{A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog}

Friday, 28 April 2017

Skincare For Long Flights

I’m the kind of flyer who falls asleep even before the flight takes off. I once slept through a bumpy and turbulent plane ride. True story. While I get some much-needed shut-eye, I always wake up with parched skin because I’m too busy snoozing instead of keeping myself hydrated. I’m taking an 11-hour flight to India in a couple of days and knowing me, I might sleep through it, so I’m packing a few skincare bits to ensure my skin doesn’t suffer.

After Takeoff

Since 11 hours is an incredibly long time to be airborne, I’m going to try and keep myself as hydrated as I possibly can. My friend suggested I buy a bottle of coconut water once I pass through security, as it’s full of nutrients and is a healthier alternative to the sugar-laden beverages they serve on the flights.

Once the flight takes off, I’m going to sanitise my hands and remove my makeup with Klorane Wipes – possibly the only time I’ll ever use face wipes. Then I’m going to spray a hydrating mist, like the Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray, all over my face and let it sink in. While my face is still slightly wet, I’ll put on a generous layer of the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask. This ridiculously expensive mask has revived my post-travel fatigued skin more times than I can count. It’s wonderfully rich and hydrating, without being too gloopy. Also, it goes on clear, so your seatmate won’t notice a thing. This mask always leaves my skin feeling all plumped-up and soft.

While my scalp doesn’t get greasy, the ends get very dry and raggedy, so I’m going to apply a tiny blob of the Windle & Moodie Invisible Day and Night Cream to the lengths of my hair to keep it nourished and hydrated. All this should take me no more than ten minutes, and if I’m not half-asleep by the end of it, I’ll apply some hand cream. The Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is so so good! It’s not greasy, sinks in swiftly and has a very comforting scent.

I’ll conclude this little mid-air pamper ritual with a swipe of the Dr Hauschka Lip Balm

Four Hours In…

I’ll remove the mask and mist my face with the Avène spray before applying a thick layer of the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré. It’s lightweight, fast absorbing and works to retain water in the skin. I’m going to top it off with Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and let it sink in over the course of the flight. Enriched with squalane and evening primrose oil, this dry oil provides a boost of moisture to depleted skin. 

Before Landing

Then, 30 minutes before descending, I’ll repeat the whole process of cleansing and misting. I don’t like applying makeup on skin that’s not properly cleansed, but I look sickly without a concealer. The Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher is very natural looking and offers a light coverage. And just before I get off the flight, I’ll dab some of the Glossier Generation G lipstick in the shade Cake onto my lips and cheeks to emerge from the airport looking all fresh and well rested.


Friday, 21 April 2017

An Instagram Guide To Dubrovnik

Why visit: Crystal clear waters, uninhabited virgin islands, fresh seafood and Mediterranean weather.

Where to stay: We stayed at Neptun Hotel in Babin Kuk, which is just 15 minutes away from the Old Port. This upscale hotel has a spa, four swimming pools and three in-house restaurants serving delicious local cuisines. Our room was literally ten feet away from the sea, and it seriously doesn't get better than that.

What To Do

City Walls: All the guidebooks tell you that the City Walls is a must-do – and it’s true. If you climb up the serpentine staircases of these historic walls, you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the sea, changing in hue from azure to emerald due to the shadows cast by the clouds above. There’s nothing quite like the joy that accompanies the sight of the endless horizon.
Hidden Coves: If you want to escape the heaving crowds, then this is the perfect thing to do. We found several secluded coves around the city, but the one near Brsalje is breathtaking, to say the least. It’s a beautiful idyll that's a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town. There’s a dizzying flight of stairs with a metal railing that leads you all the way up to the vantage point. We spent the day swimming in the crystal-clear waters and basking in the beauty of this hidden gem.
Island Hopping: Though Dubrovnik offers plenty to explore, a day trip to the neighbouring islands is an experience unlike any other. Roughly 15 minutes from the city, Lokrum is ideal for snorkelling or hiking up the vertiginously sloping paths. This uninhabited island is home to pines and cypress trees, which fills the air with a lilting scent. There’s an idyllic salt-rich lake that’s perfect for those of us who are not brave enough to swim in the sea.
Cable Car: While the cable car ride is all too brief, the view is nothing short of sublime. We booked a table at the Panorama Restaurant and watched the sky turn hues of gold and amber as the sun went down. The food, the ambience and the pavonine sky made it a surreal affair. We could have spent all day here, it was a truly magical experience. Anything I say would be too little, so I'm going to let the pictures do the talking.

Beach Bar: Nestled in the tiny bylanes of the old walled city, Buza Bar provides sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea. Buzzy music, local beer and friendly staff make this place an absolute must-visit. This hole-in-the-wall dive bar is perpetually crowded, so get there early if you want a table with a view. Or grab a drink and sit on the cliff to watch the waves roll in against the sunset.
Boat/Ferry/Yacht Ride: You can opt for a private yacht tour or hop onto a boat cruise to explore the islands. We visited Elaphite Islands, which is a small archipelago consisting of several islands. We made quick pit stops at Šipan, Koločep and Lopud - although they aren't very different from each other, the streets are much less crowded, and the entire vibe is more authentic.

