight, a scientific weight management company where you lose weight by actually eating more super-foods.

As I said, my experience with the so called healthy food has been pretty disappointing when it comes to the taste front but almost everything I tried from this huge box of goodies I received from Truweight was not only healthy but pretty good in taste. I love how they have chosen ingredients like spirulina, alfaalfa grass, apple cider vinegar, oats, quinoa, jowar etc which are good for your body and not that bad on the tongue as well.

Before I delve into the details of the product, lets talk a little about the company as well. Truweight is a weight management company that gives its clients nutrition counselling and a wide range of effective super-foods, which helps individuals to attain optimal weight loss. The entire focus is on healthy eating and not on machines, belts or weight loss pills. Truweight intends to provide sustainable and healthy weight loss solution (based on nutrition) to millions of Indians. They are having over 50 nutritionists working across their different centres.

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I received a super-foods kit from Truweight which contained a variety of healthy snacks, drinks and reading material. I took my time to test each one of these products to understand the effect on my body and health. Just a small disclaimer, my aim behind using these products was not to loose weight but to eat healthy between all the junk I had been putting into my body for the past few weeks and anticipated eating the coming months.

Following is the detailed review and my experience with the products I received in the kit:

Amla Drink: I have such a low immunity that every time the weather changes, I catch an infection. Adamant to avoid that this time, I had started gorging on Amla for that Vitamin C boost. If you have tasted raw Amla you know it doesn’t taste the best but this drink tasted much better. I think what made it better was that along with Amla, the drink has lemon and ginger Amla is known as a great source of vitamin C. Absolutely loved the drink and it has become an indispensable part of my morning routine.

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Teatox : I am a total tea addict especially green tea so this was something I was looking forward to try. I absolutely love the hint of spices that this tea has (yup totally love my masala tea) so this has completely replaced my normal green tea for a while now.

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Hibiscus Tea: I haven’t tried floral based tea except once and did not like it much so I have to say i was skeptical to try it. The hibiscus tea is made from the dried hibiscus flower so when you use it, you have this beautiful maroon liquid that smells amazing. The tea is a little sour so it requires a little getting used to but it definitely leaves you feeling all fresh and calm. I for one am addicted to my lemon teas so I don’t mind the little bit of sour flavor in this tea

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Vanilla Shake: A good shake or smoothie is as good as a nice snack so I decided to replace my trusted green smoothie with the Vanilla shake. I hate when healthy shakes claim to be all healthy but when you read the label, they are full of sugar but this one has stevia extract to add the required sweetness. I for one love the flavour of this shake even without adding any extra sugar.

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TruGreen: I am pretty fond of my green smoothie and even though the shake turned out to be a good replacement, I still missed it a bit. The TruGreen powder acted as the perfect supplement and it was soo easy to make. All I had to do was to mix the powder with a glass of a water and shake till the powder mixes. This mix has some really heavy duty greens like kale but tastes really good and minty. Love drinking this instead of my protein shake after my workout at the gym.

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Fruit & Nut-Trail Mix and Quiona and Seeds Mix: These snacks came in pretty handy to curb the mid meal snack craving. I loved the fact that these were non fried, gluten-free, filled with healthy ingredients like quinoa, sunflower seeds, peanuts, flax and melon seeds. My go-to snack options especially during tea-time.

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Almond & Coconut Granola Bar: I am not very fond of granola bars in general because most of the ones I have tried are either too sweet or taste like cardboard. The Almond and Coconut Granola bar however was the perfect replacement for my sweet cravings and also a quick snack won the go. Not to sweet but not bland either, this was definitely one of my favorite snacks from the whole lot

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Oats mixture (Wasabi Flavour): This became my go to breakfast in no time. I like oats and wasabi but never in my wildest of dreams did I imagine the two together. It is definitely a good option for someone like me who is always running late and doesn’t have much time to make an extravagant breakfast.