What to pack:
 Hiking shoes, summery dresses and a chic pair of sunglasses. You can read about what I packed here.

Where To Take A Great Instagram: 
There are plenty gram-worthy spots, but my top two recommendations are the charming stone alleys of Old Dubrovnik and the rock staircase carved through the cliff near Dodo Beach Bar.

Friday, 14 April 2017

All The Things I'm Packing For A Beach Vacation

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who pack and those who throw everything into a bag and pray for the best. I'm definitely the latter. I used to revel in packing for holidays but now it's an absolute chore. Once I'm done unpacking and ready to change, I never find a single decent thing to wear. I either over-pack or under-pack, there's never a happy medium. I'm travelling to Croatia over the weekend and here's how I'm trying to nail the whole nothing-but-the-necessities packing game.

This is the most important tip I learnt from watching countless Youtube videos. Instead of packing X top for Saturday and Y dress for Sunday, build outfits around the pieces that you plan to take. I laid out all the pieces on the bed and put-together multiple outfit options. I'm taking a Breton tee and denim shorts, which I'm going to wear with leather lace-up sandals. I'm also going to partner the shorts with a billowy embroidered blouse from French Connection. These casual outfits are great for sauntering around the town or just chilling by the beach.

I imagine I’m going to be in a bathing suit for most part of the trip, but when I do need to put on something more fancy, this red dress is what I’ll be wearing. It's a beautiful broderie anglaise piece with cut-out shoulders. Another great option for cocktails or dinner is this bohemian-inspired dress from ASOS. Trimmed with playful pom-poms, this piece is fun and summery. I'm going to pair both these dresses with gold sandals that I bought in Santorini. Oh, I'm also taking a pair of heels – totally unnecessary but I might have a use for them. 

There's a slight chance of rain on one of the days, so some comfortable clothing is absolutely essential. This black jumper and jeans from Topshop are super comfy and provide multiple styling options. This embroidered denim dress from Zara is stylish, versatile and great for both day and night. Can you tell, I have a thing for dresses with cut-out shoulders? Apart from this, I'm packing a loose, wafty floral dress that I'm going to wear when we go island-hopping. 


I don’t tend to take much by way of makeup, but I'm planning to film a video, so I'm packing a few necessary bits. Concealer is non-negotiable for me and the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger is highly pigmented and offers buildable coverage. You've heard me wax lyrical about the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light before, so I'm not going to go on about it. Glossier's Cloud Paint in Dusk and Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Formentera are my current cheek favourites and they are great for adding a touch of colour to the face. For lips, I'm taking a red and a nude lipstick. The Daniel Sandler Matte Lipstick in Casablanca is by far the best red lipstick I've ever tried. It instantly perks up the complexion and is super moisturising.

For skincare, I'm sticking to the basics. The Caroline Hirons x Pixi Double Cleanse is fuss-free and comes in a handy pot. It's divided into two sections - one is a solid oil cleansing balm that's perfect for removing makeup, and the other is a buttery cream that can be used to cleanse the skin. The Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunscreen is lightweight, grease-free and wears well under makeup. It's a necessary accompaniment to any beach bag. The other thing that always travels with me is the Avéne Eau Thermale Spray, it's soothing, hydrating and the perfect antidote to all skin aggressors.

I'm always looking for a bit of inspiration so this book by British Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman will be coming with me on this trip. Also, I'm throwing in a copy of the Porter magazine into my beach bag for some breezy poolside reading.

Phew, that was a long, waffly post. Have a great Easter weekend, everyone! 


Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Serum That Changed My Skin

 Pardon the dramatic title, but that's the honest truth. Aurelia's Revitalise & Glow serum changed my skin for good. Last winter, my face was literally peeling off, and no product was working until I discovered this wonderful serum. At first, I thought it wasn’t doing much, but I started to see a difference after using it regularly in my nightly regime. My skin wasn’t flaking anymore, and it looked a lot calmer. 

With continued use, my skin looked brighter, more radiant and less angry. It worked so well for me that I used it up in just three months. And once I ran out of it, I realised how much I missed using it in my routine.  Though the Kypris Antioxidant Dew comes close, it doesn’t quite match up to the brilliance of this one. I’m currently working my way through the third bottle, and my skin has never looked happier!

Enriched with BioOrganic botanicals such as baobab, hibiscus and vitamin E, this lightweight serum tackles all manner of skin problems from dehydration to elasticity and first signs of ageing. It has a beautiful silken texture, which glides onto the face and sinks in instantly. After every use, it leaves my skin feeling very pampered, soft, and hydrated.  It has a lovely fresh scent and is free from nasties like silicones, parabens, and mineral oils. Though it's on the pricey end of the spectrum, I think it's probably the most transformative product I've ever tried.

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