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Protein Rich Granola Ladoos: These were another great options for my big sweet tooth. I have been trying to cut down on sweets but these ladoos I could indulge without feeling guilty about it. The best thing about them is that they are just the right amount of sweet.

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The company also shared two books with the kit – “Why 80% of Dieters Fail!” and “Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss” to assist in holistic weight loss and healthy eating experience.  These proved to be great reads and gave better understanding into the psychology behind weight loss, changes required in your day to day habits for weightloss to happen and for the lost weight to remain off, diet tips etc. I absolutely loved the fact that the kit came with study material of sorts to better educate people and get rid of myths that surround the topic of loosing weight.

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If you are trying to loose weight, eat well or just improve your eating habits in general then I would recommend checking out the Truweight website. Along with the kit and super food options, they also offer online consultation.

Favorite Hacks To Get Rid Of Dandruff

If you have been a regular reader on the blog, you know I have a super sensitive scalp and a stubborn dandruff problem that refuses to leave my side. I have had severe dandruff issues since I was a teenager and even after spending thousands of rupees on various dermatologist, I have found no permanent solution. The only thing that I have discovered during all these years struggling with a scalp that goes flaky every time there is even a slight change in weather is every possible home remedy in the book, which ones work and which don’t. I am pretty sure there are a few more ladies (or guys :p ) facing the same issue so I am going to share some of the hacks that worked for me. Now these hacks might sound a little weird but they work

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  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar is one stop solution for anything inflamed or itchy and it is one of the most effective remedies against dandruff. After following your normal shampoo-conditioner routine, apply a 1:1 apple cider vinegar and water and massage your scalp with it. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes and rinse it off with normal water.

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  • Onion: It is a really smelly remedy but boy the results are amazing. It not only helps in keeping dandruff in check but also reduces hair fall and if you have a serious dandruff problem, you know it always comes hand in hand with acute hair loss so you are basically killing two birds with one stone. All you need to do is cut onions into big pieces, grind them to make a paste, sieve that paste to get the juice out and massage this smelly juice on your scalp. Follow this up with your normal hair wash routine after 30 minutes

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  • Amla Juice: Gooseberry or Amla is basically your hairs best friend. It is filled with anti-oxidants and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which gives you a clean scalp. Take de-seeded gooseberry, use a grinder to make a paste with water, sieve the paste to get a pale green looking juice and apply it to your scalp. Let this magic potion do its job for a good 20-30 minutes before you rinse it off.

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  • Listerine: Yes you read that right, Listerine is one hell of an effective remedy when it comes to dandruff. Just mix the yellow Listerine (do not use green or blue one as they might stain your hair) in a 1:2 ratio with water, massage this solution to your scalp and rinse off after 30 minutes.

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  • Savlon: This was suggested by one of the dermatologist and even though applying Savlon to my hair was pretty scary, I was left surprisingly happy with the results. Mix desired quantity needed by mixing Savlon and water in 1:2 ratio and apply it on your scalp. Massage it on the scalp and leave for 4-5 mins. Wash off using the shampoo of your choice.

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A word of caution before you bookmark this post and start experimenting with your hair is that there is a chance that some of these remedies might not work for you. As I mentioned before, I tried a bunch of things to keep my dandruff in check but not everything worked so there is a chance that some of these might not work for you as well so do try it once and if you feel that it is making your problem worse than just move on.

Vendor Review: Plum Salon, Hauz Khas

I recently read a book whose protagonist was a makeup artist and she said “There’s something so pure about doing up a bride. Making a woman look beautiful on her biggest day!!” , beautiful right? Well reading this made me think about my wedding along with the amazing makeup artist I hired so I decided it was time to review her on the blog so let me introduce you guys to Anita Punwani at the Plum Salon , Hauz Khas.

Anita was recommended to me by my sister-in-law who hired her for her own wedding and having seen how gorgeous she looked, I decided to book a trial with her to discuss the kind of bride I wanted to look like. My confidence in Anita grew even more after the wedding as she spent almost an hour to understand what I wanted, my outfit, jewelry, all other little elements of my whole look and then another 30 minutes creating a rough look along with hairstyle idea.

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On the day of the wedding, it was no different. Me and my sisters were late but as soon as we entered the salon, Anita calmed me down. She gave me a cup of coffee, got my outfit and jewelry sorted and asked me to head straight to the getting my hair washed. Once I was done with my hair, I changed and then got a part of my hair done first. What I absolutely loved about her was that even though it was busy day at salon with a couple of other brides in as well and my hair styling was being  handled by a junior assistant, Anita made sure she kept checking in every few minutes.

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Now even though we had decided on a particular kind of a look during trial, Anita changed her mind after taking a look at my saree. I was completely against wearing that Christmas tree combination of red green and cold for my wedding but she asked me to trust her and assured me that I would love what she is going to do. I know what you are thinking, do you or do you not trust a change of plans on your d-day…well I was pretty confused for a while but having seen Anita’s work during the trial, I decided to take the chance and I am so glad I did.

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One thing I was pretty clear about the fact that on the day of my wedding, I wanted to look like myself and not some made up face with layers and layers of makeup and I have to say I couldn’t be happier with the final result. My whole makeup looks so clean and natural in the pictures and don’t even get me started on the amount of compliments I received. The eye makeup turned out to be my favorite thing about the whole look so much so that I don’t think I could find any flaws with my look and would even say that it turned out to be better than what I had visioned.

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My hairstyle was perfect, my sari did not budge even though I was carried around ( read wedding post for more details), asked to sit and then get and then sit again like a zillion times and even though I have an oily skin, my makeup looked perfect till the around 6 the next morning which is pretty much 12 hours from the time I got ready.

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Do I recommend her? Definitely. She is pretty affordable compared to most of the other wedding makeup artist but do not confuse what she charges with quality of work she delivers. Anita is one hell of a talented makeup artist, I loved her work and you can see for yourself how she gave the traditional red, green and gold a slightly modern twist. Do consider her if you are looking for a good MUA and honestly can’t wait to go back and get ready at salon for the next big occasion.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Contour Palette: Review

My love for contouring is growing each day and so is my stash of contouring products. The latest addition to this growing family is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Contour Palette and it came as a part of this huge makeup haul my sister did for me from the US.

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Price: $12.99 for 7 gms

The L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Contour Palette comes in a simple black rectangular plastic packaging with a transparent top flip open lid. Inside, you have a small mirror, a countering powder, a highlighter and a brush with a very unique shape. The brush might look unique but it is pretty much useless when it comes to application of product. The rest of the packaging on other hand is pretty decent and the mirror does come handy for quick touch-ups.

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This product comes in 3 shades – Light, Medium and Deep. My sister got me the shade “Medium.” Which works pretty well against my skin tone. Both the contouring powder and the highlighter are a little cool toned which I feel works really well for the Indian skin tones. The highlighter is champagne based white with very subtle shimmer particles that give you that natural glow and not turn you into a disco ball.

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Coming to the texture of the palette, well while the highlighter is pretty smooth and doesn’t feel chunky even though it has shimmer particles but I am definitely not happy with the contouring powder. The contouring powder is pretty chalky and once you use the palette for a while, you see this weird mesh like thing appearing in the pan.

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In the pigmentation department, the highlighter fares well and gives you a nice glow in a single swipe but the contouring powder disappoints again and you need a couple of layers for it to pop up. Both powders blend well but as the contouring powder is a little low in pigmentation so if you blend it a little too much, it just disappears. Staying power is on the lower side for both and I see the contour vanishing after 2-3 hours. The highlighter stays a little longer and leaves behind these tiny shimmer particles so a bit of the illusion of that glow for which we use highlighters is maintained.

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Overall, I have to say I am not happy with the product at all. The contouring powder disappoints in almost all areas and even though I like the highlighter, I don’t think I would like spending $13 for it. Final Verdict: Skip this one, definitely not worth the price tag.

Maybelline Colorsensational Lip Liner in Stellar Pink: Review, Swatches and FOTD

Just when I thought my obsession with all things girly was getting toned down, we welcomed a little angel into the family so  its time again to get obsessed with pretty little things like bows, dresses, shoes and all things cute. Another really pretty and taking the risk of being stereotypical, girly thing I am obsessed with right now is this beautiful lip liner from Maybelline Colorsensational Range in the shade Stellar Pink.

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Price: Rs 320 for 5 gms

The Maybelline Colorsensational Lip Liner has wooden pencil packaging that has to be sharpened after a couple of uses. The body of the pencil is pretty sleek and the color of the body is of the same shade as the lip liner so it is pretty easy to look for the shade you want if you own more than one shade from this range. The pencil also has a plastic cap to protect the tip and thankfully the cap doesn’t come off easily so no hassles in travelling around with it.

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The shade, Stellar Pink is a frosty, shimmery baby pink with a silver sheen due to the shimmer particles in it. The shade is a little tricky to work with as it is a bit pale and would definitely wash out darker Indian skin tones. I for some reason, love the shade and really like wearing it especially with some of my ethnic wear

The texture of the lip liner is really soft so it glides on the lips without tugging or pulling. The liner doesn’t dry out the lips but it always advisable to wear a lip balm particularly under such a light shade as they tend to accentuate any kind of dryness.

Stellar Pink has a decent pigmentation and gives a nice opaque layer of color in a single swipe. The product is pretty light on the lips so you can layer it up if you build up the intensity of the color. As the finish is frosty, I would suggest keeping everything else minimalistic if you are planning to wear the shade on it own.

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The lip liner stays on for a good 3-4 hours on its own and longer under a lipstick. The shimmer particles are very subtle and do not settle in the fine lines which is one of my biggest pet peeves with lip products that have shimmer in them.

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Overall, I found the product to be pretty decent. The shade might wash out a lot of skin tones so it is advisable to test it before you buy it. Also, if you are not into shimmery frosty finishes when it comes to lip products then this is definitely not the product for you. I for one, love this range of lip liners from Maybelline and would totally recommend trying them if you are looking for decent quality without breaking your bank. You can read about the rest of shades from this range here and here

Book Review: Glitter and Gloss by Vibha Batra

Even though I am pretty much done with what I call as metro reads, sometimes particularly after reading a something heavy, a chic lit is exactly what I need to take my mind of. Glitter and Gloss by Vibha Batra was picked up with the intention of some light reading but little did I know that it going to turn out to be such a good read. Why you ask? Well in a true blue novel style…read on to find out 🙂

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Glitter and Gloss is the story of Misha, a make-up artist/sales girl at M.A.C and aspires to become a renowned bridal make-up artist because for her ‘There’s something so pure about doing up a bride. Making a woman look beautiful on her biggest day.’ She is crazy, loud ,always ends up in a foot in the mouth situations and has this savior attitude which usually lands her in more trouble. During one such savior moment, she bumps into her prince charming Akshay who sweeps her of her feet while she makes him fall in love with her clumsy ways.

Character development is one of the strongest things about the book. Having recently experienced the “blissful” world of matrimony in India, I could totally relate to Misha who is struggling with the situation of you don’t just marry the guy, you marry their parents, relatives, neighbors and what not so there were a lot of instances in the book where I sympathized with her. The author has put so much effort in developing even the smallest of characters in the book and kudos to her for capturing the over-possessive mothers/sisters, interfering aunts and agony aunt/confidant best friends without dramatizing any of the characters more than required.

The book and the story is definitely a little cheesy but instead of being the irritating kind of cheesy, it is one hell on amusing read. I loved the author’s writing style and the use of movie dialogues and Hindi idioms made the reading experience pretty entertaining and hilarious. Even though the story is pretty close to your usual run of the mill rom-com chic lits, the way the author has penned it down definitely deserves some appreciation. Absolutely loved reading it and would recommend you guys to pick a copy!!!